Solstice Howl

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Chapter 3

I forlornly leaned my head against the window of my small prison room. Granted, the wolves told me its my sanctuary until tonight. Tonight, unbeknownst to me, is the Winter Solstice Moon. The night that unmated females and human males are casted off into woods.

The wolves had ironically called me rabid.

When any of them attempted to make contact with me, I snapped my teeth as if I were going to bite them. They kept their female mates away from me when bringing food, food which I refused to eat. They told me if I do not have a werewolf mate, I will be trialled for treason, that I’d most likely be executed. When they asked for my information, I had clamped my mouth shut and let my hair curtain my face from their gazes.

A couple of hours ago, I heard a girl weeping to the room next to me, I tried to console her through the thin white wall but her sobs were so loud, she couldn’t hear me.

After they had rounded all of us into a group, they assigned each girl a room in what I believe to be an abandoned pack house and tried to collect information about other rebel groups. I prayed to God above that no one snitched.

When they tried to coax me out of the army green military bus holding the twenty four of us females that had been aged between 15-25, I refused. As did some of the others. I recognized most, like Alphy Whitehead who I grew up playing dolls with, we had stopped talking for no definitive reason. She held my hand despite not have talking for years as we stood side by side, refusing to let them take us.

Of course, in the end, we had to because they started to get physical, but our perseverance helped establish a sort of... confidence that all of us were surely lacking before.

It’s been exactly thirteen hours since I’ve been taken and I feel like it’s been eternity. The one person who can keep me company is constantly weeping and I feel like I’m going out of my mind from lack of movement. They had shackled me to the wall and told me I wouldn’t be let out until two hours prior to the Solstice moon. By then, I had spat on their face, called them bitches (because they kind of are, except male), and attempted to punch their face repeatedly.

They had stripped me of my weapons, thoroughly checking me and forcefully took my hair out if it’s ponytail, unfortunately, I know the reason why.

So they can scent if I’m their mate.

Considering my scent had been masked by the concoction, it would be hard for any wolf to catch my scent. Letting my hair down, which contains natural oils, would help them figure it out. I refused to meet any of their eyes and ignored them until they left in frustration. But, what they didn’t know, is I had a knife stuck in my bra, the one place they couldn’t check. I had slid the pocket knife in there on the truck ride there strategically.

Suddenly, the weeping stopped and I stood up, but was unable to step forward because of the shackles.

“Hello?” My hoarse voice croaked.

“Mya?” I instantly recognized the voice, Devin’s daughter. Though, she was twelve when her mom was taken, she is now fifteen.

“Nova!” I felt warmth spread through me at the familiar voice and rubbed my tired eyes, “I-’m sorry this is happening to us.”

“They killed my Dad, Mya.” Her voice peeled, wavering slightly from the onslaught of tears. My heart plummeted,

“Oh, Nova.” I felt tears pool into my eyes but kept them at bay, I need to be strong.

But, Devin was our leader, the one man I thought strong enough to get through this and save us.

Now I’m my only salvation.

“They’re casting us off into the woods in five hours,” She cried, I can just imagine her face red from tears and her unique green eyes swollen, “I might h-have to be with one of the monsters.”

“Oh, no hunny.” I tried to console, but in actuality, she’s right.

“Will you be with me, Mya?”

“Of course,” I vehemently promised, “We’re not going down without a fight.”

“That’s why I’ve always envied you, Mya Collins-” I can almost hear the hopelessness in her voice, “You’re bravery never ceases. You’ll always have that fire in you.”

How she was wrong. Right now, the last thing I’m feeling is bravery.

A timid knock could be heard from her side of the room and I can vaguely hear a low voice, but, I can’t make out what it’s saying.

Then, someone barged into my room, the female is nimble and petite. I concurred that she is human because werewolves are flawless and this girl is anything but. Her most noticeable attribute, a swollen belly. She bares the mark of a wolf on her neck and in her hand, she clutches a silver dress. “We have five hours to make you presentable, so prepare yourself.” She smiled and for once, I was speechless.

She wordlessly unshackled me and laid numerous utensils that I’ve never seen before on the ledge of the window.

“What are you doing?” I asked between clenched teeth as she prodded my face and lifted strands of my hair.

“Dry,” She muttered to herself and grabbed me by the shoulder to pull me up, “you need a shower.”

Hell no.

“I refuse to get dressed up for this barbaric escapade,” I huffed and violently shook her hands off my shoulder.

“They said you’d be difficult. It’s why they picked me to fix you up. Of course, Felix, my mate, was reluctant because you’re rabid and violent. But, I promised I can handle myself against a human female. I told him that I’d link him if you touch me in any way. They said you don’t respond pleasantly to wolves so they sent me-” She prattled on, ushering me to the bathroom and started the shower, “Now that I’ve seen you, you’ll definitely be easy to fix up. I mean, you’re really pretty. Long legs, tan skin- God, I wish I was tan, if I stripped naked in the dark, I’d be practically illuminating. You’ve got nice hair too, a little dry but nothing hair products and conditioner can’t fix. Your hair is so freaking dark and long, have you ever cut it? And, damn your eyes, they’re unnaturally silver. Has anyone ever told you that they glitter? Back to the hair, I wish I had that color, it’s so dark and pretty.”

I ignored her after the word ‘now’ and gazed in the mirror, my expressionless image staring back at me. I’m not ugly, but by no means beautiful. Granted, my features sound beautiful and exotic but, they’re rearranged wrong on my face. My eyes are slanted, taking up a large portion of my face and I’ve got a sharp nose. I’m toned because of the training I’ve endured my whole life, but soft on my stomach as well because I eat way too much. My breasts are not small but definitely not large, and my legs are long, eating up most of my torso. Last time I checked my height, it was five foot ten but that was one and a half year ago so I probably grew an inch or two since then. I had a small brown birthmark on my neck, which isn’t all that noticeable considering my skin is so tan. Devin had told me that my Father was Hispanic and my mother Caucasian, that they were both beautiful people. My eyes were drawn to the white scar on my temple, next to my furry black eyebrows that are in dire need of plucking. I had gotten it while playing a game of tag with Carter. While running outside chasing him, I tripped over my shoe lace and face planted onto the ground, a small stick plunging a quarter of the way onto my forehead.

“-Anyways, start stripping, the water is warm.” I ignored her and stared at my reflection as if I were mesmerized. It’s been a while since I’d seen myself, Devin had said mirrors were unnecessary supplies and we had more important things to raid. The last time I had glanced at my reflection was on my fifteenth birthday when Carter went on his first raid and brought me back a dress and a hand mirror. The dress was pink and fluffy, three sizes too big, yet I had clutched it to me as if had been God’s gift and numerously kissed Carter’s cheek. I had to sell the mirror a couple of days later because I was short on food, but I kept the dress.

I wonder where Carter is.

“C’mon, Silver eyes, I would strip you myself but, I’m afraid you’ll bite me.”

An internal debate raged in my head- and ultimately decided to lose this battle, but the war has yet to come.

I wordlessly pulled off my combat boots, inconspicuously plucking the knife from my bra and stuffing it into the shoe while she turned away. Then the socks came off, then my black shirt sporting numerous stains, and lastly the cargo pants. I refuse to take off my undergarments and she seemed to understand because she pulled open the shower curtain.

“Are you going to leave?” I barked, uncomfortable with her wide eyes peering at me.

“I’m not permitted to.” Was her brisk reply.

Lose this battle, save it for the war.

As the warm water cascaded over my body, I let my eyes flutter close and let the water relax my muscles, my undergarments stuck to my skin uncomfortably. I heard the faint noise of her opening a shampoo bottle and then her hands were about to reach out to scrub my scalp but my hand latched onto her wrist before she could touch me, “I can do it myself.” I said with a gritty voice.

She gazed at me with a firm-set mouth, “I want to wash your hair, that’s it, I promise.” I slowly let go of her wrist and let my hands drop. She placed her hand on my scalp, massaging my head from the roots to the tip of my hair. Wet, my hair falls to my butt, but dry, it curls slightly above my waist. I’ve never gotten it cut and the ends are split and tangled. I took showers of course, but I only used soap because shampoo and conditioner were hard to get.

Once my hair was thoroughly washed of shampoo suds, she lathered it in conditioner, muttering about how my hair is too thick. She let me wash my body with her back to me, for which I was grateful, as she lathered another cream in my hair, I spoke up, “How can you stand to be mated with a wolf?”

Her hands stilled in my hair for a second, then continued to massage, “I had been living in the human villages my whole life. The wolves had ripped me from my family for the Solstice Moon two years ago and I shared your feelings. Hatred that the wolves dictate our lives. Plus, most of the time, it was werewolf females and male wolves mating, human mates only happen every so often. But, when Felix found me hiding behind a shrub in the woods-” She closed her eyes as if to reminisce the memory, “I knew I would never be able to leave him. He was so sweet, he takes me to visit my family, he waited for me to comply when it came to our mating. If you have a mate out there, I promise you, he’d rather hurt himself then ever hurt you.”

I blinked repeatedly as the water went cold, as did my mood.

“Let’s get you out of here,” She cooed and grabbed a plush towel, wrapping it around me. “We had to take a guess at your size, hopefully it all fits. I’ve got you a robe to wear while I do your hair and makeup, the dress will come last.”

“If you’re not even certain that I have a mate, why take all this time dolling me up?” I asked while pulling on the silk robe.

“Because if you do, you don’t want your first impression to be you looking bad, right?”

I stared at her impassively, “I thought that they’d love you no matter what you look like.” I dryly commented.

“Well, yes, but first impressions are always important.”

She then proceeded to plug in a utensil I’ve never seen before and pressed a button on its handle, causing it to make a loud noise and hot air to blow out of it.

I jumped when she started waving it around my hair, causing me to swerve away.

“Relax,” she laughed, “It’s a blow dryer, it’s supposed to dry your hair.” I hesitantly sat back onto the seat and let her wave it around my hair as she combed it, not stopping until my hair shined without an ounce of water left.

She then plugged in another utensil and waited a couple of minutes in silence until she picked it up and dragged it along my hair, causing it to be straighter than it usually is.

After she ran it over my hair so many times I lost count, she braided the two front sides of my hair and attached them at the back of my head with a silver flower clip, leaving the rest down. “They had told me your eye color so I’d be able to pick the perfect dress.” She answered my unspoken question.

She sprayed something onto my hair and then moved onto my face plucking and prodding my eyebrows. I winced and jerked, causing her to lean more into me, after the tenth pluck I shot up, “Quit it!”

“Geez, ok. Come back here.”

I sat back down as she peered at my face, “You don’t need foundation because surprisingly, your face is smooth aside from a few permanent acne scars. But, you do need some blush, your face is pale. She picked out a dark pink and colored my cheekbones, then applied a clear gloss on my lips, “Wolves like their mate as natural as possible,” she started to say as she stood up and handed me white converse, winking; “You’re lucky you have me because most girls are getting heels. But, you’re getting shoes so that you can run, you seem like a runner.”

I gave her a thankful nod and pulled on the socks then the shoes.

“OK, dress time!” She clapped excitedly and grabbed the dress wrapped in plastic, silver peels of fabric peeking out.

She handed it to me but, before I could turn towards the restroom, her grip tightened, “If you do anything-” She cleared her throat, “-Anything, to this dress, I will rip you apart.”

I discreetly gulped and stepped away from her, wanting to tell her that someone as small and with her... condition wouldn’t even touch me but remained silent and went into the bathroom.

I pulled on the long dress, cursing it when I realized I would have to pick it up so it won’t drag as I run. I’ll have to tear it when I get in there. I also noticed the glitter, which would also need to go because it would make me a lot more noticeable at night.

When I stepped out her eyes were shiny, “You’re so beautiful!”

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