Being separated from my group was the worst thing that could ever happen to me, before we set out the very first thing that my tribal leader had said was; 'Young ones this land is very treacherous, we don't just have predators to worry about, man is the most dangerous thing out here. As wood elves we a constantly hunted for our abilities; given to us by the wood Goddess Celestine at birth, is savagely torn from our bodies from a species that is run by greed and hatred.'
Now I am lost in a Timber wolf den, standing eight feet at the shoulders, this wolf has a taste for human flesh, which shouldn't really concern me except for the fact that a hungry wolf that has just woken from its winter nap will eat anything that it can catch. I know, your wondering how I ended up in such a predicament; when all wood elves reach the tender age of twelve we are taken wood Goddess who would reveal our abilities to us, the only way to reach Celestine, who lived deep in the mountains was to go through the timber wolves den. The journey was long and dangerous, the tribal leaders were entrusted to not only take us there but to bring each and everyone of us back. Now lost in this dark eerie den, I will never find out what my gift was. Being with out a source of light I had to feel my way around, making sure I wouldn't fall. For the longest time I felt nothing but air until I felt a very large hair rock, it was the strangest thing. I slow rubbed my hands along the hair surface until I came upon something wet and cold; it wasn't until the cold wet surface let out a breath of warm air did I realize that was not a rock and I was in grave danger. As the creature gave out a menacing growl I slowly backed up tripping over a small stone; hitting the ground with a very loud thud. Before I had a change to gather myself the sleeping beast had me pined down. I whimpered in pain, the only thing answering me back was my echo; “ Please don't eat me.” I pleaded, trembling in fear knowing that I was about to be this hungry animals dinner. The animal slowly backed up letting me off the ground.
“Strange little animal, why is it that I can understand you.”
I looked around for the source of the voice coming out of the darkness, but I was all alone; just me and the man eating, excuse me wood elf eating monster.
“Who's there?” I called out, fearing what would answer me.
I could feel something get closer and closer to me, well not something I knew exactly what it was. I was kind of hopping for something small and cute, you know not the other something that could devour me in one bite.
“ Answer my question.” The voice demanded; “What trickery is this, how is my food talking to me?”
I suddenly felt very light headed, the last thing I remember before waking up at the entrance of the den was the feeling a large heard nudging me. Over come with emotion; relieved that it was all just a crazy dream, that was until I saw a large timber wolf laying on the grass beside me. She lifted her head and smiled at me; “Oh good you are finally awake, now one last time before I eat you, answer my question.”
For lack of a better word, I was totally freaking out, this was the first time I had heard an animal speak to me.
“I...I...”. No matter how hard I tried the words would not come out of my mouth.
“Okay, we will start with something easier, my name is Nataki whats yours.?”
“Um Amarah.” I stared in confusion at the large beautiful for the longest time, then it finally came to me, my Goddess given ability was animal communication. When I explained to Nataki what I was and were I was headed things started to fall into place.
“I will help you catch up to your tribe if you can grantee my safety from the world of men, I am the last of my kind hunted for my beautiful pelt.”
“You have my word, my kind to is also hunted by men, if I had my way those filthy creatures would be wiped off the face of the earth.”
“There is an easier way to the Goddess then go traipsing through my house, but the sun is starting to go to bed and so shall we; come lay closes to me I will protect to you from what lurks in the night.”
“Your cave is just right over there, why can't we are go sleep in there?”
Nataki, through back her head and howled in laughter; “little elf, my cave is very damp you could catch your death sleeping in there.”
The next day we set out to find my tribe; the forest was bustling with chatter, until now it was just a bunch of noise. Now I could hear all the conversations of the the forest ; rabbits chatting about where to find there next meals, bears that were figuring out the best way to catch the rabbits without putting in to much effort. All of this was extremely magical leaving me wanting to stand there for hours.
“Why do you need to see this wood Goddess when you already know what your abilities are?”
“Because the other tribe members won't believe me if I don't, the gifts that are bestowed to us by the Goddess are supposed to benefit the tribe, I am not sure how communicating to animals would help anyone except the hunters and I don't want to help them kill animals easier. I know we need the meat to feet the tribe, although it is quite possible to live on a strictly vegetarian diet.”
“Amarah, you could always live here in the forest with me, you said it yourself the only use you would have to your tribe would be to lure in helpless animals to their deaths.”
The thought of living among he the forest animals was quite enticing, I wouldn't have to worry about keeping my gift a secret, if I went back to my village claiming that I got separated from my group they would just make me wait a year and send me off with the next one. The thought was also frightening after all I was barely twelve years of age; I would be leaving behind my family and friends.
“I am sorry Nataki, I can't but I can postpone my visit to the wood Goddess another year by returning to my village. I will hide my ability from everyone until it is relived at my ceremony next summer.”
Nataki nodded her head; I will take you as far as I can but then you are on your own.
I thanked my friend very much but I was caught travelling with a timber wolf she would definitely be killed.
The journey back to my village was anything but less the dull; I had some amazingly deep conversations with all sorts of forest animals by the time I reached my village I had a deeper respect for animals, I never forget about Nataki and the special bound her and the next summer I once again set out with a new group of tribal youth; as I stood there before the Goddess she was more beautiful then I had ever imagined. Long flowing blond hair; green sapphire eyes , I was in completely in awe of her beauty. All the fear and doubt I had completely disappeared as she placed her hands above my heart and announced to entire village that I Amarah had been given the gold gift.
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I had a lot of fun writing this story, it is the second time that I have written a fantasy story. I think I have found my new favourite genre.