Flash Fiction Challenge: Jaws of Justice

Wolf hollow boy by K.S. Brooks
Wolf hollow boy
by K.S. Brooks

They said he was a wolf, and I guess it might have been true. We walked past the junkyard every day after school and he was always there at the fence watching.

He never barked or whimpered or growled. He was silent as death, just watching intently with eyes the color of molten gold. If you got too close, he would bare his teeth, and that was something dreadful to behold.

You could tell that fence was not enough to hold him back if he wanted to come after you. I am sad to say I was right, though he saved my life…

In 250 words or less, tell us a story incorporating the elements in the picture. The 250 word limit will be strictly enforced.

Please keep language and subject matter to a PG-13 level.

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16 thoughts on “Flash Fiction Challenge: Jaws of Justice”

  1. When mama was alive she wouldn’t even let me go through the woods on my way home from school. But that was when I was five, and now I’m grown. I can handle myself, after all I’m eight years old. Besides, mama isn’t here anymore.

    She said the broken old house at the end of the meadow harbors strange creatures, but all I ever see is a wolf. I go there every day to look at him. He likes me. I know because he’s got the same color of eyes that I do. If I didn’t know better I’d say he has the same crazy hairdo I have too. He talks to me and I know what he’s saying.

    I don’t know why mama wouldn’t let me come here before on my own. After all, she would visit this place at night. I know because she’d take a lantern with her and I would follow. I didn’t want her to know I saw her with that man. That was before my baby sister was born. I never did see my sister. She died when mama did and they buried them right away.

    It didn’t make much sense to me. It hurt. But it feels better visiting the wolf, like he’s family.

  2. I was past curfew, and gonna get it, but good. My mother didn’t approve of me being out after dark but I had begged her to let me watch the double feature with my friends. I’d lingered after the movie to talk to a boy I liked, and now I was late. I took a shortcut past the junkyard, where I knew the dog waited in the darkness.

    A hand grabbed my shoulder.

    “Hey sweet, thang,” a rough voice drawled. “Looks like Heaven sent me a sweet slice o’ pie!”

    The man smelled of whiskey and sweat. I tried to squirm free of his iron grip. He fumbled with his other hand, unbuckling his belt. I tried to scream, but no sound came out. Tears streamed down my cheeks. Mom was right. I had no business being out this late.

    A shadow loomed overhead and suddenly I was free. A massive black beast held my attacker in his jaws like a freshly-caught rabbit. Bones crackled and the man gargled one last scream as he was eaten, clothing and all. The beast reared up and morphed into a man dressed in faded overalls. I recognized him as Mr. Jenkins, owner of the junkyard.

    “You’d best run along, Missy. This place ain’t safe at night. Next time, stick to the lighted streets, awright?”

    “Ye-yes sir,” I whispered.

    I looked back once as I ran. Mr. Jenkins had vanished. The black dog trotted casually back toward the junkyard gate.

  3. It was a night when I was coming home from my best friend’s house. We’d been relaxing, just calming down after a rough week of exams. I walked past the junkyard, spotting the wolf curled up, peacefully sleeping. It was only when I slunk past that I was attacked. A man grabbed me by the arm and my stomach churned as he screamed at me. I couldn’t even scream, only tears fell down my cheeks, scalding hot. It was only when I realised I couldn’t understand him that I realised I was the target. I was terrified, but not any more than my attacker when a growl resounded from behind me. I turned my head when his arm fell from my shoulder and peered backwards in shock.

    The wolf was stood behind me, his head lowered defensively. I squealed and lunged towards my attacker. It was only when I looked again that I saw those golden eyes fixed on my assaulter-cum-protector. I stepped away from him when I saw the black lips wrinkle up and another step was taken towards the man. If I could have stopped him, I would. It was only when he lunged and bit that I turned to run. I ignored the screams of pain and snarls of a protective wolf. When I walked past the next day, I saw the owner of the junkyard, digging a hole. When I asked why, he said only a few words.
    “Wolf bit a man. Gotta shoot him now.”

  4. I stare into those eyes of molten lava and often wonder what goes on behind them. Forever curious, they seem to be, as they burn deep down into me. Unwavering as they lock on tight, though further back sadness dwells. Freedom is forgotten through this chain-link fence. And yet the dreams keep on turning over. I see them, flashing through his eyes. They burn within my soul as I relinquish my wavering thoughts. That look within his eyes, reflect back my hidden dreams and then I wonder, what if our places were reversed.

    What if I was the wolf behind this fence, and he stood in place of me. Would I question the chain around my neck? Would I then long to be as a free, as I see so clear within him? Would he stare so curiously as me and wonder why he can’t just walk away?

    And then I see; he and I are much the same. Caged within our skins and cursed to be as we are. Forever misunderstood and claimed as something else. Through my fear I trudge the same paths, forever locked in a cycle of a repetition. Through mankind’s fear of him, he is locked behind a fence; made to guard a land that is not his own.

    Look within his eyes, and perhaps you may see your reflection looking back at you. Perhaps then you’ll see his true worth. Do not cage him, let him be. He is wild, and should be free.

  5. The other school kids always laugh at me. They say I’m slow and should be on the short bus. They always dare me to go inside the gate with the wolf. But Mama taught me smarter than that. The sign says “Keep Out,” and I always follow rules.

    On weekends, I like to just sit alone on the curb across the street and watch Wolfie. But today, I’m not alone.

    “Hi Jessie. Want some candy?”

    Mama told me not to talk to strangers. But when I look up, I see my teacher, Mr. Mantfurd.

    Wolfie jumps up. He starts barking. I tell Wolfie, “It’s okay, I’ll be right back.”

    Mr. Mantfurd’s yard is pretty. I guess that’s why he’s getting so mad at Wolfie for digging up the lawn. I keep losing count of all the holes he’s making because Mr. Mantfurd is distracting me with his yelling and kicking at Wolfie. But Wolfie is too fast. Now the police are here. They’re shouting at Mr. Mantfurd and waving guns at him. They put some shiny silver bracelets on him and shove him into a police car.

    A nice policeman asks me if I’m okay. “Yes, sir. Do you know why Wolfie didn’t want me to go with Mr. Mantfurd?”

    We walk down the path to the driveway. I can see in some of the holes Wolfie dug. Why would Mr. Mantfurd bury big dolls in his yard? Maybe because they smell really bad. The policeman tells me not to look. He gives me a lollipop and drives me home.

  6. It happened one day when I was walking home from school. The first time the van went by I didn’t pay it any mind. But then a few minutes later the van came by again. I told myself it wasn’t the same van. The hair on my neck stood on end and my heart beat quicken. I started walking faster. I kept looking behind me. Sure enough the van was coming up from behind me again. I started running. The van was going slow but still gaining on me. I was coming up on the junk yard. I looked behind me again. That was when I went sprawling down. The van stopped and a big man got out. I knew the man meant harm. I screamed for help. I heard paws hitting the ground. I turned toward the junk yard. I saw the huge wolf charging towards me. I thought I wouldn’t have to worry about the man. I closed my eyes and waited to feel the teeth. I heard the fence being ripped apart. I felt air above my head as the wolf jumped over me. I looked and saw the wolf collide with the man. The wolf stood on the man’s chest and bared his teeth. I watched in awe as the junk yard owner came running. He looked at me and asked what happened. I motion toward the wolf “He saved my life.” When he got the whole story he called the police.

  7. Every day, to and from school, Jenny stopped to say hello, and every day the menacing hound just sat there, on the other side of the fence, watching, with a kind of stony detachment. None of the other kids would go near the fence but Jenny would stop every morning and say, “Hi… how are you doing boy? I hope you have a nice day,” and after school she’d stop and tell the ominous hound what kind of day she’d had. One of the kids said he was a wolf, and that made sense, because he never barked or growled or wagged his tail, or did any of the things a domestic dog might do; so Jenny called him Wolfie.

    One night, as she was talking to Wolfie, a van pulled up and a man got out. “My… he’s a lovely dog, isn’t he? He looks just like my dog, Candy. Candy’s in the van, would you like to meet him, he loves little girls.” The next thing he was opening the back door of the van to show her Candy… suddenly there was a sack over Jenny’s head, a drawstring was winched tight and she was flung into the van.

    There followed a few terror stricken moments, as Jenny struggled frantically to escape the sack, but when she peered out of the darkened, rear window the man was lying in the gutter, motionless, his throat ripped open, and Wolfie was scrambling back over the eight foot fence.

  8. My pretty little wolf, why are you here?
    The bright light of the frosted window blinded my view. I blinked my eyes to clear them. Yes! There he was, wet nose pressed up against the cold glass, breath misting its cold surface.
    Lifting my hand in weak greeting, I let it fall back to the covers of my bed.
    The wolf cocked its head, watching me, expression intent and focused. Was he waiting for me?
    Wearily I closed my eyes but just for a second! I did not want to miss this chance meeting; it was the highlight of my day.
    Wait, what was that? A soft whimper then suddenly the wolf was inside my room, the bed bounced as he snuggled up against my side.
    I must be delirious! I thought to myself, how could he get past the wire reinforced window?
    I lifted my hand again and encountered soft dense fur. Stroking the wolf, I found myself marveling at this blessing of companionship in the final hours.
    The wolf licked my hand and I found myself laughing as his rough tongue tickled my palm.
    I strained to open my eyes once more and all I could see was the furry midnight grey head in my vision.
    “I am your wolf brother, Soaring Eagle” a soft voice said in my head. “I will guide you on the rest of your journey. Our bond is strong and there is much to discover! Come fly with me!”
    He is my brother

  9. The fence wasn’t there to hold the wolf back. The glass was. The fence kept the pale-faced two-legged idiots from pounding the glass.

    The old she-wolf snorted in disgust. “Once we roamed where we wished. Killed only what was needed to survive and then only those weak, lame or diseased.”

    “The first two-leggeds who came lived in respectful harmony with us. Then came other two-leggeds, the light-skinned. They came as conquerors, respected nothing. Where their feet touched death and pollution followed. They hunted for pleasure.”

    She moved to the back of the cage and lay down.

    “Our two-legged friends where jailed on reservations… we four-legged in zoos. Semantics, no real difference. We are the tokens of what was. Our children stolen, culturally assimilated as dogs. At least they live.”

    Wolf sighed deeply as she closed her eyes.

    “Am I the last of a captive pack? I lift my nose to the moon and sang hoping another would respond. Silence fills the air. I must be the last.”

    She lay unmoving in the same corner of her cage waiting with closed eyes for another day. Hunger gnawed her belly. “My heart is heavy with sadness. Not for my plight but for the captor’s misfortune. When he has stripped all he can from the land, when he has killed all the animals he can, then will he understand what he has done. The jaws of that justice bite deep.”

  10. Through the metal fence his eyes caught my attention. It was as if he read my mind. He could sense that I would cause him no harm. Something in the way he looked my way showed he understood. There was a connection that even I couldn’t explain.

    The sign on the fence read, Justice- Adult male. Has food fights.
 Of course he would fight over food, I said to myself. If I were locked up in a cell with other hungry, lonely dogs, I would fight too.


He looked more like a wolf than a dog and was mangy and sickly, even ferocious  looking, yet there was something that made it close to impossible to walk the other way. The attraction was there in an instant and my reservations about bringing home a dog blew away like sand in a windstorm.
 His heart, though weary, seemed to call out “I need you.” I knew that because my heart was saying the same thing, too.


Though my house was less than perfect for a dog, the moment I passed his way I knew that this is where he belonged…at home with me, by my side, cuddled in-between my legs.

  11. Iron Never Sleeps

    It seems like I have been holding back the devil forever, my interlinking diamonds virtually unmarked by the passage of time. Children walk by, not realizing how close they are to death… how near their souls are to being sucked out through their eyes.

    I will yield to the elements of sun, rain, wind and entropy… one day. I can feel the grit eating at my corners, the color of dried blood. But until then, I will hold. I will stand as the only barrier between the remnants of humanity and a deadly gale of darkness.

    The devil can wait forever. And he knows it. His eyes–those baleful, piercing eyes–look right through me. Some say that evil is not patient, but that is a lie. Evil is the most patient thing there is. When the stars die, evil will remain, spread thin between the places where life used to exist.

    He wears the body of a wolf, but he never tries to jump to freedom. He has to keep one foot on the ground. He tried to dig beneath me until he discovered I am deeper than the sorrow of birds in the plastic sky.

    Fast, I will hold against the devil. Until he is dust… or I am. Stay away from me, dear children, for I cannot protect you when you touch him. The sight of your bodies piling up disturbs me so. Stay back, dear children, for the devil hungers.

  12. The wolf’s eyes did not follow us as we passed him. Instead they looked past us, across the street. We thought nothing of it until we heard the growl. My skin prickled at the sound. He did not bark but his growl deepend and grew louder. Terry grabbed my arm and nodded toward the other side of the street.

    I froze at the sight, and my stomach flipped. They shambled and dragged toward us, a dream, maybe a nightmare. The wolf knew, he could smell the dead things as they encouraged on us.

    I backed closer to the fence when I saw that they approached from the front as well. The dead things surrounded us and cut off our escape. If not for the wolf we would have walked right into them. But the wolf was forgotten as we watched our approaching doom. His growls lost in the moans of the dead.

    Terry cried out when they were close enough to smell, grave dirt mixed with rot and decay. It took everything I had to keep from losing my lunch. They were close, so very close. We never saw the flash of brown fur as it flew over the top of the fence and crashed onto the closest shambling thing.

    The wolf was a thing of teeth and fur as it ripped through the creatures. Their advance stopped as they turned to crush this beast in their wake. It was enough, he gave us our opening. We ran to freedom.

  13. They come for me with coffee breath. Their voices jump in crisp staccato while their heavy feet plod through the mud. High notes and low notes. Life is like that–such a mixture of good and bad.

    The sun rises over my shoulder and gives me warmth and comfort. But as the day dawns, I know I will face darkness in golden light and I am afraid.

    I’m trapped on this side of the fence, but they are trapped also. The fat one carries the gun and he is locked into that burden. I know because he will not meet my eyes.

    “He’s alligator mean.”

    They aren’t talking about me.

    “His son has a broken arm and his wife has a busted lip.”

    I love the daughter. She is a little thing, all laughter and trust.

    The bullet slides into the chamber effortlessly. Click.

    I bit him and I’d bite him again. I’d do anything to protect her. I should have bit him harder. I should have ripped him to shreds.

    “We’re locked into the jaws of justice,” said the fat man by way of apology.

    He pulled the trigger and the shot reverberated throughout the canyon. I waited for the pain, but the paddock door swung open on a busted hinge. He looked at me and smiled.

    And in that moment I knew that he knew. There was no fence between us.

  14. “Leave him be, Billy.”

    “Dumb wolf cur always stares at us.”

    “It’s just his way.”

    Billy hurls another rock, but I knock it down with my book. Not a sound comes from the fenced in junkyard, but I know from the look on Billy’s face that Midnight is showing off his pearly whites.

    “Fine,” he yells, then disappears around the corner.

    Midnight’s golden eyes meet me when I turn. “Sorry, Midnight. See you tomorrow.”

    Silence greets me, as it has every day for the past five years. I smile anyway, then hurry to catch up with Billy.

    A hand slaps over my mouth and I’m dragged into a dark alley. I crash into a wall. My head spins. Three masked figures loom over me. Hands dig into my pockets, yank off my sneakers. A fist slams into my gut. My heart pounds as a knife flicks into view, arm ready to strike. Billy’s body lies nearby. I clamped my eyes shut, and wait for death.

    Screams fill my ears, but they aren’t mine. When I finally open my eyes, my attackers lie in a pool of dark liquid. A pair of glowing gold eyes stare at me from across the alley. Then they vanish.


    The police never found Midnight and the junk man claimed he never had a dog. I don’t walk that way anymore, but sometimes, out of the corner of my eye, I see Midnight in the shadows, watching out for me.

  15. Amber eyes stare from a dark gray face, the contrast making them even more somber, more mysterious. The dog, if dog it is, enthralls me. Every day I pass him and every day he gazes at me, solemn. He never barks, never makes a sound. The other kids are terrified of him. They walk on the other side of the street in spite of the fence between us. I stand in front of him and talk. I tell him about my day, about my dad and the beatings. About how I want to be a veterinarian someday and making good grades. I tell him about my crush on Jordie. I tell him how much I want a dog, how much I want him.
    The day he became mine was dark and gray just like him. Lightning split the sky and rain poured down. I stood in the downpour, sodden, with my only confidante. When the tires squealed behind me, I half turned and saw the truck coming at me. A heavy weight hit me and knocked me out into the street, away from the crushing impact of the truck into the fence. The gray head turned toward me as I raced back to him, trapped in front of the truck. He licked my hand and amber eyes stared into mine and then glazed over as he died. I felt him then, felt his solemn, loving presence within me. And I knew the beatings would stop now.

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