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Unaware Alpha, Chapter 5, Fire

Demon is a young she wolf and this is her story through her eyes.

I must have slept a long time, because when I woke everything was dry and so was I. The sun was rising and the birds were chirping away. I got up and stretched my aching bones and sore muscles. After stretching I shook out my fur, sniffed the morning air, wrinkled my nose and sneezed. There was something in air and it wasn't good—it hurt my nose and made it hard to breath.

I needed to get away from this place and soon or I wouldn't make it to see my pack again. I did my best to follow my nose but it was to hard with the horrible white mist that smelt so bad my nose started to run. Whatever this was, it wasn't normal. I had to use my eyes but the mist was affecting them as well, but nowhere nearly as bad as it made my nose feel.

That's when I heard a crackling sound and noticed it was getting unusually hot. Then I turned around and saw it. Huge and angry, it moved with the wind and ate everything in its path. I stood before it and growled and yapped at it but it didn't back down and seemed to come closer to me, as if I had made it angrier. It started to get way too hot and so I turned tail and ran but then I felt pain on the end of my tail. This thing had grabbed onto me!

I howled my anger and pain, but it didn't get go. Then I saw something even stranger: every animal was running right past me, and not just big animals... I mean everyone ran. No one tried to stand up against it.

The pain in my tail was too much now and so I started to chase my tail, trying to get my teeth into this thing, but doing so seem to make it bigger and meaner and hurt my tail more. I had to get it off me. I stopped and dropped to the ground and started to roll around, and then it was gone but the pain remained. Standing up, I whimpered and looked at my tail. All my fur was gone! There was only a stump left where my beautiful tail used to be. Whatever this thing was, it was bad and ate everything including fur.

I couldn't take the smell or the heat anymore and followed everyone else who was smart enough to run away from it. I saw animals jumping into a lake and swimming to the other side, and rather than go up against the hot thing again I followed them.

Once in the water, my tail stung but then started to feel better. Hmm, I thought to myself. I would need to stay close to water because once I got out of the water it started to hurt again. Everyone else ran on once they were out of the water, but I stayed and stuck my stub of a tail in the water. Instantly the pain subsided again. Just great, I thought. I snorted loudly and laid down, leaving my tail in the water.

I didn't understand any of this. I had never seen anything like it before now, but everyone else seemed to know what to do when it came. If I saw it again, I too would know just to run. I slept for a long while but woke because the pain in my tail had returned. It wasn't the burning feeling like before—now it was cold, so I took my tail out of the water and shook myself.

I snorted to myself and looked across the lake, where the large orange thing continued to eat anything and everything it could grab onto. As I watched, I heard a loud sound like a giant hummingbird. Then water fell from the sky. A large shiny bird and the scent of humans were all around. I decided I didn't want anything more to do with humans so I turned on my stub and walked away silently into the sinking sun.

My stomach grumbled and I noticed I was hungry. I needed something to hunt and sink my teeth into to get my mind off my less than perfect tail. I picked up the scent of muddy water and knew it would be the perfect place to find fish. I pricked up my ears and started to run towards the water, but when I found where the smell was coming from I found nothing but mud. I hung my head. Great, I thought to myself. No water and no fish, and I was still hungry.

I cocked my head but nothing appeared in front of me that I could eat. I sat down, wincing as my tail started to throb. I reached around as far as I could and I licked what I could reach in hope it would heal faster and, if I was extra lucky, my fur would grow back in time. I finished cleaning my stub, stood up and walked on mindlessly. I was starting to think about bunking down for the night when a strange sound came from a tree not far from me. It sounded like a wounded animal, and if it was it meant I would be able to eat. But as I got closer, I recognized the scent as wolf.

From what I could smell, it was an older female who'd had pups before—but she didn't smell healthy. She smelt dirty and something else, like her flesh was rotting away somewhere on her body. Why was she here and where was her pack? She smelt important. An alpha. Before getting any closer I sniffed around but didn't detect another wolf for miles. Why was this very important alpha female here and why alone? Had her pack abandoned her or had she driven them away so they wouldn't watch her die? So many questions.

Since I was the only other wolf here, I decided to check on this female. I walked around a large rock and what I came upon almost left me breathless. There lay a beautiful dark brown wolf with a cream diamond on her chest. But what drew my eye more than her perfect markings was the large oozing gash all along her body. There was dried blood all over the place but the wound itself looked as bad as it smelt. She must have suddenly noticed I was there as her ears pricked up and she gave a growl. OK, so not the friendliest of greetings, but I've had worse. I flipped my own ears back and lowered to the ground to show her I was no threat to her. She snorted loudly and plonked her head down. Ouch, that had to hurt.

I walked closer and the smell got worse. Oh my, I thought, I'm going to be sick. But I held my stomach and approached her as slowly and as carefully as I could. I made sure she could see me the whole time. Up close I could see the wound was way worse than I had first thought. It ran from the base of her neck all the way to her tail. It was surprising she was still alive. I wondered what happened to her. Had she been challenged and lost badly, or was there something else out there that could inflict this kind of damage to a wolf? I guessed I would never know the answer, but seeing this great wolf reduced to nothing but skin and bone was horrible. I had to help if I could.

Even I didn't understand why I wanted so badly to help her. I just did, and so I would even if she didn't want me to. First I would have to clean her wound. This was going to hurt her but I had to see if it was worth trying to save her. I whimpered and nudged her side with my nose, I got a moaning growl in reply. I began to lick her clean from the tail end first as it was the safest place right now until she understood I meant her no harm.

She didn't move or make a sound besides a few whimpers when I had to half chew dead flesh from her. It was disgusting but I kept going. As I cleaned her I noticed that some of the wound had started to heal, which was a good sign for her. If I hadn't have happened by her, however, she would have died from not being able to hunt.

I made it up to her neck before she got snappy with me. She swung her head around and snapped her jaws at me with a nasty growl. I rolled my eyes and looked her in the eyes and pointed my ears straight up and bore my teeth at her, when this didn't settle her down I nipped the side of her neck not far from her wound. She flinched and whimpered, and I suppose if she could have rolled over she would have. She submitted to my ruling and I continued my work. I really did hate to be forceful with this wolf because I knew if she was healthy, I wouldn't stand a chance against her in a fight.

When her wound was clean she seemed more at ease with me around. I turned around and started to leave. She whimpered and, using what must have been the last of her strength, she stood behind me. I took a few steps. Surprisingly, she followed. This was a good sign. It meant she was inherently strong despite being weakened by her wound. I led her away from the rock she had being hiding behind and slowly we made our way away from the terrible smelly place.

We made our way through long grass and came upon a large cave close to water. We would stop here and I would see if this she wolf would make it though the night. We both drank and returned to the cave, where it was dark but warm and dry.

The female whimpered as she laid down and I rushed over to find her bleeding. I quickly licked the wound until it stopped bleeding, and for this the female seemed grateful. She put her head on her paws and huffed. She must have been exhausted.

I waited only long enough for her to be asleep and then I slipped from the cave and went on the hunt. For her to survive, she would need to eat and for her to eat, I would need to hunt. So I did. I brought back rabbits and other rodents and we both ate until we were full.

Then I lay behind her and watched the cave entrance as she slept. I was in for a long night.

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