I stared blankly in front of me, my glazed eyes following the glorious casket floating along the swift coursing river. My mind couldn’t fathom what all happened in the last few days. Images of everything fluttered through my eyelids, fast like an action picture movie. Images of my bloodied mother and sister. Images of my sister getting attacked by Adolph right before my very own eyes. Through the transparent images, I watched as an arrow containing fire leaped through the strong wind, striking the casket, engulfing it in a hue of orange and blue flames.
I felt a soft squeeze come from my left hand. I shook my head to clear all the rampaging thoughts and glanced in the direction of the touch. Tiberius was there looking at me with concern in his golden eyes. They shimmered with sincerity and sadness. He gave me an apologetic smile, but all I could do was flash him a quick one in return. I looked to my right and Katherine was holding my other hand. She was resting in a wheelchair and her right arm and leg were in giant green casts. She looked pretty beaten up, but I was glad she was still alive and safe considering the circumstance. I let go of Tiberius’s hand and gave her a gentle hug, careful not to hurt her anymore. It was apparent that it was just what she needed as she erupted into wet tears on my chest.
“Shh Kat, it will all be ok,” I said in a hushed voice.
We both knew it would not be ok. How could it when our darling mother was dead? We were both alone with no parents left. She obviously wasn’t in the mood for arguing, or she wanted to believe it herself, as she shook her head up and down in acknowledgment. She was trying to be brave and strong.
According to the doctors, Kat broke her back, right leg, and right arm in the fight. Her back was all healed, but still extremely sore. Unfortunately, her leg and arm are still trying to mend themselves back together. Her arm and leg were broken terribly. They were snapped in various locations within the bone, some fragments even exposed themselves from the skin. I was told that she is lucky she can heal fast, or her injuries would have caused her to never walk again. That is if she even would have survived.
Pulling my attention from my sister, I focused it back on the casket. There went my mother, casket on fire, floating down the river. My heart ached at the sight. I couldn’t take it anymore. I couldn’t just stand there and watch her float away. I wasn’t ready to face a world without her yet. I started running through the hills after her. I transformed into my wolf, shredding my clothes into millions of pieces.
“Calla!” I heard Tiberius yell after me.
I glanced back at him.
Devlon put a hand in front of him and said in a hushed tone, “Let her go.”
I ran all the way to the edge of the cliff, where there was no more land to run left. Her casket was right next to me. I looked down at it as I held back my tears.
“I am sorry, mother. I will always love you. I promise that I will take care of Kat for us.”
I lifted my head up and the casket continued down the river, into the sunset, away from my field of vision. I laid on the cliff and closed my eyes. I tried to picture my mother’s face one last time. I pictured her warm and loving smile. How her beautiful blue eyes sparkled in delight as her puffy lips curved upwards. How her long brown hair flowed in the slightest amount of rustling wind. How it drifted towards my nose, reminding me of the lilacs.
My vision was interrupted when I heard someone say “Calla,” gently behind me.
I opened my eyes and Reed was standing there with a saddened expression on his pale face.
“Hey Reed,” I said to him. “What’s up?” My voice sounded shaky and monotoned.
“Calla, you’re worrying us. Maybe you should come back inside,” Reed muttered.
I flashed my head back to where I last saw my mother. She was too far gone to see, even with my wolf vision. I inclined my head once indicating that I would go with him.
“Goodbye mother,” was the last thing I said as I turned around and followed Reed to the castle.
As I made it to the door, my heart dropped. “Kat!” I called out as soon as I remembered that I forgot her at the river. I took a step in the direction to go back and fetch her. Reed lightly put a hand on my back.
“Don’t worry Calla, she is already back here safe and sound. Tiberius brought her back a few minutes before I went to find you.”
I inclined my large wolf head to him in gratitude but said nothing. Reed opened the door for me and I walked into my “house” and into my room. Without changing into my human form, I got onto the bed, twirled in a circle, and closed my eyes. Eventually, the pain and exhaustion overtook my body, bringing me into a deep slumber.
Kat and I were sitting on the dark green forest floor in our wolf forms. We were staring up at the brilliant sky illuminated by the stars and moon.
“What do you think mom is doing right now?” Kat asked me.
I lowered my gaze to look at her. Her blue eyes twinkled but didn’t move from the stars. I looked back up at the sky and exhaled.
“I bet she is happy with Dad. I bet they are both watching over us right now. I can picture her smiling down at us, happy that we are finally getting along.” I gave off a small chuckle.
Kat was silent. I glanced back over towards her and noticed a small tear fall from her soft cheek.
“She would be so proud of you Kat.”
“You think so?” She asked me.
“I know so.” I simply replied as I slowly walked over to her one paw at a time.
A quiet crunch sounded from behind me. I quickly turned around, scanning the woods for danger. I saw nothing. I smelt the air to try to pick up a trace of a foreign scent. Nothing. I shook my head confused.
“What’s the matter, Calla?” Kat walked over to me confused.
“Didn’t you hear that?” I asked her cocking my head sideways.
“Hmm never mind. I must have been hearing things, I must still be on edge.”
“Don’t worry Calla. Everything is fine now. Adolph is dead, you killed him yourself. Rafiq and the rest of the group were chased from the area and sent away. There isn’t anything else to worry about.”
I huffed audibly. “I know, it’s just hard thinking that everything is finally ok. It feels too much like a dream. I can’t help but worry.”
“I know how you feel Calla, I do. But you must relax a little and have a good life. If not for me, do it for mom.” She said to me.
I inclined my head to her and looked back at the stars. “Watch over us mother,” I muttered to her.
A loud gunshot rattled in the brisk night air. I jumped to my paws, startled. I observed the darkness to see the source. A man in a black skin-tight outfit was against a tree holding up a rifle. He was too far away to make out any of his facial features. Quickly, I got into my fighting stance.
White fangs bared and blurted out, “Who are you?!”
“Tisk Tisk Calla. You should really know who I am.” I recognized that voice somewhere, but I couldn’t remember where.
I furrowed my eyebrows confused. “I don’t know who you are, let me see your face,” I said to him.
“You will have some time to figure out who I am. Just know that we are coming.”
“Who are we?” I asked growing agitated by the lack of answers.
“The who?!” I yelled.
“Would you rather know that, or would you rather save your sister. I have a feeling you don’t have the time for both.”
“Kat? She is right here. She doesn’t need saving.”
As soon as I finished talking, I glanced to my right. My stomach dropped, and my heart stopped beating. Katherine was laying on the ground bleeding from her shoulder. A pool of dark red blood surrounded her.
“Kat!” I yelled as I transformed back to my human self to apply pressure to the wound site. Thick warm blood coated my hand. “What did you do!?” I screamed in the direction of the mystery man.
To my disbelief, he wasn’t there. I looked back down at my sister, but she was disappeared into thin air.
“Kat!” I yelled again.
The world around me spun and everything went black.
I awoke to the feeling of someone shaking me. I rapidly opened my eyes and shot my upper body up.
“Calla, are you ok? It was only a nightmare!” My sister yelled at me from on top of my body.
“Kat you’re still hurt. Where is your wheelchair?” I asked her worried.
She laughed and crawled off of me.
“Calla, they removed both casts about an hour ago and I was cleared to go without the wheelchair.”
“Oh,” I muttered back. “Wait, what time is it.”
“About 12 PM.”
“Holy crap! How did I sleep that long?!” I asked myself amazed.
Kat simply laughed. “You were tired Calla, don’t fret about it.”
I felt a drop of sweat fall from my forehead. I placed my right hand on my forehead. It was soaking wet. My hair was plastered to my face and neck. My heart was racing a hundred miles an hour. Katherine’s face was full of concern once again.
“Calla, what were you dreaming about?” She asked me.
“It was nothing.” I quickly replied to her not wanting to discuss it with her.
“Calla.” She started but I cut her off. “Please Kat, I’d just really rather not talk about it.”
“You could be having such bad dreams from that fall you took you know? Adolph bashed your head into that tree super hard. You could still have a concussion.” Kat said to me with a voice full of concern.
“Kat, I’m ok,” I replied agitated.
“Alright.” My sister said giving me a small understanding smile.
“Thank you, Kat,” I said to her.
We both climbed off the luxurious bed that was now soaked with sweat. She placed a small hand on my shoulder and flashed me a quick smile. I returned one back to her. She removed her hand from my shoulder and exited the room.
I plopped down on my bed, my mind beginning to race. Who was that guy? What the heck is a TWHS that the man mentioned? Is it even a real thing?
“Of course, it’s not Calla. It was just a dream. You have to calm down.” I told myself.
I took a deep breath in and exhaled it. If I was in the cold a puff of air would have escaped. Everything was going to be alright. I had to tell myself that in order to believe it. I had to get out of bed and face the day. No more hiding in my room. No more avoiding people just because I was afraid they would mention my mother. It was time to face life and there was no more hiding that I could do. It was time to grow up and finally leave the comfort and isolation of my room.
I walked into the kitchen towards the noise my sister was putting off. When I arrived I noticed she was washing the dishes. I let out a tiny chuckle. She looked at me with a question on her slim face.
“Sorry. Just a few days ago mom got mad at me for not doing the dishes. Remember?” I said to her in a hushed voice.
Kat smiled back at me. “I remember. It’s funny how a terrible memory has turned into a good one isn’t it.” She said to me.
“Well, actually, I kind of prefer it. The more memories the better right?” I questioned her.
“You know I never thought of it like that. I agree.” She said as she wiped her hands on the towel.
“Hey Kat, would you like to go for a run with me in our wolves?” I asked her.
“Of course! I thought you would never ask!” She exclaimed jumping for joy. I couldn’t help but let out a loud laugh.
“Alright chickadee. Try to contain the excitement.” She grabbed my hand and ran me out the door.
As we were “walking,” pretty much running through the hallways, we almost ran straight into Tiberius. My heart sank at the sight of him.
“Calla,” Tiberius started.
Kat slowed down, so we could talk.
“Sorry Tiberius, we can talk later,” I said to him not giving him a chance to say anything before running away.
I wasn’t ready to face him quite yet. I wasn’t ready to break his heart. Kat flashed a confused look towards me but said nothing.
“Calla, what’s the matter?” Tiberius said to me in my head. I didn’t respond.
“LaLaLa,” I said in my head to keep my thoughts hidden under the noise.
“Why are you doing that?” He asked me.
“Doing what?” I pretended to be innocent.
“Never mind.” He said to me in an agitated tone. “Just talk to me later.” He grumbled and the connection was severed.
I let out a loud breath thankful that he couldn’t hear what I was thinking.
Finally, we made it outside. We both went behind different trees and changed into our wolves. It took Kat a few extra minutes before she was able to transform. I just sat in front of my tree waiting for her to arrive. A slight summer breeze blew the scent of the forest to my nose. It caused excitement to erupt within me. My wolf was anxious to feel the wind on her fur. To feel the thrill of the hunt. Unfortunately, since it would only be Kat and I, there wouldn’t be much of a hunt. We would have to stay with rabbits or something small to make sure Kat was safe. It would be her first hunt after all. Finally, Kat arrived to me in her beautiful grey wolf. It would take me a bit to get used to the fact that she is indeed a werewolf now, just like me.
“Are you ready to go?” She asked me bubbling with enthusiasm.
“Yes,” I replied as I started to turn around.
A flash of red presented itself in front of my face causing me to jump backward in surprise. I heard a low laugh erupt from the source.
“Jesus Reed. You scared the crap out of me!” I yelled at him.
“You should have seen the look on your face!” He laughed even louder.
I rolled my eyes at him.
“Hey Reed, we were just going to go for a run. Would you like to join us?” Kat asked him.
I glanced over in her direction.
“That is ok right Calla?” She asked me suddenly aware that we never discussed asking others to join us.
“Of course it is Kat. It’s your decision as well. You don’t have to ask for my permission.” I said to her.
“Sure! I would love to join you guys!” Reed exclaimed.
“Alright, let’s go,” I said to them out loud.
“Reed, I swear if you start flirting with my sister right in front of me, I’m going to tackle you.” I said to him within my mind.”
“Aww is babe getting jealous.”
“You wish,” I replied.
“Decided Tiberius wasn’t as good as he seems. Decided that I’m better, huh.” He said jokingly.
The smile wiped from my face as my heart dropped by what he said. I started to turn my head back towards the woods without saying anything.
“Wait, what’s wrong Calla.”
“Nothing,” I replied.
“Calla, please tell me you’re not doing what I’m thinking.”
“And what’s that?” I asked him.
“I don’t have a choice,” I replied. The hurt was evident in my voice.
“Calla.” Reed started.
My sisters' voice cut him off making me shake the voice out of my head. “Hey! Come one guys! I can’t hear you when you talk within your head and you know that! Don’t leave me out! What were you guys saying?” She asked.
“Don’t worry about it Kat. It wasn’t anything important.” I said to her not wanting her to know what was going on.
“Then get going.” I flashed a face towards Reed telling him that he better not tell her what we were talking about.
He simply shook his head sadly and followed us into the woods.