December 31, 2016

Bite, By Shannon Whalen


If there are 7.5 billion people in the world, how many do you expect to be human?

All of them, right?

Well, that's what I thought, too. But I was wrong. And so was everyone else who guessed in the same way.

Because some of those people, they are werewolves. And my life changed completely because of them.

The final days of the 17th year of my life brought a change to everything that I had ever known. The new year brings so much more than parties and resolutions.

My name is Red, and this is my story.

#

They say that eyes are the window to the soul. I personally believe that means that the color of your eyes identifies you as a person. 

Blue eyes can mean you're a bright, happy person. Green eyes can mean you're a nature loving person. Brown eyes can  mean you're a warm, nurturing person. But what about black eyes? If my eyes are black, does that mean my soul is the same?

I don't think so....

I groaned and rolled my head from side to side, listening to the muscles in my neck crack as I did. This science project was taking a lot out of me. 

"Ms. Pinegrove, are you still working?" My science teacher, Mrs. Kale, walked up to my desk and asked. "I know it's the last day of school before your winter break and the new year, but that doesn't mean you can be slacking off!"

I opened my mouth to respond, but the sound of our school bell ringing interrupted me. I stood up and lifted my backpack off the back of the chair, pulling it up so the strap rested on my right shoulder.

After I closed my project and shut down the computer, I walked out of the lab with the rest of the students, keeping my hand on the bag strap as I did. I stopped and glanced from left to right before I turned and walked towards my locker. 

"Hey, Little Red! Last three classes before freedom," a perky voice said behind me. I opened my locker and turned in place to face Allie, one of my best friends. The other is her twin brother, Aster. The two look so similar with their blond hair and blue eyes, you would think that they're the same person. Aside from genders, of course. 

"Al, I told you to stop calling me that..." I mumbled and turned back to face my locker, before I started to pull and put away books, shoving the ones I took into my bag. I slammed my locker door closed and turned to face Allie as we started to walk.

"Ah, well ... you do look like Little Red Riding Hood," Al grinned and I groaned. 

"I know I do. I've been told that a hundred times!" I ran a hand through my fiery red hair and exhaled loudly. Pairing my hair with my all black outfit and trademarked red jacket, I could definitely be a modern day Riding Hood. Right down to my name.

Who names their child Red?

Allie laughed at my frustration and I pulled my bag back up to my shoulder, as the two of us continued to walk down our high school's hallway to the cafeteria. 

And that was when it changed. 

The last thing I heard was Allie screaming my name before I was catapulted into the lockers. I landed on the floor, facing the hallway. My side was pressed against the floor and my hands were flat against the ground. I spit blood out of my mouth from when I bit down on my tongue and wiped blood away from a cut on my forehead.

I shoved myself up and looked toward where I was standing, only to see a large, black wolf standing there, the window behind him completely destroyed. My breathing halted as my eyes grew wide. I had begun moving myself backwards without even realizing it, until my back hit the cool metal of the lockers.

The snarling monster approached me, and with each step it took, I tried to push myself back farther, until he was right in front of my face. I tried to slow my breathing as I pressed my head against the lockers as far as I could. My eyes were wide as I stared into the blue eyes of the wolf. I swallowed and lifted my chin, which I'm sure was trembling.

"Red!" I heard Allie scream. The wolf's head swiveled around towards her, and I took that moment to slide away, stand up, and move a safe distance away from the beast. He must have sensed that I was moving, because as soon as I stood up, he jumped around to look at me. I stopped breathing as our eyes met again.

Those strangely familiar, blue eyes.

"Stay away from her!" Allie screamed. The wolf snarled towards me, before he glanced at Allie. He leapt through the window effortlessly, and I finally let my breath out. Allie ran over to me and wrapped her arm around my shoulder protectively.

"Oh my gosh, Red! Are you okay?" Allie asked, fear shining in her eyes. I swallowed and nodded, before I went to grab my bag. 

"Yeah, I'm fine...," I said, my eyes trained on the window. I could see the wolf retreating into the trees, just off the property of our school. Allie said something, but I couldn't hear her over my loud thoughts.

Other people were in that hallway, why did the wolf only go for me? Why did he listen to Allie? Why, above all, did he not hurt me when he had the chance to, aside from knocking me into the lockers?

"RED!" Allie shouted and I flinched as I turned to look at her

"What? what?" I said, pressing a finger to my ear. "I like my ears, Allie, don't blow them out, please."

"Sorry, but you weren't listening."

"To what?"

"Me, you genius."

"Oh...then what did you say?"

"I said, we should probably get that cut looked at," she replied.

Oh yeah, I forgot I had a cut on my forehead. I raised a hand towards it and winced as the tip of my finger grazed over the tender skin. I lowered the finger and stared at the tip, which was covered with blood. I frowned as I looked at it, before I wiped the blood on my jacket.

"Uh huh...maybe later," I mumbled, looking back out the destroyed window.

"Red, you aren't going out there... you nearly just died! Now you're following what would have killed you?" Allie yelled as I walked over to the edge of the broken glass. I kicked aside some shards and placed a hand on the wall beside me. The cold, late December wind rushed over me as I turned to look back at Allie.

"Yeah, pretty much." I smiled and looked back down towards the grassy terrain.

"Red, listen for once!"

"Come on, Allie... you know I don't listen," I said before I leapt out of the window, landing on my feet with a thump. After recovering from the jump, I swallowed and began running to the woods, where I'd seen the wolf disappear.

That was the worst decision of my life.

I held my backpack on my shoulders as I ran through the forest, whipping my head from left to right, in search of the wolf.

My mind seemed to be gone. All I knew was that I had to find this creature. The sensible me would've been smart enough to stay at the school and out of the forest. I had no clue why I was doing this...it was like I was in a trance.

A loud growl snapped me out of my thoughts. I stopped running and turned to the left, where the wolf was crouched, snarling on the opposite end of a clearing. I stepped out of the shadows of the trees and into the small open circle in the center of the forest.

"What big eyes you have..." I whispered and took two steps forward. The wolf's blue eyes widened as he took a step back.

"What big ears you have..." The wolf's ears perked up at my words. Two more steps.

"What big teeth you have..." The wolf bared his teeth as I took the final two steps, reaching my hand out. My fingertips barely grazed the snout of the wolf, before I was pushed over and pinned against the ground.

Those blue eyes were right in front of mine, distracting me from the razor sharp teeth, inches from my throat. The next word that passed my lips still shocks me to this day.

"Aster..."

The wolf's mouth snapped closed and his eyes widened, before he stepped off of me. He nudged my arm with his snout and helped me sit up. 

"Aster..." I whispered again as the wolf sat in front of me.

The wolf was Aster. My best friend, the boy I grew up with. That's why he listened to Allie. They were twins after all, but does that mean Allie is a...werewolf...also?

Man, this is so much to process.

Aster's head tilted as he stared at me, before he stood up and trotted behind a tree. A strong wind began to blow, whipping my hair in all directions as Aster began to howl. Eventually, the wind ceased, the same time Aster stopped howling, before he emerged from behind the tree in human form.

"Red?" he whispered. I nodded and stood up.

"Hi."

Aster walked towards me and stared at the dried blood that lingered on the corner of my mouth from when I spit some out earlier. He reached up a shaking hand and pressed his palm against my cheek, his thumb grazing over the cut on my forehead. I winced and his hand retreated back sharply.

"Oh god, Red...I did this to you...I'm so sorry..."

I nodded and bit my lip, fighting back the tears and pain from when Aster touched my cut.

"Aster, why...why didn't you recognize me?"

"I...I thought I did, but when your wolf controls you, and your wolf is hungry, you don't stop until you feed." Aster sighed and shoved his hands in his jean pockets.

"Sounds more like a vampire than a werewolf, but why did you go only for me?"

I frowned slightly when I saw Aster shift when I said 'werewolf.'

"Ah, well...I kinda...geez this is gonna sound weird...I kinda felt drawn to you. I can't explain it, I just...did,"

"Oh Aster, why did you wince when I said werewolf?"

"Uh, oay. Actually, I'm not a werewolf, per se. I'm what my kind call the Adolphus. We are like werewolves, but we don't change only during the full moon. We can access our wolves and shift whenever we want or need to. We shift into full wolves and not hybrids between wolf and human. Also, importantly, each Adolphus has a side to them that is a wolf. When in human form, the wolf can speak in the mind of the human."

"Huh." I blinked. What the heck just happened?

"Is Allie an 'Adolphus' also?"

"Well, no," Aster grinned awkwardly and scratched the back of his head. "Adolphus are only men. Allie's kind is called the "AdoQhina".

"Ado-what-a?"

"AdoQhina. They are basically the same thing as the Adolphus, but the Adolphus are male and the AdoQhina are female."

"Uh-huh...interesting. Yep, okay, one last question. WHY THE HECK DID YOU GUYS KEEP THIS FROM ME!"

Aster winced when I shouted at him, but I didn't care. My best friends kept from me that they were hybrid wolf species with confusing names.

"Umm..." Aster bit his lip. You could see that he was struggling to decide to tell me something. I don't know how long I was standing there waiting, but he eventually continued.

"Red, have you ever seen anyone with hair the same color as yours? The same fire that you have?"

I shook my head.

"Ok...how about your eyes? Have you ever seen anyone with pure black eyes, so dark that you can't tell the pupil and iris apart?"

I shook my head again.

"Exactly. Red, there are two wolf species, not going by gender. One is the bad, the Herwyns, and the other is the good, the Evgenii. The good has been assigned to protect the daughter of light and dark."

I stared at Aster as he paused from his tale to look at me.

"That child is you, Red. That's why you were raised by your grandmother. The goddess of light and the god of dark, the parents of the Adolphus and the AdoQhina, were supposed to be mortal enemies, but they fell in love and you were the result. Dark's mother cared for you because no one could know that enemies had a child. But, eventually, people found out. The good cared that Light and Dark loved each other and you, and they wanted to protect you from the dark. The wolf people who didn't agree with supposed enemies lying and secretly having a child--they want you...dead. Allie and I, we were assigned to be your protectors, but that eventually developed into a friendship. We had a chance to leave, but we chose to stay. Allie and I would die for you, because, Red...you are the goddess of combined magic."

"Aster....you are...are you...are you saying that I'm a goddess?"

"Yes."

"And you and Allie are my protectors?"

"Yes."

"And my grandmother raised me to distance me from the wolf people who were trying to kill me?"

"Well--yeah,"

I laughed quietly to myself before I sat down on a nearby stone, resting my hands on my knees and my face in my hands. I heard Aster come over, but I didn't look up for a while until I was ready to face him.

He told me my backstory in a matter of point two seconds...how could he expect me to process that so fast?

I breathed in and out and leaned up, finger-combing my hair out of my face. I crossed my arms and rested them on my knees before I looked down at the ground between them.

“If you had a chance to change your destiny…” I whispered before I looked up at Aster. “Would you?”

Aster opened and closed his mouth, struggling to find the right response.

“It depends,” he finally said and sat down next to me on the stone.

“On what?”

“On what I would change it to… I mean, my life is fine as it is. I have everything I want or need--”

“I didn't ask if you could change your life,” I said, cutting off Aster before I stood up angrily and ran both hands through my hair. I stood with my back to Aster, until I eventually turned to look at him. 

“The parents I never knew are apparently gods and I'm a goddess. Herwyns are after me, waiting for a chance to kill me. Imagine what my destiny could bring…”

Aster sighed and stood up, walking over to me.

“Red, would you change your destiny?”

I stared at Aster for a minute before I opened my mouth to respond. The sound of leaves rustling stopped me.

Wait...there was no wind to blow the leaves around….

Something was out there.

Evidently, Aster heard it too. He turned away from me and examined the line of trees where we heard the leaves.

*Rustle*

I spun around to the opposite side of the clearing. I followed Aster's lead and stared at the line of trees. I saw nothing out of the ordinary, except for...

Three...

Distinct...

Words...

"We are here" read the scrawled message in the dirt. I swallowed and lifted my chin before I grabbed Aster's left hand with my right. He turned around and glanced at the message. His gaze turned to me before it snapped back to the words.

"Oh no..." Aster whispered and pulled me to his side. I gripped his hand as I stared at the words. I only thought one thing:

I could die.

The two of us faced the message, waiting. I could practically feel my ears perk up when I heard a rustle to the left. I glanced over, and my breath halted.

Eyes. Another set of eyes...though they weren't the comforting blue like Aster's and Allie's. These eyes...they were a piercing gold.

"Aster..." I whispered and shook his hand that I was holding. He turned to look at me and saw the eyes.

"Oh, crap! Red, get out of here!" Aster shouted and push me towards the trees where I entered the clearing. I sprinted towards them and screamed as a wolf jumped out in front of me.

"You've been here the whole time," I heard a voice snarl. I tried to slow my breathing as I backed up. The wolf's paw steps on the grass seemed to thunder in my ears and I could feel my heart hammering against my chest.

"But now that we've found you..." I froze, before I whirled around to where Aster was standing. He was now in wolf form and on the ground, while a gray wolf stood above him, a paw pressed to his throat.

"No!" I screamed, before the attack happened.

I gasped loudly as I felt sharp teeth dig into my lower neck, where the throat and shoulder joined. Clouds seemed to hover in eyes as I met Aster's. His blue eyes went wide as he fought against the wolf, freeing himself before he charged at the wolf that was biting me.

The teeth were ripped from my neck as I fell to the ground. Cold air rushed into my wound, and I could feel the blood trickling out. I could barely see Aster fighting the wolf. He snapped at the wolf's leg, and bit down hard.

Then the golden-eyed wolf fell motionless to the ground.

Aster's back rose and fell visibly as he stared at the body of the wolf, before his eyes found me. He sprinted over to me, and as he did so, he shifted back to his human form.

"Red!" He screamed as he picked up my head and rested it on his lap. I stared at him through my clouded eyes, dazed, as he pressed his cold hand over the bite.

"Aster...," I whispered. "I'm fine...I'll be fine."

With that, my whole life went black. 

#

I didn't die that day, I merely transformed. I was welcomed into the world of my family as I morphed into an AdoQhina. The bite of the wolf caused it, and I never thought that I would say I'm thankful to him. I guess I'm a werewolf goddess.

Huh. Didn't know they existed.

As the year my life changed comes to an end...a new one begins. But as one life changes, so can another, and maybe the story all together.

Who would have thought that Little Red Riding Hood would end up being the wolf?


Bio: Shannon was raised with four brothers, and loves to dance and play softball, which gives her experiences for main characters and great stories. She is also a talented artist and loves to draw, sketch, and create book covers for future books.

1 comment

  1. What a creative concept! This reads like a YA novel. Have you considered expanding it?

    ReplyDelete