A part of a story I am working on, and hope to someday have published.
|Author Note: This is only part of a story I am currently working on. I have not included all of the story, only a small portion of it. Enjoy! Also if you wish to read the rest of what I have written please leave a note saying so in a review.
A week stretched by as Keeta journeyed away from the pack. She stayed far away from pack boundaries, wishing to have no confrontations with the alphas of the neighboring packs. She also dreaded meeting any other wolves and having them recognize the mark that burdened her.
Also she feared meeting the human, by her sire's and Aakav's description, humans seemed capable of anything. She expected the human to attack at any moment, coming from behind a large tree or boulder. Gradually her nerves calmed and she let her careful vigilance drop, proving disastrous.
The angry growl of her stomach and the sharp pangs of hunger urged Keeta on in the hunt. During the last week she had found little too eat, other than the fortunate find of a carcass. That had been three days ago and now the desperate need for food had come again. Her search for nourishment had begun before the first light of morning and now the sun shone brightly overhead. Another furious rumble from her abdomen spurred her on, as she considered resting for the day and continuing the hunt at dusk.
As Keeta rounded the bend in a trail she caught the scent of prey. She stole forward, soon spying her prey ahead of her. A small fieran, grazed on the fresh sprouts of grass, unaware of any danger. The fieran was only partially grown, left to fend for itself while the mother went to forage. Fierans look much like a deer expect for the glowing tail and mane of fire, full grown a fieran stood just taller than Keeta, but the fawnling was less than half her size, easy prey. Keeta stalked through the under brush, using every possible thing to conceal herself. A brittle twig underfoot cracked as her weight pressed down on it, giving her away.
The small creature's head snapped up, catching the scent of the wolf, it leapt away in short but fast bounds. Keeta charged after it, quickly making up lost ground after the creature. As Keeta closed the gap between them she started to become wary. With the lead the fieran had, it would have been very difficult to catch it but here she was not five strides from it in less than fifty meters. Suddenly she realized too late. She threw her weight backwards, but succeeded in only slowing herself, not stopping. The imposter fieran turned to face her, already it changing.
The spiny quills emerged, along with the Quarulur's long snout. Its vicious fangs showed as it bared its teeth. The small animal was no bigger than the tiny fieran but was powerful enough to kill an entire herd of unicorns if it wished to. With a plump body, stubby legs, and a long tail, all covered with spines. It hunted predators, luring them in by taking the form of easy prey. The Quarulur waddled closer to the panicked wolf, the wolf's speed that had almost won her a meal, would now kill her.
Keeta struggled to stop but her mistake was long past the point of fixing. The sharp quills of the creature entered her skin, embedding two drops of venom under her skin, two drops of venom strong enough to kill.
With a startled cry, the black wolf tried to run from the creature but the toxin already flowed through her blood. Her limbs weakened and folded under her. She gasped for air, falling ten feet from the Quarulur.
Black crowded the edges of her vision. She watched the Quarulur approach fangs bared in delight. As the poison took hold, Keeta felt the ground shake with hoof beats, empty blackness enfolded around her as the toxins worked deeper into her veins.
The forest echoed with the thunder of hoof beats and the elated grunts of the Quarulur. Snorts of satisfaction transformed to a snarl as the form of a unicorn leapt over the fallen wolf in one graceful bound, blocking the creature's path to its prize.
The unicorn faced the beast before her, hooves flashed as she half reared.
"Be gone creature! This wolf is not to be harmed." Golden tail lashed against her white hide in anger.
The Quarulur before her, hissed. "I will decide that, servant of the wolf."
With a defiant battle cry, the white unicorn lunged forward, horn poised for battle. She abandoned the attack as the Quarulur countered the attack with a swipe of its tail.
Rearing, spines connected with only her iron hooves, casting off any venom.
Dusting gathered in the air around them as the carefully played battle unfolded. The unicorn withdrew avoiding the deadly sting of the venom coated quills, while never allowing the Quarulur to feast. She would lunge forward, driving the vile creature away from the wolf with the threat of her impaling horn. Throaty growls from the Quarulur were answered with an angry pawing of the soil.
The small creature grew more frustrated with the battle. Its short legs were no comparison for the unicorn's long, agile stride. The disgruntled beast made one last fruitless attempt to win the fight then withdrew to find easier prey. Fangs gleamed as it backed away into the forest.
Hooves stamped and she sent a triumphant cry after the fleeing beast. She trotted back to the wolf. Dark eyes took in the limp form of the black wolf before her. She had left the herd months ago in search of the marked ones. Now before her lay a wolf, moments from death, who was destined to drive evil from the lands.
The unicorn plunged back into the forest, searching for the antidote to the Quarulur's venom.
Fever coursed through the dark wolf's body, drying her throat till it felt like sandpaper. Even in the coma like state she could feel herself weakening, every breath growing shallower. Discomfort plagued her, fever burning within her till it felt like she would never cool.
Only when a bitter liquid dripped down her throat did the grainy feel of her throat recede. Her shallow breaths deepened though they remained strained, the fiery burning also was settled by the bitter water. Discomfort relieved she slipped into a series of vivid dreams.