Crescent Moons Part 19
- Crescent Moons Part 1
- Crescent Moons Part 2
- Crescent Moons Part 3
- Crescent Moons Part 4
- Crescent Moons Part 5
- Crescent Moons Part 6
- Crescent Moons Part 7
- Crescent Moons Part 8
- Crescent Moons Part 9
- Crescent Moons Part 10
- Crescent Moons Part 11
- Crescent Moons Part 12
- Crescent Moons Part 13
- Crescent Moons Part 14
- Crescent Moons Part 15
- Crescent Moons Part 16
- Crescent Moons Part 17
- Crescent Moons Part 18
- Crescent Moons Part 19
- Crescent Moons Part 20
- Crescent Moons Part 21
- Crescent Moons Part 22
- Crescent Moons Part 23
- Crescent Moons Part 24
- Crescent Moons Part 25
- CRESCENT MOONS PART 26
- CRESCENT MOON PART 27
- CRESCENT MOONS PART 28
- Crescent Moons Part 29 (future)
The sun’s first morning rays dappled the forest floor, creating a mosaic pattern. The air was brisk. Sounds and movements brought life to the woods as small woodland creatures awoke and started their daily activities. A bunny getting an early start, already chewed on a leafy morsel; making tiny crunching sounds. Tweeting of birds echoed as some sang and others answered.
Five gigantic wolves tore through the forest. Among them, Hightower, Elef, and their Alpha, Augustus, and two more pack members.
Augustus stood tall, one hand higher and two broader than Hightower, his second. Unlike the others, Augustus was white; his pelt mimicked packed snow after a long storm.
Hitting a clearing, an open space of rocks surrounded by sparse trees, the Alpha slowed down and pattered around in a semi-circle, searching. “No! I have lost its scent. Does anyone else have it?”
The other wolves found something more interesting to look at rather than Augustus.
Augustus kept his snout to the ground. “Spread out. Find his scent.”
Within moments, Hightower barked, “I have something. But it is not the black panther.” Hightower followed the scent to the bottom of a set of boulders. Augustus and the rest followed.
The Alpha stopped cold. He looked around. An icy chill traveled down his spine. The hairs upon his back raised, warning, danger. Something is off. The scent is lost, yet I can feel him nearby, but where?
On top of the same boulders, a lone wolf, similar to Augustus in size and color, sat watching them.
The lone white wolf stood up and bowed his head towards Augustus. “Good morning. I see the smell of the panther eludes your pack as well. I had caught it a few moments prior, but it eludes me. That panther is as slippery as a wet eel.”
Augustus made his way to the forefront of the group. “What business is this panther to you? Why have you trespassed upon our lands?”
“Many pardons. My social skills are a bit lacking. I do not converse with many, anymore. My name is Frakin. I wasn’t aware anyone claimed these lands. This is my first time in this forest. I, too, search for the black panther. My search has been far and long. This is the closest I have come to catching him and as my business… I want him dead. I hope that isn’t contrary to your intentions.”
“I am Augustus, the Alpha of the pack. This panther has been watching us for several years, and I tire of it. Your intentions do not conflict with ours, and yet we want to pin him down and question him first. Why do you want him dead?”
“If the panther, I have heard him called Beastalis, is watching your people, then you need to protect them. He monitored my pack right before he slaughtered them all. The only reason I breathe is my Alpha ordered me to flee and avenge them later, till better prepared or made enough allies to take him out. But even now, this Beastalis also makes allies. He sometimes travels with a raksha. I believe that is their name. An evil feline spirit in the guise of a human and tiger.”
“You seem to know a lot about this panther.”
“I should. I have been chasing, watching him from afar for many years. Now that I know about your pack, perhaps we can join forces to take him out? I may finally avenge my pack and family.”
Augustus looked closer at this new wolf. Frakin’s build was larger and more muscular. He didn’t appear a standard wolf, even if larger. “We aren’t accustomed to welcoming those we don’t know. Since we have a common goal, we have no quarrel; just make sure you do not disrupt our own path.”
Frakin dropped to the forest surface. He bowed once again and lowered his head in submission to Augustus. “I will travel northward and see if I find his trail. I hope we can be friends. It has been a long time since I met others of my kind.”
Frakin leaped back up onto the rocks and disappeared.
Augustus said, “Something about this wolf does not feel right.”
Hightower shook his head. “I felt nothing bad towards us or from him. I think we can trust this wolf. At least until we catch the panther.”
Augustus nodded. “Your instincts are good. Everyone fan out. Let’s head west.” Still, why did I get such a bad feeling?
The black panther, Fixier, sat on his haunches waiting in a tall fir tree several miles west of the pack. He laid over and crossed his hands. The wolves had been chasing him throughout the night. He had heard the conversation between Augustus and his pack. He knew what had to be done. Now he rested, waiting for them to arrive. It has been fun, but like all things, they must end. Low muffled barks, growls, along with snapping of undergrowth and twigs echoed from the east. Those wolves make such a ruckus anyone would hear them coming. I am amazed that they can hunt for food.
He waited until the first one was within eyesight. The second in command has arrived. Interesting. I thought the Alpha would be first. He slithered like a snake to the ground. When Hightower was within arm’s reach, Fixier took one claw and wrenched it across Hightower. It knocked him backward, leaving a gaping wound in his chest and a gash across his face. The surprise in this Hightower’s eyes was almost comical. He did not see me at all. Hightower bled profusely. That should do it. It won’t kill him but should leave a friendly reminder on his face of what they are dealing with, and slow them down.
He waited, acting as though we were about to finish his prey.
Augustus showed up next. He looked at Hightower.
Before the scene could register, Fixier was on him, allowing no time to react. He leaped with his rear claws, landing on Augustus’s feet, and dug in, pinning him to the ground. His front claws crisscrossed his chest and lower abdomen, opening him up, shredding the Alpha to pieces. With one grand bite, he ripped through most of Augustus’s neck, then reared backward, tearing the rest of the neck’s tissue, separating his head from his body. The copper taste in his mouth exploded with delight. He tilted his head, allowing more blood to drip down his throat. His primal instincts wanted to kick in. Ah, the sensual texture and the taste. More! I so want more. His muscles tightened. Easy. Easy. I can lose control with this form. Let go and enjoy the sheer pleasure of the kill and taste of the flesh. Ah! So tempting. No! The last time I allowed that, it was months before I returned. I can’t allow it again. Yet, I must admit, it was one of the best times of my long life. He closed his eyes for just a moment, calmed down, and sighed.
Fixier dropped the lifeless remains and bounded to the west, wearing a smile and in control.
Several more miles to the west, Fixier caught up to his waiting son, Rashala.
They had chosen a small grove with a stream nearby. The ground was bare earth and tinted red. Most of the forest’s animals had fled. It was quiet. Almost too quiet.
Fixier shifted into human form. “Let’s do this. Don’t hold back. I’ll be fine. Afterward, head back home. Do not speak to Dista or anyone else about this.”
Rashala, even in human form, had dark, almost black stripes running everywhere but his face and hands. If covered, he could pass for a human. He flexed his hands, and they became razor-sharp claws. “You sure you will be okay?”
“I will hold back my healing. It will look worse than it is. As soon as I change, do it and throw me into the tree behind me.”
“You don’t need to change skins?”
“Not on all of them. Some forms I can switch without a skin. Now! Do it.” He shifted.
“I love you, Dad. Please survive this.” He reared back his claws and launched his entire frame at Fixier’s chest. Rashala’s claws digging into the exposed flesh. The wound was deep, and blood spurt everywhere. Rashala picked up his dad and hurled him against the tree so hard there was a loud crack. The tree trunk broke. “Oh, Dad. Damn. I did too much. I am sorry.”
Fixier smiled at his son and waved.
Rashala left, glancing over his shoulder one last time.
To add more deception, Fixier made a loud howl and a moan. He laid against the tree, waiting for the pack to catch up. They will witness their new friend broken when they get here, having attempted to avenge their Alpha. What better way to be welcomed as a member of the pack?