Kassi (Age 3)
I was jerked awake by loud howling noises, scaring my innocent three-year-old mind. I immediately began screaming for Mommy. I wasn’t sure what was going on, but knew that she could make it all better. Why wasn’t she coming? Mommy always came when I was scared. Since she wouldn’t come to me, I decided I would have to go find her. I crawled out of my bed and slowly tiptoed to the door where I quietly opened it and looked down the hallway, not seeing anything. When I made my way to Mommy’s room, it was dark and Mommy and Daddy weren’t there. Given all the loud noises, I was guessing Daddy was outside, but Mommy should still be here, I know she wouldn’t leave me. I decided to go see if Bubby knew where they were. He is six, so he’s super smart and knows a lot of things that I don’t. I went to his room and opened the door, but he wasn’t there either. What is going on? Where is everyone? I began to cry. I hated being alone, and the noises were only getting louder, making me more scared.
I made my way downstairs, as quietly as possible, hoping Bubby or Mommy were just hiding somewhere down here; I wonder why they didn’t come get me. When I made it to the living room, I immediately forgot about being quiet and started screaming at the top of my lungs. Every direction I looked was covered in blood! I ran through the house trying to find anyone, but it was be empty.
Frightened by the gruesome scene in front of me, I ran out the back door, but saw an even worse backdrop. Dead werewolves littered the ground in both wolf and human form, but I wasn’t sure if they were from my pack, or whoever attacked us. I started screaming even louder.
“MOMMY! DADDY! BUBBY! WHERE ARE YOU?”
Where were they? Why weren’t they answering me? After having that thought, I caught sight of Bubby, he was laying on the ground across the field. I instantly ran to him.
“Bubby! Bubby!” I screamed, as I ran to him.
The closer I got, the more I realized that he wasn’t moving. I fell on top of him with tears pouring down my face, shaking his body to try and get him to wake up.
“Bubby! Wake up!”
Why wasn’t he waking up? I didn’t understand what was going on. I moved my hand away from him, but saw that it was covered in blood. That’s when I noticed his entire shirt and the ground around him were both crimson. I needed to help him; Bubby will be ok. I ran to find Mommy, she can help! Mommy always makes our ouchies better. I looked around, frantic to try and find Mommy, or anyone to help, but that was when I saw Mommy lying on the ground nearby. She wasn’t moving either.
I ran to check on Mommy, but before I could reach her I was grabbed from behind and pulled away.
“Mommy! Bubby! Let me go!” I yelled, but then felt something hard hit my head, and everything went dark.
I moaned as I began to open my eyes, wondering why my head hurt so bad.
“Mommy, I don’t feel good,” I whined, before realizing that I didn’t recognize my surroundings.
“You’re mother isn’t here you brat,” a gruff voice told me.
“What? Who are you? Where is Mommy?” I asked, getting scared.
“Your mommy is dead, along with everyone in your old pack, we killed them,” the gruff voice replied.
“No! That can’t be true. Daddy would never let that happen, you’re lying!” I exclaimed. My anger at his accusation momentarily covered my fear. My daddy was the strongest werewolf in the world. He took care of us, no one could hurt him.
“Rob, why’d we have to take this one, can’t we kill her like the rest? She’s too loud and whiny,” the gruff voice said.
“You just have to work harder to train her then, John. She’s young enough that we should be able to mold her into an excellent slave. Do whatever it takes to make sure she obeys us,” Rob told him.
“I don’t understand. What’s a slave?” I asked curiously.
“A slave is someone who will do whatever we say when we say it and, if you don’t, we will beat you into submission,” John told me.
I didn’t understand what he meant by submission, but would quickly learn. I spent the next two years being taught what a slave was. I found out that Rob and John were both rogues, or wolves without a pack. They hadn’t quite gone feral yet from being without a pack, but definitely were kicked out of their old packs for a reason. I’m not sure what their crimes were to get them banished, but based on how they treated me, it must have been bad.
Despite what they originally told me, I learned later that they weren’t the ones that actually initiated the attack on my pack, they just took advantage of the chaos and death to steal me. Apparently they didn’t like cooking, cleaning, or doing much of anything. I guess they thought a three year old was old enough to do all of that for them.
They made me do all of the chores and cooking. If I wasn’t fast enough for them, they would beat me until I could barely move. You’d think that would give me leniency for chores the next day, but no, they still expected it all to be done in a timely manner. This obviously led to a downward spiral, since getting beaten meant I was slower the next day, which would get me beaten again. It was a really tough time.
It was just after my fifth birthday and John sent me to hunt dinner for them. I had a broken leg, some broken ribs, and lots of bruising and cuts all over me, which was making it extra hard to hunt down a rabbit or deer to feed the men. I was too young to have my wolf abilities, since you don’t get those until you turn eighteen. This meant that I was an injured human child trying to hunt dinner with just a slingshot. I wasn’t allowed to have weapons, so I made the slingshot myself out of a string I found in some old pants.
I found a deer trail and slowly stalked after it. I just rounded a corner and saw the deer munching on some grass in a meadow. I grabbed a rock, put it into my slingshot, began to spin it, and was ready to release it when the deer fell to the ground. I stood up in shock, trying to figure out what happened, since I hadn’t attacked yet. I then saw an arrow sticking out of its neck. I quickly fell to the ground to avoid being seen. I wonder who shot that, would they hurt me?
“I got it!” I heard a young boy yell.
I peeked up and saw two boys run into the meadow. They looked to be a little older than me and were probably brothers, given they both had the same light brown hair and blue eyes. Hey! They were going to take my deer! I worked hard to stalk that and wouldn’t have time to find anything else. I’m not sure I could handle another beating today. I swapped the rock for a clump of mud and swung it, releasing it toward the younger of the two boys. It splattered across his chest, causing him to stop in shock.
“What the…” he said, confused.
“Stay back! That deer is mine! I saw it first,” I yelled, staying hidden.
“This is my land, and I shot it, it’s my deer!” the boy yelled back.
“I saw it first!” I yelled again.
“Rogue, get off of our land before we get our dad!” the slightly older boy yelled.
“Not without my deer!” I tried to sound confident, but was really scared. Would their dad be worse than Rob and John?
The younger boy started walking closer to my deer, saying how it was his and he was taking it home. I decided to slowly creep closer, I had to find a way to get it. I was pretty close now, so I moved just a little closer to hit him with mud again, but as soon as I did, I was grabbed tightly from behind.
My body was immediately flooded with pain, as the boy tightly squeezed my broken ribs and pushed against my bruises. I uncontrollably began screaming from the pain, making the boy quickly drop me and jump back. I curled up in a ball crying from the pain.
“What did you do to her, Connor?” the younger boy asked, as he ran towards us.
“I didn’t do anything, Ty! I just grabbed her!” Connor exclaimed.
The older boy, Connor, slowly got down beside me and tried to get me to roll over.
“Hey, are you ok? What can I do to help?” he gently asked me, before turning to his brother. “Ty, go get dad, quickly.”
Before I had time to protest, the younger boy ran off, leaving me alone with Connor. He sat beside me, calmly talking to me, trying to comfort me, never once touching me again. I guess he was afraid that he might hurt me.
A few minutes later, I heard running coming from the direction the boy ran off to. “Connor, what’s going on?” I heard an older man ask.
“I don’t really know dad. We ran into this girl; I think she’s hurt pretty bad.” Connor explained quickly.
“Sweetie, can I pick you up so I can take you to our pack doctor?” the older man asked me.
“No! I have to get back with the deer!” I exclaimed in a panic, realizing that I was already running late. I knew I was hurt and in pain, but it would only be worse if I didn’t get back quickly.
“That’s my deer!” I heard Ty yell, before he yelped in pain. I think Connor must have hit him.
“Sweetie, where do you need to take the deer, and how do you expect to carry it in your condition?” the older man asked.
“Please!” I cried. “If I don’t get it back I’ll be punished!” I was now in tears for a different reason. I don’t want to be hurt worse.
“I promise, I won’t let anyone punish you, can I please take you to the doctor?” the man asked.
“I won’t be punished?” I asked cautiously, as my crying started to lessen.
“No sweetie, you won’t be.”
I decided I would trust this man and nodded my head, giving him permission to take me to the doctor, where they confirmed my broken bones and gave me medicine to help me heal quicker, along with casts and bandages where needed. This was the first time in two years that I had any medical attention, and before that I never really needed it.
After the doctor finished patching me up, the man from before came to visit me, along with a pretty woman, who I’m guessing was his wife.
“Sweetie, can you tell me how you got so injured?” the nice lady asked me cautiously.
“Oh, I was punished,” I simply replied matter-of-factly, making the lady gasp.
“And what exactly were you punished for?” the man asked me.
“Um,” I hesitated, trying to think of exactly what I did last time. “It’s hard to remember, but I think I was late getting dinner ready and forgot to do one of my chores,” I explained, before quickly adding, “but I didn’t forget the rest of them.” I didn’t want them to get mad and punish me more.
“You were beaten for not finishing your chores?” the man asked.
“Yes,” I replied. I’m not sure why they were asking this, now that they know what I did wrong, they should understand. John always told me how they went easy on me with my punishments. Maybe the confusion was that I was only hurt to this extent. I hope they don’t try to complete the rest of my punishments.
“Sweetie, what exactly are your chores?” the nice lady asked. I explained to her what my chores were and what was expected of me, which was basically everything inside the house and catching meals. I still wasn’t sure why she was asking or why she looked so confused.
“Please don’t punish me for not doing enough. Rob and John told me that I had it easy, but they didn’t want to make me do more until I was a little older. I’m sorry,” I said, trying not to cry.
The lady looked sad for some reason, I’m not sure why. “Sweetie, are Rob and John your parents?”
“No, they took me when I was little to be something they called a slave, that means I do what they tell me to,” I explained, since I wasn’t sure if others knew that term. I mean, I hadn’t. I was proud of myself for explaining. Based on the shocked expressions, I don’t think they knew the term either. I felt so smart.
“Where are your parents?” the man asked me.
“I think Mommy and Bubby are dead, I saw them lying still with a lot of blood. I never saw Daddy, but John said he was dead too. He said everyone was dead but me, ’cause they took me. They saved me so I could do chores for them.”
“Sweetie, how old were you when they took you?” the lady asked.
“I was three, I’m a big girl now, I’m five,” I proudly explained.
“What’s your name?” the lady asked me next.
“Kassandra, but I go by Kassi,” I told her.
“What’s your last name?”
“Um, I don’t know. Rob and John never let me go by my last name, just my first name.”
“Do you remember your parent’s names?”
“Of course, silly. It was Mommy and Daddy,” I told them confidently, to which they just smiled.
“Do you know what pack you were from or where it was?” the nice lady asked.
“I don’t know, but there was a really pretty waterfall there that Mommy always took me to.”
“Oh, interesting. Well Kassi, can you give us just a minute to talk? We’ll be right back,” the nice lady said, before stepping outside.
I’m not sure why they left the room, since they didn’t close the door. This meant I could hear their entire conversation. Werewolves have really good hearing, even before we get our wolves.
“She smells like rouges, they must have kidnapped her when they destroyed her pack,” the man said. “I’m not sure where her pack could have been, though. I’m not aware of any waterfalls near here and haven’t heard of any packs being destroyed in the past few years.”
“We have to help her,” the lady replied.
“I’ll take some men and go after the wolves that were holding her, we should be able to follow her scent back to them,” the man said. “What do we do with her?”
“She has gone through so much and deserves love, can we take her in? Please? You know I always wanted a daughter,” the lady begged.
“What about Connor and Ty? They may not be ok with another sibling,” the man commented.
“I wanna keep her!” “Me too!” I’m not sure which boy said what, but clearly Connor and Ty both wanted to keep me, whatever that means.
“Have you two been spying on us the entire time?” the man asked.
“Sorry Dad, but can we keep her? Please. I really like her.” “Me too.” Once again, I wasn’t sure which boy said which thing.
“Oh fine, if she agrees, she can stay with us.”
“YAY!” both boys exclaimed.
“Rebecca, I’ll let you explain it to her and ask. I’m going to take care of those rogues,” the man said, before I heard him walking away from us.
Shortly after, the lady and both boys walked into the hospital room.
“Sweetie, we don’t want you to go back to those two men, they are bad men and have been hurting you,” the lady told me.
“I was only punished for messing up, isn’t that normal?” I asked, confused.
“Being beaten isn’t normal!” the older boy exclaimed.
“Yeah, I mess up all the time, Mommy just scolds me,” the younger boy agreed.
“Sweetie, do you remember your parents ever hitting you for messing up?” the lady asked.
“Um…” I think for a minute. “No, but I don’t remember much from then, I was little,” I defended.
“It isn’t normal to be hit for messing up. We want to get you away from that. How would you feel about coming to live with us?” the nice lady asked.
“Um, what will my chores be? I didn’t have very many with Rob and John, so I’d rather stay there if I’ll have a lot more here.”
“Sweetie, you are too young to have chores like that. It’s not normal. All we will expect you to do is keep your room clean, go to school, and help out around the house, if asked. Most of the cooking and cleaning is handled by the omegas in our pack.” Omegas are the bottom level of wolves, in the ranking hierarchy. They generally did things like cooking, cleaning, and caring for the young around a pack, since they weren’t physically strong enough to help with defense.
“What’s school?” I asked, confused.
“It’s where you go to learn. Since you’re five, you should be starting kindergarten in August, so I’ll have to get you enrolled. This will put you in the same school as Ty. He’ll be in second grade,” she explained. “So will you come live with us? I would love to have another girl in the family,” she smiled at me.
“Um, ok. Does that mean that Ty and Connor will be my new brothers?” I asked.
“Do you want them to be?” she asked me.
I thought about this for a few minutes before replying, “Can they just be my friends instead? Bubby died, and I don’t want them to die too,” I decided.
“Ok then, friends it is. My name is Rebecca, by the way. My husband, who was in here earlier, is Tom,” she told me.
Once I was released from the hospital, Rebecca and Tom took me to my new house and showed me around. I found out that Tom killed Rob and John, so I would never have to go back to that awful place and could grow up happy with a new loving family.