Warrior of the Damned

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7

Wake up, Addy.

That damn voice again! Shut up! I thought to myself.

Addy please. We must move.

I sighed. I sat up and rubbed my eyes, trying to catch my bearings. The events of last night slowly returning to me. Dread gripped me as I realized I hadnt dreamt those creatures. They were real. Werewolves were real!

I was only alive because of Marek.

My fearful eyes turned to his. I threw my arms around his neck. His warmth had always comforted me in the past and I was desperately searching for that relief.

Too many emotions were filling my body, threatening to spill over and out. I was confused, sad and scared. I didnt know what feeling I needed to deal with first. I should find out what actually happened. No, I should mourn my family. No! I should run!

It was all too much.

I buried my face in Marek's pelt, he turned into my embrace, resting his head on my hair.

All at once, everything flowed out. I cried, I screamed, I bawled. My body trembled, wracked with sobs. They caught in my throat, I couldn't breathe. Needing air, I left the safety of my friends fur. Leaning against the mountain wall, I wrapped my arms around myself, rocking back and forth.

Dont cry.

I stopped. Where was this voice coming from?

You're safe with me, Adaleen.

In my confused daze, my eyes landed on Marek. I looked past him, around him. He was the only one near me. Was he... speaking to me?

I searched his eyes, needing to confirm the absurdity of what was happening to me.

It is me, the voice stated.

No...

I felt light headed. My dog was talking to me, reading my thoughts and responding. This is not happening. It's not even possible!

Marek moved closer to my face, he stared into me.

There are more possible impossibilities out there than you realize.

Everything I had ever believed, everything I had ever been told--my whole life--was now questionable.

I swayed, dizzy. I felt myself tip over before darkness over took me.

Addy! Marek cried out. But his voice was barely audible as I succumbed to unconsciousness.

************

...I watched from his arms. Men fighting. Swords clanking. Women screaming. The smell of smoke filled my nostrils but I couldn't determine why...

...Frick was running. I didnt know what direction as the way he held me had my back facing forward, my eyes behind us...

...faster now...

...men yelling...

...Frick shoved me inside a hallowed out tree, covering the hole with moss and branches...

...looking behind him, always looking behind him...

..."Whatever you hear, whatever you see, DO NOT leave this tree. Addy, promise me! NOW Addy! PROMISE ME!"...

I awoke, startled. Marek was curled up by my side. He lifted his head, groggily.

I sat up, leaning my back against the cold rock. Had I passed out? I remembered the incident with Marek...

My mind was over loaded, trying to process too much information at once.

I mean, werewolves exist...

So sure, why wouldn't it be possible for my dog to speak to me? Theres probably a faery hiding on the branch over there. If I run far enough south I'm sure I could meet a unicorn. Is there a dragon living in this mountain? More than likely...

A man's laughter filled my brain. I shot Marek a glare. He looked very amused. I'm glad you find me humorous, Marek! I rolled my eyes.

I cant convey how wonderful it is to finally be able to communicate with you.

He cocked his head to one side, his features softening. He moved closer to me, leaning his head on my chest. I petted the back of his neck, soft and loving strokes, how did this happen?

Not sure, must find out.

I noticed now how his speech varied from proper sentences to choppy ones and vice versa. "Pack leader. Not asleep", he had said. And then, "I cant convey how wonderful..." Now though, we're back to, "Must find out?" Interesting.

"We should go." He nodded at my suggestion, I suppose he had thought this too, much more earnestly, but was giving me time to sort through my emotions and newly discovered knowledge before pressing me.

The sun was high in the sky when we emerged from the mountain. Already noon? Fantastic.

Marek ignored my sarcasm, nose high in the air, sniffing.

We go this way, he directed.

I sighed. Okay, then.

************

We walked for hours. Occasionally, Marek would smell the air, then redirect us. I was curious of our destination but didnt ask. I trusted his judgement.

The sun was starting to set and I was feeling anxious. Would the werewolves track us down? Surely they had the same excellent sniffer as Marek. I had been told they only came out during a full moon but was that accurate? I had been told numerous things throughout my life that I just recently discovered to be false. What else is out there I'm not aware of? For the first time in years, I felt dolefully uneducated.

Marek stopped suddenly. His head studying a field of flowers to our left.

We need to unscent.

I wasnt sure what that meant but what the hell? There were many things I didnt know anymore.

I watched him enter the field of yellow blossoms. He went about 8 feet, laid down and rolled on the ground, one way, then turning and rolling the other way. He belly crawled toward me, rubbing his neck and chin through the petals, creating a pathway. Still on his belly, touching the ground, he rubbed each side of his face in the same fashion. Ah, that's what he meant by "unscent."

My heart about burst, over flowing with love. He was so adorable. But then I felt melancholy, for my dog was no longer a regular dog. The innocence of our bond, the wonderment of it, somehow seemed tainted with our new ability to hear each others thoughts. The relationship we had all these years had changed mysteriously and I was perplexed, not knowing how to process it. I suppose this was how a mother felt when her baby was no longer a baby, but a child able to voice their opinions. I craved this type of communication since we met that day at the river but I never imagined a possible path leading to this.

I entered the field and attempted to "unscent" the same way.

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