By Chloe B
Two figures, one cloaked in white, the other in black. The crunch of the leaves in the clearing is the only sound in the quiet, dense forest. The figures stare at each other for a moment, silent.
“Sister,” the white figure says at last, deep and rich like a man’s.
The black figure acknowledges her brother with a curt nod of her head. “Brother,” she greets him, her voice breathy and light, rivaling that of a woman.
“Darkness is stirring,” the god says. “You must stop it.”
“I am aware.”
“You are not. Sister, they are coming. You must remember the prophecy. Do you?”
The goddess nods, and together in unison, they say, “Dark and Light must unite. Fire and Water must fight. One born with all can stop the world from its fall.”
“I’d always thought of it as cryptic,” the goddess says delicately. “But now—I know what it means.”
Yawn…just a few more minutes…
“Wake up!” snaps a voice outside my bedroom door. Then follows a knock that sounds more like a hammer.
“Good morning, Dad,” I mumble sleepily, turning around in bed.
“Get. UP!” he bellows again, rapping on the door. “You’re going to make me late for my conference, Addison!”
“That’s no way to talk to an alpha!” I yell, suddenly infuriated. How dare he!
“You’re just a petty alpha at a petty school! You’re lucky you even get an education at all! Now get up and GET DRESSED!” Despite his tone, I pick up that he’s actually kind of scared of me. I have friends in high places—very high places. Not all the alphas do—just me.
Groaning, I slide out of bed and quickly get dressed. There’s only one plus to my stepdad: I get to annoy him.
“So she arises,” snarls my stepdad as I enter the kitchen. “Make your breakfast and get out of our sight.”
I snatch a protein bar and slam the door behind me as I breathe in the sweet, fresh air. Nature helps me calm down. A lot.
I snarf down the protein bar and pull out my favorite book: Wulfsham. The pages are well dog-eared, and the pages have long been yellow, but that doesn’t stop me from reading it over and over.
It seems like seconds, but it’s actual minutes when the bus has to honk its horn to get me to look up from the book. As I climb aboard, I hear people whispering and giggling, and I blush furiously as I sit down in the alpha’s seat. It’s not actually the alpha’s seat; it’s just nicknamed that because that’s the seat I always sit in.
I may only be in sixth grade, but people don’t underestimate me. They know my power and that I keep my temper on a tight leash. You could say that everyone in the school is afraid of me.
Well, nearly everyone. There’s only a select few who aren’t. Some are so afraid of me that they try to hide, and then when I pass them without obviously noticing them, they think I don’t see them.
But I do. Oh, I most definitely do. Even the staff is afraid of me. The omegas—in all the packs, not just the Dragonfire pack—are super scared of me. As they should be. I’m the fiercest alpha around if I do say so myself.
Some might argue that I’m not completely a werewolf, that I don’t have a soul, but that’s not completely true. No one can live without a soul. Not even the supernatural. I’m really only friendly to my beta, Yoichi. I’m iffy with my pack; it depends on my mood.
The bus stops and lets us into the school. As always, Yoichi is waiting for me.
“Good morning, Alpha,” he says.
“Good morning, Yoichi,” I reply, falling into step beside him as we head to our homeroom class. My ears and tail, black with red tips, catch the eye of the sun and glint maliciously.
“I was thinking…” he begins. “We should ask Principal Sai-Lu to start up the Games again.”
I turn to face him, my tail drooping in disapproval and shock.
“Yoichi, are you crazy?! Do you remember what happened last year?” As much as my fellow classmates might say I don’t have a soul, I still care about what happens to them. I’m not that selfish.
“Yes, I know,” he says impatiently, “but listen. What happened last year was not Skye’s fault.”
“She shot poison arrows at her classmates and killed them! How was it not?”
“I saw her face. She was under a spell. You remember.”
All too clearly. I had written that day down in my journal the day it happened: I can still recall the alpha’s wide, sapphire-blue eyes as she wildly—blindly—shot into the crowd at the Games, her three poison arrows landing on Crystal, Lachlan, and Jake. All went down immediately, hands clutched to their hearts, eyes wide and vacant. They were later identified as dead, and we all mourned them, even me. I was never close with them, but sweet, sweet Crystal was a member of my pack, and I felt much grief at losing her. Lachlan and Jake were both parts of Skye’s pack, the Silverblade Pack, and after Skye realized what she had done, she fled in grief. The Silverblade Pack was never the same. They had no leader to guide them, so they eventually followed her out into the woods. We haven’t heard from them since. I fear the worst.
“Yes,” I reply grimly. “I remember.”
“I want to give the Games another chance.”
I snicker. “Yoichi, you talk about the Games like they have feelings.” He blinks.
“We talk not about the Games, Alpha, but about the werewolves that took part in them and gave their lives. We talk about Crystal. About Lachlan. Jake.”
Just hearing Crystal’s name is like putting a sword through my heart. No matter what people think, I’m still a werewolf, with real feelings. Things hurt me.
“Yes.” He takes it as a sign to continue.
“Last year was not your fault, nor was it Skye’s. She was under a spell, Alpha.”
“So you’re saying we should follow her into the woods and find out what kind of spell she was under?” I ask, incredulous. That can’t be right. I must be interpreting him wrong. He bites his lip as we hurry up the stairs.
“As much as I hate to admit it, yes.”
I can barely pay attention in homeroom. I can’t believe Yoichi actually wants to go looking for an alpha who’s been gone for a little over a year. When Mr. Davies calls on me to ask a question about Miri Vize-Waters, I incorrectly answer, “She was the daughter of Queen Ylva of Skaistar and King Fenrir of Nytecrai.”
“Incorrect, Miss Yamahuchi. Miri was an orphan who stopped a war between Queen Ylva of Nytecrai and King Fenrir of Skaistar. Mr. Caldwell, what…” I tune him out.
After class, I grab the back of Yoichi’s shirt, and make him face me.
“Are you crazy?” I hiss as our classmates file out around us.
“Kind of, yes.” he says, and I sigh. “Don’t look at me like that,” he adds quickly, seeing my jumble-of-emotions expression. “I need to know what the spell is so we can get more research on it.”
I sigh, giving a half chuckle. “Now I understand how you got the nickname you did.”
He grimaces. “Don’t remind me.”
I laugh. “Why don’t you like it?”
“Like you would? Alpha, I hate that nickname because that’s what everyone thinks I am. That’s not what I actually am.”
“If you’re not a historian, then what are you?”
“I’m a boy who just likes to research, okay?”
I take a step back. “Sorry.”
His face goes red, matching his scarlet ears and tail. “No, I should be the one saying sorry. Look, Alpha—”
“Call me Addi.”
His eyes go wide. “Alph—Addi. Are—are you sure?”
“Yes. Yoichi, I know you enough to know that you only call me Alpha out of fear. You don’t need to be afraid of me.”
“I’ve heard the rumors.”
“I haven’t, so that means they aren’t true. Tell me some.”
“You terrorized a town when you were little, and so that’s why you’re so intimidating.”
“What?” This is most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard.
“Yes.” He looks away. “I didn’t want to tell you.”
I grab his arm. Hard. He inhales through his teeth in pain. “Ow! What the hell, Addison!”
“Yoichi! You can tell me anything.”
He slowly looks into my eyes. “Addi—your eyes…”
“What about them?”
“They’re—they’re red. Like, scarlet red.” The bell rings, but I don’t care.
“What?” Clearly, he’d gone crazy.
“They’re black,” he repeats. “Go look in the mirror in your locker.”
I don’t even ask how he knows I have a mirror in my locker. I just spin my combination and look. Sure enough, my formerly ice-blue eyes are flame-red, with just hints of swirls of blue, purple, and gold.
“What does this mean?” I ask, my voice shaking in fear. “Will they stay that way forever?”
He shudders. “Hopefully not. However, there was a story about a girl who had hazel eyes and then they turned black. Maybe that’s the same thing. I’ll go and check it out at the library after school, maybe find some similar events while I’m at it.”
“Maybe your nickname should’ve been Bookworm or Librarian instead,” I tease.
He blushes. “Shut up.”
“It’s true! You read the most books out of anyone I’ve ever met. I trust you to find what we need.” And I mean every word.
He practically glows. “I won’t let you down.”
To Be Continued...