Birth of a Shadow

Chapter II: A Wolf called Shi Li

It was evening when we reached home; mother and father kept us two outside.

I and Sis glanced at us. Then she looked lower on my body. It was the first time that I noticed that my arm was full of blood.

I panted louder and said nothing.

I went to a rock close to the lake. There I washed my hand and then looked at the lake.

Dad and Mum didn't leave the hut for the night.

I couldn't sleep.

These eyes…

Such fear…

But still….

It didn't look like he gave up.

When the sun rose I dapped stones in the lake. I saw like father left the hut and spoke with Sis. After this he came to me.

"Will he survive?" I asked him immediately.

He looked sad. Or tired. Or both.

He sat down beside me.

"I and your mother did everything, what we could. Now it depends on him."

"On him?"

"How strong his will to live is."

I looked down at the stone, which I wanted to dap.

"He will survive." I declared.

"That is not sure…"

"No. I saw his eyes. He will survive."

My father looked at me. I raised my head.

He looked different than usual. Maybe this was pride?

….I don't know.

"Can I go to him?" I asked him.

"Yes, but be quiet. He sleeps."

I stood up and my father accompanied me to him.

Our small hut had two beds. A bigger one for our parents and a smaller one for us. There was also a chimney in the middle of the wall opposite of the door, where my mother cooked the food. There were also some cupboards spread in the whole one-room-building, although inside were only clothes or tools.

In the middle of the room was standing the rectangular table with four chairs for the whole family and right besides the chimney the sword of Grandpa was leaning.

On one of the chairs my mum sat. She looked even tired from behind like I saw her in this moment. In the bed of our parents he was lying. Only his black head was seen. My parents had bandaged him with fresh clothes and that is why half of his face was hidden behind green wool.

He looked so peaceful.

My sister was in there also and stared at him. She looked more fascinated than sad.

I came closer to him.

I uncloaked his hand. There were also clothes used as bandages, but this time red ones. I stretched out my finger and tried to touch him, while looking the whole time at him.

This time I could touch him.

No reaction.

Somehow I felt disappointed.

"Dear, can we talk?" my father asked my mother and pointed outside.

"Of course." she replied and stood up. While she passed me, she smiled sadly to cheer me up.

I smiled back, although I haven't felt cheered up.

These eyes haunted me.

Besides this will to survive, which was showed there, this fear was more than present. A fear I couldn't categorize correctly back then.

What have this wolf experienced that he could show such a fear with his eyes?

What have he seen?

….

I will learn of this soon enough.

We heard like mother entered the hut again.

"Where is dad?" Sis asked.

"He wanted to check something. He will be back soon." mum replied and for the first time since my incident in the lake I saw worry in her eyes.

She tried to hide it, but it was obvious.

I turned my head back to him.

"What happened with him?" I asked trying to change topic.

My mum needed some time to answer.

"We don't know. But he had luck to be found by you. When only a little more time passed, we wouldn't be able to help him."

"He looks so….different. From that time I saw him." I said.

"We cleaned him…"

Then we heard the noises the first time. He began to move in the bed and mutter hysterically nonsense.

"We need to stop him. When he moves so strong, his sutures will rip. Kuba jump over to the other side of the bed and grab his hand, Liz, hold his hand here." our mother said to us.

I jumped on the bed and moved rather careful above him to the other side, where a wall was. He moved much stronger than last time and it was difficult to grab his arm. Mum grabbed his torso carefully, while Sis had taken hold of the other hand and stretched it carefully. Finally I could grab his hand and stretched it also.

It tried to hold it in place and it was rather difficult, while not giving to much strength on it so the sutures could rip.

When I achieved this more or less, I began to listen to his words.

"Ma! Ma! Bu! Bu! Die! Die! Buuuuuu!" he screamed almost. His voice was panicky.

"He has a nightmare. Hold him tight till it subsides." our mother told us.

We held. He screamed. Most often these three words.

I don't know how long we held him, but finally he calmed down again.

I looked at his face.

Although no one believed me this, I saw like his eye had open up shortly only to close down again.

We stayed by him the rest of the day, while mother went to sleep for a while, before she began to make food for us. Fortunately she didn't need to go to the village to buy supplies.

The remaining day was rather unspectacular. Dad came home at evening, but didn't tell us, what he had checked. Only with mother he talked about this.

The next days we kept watch for this wolf.

Mum had to feed him with soup by opening his mouth and caring for the fiber he had. She and dad slept on the ground with a blanket and pillows and she tried to be around him most of the time. Dad didn't go to the forest for these days with except some "checking" tours, for what he took Grandpa's sword with him. Besides my mum, I was most often by him. Besides his occasional bouts, he was rather peaceful.

It lasted days till something changed. It was while one of my sittings. The last day he was much calmer than the last days, so dad had feared that he would die soon.

I didn't want to accept this.

I sat by his side and hoped.

Then it happened. He opened his eye slowly. I stood up fast.

"Mum! Dad! Come!" I shouted and went to his head.

He moaned weakly.

He looked around and saw my face.

"Qi?" he said very slowly, while mum and dad entered the hut followed by Sis.

"He awoke!" I shouted joyfully.

He looked to mum and dad. Dad sat down beside him and bowed his head down.

"How are you feeling?" he asked.

"Sh…enme?" he asked again slowly.

Dad seemed to realize something.

"Can you understand me?" he asked him.

The wolf looked at him confused.

Then dad made gestures with his hands and pointing at himself.

"Me, Damian." he repeated this several times till he was sure that the wolf understood.

This one nodded slowly.

My dad pointed at him.

"And how is your name?" he asked him.

The wolf needed some time to answer.

"Shi…..Li.", he replied finally.

My dad nodded happily.

He pointed out at me and Shi Li looked to me.

"Kuba.", my dad said. The wolf nodded to me also and somehow more eager than last time.

Then he pointed out to my Sis and my mother Anna and introduced us in this way.

He talked with us for a longer while after that, although it was not a real conversation but more a try to make one intelligible to the other. After this he fell to sleep again.

My dad and mum looked happy. My dad went outside and I followed him.

"He will live! As I said." I said joyfully.

"Yeah he will. He is out of the woods now."

My father stopped at the lake.

"Son, tomorrow things will change."

"Change? How?"

"I will train your sister and you."

"Train? In what? Lumberjacking?"

"Also. But more in defending yourself."

"You will….teach us fighting?" I asked and couldn't hide my joy.

"Yes.", and he looked down at me, "But this will be no fun. That I can guarantee you."

"What the hell! I will be able to fight!" I declared loud and began to make joyful jumps.

It would have been better, if I had taken heed of his warning.


Next chapter. Have fun.

Kung Fu Panda belongs to DreamWorks.

This part of the world, the idea and these characters belong to me.