“Who am I for real?” I thought as I look at my reflection while sitting an old-fashioned chair. “ Do I have a purpose in choosing the pack I want to be in?” Those questions I ponder and I never asks my parents or my friends. My mother is cutting my hair, which is pretty long for a guy, for the Festival of Fate. Every year at the Festival of Fate, those that graduate from School, with passing the Final exam, choose the life they want to live in. Today is the exam that I have to pass before the Festival of Fate. “Are you nervous?” my mother asked in her gentle voice, noticing my eyebrows being mushed together. “No, I am prepared to choose my fate and to pass the test,” I replied with confidence in my voice. My mother smiled and said,” You know, I am a counselor and I want you to talk to me without feeling like I’m going to judge you.” “I know mother,” I said with unease. “But, don’t you think it’s weird that the test could tell me what I may be good at?” My mother stopped cutting my hair and looked at me in the eyes. “Noah, I know that we should be grateful for our government, especially the President for protecting us and the test is something I probably never know. Just trust in God and nothing will ever go wrong.” I knew that she answers part of my question, but I don’t want to argue with her since she had her patience tested a million ways from rowdy kids to short-tempered adults. “I understand mother,” I said and continued to let mother cut my hair while looking at my appearance: blond hair, tallness, and athletic build that I got from my father while I got from my mother are blue eyes, smile, her characteristics and dressing up like I’m going to a funeral. “Mother, will Father come to see the Festival?” I asked since I’m now thinking about Dad. My mother then answered with a little sadness,” I don’t know Connor. Your father is a search expedition that kept him busy because he believed it has to do with the Dictator.” I shivered in fear at the word Dictator. The Dictator is the king of these people called the Mutated because they refuse to follow the traditions and would catch this disease that messes up their body from the cells to major organs like the brain, transforming them into monsters inside out. “All done,” Mother announced, satisfied. “ You better catch the bus or you’ll be late.” I got up, told my mother I thank with a kiss on the cheek and hurried to the door, thinking: I wonder how do others feel about the test?
The bus was in three words: crowded, smoky, and hot. The bus took people from the boulevard, where I live, to a giant white building that looked like the greek temples from the history textbook. As the bus drop us off, I see people besides the School, mostly adults, smoking while talking. I made an oath to never smoke, after what happened to one of my friend that got in trouble for smoking at such a young age. Massive crowds of students come in while refreshing their memory of notes by studying through textbooks or computers known as laptops. I don’t need to study because I study with my friend Ashley with her twin brother Austin who have pretty high grades. I walked down to the cafeteria to wait for my name to be called for the test. I noticed Austin waved his hand at me at a table at the corner of the cafeteria, so I walked over to the table. “Hey guys,” I greeted as I sat down. “Ready for the test?” The two looked at each other and Ashley answered,” Sort of. Though we have study really hard on the test, the teachers never told us what it’s going to be about.” Austin rolled his eyes and replied, “Sis, of course, we never know what the test about. It’s the law.” I am sure that Ashley knew that, everyone knows that the Government created the test to point out the skills that each test taker is good at. We went silent and listened to names being called. “Noah Duran.” One female voice rang out of the speaker. I stood and walked away without saying goodbye. “Good luck with the test!” Ashley shouted and I smile as she broke the rule to not shout to too loud. I pass through groups of people that seem to really study. There a group for each animal that is raised upon, like the Owls talking over massive textbooks and old printed newspapers, the Eagles laughed and gave huge smiles, Otters telling some jokes, Butterflies praying, Pumas staying silent without a word and the Panthers stood at a distance from the other groups with tattoos on each bicep with grave looks. I went to the table outside the cafeteria and a lady told me,” Follow me.” I followed and noticed that the walls instead of white stone are covered over by black paint. “What happened here?” I asked as the lady leads the way. The lady turned her head and raised her eyebrow, “Never seen a curious Puma before.” I shut my mouth immediately. I shouldn’t say that it’s a value of the Pumas that we should never be the center of attention. I followed after her, still wondering why they would remodel the paint with black. The lady leads me to a room looking a small black box with a chair in the middle. The lady opened the door and I noticed that she has tattoos like the Panther. I was going to ask, but I didn’t want to insult the representation of my family in the law of Pumas. The lady said,” My name is Ruby, I will monitor your test for the day. I need you to go to the seat and wait for the test to start.” I nodded in understanding and walked to the chair and sat in it as the only door closes slowly with a satisfying click and clung.
I waited for a few minutes till I saw a wolf. I sprang my chair with surprise and the wolf growled, looking aggressive. My first instincts were to run, but were in a small enclosed compartment? Wait, a closed compartment. Then, this is the test.”C’mon Noah, think.” I told myself Something went back to me, one of the memories that I cherished. My dad brought me to a Dog shelter to pick out a dog that I want. When I wanted to play with my dog for the first time, my dad told me,” Be careful. Dogs have the very sharp sense of smell. If they smell some emotions like fear or anger, the dog can get aggressive.” And also remembering my animal ancestry, the wolf is the ancestor of the dog which means that both have sensitive noses. With a plan in mind, I fell to knees while trying to not scream or run. My sweat went from my brow to my chest, chilling me and almost sending me in shivers. The wolf looked at me with amused eyes, like he’s thinking I’m giving up. I looked at him, my blue eyes to his yellow eyes and reached out my hand for him to sniff me. The wolf looked at it, and I closed my eyes to bear the pain and losing my hand. But, all I felt first was a few small breezes and later a warm sandpaper tongue licking my hand. I opened my eyes and started to pet the wolf. “You’re not so vicious after all, huh?” I asked as the wolf licked more and making small whimpers of joy. Without noticing, water started to appear from the ground and the wolf is disappearing. I looked around and saw a raft and a little girl crying. I ran to her and I said,” Hey. Are you ok?” The little girl looked up, looking like she was 4-years old, said, “We are going to drown. I want my mommy!” The girl started to cry again. I looked around and notice the raft and thought about for a minute. The water is now going to ankle level and I decided what to do. “Hey, see that raft over there?” I asked pointing to a raft. The little girl nodded, “I’ll take you there and you go first to get out of here.” The little girl said, “Ok.” I pulled her up, which was quite difficult since the water which is almost knee level and soaked the little dress that the little girl had dressed on. With all of my strength, I placed her on the raft. “Thank you stranger,” The little girl said as the raft started to drift her away. “You are like my own guardian angel.” And before long, she was gone. But the water is still going up and up faster than before. I knew that I was going to die, so I know what to do. I prayed loudly saying, “God. I thank you for all the good memories you gave me. But please, don’t leave me to die in here.” The water still started to go up, I thought, “Well, I guess God want me to come home. At least I’ll die with a burial.” The water went up over my head and I hold my breath. The room is now completely filled with water, which reminds me of an aquarium. I looked around for a hole, but there wasn’t any. I suddenly let go of my breath, ready to be drowned. But, I breathed in the water. How is that possible? I realized from the very beginning, “This is not real. It’s the test.” At that moment, I hit my fist to the wall and surprisingly, the stone wall collapsed. Water was poured out and I was washed away andI fell into the deep pit of blackness and without a second thought, I let the water guide me and fall into the deep pit.
I awoke from my chair and feel the sweat from my forehead to my lower back. Ruby, look at me with a surprised expression. “Excuse me,” Ruby said as she leaves the room. I was confused, what was she doing here? Was she the one that started the test on me? If so, how did she do that? I looked around and everything that was before is still the same. I sighed with relief and waited because with the needles stinging and the small computer on my wrist is extremely tight that may cut off my blood supply. Ruby came back and she looked like I just killed her dog. “Remarkable.” She whispered as she started to pull back the needles and pressing the buttons on the small computer. “We always wanted an another wolf breed,” Ruby whispered, but she said it so quietly that I still hear her. After she removed the equipment I still sat and she looked at me and finally said,” I have your results.” I stood up and was ready to know what it is. “You passed the first test which was about the wolf that tested on the Owl. The girl with the water rising up, you passed the Puma which is having to tell the girl what to do and selflessly letting her be safe from harm. When the water came up, you somehow prayed which wasn’t expected on the test which then declared you a Butterfly and for facing the danger of being drowned as a Panther.” She frowned and looked at me like I was some kind of an interesting specimen to her. “Yet, you knew all along that it was a test just by instinct and befriended the wolf a lot faster than all the other testers.” She looked around and whispered to me, “Those that excelled in more than one clan and breaks the test is known as a Wolf breed.” The word “wolf breed” sounded so ancient, powerful and seemed to be the perfect clan for me. Ruby looked at me and ordered in an adult voice, “Connor, you must not tell about your results to anyone.” “I know that. It’s the law.” I replied “Yes, but not everyone a law-abider.” she countered. “Just go to your classes and be like nothing happen. You are also allowed to lie in the case of emergency.” I was shocked what she just said. She wants me to lie, but why? “Ok,” I said feeling a little unease. Ruby nodded, “Good. Please note that a Wolf breed is a dangerous status to have. Lots of people are against the Wolf Breed which means you must keep it secretly.” I thanked her and left the room and somehow know where to go. As I see more students coming into class, for some reason I felt relief and went to my first class of Advanced Science. Everyone I know is there, including Ashley and Austin. I sat down near my friends. Our teacher wanted to congratulate us for passing the test and the hope that we will use our knowledge of science to help save the world. After that, he let us have a free day because it’s the last day of school before graduation. For me, I just stayed silent and nobody dared to talk to me.
I walked home after school, feeling tired and carrying groceries for Mother to cook. As I pass, I noticed that I am in one of the Mutated settlement houses that the Government made for people who got the disease and want to get another chance. I felt a sudden gut feeling that someone is watching me and I turned around to see if it’s true. And now my instinct is right, there was a withered old man who had wild-like eyes and seemed so dark and sinister. “Hello boy,” The old man said. “ What are you doing here? |t’s not safe to be here.” I answered back, stammering, “I-I was going home, but I didn’t know that I got myself here.” The old man looked at me. No, he wasn’t looking at me. He was looking at the groceries. I, without a second thought, pulled out a shiny red apple and handed it to the old man. “Ah, thank you lad,” The old man said looking at the apple. “How old are you by the way?” I shifted uneasily. “I’m 19 sirs,” I answered and the old man looked at me with eyes of surprise. “19? You are going to choose your destiny?” I started to have another gut feeling that I need to leave. “I need to go, sir,” I said and walked away fast from the old man to the border of the settlement house. From all I heard was, “Choose wisely.”
I mostly ran to my house which was quite long. As I got there, my leg muscles cramped and my heart beating my rib cage. My mother was there and she looked at me with concern. “Did you run?” She asked as she pulled out the ingredients that are in perfect shape. “Yes, mother. I just wanted to exercise.”I explained as I helped her with the groceries. Before my mother could say anything, I ran to the stairs to my room and locked the door. My room is the second largest room of the house. I have posters of joining the Panthers and some music bands that are my favorite, my table that beside the doorway, bed near the windows and the dresser that are filled with colorful clothes. I sat on my bed and looked at the ceiling. I reminded everything that happened. The test addressing me as a wolf breed, the old man telling me to choose wisely. I then went to my table and searched through this machine that my father gave to me for Christmas called a computer. I typed into the keyboard “Wolf breed” and there was only one website. I clicked and it sends me to a website with only a paragraph. I read it silently:
“Wolf breed is a mixture of 3 or more clans that a person has on due to the confirmation of the test and qualities that the person has due to genetics. Wolf breeds symbolize a carnivorous animal that is the ancestor of the dog called the Wolf. It symbolizes loyalty, listening to instinct and having the leadership role of the pack. Some people hated the Wolf breed because of their urges of mating and greed. However, the Wolf breed are mostly single people and in the middle class that dedicates to the society with gifts that no one has every had. It required a lot of sacrifices which could include a death of a love or friend or placing his/her life on the line for the good of the people. It results in long, sometimes happy or sad, lives that gets blessings from God. Some people called the Wolf breed as “Angles of God” that came from the heaven to eliminate any evil that has been lurking in the Society for a long time.”
As I read the final lenten e of the paragraph, mother knocked on the door and said, “Noah? Your father is here.” I immediately closed the website and ran downstairs to meet my father. My father stood at the doorway, and I stood on the stair step. My father and I never got to develop a bond between us due to his work as a Panther. He is now the leader of the Panther’s dangerous squad that fights any danger that is present within and outside the Society. My father looked at me and smiled, “Hello son. It has been a long time since I seen you.” He opened his arms uneasily, “Now, I know that it takes a lot of trusts, but if you want a hug-“ Next thing I noticed I was hugging him and Father returned the hug with a chuckle. I know that some may think that I am too emotional, I’m not. I just never got to see my dad unlike others and now he is going to see me pick the life I want to be in. I pulled back and he shocks my hair saying, “We have so much to talk about.”
So we got to talk for a few hours. I told my dad about how I had been doing at school while he traded for his story which was more exciting than mine. He told us about how he went to a cold place far away north and got to settle disputes between the King of Canada, which seemed like a weird name for a country to me. He told us that there was a gang, several miles east of the Society, that uses dolls to control people which he calls it, “voodoo dolls”. “They would have each doll some realistic that they would manipulate the doll like poking it with a needle or settle it close to the fire,” Dad explained and he looked at me. “Noah, are you going to the Festival of Fate?” I nodded and he chuckled, “ I figured. I will be able to see what you choose. I expect you either pick Panther or Puma.” “Honey,” Mother said as she placed a hand on Father’s shoulder. “Noah has a choice to pick his fate. We may be his parents, but we have to let him go as a bird from the nest.” My father looked at her and then at me, exhaled and said, “ I know. It just that there a lot of conflict of the Owl clan that are trying take over the government including the president.” “Is this about Jeremy Brumas?” Jeremy Brumas is the head of the Owl clan, Brumas is against the Wolf Breed and wanted to have all the power to himself. “Yes,” Father answered weakly. “He’s trying to limit the power of Panthers.” I understood why Father would somewhat hate Jeremy Brumas, I don’t like him due to his harsh treatment to the Owls. Brumas is the only one that has the high IQ than anyone else in the clan. “Father,” I said. “Don’t worry. I would never join the Owl clan even if my test told me that I’m qualified for that clan.” My father looked at me and I can see pride and love that he nodded back. “Good, I know that you would keep your word. I could’ve to ask about your test, but it’s the law.” “It is the law.” My mother agreed. I thought for a minute and finally said with all of my heart, “It’s the law.”
Author’s Note: Hey everyone! I hope you enjoy the part 1! If I reach the goal of 300 likes and 15 comments, I’ll have the second part completed.