Outcasts chapter 1- Innocence
Sunlight reflected against the navy blue fur of the loner. He had spent his whole life alone, except for when his mother raised him. She had died the year before from an unknown illness. This was Moon, the lone wolf of the forest.
Moon hated being alone. He was limited to small prey and sour deer meat for food, and he had noone to talk to but himself. He knew what would happen if he tried to join a pack. Loners were despised by all wolves, sometimes even other loners. He had never felt love since his mother was alive. The only feeling he had now were sadness and anger.
Why did his mother have to die? Iris had done nothing wrong, so what was this sickness? She didn't deserve this! Moon simply sighed and lapped water from a stream. A bitter taste met his tongue. He saw a splash of red floating in the water. "Blood?"
Toko and his pack waded through the water of the fast- moving stream. The coldness of the water provided relief for his wounds, just as Lana had said. Lana's brother, Lani, limped into the rushing liquid and clenched his teeth. Lani was a good warrior, but if there was one thing he hated, it was freezing water. Toko knew Lana had made him do it.
"Just one more step, Lani," Lana urged her brother. Lani reluctantly stepped into the water.
"It's so cold! And it's wet!" Lani complained, amber eyes wide.
"Deal with it, silly," Lana said, grinning. "Can you go deeper?"
Toko sat down in the water. He found Lani to be a good wolf. He was fearless in battle, and as close to his sister as Toko was to his mate, Zurri, and son, Arii.
"Daddy!" A little black wolf pup bounded to the stream and crouched in a play bow. He lifted his tail and bared his teeth, trying to look as tough as such a small wolf could look. "I wish I were at the battle," he said. "I would have protected you and the pack!" He stood up high and howled a tiny, squeaky howl.
"You've got a long way to go before you're ready to protect the pack, Arii," Toko said, crawling out of the stream. He shook his water-soaked pelt and lifted Arii in his jaws.
"I'm old enough now!" He squeaked, squirming. Toko rolled his eyes and put the pup down.
"As soon as I put you into training," Toko said, "I'll make sure you get taught how to fight."
Moon trotted away from the stream with his head low. He sensed something had happened, and now the wounded animal was walking in the stream.
"Pollute my only water source, why don't you," he thought.
A few hours after the matter, Toko was ready to go hunting. He took Reyne, Starr, Lani, and Mouse.
Mouse stood beside Toko, his head only reaching the Alpha's shoulder. Mouse was Toko's brother, the runt of the litter. He was scorned by all of his siblings, except Toko. It was Toko's protective nature that was a primary reason for his father to choose him to be the future Alpha Male.
Starr stood tall and strong, her yellow-orange and white fur shining beautifully in the sunlight. The young she-wolf was gentle-spirited, but she knew how to fight.
Reyne and Lani stood in the back of the line, Lani's dark and Reyne's light gray pelts were dappled with light from the sun shining through the trees.
"Let's move," Toko said. He led the hunting party through the forest, enjoying the feel of the lush grass beneath his paws. He kept his senses alert, nose to the ground. The wolf picked up the scent of a rabbit. He closed his eyes and used his keen sense of hearing to locate his prey. He heard tiny thumps on the ground.
Toko opened his eyes and followed the scent and sound of the rabbit. He finally saw the rabbit, and crept close. He was preparing to dash in for the kill...
Moon had gone a few days without eating. He had just scented and seen a rabbit and was about to chase it. It was then he picked up the scent of another wolf. It was a Shadow Mountain wolf.
Moon twitched an ear in frustration, then turned around and slinked away.
Toko rushed at the rabbit. The creature ran, Toko close behind. The wolf ran with his head low, ready to grab his prey. When he was close enough to the rabbit, he snapped its neck with his strong jaws.
Carrying it back to where his pack was, Toko thought, "It seems as if this is going to be a good day for Shadow Mountain Pack."
Moon was moving on in search of something else to catch and eat, but froze in his tracks as he saw a brown wolf sitting behind a tree, watching a bush.
"What is this one up too?" Moon thought. He crept closer to investigate.
Toko dropped his prey in front of the other pack members. He noticed a pack member was missing.
"Hey, Lani, do you know where Starr went?"
Lani cocked his head. "She thought she smelled a loner over that way."
Toko's ears shot up in alarm. "I told everybody if they smelled a loner, they should go with another wolf. Always!" he growled, eyes wide.
"I reminded her, but she told us she could take care of herself."
"Well, why didn't you follow her?"
"She demanded nobody follow her. I think she wanted to prove she could take care of herself."
"More like prove she can be stupid," Toko muttered, ears back. "I'm looking for her."
The next thing Toko heard was an earpiercing shriek. "Oh no... Starr!"
Moon saw the leaves on the bushes rustle. The brown wolf crouched into an attacking position and licked his chops.
"What in the world is he up to?" Moon bared his teeth in suspicion. A yellow-orange furred head poked through the bush, and eventually squeezed all the way through. A she-wolf stood there, nose to the ground, and eventually trotted over to where the brown wolf was.
Moon wanted to shout, "Don't take another step!" but something kept the words from coming.
The brown wolf leaped out and gripped the she-wolf's throat in his mouth. The wolf let out an agonizing screech. The brown wolf seemed to bite harder.
Moon wasn't suspicious any longer. He was angry, outraged. This wolf was bad news. Bad, bad news.
Toko ran towards the sound. If Starr was in trouble, it was his duty as Alpha to protect her.
He followed the wolf's scent to a bush. He squeezed through it.
Moon saw the brown wolf run away. He moved toward the she-wolf, who was bleeding from her neck, where deep bitemarks could be seen.
"Wake up, please. I don't want to see another wolf die..."
The she-wolf stayed limp and motionless. Moon poked her with a paw. He pushed his nose into her blood-matted fur.
"Wake up, please. You don't know me, but I-"
Moon was cut short by a rustling in the bushes.
Toko squeezed out of the bush. The first sight he saw was a blue wolf with yellow eyes. "You!"
Moon was petrified when a black wolf emerged from the bushes and addressed him.
Moon began to stammer, "Uh, this may look conspicuous, but I-"
The black wolf interrupted him. "My name is Toko. I am the Alpha of Shadow Mountain Pack." Toko turned his gaze to look directly into the eyes of the loner. "And from what I see here, it looks like you've just murdered one of my warriors."
Moon shook his head. "I didn't! Can't you see I didn't kill her?"
Toko narrowed his eyes. "Oh, really. I thought one of your kind would be more clever than that. There's blood on your muzzle."
Moon was suddenly speechless. He knew he didn't kill this wolf's pack member! He was innocent!