Crescent Moons Part 21
- 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
- Crescent Moons Part 30
- Crescent Moons Part 31
A few months had passed since the pack took in Fixier or Frakin as they knew him. They had found him broken and bleeding, laying against a broken tree. It was apparent that whoever had injured him had also thrown him hard. The other pack members had carried him back to their village. Fixier had laughed. It was a place I knew well.
Fate, destiny, whatever you want to call her, can sometimes be ironic. I am living in the very house that I tried to burn down. The fire had not eradicated it. The house was livable, but still in poor shape. There were few choices available.
Someone knocked on the door. Fixier, Frakin, in human form, answered the door. Fixier had chosen this human form to fit best. He was in his mid-thirties, well built. He had silver-white hair and blue eyes, just like the wolf form he had chosen.
“Morning, Frakin.” Hightower frequented his place more days than not.
“Good Morning, Hightower.” Frakin stepped aside to let his new friend and Alpha inside.
Hightower had sustained no permanent damage, except he now bore a jagged scar across his face. Even with their regenerative powers, he had still left his mark. “Ready to run?”
“Sure.” Frakin put down the paintbrush. He had been working on fixing and improving the house he currently occupied. Showing the rest of the village he was not leaving soon.
The gathering place was a small tower of boulders, a stacked marker at the edge of the village. The space between humans and nature. Beyond was the forest. A few trails led into the woodlands.
As they approached, they shifted. They were meeting five other wolves for today’s patrol, including Daniel, Elef, and Lilith.
Lilith enjoyed the patrols and the hunting parties. In her wolf form, she had long, soft, golden fleece-like hair. Her eyes were a golden hue with flecks of green in them. She always smelled like fresh honeydew. Fixier wasn’t sure how she pulled that off. She was also one of the fastest wolves in the pack. In human form, she was beautiful, with long golden hair to her waist and green eyes similar to her wolf form. Many pursued a relationship with her. She had turned them all down. Occasionally, I see her looking at me. When I catch her, she just smiles.
The wolves were already in conversation as they approached. Someone had said, “I’m telling you Frakin should be Alpha, not Hightower.” The conversation died. They all stood there, waiting. No one was willing to admit they said the last statement.
One of the downsides and upsides of being a spirit walker was telepathy. They could each hear another’s thoughts. Fixier had to keep his mental barriers up so that nothing unwanted slipped out.
Amused, Frakin chuckled. They are talking about that again? As if I even wanted the position. But… It could prove interesting in some ways. Better to leave Hightower to it. Besides, I have Hightower’s ear. I have become his chief consultant and friend. I am sure I could convince him to do what I asked. All the benefits without the hassle. What they failed to notice is each mental voice is unique. Daniel should have just taken ownership of the statement. Now he just seems a coward.
They took off. Hightower on the lead and Frakin to his right, the place of honor, or the alpha’s second in command.
Lilith took Frakin’s right flank.
Frakin followed, not caring where they went. I need something to do. This playing house is not my style.
Hightower, using telepathy, spoke to the pack, “We are going far north today. I heard a rumor that a rat pack is trying to make a home too close to ours. Be careful, it’s near a human city. We do not want the humans involved.”
Frakin asked himself, Did I hear that right? Then to the pack, “Hightower, rat packs run in large groups. If we run into a full pack, there is no way we can take them.” I would have to reveal too much.
“Have you fought them before?”
“Yes, they are mindless beasts that used to be human. A disease infects them, rat lycanthropy.”
“We must hurry. No one from the city needs to become like them.”
Fixier worried. They know not what lies ahead. Looks like Daniel may get his wish sooner than he knows. Unfortunately for him, he will probably have to die as well.
They ran for several more hours.
The day was bright. Sunlight with no clouds in the sky warmed the frosty plains. The air was clean and fresh with just a hint of moisture. I could see ahead a lake and its reflection. The slow movements of the water suggested it was not cold enough to freeze. Beside the lake was a small city. It had a large docking and port area. A channel connected the lake and the ocean nearby. It appeared the city’s main imports and exports relied upon these docks.
Frakin guided Hightower towards the docks. “They like to make their home in places like the wharves and docks. That is most likely where they will be. We should wait until dark. That is when they will come out.”
Hightower chose a snow-covered embankment near the docks to wait for nightfall.
Frakin laid down to rest, as did the others. Tonight will not be boring. I might even have some fun.
The workers left. It grew quiet. A couple of sentries were in the distance. They were not watching this area. It comprised several ships tied down on piers, several distribution shops to move and deliver goods, and a large fish market towards the south. They were closest to the fish market. A few remote street lamps gave off a dim illumination.
Before they could move, they spotted three figures hunched over, one walking on fours. They crawled out of a small opening in the rock foundation of the docks. The wolves’ eyes were sharp, even in dim light. They had short gray fur covering their bodies, long snouts, and stank of fish and rotten eggs.
“It’s them,” Hightower said. “Did these humans want to become something like that?”
Frakin peered around the edge of the embankment. “That state can extend life. Only the desperate seek for them. They are victims and end up joining the pack out of necessity.”
“Here’s the plan. Frakin, you take the right. Elef, the middle guy is yours; the big one on the left is mine. Everyone else, pick someone to support.”
The three went to the fish market entrance. They bent, and each picked up a package. They headed back.
“Hold on, Hightower,” said Elef. “They are not attacking anyone. It looks like they just picked up something.”
“Let’s make sure. Follow me.”
The wolves raced towards the three rat figures.
The rats noticed, dropped their packages, and held up their hands.
They wore decent clothing. Old and threadbare, but not the rags associated with a rat pack. One of them, their leader, said, “Please do not hurt us.” He bent his head down as if expecting an attack.
Hightower asked, “What is going on here?”
“Yes, just what is going on here?” Two figures came out of the shadows. They dressed in leather armor as if prepared for a battle. Each carried long curved stilettos, which were unsheathed and ready for use. A cowl covered their heads and hid their faces. The larger of the two spoke. “Look, my brother, they appear ready to steal our prey.”
The other responded, “That just won’t do—won’t do at all. I guess we could add a few wolves to our dinner. Though they are just animals.”
The big one removed his cowl. He had light hair and dark, piercing eyes. A scar above his left eye ran across his forehead. “Wait! Since when do wolves speak? You must be one of us from the wolverine’s side. You should know that Dista has given us this territory. But… since we are brothers in arms, we can share. We will take the blood; you take the meat. It would just spoil anyway.”
Then it hit Frakin. The smell. The rotten flesh smell. It wasn’t coming from the were-rats. It was these two vampires. What is going on here indeed? Dista assigned these two to this region? What game is she playing now?
Hightower said, “This is our territory. Has been for years.”
The big fair-haired one looked around and seemed to count, weighing the odds. “Okay. No need for hostilities. It seems we are mistaken. We will move along… peacefully.”
The smaller one looked like he was about to object. The other cut him off, “Just follow.” They leaped up to the rooftops and disappeared from view.
Hightower turned back to the rats.
The second man-rat said, “We were just getting food. The market owners take pity on us and provide a meal for us. We just have to make sure none of their customers see us. We aren’t stealing.”
Frakin approached the front. “Hightower, they are not hurting anyone. There is no reason to harm these creatures? We should leave them be. The real threat here is those vampires.”
Lilith watched, stood up taller and shook her head in agreement, then smiled at Frakin. “It is the right thing to do.”
The rest nodded, appearing to agree.
Hightower said to the rats, “Do not make us come back. If we have to, we will not stop to listen.” He turned around. “Let’s head home.”
Fixier shocked himself. In the past, he would just attack and kill them for the sport, if nothing else. These wretched creatures made him feel bad for them. He almost wanted to help them. What is wrong with me? Have I been living among these wolves for too long? Are they affecting me? What is with Lilith? And why does she make me feel so good when she smiles at me? I never get this close. This is dangerous. I may need to leave soon. What is Dista up to?