Wolfe Song

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: Booksie Classic

Chapter 8 (v.1) - Story Time

Submitted: April 11, 2010

Reads: 178

Comments: 8

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Submitted: April 11, 2010

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“This really is pretty. How about we sit over there on that group of boulders?” Eryx interceded. I nodded and padded through the tall, shoulder-length grass over to the warm gray rocks. Their heat seeped through my dark brown fur and I shivered happily, sweeping my tail across the boulder’s surface. Drew lay down next to me and nuzzled my shoulder gently, smiling. I licked his nose playfully and he shook his head, his chuckle coming out as a gravelly, hoarse noise in the back of his throat. Eryx laid down on the stone opposite from ours, choosing to sit up instead. He shook his fur and then began his story.
“I was in a Pack much like yours. My father was the lieutenant of the Pack, so we had some authority in the group. I was an only child, so my mom kind of spoiled me. It was a pretty happy home from the outside, but inside it was totally different. My dad was abusive, you see. He beat me and my mom for hours on end, and we weren’t allowed to cry out, for my dad was afraid someone would hear us and call the police. So we had to take the suffering silently, and after he was done with us my mom and I would go into my room and sit there and cry together for a few hours. Dad usually left us alone after he got through abusing us, so we had time then to talk about the day and about how we were going to run away from that home one day.
“After a particularly bad beating, Mom and I finally agreed on a day to leave. We both packed a few small bags, and Mom took two of her personal credit cards, the only ones Dad wouldn’t notice were missing. We had to wait, though, for the right time. So wait we did.
“During school the next week, I got a phone call at the school. It was my dad. He was absolutely hysterical—it was probably the most frightened I’d ever heard him in his life. He was crazy, and he could barely speak. Finally, he managed to get the words he intended out of his mouth.”
Eryx paused, and a tear slipped down his furry cheek. I looked sadly at him, waiting for him to continue.
“He said… he said…” He paused again, then resumed. “He said something about my mother’s doctor calling that day. She had said something about going to the doctor, but I thought nothing of it at the time. But the second those words came out of his mouth, I knew something was wrong.”
“What did he say?” I asked gently.
“ ‘You better come home. We heard from the doctor, and I don’t think I can tell her on my own. They found a dark spot in your mother’s chest. I’m trying to hold it all together, but I’m such a mess. Please come home right now, Eryx. I’m begging you.’ I hung up slowly and handed the phone back to the office worker, Mrs. Lebowski, and braced myself against the desk. She had heard the whole conversation. She nodded gently, her horned-rim, 50’s style glasses bobbing up and down on her strangely contorted nose, and wrote down my name for me on the sign out sheet. I got in my car and drove as fast as I could for the reservation.
“When I got home, it was bad. No, worse than bad. My mom was laying on a couch, sleeping, and my dad was pacing back and forth in the kitchen. I dropped my backpack and walked over to my sleeping mother, pushing her hair back from her face. My touch accidentally awakened her, and she sat up, yawning and stretching her arms sleepily. When she saw my face, and my bloodshot-from-crying eyes, she asked, ‘What’s wrong, Eryx?’ I looked over at Dad and he came over, kneeling beside me.
“ ‘Honey, we heard from the doctor today. They got your test results back.’ My mom looked at him quizzically.
“ ‘What did they say?’ she asked innocently, looking between me and my father. I sighed and bent my head down to touch the couch.
“ ‘Mom, they found a dark spot. A big one.’ I don’t think I’d ever seen my mom cry that hard, not even after the worst beatings. She gathered me and my father into a hug, her eyes dripping tears. I shook my head.
“ ‘How long do I have?’ she asked, looking back at my father. This time, more than a few tears slipped from his eyes—this was the first time I’d ever seen him cry. It was strange, to see a man I’d thought of so differently crying his eyes out. He finally answered my mom.
“ ‘The doctor said a year.’” Eryx paused and broke out into silent sobbing, his head buried in his paws. I nudged his shoulder gently, to show that I felt sympathy for him. I had a feeling I knew where this story was going.
“My mom, dad, and I did everything together that next year. We were finally a real family—my dad didn’t beat us anymore, because he was afraid of losing Mom. But one fateful day came when she just….didn’t wake up. We tried and tried and then called 9-1-1, but when the paramedics arrived, they said there was nothing they could do. My mom was gone. I presumed that my dad would be so wrought with guilt that he wouldn’t have time or the mind to beat me anymore, especially when he kept his arm around my shoulders all during the funeral. I was so wrong. The abusive behavior only got worse. You’ll notice that most of my wardrobe is long sleeve shirts with long jeans—those are the only clothes Dad would let me buy because they covered up the bruises. He had me wear concealers and powders to cover up the stuff on my face, and when people noticed something like a bruise or a splash of blood, I would just brush it off as a fall or a skateboarding accident. No one ever even suspected, not even inside of the Pack. It was a hard life, concealing that secret from everyone I knew. And now that Mom was gone, I had no one to hold on to, no one to comfort me.”
“What did you do?” Drew asked, twitching his ear towards Eryx to better hear everything.
“Well, a year to the day from the day Mom and I had planned to run away, that’s exactly what I did. I grabbed my bags, and Mom’s two credit cards (that Dad had transferred to my name so things looked like he actually cared about me), and left. I traveled for a long time—I don’t even remember how long I’d been travelling when I finally found the scent of another wolf Pack in Canada. It was a Pack out on a hunting expedition. I saw one of them get shot, but there was nothing I could do to save him from death without showing myself. It was hard concealing my scent from the group, but I managed to follow the rest of the group back to here.”
I grimaced and looked down at my paws. “You saw him die.”
Eryx nodded. “Someone you knew?”
A tear escaped my eyes, and Drew looked at Eryx, sadness in his eyes. Eryx didn’t understand.
“Yeah, someone I knew.”
Drew licked my face gently. “Shh, its okay, Rhyan. Eryx will understand. Do you want me to tell him, or no?”
 I nodded permissively. Drew sighed and turned back to Eryx, leaning closer to me to comfort me. His tail entwined with mine as he spoke.
“The one you saw get shot was Rhyan’s father—he was the leader of our Pack.”
Eryx looked shocked. “Oh… I’m so sorry, Rhyan, I didn’t realize...”
“It’s okay,” I half-smiled drearily. “At least we all understand how each other feel.”
Eryx looked quizzically at Drew, as if questioning how he could understand.
“His father,” I answered shortly. Eryx nodded understandingly and nudged Drew on the shoulder, much like Drew had done just a few moments ago. Drew looked up and smiled.
“Thanks. Now, back to the story?”
Eryx nodded and smiled. “So, as I was saying, I followed the rest of your Pack back here. I kind of sat back in the shadows while you guys went on with your daily lives, and then one day when I finally ventured out into the town, Drew here approached me. He could tell that I was like you guys, so he dragged me back here and enrolled me in the school and everything. And that’s how I got here.” I sighed and looked down at my paws again, then looked back up.
“Well, I’m glad you’re here. It’s nice to have someone else who knows how we feel,” I whispered, smiling as best I could. Eryx grinned back, standing up and stretching.
“So, who wants to go hunting?”
I nodded eagerly—I hadn’t been hunting since before Dad’s death. It had been so long for both me and Drew, so we instantly said yes. Eryx smiled and motioned for Drew to lead the way. He took off towards the rainiest little area of Washington, over by the Quileute reservation. It took a while to get there, but not so long that I ever got tired of the view from the shoreline. It was breathtaking. The sun was going down by then, the pink and orange and lavender of the dying sun throwing itself out across the scattered clouds in the darkening sky.
“Hey, while we’re out hunting, can you show me the place where Dad died?” I asked Eryx, since he was the only one that knew exactly where. “I want to honor him on my own for a moment.” Eryx nodded and kept on trotting at an even pace, the trees blurring past us. The feeling of running in the wind was exhilarating—the crisp breeze whisked through my fur and gave me goosebumps, but they were the good kind—the kind that makes you feel alive and free, with no restraints on your happiness. We raced on and on, until finally we hit the Quileute border, which is where we were forced to stop. We decided to hunt here and then go on to Canada later. We could get special permission from the Quileute leaders to go through their territory as long as we didn’t steal any prey, Drew thought. So we hunted for a while, on into the last hours of the day when everything was pitch black, and the only illumination of the dark, shifty shadows was the brilliant crescent moon and the twinkling stars.  After catching a hefty buck and splitting it between the three of us, we crossed the Quileute border and ran the short distance to their actual town of La Push. We decided to hide in the trees around the town, for the mere sake of not giving any of the townspeople a heart attack. It took a while, but finally another being like us caught our scent and ran into the woods near where we were. It only took him about a minute to meet up with us—to our surprise, he wasn’t hostile. In fact, he seemed very friendly.
“The name’s Caden,” the Quileute werewolf smiled, extending a hand. He then retracted it. “Oh, right... You guys are still wolves…” He laughed whole-heartedly and sat down cross-legged on the ground. “What are you three doing here? You’re not from around here, are you?” We shook our heads and I looked at Drew to do the talking, since he was lieutenant after all. Drew nodded and spoke.
“We seek rights of travel across your land. We promise not to hunt anything—we already did that outside of your borders. Is it all right with your leaders?”
“What is your reason for crossing our land?” Caden asked, getting a little more serious, but maintaining his friendly composure. Drew looked at me, and I nodded.
“We’re going to pay homage to her father, at the spot where he died. It’s in a forest up in Canada, but it takes so much longer to go around your territory than straight through it.”
“I’m going to have to take you to our leader, so you can ask him,” Caden answered, turning around. “Come on, it won’t take long.”
Drew shrugged and motioned for us to follow Caden. We trotted along behind him, going at an extremely slow pace so we didn’t pass him. He led us in a winding path around the actual settlement of La Push, and after about twenty minutes of walking, we arrived at a small building, which looked to be someone’s home. He left us outside, and then went inside to talk to someone. We saw shadows through the shades of the windows, due to the lights on inside the house, but not much else. Caden’s shadow disappeared then. After a few moments, he came back out of the house holding a pair of cutoff denim shorts for Drew and one for Eryx. A young woman who looked almost identical to him (I figured they were either siblings or twins) followed him, carrying another pair of denim shorts for me, along with undergarments and a tank top. I thanked her and went into a thick cluster of trees to change quickly. Somehow, the girl had managed to find clothes that fit me perfectly. Strange. Oh well, they’re clothes, and they fit, so I don’t have to be a wolf for any longer right now. Fine by me. By the time I got back to where we had been standing earlier, in the front yard of the house, Drew and Eryx were already standing there, both half-naked and glistening with sweat from the long run.
“Geez, you take a long time to change, Rhy,” Drew smiled, teasing me. I shook my head.
“That’s because I had more clothes to put on than just a pair of shorts, thank you very much.”
Drew rolled his eyes. “Whatever. Let’s go inside.” Caden was waiting for us on the front porch. He opened the door for us and showed us inside, motioning for us to sit on the couch in the middle of the tiny living room. How they managed to make such a big couch fit, I still don’t know. But they did it, and it was oh-so-comfortable after a half-day’s hike through western Washington State. Eryx smiled contentedly as he sank down into a comfortable plush reclining chair, ancient as dirt by the looks of it. Caden smiled and made a slight whooping noise, like a call of some sort. The same girl that had given me clothes earlier appeared through a swinging door leading off into a room that, from the smells emanating from it, was obviously the kitchen. Mmm… chocolate chip cookies. My favorite. Another young boy, who looked nothing like Caden, jumped down over the banister of the stairway, landing on his feet gracefully by the chair. A few more boys appeared from the kitchen door—the last to arrive was a beautiful young woman, who looked to be a little older than the rest of them but still relatively young—maybe in her early twenties. She descended down the stairs quickly, but with the same effortless grace as the Queen of England herself.
“What is it, Caden?” Her voice was melodic and vibrant, making it seem almost as if she were singing every time she said something. She tossed her hair as she stepped off of the staircase, her bare feet not making a sound as she walked across the room to stand beside Caden.
“Hello, Raya.” Caden turned to face her and waved his hand towards us. “They need to speak with our leader.” The young woman sighed and nodded. She beckoned to us with her hand to follow her upstairs. I reluctantly agreed—I really didn’t want to get up from the couch. It was ridiculously comfortable… but we had to go. We followed Raya up the stairs and down a short corridor, stopping in front of a room whose door had definitely seen better days. She knocked tentatively and then stepped back.
“Come in,” came a scratchy, ancient voice. Raya edged the door open with her toe and stepped into the room. The room was barren, the off-white paint on the walls peeling and the carpet worn thin to mere threads in some spots. The carpet and the curtains had so many stains on them it was impossible to tell what their original color had been. There was a small, weathered bed set up on the far side of the room (which really wasn’t that far at all…) with an old, withered old man laying under the bed covers, coughing. I winced slightly as specks of blood flew out of his mouth to add to the various stains on the comforter, noticing that most of those stains were the color of aged, dried blood. I grimaced even more.
“What is it?” the man inquired, fixing his one good eye on Raya. She curtsied slightly, so I did the same.
“We have visitors, sir. They wish to cross our lands.” The man sat up.
“Visitors, eh?” He coughed violently again. “Well, why do you three wish to cross our lands?”
I looked at Drew, mouthing You can take care of this one. Drew half-glared at me, but then turned to the decrepit occupant of the bed. “We wish to cross over into Canada, to the spot where Rhyan’s father died.”
The old man looked slightly taken aback, but then nodded, almost nostalgically.
“I heard about your father, young wolf child. Come closer.” I was hoping he didn’t mean me, but when he pointed a long, crooked finger at me I sighed and edged forward. “Your father was a great man,” he whispered. “I would have never expected him to do something such as the thing he did before he left our Pack. Yes, you can cross our territory. We will have Caden and Raya escort you for safe…for safe measures.” He hacked up more blood onto the now-soaked bedclothes. I winced again. And how he knew who my father was, I to this day still don’t know. My father had always said he was born into this Pack. But what came next was even more disturbing.
“Your father made me this way, young Rhyan. Remember that he….he…”
The man’s breathing faltered. Raya stepped a bit closer, gasping faintly.
“Kaeleb,” she whispered sadly. Just as a tear made its way down over the ridge of her cheek, he started breathing again. She half-smiled in relief, but then kneeled down at the edge of his bed, keeping a close watch on the unsteady rise and fall of his chest.
Kaeleb spoke once more. “Remember that he’s the one who made me this way. Always remember. Never trust the ones you lo… the ones you….”
The voice died off into a whisper, and then Kaeleb was no more. Raya collapsed, sobbing on the ground.
“He can’t be gone. He’s the one who held this Pack together! We are nothing without him!”
I sat down on the floor beside her. “That’s what I thought when my dad died. I’m sure Kaeleb was an amazing leader. But you must realize, Raya, that though Kaeleb cannot be replaced, your Pack will go on. It will be fine; I promise.”
Raya looked at me sadly. “I guess you would be the best one to ask on these sorts of things. So I’m going to believe you when you say that it will be all right.”
I smiled slightly and enveloped her into a hug. Drew and Eryx had drawn the sheets over Kaeleb’s unmoving, lifeless face with an air of sadness, even though they had only briefly met this man. It was always saddening to see another werewolf die—there are so few of us left in America that it’s hard for us to cope anymore. There are a few left in Georgia, and I think one Pack in East Texas. Otherwise, the Quileutes and our Pack are the only two in North America. That makes a total of four Packs on the entire continent. I know for a fact that there are two packs in the Eurasian area, and one down in Africa, but I don’t know their exact whereabouts. It’s a hard-knock life for us, as one of my favorite little red-headed orphans always used to say. But anyways, onwards with the tale.
As soon as Raya had racked all of her sobs out into my shoulders, we went outside the room and made the announcement to the rest of the Pack gathered in the living room. Most of them just looked down sadly, fighting to only let one tear slide down their cheeks. The only exceptions were one of the boys and the younger girl from earlier. Raya comforted them one by one, and they consoled each other at the same time.  It was heart-wrenching to watch another Pack go through the same thing we’d gone through such a short time ago. I put a comforting hand on Raya’s shoulders as she sat down on the couch. “I don’t know what to do for a funeral,” Raya sighed, looking down at the floor.
I looked at Drew and Eryx, and they both saw what I was planning in my eyes.
“Boys, call home and tell them we might be gone for a few days. We have a funeral to plan.”
Would you like to know the worst part?
This was my second funeral for the death of a Pack leader somehow associated to me.
In two weeks.


© Copyright 2017 EliseMarieRenspera. All rights reserved.

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