The day we turned 15 I knew we weren’t normal.
When we woke up, we felt strange. We could feel this new strength and power in us. As I laid on the bottom bunk in our bedroom, I stared at the strings from the mattress above me.
As wolves, we would shift for the first time today. We were always told at some point in the afternoon on your 15th birthday your bones will start cracking and contorting. Then you’ll drop down on the ground and after the crunching stops, your wolf will have emerged and you’ll take your first step as a wolf.
But when I woke up, I felt something else.
It felt like my whole body was vibrating with this pure energy. I couldn’t describe it even if I tried. Laying on my bed almost felt like I was floating above it.
A pair of tiny legs dangled over the side of the top bunk before the body dropped down.
My twin sister Zia.
She looked at me with the same wide-eyed curious look. She could feel the power too. I could see in her bright aqua blue eyes that matched mine, that she was also scared. I know because I was scared too. This wasn’t anything like we were told we were going to feel when we woke up.
She crawled onto my bed and sat beside me. We didn’t have to say anything to each other. Being twins we always had this bond. I could always feel her and she could always feel me. We could finally mindlink each other now that we had our wolves, but we’ve been linking each other since the day we were born.
Our parents always told us that when we were born, we’d cry if we weren’t next to each other. We shared everything together. All our toys, our room, our friends and sometimes our bed. Zia still wasn’t used to sleeping in the dark. Even though we were both 15, it was time we turned the night light off.
She always said she hated the dark because she thought there was something watching her. No matter how many times I told her there was nothing hiding in our room or outside our bedroom window, she never believed me. But I could feel her worry and fear through our bond.
So, she’d bring her pink fluffy blanket down from her bunk and cuddled her lilac coloured stuffed unicorn doll as she took over most of my bed. I never minded because that’s my little sister and I’m her big brother.
I’ll always protect her.
“Ali?” Zia said in her small voice she used when she was scared.
“Yeah, Zi?” I said as I sat up next to her.
She went to grab my hand like she always did when she was afraid of something, but the second she did we felt it.
It was like we created this special bond that was just between us. Our breaths were pulled from our bodies as the room around us disappeared. When we could finally breathe again, we gasped in shock. What we saw was...was amazing.
The air around us felt like we were being hugged, and the air almost shimmered like there was diamond dust in the air. The ground, if you could call it that, almost looked like clouds. We couldn’t see our feet, but we could feel that we were standing. As we looked in the distance it was like we were standing on top of clouds during twilight. The sky looked like it was on the border of day and night. There were so many shades of pink, purples, blues, oranges. There were stars sparkling high up in the sky, but these stars were different. They were so close to us. They were bigger and brighter than we’ve ever seen before in the night sky.
We tightened our grips on each other’s hands as we looked around amazed. Then we felt her.
We couldn’t see her, but we could hear her, feel her walking around us.
She didn’t speak psychical words. She spoke in our minds.
She told us that we were special. That we were her warriors who were born to help her. She told us that each had powers to help wolves in need.
She said Zia had the gift of Last Sight. That she would be able to send people here to the moon to see their lost mates and loved ones.
I had what she called the gift of Serenity. I had the power to calm anyone down. The angriest alphas of the wildest rogues, I would be able to calm them with just one touch of my hand.
She said together with Zia, we could mend the broken hearts of wolves who have lost their mates or loved ones. We have the ability to pull strength from the goddess if we needed it. But she gave us two warnings. One was for Zia to be careful. She said she gave Zia something else because she would need it.
She was very cryptic about that but the other one was anything but cryptic. She showed us the Forsaken Place.
Just as quick as she said it, a wild arctic wind blew around us. The change in temperature was so sudden and chilling. The bright twilight sky changed with the wind. The vibrant colours were replaced by every shade of black, grey, and dark blues. Every breath we took you could see the puff of air. I looked at Zia to see her lips had gone blue. The temperature was so cold here we couldn’t move. There were no stars in the sky anymore, only darkness. What was even more chilling then the temperature was the howling and cries from all the wolves trapped here.
We could see glowing eyes from wolves who were sent here after death as punishment for the way they lived their lives and treated others of their kind. We could feel their pain, their regret, and some of their anger. I didn’t realise we were crying until a warm wind circled around us and we were back in that warm, starry skied place. Our tears felt so cold against our now warm skin.
The goddess told us we were not to take living wolves here. This place was only for the punished. The moment wolves die the goddess decides which place their souls are taken.
She also warned that people would abuse our gifts. They would try to take advantage of us. That is why she made us as strong as alphas.
“Why us?” I spoke out before I realized I had spoken.
Just before she spoke, I could feel her hand being lightly placed on my cheek. I still couldn’t see her, but I felt her. I felt the power she held. She said we came from a long line of strong wolves. That she gifted our mother with twins because she knew we could handle the power and responsibility of being her warriors. She said we would face hardships, but our bond will only strengthen us as we grew older.
We felt so proud to be chosen by her.
We knew we were special before our fifteenth birthday. You see, wolves birthing twin pups are extremely rare. The last set of twins to be born were more than a 100 years ago. So we knew we were different.
But now we know why.
I felt her place a kiss against my forehead before I looked over to Zia to see her beaming the biggest smile I’ve ever seen. When her eyes opened, she lightly touched her forehead.
We just looked at each other and knew we could do this. We were born to do this.
Just as we accepted our fate, our breaths were taken from our bodies again. The ground beneath our feet gave out and we were falling. Then, just as quickly we were back in our bedroom, sitting on my bed.
Zia tackled me in a hug as we both cried. But they weren’t tears of sadness but of joy. That whole experience was incredible.
As we basked in the glow of feeling the goddess and speaking to her, Zia’s back cracked and snapped forward just as my shoulder dislocated and contorted to a new shape.
Then our screams started.