The Wolf and The Rose (1)

Hello everyone, this is the first part of a short story I’m writing for a collection of short stories I plan to make and sell. I’ll be releasing each part over the course of this week, but you can also read the whole thing right now on Wattpad here: https://www.wattpad.com/user/TheSym-Bal
This amazing cover picture was drawn by Peter Petrovic. You can find his art here: petah55.deviantart.com

Self. The blank slate of his mind enveloped the field before him, endless, barren,and cold. A place where time was irrelevant. In this world, all that mattered was one’s sense of self, as progress could not be plucked and decided by foreign hands. The moist fingers would only freeze over, petrified in place as a painful reminder that this journey was not a migration for refuge, but a war of attrition. Those scars he carried were the only reminder he needed. Like everything else, the cold quickly froze over these wounds. If they were allowed to bleed….such thoughts faded in the blank wasteland.

The memories were faint, but his sores pulled them to the surface. His history was playing before him in those brief periods the wind was calm. The memories of The Pack. Scattered often, each of them part of the whole’s survival. The moment conditions worsened, they would join together, gaining strength through this ritual of connection. What happened when one couldn’t achieve this strength was unknown. All that was understood was that on one’s own, you were open. The Pack feared this more than anything else. Because of this fear, there was only a single truth to be accepted; The Pack lives for the sake of The Pack. But he was unorthodox.

The energy flowing through his body only grew stronger in his isolation. His stubbornness was one where rather than fight against the likelihood of death, he simply deemed it impossible and his body agreed. He didn’t know what to call it then, this strength, and he didn’t understand why he wasn’t like them. All he knew was that to be forgotten and covered in white, with little more than some twigs and stone to mark where your body fell, was something that couldn’t describe him,it simply wouldn’t.

This would be his only tie to The Pack. He wasn’t like them. Whether a disability or a gift, he assuredly wasn’t like them. Their eyes accepted every ray of light, their vision allowed them to see so many colors and hues in their infinite sky, and despite this incredible vision, or perhaps because of it, their eyes were completely blind to The Storm.

Drawing everything into its faceless center, all ensnared in its powerful gale. The Storm and all its desire was no stranger to these lands. Simply existing, its presence seemed as fundamental as the feeling of hunger or pain. He wasn’t able to see them, at least back then, amidst the chaos before his eyes. To see those infinitesimal moments of humility in The Storm’s onslaught. But he could see them now, with the rape of the land by those lascivious winds. The Pack, dancing in the all-encompassing frost, taking pleasure in it like a quilt. Had those memories before The Pack’s infidelity been real, he was no longer sure. But even then, as The Storm raged on, it was clear he wasn’t like them.

For The Pack, the pressure of The Storm was an assurance of strength. They blindly accepted Its invitation, celebrating their own perdition as salvation. Within its icy tomb, to exist was to indulge in the grace of foreign appraisal. Bodies of all shapes and sizes pressed against each other in ecstasy, sucking the essence from each other like parasites. Fearing becoming prey to the chilling winds if they separated, they remained in these beatific piles like totems to appease their unseen benefactor.

The piles seemed to rise with no end, with some towers reaching the very realm of The Storm itself. From there he could only imagine how small everything became,as from his perspective, the gargantuan mass of flesh before him was all too present, despite his lack of vision. Then, he simply ran, fearing everything around him. He thought it was rain, now reliving the palpitations within his flesh from his frightened sprint. With each body crashing around him, much louder than back then, it became clear. It was inevitable, as The Pack expanded into The Storm, it could not support its own weight.

The Pack lives for the sake of The Pack. The motto appeared with these terrible visions in his mind.The sounds of impact grew louder. The Pack lives for the sake of The Pack. One of them fell in front of him, halting his movement with the impact. The Pack lives for the sake of The Pack, but… That was enough. The image of The Pack, scattered by The Storm, and before him a useless limb of The Pack that could no longer live. Begging for relief from these memories, his vision began to wane, now blurring. He felt a soothing feeling wrap itself around him as the vision became too murky to decipher. His eyes shot opened, everything erased once more. That wind, those smiles, these scars…The Storm very much alive. Shaken, but grateful, he took his last remaining memory to enforce his future. The Pack lives for the sake of The Pack…and dies for the sake of The Storm.

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