CHAPTER 1: A walk in the woods – Part 1/2
I grabbed the box off the truck. “This is the last one, George,” I said as I placed it neatly into the storage unit.
George looked at me, a solemn expression on his face. “You sure you want to do this, kiddo?” He questioned me.
George was my father’s best friend and has been so good to me ever since my parents passing. I don’t know what I would have done without him. He has been the support system I didn’t realize I needed to get through this. I stood there, staring into the unit, glancing around at my whole life, which was now neatly packed into boxes.
I inhaled deeply. “Yes, I am sure. I need to do this for myself and my parents.” I had thought about this for some time now, struggling with the decision. But, in the end, I decided it was the best thing for me to do.
George placed a hand onto my shoulder and lightly squeezed. “I understand.” He smiled reassuringly. Even though he was against me doing this, I knew he would never stop me.
I glanced once more, then quickly slammed the door shut before I did change my mind and backed out.
After what felt like an eternity of driving and every song that I had downloaded onto my phone, I finally arrived at Killarney Provincial Park, my first destination. This beautiful park was the most crucial destination and was the first on my list for that very reason. I stepped out of the car, stretching my muscles and limbs. I began to feel overwhelmed that I was here and here without them. It felt a bit surreal. I gazed around at the park; it was so beautiful and lush. The trees stood tall and proud, as far as the eye could see. My goal was to reach Killarney lake, it was a long and treacherous hike through the Crack trail, but I was determined to make it.
I grabbed all of my gear, locked the car and, began my journey. As I walked through the trails, I took my time, admiring the beauty surrounding me and capturing photos of anything that stood out. It was so peaceful and calming here.
I had been on the trail for a few hours now, and the sun was beginning to set, making me realize that the day had slipped away from me and soon, darkness would be upon me. Thankfully, I was prepared and had brought a small tent with me, just in case.
I walked a bit further and noticed a small opening in the trees, almost like a path. I was hesitant to go off the trail, but I wanted to set up somewhere with coverage. So I veered off the course and into the clearing. The area was clouded by thick brush for a few feet but then cleared up a bit, revealing a clearing just off the path and perfect for setting up my tent. I had set down my things and gazed around me at the beautiful view. I honestly was astonished at the scenery here. I began to get everything together, taking my time and setting things up how I wanted it when I heard a loud growl come from behind me. I instantly froze as my heart began to race, and my breathing became ragged. I knew there were large animals out here, and I had just hoped not to run into any of them. Luckily George gave me some bear spray. I did my best to remain calm, trying not to make any noise or sudden movements.
Finally, I bent down and slowly reached into my bag to grab the can of spray. Then, I stood back up and gradually glanced around, staring into the trees around me, looking for any signs of an animal.
Another fierce growl resonated off the trees, but it came from my left and sounded much closer this time. I looked all around me but couldn’t see anything, and I was rapidly losing light, making it harder for me to see. The sound of branches cracking flooded my ears as a vicious snarl came from behind me. I turned around and was horrified at the sight before me. A large reddish-brown wolf stood before me, I wanted to scream, but nothing came out. The wolf was massive and broad but beautiful in all his glory. I was shocked and scared half to death. However, I also admired the beast before me. The wolf now stood in an attack position, his large ears folded back and deadly sharp teeth bared.
Panic was rising quickly within me. I gripped my spray tightly and pulled the trigger, aiming it directly at him. The wolf whimpered loudly and stumbled backward. I took this as my opportunity, not wasting a second, and bolted in the opposite direction. I ran as fast as my legs could carry me, but within mere seconds, a loud howl rang throughout the forest, rattling me to my core, knowing I had now pissed the beast off even more. The sound of the wolf’s paws began to pound against the forest floor, echoing all around me and informing me that he was coming and fast! I continued to run, dodging branches, leaping over rocks and fallen branches. My chest and legs began to burn and ache. Then, out of the corner of my eye, I spotted a small cave, big enough for me to hide inside of it. I picked up speed and dove in, burying myself into it so as not to be visible. I took some mud and leaves from the ground and rubbed it all over my body, hoping to mask my scent.
I covered my mouth and closed my eyes. Never had I been so scared in my life before. My heart felt like it was going to blow out of my chest. I could hear the wolf pacing around outside of the cave, growling and snarling.
After a few minutes, I didn’t hear him anymore. I peeked out slightly, and the coast was clear. I slowly emerged, looking all around me, and just when I thought he was gone, he leaped in front of me, causing me to stumble over a rock and fall flat on my ass.
My breath hitched, and my body trembled with fear as he closed in on me. I thought for sure I was going to die. I closed my eyes, waiting for him to tear me to pieces, but something firmly gripped my arm and yanked me off the ground. I whipped my head around to see what had ahold of me, not expecting to see a large man. But, instead, the man towered over me; he was so large and muscular, with light brown hair and bright brown eyes. He grinned down at me before everything went dark as I felt something strike me on the head.
I sat at my desk and slammed my fists down, cracking the wood. “We need to increase border patrols. I want those fucking rogue’s heads on a spike, understood!” I boomed at one of my warriors, he was a newly recruited warrior, but he knew his obligations and duties.
He nodded rapidly. “Of course, Alpha.” He then quickly hurried out of my office.
For the third time this week, the rogues had infiltrated my territory, putting my pack at risk. They had managed to kill two of my warriors, and I had enough of this shit. I wanted things to be taken care of sooner rather than later. If my father found out about this, he wouldn’t hesitate to strip me of my Alpha title for failing to protect the pack and fulfill my duties and obligations.
A knock came at my door. “WHAT!” I snapped.
My beta, Luca, entered, “Alpha, we have a problem.” He said quickly.