It's close to midnight. What's left of Maxwell's body had been burnt since 3 pm and the ashes spread across the lake at 4. The packs are all gathered around the fire. I stood behind the crowd, leaning against Maxwell's house. I'm not big on crowds, I prefer to be alone with my thoughts. I guess it's the fear of being close to them then having their wolf sense mine as a threat and it stirs some kind of uproar of sorts. My wolf isn't exactly obedient, to begin with at night, I'm surprised at how dormant he is now.
The faint muttering our elder, Issa Gann, was masked by the howling wind singing symphonies along with the trees and bugs. The hairs on the back of my neck stood up. I looked towards the lake and saw blue Northern Lights appeared in the starry sky, momentarily a sparks of green flooded the sky. It was the most beautiful thing I've ever seen. My body trembled, my wolf was awakening. I gripped onto the house tearing a chunk of the side, I lifted my hand to my face staring at my claw. Stay down, I ordered him. My canines grow tearing into my lip, blood running down my chin. STAY DOWN! I yelled at him and for the first time in my entire life, he obeyed. My crawls broke off and my fingernails regrew themself and my canines return to normal. I blew a sigh of relief. That was a close one.
When the packs began to hum harmoniously I knew it was the beginning of the ceremony. A flash of violet stuck the sky signaling the ancestors have made their decision. I turned my attention back to the packs and found them staring up at the sky, swaying their heads side to side. The humming started to get louder growing more frightening by the minute. My body staggers, my wolf stirred inside of me. It was like his claws we're tearing my chest to shreds. My head fell back. I thought I would be humming involuntary by now but instead, my wolf whimpering. Trying to clawing his way out.
My vision flashed black and white. A sharp pain in the pit of my stomach knocked me to my knees. It felt like a chainsaw was ripping into my flesh. I groaned. I looked at the pack, who are now sitting still. The pain intensified, especially on the left arm where Maxwell branded the crescent mark on me. I lifted my sleeve and watched in shock as the mark faded away. They're kicking me out? Are the ancestors kick me out of the pack?
I tried to plead to them but only whimpering left my lips. I didn't do anything wrong please don't this. I pleaded through my thoughts. The pain became excruciating, I hunched over throwing up. I closed my eyes, accepting my fate. I gritted my teeth and squeezed my eyes shut.
I cleared my mind and drifted off.
The pain abruptly stops and I felt like I was flying. I opened my eyes. To my surprise, I was running so fast it was like my feet weren't touching the ground. It felt exhilarating. My body was on autopilot as I ran through the forest. I didn't recognize this forest, and the scents filled my nose with ecstasy. On the horizon, I could see the sunlight peeking through the trees. I ran faster enjoying every bit of the wind in my jet black fur. Before I knew it I was approaching the edge of a cliff. I stopped a few feet away then walking closer. I looked down and saw nothing but thick fog. It was like it calling to me.
Without a second thought, I jumped. In a matter of minutes, my feet hit the ground. I was in my human form. A burning sensation ripped through my left arm, I looked at it and saw three black, thick lines slowing forming around my tanned arm then a chest crescent moon burned through the left side of my chest." Painful, ain't it?" A familiar voice said. I looked up and saw Maxwell. I felt immobile, confused, fearful, and happy to see him. He looked....normal. His ocean blue eyes stared back at me with a huge smile spread across his squared face, wrinkling his large nose. His tanned skin glowing under the sun's rays. His waist-length, black hair blowing in the wind. He was dressed in full grey and barefooted.
I grabbed him and hugged him. He chuckles. He patted my bareback before pulling away." Hh-how are you—"
"Alive?" He finished my sentence for me. I nodded." I'm actually dead as dead gets—"
I frowned." But how—am I hallucinating?" I asked.
"No." He said." This place is very much real....ish. Jeez...I don't even know how to fully explain." He said, scratching his head." Long story short this place is called Locus Pacis or place of peace." The wind howled and his smile fell. He placed a hand on my shoulder." There's so much I need to tell you but there so little time but what I can tell you is that there is a traitor amongst our people find him or her before it's too late." He said. My vision begins to fade. I shook my head and it returned to normal.
"How?" I asked.
"Heaven." He said, quickly.
"Heaven whose Heaven?" I said. I blanked out just have he began to open his mouth.
I opened my eyes and found over a dozen faces staring back at me. What happened? Did I fall asleep? How is it morning already? I sheltered my eyes from the sunlight with my arm, I got to my feet. I looked around at each and every face until my eyes settled on Issa, he is behind the crowd standing beside the candidates. Issa was looked dumbfounded when I met his eyes. His wrinkles on his face shook as he glanced at the candidates then back at me. His ocean colored eyes scan the crowd.
The crowd begins to mutter. He frowned." What's going on, Issa?" Lisa, the alpha of Arok, asked.
"I have no clue," Issa answered. The packs muttering got louder.
"Who's the alpha? Mika questioned.
"I have no clue," Issa repeated.
"What do you mean you have no clue?" Mika questioned." Aren't you suppose to be the ancestors' go-to guy or whatever? Ask them who the new alpha is."
"I can't...the window is closed," Issa stated.
"Who will lead us!" A man yelled in a panic.
"Without an alpha to protect us the demon will kill the beastless!" Another said.
"Calm down everyone!" Issa shouted." All hope isn't lost, not yet. We still have our Luna."
We all looked at Ema, who stood at the far left. She begins to walk towards Issa but staggers halfway there. She nearly falls but quickly regains her balance. Her blonde hair looked almost white in the sunlight, her face falls back and she howls. Calling out for the alpha. A growled rumbles in my chest causing everyone to tear the attention from Ema to me. What the hell is happening to me? My body temperature rose high, my black shirt and jeans began to peel off and sizzle under the intense heat. Everyone stepped back. My body grew too hot burning my clothes altogether. I stood there naked in front of them. Ema howled again looking at me as she walked closer to me. I frowned. I stepped back in shock when she fell to her knees, bowing her head." My alpha." She said. Alpha? Is this some kind of joke? I can't—I can't be the new alpha...I'm not even a true member of this pack...there had to be some kind of mistake.
Issa walks towards me and ran his fingers against my new marks in shock." My alpha." He said, bowing his head. I looked at the crowd. One by one they bowed their heads. Mika has the last one standing, he looked at me furious. His eyes flashed yellow. An involuntary growl escaped my lips. It was like gravity thrust to his knees and yanked his head down. It was terrifying to watch given I could hear his bone-cracking from here.
I stared at the mass of bowed heads before me. I felt a great sense of power when my wolf howled within me finally accepting and merging with me. If this is my fate...I accept it gladly. I closed my eyes and raised my face to the sky. I sucked in a deep breath then I howled.
Everyone howls along with me. I opened my eyes and I watched as my pack and the various alphas shift. I was mesmerized by the different shades of browns, grey, and white fur gleaming under the sun. The beastless members' eyes begin to glow yellow. I watched in awe as flames burst out of their skin. When they saw the flames they began to panic." Be still." I told them. They looked at one another unsure what to do. My breast howled within me and they began to quiver. Their skin began to peel. They cried out in agony, as they shift for the first time. I smiled. I turned towards the forest and began running with everyone hot on my heel. After a kilometer, I shifted. We ran, searching. Searching for our prey. The thrill of the hunt pushed us further into the forest. I could hear their thoughts. They chanted Crescent over and over in their heads. I could feel their emotion. They're fear. Their excitement. Soon when we're running in unison. We matched each other's pace like we were one and the same. Our prey is up ahead, I told them.
I could smell its fear. It's naiveness. I pushed forward. I pounced onto it's back and sunk my teething into its neck. The mountain lion cried out as I crushed its neck. I shifted back in my human form before release there it's neck. Eat. I commanded. I stepped out of the watching them devour their meal.