Chapter 1: Shame
My 18th birthday…
Today, my clan have come together to the Grand Hall. It is about my failure to transform; it did not help that I did not have a wolf inside me.
Oh, goddess… I always sit by myself at an empty table, watching people carrying on with their conversation, taking bites of my steak quesadilla. I had hoped to avoid this day when my clan would decide my fate after lunch.
“Citizens of Great Rock!” Everyone stood at attention except me. “The Alpha is among us!”
The Alpha is my dad… He came down the hall wearing his white fur coat with his chest being bare. He has scars on his face and all over his body. His hair had the brunet coloring, with the sides being gray. We Lycans can live long lives, longer than humans, who can live up to 120 years, I believe.
As he arrived at his throne and sits down, I have a feeling… He thinks I am a disappointment to my clan that I could not… My hands are shaking so much; I have a tough time remaining relaxed… if he calls for me…
“My people! Have a seat!” His voice carried power as it was projected throughout the hall. Most people would know better than to speak during that time. “Where is my son?” Oh, no…
“Father!” Someone snatched me by my wrist… Reagan! He pulled me from my table and dragged me toward father. “Here is the ‘human’ that’s been hiding among us!” They are laughing at me as I was powerless to fight off his grip.
“Brother… you’re…” I winced as soon as he tightens his grip on my wrist.
“Oh, I am hurting you?” He smirked at me. No, please… “What are you doing to do, Brother? Cry? Beg me to let you go, hmm?” Everyone sees what is going on. They saw Reagan was dragging me to father by force. They did not care, as they found it amusing that he was dragging me by my wrist. “You are weak, little brother! Just like-”
“Reagan! Let him go!” That is my sister’s voice! Tilda, the current commander of the Great Rock Clan’s Swift Runners. She has no tolerance for my eldest brother’s cruelty towards me. “Or do I need to come down there?”
“Sister! You forget your place, woman! Nobody tells me what to do!” He is beating his chest.
“Brother! The Alpha wants him to step forward. He didn’t ask you to drag him toward the throne, did he?” Pwyll, the clan’s historian and second eldest brother in my family, speaks up. “You heard the commander. Let him go! If you don’t… I swear by the Huntress… I WILL RIP OUT YOUR FUCKING THROAT!”
“Oh? And what are you going to do-” My father rose from his throne. The minute he did, Reagan loosened his grip on my wrist. My father motions for me to approach… I do not want to know what will happen if I don’t come over there.
The decisive moment
As I moved toward the throne, my heart beats like a drum. I tried to take deep breaths… Asthma… I grab my inhaler to give my lungs the ability to breathe. My father motioned for me to stop as he sat back on his throne. I didn’t have the words to speak…
“My son…” He speaks. “You know what today is?”
“M-M-My 18th Birthday, Alpha…” I looked down at the floor. I can’t-
“LOOK AT ME!” I snapped up to face my father. “Do not look away from me, boy! You disappointed me enough already.”
“Y-Y-Y-” I cannot… I cannot…
“What happened to you, boy? Have you lost the ability to speak, now?”
“No, what?” My father is glaring at me. I took steps back… “Are you trying to leave without my permission?” The guards are blocking the exit. I would be no match for them if I tried to get past them.
“I-I-I…” Speaking is difficult… Every word was a struggle…
“Pathetic… You are indeed an ill-omen. A bane to your family and this clan!”
“I tried… I tried, father!” I… I did not think those words would come out.
“You tried?” He is smiling. Did… Did I make him angry? When that happens, nothing good will come out of it. “You had 18 years to trigger to gain the power to shift…” I listened as he explained, my heart is beating so much, my nerves are even melting like I have been put through the fire… “I had expected you to be a half-wolf, a partial wolf, or even better the full wolf! What did I get instead?” Oh, no… “A FAILURE!” His voice reverberates throughout the hall…
“I am a failure…” tears fell from my face… I tried to show my father I can transform and show my strength… For 17 years of my life, I trained under Tilda in the art of combat, Pwyll in the art of history & philosophy to find the wolf inside me, so I can be strong just like the others in the clan
“Yes, my son! You are a failure.” His face twisted the moment he saw the tears on my face. “Now, you are showing—”
“No! NO! I’m not!” I had to blurt something… Knowing my father, he despises weakness, especially from his children. “I am not… showing any weakness, father.”
“You lie, boy! Those were tears I see on your face… Tears of a weak man without his wolf!” I… “I should have allowed you to die long ago, boy, if I had known you were so worthless!”
“Why did you continue to raise me, then?” Now… Why would my father say this? “You didn’t-”
“Silence!” I closed my mouth… “I am talking, boy! It was your mother and your siblings that talked me out of throwing your worthless, pathetic ass out in the cold. Even the Sayers prophesied your birth that you would be an Ill-Omen among us. Weak, worthless, and in poor health.”
“Please give me another chance, father! I can prove that-”
“You had your chances, my son! You bleed too easily, being fragile like fine glass, you whine and cry like a mewing baby. You don't even have any life experiences, nor did you win any battles! Why keep you around when you embarrass me and this clan?!” He turned his back on me. He… He… He…! “Forevermore, you are exiled from Great Rock, Quinn Dewalt! Finished!! You are to leave before the sun goes down under the threat of being torn limb by limb.”
“But father...! Where would I go?” I pleaded with him to reconsider.
“Hey, Quinny! You are better off living as a human than being one of us.” My youngest brother Nathaniel mocks me, as he is enjoying the fact that I’ve been exiled from my clan. I gritted my teeth as he laughed at me with his finger.
“I AM A LYCAN!” I snapped back. “Father! You can’t do this! YOU CAN’T JUST TOSS ME AWAY LIKE TRASH!”
“Oh, and what are you going to do about it, boy? Fight your old man? Please! Get him out of my sight!” The guards dragged me away. But… I will not…
“Oh, yeah? Is that how you treated mother?!” The hall stood quiet. The guards stopped for but a moment. “Is that how you treat your son like he is a piece of garbage?!”
“Quinn, don’t!” Pwyll raised his hand for me to stop, but I won’t… not after all the crap that my father has given me
“You are such a…” I clenched my hands. “Bastard! You treated mother like she was a trophy to be won!” My father lunged at me the moment I said it. He grabbed me by the throat, leaving me to dangle in the air. “And… you know what?” He squeezes my throat tighter. “I bet… she… thinks of you… as a rotten bastard!”
The moment I spoke out against my father, his eyes glowed with red fury… furious that I dared to disrespect him.
He yelled at the top of his lungs to slam me down on the floor; I felt a rib breaking… He grabbed my right arm, breaking it like a twig. I screamed for my life as my father wasted no time breaking the other arm and then my legs…
I can’t… feel them… my father kicks the side of my abdomen, breaking every rib he can find.
“FATHER! STOP! THAT IS ENOUGH!” Tilda… like a lion, devouring his prey. He pushes her away with a shove.
“FATHER! PLEASE, YOU ARE KILLING HIM!” Pwyll… I should not have… “HE IS YOUR SON!”
“HE IS NO LONGER MY SON! MY FLESH AND BLOOD!” Father… “STAND IN MY WAY AND YOU’RE NEXT!” Pwyll cried out as… my father… continue… to pummel me…
Someone… urgh… please…