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You know those stories about unwanted rejects, whose loved ones either died or all abandoned them to drift aimlessly through the world? A worthless no one almost invisible to other people. Nothing spectacular about them ,no grand rise from nothing to something as they dawn into adulthood.
Yeah well, that is kind of my story.

My name is Alora Dennison and I am literally hours away from my awakening ceremony at the ripe old age of 18 years old, with absolutely no one who gives a crap about me to be there. I'm a late bloomer, I guess. Not that it is unusual in our bloodline, as almost every female in my family didn't 'come out' until they hit their late teens. Much like the others in the orphanage. Another reason we are snubbed and left to our own devices in this hell hole they call a home.

My ceremony has me all churned up inside and restlessly pacing the room I share with Vanka. She's like me, although in all the years we have bunked together I can't say we have ever become friends. She makes it clear she doesn't like me and much like everyone around me, they all keep their distance.

I'm an orphaned no-one whose parents died in the war of ten years ago against the vampires. So is she, but it didn't warm her to me in anyway. I guess because she is from the Santo pack and they have hated the Whyte pack since long before the war. We were feuding before the vampires united every one of us.

We were just two small girls left with no guardians put in this place for unwanted cubs, to live out our days in unexceptional ways. It would have been kinder to end our misery back then, than leave us to live as outcasts among our own people. Shunned because we are the shameful proof that their own packs failed them. I don't think they knew what else to do with us. So many young with no one left and seen as cursed. They were ashamed of the failings of our families and we are the ones to carry that burden.

I am amazed that kids like us even get to go through with the ceremony, I mean it's kind of a big deal and we are kind of not. We are a bit like the lost boys in Wonderland, except.... none of us want to stay here and growing up is the only way out.

Your awakening is a bit like graduation in a sense. A passing from child to adult and normally where you would find your place in the pack - get a mate. I have no delusions that it means anything of the sort for any of us turning tonight. Of which there are four from the home of unwanted, and I hear maybe three from the packs around. Just a handful of kids trying to break free, find their place, and all in the great presence of the entire 'packdom'.

The packdom being the dozen or so wolf packs from the state.

They all have to convene on the shadow rock to watch you transform fully for the first time under the first full moon of your birth month. It's not hard to figure out when you are ready. The weeks running up to your birthday, you start to change in small ways and god damn it hurts. Like having your insides snapped and stretched in fits of severe twisting pain.

The signs are pretty evident to all. Kind of like puberty for werewolves, I guess. Maturing, physical improvements and a massive rise in appetite and aggression. Little moments where you start to transform painfully and then it dissipates just as quickly so you never really reach a first transform. That pain is saved for the full moon after your birthday.

Some don't go through it until later in life and some earlier. Usually when you turn, is a sign of where you stand in the hierarchy. The longer it takes, the weaker your DNA. So, 18, puts me way down on the pecking order and just confirms my bloodline were not that of warriors. Vanka is 16 and she too is turning tonight.

I mean look at the Santo's, they are the reigning pack in the state and everyone in their bloodline turned before the age of ten. Colton is 19 years old, lords over all in our kingdom and he has been running with the pack since he was a mere eight years old. Every single one of his family returned from the wars, which speaks volumes to the purity of their genes. He's destined to take over from his father as Alpha one day and the way things are heading, he won't just be alpha of the Santo pack, but all of us. Something that has never happened in our lifetime.

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