Under the Sage Bush Chap 1Under the Sage Bush Chap 16 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
If I ever thought my life would turn out the way it did, would I have started it differently? If I had come to know sooner by a day or a month or a year, would I be different? That is always the question it seems. What was done that made me unlike the others? Some would say it was fate, because some believe fate drives all happenings.
Sometimes I wonder that if I was like the others, would I remember that once upon a time, things weren’t so difficult? Would I remember that I once lived what some would consider a normal life?
I wondered when the day would come that I would finally change like everyone said – finally become what everyone was waiting for me to become. It would be the day that my gift would suddenly fade to curse, but I will fight until the end to make sure that never happens. I know now I was born this way for a reason. I will make a difference because I know that I am truly something extraordinary.
Freshman year was just as bad as everyone predicted
Under the Sage Bush Chap 2Under the Sage Bush Chap 26 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
I lay in bed that night listening to a pack of wolves that lurked in the forest behind our house. Every time one howled, a shiver was sent up my spine and I would turn onto my side and cover my ears with my pillow. After living there my entire life, I still wasn’t used to those howls. It seemed so unnatural for a creature to make a noise like that.
The next day wasn’t much better. I sat alone on the bus (Bree wasn’t there) and got ran over a few times in the halls. In gym, I was blessed with some more social interaction when someone hit me right in the head with a volley ball and a she-jock screamed at me because I wasn’t paying attention. In Basic Foods, I accidentally blew up the muffins we were cooking and had to stay after school to clean it up. At lunch, I sat alone.
I walked home that day after school as the cold bit through my layers, missing the sparkling new school bus to clean up burnt muffins. Finally, it was Christmas vacation, and it would
Under the Sage Bush Chap 4Under the Sage Bush Chap 46 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
I sat down at my usual spot at the dining room table. Unfortunately Amy had the guts to sit next to me. I didn't want anything to do with her, but I kept my place knowing my parents would wonder if I moved.
Everyone started eating. My mother made small talk with Amy about Pennsylvania, and my baby sister Katie threw spaghetti around her highchair…but the pasta in front of me just looked...unappealing.
"Do we have any meatballs?” I heard myself ask stupidly.
Everyone looked up.
"No, not tonight,” my mom said slowly. "I'm sorry.”
Suddenly, my stomach lurched I knew I was going to throw up.
"Om, be right back,” I said and ran to the bathroom. I shut the door quietly behind me as my breathing got fast. What was happening? I ran to the toilet...but the feeling was gone. I ran a hand through my bangs and stood, going to the mirror. I gasped and I tried not to scream. There was a knock at the bathroom door.
"Honey, are you okay?” it was my mom.
Under the Sage Bush Chap 5Under the Sage Bush Chap 56 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
I woke up in my bed at home. Thank God, it was only a dream. But when did I fall asleep? How did I get there? I glanced out of my window to see the sun just coming up over the distant mountains. I laid my head slowly back against the pillow, yet I couldn’t slow my heartbeat. The dream was so real. On the bright side, I felt good as new, only very hungry.
I pushed the covers off of me and sat up, stretching my legs and making sure they had no fur on them. I glanced to the end of my bed at the mirror. I still looked thin…but different than before. Now, I appeared to be a healthy type of thin. As I stood, I couldn’t stop staring at myself. I pulled my t-shirt over my head to check out my belly fat…but there wasn’t any there. I stood in front of the mirror, turning my body to the profile angle. How did it just disappear like that? –
There was a knock at the door and I put my shirt back on, returning to my bed and sitting down.
Amy walked in.
Under the Sage Bush Chap 21Under the Sage Bush Chap 214 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
The next morning was bright and sunny. My mom and dad were still sleeping when I got home. I crawled up the house and through my window. Cadie was sleeping peacefully as always. I pushed her on her stomach and she groaned.
“Oh, shut up,” I muttered, and pressed the blue thing in the middle of her back. She faded away.
I yawned. I was exhausted. Time for me to get some real sleep. I crawled under the covers, curled into a tight yet relaxed ball, and closed my eyes. Within seconds, my attempt at sleep was interrupted. My phone started blowing up on the bed stand beside me.
I groaned, reaching blindly for it. My hand closed around my brand new vibrating Droid and I brought it over to me and opened my eyes. New text message from Drake. I touched ‘open’ on the touch screen.
It read “Hey lets hang out today .” For some reason the winky smiley irritated me. I pushed up the screen revealing the keyboard but then…I decided I didn’t f
Under the Sage Bush Chap 10Under the Sage Bush Chap 105 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
“Hey Sadie!” Manoray exclaimed.
I smiled. “Hi.”
“Hello again,” Ceaser said quietly. “Listen, this is the closest we’ll come to human territory. From now on we meet on wolf territory.”
I nodded. “Kay, kay, lead the way.”
“Just wait till you see it,” said Hickory, “It’s the best.”
I rolled my eyes, looking down at my strange feet as I walked. I tried to figure out how I was so easily adjusting to this new body. Ceaser walked ahead and I trotted up to him.
“How are things?” he asked quietly.
I looked down and watched my feet move. I stumbled a little and blushed under my fur. “Ok. Better than I thought. I’m still not exactly sure what this body is capable of. But I’ll get it.”
He smiled a little. It was the first time I saw him grin. It wasn’t real, though, and I could sense tension in the air.
“Om…is there something I’m do
Under the Sage Bush Chap 3Under the Sage Bush Chap 36 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
The next day, I was not well, and even my mother could see that. She claimed I was gray, and I explained that I felt like all the life and happiness had been sucked out of me. I even told her of the nightmare, showing her on my wrist where I had been bleeding in the dream. Of course now, there was nothing but smooth skin. After telling her, I proceeded to the bathroom to puke again. Whatever Bree had, she sure passed it to me quickly.
I laid in bed that afternoon while my parents and baby sister went to pick up Amy at the airport in Anchorage. Sleep didn’t come. My stomach felt as if it was filled with shards of glass and sand. Indeed, I was not well.
When Amy arrived, I was still in bed. I smiled as best I could as she entered my room, grinning wildly.
“I heard you’re not feeling well,” she sang happily despite the circumstances.
I spit out a sarcastic laugh. Already, she was managing to piss me off. “Not really, no.”
Under the Sage Bush Chap 7Under the Sage Bush Chap 76 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
I quickly put my clothes on. I pulled my shoes back on and my sweatshirt and stood up to brush the snow off of me. I turned – and Amy was right in my face grinning stupidly.
“Well, how was it?” She asked.
“Jesus Christ, Amy,” I growled. “What is your deal?”
“It went alright. I met the pack.”
“Great. How were they?”
“It’s strange talking to animals,” I replied as I pushed passed her. “But thanks for telling me about them.”
“You’ll get used to talking to them. And I wanted to see how you dealt with it yourself.”
I nodded and rolled my eyes. “Because that makes sense. Hey, why don’t their mouths move when they talk?”
“Oh,” Amy said. “Because animals speak from mind, not from actually voice.”
“So…it’s actually their thoughts?”
“No,” Amy replied. “If they want to co
Under the Sage Bush Chap 12Under the Sage Bush Chap 125 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
“You saw that too, right?” I said quietly to Bree.
“Yeah…” she replied, shivering. “I saw it. Do you think that was Amy just transformed?”
“I don’t think so. Did you, like, feel it?”
“Like I was scared, but then when it got closely, I wasn’t scared anymore…I kinda wanted to touch it.”
“Yeah! Me too!” I exclaimed, shaking my head thoughtfully.
“Do you think that was from the other world?” Bree asked slowly.
I nodded. “I bet it was. But what does it mean?”
“What does what mean?” Suddenly, Amy stepped out from the trees. She was looking around curiously like she was afraid she missed something.
I looked at Bree. “We just saw a bear but…it wasn’t a bear.”
Amy’s eyes widened suddenly. She looked around, crossing her arms as the wind blew again. “Come along. Let’s get back awhile.”
I curled up in
Under the Sage Bush Chap 13Under the Sage Bush Chap 135 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
“So, let’s discuss this now,” said Amy, “You being alone when I leave.”
It was about noon and Bree had gone back home.
I laid down on my bed and looked at the ceiling, “Yeah, so,” I said, “I just leave every night before I transform.”
“It’s not that simple,” Amy replied, “What are you going to do? The average human is not a good enough liar. And if you haven’t noticed the sun sets quite early here. It’s not like you can say you’re just going to bed.”
I sat up, “I can say that. I don’t care what my parents think.”
Amy cast an odd look at me. Before, I had been really close to my parents, especially my mom.
I rolled my eyes. “Alright fine. What am I gonna do now, we’re running out of ideas. How in God’s name am I supposed to pull this off the rest of my life?”
“I don’t think you’ll have to,” Amy muttered
Under the Sage Bush Chap 6Under the Sage Bush Chap 66 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
Darkness fell early in Alaska during the cold winters. It was only 2:30 in the afternoon – the moon would be out in less than an hour.
Amy walked me to the door, glancing behind her. “Don’t worry, I got you covered.”
I wanted to ask how, but instead I muttered a “Thanks.” Honestly, I didn’t know what to think. I was sort of nervous, but also kind of excited. Another part of me wanted to laugh at myself for believing all this bullshit.
“Good luck,” she whispered as I set off across the snow. The farther I got from Amy, the weirder I felt. The sun was setting and the forest was filled with a dim orange glow. The snow twinkled, the air was still. I continued on until I reached the opening I had sat in only the night before – or dreamed I had sat in. Finally, after what seemed like hours, all remaining light in the forest disappeared. I waited. Nothing happened. Slowly the sky grew darker. I waited. I looked up at the sk
Under the Sage Bush Chap 11Under the Sage Bush Chap 115 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
“You gotta see this place guys, it’s like something on a postcard,” I chattered excitedly to both Bree and Amy. “Or in a movie or a painting or whatever.” It was about noon the next day.
We walked on and on until we reached Ceaser’s territory. When we did, everybody gasped. It was in perfect shape, just like the night before. The only difference was the sunlight…and that made it all the more breath taking.
Suddenly, a white figure walked out from behind the distant rocks. Her head dropped suddenly, her ears alert.
“It’s Amy and Sadie,” Amy called.
Hickory looked behind her quickly before trotting to us.
“You shouldn’t be here with the human,” she whispered. “If Ceaser saw…well, it wouldn’t be good.”
I looked at Bree to see if she looked taken aback…but I found her only staring at Hickory.
“Can I touch it?”
Oh, yeah, she couldn’t understand t
Under the Sage Bush Chap 9Under the Sage Bush Chap 95 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
Bree gaped at me. “Are you going to be sick?”
My eyes darted to the digital clock on table beside my bed. 3:03.
“Amy!” I shouted.
She threw her magazine down and grabbed my hand. My bones were moving and expanding inside me.
“Come on Bree!” Amy insisted. “You’re about to see something fantastic!”
In a heartbeat, Amy had pulled me down the stairs and out the front door with Bree trying to keep up from behind. Damn, Amy was quick even as she drug me. My legs were numb as they grew. A creepy, inhuman sound escaped my throat as we entered the thick forest.
“Guys slow down!” Bree called. “I don’t really want to see Sadie be sick. Like I love you and all Sadie but really”-
“It’s much better than that!” Amy called with a grin. “Come on!”
My balance shifted and I tripped over nothing, crashing down and dragging Amy with me.
Under the Sage Bush Chap 20Under the Sage Bush Chap 204 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
As the months went by, I tried to get used to people whispering, “Her eyes turned from green to yellow! I saw it myself! It’s true!” and, “I thought she was going to attack the teacher! I swear it!”
It was April of my tenth grade year the school finally held a homecoming. Bree was helping me get into my dress.
“Zip me, bitch,” I called to her.
“Bitch, I ain’t your bitch,” she replied.
We laughed and she clasped the zipper on my lower back. Something had happened to us both over those past few months, maybe since we were no longer under classmen or maybe because I was a werewolf and she was the same spunky girl.
“Careful! Don’t zip my skin!”
“Says the big bad werewolf.”
“Zipping skin is the worst feeling.”
“Even worse than getting hit on Brandy Road?” she asked.
“It wasn’t Brandy, for the last goddamn time it was Potter Lane!”
We laughed. Slowly,
Under the Sage Bush Chap 17Under the Sage Bush Chap 175 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
A few days after Christmas, questions kept building in my head. It was hard to focus on anything. I was lonely, even though I had Bree. I needed someone who knew exactly what I should do, like Amy, even though she was totally clueless. I walked to Ceaser’s territory during the day on January 1st. I had to go to school the next day for the first time since the change. I wanted the wolves to get more comfortable with me when I was in human form. Basker and Hickory were the first to come to me, smiling their wolfy smiles. I sat down and they sat beside me as I petted them. We didn’t speak for the longest time.
After awhile, Manoray joined us. I scratched him behind the ears like I would do with any dog. He grinned and licked my face, tackling me. I giggled. Ceaser came over, smiling lightly. He did not sit, but he stood tall, ears pricked, listening and watching.
“Aren’t you gonna relax a little?” I said quietly. He grinned down at me and his eyes
Under the Sage Bush Chap 8Under the Sage Bush Chap 86 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
We stood in front of my best friend’s house motionless and silent. My heart was beating out of control.
“Well?” said Amy.
“What?” I asked.
“I don’t know, just now what?”
“I don’t know,” I replied slowly.
“Go knock on her door.”
“No, it’s your best friend, not mine.”
“This was your idea. I didn’t ask for this,” I growled.
“Come on, let’s go home.”
“No. Do it.”
“No! It’s gonna be so awkward,” I whispered. Amy pushed me and I fell into the door.
“What should I do?” I asked frantically.
“But there’s a doorbell.”
“Then ring it!”
“Shh!” I inched my finger to the door frame and rung the bell. Footsteps. This was such a stupid idea. I tried to imagine what Amy was planning. Just then, Rachael, Bree’s ol
Under the Sage Bush Chap 19Under the Sage Bush Chap 194 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
Days turned into weeks and weeks turned to months, and I still hadn’t woken up from this dream. The summer had been the easiest for me to be a werewolf, but then again, nights were shorter and I found myself longing to be a wolf…even during the day. I focused those brief nights on getting to know the pack members as we became more of a family. We were very busy as they taught me the ways of the wolf, and sometimes Ceaser would request me to come back during the day for more instruction.
I saw the Spirit Bear more than usual, usually just a glimpse of it glowing through the trees or by the river though. The letters in my arm never disappeared, yet he never came near me again. I got so frustrated with it. One night in July, the sky was bright and the water of Eagle River couldn’t get much clearer. I saw the Spirit Bear on the other side standing in the surf. The green tattoos glowed eerily, the whispers muttered in the night. I glared down at the elegant let
Under the Sage Bush Chap 15Under the Sage Bush Chap 155 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
I lay on my bed, looking up at the ceiling, with the binder on my lap. I had the worst headache. Amy was pacing.
“I still have more questions,” I said solemnly, “Are there any werewolves around here?”
“Who knows,” Amy replied grimly, “They could be anywhere. Anything could be anywhere.”
“We should do something,” Amy said.
“Let’s go have a snowball fight.”
“Ok.” I stood and started putting layers on.
Minutes later, we were constructing our snow forts.
“I wonder if the wolves play games like this,” I questioned aloud.
“Probably,” Amy replied.
“Well they seem to know a lot about the other world,” I replied.
“Most animals do.” Amy sat up, her back arched, and threw a snowball. I ducked behind my wall, snickering. I packed a snowball as tightly as I could and sat up, putting all my might in the swing. The ball of
Under the Sage Bush Chap 14Under the Sage Bush Chap 145 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
After a little while, I tried to stand but the bear’s slashes swelled in pain on my shoulder and my ribcage.
“Heal!” I hissed at them. Nothing happened. Blood rushed into the water. “Heal!” My head was spinning and I tried to stand again. It hurt, but I could manage. As I limped through the wake, I wondered again to myself if this could really be real. The scary part was that literally everything was possible. I swallowed and sat down.
“Heal,” I whispered. I don’t know if it was the timing or not, but the familiar warmth came out of nowhere and spread throughout my limbs, stopping the blood flow and sealing up my skin. Fur grew back where it has been scratched away, and the bruises faded. I stared at my own brand new body in disbelief once more. I was something special. I stood up, feeling only slightly stiff, and shook the remaining numbness off of me.
The wolves appeared then, running through the surf on the other side of th