The departing sun reflected across his skin, bringing shadows to nestle in his sallow cheeks and beneath his eyes. His skin, still young but roughened with turmoil, glowed orange and his hair turned to fire in the setting sun's glare. In response to the wind, he rubbed his cheek against the fur collar of his coat; a cold night lay ahead of him. Building a fire, even a humble one, was out of the question. Hunter Wolves would be out in full tonight, and the last thing Calintz needed now was a beacon of his presence.
The sun gave way inch by inch beyond the darkening trees, and soon he was left re-bandaging his thigh in bitter darkness. Howls resounded through the hills, structured and sequenced howls which could only be the Hunter Wolves searching for him. Calintz knew it wouldn't be long before they sniffed out his bloody bandage or followed his clumsy, stumbling trail.
Images returned to him of his final moments of day, there in the orange-tinted forest made so by the retreating sun. However, the sunset was just as much a motherly protection from wolves as it was a notion of doom. As the sun gave way beneath the hills it was as though it whispered goodbye in its final breath of light. "I cannot stay for you any longer," it whispered into his heart. "You are on your own now."
And alone he was. Bloodied and huddled inside a forest nook in a jacket that was too small for him, with memories of the citrus sunset as the only fire now to warm him. The sun had said farewell that night--farewell to this doomed boy it was now abandoning to the night and to the wolves who ruled it.