Solitude's Howl

Chapter I


A snout pushed its way into some brush, twitching as it sniffed noisily. In the air behind, a tail swooshed back and forth. A dark brown paw prodded at some loose dirt under the brush that held its owner's attention. It dug while a second paw joined in, pushing the loose dirt back easily. The snout twitched when the scent amplified, and the tail held still in anticipation.

Some more digging had a nice hole presented for two steel colored eyes. Suddenly, the dirt began to move, pushing from the inside of the hole out. The curious, intent gaze of the grey eyes brightened and moved closer. Soon, two small, dirty paws appeared from the hole, pushing the earth away from the entrance. A small face followed, with a swiveling nose. The face of the newcomer popped out, it's elongated ears snapping forward.

The grey gaze yipped excitedly at the sight of the rabbit and its snout dove forward, only to smash into dirt as the rabbit burrowed itself deeper into its den and sealed the entrance shut.

Ash brown fur covered ears flattened against their owner's head in dismay the wolf snorted to rid her snout of the gravel. She laid down, eying the upturned dirt that signaled the den of the rabbit and waited quietly, ensuring to keep her excitement down the next time he showed.

A loud pop assaulted her sensitive ears a few moments later, birds who were resting in the trees scattered and flapped into the air immediately. She rose to her paws in alarm and stared through the trunks of the many birch trees at an unseen point beyond, ears swiveling to catch the direction of the sounds. A follow up of three more pops blasted through the forest and more birds scattered. That was her cue to disperse.

The brown wolf ran then, in the opposite direction of the gun shots and toward the clearing which held her belongings. The leaves crunched loudly under her paws with the brush and saplings rustling when her body bolted past them.

She skidded to a halt in the center of the clearing, her scent from before still strong in the air. The wolf glanced around nervously before sliding her grey eyes closed. It wasn't long before bones were shifting, sliding and locking to fit the new frame. Before quiet contained gasps and moans of pain left the owner as they struggled to Form back. Fur was replaced with lightly tanned skin with dirt clinging to the sweat covering it. Sharp black nails retracted into dull pink ones that rested at the end of shaking fingers, digging into the earth through the pangs shooting up her limbs.

When the grey eyes finally opened they were blurred by the wetness clinging to them, and they blinked rapidly. She sat back, shakily, and ran a trembling hand over her ash brown hair, pulling random leaves from the tangles. Slow steady breaths calmed her down enough to try and move to her feet, but it was the gunshot going off in the distance that had her scrambling to her hidden pile of clothes, dressing quickly through the achy pain that clung to her body.

The girl sighed after she was fully clothed and made her way out of the clearing so she could go back to her car and head home, to Hudson.

Hudson had a nice amount of forestry, but it was married to the surrounding cities. Homes freckled the woods here and there, giving the impression of being dominated. She didn't like to feel dominated while Formed. She wanted to be able to run for miles and miles without seeing an ounce of civilization, not one ounce, but she's wasn't in any position to be picky. The simple fact was if she stayed in an area without the safety of civilization she put herself at risk, and she had worked too hard to stay hidden. So she sucked up her dislike for populated areas and continued to do what she'd been doing for the past four years since being on her own; survive.

The key for her was to find a nice balance between nature and urban and for the past two months it had been Hudson.

Harper Banes was her name and being a social outcast was the game. Perhaps that was a bit of an exaggeration. She wasn't so much of a social outcast, she just liked to say that to herself to justify her lack of interest in humans or as she liked to say 'Them'

Yes, she alienated herself from the human kind... it happens.

She called herself a beastie, a personal joke with herself since there was no one else around to share it with.

But really the scientific term for her... non humanness, was Lycanthropy. Werewolf, dog being, wolf kind, Lycan, etc... A Werewolf. Since the day she was born till the day she'll die which could be any day really, the way her life had been going, death was nipping at her heels... literally.

People see what they know, and Weres were myths, a story, a legend, a costume for Halloween. They were 'not real' so weren't seen.

Which was perfectly fine by her really, she didn't need the added dilemma of having to worry about being chased with pitchforks. She didn't Form often, once a month maybe, and it wasn't because the full moon only occurs once a month, it was that lack of time she had in order to Form, it was the lengths she had to go to Form.

Harper's location made Forming a little difficult. Though surrounded by a decent amount of forest, she was a paranoid Were and not only had to worry about being seen by campers, hikers, hunters, and the occasional hippie, but also her own kind. It was a beautiful place but with her schedule she couldn't be driving deep into the woods every week. Costs too much, and with her salary and crappy car, she had to just deal with the urges until she could make time to get there.

When she did Form though, it was a huge weight lifted off her shoulders and meant she could somewhat relax for a few weeks. Which she planned on doing as soon as she got home.

Harper pulled into the lot of the apartment complex after the long drive. The sky was dark already and the car port was bathed in a orange light from the lanterns. She exited her jeep and trudged toward the many flights of stairs. Forming wasn't an immediate relief, it relieved the urges, but with the price of an extremely sore body afterwords.

Once inside her flat, Harper threw the keys in the direction of the kitchen counter across the room. The slid atop the surface and fell to the floor, but she didn't bother to go pick them up. That would mean walking the small distance and she was more content to just collapse after a few steps onto her couch.

Loud music – only welcomed if it was actually good music which in this case... it wasn't. Harper huffed with a pout as she slumped her head further into the cushion. She sprawled on her belly atop her green sofa in the small living room of her flat. Her arm dangled off the side and her fingers dragged themselves lazily through the fibers of her dark brown carpet. All the lights in her apartment were off, but the room was not clothed in complete darkness. The sliding door to the balcony that rested between her opened kitchen and living room, and the long window above a desk to the right of the sliding doors provided dim light. Light from the street lamps tried to penetrate through the window and door, only to be dully filtered through her blue curtains that hung from both.

A tiny red light blinked every couple of seconds from the device on the coffee table before her. A phone. She snorted, she had no use for such things, who would she call? And the light only annoyed her, made her feel like it was wasting electricity, like she should turn it off. But she didn't. Though, personally, she could get on just fine without a phone, but she needed it for work in case she had to call her boss or vice versa, a phone was necessary.

They had house phones in her old Pack, but she was young then and had no use for them either.

She dug her head deeper into the cushion of the armrest, trying to cover her sensitive ears from the noise below. The neighbor was having a party, like he always did. And it wasn't even Friday, it was Thursday. The idiot threw parties all the time whenever he had a prickle to do so. The apartments she lived in were mostly occupied by other college students, so they never minded, especially when they were in attendance to the gathering.

Harper minded though, she minded a whole lot. She might as well had been in the room with the blasting speakers, she could hear it that clearly. Which was why she had moved herself from her bed into the living room, so not to be directly above the noise. Didn't really matter though, she could still hear it perfectly fine. She could hear the laughs and jeers of the party goers, the sounds of feet bouncing on the floor, even louder because it was the second level.

She had been invited to the party earlier today by the one who dwelled there; Kenny Davis was his name. One of the many invites she'd received by him, and like the previous, she declined. She had no interest in being surrounded by that many people, none at all. Why would she? Humans were unpredictable to her; she was not so socialized with their ways and customs. When she had lived with her grandmother for those three short years, they were recluse, and Harper had not changed from that way. She was use to her Pack, where you knew and expected certain things about the members. She knew their mannerisms, what this facial expression meant and what that gesture was for. Body language, their second form of communication.

But humans, they were different. They weren't so primal when it came to little things like that. They didn't base their socialism on who's more dominant than who, and whose place is where. It was more equal, and the body language was more subtle, harder for her to understand because she was not like them, and they were not like her, so she didn't even bother to understand. Maybe if she had been introduced into their society at an earlier age she would be able to. She doubted it would change her feelings about them.

Weres liked to stick with their own kind, but in her case that wasn't going to happen so she just stuck with herself.

Nothing about her human form screamed wolf. Actually, she was as normal as a "Human" could be aside from a few wolf-like perks. Like increased strength, heightened hearing. If she were to walk outside and really concentrated she could hear cars from a quite a distance away or listen to the hushed argument her neighbors are having two stories down from her... talk about eavesdropping. Smell, that was a toughy for her, but only because she made it that way.

For any other werewolf, smell was one of their best sense. They could smell when someone had come and gone from a room, if they lingered in a certain spot. They could identify someone by their scent. If one were to follow a person's scent out of a room they could probably locate them so long as they didn't get in a car and drive away, then that would be impossible.

For Harper though, she had the smelling ability of any average human, maybe just a bit better but not by much. Since they had such a heightened sense of smell it was also easily clogged, using perfumes or colognes would do just that. Anything scented on them would overpower smells. So, a smart Werewolf would use unscented deodorant, shampoos, soaps, and detergents. There was a reason as to why she wore scented everything, and it wasn't because she wanted to smell pretty. It was to hide her scent. Even if she didn't wear scented items a normal person wouldn't smell a thing.

But it would take a werewolf to smell a werewolf.

Werewolves had a distinct scent, it wasn't strong and it wasn't like was a horrible smell. It was just a scent. So, by using her fragrance things she in turn hid the subtle smell of her Werewolfness. It was a double edged blade. Because by doing that she wouldn't be able to pick up on another Werewolf's scent since she couldn't smell that well with the perfumes clogging her senses. It had worked for the past four years; it had kept her hidden from that part of her life.

She wasn't originally from the East, having only been there for four years since her grandma passed. Before that they were all over the U.S. never staying anywhere longer than six months. Something she still did. A hard life, but a necessary one. They were on the run. They weren't fugitives, at least not to the government. It was all because of Harper. Because of what she was, who she was, what she did, and who she did it to...

Update 9/26/13 Please Read! About this story... I've been struggling with it, but what I think what has happened is my writing style has changed from when I first wrote this so I'm really not happy with the writing in this story. There's things about it that I hate but I keep posting because I know people read it and I don't want to leave a story floating. Basically I think this story and the writing is lame :P

SO what I'm trying to say is, I feel like I can't fix what I messed up in this story. It's too far gone and I don't have the patience to try and re-write and still make everything consistent. HOWEVER - I am going to write this story again, but it will have a pretty massive change to it. The Main Character Harper Banes is still going to be...well the main character and the male character-Blaise-will still be in there too. But the story will have a different focus. What brought on this decision is a short story I wrote called Blue Moon, which is on my profile. It's rhymed prose and in First-Person but the rewrite of Solitude's Howl won't rhyme and will still be in Third-Person. Blue Moon shows a bit of an idea of the route I'm going to change the story to, the concept of it anyway. SO check it out if you're curious.

As of now this is the OLD VERSION of Solitude's Howl, and when I publish the NEW VERSION I will post a heads up in a re-post of the last chapter of this version to alert those who are still wanting to read the story. The next update to this story will be the alert that the new story is published, so keep an eye out.

Sorry to those who have been reading, following, waiting for so long only to have me quit this story. But hopefully you'll be up for the re-written version which I hope will be a much better read than this one.