Lone Shadow

Calicia is the lone wolf. The packless one. Having a pack is all wolves ever dream of, but now she is cast out, and there's no food that can be found in the entire forest. Any day could be her last. It's her job to find the source of the missing food, and retrieve it. What can she do?


Pronunciation key:
Calicia - Cal-isss-ee-ah
Syanew - See-an-oo
Walnemazoi - Wal-knee-mah-zoy (Wal rhymes with pal)
Anuk - An-uk (Uk rhymes with puck)

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1. Discarded

 

 

Running hopelessly through the perimeter of the dense woodland, Calicia knew she had to find her pack, or face death.  Her glossy coat shimmered in the haunting autumn twilight, as she dodged the dark silhouettes of gnarled branches in the shapes of clawed hands, reaching out to grab anything in their path – even a tough hunter wolf.  Her lungs were beginning to tire and she slowed gradually down.  She knew that she had to go on – much longer without food or water could be fatal – but eventually she slowed to a stop.  After five minutes of rest, she began again at a brisk trot.  Soon, she wandered onto what used to be a familiar part of the forest, but was surprised when she found herself on a cold, hard sort of pathway.  Drifted away in her wonders, Calicia barely had time to lie as flat down onto the strange area of floor as possible, before two blinding lights zoomed into view, a deafening sound made her sensitive ears ache and an outlandish mechanical thing hurtled overhead.  When she was sure she was safe, Calicia dared to breathe and move a shaken muscle, before another monstrous machine nearly flattened her.  As quickly as she could, she scuttled off into the forest.  As luck would have it, Calicia ran all the way back to her pack on the way away from the hard thing and the ‘monsters’.  She did not expect what happened next, though.  It appeared that even her own family had turned on her, when they realized that she was there.  As she nervously tiptoed towards the pack leader, that angrily growled and glared, and a few even tried to lunge at her, restricted only by few angry wolves that seemed to have more self-control.  At that moment a twig snapped as a servant stalked to her.

“You are to see our leader.  Follow me.” said the servant.  She walked slowly and nervously behind him, as he led the way to the leader of the pack.  Eventually, she came to the clearing that was used as the leader’s ‘living quarters’.  The leader sat in waiting on a thick pile of moss and leaves, some of which were of similar colouring to his dark coat. As she cautiously approached Walnemazoi, their leader; she found that only he was not growling.  The stump on his hind moved slightly – he had once had a tail, until only a week after he was born, when a bear attacked him and his mother, but he was so young that he could not run away.  The pack’s hunters found him just before the bear bit him, and fought off the bear.  Still, his grey coat was left broken in three places, where he had scars from the bear’s claws, and his tail had been bitten off.  For this reason, many nicknamed him ‘Bearhunter’.

“You may leave.” he said softly to the servant.  As he left, Walnemazoi asked Calicia, “So, where is the food you promised that you would bring for us, and where is the water you said that you would find?” She shuffled uncomfortably, and replied,

“Erm, well, the food and water…”

“Yes?” he said, “You know that you were our last hope”

“Well, about them, I…  They were nowhere to be found.  But…”

“But?  You managed to find some?”

“Well, I did make a discovery of something…  The food though…  None.  Anywhere!”

“HOW COULD YOU!?  YOU KNOW THAT WE HAD NO CHANCE OF SURVIVAL WITHOUT THOSE NOURISHMENTS!”

“I… I know, but they… they were nowhere… I… you… you can’t punish me for this… it, it’s not my… fault…”

“Oh, but I can.  Have you forgotten something?  I am your leader.  Not anyone else.  So, I can punish you.  And you know what happens to naughty little wolves.”

Calicia knew what he meant.  She was shocked. “You… you wouldn’t…”

“Oh but I would!” and at that he scratched her from her right ear to her right shoulder.  Slowly, her well-cleaned, white coat began to turn a deep red.  The chief bared his shining, dagger-like teeth and growled the most ferocious growl Calicia had ever heard.  She was almost certain that you would be able to hear it miles away. Then, as in tradition when a wolf was going to permanently leave the pack, he chased her out of the territory, the other wolves howling their part.  Blinded by fear and pain, Calicia raced as quickly as she could for a measure of time that could have been hours or seconds – she wasn’t counting – until she tripped over what seemed to be a large tree root, and a huge thud sounded as her head smashed against the floor, and she fainted.

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