The pig part of me was on edge all night as the moon rose and the sun disappeared. Oh, how I longed for the tingling the moon would give me at night, and it’s only been a few days since I felt the power coursing through my veins. Cressa-la had felt it, but how had she not used it to its full potential? Yes, she turned me into something else, something I haven’t been able to do to anyone just yet, but the moon… whatever the moon did to her, it made her stronger than I could ever imagine. And the only way to get my revenge is to rip everything away from her: her family, her friends, her powers. What would she be without them? I know I’d be nothing. And right now, that’s exactly what I am. Nothing. And it was like that once, before I knew my purpose.
The sun rises in the distance, and the chill of the night begins to ebb away. I don’t believe I got any sleep, but that doesn’t matter. What matters is today I will return to myself. Today, I will begin my revenge, and I will plot my rule. But, though I hate to admit it, this time, I can’t do it alone. This time, I will need her, and she will oblige.
I begin to squeal, standing up and waking up the girls. They leaned against a tree, both too proper to sleep on the ground. The girl, Jackie, was a princess, whereas Dametria had grown accustomed to sleeping in the Unwea Castle and our underground hideout on the island. They’re both pampered and spoiled. It’s time for them to be brought down a notch. Maybe, then, Dametria will learn to respect me more.
They stir, Jackie groaning at my sounds. Dametria wakes slowly and without a sound. When she finally speaks up, it’s after Jackie’s complaints of being tired and hungry.
“I guess it’s time to go,” my girlfriend says softly, standing and brushing off her clothing.
“Anything to eat up here?” Jackie asks, looking around. “I mean, I know y’all have to hunt and all, but… is breakfast a thing here?”
Dametria gives a tiny smile as she glances over to Jackie. “We do hunt for our own food. It’s just hard to find animals that are good to eat and aren’t thought of as sacred, like the wolf and the eagle. And to top it off, there are usually more predators than prey. Although Damian and I tried to save only a few of each predator and several of the prey, I fear the numbers will switch again, just as they always have, and as they always will. But I remember that sometimes we would go for days without eating, and it seemed as if those days were the ones we’d get attacked on. When the prey would run thin.” Dametria hesitates, realizing her long-winded speech has gone for long enough. “But, yes, if we find something, we can stop and eat.”
“We could eat the pig.”
I snort angrily. No one eats me.
“No,” Dametria smiles, looking down at my small body. “We need him.”
Jackie rolls her eyes and I turn to walk.
Yes, Dametria. You do need me.
And I need you.
We continue up the treacherous island, drawing near to the Wurn Tribe. I know about the traps, I just can’t see them. Or smell them… I didn’t know what they smelled like when I was human, so why would I be able to pinpoint the dangerous gadgets as a pig? Still, I kick myself for my stupid reasoning and wish I knew exactly what the traps smelled like.
I turn around, squealing quietly. Dametria is aware of where we are and she nods. “We’ve reached Wurn Territory.”
She lifts me into her arms, grunting about my weight, and walks. The trees thin out and disappear as we near the village. They’ve begun to rebuild the ruin I’d created when the world came to a stand-still. Why must everyone and everything mock me of my failure? If it had been me who received the powers of the moon, the world would be a different, better place.
What had the moon given to her, exactly, though? And why had it chosen her and not me? Will it have an effect on the rest of us that are chosen by the moon? And can the sea... can the sea give its powers away too?
I lose myself in my thoughts, curious as to what could and what has happened. And if the moon and the sea both choose who they want to carry a piece of their power, then why did the moon give it all away to one human? One cross-bred girl who only knew what she was because of me?
We slink around the Wurn Tribe slowly, careful not to step on any traps. My beady eyes keep a lookout for trouble, but I miss it as Dametria falls to the ground, a scream erupting from her mouth. We tumble to the ground and I bounce and roll a couple feet away from her, nearly falling into a trap myself.
I turn back to her and worry fills my chest. Her hands claw at a tooth-like structure around her ankle, blood pouring out of the wound. I sprint over and watch, unable to do anything. I feel helpless—and that makes me angry.
I squeal as she grunts aloud. Jackie rushes over and helps pull at the trap, keeping her stomach in its place, by the look on her face. Crashing noises come from the village as a few of the Wurn Tribespeople trip over each other to see what they’ve caught.
“It’s Dametria!” One of them shouts, lifting a spear up over his head. “Where’s Damian?”
Jackie and Dametria free her ankle before the boys meet them, a spear scraping just past Jackie’s arm. She cries out as they scramble to stand and sprint in the opposite direction. I’m able to keep up, for the most part, as I jump over roots and around holes in the ground. They quickly turn to follow us, shouting, and the girls panic. But I know a way to get away from them.
I speed up and make my way to the front. I take a sharp turn, and the girls, after a dumb moment of slipping on leaves, follow suit. We sprint straight and then take another turn, and I feel the tingles wash over me.
I come to a halt, the girls unsure as to why I’ve stopped. They slow a few feet beyond me and look back, afraid the boys were still there. They are, but I know something they don’t know.
The girls glance between me and the space before them where the boys will arrive soon.
“Let’s go!” Jackie demands, tugging at Dametria’s arm.
“We can’t leave the pig!” She replies, desperate for an answer as to what is going on.
Footsteps. Branches breaking.
“Just hide,” Dametria hisses through her teeth as she lifts herself off the ground and into a tree, leaves sticking to the blood dripping onto her foot. Jackie whimpers and hides behind a trunk.
I stay stagnant.
The boys appear. Their eyes pass right over me. And, when Jackie peers out from behind the trunk, the boys ask each other where the girls went, not focusing on anything behind me.
Dametria slips down to the ground once again, silent, as usual. She was always so sly, so agile... it was always one of the things I loved about her.
“They can’t see us,” she whispers, coming to a realization.
“What do you mean?” Jackie whispers back. “Get back into the tree!”
Dametria shakes her head as the boys walk away, looking elsewhere for the intruders, and she stands, remembering a story I told her. The story of my quest.
She takes a deep breath and stands taller, fear resonating in her eyes.
“We have arrived.”