Before she opened the airlock, Grandmother put the Hood over my head. My last view of her was through red glass.
I drifted out to the end of the line. Turning the ship away, Grandmother severed the tie. I was alone with him.
The Hood made his teeth into ruby ice, his stardust eyes sanguine. I drew air from my tank as the Wolf turned, asteroids rearranging to form claws and a tail. Nothing stood now between me and his hunger.
Grandmother’s voice crackled in my ear.
“Two minutes until contact.”
He came for me—two million tons of ice and rock across the void of space. Grandmother pulled the ship up, leaving me to face the Wolf.
He blotted out the stars, jaws wide.
“One minute until contact.”
When he reached me, I saw the black hole of his throat. I hoped Grandmother had gotten far enough away. His teeth surrounded me and cracks formed in the Hood.
I prayed for it to hold just a little longer.
Sucked across his tongue, I fell into the belly of the Wolf. Before I lost the ship’s signal, I heard Grandmother’s voice.
“From the inside is the only way.”
She dissolved into static. The Wolf’s mouth closed.
Falling through darkness, I hefted my ax.