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Crying Wolf - 4. Chapter 4


Beneath an ancient oak, charred and split by lightning, Finn laid down to rest amid the tall grasses blanketing the forest floor. Tucking his black nose into the snowy fur of his tail out of habit, he huffed out a long whine of frustration. Finn had suspended his search, forcing himself to vacate the area surrounding Leeds before he drove himself mad.

It was in these silent hours that Finn felt the most alone. As the sonorous howls of his pack haunted his memories the utter absence of life around him drove home the aching loneliness he felt.

He was ashamed of himself for giving in to such weak feelings. The blood of Fenrir sang in his veins, and pack or none, Finn knew it was in him to endure no matter what circumstances he faced.

A deep rumbling growl shook his chest, the sound loud in the empty silence surrounding him. He’d made his choice, and there was no use in stewing over it now.

Feeling the weight of such discouragement deep in his soul made it easier for his brain to eclipse out the things he’d accomplished completely on his own since setting out on this journey. Eye bleeding and maimed, he’d forged ahead conquering his environs through his remaining senses. His very life had depended upon it.

This was not the world of his elders any longer. Even now, two decades later, the world was still reshaping itself. After being decimated by the Black Death, humanity was toppled from their lofty seat. With the numbers of Man dwindling away into non-existence, it wasn’t long before those long relegated to lore and legend staged their bloody return.

It was amid this chaos that he’d been whelped and subsequently brought deeper into the fjords and forests where he’d grown strong, kept always apart from the escalating violence outside.

Nature’s laws were written in the blood of the weak. If you didn’t adapt, you died. It was as simple as that.

Torn between ancient knowledge passed down through generations and the struggle to evolve himself beyond the old ways, Finn was pushed to his limit surviving in the world as it was now.

His time would be far better served concentrating on the here and now instead of dwelling on things he could not change or control. Enough time had been wasted wallowing in his woe is me attitude, and it was with marked reluctance that Finn forced himself to focus on what he’d learned of his quarry.

Snowy white ears twitched in aggravation atop Finn’s head, betraying just how affected he actually was by his journeys latest turn. By all expectations, what he should have found was a territory that was clearly marked and maintained, especially between settlements such as York and Leeds.

So he was surprised to find fading muddled scent trails clinging to patrol routes that hadn’t been used in days. Different groups of both wolves and men drifted in and out of each other’s territories without much care, the one thing they shared is they were always where he wasn’t.

Their movements held no sense or reason, ever leading him on some erratic goose chase. Tired of playing games in the woods, he’d pushed his search in closer to Leed’s city borders. It was there beyond those barricaded city walls that his quarry awaited him.

Finn was certain of this with every fiber of his being. A thousand and more miles away from where this long nonsensical journey began, Finn had felt the same drive pushing him to Leeds that had him pacing riverbanks back in the fjord.

Tantalizing snippets of the scent he sought so tirelessly wafted from Leeds on the changing breeze, it had ensnared his senses entirely. Distractions got you killed, and Finn was only a few steps from revealing his location when some things caught his notice. Much like the patrol paths through the forest, the weathered fading scent trails around the city told Finn no one had been in or out for days. This close he could tell they were Bitten, which explained the human scent that intermingled with the wolf.

It would be very unwise for one of his kind to advance on such a settlement unprepared. A tactical retreat had been his only course of action, and after running several miles deeper into the forest he’d reached the remains of the charred oak.

Copyright © 2020 Tsukihana; All Rights Reserved.
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This apparent and mysterious lockdown is keeping Finn from finding his mate. He is so close and yet agonizingly just beyond his reach.

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