The sound of breaking glass is what woke her in the middle of the hot sticky summer night. She lay in her room, but could see the faint orange glow outside her window, slowly getting out of bed as to not wake her younger siblings sleeping on her floor she saw fire. All the blood drained from her face as realization came to her. War. As quickly and quietly as she could she roused her three younger brothers, 11, 9, and 6 years old. A cold sweat started down her back as she realized it was her responsibility to get them to safety.
Talking through their bond link she spoke sternly the rouge pack is attacking, stay quiet and follow me. Hold onto each other, we don’t have time to lose anyone. Now put on your shoes and follow me. No noise. They all stared at her, swallowing back tears, and nodded their heads. She hugged them all to her chest, squeezed as if it was her last hug and began to make her way to the door. Since she was the oldest at 13 her wolf senses were the best of the group, the boys won’t be able to turn for a few more years. Listening she heard boots, paws with claws that scratched against the hard wood of her home. The sounds she heard were all from the first floor, she could smell the smoke now, creeping up the staircase.
Ok can’t go downstairs, think, think, think, she yelled at herself trying to think of the best way to get out of the house without altering the others. Her mom and dad could take care of themselves; Dad had sat her down a few nights ago, expecting something like this to happen soon. That’s why her brothers slept with her the last few nights, easier to get away together. Thinking of an escape route she remembered that the third story, the attic had a small balcony where she used to climb out to her tree house. Her dad installed a zip line from there that carried you through the trees and just over the river. Good thinking dad, she thought to herself. We’re going to the attic; follow me, quickly, quietly. Her youngest brother held on to her night gown with her oldest taking up the rear of the group. Climbing the narrow staircase she shut the attic door behind them and piled as many heavy boxes as she could against its frame.
Ok, Ari she linked to her oldest brother, I want you to climb to the tree house across that largest branch, and when you’re over you’ll help bring Emil over, I will carry Otto over on my back, she could sense their adrenaline, smell it coming off them. Hide scent her wolf whispered inside her. Although she had not shifted yet –late bloomer—her wolf always came to her aid in times of need, a sense of guidance. As Ari climbed gingerly across the branch she searched and scanned the room for anything she could use. They found a bottle of wood polish, splashed it all over the floor then taking it and rubbing it on the bottom of her feet, Otto’s feet and Emil’s. Anything is better than nothing. Emil started his climb and she could hear the soldiers ascend to the second floor. Hurry! She spoke urgently through their blood link. As Emil made it across she could hear the soldiers coming up the stairs to the third floor. Scooping up Otto, hold on tight she held his legs as he clasped his hands around her neck. Just make it quickly she told herself. The branch crackled as she made it across. She put more wood polish on the branch on Ari. Hoping it would be enough to distract the wolves.
Thank the heavens the basket was attached at the tree house. Inside quickly, quickly. She ushered them in keep your heads down she liked as she unhinged the basket and all four of the Kemp children road in silence, a stark contrast to how they would usually react when they would take rides in the summer. The basket came to swinging stop just across the Irving River that cut through their land. She hoped that the water will prevent the soldiers from tracking their scents.
They clamored out of the baskets and ran when Otto go too tired she picked him up and carried her against her chest, no matter how tired she was, how much her arms burned, or how much her lungs starved for oxygen they ran. Stop wait she linked to the others. Setting Otto down, she could her branches break in the distance around her. They were being followed. Her body trembled. Looking for shelter, she scanned the dark forest. It felt like her bones were vibrating. She looked down to see her fingers dislocate from her knuckles. Oh no she thought. What?! Ari asked. My first shift she groaned through the link as her bones snapped, popped and twisted. Staying as silent as she could she dropped to the forest floor, at the control of her wolf demanding to come free.
Normally the first shift would take close to an hour from what she was told. But because her wolf was coming in a time of need it ripped through her faster, skin tearing to let fur free, bones breaking and connecting in news ways. When all was silent she could hear her quickened heart beat, she groaned softly. Shaking her head she opened her eyes, blinked and looked again the once dark forest was now lit as if it was daytime. She could smell the other wolves in the area they’re close. Too close. Standing on her new four legs she tested walking, jumping and a quick sprint. It’ll have to work climb on, she lowered to her belly to let her brothers climb on her back, and she took off in a sprint. Her brothers cheered through their blood link, so fast! Otto screamed in her mind.
She ducked and weaved trying to make her path scattered harder to follow, switching to different game trails, she couldn’t her more than her paws hitting the ground. She slowed to a walk, how long had she been running? Sniffed the air with her new long snout, wolves, but different. She looked around, the trees had changed, as if she was in a completely new forest, new landscape. There was a mountain in the distance, she would head there, there had to be natural shelter somewhere. She walked now at a brisk pace, trying to save her energy but not go too slow. As she walked she came upon a stream of water, she could see fish swimming, she took a drink to sooth her parched throat, she saw her reflection for the first time.
She always thought her wolf would look like her mothers. Her mom’s wolf was beautiful, grey wolf with black paws and blue eyes. But her wolf was white she thought at first until she saw streaks of silver, not grey on her paws, her eyes changed from their human grey to a brilliant purple. Your wolf looks like the ones from the stories dad would tell us, Ari said softly through their link.
She continued along the stream till she was at the base of the mountain, looking up at the sheer granite cliffs she knew there was no trail up, she huffed, deciding they’ll have to find shelter on ground. She walked between the mountain and the stream but there was nothing to hide under so she found a bush had her brothers against the mountain side, the bush on one side and staying in her wolf form she blocked the other side of her brothers. They lay against her side, no doubt liking the warmth, even though it was a warm summer night. She never slept. Just listened, the wind blew, leaves rustled, she didn’t hear the rouge wolves, didn’t smell them. But there was one scent that made her wonder. Masculine she sniffed, she could smell his testosterone from the sweat that lingered, but it was mixed with the most delicious smell of sandalwood, and spice. As the night turned to day, the scent faded and she turned her focus back to the breathing of her brothers.
She thought back to that fateful night... it was 8 years ago and it still felt like it was last night, it was forever burned into her memory. After a month of hiding she found her old pack members that were able to escape, of the 1000 that her father built up, only 100 survived. Although she was young, barely the age of 13 she took her step up to Alpha. Her fathers blood ran through her, just as it had all the way back to the first wolf pack. Her bloodline had descended over the generations and she was tied to the power of what used to be the King Alpha, the one who started it all.
Her once hip length icy blonde hair was cut at sharp angle just above her shoulders, and dyed a deep purple tinted black, her childish body was now lean and tall, with the packs symbol tattooed on the back of her neck under her hair line. Her second in command was her dad’s oldest friend and ally Arman who was her confidant when she felt like she wasn’t strong enough to be the leader. Her brothers now all taller than her Ari holding the technical rank as third because he was the oldest, the two younger ones trained so that they could take his spot one day.
Her pack was strong, and over the eight years had regrown to more than its initial size. They had left their old plot of land, it was scorched and nonviable, and had move to the other side of the mountain. The mountain acted as a natural boarder and protection for their land. All the members remembered the pain of that night, and used it as a lesson, and fuel to train so that it would never happen again. Around the compound they had build sky high walls, only pack members could get in, the surrounding land was theirs to run as they please, but they weren’t taking the risk of having an opening to their homes again.