I wrote this for my sister, Linda. She asked me to write her a short story for her birthday (Jan. 2005).
I asked her what on, and she said wolves. So I wrote Religious Alpha because of her. After Alpha was done, I wanted to write more so I did.
I would not say a serious edit has been done on the six shorts in this little series.
Given I wrote this over a decade ago, it’s not expected to be as great as my more recent work. But I like it. It’s cute and fun. Each short runs into each other. And the seventh one was started (more than a decade ago lol).
Genre: fantasy, adventure
[WIP: Religious Alpha] [Cat Hartliebe’s Books] [About Cat Hartliebe]
Wolves…. are particular beasts…. They eat, sleep, mate, play, and the like, but they also bid time to religious life and the Goddess Luna. Alpha could see no harm in wasting his pack’s time with howling and calling to the goddess when she rises. Alpha also sees no harm in allowing Luna to meet and greet her followers…. If only it was really Luna and not the beauty Linda.
Most wolves are pragmatists and the little time they spend on the gods they say “Well, I haven’t seen them so they don’t exist”. One wolf had a different explanation for the gods. The moon is the home of the Goddess Luna and she is there up in the sky. She has such good eyesight she watches them always even if they cannot see her face and the like. His name was Alpha, which was more his placement as the leader of a pack than a name.
Alpha believes in Luna due to the first thing his mind remembers was the moon. He stared up at the sky, freezing cold, and he whispers to it, “help me”. This “help me” became a small yelp and another mother wolf heard it. She was not his mother nor did he know his mother. He only knew she was not it. He thought Luna helped him that cold night. Then as he became older his skills sharpened and he bared his teeth against the leader of the pack, which had gotten old in this time as pack leader. He did not back down from the fight, he whispers to Luna to help him and he became Alpha, leader of the pack. The battle was not too hard due to the old leader was very old, so old he was slowing the pack down.
Alpha has thus forced his pack to bow before the power of Luna, and every night he has his pack howl to her. He has been leader now for a few months and they had just eaten a good meal of deer. The deer had been a hard catch, but good in the end. He was lying down to rest as his pack finished the last of the deer. One of his wolves bows to him and speaks of a human who walks their way. Since human meat does not taste good and they just had a good meal of deer, the first reaction was to wait for the leader to give instructions. Alpha gets up and wanders over to spy on the human.
Linda had fled her stepfather’s advances and ended up wandering the woods. The trees seemed to caress her, but did not provide any real heat. The animals did not appear for her, which could be bad or good depending. She was very beautiful, many of the ladies in the village thought she must be Satan’s daughter to hold a beauty like that. Many called her Demon, Slut, Whore… She fled them. She left them, but she fled without her warm cloak just a light one; without her boots which were at the shop just her simple shoes. Linda hugs herself to try to get some warmth, but the snow of the winter had already came, earlier than normal. She wanders deeper hoping to find a house like in Snow White or a hunter like in Little Red Riding Hood. She loved the stories her real parents told her, but now her mother lies dead in the graveyard from this past summer and her father dead for many years past; she has no one else to turn to. She falls on the cold wet ground and cries. She hears a twig break. She turns to it and calls out, “Who’s there?”
Alpha watches the human stand. Its fur was silvery and brown, like many of them. But something was different about this one. He had no desire to run from her. ‘It must be Luna, she was come to ask a favor of me.’ Alpha returns to his pack. “Luna has come and needs our help.” Many of the pack growls low under their breath, but Alpha keeps each one in check. Alpha turns back to where the human was. “No one is to harm Luna, we shall protect her and make sure she returns safely to the moon.” Though many of the pack were against helping a human, even if it was a goddess. They knew the power of the pack leader and for now decided to follow him in his weird ideas.
Alpha walks over to Luna. He bows to her and says, “Oh, Goddess Luna, I am so pleased to finally show my gratitude for what you have done for me.” He turns to his pack who appear from the trees behind him. “You may use us as you will.”
Beta, turns to two of his comrades, “Alpha needs to be stopped. We should not be helping a human, no matter what they have done for us. We need to kill him.”
One of his comrades looks at Alpha then at Beta. “He is strong; how will we kill him?”
Beta shakes his head. “Give me a bit to figure it out.”
Alpha nods to his pack. He turns back to Luna and waits for her to speak.
Linda tries her voice, but did not know what to say. She looks at the wolves. All the stories told her to fear them, but they can run faster. Why haven’t they killed her yet? Why are the wolves just staring at her? What did that wolf just say? She looks around for an exit, but the wolves are too close for her to get anywhere away from them, and they can last longer than her without food. She cries again and falls to the ground. She hopes they kill her quickly and not let her think about death anymore. The wolf closest lies down next to her and places its head in her lap. The rest of the wolves lie near them. One keeps itself awake and watches. Linda grew tired quickly and falls asleep with the wolf lying next to her.
Alpha woke up and left Luna to lie on the ground. Many of the wolves still slept, but he went and picked up one of the bones left from the deer. He brought it to her who woke up not long after he moved. Alpha nods to her and nudges the bone closer to her. Luna must need food, but all he could offer her was a few bones left from the night before. Luna will have to do with that until another meal is caught. He barked all the wolves awake. “Alright. Let’s get going; we do not want to get in contact with that Alpha wolf again. Everyone, awake.”
The wolves got up and shake the snow off their fur. Luna stood. Alpha began the run, the wolves followed. Luna stood in awe, but did not follow. Alpha runs back to her. “Come, you must run with us.” The wolves were getting annoyed at Luna again. Alpha growls at them. “Luna, come with us and you will be safe.” He nudges at her hand and nudges her legs. He tells the pack to keep speed with Luna. He gets her to run, but she is slower than he expects. He takes her and the pack to a cave within a few miles. He told her to rest here and they will be keeping close to the cave. The wolves yelled at him again.
Beta spoke up. “Alpha, winter is coming we cannot stay in any given area for long. We will starve.”
Alpha growls at him. “We have Luna with us, she will have food appear so we can eat.”
Beta lowers his eyes. “Alpha, if we die it is your fault.” He and the rest of the wolf pack leave Luna and Alpha alone.
Alpha stares at Luna. “I am giving up a lot for you, Luna. Bring us food and the pack will be pleased.” He leaves the cave.
Linda watches the pack leave her. The one who lied on her lap last night took time to bark at her before leaving. She was a bit frightened, but did not leave the spot it made her sit. She looks around the cave; it was warmer than the snow outside. Linda made a bed with some needles that blew in earlier in the year. She tried to start a fire with some stones and twigs. By the time the wolves returned she had gotten the fire going. Only the one who lied on her lap entered the cave at the beginning. But more followed after a few low barks from the “leader” as it seemed. She touched the leader’s head in between the ears. “You are a good leader, they follow you.” The wolf nods and has the pack lay outside the cave. He was the last to leave her. He barks a few times and lets her relax in silence.
Alpha had gotten Luna to speak, just like he said he would. He had no idea what she said since she speaks with a human tongue, but she spoke. Alpha has the pack settle. “We will continue to find food for Luna. She will give us it within a few days. You may kill me if not.”
A few days pass, they capture a rabbit and a squirrel finishing up their fall pleasures. Alpha seemed pleased that Luna had given them food, but this was not enough to feed the entire pack, especially since most of the food went to Luna herself. The pack grew restless. Another week passes and since little creatures were the only things they could find, the pack called upon Beta to say something.
Beta had enough of this. He knew Alpha was not going to let them find better prey else where while this Luna is still alive. He had to do something. He called the pack together while Alpha slept. “We must kill this Luna; she will be good food. She is the only reason we stay here. If Alpha wishes to protect her them we kill him too and as the rule of the pack stands, the one who kills the leader becomes leader.” He looks over at Alpha. “Tomorrow, during the day, let us rest for now.”
Alpha heard his pack speak against him. As they went to sleep Alpha coerced the watcher into letting him watch for a while. He went in and woke Luna up. “Luna, you are no longer welcome here. My pack wishes to kill you. I cannot let them do that. Sneak out of here and run. You must call upon your own strength, I will protect you with my life, but they still wish to kill you. Luna, please, run away. Stay downwind of them.” He nudges her out of the cave and away. One of the wolves wakes up and spy the actions. “Run Luna!”
The wolves wake up and attack Alpha. He guards Luna with his life. Beta makes the final hit on Alpha and he becomes the new leader and his name changes to Alpha. He tells the pack to follow her scent.
Linda had run from the pack. The leader pushed her away and that last growl from him was not that nice. She ran as fast as she could. Linda ran right into a hunter out looking for her.
“Linda, there you are. Come back to town with me.” He held her close as she shivered.
The only word she can say is, “Wolves.” She looked back and could begin to hear the calls of the wolves getting closer. “Must run.”
The hunter stared at her. He shot his gun into the oncoming pack. They scatter. The crying of the wolf pack dies down and the woods become silent.
The trees no longer caressed Linda. The animals no longer trusted her. She was there to kill and the woods wanted no part of it. The hunter, who turns out to be Kurt, brings Linda out of the woods. She stays with him as the winter continues and then as spring comes around she was forced to return to her home where she finds her step-father dead. It was her house now.