The wolves dragged in the deer carcasses across the floor, leaving a small trail of blood droplets behind. Their eyes were still open, but their gazes were blank, cloudy, and devoid of life.
The wolves threw them onto the ground, making a wet thudding sound that echoed throughout the cavern; suddenly, shapes came alive throughout the place.
Grey and dark silver wolves appeared from random spots around the cave. Sniffing the air, saliva dripping from their mouths, pure hunger and excitement seeping from their eyes.
Luna stood over the deer, growling at the rest of the pack. I had learned the hard way that I was not to mess with anyone when they were eating. I also knew that the strongest ate first, then the rest of the pack. In this case, that meant Luna would eat first and take the piece of meat she wanted. She was the alpha.
In the pack, the color of your coat was a symbol of how strong you were. Dark grey was the lowest, and it probably meant that you were just born or just weak. Light grey was usually a juvenile. Silver suggested that you were able to hunt, fight, or a full adult wolf. The more whitish silver you were, the stronger you were. At the very top, there was white. Only one wolf at a time had a white coat. The white fur meant they were the leader, the alpha, and nothing less.
Luna was the leader of our pack. She had a pure white coat and was much larger, stronger, and faster than the rest of the wolves. It wasn’t even a competition. Most of the time, she dominated at everything.
I watched as she ripped away from the flank of one deer. She took the piece of meat in her mouth, climbing onto a hot rock on top of the waterfall. The other wolves started shifting on their paws, ready to pounce on the deer.
As soon as she lay down and took the first bite of the tender meat, chaos descended. The wolves attacked, pulling and tearing at the tender flesh. I laughed as wolves ran around chasing each other for their favorite part of the deer. It was always funny because no one was getting hurt; they were just playing around. The higher-ranked wolves already settled down with their share and were happily enjoying it. The rest of the wolves finished soon after quickly eating their portion, fearing that someone would snatch up their food.
I grunted unhappily. When I was younger, I had found out that I couldn’t eat the meat without getting really sick. I did find that I could drink the blood or eat the black fruit on the tree. I only got the fruit if it fell off the branches, though, because I couldn’t climb the tree. The bark was too smooth and slippery. I stared up at the tree, willing for something to fall, so I didn’t have to eat the disgusting metallic liquid.
All the wolves had taken their share now, and still, nothing dropped from the tree. It seemed I was going to have to drink.
I preferred the black fruit. It was sweet with a fresh, crisp taste, like a morning after a thunderstorm.
I sighed, walking forward to the leftovers. The only thing that remained was some of the organs and most of the bones. I crouched down, stuffing my hand into the deer. It felt like I was fumbling around in chunky mud with pockets of water in it. I turned away, trying not to look at the pile of meat that I was digging around it. The smell alone made me want to throw up.
I dug around for a second then pulled out what I was looking for. It was a dark red-colored organ with veins running up and down it. It was soft but also very muscular and sturdy.
It was the heart, a no longer pumping heart. I always felt disgusted by taking it. I was okay about eating the rest of the body; I just didn’t like it. It gave me a weird feeling like I was violating some rule. I pulled the heart, detaching it from the arteries. As soon as it was disconnected, I hung it above my head.
Cold congealed blood flowed slowly out of it. The blood pooled into my mouth and dripped onto my face, the sweet metallic taste filling up my taste buds. I swallowed it, resisting the urge to throw it up.
It spilled out of my mouth, running down my chin and dropping onto the green grass under my feet. I tossed the heart on the ground and walked to the pond cupping the clear water in my hands.
I brought the cool water to my mouth. It flooded my tastes, getting rid of the last of the metallic taste. I splashed some water on my face, too, trying to get rid of the blood that stained my lips and chin.
Once I was done, I sat back and stared at the small fish swimming around. They circled around small stones and rose to the surface, then swam back down. My gaze loosened as I zoned out on the fish, and I saw my reflection on the surface of the water.
It was distorted from the water rippling, but I could still see my face.
I had long black wavy hair that reached my hips. One of my eyes was startling emerald green. It was the same color as the meadow. The other one was a deep purple with tiny white dots in it. I cringed; I hating my mismatched eyes. I had long black eyelashes outlining my eyes which emphasized the colors. My skin was smooth, the color of ivory, and you could see my veins through it.
I was short, around four feet tall. I had a small frame and tiny shoulders. My fingers were long, but my hands were still little. My feet weren’t much bigger either.
I stared at my reflection for a while, pinching my cheeks, giving them a little bit of color.
Luna appeared beside me, scaring me out of my witts. She was so quiet, and I was not paying attention.
Her fur sank into the grass as she sat down beside me, staring at her reflection too. Her muzzle was covered with dried blood. “Can you wash the blood?” she asked calmly? I nodded, silently getting water out of the pond and rubbing it on her head to get rid of the red. Lost in thought as I was washing, I started to wonder about the scar on her face.
It seemed so old now, and it wasn’t as big as before. I brushed my hand over Luna’s coat, covering her scar with her fur. It was wet, so it stayed in place. I leaned back, looking at it. “Why don’t you hid it,” I said, looking at how well it could be covered. She smiled softly, then shook her head, spraying water everywhere.
Luna looked into my eyes. “One should never conceal scars. They make you who you are. They prove that you went through a hard time and survived them,” she said simply. “Scars make you a true warrior.”
“How did you get it,” I asked, removing my gaze from her piercing eyes. “A black wolf with red eyes,” she said, laughing, getting up onto all fours. “You will probably meet him one day; if you do tell him, I say thank you,” she said. “So there is a creature stronger than you,” I asked in wonder.
“There are many creatures stronger than me, but just because I have a scar from the battle doesn’t mean I lost. If that was the case, we both lost. To truly lose is to die, and I am not dead. ” she said calmly before she climbed to the top of the waterfall and fell asleep.
I got off the ground and walked towards the tree. I was twiddling my fingers when I felt a little stab of pain shoot through my hand. My finger was bleeding.
I had a small black ring on my left hand on my middle finger that I had found in the crypt. It had a small spike on the top. Other than that, the ring was completely smooth. It was kind of cool. The pointy metal had cut me many times before, but I had never taken it off. It was my lucky ring. The only thing in this world that truly belonged to me.