I’m in a house and I’m moving toward one of the front doors. I’m not sure why there are two front doors but I open the one on the right and what I see horrifies me.
The room beyond is a wooden hut with hay on the floor. A vast cloud of flies buzz angrily around the middle of the room. Beneath them is a dead animal. It has the head of a fox but its body is huge, more like a wolf and its fur is dark with blood.
I slam the door shut.
I go to the other door quickly. I suddenly have the need to get out of this house. I open the door and outside is a huge field that rises up to a high peak. There is a fox at the top of the hill. She is staring at the wooden hut. She howls like a wolf and I know she is calling for her mate.
I go to leave the house but she runs toward me and snaps her jaws. I move back inside and she stops and looks back to the hut, her anger at me gone. I see sadness in her eyes.
I close the door and know what I have to do. I must get the body of the fox out of the hut. Even though I have the need to get out, I know I can’t leave without the fox.
I go back to the other door and open it. I feel sick. The air in the room is heavy and putrid. I see maggots on the ground near the giant fox and I avert my eyes. I don’t want to see them. The flies buzz at me as I walk slowly through the room. I want to move quickly, to spend as little time here as possible but everything seems to move so slowly. The air has a heavy solidity that I have to struggle through.
I reach the fox and kneel down beside it lifting his enormous head onto my lap. His tongue falls limply from his mouth and his eyes are a lifeless glassy black. I have to get him out of here.
I try to lift him but he is so big, so heavy. The air is making me feel weak. I try dragging the body across the hut floor but his coat is slippy with blood and I keep falling backwards onto my rear. I try not to think about the maggots.
I’m panicking. I need to get this poor fox out but I’m not strong enough.
I remember I have bed sheets in the house. I fetch them and wrap them under and around the fox. I hook the corners of the bed sheets round my arms and haul the fox’s body across the floor of the hut. I hear a scream from the back of the hut. It’s a fox’s scream; a proper fox’s scream. It is a wretched sound and I know it is because I am taking the giant fox. Something doesn’t want me to take it.
I ignore the sound, (and the maggots.) And I keep pulling the dead weight. I reach the steps up to the front door and my legs shake violently as I take the fox’s weight and haul the body up into the house.
I slam the door shut.
I pull the fox toward the other door. He seems lighter now. I don’t need to struggle. I open the door and the vixen is there right in front of me. She fills the door frame, much bigger than I remember. For a moment I think she is going to attack me and I fall away but she leans her fox nose down to me and nudges me gently aside.
She sniffs the bundle that I’ve dragged across the floor and I hear a tender whine from her. I’m overwhelmed with sadness. She grips the sheet between her teeth and pulls her mate’s body towards her.
I hear a whine again.
Then I hear a reply.
A quiet moan comes from the bundle; it’s faint and I’m not sure if I really hear it or not. But the vixen whines again then bites the sheet and carries her mate out of the house. I watch as she walks slowly away, careful not to drop her mate who is cradled gently beneath her mouth. She disappears over the crest where I first saw her.
I wake up and wonder where she went.