Our lupine narrator finds himself trapped like a dog.
To The Nines Part 4
Pain radiated throughout my body; so I wasn’t dead then.
Darkness all around, save for a dim lantern high above. This rocky ground was not where I had lost consciousness. Wincing, I shifted my right arm; no one had removed the three arrows buried deep in my left calf, right forearm and shoulder.
With my good arm, I break off the arrow shafts leaving smaller pieces of wood jutting from the wounds. Pain was something I had never quite grasped. I mean, I felt it, just as any other living creature, but I could not understand the noises surrounding it; the begging, whining, screaming and crying. I had known creatures that enjoyed bringing those noises out of others, but none had come from me. Pain alerted you to damage, that was all.
I had heard my wolf gasp as the arrow hit her, but she did not fall to the ground and whine. No, she ran. Ran because her life depended on it.
Had she escaped? Or was she no more? A soft whimper escaped my lips as the thought of a world without my wolf crossed my mind. I was supposed to protect her.
Slowly I clambered to my feet, placing the majority of my weight on my good leg. Testing my bad leg, I shuffled forward. Pain white hot and burning seared through my leg with every ambling step, but still I went on. I needed to find my wolf. I walked around the entirety of the cage I now found myself in. A whole 5 square meters of solid stone and barely an inch between each iron bar; they had learnt from last time. There was no way out. I felt what could only be described as a torrent of pain bubbling up in my throat. Clenching my jaw against the strange feeling, I slid down the bars. I couldn’t protect her.
I tried to think back to the day I first spotted my wolf. It was hard for me to remember, my mind a jumbled mess. I recall when I was young; when I was found by the princess. She was young then too. She brought me home to her parents, so impressed with herself for finding such a young werewolf. Her parents told her she could only keep me if I was tamed. My mind shied from the next few years, and became more confused the further from that memory I went. Blood, fear and pain. Everything jumbled together to stop me remembering. The princess tamed me, but she couldn’t stop herself; it wasn’t enough. She was a creature that enjoyed the noises of pain. But I had not given her what she desired. So on the torment went. And so too did my mind.
I hugged my good leg with my good arm, trembling slightly at the discoveries. I had forgotten what she had done to me, forgotten how the scars I bore were made. The memory I had originally sort came to me in a sluggish heavy way, even though now all I wish to do was lose my mind and forget the pain I had dug up.
I was being dragged behind a cart, a thick iron collar with barbs protruding out, and in, strapped firmly to my throat. I had given up walking, the guards kicked my legs out from under me whenever I tried. We went through a no name little village, the princess making her presence felt. The villagers cowered before her. I looked into the trembling crowd and my eyes connected with a wolf, a wolf in human form. Her eyes were so kind. I felt something blossom in my chest. Something I had never felt before. I contemplated the feeling all the way to the princess’s camp.
The cage they kept me in at night was made from iron bars. I lay against the bars and as darkness fell, I knew what I had to do. I had lived for many years in this cage and knew which bars were strong and which were not. It was a simple matter then to bend the bars and slip between. I shifted and made my way back to the village. I tracked the wolf to her home and climbed into her room. Mere seconds after I arrived she awoke and spotted me. She screamed. I whirled around looking for the danger. But there was none. Confused I turned back to her. Her frightened eyes tracked me as I stalked closer to her. I sat on the end of her bed as she stared at me. Eventually, she packed a bag, and ran from her room. Her actions perplexed me, but I knew what I needed to do. She was mine, I would protect her on whatever hunt she was on.
I felt a tear trickle down my face at the memory. It was me she had been scared of, and considering how I looked, I didn’t blame her. I heard keys jangle and an old wooden door open. Boots echoed on the stone but I didn’t look. Two guards walked to the door of my cage. One stood weapon ready, the other placed down some porridge and water. I looked at the two bowls and felt a smile replace the sorrow in my breast. Tonight I would escape yet again, and find what happened to my wolf, for there was my spoon.