00 | his loss
THE alarm bell tolled.
Signaling the first of the month, the alarm started as usual: a soft but rapid burst of dull buzzing. Unlike the routine, short-lived rupture of sound, the bell grew in intensity. While the bell usually took advantage of the low-frequency Werewolves were attuned to, today gave no indication of such a modification.
Instead, the alarm crackled and popped. To protect my eardrums, I thrusted my hands over my ears.
My dusty shoes skidded against the cracked pavement, and my shoulders caved inward as I pressed my hands harder against my ears. My head was going to implode from the pressure applied.
Violet, punctuality is important. I could hear the sound of her grainy voice float through my mind as if she took permanent residence in my head. One day you’ll thank me for teaching you this lesson.
I would be late for school—all because some pack-wide alarm malfunctioned. Mom certainly would not be thrilled to learn I idled my way to class, late again. However, in my defense, it was a wonder I could think with the pulsating alarm screeching around me, absorbing into my skull.
My backpack slid off my shoulder. I did not hear the harsh clunk of my school bag—filled to the brim with books—hit the pavement. My ears were too preoccupied, ringing.
I expected either Alpha Thames or Beta Frederick to announce the alarm had short-circuited. As if on cue, the pack-wide mind link sparked to life.
Beta Frederick’s solemn voice camouflaged amongst the raging alarm. He cleared his throat before the alarm fizzled.
Removing my hands from my head, I stood up straight, rolling my shoulders. I picked up my bag and continued my trek to school.
Letting the mind link simmer, Beta Frederick allowed a long pause to wash over the link.
He cleared his throat and began again:
It is with great sadness that I interrupt your morning. It brings me no pleasure to announce Alpha Thames’ son, Wade, who is next in line to be Alpha, has tragically lost his mate, our future Luna, Willow.
Not only do the Fischer’s mourn the loss of a mate and future daughter-in-law, but the entire pack mourns the loss of our future leader. It is, at this time, that I ask each and every member to take a moment of silence for Willow.
Stopping in my tracks, I hung my head, paying my respects to the departed future Luna of Bluestrike. I had never met Willow—much less known her—but the death of my future Luna would cut deep, nonetheless.