The sacrifice

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Chapter two

Two of the men slowly approached her, trying not to scare her, and untied her from the post, then removed the ropes from her wrists completely. Oriana rubbed her irritated skin as she tried not to look lower than the men’s chests. She had never seen a naked man and at that moment she had nine male genitalia pointing at her, the very idea made her heat up, she didn’t want to think how her body would react if she really looked down.

“What is your name?” asked one of the men.

Oriana shifted her gaze to him and swept his face slowly. He had the darkest eyes she had ever seen, there was something fierce in them, something animal, perhaps something of the beast that he carried within him.

“Oriana,” she answered in a firm voice and she could see the surprise on the men’s faces.

She wanted to smile inwardly but she held back anyway. If there was something that characterized Oriana’s character, it was her temperance, her ability to stay stoic despite the fear, despite the pain, and of course, had had a lot of practice in her life.

“You must understand something, Oriana,” the man continued. “You won’t die... tonight… ” He paused, perhaps looking for relief, disbelief, or some mark of fragility on the human’s face, she didn’t give them any. “However, you will never see your people or your family again, your life as you knew it ends tonight.”

Oriana took her time to answer and observed the faces of the men around her, they all had an undeniable allure, all of their eyes seemed from another world, and it was difficult to look away.

“I have no family, the plague took them away, and tonight I expected nothing more than death, so any chance at life that does not stain my name or my dignity is a gift that I am willing to accept.”

“The dignity of our women is something we not only respect, but protect,” another of the men assured her.

“You said the plague took your family,” asked another man. “What about you?” Didn’t the plague touch you?

“Twice the plague entered my house” answered Oriana “the first took my uncle and my little brother, the second my parents; however, I never got sick.”

The beast-man nodded in response, and then silence fell once more in the clearing. Each of the men watched her in amazement. As soon as they had emerged from the forest, they concentrated in her scent, the one that resided beneath all the oils with which they had contaminated her skin. The first three wolves had made the claim because her bodily perfume called for their beasts. Then they had focused on her body, whose dress left nothing to the imagination. The majority who had claimed her later were interested on making a young woman of undeniable beauty their own, and because they loved the game that came later. But everyone had been taken by surprise by the strength of the young woman, even the fierceness she kept in her gaze told themthat she was not afraid. The safety on her words showed them her nature. She even was able to keep her heart beating at a steady rate. They had never encountered such a specimen. Most of the women screamed, cried, pleaded, fainted, or even backed into a place from which it was difficult to get them out afterwards, but not the young woman named Oriana. And that made their desire for her multiply enormously. The men began to look at each other, perhaps uneasy as they realized that the price was too good, and that the competition this year would be fierce.

“Come on” said one of them “It’s time to go home.”

“Where exactly is it?” Oriana asked.

“Near the mountain, far from all human civilization.”

Oriana nodded.

“You must choose one of us.”

“For what?” the girl asked.

“For you to ride our wolf, the distance is too long to walk.”

Oriana looked at them one by one, and remembered again the words they said as they took their human form. She realized that choosing was a dangerous decision to make at that moment. After all they were beasts, and she wanted to get to the destination in at least one piece. She shook her head.

“If I am going to travel in a wolf, I must choose a wolf not a man,” she explained “I’m going to turn around and all of you are going to take your animal form and blend in, no one is going to maintain the same current position, only then will I choose a wolf.”

Each of the men looked at each other confused, but ended up accepting. Oriana turned and heard bones creak and then paws fell to the ground. When the sound stopped she returned to face the nine wolves. She began to look one by one, observing their eyes, and their fur, even caressing them. At that moment she was carried away by instinct, finally she stopped in front of a gray wolf, whose equally gray eyes seemed to look beyond her body. The wolf lay down on the ground, allowing her to ride him; she practically leaned over him and hugged his neck. As soon as she felt safe, the wolf stood up and started running into the forest, followed by the eight remaining wolves.

The speed soon became dizzying and Oriana had a hard time keeping her eyes open, however she did not feel scared, she felt free and the sudden movements more than causing pain and discomfort made a tingling run through her body. Oriana laughed openly, and then screamed happily at the moon, the wolves also howled at the star, amused by the unusual reaction of the human.

They ran most of the night, and Oriana’s initial joy faded into the fatigue that ended up consuming her. She finally succumbed to her dream and to the warmth of the wolf that carried her. She woke up when she felt something rough touching her cheek. When she opened her eyes found that it was the hand of one of the men.

“We’re home,” he whispered.

Oriana sat up and looked around her. She was in the center of a village, mud and straw houses were arranged in a circular fashion around her. The nine men were still surrounding her, but to Oriana’s relief, they were all dressed now, at least from the waist down. In the circle around them appeared an old woman with the longer and whiter hair that she could remember.

“You are early,” said the woman.

“She didn’t give as much trouble as we anticipated,” one of the men answered.

“She didn’t give any problem at all.” another corrected.

The old woman observed Oriana who had stood up and was looking at everything around her with curiosity.

“That’s unusual” she said “But we must be grateful, we have now our next mother”

“Mother?” Oriana asked.

The old woman smiled, but that did not reassure Oriana.

“Come with me, my child, I have a lot to explain to you” she gently took Oriana’s hand, but before starting to walk she stopped to observe the nine wolves. “You won’t see her again until the competition starts, better say goodbye.”

“Let her at least know our names, Old Mother,” said one of the men.

The old woman nodded.

“I’m Gredo,” said the man who had awakened her, the one with the darkest eyes Oriana had ever seen.

“I am Borac,” presented himself the one with gray eyes , Oriana recognized in him the wolf that had carried her there.

“And I’m Duran.”







Oriana was posing her sight one by one, and then bowed her head in recognition of all of them. She simply followed the old woman, unable to get the word she had mentioned out of her head.


She felt something churn in her stomach, it was not fear, but it was unease, the nonconformity that began to build, at first as a slight warning, then as a flare of screaming danger. Oriana had something clear, whatever she was going to hear, she was not going to like it at all.

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