The Taste of Loneliness

The Taste of Loneliness

A Story by Gretchen Clarke

Some of us yearn for freedom. Some of us yearn for company. Yet some of us yearn for loneliness. I was one such individual. While I might have been associated with the stereotype of those who yearn for company and freedom, I was an exception to that rule. I yearned for loneliness and freedom, as it gave me more time to think. Others thought me weird for this, but it didn’t matter to me what they thought. After all, why should a self-proclaimed loner even wonder what another individual thinks of them? After all, they are not an individual if they are linked to another.

          For as long as I can remember, I had thought of groups as one might think of anything else below them: Nothing. This surprised those who felt they needed groups, causing them to push me away, which was exactly what I wanted in the first place. Even my parents allowed me my privacy, even at dinnertime, when we were expected to eat together. After a while, they had grown to accept that I was different, giving me my loneliness, thinking I’d outgrow it. Eventually I did, but not until many years later.

          One day, there were rumors of a great threat to my family coming here. My family was in mortal terror, thinking they had to save every last family member, but I knew that they were wrong, and could just save themselves. I realize that you might think that cruel of me, but I don’t mean leave them to die. I mean to warn them, then save yourself. Therefore, if they are harmed or even die, you can say that you warned them, placing the blame on someone else’s shoulders. The key is to attune yourself to the shadows’ darkness. Once you’re used to it, you can be near invisible to anyone else, even if you’re right in front of them. I had already learned this skill, and was quite skilled in it.

          When the threat came, I had already hidden in the bushes, unseen and unheard by the enemy. I watched them kill my mother and father, leaving my younger sister until the end, when they tied a rope around her neck and dragged her away. I knew she would be made into a pet and used to find and kill me, or even turn me into a pet as well, if I were ever found, that is. I seriously doubted that they could catch me, even with the help of my sister. After all, my sister was never interested in following the shadow path, which enables users to go wherever they want. The problem is, nobody, save me, even wanted to know the shadow path exists. It was as if they’ve forgotten how to survive alone and in the shadows of others, living in groups as they have for so long. Yet my existence proved that all was not lost for my kind.

          When the threat had been gone for quite some time, I emerged from the bushes, but not the shadow path. My parents’ bodies were gone, as well as my sister. I knew that my sister was waiting for me to save her, but she also knew that I was not the social type. Instead, I searched for a safe, hidden place to commune with her from afar. Then I tipped my head back and howled, pouring all my suppressed anger at the intruders into it. But my sister was too far away to hear, not to mention being a mere baby.   

          I did not mourn the loss of my family, seeing as I was a loner, not one of those who wished for company. Yet I was somewhat hurt by the removal of lives and relatives. After all, I cannot be alone if there is nobody to hide from. So I journeyed to another pack and lived amongst them, slinking in the shadows, until they invited me as an Omega. Then I left for another pack, high in the mountains. But my infernal reputation had beaten me there, and they instantly invited me as an Omega. They pretended to pity me, the “Shadow Wolf” who had lived alone for days already. I scoffed and left them and their fake pity, showing them that I was perfectly fine with living alone. This shocked them, and I laughed to myself as they tried to figure out why I was fine with being a loner.

          One pack I came across seemed alright to me, they almost understood my delight in being lonesome. I considered staying “with” them, but then the Beta chased me off, calling me “dirty riffraff” and saying that my blood would poison their pure blood. That was the end of that pack, even though the Alpha seemed to want to gain my favor. She understood me like no other wolves had, but perhaps it was only an act. I had seen sorrow when she watched her Beta chase me off, however.  But it no longer concerned me. I was a loner. Things like that didn’t concern loners. I was not going to make an exception.

          The second-to-last pack I ever met with was a truly arrogant pack. Their Alpha sneered at me, snidely commenting, “Aww, look at the poor little loner. He has no home and came to my pack to find a home. You know what I think? WHO CARES?” Then I growled in return, “I did not seek a pack, fool. I sought solace from the humans, who tried to kill me. The only reason I was even able to escape was because I am a loner, attached to none.” Then I turned away from him and left. Two of his Omegas, brawny and large, tried to bar my way, but I chuckled and slipped into the shadow path, making them lose sight of me.

          It was then that I realized that I needed to continue my lineage. That left me with no choice but to go back to the pack that seemed to understand me. I didn’t want to meet with the arrogant Beta, but I had no choice. It was as if my paws had a mind of their own. They flew me back to that pack, for days and nights without stopping, until finally I came to rest at the pack’s territorial borders. The Omegas were out patrolling, and it gave me a shock to see the Beta with them. He saw me too and growled. The other Omegas looked at him and asked him why he growled at the Shadow Wolf, who had gained the Alpha’s favor and affection. I was shocked. He had been degraded to an Omega? Then the other point hit me. The Alpha? Affection? My head spun until I fell to the ground. The Omegas, including the former Beta, rushed to my side. They tried to help me up, but I was still dizzy from the rush of unexpected information, until I fell once more into a faint.

          When I awoke, I was once more in the Alpha’s chamber. She was sitting nearby, awaiting my revival. When I weakly tried to raise my head and could not, she calmly walked over to my side.

          “Hello, Shadow Wolf. What brings you to my territory once more?” she purred in my ear, sending a slight shiver down my spine. My mind spun once more and I fell into another faint, but not before I heard the Alpha order the other wolves to prepare a couple of ceremonies.

          In my sleep, I dreamed for the first time in many years. I dreamed of a pack of my own, who communed with the spirits of those who had passed on. My pups all looked like me, with little white stars on their foreheads. Then my mate came into our chamber. It was the female Alpha. Then I awoke again. This time, there were other wolves. The female Alpha wore a small chain with a tiny sapphire hung on it. Then I noticed a matching chain around my neck. I made a weak attempt to rise, only to stumble back onto the ground. The former Beta jeered, yelling out, “You sure you want this scrawny weakling as your mate, Aurora?” This made me glad I was a black wolf so they could not see my blushing.

          “I am sure, Omega. I am sure,” she replied, her eyes locking onto mine, searching my very soul. Then she smiled.

          “He is not weak. In fact, he is stronger than any other wolf. He has lived alone longer than any wolf before him. Tell me, Shadow Wolf. What is your name?” I hid my head, shamefully whispering my reply.

          “Bane. My name was Bane.” The Beta/Omega laughed and told Aurora, “See? He doesn’t deserve you!” I growled, my strength returning to me in a flash. I leapt onto him and growled, “Oh, so who does? You, I presume?” Then I turned back to Aurora, hoping she would forgive me. But I saw no anger in her eyes. In fact, she seemed almost proud of me, as if I had done some great and important deed.

          “You deserve a better name than that, my friend. I give you the name of Sentiao, which literally translates as “Shadow Wolf”. I did not know how to thank her for allowing me to escape my past. Then I realized that the ceremony was how I would thank her. A little brown wolf came forward.

          “Sentiao, loner of no pack, Aurora has asked that you become her mate for life. What is your response?” I gathered my courage and calmly replied so that all could hear, “I accept.” The Beta/Omega spluttered and tried to approach me, but the other Omegas barred his way, forcing him to sit once more.

          “Aurora, Alpha of the Kumori Pack, Sentiao has asked that you become his mate for life. What is your response?” She instantly replied, “I accept.” My heart fluttered its wings, then flew to hers, until we were one. The others cheered, while the Beta/Omega grumbled something about it not being fair. I chose to ignore his selfish comment and let Aurora announce the other ceremony.

          “As you know, Sentiao was a loner until he decided to become my mate. Normally, this would make him a wolf of the Kumori pack. However, I know that he wishes to keep his loner status and begin a new pack with me. I am going to make an exception and leave the Kumori pack with him. This means that you will need another Alpha to lead and guide you. The Alpha I have chosen is my good friend, Everest, whom I know will lead you with kindness and honor, as she does everything. Good bye, my friends, and good luck to you, Everest. I know you will make an exceptional Alpha.” Then Aurora and I left to find a new territory, far from any other wolves, until we came to a valley, with plenty of food and water. We made this our territory, and soon we had three pups, just like in my dream. We called ourselves the Mystic Pack, and we did commune with the spirits from time to time. We enjoyed our lives on this planet given to us until we became too old to lead and chose one of our children as the next Alpha.

          Then one night, we ceased to live, and our souls were carried to the other wolves’ spirits, where we enjoyed eternal comfort. I laugh now, looking back at my life. How very ironic, that a loner like me ended up going to the spirits with someone, not alone. I watched over my sister, until she too joined the spirits. She told me that she had missed me ever since that horrid night, and was filled with sadness when she heard my howl. I laughed and told her that I thought she hadn’t heard it.

          We lived in such comfort for many years, laughing, enjoying ourselves, and welcoming all spirits who joined us.

          Until the day that my great-great-grandson came to the throne.

© 2012 Gretchen Clarke


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Reviews

I enjoyed reading this, I'm not sure if you've finished or are planning to come back it later but its wonderfully written. I'm glad I asked you if you published your stories anywhere. The way you ended it creates some suspense and I'd love to know what happens next!

Posted 7 Years Ago


OH! I love it! Especially the end. The end is magnificent and very suspenseful.


Posted 10 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Gretchen Clarke

10 Years Ago

Glad you enjoyed it!
nicely done. this story is well written and i can't wait to see what happens next. what is the next part of this story? or have you not written it yet. i hope you have!!

Posted 10 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Rhea752

10 Years Ago

awww. :( well this is a very good story :D
Gretchen Clarke

10 Years Ago

I know, I know. I wish I had more time to finish it, but I have a lot of other stuff.
Rhea752

10 Years Ago

I understand. soon i'll be starting school again and i'll have like no time what with service learni.. read more

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Added on June 25, 2012
Last Updated on August 3, 2012
Tags: wolves, lonely

Author

Gretchen Clarke
Gretchen Clarke

my couch, my chair, my bed, surfing the web, etc..., GA



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