Wolf in Human Clothing

December 9, 2010
I marveled at the throng of people who slowly and careful maneuvered around me in the crowded hallway. It was amazing to me how easy it truly was to blend in, to walk among these teenage primates as if I belonged to their species. All the evidence in this form they curiously passed off as simple oddities with little more than a second though. The hint of golden yellow in my otherwise brown irises was merely a trick of the light, the small pads on my palm and fingers an unfortunate string of discoloured calluses. The lightly pointed and elongated teeth were a simple result of not having braces; the unique texture of my very hair was only due to whatever conditioner I used. Even the slight tapering and pointing of my ears was nothing more than an interesting birth defect to them. Sad, foolish creatures…They considered themselves worldly beings, only to be blind to the monster lurking in their very midst.

Of course there were others who also roamed the halls of this school, though none of them were known to be. Their auras stood out to me as bright pinpricks of consciousness, their light scent teased my sensitive olfactory glands; though I was only able to identify them by these immaterial methods, in which a normal human could not detect, and so their physical identities were completely unknown to me, as well as the clans which bore tem. And so it was best, for it was frowned upon to intermingle with individuals from other clans.

As my mind wandered, I fought back a dangerous swelling borne from the innermost depths of my brain. It was a constant battle to keep my true self locked in the prison of my consciousness, when in truth my greatest wish was to know to know release, to know true freedom, no matter how much it may terrify me. Oh, how my secret heart longed to escape the confines of the all too human body and with it the cold unforgiving halls of the high school that I was required by both state and clan law to attend. It would be a dream to slip away into some small bit of wilderness that might be left on this Earth. Ah, but that was strictly forbidden by decree of the Circle of Alphas, as it had been for centuries. To fully give in to one’s true side completely and utterly was to lose one’s self. Not only did it hold a great danger of harm to oneself, but also the danger of being discovered and risking the wellbeing of not only therians worldwide, but the charges we’re sworn to protect….humankind.

Our relatively small society was built upon such laws and decrees, served by the wise Circle of Alphas, the ruling body built from each clan’s Alpha. There were five clans total, each having an Alpha represent its interests among the circle These restrictions were what had kept our kind safe and hidden over the centuries, and so assisted us in our ever-present goal: To protect mankind as their precursors and forebears of our former race. Even since the great wolf Fenrir took his true form among the great Germanic woods, we have existed as silent guardians and watchers.

And yet with this sense of purpose and lawfulness came a loss of personal freedom. To abandon one’s clan meant certain death, for they would hunt you down, no matter the reason for your departure. A therian was born into the clan, and he died a part of it, whether by their hands or in their arms. I was born Kolton Thatcher of Clan Kaghdan, and I would die Kolton Thatcher of Clan Kaghdan, and that was my inescapable fate.

Even so, there were whispers of the sixth clan, the Drudan, the fabled Druids. The ancient tales held that they were fully in touch with their true forms and spirits, and lived as we were meant to live – in their true forms, in harmony with the Nature Mother and Moon Father. Recent rumors held that the Druids had even migrated from the British Isles that were their home, and into the frozen reaches of the Canadian forests, in search of wilder, more secluded areas, an act that was yet unheard of in any therian history.

Opinion of the Druids was mixed at best. Some held them in high regard, akin to the saints and saviors of the humans, while a few select others believed them savages who yet hunted humankind itself as prey. And yet others maintained they were yet a mythological fantasy, a hopeful fairytale passed down through the generations.

In my own mind, the Druids lived as we were meant to live – Both a spiritual and physical connection between our animal kin and human brethren. To me, it was a horrible deception to live amongst humans as we did now, secretly, without allowing them to learn from us, to benefit. To walk amongst these humans my own age, looking upon their countenances with wolfen eyes, hearing their joyful voices with wolfen ears, to smell their unique scent with a delicate wolfen nose, without their knowing of my existence was a crime. Why was it necessary to deceive the very beings we were sworn at birth to protect?

My aura must have flared a little too powerfully as I thought these rebellious thoughts, for the group of girls gathered nearby suddenly shifted uncomfortably and cautiously eyed me. I took a long inhale of breath to calm myself, still awaiting the bell I knew was yet another forty minutes away. I had not bothered once again to attend my last class, biology, as it was ironically one of my best subjects. I had better things to do with my time.

Impatient, I slipped out of the school and into the cool October air. I had nothing to hang around the school for; I had merely stuck around due to boredom and a love of people watching. Only once I trekked into the surrounding woods a good mile or so did I hear the dull sounding of the school bell finally tickling my ears. In spite of my rather dreary mood, I felt a small, reluctant smile creep across my lips. Being amongst nature’s creations never failed to calm and elate me. Oh, what it would be like to live like this, to live amongst the Drudan, to be a Druid!

The moon was finally beginning to rise as I finally paused in my trek, countless miles into the thick forest that was steadily gaining altitude into the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. I knew if I continued to follow the stars and the path of these massive mountains I would travel even longer distances, and into infamous Canadian wilds. For a brief moment, I allowed my heart to swear with the idea of running for days nonstop in my true form, relishing the freedom and strength that was rightfully mine. My instinct would lead me to the Drudan should I allow it to, I knew it would. And yet, fleeing the clan meant almost certain death.

Or did it? If I sought refuge with the Druids, would the clans still seek my life as payment for my crimes? Would the Druids surrender me over to my death, or would they protect me as their brother? I didn’t know….I couldn’t know.

Unless I did decide to run; Run far and long, right now, dash evermore deeper into these forests and flee. Did I really want to risk it?

I sighed, for I had known the answer before I had even asked the question.

I was already barreling through the trees before I was completely shifted, in search of the Druids, and in search of my own true place in this world.

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