by MaKayLa Hall about a month ago in fantasy

Chapter 1

The darkness envelops me as I sit along the edge of the lake. Wolves howl in the distance and though I wish to join their mournful song, I refraim from doing so and allow them to mourn in peace. Their pack Alpha has passed and I will miss the old wolf. The pack has shared their territory with me for many generations but it never gets old mourning an a friend. I shake my head and look up at the full moon. Stars twinkle in the back ground of it's shining glory. I enjoy the sight for awhile longer before I decide to head back to my own den.

Branches snag in my darkfur as I track my way back through the forest. My black fur allows me to melt with the darkest and brings a sense of unity between myself and the forest around me. The dirt gives way under my paws and it feels like floating over the earth as I pick up pace to a sprint. I leap over logs and dive under branches. By the time I reachs my cabin I'm exhausted and panting. I stand at the edge of my clearing to cathc my breath and grab a drink from a pond nearby.

I cautiously sniff the air, trying to make sure no one has intruded into my home area. After a few minutes of nothing out of place I trot up to my cabin door before giving last look around and shifting into my human form. I quickly enter my cabin and find it still warm though my fire is almost out. Pulling my cloak around me I then tend to my fire, adding my wood and shifting the existing logs around to allow it to breathe.

Exhaustion from the full moon and run are taking a toll on my body quicker this time around. I double check the lock on my door then eat some pieces of deer jerky before crawling into bed. As soon as I'm under my blankets and furs I remove my cloak and let the fabric's softness rest against my bare skin. Sighing contently, sleep soon overtakes my conscious mind.

Something that sounds like tapping wakes me from sleep. Even in my human form I can feel the growl well within my chest but I don't verbalize it. Quietly I get out of bed and grab my cloak, wrapping it around me. I walk the perimeter of the cabin, sniffing discretely as I go. Frustartingly enough, I don't catch anything, but I know something was making a sound. Without finding a trace of anything I crawl back into bed, but sleep is more difficult this time around.

The morning sun shines through the windows all too soon disturbing what little sleep was managed last night. Groaning, I roll out of bed. My stomcah growls, complaining about the meager meal I ate last night and demanding more. I take off my cloak and trade it for actual clothes. I pull on jeans and a plain black t-shirt. Shoes follow suit before I head outside. I stretch out in the sunshine then head down the dirt path I've carved from walking so much.

After an hour of walking I finally come to my steel building on the edge of the wolf packs territory. Inside is my truck and winter food stores, but i forgo those and head to my truck. Once inside I press the button to open the garage door and start down my self built driveway, though that might be a rough word for my dirt path. I curse as I drive down it for the lack of care I've given the driveway in these last few weeks. Shrubs scrape the truck, while tall grass and small saplings give way underneath.

Thirty minutes later my driveway comes to the back road that can lead me to civilization, but first I hop out and check my mail box. I only have one bcause it's now necessary to keep communications via letters. No mail, even after weeks of neglecting it. Back in the truck, I head into town.

The sun is setting as I pull back onto my driveway and head back to my garage. The four hour round-trip into town along with lunch and the book store took up all of my day. Thankfully I ate so much as at lunch I know I should be fine until tomorrow for my next real meal. Just as I pull back into my garage I hear thunder clash in the distance. I look at the books that sit in the passenger seat and know they wont be making the trip back to the cabin tonight.

Quickly undressing and placing my clothes in the dresser that I keep just for cases like this, I then quickly shift into wolf form then walk out the dog door I installed here. I quickly think about adding one at the cabin eventually. The rain starts as I'm about fifteen minutes into the walk back to the cabin and sigh at the cool feel in my fur. Fresh dirt smell fills the air and lightening brights up the sky. I don't rush but instead enjoy the chaos of the storm.

My cabin comes into view and it's almost tempting to keep going and spend the night with my adopted pack but I know they will be bedded down in their den already and down wish to disturb them. Once I reach my porch I shake the water from my fur before shifting. My human hair remains damp from the rain I encountered and I relish the soft, fresh washed feeling it has even if it was from rain water.

Upon entering my cabin I go about my normal nightly routine. I start the fire up again and make sure everything is locked tight. I sit down for a small snack of deer jerky and a slice of bread with butter. The sound of the rain is like a calming lullaby going steady outside. I can see the lightening flashing outside my windows and thunder follows not far behind. After my snack I down a bottle of water before stripping and getting into bed.

Once again my sleep is interrupted by that strange tapping sound. Growling in frustration I sit up in bed. Looking around my cabin is empty and nothing smells out of place. The fire is low in the hearth but that doesn't hinder my ability to see almost perfectly. The tapping continues and it drives my sensitive hearing crazy. Throwing the covers off of me, I walk over to my door and walk out onto my porch.

The world is still caressed by the darkness of night and I shift quickly into my wolf form. Moving silently I pace the perimeter of my cabin and then the clearing around my cabin. The tapping stopped the moment I walked outside and now I'm trying to catch a scent, but thanks to the rain there isn't anything I can pick up. Something flashes off in the woods and immediately I turn in it's direction but it's gone. I look up and catch the moon shining through the clouds and wonder if it happened to reflect off my bird feeders.

The tapping starts again but this time behind me and I whirl around. Its coming from in the forest. The rain starts up again and the tapping becomes nothing but a faint sound but annoying none-the-less. I head in the direction of it but as soon as I step into the forest the unmistakable sound of a gun reaches my ears. I turn tail and race back toward my cabin but the explosive sound of the gun firing echoes through the forest and a sharp stick hits in my back left leg. I yelp but keep going. No sooner than I reach my porch though than a sudden, overwhelming wave of exhaustion hits me and I can't stand. I try to shift but whatever I got hit with prevents it. I hear deep laughter just as the worldd goes black.

MaKayLa Hall
MaKayLa Hall
Read next: Understanding the Collective Intelligence of Pro-opinion
MaKayLa Hall
See all posts by MaKayLa Hall