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Sunday, February 5, 2012

My Story Chapter One

Here's a new story I'm writing... Tell me what you think! -Jadefireeyes

She awoke in the forest.

The night pressed in and the sound of night creatures surrounded her. More importantly, she didn’t remember how she got there.

As she got up from a laying position on the cold ground, voices came from her left. She began to run but one of them abruptly came at her. She was pushed back to the ground and the sharp point of a weapon bit her throat.

“Who are you, and why are you here?” A deep menacing voice.

Her own response came out shaky. “I don’t know why. I – And as to who I am-”

“Silence!” A female voice cut her off. “If you’re going to speak, girl, answer our questions!”

A torch suddenly was lit. She stared in shock as its blazing light revealed their faces for the first time.

There were three of them; two males she believed, and a female. They grasped their spears with long black claws while wolf ears emerged out of their heads. The female’s tail was even visible, who was standing sideways. But the most disturbing thing was instead of having normal human noses, they had dog-like ones.

They seemed to be as surprised as she was. “Who are you?” the burly male asked again.

“I’m Jena.” At least she could remember her own name. That made her a bit relieved.

The wolf-girl took to interrogating again. “Are you an Unmarked or an Exile?”

“A what?” She was getting even more nervous. The trio was closing in.

“An Unmarked or an Exile?” the female repeated. She raised her spear. “Because of you’re an Exile, we’re going to have to kill you.”

“Unmarked!” Jena quickly said.

The strange wolf creatures didn’t lower their weapons. “There’s only one way to find out,” spoke the other, slimmer male for the first time. “By taking you to the pack mage.” He and the other wolf-thing grabbed her arms, pulling tight. She tried to pull away; got crushing pain instead that would give her bruises the next morning. Two of them, one of her. No hope of escape.

The female lead the way through the dark forest, her silvery ears illuminated by the burning torch. After a while she turned around. “You do know what a mage is, don’t you?” she asked suspiciously.

“No, I… They heal, don’t they?” Jena suddenly remembered. “And they… they…”

“They receive signs from the Place of Spirits, which ultimately affect the entire well-being of the pack.” She turned around again. “If you are lying, she will know.”

Jena broke out in fear. What if she was an Exile, and she just couldn’t remember?

They continued walking through the forest. Mosquitoes swarmed out of the bushes and Jena tripped on roots, much to wolf-girl’s amusement. The two males on either side refused to loosen their crushing grip.

Finally feeble lights began twinkling in the distance. Wolf-girl motioned for everyone to stop, as she raised hands to her mouth and started to howl.

It flew through the air with its chilling beauty, like the wind on a stormy night. The slimmer male released his hold to join in as well. Whenever someone stopped for breath the other filled in the gap, so it sounded like one seamless song.

The howling most likely was a signal because a party of more wolf-creatures broke through the trees. The teenage trio bowed before the adults, who bore much more sophisticated weapons.

“What is the emergency?” a man who was bedazzled with the most splendid clothes said. “Tyvana?” He looked expectantly at Wolf-girl.

She kept her eyes downcast before the leader. “Well, we have here a girl who could either be an Unmarked or an Exile, we don’t know.”

The leader’s features darkened at the mention of Exiles. “Well if she is, get her to Resmorha, now! You know how much I can not stand their kind!”

Tyvana nodded respectfully, then added, “Resmorha might need guards. We have no idea how serious a situation this might become. Should I send Meran and Kani?”

“I think that's unnecessary,” he replied, but it was clear the leader’s thoughts were somewhere else. “I have faith in your fighting. Come,” he gestured to his party. “We will not tell the pack about this any sooner than required.”

Jena was watching them head off west back into the forest when a familiar pain hit her upper arms. “Can’t you be a little more gentle?” she grumbled, but they did not reply.

As they headed along a sandy path, Jena couldn’t help but be overwhelmed at all the tension over her arrival. Could Exiles really be that bad?

And what if she was one?

The mage lived in a small hut with a chaos of herbs cascading from the thatched roof, and the floor was empty but for a small mat covered in a deer skin. The mage was sitting there now, silent and with eyes closed.

She did not open them as they arrived but the woman questioned, “Tyvana? What is the matter?”

Tyvana took a deep breath and said, “Well, mage Resmorha, we…Uh, this is going to come as a shock but we…”

Resmorha finally looked up. “I see you have found an Unmarked human.” She dipped her head back down.

Jena gave a relieved sigh.

“So…She’s definitely not an Exile?”

“Of course.” The mage laughed. “I sense no more than the usual evils. You, I remember, once stole your father’s prized knife and left camp with it - ”

“Stop!” Tyvana angrily exclaimed.

Jena looked a little hesitantly at the mage. Like all the others, she had wolf ears an a canine nose. But unlike everyone else, she was no longer youthful. Her hair and tail fur was gradually turning white and deep wrinkles lined her face. Still, her eyes were kind, so Jena decided to trust her.

Other than the three of them, the hut was empty. Her two "guards" had left when Resmorha had told them to.

“What is an Exile, and an Exile for that matter?”

Resmorha looked questionably at Tyvana, who shrugged. “She was like this in the Forest.”

“Where have you come from?” the mage asked Jena, the kind face morphing into a penetrating stare.

“I don’t know! I don’t remember anything at all, except for my name: Jena.”

Resmorha narrowed her eyes in thought. “This is going to need some looking into. But for now, you need to sleep. I’d offer you a bed here, but some sick pack member is bound to come to me next morning. Tyvana, you’re going to have to take Jena in.”

“Why me? Why not someone else, like the widows?”

“Tyvana, I am your mage and your grandmother. Do as I say!”

“Fine!” the wolf-girl snapped. She turned to Jena. “Don’t touch any of my stuff, and change out of that old clothing while you’re at it. I bet it smells.” Tyvana marched angrily out of the hut. Jena had no other option but to follow her.

The mage’s hut was built at the very edge of the camp, probably so she could receive signs from the Place of Spirits in peace. The heart of the camp spilled with commotion, even at night.

“Quick, the night patrol’s coming in!” Tyvana mouthed.

They took an abrupt turn near a stand of trees and hid behind them. More questions were nagging at Jena. “How can you tell they’re coming? I don’t see them,” she whispered.

“Because the wind is blowing from the west. Like, I can smell them coming?”

“Well, maybe you can, Wolf-girl with your nose, but I can’t smell farther than two feet,” Jena retorted.

“See, I always knew humans were weaklings. If you can’t rely on your sense of smell, you’re dead in the Forest,” Tyvana sneered.

“Shut your mouth,” Jena began to say, but was cut off. “You shut up, they’re going to hear us now!”

They froze as the same party they encountered before passed by their trees. Their capes billowed in the night breeze and their necklaces of feathers moved like lithe birds. The leader was in a foul mood. “Why didn’t you get it? I gave you a block from the left; your way was open!”

“Relax Lahon,” someone said. “I’m sure we can get the moose tomorrow.”

“But it was good prey. Now we have nothing to show for tonight.”

What Jena didn’t understand was why she and Wolf-girl were hiding when they were already seen by these hunters. What’s to hide, anyway?

As they left Tyvana whispered the answer in her ear. “Father loathes Exiles. He was probably looking forward to your execution tonight. But it seems you aren’t one”

Jena suddenly realized. “Wait. Not only is the mage your grandmother…”

“But the leader of this pack, Lahon, is also my father. And the reason he hates Exiles is because one killed my mother long ago.”

The moon shone very brightly that night.

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