Rites of Passage

Family Ties

The Ties That Bind

Kaiden Reid

Pinecones. She said her name was Pinecones. What did I expect her to say, Angela? She was a a lost dog. A garou that didn’t know her own nature. I snapped a quick photo with the group as we drove down the freeway, a bit rustled up from the previous day but somehow all of that was behind us. I was halfway through pulling out my camera to show her some of the places that we had been when my world was turned upside down. I remember the strange feeling of vertigo and everyone around me looked a bit confused .. and then nothing …

The first time I woke up to Steven’s careless & ignorant comment about Levi’s mother. Shocked into action I grabbed him before Levi could get to him. I put him in the loop and then shook my head regaining my composure. We were sprawled about in a tall grassy glade that spread out into a wide plains. A sea of green blades swaying gently in the breeze, heaven. Joseph turned to us and explained that he had been there before, that it was a dream of his, that we were all somehow dreaming, and that we were sharing our dream. Pinecones wasn’t there and as we all looked at each other nervously my head throbbed. I remember a dark cloud flooding through my mind and a visceral cold chilling me to the bone. A strange crinos covered in blood was feasting on something and as it drank deeply from the creatures neck I remember a strange feeling of unease in my stomach. I felt full. The fog disappeared as quickly as it had shown up and Joseph pointed out a deer a little ways off into the distance. “Whenever I come here, hunting always calms me down.”, he said innocently a smile poking out from the melancholy on his face. We looked to Levi in unison and then we all looked at the deer. For the first time since that fateful night almost two weeks ago I felt elation and together we ran through the fields. A synchronized effort so brutally efficient I wished it would have lasted forever. Our pack feasted on the deer as the sun set in the skies and soon Lune shined down upon us. A fire crackled behind our pleasant conversation and a small figure crept into the clearing where we were. The skies swirled above us and that night we were gifted with something truly magical. He never told us his name but somehow I knew he was there to help.

The second time I woke up to a tragic sight. A strong and regal garou stood on bloodied legs clutching a massive stone sword. It seemed as though courage and tenacity were the only things holding him together and with a stubborn gait he approached us introducing himself as Bite of Wind, and honored elder of the Sept of the Winter Wolf. He looked at each one of us in turn and when he spoke somehow he raised our spirits. He never spoke the words but we all knew that he had reached the end of his journey and as I looked into his eyes for the last time across the small wooden clearing I acquiesced to his request. We faced off for but a moment before he returned to the earth. A single tear fell from my eye and my heart welled up. In a tempest my spirit surged through my body and cried out. As the feeling left my lips a sorrowful dirge filled the air above us and was echoed from just north of us. Solemnly we trudged on through the woods and finally we reached the Sept to deliver our news. Bite of Wind’s son Ice Dagger, a rather imposing figure ushered us to the elder council. When we explained ourselves the Elders had mixed reactions. We didn’t need to look at each other to know that we would have all traded our lives for the pup’s at that moment but before we could speak our piece Levi’s father Khaldun, Races the Dark, appeared out of nowhere. He explained himself and begged the council for responsibility, requesting the Rite of the Omega Wolf. In some twist of fate his sentence was left to us and after a grueling two minutes reluctantly Levi faced his feelings, his soul, and his past. I didn’t know what was going to happen, and to be honest I thought for a moment that my body would give out but with a great sadness and compassion Levi granted his father’s wish.

That should be the end of the story. Something so tragic and sad should be given time. Broken hearts are hard to mend but life goes on as they say, and so .. minutes later we warned the Sept of the coming threat to the north and they told us about our stranded pack. Thank god they were alive.

- K.R.

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