I looked around the clearing I stood in and knew I was dreaming. I just hoped I had finished the last question before falling asleep. Everything just had a surreal unearthly feel to it. “Kendra.” I whipped around searching the shadows for whoever had spoken. “Who’s there?”
“Do not be afraid dear.” A woman stepped out into the light. She was a little taller than me, maybe 5′6". Her dress clung to her every curve in a shimmering dark blue that contrasted beautifully with her pale skin and black hair. I peered at the woman who smiled kindly at me. “Hello Kendra.”
“Who are you?” I ask. She looked familiar but I couldn't place where I new her from. “I’ve been waiting to meet you for a very long time now. I am your mother.”
“My mother?” I was floored. My mother was dead and I was talking to her, did that mean I was dead? Wait my mother? I sat down hard on the ground. “Yes, although you might know me better as Selene.”
“The moon goddess!?” I squeaked. My eyes must have been as round as saucers. My mom is the moon goddess? Did dad know? “He did at the time but I suppose he has forgotten over time.” I frowned at her in confusion. “Are you reading my mind?” I accused. She chuckled and came to sit beside me. “Yes, a very old and very bad habit I must admit.” I blinked and tilted my head. “Why-”
“Are you here? Excellent question Kendra. It involves a prophecy, a curse and a love story...” A love story? “Who’s?” I ask turning to face her. “Not mine I assure you. But I’ll get to that. Actually You aren't you. I mean you are, but you’re a temporary personality. You’re not real.” I stared at her in horror. How could she say I’m not real?
“You are a conscious settled atop my daughter reborn. Fenus has been reborn several times already but he had no memory and could never find Silver again, because she was never reborn. Until now. I found your soul and carried it with me, searching for one like my beloved Lupus. And I found him, your father, Reed Taylor.” Finally she noticed my expression and smiled softly. “I apologize dear, that did come out a bit harsh.”
“A bit?” I choked out. Selene shrugged and continued. “I’ll tell you a story. The story of two young lovers. How they met and how they lived. And how they died. But your time is running out. Come your eighteenth birthday, on the full moon Silver must reawaken and claim her mate or the curse will take you again.”
“Long ago” My mother began. “The moon goddess fell in love with a beautiful wolf of unusual size, their children were the first werewolves. Selene and Lupus loved their children dearly, two boys and a little girl. They gave them everything they could, and taught them the wonders of the world. One day Silver met a man, a man the Fates had decreed as her soul mate, Fenus.
The young couple fell in love, as young couples are wont to do. Alas there came across the issue of him being human, and mortal. Silver had told Fenus about her heritage and how she could transform not wanting any secrets in their budding relationship."
“There is something you need to know Fenus.” Silver said holding her soul mate’s hands. Taking a deep breath she continued. “My mother is the moon goddess and my father is a giant wolf, I... I can take the form of either of my parents, so can my brothers.” She peered anxiously up at Fenus through her lashes. His eyes were wide with shock, mouth open like a fish gaping for air. “You’re...” Fearing the worst Silver held her breath trying to keep her eyes from tearing up. “Oh you crazy, wonderful, unpredictable Fates of Fortune!” Fenus crowed. “To deem me, a mere human, worthy of such a beautiful creature.” With a wild laugh he lifted Silver in his arms and spun her around. “I love you Silver Moonheart till the end of my days and would be honored if you would become my wife.”
The tears she had been holding poured forth as she clung to Fenus. “Yes! Yes of course I will!” The happy couple hugged each other tight basking in the moment before each going their separate ways to break the news to their families. Only half way home Silver realized something she had overlooked. Fenus was mortal while she was the daughter of a goddess. She went to her mother sobbing and asked if there was anything that could be done. However it was her father that had the answer. “Make him like you.” With that suggestion Silver smiled and told her parents that they were to be wed.
When Fenus told his parents they were less than thrilled. “You were agreed to marry Clarise after your eighteenth year.” His father said gruffly. “And now you find your “soul mate” bah! I should have known you wouldn’t stick to the plan.” Fenus stared at his father in disbelief. He was supposed to marry someone without his consent that he had never met?
“You have never told me of this father. Why am I to marry this Clarise?” He asked. “Her mother is a powerful witch who wanted to be left in peace so she bargained her daughter and we bargained you.”
“Father, Silver is the daughter of a goddess, and I love her. Mother please help me convince him!” His mother gave him a sad look and shook her head. “You will meet Clarise tomorrow and spend all day with her. I don’t care if you love this Silver you will learn to love Miss Taiven.” His father said with a note of finality and waved his son away.
The next day a young woman arrived at their village. She strode purposefully towards the mayor’s house and knocked on the door. “Good morning Miss Clarise, Fenus was just about to eat breakfast would you care to join him?” The mayor’s wife opened the door wider for the girl to come in.
“Thank you.” Clarise smiled and entered the house heading for the dining room. “Behave yourself.” The mayor hissed to Fenus. “Ah Clarise, please do join us dear.” He called jovially. Fenus gritted his teeth but rose to pull out a chair for Clarise. “Thank you sir.” Clarise sat daintily and waited for Fenus to sit back down before admiring him while sipping the tea that was placed before her. She pictured their babies having his black curls and her green eyes or her red hair and his light brown almost gold eyes. Fenus sat stiffly and ate without acknowledging the lady across from him. “Why don’t you take Miss Taiven into the market today?” His father ordered subtly. “Very well.” Fenus finished his meal and rose offering Clarise his arm like the gentleman he was.
At the end of the day Clarise was madly in love with Fenus while Fenus wanted nothing more to do with her. He still acted the part of gentleman while in her presence until he delivered her back into her mother’s care at dusk. Once alone he turned his horse and rode swiftly to his and Silver’s meeting place.
She stood in the darkness looking up at the moon with her back to the large two topped oak waiting for her love. Silver heard his horse before she saw them and knew by their pace something was wrong.
“What is it Fenus? And why do you smell like a witch?” She asked once he had dismounted. “My father wishes me to marry her, the witch, but I don’t want to marry anyone but you.” He took her in his arms and held her to his chest until his heart calmed. “Run away with me.” The words were whispered softly in his ear. “I am not of your kind Silver.”
“But you could be.” He drew back and stared into her eyes hoping against hopes she was serious. “How? I will do anything I have to to do so as not lose you.” Silver sighed and rested her head against his chest.
“Run away with me. When we’re safe I’ll give you some of my blood. The magic in me will be shared with you and you too will be able to transform into a wolf.”
“When?” The certainty in his voice startled Silver but made her smile. “Tonight. We’ll stable your horse and then leave together into the forest.” Fenus nodded and tipped her chin up to kiss her. “My heart is yours in this life and the next.” He whispered. “And mine is yours.” Silver sighed contently and accepted the hand up onto the chestnut mare. Fenus leaped up onto the horse behind her and soon they were off down the winding country road towards his village.
“How will we travel? I cannot run as fast or as far as you.” Fenus said as they neared his house. “I will carry you as your horse does.” Silver whispered as if the answer were obvious.
They dismounted and Fenus tethered the horse in the stable, pulling off the saddle and reigns. “Where will we go?” He asked taking Silver’s hand. “North.” She guided him silently through the sleeping village and into the forest where she stopped. “Do not be afraid.” Silver pleaded releasing Fenus’ hand. She took two steps back and shifted.
Now instead of the young woman he had grown to love so deeply, a beautiful silver wolf stood before Fenus. He blinked twice then shook himself and stepped forward slowly with one hand out. Slowly as not to frighten him, Silver lowered her massive head until his hand encountered her forehead. “You’re soft.” Fenus murmured. Silver chuckled and sunk into a crouch waiting for Fenus to get on her back.
“What do I hold onto?” He asked once seated. Silver turned her head and nosed his hand up to the scruff of her neck. Fenus grabbed the loose skin and fur and held on for dear life as Silver took off sprinting. She ran until midnight when she abruptly lay down in a small clearing. The sudden stop woke Fenus from his slumber and he awkwardly slid off Silver’s back.
Once free of her burden Silver trotted off only to return with a deer. Setting the doe down she shifted back and curled into a ball. “Can you start a fire please? You’re going to want your strength come moon rise. I’m going to take a quick nap.” Fenus smiled at his delicate yet strong mate, her pale skin glowing softly in the starlight, and set about gathering firewood and cleaning the deer.
By the time the deer was cooked Silver had woken up. “You hungry?” Fenus asked offering her a haunch. “Starved.” She took the leg with a grateful smile and dug in. “Will this hurt?” Fenus inquired munching on his own portion. Silver paused then nodded. “Okay.”
“He was wonderful mother! Oh he’s so handsome, and such a gentleman!” Clarise gushed. Her mother smiled knowingly. “Good, I’m glad you approve of him.”
“Can I use the crystal ball? Please? I just can’t bear to be apart from him.” Clarise begged. “Tomorrow, you’ve had a long day and need to rest.” With a sigh of resignation Clarise nodded and headed to bed. “Alright mother.” She hummed quietly to herself as she changed into her nightgown and brushed her sleek red hair before climbing into her bed and falling asleep to thoughts of their future.
“Are you ready?” Silver asked standing in front of Fenus. He nodded and looked at the full moon now almost directly above them. “You’re going to want to strip so your clothes don’t constrict when you shift into a wolf.” With a shrug he did as she said. “You’re sure this will work?” he asked folding his clothes neatly.
“Yes.” Silver stood in a moonbeam waiting patiently as Fenus set his cloths aside. “I’m going to cut open my wrist alright? I want you to drink until the cut heals, it’ll be fast, don’t worry.” Fenus shivered in the cold night air but nodded and stepped closer. Silver shifted one hand just enough to have claws instead of fingernails and raked them across the milky flesh of her wrist. As soon as the dark red liquid welled up Fenus had his lips pressed over the wound. Gagging slightly at the salty sweet taste, he drank as much as he could before the cut healed. He pressed a kiss to where the gash had been and dropped Silver’s hand. “…” He opened his mouth to speak but stopped when Silver raised one hand indicating he wait.
“Do you feel the tingle growing in your spine? That’s the beginning, what comes next will be incredibly painful.” Fenus took a deep breath and closed his eyes letting the magic in Silver’s blood spread throughout his body. The tingling intensified into wracking shudders and Fenus fell forward unable to stand. “I love you.” Was the last thing he heard before the pain started.
His bones snapped and stretched, his joints reversed, thick black fur sprouted all over his body, his handsome face elongated into a muzzle, and his spine grew out into a tail. Finally he lay trembling on the forest floor sucking in deep lungfuls of cold air. ‘How do you feel?’ The soft question echoed through his mind startling him into opening his eyes. Silver sat in wolf form before him, peering down at him anxiously.
‘Just think the words, I’ll hear them.’ Slowly, Fenus got to his feet, as shaky as a newborn colt. ‘Wobbly, but strong.’ He thought haltingly. ‘Good.’ Silver stood and walked over to nuzzle Fenus’ shoulder.
‘I can smell so much more now!’ Fenus sniffed at the air trying to distinguish different scents. ‘Wolves have superior senses to humans.’ Fenus nodded and took a few steps trying out his new legs before yipping at Silver and running off into the woods. ‘Lets go!’ Silver chuckled and dashed after Fenus weaving between trees.
Sometime in the night they met up with Silver’s brothers, two huge brown wolves, one with a white V on his chest. ‘Fenus meet Xavier and Timore.’ Silver introduced them sitting by while they committed each other’s scent to memory.
‘So you’re Sil’s mate.’ Xavier commented idly. ‘Welcome to the pack. We were going hunting want to tag along?’ Timore asked. ‘Yes!’ Silver barked and leaped to her feet wagging her tail.
‘What are we hunting?’ Fenus questioned tilting his head to one side. ‘Elk.’ Xavier chuckled. They set off at an easy lope towards the mountains.
‘Dont let her gentle demeanor fool you.’ Timore thought quietly to Fenus. ‘She’s alpha here so what she says goes.’ Fenus nodded slightly bewildered but gazed at his mate with pride shining in his now fully gold eyes. Silver slowed to a stop sniffing the air. With a flick of her left ear Timore set off in a curve to the left. Two flicks of the right and Xavier started to circle to the right. ‘Come with me.’ He told Fenus. Silver stood frozen still, waiting as her brothers and her mate got into position. Suddenly she let out a howl and lunged forward, hurdling at the large elk who in turn sprinted away from her. But Timore was waiting, he headed the elk south both he and Silver hot on its heels straight for Xavier and Fenus.
Clarise woke with a sun beam streaming through her bedroom window turning her red hair to flames as dawn’s first rays kissed her face. She rose with a yawn and a stretch, rubbing sleep from her eyes. “Good morning!” Clarise sang to a finch perched on her window sill. “Would you like some thistle seeds?” The little bird chirped and bobbed its tiny head.
“Alright, wait right here I’ll be right back.” She threw back the covers and hopped out of her small bed, dancing across her room to her wardrobe. “Green today, like summer grass.” Clarise pulled her nightgown over her head and stepped into the bright green dress. She fetched a rucksack half full of seeds and scooped up a handful letting it spill on the open window. “There you are friend.” After putting the bag back she went about her morning chores.
The goats were watered, the hens were fed, and the eggs collected. Then she made breakfast for herself and her mother. Scrambled eggs were fried together with herbs and vegetables. “Mother, breakfast!” Clarise called dishing up the hot food. “Thank you, dear. You are such blessing to an old woman.”
Clarise’s mother walked quietly into the small kitchen and collected the plate her daughter had set aside for her. “You’re not old mother.” Clarise quipped cheerily moving a pot of tea to the table. “Very well. If you say so.” Her mother chuckled to herself setting the plate at her place at the table before fetching two earthenware mugs. “I know better than to argue with you when you have something stuck in that head of yours. Goddess knows you’re a stubborn one, just like your father.”
“You never did tell me about him. I think I’m old enough now mother.” Clarise poured the tea into the mugs her mother brought over. “I suppose you are old enough. Very well sit down and I’ll tell you over breakfast. However afterwards I want you to go out and get some herbs for me, specifically wolfsbane. There’ve been some large ones roaming around lately if their paw prints are anything to go by.” Clarise sat as instructed, nodding, and began to eat. “Good, now then, where to begin. Ah yes, your father.”
“Mandrake root, spearmint, wolfsbane, burdock, and if you could gather some watercress I’ll make soup tonight.” Clarise nodded absently to her mother's request and donned her cloak and headed out into the forest her mind still in a whirl after hearing about her father.
“A great warrior mother said.” Clarise spoke to herself as she walked, one hand out to trail the foliage as she passed by. “A handsome man.” She smiled plucking spearmint leaves and depositing them gently into the basket.
“Not as handsome as my Fenus.” Small birds twittered above Clarise’s head and making her laugh and skip through the trees toward the creek. “Burdock, where are you?” She sang hunting through the underbrush. “There you are. Oh and look, wolfsbane as well. Now I just need mandrake and watercress.”
Humming happily to herself Clarise fairly skipped to the small river. She set her basket gently on the mossy bank and plopped down beside it, dipping her bare feet in the cool swirling water. “Hello little fishies.” She crooned to a few trout swimming lazily in the shaded pools created by trailing tree roots.
One of the fish blew a bubble at Clarise and bumped her ankle. “Hey, I’m ticklish!” The silvery fish swam under her foot making her shriek and jerk her foot out if the water. “I said I was ticklish and what do you do? You tickle me!” The trout swam away and Clarise slowly put her foot back in the water.
Snapping her head up she looked around, the birds had stopped singing. Wary of what threat the silence brought, Clarise slipped into the river and hid beneath the trailing roots of an old gnarled willow.
Two huge wolves, one dark as the night sky the other as pale as a falling moonbeam, trotted up to the river and drank, dipping their heads in perfect sync. The silver wolf yipped suddenly and shoved the black one in the river, dancing away from his retaliation. The black wolf climbed out if the water and shook before pouncing on the silver one. They tumbled together in the grass, growling as they wrestled. Suddenly they transformed into a very naked Fenus with a very naked Silver laying atop him.
“How could you!” Clarise screeched slogging her way through the river to the other side. “Fenus how could you do this to me? We were to be wed!” Fenus shrugged at Silver and they stood up hand in hand. “I don’t want to marry you Clarise. I don’t love you, I never did.”
“B...but yesterday in the market!” Clarise was hysterical now.
“I was merely being a gentleman. Silver is my soul mate, she alone has my heart. I’m sorry Clarise, there’s a man for you out there somewhere its just not me.” Fenus smiled softly and hugged Silver to his side.
“No, you will be mine!” Clarise screamed, her hair starting to whip around her as the cheerful summer breeze turned into a storm. “Fenus she’s a witch you said?” Silver asked eyeing Clarise. “Yeah, so?”
“So run!” Silver shoved Fenus away from her side and away from Clarise who was yelling into the rising wind. “As long as there’s a chance for Fenus to be mine, you will die on the new moon after your eighteenth birthday, no matter how many times you are reborn! Neither of you will remember eachother, and he will be mine!” Clarise raised her arm and made a motion like throwing something at Silver who had shifted and was making her way through through cyclone towards Clarise. Just before she could pounce, the curse struck her in the chest knocking her sideways. “Silver!” The wind dissipated leaving Fenus free to run to his love. Clarise was gone.
I blinked at the moon goddess in confusion. “Why are you showing me this?” I asked. “This is your past dear, though you may not remember it. By a fluke of her curse he also dies at eighteenth after your birthday. Each time Fenus is reborn he has been human, but through some crafty weaving by the Fates he was born werewolf this time. Clarise is still trying to get him to love her. Its was easier for her to worm her way into his life when he was human and to befriend him so when his twin asked her to separate his soul physically she was more than happy to oblige. She played with black magic and has kept herself the same age since you died. She goes to your school, be careful. You are the human portion of Silver so if she wakes you will merge into a complete soul and your powers will reawaken.” My head was spinning but I kinda followed her.
“Steven, Gabriel’s brother, said something about a prophecy and powers.” Selene nodded and stood then offered me a hand up as well. “Thanks.” I said accepting her hand. “Come to me during the next full moon and we shall read the scroll.”