No memory is ever alone; it is at the end of a trail of memories, a dozen trails that each have their own associations.
Tala awoke with only one eye the other seemed to be glued shut. Noon light shone through the top canopy above her. A Stellar Jay flew over Tala’s head, an acorn in its mouth, most likely stolen from a squirrel. Tala’s hair almost disappeared from view on the white snow, the only give away were shadows. Tala sat up rubbing her eyes and peered around, she was only a one or two miles from the pack camp. It was no matter to walk there.
“I must have passed out while running home,” she told the squirrel that she had pounced on. It struggled beneath her, but was going nowhere, as Tala weighed quite a bit more than the tiny rodent. “Why did I have to start to remember now?” she asked it, but all it gave her was squeaks of fear. She sighed and gently snapped its neck with her mouth, it stopped moving in an instant and life fell from its eyes. Tala shook the cold snow off it and picked it up in her mouth. Another Jay flew pat her view as she started to trudge home.
Olive and Leela would be worried, but it was no matter as she walked one of the many paths to the pack. Only one thing occupied Tala’s mind as she hiked through the ankle deep snow. She needed to know if Marrok was alive. She had not seen him since almost two months before. Marrok had a lot of explaining to do if he were living. Tala had failed to go to the Leader’s cave the day before, and that was the only place he could have been as no one went to go hunt yesterday due to the festival of the stars.
Finally, Tala stepped back to the pack camp and both Leela and Olive rushed to her sniffing all of her so not to miss an inch of a scent.
“Where …. Have….you… been?” Olive asked furiously before revolting when she smelt the car fog on Tala.
“I do not know, to tell you the truth” Tala replied “I had a memory though from…from before,” this fact held onto both of her friends attention and they gawked at her in utter shock. A couple years ago, when Olive’s mother had found Tala unconscious, and half starved, in the snow, she had tried for days to remember anything. However all that ever came to mind she had quickly blocked again. The only time Tala had not blocked her memory immediately she had fallen into a deep paranoid, and depressed state. The only way she had come out of her state of insanity was when she had blocked the memory again. After the blocking though, she could not remember remembering and would want to remember, that was until Alpha had warned her that any more blocking and unblocking would make her kicked out of the pack. Tala looked down at the Scar on her hand; it looked like a jagged Z though it was only one of the many scars and bruises that she had gotten from having the rank of an omega. Olive and Leela had them as well but they were the most visible on Tala.
“Well,” she started “I think it was before the non-remembering time, I-I had been sitting in the grass and I was out of breath, like I had been running for a long time.” Already Tala’s head pounded from remembering. “So then, when I had stopped crying I started to think. I thought about my tail and ears and I felt my tail too, as if I was meeting it for the first time. And then I saw a crow fly out of the trees behind me so I turned and I started to forget, I don’t know what I was forgetting but I know I forgot the pain, sad pain, and betrayal, and fear, and anxiousness. I feel those now though. I-I am scared and I do not know. I am sad and I do not want to care about anything for no reason. I want revenge but I cannot even remember who I want to put revenge on, or why I want revenge.” Tears started to spill out of Tala’s eyes and she started to weep. For nothing that she knew why.
She needed to find Marrok she realized. “Where, where is Marrok?” Olive sighed and corrected her, saying that he resided in the Leader’s Cave. Then pulling Leela with her, she trotted off into the forest. Perhaps he would know what to do.
Tala quickly dropped off her squirrel before she visited the Leader’s cave, considering it was still with her. After dropping the limp rodent, she jogged over to the near Cave.
When Tala arrived to the cave Marrok or rather Alpha, was pacing and looked extensively worried. On his next round about, he looked up to see who was blocking the sun.
“I am thinking yo-“ Alpha stopped mid sentence as he trace the outline of the shadowed one. “Tala! I thought you were dead” He ran over to her tackling her, then licking her face. “Don’t you ever scare me like that again!” They nuzzled each other, before Tala backed away blushing.
“I-I can’t do this, not now,” Tala looked into Alpha’s eyes finding only confusion and hurt she continued gulping down the too cold air. “I… I love something else… someone else as much as I love you, as a mate,” Tala looked down and bit her lip unable to look at Alpha.
“Okay and who would this someone be?” Alpha eyed her suspiciously, and almost laughed as if Tala were telling a bad joke.
“A-A… human,” Tala burst out in tears, she turned even farther away, licking her lips nervously.
“What? How can this be I thought you hated humans!” Alpha almost screamed, but it only came out of a low whisper.
“I do! but this one, this one is different,” Tala pushed, facing Alpha now her eyes wet and confusion filling them.
“No. Human. Is. Different.” Alpha whispered slowly as if speaking to a naughty pup.
“He is though,”
“No he is not you do not even know his name!”
“But I do, his name, it is Jack!” Tala was only guessing as the man the boy had been with had called the boy Jack.
“Yeah right I believe that!” Alpha’s voice was starting to raise, his anger reaching a boiling point. How could his own mate betray him like this, first she disappeared, after returning all of a sudden she has two mate? “You can only have one mate and you are mine, but am I yours?” Alpha was whispering now he seemed to have less confidence now and Tala did not know how to answer his question.
“I-I am, but maybe I love the boy like how you love a pup, you love it but the love you have is a protective love,” Tala reasoned, though it was a very weak lie.
“Right but can you look me in the eyes and tell me that you are my mate?” Tala looked up to Marrok’s eyes steady and his just as so but a piece of hope filled them instead of anger or doubt.
“I am you mate, I love you, and I am ready to become your mate and Alpha.”
“I am your mate, I love you, and I am ready to let you become my mate and Alpha” Alpha replied with his love in every word. Tala smiled and took a deep and shaken breath as she remembered what she had come to this place for. Her smile growing wider as she told him
“I have another thing I need to tell you”
“Yes?” Alpha sounded drained and lay down bringing weary eyes to Tala.
“I- I well I um… I had a memory”
“And so? Everyone has memories why was yours so special? ”
“A memory from before”
“A-A memory from before? That’s absurd!” Alpha stood, now at full attention, everyone had known about when Tala had first come to the pack.
“I think so, I- you know the monsters that are always on the stone strip at the end of the forest?”
“Oh yeah, I guess those are kind of out of the territory, any ways that is where my feet brought me yesterday and I know the names of those monsters, in fact they even are not monsters is that not funny? Their real names are cars, humans drive them, and you know what the best part is about them? They are not even alive!” Tala was now hysterical, in wanting Alpha to believe her. Alpha though, was as confused as could be. He had no idea what she was talking about, but he felt he had to trust her. However, his face told another story, it told about how absurd it was and total disbelief shrouded his face.
“I, uh, need to think about what you have said,” he whispered now dizzy from the shock of this discovery “can you come back perhaps in a couple hours as I get my head straightened out?”
Tala closed her mouth and nodded solemnly as she turned, he did not, had not believed her. Now Marrok would think of Tala as a crazy one. She let a single tear slip and looked out to the forest. I could find him, she thought. I could look to see if he loves me.
Tala had made her decision, but not before a far off rumble started.