Advertise Here
Want to advertise here? Get started for as little as $5
My Wolf

My Wolf

A Story by Tristyn

When all seems lost, there is but one gift left to give.


It’s a cold night out, with the wind tossing my hair wildly and blowing leaves and sticks into my face. I’ve just finished visiting my mother’s great-grandmother, so I have a little time before I will be missed. Legend has it that she stole the life from her daughter and her daughter’s daughter so that she could live longer. It’s true that she’s been alive for a lot longer than is normal. Some say that it’s her herb-craft that helps keep her young. She has treated almost everyone in the village at some point. Some say that it is witchcraft and she casts spells in the dead of the night to preserve her beauty. Some even whisper that it is the devil in her, keeping her young to trap us into wicked ways. And well they keep those thoughts quiet �" most everyone in the village would laugh them out of the community if they tried to hold to those beliefs. We have seen the devil, and it was not our Granny.


Some will vilify any who are different, or those that will help and require no payment. They are so bitter and twisted that they cannot understand simple kindness with no thought of reward. And often, they kill or drive out these people, little knowing they are harming the heart of their village with their actions. We have seen other villages fall that way. Once their first line of defence is gone, and their only chance of hope with it, the demons come among them to poke and prod and cause strife where there was none. And when the streets run red with blood, the devil comes among them and takes their lives one by one, until nothing is left but an empty village, and a cautionary tale.


Sometimes the little old women that live out by their lonesome and heal the village with herbs and kind words are indeed nothing but kindly old women, and sometimes they are witches, with the blood of the First Maidens running strong in them. These are the women that hold fast to the old ways, weaving the protection of their village with their blood. Our village is blessed with a matriarchal line that breeds true back to the eldest and firstborn of the First Maidens. Granny is the culmination of three hundred years of breeding back to that line, and is the strongest witch discovered so far. Which is why, when the devil came among us, we were not stricken. Our line held fast the doors of the village heart, and the devil was cast out from among us.


The fight was not without cost, however. My mother’s grandmother, and mine, were among the price paid, and I have been marked by the hand of blood. So it is now that the three of us hold the village, ruled by Granny. The price was too high, but still not enough. The devil has been thrown out, but there is a new enemy that we witches cannot banish. The huntsmen come to take our crops, our livestock and our forests. They say that they fight for a king in the north, and that it is their right to take these things from us. We know no king though. All we see is our hard work taken from us, our fields trampled, our children starving.


Granny has divined that there is only one way now that we can be saved. A gift must be given to the Forest Guardians, and they will protect us. How they will do this she will not say, or what gift must be given, but I have seen her look at me in sorrow when she thinks I cannot see, and I know it will not be long before she is forced to make a choice. I have heard tell of villages that disappeared forever from the world, held secret and safe in a pocket of magic, only to return once the world is made new. I have also heard tell of the price for this protection. The villagers must pay a blood gift to the Guardians, and if the gift is worthy, the protection will be bestowed.


Our world is ruled by blood, and the blood price is our religion and our culture. I have heard stories of lands far distant that pay the blood price, but they have been corrupted so that the price becomes meaningless, and they kill for money, for fear, for all of the vain and small reasons our minds could come up with. Not so here. Each of us is valued and treasured, and the blood price is not paid by the least of us.


Here and now, that price, the gift to be given, is me. I am strong in my own right, even before the full flush of my womanhood, and I have been marked as special. A mark as powerful as the hand of blood is a sign of high favour indeed. And it is this that makes me the perfect gift. But my mother will not agree. The villagers will make great protest, while secretly being glad it is not them. Granny will hesitate until we have no other choice, and even then, she will try to bargain. She cannot accept that this is my part to play. Maybe I could convince her, make her see. But by then it will be too late.


The time is now, and the place is in these woods, where I played as a child, where I grew and learnt at my family’s knee. I have made my peace, and I have not far to go now, to reach the place where I mean to proffer my gift. The very glade that I first glimpsed one of the Guardians, half a world ago, when I knew nothing but playing in the sun. Even now, as I approach the glade, a form begins to take shape in the clearing. It is the Wolf, who I have seen only once, but somehow, it is a sight more familiar to my heart than my own reflection. I find it ironic that he will be the one to take my sacrifice. Alone of all the others, he has no mate among the other Guardians. It was my dream that one day I would join them as his mate, as the protector of the forest and the village. But I grew up and realised that it was not to be so. Not for us mere mortals to be wed to such power.


As I reach the edge of the glade, I stop and gather my will to summon the other Guardians. As they shimmer into sight, I push away my fear and doubts, wipe away the regrets and unspoken goodbyes to my family. I begin to speak the formal words of gifting, asking for their help in return for the blood price, and they speak the response, asking why I approach them as sacrifice. I explain my value to them in the formal terms. There has been no record in the scrolls of a gifting speech for one touched by the hand of blood, however, so I have had to write my own words for this. There is a pause, a visible hesitation as they glance at each other, and I worry that my wording has offended them, but I hold my tongue. I cannot disrupt the ritual now.


Finally, one of them speaks. The Raven tells me my gift is too great for what I ask, and that I should go back and send another in my place. How do I explain to them that there is no other to send in my place? Regardless of all else, I will not allow someone else to die where I might be able to save them and prevent any further price to be paid. I summon every bit of fluency at my disposal. I tell them that I pay now not just for this event, but for the protection of my village far into the future, and that I am the only one that can pay the price. The others still hesitate, but one of them steps forward to stand in front of me. It is the Wolf, and my heart quickens to be so near to him. He tells me to be not afraid, and I have not the words to explain that it is not fear but excitement that stirs me. My consolation in this is the fact that his will be the last face I see.


He bends forward to me, and instead of taking my breath before I spill my own life-blood as the ritual demands, he breathes upon me, and I fall to my knees in front of him. I have lost my hold on the knife, but it no longer seems to be important. My mind is expanding, filling with knowledge I never thought to hold. As I fall through the stream of secrets explained, I realise what is happening. I will never know if my change took seconds, or hours, or months, but when I can see the world again, I raise my muzzle in a howl that shakes the treetops, and turn to look at my mate. He holds still, unsure of his welcome, and I move to him. Never again will I yearn for that which was beyond me. Never again will I be alone. From this moment forth, I can protect my people directly. This is what I was born to do. I nuzzle him gently, and then I turn and run. He gives chase, and we leave the others behind.


The knowledge in my mind now tells me that this was pre-ordained, that fate marked me and led me here. But that even still, the final choice was mine, and I could have chosen to let someone else be sacrificed in my place. The task would then have been passed on. To my daughter perhaps. Or to her daughter, or to one of the following generations. What might have been is irrelevant now, lost to the shroud of time. My gift was the ultimate sacrifice, given freely and willingly, and the reward was more than I could have ever expected.


It will take much learning to realise the full extent of what I can do, but even now, I can feel what needs to be done, and as we run, I perform the twist of will that takes us out of the world. One day, when the world is ready for us, we will return. Hundreds and thousands of years may pass, and yet we will stand guard and hold our people from the ravages of the world. In the shadows of the forest, we are running still. My Wolf and I.

© 2014 Tristyn

Author's Note

This was a one shot, prompted by the cover picture.

My Review

Would you like to review this Story?
Login | Register


What an excellent start and I was lost from the beginning until the end. Always enjoy reading your work, you truly are a gifted writer:)

Posted 8 Years Ago

Share This
Request Read Request
Add to Library My Library
Subscribe Subscribe


1 Review
Shelved in 1 Library
Added on May 12, 2014
Last Updated on May 12, 2014
Tags: wolf, forest, guardian, witch



Sydney, NSW, Australia

I am an avid reader, and from the age of two, when I first started to read, I have been checking out of reality to take on all sorts of new adventures. I have been dabbling in writing for years, an.. more..

Dear Diary Dear Diary

A Story by Tristyn