Nothing but a deep pitch black darkness is all around me. It consumes everything as it shrouds me as though it is a warm blanket covering my body, hugging me tightly. I no longer feel a chill to my body.
Although what surprises me about this, is that I am not afraid. I hate the darkness… I always have.
Something about the nights’ warmth without the moon’s glow has always caused a shiver of unease to roll along my spine with a twisted feeling in my stomach. Something about the darkness never felt right.
This, it feels peaceful like nothing on earth can come to harm me. It’s comforting in some sort of strange way.
However, I am beginning to feel a pull, a want, nay… a need to open my eyes. But at the same time, I just want to keep them squeezed tightly shut, afraid that this comfort is going to disappear like dust in the wind when my eyes open. That and I am also fearful of what I will see when I open them, that I will see nothing but the death and destruction of my pack littering the lush green forest floor.
As I fight to remain in my warm cocoon of comfort I feel as though I can hear something. Like there is someone or something calling out to me, telling me that I need to open my eyes and face the truth.
I’m racking my brain to try to remember how in the moon’s name I got here, into the darkness. But my memory of recent events is nothing but a blur. A blur of blood, fear, tattered fur and destruction. Nothing is making any sense in my brain right now.
“Liana.” A soft voice whispers to me through the darkness in a sing-song tune. A voice that sounds familiar to me, although I just can’t place it at the second.
“Liana.” It whispers again, this voice sounds as though it is next to me but at the same time it feels as though it is eons away.
“LIANA.” The whisper is now a hiss, with lips that feel as though they are pressed to my ear. I hear a hushed chuckle in the distance that the hair on the back of my neck stands on edge. It is not from the sing-song voice. I squeeze my eyes even tighter shut and attempt to roll away. However I can’t move, my body feels as though it is weighed down with a tonne of concrete.
“Li Li” the familiar voice calls me by the nickname that only my family and closest friends use. It has me questioning who this whisper belongs to. Why do I feel as though I know the voice but have no recollection of it at the same time.
“Open your eyes, Liana.” It asks of me. I just don’t want to open my eyes yet, I feel as though I’m not ready to.
It’s not my time yet.
“Liana please.” The whisper is pleading with me. I can hear the begging tone in the voice. It sounds as though this whisper not only wants for me to open my eyes, it needs me too.
As if my life depends on it.
But I don’t want to open them, and it’s not just that I don’t want to, it feels as though I can’t.
The darkness is becoming more and more peaceful to me and I am content to just float along and lose myself to the cocoon of darkness.
And that is exactly what I intend to do. Whispers be damned.
“Liana.” A different voice whispers to me, drawing me away from the comfort I have recently found in the darkness.
“Liana. Liana. Liana. Liana. Liiiiiiannnnna.” The whisper refuses to leave me alone, it keeps trying to pull me away from my comfort. Yelling into both of my ears without a moment of peace and quiet.
“LIANA!” It yells at me now.
“LIANA OPEN UP YOUR EYES!” The voice yells out, it is frustrated with me, getting angry. I can’t miss the growl that is in its voice.
But why do I need to open my eyes? I question to myself, I can’t remember much of what lead me here. Except that there was a war, oh by Ares name do I remember the war, but I can’t remember anything of it besides the scent of blood, ash, and death.
Did we succeed? Is my family alive and well?
As I force myself to focus on what has happened more and more memories start to flood back to me. I remember everything that happened, except for one thing. I cannot for the life of me remember what happened to myself.
I don’t even remember if I went to fight with my family or if I hid away in the safety of the packs’ bunker with some of the other women and children.
“Liana.” The angry voice growls again, it almost feels as if am being shaken although I feel no hands on me.
“Be nice.” A different voice now hisses out. “You know how difficult this is.” This new whisper sounds as though it is scolding the one who is growling at me.
“Liana.” This third voice calls to me, this whisper is soft, but not as soothing as the first one is. “Liana, it is time.” This voice holds kindness in the voice, kindness that reaches out to everyone.
“Open your eyes for me my darling gem.” Darling gem. I haven’t been called that in so long. Who was it that used to call me that?
I know someone used to, years and years ago.
I listened to the kind whisper, something about it made me feel as though it was the right thing to do, it was time. I tried to blink my eyes open, but the light is far too bright for my eyes to adjust to. It was too much after being accustomed to the darkness.
I tightly squeeze my eyes shut once again, not wanting to look into the blinding light that seems like Helios is standing right before me, shining everything he has into my line of sight. “You can do it, Liana.” The kind voice whispers against my ear, I can feel their breath fan across my check.
Taking in a deep breath, filling my lungs with as much oxygen as they can take. I open my eyes once more. This time I last a few seconds before I am forced to once again hide from the light. Covering my eyes with my arms.
“I believe in you.” The kind voice whispers again. It gives me the strength to do what I must, my eyes open widely taking in everything, the full force of the brightness. It makes a few moments to adjust to the, blinking I take in everything.
The light, it is not as bright as I thought it was, it is sunset and not even a bright sunset. The sky is blood red as if Helios himself is bleeding with dark rain clouds moving in as if they have been sent to wash everything from today away.
It takes another few seconds until I am able to comprehend my surroundings. All I know is that I am looking directly up to where the moon will make her first appearance.
Glancing around, I am able to see everyone standing around, all with tears glassing over there eyes, and the thick scent of sorrow weighing heavily in the air.
Jasper is crying as he falls to his knees, right next to me before he presses his face into my stomach, his tears aren’t weepy I can get over this tears. It is full on bawling his eyes out, a type of crying I have never seen from him before, it is hard to take in.
Looking around I see Davis, he is struggling to hold onto Maaze has she tries to break through his grip. She is crying out, trying her hardest to get to someone or something. She is fighting his hold, leaving gashes in his arm that will scar. He is fighting her while his pine green eyes stare unblinkingly at whatever it is Maaze is trying so hard to get too.
Something past me.
Never in my life have I seen Maaze this way before… Davis, he has the same blank look in his eyes that he held the day we found out that his father died… I wonder what could have possibly happened to cause this reaction from both of them.
Next, my eyes fall onto my father, who looks as though he is having an internal war with himself. He looks like he is about to crack at the seams and completely fall apart. But he has to hold it in, his face is hardened as his lips quiver he knows that he must deal with something before he is able to break down.
“Jasper.” I croak out, my voice is hoarse and my mouth feels extremely dry, odd and somewhat cottony. Jasper makes no move, nothing gives me a sign that Jasper heard me. “Jasper.” I try again a bit louder.
Maybe he just couldn’t hear me the first time. But once again he makes no move, Maybe I’m just not talking loud enough, or maybe I am not saying anything at all and I just think I am.
At least that is what I’m telling myself.
“Jasper?” This time I know for sure that I said it out loud and that I spoke clearly, it may not have been a shout I know my voice is still quiet as I struggle. But I just know I spoke out loud. I know it.
Jasper still just doesn’t respond to me.
Growing frustrated with him I try my luck with someone else. “Maaze.” I cough out, looking directly into her eyes. She looks back at me, but she doesn’t say a thing.
She does still for a brief second in Davis’ arms when I call out to her a second time. “Maazie please.” I whimper as my voice drops, why won’t she respond to me.
“Davis? Davey?” Still, no response from anyone and Jasper still is refusing to acknowledge me. I know he can hear me if I am able to yell out to Maaze and Davis.
“Father?” My last option is to try him. “Father?” I say again as a few tears being to slide down my face. He has the best hearing out of all of us, being the alpha. But then again, even if I was whispering they all should be able to hear me.
We are werewolves after all. We have brilliant hearing.
“Dad…” he doesn’t make a single movement to acknowledge my presence here. In fact, he keeps avoiding looking at me in general, eyes roaming around the area but never landing on me. “Daddy?” Is he really that mad that he is ignoring now?
But that doesn’t explain why everyone else is ignoring me. Especially when I need help, everything hurts. There is a pounding migraine thumbing around in the back of my head, every single muscle aches in ways I never knew they could. Even parts of my body that I didn’t know could feel pain hurt.
“Liana get up.” Great, just great. The only response I get is from these annoying whispers. Not my friends and not even my family. Whispers from some unknown people who are really starting to get on my last nerve. I make a move to sit up, force everyone to notice me but my body still feels as though it is anchored to the ground by cement.
“Liana you need to get up.” I growl at the noise of the whispers, they are more than annoying now. I want to lash out and hit them, make them shut up and leave me alone, they do however give me an idea. Maybe I can link my friends and family, talk to them all through our minds.
“Jasper.” I try to reach him but there is nothing there. Our link is gone as if it never existed, why can’t I find it? Panic and hysteria being to set in as fear slides throughout my body settling into every fibre of me. Jasper slowly begins to move away from me, he is still on the ground. He is just sitting on his ass facing me, staring at me with pain in his eyes.
Before he puts his head in his hands and beings to slowly rock himself back and forth.
Soon, more and more wolves from our pack begin to crowd around my brother, father, and friends. The start to surround me, making me feel closed in, claustrophobic.
No one says anything, they all open and close their mouths looking at each other dumbfounded. Hands begin to go on shoulders giving out comforting squeezes cheeks press again one another in a form of comfort and reassurance. “What is going on?” I ask for anyone who will listen to me.
Which appears to be absolutely no one, no one at all.
As more wolves come over curious as to what is happening now I begin to feel extremely claustrophobic, I don’t like having so many people crowding me. Boxing me in.
It makes me feel uncomfortable enough to try my hardest to drag myself away through the dirt. Closing my eyes because I feel as though I can make it through the pain easier if I don’t see what is happening.
Pulling my elbows in, as tight to my body as I am able to bring them I brace my forearms reading them to take some of my weight as my nails dig into the dirt.
Groaning and wincing I very slowly lift my upper body off of the ground before I swiftly pull my knees towards my chest, moving quickly just like pulling off a bandaid. Rocking back and forth ever so slightly in an effort to get some momentum.
Biting my cheek through the pain of muscles that are screaming out to stop being used to the point that I taste blood in my mouth. Continuing to rock slowly I pull myself off of the ground grunting and groaning. Pain radiates throughout my body as I get to my feet, swaying a little before I find my balance. I must have taken a really bad knock to the head…
Opening my eyes now that the hardest part is behind me, I look at everyone before looking down to Jasper. I offer him my hand to help him stand up, but just as before he continues to ignore me.
While Jasper ignores me I look over to father, taking a few steps on legs that refuse to stop shaking. I reach him, but not before I trip over something that isn’t even there. I reach for his arm to steady myself while my eyes remain trained on his face. When I look into his eyes for that brief second it is like he doesn’t even know that I am here. Reaching my hand out to grab his arm in my efforts to steady myself the strangest and possibly most terrifying thing happens.
My hand goes straight through his body, straight through him, as if he isn’t real. As if he is just a mirage. I fall back down to the ground landing with a thud. Some had to have noticed that right? I quickly jump back to my feet when I hear a gasp. Finally, someone must’ve noticed me.
And thankfully for me, I know the owner of that gasp very, very well. “Mum?” I call out as I turn around. “Mother?” I ask again as I hear her begin to cry.
“No. No, no, no, no!” She cries even harder. Never once have I heard her cry like this, not even when she sister and closest friend died during birthing her pup.
She cries extremely hard as I turn around to look at her and it shocks me to see her like this, it is hard to see your parents break down before your eyes. As much as she shocks me, what else I see absolutely paralyses me.
I see her crying over my body. My very pale body that is starting to turn to a sickly shade of blue.
I stumble a few steps backwards as my hand covers my mouth. This isn’t real, this can’t be real. This is some sick mind game, a trick that Jasper wants to play on me. A trick to get back at me from all of the ones I have played on him over the years. Especially the one when Helena and I convinced him that she lost her arm.
This is what this has to be.
I trip over a rock that is sitting out of the ground slightly and land flat on my ass as I try to make my way away from the scene in front of me. Sitting on the ground I actually look at myself for the first time.
This is not me, this isn’t my skin, it is no longer bronzed with a sun-kissed glow. It now looks pale, with a bluish tinge to it. As if I have bathed in the nothing but the light of the moon. My body looks partially translucent I can almost see straight through myself when my head moves to different angles. It reminds me of when I looked through the diamond my father found for mother when they first met, his mating gift for her.
Pushing myself off of the ground I walk back over towards my mother, ignoring the body on the ground that holds an eerie resemblance to me. I try to put my hand on her shoulder, but just like with father my hand goes straight through her.
I don’t understand this, what in moons name is going on right now? Walking over to the trees behind my mother I see if I can touch them. But I can’t, I manage to walk straight through them, the only thing I seem to be able to touch is myself.
Looking up to the sky it is getting darker and darker by the second and soon the full moon will light up the pack. Soon everyone here will have to leave too, in order to look after our dead and injured.
I just hope someone gives me my answers before I am left here all alone with nothing but the moons light for comfort.
“How could you let this happen?” My mothers’ icy blue eyes burn directly into my father’s as her voice accuses him. He has no words for her, his mouth just opens and closes as he looks over to what is supposedly my body.
Glancing down at myself I don’t recognise anything. So much blood is covering me, pooling on the ground. Even my raven coloured hair is soaked with blood. The amount of blood in my hair is giving it a red glow in the fleeting sunlight, it would look like a nice dye job if my hair wasn’t completely matted with blood and knots.
My eyes are shut, but there is still a smile on my face, a smile that I can’t find at this present moment.
If it wasn’t for all of the blood I would say that I look peaceful, happy even. The one thing I did notice was my pendant, reaching up to my own neck it isn’t there. A family heirloom passed down from mother to daughter. It is supposedly charmed by the moon as a gift to our family to offer protection.
Some protection it is offering me right.
But I do love the pendant, it is gorgeous, made from some fallen moonstone that landed in the centre of our pack many years before we officially became a pack. Mother always said it matched me and my unnatural eyes that look like the moon’s surface with a fire burning out from my iris perfectly. No one has ever seen eyes like mine before and they tend to unnerve everyone around me the first time they look into my eyes. Something in me whispers out for me to grab it and take it with me.
Wherever it is that I may be going.
Reaching down, I am surprised that I can even manage to touch it let alone grab onto it. I pull it off of my body and something strange happens. It is hard for me to comprehend let alone explain, but it is like the pendant becomes two, I pull it off of my body but the pendant also stays on my body.
The one I was able to pull away because translucent as I place it around my neck.
Everything is so strange and confusing right now.
A bright light, brighter than any light of Helios shines from behind me, and once again none of the wolves from my pack seem to notice. Turning to look at it, it looks as though the full moon has come to earth.
Squinting into in the light I can see two figures, although I can’t make out any features besides the pack that one is a woman and the other is a man.
“Liana.” The woman calls with her arms held open. She was the kind whisper. “Liana it is time.” The Male joins in, he was the not so nice whisper. I still haven’t heard the soothing sing-song whisper again, I am starting to think that I imagined that one.
Glancing back and forth between my family and the light, something about the light feels warm and homey, like pure love. “Li Li.” I woman calls out again with her arms still held open for me to walk into. I continue to look back and forth between the two. I feel as though I am stuck at a crossroads with no idea on what to do.
Do I stay or do I go?
What will happen to me if I stay here where everyone is ignoring my existence? Will I watch my family forever with them never paying me attention. But what will happen if I go with the unknown figures?
Endless questions swirl around in my mind, but it seems as though the choice is made for me as the light gets closer and closer until I can see the figures clearly. “G-ma? Pop?” I say more to myself than them. I question if it is really them or not, they died when I was young only four years old, that I barely remember what they look like.
“Li Li, my darling gem.” My G-ma steps to me and pulls me into her arms for a hug. “I am so sorry.” She kisses into my hair.
Pop moves closer to us and places a hand on G-mas’ shoulder. “As am I little one, as am I”
“What is happening?” I ask them both completely confused. Looking at them, they both look exactly the same. G-ma still has the same emerald eyes with smile lines surrounding them. Along with her full and thick greying hair. I barely remember what she was like but I do remember her unconditional love. She held a kindness that she held open for everyone, I don’t think she ever met a wolf that she couldn’t love in some form.
“This dear, this is death.” G-ma tells me with a sad and glassy look in her eyes. “We never expected death to come so soon in our family, you all had so much living left to do.” She continues with tears slowly cascading down her cheeks.
“Where am I now then? Why can’t I touch anything?” Questions flow out of my mouth just like word vomit, unable to stop myself.
“You are in a state of limbo.” The sing-song voice reappears, although it holds no form, only a glowing moonlight similar to that of my pendant.
“Limbo?” I ask looking over to my grandparents for guidance, as they take a few steps back bowing their heads slightly to this presence before fully disappearing from sight.
“Yes, limbo.” The voice repeats, the voice holds power and authority, but also love. And a hint of sadness.
But why would it be sad?
“What is limbo?” I ask again not knowing what it is the voice is talking about.
“It is the place between life and death.”
“Why am I here?” I ask confused taking a step towards the light, trying to gauge who exactly it is.
“Because you have a choice right now, a choice that is quickly fading from you. That is why we called you for so long.”
“What choice?” I ask a little sceptical
“A choice of either life or death. Not many people get this choice, but you, you must make the right one.” I feel as though she is trying to send me a warning. That is I make the wrong choice things may go terribly wrong.
“How do I know what is the right choice?”
You will know, deep down you know which choice you have to make.” As the voice speaks it begins to float over to the body that is lying lifeless on the ground. As she grows lighter the body on the ground begins to lose even more colour with each passing second.
Time is fading quickly.
Looking t the light, I can’t pull my eyes from it, it is beautiful. Just like a full moon on a clear night with some lilac and light blue lights dancing across it.
“But how?” I ask once more. How do I decide to give up on my life that has barely even begun for death?
What could even await me in death?
“Just look inside of yourself, find the pull and follow where it leads you and all will be fine.” The mysterious soothing voice repeats. If it weren’t because I can see that the voice is nothing but a floating light I could swear to the moon that it rubbed my arms in a comforting way. “Just close your eyes Liana and follow your heart. It will never lead you wrong.”
Closing my eyes once more, I try to do what the voice told me. Emptying my mind of everything and trying to find the pull that is somewhere hidden deep down inside me, trying to listen to what it wants.
I surprise myself when I open my eyes and find myself standing away from my body and facing the light of the moon.
“Why?” I ask myself more than the floating light.
“Some of us are just born to die.”