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    Grumpy Bear
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Worlds Apart - 1. A Lonely Heart

The werebear village of Atikokan was a beehive of activity. Axel and Adam had discovered another isolated werebear enclave in the far north of Canada on an island in the Nunavut Territory a year earlier while tracking down a lead on another bear ancient.

After many months of negotiations, the two communities had agreed to an exchange program of sorts. There were several mated bear couples as well as Papa and Cub pairs who felt that Atikokan had grown too large and congested for their preferred lifestyle. This aligned with several single bears on Ellesmere Island who felt that continuing to live such an isolated life would prevent them from ever finding a Cub or Mate of their own.

Today was the day their Northern brothers would be arriving, and the bears in Atikokan were in full celebration mode. A party was planned, with a full banquet set up outdoors in the pleasant late-summer weather, and it was assumed that there would be some “getting to know you” playtime in the evening that followed.

Siku was as eager as the rest of the bears. There were fewer than twenty single bears left in the community that had now grown to over one hundred fifty werebears. They were by far the largest single werebear community in North America, leading the group of bears living among the humans in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin by a hundred. While Siku was close friends with the twenty or so single bears in his community, the possibility of forming a mating bond with any of them had been ruled out many years ago.

Fifteen couples had chosen to relocate to Ellesmere Island to live and learn from the ancient bear known to Matthias and Ezekiel as “Corbett”. Ten single bears were coming to Atikokan in exchange.

Siku had planned on leaving Atikokan to find his destiny months earlier after returning home from the battle against the ancient Tuath Dé gods in the Appalachians, but Axel had asked him to stay at least until the Ellesmere Island bears’ arrival.

“It would be a shame if you left to travel the world,” Axel had said, “Only to have your ideal mate show up here a few months later!”

So Siku waited with anticipation.

The bears gathered into a large group as the van arrived from the Thunder Bay airport. The new arrivals had flown from the hamlet of Grise Fiord on the southern tip of Ellesmere Island to the Nunavit capital city of Iqaluit on Baffin Island. From there, they had flown to the Canadian capital of Ottawa and then to Thunder Bay. In total, they had spent two days travelling and waiting for connecting flights to get to their new home.

Most of the gathered bears were wearing their usual casual summertime attire, which consisted of a pair of loose-fitting cargo shorts, or cutoff cotton sweatpants and little else. Axel and Adam were at the forefront of the group, having met all the arriving bears in-person during their prior expedition, and they both stood shirtless and barefoot, showing off their tattoos and the thick silver padlocked chains about their necks that they wore as the symbols of their mating bond.

“Brace yourself,” Axel said to the casually dressed bears gathered to greet the van as soon as he spotted it pulling up the road to their enclave, “These guys are going to be dressed old-school. They’ll probably think we’re the ones with weird clothing. And… remember what I told you about their greeting customs.”

The van pulled up in front of the group of bears, and the passenger door slid open. One-by-one, cautious-looking bearded figures stepped out, wearing traditional Inuit clothing of caribou and seal skins. The first nine lined up alongside the van until the largest among them, and clearly the leader of the group exited the vehicle last. Unlike the others, he was dressed in a parka and pants of creamy white fur. He stepped forward toward Axel and they clasped each other by the forearms leaning their heads together until their noses were pressed side-by-side. They inhaled each other’s scent before leaning back with wide grins.

“Welcome brothers!” Axel announced. “We, the bears of Atikokan are pleased to have you join our community!”

“Frode,” Axel continued, speaking to the large man in the white furs. “You remember my Mate, Adam.”

“Of course,” Frode replied, clasping Adam’s arms and pulling him in until their noses were pressed against each other’s cheeks and inhaling their scents, “It is wonderful to see you again Adam.”

“And this,” Axel said, continuing the formal introductions, “Is our elder bear and leader, Ezekiel.”

“Ezekiel,” Frode said, greeting him in the same way as Axel and Adam, “My elder Corbett has told me much about you. He remembers you well, although you were still just a Cub when he left Europe for the wilds on the other side of the Arctic.”

“Indeed,” Ezekiel said, smiling. “I am very grateful to have both Corbett and Matthias back in my life again after so many years. I welcome you and your bears to Atikokan!”

After receiving the welcome from Atikokan’s elder, the other nine bears smiled, and boldly waked out into the group awaiting them, clasping each by the forearms and pressing their nose against the other’s, inhaling their scent.

“I checked with Axel already,” Erik whispered into Siku’s ear, stepping up behind him. “They’re all brown bears of Nordic ancestry within their community. Not a single polar bear amongst them.”

Siku nodded, but he gestured casually toward Frode the leader.

“That one is dressed in white fur,” he said, “And it doesn’t look like seal. Strange that he would arrive wearing clothing made of polar bear skins.”

“I wouldn’t read too much into it,” Erik said, “After all, we have bedding and rugs here in Atikokan that are made from wild brown and black bear furs. It isn’t like he killed a polar werebear to make his fancy suit!”

Siku nodded and agreed to be open-minded and patient with the new arrivals. Eventually the new bears made their way through the bulk of the greeting party and over to where Siku, Erik and Max stood.

The first of the new bears clasped Siku by the forearms and leaned forward, pressing his nose against the side of Siku’s inhaling his scent.

“Oh,” the bear said, quickly pulling backward and scrutinizing Siku’s white hair, beard, and chest fur, combined with his massive height. “What kind of bear are you? You are neither brown nor black bear.”

“You are right,” Siku replied. “I am a polar bear. You surely must have seen many of those in the wild where you used to live.”

“Yes, we did,” the bear replied, letting go of Siku’s arms and stepping away a bit. “But the only polar bears I’ve ever seen are wild, dangerous animals. I’ve never encountered a werebear who was kindred to those wild beasts before.”

“You’ll find,” Erik said, stepping next to Siku, “That the only wild bears in this part of the country are the brown and black bears like you. There are only three polar bears here in Atikokan, Siku, my cub Max, and myself.”

“I see,” the bear said, “This is most curious. Excuse me, but I must be finding Frode.”

“As far as first contact goes,” Siku said to Erik as the bear hurried away, “That could have gone much better.”

Over the course of the next half-hour, each of the new bears had wandered over to where the polar bears stood, and each of their reactions were much the same, a combination of surprise, shock, fear and even disgust.

Finally, Frode himself walked over to the trio of polar bears. He extended his hands and clasped Siku, pulling him in nose-to-nose and inhaling his scent.

“So, what my brothers have been whispering about is true,” Frode said. “There are actual polar werebears here in this village. Most curious.”

“Why are we more curious than the brown or black bear varieties?” Siku asked, “And I’m assuming that the clothing you wear is made from polar bear skin, is it not?”

“It is,” Frode replied, “But I’m afraid that your summer here is much too hot for this thickness of fur, and I must change out of it soon. I simply wore it today to make an impression.”

“It made an impression all right,” Erik said, as Frode grasped his forearms and repeated the traditional greeting with him and then with Max.

“Yes,” Frode said, “You’ll have to excuse my brothers. I’m sure that they’ll grow accustomed to your presence over time. You see, where we have lived for the last two thousand years, the only wild bears that we encounter are the polar bears. That has generally shaped our unique identity as werebears. To us, werebears are a brown bear who can shift into a human form. Polar bears are lesser creatures who have no human form. They are wild, untamed, and savage. If a polar bear ventured too near our village, it was killed immediately as a nuisance animal.

“So, you can see,” he continued, “To my brothers, the sudden knowledge that there are polar werebears is quite a shock, and it upends much of how we have defined ourselves for millennia.”

“Atikokan is a place where all werebears are welcome,” Erik said with frustration, “If we are going to face discrimination and prejudice from you new arrivals, then Siku and I will have to have a talk with Axel and Ezekiel about the terms of this exchange.”

“Oh no, no!” Frode said excitedly, frowning. “You have nothing to fear from me or my brothers, but you must understand that it will take a little while for us to adjust our minds to this new information!”

“In the interest of making this exchange successful,” Erik replied, “I will take you at your word, but my Cub and I will not be made to feel unwelcome within our own home, do you understand?”

Frode nodded enthusiastically in agreement.

“Please have a word with your brothers before much longer today and let them know what we have discussed,” Siku said. “I had hopes of developing close friendships upon your arrival, and perhaps even find a Mate, but I feel that the best I can hope for from your group at this point is to reach a mere tolerance of one another.”

Frode nodded again, with less enthusiasm this time.

“I will speak to my brothers,” he said, “Give us time to adjust.”

Frode then turned to walk away, shedding his heavy polar bear fur coat as he went.

Siku stood standing in place, with tears rolling down his cheeks into his thick white beard.

“Hey, hey,” Max said, giving his friend a side-hug. He had been mostly silent through the entire interaction until now. “We’ll get through this, buddy. You’ll see. You’re a handsome and charismatic man and one damn sexy bear. They’ll be swayed by your charming personality in no time.”

“I hope you’re right, Cub,” Siku replied. “I just have a terrible feeling that our werebear utopia just opened the door and welcomed racial discrimination in with open arms, and we polar bears have suddenly become the lowest class in a new caste system.”

****

All residents joined together for the outdoor feast, but Siku noted that the newcomers avoided sitting anywhere near Erik, Max, or himself.

After the dinner was over, the bears began to break into smaller groups engaging in conversation. Siku sat chatting with a group of four close single friends who had invited one of the new bears named Skarde to talk and share stories. Skarde was self-conscious about Siku’s proximity at first, but the longer they sat talking, the more comfortable he became. It was not long before he and Siku were laughing together at the polar bear’s jokes and even splitting a bottle of beer between them.

As night fell, conversation among the groups turned sexual in nature, and Skarde admitted that he was looking forward to the kind of fraternal bonding that Axel had spoken of freely during his visit to their village in the Arctic. The group of six bears began to undress, casually fondling one another and kissing. Skarde was kissing the bear to his left passionately when he felt a paw unlacing his trousers and pulling out his stiff erection. He moaned and continued kissing the bear as he felt a warm mouth engulf his member. Breaking the kiss with the bear, he turned his head to see who was providing him with the wonderful oral stimulation and saw a head of white hair bobbing in his lap.

It was Siku the polar bear, and he had his manhood in his mouth.

“No! Stop!” Skarde exclaimed, jumping up from his seat and pushing Siku’s head away.

Siku was caught off-balance by sudden shove and fell from his chair onto the ground next to their campfire.

“Hey,” the bear Skarde had been kissing just a moment before exclaimed, “What’s wrong with you?”

“I’m sorry,” Skarde replied, backing away, and pushing his wet erection back into his pants. “I just can’t. Not with him.”

Skarde ran off into the night, looking for Frode or one of his brothers that he could confide in regarding what had almost happened.

“What was that all about?” one of the bears in the small group asked. All had paused their playtime to witness the new bear’s panic attack.

“It’s me,” Siku said to the group, “The newcomers consider polar bears to be a savage sub-species of werebear. I thought that he’d grown comfortable enough with me this evening that he would be open to mutual sexual bonding, but apparently, I was mistaken.”

Siku stood to leave the group as well.

“Hey, Siku,” one of the bears said. “Fuck that guy. You don’t have to go anywhere.”

“Sorry fellas,” Siku replied with a frown, “I just don’t seem to be in the mood anymore either. Carry on! Don’t do anything I wouldn’t do!”

“There’s not much you wouldn’t do Icebear!” his friend replied jokingly, “That’s what makes you so fun to have around!”

Siku grinned a little at that and gave the four remaining bears a wave before walking back to his bachelor cabin and laying down on the bed. He was nearly asleep when there was a knock at his door.

He rose from bed and walked through his cabin to answer the knock. It was Erik and Max along with Ezekiel.

“I hope we’re not disturbing you at this hour,” Ezekiel said, “May we come in, or do you have company?”

“No company for this old bear tonight,” Siku replied. “Come on in, all of you.”

As they each found a seat on Siku’s comfortable but old living room furniture, Ezekiel looked at the polar bear with concern.

“Siku,” Ezekiel said, “Erik has told me of how the newcomers treated the three of you today, and of the interaction between you and Frode.”

“Grand-Papa,” Siku said, “There have been many changes to Atikokan in the last decade since the bears have risen to prominence in the Council and our community has become a hub for werebear culture. However, I fear that these latest additions are too socially… backward. They are not believers in the cardinal rule of our community that all bears are equal.”

“Yes, I had a talk with Frode after dinner,” Ezekiel replied. “It was a surprise to me as well that they held those attitudes toward polar bears. While we were talking, a bear by the name of Skarde ran up to us. He told us that your group had started some friendly bonding, but that when you touched him sexually, the only thing his brain could think was that he was committing bestiality with a wild animal!”

“I don’t know what to do about this, Grand-Papa,” Erik said. “I have not worked so hard building up this community only to be made into a second-class citizen by a bunch of backwoods primitives!”

“It seems that the prejudice can flow both ways!” Ezekiel observed. “The polar bear line of werebears are not wild animals any more than these brothers from Ellesmere Island are primitives.”

“I apologize, Grand-Papa,” Erik said, “I’ve allowed my emotions over this situation to get the better of me, but I welcomed these bears with open arms into our community today, only to be treated like shit in return. We must do something before this gets any worse.”

“I have hopes that time will heal this wound,” Ezekiel replied, “But it will require patience and tolerance on our side first and foremost while we educate our new brothers on the rules and customs of their new home and make them understand that bigotry will not be allowed here.”

“Grand-Papa,” Siku said, “You remember the conversation that we had months ago, after I had returned from the battle with the Tuath Dé? I have been lonely for some time now. Even though I live in a community with a hundred other bears, I feel like I have no one to call my own. I have no Cub… no Mate.”

“Yes, Siku,” Ezekiel replied, “I remember the talk we had.”

“The only reason that I’ve stayed here this long is because Axel suggested that my Mate may be one of these newcomers from the North, and that it would be too ironic a twist of fate if I had left mere weeks before this Mate arrived in Atikokan.”

“Yes,” Ezekiel said, “It was a sensible thought.”

“Well,” Siku said next, “I think with today’s events, it’s apparent that my Mate is not here in Atikokan and is not going to magically appear at my door even if I pray to Odin or wish upon the North Star. It is time for me to leave and find my true destiny.”

“I’m sorry Erik and Max,” he continued turning to his brother polar bears, “That I will not be here with you as you fight against the prejudice within your own home.”

“We will endure, brother,” Erik said, as Max threw his arms around Siku in an embrace. “And when you return with your Cub or Mate, you will find your home to be the happy, welcoming place that you fondly remember.”

“Before you leave,” Ezekiel said, “Would the three of you humor an old, old bear with one last night of bonding? Unlike our newest friends, I would greatly enjoy the company of three big muscular polar bears this evening.”

“Of course,” Siku replied with a chuckle, “But, this isn’t a sympathy fuck. It’s more of a…”

“A farewell,” Ezekiel replied, “Until we meet again.”

Copyright © 2021 Grumpy Bear; All Rights Reserved.
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Interesting start to the story. The 10 new bears joing the community think of polar bears as beasts. I hope Ezekiel and the other Bears can change there way of thinking.

So Siku has decided to go on his voyage of discovery and look for his mate.

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So happy to see you here with Siku’s story!  I’m looking forward to reading it.

I do find it surprising that there were no polar werebears in that polar enclave.  If there were any anywhere, that’s where you would think to look! I wonder if they have been hiding from the brown werebears as invaders. Maybe they’ll come out and make their presence known while these ‘leaders’ are gone.  That would be an interesting comeuppance for these smug guys!  

Hmmmmmm. 🤔

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So glad that Siku has decided to go off in search of his mate; that being said, the new bears should be given time to adjust, but if they cannot, then they should be removed from the group.  They should not be allowed to change the dynamic of the group in a negative manner.

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