The Ghost Part I, 2, Prologue

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The Ghost Part I, 2, Prologue

Postby Alone » Mon Jul 01, 2013 10:14 pm

-------------------------prologue--------------------------------

My first memory is not an ordinary one. It isn't warmth, or milk, or even the awareness of another being. Mine is a voice. A voice that was a beacon of hope in the cold. A voice of no words, of no sense. A voice that made my tiny body tremble and my minuscule heart beat fast. I don't know what that voice said, for back then my mind knew no words, letters, or any articulation beyond the squeal for comfort. All I know is that it stirred in me the fire that created what I am today. The match to the tinder, you could call that voice. Because it changed everything for me.

"Tail up, head low. If you are to live, you have to learn how to walk!" the gray wolf sounded tired of repeating it and very irritated, but I knew she wouldn't give up until I got this right. So I tried again, treading across the brittle pine needles with my tail held straight out behind me and my head low. I had never been very good at the whole stalking thing. It didn't come naturally. I liked trotting better, relying on my size to navigate the underneath of the forest. But she wouldn't let up on me. She said I would get bigger, that I would not always be so small. Margaret was optimistic that way, even though she pretended to be a grumpy pessimist. I mean, look what she had done with me. She had taken me in, even though I was probably a hopeless cause–not to mention of a different species, and had turned me into what I am today. So I listened to her, because I knew she would always know what was best for me.

"There, you see, you've got it." she finally said, crouching down to inspect my stance. Yeah right. My spine was screaming for me to stand up, get my legs underneath me instead of out like they were. But I ignored it, until Margaret raised her considerably larger bulk up in permission for me to stop. Then I immediately relaxed, legs shifting and whole body pushing to the side. She called it slouching. I called it standing. I noticed her dark lips thinning and knew she had noticed. I had to distract her, quick, or I would be done for.

"Can we go to the river?" she rolled her eyes (about as close as she got to a smile) and muttered something about me being a water rat before nodding her consent. I bounded off toward the distant laughter of the water before she could change her mind. Coming out of the trees, I slowed, casting a cautious eye around the scattering of wolves. I was at the bottom of the food-chain here, the target for venting anger. It was partly the fact that I was about the worst fighter in the whole valley, but mostly it was the fact that I was a fox. A supposedly big fox, maybe, but still a fox. An enemy among the allies. Skulking toward the water, I spotted one of my more hated bullies coming my way. I would have to worry, because Margaret had long ago stopped fighting my battles for me. I sped up, loping with a light step to the incline on the steep banks and slipping into the water.

SPLASH! A much larger body sank down into the river before me, the snarling maw in my face even though I was so short. Surprise vied for space with fear. I knew they couldn't really do that much to me, but it was still scary to have such large animals looming over me with their teeth exposed. So, I started running through all the things I would need to do to placate them. Tuck tail. Check. Cower in fear. Check. Grind my face into the dirt. What dirt? I dipped my chin into the water, low as I could go, rolling my eyes back so the whites were prominent. This was ridiculous.

"You don't belong here, you rat." spat the bigger of the two, Conan (who equals the biggest, worst bully on the playground with all the thugs). He pressed a paw onto the back of my neck and pushed my head underwater. Just my luck. He was going to drown me. I swallowed in water through my pointy black nose and started to thrash, worried that he would hold me under too long. The pressure released and I came up, sucking in a quick breath even though he probably wouldn't–the dark paw came smashing back down onto my head. I thrashed again, but this time he wouldn't let me up. I kicked and bucked and struggled to weasel out of his grip, but I was pinned.

And that was when the idea formed.

I stopped moving, letting my body sag into the water. I would die, but not in the way he intended. I was going to become a ghost. All would think me dead and I would no longer leave footprints, because they would not be matched to any living soul. I could hold my breath for a long time, and they didn't know that. I would float away on the current and come back to haunt them. I would get them back for all the wrongs they had done to me. I would make them pay. One minute. Two minutes. Three minutes... Now I was truly starting to weaken. I wouldn't last much longer. As soon as this morbid thought bit into my head, Conan's paw lifted free and his nose poked at my flank. I allowed myself to be dislodged and like a piece of debris start to float with the current. Through the water, my dark red ears heard cries of, "The rat is dead!" and "This abomination is no more!" Oh if only they knew...

I was out in the middle of the river now, and moving fast. I chanced a breath of air, kicking expertly with one paw to get to the surface and turn at the same time. As I gazed back the way I had come, I saw Margaret there. I wondered if she saw me, and chanced to raise my head slightly farther out of the water. She showed no sign of noticed it. I let myself begin to sink, despairing in the fact that she would think I was dead too. Then I noticed the small smile on her muzzle. She knew. Yes, she knew. The Ghost was here.

-------------------------part I--------------------------------

They're screaming again. I open my eyes. They're dancing again. I slowly scan the sky above me for them. They're to my left. I really hate birds.

The light is grey, meaning it is predawn because I know I have not slept a whole day away. I also know that the birds that nest in the tree near my sleeping site do not make a racket like this in the evening. Yes, unfortunately, when I am most alive, they are sleeping. It's just plain bad luck that whenever I sleep, they decide they would like to start up an opera. One day I will have to get them back. Dragging my legs up beneath me, I stand, frowning up at the dancing Jays. It is Spring, which is mating season for them, so I suppose I can not blame them for being in such a frenzy. I'm sure I would be excited if I was a different fox. Or if I wasn't supposed to be dead. It puts a real damper on a relationship when you're more interested in killing wolves then, say, hanging around a den and having fun.

Watching them and waiting for my body to catch up with the time, I try to predict which will end up together. Leafy and K might make a good pair, but Leafy seems a little on the picky side so she might turn him down. But really, why am I thinking about the birds' lives? I should be more worried about my own. I have places to be, people to see! Shaking out my dark red fur, which is stuck in strange clumps from the ash I roll in every day (more on that later), I start off in the direction of the fire site. The alarmed chatters of squirrels and rustle of fleeing animals marks my passage. Nothing escapes the tree dwellers, not even ghosts like me.

Flicking my thick tail, I speed up to a steady trot. That's the fastest pace you can go through these trees, they grow so close together. Their roots stick high up into the air, miniature highways and bridges for insects. They can trip even the most surefooted. I know this from experience. I've tasted dirt enough times because of those things that I am never going to chance a run through this forest again. Unless of course I'm getting chased by someone who wants to kill me, which is not an unlikely event. I make a lot of enemies on a daily basis.

Leaping over yet another gnarled root, I reach the burned out section of the forest. It's a neat little circle, a completely dead patch where some nameless fire started and died in a random fit of fury. Ash sticks to the burned out trunks and coats the ground in a fine layer. No matter how much it rains, it always seems to stay dry. I step gingerly onto the grey and drop down into a roll, coating my whole body in a layer of the choking stuff. As soon as I feel it sifting down into my undercoat, I stand and begin to rub my face furiously into it. This is almost as crucial as getting my paws covered. Without this dark mask, I wouldn't be able to hide in the shadows quite so well. But the paws are still more important. The ash that comes from them hides my scent when I leave tracks and hurts the nose when a deep whiff is taken.

It has been my disguise as long as I can remember, but I suppose that isn't really that long so I can't boast. I am only a year or so old. I haven't even grown into my true stature yet, though I am close. Not that it matters. I'm big enough to get my teeth in the throat of a wolf, so I don't need to grow anymore. Stepping back, thoroughly coated, I turn and head off to the east. I'm still ravaging the wolf pack there. They are resilient, and seemed to have picked up on my tactics better than the others. There have been many others, and none have lasted near as long as this young pack of wolves. It's irksome, really. I would have preferred to move on by now.

Coming to the edge of the forest, I eye the expanse of plains before me. There are waves upon waves of grass out there, with herds of elk and buffalo dotting them like storm clouds in an amber sky. This isn't my terrain, which might explain why I am having so much trouble annihilating my targets. I am a fox made for the pines, created to race through their treacherous depths and to leap from shadow to shadow unseen. I am no plains fox. Wide open spaces just seem wrong to me.

I head out into the grass, keeping low and leaving a trail of ash behind me. I zig and zag, trying to make the trail less direct. I don't want them tracking me back to my home. That would be bad. Very bad. A sonorous howl suddenly echoes to my right. Then another to my left. Then, to my horror, another to my fore. Have they ambushed me? Horror starts to prickle at me, like little needles determined to cause me injury. I drop onto my belly, ears flat against my head, trying to slow my beating heart as I listen to the howls. I know some wolf-language, from my small time within the packs. Maybe I can figure out what they are doing.

To the forest! The thing is there! We will track it! We will find it! We will kill it! Their cries are repeated like a broken record. They don't know I'm out here. No, they're going into my domain. I'll just stalk them from behind. I sink lower into the grass, allowing a feral smile to fall upon my muzzle. They have no idea what they're getting into. It's not me who will die (again, might I add, since I am technically already dead) today, it is them. I circle after the three wolves, loping through the tall grass that hides me so well while it lays open their trail like a flare. My small paws make no sound as I go from plains to pine in a matter of seconds, following their scents. This is much easier than I had hoped. I had never thought they would stray into my territory!

The first one I pick is the quietest, who will not be missed when she is killed because she barely replies to locating howls. I follow her through the forest for some time, keeping my whole body very tense so I can spring in and out when the opening comes. Because openings always come when you least expect it. My eyes stay locked on her form even when she is obscured by branches and bushes, catching even the smallest hint of her grey fur. She hasn't bent down or turned to expose her neck in all the time I have followed her, but she is my chosen target. Maybe I should give her a little nudge. I kick a stone without any pretense at all, just kick it off to my right. She glances in that direction, ears perked. Her throat is now fully on the track my teeth will take. I streak out from the bushes and in one expert strike she is on the ground. I leave her there, already silently leaving this world. I never spare a moment for the disgusting creatures. They do not deserve my attention beyond death.

That's when things start going wrong. There is a crackle of brush to both sides of me and the two males leap out, leaping toward me with the same intent I held for them. I am not a coward, but I have no objection to running, so I take off with my ears flattened and my tail streaming behind me. Their teeth clip together emptily, but they turn on the same second and engage in pursuit. Now it's just a fox against two wolves, not a ghost against wolves. I have absolutely no advantage except perhaps knowledge of this forest. And that knowledge is minimal at best, and isn't really in my mind at this particular moment. It's pretty hard to concentrate when you have very, very large teeth clipping at your heels.

Suddenly, a paw comes crushing down on my spine and I fall beneath the blow. It's just like the year before, with Conan. The short year that seems so long in which I have changed so indefinitely. I thrash, but I can already feel the hot breath nearing my neck. What am I supposed to do?

Have I ever mentioned quite how unexpected miracles can be?

-------------------------part 2--------------------------------

The streak of red barely inches into my vision before a wolven cry of pain sounds high above me and the jaws of impending doom pull back. I twist to my feet, flying toward the other wolf's throat before he can rid his comrade of the other fox. My teeth snap straight through the skin like a knife through butter, but I've missed and he is simply wounded in the shoulder. I'm thrown backward, landing hard on my back with barely a breath to spare. This is not how I wanted to make my exit, noticed by my savior. I wanted to kill the wolf and get out before I was seen. But it's too late. The two males are already crashing through the brush, startled and pained, leaving me to face my helper. I roll to my feet and turn toward her. She's much smaller, but her legs are still long. her fur is a much lighter red, almost orange. She's not covered with soot either.

"You are not part of our pack." she says, lifting her head and flattening her ears in surprise. That is quite observant of her. I snort, tossing my head, and brush past her without a word. No speaking for me. I'm supposed to be a ghost. Ghost don't speak except in a distant whisper. Unfortunately, she turns and follows me, sniffing at me and sneezing every time she does. Ash works like a charm. I toss a glare her way, but she appears not to notice as she speeds to walk abreast with me. She must be about my age. That's awkward.

"Who are you? Are you the one who's been killing all the wolves? Why are you covered in ash? Is that some sort of disguise?" she starts firing questions like she actually thinks I'm going to answer. What is wrong with this fox? "Who are you?" she repeats without a second to spare. I glare again, but she stares right back at me uncowed. I will her to leave me alone, but she keeps following me as I plod along the trail left by the wolves. So i settle with trying to ignore her. She starts poking me with her nose, each bit of contact making my skin convulse and twitch. Doesn't she know anything about personal space?

I growl, almost lifting my tail like I would in the wolf pack. She hisses–a bit like a cat, truth be told–right back at me and I turn to her. She's got spunk. I'll give her that. "Leave me alone." I keep my voice as icy and low as I can make it, narrowing my eyes to show I mean business. She just pulls her lips up in amused grin and bounces a bit.

"So you can talk! I thought you might be mute." she says. I huff, turn, and go back to ignoring her. I haven't talked to a fox for... For forever. I was raised by wolves. I have lived in solitude. I have never been in the presence of foxes, but at least the language comes easily to me. I'm not defunct in that area. But it still feels strange. "Why do you have such a strange accent? I have never heard a fox with that kind of an accent before. Are you from these parts? Who are you." I stop, feeling suddenly frustrated. Why is she asking me these questions? It's none of her business! She should know that!

"The Ghost." I try to say it with subtle magnificence, but there's a little too much exasperation in my voice to really pull it off. It sounds more like I'm just blabbering out something random. She's smiling again. "Trying to freak me out, are you, ash-boy?" I roll my eyes, turn a full circle so my back is to her, and slip into the bushes. She starts to follow but I turn and thrust my muzzle from the bushes. I bare my teeth, still bloody, and snarl right in her face. It startles her enough for me to make my escape, turning and flat-out running through the undergrowth. I circle around in this way for a while, staying just close enough so I can hear where she is going. Finally, I hear her moving to a different part of the forest and I relax, slowing and angling my body toward my 'home.' No more hunting for me today. I wanted to get this ash off.

Heading to the small creek that runs the border between my pine forest and where the deciduous trees begin to grow, I slip into it's waters and rest my head against the bank. The ash starts to float downriver, traveling whatever random route it chooses out of the many miniature tributaries. It will dissipate before it reaches anywhere of any importance. Closing my eyes, I consider the she-fox. She was quite strange. A little too friendly for my liking. Who was she, and what pack was she speaking of? I'll have to investigate. I'll investigate tomorrow, though. Today I'm just too disappointed to do anything. Those male wolves are still out there, more fox-wise then I would ever care to let them get.

Clean after quite a while, I get out of the water and saunter back towards my makeshift den. The birds see me coming and jump into flight, their blue feathers catching the late afternoon rays in a surprisingly pretty display of color. They circle around my head, twittering and cawing. It's almost like they're happy to see me. I shake my head up at them and slide straight into my mossy bed, plopping my head tiredly on the cushy ground. They seem surprised by this action. We all know I am a nocturnal creature. But I'm too shellshocked by that meeting to go hunting or anything. I'll do everything tomorrow, when I can forget about her and her unnerving interest in me.

You never said thank you, my sleepy brain points out as I let my eyes close out the light of day. I probably will never say thank you, but it's the thought that counts, right?
Last edited by Alone on Thu Jul 04, 2013 2:08 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: The Ghost Prologue

Postby NatureHeart » Tue Jul 02, 2013 9:34 am

Amazing!! I loved it!! Did you right this?? If it was about 100 pages longer, it should be published!!! :D
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Re: The Ghost Prologue

Postby Alone » Tue Jul 02, 2013 9:41 am

I'm glad you liked it! I did indeed write it, though it was rather late at night so it's a little whacked. I don't usually write so formally. (If you can even call that formal...) :D That would be awesome, to publish it.
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Re: The Ghost Prologue

Postby Foxesrule » Tue Jul 02, 2013 10:25 am

I loved it-You should carry on! However, it does not belong in Game Discussion because this story isn't based off what happened to you on WEO, so I'll move this. :wink:
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Re: The Ghost Prologue

Postby Alone » Tue Jul 02, 2013 12:37 pm

Ah yeah I wasn't sure, so thanks for moving it for me! :mrgreen: Should I make a new topic for the next part, or just reply to this thread?
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Re: The Ghost Prologue

Postby Alexander » Tue Jul 02, 2013 6:10 pm

Lovely story! I like how there's no spelling errors, which is always a good plus. The only thing I caught was in the first paragraph you typed in "to day" and I think it looks best as "today".
If you want you can make another post or just edit your first post and say it's the next part!
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Re: The Ghost Prologue

Postby Foxesrule » Wed Jul 03, 2013 11:17 am

I'd reccomend you edit your first post to add the next chapter in, so you can also change the title. :wink:
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Re: The Ghost Part I, Prologue

Postby Alone » Wed Jul 03, 2013 1:50 pm

I have no edited in part one! xD I hope you guys like it. It doesn't really instigate anything.
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Re: The Ghost Part I, Prologue

Postby NatureHeart » Wed Jul 03, 2013 6:49 pm

Yay!! I love it!! The only suggestion I have is that you put the prologue first, then part one. :3
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Re: The Ghost Part I, 2, Prologue

Postby Alone » Thu Jul 04, 2013 2:09 pm

I'm really glad you like it!! :D I did what you asked, and I've also written a short part two. This is going to be one long post. xD
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Re: The Ghost Part I, 2, Prologue

Postby NatureHeart » Thu Jul 04, 2013 2:14 pm

Yay! Loved it! You should make some money and sell it once it is done!
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Re: The Ghost Part I, 2, Prologue

Postby Foxesrule » Fri Jul 05, 2013 10:28 am

I love it! I'm guessing that the character is actually alive? ;)
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Re: The Ghost Part I, 2, Prologue

Postby Alone » Fri Jul 05, 2013 6:29 pm

I'm sooo glad you guys like it. I'll try and get a part 3 done soon. xD Indeed. I promise I'll explain it more thoroughly as time goes.
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