Upon her death, Luna was adopted by the heavens.
For causing a rupture in the universe by plowing through the walls that dictated her existence, for not using her strength to rain terror on those whose DNA provided a signed certification of their inferiority... she was crowned as the queen of the moon.
Not wanting her gift to go extinct, the young goddess added her children to the playground.
Werewolves now roamed the earth.
Luna got them there by giving a shard of her soul to pregnant mothers she deemed worthy of birthing the first alphas. These alphas entered puberty as humans and left it as werewolves. As they discovered each other and mated, the population climbed.
Werewolves weren’t her only creation. She also created lycans. There were many differences between the two species, but the most obvious was that being a werewolf was a gift and being a lycan was a curse.
Wrath was first to receive this curse. There were six others— envy, gluttony, greed, sloth, lust, pride. By abusing their power, these treacherous werewolves enraged their maker so terribly that she locked them into the vile form of a lycan. Their unnaturalness and haywire temper made it impossible for them to function in werewolf society. So they were forced to carry on in solitude.
There were currently seven lycans rotting away. Wrath was the oldest mutant. But today, his eternal streak of birthdays will end. He’ll be free of the lycan label and the bonds that locked him into his youthful body.
With her mind made up, Luna summoned Hades, the sour god of death.
The god appeared in a cloud of smoke with his famous frown. The two weren’t exactly best friends. But then again, Hades’ only friends were blood and tears.
“What is it?” his cool voice grumbled as his equally cold eyes studied their environment.
“Great to see you’re doing well,” Luna greeted.
Hades shrugged. “A perk of being a god, I guess. I can’t exactly ever get bad with the whole immortality thing. So what do you want? I have souls to harvest and you’re a bore.”
“I have a... request,” she started.
Hades’ eyes went to hers immediately. Brown irises turned lava red, hinting at the storm brewing below the black robe. “No! You’re not immortalizing another one of your mutts. You already immortalized seven of them! They’re not gods!” he burst.
“I’m not asking for that! I actually... want to drop that number to six... sort of...” the goddess slyly coughed.
Hades’ pearly whites made an appearance at the mention of death.
“Why didn’t you say so earlier? Which one are we killing? That blonde bitch? I’d really like to get my hands on her,” he urges.
“Well, I was thinking more like terminating Wrath’s immortality card so that he can age and eventually die...” she drew out.
Hades’ frown returned. “You and Aphrodite have too much compassion for those imbeciles. Fine, I accept your deal. What do you want in exchange?”
Luna smiled sheepishly. “There’s a young female scheduled to die today... If you tell your grim reapers to steer clear of her, I’ll make Wrath’s clock start ticking again.”
Hades grunted. “Who is she?”
“Artemis. One of my wolves.”
“I’ll spare her. But not her friend. Is that all?” the god of death asked impatiently.
“Yes. Thank you, Hades. Take care of yourself,” she smiled.
He rolled his eyes. “Yeah, wouldn’t want me to die or something. Goodbye, Luna. Make sure to stop by the underworld sometime. I’ll treat you to a cup of wine... or blood. You pick.”
“Maybe when you start paying your electricity bill. It’s too dark down there,” she threw back.
Hades disappeared with a laugh.
Now that Hades was out of the way, she pulled up the window of Artemis’ life and watched her plan unfold. Goddess Aphrodite joined her at one point and watched the show kick off.
Artemis moaned and arched her neck.
“Two more hours. Why did we choose to go so far?” she asked her friend Kelsey.
Kelsey smiled. “Want me to drive for a few?”
“Yes!” Artemis all but yelled.
The two friends were on their way to Vermont and Artemis got the unlucky task of driving.
She pulled over and stepped out of the driver’s seat. Kelsey swapped places with her and continued to drive.
She didn’t get far.
Thirty minutes later, the music emitting from the radio was dwarfed by chaos. Kelsey’s scream was heard, followed by the squealing of wheels, followed by metal bending as the navy blue vehicle tumbled off the road and spun violently.
Unconsciousness shut off the girls’ screaming.
Artemis was the first to wake up minutes later with a tremendous head injury. Her face was so scratched it looked like a child decided to play tic-tac-toe on it with a knife.
She turned her head around slowly, trying to capture the scene.
“Kelsey,” she ground out.
Her friend’s head was flush against the steering wheel. All Artemis could see was hair. She tried to find the sound of her heartbeat but her ears only offered a shrill.
It took her a few seconds to unbuckle herself and stumble out of the wreckage. She struggled to walk around the car and reach the driver’s seat.
The young woman’s journey didn’t end there. The short slice of peace was ended by another tilt of the earth when the car exploded. Flames took the car and Kelsey with it.
The blow threw Artemis off her feet. When the trip ended, she was deposited on her back. Her head dribbled against the dirt, worsening her injury.
She woke up again multiple minutes later with burns, scratches, and not a single clue of who she was.
Artemis, or what remained of her, stood up and started treading through the wilderness in search of help.
Her car would be found hours later. Her plate would be run and identified, and the corpse on the driver’s seat would be assumed to be her. It would be multiple days before DNA results would reveal to her friends and family that the body wasn’t hers. But by then Artemis would be long gone and in her mate’s life.
Luna exhaled. It was only a matter of time before the two crossed paths. Now there was only one thing left to do: pay Wrath a visit.