Once there were twelve wild islands strung together on a dark lake 
and someone stood shirtless in a cabin on one of them and watched the 
sky smoke and go red. 

There was no boom, no bang, only a blur of blind, flaring terror as a 
deer came crashing through a thicket of sumac and stood spraying blood 
over the snow.  The left foreleg had been torn away.  A timber wolf 
followed and crouched in full view some yards away on the frozen lake. 
He seemed patient; some might have considered him gracious.  There were just two animals and an audience of one in a tableau of absolute silence as the sun flattened and disappeared.  With a lurch the deer faded into the bush.  The wolf stretched . So sure of a big supper. 

At dawn the witness left the cabin and fed on small, frozen flowers of 
blood the color of cockscomb. 

Copyright 2001,  Holly Anderson 

Holly Anderson is a writer and photo archivist living in New York City. Her prose books Lily Lou and Sheherezade appear in major library collections including: Museum of Modern Art, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Victoria and Albert Museum, Houghton Rare Books Library at Harvard, Brooklyn Museum and International Center for Photography.