A descendent of one of the first wolf shifters in existence.
There were only five wolf shifters at the beginning of our existence, all coming from different packs. Norcell, Blackstone, Salttand, Willowhill, and Evergence.
Each of the strongest wolves in the pack were changed into shifters first. As they were first, they ended up on the receiving end of a few special tricks and abilities, or so we’ve been told over the years. The rest of the members in their packs didn’t gain such abilities. Nobody really knew much about it anymore. Much less if such things as those ‘abilities’ really existed at all.
Because things got crazy before I was born. Really crazy.
A witch went snapping their fingers and then every single set of twins born since then have had powers – abilities that nobody else had – regardless of their lineage. Whether those powers controlled the elements or just turned someone invisible. Healing powers. Whatever you could think of was possible with the right twin wolf shifter.
It was cool.
I wasn’t a twin, but I knew some people who were. They were just like anyone else, just being a whole heck of a lot better at one or two things that the rest of us couldn’t do. So, essentially, it wasn’t that weird or strange at all. In fact, twins did a lot. After the previous leader of the packs was taken down off the self-serving throne he’d made for himself, a lot of problems vanished for them and in turn, things became easier for everyone.
Like people stopped dying for having cool powers, which was helpful for everyone.
Need to light a fire on wet wood? We got a twin for that.
Need to sneak up on someone? We got a twin for that too.
Need to make it rain… literally? Find a twin. The right one. The water-bender twin. Or the storm one… personal preference there. It all depends on if you like thunder or not.
Need someone to take a chill pill for a bit – figuratively? There’s a twin for that.
So, really, they were a lot of help in making everyone’s lives easier. It was just like placing those who are good at cooking in the kitchen, or those who are exceptionally strong in construction or security. Place people where they work best. It worked the same way with twins, in using their particular strengths for their jobs, without overworking them, obviously.
It was the same with humans, powers or not.
Twins hadn’t always been free. They’d been the target of bad people, killed just because they were good at ‘unnatural’ things and because they were ‘dangerous’. Uh-huh. The guy who cooked up that lie was real fun. And he was behind bars, paying for it. Thank goodness.
All the twins I knew only used their powers to help, not hurt.
I mean, there was the occasional prank from a friend… but still, no harm done aside from a spilled coffee.
Self-defense wasn’t the same as attacking. It wasn’t the same thing as dangerous. Anyone could be dangerous or scary if their life or the life of someone they loved was threatened.
I honestly wasn’t sure what I’d do if something like that happened to me.
I knew how my cousin Jane would react. She’d had to go through that already though. I thought bitterly back on that time, at the way the joy just seemed to get sucked out of her face, day after day, the longer the man she loved was unreachable. And then, she went and found him. Alone. By herself.
And she totally kicked the guy’s ass for it.
Because that was the kind of person she was.
Even if she didn’t have any kind of twin ability either.
She was a fighter…
But she was also one to listen to morality. She had her own rules. A fair fight wasn’t necessarily about weapons or people, in her mind. The advantage those weapons or people gave, along with the skill-set of the people fighting gave something a fair versus unfair quality.
She went one-on-one against a guy with a knife, but she’d had pepper spray. She called it a fair fight. They each had a weapon they knew how to use to their benefit. He got pepper spray to the eyes, she got a knife in her thigh.
I shook my head.
I understood maybe part of that, even if I didn’t consider it equal or fair… but at what point do we stop calling something fair if that’s where we start?
If two people, facing off against each other have weapons that benefit them, but are wildly different from one another – say a knife and a gun – that would surely be unfair, right? If someone had blackmail over the other which affected their fighting, that would be unfair too… right?
Though, I thought to myself, Jane also had one more rule she mentioned to me before.
Death wasn’t an option.
Defeating an opponent meant disarming them, not killing them.
Defeat came even if they didn’t concede willingly. If they were tied up, still with the will to fight, but they couldn’t act upon it…
They were defeated.
What about the people who couldn’t fight for themselves?
What happened to them?
I’d had several lessons, not doing overwhelmingly well at them, but I’d done it to learn at least a little self-defense. I hoped I never had to use it.
That would be awful.
Because I wasn’t like my cousin who behaved more like an older sister. I wasn’t like Jane.
I didn’t like fighting. At all.
I hated it.
It only hurt everyone involved, whether they knew it or not.
And yes, I knew… I knew it was necessary sometimes. I knew that. But, I didn’t ever have to like that thought, and I didn’t think I ever could.
I stared down at the book in front of me.
While it wasn’t required, I had a simple little hobby. Maybe, well, probably not… but I wanted to be a sort of diplomat.
In a way.
I knew that Lizzie’s parents, Lizzie being a dear friend we grew up knowing, were beginning to reach out to witches and other shifter communities in the country, planning to reach out worldwide to keep a lasting peace, to share knowledge…
It sounded like a nice thing to do.
So, I wanted to do that.
I wanted to create peace.
And Lizzie’s parents were quite literally in the seats of power within the wolf shifter community. Though they always brushed off the fact that they were in charge of all of the separate packs, their main goal was the betterment of our kind, as a whole, nobody excluded. Except criminals… or rather the criminals who deserved it, not like the ones that stole a piece of bread because they were starving and had no money. Not that kind, but the kind that murdered or tortured people for fun. That kind.
If words were my choice for that so-called battle for peace, then I’d arm myself well. My bookshelf was full of language books. And, if I had to admit, I was pretty good at picking up languages and how they worked if I was around them long enough.
If I worked hard, I could be a translator between us and the world. Jane could stick to her fighting, while I would stick to talking.
Minnie was a big help too. She traveled more than I did, and she sent me some of the slang words and their meanings from the places she went. Even though she was the youngest in our ‘group’, she wasn’t very close with many of us. Probably just me, Josephine, and Lizzie? Then again, our group was a bunch of wolf shifters while she was a wolf shifter and a witch. So, we were a bit different… even on the genetic side of things. She had a boatload of witch stuff to worry about when we didn’t.
My parents and their friends, the ones who all dethroned the last, gag, so-called leader of us all. So… basically every single one of their kids, adopted or not, were immediately in the so-called ‘group’. We even had these get-togethers every year, some more memorable than others. As it was, some of us were closer to some and less to others in the group.
Like me with–
I glanced over at my phone out of habit, just to see who it was.
I read the name and dropped my book on the desk, reaching over with both hands to pick up the phone.
I froze as I read the message. What was this about exactly? And me? Why meet with me specifically? In person. What was going on?
‘We need to meet. Witches are getting anxious over here. Something important is going to happen in the next year, somewhere near Lake Tarva.’
Help with the Myrus issue?
‘You all need to prepare. And I might be able to help you all with the Myrus issue. – M’
Biting my bottom lip, a furrow in my brows, I typed back. ‘Where should we meet?’
‘I’m going to be stopping by that beach we all went to that time, soon. I’d like to meet there. Don’t worry or bring everyone, please.’
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