The following morning, her foster carers, an elderly couple who had always looked after her since they found her alone in the forest as small ten year old, were struck by a severe illness. Their flesh erupted in red spots, and they couldn't move.She tried feeding them but they weren't hungry or thirsty.
They died. Pearl wasn't ill, and everyone else in the village were poorly. They all became sick in exactly the same way. It was a plague. A seventeen year old Pearl grieved, and she hadn't cried that much since her own mother died years earlier.
She couldn't stay, and gathered her things. She walked along a narrow path, moving South towards the misted hills. Pearl stopped when the moon came up. She was about to sleep under a willow tree, when something caught her breath. She fell to the grass and held her stomach as pain soared throughout her. Her vision turned red. In a long agonising hour, she wanted to forget pain, and escape the illness. It caught up with her and no one was here to help.
Pearl didn't remember much now, as her antibodies fought against the plague's starting effects. If it was the plague. She perspired and vomitted. Owls instantly left the trees nearby. Pearl screamed.
Then the pain was gone. Her red vision altered to soft blue and grey. She ran from the willow tree and it dawned on her that she was able to run on all fours. She had a tail now, and her body was covered in white silvery fur. She wanted to scream again, but her lungs were not the same. Instead, her voice sounded a sad howl like that made by dogs and wolves.
In return, distant howls followed. In panic, she ran into the woods and didn't want to see herself. That was the first time she became a wolf. The same thing happened to her mother, she remembered. Pearl was terrified that first shapeshift night, it didn't make sense.
Soon as dawn arrived, she fell asleep, and woke up in her human form. Pearl was scared, in the woods, minus her bag of belongings, and wearing just the tunic she wore the previous night. Lost, she followed the direction of the sun and came to a small path, leading out of the woods, and through a field of sugar canes. In the far distance ahead were domes of farm land, houses and herds of animals grazing.
Further away near the forests in the distance, peering up were gigantic heads!
Two heads with staring eyes. She was scared. Pearl ran towards the nearest tree, and hid there. She felt it was safe enough to look, and some cloud settled, covering the giant heads. It looked like they were carved into the mountains.
She ran closer to the farm village.
"It's empty!" she cried.
It was true. The houses smelled of death and blood. On each door were marks of X to show that the plague had been there and done its evil.
She couldn't stay here.
Jade moved towards the onimous forest with the giant stone heads in the distance on the high mountains. She was persued by a large wolf, a wild animals, and she had no option but to kill it with her sword. As she feared, it had rabies.
She walked on, thinking how the full moon would come tomorrow night and again she would shape shift.... to be continued....
((The Fenrir's Daughters fiction stories belong to author Rayne))
All rights reserved.
Copyright © 2016 Rayne Herbert.