The Battle: The eye of the hurricane
Ruben pounced at me in less than a moment. Prepared I dug my claws into his forearms as he sent me to the ground. I quickly morphed and was prepared to fight for my life as everyone started to scatter. A few stayed in close range while I battled the enemy.
Never in my life had I wanted to destroy someone as much as him. He’d ruined my life and it would take a thousand years before I’d even consider forgiving him.
“You think you can beat me?” Ruben growled, his saliva dripping onto my face, “pathetic, that’s all you are!” I snarled hard and threw him off, sluggishly getting on all four paws.
“You wish,” I growled as we both morphed back. I heard a scream from nearby; I recognized it as Narcissi’s voice. While Ruben was grounded I dashed for the trees.
In the woods, the triplets were in trouble. Alan and Liam were both pinned down by two large werewolves, their pale fur nearly brown as dirt was rubbed into them. I was about to change back and help when I heard Narcissi scream.
“Get out of the way!” I watched as she ran past me, hair streaming, and form slowly morphing as she went onto all fours. I stared as she gained a taller stance, longer white hair and…A muzzle? I blinked hard as her face became longer and more curved, her behind growing a clump of fine fair hair as a tail and a pale coat covered her body. I was in disbelief as she slowed her pace to reveal what she had become. I scratched my head in amazement.
She neighed loud and reared up at the wolves before pounding down on them, digging her hooves into their fur. They yelped as she drew blood. I watched them as they rose off their victims to snap and slash at her. She turned on her heels and galloped off leading them away from her family. I immediately went to their aid as they slowly morphed back.
“You alright,” I asked helping them both sit up by clutching one of their arms each. They nodded though I could imagine that both of them were somewhat dazed from nearly passing out.
“We’ll survive,” Liam said as they both shoved me off and stood up at the same time. Damn they were rude
“Where did sis go?” Alan asked as they peered around.
“Probably to her death,” I said with very little empathy. Liam gave me the finger. I rolled my eyes.
“I can track her down, if you want.” I suggested, “Horse is a very strong scent, so it should be easy.”
“Do it!” Alan said firmly. I didn’t argue with that. At that moment my nostrils flared at the distinct smell.
“She’s in the east,” I said turning to the direction. They rushed past me, morphing to their grey hides as they did.
Time had gone rather quickly much to my surprise. Before I knew it I was searching for the others. I held branches aside to look in front of me when I heard rustling in the bushes behind. I quickly morphed and saw three wolves come up slowly, prowling as they did.
I growled as the fur rose on my back. As one of them leapt I to joined them, our jaws bashing into each others as we pushed back against the other. As me and this wolf stayed head to head I heard a howl as a dark brown wolf pounced onto another, snapping at the neck while another one, roan came too and snarled at the remaining enemy.
About time! I told Tony as I leaned to the side, missing a bite.
Sorry, Bronson was caught up and Jay wasn’t much help! Tony answered back while he tore flesh off the wolf in blood chunks.
What do you expect? I asked back, he’s a crow for Pete’s sake!
But even CROWS can scavenge! Tony yelled back. I winced slightly as this hurt my head and received a blow to my side. It wasn’t deep enough to bleed but I could imagine it forming a bruise.
Narcissi have distracted some of the wolves for a while. Her brothers are going to her aid. Have you heard from Athena? I added.
No, I’ve tried contacting her but she doesn’t reply, Tony told me before giving his opponent a slash with his claws, it’s like she’s too busy to listen
I would have frowned if given the ability, but my mind was on her wellbeing. I had to find her.
I think you guys will be fine from here I told them as I managed to knock the wolf out by bashing his head against a tree, tell the others to keep an eye out for each other and check up on the triplets! I added as I dashed off.
I searched all the woods for her, but I couldn’t see any sign of the white wolf.
This is taking me forever and draining me of my energy I thought until I heard a loud growl from somewhere.
Hmm I paused as I listened. It sounded familiar…
Lu…I mean Athena! I thought turning in the direction of the sound. Her scent became clear as I kept travelling; fear surged within me like never before. I didn’t even realise what I was thinking until.
Cole you’re thinking strange thoughts! Tony told me, the way you’re thinking is the same as how you think about Luna!
Don’t be ridiculous I told him as I cleared a log and kept on running, my feelings for Luna and towards her are completely different!
No they’re not, Tony reassured me, you’re worried about her!
I told you before I don’t… I stopped, my heart was racing fast as I realised that he was right.
It can’t be I said back I can’t possibly…
Guess again Tony replied I knew he was right.
I DO have feelings for her. I wished this wasn’t so, for I barely even knew her so how could she have become so important to me.
THAT was why I remembered our unexpected deep and meaningful conversation where she’d confirmed everything that I’d been feeling. I, Cole the so-called big bad wolf had been degraded to a whimpering puppy dog. It was humiliating.
But somehow this made sense, Luna was the only other person who knew how I felt so I hoped that something would happen so I wasn’t torn between two different people. But like it would happen, I think.
Cole… You become alarmingly quiet, you can’t possibly think about being stuck in a love triangle at this moment!
It’s not a possibility I told him as I started to run again, I know who I want to be with and it isn’t her!
But Cole, what about the possibility …? He was quiet for a moment, that… She might not come back?
I dug my claws into the earth, anger searing through me.
What? I think I heard him sigh.
Cole it isn’t definite that she’s still alive. For all you know Nana Shima might have finally lost it and is telling us stuff from the spirits.
I can’t accept that possibility! I retaliated, my head starting to hurt, she IS alive! I can feel it!
Well like I said, it was just a thought Cole. I hate seeing you sad, and I’m concerned that Luna may be causing this heartache.
Go away Tony! I answered, furious as I started to run, ignoring him from that point on.
Luna brought me the most joy anyone has ever given me! I told myself, life without her is empty and bitter! Like it was before….
I found the path took me back to the place where we first began. I could spot flashes of dark jumping while a blur of white zoomed around. I leapt through a bush, growling and baring my teeth as I landed. Ruben had morphed and was going at Athena. I had to stop him, she may have been fast but it could end soon…
He managed to lay a bite on her on the shoulder. She yelped slightly but I saw that it didn’t draw blood. My anger rose; as he was about to land on top of her when I intercepted from the side, sending him and me flying dangerously close to the edge. We both gained our footing, grinding our claws into the coarse earth.
“Go now!” I called to her.
“I was just getting warmed up!” She complained.
“Don’t argue he’s no match for you!” I would have sighed if possible, “go check on the…” I felt my skull vibrate painfully as Ruben rammed into my side, sending the hard nerve twangs through my body. Dazed I stood dumbly my vision spinning slightly. It stopped in enough time to see Ruben prowling after Athena. I quickly stretched as far as I could and snapped at his ankle, drawing blood and going deep.
He whined and swerved around, ripping the muscle as he bit at my face, taking a chunk out of my fur and piercing my cheek (if we had them.)
I immediately released my hold on him as he spun around to face me. I slowly moved away from the edge, the menacing gaze between us far from fading.
“Enjoy your break?” He snarled.
“It wasn’t a break, I was checking on my team!” I answered, “but that idea doesn’t seem to affect you.”
“Whether they live or die doesn’t concern me!” Ruben replied growling.
“It’s time I finished you off!” He pounced forward and I bounded too our heads banging together.
The impact sent us flying back. Ruben turned on his side as he landed hard. I fell straight onto my back, winding me immediately. Sore I felt myself slowly fade to the darkness of an unconscious mind.
Time slipped by quickly, during that time my stomach churned, my skeleton and all my bones lengthen and my claws go back under the cuticles. I could tell by these movements that I’d slowly morphed back. It was an unconscious action. If we were unable to keep our energy up, we would reverse the process until we had gained back enough strength to morph back.
I opened my eye, the sky was unchanged as I blinked, slowly rising to sit up. My head started to hurt more than ever as I held a hand to it. I could smell no blood, which was good, but I imagined the jerk had given me brain damage!
I peered several feet ahead of me to see his ugly mug and the thing which it was attached to called a body lie on its side. Not moving.
Good I thought and then winced regrettably, he might be finished. I felt a cramp in my left side below my abdominals. I shrugged my jacket off, hearing it slump behind me. Grabbing the seam at the bottom of my shirt I lifted it up to see what it was. Beside the muscles and on the skin was a large purple splotch with tiny areas of red and darker colours. I grimaced as I tried to touch it but found it too painful to do so. I heard movement from nearby which may me drop the material.
I jumped as someone came from the woods, travelling a diagonal path.
Maxene I thought, wincing again. She stumbled towards me, her right leg dragging slightly as she did. Her clothes were a mess, covered in dirt, her red hair somewhat darker than usual.
“Cole,” she said simply as I stood, “I’d been sent to let you know that…”
“What happened to you?” I asked staring in horror at the large gash in the right side of her head, trickling crimson liquid.
“Jay and Bronson got in trouble. I had to dive in and save them,” she added as she staggered. I hastily grabbed her under the shoulders.
“Whoa, hold up. You should probably rest,” I told her, helping her sit down on the ground. She shook her head.
“No I should be helping the others,” she insisted but then winced. I heard a groan and we both glanced behind me.
Ruben had woken.
I was ready, but I hadn’t anticipated Maxene’s response. Her face was nearly white for she was that pale. She stayed where she was as Ruben slowly got back to his feet.
“I-it’s you,” she breathed horrified. Ruben turned around to face us. His face suddenly merged a ghastly grin.
“It’s been a while hey princess?” He said laughing. I turned to look at Maxene.
“You know him?” I asked bewildered. She could barely speak for her teeth were chattering.
“Yeah it’s been a couple of years, since you ruined life for me you little stuck up cow.” During this Maxene had been shaking and clenching her fist while staying downcast, I could tell she was angry.
“As if,” she began, Ruben’s attention was turned back to her.
“You made my life…A living hell!” She yelled raising her head, making her hair bob. Ruben stared at her seriously for a moment, but he then laughed.
“You think I did anything to you? Come on, it’s not like you had to give yourself to me…You made a choice.” I blinked hard.
It can’t be….It was him!
“You’re wrong!” Maxene yelled at him, shaking, “I didn’t get to make that choice…I could have had the life I wanted….Go to Law school get a good job maybe do some modelling…” I heard her holdback sobs, “but now whenever I see people. People from my grade, people who were my friends all they do nowadays is remind me!” I could spot the tears which were sprawling down her face. I looked at Ruben.
He suddenly moved fast, (which surprised me) and he came up close to Maxene and clasped his hands around her neck and close to the edge
“It’s time I finished you, like I should have that night!” Maxene ground her teeth as she tried to fight back, but his clasp was remarkably strong. Anger was quick to rise in me. Before I knew it my claws had retracted and I was ready.
Dashing at him I took one mighty sweep at his head, barely missing the top of Maxene’s as my claws cut across his face and along his eyes. Blood began to ooze from his wounds as he released his grip from her neck. This was the chance I needed. While he tried to heal himself I took a deep breath and quickly lashed at him again. This took him off balance and he tilted to the left. His body weight caused him to tumble over the side, falling blindly until there was the thud.
I heard a scream from Maxene and I looked in just enough time. Jumping at her I grabbed her moments away from falling too and sending us to some soft land where we lay gasping for a few moments. I soon sat up, wincing as another bruise formed in my lower back. I glanced over at Maxene she was barely moving.
“Maxene…” I began feeling bad.
“Why…?” She began a catch in her voice, “Why was I even born?” I looked down for a moment. She tried to laugh but it faded out.
“I’m nothing…..” She was close to losing it, “I’m nothing but dirt.” She buried her hands in her face and started to cry. It made me feel worse than I already did. I was about to reach over with my hands but she stopped me.
“I can see why you wouldn’t forgive me Cole, why would you want to?” I looked down again. I took a small breath.
Oh man I can’t believe I’m going to say this!
“You’re not dirt, Maxene.” She paused for a moment. I slowly lifted my eyes back to her.
“Despite what Ruben said, he had no right to do that to you,” I rubbed the back of my neck for a moment, trying to come up with the right words to say.
“I…Should have realised that you weren’t always like that…I remember how you used to be different. More confident in yourself and happy with whom you are. I hate the fact that he did that to you…That he made you insecure.” She lifted her eyes to me, though they were still teary.
I was going to do it…I never thought in my life I would say…
“I’m sorry,” I swallowed hard and looked at her, her eyes flailed for a moment and then the tears kept pouring before a small smile came over her face.
“Thanks Cole,” she said normally, though the twitching of her irises was kind of creepy. My arms suddenly moved on their own (I swear!) and were pushing Maxene towards me.
Before I even realised what I was doing it was too late to pull back. She froze for a moment, her head centimetres away from my chest. I paused too but remained perfectly still as she slowly lowered herself onto me, resting her head about a centimetre below my shoulder bones. My arms lowered themselves down onto her.
I sighed as I leaned back, her against me, “You’re not dirty Maxene. You’re a beautiful person who’s just been scarred by a cruel circumstance. You can overcome it and be the person that you were created to be; whether there is a God or not.”
She looked up at me, “in that case,” she began, “how about dinner?” I frowned at her, “Maxene…”
“Kidding,” she said as she pulled away,”but it was worth a try hey?” She winked and I shivered.
“Hey there you guys are!” I heard a voice call, we looked to see Tony and the rest of the group show up. Some of them were covered in scratches while others were in tact.
“Good to see you’re alright,” Tony added embracing me in a hug.
“Yeah you too,” I added as we pulled away. I glanced over at Jay.
“Thanks kid,” I answered holding out my hand. He looked at it for a moment and then took it in a shake.
“No problem,” he said. I glanced around, looking for someone.
“Hey where’s Athena?” I asked surprised when I couldn’t see her. Everyone else looked around, alarmed.
“No,” Tony said shrugging, “she left shortly after the other wolves were defeated.”
“I see,” I said, disappointed but not showing it. Then my legs started to sway and I felt dizzy.
“Are you alright?” Bronson asked, looking at me with concern. I shook my head, “I don’t think so…” I sank to my knees, kneeling in the soft earth.
“Do you need to rest?” Narcissi suggested. It sounded like a good idea.
“Sure, why not?” I said leaning back against the small slope getting comfortable. The group stared at me as if I was crazy.
“You guys go on ahead,” I told them, “I think I’ll have a rest.”
“Alright,” Tony said, “let me know if you get in trouble.”
“Sure,” I said closing my eyes, “see you guys and thanks.”
“We should thank you,” I heard Alan say causing my eyes to open. I looked at him.
“Now those wolves won’t bother us ever again.” Everyone else nodded.
“Meh, it’s alright,” I said simply, “just something I had to do.”
“I bet your mother would be proud of you,” I sat up to look at Jay who’d been very quiet since the whole thing. Somehow this brought a nostalgic feel to me which made my eyes slowly fill.
“Thanks,” I said with a hoarse voice. He nodded and they all walked away, leaving me to rest.
It was all over. Now life could get back to normal (I hope). I sighed deeply as I closed my eyes again and let my mind drift away from my body to a world where me and her roamed around the mountains, in the crisp cool snow.