By Sparky Braginski
‘Wait up!’ Caleb called. Fenrir turned around and looked blankly at Caleb and replied,
‘You are no longer our prince, Caleb. We will not do anything to help you in your trial for redemption.’ And at that Fenrir turned and kept going. The rest of the pack followed, but they were merely coming to prevent Caleb from escaping. At the rate the pack was moving he had to sprint to keep up. He caught up with Fenrir and begged.
‘Please, I did nothing wrong Fenrir.’ Fenrir scowled at him, ‘And anyway you’re simply punishing me out of spite.’ The second Caleb finished that sentence he wished he could’ve kept his big mouth shut. He doubted he was ever going to see the light of day again.
‘Don’t worry boy. There’s no backing out now.’ Caleb looked ahead and his mouth gaped open.
Through the tree line an amazing place resided. Like a huge crater in the ground lush green grass, a crystal clear pool of water and a waterfall. In the middle of the clearing there was a girl. Caleb saw the girl and realised what his punishment was.
‘No, no! No-no-no-no-noooo!’ Caleb cried.
‘Yes, yes, yes, my boy.’ Fenrir taunted, ‘Kill the girl and you’re off the hook.’
Caleb opened his mouth, tried to think of a comeback and sighed. Caleb’s entire body sagged.
Caleb watched as against his will the entire group surrounded the girl so that she couldn’t escape. He held his head high a walked out to the centre of the group till he was almost on top of her. He looked around and saw Fenrir egging him on. Caleb looked once again at the girl and got a brilliant idea.
The girl looked up at Caleb knowing what came next. She blinked, and when she opened her eyes she could’ve sworn that he winked at her. Caleb reared up for the strike and instead of killing the girl; he used the girls’ chest as a spring and sprinted over the pack and into the water. One of Caleb’s many talents was the ability to swim. Unfortunately the current was to strong Caleb got pulled down and suddenly he was falling, falling, falling…
Sylas kicked a rock as he walked around the corner into an alley. His hands were in his pockets and his eyes were down. He glanced up and saw the body.
‘Huh? Hey! Guy! Get up!’ The body didn’t move. Sylas got closer. The person was alive because they were breathing, but his eyes were closed. Sylas looked around. There was no one there but him. He bent over and checked the boy for any injuries. The boy had a nasty scar on his left shoulder but didn’t seem to have any broken bones or open wounds. Sylas had an idea.
Sylas retraced his steps back to where he had found the boy. He turned a corner and to his relief the boy was still there. Sylas emptied the bucket of water onto the boy’s head. The body shook.
‘Augh. What, who w-?’ The boy woke and looked around, dazed and confused.
‘Hey man, what’s your name?’ Sylas asked.
‘What? Uh Caleb. I think.’
‘You think? Are you telling me that you don’t know your own name?’ Sylas teased.
‘I don’t know! Who are you?’ Caleb asked accusingly.
‘Sylas. Why are you here?’
‘I don’t know.’
‘What do you mean you don’t know?’
‘I what I mean by “I don’t know” is that I DON’T KNOW SYLAS. That makes perfect sense to me.’
‘Caleb, what I meant is why don’t you know?’
‘Find a new catchphrase Caleb. That one is beginning to bother me.’
‘Fine then. I can’t remember.’
‘This conversation is going nowhere.’
‘I’ll second that.’ Caleb chuckled.
‘You had better NOT be pulling my leg.’ Sylas glared.
‘Okay Caleb, it’s time you came with me.’
Sylas took Caleb to the nearby homeless shelter. During the walk Caleb had a good look at Sylas. Sylas had bright red hair and emerald green eyes. His eyes were set close together giving him a sly face. His nose had a dusting of freckles and his mouth was set in a permanent smirk. Caleb was reminded strongly of something but he couldn’t remember what. Sylas was fairly tall and average in size, but just a little bit thin. He was slightly tanned. Caleb thought that Sylas looked about sixteen years old.
Sylas also got a good look at Caleb. Caleb had high cheekbones, which accented that fact that he was virtually malnourished. He had unkempt, shaggy, grey hair. Sylas would have to get Caleb to a hairdresser. Caleb had pale skin and pale blue eyes. Sylas guessed he was fifteen or sixteen.
‘Hi Sylas! Who’ve you got there?’
‘Hiya Caleb, how are you?’ Joey greeted Caleb enthusiastically.
‘Hi Joey, I’m good. Sylas, do you think we could get some food? Caleb could hear his stomach eating itself.
‘Yup. How about this, I’ll show you where you’ll be sleeping and Joey can get some food for all of us.’ Sylas motioned for Joey to go get food. Joey nodded and jogged into another room. Sylas showed Caleb around. Sylas told him that they would be sleeping in the same room together with Joey. They had just gotten to the room when Joey arrived. They sat and ate together. Sylas and Joey tried to make Caleb remember something of his past and failed. That night they were lying in their beds and right as Caleb drifted off to sleep he remembered something. Unfortunately for Caleb that thought sailed away while he was asleep.
Caleb and Sylas were walking together. Caleb had been at the homeless shelter for a couple weeks. Sylas had said that he wanted to tell Caleb something privately.
‘I think we’ve gone far enough Sylas.’ Caleb said looking back the way they had come. When Caleb looked back at Sylas he saw something glinting in Sylas’ hand.
‘What have you got there?’ Caleb asked.
‘It’s, it’s a whistle. Look Caleb I need to tell you something.’ Sylas took a deep breath in, ‘Okay, Caleb I think I know who you are.’
‘What? How is that possible? I don’t even know who I am.’
‘Caleb, I think I’ve met you before and I didn’t recognise you because- well, you’ve changed a lot.’ Sylas looked up suddenly. He squinted as if he was trying to look at something in the distance. Caleb looked over his shoulder but couldn’t see anything. But he could smell something. Blood. Sylas flicked his gaze back at Caleb. He shoved the whistle into Caleb’s hands.
‘If you ever need me use this. I have to go.’ Sylas turned and before Caleb could stop him, he had disappeared. The last thing Caleb had seen was a tear falling from Sylas’ eye. Caleb looked around tentatively. He could hear a brawl. Caleb turned to run but the brawl exploded into the clearing he was standing in. The smells and sounds were overwhelming him. His head was pounding, but before he could react a knife was jammed into his left shoulder.
Caleb took a step back, clutching his shoulder. He looked at his hands, glistening with his own blood. All of his strength drained away and he felt his knees buckle. His vision clouded but before he had a chance to pass out something flashed and the man who had stabbed him was lying on the ground, with an arrow through his chest. A figure blurred in front of him and his shoulder stopped hurting. His surroundings became sharper and he looked at his saviour. She was an angel. She had a bow strapped to her back and daggers in her belt. Her wings were of the darkest black- As if no light ever touched them. Her eyes were grey. She had short black hair.
‘Are you okay?’ she asked, voice as soft as silk, but as hard as diamond at the same time. All Caleb could manage was to nod. She smiled and began to start talking again but was cut short by a sword driving through her back.
‘Oh.’ was all she had time to say.
Caleb looked at her dying body and the person who caused the damage. He felt a rage surge around his body. He felt hot. His skin was burning- but he felt no pain. He let his anger run freely to his limbs. His hands felt like they were on fire. He looked at his hands and realised that they were on fire. He stared in disbelief as the man who had attacked the angel ran away. Caleb thrust his fists at someone trying to touch the girl and flames flew at him keeping him away. Caleb drove away the brawl and removed the sword from the girl’s chest.
‘I didn’t even learn her name…’ he sobbed.
‘My name’s Rika.’ She replied calmly. Caleb jumped.
‘What? How did you, how di-‘
‘I’m an angel. I can heal things. Your shoulder for instance.’
‘But angels have white wings.’ He pointed out.
‘Yes. Yes they do. But I’m not your average, run of the mill angel. I’m a demon angel. Speaking of strange subspecies- what are you?’
‘Human? Or am I correct in thinking that most humans can’t create fire in their hands?’
‘That’s just it. I never seen anything like you.’
‘What’s that supposed to mean?’ Caleb inquired. Before Rika could reply someone crept up behind Caleb and knocked him out. The last thing he comprehended as he passed out was Rika’s wings flaring.
Caleb opened his eyes to an unfamiliar environment. He appeared to be in a cave. To his left was the cave opening that showed a view of a forest that was unnervingly familiar. The trees were a deep green, practically black. The sky was a depressing grey and the grass- what he could see of it- was long and moist. To his right was a doorway that he assumed led to a labyrinth of rooms. He was lying in a bed that was comfortable and low to the ground. Other than the bed the room was empty. He looked right as he heard Rika ask him how he was.
‘Fine, thanks. Where are we?’ he inquired.
‘My house. Do you recognise that forest?’
‘I’ve seen it before, but I have no idea where.’
‘You used to live in that forest,’ Caleb looked at her confused.
‘I monitor this forest. You were important, so I paid attention to you. You got up to some very interesting stuff by the way.’
‘Who am I exactly?’ Caleb asked nervously.
‘You, Caleb, are prince of the wolves.’
‘The prince of the wolves. You know this. It’s somewhere in your subconscious. Now that I have told you, you should be able to remember.’ Rika got up.
‘Getting your memories back is going to be strange, I made you some repressing tea to reduce the pain.’ She walked out of the room and came back with a mug.
‘Be warned, this tea tastes awful.’ Caleb sipped at the tea and gagged.
‘Jeez, you weren’t kidding!’ he spluttered.
The next morning while Caleb was having breakfast he remembered the whistle. He excused himself, stood at the mouth of the cave and blew as hard as he could. He heard a high-pitched note whine out of the whistle. Rika said she hadn’t heard anything at all, so she left to get something from another room. In a few seconds Caleb saw a streak of red tear up the mountainside. The red stopped behind a bush and Sylas stepped out from behind the bush. He brushed himself off and walked up the rest of the mountain, as if nothing was wrong.
‘Hi Caleb! Glad you’re okay. As I said before I left, I know who you are.’ Sylas said cheerfully. Caleb punched Sylas’ stomach.
‘What the hell man? You left me for dead in a brawl! As it happens I know who I am now, so that piece of information is useless!’ Caleb yelled. ‘The only thing I don’t know is who you are Sylas. I blew on the whistle and a red streak appeared. Who the bloody hell are you?’
‘I’m Sylas. I can turn into a fox and I’m your cousin.’ Before Caleb could say anything Sylas continued, ‘and you can turn into a wolf. Which explains our unusually strong senses of hearing, seeing and smelling.’ Rika came into the room and dropped what she was holding.
‘Sylas?’ Rika looked at them both outraged. Sylas mumbled something about leaving soon.
‘Sylas? What are you doing here? Leave. Leave now.’ She bellowed. Sylas hesitated.
‘Sylas. Get. Out. Of. My. House.’ Rika was fuming. Caleb intervened before all hell broke loose.
‘Whoa! Calm down Rika! He’s with me!’