The Suppression Charm
The choice to suppress my wolf wasn’t one made by me. I was too young to understand what was happening, too young to understand the affect I was having on my pack. All the elders in the pack knew of course, they remembered feeling my wolf’s aura as a toddler, but they all kept quiet, and I grew up thinking I didn’t even have a wolf.
Can you imagine? Being the offspring of two fate Alpha’s, while being the only one of four kids without a wolf? And yes, the kids at school were dicks about it and reminded me about it every day, just in case I had forgotten. They tried their best to bully me about it, but when you grow up with three older brothers you grow a thick hide. The opinion of the pups in my pack meant so little to me that there wasn’t much they could say or do hurt me. And if things ever escalated my big brother Felix would always be there. And I mean, always. I don’t know how he knew, but he was the future Alpha of the pack and whenever he can to my aid everyone scattered into the wind. Felix never told my parents about the bullying, I asked him not to, especially Mom, she’s the scary one of the pair.
It’s not often you get a female Alpha, let alone a fated pair of Alphas. We asked about it, but Dad said he only ever heard of it happening one time before, and that pair never had any children. Apparently, the female was injured at an early age and was unable to carry a child full term.
So here I am, a nine-year-old were-girl being sat down by my two Alpha parents trying to understand why I’ve been wearing something called a suppression charm ever since I was a toddler. I had never questioned the necklace before, I thought it was a family heirloom, and as the only girl it was automatically handed to me. That’s what I though until my friend Leslie wanted to try it on. She burned her fingertips trying to take it off me. It wasn’t a normal burn either, her hands turned black, and they stayed that way for about a week. Werewolves are highly allergic to silver; it’s always been that way. So how have I been able to wear this thing for years without being burned like Leslie was?
“You inherited the Alpha aura sweetheart. You’re going to inherit the pack when you’re ready,” my mother says. My parents never sugar coated the truth from us, it’s always been that way. You’ll find nothing here but blunt truth.
I look over at Felix, “But Felix is the oldest, he’s going to be Alpha.”
Most boys dream of being an Alpha, to be the biggest and the strongest, leader of the entire pack, respected by all. Felix doesn’t look disappointed or even angry with me; he must have known all along.
He just looks at me shaking his head and shrugs nonchalantly, “If the Moon Goddess has chosen you to be Alpha, then it’s not my place to fight it.”
My jaw literally drops. I look at the twins; the only way to identify one from the other is by their scent. Without a wolf’s nose I’ve never been able to tell them apart, “And neither of you inherited it?” Axel and Oz shake their heads in unison.
I look down at my fidgeting fingers trying to think about what this means. It doesn’t make sense. How can I be an Alpha when I don’t even have a wolf?
“You do have a wolf sweetheart,” my dad says as if reading my mind. He joins us at the kitchen table just having made himself and mom coffee, “You were the first out of all the kids to get your wolf, and she’s so bad ass that she scared the shit out of everybody, hence the charm.”
I touch the charm around my neck with my fingertips, “Uncle Keo made it. It’s filled with wolfsbane, your blood and water from the Moon Well. The magic within suppresses your wolf from being detected by other wolves, Lycans or vampires, anyone who can sense magical beings.”
“So, I’m not just a human then?”
“No darling,” mom shakes her head. She manages a soft smile at me, but there’s something more they’re not telling me, I can tell.
“But if I’m a werewolf,” I look down at the charm; it’s a little bottle with an array of moon stones around it, “why doesn’t this hurt?”
“The Moon Goddess saw it fit to bless you with a gift,” mom says into her mug before taking a sip.
“What gift?” I’ve never felt different or more special than anyone, I’m just a normal girl, what could the Moon Goddess possibly want with me?
“We don’t know exactly, but immunity to silver is definitely one,” dad says, “I think now’s the time we started taking that thing off and doing some training. Figure out exactly what you can do. It’s important that you learn every aspect of yourself and get to know your wolf. The ignorance of not knowing will only breed fear, and if you’re going to lead this pack one day, there can be no room for ignorance.”
We’ve always been taught that fear can save your life, but it can also make you stupid. The best way to stay alive is to be smart, train and learn to calmly assess the situation you’re in; it’s not just about the basics, like survival skills, fighting, or catching food in the wild etc., but reading the people around you, understanding people and their motives. In this day and age, it’s people that are the monsters, and if you can’t see through their masks then you’re in big trouble.
I look at my dad. He was once the Alpha of a small Roaming Pack, calling no one place home, only making sure to stay within reservation lands. He met my mom by complete accident when she was visiting her sister at a smaller pack. He smelled her scent on the wind and ran all day to find her. He wanted to be with his mate more than he wanted to be an Alpha, choosing to leave his pack in uncle Keo’s hands. Wait, uncle Keo is a Moon Shaman, and the one who made my charm. Maybe he would know more about this whole gift business?
“Daddy, you said my wolf...scared people?” he nods, “And, that uncle made this?”
My dad nods again, “I know where you’re going with this Kiddo, and you’re right.” he hesitates, I can see he’s trying to hold something back, “Your uncle is ready to receive you into the Moon Light Pack for training, if that’s something you would want to do.”
My brothers all look at our dad, not just surprised but clearly a little jealous. Constantly living in the wild, and their connection to the Moon Goddess makes werewolves from roaming packs stronger, faster and gives them better senses than homestead packs. At least that’s what dad told us; something about sleeping under the moonlight. When he told us that I slept outside for a few nights, that’s how badly I wanted a wolf, and without one to keep me warm from the elements I was sick for weeks.
“He’s prepared to take on all of you,” dad looks at my brothers, “your sister will need you boys. When we eventually pass,” he takes my mom’s hand and gives it a squeeze, “you four will need one another. You are the future of this pack, all of you, together. But you need to understand that life in a roaming pack isn’t easy. You’ll be in wolf form majority of the time, there’s no power, no cell phones, no wi-fi. There’s only life and working to keep it that way.”
“No school,” Axel and Oz say in unison and look at each other. They try to keep their happiness hidden, but it’s obvious they’re coming with me. It wasn’t even a choice for me, I knew I had to go. I want to know my wolf. This necklace didn’t just hide her from my pack, but it cut her off from me. I’m incomplete.
“I’ll go. I want to see this bad ass wolf for myself,” Felix shoots a wink in my direction.
My dad looks at the twins who seem to stare at one another in that creepy way they always do when they mind link one another.
Axel and Oz both look at me, then dad, “We’ll go.”
My brothers; they cleaned my scraped knees, they carried me on their backs when I got too tired from walking, and now they’re giving up literally everything to live with me in the wild.
A month later there was talk amongst the pack about a giant, white wolf on our borders. My dad knew immediately it was Ghost from the Moon Light Pack who had come to collect us. Eventually, the entire pack gathered to get a look at the giant Roamer wolf and to see us off. My parents prepared us for this day, he said someone will come for us, the boys would pack nothing since they can shift, and we’d make the whole trip on foot. Depending on how fast we were it could take three to four weeks of walking.
At first, I didn’t think this Ghost fellow would be that much bigger than a normal wolf. Then I saw him, he was ginormous, about the size of a horse. His coat is pure white, painted with blue tribal patterns around his neck and front paws, with eyes like rich warm amber.
“Your dad is bigger than this guy,” mom whispers into my ear. I must have been gawking because she pushes my chin up to close my mouth.
“Really?” I look at my dad who talks to the white giant. I’ve never even seen my dad’s wolf, just the idea of him being a Roamer is enough for others to keep their distance. All I see when I look at him is my big cuddly dad, but I guess there's something I don't see.
My dad turns to face me, “Victoria,” he addresses me in front of the entire pack. I steel myself and approach them. Ghost watches me approaching with those golden eyes and I stop before him, clinging onto the straps of my backpack for dear life. Ghost must accept me into his pack, only then can we mind link. It occurs to me he has no intention of shifting into human form, so I bow my head and close my eyes.
I feel him push his forehead against mine, and after a moment I hear his voice in my head, “It’s a pleasure to meet you, Victoria. My name is Ghost. Come stand beside me and let your brothers’ approach.”
I do as I’m told and watch him accept Felix, and Oz into the Moon Light Pack. Axel eyes Ghost suspiciously before eventually bowing his head and standing alongside us. As I scan the pack, I see my only friend Leslie meekly wave at me. I wave back and take a deep breath.
“It’s time,” Ghost links before turning and walking away, “Don’t look back Victoria.”
One by one my brothers turn and follow Ghost. I take one last look at my parents before turning around and follow them. When we’re out of sight, deep in the woods I hear my parents howling on the wind. I wipe away the tears forming in my eyes and keep walking until I bump into Ghost who seems to wait for me.
He lies down on the ground, “Hop on Victoria. We have a long way to go.”
I look around to see my brothers have already shifted into wolf form, “Oh, okay,” I awkwardly climb onto Ghost.
“Hold on tight,” Ghost gets up and starts off slowly through the trees.
After a moment of silence, I hear Ghost link with me, “Look to your left.”
When I look to my left, I see nothing but trees. I look hard, my senses aren’t as keen as a wolf's. And that’s when I see it, a dark reddish wolf with dark markings around his face. Daddy?! I smile, trying not to cry any more.
That’s enough of that. Be strong.
I wouldn’t see my parents again until the shit show that was my eighteenth birthday.