I remembered one day in particular… I shut myself in my room, crying, growling, ripping my sheets to shreds. I wasn’t really sure what even happened anymore, but I was angry and sad. I didn’t want to talk to anyone. I remembered Father knocking on the door, telling me to stop crying like a kid and come out and talk to him. I hated him at that moment. But later Bran came, carrying a plate of food. He didn’t push. He just sat down behind the door and patiently waited until I opened it. He then walked in and sat down by my desk, just quietly watching me while I ate. I told him what happened eventually, raging and crying and he just listened, understood, made me feel like everything would be alright again, like no pain existed when he was around.
Oh, Gods, I loved him so much. A tear found its way out of my eye, sliding down my cheek as I threw the last bit of wood we cut down onto the pyre. It was dark already and the whole pack had gathered in a clearing a bit of a way behind the pack house. The warriors plus me, Yuri, Jack, and Marc cut down the trees for the pyre. When it was done, we stepped back and Alistair came from the house carrying a body covered in a white cloth. By his side walked Elliot, his Beta Aileen, a scary-looking she-wolf, and the Shield Rowley, an old wolf, and Elliot’s older brother.
I watched as Father laid Bran’s body onto the pyre. Werewolves weren’t much for speeches. We all knew what we lost; we all knew how important Bran was. Yuri’s hand came around my chest as he stood behind me on the right. Scott laid his head on my shoulder. We all had tears in our eyes, letting them fall slowly but not making a single sound.
“Born from the Forest to you we return… Safe travels, my friend,” Alistair said quietly and in one swift move lit a match. The pyre caught fire fast… The smoke immediately went up into the starry sky with no cloud to be seen. It was like mother’s funeral all over again. The tears, the smell of burning flesh, the smoke… The cloud of death and grief that surrounded the whole pack. I was twelve back then and I cried in Bran’s arms as he whispered that everything would be fine. I could almost hear his deep smooth voice. I could almost feel his warm strong body acting like a wall between me and the cruel reality. I hated that day… I lost both my parents that day, Father was never the same after her death and when I truly needed him he turned his back on me. Bran was the one who helped me get through the grief. Always Bran…
Yuri hid his face in the back of my head and I felt his tears fall down on my nape. Scott, who was hugging crying Lowell, pressed his back to my chest. I watched the flames flicker over the body that fortunately couldn’t be seen.
What I saw was my Father though, he looked up at the sky, his eyes closed. And then he howled. It was a human howl, not as clean and loud as a wolf’s one, but no one cared. It was filled with grief and sorrow and anger. The pack joined him, singing the song of loss and revenge. I raised my head to the sky letting go of all the emotions huddled up inside me.
And then everyone went quiet and only the rustling of clothes sounded as we quickly got naked. I just barely managed to take off my pants before a sharp pain sent me to my knees, the bones in my legs and arms breaking. My whole body shifted, my muscles and bones moving to make a new shape out of my body.
It took a whole pain-filled minute before there was a wolf where a man once stood. Howling its loss once again. The wolf was big all black, his eyes stone grey filled with rage and sadness. There were others, wolves, howling and running around the big fire.
A huge grey wolf pressed up against him. Then a small all-brown wolf with a white circle around his yellow eye did the same. Yuri, Scott… Then a smaller black wolf licked my face, his belly low to the ground in submission. Lowell...
The pack ran. The alpha singing the song of a hunt. For Bran. Yes, for their lost pack member. One last hunt with his spirit before he left for the hunting grounds of the Otherworld. The black wolf ran, not really a part of the pack, but not alone either. As they chased down a big moose, he could swear a familiar white wolf was running by his side, but when he turned, there was no one…