Navana trudged through the deep snow, it was still falling. She nudged along her young pup. It’s for the best. I have to get him away. She thought to herself, trying to remember where the pack of wolves usually roamed. The pup stumbled. Its face plopped into the snow. Navana tried to nudge him back up, but retreated into the bushes when she heard the low murmur of wolve’s voices.
The bare brush provided no protection from the bitter snow falling, that blinded the vision almost entirely. All of Navana’s limbs were numb an hour ago, and that was when she was forced to make her pup walk. She was so cold, she could not move. All she could do now was watch her cub either live or die.
The voices came closer, much closer. The three figures stepped into the forest clearing. The moon reflected against their eyes, giving the illusion that they were glowing in the darkness.
“What’s that, Starlight?” a young voice questioned.
Another wolf answered, older, but still young. About Navana’s age.
“Oh my! It’s a pup!”
The young one looked up at Starlight questioningly.
“What do we do?”
Starlight answered in a solemn tone.
“It may not be alive, Sukara. It’s very cold tonight. But, let’s go see.”
Navana watched as the two wolves softly padded up to her cub and nudged it gently. Starlight leaned down and pressed her ear against the cub as Sukara watched silently and intently. After what seemed like an eternity, she sat up.
“I heard a faint beat.”
“Let’s bring him back to camp, he needs warmth and food!” Sukara stated hurringly. Starlight paused, uncertainty in her eyes. Oh no, though Navana. Please don’t change your mind. Starlight finally answered in a leader-like tone of voice.
“Well, I guess we can. But I don’t know how Sunoonar will react when we leave with three and come back with four, dragging behind a near-death pup. You do know about the space problem, right?”
Sukara replied rather annoyingly.
“Alright, good. let’s pick him up. I wonder what his name is.”
Navana piped up.
“Borenko.” She croaked.
The wolves looked at each other.
“What?” Called Starlight.
Navana spoke, clearer now.
“His name is Borenko.”
The wolves came towards her, but she gently closed her delicate eyes, and never saw the world again.
“His mother…” Starlight whispered below her breath, “…though she passes, Borenko lives.
Chapter 1: Sun Stone
Borenko opened his eyes to see the moon trying without without success to penetrate through the dark rain clouds. A cool chill ran through his fur at the sight of it. It was cramped and hot in the den. His fellow wolves were lying beside him, their breath heavy with sleep.
Like a ghost, he silently got up and picked his way around his den mates, trying not to step on someone tail or foot. As he reached he mouth of the den, cool, but fresh air hit him immediately. He breathed it in, welcoming its salvation of the hot and stuffy air of he den.
Ever since he could remember, there had never been enough space. It wasn’t getting any better either. If anything, it was getting worse. Fang and Donna had been gone for two days, trying to find a new, bigger place for the group.
Borenko sighed as his stomach rumbled. He hadn’t eaten since this morning. There wasn’t enough food to go around tonight.
There was a break in the clouds, and a single beam of light suddenly shone through, shining like a glistening stream. The light did not look natural as moonlight usually is. Borenko felt oddly attracted to it. It was almost like…home. This was his home. Even if he felt oddly out of place.
His stomach grumbled again, louder this time. He had to find something to eat! He had not intended not to eat, he just got back later than usual and there was no more food. It wasn’t fair. Everyone treated him like an abomination to the whole group. What did he ever do to them? He wished they would just absolve from pointing at him when something went wrong. He was tired of being an affront to the pack when he really wasn’t.
He walked on. He stepped across the arid river, not such a river now, and deviated off the path. He made his way through the pines, he loved their sweet scent. A layer of pine needles lay below his feet as he roamed onward.
Suddenly, he stepped on something hard. As he looked down, he saw that he had stepped on a rock. When he looked closer, he saw that it was shaped like a sun. When he touched it again, he saw something white flash by. It lingered, but when he looked back towards it there was nothing. This empty stomach must be getting to him.
It was hard hunting all by himself, but he finally came across a sick squirrel. He didn’t care that it was ill, at least it was some kind of meat. As he walked up to the squirrel, it was too weak even to make an attempt to scamper away. He devoured it eagerly, but then felt guilt climbing up his legs. He could of given this to the pack. Great. If anyone noticed the smell of food on him, they would call him selfish and a food hogger.
Suddenly he looked around. He then had one of those “Oh no, how could I be so stupid?” feelings as he didn’t recognize any of his surroundings. Alright, now he was in for it. The pack already hated him, he snuck out in the middle of the night, ate a squirrel, and got lost. This night couldn’t get any worse. Well, he knew the general direction he had come from, but he had turned a bunch of times and was now completely disoriented. Huh, he thought to himself, No one will ever come looking for me. I bet they won’t even know that I’m missing. Except when they have no more scapegoat for all of their problems. For a moment, he thought whether he should stay where he was and wait, or at least try to find his own way back. he chose the latter. Maybe he could find the cave and not be in trouble at all.
He sat there for awile, just thinking. There was something more than this forest, something more than them. One day, he wanted to run away. Maybe it would be soon, or still a long time away. But someday, he would run away from the pack.
He wasn’t wanted here, and the pack sure didn’t hide that from him. The only one who really care about him and stood up for him was Starlight. He had no idea why though. But despite her efforts, he was still an outcast. Outcast. That was the word. Well, he didn’t know why, but he was an outcast. But it was a little more than that.
He didn’t look a thing like his parents, Cayo and Donna. He had always wondered why.
One day he would run off, maybe find a girl, and create his own pack where no one will ever feel as left out as he did now. At least he still had the sun…the sun?! Who said that? He certainly didn’t think it! A different voice in his head different than his own brain voice just butted in. It was a female’s voice. This was crazy!
Suddenly, remembering the way, he got up and walked. He felt almost as if someone else were guiding his footsteps. To make sure, he stopped for a second. Yep, he was in complete control. Well, anyway, it was good that he was finding his way back now. In a few hours it would be sunrise. He might even get some sleep before he had to get up again.
The full moon shone in the indigo sky. The whole forest seemed to hush, even the wind ceased to blow as Borenko stepped into a small clearing. There, in the grass, he spotted a low glow.
He stepped towards it, and from farther examination he realized that the glow came from the rock that was shaped like the sun.
Suddenly, a little glob of the glow rose up from the surface o the sun and started to float away. Borenko felt and icy wind suddenly slice through him, making the glob of light travel even faster.
a voice whispered in his head, Follow it. Without question, Borenko obeyed.
He picked up the still glowing sun in his mouth and followed the light. It floated in a different direction now, towards the west. It ran parallel to the dried up stream and crossed it when it curved south. Borenko splashed through. Wait, splashed? Where the glowing glob just was, pure, clear water started seeping out of the ground itself.
The water was back! This glowing object was cool.
He panicked for a second, losing sight of it, then relaxed when he spotted its familiar glow. It dropped to the ground, as if waiting for him. When Borenko caught up, the blob surged forward again.
He stared in amazement as the dead leaf it just paused on turned a bright green, just like it was in spring. The glow seemed to bring the life back to everything. It proceeded, traveling after and faster, until Borenko ha to run to keep up with it. He came to a sudden stop as the glowing ball halted in front of a solid rock wall.
The glob quivered, rose up in the air, and came shooting back down like a falling star, landing on the sun stone Borenko had placed on the ground. The glob dissolved in the sun stone, creating a ripple, then the stone stopped glowing. He nudged the stone. It was ice cold.
Suddenly, with a great roar, many rocks fell from the face of the wall at once. Was this thing, whatever it was, trying to kill him? All he could do was huddle on the ground, staring at the stone sun. Rock after rock. Boulder after boulder tumbled down all around him. The rocks falling seemed to become smaller, lighter, and quieter. All of a sudden, they stopped all together.
Borenko looked up, amazed, as he saw a circle around him, untouched by web the smallest pebble. In front of him, the dark hole of a cave stood where the seemingly solid rock just stood firm.
He picked up the sun stone and stepped inside. The cave was deeper than he thought it would be. Until his eyes adjusted, he couldn’t see a thing. The floor of the cave was surprisingly mossy. It felt good on Borenko’s aching feet. It was so soft and springy, it made Borenko feel instantly better. As he ventured deeper in the cave, the sun stone glowed more and more.
This would be a perfect spot for the pack! No, the voice whispered in his head again, this cave is for you. Ok…the voice was in his own head, he might as well trust it. It had taken him this far. As he saunter red farther and farther into the cave, he found it easier to trust that voice in his head.