This novel is limited to 100 free copies due to its part in Inkitt’s Novel Contest.
Water soaked my fur and chilled me to the bone. The surface of the water was growing ever so far away, and my feeble strokes couldn’t reach it.
Gone, lost in the lake... after I got out of the Clearing. I shouldn’t have snuck out, I knew I shouldn’t have. But.. he chided me... He made it sound like such fun, to sneak out of camp at night and race around the forest. For all I know, he’s dead now. He insisted in chasing some prey in a rival pack’s territory while he let me get a head start. That surely was an offense in the Pack of Whispering Stars.
I failed my Pack... I chastised myself inwardly with the thoughts I could muster out of the murkiness. I trained so hard, I became a Scout. Then I threw it all away.
A shape was floating through the water toward me. No, it was moving, propelling closer. It was some kind of creature, it’s paws churning, fighting through the undertow. And then I knew. I was losing my mind now, hallucinating things.
The mind-conjured wolf neared me and reached the jagged rocks that had jarred my pelt when I landed on them. They reached out ever so swiftly, snapping and then finally grasped my scruff in their fangs. The wolf was an image, but the feeling of the grip was real.
He pulled me up through the water, as I felt it tugging at my fur. Am I dead? Am I entering the Place of our Ancestors? The dead, powerful wolves who my Pack prided in and sought advice in?
Vision was lost. Ebony stretched out and I couldn’t see anything. My eyes were of no use, and I could feel my body still traveling up through the water.
The creature guiding me to the spirits grunted with the effort of hauling me through the water. He still kept going, using up the last effort and strength he had. The blurred picture I had of the wolf disappeared, and I no longer remember who the ghost carrying me looked like.
Gone, gone, gone.... I’m gone...
Suddenly I felt a ripping at my scruff as the wolf jerked my upward. My head broke into air. It rushed into my ears and I could feel it swarming around my head. Instinctively, I sucked in the air as if it was a drink of river water, relishing it and gulping it down. Feeling slowly returned, and I exhaustedly kicked out with my hind paws.
My eyes opened slightly, scanning where I was. The wolf who was churning beside me was clearer now, fighting the current stronger than I could. His pelt was light gray intermingled with white underfur. His ears were pinned to his head but were long and furry.
I knew I wasn’t hallucinating. I was saved. I am alive and breathing and still dwelling here on Earth as is the rest of my pack. “Lumus?” I coughed. He didn’t get caught. My brother is alive.
Lumus turned his head towards me for a second. He motioned to the land a few strides in front of us. “Stop murmuring and get to the bank.” He drew a deep breath, then kicked out and swam with caution to the bank.
After I felt like I had enough air to last me a whole season, I threw my paws forward. Swimming is unusual for the Pack of Whispering Stars; we represent light, spirits, the sun, the stars. All packs have a right to the Moon, so though it is made of pure light, we cannot claim it. I huffed as I crawled up onto the bank. My chest heaved for air as I shook out my drenched fur on the shore.
“Hey!” Snapped Lumus. “Stop splattering that all over me! An outsider would think you are from the Pack of Swirling Waves.” He angrily sat down and started to lap at his wet fur with disgust.
“Sorry,” I apologized, copying him and sitting down myself. Suddenly I felt a pressure in my lungs. With effort, I leaned toward the shore and retched up mouthfuls of water. My head hurt from the pressure, but at least now I could breathe without much impediment.
Lumus turned away from me. He shook his head in distaste and shock at the water that had filled my throat. ”Soleis, I swear, you are part fish."
"I am not," I retorted with a sweep of my plumy tail. My pure white fur distinguished me from the shadows. A question gnawed at the edge of my mind. "Hey," I decided to ask carefully. "How did you know I fell down there? Weren't you hunting?"
Suddenly Lupus froze, only lashing his tail slightly. The question seemed to disturb him. His gaze wavered, but he did his best to shrug. "Yeah, I was hunting. Heard you fall when I was coming back."
Curiosity got the better of me. "Who's territory were you hunting on?"
"The scent markers were hidden," dismissed my brother.
"Yeah, right. Who's territory were you hunting on? I won't tell." Confusion flashed in my mind. Where was his catch if he had gone hunting? "Where's your catch?"
"It's none of your buisness."
"Yes, it is. Don't tell me and I'll tell them it was your idea to sneak out at night to have a race around our little piece of the forest."
Lumus trembled with reluctance. Every time I see my brother, he is strong and bold, willing to go at any enemy or challenge that awaits him. Now he is hiding, staying silent. What could he be afraid to tell me?
Finally he shook himself and looked at me. He looked tired, older then he was. "Really, Soleis, I wasn't on any other pack's territory. I wouldn't be that stupid, would I?"
A strange pricking sensation went up my spine, but I ignored the chill and got up to shake out my fur. "I guess you wouldn't," I lied. "Race?"
As my brother nodded and stood up, I avoided his gaze. I know him enough to tell that he was keeping something from me. He went somewhere tonight, and it was not on our Pack's territory. But if he wasn't, where was he, and what was he doing?
MavisMcQueen: "To Live Again" is a well crafted, highly engaging, heart vibrating tale surrounding our favorite Elven King. The author will keep you engrossed until the very end and by that time you will feel so strongly for Clara and the other characters that you will never want it to end...like ever. Thrandu...
Leah Brown: This was an amazing read! I was hooked from the very first chapter, holding my breadth to see what would happen next. The characters are rich and vibrant, and the world Danielle has created is fascinating. If you love YA, you MUST read this book. Such a smart, brilliant debut novel. I loved it!
Sammi Chan: THIS WAS AMAZING!!! My favorite part of this story was the slow build of Merlin and Arthur's relationship. Their relationship was rlly nicely fleshed out and so good :) The way that you handled the magic reveal was super enjoyable. I rlly liked the switching POVs. Good!Mordred was cute and I'm rl...
tyleroakleyfan: thank you for writing this story I loved it. it was great I enjoyed every minute of it I couldn't stop reading you did a fantastic job. Thanks for killing ron he was starting to piss me off. he was being a dick. I love that you made it a gay love story its about time someone did. love it great job.
mrh: This interesting take on the Harry Potter series fascinated me from line one on. I am in love with this tale and its characters and cannot wait to read the next chapter. I look forward to more soon.When can I expect the next chapter? I am so excited to read it!
FreakyPoet: "you made me laugh, made me cry, both are hard to do. I spent most of the night reading your story, captivated. This is why you get full stars from me. Thanks for the great story!"
Sara Joy Bailey: "Full of depth and life. The plot was thrilling. The author's style flows naturally and the reader can easily slip into the pages of the story. Very well done."