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The Arena Wars (Arena Wars #1) (Watty Awards 2012)

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© 2012 by Samantha Hoffman.

All rights reserved. Copyright under Berne Copyright Convention, Universal Copyright Convention, and Pan-American Copyright Convention. No part of this book may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form, or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without prior permissions of the author.

 Chapter One

The dim moonlight illuminating the forest was just bright enough for me to see clearly in. My movements were graceful and never faltered. Each foot was placed carefully one in front of the other, and not a single pebble underneath was disturbed. The slightest sound or vibrations would scare away my prey.

I padded forward slowly and steadily on my massive paws, grinding my nails into the soft ground of the forest as I prepared my attack. A slight sound made my ears twitch back and forth, and the deer looked up, scanning the clearing that he was nestled so securely in.

The deer, a large male, looked back down and started to graze again. Slowly I prowled forward, crouched down low for the attack. The taught muscles of my leg bunched up, and the deer looked around at me too late. Springing forward, I darted through the bushes after him, a low snarl tearing from my throat. The deer sprinted off into the trees, but was too slow to stop its fate.

I landed on its back, which snapped under my massive weight, bringing the frightened deer down in one swift fluid movement. I was careful to avoid the antlers as I dropped to the ground and began to feast. If I was normal, the thought of eating raw deer meat would have been a horrifying one, but I’d been doing it for a little over a year, and it came naturally to me now.

Still, I felt a small twinge of regret as I thought of the fear coursing through it’s mind as the last thing it saw in this life was a massive silvery gray wolf lunging in for the kill.

Two more wolves slowly appeared from the foggy tree line. The first of them was a large black wolf with a star-shaped patch of fur on its chest. It was a little larger than a normal wolf and stood up to a man’s hip. He looked at me with piercing blue-gray eyes that, even though a somewhat cold color, showed the warmth and affection he had for me; his daughter.

The smaller of the two pranced over, yipping happily. I snapped at her and she recoiled before settling down. She was smaller than me and was as black as the male. Her eyes were the same color, but different, for they held absolutely no warmth and affection.

“Ilene, you need to behave and calm down,” the larger black wolf said forcefully.

She nodded once and, sitting down in the clearing across from me, began to daintily nibble on the deer’s leg. Ray, the larger wolf, walked over and snatched half of the carcass. He dragged it over to the far side of the clearing and began to eat.

By the time they were both done I’d already finished eating, and had started idly gnawing on a leg bone. Suddenly, I had the feeling that I was being watched. I lifted my head and sniffed the air, searching for anyone or anything that didn’t belong. There was something, but it smelled mostly like the woods; like dirt and fresh pine needles.

Maybe I was imagining things.

And maybe there was someone out there, watching three abnormal wolves eat a deer together.

Ray barked once when he was done, and Ilene and I both got up and followed him out of the clearing. To be honest, I’d be glad to leave the forest behind me.

Together the three of us ran through the woods, not caring if anyone saw us. We were proud. We were fierce. We were invincible and incredible. Nothing in this entire forest could ever stop us.

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Cast

Haley Rammas Alanna Moore
Alex Pettyferas Quinten Taylor
Justin Hartleyas Ray Moore
Kellan Lutzas Jax Moore
Roger Howarthas Roger Mason
Josh Hutchersonas Darren West
Joseph Morganas Elias
Karley Scott Collinsas Ilene Moore

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