portion of the artwork for Rion Amilcar Scott's fiction

Angels & Wolves
Rion Amilcar Scott

Every day of the week, every moment of the day my arm is down a wolf’s throat or maybe I’m holding onto an angel’s tongue. There’s no telling anymore whether I’m on the side of the angels or the wolves or who is right or wrong or which side has the advantage and the best chance of victory. You just have to keep fighting. Wrestling them down, getting battered, broken, and dirty. Fuck, I’m tired. My fingers and hands are cracked. Damn Wolf-Angel popped a tooth loose. My last day as town clerk ended on the sidewalk. Wrestling. You thought I was being metaphorical? Like a fucking poet? There’s a picture of me before the melee holding a big gun like Malcolm X, peering out the window of the town clerk’s office. I knew one day they’d come for me. It was also the last day of the wolf hunt. Not how anybody planned it. Crowd of weirdos rushing into Riverhall talking about how they’re not going to stand it anymore. One, two, three, four! No longer will you kill our dogs! Women with puppet decoys and former hunters and those who sat and watched the madness, even some dogs. Oh, how public sentiment had changed since jane disappeared and the Wolfman Jack had fired his gun recklessly into a crowd of hunters.

Like Malcolm, I got into bed with wolves who said they were angels. Mystical motherfuckers. Lost tribesman. God’s chosen own who just happened to gun for the head when full of rage. Angels, wolves, and angry hornets. When the crowd burst past the police (weak motherfuckers) and into my office I put down my gun and fell to my knees. Tears crisscrossing my face, becoming lost in the cracks of my cheeks. It wasn’t me crying. Wasn’t me making all the motions. It was a fever taking over me. It was the ethical thing to do, I suppose. These people were right (kind of). The fever in my mind told me so. They move with the angels, the fever said.

I screamed: I never supported the hunt. I never wanted this to happen.

The mob had found their voice. What I said was true enough. In my heart I hated the hunt and figured I could sell as few passes as possible. Getting in the way of the hunters. A one-man rebellion against a tyranny of lunacy. Someone grabbed me by the lapel and dragged me outside. A long-hair type who in another generation would have placed flowers into the barrels of guns and squawked about giving a chance to a dangerous sort of peace. He laid an effeminate punch across my face. The shit hurt because I didn’t expect it. I felt a gash on my cheek leaking blood. Minutes before, I could have pulled the trigger and avoided all of this. I thought I had surrendered myself to God’s own will and his own angels: the people of Cross River tasked to bring sanity back, but all they really wanted was just another type of crazy. He hit me again like a girl. This time I put up my hand to block him. When he stepped back in confusion, I slammed my head into his nuts. I sprang from the ground and tackled the hippie, biting him like a wolf. I don’t know how angels fight. Though I know that they stormed Riverhall, putting the Town Council under arrest. They seized the hunting permits, and canine-emblazoned fliers and the cash collected that day for hunting passes (no one ever saw that shit again) and anything else connected to the hunt. After a while I was the only one still fighting. Me and the hippie out there on the sidewalk. I’m an old man. Even though I kept fighting, I lost the battle early. Torn to shreds by a hippie. And even beyond that day. I fought the charges. The impeachment. Tried with my attorney to get the hunt reinstated as a procedural move, though I had no love for the thing. Fought with all the pennies I had in my retirement account. All to achieve what? All to prove what? That I’m an angel and not a wolf? Or that the wolves are better than the angels if you look closely enough? Tell me. Tell me. Point me in some direction. Un-wet my big red eyes that cry nightly in wonder and confusion.


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FRiGG: A Magazine of Fiction and Poetry | Issue 39 | Winter 2013