Chapter 3: Rogue
As my eyes flicker open, white shining light fills my eyes, beautiful choral voices fill my ear, hymns of old and new and everything in between. It’s as if I’m lying on nothing, with only the songs of time keeping me afloat.
Only willing it, I stand, although feeling nothing below my feet but mist and almost inaudible whispers. Heavenly light covering all sides, blinding me to any fears or evils in the world. Am I even in the world anymore? It feels like so much more, bigger than the universe itself.
A emerald glowing door appears, complimented with the white mist and thistles branches capturing its frame. I float towards it, not even of my own accord but of a force that overwhelms, as though it’s driving me to walk through it.
But this door’s design has no handle, no way to open it. Not that I could make it out without being pricked and prodded. I gaze around me, the endless peace and tranquility consuming my thoughts. The perpetual desolation finally enters the forefront of my mind, plaguing my calm thoughts with many qualms.
Before I can blink, the force pushes me, charging right at the door.
I brace myself for the pain I fear is about to be thrust upon me, but no such thing came. The choirs seize, the almost painful but charming light now gone, and I find myself back in the woods, back in rogue territory, back where my Alpha killed me. I scramble to my feet to search the surroundings.
The night rolls in as the darkness envelops me, engulfing me in the chilly soft breeze. Sounds of wildlife echo through the whistling trees. Rustling of leaves sends shivers down my spine, I clutch onto my arms and cover myself from the haunts of this territory.
Just as the next member of any pack, we’ve all heard the stories about rogues. Lone wolves that refuse to be governed, refuse to bow down and pledge loyalty to any Alpha. They are wolves without discipline, without morals, without the need for companionship.
And I’m in the very heart of it, having been resurrected from the dead. Of which I’m reminded of as a gaze beneath my feet.
I become paralyzed as I realize the warm liquid I’m feeling on the soles of my feet is actually my own blood, the blood that had pooled from my neck. It now floods my feet, staining them crimson with hints of mud and dirt.
How is this possible? How am I here? Am I really here? Maybe I’m not alive, maybe I’m a ghost. Or maybe this is the afterlife, that the door I was pushed through happened to be the gateway to what comes after death.
I touch my neck to find it still tainted with blood, but the wound healed, as if it were never there. I couldn’t have been imagining it all, the blood is the evidence of that. I am cut nowhere else to have produced the blood.
I can’t think about this now. That’s not what’s important as of yet. If I somehow did survive the Alpha’s onslaught, I’m in rogue territory. Not only am I not a rogue, I’m not even a wolf. I won’t survive the night out here unless I get moving and figure out my next steps.
And of course, my mind told me to do that literally.
So I step.
And, naturally, I slip.
From my own blood.
In which I faceplant into.
I zip my mouth shut, pressing my lips together, but it appears too late as I taste the crunchy earth and saltiness of the mixture. I roll onto my back, completely drained of all my energy.
Screw any plans of hauling into a safer place and avoiding getting attacked by rogues. If this is the afterlife, maybe I won’t. And if this isn’t, maybe I’ll die and live again.
But right now, sleep overpowers all other thoughts and ideas.
The low intense sounds of growling fill my ears as I startle awake, the heart racing more than humanly possible, although resurrection is definitely exceeding what’s humanly possible.
As my eyes widen to the bright light of the sun, the rogue catches my attention in an instance, the way he’s just circling my body, eying me as if I were some type of criminal. And I watch him, waiting for the point where he pounces.
The crack of bones and the transformation of the wolf in front of me creates a little shriek to escape my lips. His eyes lock with mine as he completely changes into his human form, human naked form. Which is why I make sure for my eyes to stay with his, not even daring to move any lower.
“Little girls like you shouldn’t be out here,” he grunts, grabbing my hand without a second thought and tugging me onto my feet. I slide a little, which makes me grab onto the rogue’s shoulders, my nails digging in as I gain my balance, not that I had any to begin with. “I smell pack wolves all over you. One thing I hate more than anything is pack wolves. And it appears they hurt you. What happened?”
“T-they... tried to k-kill me,” I stammer, the shivers of the chilled morning running through me. Only in bloodied school clothes, I wrap my arms around myself for warmth, taking my hands away from his hot ones.
“H-hi,” I say a little awkwardly. I’ve been told many terrifying stories about rogues, stories that gave me nightmares for weeks as a young child. But this man in front of me, this rogue, he doesn’t appear threatening.
However looks can be deceiving.
A small chuckle escapes him at my response to him, but then his eyes narrow in a way as if he’s attempting to figure this little human girl out.
“You are used to werewolves,” he states, assessing me more. “You shouldn’t stay out here.”
“I have nowhere else to go.” I can’t go home, I can never go home. They thought they killed me. They think I’m dead. And I was, I think. But I can’t go back, even if mama, the only person I truly love, is back there. She’ll be safer with me gone. She’ll just be an omega rather than the omega mothering the only human in the pack.
“You should go, little girl. I protected you last night, but now I must leave,” the rogue states and my eyes widen at his words.
“You protected me?” I question.
“You were lying out in the open, in rogue territory. Many rogues pass through here, me being one of them and luckily for you, the first. Some don’t take too kindly to humans. With me protecting you, they backed away or took other routes altogether when they smelled me. Now I’m leaving,” he declares and changes back into his wolf state.
“Thank you.” His head nods in recognition before he scurries off into the woods, hurtling through the maze of trees and out of my sight.
He’s right. I can’t stay here. Not another night especially. But where can I go?
Maybe I can find Freya, ask her family to put me up. But taking care of another child is a lot to ask. Although I am seventeen, would I be too much of a burden?
What about Eddie? He’s been my friend before my boyfriend for a couple of years. But I haven’t even met his parents yet, even though they know about me. I haven’t met Freya’s parents either. My free time was spent with the pack who betrayed me, who killed me.
And now I don’t have anywhere to turn.
As I hear the rush of a stream nearby, I race towards it, overcome with thirst. Having my neck slit has left my incredibly thirsty and my throat incredibly dry. But, like the klutz that I am, I tumble and eat dirt once again.
I’m cursed. Cursed with clumsiness.
I spit out the gunk in my mouth and scramble over to the water to cleanse it. But catching a glimpse of my reflection halts me, my eyes fixing on the ones staring back at me. I notice the terrified, insane, worrisome look. The blood smeared all over my face as if it were paint, the dried lines down my jaw making it appear as if I had eaten something raw. Those lines fuse into a clustered gash of crimson at where the slit used to be, and then pouring down and onto my collarbone and clothes.
The rogue must have thought I was a mess. Maybe that’s why he protected me, seeing a bloodied helpless girl passed out in the woods.
I don’t know how to explain any of this. I don’t know how I’m still alive. I died, I know I did. My soul was taken from my body, to the serene desolate place, but then I was sent back, by that force. It made me go back. And now I’m here. Alive. I have been resurrected. That produces many questions.
Is it a miracle or damnation? Because, unless I get out of rogue territory by tonight, I’ll get eaten alive.