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My Paw Prints

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Fleeing for her life from the protected one she once knew in her family pack, while taking on to raise one that had its life spared. Will her life have the same fate as her family’s or will she live out her life as her instincts tell her to do?

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Blizzard Of Growls - Chapter One

The sound of growling, screaming and whimpers fill her ears as the smell of blood fills her nose, she wakes up in a rush. Out of breath and with her heart beating faster than a herd of deer being chased down from the foot of the mountain. She looks out into the snow blizzard behind her back.

She had the luck to find this shelter when the blizzard was at its worst after she had to carry her companion in her mouth for over a mile since he couldn’t go any longer. He couldn’t push his body any longer so he fainted from exhaustion. They are laying in a hole that she dug in the ground under a thick bush that goes over them like a type of cave.

“Rouge?” A small voice calls her back to reality from her own world of thoughts. She turns her head to the ball of fur that she is protecting from the cold with her thick fur and warmth of her body. The white juvenile, almost camouflaged by the packed snow under the bush yawns and pushes himself closer to her, almost fully covered by her dark fur.

She licks his white fur in an act of comfort and to get some snowflakes away from his fur. “What are you doing awake, Chewy? You should still be sleeping.” The pup starts whimpering and pushes himself even closer to her. A rumbling sound from his stomach then tells her what is wrong and calls her on duty.

She stands up to stretch her tired limbs as good as she could in the limited space and a big yawn follows with it. Then she feels how her own stomach rumbles and the feeling of being eaten from the inside out starts for another day. Then looks back towards Chewy, who has sat up and is looking at her with eyes full of anticipation. “Can I come with you? Please? I don’t want to be alone.”

Rouge sighs. “No, you can’t. I know that you are old enough and need to learn how to hunt. But I can’t lose any prey, not during the winter. But I will take you with me during the spring and summer and teach you everything I know, okay?” The only answer she gets back is that he goes as far back in their shelter and lays down with a sigh and his back facing towards her.

She sticks out her nose to sniff the air to see if she can smell something nearby, either pray or danger for Chewy. But she can’t sense anything so she leaps out into the blizzard so she doesn't leave any paw prints that can lead any danger to Chewy while she is gone.

The freshly laid snow has covered any kind of fresh tracks from prey that could have passed here before the blizzard hit and the still falling snow doesn't make it any better since it limits her from being able to see further than a few meters in front of her.

A scent then increases her hope for a prey this hunt. The last ones she has been out on, even before the blizzard have barely been able to be called successfully. Just small rodents and when that happened it was only he who got fed.

The scent leads her even further away from the hiding spot but she has to take the chance. She may have the luck this time to find something big enough for him to eat until he is full, leaving something over for her… a meal for both of them to eat. And there it is. The source of the scent she has been following, the rabbit.

The harsh wind has disappeared and the snowfall has calmed down when Rouge heads back towards the hiding spot with the meaty rabbit dangling in her mouth. She even had the luck to catch it before it had the chance to run away. It also feels much heavier than it should. A result when the wind can play on your ribs as it passes you by and you barely can lift or carry your companion. Another result is that the blood blends out with her almost flowing saliva. A test like no other.

Rouge then freezes in the middle of taking a new step and looks down towards her paw that she just put down. She knew that she was the one to put a new paw print in the fresh snow when she left. But now she has her paw in a paw print that is a bit bigger than her own and her pads are still lined up perfectly to the gaps between those that belong to the bigger paw print. This only means one thing, another wolf.

She leaps and sets off towards the bush that is a few meters ahead of her. The closer she gets the harder and faster her heart beats. And just when she is almost at the entrance of the bush a loud whimper rises close by. Chewy! The name screams in her head as the whimper rings in her ears and she turns around.

There he is, danling in an unknown wolf’s mouth, trying to fight himself out of the grip it has on the scruff of his neck but to no luck. Then Rouge and the unknown wolf get eye contact. The wolf that is staring into her eyes is no longer an apex predator. It is now her prey. And the chase has begun, she is the first to start to run.

The forest goes thicker the deeper the wolf leads her into it and she thought the forest was at its thickest over by the bush. How wrong she was. The ground also gets more rocky and starts to tilt upwards. Now Rouge has to dodge trees while at the same time not lose sight of the unknown wolf and try not to fall over the rocks that appear under her pads. And to make it worse. All that rings in her ears are all the sounds coming from Chewy. If this is stressful for her. She doesn't want to imagine how stressed and freaked out he must be during all this.

The unknown wolf stumbles a bit over a rock and that is when Rouge takes her chance and tackles it. The two wolves tumbles together in the snow that flies everywhere while Chewy gets released from the unknown wolf’s mouth from the surprise it got from the tackle and ends up safely in a snowdrift. Rouge gets the upper position and stares down at the unknown wolf while displaying all her teeth to show that this is not a warning. He has one chance before she rips him to shreds. “I should kill you for stealing him. Why did you do it, male?” she growls down at him.

The male has curled his tail in between his legs as he lays still under the skinny female that can end his life for what he thought was a right thing to do, to not listen to the whiny juvenile that he picked up during his patrol of the territory. But then he realised the situation. “How can you think that you can talk to me like that? You should be the one in my position and I should be in yours. I saved that juvenile’s life,” he answers cockinly. Rouge snarls in an answer to the disrespectful male. She should kill him right here, right now.

“You sound like you think you did the right thing. If you wanted to you could kill him, instead you did something just as cruel, you kidnapped him! I have every right to talk to you like this and to have the dominant position, pathetic male,” Rouge is almost at her breaking point before she kills him.

“Release him,” a warning growl rose close to them. Rouge lifts her head and sees another but older female. Her fur carries a white and silver color to it. The sun breaks through the thick clouds to play in it. It almost shines like the reflection it can become when the sunbeams hit a water surface. Their eyes locked into a silent confrontation. “He must be yours. I feel bad for you, female. But I want him to pay the price for stealing from me,”

“What has he been stealing from you? I can’t see blood around his mouth, only yours,” But that was when Chewy shooked the snow from his fur and looked out from the snowdrift. No. Not now, Chewy. Too early.

The female turned her attention from Rouge and towards Chewy who looked back at her with terror and for just a second, looked at Rouge for help and protection. He knows that he doesn't have a chance of either running away or fighting. He was barely tall enough to reach her stomach with his back. “So she is talking about you,” she says in a lingering voice and starts to walk towards him.

Rouge quickly got away from the male and put herself directly in front of Chewy, their furs brushing against each other in the movement. She displays her teeth once again and with warning growls of stepping any closer towards him, will end up in her lashing out.

The older female stops in her tracks and just observes the protecting female in front of her. Even if her fur has a dark color to it, almost black. She can still see her ribs sticking out. Her yellow eyes scream of not really knowing what to do in this situation, just that she needs to protect the juvenile behind her. This tells the female that she is still young, not fully mature. But what has her full attention is what runs along the base of her neck, a thick cream colored line and a spot of the same color that is located a bit over the line, on the left side of her neck, the side that is facing her.

The dark female with the bad manners takes a step towards her and is about to take another one, just because she has the chance to do her move. The male ran over there and put himself between the two females, locking his eyes into the dark female’s and giving away a warning growl. She will not get any closer to her.

The tension between them becomes too much and the two wolves break out in a fight, because the male came into her personal space so she answered by lashing out. Teeth grips the other’s fur and every body part they can get a nip at. The snow flies in all directions as the birds in the trees fly away, scared from all the growls, whimps and some screams when the other nip in a weak spot. And then the male, who is obviously more strong than the skinny female, stands over her and displays his teeth as he forces her head down in the snow, showing dominance.

“Enough, Havoc! Get off the female, now!” The older female growls at the male, letting him know that she did not like what he did for one second, even unaccepted in her eyes.

Havoc turned to the female that he tried to protect, an natural instinct to follow. “Why? She is in our territory and attacked a pack member of yours. How can that be acceptable!”

“Is that a challenge? Do you want to challenge you alpha, Havoc?” The female slowly starts to walk towards the two wolves, displaying all her teeth towards the male while growling to display her dominance that she has over him.

At first he met her eyes and lifted his upper lip to show her that she can't push him around. The alpha female answers by opening her mouth and slowly reaching for his neck as she comes even closer to him. It isn’t until her teeth are about to reach into his fur that Havoc lays back his ears and starts to lean away from her, at the same time that she forces him down on the ground, under her. She then holds him there with her teeth in his fur, close to his neck with his face against the ground. “Don’t ever put up against your alpha again, Havoc. Understood?” His whimper is the only answer she needs and she releases him. “Go back to the others,” she then orders and he runs away with his tail a bit between his legs.

The alpha female shakes off her dominant self and yawns to release the tension in her body before she turns to the shaky female that still lays in the snow, but now with the juvenile pushing himself as far into her as he can. She looks at the two individuals with kind eyes.
“Little one?”- the white pile of fur looks up towards her but doesn't have the courage to meet her eyes- “I will not hurt you.” The alpha takes a step towards the two. But the dark female takes the courage to lift her upper lip and let out a warning growl.

“Don’t worry, female. I am no threat towards either one of you. I just wanted to know what was going on in my territory. But that is none of my concreans right now. Are you okay?”

“Just let us go and we will not bother you anymore or become more trouble for you,” she answered her and licked the juvenile tenderly on the head.

“No, come with me. I can see that you would need an easy meal and a safe place to rest, both of you.” The alpha looks directly at the dark female when she says the end of the sentence. She can see that she doesn't have much left of herself before she collapses from exhaustion from how hard she must push herself, for both of them.

The dark female sighs and looks first out in the distance, secondly on the white pile of fur and lastly at the alpha female. “It is a kind offer to give someone like us. But I can’t accept it. Both for the sake of pack law and something else,”

“An alpha can decide how much of the pack law to follow in its own pack. And you are no threat to mine, the law doesn’t say anything about not helping a wolf in need. You haven’t really broken any law by being here. Come with me,”

Chewy looked up at me and nudged me with his nose to make me look back at him. His eyes so full of trust for her words and wags his tail as an encouragement for me to do the same. If he would have been older he would have understood. And then he does the most unexpected. He gets up and walks over to her, leaving me there. I can’t shout at him to come back. His tail wags the whole time and then he looks back at me, as if in a forced encouragement to follow her.

The scents invade her nose even more than she thought was possible and in dark she can spot even more dark shadows appearing, staring at them before either disappearing or following them in the distance. Rouge tries her hardest to shake off her building stress inside of her, while Chewy seems so unaffected by all of this. He doesn't seem to be able to see the danger in all of this. They are intruders and should not be welcomed into the territory and so on.
They should be chased out with their tails between their legs, running for their life and hope to keep it.

The thick forest opens up for a glade to appear and Rouge just wants to run the opposite way. It is full with her pack members, all gathered to watch who their alpha has come to bring with her.

Rouge gets different glances, some curious, some afraid and some non approving, then she meets a pair of eyes that she recognizes, Havoc’s. He is laying on one of the big rocks, looking down at them, mostly her and he has disgust in his eyes.

The alpha female then leads them into a cave beneath those tall rocks that is for the alpha to lay on and someone else if the alpha accepts it. The space is bigger than their hiding spot they had under the bush. Rouge can even stand up correctly in this cave and still have some stace before the roof comes.

A smell hits Rouge’s nostrils and her mouth begins to water and a trailing sound follows with it. In the next moment she sees the alpha female dragging a meaty leg after her and dropping it on the cave floor before her, not Chewy, who is unexpectedly sleeping in the back of the cave. She gets a nod from the alpha before she leaves the cave for her to eat in peace.

The moon takes its place on the dark starry night sky. The shine from the moon comes down directly at the tallest stone of those that becomes the cave under them. This phenomenon gives her security as she watches over her pack, some coming to enough peace to rest, while others are getting ready to leave.

“Alpha, Laika-” The alpha looks down at the gathering wolves and sees a familiar face who brings her joy every time she sees it- “May I join you for a moment?” She gives an approving nod and the wolf starts to jump and climb up to her.

The female wolf’s fur that once were cole black started a while ago to take a silver tone starting from under her chin and going down. Her yellow eyes telling of wisdom within her area she is the best at and a warrior at heart, something she has seen in her since the day their paths crossed.

“I bring news I received not too long ago from one of the patrols. A herd of elk has come into the territory and they have plenty of bark to feed on for a while forward and if one has moved here. The rest of the major herds should come here soon, or at least be in the area,” she tells her and nudges her in a more personal greeting.

“Wonderful news. But I still want the pack to see what other prey may come or are leaving from the territory. The deer should still be here. But we have hunted them enough. We need to leave the rest to be able to multiply during the spring. Have the mooses passed through yet?”

“Yes, Laika. And I haven’t heard of any moose that have passed through yet. But I will send a group of volunteers to try to search the majority of the territory for any signs of any more prey. And me and the rest will go out hunting. But those two...”

“I am glad that I have you-” the alpha tells her and nudges her close friend- “And it’s the same situation as it was with you.” Ash gives an understanding nod and leaves.
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