Category Archives: Wolf Moon

NaNoWriMo Outtake Jae and Aedan Update

I cruised past the 36000 line this morning. This week will be tough with the holidays, a trip out of town, and family coming home. I plan to do some solid pushing ahead this evening to see if I can’t get ahead.  I have changes and rearranged, plot, point of view, tense and now have a mishmash to wade through after November. I tried to keep it in labeled sections and if they are rewrites, I marked the version. I think I might need to invest in software designed for novel writing. After November I will be researching what is available and see what would be a good fit for me. Something that lets me keep track of characters, places, versions, and lets me reorder pieces that I write out of sequence.If anyone has experience and is comfortable with a particular piece of software (preferable one that doesn’t have a huge complicated learning curve) I would love to hear about it.

Creative copy Challenge 195: fail, trivia, master, dirt, swerve, memory, drive, bed, touch, right

We had been at it for hours. I was exhausted and more than a little pissed right now.  Aedan had my mother’s spell book in his lap. I had tried and tried to commit the words to memory, the actions as habit, and I just couldn’t seem to meld the two. I never had been able to do two things at one time. “You don’t have to drive me so hard. I’m tired. I want to take a shower and go to bed.” I sounded petulant even to myself. That just managed to irritate me more.

“This isn’t some kind of trivia game, Jae. If you don’t learn to control your power you will not be ready when Lucia comes back. You can master a few moves for defense, you have the touch. If you fail, you die. I will be with you all I can, but what if we get separated?” Aedan stood and placed the book on the chair. “Try it on me. Maybe that is the problem. You have no clear vision of where to aim the magic.”

“What? No! What if I hurt you? I have little control.” Now he was just being stupid. I was mad at him but it wasn’t his fault. He was just trying to help. I didn’t want to hurt him.

Aedan snorted. “You haven’t been able to cast enough to give me a pimple! You fade in and out as you shift and as a wolf, you try to swerve and run into a tree. It takes you forever just to shake it off and pick yourself up out of the dirt. From what I read in her book, your mother would be embarrassed. I am not worried. “

“Oh you did not go there!” I felt cold anger take me over.  My mother would be embarrassed? My hands were a blur of motion in the air and words I didn’t know were in my head poured out of me. I saw nothing, not Aedan, not the cabin, just red like blood. I felt it all, pouring through me, out my fingers and then a bright flash and I crumpled. My heart was pounding and my head throbbed. The cold receded and something whispered in my head. Aedan was lying on the floor a few feet from where he had been standing. I tried to make my limbs work and managed to drag myself to him.
“Aedan? Oh my god, I’m sorry. I’m sorry. Please wake up!” I knew this was a bad idea. Aedan moaned and turned over. Holy shit Jae. You trying to kill me? His words sounded funny, as though he had a bad case of laryngitis.

I started to cry. “You idiot! I thought you were dead! Why did you do that?”  I fell back on the floor next to him, shaking uncontrollably. “Guess I am stronger than I thought.”

Aedan reached for my hand.  “Looks like we found the key to your magic. Remind me never to really piss you off.”

I hate it when he is right.

Wolf Encounter

Creative Copy Challenge 194

1.    Put
2.    Point
3.    Bizarre
4.    Weave
5.    Spiral
6.    Weird
7.    Goofy
8.    Pop
9.    Cult
10.    Fan

Start pleasepleaseplease! Stupid truck. The key rattled in the ignition and finally the motor made a sound that was deafening. They would hear. I put the truck in drive and I stomped the gas pedal hoping this was just some cult. Maybe my coffee was drugged. I couldn’t get the weird vision out of my head. The truck was weaving and rocking on the bumpy road. I rubbed my eyes with my fist thinking the pain might wake me up from whatever this was. I needed to pay attention or I would spiral off a cliff.

There wasn’t much point in getting away from them if I died in a goofy driving accident. Where to? Home? Aedan could show up and…and what? Was I afraid of him now? What was that pop? The truck started limping and rocking on the ridges of the track now. It wasn’t really a road any more. Tires were not meant to go so fast over these rocks. I said a quick prayer that it would make it to Simon’s house. I was not a fan of walking in the dark, especially when I was hallucinating wolves. Simon would know what to do. He was the only friend anywhere near here. I would tell him about this bizarre night and he would have some simple explanation and we would laugh about it.

I pulled the truck up to the edge of the trees. You couldn’t drive all the way to his cabin. I cut the engine off and listened for a moment hearing nothing but the ticking of the engine cooling. The sudden silence was eerie. How many steps up the hill to his porch. I gathered my courage and reached for the door lock when the truck rocked and I felt something heavy land in the bed. The rear view mirror showed glowing eyes getting closer as claws clicked on the metal. So much for hallucinations.

nanowrimo outtake

Wolf Moon Outtake

I crossed the 25000 word line tonight. Half. way. there.

Creative Copy Challenge 193

1.    Gentle
2.    Sweat
3.    Guide
4.    Design
5.    Simple
6.    Full
7.    Borrow
8.    Trace
9.    Technique
10.    Flip

Aedan stopped at the door.

“Go after her. You will have to guide her until she learns.” Simon smiled. “Don’t worry about me. I will clean up here and get some rest.”

Simon had worked magic and skill with herbs and Jae had survived the attack but she had shifted and was a new wolf. It would take a gentle touch to show her simple things that Aedan took for granted. She would need to master the technique of holding her humanity deep inside when in wolf form, while changing her perspective to fit with her new body. The brain could adjust but it was meant to deal with one form, by design.

Aedan took off, running full out, until he caught up with the wolf. He came at her from behind and flipped her onto her back. He stepped back and stood in front of her waiting.

“What did you do that for?” Jae jumped up, shaking herself. A trace of leaves and grass clung to sweat dampened fur. She was angry and confused but her wolf instinctively reacted to the alpha. That seemed to anger her more.

“You have to take it slow until you get used to this body. Your height is different. Your coordination is different. I’m sorry, but I don’t want you to kill yourself by running off a cliff or into a tree.” Aedan watched as she hesitated.

“Wait. How can I hear you?” Jae knew they were not speaking, and yet, she understood Aedan as if he said the words.

“I can hear you too. You will be able to communicate with the entire pack. In fact, you will need to learn to shield your thoughts or they will know everything you think. Not always convenient.”


Aedan had been waiting for her to ask. “Simon would not let her in. She tried to talk him into it and then she tried to force her way in. She wants to kill you. I’m not sure if there is anything human left in her.”

Jae bowed her head. “I don’t know if I have the strength to handle this.”

Aedan felt the panic rising in her. “Then you can borrow mine.”

Danger At The River

Creative Copy Challenge 190

  1. Suck 
  2. Will
  3. Love
  4. Great
  5. Surround
  6. Fluid
  7. Big
  8. Me
  9. Enough
  10. Move

The rock still held some warmth from the sun and I loved to come here to sit and watch the sunset. I couldn’t get enough of it. Even with the noise from the river, I felt a peace like nowhere else. I thought for the thousandth time, how grateful I was to Aunt Kathryn for leaving the cabin to me in her will. The more I learned about her from her journals and from tiny touches around the little house, the more I was sure I would have loved her.

My thoughts were interrupted by motion at the edge of my vision. I turned my head and there stood a wolf on my side of the river. I sucked in my breath and jumped off the rock and the wolf growled, front legs planted apart. It was beautiful and terrifying all at the same time.

Her movements were fluid. Why did I assume the wolf was a female? I was suddenly acutely aware of my surroundings. Nothing but trees, and the roar of the rapids would be loud enough to drown out my voice if I tried to shout for help. I took a slow step back. Her fur was standing up and I was close enough to see the delicate pink of her gums. Her lips were peeled back and the large canines glinted in the remaining light. Remaining would be dark soon. No one would know I was gone until morning when the shop remained closed. Great.

“Look. I don’t mean you any harm.  Nice doggie?”

The wolf growled, deep and menacing. I could swear she was angry.  What a crazy thing to think. She was closer and she was big.  I took another step and she growled again, tracking my movement. I was sweating in the cool air. I felt ridiculously clumsy and slow. Her eyes seemed intelligent and I knew I was in danger.

The almost ebony wolf suddenly jerked her head up. Something was behind me. I slowly turned my head and saw a huge brown wolf. I would be dinner for two.

Instead of both of them attacking me, the brown wolf leaped around me and stood between me and the female. This was the wolf I had seen watching me from the other side of the river. He growled and stepped forward until he was just a few feet from the black wolf, a rumbling sound coming from his throat the whole time. The female held her ground for a moment and then lowered her head. The brown wolf continued to growl until she laid down and exposed her throat. I could do nothing but stare in fascination. He nipped at her and she rolled and rose to her feet and with a look back at me, turned and loped off. My rescuer turned and sat down in front of me. I was frozen in place.

When my heart stopped pounding so hard that I was sure he could hear it, I sunk to the ground. This was crazy. Why wasn’t I running?

I tried to speak and nothing came. I swallowed and tried again.

“Thank you.”

The wolf just stared at me. I lowered my head just like the female wolf did.  He seemed almost to nod, stood and walked away.

I managed to stand and turned toward home, my legs shaking. I made it home with no more trouble, let myself in the door and threw the deadbolt.

I turned on every light in the house. It was going to be a while before I could sleep.


Creative Copy challenge 189

1.    Shy
2.    Ground
3.    Luck
4.    Treat
5.    Touch
6.    Face
7.    Desire
8.    Need
9.    Urgent
10.    Done

I was angry.  I wanted them out of my head.  I didn’t ask for this and I was damned if I was going to just roll over and do what they wanted.  I ran across the frozen ground, down through the ravine to Simons’ house.  He had the touch. He could help me.  He would know what needed to be done, how to treat this thing.
I slipped on the icy rocks. This urgent desire for answers was making me careless. Even a wolf can run out of luck up here.
“Jae, wait!” I could hear him in my mind but I ignor him.  He thought I was just shy.  Shy!  After what the rogue did to me!  I would face them down. Every last one of them. I wanted my family back.  I wanted my life back!  I could see a glow.  Simon would have a fire going on this cold night and I needed to be behind closed doors in front of that fire before Aedan caught up with me.

Wolf Moon Night

Jae ran through the evening dew, feeling the damp under her paws, the cool evening air rushing over her fur.  Her wolf needed to just run sometimes. She leapt in the air snapping at fireflies.  Would they glow in her mouth if she caught one, she wondered?

She splashed through the stream and the crystal clear sky above twinkled with a million stars in the darkness.  It was moments like this that she could let go of the anger and frustration.  It was hard to hate the change when the night whispered it’s secrets and she breathed in the smells of a thousand living things.

She climbed jumping from rock to rock, claws slipping on smooth stone and gaining purchase again as her own forward momentum carried her further. As last she came to the top of the bluff and stared out over the valley.  She could see a few far away lights, homes where sleep refused to visit.  There was a whiff of woodsmoke from a campfire far down the other side of the mountain.  She heard and smelled his approach, staying still, waiting.

Aedan stood next to her, looking out over the same valley.  He laid down, head on his paws and closed his eyes.  Jae stood a moment longer, then settled down next to him.  She turned her head slightly and he opened one eye.  She again faced the valley and closed her eyes.  No fight tonight.  No anger, just peace.  She would remember this night.  As she drifted off her last thought was that life seemed so much less complicated in wolf form.

W is for Wolf

Sunday Scribbling prompt #225- letter.  This story brought to you by the letter W for Wolf

Some people were afraid of storms.  Jae loved them.  They made her feel like every cell in her body was alight. The sky had darkened to the west and the clouds crept closer all afternoon.  The air smelled like rain and Jae raised her face to the sky and breathed the taste of lightening in.  She could hear the rumble of thunder still in the distance.  She wondered where Aedan was, if he and the pack were up in the mountains hunting.

She wanted to hate Aedan.  She was still angry at him.  It was confusing to be mad at Aedan the wolf and then like Aedan the man.  She knew they were the same, just as she was the same inside, whether wolf or human.  But, that wasn’t quite true was it?  She needed to see her family.  She hadn’t seen them since the first change.  She knew Simon spoke with them, letting them know she was okay.  She just wanted to see for herself.  Could she change and slip up to their home with the storm covering her?  She had never changed at will before but she knew she could. It wasn’t pleasant, but not painful either.  There was no one around, but she still felt exposed.  She stripped off her clothing and laid it in a neat pile under the bench on the porch, out of the way of the weather.  Jae walked out toward the stream where she had sat and talked with Aedan and concentrated on the wolf inside.  She felt a stretching and bending inside herself that was uncomfortable but familiar. The weird perspective change made her feel slightly nauseous for a moment until she adjusted.  The ground seemed much closer, smells and sounds assaulted her, clear and pure.  She could separate and name each one individually.

The storm was much closer now.  Small animals were burrowed down and even the birds were silent and crouched on branches nearest the trunks of the trees.  The world around her breathed with anticipation for the coming wind and lightening.  Jae took off at an easy lope, heading for the tree line.  She stayed in the edge of the woods.  Finally her house was in sight.  This might have been a mistake.  No might about it.  This was definitely a mistake.  She stood at the edge of the woods listening.  There was movement in the house and she could hear a fiddle.  Her dad was playing.  It was raining now and she slipped closer to the house.  The darkness and noise from the rain would hide her.  The sound of the fiddle became clearer.  She could hear her mother singing.  She was probably dancing with her little brother.  They sounded happy.  They sounded like they didn’t miss her at all.  All the pain and anger welled up in her and she raised her muzzle and let go to the moon and the lightening and all the storm, a howl that came from her heart, from her gut, from the place where all the unfairness lived.

The fiddling stopped.  Jae looked around in a panic, but it was too late.  The front door opened and her father’s shape was silhouetted in the light spilling out from the house, fiddle still in his hand.  Jae bowed her head, but stood her ground.  Her dad slowly raised the fiddle and began to play a few notes.  Jae whined, he played a few more.  She stretched and began to howl again as the man she had known as her father played a sad song to the little white wolf at the edge of the woods. A bolt of lightening hit something in the woods and lit up the sky for a moment.  Jae and her dad looked at each other.  Jae would always remember that he lowered his eyes first.  She ran through the night and the rain and the wind, all the way back to Simon’s house.  She fell asleep dreaming of fiddles and thunder.

More wolf Moon Stories

July 19 Wolves Take What They Want

Writer’s Book of days prompt: Write about a time you got what you wanted

Again – these prompts come from the book Writer’s Book of Days by Judy Reeves

BUY this book – seriously.  Great prompts, quotes, and encouraging articles.  Visit her website.  She is my new hero 🙂

Wolves Take What They Want

The shadows hid him, the dark gray of his fur blending into the darkness.  He watched them, barely breathing.  If Aedan had been in wolf form he would have smelled him.  His sense of smell in human form was enhanced but the wind was blowing his scent away from them as they sat there talking.

What could they be talking about?  It took self control to not charge and take him down now.  It would be easy while he was human and then he could play with the little wolf girl.  He remembered the taste.  She was his first, but not his last.  Aedan kicked him out of the pack.  He would be repaid for that.  But not yet.  He had to be patient and let this play out.  Let Aedan think he was getting everything he wanted and then he would take it from him.  His pack, her, his life.

He would have to be careful.  The old man was gone but he would return.  He protected them and he had power.  Liam had been watching him for some time, trying to figure out what his part was.  The girl stayed with him.  He would have to do something about him.  He turned and loped into the woods.  He had no pack, but he had his anger. He would get everything he wanted, Aedan be damned.

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July 17 Jae and Aedan

Writer’s Book of Days prompt: in a state of disarray

Writers Island prompt#12: Reunion

Aedan looked at her standing there wrapped in a blanket, holding a knife, fierce and afraid but facing him down anyway.  He stood still with his arms at his sides.  He didn’t want to give her any more reason to fear him.  He knew he had handled things badly.

He sat down.  It was all he could think to do.

“Wait.  You remember?  You were there?” Her hand tightened on the knife.  “Was it you?  Did you bite me?”

Aedan frowned. “No it wasn’t me!  Think back.  Don’t you remember the wolves?”

Jae thought about that night.  She remembered a large gray wolf.  Aedan was a dark chestnut in his wolf form.  She felt some of the tension leave her muscles.  She thought again about the wolf.  She always thought her dad made him leave but she remembered there being more than one wolf.  Her da couldn’t have beaten them all off.  She was so scared and it hurt and everything seemed to happen so fast.  She remembered another wolf snarling and…”It was you!  You attacked the grey wolf! You made him stop biting me.”

“That was Liam.  He was a new wolf.  Very strong but not a lot of self control.  He moved too quickly for me to stop him completely.  I hoped you wouldn’t change, but I was too late.”

Jae shrugged. “So why didn’t I meet Liam when I was with the pack?”

Aedan looked towards the woods.  “Liam is gone.”

Jae watched him. “So why are you here?”

Aedan looked back at Jae. “I wanted to meet you in human form.  Simon sent a message telling me you were here.”

Jae sat down, still keeping her distance. “Simon.  I should have known.”

Aedan smiled. “He meant no harm.”

Jae was quiet for a moment.  “Your eyes are the same.”

Aedan stared at her. “So are yours.”

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Wolf Girl Blues Part Deux

Sometime in the night, Jae finally fell asleep. She awoke, cold and stiff, lying in the corner on the floor behind the bed. She had dragged the cover off and wrapped it around herself but there was no fire and the chill from the floor had worked it’s way into her bones.

There was a knock on the door and Jae jumped and shrank back, remembered terror from the night before washing over her.  She stayed silent.  Another knock, this time followed by a young man’s voice.  “Jae?  Are you in there?”

Jae frowned.  She didn’t recognize the voice and yet there was something familiar, tickling the back of her mind.  She stared at the door, hoping whoever it was would just go away and leave her alone.

“Jae, I know you can hear me.  I’m going away for now but I will be back.  We need to talk.”

The sound of footsteps leaving the porch and then nothing.  Jae breathed a sigh of relief.  She quietly got up and pulled the blanket tighter around her.  Quietly walking to the window, she peered through a crack in the shutter.  Nothing. The wolf inside sensed nothing, but she didn’t understand it enough to rely on it in her human form.  So much to learn, to figure out.

Jae walked around the the house where she had spent time healing. she had felt safe here then.  Now she wasn’t sure of anything.  She folded the blanket and looked around for something to eat.  There was a chunk of crusty bread wrapped on the table and a jug of water.  Simon always seemed to know what was needed.  The bread was tender on the inside and flavored with herbs that Simon grew.  She hadn’t realized how hungry she was until she started eating.

Sleep, food, important things done.  She was feeling a little better.  Unfortunately she wasn’t smelling better.  Living with wolves left a lot to be desired in terms of human grooming.  Jae cleaned up the crumbs and looked out the window.  Still no one in sight.  “Time to go outside.  Stop being a baby!”  She told herself as she picked up a thin blanket and a knife.  Great. Now she was talking to herself.  She sighed and stepped outside.  She walked to the stream and stripping off her clothing, she rinsed out her garments and hung them on the bushes to dry in the sun.  Jae stepped into the cool water and splashed it on herself.  She slipped down into the deeper water and rinsed her hair. After soaking for a bit she walked back to the shallow edge. She looked down at her legs at the scars from the bites.  They had healed well, thanks to Simon.  They seemed like such a little thing.  They had changed everything.

“I remember when you got those.”

Jae whipped around in shock.  She hadn’t heard anyone come up.  She stepped out and grabbed the blanket, wrapping it around herself.  The wolf change had gotten rid of any self consciousness but she was alone and in human form she felt defenseless.  Almost.  She picked up the knife.

“Who are you and what do you want?”

“Jae, you know who I am.”

Jae felt her stomach tighten.  She could feel her wolf very near the surface.  He was familiar.  “Aeden?”

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Even Wolf Girls Get the Blues

The Writers Book of Days prompt for July 13 is Write about a theft.

This blog is my journal so I remind myself here that I have my own permission to suck as much as I want as long as I write something.

Wolf Fear

Jae curled herself up into a tight ball, pushed as far into the corner as she could get.  Small, hidden.  Her inability to make a decision and her fear of confrontation had lead her to this moment.

She had let life happen to her.  Every decision made first by her parents, then Simon, and now the pack.  Aedan.  Everyone told her what was right for her. Jae go here.  Jae hunt there.  Jae do the right thing. Right for who?

Now she was hiding in a corner in Simon’s cabin like a child afraid of the dark.  Simon was gone with a promise to return in two weeks.  She couldn’t even be alone without someone giving her permission!   She took what was offered because she needed time to think.  Too much too fast.  She was learning to hunt and there had been such a feeling of freedom with the pack.  At first. Then the fighting began.  The tension built until Aedan took her on a walk one morning and through pictures in her head,  showed her herself as his mate. Everything crashed in on Jae at once and she ran until exhausted she found herself on Simon’s porch.

Simon!  How could he do this to her.  She snarled at him when he opened the door.  Angry or not, she was horrified at what she had become.  She could have…well she didn’t even want to think about it.  She backed off the porch and Simon shut the door.  He waited until she had calmed down, then told her through the door that he would set clothing outside and when she was changed and dressed he would be waiting inside.

The door open a crack and a pile of clothing appeared on the porch.  The door shut again. When Jae was human and dressed, she opened the door.  Simon was sitting in his rocking chair waiting.  Jae stopped in the middle of the room and stared at him with her fists clenched. “Why didn’t you tell me?”

Simon sighed. “Tell you what?”

“Tell me that I would be forced to choose a mate!  Jae started pacing.  “A wolf stole my humanity.  A wolf stole my family from me.  I can’t go home!  Now my choices for the rest of my life are being stolen too!

“Maybe you better explain a little about what happened.  I am not a wolf, Jae.  I don’t know the inner working of everything.”  Simon spoke in a clam quiet voice and waited for her to answer. Jae realized that she was shaking and sweating and took a deep breath.  She didn’t need to change while she was in the house with Simon and her anger had her feeling more wold than person.  She closed her eyes for a moment until she felt she had control again.

“I can’t just hunt with the pack when I feel like it and then come back and be human here.  I don’t understand it myself but Aedan told me that unattached females can cause the entire pack to become unstable.  If I want to hunt with them I have to choose a mate!  Jae’s voice rose on the last word and she started pacing again.  “I haven’t even had time to get used to being a wolf and now I’m supposed to be a wife too?”

Simon closed his eyes in thought.  “It seems to me that what you are needing from me is time alone to think some things through.”  He opened his eyes and waited until she stopped pacing and looked at him. “I have never lied to you Jae.  I’ve never intentionally left anything out.  It is what it is.  I can try to give help, but I can’t change anything. I wish could.”

Jae looked at Simon and knew he was being honest with her.  She could see in his eyes that he hurt for her.  She bowed her head.  “I’m sorry.  I’m so angry and I don’t know what to do!  Maybe you’re right. I need time to think.”

Simon stood and began packing things in a sack.  “I’ve needed to take a little trip for awhile.  It will give you time.  You are safe here and welcome to stay.  I will be back before the next full moon.”

“Simon.  Thank you and…I’m sorry.”

Simon took her hand.  “You have been strong and I am proud of you.  I have dealt with Aedan before.  He is a fair man and will answer your questions.  There must have been trouble in the pack for him to just throw this at you..”

Jae frowned. “I’ve never met him in human form.”

“Then maybe that is the answer.”  Simon kissed her forehead.  “Take care child.”

Jae was alone.  That night the howling started.  They were all around the house.  She could hear the clicking of their claws on the porch and they banged into the door.  She put out the lantern so they couldn’t see her and allowed her eyesight to adjust.  She rocked herself with her arms wrapped around her knees.  “Go away, go away, go away.” She whispered.

Just about the time Jae thought she would lose her mind, she heard growling and the sound of fighting.  There were yelps of fear and pain and then silence. At first the silence was a relief.  Then fear began to grow.  Would they come back?  What stopped them?

That was how she found herself in this corner.  Trying to hide from her life.  Angry and frozen inside.

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Wolf Moon Meadow

Three Word Wednesday cxciii: erase, meadow, trace

Jae sank down to the ground.  She whimpered.  “Too much! Too much!”  She buried her nose in the dirt but even that was alive with a million scents.  Aedan stopped and turned toward her.  His voice in her head, with all the night sounds.  He spoke over all the sounds and the invisible string from his voice attached itself to something deep in her.

She joined with the pack, erasing all trace of confusion.  She took a few steps and whined again. One of the others nipped at her hind quarters and before she could react, Aedan was between her and the offending wolf.  She looked on from the side as Aedan stared at the wolf, hackles bristling.  He stood silent and proud while the other wolf rolled onto its back, exposing it’s throat.  Aedan stared for a moment and then walked away.  Jae turned and followed close behind.

The meadow was bathed in moonlight. It made the silver tips of Aedan’s fur glow.  Aedan stopped and turned to look at her.  She hesitated, filled with the night and the strangeness.  She lowered her body, arched her back and tucked her tail.  She would trust him to keep her safe.

Wolf Moon Magic

She closed her eyes and sat still as still next to the fire ring. He played the first notes and they drifted up into the dusky sky.  She felt the song in her bones and let her voice gather the words as she found a harmony that wove around his melody and together the music built until the fire ignited and sent a shower of sparks into the lateness like harbingers of the fireflies to come.  It grew and wove out from them into the trees and the wolves howled and a mourning dove adding to the power until she was not her anymore but a part of the music, the chorus taking her to the top of the mountain.

She had asked him once “Why can’t I make it come to me?”

“Because it isn’t a thing to be held or controlled.  There’s a danger there to think so.  It only comes in the between.” He rubbed oil into the wood of the lute and the fireplace light gleamed in the reflection in the grain.

“Between?” Her brows drew together as she tried to puzzle it out.

Simon smiled. “What good would a sunset be with no one to see it?  What good would eyes be, with nothing to behold?  The power lives in the give and take between the two.  Even that is not a complete explanation, because it grows and encompasses everything it touches.”

Jae tried once to sing by herself in the woods and it sounded pretty but there was no magic in it.  This night though, it was all around and the very fabric of the music held it and was held by it.  She felt it gather in her throat and the instrument Simon played became more than it was meant to be and as they came to the end of the song they finished on the same note, leaving a complete silence as though the wind itself was holding it’s breath.

Simon’s skin glistened with sweat and her face was wet with tears she had not even realized she was crying.

He laid the lute to the side and smiled at Jae.

“It’s time isn’t it?  Jae looked a little sad.

“Almost.  Tonight there will be no chains.”

“But I don’t want to hurt anyone!”

“You won’t.  I will leave you here and as I descend, magic will follow me that will turn you away should you try to come to the valley.  It’s time for you to learn things that I can’t teach you.”

“How can I learn?  It took me months to get used to waking and knowing that I had eaten the animals you left me.  I don’t know that I could….I mean, they would be alive.  I would have to kill them myself.”

“You have helped me trap them before you went into the cave.”

“It’s not the same. How will I know what to do?  What if I can’t?”

“There will be help.  The howling we heard with the music is a pack that lives here in the mountains.  They have come each time and stayed their distance, waiting for you.”

Jae stared at him with fear in her eyes. “I’ve heard them and a couple of times I have caught a glimpse of them.  Are they like me?”

Simon knew she meant were they wolves all of the time or just when the moon was full. ” Most are birth wolves but there are some who are not.  They can teach you to hunt and someday to control your change so that you don’t need the moon. I know you are afraid, but you will be protected and this is the only way.  They have watched over us and you see they have not attacked me in the night when I slept outside the cave. I will return for you in the morning.”

Jae took a deep breath and looked away from him. “You had better leave then.  It will be dark soon.”

Simon reached out and touched her shoulder til she turned back to him. “I wish I could stay with you but it’s better you learn from them.  I will be waiting for morning, daughter.”

Jae nodded, “Go on then, I feel my bones aching.”

Simon picked up the lute and started down the path and turned back one last time. Jae held up a hand to wave and found her throat was closing and her eyes were burning.  It wouldn’t do to be seen crying by a pack of wolves.  The thought made her shiver.  She went into the cave out of habit.  The way it felt to change was painful and she didn’t want to be seen, even if it was by wolves.  She lay down inside and curled up for a moment, wishing she was just going to dose off for a nap but darkness had fallen and she felt the now familiar aching that turned to fire that melted her as she became the wolf.  She stood and shook off the alien feeling and stood for a moment growing accustomed to the feel of her limbs, the closeness to the ground and the smells and sounds of the night.  There were other wolves nearby and a deer just outside the clearing. She walked to the cave opening and lifted her nose to the scent on the breeze.

When she looked down again there were four wolves that had silently stepped out of the tree line.  Three stood stock still as one took a step forward.  The three growled quietly. The one said “I am Aedan.”  Jae lowered her head, something inside telling her this one was powerful.

“Come with us.  The man Simon has asked us to teach you.”

Jae looked in wonder.  She could understand everything he said.  He turned and the three followed and after a moments hesitation, so did Jae.

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Wolf Moon Courage

Sunday Scribbling Courage #2 and One Word: Trial

That first night and for several nights after, Jae was sick and in so much pain.  Her leg burned as though it were on fire.  She remembered flashes of her mum crying and her da holding her still while Simon worked on her leg, putting awful smelling poultices on it.  He made her drink and they put wet cloths on her and her fever finally ran it’s course. She heard snatches of conversation but most of it just confused her.

“Do you think she will turn?”

“I don’t know.  She will live is the only thing I can know for now.  We will have to wait and see.”

“What will we do?”

“I will take care of her, no matter what happens.”

One morning she woke up and opened her eyes and saw the sun shining in the window.  “Are you hungry, child?”

“I…I think so.  How long have I been here?  Where are my mum and da?” Jae sat up, still a bit shaky.

“Breakfast is almost ready.  You are going to stay here for awhile until you get stronger.  Your mum will come see you though.  Here you are then.”  Simon set tea and bread on a tray and brought it to her.  She had never eaten in bed before.  “When you are through we will see about getting you up and outside.”

Jae liked Simon.  He took care of her leg and now that it was healing, he showed her how to take care of plants and taught her what was good to eat and what cured sickness.  He taught her about animals and all about everything in their valley.  Her mum and da came often.

One day they came and they ate out under the trees.  Jae played an instrument that Simon had taught her. Before they left, her mother turned and hugged her tight.  When she turned away again Jae was sure she was crying.

Simon was gathering some bread and cheese and a skin of water. “Where are we going?”

Simon smiled. “We are going up the mountain, to a special place.  When we get there, I have a story to tell you.  Get your cloak and your walking stick.  We will be gone all night.”

Jae’s leg still got tired sometimes so Simon had carved a walking stick for her and helped her decorate it with clay beads and some feathers.  “Is it very far?”

Simon held the door for her. “It is pretty far but we shall be there well before dark.  They followed the path that led out of the valley and then took a turn in a direction Jae had never been.  As they climbed, the air cooled and the vegetation became sparse.  They didn’t speak for awhile as the way was steep and rough.

“Let’s rest a moment.  How is your leg?”

“It’s a little stiff but I can keep up.” Jae grinned at him and he smiled back. He had grown to love her like a daughter and his heart was breaking.  He knew there was nothing he could do to stop what would happen, but he hoped he could help her through it.

“Look behind you.”  Simon’s eyes were aglow.  Jae turned and caught her breath.

“It’s so beautiful!.  They sat on a felled tree and Simon handed her the waterskin and broke the bread to share with her.  The sky was crimson and orange.  When they had eaten, Simon stood.  “We are almost there.”  He poured a little water on the ground and sprinkled a few crumbs around.  Jae watched him.  “We should always give thanks for what we have and what the earth gives us.”

Jae tore the few pieces of bread she had left and gently laid them on the tree.  “I am grateful for this place to rest.” She said.  Simon nodded and they continued on their way.  They had not climbed for long when they came to a clear flat place  There were tall evergreens shading all around the clearing and a cave nearly hidden in the side of the mountain.  “This is it.” Simon said.

“What is this place?”  Jae looked around and tried to peer into the cave.  “Are we going in there?”

“In a moment. First, let’s sit here a moment.  There were rocks at the edge of the clearing, worn smooth as though many had taken their rest there over the years.  The remains of a campfire could be seen in front of the cave.

“I have a story to tell you now and it will take courage to hear.  Do you think you have courage?”

Jae tilted her head to the side as she thought.  Simon never asked simple questions and she knew from experience he did not want quick answers. “I hope I do.  I don’t think anyone can know for sure until they are tested by trials.”

Simon smiled. “That is a very wise answer.  I want you to listen now.  You may be tested but know that no matter what, I will be with you.”

Jae shifted nervously in her seat.  This didn’t sound like a good story.  Simon asked her about the night the wolves chased her and her da.  He told her stories about people who had been bitten.  “Sometimes when a human has been bitten by a wolf, it changes them.  Before this night is over we will know if you are one of those.”

“Is that why I have stayed with you?”

“Your mum and da love you, but they would not be able to control you if you changed.  You could hurt them.”  Simon watched as she absorbed what he had told her.  She crossed her arms and stuck her chin out. “I would never hurt them.” She said.

“Not unless you were something other than yourself.  That’s why we have come here.  There are chains in the cave.”

She glanced nervously at the cave and then back at Simon.  “You mean to chain me up?”

“Only for this night. There will be a full moon and if you have been affected, we will know tonight.   I will be right here the whole time.”

“I can’t ever go home, can I?”  Simon’s heart broke for her.  She looked so small and scared.

“You will be able to live at home but you will have to come here when the moon is full.  I will come with you. I wish I could do more…” Simon’s voice trailed off.  He sighed and stood.  Let’s get a fire going and light a torch to take into the cave and I will get you settled.  Do you trust me?”

“Yes.”  Jae had heard stories of sheep being killed and once a child had been taken from there valley.  Would people know?  Would they be afraid of her? What if they wanted to hunt her down?  She helped Simon gather kindling and larger pieces of wood for the fire and soon it was blazing.  Simon tied a bunch of brush together and created a torch that he lit from the fire. Jae followed him into the cave.  There were chains attached to the back wall and she looked up at him and then squared her shoulders and walked over to the chains.  She positioned herself to match the location of the chain and Simon wrapped it around her and fastened it.  “How do you know this will be enough?” She felt a little silly asking that.  She was small but Simon had said she would be very strong if she changed.  Maybe this was all for nothing. Maybe the wolf that bit her was not infected.  “It’s going to be dark soon.  You better go out by the fire.  Will you talk to me some so I know you are still here?”

Simon placed his hand under her chin and bent to kiss her on the forehead. “Of course I will, daughter of my heart.”  Jae’s eyes filled with the tears she had been holding in.  She blinked hard and smiled defiantly.

“We shall see just how much courage I have, tonight!”

Simon smiled sadly.  “You have more courage than most men.  I am proud of you.”  He turned and walked out of the cave.  Jae watched him go and finally let the tears fall.

Out by the fire, Simon took the lute and a pipe from his pack.  He filled the pipe, talking as he did, about the valley and this mountain and how he had been here before.  He lit his pipe and while Jae could not see him, she was comforted by the familiar smell of tobacco.  As darkness fell she began to sweat though the night was cool.  The light from the flames outside flickered around the cave, throwing forbidding shadows all around the walls.  She was frightened and angry and hungry.

Outside, Simon had set some traps just out of the clearing and as he heard them spring, he went and found rabbits and squirrels.  He finished ringing the neck of one that didn’t die, but was badly injured.  He brought them to closer to the fire and now it was nearly full dark he sat down next to his lute.  He could hear moaning coming from the cave and knew it was beginning.  He shook his head sadly, not really surprised.  He had known from the time Jae had been brought to him that this would be the outcome, but he had planned for it.  He continued to speak to her, not sure she could understand anymore.

In the cave, Jae had felt as though her skin was too small and her bones felt like they must be breaking.  She let out a final scream that turned to a howl before it’s completion.

Simon called her name and got a growl for an answer.  He stood and threw some of the animal’s he had trapped into the cave, and quickly retreated.  he picked up the lute and began to play, singing songs he had taught Jae.  The growling subsided.

Jae smelled fire and meat and man and a million other things that she wanted to go investigate.  She threw herself at the chains and when she realized she could not get loose, began to howl.  The man smell, threw meat into the cave and she fell on it as though she had not eaten in weeks.  Hunger abated, she looked around, ready to begin howling again, when she heard the man.  The sound he was making, coupled with her full stomach, made her sleepy.  She curled up, tail tucked, and listened to Simon.  She would worry about getting out later.

Morning and Simon was still awake.  He had played and sang for much of the night, only stopping when he lost his voice.  In the stillness, he half expected to hear her again but she must have finally fallen asleep.  Simon pulled his cloak around him and slept for a little while.

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Wolf Moon Begins

Thursday Tales #4

Jae’s father carried her on his shoulders.  They had stayed at the garden late and the sun was low.  She loved to work with him and now she was sunburned and tired.  The sun was hanging low and the sky was purple and rose. She laid her cheek on his hair and daydreamed.  Her stomach growled.  Mama would have supper waiting for them.

She heard a  howl and opened her eyes.  Her father walked a little faster and glanced behind them.  “Put me down, da.  I’ll walk.”  He set her down and took her hand.

“Come  Jae.  I’m hungry.” They hurried as darkness fell .  The moon rose big and white in the sky.  There was more howling back in the woods to the west.

“Can think you can race me home, daughter?”

Jae knew he was worried but she pretended not to notice. “I can beat you!” She took off with him right behind her.  They could see the smoke from the chimney of their house now.  Jae turned to smile at him and tripped.  As she fell she saw a sight that terrified her.  Right behind her father was the biggest grey wolf she had ever seen.  Her dad skidded past her and turned to pull her up as the wolf’s teeth closed on her leg.  Her father beat him with his staff til he backed off growling.


“Jae, are you hurt bad? Can you walk?”

“Yes, da.” Her leg hurt. She got up and carefully put weight on the injured leg.

“Go home.  I’m right behind you.”

He walked backwards, never taking his eyes from the wolf.  The wolf growled once before turning and loping away.   Her father picked her up and ran toward home.  They had to get to Simon. He would know what to do.

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Wolf Moon Peace

Jae woke a little before dawn, first light making shapes visible.  In the dream, she had been running and running and couldn’t get away from whatever was chasing her.  It was an old dream, as familiar to her now as her own skin.  It seemed like a hundred years ago.  To wake up here in this house after the dream made her feel like that child all over again.  Her father carried her here after the wolf bit her.  Simon doctored her bites and kept watch over her until the first full moon brought about her change.

Her family had hoped he could help her.  They had believed in him.  They were wrong.

She shook the last of the dream confusion out of her mind and opened her eyes.  Simon was asleep in the rocking chair near the fire.  He looked older in his sleep, face slack, mouth slightly open. A wisp of white hair had worked loose from the long braid and his skin was more translucent than she remembered.  Jae frowned, trying to remember how old he had been when she left.

She stretched and put her hand on Aedan’s chest.  His heartbeat was strong.  His eyes opened and he looked at her, whining softly.  She put her hand on his face and laid her head against him.

“Hungry?” she said quietly? “Just a minute.”

Jae went and got some of the pieces of meat and brought it to him, feeding him slowly, a piece at a time.  She got a pan of water and brought it to him.  He drank a little and closed his eyes.  “Sleep, Aedan.  Rest and get better,” She crooned.

Simon opened his eyes and turned his head toward them.  A look passed between them and she crawled up on the bed and gently curled up next to Aedan, careful not to jostle him.  The dream never came twice a night.  She would sleep now, giving her peace and warmth to her mate.

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Wolf Moon Reunion

Three Word Wednesday Deviate,Identify, Saturate

“Come in child.”

She staggered through the door.  Simon closed it behind her.

“Put him on the bed.” There was a raccoon in the corner, standing on his back legs and hissing.

Simon picked him up and gently put him outside. “Away with you now, you’ll not want to be here when that wolf wakes up.”

He lit a couple of lamps and pulled a chair up near the bed so he could examine the wolf.  Jae stood ramrod straight, arms at her sides, even though she was exhausted.  Simon carefully looked at the wound and without looking up, told Jae to sit down.

Jae stood there for a moment and then wearily, pulled another chair up to the other side of the bed.  “You don’t have to take care of me.  Just see to him.” She laid her head on the bed next to the wolfs face and stroked his muzzle.

“I don’t need two patients.  There is some bread over on the shelf. Get yourself some water and eat. I’ll to need your help and I don’t want you passing out.”

Jae’s face was burning.  Even after all this time, he could make her feel like a guilty child, with a few words. She got up and walked to the shelf and broke off a hunk of bread.  She then dipped water from a bucket into a cup and drank.  Simon moved calmly around the room mixing herbs into pastes and doing whatever it was that he always did.  He took a bowl of something over to the bed and a cloth and told her to soak the cloth in the liquid in the bowl and drip it into the wolves mouth.

“What is it?”

“Just something to keep him asleep while I take that bullet out.”

Jae took the cloth and did as Simon instructed.  “Will Aedan be okay?”

“He’s lost a lot of blood, but he’s strong. You know I’ll do my best.”  Simon worked pulled the lantern closer.  He worked quietly and once he removed the bullet he looked at Jae. “If we can keep him quiet and keep the wound from getting infected, he will heal.”

A distant howl could be heard in the silence of the house. Jae stared at the blood that saturated the blanket and started to shake.

“Go on child – get out.  He’ll be asleep for hours.”

Jae stroked Aedan’s fur and murmured something in his ear and stood.  “Thank you.”

Simon nodded and waved her off.  Jae turned and walked out to the porch.  In a few moments there was nothing left on the porch but a pile of clothes.  Jae changed and trotted away from the light of the house and then flew through the dark, her senses so acute, she could identify a rabbit that ran for its home and she smelled a deer, near by.  She was hungry and she would bring meat to Aedan who would need to eat to heal.  She chased the deer into the woods and circled around. She ran up an outcropping and hunkered down and froze, still and quiet. The rock bordered the trail on one side and on the other was thick undergrowth.

The deer was wary but stepped daintily along the path and when it was in the natural chute and couldn’t deviate from the direction it had chosen, Jae leapt and clamped her jaws on it’s throat.  It was over in minutes and when she had eaten her fill, she tore off pieces of flesh and carried them back to the house.  She ran up the steps and dropped the still warm meat on the porch, whining at the door.

Simon opened the door and light from the lanterns inside spilled out into the night.  He couldn’t help smiling at her.  “I’ll take it.  I’ve bandaged him and he’ll sleep for awhile yet.  He’s still breathing.”

Jae lowered her head once and then held it up proud, gazing up at him with golden eyes.  Simon stepped back inside, closing the door to give her privacy while she changed back and dressed hurriedly.  When she entered the house, Simon was sitting at the table, cutting the meat into bite sized pieces.

They would have to stay here for awhile.

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Wolf Moon Journey

Sunday Scribbling #208 prompt: alchemy  and Weekend Writers Retreat

The clearing was bright with moonlight, dew glistened on a spiderweb.  The evening was chilly but sweat ran down her face and pooled at the base of her throat. There was no sound but her breathing as she carried the wolf, sticking close to the tree line in case she was seen.

It was slow going, carrying his weight, even with all the strength of the wolf within her.  She knew where she was going.  She never wanted to return there, but he was hurt.  His own wolf strength might not be enough to heal him.

She plodded on.  He groaned and she rubbed her cheek against his fur.  “Shhh, love.  Trust me and rest. ”

He wouldn’t change now.  He was too weak and he wouldn’t have a chance in his human form.  She walked on through the night, losing all track of time, putting one foot in front of the other.  When it was nearly dawn and she didn’t think she could go much further, she saw smoke.

“Almost there, hang on.”  She staggered to the door and kicked it with her boot.  She closed her eyes for a moment, legs and arms shaking.  It all came rushing back.

The porch looked exactly the same as when she had last seen it.  The bench where the alchemist sat in the sun with the wooden box and garden tools by the door were exactly as she remembered.  She should.  He once saved her and this became her home.  She heard his footsteps approaching  the door and for a moment, had to fight the urge to run away.  The wolf in her arms held her in place.

He looked the same, only his hair had grown snow white. “Jae! Come in!”

The words came with more difficulty than the exhaustion would have caused her. “I need your help.”

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