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Old 01-07-2009, 06:15 AM   #1
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The Howling Wind - Chapter 2 (7/1/09)

The first few chapters jump around a bit in space and time, so I apologise if this is confusing... It'll settle down once they get back to America.

Disclaimer: What, you think this is real or something?


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15 July, 1987 – Madrid, Spain

He was trotting effortlessly through moonlit snow, toes spread wide, stepping in the tracks of those in front... nose full of the scents of the night and the ground and the wind and the pack and the prey... attention focussed solely on the task at hand, the next meal. Wide open space around, cold brilliant skies above. A line of dark trees against the slope of the hills. Every grey detail was picked out sharply by his eyes, his ears alert to every soft sound. But this world was most alive to his sense of smell.

The pack slowed, nearing the prey. A small herd of elk, mostly dozing, one or two alert and watchful. They had approached from downwind, and the prey remained unaware of their presence. His packmates spread out, crouching low to begin the stalk. The scent of snow, heavy with overtones of prey, filled his nose. He could smell the others, too, creeping closer. They would stalk, then spring when they were close, and the slowest prey would become their target. Then they would chase.

One of the young ones had gone too far around, and the night breeze had carried its scent to the elk. Their heads sprang up, several racks of antlers rearing against the stars. The big male leapt away first, suddenly fearful. The others were only a bound behind him, all reeking of fear now. And only an eyeblink later, the wolves were after them, noses into the wind and the warm, panicky scent of their intended prey. Cold air rushed in and out of his lungs, tongue lolling from his jaws, his body stretched into a full-out run, plunging through the snow, seeking firmer ground.

A female elk stumbles through a deep drift, and the rest of the herd leaves her behind. She thrashes free, but the pack has closed. He springs forward, snapping at the tendons in the hind legs. Hot blood runs over his tongue, and joins the saliva flying from his jaws. His senses are afire with the prey's desperation. Others leap up, teeth closing around the animal's neck and muzzle. They bring it down, and even as it struggles feebly, starved of air, the pack's leaders are tearing open its belly. The other wolves mill excitedly, a host of new scents filling the night.

Edge came awake suddenly, every sense alert. He vividly recalled the scents and sounds and sensations of the dream, but his own senses seemed dull in comparison. All he could smell now were the neutral smells of a hotel room. His heart was beating hard, as if he'd been running.

He took a deep breath, again noticing the smells in the room. Linen, carpet, towels, furniture; soap from the bathroom, the familiar smells of his own clothes inside the open suitcase.

Perhaps not as dull as they once were... People had begun to notice, almost before he had, that his senses of smell and hearing seemed to be getting sharper, in defiance of all logic. Being in a confined space with Adam the week before had been even more unpleasant than usual. That man needed to stop eating so much salami.

Dawn was breaking outside, and Edge gave up on getting any more sleep.

--

Later, at the sound-check, the usually easygoing atmosphere had evaporated, and been replaced with varying degrees of frustration and bad temper. They couldn't get through two songs without Edge turning around and tuning his guitar for the billionth time. He and Dallas were waving their arms and shouting at one another, which was a rare enough sight in itself.

"I don't know what strings you used, but it's going out of tune every two seconds!"

"I used the same strings we've always used, and it is not out of tune! It sounds fine to me, it sounds fine to everyone else! Don't you think I know how to tune a guitar by now?"

"I don't know, do you?" Edge glared at the blond man flatly.

Dallas took the guitar back and plugged it into a box on the stage. He plucked a few strings and peered at the display. "The tuner says it's BARELY out of tune, no one could possibly notice!"

"I noticed, didn't I?"

There was a silence. "Nobody else would notice."

"If I noticed, someone else can, and I am not going to play with out-of-tune instruments!" Edge was fighting to keep hold of his temper.

Dallas looked about the same, biting back words.

Bono couldn't help but intervene. "Go easy, Edge. It sounds fine."

Edge made a disparaging sound. "That doesn't mean much, coming from you," he snapped. "Maybe if you spent less time eating spicy chorizo sausage and more time practicing, you'd be able to tell the difference between sharp and flat!"

Across the stage, Bono scowled, then turned around and surreptitiously checked his breath.

Edge turned back to Dallas. "You could go easy on the garlic, too," he muttered, striding past the guitar tech to see how the other guitars were.

--

They'd all managed to calm down and apologise before the show, during dinner. Edge had been forced to accept that the variations in the guitars' tone that he could detect were inaudible to everyone else, and the guitars were tuned as well as they had ever been.

Silence had fallen briefly over the table (Bono was coping with a particularly large mouthful of lamb), and Edge had already forgotten the argument.

"Have any of you ever smelled things in a dream?" he asked. The dream he'd had the night before was still vivid in his mind; every sound, smell and sensation. Usually they had faded by now.

The others looked at him, then looked inward, trying to remember their hazy nocturnal visions.

"I don't think so," Adam said at last. "That is interesting, isn't it? Almost every other sense but smell. And taste, I suppose."

"Sight is our primary sense, after that it's probably sound and touch," Bono said, swallowing. "I guess the other two aren't important enough to figure in dreams."

Edge thought of the smell of the elk's fear, the taste of its blood. "Not important to us, at least."

"Why d'you ask?" Larry asked, eyeing Edge.

The guitarist paused. "I was just reading that there are supposed to still be wolves in remote parts of Spain," he said. "And since their primary sense is smell, I was wondering if they dreamed in scents."

Larry rolled his eyes. "Are you still obsessed with wolves? I thought they were just in America."

"No, they're still plentiful in Russia and eastern Europe, and they live as far south as India. They once had a range spanning most of the northern hemisphere. There are small remnant populations in parts of western Europe and Scandinavia, but they've all been wiped out from Ireland and the UK."

"Huh."

"Well, I'm not a wolf, and I've never dreamed a smell that I can remember," Bono said.

Edge wondered what it meant that he had.


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Old 01-07-2009, 06:24 AM   #2
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That's an interesting question...can you smell in your dreams?? I should google that.....

I love how this is a different kind of story. It's not the boy-meets-girl-and-then-they-fall-in-love. There's nothing wrong with that..but it's nice to get something different.
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Old 01-07-2009, 08:50 AM   #3
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Thanks Ali, now I'll ponder that thought for the rest of the week!

The first part of the chap frightened me a bit. It was way too real!
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Old 01-07-2009, 10:32 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alisaura
Being in a confined space with Adam the week before had been even more unpleasant than usual. That man needed to stop eating so much salami.


Great chap, Ali. I agree with GG, the dream is very realistic.
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Old 01-07-2009, 02:43 PM   #5
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wow1! that was good.
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Old 01-10-2009, 04:51 AM   #6
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Thanks again folks Next chapter going up now.
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