setting
Index was once a small and close-knit community, but the town located on the western side of Washington state has grown in recent years beyond anyone's expectations. It is the ideal place for those who work in Seattle but can't afford the city's high real estate prices, and for others the natural beauty attracts them to the town. And Index truly is a beautiful place - surrounded by thick evergreen trees, tall mountains and glistening rivers and lakes. While weather is typically rainy with overcast skies even this does nothing to take away from the beauty of the town, and it is only highlighted further when the heavy snow graces the town and caps the mountains in winter. To many, Index would seem like a paradise. And yet lurking beneath this visual beauty there is more to this town than anyone might ever imagine...

Current Time in Index, Washington:
rules
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 [Private] Spirits and Leaders

[Private] Spirits and Leaders

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[Private] Spirits and Leaders

Vincent Sawyer Byrne | Wolf; Pack Master/Alpha

Posted on Sat Mar 05, 2016 5:43 pm

Thread Details
Wolf Den / Cliffs | Overcast | 11:45 P.M.


When I stepped foot into the ceremony grounds, the only sound was that of rustling leaves from the trees above, and dust being thrown against the stones that surrounded the fire pit, which was not encircling a roaring inferno as was tradition. There was no smoke, there was no flame. There were no drums and dancing to embody their beat. There were no yips, howls, or grunts of ceremony. What was meant to be a joyous and celebrated event, was infected with grief and mourning, and so heavy with silence it made the air thick and sharp with cold.

But the true horror was printed on the faces of those that came. The only color brought to this dull and lifeless scene before me was the red markings they wore on their cheeks and under their eyes. Red, a symbol of death, only worn by those heading into battle with no expectation of leaving alive. Their bodies were still, expressions desolate, and stinging gaze so full of dedication and despair it felt like a piercing weapon to accompany the suffocating air.

And I, much like my brothers standing opposite me, was encumbered with sorrow. For not only had I lost my spiritual leader, my first, and their confidence which was sucked away with the last breath of the last dying wolf, but I had only just lost the last living relative I had, Logan. The loneliness and heartache I felt, for once was not my own. It was not coming from within me, but from the soil I stood on, where only a night before my brothers and sisters had been slaughtered. It tainted the place we all once called home with it's tenacious and infectious grip on our minds. While we may have washed away the blood beneath our feet, there was no solvent to erase the red from our memory.

For once, I sympathized with their drastic choices. I understood why they came wearing red marks of battle and death on their faces. I understood why they didn't dance and howl with celebration. I could feel the meaning behind their protest, and for the first fucking time I could relate. But sympathizing... Relating... Understanding, while strong, these were feelings that needed to be buried with our dead, for this moment called for courage, an open mind, and open arms. For the millionth time my pack had chosen to divide instead of unite. For the millionth time my pack was destroyed by something destructive instead of strong for those still breathing. For the millionth time, one innocent wolf would bear the brunt of the mistakes of an enemy, because fear was an ignorant and aimless beast that only sought to destroy logic and sense.

What happened, was not right. What happened, was not okay. What happened was tragic and disorienting and painful. I would never downplay the truth of that. I would never dismiss any of that. But the words were written across my chest, literally. Honor, duty, and pride. I would honor our new Spiritual leader. I would fulfill my duty as her Pack Master, and as her first. And no tragic attack by our enemy would destroy my pride. They were three words to live by, not just as an Alpha, but as a wolf, but instead my pack chose to give into their rage. They chose to live by a different code, to put blame on their brothers and sisters simply because revenge was not a possibility and ''someone needed to pay''.

-

The true details of what had happened the night before were locked behind my fear of remembering. I dare not think it, I dare not speak it, I dare not believe it, because it was easier to pretend it was just a bad dream. It was easier to believe it was just a nightmare. Our den had been ravaged. Women, children, and elders caught in the crossfire of a battle that couldn't be won. Our safe haven, our home was destroyed by our own kind, without rhyme or reason. Without warning. But that wasn't all, because we lost far more of our kind than just those that had perished...

I remembered panic. Everything was happening so fast, and all I could see was the blur trailing behind those that were running for their lives... A screem had sounded from the north, and from that point on there was nothing but pain. Seeing our Spiritual Leader's lifeless body slumped on the ground sent my heart into my stomach, but the true skin crawling fear I felt came over me when I rushed to her side and looked into her lifeless eyes. In the reflection, a wolf. Not just any wolf, but one wearing a patch of white fur on the side of it's chest. A mark so unique I'd only seen it on the coat of one other wolf. Ollurian.

When I turned to face him, my own shift began as I snarled with rage and fury, a blood thirst that wouldn't be slaked until I tasted his blood on my tongue, he walked away. His eyes met mine, and he just walked away. He had murdered my Spiritual Leader, He had snapped the neck of my first and as if that wasn't enough damage, he tore into her with a hunger that could only belong to one with an intent to cause pain. If I hadn't followed him, I would have thought this a traumatic event caused by a vengeful wolf. I might have never thought anything more. But I chose to follow him, and what I saw couldn't be explained.

It wasn't just Ollurian. At least twenty or thirty other wolves had been the cause of the massacre. Most of which I didn't know, some of which I immediately recognized as members of my very own pack that had been missing for months. And the only sight that cut through my fury was the last thing I saw before they disappeared behind the thick of the trees... Peyton.


-

The normalcy of my day prior to reaching the ceremony grounds might have seemed disturbing. I collected my paycheck, paid some bills, and ran some errands. From an outside perspective, yeah, it probably seemed strange considering what had happened only a night before. But to me, I barely remembered any of it. I barely remembered picking up my check, or paying my bills, or picking up a carton of milk. The truth was, as much as the night before had felt like a bad nightmare, the first three quarters of my day really felt like a dream. My mind had been on one thing all day, and one thing only, the events that unfolded the night before. I could have robbed a bank and not remembered a moment of it, because my mind was elsewhere.

Seeing the den now, it felt different. It looked different. It felt empty, it looked barren. It wasn't the same place anymore. And as I finally tore my eyes away from the wolves that had mustered up enough courage to reenter our land, I took my seat at the northern most point of the dead fire pit, held my head high, and fought back the painful truth that lead us to this moment.

Our spiritual leader, and any with her gift of sight were gone.

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