"The strength of the pack is the wolf, and the strength of the wolf is the pack." Rudyard Kipling
★☆ 10.02 ★☆
The Birds sang beautiful melodies as they flitted high in the canopy. Wild flowers and trees moved swiftly with the morning breeze. The perfumed richness of the flowers tickled my nose as I leaned my back against a tree, fingers on the rough peeling bark. After taking a deep breath, I clenched my quivering fingers into fists. This training was simple: make it to the finish.
I lowered my body, peering through the tall, verdant grass to make sure it was safe. I stood up and sprinted in the direction of the next marked tree. A loud growl filled the air, and I pushed my legs to move faster. My heart palpitated wildly in my chest. After turning around, I ducked down, avoiding the sand colored wolf from knocking me to the ground.
Turn around and face your adversary!
Andrew's husky voice echoed in my mind, as a soft whisper. His voice managed to distract me long enough for the wolf to disappear from my sight. I grunted, eyes darting in every direction. She had to be hiding somewhere.
When I took a step forward, the wolf jumped in front of me. My heart almost jumped right out of my chest as I stepped back. Her chocolate toned eyes stared intently in my direction, scrutinizing my movements. She pounced on me, but I leaped over her and my feet landed on the ground perfectly. I whirled around and pressed my hand against the bark of the birch marked with a smudged X.
I waved my hands in excitement. "Ha! I passed!"
Andrew jumped down from the tree, landing light as a feather. He glanced in my direction with an expression I knew too well. He brushed back his flowing, dirty-blond locks with his hand as he took a step closer.
"Running isn't always the answer. This training exercise is to learn to fight in human form against a wolf. Each checkpoint is an opportunity to take a breather, but you must fight once your opponent has caught up to you before running to the finish."
I folded my arms over my chest, pursing my lips. "So, I failed?"
He extended his arm out, pointing in the direction of the tree with a red X. "Start over and this time, face your opponent."
Was he being serious? I frowned in vexation as I stared at him. He narrowed his eyes, and I knew he wasn't kidding.
I ambled across the field of grass towards the start point. When I arrived at the tree, I glanced at the sand colored wolf. She stared directly in my direction.
This time I won't go easy on you, baby sister.
Nina's voice was like a soft whisper at the back of my head. I stood ready to begin the lesson once again. Having to start this over was preposterous; I had won fair and square.
At the sound of the gunshot, the training commenced once again. I made a dart for the next check point. The thud of paws crashing against the ground caused me to push my legs to move faster. I guffawed when my hand touched the sturdy trunk of the oak tree with a mark...