The howl of the wolves at the full moon startled her from her sleep. Her eyes glowed with anticipation. She was eager. She was ready. If she were going to catch a wolf, tonight would be the night. The full moon always marked their monthly meetings, and their howling tonight only confirmed her suspicions. A wolf was the price of her acceptance into the group, so a wolf she would bring them.
All her life Janey wanted to grow up to be a supermodel. It was her dream. She dressed up every chance she had. She became so practiced at having her photo taken, or taking her own selfies, that she knew every angle to her body in every different kind of light. Janey knew she would be a star. She knew what it took to be in the modeling industry, and she understood that her unique features would get her places fast. She researched day and night, so much that the dream of becoming a model consumed her.
Janey stared back at herself in the mirror. She looked deep into her bright silver eyes with their flecks of gold. She saw their contrast against her silk black hair and her ghost white skin. Her cheekbones rested high on her face making her lips seem fuller and her eyes full of an intensity that left others intimidated when she was near. As Janey stared at herself, she remembered those days where all she thought about was modeling or something relating to its world. Her thoughts came to a halt when she embraced the memory of the day her dreams changed, reminding her she needed to go and find herself a wolf.
The wind whistled as the trees flapped their branches and limbs against the sky. The howls of the wolves grew louder as Janey came near. She could feel them now. Her bones were shaking, the hairs on arms stood from the electricity within her, pushing her forward. Janey saw the fire first. She camouflaged herself to the nearest tree, becoming one with it. A large white wolf brushed against her. She laughed to herself as its fur tickled her, even though she was covered in bark and moss, an ability she picked up from months of training, preparing for this day.
Janey listened to the whole meeting of the wolves. Listened past the howls to hear voices. She heard their plans to attack the witch village. Janey recorded every word, every heartbeat, every grunt and cheer. She needed all she could to be wholeheartedly accepted by the witches. She was not going to be denied a third time. She was supposed to be their long lost princess after all. Though she did not feel like one, Janey knew she could learn. She needed to honor the legacy of her mother, the witches’ lost queen.
It was New Year’s Eve when Janey’s dad told her everything. He explained to her that her mother was alive, but was dying, and he urged her to go visit her. He finally let go of all the secrets he had been holding on to all of her life. As tears poured down his face, he unleashed it all on her. She never could figure out if he told her then because her mother was dying or if it was because she was eighteen and starting to experience some things she should not be able to do as a mere human. It was then that Janey found out that her mother was this awesome witch leader who had to abandon her and give all rights to her dad to protect her and blah, blah, blah.
Janey did go see her mother, and her dad was right, her mother was dying. Janey went to her mother every day until the day she took her last breath. She cherished the month she got to know her mom, and everything that her mom taught her about her new found heritage of witchcraft. At first, Janey didn’t believe the queen, her mother. It wasn’t until the day a bad storm passed over their quiet little town, and she could feel the electricity run through her body. All she could think about was releasing it from inside of her, from her bones and past her skin. She needed it out. At that moment she struck a tree with a whip like lightening rod that shot out from her pointer finger. That was the day she started latching on to all that her mother said. She poured into the books her mother gave her, and turned her desire and passion for modeling into a deep felt urgency to know about the heritage that was thrust upon her. The heritage that she now felt a commitment to uphold and honor.
The wolves’ meeting finally came to an end. They all started to leave, when Janey removed herself from her thoughts, and recalled why she was there again. She paralyzed the last wolf of the pack, who seemed to not want to leave the beautiful crackling fire. The wolf could not move, could not yelp, could do nothing but be quiet and still. Janey held the wolf there until the other wolves were long gone and long out of earshot. She then spoke softly, but firmly, to the white wolf who brushed against her earlier. She stared into its bright white eyes, that stood out against its iridescent white fur, and stiffened a little when she peered at its sharp teeth, a drool-like foam streaming from its mouth. Janey commanded the wolf to change in her deadly soft spoken voice.
The wolf growled out, “I’m not changing for you. I’m not changing on command for anyone. Why don’t you let me move like you allowed me to speak your royal highness?”
“Ha. Is that some kind of joke? Do you think I’m stupid little wolf? This is only a portion of what I can inflict on you. I will allow you to change and that is all. Try anything else and I will slit your throat with a thought in my mind. I do not need you to be alive where I’m taking you,” Janey spit out with a mix of disgust and rage.
“Fine. Have it your way,” the wolf said grudgingly defeated.
Just then the wolf felt Janey release her hold on him. It started to take off, when it felt its throat slowly being sliced open. Blood poured onto its fur as it ran. The wolf rolled to a stop, hitting a nearby tree, simultaneously changing into its human form.
“I’d thought you’d cooperate,” Janey laughed out as she came rushing behind the wolf, no, the man. He was beautiful. His skin a caramelized tan, nothing like his wolf form. His eyes were a bright green, that one might only see in the rainforests of the Amazon. Her breath caught at the sight of him.
“Would you mind? My clothes are just behind that tree over there,” the wolf, now man, annoyingly stated, as he pointed to a group of trees ahead of them.
“Um…oh…uh…yeah, of course,” Janey managed to get out. “What’s your name anyway wolf?”
“What you don’t like the word wolf as much as you seem not to like me? Whatever. My name’s Jumper. And what about you? What’s your name?” Jumper asked the pale witch, with those breathtaking silver eyes.
“What kind of name is Jumper? How gross. Name’s Janey, by the way.”
“So what’s this all about anyway? You obviously had this long planned out witch.”
“Well, you don’t really need to know that much now, do you? All you need to know is that I am in control now, and you should probably follow whatever I say or, well, die.”
“Oh geez. Thanks. Shaking in my paws here.”
“You’re probably leading me to my death either way. The least you could do is give me the courtesy of telling me why and where.”
“Not that you need to know, but you’re kind of cute, so I guess I like you enough to let you in on some of the details. I’m a witch, but you already figured that out. You do know what the entry fee is to join a group of witches right? If you haven’t guessed by now smarty pants, it’s a wolf. So your dying gift to me is being my wolf. My wolf that will lead me to my destiny in becoming queen of the witches, just as my mother was.”
“Wow. I can’t believe you actually told me all of that. You know if I get away, I could use that. . .”
“You won’t get away.”
“Listen, if I do, I can and will use that against you. Your mother being the last queen though definitely explains why you’re so powerful and a newbie at that. She was a good queen. She let us have our peace. Maybe you can find it in your heart one day to give my pack that same respect, seeing as I won’t be around.”
“Get on my good side and I just might find a way to keep you Mr. Jumper.”
It was at that moment that he took her face in his hands and kissed her with a softness and a force so intense it left her shaking. She knew then, more than anything else, that she would indeed find a way to keep him.