Prologue ~ Silence
Silence. Reckoning silence is all around me and it is all there is as I lay here; my life slipping out of my clutches. My body, its life was already long gone; it’s my soul that causes me pain. It’s being eaten alive, by the very void I had created inside of me. Some in our world claim that death will be peaceful. That the silence, the emptiness, the quiet is a serene bliss. I always knew they were wrong. It is pure hell. The blood from my past life gushes from my severed neck, leaving a raging fire of pure ice replacing it. Slowly, it cascades across what is left of me, washing away my memories, my thoughts, and my desires. But the pain stays; it just builds and builds until I am trying to seek a refuge. I try to gasp for a breath of relief, but I can’t move at all. I’m frozen in the despair.
The icy flames devour my limbs, and leave me writhing in pure agony. Agony... How that should suit me. After all, it’s all I ever was, became, and will leave behind. It was my name, my past; something I will always be able to hold on to. I was Agony, the feared ruler of Darkpack. Under my rule, we were heartless, feared, and contained all of the Dark Forest within our paws.
I can remember how I used to watch those who I killed. I can still relive the feelings that had spread through me as I watched them suffer as they had spiraled down into the same deep abyss of death as mine. It’s ironic, don’t you think, that’s exactly what has become of me. I guess if I had lived longer, maybe I would have believed in Karma. It almost makes me wish that I had showed the poor damned souls some mercy, almost. But not near enough.
You weren’t always this ruthless Agony, a tiny voiced chimed in the fragment of my mind. It rang out like the soft song of a canary after a deadly battle; so different than I am now, but forever the same.
That may be true, I argued with the voice, my ever present enemy,but I was NEVER soft on anyone. I nearly hissed as my soul gazed out of the sightless eyes and into the living world.
Before my frozen body, Ghost laid. Her white fur was perfectly spotless and her neck was crooked; a sure sign that her neck was broken and she was dead. My spirit drifted from my dead body, the world around me seemed endless. I could feel myself, light as air and I sighed with satisfaction. Ghost’s death was a pure craft; so simple and easy. And yet, it hardly seemed fair that she should be granted a pain free death and journey to the spirit world. Somehow, in my new form, I could sense every life and soul around me. Ghost’s was nowhere near, it must be in the realm that I was surely heading to. The scene around my body involuntarily changed, leaving the mangled body behind, and into the vision of the true reason I was like this. Ivy.
Ivy, the black and gray she-wolf with blue eyes was staring at my lifeless body. Her eyes held pity. Anger, frustration, and a mix of something else flared into my thoughts. Pity!? Ivy had killed me. It was a duel to the death, she and I both knew it. I was driven to the match for pleasure and to protect my title, she had fought simply to save her hide. How did she win!? The icy flames licked at my consciousness, threatening to finally send me away. I quickly tried to recall the whole scene, and it unfolded before me.
I replayed it all. I saw my mistake, I was soft on her. No, Dammit! I silently snarled. I could feel the sudden want to tear her to shreds. If only I could do a rematch, then we’d see who was soft. It doesn’t matter anyways, the annoying canary of a voice said to me. You’re all going to end up in hell one day.
Going to hell... Why should such an obvious statement tear my dead, freezing heart to tattered pieces? Because you and I both know that our life wasn’t always like this. Canary said. She showed me a hidden, cherished image of a large male wolf’s silhouette standing beside a river, a slightly smaller reddish-brown she-wolf beside him.
That is right, I replied, giving up, but yet, that was a very long time ago; a time when I never knew heartbreak, a time where my hatred to the world held only one source. A time very long ago...