Milk-red expands and expands. You awaken. You see your knees raised under night-blue covers in front of you. Your back is resting on the pillow. The book is still in your lap. That shadow… your coat hanging on the doorknob, so yes, it’s okay… it’s not anyone at all. Warmer red. Eyes must have slipped shut again… the red expands…
What was it the temp said, at work today? About the date typed wrong. How do you misspell Wendsday? Wendsay? Wednesday? It’s stupid.
The red, simmering, expands…
At lunch, they put mayonnaise on the sandwich after you were explicit, said no—threatened no, and your sword drawn. The golden one, with the chink in the blade. How dare they?
Boiling red now, she expands.
Your book drops to the floor. It must have slipped from your lap when you moved to lay flat. You heard it. Should you go get it? Trip over it in the morning… Turim will get it. She is a good beast, Turim. Walks herself. Hunts for herself and feeds herself. One day, the two of you will conquer beautiful Draenia together…
Your body is warm. Your world now red. Turim is resting by you as you sleep. You can feel her breath. Your finger, tired, raises to feel one of her scales. Frozen as ice. Just the way a wyldehound should be. Thank the baying gods…
In the morning you awaken, stirred by Turim’s icy breathing at your shoulder. Not your cheek.
You’ve trained her never to do that again. You open your eyes and see that the world is finally as it should be.
The sky and trees beyond your den are all crescendoing reds, and then the grass, the rocks, the canopy, are many decrescendoing shades of sunstruck black. You are an animal. You lick your leg of gray fur, lick and swallow the first crisp breath of a new morning.
Turim greets you, her slender leg lain over your middle. You wag your tail and so does she.
You are the best animal the gods ever made, and Turim, she knows it. You are the born leader of the wyldehounds, and Turim is so grateful to have found you, she would kill for you.
You, Master Baruther, the gold-blooded, are what I have worshipped, and all that I have wanted to be there in the sky for me, my entire young life, and I need you to save me from this terrible, black and gray world of waking, working and sleeping off the pain of a half existence.
I beg you, Master Baruther, deliver me!
I am ever yours, the Mistress Howlar-haelia Turim.
I am your bitch.