It’s seven o’clock in the evening when I dash out of the castle and run towards the wood as fast as my feet can carry me. Each week I am faster than the week before, but it’s still futile. They are faster with better vision at night than me. They also have much more endurance. There is a limit a human form can take, maybe one day when I get my wolf I will be as fast.
They always give me a ten minutes head start but it’s really not much when being chased by wolves. I can hear them howl and growl when I pass the ten kilometres mark. Last week I was caught just after the eight kilometres, I am definitely faster. Ten more kilometres without collapsing, then I can escape this hell.
This for me is practise to improve my speed and endurance but it is a game for Alpha Theo and his friends. They get to hunt me down every week and sharpen their skills before presenting me to the prophet who will read my deepest thoughts, no matter how intricate or embarrassing. I get lashes for every bad will and thought I had towards the king. I, unfortunately, have a lot of those, I just can’t help it. I want Alpha Theo dead. It’s all I think about. The hatred I have for him, the strong desire to kill him is part of my being and he knows it too.
“THE GIRL SHALL BE THE END OF YOU AND SO IS KILLING HER”
That’s the prophecy that kept me alive when he killed my parents and every Alpha, Luna and future heir or heiress of the Lilly town packs. It’s also the reason I get hunted like a rogue every Friday night.
Life in Lilly town was not always like this. I am told that the ten packs lived happily and in harmony with each other. I was not born yet when it happened. The tragic disaster that led to the destruction of all the Lilly town packs. The human side, that’s just twenty kilometres away from us is long over it, but not us. Our parents were the ones exposed, we were born afterwards, but twenty one years later, we are still living with the consequences. The Lilly town’s nuclear weapon’s plant exploded, exposing the whole town to a massive amounts of radiation. I am told that many wolves died immediately, majority were left infertile and most with defects, permanent mutations that have become a part of our dna. This is sadly passed through generations. Some of us don’t even know what mutations we inherited from our parents because they were murdered a few years after that. I will only get to know when I get my wolf. What we do know for sure is that we might never have children. Wolves are apparently meant to be very sexual and fertile, but the whole town only produces five pups in a year. At this rate we will become extinct. Prophet Rufus is looking everywhere for answers, but to date, no one has a clue how to reverse the mutations.
It’s not all that bad, though. We seem to have longer life spans now. While others suffered terribly, a few benefited greatly from the mutations. The one person who benefited the most is Alpha Theo, our king, as he calls himself. He and his friends were disgraced, banished, powerless rogues before the explosion. He became indestructible after it. Apparently, no bite, spear, spell or weapon goes through him. That’s why he was able to take over every pack in this town and make himself our king. The Indestructible Steel King is what his friends call him. He is the most cruel and ruthless person I have ever met and I happen to be his threat and number one enemy.
He is indestructible for now, but one day I will render him destructible and avenge my parents and everyone he and his friends have enslaved, tortured and killed. I have no idea how I will achieve this, but the prophecy carries a promise that keeps me going. I, Abigail of the former Lilly town creek pack, shall be the end of him. He and his friends can hunt, humiliate and torture me but they can’t kill me.
Right now, I am, unfortunately, a wolf-less twenty years old girl whose every breath she takes and every muscle hurts like hell. My legs and feet are wobble. It’s quite clear that whatever mutation I have does not give me any speed advantage, nor does it make me immune to pain. I still stumble forward even when I feel my feet give away, then I crawl forward until I collapse with exhaustion. “Next week I will try harder,” I tell myself before closing my eyes.
I wake up thirty minutes later on the floor in a familiar room. I know this room too well. As a servant, I get to scrub and polish it but also every Friday I always end up here. Prophet Rufus’ guest room. He is the pack’s healer and prophet, an advantage of mutation. He has predicted a lot of things that have come to pass exactly as he said they would. He also, unfortunately also reads minds. This is why he is Alpha Theo’s every Friday night guest. He is always out of the pack’s boundaries trying to gather information on how to reverse the mutations but he returns every Friday to read my Alpha Theo’s hateful thoughts.
I lay on the floor with my whole body aching and my head hurting like hell. I must have bumped it when I collapsed or whoever carried me back here bashed it against the trees. This used to freak me out at first until I came of age and discovered that there are much worse things than having your soul laid bare. I look around the room until my eyes adjust to the dim light. It really sucks being the only one with poor eyesight at night. My wolf is already late. My age mates got theirs when we turned eighteen, that was two years ago. It better come soon and be kick-ass. It will really suck if my mutation is to never having a wolf. Better have a mutant wolf than none at all.
After a few minutes my eyes adjust and I can see my usual audience. Alpha Theo and his wife, Luna Kala, their son Omario, Frode who is prophet Rufus’ apprentice and Beta’s Sylvester and his wife Brenda. The rest are Alpha Theo’s Gamma friends, who are as despicable as him. Just like him, they are not the kind I or any young woman would want to be around. This applies to us servants and everyone in the pack, single, widowed or married. They take what they want, whenever. Maybe it is some sort of a blessing that the pack is infertile.
I am brought back from my thoughts by Alpha Theo’s rough, distasteful voice.
“And?” he demands the prophet.
“She wants you dead, Your Highness,” Prophet Rufus says.
There’s no lie there. He is a prophet, alright. He gives the same report every week. My friend, Terrence says I should think of something else but killing the Alpha is all that consumes my mind.
“I know that already. Does she have a plan?” Alpha Theo asks impatiently.
He asks the same question every week. It’s kind of dumb.
“No, Your Highness.” Prophet Rufus gives the same answer every week. If this was a movie, it would be so damn boring.
“Are you sure that I am not to kill her?”
I swallow my saliva. This one is new and I can’t help but panic at what answer the prophet will give. Maybe he discovered a way for the king to kill me without getting destroyed.
“Yes, Your Highness. The prophecy is clear on this,” I can’t help but be relieved when prophet Rufus responds. My life might be hell but I still want to live, meet my wolf and kill the Alpha.
Alpha Theo punches the wall, making a dent on the concrete bricks. Everyone in the room holds their breath, no one, except his son gets spared when he is angry. I saw him punch his friend on the neck and killing him instantly just a week ago.
“Why is the damn prophecy not clear on why I can’t kill her and how she will destroy me?” he roars.
“I can only tell you what I have been shown, My King,” Prophet Rufus responds carefully.
Alpha Theo sighs. “So, I continue harbouring a snake in my garden?”
I can hear the strain in his voice. My existence is giving him nightmares. He will never find peace for as long as I am alive.
“You don’t have to, Your Highness,” my heart leaps at Prophet Rufus inference. That would be a dream come true but Alpha Theo won’t have it.
“Have you ever heard of keeping your enemies closer? Besides, how will I know what she is thinking if she is not here?” he snaps at the prophet.
I guess I am not going anywhere unless I manage to to escape on my own.
“What if someone else besides the king kills her? We could even command another servant to do it,” Sylvester asks. He and his wife are Alpha Theo’s Betas and best friends and hate me almost as much as he does. They always go out of their way to make sure I work harder than all the maids and suffer twice as much.
“Her death will still destroy His Highness and the whole kingdom regardless of who kills her,” prophet Rufus is disappointing to them but it’s a matter of life and death to me.
Whew! That was really close.
“How? Tell me how the fuck that would happen!” Alpha Theo shouts, startling everyone around.
I remain still on the floor. It’s like this every week. I don’t know why he can’t get a heart attack and die from stress.
“It is not shown to me yet, Your Highness. All I know is the prophecy and that she has an incredible fire burning inside. You can hunt, torture and do whatever you want, but you can’t break her spirit,” Prophet Rufu’s voice is calm and not deterred by the livid Alpha. I should learn to be this calm.
“Or maybe I can, but you have not been shown how. I should find a better prophet,” Alpha Theo sneers.
Prophet Rufus bows his head. “Long live the King,” he says before getting up and quietly leaving the room. His apprentice follows behind him and the third part of my Friday night torture routine starts. This is when the Alpha instructs one of his friends to punish me. He won’t do it himself because of the fear that he might use too much force and unintentionally kill me.
I preemptively cover my head, the kicks and punches will hail for an hour or more, but I now know how to fake unconsciousness. I even know how to fake a convulsion and hold my breath and pretend to be dying. That always stops them because like the prophet said, they can’t risk killing me.
“Get her the fuck out of here,” Alpha Theo commands but Blake interjects before Brenda leaves to fetch the servants to carry me out.
“I will take her, Your Highness,” Blake offers, sending a chilling feeling down my spine. He is one of Alpha Theo’s Gamma friends. I have heard horrific stories of what he does to his victims.
“No, you won’t,” Omario strongly objects. “She serves me, no one else. Get that into your thick skull, all of you,” he adds angrily.
Besides him being the Alpha’s son and heir, he also inherited his father’s indestructible mutation. He is the youngest one here but strength to strength, he can crutch Blake and everyone else here besides his father. He also hardly ever talks to me but for some reason he has made this claim that I can only serve him. Other servants think I am fortunate because that has kept my virtue intact but I don’t know for how long. I don’t know what his motives are and when he will decide to claim his possession.
“Yes, Your Majesty,” Blake responds and bows his head respectfully. Directly disobeying Omario would be foolish and deadly.
“Get the maids to take her and prepare her for my son,” Alpha Theo beams. He likes it when his son shows dominance and has in many words expressed how he would have preferred him to have only inherited his genes and not his soft Luna’s ones.
Brenda does leave and returns with Susan and Chloe. Just my luck.