A Howl Unheard
A howl broke through the silence of the night. Jasari knew Sartum was calling the tribe. Jasari stretched up from the ground shaking her hind legs free of the snow covering them. She followed the full moon to their meeting place as she did every night since she was born. Even as a cub she followed her mother to the clearing beneath the moon. It was no different now even though her mother was murdered by a bear years ago. She was the only one left in her line now.
Jasari's pace quickened as she came closer to the moon opening. Most had already arrived by the time she brushed through the shrubs and into the clearing. The others looked alarmed and stared as she entered. Their teeth were all bared ready for any outsider who may come along and disrupt their peace.
Another howl was released from Sartum. She called for whoever had yet to arrive. She looked around eagerly as she paced on a rock overlooking the crowd. She was set to open her mouth again, but this time a loud bark came out gathering the attention of the crowd.
"That worked better than I had anticipated." Sartum said.
A dull roar came from the crowd as if they were laughing hyenas. They quieted quickly trying to avoid another ear throbbing bark.
"Now, some tragic events have come to my attention and I feel reliable to share them with you."
Jasari spoke up, "What is this devastating news?"
"It has come to my attention that there is one among us who does not belong."
Murmurs of chatter and accusations spread through the crowd.
"This invader is a two legger. This "person" takes the form of our kind to mate. This becomes a breed known to them as werewolves. After they are done with you and produce an heir they kill you and dissect what's left."
"How will we know who it is?" asked Trustar, an older male of the tribe.
"There is no way to tell precisely, we'll just have to watch each other carefully. For the time being I am providing rules for this tribe."
The crowd didn't object or ask questions, they simply waited for their leader to give instructions.
"Rule number one, stay in groups formed by this pack and no other. Rule two, do not go off alone. And most important of all, trust in the tribe, howl for help if needed."
Sartum leaped from her speaking rock. She pointed out good groups for the pack, pairing old and weak with the young and strong.
Sartum was especially eager to speak with Trustar. Even though she had assigned groups she promised to walk Trustar home as long as on the way they could talk. He agreed to her terms but worried for her safety on her way back to her den. When they began to walk from the clearing Sartum knew she would have limited time to explain and make her move.
"I believe I have more information then I let on." Sartum said speaking softly.
"What other information do you have?" He questioned.
"I know this may seem weird but I know who the two legger will strike next and where."
"If you know this information you must tell me."
"I am meaning to but I would like to wait until we reach the river. It isn't much further."
They reached the river with haste, Trustar growing more eager for the news. Sartum suppressed her feelings until they reached the opening in the trees.
"I would like to get a drink first if you don't mind."
Sartum walked to the river, dipping her muzzle into the cool water, lapping with her tongue as if to cleanse her palate. She finished, turned, and stared at Trustar.
"Well, will you tell me what you know?"
"Of course it's my duty to tell you."
"Okay, let's hear it."
"You have great wisdom and belief in the tribe. These are the main reasons why I know I can entrust you with this information."
"Yes, of course, you can trust me."
"Then you must know since you are the oldest of the pack you have the most power. It's possible you may be the most in danger."
"Can you tell me who and when now?" He pleaded.
"The next member will be attacked right now."
"Who is it?" He asked excitement in his voice.
"It's you!" she screeched letting out a short growl.
She jumped at him and in mid-air transforming into the two legger. She landed on top of him crushing his legs into the hard frozen Earth. She scrambled to grab clumps of gray fur. She had already pinned him to the ground but only waited to hear that question they always asked.
"Why me?" he barked through clenched, gasping teeth.
"With your power and your qualities my cubs will be born champions. They will live on and werewolves will continue to exist."
Sartum stared into Trustar's blue eyes and gave him a firm head bud. Her head began to bleed as one of his fangs grazed her head. She mated with him and waited for him to come to.
Trustar's eyes popped open and looked around dazed. He knew what had happened. Sartum still pinned him to the ground. She stared into his eyes again and changed back. Her stance only changed slightly giving no escape to Trustar. He stared back at her and saw a demonic grin spread across her face. She quickly acted on her instincts, biting and ripping at his neck. Trustar howled out in agony, but it ended with a gurgle.
Sartum finished tearing him to pieces leaving a grotesque scene on the shore of the river. His legs were hidden behind a tree, his torso was partially buried, and his head was a scratched up mess thrown up into the trees. Sartum was not at all disturbed at her bloody surroundings. She walked straight into the river and rinsed the blood from her fur.
Sartum started walking back to the clearing practicing distorted expressions and an explanation as to Trustar's corpse. On her short journey back she realized something. Her job was done; a line of werewolves would continue. She only had to make sure there were fewer wolves, and then werewolves would dominate. She could kill whomever she wanted now. She already had her first victim chosen.
She raced back to the clearing and most of the tribe was there. They must have heard Trustar howl Sartum thought to herself, she was prepared to give her explanation. Trustar was attacked by a bear, just as she had rehearsed for Jasari's mother; the two legger wanted the bear at first. Then the human turned on her and then she had no choice but to run away. She took her place on her speaking rock and played the part. The crowd filled with barks and howls as she finished her story. After this she reassured them that everything would be fine as long as they stuck to the new rules.
The pack reclaimed their groups but Sartum's instincts wanted another victim. A victim who would be easy to kill; a victim who would go unnoticed for some time; a victim who would trust her.
"Jasari I have some information to entrust you with."
"Is it about the two legger?"
"Yes. I would be happy to walk you home if you would listen to my information."
"First I would like
to stop at the lake; your house is so far away."
"Alright." She answered quickly.