"Quiet both of you." Shikashi scolded. "Zoraan you can lead us to your father's Palace, then hang back while Sveta and I infiltrate the palace." He grinned. "Maybe even start a good fight." Zoraan rocked back and forth on his feet, rubbing his hands pensivly as he thought.

"Alright," he conceeded. "I'll take you but as soon as we reach the gates, I'm gone until you two are back outside. Alright?" I clapped a hand on Zoraan's shoulder and flashed him a wicked smile. There was a look of hesitation as I spoke.

"Night is coming and as much as I love the darkness we need to make camp and rest. That grove of tall grass should do fine." I pointed towards the tall stalks of soft green.

"Not much of a camp," Shikashi muttered rubbing the back of his neck "What about a fire, there are beasts in this forest aren't there?" Zoraan and Shikashi sat in a small clearing, uprooting large handfuls of the waist high grass and created make shift beds.

"Don't worry you two," I said teasingly "I'll keep the big bad wolf away." Zoraan and Shikashi noticeably shivered, whether from the cold or from me, I didn't know. "Be right back," I muttered over my shoulder. Someone had to grow some stones and go search for food and firewood. Crickets chirped softly as cicadas hummed, the forest was coming alive. I paused feeling the caress of the moonlight against my skin, it's cool touch sending electricity down my spine. They won't mind if I take a little walk, I thought. Finding a seat on a dead mossy tree limb, I removed my hood and pulled back my sleeves. A wince of pain crossed my face as I ran my hands along the bandages, so many painful memories came to mind as I felt my life blood pulse beneath my skin. The memories mixed like a river polluted by mud, a song beginning to fill my ears. It's tempo shifting and coiling as a snake might around unsuspecting prey.

This change, he won't contain, Slip away, to clear your mind. When asked, who made it show,The truth, he gives in to most.So lay down, the threat is real, When his sight goes red again.

My eyes fell lightly shut as my hands began to slowly undo the bandages covering my arms. The white cloth fell silently to the forest floor, my song growing to a dull roar in my ears.

So lay down, the threat is real, When his sight goes red again. So lay down, the threat is real, When his sight goes red again.

Clasping my balisong, I smiled, hearing the tell-tale growl of my soul wolf solidifying it's smoky crimson form. Underneath the gaze of the moon, I stood and opened my eyes again. Senses thrown into overdrive, my attention instantly locked onto a small scuffle of hooves upon the earth. I grinned, starving for the hunt, the kill. I broke into a sprint after the terrified creature, my soul wolf and I working in tandem to tire the beast. It's screams intertwining with my song, music to my ears. In one sharp movement, the wolf clamped it's jaws around the preys throat, dragging to a stop, and snapping it's neck. I slowed to a calm walk, my eyes fixed on the animals corpse as the wolf released it. 

"Sveta?" a voice called, horrified. Spinning round, I tossed my balisong, the fervor of the hunt still fresh in my mind. The figure barley dodged the blade and tackled me to the ground, holding me to the cold ground. I shouted as my soul wolf crouched, shifting it's shoulders to attack. The music was now crashing waves of sound against my ears.

"Sveta! Sveta, it's me Zoraan! STOP!" 

"Zoraan?" I said quietly, as if grasping at some unseen object. My song instantly faded, the wolf howled and shifted into tiny crystals of light that burned out. I blinked a few times trying to get my bearings, why was Zoraan here? He took a deep breath and stood, releasing me. I looked back to the deer carcass then to Zoraan. Had he watched me? My eyes fell shut, I was suddenly freezing cold. 

"Are you alright?" he asked, his voice filled with concern. I took a sharp breath, stood, and moved to the deer. Grasping it's rear legs in one hand and it's front legs in another, I lifted the animal onto my shoulder and began walking towards the camp. Zoraan followed, trailing at my side. 

"Sveta?" he asked again, his voice was softer. I glanced to him, seeing his worry. 

"I'm...fine," I said, my voice almost failing me. The walk back to our makeshift camp was silent except for the night around us. Ahead burned a small fire, Shikashi sat smiling triumphantly. 

"I got a fire going so now we can....WOW!" His eyes flicked to me then to the deer as I dropped in to the ground. "Did you kill that by yourself?" he asked excitedly. I nodded not looking at him. Taking a seat near the fire, I tucked my knees up to my chest and wrapped my arms around my legs. A rush of emotions twisted my stomach into knots as Zoraan took his seat on the opposite side of the fire. 

"Did I miss something?" Shikashi asked at our silence.   

The End

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