Arianna Sinclairé was not your traditional beauty. She was just a twenty-years-old girl living in a small town of Greenville in the State of Kentucky. Her unconventional beauty lies in her waist-length dark exotic curls and her icy blue eyes. Her natural red pouty lips were the source of many of her male and sometimes female schoolmates’ wet dreams. Her cleft chin and her button nose only added to her beauty.
She would have been a Princess in another life, with her poise and manners. Oh, she can be a right bitch when it was warranted, but she always tried to be as polite as possible. If someone asked her about it, she always answered, she just felt like it.
Though she didn’t know it, the truth was she has Royal blood flowing through her veins. But she will learn it soon.
The day was fairly normal for the twenty-year-old, as she sat on the kitchen counter of her two-storey house. The morning paper was spread on the table as she skimmed through it. A bowl of fruits was on her right. She reached her right hand to pick a piece of apple, as her eyes caught the news of an animal attack. A frown marred her face, as she brought the piece of apple to her mouth and bit into it. Her mind wandering to the incident that happened two years ago. An incident so similar to the one in the newspaper.
It was her parents’ wedding anniversary. Fifty years old Stephen Sinclairé and forty-five years old Indiana Sinclairé decided to treat themselves with a movie. Arianna stayed home to give her parents some time to themselves. She utilised that time to bake a vanilla flavoured cake as a surprise to her parents. Once the final touches were done, she placed it on the table in the living room and waited. Time went on. She dozed off on the sofa.
She woke up in the morning only to realise that her parents still hadn’t returned. She tried their mobile phones only to realise that they were out of the coverage area.
Panicked, she sought out the help of her neighbour, a widow by the name of Mrs Parker. The older woman helped her report her parents’ missing to the town’s sheriff, Sheriff Langston. A search party was organised. That evening they recovered her parents.
An animal attack, they’ve said.
She was not even allowed to see their bodies before they were cremated.
It was gruesome, a police officer had said.
Now, after two years she’s still here at her parents’ home, as an orphan. The only company she had in the quaint little town was her neighbour, Mrs Parker. The older woman took it upon herself to be her guardian, though she was old enough to take care of herself.
An inevitable tear ran down her cheek. With a sniff, she brushed it aside. She leaned back in the chair and reached for another piece of apple in the bowl, only to realise that it was empty. Shrugging, she folded the newspaper and put it aside. She had had enough of the newspaper for the day.
Arianna locked the house after her. She was going to have a quiet day to herself. Without further ado, she turned toward the woods, at the edge of which her home stood. Tucking her hands into her jeans pocket, she started strolling through the uneven path with no destination in mind. Her mind started drifting to those happy moments she had with her parents.
Those times were simple. Her parents were a merry lot. They never talked about their extended family. They were happier the way they are.
Those mornings she fought with her Father for her turn with the newspaper. Those days she followed her Mother like a puppy dog for this recipe and that. Those nights they tucked her in the bed with a kiss on her forehead. Those Christmas mornings she woke earlier than normal to make her parents’ favourite chocolate milk.
Arianna’s eyes glazed over with unshed tears. She bit her lower lip between her teeth in an effort to keep herself from breaking down.
She roughly wiped her cheeks off the tears and pocketed her hands again. A gentle breeze cascaded her thick curls. With an almost inaudible sigh, she continued her stroll.
This woods had been her escape lately. It shouldn’t be considering the incident that happened a couple of years ago. But in a twisted way, she felt closer to her parents in the woods. Even though it was the woods that took them away from her in the first place.
Swallowing the figurative ball in her throat, she pushed herself to move forward.
Not even two steps forward, Arianna came to a halt. Her sixth sense started to ring bells. She could feel someone or something’s gaze on her back. Her heart started to beat erratically. She closed her eyes and willed herself to calm down. She took deep breaths. If she wanted to go back home, she has to turn around and inevitably run into the thing or whatever behind her. If by any chance, she went further into the woods, then she was entering eventually into an unknown territory, possibly for her demise. It’s a lose-lose situation.
Throwing caution and common sense in the wind, Arianna started to run forward. The moment she started to run ahead, her pursuer did too. At least that was what she surmised, given the sound of twigs snapping rapidly.
Her unparalleled stamina along with her survival instinct kicked in. She pushed her muscles to its utmost and ran, thanking the Supreme being above that she chose to wear her sneakers. Her mind and body focused only on surviving this ordeal. She distinctly felt some of her sleeve being torn off by a low hung branch. The slight irritation in her forearm indicating that the branch at least scraped her skin.
She internally grimaced. As long as she survived this and didn’t get any scar on her forearm, it was fine.
She winced as another low hung branch caught a lock of her hair. Pushing forward roughly, she felt the lock come off from the root. Blinking off the sudden tear that filled her eyes, she ran.
Of all the people in the town, why does it have to be her?
And the worst thing was, she didn’t even know who her pursuer was.
Her eyes went the size of saucers as she stumbled over a rock and fell down. Still on the ground, she pushed her body up with the support of her hands and turned around to her pursuer, who stood about twenty feet from where she was on the ground.
Teeth. Long, sharp, pointy... Teeth.
That was what registered in her mind first.
She had a real crisis in her hands.
Because standing twenty feet away from her was a coal black wolf. That was majestic as a lion. That has amber eyes that were fixed on her. That was moving forward slowly as if she was its prey.
That has long sharp pointy canines.
With each step it took forward, she crawled back on the ground. She was not ashamed to say that she was scared shitless as she looked at the big bad wolf. She distinctly wondered how painful would it be if she was bitten by the wolf.
The wolf increased its speed with each step and so did Arianna. Just as she thought that the wolf would snap its long sharp pointy canines around her throat, the wolf was pushed by a powerful force.
Arianna blinked rapidly as she took in the scene.
A brown wolf, that was just as big, knocked black one and was wrestling on the floor. It was a sight to behold.
The brown wolf growled at her attacker and advanced. With an agility that could put a cheerleader in shame, the brown wolf clawed at the black one. The black wolf growled back but it lacked strength. It’s as if it realised that it never stood a chance against the brown one.
Her common sense kicked in. She picked herself up and ran toward her house.
She might have been fascinated by the sight. But she was not going to stick around to see the result of the fight. She got a window and she was going to use like an intelligent woman.
Once she started running she didn’t glance back. Had she, she would have seen that the black wolf had turned tail and ran away. And that the brown one fell on the ground with a relieved glance that she left the woods, as it shed it’s fur and turned into a woman.