The Just Before

Finalist in the 'Top Secret 2016' competition

Yisa pushed her paws into the snow, the cold winds pulling at her pelt like icy claws. Her pups huddled together beside her, their heads buried in her fur, out of the cold. The nights were always cold, she’d grown accustomed to the everlasting ice in her coat and the shivers of her pups. The nights were very gloomy, when the darkness swallows the sun and the owls shriek at the stars that creep through the dark. The nights were also very beautiful, from the moon’s light that shone on the frozen rivers to the stars that came over mountain to dance in the sky. There were many things to cherish in the night. Yisa dragged her head up to smell the frosty air. Other wolves huddled in the snow with their pups further down the hill.
But Yisa needed a good view, to show her pups for the first time the thing she loved most about the night, the just before. As the moon disappeared over the ridge Yisa bent down and shook her pups gently with her nose. Mola lifted a sleepy head and yawned revealing her tiny fangs but the only movement from Sam was the dismissing twitch of his feet and the pawing at her fur with his tiny claws. Yisa nudged him again; the lights began to change as the just before approached. The pup gave in and opened his eyes, a droplet of water fell on his nose and the tiny pup sneezed.
“Look,” Yisa said turning her head to face the golden light that reflected off the snow like a thousand stars. Pink and silver decorated the sky.
“What is it?” Mola whispered, she had never seen the light that came before the sun. It was a warm light, unlike the cold Alaskan sun that came to end the night.
“What I wanted to show you,” Yisa said, it was then she noticed her smaller pup was also staring at the beautiful light that crept up the night sky.
Yisa turned her face back to the mountains as the golden light pulled the sun up into the sky.
“The sky’s happy Mum!” Mola yipped happily, Yisa noticed peculiarly how the winds danced around her pup’s coat. “I can feel it.” The pup’s nose rose to the air and the cold winds that dragged the dry leaves seemed to part as they raced towards her, and the pup stood straight her face to the bright golden lights.
“Your name comes from the ancient name for ‘before the dawn’ Mola,” she looked down at her pup and puffed hot mist from her nostrils in her face. The pup sneezed and fell backward happily.
“Really mum?” she sat up again, peering out at the sun as it slowly rose into the sky. Yisa flicked her tail at Sam, who had begun to drift off to sleep again. “Come on, it’s time to get up.” Yisa stood and shook, snow flying from her coat. “The day waits.”

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