Wolfshifter

Long ago, in the Early Ages of Jenil, a lady had appeared in a clearing, and no one knew who she was. She said her name was Liera Wolfshifter, and had no family. She was thought to be eccentric, but essentially a normal person. Liera had weirdly silver hair and purple eyes, but no one liked to say anything. She always seemed to disappear on the first night of the full moon. The superstitious one of the village, Jedak, was suspicious of her disappearance. One night, he decided to follow Liera. She walked through the forest, and into a small clearing. Jedak watched from the shadows of the trees. Liera spoke some strange words, and she was surrounded by black light. Her form flickered horribly and the light vanished. In her place was a silver-furred wolf, with purple eyes. Jedak screamed and fled. Liera was the first and last of these monsters, or so they thought.

"Eyla! You're home," her father yelled out from the back. The girl's father came in from outside. "Eyla, I need to talk to you," he said in a soft voice and beckoned. She followed her father into another room. "Eyla, your mother forbade me to tell this to you before you were fourteen." Eyla winced. Her dead mother was a painful subject. Then her father continued. "This may come as a shock to you," he took a deep breath and said, "You are a wolf-shifter." The girl just stared at her father. "What?" "You're a wolf-shifter" "But they're not real! That's a story, Da!" "I just needed to tell you. You don't have to believe me, but you will know the truth soon. Trust me, you'll want to experiment. Then you'll know. Oh, the words are Ala khahedrane torane doya. But be careful. People are not as accepting as you might think." "But how do you know? Are you one too?" Her father smiled sadly. "No, only girls inherit the ability. It's from your mother's side. You have the silver hair and purple eyes, that's how I know." He just patted Eyla on the shoulder and left her wondering in the room.

"Hi. Lina?" "Yeah?" "Come to the clearing tonight, ten o'clock, okay? And write down these words: Ala khahedrane torane doya. Remember them." "Why?" "Can't tell you, sorry. Just come, okay?" "Okay." "Look, the only reason I'm not telling you is that the line might not be safe. You'll know when night comes." Eyla hung up the phone, satisfied that her work was done. All there was to do now was wait.

The sky had darkened and the moon was sailing through the sky. All the lights were out in Eyla's house. Dark figures flitted across the lawn, melting into the shadows. They were the wolf-spirits, knowing that a Shifter would have their first shift. And even better, two.

Eyla crept out of the house, not noticing them. It was the time of the full moon and she and Lina were going to change to greet it. She snuck into the little patch of trees, and emerged in a clearing. Lina was already there, gazing around. "Ready?" "Yeah. Why are we doing this?" "We're changelings. Wolfshifters." "You're joking, right." "Just say the words with me." "Um, ok." They spoke the words in unison. The two dark figures were engulfed in black flame as their form warped. A howl escaped from the silver-furred one. This was Eyla. Another silver wolf prowled the clearing and sat, crying her joy to the moon. They both had purple eyes.

Eyla and Lina prowled the forest, reveling in the freedom of their new bodies. Howling and baying, they expressed their wildness and freedom. They would slink, romp and bound through the trees, like silver mist. They were in the middle of a game when a gunshot rang through the night. Someone had heard their moon-calling! The two wolves dashed in what they thought was the opposite direction. Human voices came into hearing. The humans saw the two wolves' forms in the darkness. "There they are!" Eyla and Lina fled the other way. They were like streaks of silver lightning. Bolting through the forest, they found the clearing. They frantically shifted back, and clutched at each other. The huntsmen ran into their clearing a moment afterwards. "Did you see them? The wolves? The buggers must have run straight past you. They were beauties, those two. Silver coat and all." The leader spoke to Eyla and Lina exasperatedly. Eventually the huntsmen moved off.

The dark wolf-spirits held a silent discussion, and agreed that the two young wolves had gained acceptance into the cult. The leader spoke a word and gestured with a misty hand, and the hunters disappeared.

Eyla and Lina stood up, not saying a word. Shaken, the girls walked home. For a while, they had been creatures of the moon.