Chapter 1 - Exhilaration (Part 1)Mature

The hunt.  To a wolf, the hunt it our way of life.  It is a feeling that is ever present in our souls, bestowed upon us by the sacred gods.  Wind drifted through the forest canopy and whipped around my furred face, making the hairs swirl and dance sprightly through the air.  My eyes lit ablaze with this ancient feeling now, and wind still began to play around me, changing my form ever so slightly to make me appear someone else.  I was Flare, the god of the hunt.

            I could feel his power within me, with the deepening of my breath and the heat swelling from my insides, tugging on my skin and prickling my senses in reminder of past prey caught, and future prey I would catch. This feeling sent a bloodlust inside y head, almost tugging me forward in chase of any unlucky animal that dared cross my path.  But I did not follow my instincts; instead I held the howl in my throat and skimmed my eyes across the surface of the water around my muzzle.

            The water lapped slowly, in thick ebony tides that rippled and swayed just as the trees that shaded it.  Dust rose off of it and tickled my nose, and I held my breath bitterly, lashing an agitated tail across the continuing surface of water that extended behind me, around me.  The roars of distant water movement made me flatten my ears so I could concentrate on the task at hand, and stifle my fear.  For this was The Ebony River, the only water source in my homeland, the Dark Forest.  It was ruled by the fearsome pack of savage wolves, under the name of DarkPack.

            I blinked my eyes once and focused my vision on the water once more.  I’d need to keep my wits about me if I wanted to avoid any hazardous water epidemics.  Though the Ebony River seems peaceful now, it is only because of the drought that has ransacked this part of the forest this past summertime, leaving the water supply low and almost nonfunctional.  Although, this morning it had held the promise of rain on the northern winds, tainting the morning smell with fat drops of moisture that clung to the forest leaves as sweet dew.  If it did rain, this area of the river would flood fast, and sweep me right along in the current.  And like every right-minded wolf, I feared death by water.

            It is said that when the soul of a wolf dies honorably, they are given a peaceful quiet atmosphere.  After which, their soul drifts to its homeland in the land of the souls.  It is said that there they are to roam free with the gods and hunt amongst their wills.  But if the wolf drowns, the water sucks the soul from the body before it can return, and it tears it up into the tide.  Thus, keeping it trapped in the water forever and never letting it leave to the land of the souls.  This is what gives the water such a devastating torrent, it is the dead souls trying to escape and not caring what they destroyed.

            As my vision focus narrowed, I could see the image below me perfectly.  A female looked straight up at me, her amber eyes narrowed as she analyzed me, the color enhanced by the godly soul from within her, or was it just the glare from the sun?  The wind stirred her fur too; it was a murky red-brown color.  Just like the clay in dirt mixed with the crimson tint of drying blood.  No, she wasn’t very attractive at all, just intimidating in her stance.  Like she thought she was better than you.

            Her shoulders, broad and most definitely un-feminine, stood out against her long and slender legs. But they matched her thickset paws which were submerged into the water.  Amongst all of this, her slender muzzle and scruffy head seemed totally outfit for her in general, but somehow added to her complete aura.  Though her eyes were the sinister part about her.  They were like liquid fire, angry and hot, burning a vibrant amber color.  Her whole demeanor and appearance almost made you cringe; it all screamed agony, just like the name that belonged to the young female wolf.  Agony, the princess of DarkPack.

            The wolf froze beneath me, her body lost of all motion.  She became eerily still, her tail jutting to a stop in mid-wag, it even appeared that she held her breath.  Though her eyes still moved, they traced patterns in the air, tracking something.  I tensed up immediately, waiting for the blow beneath me and preparing to strike out.  Then the silver flashed into my view again.  The slippery scales gleamed in the sunlight and the trout I was hunting tried to flee.  But the stupid, inferior, prey saw me standing there a little too late.  The wolf below me raised her paw in triumph, and the watery scene burst into ripples at the flail of my deadly claws.


The wolf below me raised her paw, and the watery scene burst.  Below me, one of my claws had snagged the trout by the tail fin.  Smirking, I swiped the bloody catch out of the water and into mid air.  I grabbed a hold of it in my jaws.  The large catch wriggled in my grasp.

            Even for a strong wolf, a fully grown male trout was a fight.  The fish was, after all, half our size.  It’s hard to hold it still and kill it before it jumps away.  Scales and fins tore at my mouth and paws as the trout tried to fight its way to freedom.  There were a few minutes of fighting and dirty snarls, but I was able to get a firm hold and clamp my jaws down on the catch.  A satisfying snap of the fish’s spine greeted me and I began to wade back to shore with my contribution to our catch.

            “Yuck!  I hate the taste of fish!”  The fish landed with a hard thud as I dumped it out onto a pile that consisted of a turkey, white tail doe, and a large hare.  All of this freshly killed prey was at the side of a large gray wolf lying on his side.  I inhaled deeply, taking in the familiar scent that bathed that air around me.  Silhouette...  The male stood up, padding out of the shadows, and let out a gruff laugh as he brushed his side against mine. He turned his face to look at mine and his watery blue eyes sparkled, drowning me in their depths.

            “Well, you don’t exactly have to eat it just yet.  We’re almost finished hunting.  And I promise, with my tail at stake, that the next kill you make is all yours.”  He rolled his eyes playfully, and swished his tail across my ears.  I growled, and replied.  My playful demeanor that I spoke in still sounding like a threat, thanks to a natural chilling voice.

            “Yeah, you better hope it.  Mercy, the Goddess of Life, knows too well what happens when I face a traitor.”  I forced a mock snarl at the end, but my eyes lit up like candles, reassuring Silhouette that it was only a game.  All that I have said was true, though.  Silhouette and I were only young warriors, but I have already received a reputation when it came to killing.  Some of the fights might have been just little squabbles, but Mercy’s enemy Dragon (God of Destruction) has a way of getting to the better side of me.  I swatted my paw at my companion, grinning.

The End

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