“Alice if you don’t get your lazy ass down these stairs, I will happily tell Mum you can’t be assed to come down for breakfast”
Well, I guess that’s my cue, my brother would enjoy watching me getting an earful off Mum, and I just couldn’t give him the satisfaction of that. It’s not that I was being lazy and staying in bed I had already got dressed and brushed my white/lilac hair, I even made an effort and lightly curled it today, I just enjoy my space from everyone’s judgemental stares and thoughts. Although I’m used to it all now it still hurts, knowing that I’m the outsider.
The loner of the pack.
Even my wolf gets judged.
I’m not sure why maybe it’s because of my hair colour or the fact that my eyes are blue with lilac flecks.
I know my family love me deep down, but they struggle to understand why I look and act the way I do, especially my brother, I know they don’t mean to judge me but their thoughts always give it away. Unlike other wolves I don’t need to be in my wolf form to read people’s minds and thoughts, I can do that whilst human but my family doesn’t know that and I don’t want to give them another reason to judge me.
“Alice honey, have you thought about what your plans are for your birthday?” Mum asked me as soon as my feet stepped foot off the stairs.
“Mum, I’ve already told you I’m not doing anything for my birthday, why are you being so persistent with this?” I knew the answer to this before she even said it, I was turning eighteen and she believed I should reach out to people and socialise more so I can find my mate and not be alone.
“Listen Alice I know I keep bringing it up, but I just want you to have some fun and celebrate for once.” She says, her thoughts are telling me so much more though.
Why can’t she fit in? What can I do to help? Is it my fault? What if she never finds her mate and she’s alone forever she has no friends? Everyone I know says she will never have a place in this pack and no wolf will ever be her mate. Maybe we could dye her hair...
“Mum if I agree to let you invite some people over” I am instantly regretting the words falling from my mouth as I look at my mum’s expectant eyes “and when I say some people, I mean a small amount not over the top will you relax and stop asking me about it?” I shoot her a look telling her I’m being serious but I can tell from her thoughts she has no intention of listening to that part.
“Oh honey this is going to be the best night ever, I wonder if people would be willing to come from other packs, maybe some single males” she sent me a wink as she said that and I couldn’t help but rolls my eyes at that.
“Mum I said some people, not the whole town and beyond, maybe just invite some of your friends nobody would come for my benefit anyway” I replied and I felt a little guilty being so blunt, I could hear my Mums worry in her thoughts and I mentally block them out. “What’s for breakfast?”
I follow Mum into the kitchen where Dad and my brother Axel are sitting at the table, as usual, Axel is shovelling food down his throat whilst texting multiple girls from school. He was only a year below me in school, not long after Mum had me she fell pregnant with Axel.
“Want some bacon and eggs on toast Al?” My dad asks me with a smile, he knows that my favourite breakfast might help cheer me up after agreeing to the ‘birthday horror show.’ That's what I’ve nicknamed it.
“Only if there’s some left Dad, I know Axel is literally a walking trash can with a hoover attachment as a mouth” I smirk and Dad spits his coffee out, erupting into laughter at my very accurate description of my dear brother.
“Alice, that wasn’t a nice thing to say.” My Mum tells me whilst hiding her own smile behind her coffee cup.
‘Axel is lucky his metabolism is so good, or he wouldn’t fit through the doors the amount he eats’ my mum thought to herself as she watched Axel waiting to see what he says.
“Well, it’s nice to see the freak of the town has a sense of humour. Seriously Alice I don’t know why you’re still even here no one even likes you.” Axels growls to me.
“Axel, don’t you talk to your sister that way” my mum grills Axel with that angry parent voice that no one wants to mess with.
“Come on mum, you know she’s a freak, she doesn’t belong here. Why the fuck do I have to be related to that thing.” Axel was growling as he spits out his insults “I fucking hate her, she’s ruining my life everyone judges me for living with it, but in reality, they should feel sorry for me.”
I couldn’t take it anymore, Axel is supposed to be my brother, yet he thinks of me the same way everyone else does. Instead of feeling ashamed I feel a burning rage through me. It was like I’m watching myself in slow motion as I pick up the nearest thing to me, which happens to be Mum’s extra-large mug of hot coffee and smash it over his head. I even feel happy from watching the hot coffee run down his face leaving red lines behind, unfortunately, it won’t take long for his werewolf healing to work then it will look like nothing had even happened. Everyone looks at me in shock, however, once Axel gets passed the shock of me standing up for myself, his whole body begins to tremble with anger and his eyes began to turn black as his wolf starts to take over. Mum and dad quickly jump up and grab Axel to hold him back till he regains control whilst I just leave the kitchen and head to the woods.
“Yeah, I’m the freak but maybe you should look at yourself you asshole, needing to be held back by his mummy and daddy, what’s up can’t control that scrawny thing you call a wolf.” I say to myself but loud enough that he hears me. Judging by the roaring wolf I hear coming from the house I guess he heard.
I venture deep into the forest away from my so-called brother, I have a tiny bit of guilt for what I have done but I also feel relieved. Axel’s comment cut me deep, I know he’s right everyone’s thoughts always say the same sort of thing but hearing it from my own brother’s mouth not just his thoughts hurt more than anything.
No doubt Mum and Dad are arguing with Axel and telling him that was a horrible thing to say blah blah blah, trying to have my back but I don’t care I’m planning on leaving anyway after my birthday, they just don’t know that yet.
On instinct, I walk to my favourite place which is a large lake on the outskirts of town through the forest where the trees looked like they could reach up to the heavens and the forest floor is littered with beautiful wildflowers that release a multitude of different scents into the air. The forest has always felt like home, for me it has this calming effect on both me and my wolf, not many people seem to venture into the forest anymore. There have been times when I would see some of the pack running through the forest in their wolf form, but it’s been a long time since I’ve seen anyone in their human form.
It only takes me 45 minutes to reach the lake which, as always is perfect. The rays of the sun are shimmering on the water’s surface and making the whole lake look like it’s full of glitter and right in the middle of that lake is a little island full of trees and flowers. I look to my left and see my little homemade raft is still there, so I hop on and make my way across the lake.
Once I reach the island, I make my way through the overgrown grass and flowers towards the centre where I set up a teepee tent a few years ago after stumbling across this place and filled it with all my favourite things. I’ve got my bean bag from my bedroom to sit on or sleep on, some of my books, art supplies, snacks and drinks, it’s got everything I need to just relax away from everyone.
I sit in my little home away from home sketching the landscape for what might be the thousandth time but every time I sketch it there’s always a difference some days the weather makes my surroundings look gloomy and mysterious and on days like today it looks magical like any moment now a fairy could flutter past me, and it would be normal. Of course, I know fairies aren’t real, I’ve never encountered one but who knows they might exist, if werewolves can exist why can’t fairies, I like to keep my mind open to the possibilities of other species.
I’ve read that fae exist, they don’t have wings like fairies do in movies, they do however have magic within them and are very good at manipulating nature. Once my sketch is finished I sit at the edge of the island with my feet swaying in the beautiful lake and wished I could stay here forever this island truly is my happy place for me and my wolf, we’ve spent many days swimming in the lake in both human and wolf form. I know that my wolf desperately wants to bring our mate here when we find him/her but to do that people need to at least be able to look at me.
The mate situation makes my wolf anxious I can feel her anxiety, I know that she wants to find our mate. Although we can’t detect our mates till we’re 18, my wolf gets more anxious as each day goes by, especially after seeing how people react to me and my appearance. I try my best to tell her that it doesn’t matter if we find our mate or not, she will always have me and I will never abandon her, the same way I know she will never abandon me we’re the same.
I’m frowned upon as a human and she is frowned upon as a wolf because we don’t fit in with the status quo.
I can’t help but think back to when my wolf first came to me, it was my 16th birthday and all of a sudden I was overwhelmed by this feeling of complete acceptance followed by a soothing voice in my mind.
‘Alice I’m so glad to finally be able to speak to you I am your wolf you won’t be alone anymore I will always be here for you’ I was unsure how to reply but I knew that she meant every word
‘Oh wow, hi... I’m so glad to have you here do you have a name?’ I asked her.
‘I do and it’s very similar to your own I’m Alicia.’
‘Well, Alicia, I hope you’re not too disappointed nobody likes me I’m the pack outcast, the freak.’
‘I would never be disappointed with you Alice you are part of me, I have seen the judgement you have endured and I know there is more to you than people see, plus wolves are pack animals they should protect their pack not belittle them and bully them.’
‘Thanks Alicia, that meant more to me than you can imagine... thank you for being my wolf.’
A small smile spreads across my lips as I recall my first encounter with Alicia, she is my closest and most trusted friend, I mean sure she is a part of me, but even so, she didn’t have to accept me for who I am she could have rejected me too but she never did. After Alicia appeared I cared even less what people thought of me because I was no longer alone, I knew I had someone I could always count on which I suppose made me even more of an outcast but who cares I’m happy and that’s all that matters.
I stay at the lake all day and decide to light a fire as it starts to get colder, then I just lay by the fire looking up at the thousands of stars twinkling above me till I feel tired. I pour some water on the fire and make my way inside the teepee and zip the door closed then I curl up on my beanbag and fall into a dreamless sleep.
The next morning, I wake to the sound of ringing and I groan inwardly knowing exactly who is on the other end of the phone.
“Alice, where are you honey?” I hear my Mums frantic voice at the other end of the phone
“I went for a walk Mum and lost track of time, what’s up?”
“Well I’m calling for 2 reasons” I hear her hesitate on the other end of the phone which I have to admit has me curious and after a deep sigh, she continues “Axel was wrong with what he said honey nobody wants you to leave, I know you like to be alone and there’s nothing wrong with that at all. Just know that I’m here for you any time and so is your Dad”
For the first time ever I'm speechless, I can hear the sincerity in my Mum’s voice and I know she means every word. “Mum I love you and I needed to hear that, so thank you. What’s the 2nd reason?” I ask bracing myself for the telling off I will get for hitting Axel or for breaking her favourite mug, at this point, I’m not sure which is worse.
“Well honey I know this is something you’re not going to be happy about but the Alpha has alerted the whole pack that we must go to a meeting at the packhouse.” My mum tells me and I breathe a sigh of relief.
I don’t understand what the big deal is the Alpha does that fairly often and he doesn’t have any interest in the outcast being a part of the meetings. I’m almost always excused from any meetings and this won’t be any different.
“Oh that’s no problem Mum, the Alpha won’t require me to be there, he never does.” I tell her, feeling relieved.
“That’s the thing honey this time he has insisted that you attend the meeting along with everybody in the pack and that’s not all. There are other wolves there from a different pack” my breath catches in my throat at this bit of information. What on earth would I need to be present for? Nobody even acknowledges my existence.
“And the meeting is in an hour.” My mum says and I quickly hang up the phone.
I hurriedly get back on my raft and get back to the other side of the lake in record time, then bolt through the forest as fast as my legs will carry me. It would be much quicker to shift and run there as my wolf but that would also cause a problem with my clothes, and I won’t have time to go home and get changed before the meeting. Looking at my phone I see that the meeting is in 7 minutes and the packhouse is on the other side of town. All I can think is why the hell would our Alpha schedule a pack meeting on such short notice and insist I be there.
I round the corner and the packhouse comes into view, I’m only 2 minutes late, that shouldn’t be so bad. Obviously, everyone’s eyes will be on me but that’s nothing new being the outcast of the pack, everyone always has their eyes on me for multiple reasons most of the time it’s disgust, although sometimes it’s pity. As I near the packhouse everyone’s thoughts begin to bombard me like a tidal wave, some I knew but there were others I’ve never encountered. One thought crashes into me like an angry tsunami above all the others.
“Where the hell is that freak, the fucking outcast bitch thinks she can make me look a fool!!”