Nazkal has always been split off from the rest of the world. Living under the shadow of the great Himalayas meant there was abundant scenic landscape, but fewer eyes dared to appreciate it. What if the Grey Wolf found them?
Living in Nazkal had once been mostly about getting used to living with the Grey Wolf. It came when one least expected, so naturally, the people of Nazkal had learned to expect it all the time. Over this last decade, it’d stopped being as much of a problem though. All one had to do was wash every room in their home once every fortnight with holy water from the Ganges. Water blessed by the goddess of the moon would keep away her beast, or so they believed. And it worked, for the most part. Occasionally, a tourist or a bored youth would try to disprove this superstition and end up barely being more than a pile of bones.
But, no tourist has come to Nazkal in over twenty years. This tiny village was all but forgotten by the rest of the world now. When people shunned religion as nothing more than superstition, and instead chose atheism, fewer people came all this way for their holy pilgrimage. The Nazkalian people still scrub their floors with holy water, but the younger ones scoff when the elders mention the wolf. ‘The beast existed only in fairy tales,’ they would say to belittle their aged parents.
If only that were true… If only I was just a fairy tale…
The wolf lived in me, like a parasite within my blood. It coursed through my veins and flowed into my heart. It lived through me, growing angrier every day. Even as I write this with the last of my sanity, it’s there, snarling in the back of my mind, lying in wait for a prey fall into its trap; my mind is his to play with now.
I wish I hadn’t been so foolish in my adolescent years. How could I ever have thought this was a boon? The wolf has made me stronger, my eye sight shaper; in a village, on the edge of the Dark Woods, those qualities mattered most. I stood out amongst my peers and finally made my parents proud. I thought I was finally in control of my life. I thought I could keep the wolf sated with sheep and lamb when all it craved was man flesh.
My sanity and soul were his price for these gifts. For every heart I pierced, every neck I snapped and every life I took; I’d given away pieces of both to the wolf until one day I was myself staring at the twinkle-less eyes of my husband’s head, torn away from his neck. Blood has oozed all over this room. My floor had been scrubbed clean, but my hands were forever dirty.
Today, as I write this, I am more wolf than a woman. Finally, at the ripe old of age of fifty, the weight of those souls I stole surpasses my will to survive. When you find this letter, beside my slit throat, be safe in the knowledge that the big bad wolf your mamma tells you about finally can do you no harm.
Your loving Granma.