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  • As soon as Storm had disappeared into the shadows of the trees, Lucky barked to gain the Pack's attention. "Pack! Listen! Storm is now gone, but we will continue our daily Pack life. If she is indeed the murderer, our troubles have ended, and we can rejoice with our newfound freedom!" All the dogs yapped and howled in agreement.


    Sunshine dropped the last of the soiled moss into the dirty nest pile that was far from camp. She found an old tree covered in moss and began to dig, forming a clean pile for new nests. After finishing that job, she began to look for leaves and ferns to add to the pile. After finding all the supplies, she began to drag the pile back to camp.


    As Sunshine started making the nests in the dens, Breeze was watching the pups and telling them another story about the spirit dogs. "Once many moons ago, the young Earth-Dog was playing in the forest with the Forest-Dog, when she tripped over a tree root and bruised her paw. She began to howl and growl in anger and pain. Her power and strength caused the ground beneath her to shake and ripple like waves on the Endless Lake. Forest-Dog was terrified, and begged Earth-Dog to stop. Earth-Dog realized her mistake and made sure to control her anger. That's how the Big Growl before you were born happened, because the Earth-Dog was wounded and angry, and the longpaws were hurting her as they dug deep in the ground."

    The pups were entranced, and when the story finished, yapped and wrestled with each other. Tiny howled, "I'm the Earth-Dog and I can make the ground shake!" as she wrestled with Tumble. Lucky and Sweet were crouched together under a shaded tree watching the pups in amusement and talking quietly about Storm and life in the Pack.


    The Patrol-Dogs went on a patrol of the territory to find out if Storm had left yet, and if she hadn't, chase her out. When they returned, they found nothing left of her, except a faint whiff of scent outside of their territory, and the scent trail in it as she left.


    The Hunt-Dogs returned with their jaws laden with prey, and had succeeded in catching a small young doe. The Pack's spirits were lifted because the killer had to be gone, and there was plenty of good prey and no sign of Storm. After the prey-sharing, they had a Great Howl and trotted to their dens for the night.

    THE NEXT MORNING


    A howl from the den Alpha and Beta shared pierced the peaceful morning air, rousing the sleeping dogs as they rushed to find out what was the matter. Sweet had awoken to maggots crawling all over her, Lucky, and the pups. Sunshine was in a tizzy, saying she hadn't picked out any bedding with maggots in it and that she had no idea how it happened. As Twitch comforted the little Omega, Breeze loudly declared it must be the killer striking once again. Moon growled, "I'll head on patrol with the other Patrol-Dogs and see if Storm snuck in and brought the maggots in." Sunshine offered to replace the bedding right away and check the other nests just to be sure, and Breeze shooed the pups out of the den so she could watch them. Lucky barked, "I'll join you Moon, to be certain." "And I'll sniff the nest and around the den to catch any scent of a dog." Sweet offered.

    When Lucky and Moon's patrol returned, the Pack gathered around them, asking questions and talking at once. Lucky swished his tail for silence and explained there had been no sighting of Storm or any other suspicious animals. Sweet said she hadn't found any other scent and the Pack was subdued, realizing the killer was still here, and they had been terribly mistaken about Storm. Yesterday there were no whispers or glares, just peaceful happiness and certainty the killer was gone for good.

    I hope you enjoyed this! Since Storm is actually NOT the killer, I decided that I would have something happen to show the killer is still around.

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