Episode 1: Forest of Werewolves

“Hope was always meant to be abandoned.” The voice speaking did not seem to care.

A spiral staircase reached to the heavens. Along the inside, doors marked the way. Before each a soulless monster stood knowing that it would either kill or be killed by what sat on the other side. Behind the doors, dozens of voices spoke in unison. Almost a chant; methodical and expressionless.

“Give thanks to the One that created humans; our masters and controllers. The ones that see best His vision and give us purpose we would not otherwise have.”

~~~~

The darkened interior of a well hid her from the sun she missed. The child who once danced in the meadow had been replaced by a young woman in rags, who was covered by dirt and bugs. She held her torso lightly. Her grey eyes once alive with the hope of the young and innocent, were darkened by shadows that touched her heart. Pulled down by the same weight that burdened her young shoulders.

Slowly she reached out with her hand. The cool touch of stone that had never seen the sun met her fingers. Her eyes slipped closed. A thread-like tendril wound about her finger. With her heart she reached past her fingers to touch the earth. They had come to her call. Her eyes faintly glowed with a silver light.

“It is only by the will of humans that we exist at all. Our greatest fulfillment, to be used by their will.” This was just one of several chants taught to her. Her grey eyes moved up to look upon the dim circle of light high above. The light in her eyes began to take shape. The tendrils moved over her wrist.

Far above, Nevetes moved silently about the room. Black eyes kissed by the color of blood were bored and annoyed. Canis Fehold, a lesser species of werewolf, moved about. They were his comrades in this dungeon. Though it wasn’t meant, at all, to be like this. He would blame the humans, but it would be a narrow-minded stand.

“A war, huh?” he spoke softly to himself.

The human’s talk had his mind racing. Werewolves, vampires, witches and demons had a long and bloody history. Wars that had put any human one to shame. He had heard that from the humans. A lesson set on repeat to remind his kind that it was only by the holy grace of humans that the Primal Wars hadn’t brought an end to the world.

Though the lore lived on, the true history was long since dead along with those that had fought in the wars. Humans weren’t telling the tales much anymore. Maybe that was why they once again faced another war. He looked down at the thigh-high beasts milling about. Bastard remnants of what used to be.

His breath was slow. Was he any different? Human-like appearance, pointed ears, claws, cold eyes, and a soulless expression. What remained today of his lineage was far removed from what it once was. Or at least, what he imagined his lineage to be.

He had an image in his head of dignified, cool detachment. A tall being with fangs to murder with, and a sexual magnetism to lure prey in. Things he knew he didn’t have because the humans would not allow it.

The creatures at his bare feet shifted. Like them, a glorified inmate was all he was. Watching over the living graves of those he despised. His soulless eyes watched. This cell was the only one here. To secure their hand, humans housed prisoners far apart. Though, typically Elementals were kept in cells high above the ground. Prison towers that spiralled up to the sky. No sunlight, limited exposure, and each one held a creature like him keeping watch at the door. A Primal that could not be destroyed by the power that Elemental held. Which begged the question of what lay at the bottom of this well.

What this particular Elemental had done to be kept down here was a mystery. This was the deepest of prisons, reserved for the most heinous of punishments. She had been quiet, not even crying out when they beat her. Though, whenever the fehold fell silent, he could hear her crying softly. She spoke to no one, other than herself. He heard the broken conversations. She spoke often of a meadow and a perfect day that always ended in her tears. She was a fool to hang onto dreams. No matter how pretty they may have been. Their reality and their future were bleak. That was simple fact. Either he would kill her, or she would kill him. Elemental versus Primal. It was a feud as old as vampires now.

His head turned slightly to the right, his eyes locked onto the spot that her hand appeared at half a human breath later. Her elbow supported her weight as she struggled to rise out of the well. That well would have given him trouble. How had an Elemental managed it? Was it this surprise that held him still?

Misty grey eyes dwarfed the pert nose and pale lips. Silver hair holding a tint of blue lay in matted strands about her shoulders. A shapeless dress hid small shoulders. The wardrobe of an Elemental was minimalistic at best. He watched as she slid her legs onto the well’s edge. She was fragile. She was outnumbered. She was prey.

Selina Elliot