• A.K.A Wolf Act XX - Je ne sais quoi

    In the most dire times of emotional turmoil…turn to the French…

    Actually sitting back and laughing with Zero about Hotaka’s outburst and not having anything to worry about was just bliss. I couldn’t believe that no one was fatally wounded, kidnapped or dead. Even though I wished to strangle a certain Kumori but I didn’t dare stir up the calmness of the moment.

    Zero kissed the tip of my nose before he stood up again, turned wolf and trotted towards the boar carcass and dragged it towards me. “You haven’t eaten in days. Eat.” I nodded and before my small agreeing head jerk was over, I was a wolf as well. I only yanked away the hind leg and practically attacked it.

    “What was it like…?” I heard Ichio ask, walking up to Zero. The rest sprinkled in to either get more of the food or hear Zero’s story. Personally, the only thing on my mind was how fast I could eat that boar leg before my teeth fell off.

    “It was like an out-of-body experience. I could see everything but I couldn’t act on it. Like I was looking down on what was happening. Like a dream almost as well.” The tone in Zero’s voice was so nonchalant, like turning into a Scraper and almost killing me in the process was just an everyday activity. Jerk off.

    {Hotaka’s Perspective}

    I always thought of it a pastime making Zero want to smack me about the head and shoulders but, all was not as nonchalant as one would want. Kumori seemed restless since Zero came out of his slaughtering state of mind. Just like every other time I tried to speak with her, my heart raced, my palms sweated and I forgot how to breathe, ensuring that she would say something first.

    I approached her with a calm complexion but a storm of emotions brewed within me without rest.

    “What?” she struck in her blade-sharp voice. Ah, how her voice pierced all competitors’ hearts. Like a finely tuned piano she brought all tension in my body to a dull drone. “You don’t seem like yourself. What’s—”

    “I have to go back.” Her commanding voice boomed once more.

    I could feel the stares of the other’s resonating and seeping into the back of my head in curiosity.

    “You…why?” I inquired once again. My voice became very breathy, like her vow to leaving knocked the wind out of me. That it did.

    “Father Octa is waiting for me. And with the Scraper’s defeated and Zero semi back to normal,” she shrugged. “I see no point in babysitting you babies anymore.” I know it’s impossible for a heart to physically break but, damn it all, it sure feels like it. As I stood there in just idiotic awe, I contemplated why I felt so strongly towards this woman, this wolf, which I have known for the sum of about a week.

    I had no idea. ‘Je ne sais quoi’ as the French would say. But, who was I to keep her from her home? What was left of it, I mean. After the Scraper attack when this whole rigorous ordeal began, her city was destroyed along with 90% of the population there. And even though it was rather obvious that Octa was not her biological father, that’s how Kumori looked at him as. A father figure.

    The fists at my sides tightened, “As you wish, Kumori. But, I can’t just let you walk all the way back to Nobell with all of the danger that still lurk in the woods.”

    She laughed at me, fixing a few strings and tassels that hung from her flimsy, suede and rather skin-toned bikini top. Her whole wardrobe was rather non-existent. She was wearing a small, suede bikini, a huge clunky belt, which was accessorized with special bullets and small vials of water, skin tight brown leather boots which laced up all the way, and a light blue sash over her entire torso. She said a while ago that that was the blanket Octa found her in.

    “If I needed your help, I would ask for it, tubby,” she purred at me, flicking my nose.

    I wasn’t that fat was I? Sure, Zero was a bit more muscular and taller than I but ‘tubby’? That went a bit too far and shattered my ego a little at a time.

    I huffed up my chest with the confidence I did not feel, “nevertheless, I’m walking with you.” Kumori rolled her eyes and just started walking. And like a puppy, I followed her.


    About an hour passed and it seemed we where going in the right direction, I did not re-see any landmarks so going around in circles was ruled out as an obstacle. Kumori had not spoken a syllable to me since we began. Was it foolish of me to start a conversation with this she-wolf? I knew I would regret it eventually; I was just unaware at the time.

    “So…” I began hesitantly, “Is there a Mr. Kumori?” What in all of the holy heavens kind of question was that?!?

    “What kind of question is that?” she sneered over her shoulder. I shot up straight; she had scanned my thoughts exactly! It must be love! Or fate!

    “I mean…are you in a romantic relationship?” I inquired once more.

    “I’m not banging anybody if that’s what you’re trying to know.”

    I choked on my own saliva.

    “But…” her tone seemed embarrassed and hesitant. This was definitely a side of her of which I was unfamiliar. “I am in love with someone.” Did she just say that? Do my ears defy me in such an evil way? No! My fair Kumori dost speak of thine love for another!

    I tried to keep my slowly fading calm, “Who might that be?”

    “No way in hell I’d tell you, fatty!” Her voice stung my chest as if a thousand poisoned spears.

    I allowed my head to hang low in shame. “Does this person know of your feelings?”


    “How do you know?”

    “I haven’t told him, duh! For a genius, you sure are an idiot!” Another blade through my chest cavity.

    “Do I know him?”

    “Of course! You two are kinda alike!” Zero and I aren’t alike at all, though. Sparks? Ichio even? What kind of sick, twisted person did I fall for?!

    I didn’t dare speak any more. I didn’t request any of my fears to become realities. So, until nightfall, I engaged in small talk with her even though I got almost no response at all. We had to set up camp for the night of course and she forced me to make two shelters. God forbid I graze against her while she slept.

    Making a fire without Sparks made me remember how difficult life was before I met Zero. She had caught a rabbit and a couple of squirrels for us to consume as a midnight snack over the fire. We were full-grown wolves and people. We should be eating turkey! Boar! Not rodents. I felt as if I was demoted to some kind of bobcat or something of the lame sort.

    “Why do you hate Yukiru so much?” I felt like questioning her again for some idiotic reason.

    “That little b***h is nothing but talk. She can’t fight without her gun! If she didn’t have her little prince charming to save all the damn time, she would have died months ago. Yukiru has NO sense of direction with her life. If she’s going to be the only girl in that dysfunctional pack of yours, she needs to grow a damn backbone.”

    I could barely listen to Kumori bad mouth and slander the name of one of my closest friends in such a casual manner. She was an excellent fighter against Surt-Lim and him brutes, she fought off the initial attack of her pack in the beginning and bested me in a match for dominance. Not to mention, she lived through DYING. If that sounds impossible, refer back a few chapters. Yet, Kumori had no knowledge of any of that ever happening so, I couldn’t speak up against her too much.

    “I just don’t think you know all that is her. If you just try and get to know—”

    “Get to know that moron?! I don’t think so!”

    I felt my eyebrows crease together and a wolf-like growl bellow in my chest. “I will NOT tolerate you slandering her! If you were told half of the ordeals she has endured, you would be begging her for forgiveness!”

    I saw her tense up, that was the first time I had actually ranted and screamed at Kumori while angry with her. My insides churned like a witch’s cauldron filled with acid and rocks. She stood and walked inside of her own shelter without a word. I didn’t even see her chest elevate with breathing. Her eyes were kind of glazed over. She seemed just as shocked as I was about my eruption of anger.

    After she was out of sight, I couldn’t stop running Yukiru’s face through my mind. She was, in essence, perfect; beautiful, powerful, confident, and brave. Everything Kumori was but she had something else. Something that made her seem like a mother, like a sister, like someone who could actually feel love. Not like Kumori yet, that was one thing I love so much about her. She doesn’t let emotions weigh her down and get in the way of her goals.

    It wasn’t fair; Zero gets Yukiru and I get unrequited love. My older sister always said that that kind of love tasted like peanut butter. A silly thought wouldn’t you say? But right now, the slight hint of peanuts plastered itself over my taste buds. I shook my head from side to side and walked into my small cone of branches. I laughed at myself for making each shelter look like the skeleton of a Native American TP.

    I changed my form to my red-brown-furred wolf form and almost drifted off to sleep. But then, the eerie moan of moving wood filled the night air. Then a loud snap and the scream of a woman held dear. I sprinted outside to see that Kumori’s shelter had fallen and her with it. Normally, that wouldn’t be a problem but we were at the base of a hill and when the thuds of the branches made the earth quiver, some logs and rocks that were precariously perched on the top—which I had not seen before—began to tumble down hill towards us. I ran over to Kumori who was already trying to get herself out from underneath the branches and assisted her.

    She shoved me away “I don’t need your help, a** wipe!”

    I became human again and lifted the wood rods from her body. She had already been splintered and cut by the shelter. “Move!!!” I ordered.

    She stood and brushed her self off of dirt and bits of wood. “Why should I?”

    “I stood dumb founded for a moment and pointed up hill at the avalanche of logs and rocks that were plummeting down at us. She cried out in a startle and tried to run but three branches I used to make the shelter with was pinching her foot and she could not move. I pulled and tugged on her ankle, desperate for it to give way just an inch but to of no avail.

    The landslide was drawing closer and we were going nowhere fast. The only way for her to be free was to have the branches moved with her but they were all so heavy. Her and I couldn’t move them in one solid pull. Then, it hit me; one’s strength is almost doubled inn short bursts when the adrenaline is racing through their veins. There was only one way to alter Kumori’s position and I knew the consequences but, I love her. And there was nothing I wouldn’t do for her, no matter how strong the taste of peanut butter.

    I became a wolf, backed away from Kumori about 10 yards in a sprint.

    “Where are you going you son-of-a-b***h coward!?” She screamed at me, thinking I was leaving her to her death. She didn’t know that the situation would become quite the contrary.

    I barked out loud and launched I an all out run, all of my strength and blood collected in my leg muscles and I slammed my body into Kumori’s, knocking her out of the path of the debris and saving her life. I panted once happily and in exhaustion, the adrenaline was gone and I didn’t fully comprehend what was going on when just a millisecond after her rescue, a massive tree trunk and a collection of small boulders slammed into me, making me tumble underneath them and in front of them.

    My yelling was frantic and involuntary and amidst the pain and chaos, I heard Kumori scream out my name. That was the last thing I heard before I crashed in a red wood tree and the snow-less avalanche crash into me, smooshing me mercilessly hard into the tree.

    “HOTAKA!!!!!” the voice echoed over and over…and over.

    {End of Perspective}

    Hotaka and Kumori had been gone a while. They were probably making camp or pulling an all-nighter because it was getting dark. At about twilight time, Zero went with Ichio to get some dinner. Sparks and I kind of just hung out by his fire. Ever since I “died” Sparks started to speak. But only to me. He even called me ‘Momma’. It kind of threw me off every time but I would have to learn to get used to it.

    “Momma hasn’t talked to me in a while,” he began in little bursts of high and low tones. Even though his voice was rather hoarse and not very pleasing to the normal ear, I considered it a blessing. “Did I do something wrong?”

    I almost leapt over the fire to give him a hug and never let go. Almost like a little girl and her favorite teddy bear. He was mine and will always be mine. “No, no. I’ve just been really busy with Zero and all of the Scraper business.”

    “He was scary. I don’t wanna see Zero like that again. Why was he like that?”

    I sighed, “long story…”

    I heard a twig snap in the bush behind me and I became startled, blinking into my wolf form. I small growl leaked out from in between the leaves and in a flash, a stream of fur shot at Sparks and tackled him to the ground. He also became a wolf the instant the intruder pounced on him. The little invader was yowling like a cat and was a bit smaller than Sparks.

    Once I heard him yelp in pain I bounded on the attacker and placed a paw onto it’s side, pinning it down. It was a bobcat. A female one, about Sparks’ wolf age, about one-years-old or so.

    I growled and her pathetic self cringed under my hot breath and fangs. I launched and clamped my jaws over her neck and just as I clamped down, a girl’s cry filled my ears. I let go and looked at my prey again and the fur was gone from her neck, replaced by human skin. I looked back all the way to see a young human girl crying in terror under my black paw that took up half of her torso. She had light blonde brown hair, almost blonde and bright hazel eyes. Her clothing consisted of a simple dress, deep read and with pockets near the bottom. She wore no shoes, only tattered white socks.

    “I-I’m sorryyyyy…” she cried up at me.

    A Halfling?

    End of act XX