{{ contest.story_page_sticky_bar_text }} Be the first to recommend this story.
Get Free Copy

100 free copies left

This novel is limited to 100 free copies due to its part in Inkitt’s Novel Contest.

0
Free copy left
You can read our best books
Jason Bryden would love your feedback! Got a few minutes to write a review?
Write a Review

Wolfsoul

By Jason Bryden All Rights Reserved ©

Drama / Fantasy

The Baying of Wolves

Bound. Struggling. Wrists chained, held up high. Ankles shackled, feet on the ground. Breathing, shallow. Howls in the distance. The baying of wolves. The smell. Odorous, foul. Rotted flesh. This was not the first, nor would it be the last. She tried to struggle, to break loose. It couldn't be done. She couldn't lift her feet up, not without the sharp and painful feeling of spiked iron cuffs digging into her ankles. She couldn't move without causing pain, without cutting her flesh and mutilating her body.


Padding footsteps. She could hear them. Wolves. Sacred to her people. Yet were she free... were I free I would skin them to survive. Their pelts would become a cloak. Their meat would be my food. Their bones would be my weapons. For a moment that fierce nature she once clung to came back, only to vanish again as she realized the starkest of truths. She didn't have that as an option. There would be no skinning. No hunting. No killing of wolves and feasting on their flesh. No wrapping their warm pelts around her shoulders. There were no options, no choices to be made. She was bound, and left to struggle in her chains. Pulling at the chains above her, feeling her wrists burn. The crude iron shackles dug into the flesh of her wrists. She knew that the iron plates were not sturdy, that if only she could just pull hard enough she might get free. She pulled harder. Blood, and yet no sign that she would slip through the cuffs. Warm, wet, sliding down her arms. Blood. Dripping down to the cavern floor below.

Growling. She saw them in the torchlight. Wolves. Staring with haunting yellow orbs. Judging. Appraising. Am I their reward for a hunt well done? Will I feed the pack? Is this the end? The thoughts raced through her mind. A feeling. A pit in her stomach. Her heart, racing. Like a war drum inside her. BoomBoom BoomBoom BoomBoom! Almost deafening, thundering in her eardrums. She stared at the wolves with her amber eyes. That feeling. This is what fear is.

Panic. She pulled. She pulled again, even harder. Blood continued to slide down her bare arms. Down onto the cavern floor. Soaking into the dirt. The wolves circled around her from a distance. Growling. She cried out in pain. They came closer. BoomBoom BoomBoom BoomBoom! She pulled harder. She heard a crack. Her wrist. No doubt dislocated. Had to be. Pain, it shot through her. Agony, it enveloped her.

So much pain. She struggled and she struggled. The wolves came closer as they lapped up her blood. She cried. She sobbed. Then she screamed, and the wolves jumped back, growling, ears flattening. BoomBoom BoomBoom BoomBoom ...silence.

She stared and they stared right back. No more struggling. Another feeling came over her. This one was difference. No fear. No worries. Acceptance. I accept my fate. She thought of those she would never see again. Those that she held dear. Ailith. Diarmad. Jørn. She would never see them again. Never. Gone. Lost. Alone. She was marked for death and left to rot. Her fate. Acceptance. Sadness, but resignation to her fate. The wolves approached again. She closed her eyes. She could hear their noises, those awful noises. She prepared for her end. Imagined the afterlife. Imagined what would be next. No more bleeding. No more fighting. No more struggling. Peace. Just the end. Just the oblivion of death.

Her eyes snapped open. The wolves backed away slowly. Ears back, heads bowed low. Submission. They felt her pain, or perhaps a certain kinship. She stared at them. Pain returned. A realization came over her. I am cursed to rot here. Anger. The wolves continued to back away.

"Come on!" she screamed.

The wolves disappeared into the darkness of the cavern. She struggled out of anger and rage, the end of her suffering denied. She pulled at the chains. Blood continued to spill from her mangled wrists. Pain. It was the only thing she could feel. It gave her life. She cried out. She pulled harder and harder. Pain. It overwhelmed her. It dulled. Her vision blurred.

She opened her eyes. A single pull of the chains. She cried out. Rocks, dislodged. The plate, torn from the cavern ceiling. Falling. Striking her. She fell. Chains came loose. Daylight, peeking through the open crevices caused by her struggle. Blood flowing from the wounds on her face, her cheek, her nose. Her eye. She struggled. She slammed her shackled wrists against the plate. Determined. She gritted her teeth. Another crack. And another. Pain shot through her. She struck the plate again as the jagged edges struck flesh and iron. Iron on iron.

Shackles came free. Hands bloody. Fingers dislocated and broken. Wrists mangled. Her heart racing. She took hold of a rock with what strength she had. And pure survival instinct. Only survival instinct. She raised it up. Slammed the chain on her ankles. Again. And again. And again. Pain. She bit her tongue, bit through her tongue. Blood seeped into her mouth. Sharp, pain, life giving pain. Shackled loosened. One more time. CRACK! She tore the broken shackles from her raw and bleeding ankles. She laid back against the cavern wall. She laid back and screamed.

She ceased all movement. All noises. Amber eyes searching. Ears listening. Birds chirping outside. Breathing. Long deep breathes. She stumbled to her feet. One step forward. She fell to one knee. Grabbing at a jutting piece of rock she hoisted herself up. Another step forward. Stumbling but not falling. Deep breathes. She rounded the corner. She saw it.

In the distance, she moved towards it. Light. Daylight. She was weakened, hurting, in pain. It didn't matter. Daylight. Freedom. She stepped out of the cave. Highlands. Vast and lush. The craggy mountains behind her. Air, so fresh. No odor. No shackles. No wolves. She was in pain. It didn't matter. Valda Wolfsoul felt something else. Something better. It made the pain fade, made the memory less painful. No more feelings of despair nor fear, nor acceptance of death. She felt only one thing.

Hope.

Write a Review Did you enjoy my story? Please let me know what you think by leaving a review! Thanks, Jason Bryden
Continue Reading
Further Recommendations

mullikin902: Do not start reading this book unless you have enough time to finish it in one sitting, because you will not be able to put it down! Superlative! Addictive! Deliciously wicked characters you can't get enough of. Impatiently waiting for the sequel!

Krupa Kataria: the detailing is really awesome ....the characters, ur plots jst too Awsm ,m waiting for the further chapters please do complete it ...like m really craving for those ones ...great job with words too ..please complete the further parts ...

Hudson: Your story was fantastic Erin! The Rising Sun was one of the first stories I read on Inkitt, and I have to say I don't regret the three to four days I spent pouring through the story.Probably the biggest strength I see in your writing is your characterisation of Eliana, Oriens, and the rest of th...

SPepper: I had a hard time putting this book down even to go to sleep. The story is compelling and beautifully character driven. I hope author will make this a series.

kwilliams: I am an avid reader, and I do mean AVID and few indie authors capture my attention the way you have. I absolutely fell in love with these characters and their story. I'm usually not a fan of the cliff hanger endings (be it a series or not), but this one made me download the Kindle app just so I c...

Dessie Williams: loved the book. the plot the characters all just great.I think it's a must read. once you start this book it's hard to put down. hope it gets published....I think this book is a must read.great job!!!!

annie08c: I really like this story, I can relate to it a lot and with how she feels, the boyfriend and the events that happened but I'm a little bit younger. It was really good plot, really liked how you stuck to the topic and you had a new title for every chapter making me guess what's going to happen. Ma...

ynez2005: I LOVE THIS BOOK SOOOOO MUCH!!!!Though you really need to make another book,more Princesses!!! Whoooo!!!Girl Power!!!Mabey it could even be Devona's BFF???That would make it even better!!!Plus can you pleeease make Akki come back,together with Thea and Authur amd the whole family is back!Other th...

ernbelle: When I first started this story I was a little unsettled by all of the information that appears in the prologue, and wasn't sure if I would continue. However, I am very glad I did. The plot was very well thought out and really interesting. There were not any page breaks or markers to acknowledge ...

More Recommendations

littlebunnypoopoos: Omg this was so amazing! The ending was a little bad and predictable. But otherwise, I need a second book or I'll die :D The character development was excellent and the whole romance, action, and suspense was superb

Alkira Joan: I omg I am honestly speechless I couldn't stop cry it's so sad I wish it had a better ending and they would all be happy and the end is their going to be a second book?thanks for the amaZing story xoxox

maewilde25: I am so in love with this story!!! captivated me till the very end, there wasn't a dull moment. Didn't particularly enjoy the lay out and some bits of info was missing along with how a 21 year old man amassed so much wealth that needed to be explained other than that and a few spelling errors, th...

zoheusher20: What more can I say? The writing style and little details drew me into the book and for the entirety of the story I was Juliet. I felt her turmoil and emotions and every trouble or triumph as they arrived. This story was very different and had quite a few little but unexpected twists that made it...

Laraine Smith: You are a true artist! You should do this for a living! I love the imagery here! It is magical! You are magical!

genlynne2379: I read the other review of this book and I must say that I disagree with it wholeheartedly. I do not believe the author put the apostrophes in the names just to be unique, but because the characters are supposedly of a different race than humans. They are Anmah. They should have different names a...

About Us:

Inkitt is the world’s first reader-powered book publisher, offering an online community for talented authors and book lovers. Write captivating stories, read enchanting novels, and we’ll publish the books you love the most based on crowd wisdom.