Prologue – Tradition and Transformation
I knew I would die.
I mean, how could I not? How could this beyond-fathomable level of pain be possible for one person to endure and he not die?
I wanted to die; I willed-no-, begged for the darkness, but it never came. I was very much alive.
The mixture of tears and blood and sweat and mucus intermingled in a pool in the sandy dirt and leaves inches from my mouth. I paid no mind to my dirty, raw knuckles and knees as I dug my fingers deeper into the dry, woodsy earth, trying in vain to alleviate some of the pain.
"Kill me! Please!" I half-growled, half-begged. It was a bit extreme, yes. Plus, I knew he wouldn't. None of them would- they were in on this whole thing.
I pleaded with my eyes, ground my teeth and heard a distant, bloodcurdling sound- realizing with horror that it was me. I was screaming. I never knew I could make that sound – animalistic, yet, uniquely human.
Confusion set in, followed closely by the anger and the fire, burning white hot in every molecule of my being, beginning in my gut and burning a slow, wrenching trail to the very tips of my fingers. My pulse quickened to an inhumanly pace. How long would this take!?
"Jake, dude. You gotta calm down, man. Your anger triggers it. Try and relax - everything will be fine. I promise," Embry said in an irritatingly calm voice, that, I would imagine, was meant to soothe me, but even the treble in his voice caused me pain. I could feel the basse in his voice. The pain it caused – that everything caused - was a tangible thing. I could literally touch my agony, and it definitely didn't feel good.
After yelling a string of obscenities, too blinded by the pain to care that tribal elders were within earshot, it happened.
"Oh my god!" I yelled in my native Quileute. A surge of energy swallowed my body, rumbling in waves, up my back, to my scalp, and through my mouth – causing a deafening roar-howl to escape. My body exploded and morphed into a shape I still didn't understand,; everyone around me suddenly becoming much smaller. Then came the voices again. The stream of consciousness of those around me as their shapes changed as well.
My line of sight went from my typical human blurriness, to something that scared me senseless, yet excited me. I had never seen this acutely. Smelled this sharply. Heard this profoundly. I could see more than 5 miles ahead of me, every leaf, every droplet of water, every insect, every woodland creature. They all sighed and sounded and I could hear it all.
The murmurs of those around me, once a litany of painful vibrations, morphed into a hum of recognition. It was audible now. I suppose I'd been deafened by the pain for the larger part of the morning. I noticed now that dusk was approaching. Had it been 12 hours? Well, 72 if you count the last 3 days. Three days of mind numbing, excruciating waves of fire in my body.
Finally, I had relief and I welcomed it like water to the cracked, parched lips of a man lost in the desert. Finally, as the rumbling and shaking start to slow, I suddenly understood. Sam allowed Embry to explain to me all the questions I mentally asked without a word. I understood what I was- what we all were and were becoming- and why. They had returned.
Later, I sat at the feet of several elders and they explained that the stories where true. They were our history, not some B sci-fi novel. I learned the truth of my great-grandfather and the two others in his pack.
Then, I remembered. Being dragged to this remote spot of the rez, away from ears and eyes, by my brothers in tradition. Up to the mountains of La Push, away from the horrified onyx eyes that mirrored my own, belonging to my father, who knew all too well what was happening to the grandson of Ephraim Black. It had happened to others before me, but never this close. In his home. He'd told the tales and kept the folklore ,or at least, up 'til this moment, what I'd thought was mere folklore and superstition.
No, this was real and he sat at the door to our small house, with the same look that so many on the rez had had while this happened to their own sons. And husbands, and brothers, and imprints. We all carried the weight of this load, this cross of tradition on our shoulders.
They'd dropped me- shaking and mumbling and moaning, and later, screaming, onto the earth, backing away quickly, for fear that, at any millisecond – I'd phase again.
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A/N - Hey guys, thanks for reading. This is my first stab at writing fanfic, so be gentle.
This story came to me as I finished BD and started reading more and more fanfics about Bella and Edward. Jacob is such an interesting character, but we rarely get to see who he is outside of the vacuum that is Bella and Edward's love fest. He is a real (or as real as a character can be) man - with career ambition and tribal pride. Hope this does him justice.
Thanks to my Beta Hopeful Wager.
~~ Stephenie Meyer Owns Twilight and all its characters. I own none ~~