Shadow's Grasp - Parts 16 to 20

Author: MMW

Disclaimer: See index


With light of dawn did Vin awake
As ‘gainst his hip a stone did grate
And though he thirsted and hungered still
He once more clung to iron will

And struggled to soon regain his feet
But ‘gainst his struggle pain did compete
And with a groan of pain and woe
Into the darkness did Vin go

And miss the eyes that watched o’re him
And missed the sight of feral grin
As in the shadows stood a wolf
Who’d been hunting game on hoof

But after bringing down the deer
An odd sound the wolf did hear
And wandered off to explore
The sound that to him did lure

And somewhere in the canine mind
A mem’ry the wolf did find
Of one who walked as a man
But was to wolf a kind friend

And sneaking up to sniff the being
Wolf blinked at what he was seeing
For this one did smell as one
Who had saved him from a gun

Then growl of cat did echo ‘round
And wolf did look and stand his ground
For this man had saved his life
And allowed him to return to his wife

And now his pack was strong and true
And wolf knew what he had to do
He had to watch this human being
From the growling snarling thing

And so valiantly the wolf stood guard
As a wounded cat came yard by yard
To test the ground and to see
If he could get a meal for free

With growl and snarl the two did size
Which would soon emerge alive
But the wounded cat did spit and hiss
But would have to give the man a miss

For he could not take a wolf full grown
A fact the cat had surely known
So stalking off for easier meal
Cat wondered at wolf’s guarding zeal

But the mem’ry once restored
Told wolf he owed this man some more
For from cruel trap had he’d been freed
And nursed to health at this man’s knee

So settling down in watchful stance
He scanned around with a glance
And licked the face of his friend
Hoping soon the man would mend

‘E’re long the man began to stir
And noted feel of wolfish fur
And blinked in confusion and in fear
Until his sight became clear

Then a smile did grace his lips
As from hope’s cup the man did sip
For he recognized his wolfish friend
And wished to others he could send

But with the wolf to help along
And offer comfort true and strong
Vin did struggle to regain
His feet beneath him once again

For he knew his friends would have a need
Of his knowledge of tracks to read
So slowly did he make his way
From the ground where he did lay


With break of day six men did stir
Having eluded Morpheus’ lure
Buck had rested too exhausted to sleep
And now he struggled to regain his feet

But Nathan stopped him, pushed him down
And Buck lay, grumbling on the ground
But not tea was offered him
Which made Wilmington gladly grin

Instead were water and stew offered
Though Buck indicated coffee was proffered
But Nathan smiled and said to drink
Buck needed the liquid despite what he’d think

So grudgingly Buck gave in to his friend
As his strength Nathan did lend
For Buck was still weak, still needing aid
And would need help if progress they made

JD was over exam’ning the cart
Pleased to note it was whole and not in parts
Adjusting the hay that Buck might ride
He soon was ready and at Bucklin’s side

With Chris on the one hand, JD on the other
The five helped to move their still weakened brother
And into the cart they loaded him then
Headed to their horses, this nightmare to end

Following directions whispered by Buck
They soon found their way down the path they had took
Though Buck couldn’t give them an estimate time
He prayed they would find their missing friend fine

As they each road foll’wing the trail
Against the injustice Chris felt his soul rail
Why should his friends suffer so much
And still let the blackguard escape from their clutch

Once they found Vin, Chris did avow
They would track down Goat, though he didn’t know how
They would do that if Vin was as bad as Buck said
With wounds to his body and to his head

But Buck thought Vin coherent enough
To find the Goat without luck
But using all his tracker skills
To surfeit vengeance’s hungry will

But first Vin they would have to find
And fight ‘gainst the old enemy time
For Nathan feared for Vin’s life
A fear that pierced him like a knife

For from the state of Buck’s wounds
He knew they couldn’t find Vin too soon
And start him on a healing path
And make them seven once more at last

Josiah rode in silent prayer
Wishing Vin were already there
For the guilt of each blow
Was something that Josiah ‘d stole’

For who but him should bear the mark
Of guilt’s stain in whole or part
For had it not been for his past
They’d be in town, safe and fast

Instead his nightmare ’d taken form
And his friends ‘d been caught in the storm
Of revenge and darkness game
By a man who was not sane

And now Josiah knew the cost
Of the innocence he’d lost
So long ago and far away
When from his path he had strayed.

But now was time to set it right
To overcome his age-old fright
And stand and take down Goat alone
A foe he wished he’d never known.


As Millicent did repair
To the back of Goat’s dark lair
She sought out her only son
Asking all that he had done

As he spun his happy tale
He noted she looked rather pale
And asked about how she was
She said fine and gave a hug

But within her soul did freeze
As from the nanny came hellish breeze
And froze her gentle caring soul
Though why she really didn’t know

The nanny cold and filled with hate
Had settled upon Goat’s future mate
To bear the brunt of her revenge
As to her hell the Goat she’d send

For after taking ‘way her son
Goat thought he had fin’ly won
But he had overlooked the mother
Who had lost her son and had no other

Her heart was stone, her soul was gone
She would kill off all Goat’s spawn
But her revenge, it wouldn’t wait
So Millicent’s life she would take

But only when the time was best
Would Millicent go to her final rest
Upon the eve she wed the Goat
The nanny would go and slit her throat

And looking ‘round preparations grew
As minions worked the whole day through
For at dusk ‘ere the enemy met,
Goat and Millicent would be wed

But as with the death of her dear Crow
The pain of loss the Goat would know
And the boy would be hers alone
As she would claim him as her son

But Alan knew none of this
As his mother’s cheek he kissed
And wished her well as he went to nap
Climbing down from her lap

And Millicent did ache at heart
Each time from her son she’d part
And wish once more for peace
And to live outside Goats reach

And yet her heart did not despair
Even here in Goat’s lair
For she had two friends who’d come
And free them from the twisted one

For in Buck and Vin she placed her faith
All she’d to do was sit and wait
And soon, she prayed that with their friends
They’d free her and her son again

But of this plan Goat did not know
As he planned his strength to show
And wed the woman who’d rule beside
Him on his dark-loving ride

The nanny she knew none of this
As she ran o’er her list
Of the items she would need
To her vengeance all to feed

And Alan slept with dreams of peace
Not knowing evil in the least
For Goat would use him in a rite
After winning victory that night

While all these plans for death aboun’d
None of them could hear the sound
Of deliverance for the innocent souls
By the hands of Seven brave heroes.


Out in the wilds of the land
Vin fell down and tried to stand
As he was watched by lupine friend
Vin fell into unconscious’ hands

As he had done several times
As his unsteady trail did wind
Vin fell pray to all his wounds
And only hoped they’d find him soon

For though he couldn’t quite recall
What had gone before his fall
He seemed to remember six strong men
Each of whom he called a friend

And though each claimed place in his heart
One did claim a bigger part
And wolfish ears did perk and twist
As Vin whispered aloud for Chris

As if on the trail he’d heard
Vin’s quietly whispered word
Chris did fight a sudden urge
To respond to what he’d heard

For in his soul he’d caught the sound
And quickly turned to look around
For he had heard Vin’s whispered voice
But to follow Buck he had no choice

But Buck did note the sudden change
And allowed his mind to range
And calling out for Chris to ride
He waited for Chris to reach his side

Then explaining what he’d seen
He saw Chris straighten from his lean
And head off racing down the trail
As JD’s shout through wind did sail

But Buck explained what he saw
And the others did one conclusion draw
And hastened their previous stately pace
As pain did cloud Buck’s handsome face

The need and urgency did grow
To find their friend and to know
That he was fine and that he’d be
Once more strong and healthy

Ahead rode Chris at frantic pace
Fear o’recoming reason’s place
As he sought Buck’s given sign
And dire images did tease his mind

Images of Vin now dead
With bruises and blood most red
But still within Chris faith did thrive
That he’d find Vin still alive

‘E’re too long he reached the spot
Where he’d find Vin, but Vin was not
Laying there upon the trial
And Chris did fear his friend he’d fail.

But setting side fear’s awesome stain
He sought what rationale remained
And set about to find Vin’s path
That they would reunite at last

But as he looked his gut did clench
As his heart did painf’ly wrench
For he spotted pools of blood
And fear is once more inward flood

Then dropping down from Pony’s back
He kneeled and drew breath at last
As he spotted footprints clear
That chased away the consuming fear

But near the footprints Chris did spy
A sign, a track and wondered why
His fear was not more pronounced
As wolf tracks did his mind announce


Then setting out to trace the tracks
Chris soon found Vin’s random path
That lead away into the woods
And to another pool of blood

Setting ‘side emotion’s tide
Chris let his heart once more hide
As he scanned the matted ground
And searched for signs all around

Here Vin ’d lain for the night
But soon all would be set to right
Provided Vin no more did bleed
Else from this life he would be freed

Fighting panic’s awful grip
Chris found new path and followed quick
Knowing now each moment’s worth
As his friend did live with hurt

Setting off along the trail
Chris knew that he wouldn’t fail
As he saw the signs of Vin
Announcing where the Tracker ‘d been

And ‘e’re too long Chris did find
Vin with a guard wild and lupine
And with a growl the wolf did guard
His friend who laid on ground most hard

Then Chris did pull his gun and aimed
But before he’d inflicted pain
Vin did rouse and hiss out "Chris"
Which did cause wolf ears to twitch

Then backing ‘way the wolf did hide
Within the woods to Chris’ surprise
But Chris did drop down to his knees
And uttered prayer of simply "Please"

Then shaking hand did reach to touch
The friend who’d come to mean so much
For in Vin a new family he’d found
A brother true and friend most sound

And losing Vin would not sit well
But he saw as Vin’s chest rose and fell
And released a pent-up breath
And prayed his friend did only rest

And sure enough there was a beat
Thus Chris’ world was still complete
And gently shaking on the shoulder
He wondered if he should be bolder

For Vin had not responded much
To the at first initial touch
But when once more he did apply
Pressure he received reply

For Vin did groan aloud in pain
And turned to show a bloody stain
Upon his face from a cut
With blood dried and edges rough

But eyes of blue were not revealed
And Chris wished Vin was healed
But at least he’d found his friend
So his nightmare was close to end

With another groan Vin flinched away
From the brilliant light of day
For the ache within his head
Mad it feel as if ‘twas lead

But struggling ‘gainst the horrid pain
He thought he heard a voice again
The voice of Chris next to him
Softly calling out for "Vin"

And slowly though they did protest
Vin’s eyes opened, denying rest
And found his friend dressed in black
But knew one thing he still did lack

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Email: MMW