Ember Fullbuster is your average fifteen year old girl. It’s the first day of school and a strange boy appears at her front door, saying that she is a werewolf and will have her first shift this full moon. During their conversation, she discovers that he is a werewolf himself. Ember brushes him off, thinking that he is just pranking her, she goes to school as normal, but the day of the full moon, she begins seeing strange things. Her head pounds and she gets a high fever. Her vision fades into a red glow. She gets sent home from school. But when the full moon rises, her life will never be the same again.


3. The Harmony in a Melody

Step by step. One foot after the other. Thoughts of yesterday’s interactions with Raef sent her mind into a syral. Part of her wanted to avoid him, the other, kiss him again. She kept walking. Knowing only her thoughts. Until pain came crashing down on her forehead and a loud clunk echoed throughout the early morning campus. “Ouch.” She grunted. Geometry was first today. Recovering from her embarrassment, she walked slowly, looking for both Eden and Raef. She turned the corner and saw Eden waiting outside the room, but Raef was still nowhere to be found. Ember approached her friend, “Hey Eden. Have you seen Raef?”

“Noooooo, but he told me about your smooch.” Eden pursed her lips in a kissing motion.

Ember grunted, “Did he tell you what happened after?” She was afraid of losing another friend to her powers, but the question had to be asked.

“Yea, you lit a tree on fire. That’s really cool Em.” Eden said impressed, “What? Did I say something wrong? You’re looking at me like I’m an alien.”

“No, it’s just . . . “ Ember trailed off.

“Just what?” Eden continued.

“Just, Raef didn’t have as nice a reaction as you. As soon as the tree lit on fire, he called me a witch, shifted, and ran off into the forest.” Ember hung her head. Maybe Ash was right. Maybe she shouldn’t have gotten close to Raef after all.

“I know.” Eden said, “He told me.” Ember looked up. “Come on, the bell is about to ring, we should sit down. We can talk more in class if you want.” Eden asked as she drifted through the door. Ember followed. “Ok, thanks, that will be great.” Ember said.

“No problem.” Eden replied moments before the teacher hushed the class to begin the lesson. Ember felt a strange vulnerability in her mind. “Fulki?” She asked.

“Relax, it’s just Eden. The two of you will speak through Sinopa and I” Fulki explained.

“Confusing.” Ember replied.

“True, but it works.” Ember heard Eden’s voice in her head.

“You said you knew how Raef reacted. I never should have gotten close to him. I should have listened to Ash from the start.” Ember said. She could feel her depression and regret get sent down their mental tether.

“He’d kill me if he knew I told you, but the reason he backed away is because he thinks it will be easier to hate you instead of love you. He doesn’t want to start loving you just because you have powers, but love you because of you.”  Eden informed. This time it was her emotions getting sent down the tether, but they weren’t depression and regret, they were pity and confidence.

“Really?” Ember asked.

“I’m sure, you should text him after class. Ask to meet him.” Eden said.

“Are you INSANE?” Ember yelled through the tether.

“No, and you don’t have to yell. I’m just saying that you guys need to talk things out. You may not like all the things he says, but they need to be said.” Eden seemed to prove a good point, and Ember could feel the confidence in her idea.

“Okay, I’ll give it a try.” Ember said as doubt washed over the mental link, “But I am going to try and pay attention for the rest of class because I will never be able to teach myself.” Ember finished. Eden sent approval down the tether, then desiccated it. Leaving no sign that the two had ever been mentally connected.


    The class ended with Ember drowning in homework. “Text him.” Eden walked up behind her.

“Okay, okay.” Ember said. She removed her phone from her pocket, found Raef’s contact and texted him. “Can we meet at the place with the burned tree? Please?” She sent it, already regretting her decision. Some classes flew by, but as the meeting time with Raef approached, time seemed to slow. Stress increased. “What if Raef has the same reaction. What if he tries to physically hurt me. What if-”

“Talk to Jacobs.” Fulki said.

“What?” Ember asked.

“Ash said he would help us, even Jacobs said he would help us. I guess now is the time to put it to the test.” Fulki said.

“What about class?” Ember asked.

“This is more important, we’ll deal with it Monday, or email Mr. Young later.” Fulki said.

“Ok fine, I’ll text him.” Ember said.

“Thank you.” Fulki said. Ember powered on her phone. Found Jacobs’ contact and texted him, “Hey, can we talk? I’m important.” She sent it. The reply came almost instantly. “Sure, meet in the woods behind campus in five minutes?” Ember replied, “Sure.”And walked toward the place that had held so many events the day before. She left the campus behind and broke into the treeline. “Hey. You alright?” A masculine voice seemed soft, almost consoling behind her.

“No.” She replied.

“What happened?” Jacobs asked. Ember spilled her guts about the painful last day and about the stress inducing, upcoming meeting.

“Wow.” He said.

“Yep.” She nodded slowly.

“You know what happened to your parents?” He asked. She looked up at him, he was just as stressed as she was. Her arms wrapped around him in a tight hug, “Yes, but it’s not your fault, and that’s not why I wanted to talk to you.” She told him.

“Why do you want to talk?” He asked, a bit calmer now.

“As you know, I texted Raef to meet, but I am considering if it was the right choice.” Ember explained.

“Just follow your heart, Em. Don’t let fear stop you from doing or getting something you want. No matter what others say.” Jacobs explained.

“I guess.” She said. He grabbed her shoulders, his grip was gentile.

“Do you want to get close to him, Ember?” His tone was serious, and she knew the decision was important.

After a long silence, she nodded.

“Then go talk to him.” Jacobs replied.

“You’re right.” She said.

Jacobs nodded, “I should probably go, school’s over. He should be here soon. I wish you the best of luck.” He turned, shifted into a fairly large, tan wolf, and ran off into the forest. His scent still lingered. Ember waited for a few minutes until she heard the soft snap of a twig. She turned and saw a sleek, black fox emerging from the bark, “Wasn’t sure you’d come.” She said.

The small animal faded into a relatively normal sized Raef, “Neither was I.” He admitted.

“Then why did you?” She asked.

“Curiosity.” He said.

“Okay, but I think we need to talk.” Ember said.

“So talk.”

“I’m sorry Raef, but I can’t change what I was born as. I am a mage wolf. I’m sorry, but I can’t change that, and frankly, I don’t want to.” Ember said.

“Yea, you show him.” Fulki charged forward, Ember laughed.

“And I’m sorry I left, but a shifter’s natural fear is fire -” He was cut off.

“Fear us if you want, but know, fire doesn’t only burn.” Fulki spoke through Ember’s mouth. They turned their back to Raef. They could feel his shocked stare boring into their back.

“What? You didn’t know that?” Fulki spoke again, “Fire can also heal.” Fulki could feel both Ember and Raef’s shock, “Watch.” she said. She raised Ember’s hands to the scorched tree. She remembered how it burned. But this time, instead of slipping, she was balanced. Fulki thought both and fire and of life. Two streaks of color extend from Ember’s hands. One streak was orange, the other yellow, both were glowing. They extended to the fire touched plant. The light wrapped around the torched branches and almost seemed to dance. They spun faster until there was only a blur of glowing color. The streaks flashed blindingly bright, then were gone completely. In their place, was a fully green and alive tree. A tree that had once been burned to nothing. Fulki subsided.

“You’re welcome.” She whispered. Ember and Raef were both staring at the newly bloomed oak in awe. Raef turned, no fear was in his eyes. He closed the distance between them. Wrapping his arms around her, he closed her in a tight hug, “I’m so sorry.” He whispered in her ear. He let go, staring her deep in the eye. His fox came forward, she could see that he truly was sorry.

“Fear can do amazing things.” Ember said. Raef nodded.

“I want to teach you something.” He said.

“Teach me what?” Ember challenged.

“How to shift without the help of the full moon.” He said. Ember picked up her eyes, interest piqued.

“How? Don’t I have to wait until six full moon’s are finished.” She only just stopped speaking when she felt an overwhelming surge of energy from Fulki. It felt as if her own mind was being crushed by Fulki’s consciousness. “Relax, Ember. Let me do my thing. Once we have shifted, I will back off and share the helm with you. But for right now, I need your cooperation.” Fulki said. Ember submitted to her wolf. For a split second, and a split second only, did she feel her body twist, bend, and snap like it had on the full moon. But this time, there was no pain, just the overwhelming weight of Fulki’s mind. But that second ended just as suddenly as it had begun. She felt Fulki push her up. Now it was her own energy surging forward. But instead of washing over Fulki’s mind, she was pushed aside, and around her wolf. She was looking from the outside in, giving input when input is due, like Fulki has done so many times before. She could feel that Fulki was even giving her control of their shared furry body. Ember finally got a real look at herself. Her legs, ears, and the tip of her tail were ember orange. Her torso and head were a smoky white. Her eyes seemed to glow orange with fire. “I like this form. You’re gorgeous.” Ember informed her wolf , “And do you always see like this?” She asked.

“Thank you. You’re not too shabby yourself, and yep, pretty much.” Fulki said, “Oh wait, one more thing.” Ember felt a wave of energy wash over her eyes, she had to close them for a second. When she opened them again, the world was bright, and tented organe. Raef glowed fire blue. “Breathing things glow blue.” Fulki said. Ember’s attention was finally drawn off her wolf and onto the boy standing in front of her. Who was currently stuttering, “What, how, you just, with no, impossible.” He tried to say.

“What’s the big deal? I like Ember, I’m not going to try and crush her. I don’t understand why animal halves do that. She lets me partner with her when she’s human, why wouldn’t I do the same when she’s wolf?” Fulki spoke through the mindlink, “Just as I would allow Ember to shift back into a human if she so wanted.” Fulki continued.

“Why isn’t she then.” Raef challenged.

“Because I don’t want to.” This time Ember spoke through the mindlink, “Come on Fulki, let’s go home.” Fulki noded and trotted gleefully home on the same woodland trail that had brought them so many tears the day before. Leaving Raef to stay stunned in the trees, standing awkwardly alone until he finds himself able to move again.


    A loud crash echoed through the houses. “Come on!” Fulki said, “It’s coming from our house.” Ember gave a virtual nod in agreement. Fulki spurred her legs into action. Running faster as a wolf than her human feet would ever allow her. Together, they flew around the corner and in through their broken down, front door. Their movement only seized when their eyes laid upon the horror in front of them. Standing only a few feet away was a woman. She was tall and lean, her dark brown hair was curled and fell to her mid back. She turned to reveal steel blue eyes that stared into Fulki with obvious threat. “Little Lite.” Her voice boomed with dominance, but Fulki stood tall.

“Let our parents go.” Fulki stared deep into the women’s eyes.

“Which ones.” She almost seemed to laugh as the words escaped her lips. The verbal blow had found it’s target. Fulki was stunned frozen. Ember was the first to recover, “I’ll take the lead if you want.” She spoke only to her wolf. The only response she got was, Fulki surrendering into the darkness. Ember took the cue, flooding their shared mind with her consciousness. Before she knew it, the world had returned to normal and she was standing on two legs. Fulki was still recovering in the shadows.

“Not bad for a newbie.” The woman said. Ember reached for her wolf, found her, and yanked her up to share the helm. “We’re a team Fulki, I’m not doing anything without you.” No words were needed, gratitude filled the empty space.

“Incase you aren’t aware, you and I are the same, Ember.” The woman said.

“No. We’re not. I would never hold people captive.” Ember glanced over to her parents being tied by what looked like very, very clear water. Their jaws were dropped at their daughters new abilities.  

“Maybe not yet, Little Lite, but you will not survive in this world if you are nice. The world hates shifter mages. The sooner you learn that, the better.” The woman smiled menacingly before turning to the man on her right, “Take them. I will follow soon.”

“Yes, Melody.” The man held onto her parents shoulders.

“What are you doing!?” Ember asked alarmed. But by the time she finished, the man and her parents were gone.

“What did you do? Where are they? What are -”

“I took them somewhere they won’t be bothered.” Melody said.

“Give them back!” Ember demanded. She could feel her control slipping like it had done with Raef. Only this time, rage was the cause of the slip.

“I’m afraid I can’t do that, Little Lite.” Melody looked right into her soul in an attempt to scare her into submission. Ember felt no fear, only rage. That was the last straw. Her control left her. Flames shot out of her body in all directions. Any space not burned would soon be devoured by the vengeful fire. She heard a whisper in her mind to stop, she ignored it. Her wrath was too strong. A small, black wolf darted around the fires. Ember raised her arms, aiming for the shifter. She let loose. Fire shot out of her fingertips and toward the small animal. A loud, agonizing ring surged her ears. She swiftly moved her hands to cover her own vibrating eardrums. The thick streak of fire just missing the black creature. “EMBER!” Fulki yelled as soon as the sound subsided. She felt as if her brain was fried and her ears had fallen off. She removed her hands from her ears as panic gnawed at her gut. They were covered in the blood of her pulsing eardrums. The world around her seemed to fade in and out. Her breath seemed to freeze in her throat. For what seemed like miles, all she could see was smoke and fire. All she could hear was the loud crackle of burning wood. She stood there for a second. One second. One timeless second. And she watched as the world around her faded into darkness.

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