I’m Echo, a werewolf. Not exactly the first thing to start up a conversation with, right? No point in hiding it. I’ve done enough of that. Don’t go thinking that I’m so lucky and awesome because I’m a werewolf. In fact, our life is hard and very unforgiving with a constant fear of being caught, always living in fear. Being a werewolf is a curse! The only asylum is the home, the den and core of a werewolf pack. Even then, those homes are very secluded and there is still a lingering fear of invasion.
No one really has an knowledge of our history since the stories have been twisted, made evil or light of, and in some cases, romanticized. That’s the type I hate most of all, people who don’t know anything chocking our life up to be so great. Whether it be from fantasized stories of humans or other creatures roaming the dark among civilization.
How is being a werewolf a curse? To start most plainly and obviously, we’re wolves with human bodies and with human thinking but the wolf still holds the reins within us. No matter what the situation, we werewolves always revert to our instincts and won’t use human reasoning. Since birth we are trained to conceal who we are and imitate humans and their behaviors.
We’re also ‘marked’. Nowadays things like colored streaks in your hair, tattoo runes of curses, deformed appearance, unnatural skin tone, and other things are considered to be normal or unfortunate but, more than eight hundred years ago and even long before then, these attributes weren't normal at all, in fact if a werewolf ever showed its human face it would be chased and killed. Deformities and oddities caused terror and turmoil and werewolves would be treated like criminals, either caged for life to be mocked and mistreated or they would face death however it was accepted during the time period.
I’m glad I blend into society today. It's calming and almost reassuring that the fear I have today is incomparable to the past, however, humility is always taught in the home. It is similar to how some citizens of richer, more prosperous countries take for granted how well-off they are but we are reminded never to forget. I couldn’t bear to watch my family hunted down and killed. Especially Kuna, my cute six year old sister with her bright eyes and a knack for curiosity that usually leads to mischief and discipline. Dun, my younger brother, is not even old enough to attend preschool. Envisioning their deaths make me sick to my stomach.
Yet, even more, werewolves outside the pack are immediate enemies. Territories is one of the most important thing, second to the protection of the pack. Invasions spark defense mode and no wolf can be held accountable for attacking the strange mutts whether we’re in the mall, school hall, on the street, or in the woods. It can be verbal or it can be physical; usually isolated areas are more prone to full out battles in wolf form but even our human selves are capable of doing some damage. To keep this from happening, packs keep their whereabouts posted and updated to one another through a technology which also includes a map outlining territories. Humans are unable to stumble across it as it has coding and barriers that have never been breached before.
Our wolf forms are not that of a regular wolf in the sense that we are much bigger, the size of a brown bear for a typical male, however, not as overstated as the Twilight movies. Werewolves's curses are still boldly pronounced, whether it be loss of limb or tattoo, it will stand out more in wolf form than human. Not to mention, females are more likely to go into heat during the full moon but that is a different can of worms.
Lastly is our personalities. While our human selves want to be liked by others, have friends and experience things that define humans, the wolf part wants to stick to the pack. This usually gives werewolves strange personalities like being bipolar, aloof, timid or easily irritated. I have the last personality. I’m pretty popular in my school for it too, along with my hair that always has ‘rainbow highlights’ in its black and white based color. The disciplinary unit of our school has constantly been on me about it but I can’t do a thing about my Cruella de Vil haircut. Trying to die it doesn’t work at all! The hairs are immune, everlasting marks to remind me of my cursed personage.
Now, here I sit in class tapping my pen against the desk, staring at my portable calendar which had an illustration of the moon cycle across the top. I read over my assignments multiple times but the waxing and waning moon kept me filled with thoughts of who I was and the dangers surrounding it.
The class chatted around me ignoring my presence. It was lunch break and there was no cafeteria in the school since it was under renovation so we had to bring our lunch trays to the classrooms and back. I decided to starve instead. It would be humorous watching my old maid math teacher glance at me periodically from the front row with a look of frustration. She refused to move my seat as I could be a disruption to the class but I always found a way to make her day difficult which could be immensely entertaining if I was bored.
I turned my head towards the window, my nose twitching. I knew it was going to rain this morning when the skies were slightly cloudy, now they were a deep grey completely covering the sky and shadowing the ground with barely a trace of light. My ears could hear the thunder rumbling about eight miles off. It was coming in fast, and it was gonna be big. I had to get home as soon as possible because the rain would likely continue until the late hours of the night and I had forgotten to bring an umbrella with me.
Putting the thought aside, I glared at the chalk board with nothing written on it. Why a chalk board in this day and age? I knew the school was built in the mid-1900's but seriously, some extra renovations could be made here! About one hundred and fifty students attended this school per grade which wasn't very many but it still left the school feeling cramped.
I could hear whispers and shuffling footsteps against the carpet that tore my attention away from the window. “Echo? We’re with the school newspaper and we have a few questions.” Two girls with notebooks nervously stood near me looking expectant. I instantly wanted to run them off but just clenched my fist. My reputation in the school wasn't that great to begin with, I would be looked down upon even more if I shooed away the two girls. One was slightly overweight and short but her makeup was expertly done. Her outfit complimented her dark brown hair tied up. The other girl was the exact opposite, tall and thin with no makeup and round glasses. Her short, sandy hair reached just below her chin.
“Fire away,” I waved my hand. The sooner they got this over with, the better.
The tall girl gave a pause but suddenly blurted out, “I’m Jane Cross and this is Marilyn Dixon. We are interviewing students who have been given interesting titles within the school body and wondering what personal insight they recipients feel towards the labels they’re given. After much research, it seems you are most well-known for being a yankie.
“Yes,” Marilyn spoke up. “A person who is scary, violent, or known as a problem to usually the school system but could have some run-ins with the law.”
“Like a gang member?" My question was followed with two, almost simultaneous nods. "Sorry, I’ve never been called that to my face but it has a nice ring to it. I am easily annoyed which can make me intimidating I suppose but, unfortunately for your article, I haven't had any trouble with the law.
“So you’re saying the title fits you to a T and you like it?!" Jane leaned forward excitedly. Was I one of the only students that reacted positively?
“If you say so. Labels are just how people define others through opinions or experiences. If the majority of students consider me a yankie or whatever, it doesn’t mean it’s true or false, but in this case it can fit me in some perspective.”
“So,” Jane shoved her glasses higher up her nose before continuing to scribble away in her notebook, “can we quote you on that?”
“I don’t give a a rat’s behind whether you do or not,” I felt my nails dig into my palm so I decided to gnaw on them instead. The two just stared at me waiting for more and I had to cover up a literal growl with a cough.
“Thanks for your time,” Marilyn pulled on Jane's sleeve. She didn’t give the impression of whether or not she was pleased with my answer but Jane looked back at me as if she wanted to ask for more. She wasn't as good at judging the mood as Marilyn seemed to be.
When they were gone, I opened my palm to see nail marks embedded in them. At least they didn’t cut deep enough to bleed.
Someone tapped me on my shoulder from behind. I shivered unintentionally. I hadn't sensed their presence at all. “Ech~o,” the voice said sweetly. It was Jun, my Alpha's third son. He moved quickly and took the seat in front of me. He knew I could punch him through the door for scaring me like that. I knew how much higher in rank he was but we were the same age and had grown close over the years. He gave me permission to treat him as a close friend and not as a superior.
I took a peek behind me and noticed the left door propped open. I hated how the classes had two doors along the same wall leading to the hallway. Turning around, Jun asked me, “Got the interview too?” He scratched his sandy blonde hair, his green eyes analyzing me.
“Yes, apparently I’m a yankie.”
“I’m supposedly so bipolar I'm known as The Polar Bear,” Jun pointed to himself with an enthusiastic smile. His scar scrunched up with his dimples. He suddenly frowned, "Or was it just The Bear?"
Jun was born with three huge, red claw marks that started above his left eyebrow, over his eye, and down to the bottom of his cheek. You could say it resembled the symbol on the monster energy drinks yet clearly not a tattoo. The school system had sat down with Alpha and his wife, Alpha Mother and had a serious, long conversation about the origin of the scar. Obviously, their excuse was somewhat satisfactory but Jun was popular throughout the school due to his scar which made many people want to meet him. It made sense that, because so many people knew who he was and met him, that he would be interviewed for the paper's article.
I was considered one of the most fortunate ones out of werewolves since I only had colored hair. Poor Dun was crippled badly in his left leg for life. The pack's doctor promised there was a high chance Dun would be able to walk with the help of a cane but he'd need to do a lot of physical therapy first.
“Polar Bear, eh? I can see that. You look like you almost got mauled by one too."
That pricked a nerve. Jun’s face suddenly turned sour. “They don’t know a thing about me even though they think they do. I don’t even know most of their stupid names. Stupid idiots, every one of ’em.”
“Now now,” I reached across the space and patted his hand. “Calm down. Remember what your mom will do if she finds out you being violent.” Alpha Mother didn't really care about appearances but she did care about keeping everyone safe and could get very angry when Jun started trouble. She was the mother of three sons, she had to be tough. Jun was third oldest, the baby. Not only that but Jun was a beta making him very important with such a high ranking. The responsibility of it all sometimes got to Jun and he could lose his temper. His father was alpha of our pack which caused most of the stress. I guess it could be compared to being the prince of a country.
Thunder drummed across the sky gradually getting louder and shook the second floor room of this very old school building. The lightning was bright and flashed in groups of three. I wouldn’t be surprised if the power got cut off. As fun as it would be to see people freak out, the sound of girls squealing wasn't appealing. The stench of people’s fear drove my instinct to attack. I could literally rip the strongest boy in school to pieces. Guess that’s where my yankie label mainly originated from, my lack of care for my classmates and little to no fear of any of them.
“Follow me,” Jun nudged my arm then stood up. I went to follow him out of the room but paused at the whispers behind us.
“Jun’s so mysterious,” a girl said.
“He’s weird too,” a boy leaned forward, the desk creaking slightly at his weight. "You never know what he's going to do."
“Echo is scarier. She glares all the time.” A third party chimed in.
“She’s cute when she smiles though. Too bad the whole family is glued to each other. It’s like they don’t trust anybody.” I left after the last boy’s comment. I really didn’t want to know their opinion because it wouldn't change anything.
“Do I always glare,” I asked Jun as we walked down the hall. I could feel the stares from the other students as we passed them.
“Not always,” Jun tilted his head. “You do it a lot at school.”
“Oh,” I simply stated. It’s not as if I could always read my own expression. Should I? I shrugged the thought off. All I needed was a two week vacation and I’d feel much better.
“Where are we going,” I inquired as I followed him down the stairs.
“To the back doors.” Jun sped up with a broad smile. I couldn’t help but smile too.
The back doors was what we called the part of the old annex of the school that was rarely used and not cleaned very well. It was rumored that it wasn’t safe to go there at all but we wolves have faster reflexes than humans and can easily hear something like the give of the ceiling before it falls at all. The crowds and noise of students slowly faded until we reached the marked doors with a broken lock.
Jun opened the doors, the rain was already pouring down hard. I could feel mist as it whooshed through the cracks between the outer doors where a metal bar should have been. Jun locked the hall doors in place knowing that it was pointless.
“We should meet here during lunch more often,” Jun settled against the concrete floor. I laid with my back against one of the metal doors. "Not just come here to hang out and make fun of other people."
“What? You don't like making fun of the idiots in our school,” I whined dramatically.
There was a long moment of silence in which I just inhaled the smell of rain and welcomed the cool air. Jun did not seem as at ease as I was. He was always busier than a bee in springtime but this seemed different.
Jun swallowed for a moment before lifting his head. “Mom has given me the ‘privilege’ of marrying our third cousin Marigold. She thinks it will be a fine union since Marigold has clawed her way up the pack’s ranks to be beta material. Marigold knows she can’t be an alpha for Mozzy and Shue is a hopeless case.”
Mozzy was Jun’s older brother and heir to the pack. When Alpha retired or passed away, Mozzy would take his place. There didn’t seem to be any competition for the position either. I had to agree that Mozzy was a fine choice to inherit the alpha role. Shue was the middle son and couldn't be bothered with anything unless it had to video game designing. He reminded me of a stereotypical, carefree hippie.
“What about Mozzy? It’s Alpha’s choice who he weds as his mate. Lisa is the only other alpha material but that’s impossible.” Lisa was Jun’s first cousin and she was older than Mozzy. No boy messed with her or they would incur the wrath of her father. I envied her. I wanted a father to sometimes protect little ’ol me and to fight and play with as I grew up. Jun was the closest person to fulfill that role but it wasn’t the same.
“What about you? As the eldest daughter you must have a mate sooner or later, right?"
“Me? Have a mate? That's taboo for me in my opinion. I’ll be a spinster for life, only raising my siblings.”
“Don’t say that,” Jun kicked my knee playfully but I didn't need his pity. "Alpha will wed you to someone, even if you are a bit low in the pack ranking."
"Alpha isn't as generous as you think. Remember Carla?” We both winced at the memory. Carla was a deceased great aunt of ours. She’d lusted after a human, staying in his company more than the pack and Alpha found out. To try appease him, Carla tried to get close to a male in the pack who was lower in rank than she but that just infuriated Alpha even more. He cast her aside and the pack picked on her. She couldn't walk through the house without being taunted or nipped at. She eventually left the pack of her own accord. That is not how a werewolf’s life style should be in my opinion; we belonged to the pack and shouldn't bully others yet it made perfect sense to a wolf. There should be no loners. Ever.
Needless to say, Carla died from loneliness and was found dead in her low rent apartment, malnourished and had physically abused herself. The thought made any young member cringe and remember their place and duty. I have never loved romantically. Never. I don’t know the meaning of longing for a mate. I kept my head and knew my place in the pack. Carla wasn't the first wolf to be seriously distressed and die as she did after being a loved member of a pack for so long. There were loners that made it and were able to live a stable lifestyle by themselves but it wasn't often.
“We should return,” I stood. The sound school bell didn’t reach the old part of the building but my internal clock knew it was about to go off or had just done so. Jun could tell as well but didn't move. "Alpha Mother isn’t a reckless person. I’m sure she considered your engagement with great care, especially since you are her youngest son. Aren't the youngest the most spoiled?”
“It wasn’t always like this,” Jun’s anger filled my nostrils. As I was less dominant, I retreated a few steps. “Mates are for life. Even if your mate dies you cannot mate with another. We used to choose our mate. We used to have the power to know who our mate was when we reached maturity with just a look. Now it's like we are a monarchy from five hundred years ago, doing what our parents tell us to do. Isn't this America? A free country? Don't we get a little freedom outside the pack?”
I didn’t speak, I couldn’t. Unlike Jun I didn’t believe in love. I believed in an elder’s judgement. I mean, take a look at school students, they've dated and broken up faster than a kindergartner could spell Mississippi. Love was reckless unless planned out and matched well, but it was tempting to say I’d rather meet my mate by sight and learn what it felt like just to see them and fall in love. The thought of falling in love had crossed my mind but fear quickly buried the thought, like water spilling over notebook paper, ruining the paper and blurring the words.
I reached towards Jun and laying my hand on his shoulder. I knew I smelled of fear but this was Jun and he was pack. He wouldn’t hurt me, would he?
Jun grabbed my arm and I yelped. I squeezed my eyes shut. When nothing happened, I slowly opened them and found myself being hugged by him. Touch was very important to pack. It helped establish relationships and pack rank. Mates in the pack were always touching, whether hand in hand or tail to tail. Alpha was at his moodiest when Alpha Mother wasn't near him.
Jun released me and I stepped backwards, not making any sudden movements. Jun had relaxed a bit and stood across from me, trying not to look awkward. “I didn’t want to go back to class a wreck. Thanks Echo.”
I nodded, walking so close our shoulders were almost touching, as we returned to the populated part of the school. I remembered, once I reached my class, that we’d left the back doors open to sectioned of area.
The school day ended without any trouble and I decided to walk home instead of ride in the family car that always came to pick us up. There was usually three cars when all the family was at the school and each arrived at school at separate times, depending on who was ready for school first. I was usually in the second or third car as I always had to make sure my siblings were being cared for while I was gone.
Our town sat in between two very tall hills just outside of a mountain ranged which circled us like a bowl. No matter where you turned, you could only seem mountain peaks across the horizon. To keep our family safe from human onlookers, my pack owned nearly the entire western hill. It took me two hours to walk home. Thankfully the rain had stopped so I only had to deal with wet shoes as I crossed the highway and began my hike up the dirt road leading to our cabin-like mansion.
The trees were still a lush green, not yet turning colors as the season had yet to turn. I could smell the fresh pine through the cold air that blew from atop the mountain. The sun had begun to set shining streams of golden light between the trees accenting their shape. The bugs dove in and out of the light like small shadows casting themselves. The nocturnal would soon awake as all the other forest animals slumbered. I could easily ignore the squelching sound of my sneakers in the mud, just enjoying the view around me. This feeling made me come to understand why some werewolves chose to stay wolves and live apart from civilization, only using their human forms when necessary or not at all.
I hopped over the small potholes in my path. My slow steps began to quicken at the thought of seeing my siblings waiting for me.
When I reached the house the sun had set lower and most of the forest was just shrouded in shadows. The house sat firmly, bright, warm light emanating from within. Dinner would be soon and I had yet to start my homework. After climbing the stairs, I removed my shoes and set them beside them some smaller sets also covered in mud. My initials were under the tongue of my sneakers so I was not worried about them being mixed up with someone else.
It was warm inside, a nice respite to the chilly air. The hallway was empty and quiet, the polished wood floors glistening from the bright, golden lights of the two chandeliers spaced perfectly along the ceiling. There were four coat hangers, two on each side of the door but I didn't use them, tiptoeing down the hall to the staircase.
The first room I passed was immediately to my right, it was designed to be a sitting room for guests to keep them far from interacting with pack members or examining the house too closely. It was very classy and even had a small piano in it. Not much further down the hall was a wardrobe for pack members to use to put keys and other quick-to-grab items for on the go. Each drawer had multiple sectioned off areas with pack members names written within. No high school students or any younger wolves could have one, only adults with jobs. To make things more convenient, a mated pair shared the same compartment.
Right before the hall ended, a door leading to the left was the entry way to the offices. The pack was run like a business. Each pack member not only had to pay their taxes to the government but the pack also took 10% of pack member's paycheck to support the pack. To some it might sound cruel but it would be far crueler for there to be no lights. Vehicle tax, property tax, phone bills etc. were very important and covered by the pack, not the individuals so everyone gladly gave their percentage.
At the end of the hall was a wide entry way with the staircase directly across the way and the dining hall to the right with the kitchens beyond that. To the left were a couple guest rooms and bedrooms for handicapped pack members, whether they be cursed or elderly and unable to climb the stairs. There was a hall behind the staircase that had a closet full of mops, brooms, vacuums, sponges, and cleaning chemicals but after the closet, the hall took a sharp left turn that led to the giant library we owned. One side of the hall was completely windows which led to the back yard, the glass doors near the library.
I climbed the staircase, passing a couple young wolves racing down to the dining hall for supper. Perhaps it had already begun. I hoped Dun and Kuna were already seated, eating properly, using their manners. The room I shared with Dun and Kuna was on the second level at the very end of the hall. The red carpet with golden thread design along the sides of the hall reminded me of a hotel. The carpet was firm but soft at the same time. When I reached my room, I used my key to open it and merely through my belongings haphazardly before shutting the door and racing down the stairs as well.
As I pushed open the double doors to the dining hall, the smothered din became a cacophony of voices, clinking silverware and laughter. I winced before quickly adjusting. Dinner was served like a buffet. It was easier than setting out food on fourteen tables where everyone could get a little bit of everything. I stood on my tiptoes searching the tables. They were sectioned off by rank and then there was the two kids tables. I could see Kuna gabbing with some of her cousins. Still searching for Dun, I weaved through the tables looking for one of the female werewolves who were in charge of the young when the parents were unable to watch them. It saved on babysitters but I didn't want to impose on them too much by leaving Dun with them for too long.
“ Echo!" My blood froze as I turned to the head table where Alpha was ripping at a turkey leg. His mate, Alpha Mother, was waving me over. Reluctantly, and quickly, I raced over to the table. I stooped low and bared my neck in submission. Alpha Mother acknowledged the gesture with a nod "My son, Jun, is acting strange. I am told you two sometimes are seen around school with one another. Do you have any clue as to what is wrong with him?"
I swallowed. Did Jun want me to be silent about knowing his engagement to Marigold? But this was Alpha Mother. She meant business when it came to her sons and if I didn’t mean to answer...well, a couple outcomes could occur.. Alpha Mother wasn’t barbaric but her father had been weak making her sometimes firmer and show her strength so she wouldn't get the same reputation as her father. Wolf instinct I suppose.
Licking my lips I opened my mouth, “He hasn't greeted you since he got home?"
“Greeted me?” Alpha Mother sounded sad and upset. "I haven't even seen him since this morning. I know he is here but he is evading me." She pursed her lips, quite put out.
I glanced at Alpha who was listening to a wolf reading off information off of a clipboard. "Jun seems to question a decision that was made for him by Alpha Mother from what I have determined, but know that he would not go against your wishes."
“That is all you know?” Alpha Mother was pressing me for answers I didn’t know I could give. I didn't want this conversation to run too long before Alpha got involved.
“I believe Jun wants to be the one to discuss this matter with you. As you know he likes to ‘take the bull by the horns’ so the saying goes.”
“You are meaning he would like to tell me himself?” I merely nodded avoiding making eye contact. I was sweating. I dared a glance up at her. Her eyebrows were scrunched and lips pursed once more. She was containing her fury.
“Very well, take your leave now Omicron. Call Jun to me.” Alpha Mother called me by my status. She meant business.
“Yes Alpha Mother,” I retreated, running out of the dining hall pissed off at Jun. I wanted to eat and see my siblings and now I had to go looking for him. I didn't know where he liked to hang out. His room? The game room? No, neither of those, I grew more desperate in searching for Jun. I finally found him in Alpha's study on the third floor from where I had heard voices. He was with Mozzy and his other older brother Shue. I ignored the two older brothers and swung my head towards Jun, “Alpha Mother wants you.” I looked only at Jun though all three males bodies tensed before Jun set the book down he was holding and jogged out of the room.
I realized I was shaking from running all over the house. I turned to leave but heard footfalls. Looking up, Shue was crossing the room and embraced me. The warmth calmed me and I stopped quivering. Touch was important but this was weird and I was probably sweaty. I tried to get a look at Shue but his lollipop stick was about to poke my eye out.
“You said Alpha Mother called? What was so important?,” Mozzy put a place marker in his book and shut it, not taking his eyes off me.
“I think it is confidential.” I didn’t dare look him in the eyes. Shue was still holding to me but moved into more of a side hug. It was normal for him to be clingy to anyone.
“But you know?”
“Are you immune to the pack rules Mozzy,” I grew strangely confident against him. He was being a Nosy Pants as my sister would say.
Mozzy watched me intensely, “I will be notified none the less.” He then turned towards the desk.
My anger got the best of me and I released it on Mozzy instead of Jun. “You cocky high and mighty alpha’s son! Do you not know the meaning of privacy? You are not ready to be Alpha yet. Power does not mean control. You have yet to learn that.”
Before I could blink, Mozzy had pushed Shue away from me and slapped my cheek. I whined at the pain but only shortly.
“You overstep your rank omicron,” Mozzy stood over me staring at me. I made eye contact for three seconds before looking away. He made me so mad sometimes. I had to learn to control it though. When he became Alpha I couldn’t treat him like this. It was normal for us to be confrontational but I tried to keep away from Mozzy so it didn't become normal between us.
“Actually,” Uncle Benny, a beta, strutted into the room, “she’s been promoted from omicron to xi.” Xi was the rank just above omicron. I swung my head to Uncle Benny. He was tall with a shaggy brown hair and grey stubble, looking slightly handsomer than his older brother, Alpha. He wore a green shirt and brown pants with matching suspenders. It really looked good on him. He was an archaeologist and had just returned from Egypt on a curious dig near the Red Sea. Alpha didn't like his younger brother so far from the pack for too long. It wouldn't look good if Uncle Benny became a deserter and loner but Uncle Benny's excuse was that he just got so absorbed in work that he couldn't keep track of days, never making it back the day Alpha had assigned.
Alpha and Uncle Benny were only a year apart so neither was scared of the other. It was just courtesy that Alpha set deadlines for his brother to follow, letting him cross the line just a little bit every time, but never too far.
“Says who?” Mozzy turned to Uncle Benny. He was the only person who didn’t hang around Uncle Benny like a puppy whenever he returned with stories and artifacts.
“Alpha said."Uncle Benny pulled me out from under Mozzy’s shadow. “She passed a test. Don’t know what the test was but she passed it.” Looking down at me he smiled, “You may become nu, then mu and then a lambda!” If I had my tail out, it’d be wagging. Uncle Benny could just say the best things in the world to cheer anyone up.
“Or maybe a Pi,” Mozzy spat out before stomping out of the room. I growled when he was gone. Pi was below omicron. I didn't know why he was in a bad mood but it was putting me in a worse mood.
“Ah don’t pay attention to Mozzy, he’s just PMS-ing.” Uncle Benny lifted me off the ground which took me aback, “Congrats kiddo! You’re Mom would’ve been proud." I blinked back joyful tears at that.
My mother was supposed to be great cousin Stan’s mate but she and three other pack females were victim to rape. All three became pregnant but none were kicked from the pack. In fact, Alpha coddled them until the pups were twenty-four months. My mom had Kuna and Dun but when I was fourteen, she was hit by a semi truck saving a pup on a full moon. Alpha Mother gave her a proper burial but I was stuck as her replacement for an infant Dun and a young Kuna.
Shue ruffled my hair like I was a little pup even though he was just a year older than I was. Without speaking he gave me a thumbs up. I knew the reason he didn't speak was he didn't want to take his lollipop out of his mouth but it was fine. We all left the study with smiles on our faces.