Disclaimer: Kudos to Bones for creating Wolf's Rain. I'm obviously not the owner, and would never consider myself as one because I'm just a fan with a wild imagination and a heart for writing fanfics like the one you're about to read.
1. AMEND THE BODY
"There is another world. There is a better world. Well, there must be . . . there must be." -Emily Browning.
I GAVE THE DOOR A SHOVE AND NEARLY FELL.
It was dark inside, empty. I didn't bother closing the door as I staggered my way to the table at the back of the room. Dazed and disoriented, I slumped down on one of the three chairs. The soles of my feet were numb with exhaustion after dodging bullets and sprinting a mile in almost four minutes. I practiced breathing evenly for the moment, letting my head hang low.
That was when I heard the sound of rain hitting the tin rooftop. With eyes half open, I glanced sideways at the open window over my bed. A bright full moon peeked through thin sheets of scattered grey clouds high above the pine trees, making the rain glitter as it fell. The majestic scenery would have made me smile three months ago.
I leaned forward, pressing my cheek to the cold surface of the table. There was a searing stinging pain located on top of my left shoulder, and my nose wrinkled. I dug one finger deep into my skin. I gasped as I hooked my finger around the bullet and pulled it out from under raw skin, earning a sharp intake of air from between clenched teeth. And then the warm wetness began to flow freely. I could feel it soaking the arm of my jacket, hear it dripping on the wood below. But I was too tired to care about giving the bullet wound medical attention. I just wanted to rest. And so I did.
I stared at my now bright red arm with dull, empty eyes. The blood spread crimson down my arm with alarming speed, pooling rapidly on the floor. It reminded me of my sister, Lydia. She's dead now. It all began when the plague arrived.
An outbreak of a mysterious airborne disease nearly wiped out half of the world population within five short months. At least that's what I remember hearing. It took almost everybody, the children and elderly dying faster than anyone else. Hospitals overcrowded with the infected, their skin covered in deep scabs and throwing up massive amounts of black, inky blood. There was no cure. It seemed to me that the Nobles decided to take immediate action to control the pandemic from spreading - in my opinion, control was lost months ago. The plan was to kill anyone who came in contact with the plague. Kill a few to save billions. It just so happened my sister and I were at the wrong place at the wrong time. The memory was as vivid and immediate as though I were still there.
In the form of a human I carried my sister's bloody body deep into the woods, putting enough distance between the town and us. Even this far away I could hear the humans screaming. They were dying. With my vision blurred by tears I didn't see the tree roots below. My ankle got caught in the tangle, and running strong on fear and adrenaline only worsened my situation, sending me hurling forward through the air. I lost hold on my sister. I skimmed painfully against the undergrowth, twigs and sharp rocks scrapped at my face. Groaning, I rolled onto my back. The wind shifted. And then the smell hit me. Rotten, vile. I heaved and gagged. There was a smell of sickness and disease, fresh blood, slippery organs, tattered skin and burning flesh, but under all that was another scent. It was the potent odor of gasoline. They were burning the town.
In spite of all the chaos, I could not abandon her. Instead, I swallowed the acid and crawled towards her body lying motionless in a pile of vegetation. I let my human face rest on her soft wolf pelt, ignoring the sound of death miles away and the huge bullet hole that disfigured her face. I closed my eyes just to look at her, and she was smiling again - just like she always had.
She's pretending . . . She has to be pretending.
I told myself this repeatedly. Ever since I can remember she enjoyed scaring me, jumping out from behind a tree and saying "Boo!" or giving me a heart attack by grabbing my leg while I'm half asleep. If my timing was correct then she would pull her lips back into a smile and whisper "you got scared, you got scared" in that annoying singsong voice. I would push her away, and tell her to grow up. Then she would laugh that goofy laugh. Any minute now, I thought, but nothing was uttered from her. It was then I felt moisture filling up my eyes, and I hugged her tighter, fingernails digging deep into her cold flesh. I cried out her name several times, shaking her, demanding her to wake up. I didn't want her to leave me. Selfishly, I wanted her to stay with me on this wasted earth so I wouldn't be alone.
It took me longer than it should to realize she was truly gone. But then it did come, and I felt like a thousand holes had been punched through my heart, leaving ragged gashes around the edges that throbbed and bled. I rolled to my side, and curled inward to hold myself together. Blood stained my face and clothes . . . her blood. The waves of pain towered high and washed over my head, pulling me under. I couldn't breathe. I laid alone, gasping for air.
Over time, those holes have grown larger, and then somehow merged into a single gigantic hole of destruction one cold night. The pain becoming twice as stronger, more intolerable. I'm surprised I've gone this long without the empty hole tearing me apart.
As I sat alone in the moon's blue light - listening to the water slapping the side of the boat, the pitter-patter of the rain on tin rooftops - I began to feel the loss of blood slowly sucking my consciousness along with it. My eyes were closing.
What was the point of going any further? There was nothing here for me. Nothing more than the old memories and distant laughter that dwelled inside these creaky walls, that triggered the corresponding pain - the pain that never spared me. There was nothing special about this place without my sister. No purpose, no reason. To escape this . . . this Hell, I needed to stay asleep forever. The pain and this never-ending numbness would finally come to an end. That didn't sound frightening at all. It sounded . . . comforting.
I could now see black spots blooming across my vision, becoming wider and wider, blocking out the light. Maybe - just maybe - I would see her again. For the first time in a long time, I smiled. I could feel it now, creeping slowly underneath my skin, grabbing hold of me and pulling me down into the darkness with ease. The hair on my arms rose on end. I was freezing. The cold presence of Death was at my thresholds. With my head still on the table, I glanced across the room and I saw, through the long tunnels my eyes had become, Death's dark shape coming towards me.
"Everything will be okay," I whispered.
My eyes closed, and I drifted.