Wolf: On the Hunt
You decide after a moment of thinking it over that while the Golden Retriever is friendly, and sure, you would enjoy being able to play with dogs, you are a wolf, and not a dog. And, more than that, you want to continue to explore - but you also want to see what it’s like to meet someone else like you.
You turn and bolt toward the direction the strange scent is coming from - you can hear the dog yip once behind you, but, you pay it no mind since you know the dog will be happy either way.
No, your focus is on the scent.
You breathe in fast, your stronger nose filling with all manner of smells that you recognize - you ignore the obvious ones, though, and focus only on the one that Akam said belongs to someone like you. You try to put some words to the flavor as you run down the street, moving around any passerby in your path.
To you, the flavor seems to have a rather sweet profile, almost like a birthday cake or the inside of a candy store, yet there is a bite to it - a spicy undertone that leaves your nose tingling with each sniff you take, and it’s this undertone that seems to grab at you. It’s not the same as mouthwatering food, or, as the smell of some meal you really love, but it’s a jarring sort of contrast.
‘Is this what magic smells like?’ you ask Akam.
The djinn is on your back, chilling there since you feel no sense of duress from him. He chortles as you turn to the left and arc down a street with the scent getting steadily closer to you.
“To a degree, I suppose,” Akam says. “Magic’s scent is a rather lush bouquet, one that indulges in several different flavor types that don’t often mesh well together. But that is partly because of the form you’ve assumed - were you human, or some other creature with a weaker sense of smell, the scent would not be the same at all.”
You don’t take a moment to ponder this since you’re currently on the move, but you do register his words and tuck these away for later, possibly. In the meantime, you come to a bit of a problem in that the scent is closer, however, you have to cross the street if you want to trail after it.
You stop at a crosswalk and notice that there are people on the opposite end of you, but, no one directly across either direction, nor anyone right where you are to hit the crosswalk button. You can’t exactly do it yourself since you’re on all fours, and, you don’t want to lose track of the scent because you want to see what this person could be like - a potential friend with magical abilities, or maybe someone that can offer insight into this new world of yours. Either way…
‘Akam, if I may ask you…’ you say, and you look up to see him sitting at your shoulder now. ‘Would you be open to hitting the crosswalk button for me, please? If you don’t, that’s fine. I don’t expect you to do things for me just because I ask you.’
Akam eyes you for a moment before he smiles. “That you are so considerate is enough of a reason for me to hit a simple button, Master. This isn’t a laborious task whatsoever - some djinn would be lazy and decline, but not I!”
He laughs and springs through the air, flying to hit the button.
Seconds later, after a few cars have driven by, the crosswalk flashes on - but it does so on all four corners. You take this as a sign that Akam is likely using his magic a bit, and you bolt down the crosswalk directly to your left, the run past the oncoming people to go down the second crosswalk.
Your nostrils flare, and you catch the scent again, as if it’s beckoning you.
‘Thank you, Akam,’ you say to the genie as he flies beside you.
He nods, and you take off again to follow the scent.
It is even closer now, and after a few minutes of running down the street on all fours, you finally come to a less busy section of the downtown area, and in fact, you find the road you’ve been going down leads to another, much vaster park. Not a park for kids to play and pets to run off their leashes, no, but an actual nature park that you remember going to and walking around countless times before.
The scent is there, and you run toward it, exchanging the coarse textures of the pavement for the softer texture of dirt and grass within seconds.
‘I’m getting close…’ you think.
The scent is almost burning your nose by this rate, but in a way that isn’t painful - no, it is letting you know how strong it is, because you’re there.
At last, you come to a stop, and as you peer down a lush trail that splits off into several directions - you can smell and hear people walking about one way, and there is a couple having a picnic on the grass to your left, but your focus is on that scent - you finally spot them. You are surprised when you see a fox spring out from the shadows of several thick bushes, a silvery fox that darts the opposite direction from you. You think you see something flying beside them, too, but they are quite fast, so it isn’t easy to see.
‘Is that a djinn?’ you ask.
“It is indeed,” Akam says. “And it’s one I know!”
You want to inquire further about that, but, you hold off. Instead, you dash after the fox scampering away from you, and you feel your legs exerting themselves in full as you even manage to pick up some shreds of grass with your movement.
“I don’t believe they’re running FROM you, Master,” Akam remarks as he zooms beside you. “It might be that they are simply running is all. I feel it’s more obvious when someone is fleeing from another, don’t you think?”
You slow your pace slightly, and you brush past a person jogging on the path that the grass dips into. You don’t want to run into anyone, nor cause any scares, so you pace yourself as you keep your senses attuned primarily to the fox - it’s still quite a ways ahead of you, but not so far that you’ve lost it.
‘I guess I’m just excited,’ you admit. ‘To meet someone else like me, and to meet another djinn. I hope their djinn is as awesome as you are, Akam.’
Akam lets out a quiet sigh. “Ah, Master, you are too kind, truly.”
Moments pass, the fox shoots through a row of trees. You follow its footsteps and come to that same row of trees, but when you break through it, you find yourself in a much bigger wooded area, with more trees that are spread about and yet, still clumped close together. Your nose has not lost the scent yet, no.
But now, you must decide how you want to pursue this fox, if you want to continue.
What do you do?
Written by Hollowpages on 19 July 2020