By Anna Garthwaite | Posted: Monday June 6, 2016

By Alyssa Kruskopf

A single lamppost, stranded in the snow. A howling wolf somewhere in the not so distant forest. Goosebumps covering my tiny, fragile arms, like sticks about to snap under pressure. I shouldn't have come here. But I felt like I had to somehow. The existence of my long lost father depended on my better judgement to be here. In an instant three shadowed figures incircle me. With no way to escape, I try reasoning with them.

“Where is my father?You said you would bring him.” I ask, my voice shaking uncontrollably. “You foolish little girl.” The shorter, plumper one snarls. “You honestly didn’t think we would be stupid enough to bring him here with you, a small child begging us did you?” The taller man with now visible wrinkles and a frown line sniggers. “Enough!”. The quieter man, obviously fed up with small talk bellows at the top of his lungs, so loud that it echoes around the trees causing a flock of wild geese to fled their spot by the lake into the misty sky.

Almost immediately they pounce on me, grabbing my arms and legs making it impossible to escape. They drag me further into the forest. That’s when the creature howls again. A long piercing cry. As if by magic a mysterious beast appears at the edge of the forest. A wolf! The men scream and run, dropping me in the freezing white powdery snow. But not before the rest of the wolf pack forms and chases after them like a small child running to the local store for candy.

The wolves corner the three men for a good hour before the regional police arrive. ‘That’s weird.’ I think to myself. “Excuse me.” I ask the nicest looking policeman. “I didn’t get a chance to call you, so who did?” “I did.” Says a figure standing roughly 3 meters away. He had a tall frame and was very skinny. He had scars on his legs. Immediately I think of my father who went missing when he was in the army.

“Anna!” He shrieks. “Father!” I reply with a smile on my face from ear to ear. “Why Anna my dear!”he marvels, tears streaming down his pale thin cheeks. “I knew these men had tricked you into coming here”he says. “So while they were planning to trick you by not bringing me to see you, I snuck into the van!” he recalls. “I am so happy to see you Anna!”he mumbles, stroking my long auburn hair. “Me too!”I cry, shaking like a leaf out of happiness and cold.

The kind old policeman approaches us once again. Now that I see him in a better light, I can tell that he is quite old because of his drooping wrinkles and shaking hands. He lifts his head up slightly and says “They are in the back of the police car now and we will do justice for your poor treatment!Now would you like a ride back to Saint Petersburg?” We both said “Yes” in unison.

We enjoyed our ride back listening to Michael Jackson and listening to stories of previous journeys. When we arrived in Saint Petersburg, the kind policeman dropped us off at my house where I and my mum were staying.

Mum was over the moon to see dad back again. That night we had a home cooked meal to celebrate and dad was treated like a prince for his survival.