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matsi

A story my good friend Sirby has been working on

by
This is just the intro and is still a WiP:


Staring down range, through the scope of my rifle, I inhale, a long, slow breath, tasting the wind. My senses seem dull in the human skin that holds me, but I don’t need much to make out the smells of the woods here, and there were other things in the woods which can smell, too, and they would be hard to approach smelling like a predator.  I can smell the oil and powder of my rifle, the loam and charred cork that masks my shape and scent, and beneath them, blood, musk and fur. Nothing seems out of the ordinary, the smell of the prey animals in the woods is still there, and the darker smell of the Highland Worgs that are stalking them, wary but unaware that a fiercer predator is stalking them. Bracing the overlarge rifle in the crook of a few tree roots, I peer through the hefty scope, watching a large worg pass through a small clearing in front of me. It’s a massive specimen, even among the already large breed. Careful to keep my hand away from the trigger, I close my eyes, relaxing, letting the beast loose. My skin itches and burns, like being bitten by a hundred-thousand fire ants. I bite my lip, fighting the need to howl in pain, riding it until the cold comes, a numbing chill, like the cold touch of the dead; it starts along my spine, quickly spreading to wrap my torso, pushing outward into my limbs, hitting my head last, pushing out, making my vision swim and head pound, but it’s over almost as fast as I can even feel it, and again I feel the full force of the world through senses no longer dulled; my fur ruffles in the wind, showing me where it’s blowing, my arm brings my eye back to the scope on my no longer oversized rifle, my muzzle lolls open slightly and I inhale again, my nose now picking up every tiny scent in the air, even as I slip my finger onto the hair-trigger. And there I freeze, a strange scent floating, almost hidden, on the air. Lifting my face from the stock, I turn, letting my nose point me toward the strange smell.
Blinking, I shake my head, unsure what to make of what I see, but it must be there, my head’s clear and my nose confirms the strange vision. A strange creature creeps through the woods, a smaller wolf, nothing like the powerful worgs that hunt here. I haven’t seen a wolf that size since I last traveled through Elwynn Forest, and I have never seen his like. Even by the standards of the wolves in Elwynn Forest, he would seem small, almost domesticated looking, but still he looks far too feral and wolfish to be properly called a dog of any kind. All of this, however, seems secondary, for it’s his coloration that really makes me stare. He’s a soft gray, but with strangely colored patches or vibrant, rainbow hues, and a patch of longer fun on top of his head gives the impression of a Mohawk haircut. His tail, large and rather fluffy-looking, and his “Hair” are both a vivid rainbow, and striped most unnaturally. I grin, a frighteningly toothy grin, I’m told, but there’s no accounting for taste. He, and my sharp eyes easily confirm the guess on gender, is far the rare and unusual a specimen to kill, even if his hide would bring a pretty penny somewhere. I sling my rifle back onto my shoulder, rising quietly, digging out a slab of venison and a few of the pet biscuits that have always served me so well. Stepping out from behind the tree, I toss the first biscuit toward the strange wolf, my hands weaving the arcane gestures I was taught so long ago, my will focusing on his will, seeking to bind him to me.
*****
It’s been a long day, at the end of a long week, well a long couple of months, really. Things had been heating up of late, but it wasn’t anything to hold my interest. A dragon I can’t imagine trying to fight, a war I don’t want to fight, and friends I didn’t want to fight with. Nothing had gone well in weeks and I want a break. Looking around the woods, I check carefully for anyone else in sight, assuring that I am, as usual these days, alone. Breathing slowly, I focus my mind, Forcing my body into the new form I will of it, not the simple bear or cat that I learned long ago, but the new form, the one that called to me in my dreams these last months, the one I had been working so hard to achieve. It’s hard work, leaving me panting in the long grass for several minutes, but I have learned it well. I only managed this form a scant few days ago, but I grin wolfishly to myself, it may take every ounce of strength and will I have, and it might leave me fuzzy-headed and a little Too in touch with my wild side, but I’m the first druid in decades, maybe even centuries, to follow the call of a new spirit, to forge a new form. It’s just too bad no one else knew, that I didn’t have anyone to share my triumph with. Wolfskeh had called to me, he had spoken in my dreams, and I had followed those dreams until, now, I was standing in this forest, wearing the form he taught me, walking slowly through the cool grass, listening to the feral buzz of instincts and emotions bounce around in my head. I grin, unsure why the strange patches of color appear on my fur when I change, but trying to put it, and my other troubles out of my mind for a while.
I stalk through the woods, sniffing the scents on the air, stronger and more vivid than I have known them in any other form. The faces of friends I have lost flash across my brain, but I force each away. SilverHorn, the massive, but gentle Tauren, who I haven’t seen since we studied together under the circle, his race pulling him away from me. Terethalius, the tall, dashing Night Elf who stayed behind to help his people when the rest of us left seeking adventure, who perished in the destruction of Auberdine. MoonPetal, the willowy beauty of Darnassius, who died aiding the Dragon flights against the ravages of the Destroyer. Celli, who vanished into a strange portal, never to be seen again. I see each face, but I push them away before the longing hits my heart, the bestial whispers in my mind making them easier to hide, or hide from.  Walking between the shadows of the trees, I push all thoughts from my mind, just living in the moment, as they say, letting the beast out, and hiding the pain.
Stepping into the sunlight, I freeze, something landing softly on the ground at my feet snapping my attention into focus. It smells good and I snap it up without thinking; whatever it was, it tastes rich and meaty, but has a surprising crunch. Suddenly, a thought hits me, not one of my own, but an outside thought, trying to force its way into my already overcrowded and fuzzy head. In the space of a heartbeat, I grab thee running thread of a memory, When I was first training and they brought the hunter in to teach us how they control beasts, taught us how to slip free of that with a simple force of will few real beasts could ever hope to muster. It wouldn’t be a difficult thing to break, well if I could just push the beast down enough to concentrate, it wouldn’t. The beast in my head had its own ideas, straining against my will to charge whoever dared to try to bind him, to bind me. And somewhere between them, still unsure what to do, or how to control myself enough to do so, I turn, looking for the source, my breath catching in my throat at the large, powerful figure of the Worgen, his large, furred hands waving a series of strange gestures. I can feel the pull of his will against mine, the battle to subdue me, to catch me and make me his. Unsure yet what the best way to stop him is, I stay frozen, watching him throw another of the small, meaty disks at me, catching it from the air without thinking.
Suddenly I could hear a little voice in the back of my mind, a strange voice, offering me a third option. “Let him win,” it seems to say to me, “Go with him.” Blinking in confusion at the sudden, strange thought, I stay frozen in place, gulping a third disk as he tosses to me. “He obviously wants you,” it whispers. “No one else seems to care enough to stay. What would you lose?” /me shaking my head, trying to clear it, I growl softly, but I can no more clear my head than argue with the voice in my head. And looking at him, he does obviously want me; he could as easily shot me or left me alone. It might not be the same as a friend or a mate, but I’m so tired of being lonely, of being alone. I trot over to him, sitting at his feet, looking up at him. His expression changes from a studious concentration, as if awaiting my attack, to a shocked confusion. I relax, watching him, pushing the beast’s anger down, covering it with my fuzzy thoughts and logic, then pressing the whole bundle away in the back of my brain, letting the force of his will press into me, filling me, letting go and allowing him to take me. At that, my control over my thoughts shatters, the best rushing back, stronger than ever, leaving me panting, growling softly up at him. He drops the large chuck of venison to me and I snatch it from the air, gulping it greedily, and then moving to sit beside his heel.
*****
He freezes when the first biscuit lands at his feet, but he stays there several seconds, almost as if unsure how to respond. I throw the second biscuit and he catches it from the air. Still focusing my will on him, I throw the third biscuit, and again, he catches it. Al last he is moving towards me. I brace for his attack, trying to remain focused on my task, but it isn’t coming. He sits at my feet, staring up at me, as if he has simply agreed. I feel my will push into him, spreading, binding him to me. He growls, mine now, and I feed him the fresh meat, watching, unsure what it all means, as he savages the meat, eating as if he hasn’t eaten in days, then trotting the step or two to wait by my side. He’s mine now, and I draw a heavy leather collar from my bag and fasten it around his neck. Somehow, I think this will be unlike any beast I have tamed before, but I wouldn’t miss it for the world.
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Added: 7 years, 2 months ago
 
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