Prologue

​     The slim light of the moon was high in the sky, the guard wolves switched spots for the final time that night. The mysterious gray wolf that had replaced the previous wolf was always covered with a red cape. It shimmered under the night sky, and she tensed up every time a wolf passed her.

The Start Cover alt. Author

Ever since she arrived, she was afraid that one of the wolves in the pack would find out about her unusual physical trait. What hid under the cape determined whether she would be accepted to the clan, or be banished from it. “Hey Ginger,” the she-wolf’s ears perked up when she heard her name. “Yes?” The guard wolf accompanying her cocked his head to the side. “I’ve been wanting to ask,” he paused, “why you’re always seen wearing that thing,” he nodded towards the cape, and she flinched. There was a short moment of silence as she thought of what to say. “It’s…it’s very important to me. You won’t understand since you were born wild. This cape belonged to my owner.” She had lied to the guard wolf, and he caught the hook. He nodded, and they said no more to each other.

The sun rose as a signal to say that their shift was over. Ginger’s paws were half-asleep as she trudged back with her shiftmate. Her eyes were half closed, and she didn’t see the fallen branch in her way. Her front paw was caught underneath it, and she let out a yelp as she tumbled down the rest of the way. Wolves were starting to stir, and the ones outside their dens let out screams of terror. Others were coming out, puzzled as to what was happening. Ginger rubbed her nose and as she stood to her paws, a wolf had tackled her down to the floor again. “She’s a curse!” he cried. Wolves were murmuring to each other, whispering things Ginger couldn’t catch. Voices mixed with terror, panic, and anger filled the camp, and Ginger grunted, confused. She looked at her back and realized with horror that the cape was torn off of her. She scrambled up to her feet, her gaze frantically going from one wolf to the next. Everyone was looking at her, their gazes filled with cold feelings.The leader had stepped out to the front of the group, and he narrowed his eyes at Ginger, revealing his teeth menacingly. “Now we know the true identity of you, curse. We all know how the legend goes; any wolf with jet black wings is considered a curse, where an evil crow had disguised itself as a wolf. You thought we wouldn’t find out eventually? Now, spill it,” he spat, his ice blue eyes piercingly glaring at Ginger. She was confused. What curse? I don’t know what legend they’re talking about… She shook her head, her mouth suddenly dry. “S-Spill what? I don’t understand what you’re saying. What legend? Why do you think that I’m a part of it? What makes you thi-” she was cut off when the leader lunged forward, catching the bridge of her nose with a claw. She howled in pain, and she stared at the leader with wide eyes. Without a second’s hesitation, the leader flicked his tail towards three warriors, all of which were glaring at Ginger ferociously. “Execute her,” he hissed, and the three wolves immediately lunged forward at the gray wolf. One of them caught her eye and she was cut. She turned and ran as fast as she could, half blinded.

She heard the howls of the wolves behind her, and she felt their presences gaining on her. Ginger was panting hard, and she was losing air. I have no choice. She spread her wings and started to lift off the ground. She yelped as she felt a sharp tug at her tail. “Come back here!” the attacker howled. Ginger flapped her wings harder, dodging sharp claws below her at the same time. A heavy weight suddenly landed on her back and she fell into the flurry of wolves. One was tearing at her left wing, one was clawing her underbelly, and the one that fell on her got a grip on her neck. Ginger squirmed and struggled to break free of their attack, but to no avail. She thought she had lost all hope and was about to give up when she felt the wolf on top of her get torn away. She was able to move again and she quickly rolled to the right, throwing the wolf at her wing into a tree. The wolf beneath her was on top now, and Ginger quickly brought her hind legs under him. She rapidly clawed at him, and he howled in pain, quick to get off and run back. The other two had fled as well.

Ginger had no idea what had torn one of the wolves off her back, but she didn’t care right now. She was breathing heavily, her recovery coming very slowly. “Hey, are you alright?” She flinched when she noticed that someone was still there. She rolled over, lying on her stomach, and she turned to where the voice came from. Standing before her was one of the clanmates, a white she-wolf with light gray flecks on her back named Blizzard. She was one of the snow wolves that had traveled from the snowy plains to join the wolf clan here. Her emerald green eyes gazed down at Ginger. She nodded at her, still trying to recover from the attack. Blizzard came over and nuzzled her neck worriedly. She sat down next to the larger wolf, her thick white fur against Ginger’s matted gray.

“Trust me, I’m as confused as you. I have no idea what this legend is. It’s probably something you forest wolves believe in,” Blizzard let out a sigh, “I-I want to help you, but I don’t know how…” Ginger licked the younger wolf’s forehead, and she whined. “Just…let me rest for a bit…” she gasped. Blizzard shook her head vigorously. “You shouldn’t rest here, they might come back with backup.” She was right, distant padding of pawsteps hitting the floor was approaching them fast. Ginger shakily stood up, and Blizzard put her body against her’s for support. “Come on,” she led Ginger away from the camp as fast as she could. Ginger grunted, trying to steady her steps. The pawsteps behind them were steadily growing louder, and she knew that the both of them can’t make it out of the border in time at the rate they were going. “We have…to walk…faster…” She breathed, and Blizzard nodded, taking a glance behind her. They quickened their pace, with Ginger walking unsteadily. The snow wolf looked at her worriedly.

Not too far ahead was the border line, where the end of the clan’s territory was, but the wolves behind weren’t that far away from them either. Blizzard had started to push Ginger from behind in hopes that she would get a little boost. “She’s over here!” They heard one of the wolves growl. “Oh no,” Blizzard whispered, and she let out a breath of relief when she found the border. Ginger’s wing was sore from the attack, but she shook it off and tried to fly while carrying Blizzard. She was a bit unsteady, but they had flown out of the territory in time. The wolves behind them were spitting harsh things at them. “You traitor!” “Come back here and fight, curse!” “Don’t come back, else we’ll snap you like a twig!” Things like that were heard, and Ginger was tempted to turn back and kill them. Without realizing it, she tightened her grip on Blizzard’s shoulders, and the younger yelped. Ginger apologized and landed, letting go of her. “We…we made it out…” Blizzard gasped, catching her breath. “We barely made it out,” Ginger added.

Both she-wolves had landed far enough away from the clan’s territory, but both of them had no idea what to do next. “What do we do now?” Blizzard asked panicked.