Excerpt from a Cancelled Book I Wrote

A few years ago I started writing a story. Things fell apart, and I never continued with the story.

Here’s an excerpt. Fair warning, it was my first attempt at writing anything serious as well as being a very, very rough draft.

It was dark and the night was cold. The hoot of a single owl could be heard, but nothing more.

A single cave opened nearby, and within it, a pack of twelve wolves lay. Winter was typically the best time to hunt, but this year hadn’t been fruitful. They had only caught two deer in the last week, and both were mere fawn. That was out of the six they’d seen. The hunt had grown weaker over the past seven years, and whatever the cause had yet to show itself to the wolves.

Faelyn – the youngest of the pack – lay atop her mother, Laein. This was only her third winter, and she’d yet to experience the ‘great hunt’ the rest of the pack claimed would come every winter. Great Hunt indeed. Quite the game, searching for deer but finding none. And the hunger, oh the overbearing hunger. She’d barely had three chunks of that last one. A fighter she was, kicking as if she could escape the inevitable.

Faelyn, like the rest of the pack, had a silver coat, and yellow eyes. What made her appearance stand out though was the small black spot on her rear left leg.

She loathed her lot in life. Every day was a pessimistic pool of hatred for the cold, the world, her pack, and herself. She mostly hated herself. Was it because she couldn’t achieve? Yes, partially. But it was also because of her kind. She hated killing such innocence. That poor fawn had a family. She had a full life ahead of her; only to be ended by an adrenaline-filled nightmare covered in blood. No, this wasn’t what Faelyn wanted to do. She wanted to leave. But to do so would mean exile, and without a plan, she could do nothing.

A twig snapped nearby waking Faelyn from her trance. The wolves awakened and the alpha investigated. A chink-thwomp sound was heard before the alpha, Beomir cried out. The wolves prepared for the attack, but it was too late. The cave quickly flooded with eight or so men armed with crossbows as they shot the wolves full of arrows. The hunters dragged their bodies out of the den – leaving blood as they did so – and lifted them into a small carriage pulled by two large horses.

Faelyn lies there in shock, unable to lift herself up. A single arrow stuck out of her front left leg. The hunters glanced at her and left her to die. She lost consciousness a few moments later, wishing they’d killed her as well.

Faelyn awoke to see another man enter the cave carrying a torch. Anger flooded her senses as she growled, baring teeth. Just as she prepared to use all her remaining energy to lift herself up and attack, she heard a voice speak in a calm voice.

There, there. It’s alright. I’m not going to harm you, the voice said.

What? Did the human just speak to her mind? As far as she was concerned, no human nor dwarf was capable of such a thing. Clearly, this was a human. He certainly smelt like one, sounded like one, and, of course, he looked like one.

Why should I trust you?! Your kind killed my pack! My family! How dare you have the audacity to tell me to ‘calm down?’, she yelled back with all her might.

Not all of us are such monsters, he retorted. And having touched your mind, I would think you’d agree.

The man was tall. He had long, deep brown hair that was graying. A finely trimmed goatee circled his lips, with a mustache to top it. His thick brows sat atop deep green eyes. A single gold earring adorned his left earlobe, and a pair of small lenses sat upon this bridge of his prominent nose. The man had aged nicely. Mid-forties maybe, yet something told her he was older than he appeared.

She responded, angrily. What is ‘that’ supposed to mean?

Most ‘hunters’ kill because they have to. People need to eat to survive. I doubt anyone who calls themselves human would eat wolf, however, so as you’ve learned here tonight; not all men kill for food. Some kill for sport. I know not what your pack’s carcasses will be used for, but I digress.

You – wolves – kill because you must. You don’t have the want to kill for sport, because you can’t imagine the purpose of such a task. Yet you still question that. You’re far from the first wolf I’ve had the pleasure of speaking to, so I ask you this: why? Why question something you do because you must. I certainly don’t. Clearly, you feel sympathy for your prey. None of the wolves I’ve met feel anything but hunger at the thought of a bleeding, dying calf.

I don’t have to explain myself to you, foul human! Faelyn yelled, her leg now numb. She tried to get up but had little success before she collapsed. Just leave me be and let me die.

No. I will not leave you be, and I shall not let you die. If anything, you are far too interesting a quandary for me to pass.

The human then left the cave for a moment and returned with two burlap sacks, one large, one small. He opened the small one and sat it on the ground about three yards from Faelyn, he sat the larger sack a few feet from the first. He removed what must have been two hundred twigs of numerous sizes and shapes from the first sack and piled them between the two bags before removing a flint with which he used to light the sticks aflame.

He then removed a small dagger from his belt and set it aside. He reached over and opened the second sack and removed what appeared to be leaves wrapped around… something.

The smell of freshly caught trout assaulted Faelyn’s nostrils. Now remembering her extreme hunger, her mouth began to water.

Seeing her discomfort from under his brows, the man chuckled as he unwrapped the fish. I see you’re hungry. Don’t worry, I’m not here to torture you.

He threw the trout in her direction, and she caught it in her mouth like a treat.

Don’t get used to this. She growled.

I don’t plan on it. I’ll have you back to your human-hating self in no time. He said, unwrapping more fish as he pulled them out of the sack. He threw one into the flames, and a second at Faelyn. He then sat the dagger in the fire as well.

Faelyn gave a questioning glance. What is that for?

Nothing. He answered worriedly.

Nothing, huh? You removed your weapon for a reason. Why put it in the fire? Why are you laughing?

The man chuckled. Trust me, it’s best if you don’t think about it.

About an hour-and-a-half passed. More fish were thrown, and some cooked and eaten by the strange man. Finally, he removed a pair of tongs from the small sack, and a larger stick from the big one, and pulled the dagger out of the fire.

He then moved towards Faelyn. She sensed his discomfort, but something about a human bringing a hot dagger to her made her uncomfortable.

What are you doing? She growled.

Bite down on this. He ordered, putting the stick in her face.

Why for? What do you take me for?

A wolf. He said, curtly. Trust me, it’ll be better for the both of us if you do as I say.

Seeing as she had no other option, she took the stick in her mouth. Now what?

He sat the dagger and tongs down. Now hold your breath.

Before she could respond, the man pushed the arrow through and out of her leg. She howled into the stick wishing she’d bit his hand off when she had the chance.

What in Theldrin’s breath are you doing!? She screamed.

The man didn’t respond, but instead grabbed the dagger and tongs and pressed the pommel against the wound and held it for a second before removing it and repeating on the exit hole.

There. Unfortunately for you, I don’t have any medicine on me now, but when I get you to camp. I’m certain our healers can help you. He said flatly. If they don’t kill me first.