I stared out into the forest, just watching the forest dwellers get about on their business.
When I walked by, they stopped all activity, knowing that a predator was near, but I wasn’t hungry. I had hunted last night and choked down what I could. My appetite always seeming to leave me this time of year. It was a nearly a month until my birthday and I always felt extra lonely whenever it came around. A cold reminder that I was alone.
I needed to feel comforted and the only place in the whole forest was just beyond these tree’s. It was a frozen lake, with willow trees all around it. Being the middle of winter, it was covered in snow and ice, the only thing to stand out in the rising sun, was the darkness of the bark. The morning sun would hit the icicles hanging from the trees, creating a shimmering of lights. It really was a beautiful place to go and just be at peace. It was my one and only solace, a place untouched by the cruelty and destruction of man .
Sighing as I sat under one of the tree’s, crossing my legs and watching the sun rise. I watched the sun’s light slowly creeping up along the horizon to dance across the icicles hanging from the branches of the tree. Taking a deep breathe I closed my eyes and let myself go. Tracing my silver snowflake pendent on my chest, with my finger, I couldn’t help reflecting back on my past.
It’s was my 13th birthday, and I stayed up most of the night helping my mom with the decorations for my party. So naturally I slept in a bit late.
My brother burst through my bedroom door and shouted at the top of his lungs happy birthday. Which woke me up. Groaning with the lack of sleep, and still feeling overly tired, I groggily said, “Go away Jake.” and then burrowed further below the haven of my warm blankets.
I wasn’t feeling well last night, I had started getting a fever and my mom wanted to cancel the party, but I told her not to worry, that by tomorrow I would be okay. I never usually get sick so she was a bit reluctant, but caved in the end.
My brother Jake, usually liked to annoy me, being two years older than me and practically my twin, but then again I liked to annoy him too. We had an easy relationship. We teased each other all the time.
“Awe, come on Em’s it’s your birthday and everyone’s waiting for you to get up so we can start the day. Your guests will be arriving soon.”
He sat down next to me on my bed and I felt the bed dip so I pulled the covers tighter. He tried to pry the covers from my head, with no such luck.
I felt him getting off the bed. Ha, ha victory is mine. Making myself comfortable once again I snuggled into my covers and started drifting off to sleep.
“ARGH, what the hell!” I gasped, jumping out of bed, while Jake jumped back laughing his head off.
“That was epic, you should have seen your face.”
I glared at him, he still had the glass in his hand, which used to be filled with ice cold water.
Water was still dripping from my face and my hair was soaked. I glanced down at my once warm ‘dry’ bed and realized that there was no way that I was going back to sleep now.
“I’m going to get you for that.” I said grabbing a pillow and chasing him around my room with it. He set the glass down and picked up a pillow of his own.
“Never on your life snowflake.”
My actual name was Emmaline or Emma for short, but Jake loved calling me that. Snowflake was a nickname he gave me when we were little. I used to play in the snow for hours and sometimes went so far as to sneak out to play outside when it was snowing. I just loved it, the color, the way everything looked so different, so clean. It reminded me of all the good times, the laughter, the hours of fun, the sled races, not to mention snow days. After a while, people started calling me snow except for Jake, he only ever called me snowflake, and I was fine with that, I just didn’t want anyone else calling me Snowflake because it was what Jake called me, it was his name for me and to be honest, it made me feel a little special when he called me that, it was something that only we shared.
“Come on Jake, quit it” I swung with all my might and he never even budged, he just kept on laughing. Which made me even more upset.
“No fair.” I threw my pillow down and pouted like a three year old.
“Fine I give, in any case I got you this.” He walked over to the bed and sat down, I followed him and sat next to him.
He pulled out a long velvet black box from his back pocket. It had Tiffany’s written on the front of it.
I gasp, “Jake, you shouldn’t have, this must have cost a fortune.”
He chuckled, “You know Snowflake, the real gift is inside. The box was for free.”
“I know that you idiot.” I said play punching him.
He chuckled and I opened up the box and looked inside. It was a beautiful gold necklace, with a single silver snowflake at the end. It was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen.
“Oh, Jake it’s beautiful, but you shouldn’t have. This must have cost you a fortune.” I hugged him, trying not to sob at the gesture and he hugged me back.
“You're welcome Snowflake. When I saw it I had to get it for you. And quit saying I shouldn’t have otherwise I’ll take it back.”
“Fine, fine I’ll quit saying you shouldn’t have.” I rolled my eyes at him and pulled out of our hug.
“Ouch.” Suddenly my left bicep stung like hell, and I pulled up my sleeve to see what bit me, but when I lifted my sleeve I saw a strange mark forming on its own. Holy crap!
It was a round hollow circle, nice and big, taking up the space of my upper arm.
“What the hell?” Jake said taking my arm to get a better look at it.
When it was done, we looked at each other, and back at my arm.
Then I felt it. The most horrendous pain I had ever felt, shooting up my side. It was so searing that I crumpled to my knees screaming. Jake let go of my arm, thinking that he had hurt me, but then he saw me grabbing my side.
“Emma, what’s wrong.” He looked so worried, and scared. “MOM… SOMETHINGS WRONG WITH EMMA.” He looked like he was close to tears, worry etched all over his face. He called me Emma, he never calls me Emma unless he’s serious.
The pain was spreading and it felt like my blood was on fire. My muscles were pulling in every direction. I shut my eyes tight hoping that the pain would ease up. I fell to the floor and landed on my blankets, which were strewn all over.
Jake reached down and brushed my tears away. I didn’t even realize I was crying. His hand felt so cool on my skin I never wanted him to pull it away from my face.
My mom and dad burst through the door, and they looked over to me and Jake.
“What happened?” My mom said rushing to my side. Dad was next to me in a second.
“I don’t know, this thing appeared on her arm and she fell to the floor.
“What thing?” My dad asked, while Jake grabbed my arm.
I heard both my parents gasp and gave each other a knowing look.
“Emmaline, sweetie, its going to be okay. Just breathe baby, we’re here for you?”
I could see panic and worry in their eyes and I opened my mouth to tell them that my body was on fire but nothing came out except a silent scream for the never ending pain.
“She’s burning up. It’s the change. Sarah get some ice, Jake go run the bath with cold water.”
My dad kept talking to me, saying soothing words, but I wasn’t listening I was in too much pain.
“Papa, it hurts.”
“I know sweetie, I’m so sorry, it’ll be over soon”
My dad already trying to unwrap me from the blanket lying on the floor from the pillow fight Jake and myself had. He reached down to pick me up, and carried me to the bathroom, but before he got a chance, there was a loud snap and I felt my arm break. I looked up to see my dad with a horrified and sympathetic look on his face. My mom and brother hadn’t left the room yet, stopping when they heard my arm break.
“This can’t be happening. Her body might not be able to handle the transition” My mom burst into tears.
“Don’t worry love, Jake did fine.”
What transition? What are they talking about? Did Jake go through this as well? Before I could ask, I felt my leg bend the wrong way involuntary. My body felt like it was attacking itself and all I could do was lay there and take it. I watch the horrified and sympathetic looks of my family as my bones broke one by one. My brother holding my hand and telling me everything was going to be alright, my mom and dad on the other side of me doing the same thing. I laid there trying to catch my breathe, when I felt my spine break. I couldn’t take it anymore, I passed out from the pain.
When I next woke up, I was in the basement, and sunlight shone through a small window above me, barely filtering in the light. Even though there was a little light, I could see like I was outside on the brightest day. Everything was more defined, more focused.
How did I get here and why am I in the basement? Had I been passed out all day?
There was nobody around me, none of my family members. I was all alone. I felt a little tired after all the pain and I got up shakily.
Getting up the few flights of stairs from the basement was a nightmare, not to mention opening the door. Now that was near impossible.
When I finally reached the top I was so tired I had to sit to catch my breath.
Looking around the kitchen, I noticed that everything was a mess and I walked around. My whole house was a mess not just the kitchen, what the hell happened? I walked down the hallway and saw something, backing up a bit, I saw a wolf.
I jumped back and so did the wolf. We stared at east other, the wolfs’ coat was white and black with a tiny round patch of grey fur above its heart. The face was white and under its eyes was black… kind of like it had heavy eyeliner on. The black part of its fur started from it’s ears, running along its back. It looked like a black cloak draped over its back, snaking down to its legs, leaving the paws, belly, chest and the tip of the tail white. The small round patch of grey on its chest was a strange color. It looked more silver than grey, it kind of reminded me of the moon. The same silvery color of the moonlight on a cloudless night. Its eyes were crystal blue, almost white in color. I took a step towards it. Maybe it was a friendly wolf. The wolf took a step with me.
We stared some more and I tilted my head and the wolf did the same, I lifted my hand to it and the wolf lifted a paw. I looked at my hand and saw a paw.
WHAT THE HELL! I’m the freaking wolf. But how? My eyes are dark brown almost black, but the wolfs eyes are crystal blue. How the hell can a human turn into a wolf.
Freaking out, freaking out… okay maybe it’s a dream, just wake up.
I shut my eyes tight. Come on Em, wake up, wake up. I open my eyes slowly. The wolf was still there in the mirror. I was still a wolf.
Nope, nope. Not a dream, not a dream. I’m freaking out again. I think I'm about to hyperventilate... can a wolf or thing whatever I am hyperventilate?
I need to find my family, maybe they can tell me what the hell was going on. I went to my room and found my necklace that Jake gave me and picked it up with my mouth. I didn’t get a chance to wear it.
I heard a car speeding away just outside breaking my internal struggle, and ran to the front door. I got outside just in time to see the back of my brother and Dad’s head in our family car speeding down the road. I ran after them shouting for them… or barking, whatever. Dropping the necklace in the process.
They never slowed down, they never even looked back. I felt like my heart just broke into a million pieces.
I looked up to the sky and howled, with all that was in me. My family left me, was it because they were afraid of me? Of what I’ve become?
I stood there in the empty street, with the sun setting behind me. I’ve been in that agony whole day, and my family just left me, alone and scared.
What am I?
I turned back around and walked slowly back to my house, picking up the necklace on the way back. Before I got to the house I saw men with guns, running around it.
Were they looking for me? Did my family call them to come get me?
I stayed in the back, running to the forest for cover and watched them destroy my house, my whole life. Burning everything I have ever known for the past thirteen years to the ground. I silently cried as I watched my house get destroyed.
I ran into the woods, barely able to see with the tears. I ran until I couldn’t run anymore, and I’ve stayed here ever since.
That was nearly five years ago, and I still can’t get over the abandonment feelings, the pain and loss of the people that were my so-called-family.
Closing my eyes and taking a deep calming breathe.
My eyes suddenly flew open. I heard voices coming from the distance, snapping me out of my thoughts.
I sniffed the air.
Wolves… male werewolves.
I let out a low growl. As long as I’ve been living in these woods, I’ve come across males wolves. Vicious and uncaring of the females. I was fortunate that when I was younger, my dad made me take self defense classes and I was pretty good at it too, sometimes competing in competitions. My skills had come in handy, the first time I came across them.
I was so excited at first to find out that I wasn’t alone, there were other’s like me, and to find out what I was, but that soon changed when they tried to attack me and carry me off to lord only knows where. I managed to get away but they kept coming here looking for me. Sometimes they would carter woman around and I would help save the woman. Sometimes I was lucky and other times, not so much.
They tried to find me and I notice after a while they gave up. I could mask my scent and partial shift. A feat that was beyond hard to master. It happened by mistake at first.
I was on my first hunt and a bear came out of nowhere, I was in human form and ended up shifting my torso and face into my wolf form keeping my human legs, making me look like the werewolves from those old horror movies. It gave me the upper strength of my wolf that I needed and the height of the bear. To my amazement, I managed to chase the bear away.
Since then I have learned how to control it. I haven’t seen anyone else partial shift. It comes in handy sometimes.
I got up from my spot under the willow tree. It would be easy to see me, because I was in all black, while I was surrounded by snow. I stuck out like a sore thumb. I thought about shifting to my wolf to blend in, but reconsidered. It would be easier to take them out in human form, making myself a smaller target and besides I had my swords with me.
Smirking, I got to a dark spot between the tree’s and saw two men carrying an unconscious girl. She looked to be about my age.
They were taking her away like they did Annabel.
Suppressing my emotions, I got into a good launching spot from the top of the tree’s, with a ghost of a smile, I waited for my perfect moment to take these assholes down.