Our leader paced back and forth in front of the fire. I stood their, silent, with my hands tied behind my back, the orange glow from the embers flickering across my face. I could see my reflection the river next to me, and I stare at it, wondering why I don't just shift and run into the woods to hide from my people.
But that would be hiding who I truly am, and I cannot do that.
"Your probably curious as to why you've been tied up. Well, let me explain something. Years ago five tribes gathered, and each one represented a different animal. Our leaders, including my sire before me, spoke and agreed to split the land between all five tribes, but that if an offspring with a sire or dam from different tribes was born, they were to be immediately killed. Because of this, we needed a more distinct way to understand the animal of each tribe."
He paused, frowning, and bent down, picking up a long piece of wood from the ground. turning, he threw it into the flames and I heard some of my clan mates murmur as the fire grew larger for a second, reaching upward and swallowing the air above it whole before settling down again. Finally, Chief Sanca continued.
'Injecting the DNA of each animal to one male baby from each tribe, we were greeted with the unique ability's of shape shifting. The male shape shiftier then proceeded to mate, and from then on we always had an animal representative for each tribe. But it must only be male! Males have a strength woman do not! Woman are to carry our sons and sew our clothes, nothing more!" Of course, this isn't true. If some of the elder woman of this tribe had heard this, they would be shouting with rage. But the woman are not permitted to such meetings unless they are the captive. Because of this, I am surrounded by men, and they raise shouts of agreement.
I cower back slightly. If I wasn't surrounded by about fifty angry men, I would have protested against what my chief had said, but instead I stand here trembling. " But you. You broke this unspoken rule by being the first female shiftier. Traitor!" He shouted the last part, his loud voice ringing throughout the clearing. " Traitor!" The rest of the men shouted as well. Then suddenly our old leader stepped forward.
" This is nonsense!" Past Chief, Bear Claw, shouted, and immediately the rest of the shouts lowered to nothing, for this was their old leader talking. " It shouldn't matter-" He was cut off by Chef Sanca, " Not nonsense!" He turned towards me. " You must leave this tribe. We will pick a new animal! But I will not have a female more powerful than me." He said, pointing past the woods. I followed his gaze, and gasps sounded.
He was pointing towards the dark forest.
" Son! You must be crazy!" Chief Bear Claw exclaimed, his voice booming throughout the clearing. I started to tremble in fear. The dark forest was a place no man dared to go. Too many people have disappeared, never to return home from exploring the horrible place, and we often times hear awful screeching and howling noises coming from within. I suppressed a shiver.
Once more Chief Sanca pointed to the dark forest. " Go. I cannot not have a female in my tribe more powerful than me. Perhaps a man, but not a young woman." I drew in a breath. " Then you are a coward." I said as my last parting words and soon I'm walking through the dark forest.
No, let me rephrase that, ' walking towards my doom.' There, that's better.