All signs of battle had been removed; the stretching fields stood clear and bare, save for a banner and a lonely flag caught on the tree's rougue branches, one of them lifted and thorny, a warning pointed to those left in the conquered tower, behind which the sun's first light was now fingering the sky. And despite that the stars still stubbornly held their place, save two or three that shot away with a shout of praise for the victor.
She stood barefoot upon the gnarled root, watching the mountain's light up in a show of pink and purple gleaming, the clouds highlighted from underneath by the coming dawn. Slowly, tentatively, she raised her arms above her wind-blown crown, exulting in the new freedom that was hers. The chill wind whipped her dress around her in a circular dance, but there was no other sound. She watched the sun ascend. So quiet....
The rust-hued wolf cub lifted his high, mournful voice: a call, a plea for comfort that she had taken away. Her face fell, though her arms did not. The howling bored into her soul in a gentle way.
The victory was hers...but her triumphant smile was empty. (#2 pencil, photoshop 5.5)