"Kodomo!" Shai whispered angrily as he tracked his elder twin, trying to keep up with her fast movements. She was at it again. Doing the one thing she was best at: causing trouble. It wasn't the first time she had disobeyed Roiyaru, but it was the first time that she had actually insisted on following him into the outskirts of the human camp. This was seriously dangerous! But Shai couldn't…well he couldn't just let her go alone. Even if he was terrified of the place, he didn't have the courage to say that they should turn back and wait at the spot Roiyaru had chosen…he was, as his sister said, "weak when it comes to courage".

"Come on, Shai!" Kodomo snapped at him in a fierce whisper as she jetted forward a second time to keep the distance between herself and Roiyaru even. Her silver paws flashed quickly, dipping into dark shadows and vanishing for moments before being revealed again.

"Kodomo, wait!" He hissed back hoarsely. She paused for a mere moment to wait for him to catch up before daring off again. Fear was already lancing up and down Shai's spine like bitter lighting from the odor of humans, but Kodomo didn't seem to notice or care. Roiyaru's trace scent was there, ahead of them. Faint, but there and growing stronger as they got closer.

Kodomo suddenly vanished around a large boulder and Shai panicked, rushing forward.

"Kodomo, what-" Shai slipped around the bend and all but toppled Kodomo. She had been standing stock still, staring forward with wide eyes. Shai looked from her to where she had been looking and back again.

Laughter of the humans he could smell coiled in his heart; slowly squeezing what optimistic life had been there. Human's laughter…humans and one wolf, a wolf Shai knew very well.

--&--

"Cruelty makes us see what truth there is in us. What we fear the most, what we love the most, what we hate the most, and what we hide the most. Cruelty makes us see, but Hatred pierces our naked eyes and blinds us to what cruelty can show. May the heart know this now and always."

--excerpt from "The Blood Moon", chapter two "Of the False World"

End of The Blood Moon Chronicles Book One, Wolves Never Cry.