That fear—palpable, cold—clawed at Dietrich,
Its jagged nails raking down the length of his spine,
Probing for some weakness,
Any weakness it might exploit against him.
And yet, even as it pawed at him,
Even as it sought a fingerhold
The wolf felt something, a touch so familiar
And yet unknown for so long—
An evil so dark it couldn’t be forgotten.
He had faced this prey before,
Long years before,
Before the hunt burned within him
And his pursuit of the guilty wove its way
Along this frail mortal plane.
The fullness of the sin he scented now stung his nose,
A pungent odor that all but pulled him forward,
Downward, ever downward,
With a satisfying richness he had missed for so long.
This, yes, this was worthy prey!
He would run it to ground
And drink deeply of its tainted blood;
He would set his teeth into its thick neck,
Shake the life from its vile body
And sate his desire for justice.
Almost without thinking he picked up his pace,
So eager that the flames engulfed him
Before he had time to react.