The Wolf Code
- Genre: Werewolf
- Status: Completed
- Language: English
- Author: Taylor Brooks
"Are you alright, darling?" Mrs. Damascus asked, running her left hand on Vera's temple. She hovered over Vera's face, taking her temperature.
The girl's body was heating up. Her heartbeat drummed faster than her breathing could handle. Mrs. Damascus raised her eyebrows, urging the young girl to convey that she was okay. Vera was awake, even though her eyes were still shut.
"Mom?" She opened her eyes, removed her mother's hand, and sprang up from bed. Her head was hammering with a headache. Vera had heard the question clearly but wondered if she should tell her mother the truth. She had another vision.
Her hands were cold. She pulled the bedcover away and walked to the washroom sink. "I'm fine, Mom. It's just a fever."
"That's about 7.5 degrees, Vera Damascus. Things don't look good. I need to run some more tests and be sure you are alright, darling." Mrs. Damascus followed her into the room, where the girl went to pick up her toothbrush. "We can-"
Mrs. Damascus stopped. She wasn't aware Vera could scream that loud.
Her daughter had always been soft and calm. She had never vented her anger openly, even when pushed to her limits. This time, her voice sounded unfamiliar, guttural, and beast-like. What was going on with her girl? Or was it her imagination?
"I already told you, it's just a fever. I'll be fine. I just need to get to school. There's a test I have to write," Vera rambled. Most of what she said was incoherent.
She looked at her mother, who stood there in a daze. "I need some space, Mom." Her back was turned away from her mother while she faced the mirror plastered on the wall just above the sink.
"Okay," Mrs. Damascus mouthed inaudibly and started to walk away.
Vera clenched her fists when she heard the cold reply and the noiseless trod. She knew at once how bad her response had made her mother feel. The girl rushed to her before she could leave the room. "I'm sorry, Mom. The fever is making me delirious."
Vera guided her mom’s hand to her forehead. "See? It's already going away."
Mrs. Damascus sighed and forced herself to smile at her daughter. "Alright then, I'll go make breakfast. Come down soon." She left with those words, closing the door.
Vera walked back to her bed and slumped into it. She held her forehead and groaned. Her head felt as if it would split in two.
The scene from her dream replayed in her head again.
You cannot miss him. He is dangerous. He doesn't deserve to stay here... He's going to cause a lot of pain...
The pitch of the woman's voice was between a coarse male one and a shrill female one. "My name is... Alle Carson," the woman said.
Vera had her first vision when she was only three. The woman appeared as a wolf, with blood-red eyes and clawed paws. Vera had screamed aloud, looking for her parents, but they had been nowhere in sight. She had relaxed when the animal had approached her. Little Vera had giggled when the creature stretched its paws and tickled her belly.
Then, before her eyes, the beast had gradually turned into a voluptuous woman, naked as the day she was born. Vera hadn't been scared anymore. In fact, she had felt both fascinated and at peace. The little girl had approached the woman and touched her face, "Sweetheart, I am Alle Carson, your mother. I will always be there within you to guide you." Vera had been too young then to understand.
When she had woken up from her dream, she had tried telling her foster parents, who had dismissed her story. Her father had even said, “It was a nightmare, Pumpkin. We have them sometimes as well.”
But Vera had seen Alle almost every week since then. The woman appeared either as a wolf or as a human.
The previous night Alle had talked to her longer than usual.
"You have to kill him. The Alpha."
"How will I know this... Alpha? I haven't taken a life before. It will not be easy."
"You are not a Luna for nothing. He will come, and when he does, you have to be ready; the baton has fallen upon you, child. You cannot fail!" And then the voice had dissipated abruptly.
Vera still had a lot of things to ask. "Hello, are you still there?" She had walked closer to the sloping hill from where the voice came. Only the sounds of raucous crows filled her ears, but she didn't relent.
"How do I find the boy, and why do I have to kill him, anyway?" But the voice was gone. "Hello?"
Vera had woken up more confused than she had been the other nights.
The woman had mentioned that she wasn't a Luna for nothing. She needed to understand what being a Luna meant and how she would find the person she had to kill. Why did she have to kill anyone in the first place? It was all very confusing.
Vera stood up and pulled a chair. Her laptop was on the table, and it came on the moment she tapped it twice a second. Her vision was still blurry to see clearly, but she quickly typed the phrase 'Luna wolf' on the search bar.
…This is another term for the Alpha female in the pack, which is the counterpart of the Alpha male and is the main female….
Vera peered closer to ascertain she'd typed the right word. The pictures of wolves in different shapes and types stared back at her.
One of the wolves had eyes precisely like those of Alle Carson's. She scrolled down and stopped on the picture of a full moon at the center of the screen. The girl felt her skin crawl, and a shiver ran down her spine. She drew the laptop shut.
"Vera, come down for breakfast. You'll be late for the test!" Mrs. Damascus called from the kitchen.
The weather outside was chilly. Vera's head still pounded from the migraine. For a while, she wondered if she had made the wrong decision by not telling her parents about the vision. She could have taken her medication, even though she didn't want them to know about her nightmares. The medication was always in stock on the d*** counter in the living room.
The test on geometry was nothing to worry about because she had revised the lessons thoroughly the night before. Her present problem was getting rid of the headache and breaking the fever.
Alle Carson's warning hadn't stopped echoing inside her head. She wondered if that was the cause of the persisting migraine.
"Hey, V?" a familiar approaching voice called out. Vera turned and tried to smile, but she was sure her friend already knew something was wrong.
"What's wrong, girl? You look like death!" Sarah quipped.
Vera delved her left hand into her bag and pulled out a sheet of paper. She glanced at it before passing it over to her friend.
"Luna?" She sneered at the text before looking back at Vera. "And yes! Morning! I slept well." When Sarah saw her friend wasn't moved by her humor, she turned to the print and glanced through it. "You've been watching movies, haven’t you? You know you shouldn't be doing such-"
"I saw her again last night."
Sarah went quiet. She held onto the sheet of paper as the sunlight illuminated the text. Her round face looked pensive as she squinted. "Oh. That's why."
"She said I have to kill someone. A man. I don't know who." Vera looked away from Sarah. A bunch of students walked past them. Sarah tapped her shoulder.
"V, we need to stop talking about this right now. Let's catch up after class. Don't worry about it because you'll certainly end up giving Ms. Benson a nightmare."
Sarah quickened her pace, leaving Vera behind. Vera reflected on what her friend advised and then ran after her.
"Hey! Wait for me!"
The girls joined the crowd heading to school. BeTusar High School was all casual. The students were a potpourri of colors and attires. There was a cacophony of noises in the students' corridor. It was chilly, yet Vera had beads of sweat trailing down her face.
"Hey, why are you sweating so much?" Sarah tried to touch her friend’s forehead, but Vera slapped her hand away.
Sarah looked at her solemnly.
"It’s the warning. You’re reacting to it," she took Vera by the hand to a corner and spoke in whispers.
"Look, you just need to stop thinking about what the woman in your dreams said. You’re making everyone suspicious. It’s not safe," her left brow quirked. "At least not yet."
Sarah always spoke in cryptic terms, but Vera’s spiritual encounters with Alle Carson and the occasional revelations by Sarah had given her a fair idea of what was going on.
"I’m not a human, am I?"
"You are the Beta Luna, Vera. That’s what the woman has been trying to teach you, to tell you."
"What’s a Beta Luna?"
Sarah rolled her eyes and started walking away, but Vera caught her arm, "You have to tell me. This is all confusing, and I am on the verge of breaking down."
Her friend sighed and looked into her eyes.
"There are some special ones like us in the school. It doesn’t have to scare you. In fact, it is an honor and a responsibility. You are the chosen Beta, which means you can fight for us. All of us."
"What are you talking about?" Vera raised her face to look at Sarah and saw her pupils turn golden yellow. It looked as if there were flames in her eyes. It was eerily beautiful.
Vera had a sudden urge to capture the flames and envelop herself in them. She reached out to hold Sarah but felt dizzy. Her friend braced her. "It’s fine, V. I got you. Your eyes got the flames too."
Vera opened her mouth to argue, but Sarah motioned her to be silent. Vera blinked and pursed her lips, "Okay." The bell went off. Sarah dragged her along to the class.
The classroom smelled of burnt chocolates and vanilla. It made Vera's stomach rumble. She'd forgotten the cake slices her mom had prepared for breakfast. Hunger had been the last thing on her mind.
The teacher, Ms. Benson, added another line under the family algebra tree on the board.
Vera heard a voice up close. "She's going to end up confusing everyone."
She turned her head sharply to look for the speaker. There was no one. However, outside the classroom, under a tree, she found the source of the voice. She wondered why it had sounded so close as if the person was right next to her. The girl turned to look at Sarah for help.
Her eyes seemed to have double vision. What was happening?
Sarah observed her friend, quickly stood up, and slid into a seat beside her. She covered Vera’s eyes with her hand.
"What are you do-"
"Shhhh... your eyes are speaking. You have to be quiet unless you want the whole class to notice."
Vera took long breaths to calm her palpitating heart. She could swear she'd explode the next minute if someone did not help. She rested her head on the desk, battling nausea.
"Ma'am, I think Vera's feeling unwell. I need to take her home," Sarah had thought fast on her feet.
The class booed, and all heads turned to stare at Vera. Ms. Benson dropped the chalk into the chalk-holder and, with pacing steps, walked towards Vera's seat.
"Vera Damascus?" The teacher extended her hand to touch her, but Sarah blocked her attempt. "Ma’am. She says her entire body hurts. It could be the flu. She just needs to be excused."
"Oh. Okay then."
Ms. Benson craned her neck, hoping to meet Vera's eyes, but the girl kept them covered.
"I think she needs some help," someone said when Sarah tried to make her friend stand.
"No," Sarah groaned, pulling Vera with her left hand and supporting her waist with her other hand. "We...we're fine. I can get her outside, alright."
The whole class watched Sarah cross her arm over Vera's shoulders and drag her out of the classroom.
Sarah stopped halfway to the students' corridor as Vera let go of her and pulled away. "I can walk by myself now."
"You can? You made us miss the test, Vera. Should I go back? Will you be alright?"
"No?" Sarah went back to cross her arm back over Vera’s shoulder with a grin on her face, "I thought as much. The colors of your eyes might be normal now, but I need to get you back home. Your parents can handle this."
Vera bit her lip and held onto her friend while they staggered home.
Something drastic was happening to Vera, and she feared it would change her forever.