Wild Wolf World

I visit the Wild Wolf World every night when I sleep. It’s always waiting in my dreams, mirroring locations from the real world with the same subtle distortions each time. The woods here are always denser, the hills taller, the creeks wider, and the familiar buildings liminally empty.

Each night I meet my friends, and together we play in the wild between the places we know. We den deep in the forest surrounding our school, frolic in the meadows behind the shopping mall, hunt in the rain ditches lining suburban streets, and journey as a pack along the raging riverbanks that pass under highways.

Sometimes there are threats β€” the malevolent dark, monsters with no compassion, sentient storms, or human hunters with traps and guns β€”but we fight them together with bared fangs and sharp claws. Sometimes the monsters try to break into the real world, and we spend all recess defending the treeline to guard our home.

We are the wolves of the wild, and it’s our responsibility to protect this place.


My parents don’t know that I rifle through their filing cabinets, looking for proof that I’m not who they say I am.

I pull open drawers and toss aside utility bills, house paperwork, car documents, and past years’ taxes. I flip past copies of Christmas letters, annotated old photos, handwritten correspondences, and manuals for Windows ’95. I am searching for the recognizable pattern of my name, and when I find what must be my medical records I pull them out with the vindication of a child who’s found the hidden stash of junk food.

I sit on the floor and sound out the words I don’t recognize, which are most of them. I don’t know what “immunization record” means but it certainly sounds suspicious, and none of the other words in the boxes sound real. I flip the page over and scan for other words I know, but have no luck. This isn’t the definitive proof I’ve been looking for, but it might still be a clue. If only my parents knew that I was ready to hear the truth, then maybe they wouldn’t be keeping my secret past so well-hidden.

I keep the paper and put everything back, then tuck it in my pants and sneak to my bedroom. Once behind the safety of the closed door, I push aside my hanging wolf calendar to reveal the secret folder taped to the wall. I unstick it and sit on my four-poster bed, pulling the newly-found clue from my waistband.

I mull over the crinkled paper one last time before adding it to the folder of information regarding my real identity, wondering how all the pieces fit together. So far I have not found anything that proves what I know to be true, but one day I will. I re-hide the folder behind my calendar, wondering how old I’ll have to be before my parents will finally tell me themselves. In the meantime I’ll just keep collecting proof which I can’t read yet, hoping that someday it will reveal the truth: that my parents adopted a wolf in disguise.

Wolf and Hunter

I crouch in the garden in my grandparents’ yard, tucked behind their tomato plant. My little brother is wedged poorly under the patio stairs on the other end of the yard, craning his head to watch me. Though we may not look it we are two wolf pups, holding our breath and our gazes as dad ambles past, hunting us.

Dad stops in the yard and I shrink back, hoping he can’t see me. I peer through the vines and watch him meander along the red-mulch hedges, inching towards the patio. Knowing my brother will soon have no escape, I create a distraction and burst from the garden, dashing past and shouting “RUN!”

The hunter makes a middle-aged effort to catch me as I slip easily by, and I see my brother scamper away to safety as Dad lumbers after me.