The Orphan And The Wolf

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 Thanks to @NikolausGraphic for the amazing cover!! :D


I would like to point out that this book is over six years old, and is in the process of a complete rewrite, so please keep this in mind!

07th October 2000

Sapphire

I was five years old when I first saw him, my wolf.

The man in charge of the orphanage, Tony, had sent me to my room without dinner and locked the door, again. All because I asked him if today was my birthday, I'm pretty sure that it was, and all the others always got presents when it was their birthday. There were fifteen other kids here, all boys. It was my job to look cute and keep quiet during inspections; otherwise we'd all get it. The other kids were never any help; he usually hit me in front of them. I couldn't really blame the younger ones; they were just as scared as I was.

They say that I was found abandoned on the doorstep when I was about five years old, with nothing but a blanket and a so-called letter that I wasn't allowed to see until I was eighteen. Life here was hard; it always has been and always will be.

I stumbled to my bed and reached for my rag doll. While stretching my arm out to reach her, I saw a bruise on my arm and when I stretched it out, pain went through me and the bruise throbbed. Great, yet another one.

I grabbed my nightdress instead and pulled it on, wincing when I put my arms through the sleeves. I looked down and I could see the black bruise through the material.

I reached for my doll again. I called her Charlotte, or Charlie. This time, my hands closed around her red hair and pulled her close to me. She was so big that she was more than half my size. Her black eyes used to be two black buttons but one boy had pulled them off a year or two ago so she had two odd buttons, on black and one brown. It gave her a lopsided expression and I thought that the scarier she looked, the better she would be at defending me against the nightmares. That and the other boys wouldn't want to touch her.

I sat on the window seat and looked out the window, watching the clouds move over the moon, when something caught my eye.

There was something through the trees that was catching the moonlight in a small clearing I'd never noticed before. I don't know what it was, but something was telling me to go whatever had caught my attention. I wasn't allowed to go out into the woods, but another bruise was a small price to pay for exploring the forest. They wouldn't even notice that I'd gone anyway.

I grabbed my slippers and stood on the window seat and opened the window. I was on the first floor, but the climbing frame was under my window. I could reach it easily. I was small, but light so the frame could easily support me even after years of torture from the older boys.

I leaned out the window and my foot touched the smooth metal. I placed my other foot on the frame, putting one hand on the wall to steady myself. Adrenaline was the only thing stopping me from screaming and falling to my death, I was shocked at myself for even doing this in the first place.

I climbed down the frame slowly and went over to the living room window. Everyone else was there, happy and watching something on TV. I pulled Charlie to my chest and went into the woods. Stupid boys.

I'd never been in the garden before and it was pretty scary at night. My slippers were already soaked by the dew on the long grass. It was too easy to slip over the fence and to land on a pile of soft grass. I scrambled to my feet and faced the forest. The trees were really close together and my midnight pigtails were getting caught in the branches.

Then I heard a howl. It ripped through the trees, it was a sound that I always heard every night, like Tony shouting at me or the boys jeering whenever I did something wrong. There had always been that noise every night, but not quite like this. Normally, I was in bed when the howls started, and I would've used Charlie like earmuffs to stifle the sound so that I could go to sleep, but this howl was different to the others, and It made me what to follow it.

I was frozen for a second, but instead of turning around, or screaming, I walked forward, determined to find whatever had caught my eye.

Suddenly, I came into the clearing. The willow branches were leaning over a small pond, and there was a huge, hollow oak tree. I sat in the tree with Charlie and counted the blue flowers dotted around the clearing. This place was beautiful, I'm surprised that no one had found this place before.

Then I could hear someone coming this way. I squeezed my eyes shut. They were coming closer. I decided to run for it. I only got halfway across the clearing before I tripped over a rock and he burst through the trees.

It was a wolf. I stayed where I was, too frightened to move. He was white with patches of midnight black. He was smaller than I thought he would be, if I stood up, we'd probably be at eye-level. My eyes were wide with fear and I think I stopped breathing; I had never been so scared in my life, not even when Tony had started to hit me.

His deep blue eyes met mine, and there was a flash of golden light. Whatever it was, it distracted the wolf long enough for me to get up and run. I dodged the trees that threatened to knock me down, and I bit down on my bottom lip so that I didn't scream when I felt him chasing after me.

I didn't stop until I reached my room. They hadn't noticed I'd left. I then realized I had left Charlie in the tree.

I lay down on my bed, terrified. But something in me yearned to see him again.

I didn't sleep at all that night. I decided that I wouldn't go back there. But when I got home from school, I changed my mind.

Because Charlie was on my bed, smelling of wolf and of dark blue flowers.

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