Friday, June 29, 2012


The first step is fake. Or, at least, done from expectation rather than compulsion. The brew takes some time to take effect, as I noticed the first time I took it, when I didn’t know what to expect. Those around me think it simply becomes easier to slip between. As far as I can tell, the reverse is true.

Though maybe I’m wrong. Maybe it just feels so natural, now, that I can do it whenever I please, so after drinking it I feel no different. I feel as though I can be the same as the first time, whenever I choose to, and perhaps only when I choose to, drink or no.

But the first time I drank…I still remember that.

I expected nothing. They hadn’t told me anything, except that it would make me a better warrior. It smelled of alcohol, and something else. I thought little of it. Courage. Others started growling, and I thought, That’s an interesting part of the culture. Becoming closer to animals, when they were about to start a fight. It made sense—they slept closer to their dogs than the tribe that had taken me before this one, and their dogs were closer to wolves than any I had ever seen.

A few started up a howl, and the others ran after them as one. I noticed that I was following, then I stumbled. A warrior to my right caught me, nudged me up, jerked her muzzle toward the front. Follow.

From there, it was…red and black, impacts and silence and growls.

The next morning, I woke up by the river, amidst a pile of my tribe and our furs.

My memories of that battled have never become clearer, but they have never faded. I cannot tell you the face of any I fought, any I saved, any who saved me, but I can still hear the howls, growls, and snarls.

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