Author Note: Now I know what you may be thinking, what does this story have to do with polar bears? As the books goes on you'll see. The polar bears are basically half of the story and without them it would just be about the life of an adopted kid which would be a little boring. ~WaveOfReedLake
Isaneus looked down at the water below. He was standing at the point which his father called 'the edge of the world'. They knew it wasn't the real edge of the world but it might as well have been. It towered over the ocean, the tallest cliff in their territory. One day he knew when he became leader he would have to swim in those waters. He wasn't afraid, he was ready to become leader.
He pointed his nose to the stars as the wind blew through his thick white fur. It was warmer than usual temperatures there. His round ear flicked as he heard a noise from out on the ocean. He scanned the water but didn't spot anything at first. It reminded him of a moose. He'd only ever seen one in his life and he remembered it's call well.
He narrowed his eyes, looking for the source of the sound. He gave up and sat down. He looked up at the stars again and waited for the aurora borealis to appear.
He glanced behind him at a hill. On the other side his father was speaking to some of the others. He had heard of creatures coming to their land. They looked like the ones living just outside the territory but they were taller and paler. They didn't speak the same tongue and he could hardly believe they were the same species. His father told him they called themselves 'humans'. More an more seemed to come every day and his father grew worried. Isaneus hoped they didn't invade their territory, the place where polar bears have ran free, far from any humans except for the ones just outside the border.
His father, Garidan, used to tell him stories of bears turning into humans and other animals. Isaneus never believed them but he couldn't say the same for his sister, Mistral. She seemed to believe them with her life.
He grinned to himself and looked back at the ocean. The noise sounded again and he spotted a light flickering near the horizon. He squinted but only saw the light, nothing more. He shifted uneasily, wondering if he should tell his father. He stood up and walked over to the hill. at the top he looked down at the figures of his father and some other males. He came down the other side and sat down behind his father, patiently waiting for them to finish.
"They are becoming very active around the southern border. They don't seem to be spreading further into our territory for now. We should just stay away from them for now" Garidan advised
"No, that would just make it seem like we're giving them our territory if we fall back. We don't want them to overrun our lands. We need to show them we dominate in this land" Leaden, a large male bear, said.
Isaneus gave a silent snort. Leaden was almost the leader once, before Isaneus was born. His father had grown ill and the bears were getting ready to choose another leader. He knew that Leaden was naive and would never make a good leader. Isaneus hoped that he'd be at least half the leader his father was.
Garidan glared at Leaden, somewhat annoyed. "You should know better than anyone what the humans can do" he growled
Isaneus glanced up at Leaden. The large male shifted and Isaneus got a glimpse of the scar on his back.
"You have a point but I'm sure they won't be so kind next time" Everence said to Leaden then looked back at Garidan
Garidan nodded. "I don't want to lose a single bear this summer to the humans' weapons. We will send out word for the bears to head northward"
Leaden snorted and got up. He turned and lumbered over to the hill.
Garidan glanced at Leaden then turned to Isaneus. "So what is it you want to say?"
Isaneus almost jumped and looked up. "I saw a light from out on the ocean. It was too bright to be a star and there was this loud noise that might have come from the same thing as the light" he rambled a little
"Might be a human thing" Garidan muttered. He looked back at the bears sitting on the slope.
Isaneus knew three of them, Everence, Malice and Rasure.
"Go back to the den, I'll meet you there soon" Garidan said and Isaneus nodded. He got up and raced over the snow towards the outcropping in the distance, feeling the snow crunch under his paws with each step. Isaneus could faintly scent another polar bear in the distance. It was a female who he guessed was carrying cubs. It reminded him of his mother, who'd died a few days after Mistral was born.
The outcropping looked like a large wave, curling over at the tip and looming over a small hole in the ice where the seals came up to breath. He came to a halt by the hole and scented the ice. A seal had just been there. He turned and headed to an opening at the base of the outcropping. He crawled inside and layed down against the wall of the den.
He'd almost fallen asleep when something warm rammed into him. He roared in annoyance and shook his head. Mistral, his younger sister, was standing on his flank and tugging on one of his ears playfully. She giggled and made a strange growling noise. He twisted and gave her a gentle swat with a forepaw and she tumbled off him, laughing uncontrolably.
"Aren't you tired?" he asked "It's almost dawn"
"Nope! I'm staying up all night!"
"I'm sure dad won't approve when he gets here"
"Please don't tell him!" she stopped laughing and pressed her paws against his flank. "Please!"
Isaneus shook his head.
"Please!" she pleaded
"Fine" Isaneus replied and got up. "But you have to pretend to be asleep when he gets here"
"Okay!" Mistral nodded
Isaneus lightly head-butted her and she rolled across the floor den, laughing again.
© Copyright 2016 Katherine Ann Barton. All rights reserved.