A sequel to something else I've written, but probably won't post becvause of it's horendousness, and my Camp NaNo 2011. Wolves, Magic, all that fun stuff. I take constructive criticism better thancompliments so say what you want.
Sashrera sighed as she put her head into her paws. I had been nearly a month since she had joined Her Pack. Only just recently had she switched “The Pack” to “Her Pack” in her mind, but it did not make much difference on the outside of her mind. Her Pack still shunned her; they were Jealous. Zotnoke, the leader, favored her above the rest; before Zotnoke had favored Lillita. The other Wolves had like Lillita and it was Sashrera’s fault that she was dead. Not only were they jealous, but angry.
Zotnoke did not seem to care that the pack now disliked him too. It had been his plan in the first place, and he had given it up for a single human child. Many Wolves had lost their lives for close to nothing.
Sashrera was the human. Her former name had been Trisha and only a few months ago she had dreams of showing her dogs and making is somewhere in the canine world. Now, her parents thought her dead and her sister would probably never see her Trisha again. And it was all Zotnoke’s fault.
When Zotnoke was only a pup, his whole family—except for Lillita—was murdered by humans. As revenge, Zotnoke plotted to turn all domesticated dogs against humans. Trisha, her sister, and to of her friends attempted to stop Zotnoke with an army of dragons.
Trisha was the Dragon Keeper. She was somewhat like the queen of dragons and a good friend at the same time. She had failed them in the end, and now the Wolves had the coveted Ancient Magic, the most powerful kind of magic, the only type that can be reused. It had been given to the Dragons centuries ago, but the now the Wolves were the most powerful creatures; and the dragons no longer needed a Keeper.
Sashrera sighed. Where had her life gone? She now had very little purpose and no drive to do anything.
Her head popped up as she heard footsteps behind her. They were faint footsteps, the kind that only comes from someone who is trying to catch you by surprise, but failing. Sashrera smiled to herself, she knew who it was.
“Attack!” Silane shouted in Wolf Speak as she pounced on top of Sashrera. The wolf pup landed on bare ground and did some sort of a summersault before realizing that her victim had rolled out of the way. Silane looked around for some sign of “Sashy” and found her staring smugly at the pup a few feet away.
“You were too loud,”Sashrera said in fluent Wolf Speak. She had inherited the memories of Lillita during the year’s former events and had learned how to use them to her advantage.
“I’m always too loud!”Silane whined.
“You just need more practice.”
“I always need more practice.”
“Nobody’s perfect.” Sashrera got up to leave and the constant thoughts of where she would go began to evade her mind once again.
“Why are you always going somewhere else?”Silane asked.
Sashrera turned and looked at her. The pup’s eyes were bright, inquisitive, and innocent, just as any young child. “Silane, think of it this way,”she said, trying to think fast. “What else could I spend my time doing? I can’t hunt. The she-wolves don’t trust me with their pups. I have no way to help the pack and no purpose. What am I supposed to do?”
“You could ask Zotnoke.”
Zotnoke. He was, perhaps, Sashrera’s only friend, if he could be called friend. Silane truly adored her grandfather. Before his plan for revenge, Zotnoke had taught her about everything is what Sashrera had gathered from Lillita’s memories.
Now Zotnoke was much more secluded. Sashrera wondered if he was worried about staying the pack leader.
“I could…”Sashrera rolled the idea in her mind; they were not on the best of terms. The once human had already asked Zotnoke for several favors. Asking him to teach her to hunt or use magic might test his patience too much.
“Then go do it! Last time I saw Zotnoke he was at The Cave.”
The Cave was where the pack typically stayed unless they were hunting. It was different from most caves because it wasn’t damp and it climbed higher rather than going down. It had a great advantage to watching the down-hill slope for any Dragons that might try to break the ancient magic and steal Sashrera back.
“Would you like to come too?”
Sashrera did not know why she had asked the pup to come, it had just popped out, and so the pair meandered back through the pine trees to see if Zotnoke was still where he had been last seen.
The forest was particularly drab today. The clouds created a type of day where there are no shadows and the sun is a small spot that glows just slightly. It gave the trees a sort of hazy appearance and the rain last night made it humid. Sashrera was reminded more of a jungle or a swamp than a mountainside.
“Pine needles hurt my pads. Do they hurt your pads?”Silane asked out of the blue.
“No. After you walk on them a whileyour brain doesn’t register it anymore.” Sashrera switched to human words about halfway through, a talent that only she and Zotnoke had been able to master. Wolf Speak did not have the words she wished to use.
The two kept walking. Sashrera had wandered a little further than normal in her aimlessness, but she knew where The Cave was from Lillita’s memories and from the scent of other wolves.
“Can you teach me to talk like a human?”
Sashrera looked at the pup be her side in surprise and hoped to see a joke on the pup’s face. She saw dead seriousness as Silane looked back at her expectantly and stumbled over her own paws. The older wolf pondered the question while the younger picked herself back up and they began walking again.
“Why do you wish to learn?”
“So that I can speak to you privately! The elder wolves can understand everything I say. I do not like that. I want to hide things.”
“Here’s your first word:secret. It’s something you know but no one else knows. What you would be hiding is asecret.”
“I want lots ofsecret!”Silane said excitedly. “And this will be the first! That you are teaching me the human language!”
“That means you can’t tell anyone, except maybe Zotnoke. But you can’t tell your mom or sisters or brothers or anyone else. Understood?”
By this time, they had reached the cave and Sashrera fell silent. As she walked by the rest of the pack, she noticed other Wolves turning away from her and falling silent. She would have loved them to ignore her, but they never seemed to notice what the once human might have wanted. The fear that they may attack her someday once again latched on to Sashrera’s heart like an undying leech.
“Why are they so quiet?”Silane asked in a hushed voice. Sashrera only looked at her with a pained expression on her face.
“Why do you fall silent?”a voice from ahead rebuked the wolves. “It is only one of your kin.”
Zotnoke was ahead and he stared with the eyes that had once been those of a stern leader, but now they were the eyes of someone slightly afraid and angry. But they also showed signs of becoming much older and wiser in a short amount of time. Due to the Ancient Magic, the wolves now could not die for hundreds of years unless killed, but it was if he was an old man, not the prime age of four years.
The magic must have taken a hold of his mind quicker. Sashrera decided to herself. His intelligence has gone beyond others already. Does this mean that the dragons will lose their intelligence sooner? Humans were the only creatures who were intelligent without magic. However, with Ancient magic at an animal’s tail tip, any creature could learn to expand their mind.
The wolves glared at Zotnoke for a moment and then went back to whatever they were doing. Most of them slept because of the humidity.
“Zotnoke!”Silane called. “Sashy is bored!”
Normally, Sashrera figured, Zotnoke would have smiled at his daughter, but smiling, even the extremely faint wolf smile, was kept to a minimum. “Is that so?”he said teasingly. He looked at Sashrera expectantly.
“I…humans can’t live with no purpose in their lives. I have no purpose here,” Sashrera told Zotnoke awkwardly and in the human tongue so that the rest of the Wolves could not understand. “As I recall, you promised you would teach me more about magic.”
“Perhaps later,” Zotnoke glared at her. “Right now, I have no need for company,” he answered also in English.
Sashrera felt a little stung. Although she had doubted some, she had expected Zotnoke to agree.
“Zotnoke sounded tired,”Silane stated as they walked away to a place Sashrera knew not.
“Yes, he does. I wonder what he’s doing with the magic. I hope he’s not experimenting. That could be disastrous.” Sashrera could not keep the worry from her voice.
“Will Zotnoke hurt himself?”
“I hope not, but one never knows.” And with those comforting words, Sashrera, once again, found another place to wander.
Zotnoke stared at himself in a nearby brook. He had recently discovered that reflections were a picture of what was around it, even if a rather scrambled one at that. Zotnoke had become older to himself even in the last few days. His eyes, especially his eyes, appeared duller.
Intelligence had its plusses, but feelings. Feelings. They were so confusing. It used to be only one diluted with instinct, but now it was instinct drowned in a conscience. He regretted giving up everything for the once human, but at the same time wished he had not started the plan in the first place and then he felt like what he did was right.
Then there was whether he should help Sashrera or not and if he could really expect her to grant the wish, the reason he kept her.
Zotnoke wanted to love, to have purpose.
But were feelings something that could be taught?
Why did everything have to be so confusing now?