Chapter 2

                Misty Dafny threw her schoolbooks onto the table.  After being homeschooled for years, being thrown into high school was brutal.  Even though she was already a month in, the only people who talked to her were the teachers.  At the very least, they were going camping in the Rocky Mountains over the weekend.  Somehow, living in a tent and being a mosquito buffet seemed much more appealing than homework.

                Misty was a social girl who was rather short and had a smile of sunshine.  Her hair was medium length with slightly ragged ends and side bangs.  Her eyes were a sparkling brown with gold flecks when the sunlight hit them just right.

                She walked into the empty kitchen.  Her mom and older sister were at work.  Dad was probably outside in his garden.  He loved his garden more than anything else, which meant that what Misty pulled out of the fridge was a fresh bowl of salad.

                Misty’s cell phone rang from the other room in a chirping bird sound.  Eliza Brunham had texted her.  Eliza was a long time friend from ballet class and bi-weekly hang-out time was essential.   The 14-year-old walked back to the living room with a bowl of salad to see what was up.

                Eliza B: Are we still going camping tomorrow?

                Misty smiled.  Eliza was such a perfectionist and worried about everything, including dates getting cancelled out of the blue.  Most likely she would get three more texts from her with-in the next twelve hours.

                Cloud Mist: yeah, unless dad comes in saying that we’re going to the water park.

                Eliza B:  Would he do that?

                Cloud Mist: no, i dont think so.  stop worrying.

                Eliza B:  Do you have everything packed?

                Cloud Mist: i said stop worrying.  yes we have everything.  fishing poles, canned food, tents, matches…i know we have everything.

                Eliza B: Clothes? Bug Spray?

                Cloud Mist: Yes!

                Eliza B: Alright, alright.  I’ll leave you alone now.  See you tomorrow morning.

                Cloud Mist: See ya, girl <3

                If only Eliza went to school with Misty.

*******

                Although not knowing it, Sashrera managed to find her way to the brook where Zotnoke had only been a few minutes ago.  She looked down at the slightly murky water; only three months ago she would have never dared to drink it but now everything was different.  As she was about to start lapping it up she heard a noise behind her.  Ears forward, her head came straight up.

                She knew it could be anyone or anything.  Where there was magic, magical creatures tended to flock.  Another possibility was a lone wolf.  Sashrera also knew that she could be mistaken for a lone wolf; wolves never stray far from their pack.

               “Estra’al èmma?”

               Sashrera froze.  It was an unknown tongue to her, an unknown species.  Friend or foe?

               “Mele ko amaat?”the voice tried again.

                Slowly Sashrera turned to see who was speaking to her.

               “Dan gan tato?”

               Sashrera saw a figure in the trees. “Awn merey jkat,”she said.  Wolf for, “I understand not.”

                The figure stepped forward.  It was slender with toned skin and strong muscles.  It appeared to be graceful yet hardy, a creature who spent its days out in the sun, one who has seen much.  Black hair flowed from its scalp, giving it a more feminine appearance.

               “Yev’nar doesth?” Finally, a language Sashrera understood.  Wolf Speak for, “Who are you?”

               “Why do you wish to know?”Sashrera asked.

               “You are different from other wolves.  You speak intelligently; you are alone.  Alternatively, do I wish to know what you are?” The being had a silvery voice.  Sashrera immediately thought of the stories she used to read.  An elf?

               “I am a wolf on the outside, but not on the inside.”

                “I can see that.  What is on the inside?”

                “I do not know if I can trust you.”

                “True.  I do not know if I can trust you either.”

                “Then we have a dilemma.”

               Sashrera stood where she was so she could turn and run at any moment and she did not dare turn her back.  She wondered if the creature could sense fear, because she surely reeked of it at the moment.

               “I will begin with me.  I am an elf.  My clan has come because we sense a change in the patterns of magic here.  Do you know anything of it?” the elf asked her.

                The wolf felt like responding with, “Do I ever?”  but she refrained and said,“Some.”

                “You will not tell me?”

               Sashrera pondered a moment before saying,“I was once not a wolf, but a human.”

                “I see.  Your name?” The elves tone changed once she mentioned human.  Sashrera couldn’t help but think,Oh no!  Humans are meddling with magic now!  We all shall die!

                “Yours first.”

               The elf sighed in defeat. “My name is Mrinal, the Lotus Stalk, daughter of Mithrine”

                “My former name wasTrisha,noble.  Now it is Sashrera, the Hidden Hero.”

                “What do you know of the magical disturbances?”

               Sashrera eyed the elf once again.  She was dressed in a skin-tight shirt made of a shimmery fabric and rather short shorts of the same green material.   Slung over her back was a bow and arrows, at her side, a knife.   Her hair was brown and her eyes were a forest green.

                A typical cliché elf,Sashrera thought. “I can take you to someone who understands better.” The thought of taking an elf to Zotnoke was intimidating.  She had already brought him a dragon twice, and both times, he was unhappy.  Would an elf be any different?

               “Take me to him.”

               The demand took Sashrera by surprise, so she answered a bit randomly,“Do you wish to bring any of your clan?”

                “Nay, I can protect myself.” Sashrera managed to interpret that as, “If he attacks me, you’ll find him in little tiny pieces.”

               “Follow me.” Although the once human felt uncomfortable with not keeping an eye on the hunter, she was determined to show that she was not afraid, no matter how big of a lie it was.

The End

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