Saturday, August 14, 2010


It stood before him, straight, crooked, bent with the arches of time, his ladder to the sky above. If only he could mount it. A few well placed blows could fell it but he did not intend that. This one was old. It commanded different treatment. And it was twisted assumedly making it an easy climb. But the rain had left it all wet and soft like a rubber stone. One knuckle a little too harsh and it would crack to lend his fall. He had more control over his form now. He wasn’t clumsy when he ran but when it came to climbing walls or trees he would eventually land on his back stuck like a beetle. But this one he would ace. One blink and he was at the root. The jump took him high and slashing wildly he advanced towards the sky. Every step was as easy as an electric eel and as he paced across it, it would slip like banana peel. As it would fall, he would rise till he stopped right into the vice. He was at the top now clinging for his life looking below he no longer felt wise. The branch he was perched on was sagging. The world below beckoned to him. He stood tall howling with the entire lament of wrath he held and then jumped. Everything meant to break his fall was gashed off by his claws as he marooned life. And then his master summoned. He somersaulted in mid flight and landed on his feet. The impact felt gruesome but more pronounced was the voice that talked to him. Adam, find me in the shack. The king is dead. The urgency of a voice he had only before defined as calm could have rattled had he not been in his absolute senses right then. Four feet guided him to the shack. A fire was glowing inside. The room was warm and gave the mud walls gave an outlook of pure solidarity with nature. The master lay cross legged in the centre mumbling chants. He echoed to him. Come, sit, and wait. He sat down in front for the revelation he was owed. He too closed his eyes but merely for the peace that it gave him. Every once in a while he did look into his masters thoughts. Baffled every time he smirked at his own fate. One such time a voice he recognized even addressed him but somehow his master blocked him right then and all he could hear after that were the splinters rousing the fire. In time he was addressed again but this time by the master.
“Son, your father has died.”
This time he laughed. “A father that was never mine. If I remember correctly I was brought up by my mother.”
“She chose to mother you alone so you would not be what you are now.”
“You mean this? All this pin hair. These teeth? This snout?”
“Yes that if it’s all it is to you.”
“You know it is more than that to me.”
“Then behave if it is.”
“I am not in grief if that is what you were suggesting.”
“He sacrificed the realms of this world so you may live in the other.”
“He abandoned us.”
“No. He sacrificed the right to bond. It was a choice. He could stay a wolf, a husband, a father and kill for the emperor or become a man and kill his beloved and child or convert them. He let you live. He let your mother live. And when the king ordered him to slay the misfortune bred families of those who had chosen the other he killed the king. In a gathering of a thousand wolves he took his head off. By wolf legislation he was made king. As king he was damned to let go off everything else. He changed the law of course so that others would not have to pay what he did. He was our king. A good king. And he is dead now. The moment I marked you, I knew you were his son. I was confused then as to how you could be a wolf. But now it’s all clear. Your father made himself your opposite, knowing that if they came for you, merely killing himself would set you free. But you became a wolf before he died. Which is not possible, unless the Brethren have been lying. But then why would they lie?”
He closed his eyes and an expression of pure grief loomed over him.
“Adam. They know. And they are coming for you.”
“So why not kill me yourself and give them my head as a surprise gift?”
“Cause you cannot be killed. You can be burned, torn to shreds even drowned but you cannot be killed.”
“No wonder”
“No wonder what?”
“I survived.”
“Rewind your memories master to the night I took form. Look for a scene with me jumping into the ocean. Not being dramatic, but I am sure a thunder would have struck right then”
“You were falling into the water. Deep and survived.”
“I do not know how. I remember watching the surface dull as I drowned. I closed my eyes. ”
“And you came out as a wolf.”
“If only I could have died. Things would have been different.”
“For one your father would be alive.”
“What has he to do with this?”
“My guess is, when he saw you drowning he must have killed himself faster than you could have drowned to save you. The Brethren would know but at least you would live.”
“Who is this Brethren?”
“The kings advisors. More powerful than the king himself but the king’s word was always a rule. The king is the only man they cannot counter. And he is dead now.”
“You say they cannot kill me.”
” They don’t have to. They have magic. They are wizards of great knowledge. One spell and you will belong to them. They only need your soul. They will bind your soul and your body will then be a slave of their needs. You will watch yourself do what you have no control over. It is worse than death.”
He paused as if afraid of thinking of the consequences.
“They would outrun mankind.”
“So what now?”
“Now we go to war.”