• My name is Lochlan Sinclair. For years now, I’ve been trapped within the body of an animal. One that humans fear, and don’t understand, though my domesticated brethren lay in front of their hearths and on their children’s beds. They don’t understand that at any moment, those things can turn on them, and become more savage than my kind. If I do not do something, they will soon find out just how terrorizing those creatures, the Gadhar, can truly be.

    However, my kind is outcast from civilization. I’ve become one with the Fáel, for they have proven themselves more my brethren than man, or the Gadhar. We are hunted and shot, like common stag, and most have since grown afraid of the gruff, high-noises that humans make, and keep away from them. But I need to do something. I can’t just stand by and watch anymore.

    I’ve told you before that I am trapped as a beast. I was not always like this. For the first eighteen of my life, I was a man. Foolish, and conceited, I’d begun hunting a pure white Fáel that I’d been tracking through the forest, in order to impress a lass I’d been courting. I did not know, as I do now, that the white Fáel are sacred, and held in high esteem by the Spirits. When I drew her blood, she cast a curse upon me. She called upon the Spirits to make me that which I’d hunted, until one of my kind could show me the compassion and respect I had failed to how her. Now, I can hardly say I’ve not learned my lesson, over these last five years, nor have I found the person that would free me. It does not worry me; my time will come.


    The wind bit at my eyes and nose as I ran along the riverbank, my breath coming out in clouds before me. The crunch of the snow and brittle undergrowth gave way to my form, which had become lean and toned from the fights that had gotten me my place in the pack, and allowed me to keep it. I followed the river further into the forest, intent upon reaching the council as fast as my legs could carry me. Behind me, I could still hear the screams of pain from the monstrosity that happened at the human village, and my heart ached for the family who’d just lost their only child in a bath of gore and blood.

    Finally, I reached the alcove of trees, uniformly cast into a circle, as if one of the Spirits themselves dubbed this the meeting place for our regime. Panting, I slowed to a walk, and once in the center, bowed before the group of old, worn Fáel who materialized before me. The red-fur, Aodh, slowly made his way to me and pressed his snout lightly against mine, permitting me speech.
    What troubles you, Lochlan? He asked me, his voice faint and rasping with age. I rose, and sat, looking at each of them.
    The village, there was another attack. I began. The newest member of the Council, Cloone, scoffed softly, however a sharp look from the council’s elder, Ciera, silenced him. Ciera had always shown me tolerance, and I looked to him now, my eyes beseeching. It was a child this time. The Gadhar had torn out her throat while she was sleeping in her room.
    How are you certain it was a Gadhar, Lochlan? Nuala asked. The white-furred wolf had always been shorter with me than Aodh or Ciera; however that was understandable; I’d killed her sister. I turned to her, bowing my head in respect before speaking.
    I watched the father take it outside and shoot it. I replied, I watched as all four sets of ears flicked back. None of the Council liked guns. Nuala shook her head, as if to rid it of an unwanted thought, and looked at me again.
    What do you expect us to do about it? We are hardly able to sneak an entire pack into the village.
    That is not what I am telling you for, Nuala. I replied calmly. It is only fair that the reigning Council is aware of what occurs within and outside their territorial borders, is it not? She shot me a baleful look, to which I lolled my tongue out in a grin. Ciera gained my attention by flipping her head slightly, and I returned my attention to her.
    What do you suggest we do, Lochlan? She asked me, her kind, elderly voice making me yearn for my own grandmother, who had since long passed. I closed my mouth, my ears flicking forward as I looked down, studying the ground as if it allowed thoughts to flow more easily. Finally, I looked up and looked her in the eyes.
    Allow me to continue keeping watch; I will see if I can trace a pattern from the attacks. That is all I will be able to do until I can find a way to combat them properly. She looked up, and closed her eyes. Out of the four members of Council, Ciera was by far the most connected to the Spirits, even more than Nuala, who was in their favour. When she looked at me the next time, I knew she’d consulted with them.
    Very well. However do not get caught, Lochlan Sinclair. This pack will not be put into jeopardy because of your lingering connection to the humans. You may leave. She added, terminating the meeting. I bowed again, and when I looked up the next time, I was once again the only one in the clearing.
    Over the next few sun-cycles, I stayed near the village, keeping to the tree line and away from the sharp eyes of the village’s hunters. Every once in awhile, a child would spot me, or thought they did. They would then either flee to their parents, or try to get a better look at me, but by that time, I was invisible once again.
    It was not until a fortnight after my meeting with the Council that anything happened. I was walking the perimeter of the village, of the village, lingering in the trees. I was wondering if I should bother crossing the section that faced the open Highlands, when the shrill scream of a terror-stricken girl cut through the air.
    Without thinking, I bolted into the village, running through the well-worn dirt streets. When I reached the girl, I was caught off guard. She had the snarling Gedhar away from her, brandishing a hot fire-poker in one hand, while the other gripped her freely bleeding leg.
    I released a growl of my own, attaining the attention of both the lass and the Gedhar. The girl’s eyes widened and she started yelling at me to go away. However, I didn’t pay attention. Within a split-second, I flew at the Gedhar, and my teeth met its throat.
    We fought like the savages we were, using fangs and claws to rip at each other’s flesh. Within minutes, we were both covered in blood, and I was slowly pushing it toward the door, away from the disbelieving girl.
    Back down, filth, I snarled. She will not die by your fangs.
    That’s what you think, Fáel, it replied, I must, It is my destiny… I snarled in reply, slamming it back against the wall, and fit my jaws over its throat once again. It cackled, its voice gurgling as I clamped my jaws down viciously, feeling its blood fill my mouth.
    Your attempts are f-futile. The Gedhar sneered, gurgling. There are more of us than there are of you; they trust us… You have no way to help…
    I crushed its throat then, and with a final gurgling yelp, it sagged against me and I released it, its blood dripping from my mouth. I turned to look at the lass, and then bowed to her, briefly running my paws over my muzzle to rid it of the red staining it.
    She stared at me, her chest heaving. She carefully set the poker down, and gathered her skirts to walk toward me. I sat down, staying still, until she was crouched in front of me. I opened my mouth into a goofy, panting grin, and she smiled.
    “Thank you,” She murmured, gently reaching up to pet my head, and then ran her hand down along the side of my neck. I groaned and closed my eyes, earning a giggle. I tilted my head and licked her hand gently.
    The noise of footfalls and heavy breathing alerted me to the incoming humans, most likely alerted by her scream. I made a soft growling noise, complaining about how slow they were, and started moving toward the back window. However, the Gedhar had wounded my hind leg, and I was not as fast as I thought. The group of men barged into the hut, eyes wild and guns at the ready. They saw the Gedhar, the girl with blood on her hands, and me, and naturally thought it was my fault.
    “Kill it!” One yelled, aiming his gun at me. The others trained their guns, with an ear-splitting noise, I felt a bullet tear through my already injured leg, and I collapsed.