Tell A Tale in 500 Words

Vulpine Population By Sarah Rebecca Andrews

The stars twinkled ominously around the full moon, eagerly anticipating trickery. In the cramped back alley, a stir rippled through the mob of twelve, the cool air electric with anticipation as they waited with bated breath for the Silver Fox to appear.

He not was known thus due to his age or hair colour. On the contrary, he was nineteen with a bushel of midnight locks. The moniker bestowed upon him was a riddle for his true name, Gray Aldridge, their fierce leader.

Flanked by his lieutenants, Reynard and Vixen, Gray parted his followers with little effort. Each dressed in black, the trio was truly imposing. The only injection of colour came from the marmalade, paper masks concealing their identity. Their faces were stern and wolfish with elegant, upturned muzzles and pointed ears. A blank, coal void for eyes surveyed the small numbers gathered before them.

"We, the Fox Populi, will not stand for this blatant disregard of our human rights," he began smoothly, all loyal eyes on him. "For too long, our voices have gone unheard by our oppressors -where is the freedom of speech we so richly deserve? Gone! Snuffed out the day they - "

Betrayal resonated with a thunderous and intrusive crash, terror palpable as the skulk of foxes immediately dived and scurried for cover. Flimsy boxes and rotting rubbish became an unreliable barricade, the darkness their only camouflage as gunfire rained down upon them. The cloud-free moonlight easily gave away their crouched positions, and his cunning followers threw smoke bombs to distort the sparse terrain.

"Silver! We need an escape route," Vixen hissed through the chaos, her voice urgent though a slight tremor underlined it. "Our evasion tactics will only do so much."

"Vi, stay calm, they're after me. I want you and Reynard to get everyone out, understood?"

Reynard gave a silent nod, his trained eyes never straying from the fray behind the industrial bin that shielded them. The baton in his hand was held with determination, whereas Vixen's grip began to waver on her weapon. The boys knew she was struggling. Memories from the previous altercation still fresh - they had lost so many.

"Courtney," Gray purred, the lieutenant's real name instantly focusing her attention. "You need to help the others whilst I draw away the Hens. Can you do that for me?"

Without waiting for an answer, he stepped out with his arm aloft, showing an impressive array of tattoos. A thin torch sparkled in his hand, illuminating the contours of his animal face like a ghoulish pumpkin. Orange smoke billowed around him, acting as a dense pelt of protection.

"I am Silver, of the Fox Populi," barked Gray, standing firm in the face of danger. "I am the voice of the unheard nation. Of a million faces. Of the resistance! And you will listen!" He finished with his nose defiantly raised to the sky in their trademark silent howl.

A single shot rang true as it hit its mark.

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