tagSci-Fi & FantasyHungry Like The Wolfgirl

Hungry Like The Wolfgirl

bySmokey125©

SS48: "Hungry Like The Wolfgirl"

*****

This is an experiment, something a little different and unique. Seemed an interesting idea to play with. Now and then I like to toss a non-real-life, other-worldly fantasy story in with the others to keep alive the sense of wonder, and to indulge my fascination with myth and magic. Otherwise, this will be very much like my regular lesbian stories—but that is worth mentioning here in the intro. As much as I would like to categorize this in LS, it's under Sci-Fi/Fantasy, also my first Sapphic Sci-Fi work. Of course, when you create Sci-Fi, you run the risk of setting off the "campy" meter, so I'll try to keep it less than embarrassingly campy.

I was thinking of calling this story "Beauty And The Beast," but besides the fact that that's just a little unoriginal, I didn't care for the way they portrayed the canine creatures in that (the Disney) film—or the similar way they did so in The Sword In The Stone, either, by the way. This story is lovingly dedicated to one Reader of mine in particular, and I am sure she knows who she is.

*****

Monday, January 5th, 2015, 9:27 a.m.

Dawn broke to the latest in a series of foggy, drizzly skies. Frosty dew collected in the grassy yards and meadows. The frigid Midwestern January temperature sat steady at 33°—though the windchill factor made it feel about 33° colder—just barely high enough to keep the rain from crystallizing. It was a cold, wet Monday, just the sort of day that would always get Karen Carpenter down. Fortunately, she did not live in this city.

Lots of citizens liked the natural showers—some even enjoyed the dreary downcast cloudiness—and those who didn't enjoyed their umbrellas, cars and homes. Most weekday nine-to-fivers were already snug in their cozy heated office buildings.

This morning saw traffic moving at a snail's pace, drivers proceeding with extra caution through precipitation and heavy fog. Some commuters would be a bit late into work today, including one lass whose destination sat on the border between the downtown metropolis and the quiet suburbs.

A healthily bundled Adia Zuri Bethwell had her windshield wipers and defroster hard at work, making way to her own "office." She sang along with the radio to distract herself from the chill. Arriving to work, she found a parking space far too easily and pulled in. She was a bit stymied why exactly the Juniper Zoo was open for recreation during these, some of the soggiest, messiest days she'd ever seen. But she didn't let such details bother her. This zoo could afford activity with less business, as its dues were funded by the local chapter of the wildlife society. And while on duty, but without a rush of guests to tend to, Adia could essentially be paid to sit in her booth and read, cyber-network, or simply look through the glass and daydream, letting the world go by.

There wasn't normally a wealth of downtime to enjoy these leisure projects. In and around ticketing guests, a number of in-booth tasks also required completing. And on weekends, the place could get downright hectic, living up to its name. But on days like this, with only sporadic business drummed up, Adia could almost get to feeling bored. But she never complained; she always felt thankful to just have a job, and such a fun place to get to come to work. Everybody liked the zoo. Everyone enjoyed meeting and documenting encounters with exotic animals they didn't see every day. And so as a result, Adia met collections of folks, cameras and iPads in tow, in what were overall happy, excited moods. The only individuals who seemed exasperated were parents of rambunctious small children, who wanted to see and have bought for them everything in sight. The zoo also boasted an additional bonus not all zoos offered: a series of stands where kids were given free balloon animals.

Adia Bethwell grew up enamored of nature and animals, especially those only indigenous to certain regions. Which made the zoo a perfect place for her to call home number two. She loved it here so much, she wished she didn't have to work so she could enjoy free time with patrons, studying their nonhuman friends. And she got to do so semi-regularly; staff members were rotated to given exhibits to host presentations for zoogoers. So there was an upside and downside to lesser turnouts on days like this. The upside was the paid free time to relax and take nice breathers while awaiting visitors. The downside was that with such a sparse gathering, it wasn't really considered worth it to give elaborate presentations.

Working at the zoo itself, and merely having a zoo to attend, had its own pro and con. While the animals were encaged, only able to pursue roaming, meandering impulses to a given point, the pro was the nurturing atmosphere. The zoo did its utmost to preserve and keep its inhabitants from going extinct. The first time Adia learned of extinction, it broke her heart. She hated when anything that meant something to her met an end. She didn't even like the idea of a store going out of business where she and her folks used to shop. The whole feeling was cold and abandoning. It made her sad and a bit scared.

She didn't think she needed to worry about that happening to the Juniper Zoo, however. She had a job she loved, and job security. These weren't articles of inanimate merchandise that could be relegated to secondhand shops once upgrades came along. These were God's creatures: beautiful living, breathing beings of nature. Adia hung with the dozens of mammals, birds, fish, pachyderms and insects by day, and returned to her little pals at home by night. She kept two pets, both girls, at the shared age of four years old: a white Persian cat named Bingo, and a Dalmatian named Checkers. It was questionless that Adia had nonhuman companionship made in the shade.

Another area of her life, however, was a very different story.

Every day, Adia greeted guests from all walks of life. Hardly anyone attended solo. Sometimes groups of friends came together, but most often couples and families. And while Adia was thrilled to see as many as wished to put in an appearance, the pattern of significant others lingered more and more on her mind. Adia was 31, single, gay, and growing lonesome. She very much wanted a nice woman in her life.

Adia enjoyed most of her free, unattached 20s, relishing the liberty to do, think, speak and be as she pleased. She knew from an early age she was attracted to girls, but was unsure where to meet them. She'd let a friend take her to a bar, but the atmosphere daunted her. It just wasn't her element. When a tall, tattooed, smoking hot girl approached, and asked in a deep, lush voice if she'd like to dance, her sultry splendor intimidated Adia so much she almost wet herself. She politely declined, stating the meek but honest truth that it was past her bedtime, and that her parents were waiting up at home. She tried not to feel like a loser, but she just wasn't ready for this.

At the time, she felt the admission of a curfew would persuade a predatory princess to cool her jets. Now, almost a decade later, she wondered if she wasn't ready to try again. Things were different: she'd fully grown and learned a few things about real life. There was no set restriction on her time outside work, and she was supporting her own living in her own apartment. Perhaps it was time she give the bar scene another go, from the viewpoint of a single chick in her 30s. Who knew what could happen?

She found herself giving it lots of thought each day, the more happy pairs she admitted. Even should she see a woman by herself, she doubted making a connection. The truth was, sometimes she didn't like being a lesbian very much, for zero reason other than the difficulty of meeting someone. She felt like she was in the biggest minority in the world. She considered looking for someone online, but the prospect of internet dating, while legit, struck her as impersonal and shady.

Oh well, she thought as the day wore on, perhaps she should stop thinking so much. Maybe if she left well enough alone, the perfect girl would land right in her lap. And I don't think I'd mind that too much, she giggled to herself. Still, her solitude didn't prevent her from fantasizing about things to do with any lady-friend who might come her way.

And so Adia went about her day like so many before. The Juniper Zoo normally stayed open until 6:00, though not many visitors came this late in the winter, when it got dark early. And Adia didn't stay the entire eight hours every day, but Saturday helped her along to full-time. What was yet nicer was the privilege of paid lunches on shorter days. Today she was to step off the clock at 3:30.

Six hours later, shift up, she slung her purse over her shoulder and trotted to the ladies'.

*****

Monday, January 5th, 2015, 3:32 p.m.

It had stopped raining about noonish, but the fog remained. Adia stepped back out from the restroom. She was still wearing her badge, which lived around her neck by day, and never allowed her to leave for work without coming along. If she ever forgot it, she would be sent back home. She slowed her steps to root through her purse for the keys.

"Excuse me, Miss?" she heard a voice behind her.

Adia looked up in the direction of the voice. When she saw the face to which it belonged, her brows arched, and her lips slipped ajar.

Addressing her was a beautiful woman. She was of indistinguishable age, yet looked close to Adia's own, and carried the signs of one who wore an elder woman's clothes. Her skin was youthfully smooth, but comelily withered in the cold. Her eyebrows were light, nearly invisible. Her eyes were very light blue, almost clear, almost...ice, were there such a color. Her pale pink lips bordered on lavender. Her nose was long and pronounced. She was relatively tiny at 5'3", sporting a slender build, modest breasts and a petite but strong figure. Her hands and fingers were equally thin with long nails. She was clad in a gray sweater, denim jeggings and sneakers. Most remarkable, yet, was that her sweater matched her hair. Her feathery locks were pure silver. Enigmatically...mystically...sublimely...silver. She was at once so uniquely captivating, Adia had to make an effort to recoup her powers of speech and comprehension. Furthermore, she appeared to have popped right up behind her. The restroom station was rounded in the back by a fence, which separated this part of the zoo from the woods. She couldn't have been behind Adia inside; it was a one-person lavatory.

...Where had she just come from?

"...Uh...yes? Yes, ma'am? May I help you?"

The lady's brows cordially rose to meet Adia's. "How late is the zoo open today?"

Adia didn't believe she'd ever met anyone who looked or sounded quite like this woman before. Her exotic beauty was matched by her roughly textured, scratchy but feminine voice. Had Adia not known better, she'd have sworn this girl stepped right out of a dream she had one unplaceable night. Her tone was colorful and unusual, but her dialect was unmistakably Midwestern American. And when she spoke, Adia detected the presence of symmetrical fangs amid her teeth.

"Oh, till six every day, seven days a week," Adia explained. "I know it may be a little misleading on days like this, what with hardly anybody here and all...but yes, six o'clock. I'm about to leave right now, but just because my shift's over."

"Oh, you are?" asked the mysterious silver-haired woman, whose name was Christina. "Aw, that's a bit of a shame. I was wondering if I could ask you for...something in the way of a tour, perhaps?"

Adia gazed a moment. She had to admit this was a kind of unorthodox request. But had this gentlewoman paid her way in, she was entitled to enjoy all the zoo had to offer, like anyone else. But, was she asking Adia for a tour personally? Or would she just like to be shown around by anyone? And what sort of tour did she have in mind?

These questions bobbed in Adia's brain, but were weighed down by the registration of her charismatic aura. Apparel aside, her long, silvery hair made her look like a fairy princess, or some such mythical entity. Merely encountering her seemed an out-of-the-ordinary experience. Adia didn't remember selling her a ticket at the booth. And it would be hard to forget such a rarity as this exquisite creature. Under normal circumstances, much as she loved being here, Adia would be inclined to head right back home, now to kick back and take it easy. Yet...

How strange. She knew less than nothing about this unique butterfly, had met her nary a minute ago, and was feeling an unexplained fascination in her presence. Maybe it was her loneliness, maybe it was her whimsical mind or her loveful heart, maybe it was the little lady's pixielike beauty, or maybe a bizarre trick being played by the weather. Whatever the circumstances, an instinct told her not to pass up this opportunity. Something about it all seemed very...special, somehow.

"M—...you mean, me? You'd like a...uh, some kind of a...tour from me?"

The silver dame batted her eyes.

"Well, you're the first person I asked," she said, artfully skirting the question with a dash of coyness. Adia waited for more of an answer, which did not come. But she thought she detected something in the woman's shy demeanor which did the talking for her. Believing she had her answer, Adia went on.

"I see," she smirked, adding a soupçon of playfulness to her own tone. "Well, my friend, fortunately, you happened to catch me on a light day, with nothing else on my schedule. And...be honest, I do spend a lot of time wishing I could be out and about with the other guests. So now that my shift's ended for the day..." She shrugged. "...Why not?"

Christina brought her hands together with a single clasp. "Oh, marvelous!" she smiled. "I hoped you'd say yes, Adia."

Adia's face morphed with surprise. "How'd you know my name?"

She pointed downwards, to the badge hanging at Adia's belly. "It's on your thingy."

"...Oh." Adia closed her eyes, so they couldn't be seen rolling at herself. "Right."

*****

Monday, January 5th, 2015, 4:43 p.m.

"And over here we've got our marsupials, many of which are native to the land down under, mate," Adia displayed, putting on a hint of an Aussie accent. "Some of these mammals are among those we've been most fortunate to have in our care: the koala, the wombat, the possum, the bandicoot, up to and including the majestic kangaroo."

"They're all just so beautiful," said Christina. "Everything here is so beautiful."

Adia wasn't in the habit of giving complimentary tours, but supposed she didn't have to think of this as one. She wasn't on the clock, so she could just treat this as two acquaintances walking around together and taking everything in, one of whom knew the zoo and its inhabitants like the palm of her hand.

She had to admit, however, she felt a bit sheepish spending the greater part of an hour (and counting) showing around an individual whose name she didn't even know. It was routine with a whole crowd of folks, but she wasn't used to a one-on-one arrangement. She was looking for a way to bring up the subject as they went on, but still intimidated by the dame's distinctive pulchritude. For now she simply enjoyed the company.

"And, then over this way—"

The silver fox, as Adia had begun thinking of her, gasped.

"Wolves!"

Her outcry was revelatory and euphoric, as if strange and beautiful angels appeared before her. Adia watched as she pranced towards the gated pack, simply drawing the speculative conclusion that wolves were the vivacious vixen's favorite animal.

"Oh—oh, yes! Yes," Adia called, following after. "Our wonderful wolfpack. One dozen Carnivora Canidae, including the alpha parents. Unfortunately, while it's not official yet, gray wolves are now considered endangered, as are Ethiopian ones. At one time, a few different species inhabited the entirety of four different continents, including ours."

"That's right!" said the silver fox. She approached the gate, eyeing one curious hound who interestedly watched back. Adia viewed with equally piqued wonder, as the silver fox lowered herself into a squatting position.

"Glorious, aren't they?" said Adia.

"Magnificent."

"Hey, did you know that when wolves are hunting for food, they can run up to—"

"Thirty-eight miles per hour!" Christina finished with her. "And when they catch food, they can eat up to twenty pounds at once. But that myth about them being dangerous and harmful makes me upset. We vilify them, and it really isn't very fair. They certainly don't blow down piggies' houses and dress up as kids' Grandmas and eat them."

What the girl who cried wolf did next Adia didn't wholly understand, but chalked up to delightful whimsy. The silver fox lowered further from her crouch, rolling to her knees, palms on the ground. She curled her fingers into the soft, wet dirt, and shifted forward, into a position that resembled child's pose. On all fours, she maintained eye contact with the one Canidae whose attention she held. Adia was perplexed, but amused the silver fox didn't seem at all concerned dirtying herself in the muddy earth.

Christina narrowed her eyes, gritted her teeth, and emitted a small, quiet growl. This left Adia more puzzled and intrigued, but no less than absolutely astonished by what happened next. The wolf stared intently another moment, before lowering itself, mirroring the silver fox's pose. It narrowed its eyes, and softly growled back.

Adia's own eyes conversely opened wide. "Oh my God..." she mouthed. The remarkable vixen actually seemed to be communicating with the attentive wolf. It reflected her mannerisms, and she its, as if they understood each other. Adia'd never seen anything like it before. Under normal circumstances, wolves would never come so close to greet a human visitor. The silver fox must've been some sort of wolf whisperer.

"...Oh, wow," Adia began to comment. "I—"

A louder growl cut her off. The woman seemed to be telling her to remain silent. What was more, this time the wolf did not growl back. It seemed to comprehend this curt reprimand was meant for Adia. But Adia's intrigue wasn't dampened in the least by this dismission. She was mesmerized by this grand display. She could look nowhere else.

Still on all fours, Christina wiggled her rump back and forth, not unlike a domesticated housepet in huntress mode. Again, to Adia's awestruck eyes, the wolf did just as she. It was a spellbinding performance, the rest of which consisted of murmuring and cautious closer approach, until the silver fox and wolf were near enough to smell one another's scents. Just when Adia thought the production could enchant her no further—

She howled.

The furtive, elusive silver fox reared back, threw her face to the heavens, and unleashed a primal, feral howl.

As Adia half-expected, the wolf followed suit. The dual, overlapping howl in turn captured the attention of the packmates. For a moment, Adia expected them all to howl, or to convene and scatter, but their encounter was at an end. The silver fox and the wolf retreated and turned their backs on each other.

"...Oh my G—...oh my God, that...th-that-that was amazing!" Adia gushed in stunned awe. "How did you do that??"

"Oh," she clasped her paws again. "I've always had something of a kinship with wolves."

"Well, that's..."

Adia's mind was utterly blown. She just...didn't know what to say. She felt...warmed, tickled, touched and dumbstruck, all at once.

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