1. First Sight
Since long ago, wolves were feared by the villagers. Dangerous, vicious, and merciless, the creatures were considered nothing but killers. In such a manner children grew up to know that wolves were an ill omen. As time passed, fear overtook the village. The wolves' numbers were growing too rapidly for their comfort. In a moment's desperation, the wolves became the hunted as humans killed all that they could find. No longer were wolves a problem to the village; there were none left.
Wolves became something of a myth as time went by. No more were killed as no more were ever seen. The animals still remained in the villagers' minds as an icon, a character used to entertain and even discipline young children. The mere mention of a wolf coming to eat a child would make him do as his parents asked without hesitation. Even in the time of peace and calm, the mere name 'wolf' sent a shiver of dislike through the backs of all the villagers.
In such an era, a boy was born. He, like all the other children, grew up with the stories of the wolves. However, he wasn't quite the same as the other boys and girls. The thought of the 'big bad wolves' never frightened him. In fact, he seemed to have a certain affinity for them, and even wondered of the possibilities of their existence.
Little did he know that it was this exact curiosity that would end up leading him to trouble...
"Ikaika! Wait up!" the smaller boy cried after his friend as they ascended the small hill to reach the outer bounds of the village. "Why are you walking so fast?"
"I'm not walking fast. You just walk slowly," the larger boy laughed at the other as he stopped at the rounded top. He exhaled slowly as he peered down over the edge at the few sheep that were grazing. "You were the one who wanted me to do your job for you because you can't do it," he added as he pulled the other into a friendly headlock.
Wincing, Mahli struggled out of his friend's grasp. "I didn't want you to, I just said it would be nice if you did! You just came because you want to sneak off into the forest again!" he accused Ikaika with a frown as he straightened his clothes. He too looked down at the sheep as he plopped down in the long grass with a sigh. "Well, at least it's a nice day. We can rest here for a little while, right?" He looked up at the other expectantly. By that time, Ikaika was already halfway down the other side of the hill. Mahli groaned as he stood up and brushed himself off before hurrying after the other boy. "Wait up!"
"Just stay there if you're too cowardly to come, Mahli," Ikaika called back tauntingly as he laughed and headed into the forest, past the sheep. "But if you go ratting on me again, I'll make sure you're stuck bed-ridden for a week." He glanced back threateningly at his friend before carelessly trudging forward.
Mahli sighed as he watched Ikaika disappear into the dark foliage. He paused for a moment, nibbling his lip in thought. At last he gave in as he ran after the other. "Ika, wait!" he hissed as he stumbled through the low brush. He looked about in search of his friend. "Ika, where'd you go?" The silence was starting to get to him. "Ika...?"
Suddenly the boy jumped and let out a yelp of surprise when he felt a hand on his shoulder. "Shut it, will you? Do you want to drag the whole village over here and get us caught?" Ikaika hissed, slapping his hand over Mahli's mouth. He waited for a moment before pulling away. "Come on, you'd better keep up," he grumbled as he continued on into the depths of the woods.
"Ika..." Mahli called in a low whisper. "Wait for me!" He trotted after his friend somewhat reluctantly.
They'd been walking for what felt like hours when Ika finally stopped. Mahli was panting faintly as he trudged after the taller, obviously fitter boy. "We're going back now, right?" he wheezed as he crouched down on the forest floor. "I'm so thirsty, I can't go on..."
"Shh!" Mahli was silenced by Ikaika's hiss. Both boys remained completely still while Ikaika's eyes darted about them. After a while, he relaxed and Mahli let out the breath he'd been holding.
"What was that for?" Mahli demanded indignantly.
"I thought I heard something," Ikaika murmured as he turned. "Come on, it's getting dark. We'd better head back or they'll notice we've been gone longer than needed..."
Mahli snorted at this. "It's your fault. You're always coming in here looking for something. You won't find a wolf here, Ikaika. They were all killed years ago. Besides, even if a few did survive, they wouldn't come out bounding to meet you—oof!" He stopped short when he bumped into Ikaika, who had been walking in front of him. "What's that for now?" Mahli grumbled as he glared at the other's back. "Ika, what—" He gasped.
A few paces ahead of them and a bit to the side, there stood a pure-white creature that was almost as large as an ox. It was nothing like cattle, though; if anything, it was most like a dog. It stared at the human boys with unblinking ice-blue eyes. Even without moving, the animal seemed to demand respect from the forest itself. Everything seemed to stop in that moment, even the gentle breeze that had been blowing through the high canopy shortly before.
Without notice, a flurry of black wings and caws echoed through the forest. Ikaika and Mahli both jumped in surprise as a flock of crows loudly passed by overhead. When their gazes returned to their front, the wolf was gone. There wasn't a single trace that the creature had been there. There was just silence.
"You saw it too, right?" Ikaika said in a hoarse voice. He didn't even bother looking back. Mahli nodded meekly in reply, though he knew the other couldn't see.
"Was that...was that really...a—"
"Come on," Ikaika said suddenly, grabbing Mahli's wrist and pulling the other boy along as he began to run. "We'd better get out of here...it doesn't feel right."
Mahli didn't argue nor did he say anything. Right then, the only thing on his mind was getting out of the suddenly unwelcoming forest.
By the time they arrived back at the village, the sun was setting and the sheep had managed to straggle back, or somebody had come by and herded them in. Ikaika looked as if he were deep in thought while Mahli was pale and simply didn't care to go back to the forest again.
"We're not going back there," the smaller grumbled at his friend. "At least, I'm not. I don't care what you do anymore, that's your—"
He was cut off when a glowering shadow darkened their path. Looking up, Ikaika and Mahli both cowered under the glare of the village leader, Ikaika's father.
"Back where? Don't tell me you boys went into the forest again. How many times must we tell you that it's off-limits? There are dangerous creatures there and it's easy to get lost," the man said in exasperation. He threw up his hands in irritation. "Honestly, I've had enough of this foolish child's play! Ikaika, I forbid you to go there again! And Mahli, I suggest you run home immediately. Your parents are worried sick about you too."
Without another word, Mahli bowed his head and quickly scampered off, glancing back apologetically at Ikaika.
"Nothing happened, Father. You don't have to make such a big deal about it," Ikaika said nonchalantly, waving his hand idly as he headed into the house. He sighed as he caught sight of his older brother standing there with a look similar to his father's. "Not you too, Nuada," he grumbled, "Father gave me enough scolding to last me a while."
Nuada sighed and shook his head in a reprimanding manner. "Too right he did. Do you realize what time of day it is? And you went into the forest again, I assume, by the state of your clothes. Really, Ika, don't you—"
"I'm fine, Nuada, so just leave it, alright?" Ikaika said tiredly as he turned and headed to his room. "I don't want any dinner," he called before closing the door, more loudly than it was necessary.
Another sigh came from Nuada as he headed back to the kitchen to set the table for his father and himself. "He'll get himself really hurt someday," he muttered to himself as he glanced one last time toward his brother's door.
Ikaika flopped down on his bed with a loud sigh. He stared up at his ceiling intently, though he wasn't looking at it directly. All he could think of was that huge, majestic creature that had finally showed itself to him. After years of waiting and searching, he finally saw a wolf...and he hadn't even been expecting it! It had definitely caught him off guard when he'd seen it earlier that day. He sighed again as he turned over, resting his chin on top of his pillow.
"A wolf..." he murmured to himself as he stretched his arm to grab a book from the edge of the table beside his bed. He flipped through it idly before stopping at a certain section. "Wolf: Canis lupus, a mammal of the Canidae family. Plural: wolves. Wolves once had a nearly worldwide range, but are now extinct when the Extermination of the 38th year of the Solinaeus era wiped out the species," he read lowly to himself. With a muffled thud, he closed the book and tossed it aside. "Whatever...I'll just check on it again later..."
It was exactly a hundred years ago when that so-called Extermination had been completed, when all the wolves had been killed, or so people thought. Ikaika had believed what the adults had told him when he was a young child, but as he grew older, he began to have his doubts. What if all the wolves hadn't been killed, but some had managed to escape and hid? There was always the possibility that somewhere out there, there still existed those legendary creatures that everybody had feared so long ago.
Ikaika turned over onto his side and stared down at the book that he'd carelessly thrown aside. The page it was opened to showed an artist's rendition of a wolf. To him, a wolf didn't look much different from a big dog, and it definitely didn't look scary at all. If anything, it looked more...regal or majestic, like royalty.
"They'll see that it's all a lie. I'll prove it to them too," Ikaika muttered to himself as he stood up and lazily got undressed before burrowing under the covers. He let out a tired yawn as he closed his eyes and soon fell asleep. A soft wind blew through his slightly-open window and caused the book's pages to flutter lightly.
This is my first attempt at uploading an actual story with chapters to FictionPress. I don't usually do this but I feel like I'm a bit...crazy at the time. Life does things to your brain. Funny things.
I'm not a professional writer, but I am nitpicky about grammar and whatnot. I do comb through my pieces as thoroughly as possible, but there are still errors that slip through or just things that I'm not too sure about.
This will contain homosexual relationships in later chapters. It may even go up to an M rating, depending on my mood. This is the official warning. If gay porn is not your cup o' tea, that's your issue that you should take elsewhere.
I don't really care. Like I said, I haven't done this whole...story thing before, so anything goes for me. I'm open-minded and don't mind a few tips, a few pats on the back, a few jeers... All a part of this trade.
I'm not a periodic writer. I only write whenever I feel stupid or whatnot. Updates can and will be sporadic. Each installment/chapter will be short because my original intentions for this story are basically...short. I have a short attention span and even worse ability to finish things I start so short is good. Short means finishability. Long means I will dump it later on.
Happy readings, y'all.