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CHAPTER 3 - Birthday Shift


I finished preparing the special lunch for the visiting Alpha, I had just completed the cleaning of the kitchen from my cooking when I feel a sharp pain run up and down my back and into my arms and legs. I try to hold in my scream and hold onto the kitchen counter hard until the pain passed. Once the pain has passed I slowly make my way to the stairs, I put my hand onto the rail and suppress another scream as another wave of pain runs down my spine. I wipe the tears from my cheeks and freeze as I see my fingers, they now have claws instead of fingernails. Just as another wave hits I realise that my body is getting ready to shift.

I wait for this wave of pain to subside, let go of the railing and then ran out the back door, through the woods until I make it to the flower field. I had always told Mum after we found the flower field that this is where I wanted to have my first shift as there was water nearby and the smell of the wildflowers was just beautiful and extremely relaxing. Except when I had planned it at the age of 5, it was meant to be a special happy time with my family there for me, my Mum there to hold me telling me the pain won't last long, my Dad there to tell me I was doing great and I would be the most beautiful wolf in the world besides my Mum of course and James sulking and telling me that I was being a baby but I was here in the flower field surrounded by the beautiful smelling flowers, doing it on my own. Once I got there I ran to the centre of the field where I collapse and finally let myself scream out loud and allow the pain to wash over me as tears stream down my cheeks. I allow myself to continue to cry as being here in the flower field made me feel like I was closer to mum, that she was there with me and that made me not as terrified but I am still scared.

I lay on the cold ground but I don't feel it as cold, it actually felt really good while my body gets hotter and hotter as the popping of my joints and the cracking of my bones get louder and more painful. Once the popping, cracking and pain finally start to ease, I close my eyes and relax on the ground for a little while, I open my eyes again and look down to see light grey paws instead of hands, stood up slowly and was a little wobbly to start with as I got used to my four paws, when I was finally steady I stretched out first my font legs, lifting my butt and tail into the air, I then stretch out my back legs arching my nose to the sky and lastly I straighten and shook out my fur coat. I jump a little as I hear a sweet voice inside my head,

"Hello, Skyler! Happy Birthday! My name is Alice, and I'm your wolf."

I focus on her voice as I reply "Hi Alice, it's nice to finally meet you. Shall we go and have a look at us in the lake?"

"Yeah, that sounds great."

So with that agreed on I changed my focus from listening and talking to the voice in my head and slowly walk over to the edge of the lake, taking my time to get used to using my four legs rather than two. I peered down into the water, so I could look at my reflection and was in awe. My wolf was beautiful, she was the same light grey as my Mum's but I had a singe of Dad's black coating the tips of my ears, paws, nose and about an inch wide stripe running down my back all the way to the tip of my tail. I turn inward, concentrate and speak to Alice

"You are very beautiful Alice! I am just sorry our Mum isn't here to see it, she would have loved the look of us..."

"That she would have Skyler. Um... Skyler, you do know that it wasn't your fault?"

"What wasn't?"

"Mother's death, it wasn't your fault..."

I don't agree with her and without even realising it I step back and allow Alice to take control. I lay curled up in my mind crying for a while until Alice calls to me to join her in having some fun, I mentally wipe my eyes and join her. After joining and letting Alice run around the field chasing butterflies for a while, I looked at the sky and decided that it was getting late and that I should head back to the packhouse. I had to make sure I have everything set up in time and placed perfectly for the coming Alpha, I don't want to be punished today of all days with another Alpha watching.

I run back to the packhouse in wolf form, I stop and pull on a large t-shirt that I find and picked up from behind a tree near the edge of the woods next to the packhouse, it is obviously a spare shirt for the border patrols returning if they had to shift while out. I enter quickly into the kitchen, washing my hands in the sink, I then start grabbing the food I prepared earlier, I put some into the oven to heat and set it up the rest on the big formal table in the dining room. Once I am done I take one more look around to make sure everything is in place and I double-check everything so that I haven't missed anything, I go back into the kitchen pull out the heated food, put it on a tray and then place them on the table. I then take one last look around the table to make sure everything was in its place, I then head up the stairs to my room, so that I am not anywhere nearby when the other Alpha arrives. Unfortunately, I bump into James on the stairs.

"Watch it Bitch!! My goddess Skyler you could have at least put on a clean shirt to cook lunch in. Is lunch all set?"

"Y-yyess, James, lunch is all set in the dining room ready for Alpha to present."

I move to walk away and continue up to my room when he grabs and pulls me back by my hair saying.

"I didn't say you could go yet"

James then punches me in the ribs that Alpha had broken last night, they had healed a little after my shift thanks to Alice but they were still broken and very tender. I end up curled into a tight ball on the floor trying to protect myself as much as I could, as James was kicking me everywhere he could find an opening. Once he was done and satisfied, I listen as he then turns and continued to walk down the stairs laughing as he meets up with one of his friends at the bottom.

I lay there for a while trying to catch my breath as I believe he had just broken another rib or two, and I try to keep myself from crying as that just makes the others pick on me more.

"Don't worry Skyler, now that I'm with you I can help you heal a lot quicker."

"Thanks, Alice!"

Now with the help of Alice, I managed to get to my feet and slowly make my way up the rest of the stairs to my room, I ignore the pain that is spreading through me with each step I take. I enter my room and just as I was about to close my door, I heard the front door open and a lot of commotion down in the living room. I just can't muster up enough energy to actually care about what is going on down there now.

I continued to close my door but not all the way as I know the Alpha will probably call me at some stage, to do something for either him or the visiting Alpha, So with Alice working to heal my battered body, I quickly change out of the shirt I picked up out side and put back on some of my own clothes, I then fall onto my bed allowing the darkness that has been threatening to consume me since my run-in with James finally win.

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