Lost Memories: Part Two
Myrrta stood on a plateau, overlooking a grassy field, watching her new daughter, Xireei, playing with some of her friends. Smiling at her antics, she let her mind wander back over the past few months. She hadn’t gone back to Firreter’s cave, nor had she heard anything from him. Myrrta had done her best to forget about him, and concentrate on raising Xireei, but a nagging curiosity plagued her. Was he still alive? Many dangerous things lived out in wild Tyrannia, all of them posing a threat to a young Tonu. Not that he couldn’t take care of himself. His sharp claws, teeth, and agility made him a formidable opponent, for anyone. Anyone who entered his territory was considered an enemy. Even her.
Sighing, she turned to the cave’s direction. She couldn’t stand not knowing if he was still there or not. Tomorrow, no matter what, she was going to find out.
The next day, Myrrta walked across the field to Firreter’s cave. She hadn’t told anyone where she was going, in case they tried to stop her. He was her son. He wouldn’t hurt her. Right?
At the cave’s mouth, she peered inside, and taking a deep breath, called, “Firreter?”
Her voice was met with a loud growl, as Firreter stepped out from the shadows. He had grown. Firreter was now twice the size she had last seen him, and looked like a fully grown Tonu.
“I thought I told you never to come back here!” he yelled, his eyes bloodshot with fury.
“But... I...” Myrrta stammered, shaking.
“I’m going to let you go,” Firreter sighed, stamping off to the back of the cave. “But I won’t be here next time you come to see me. Why don’t you understand that I don’t want anything to do with you, or your herd?”
Myrrta looked to the ground. “You’re my son!”
Firreter snorted. “Go away; I’m done talking with you. Obviously you’re not going to listen to a word I say.” With that, he crawled back into the shadows.
Lilean was worried. She hadn’t seen Myrrta all day, and it was starting to get dark. She had taken Xireei to her nest and fed her, and now that she was free, she went to the leader of their herd, a large male Tonu named Yoshirix, and voiced her concerns.
“I’m just worried that something’s happened to her,” she concluded. “You know what Firreter was like.”
“Yes,” he rumbled. “I’ll get a few Tonu together who aren’t doing anything and we’ll go look for her. How’s that?”
Lilean nodded gratefully. “Thank you, that’s great. I just hope she’s okay...”
“Come on then, she could be in trouble,” Yoshirix said, walking off to fetch a few more Tonu for their search party.
At the cave, nothing appeared to be out of the ordinary.
“Well, everything looks okay...” Lilean murmured, glancing around, searching for her friend.
“There she is!” one of the other Tonu mothers called from over by the pond.
“Where? Yoshirix asked, rushing over.
“She’s sitting over on that hill!” she observed, pointing across the water.
Myrrta sat on the hill, staring blankly at them.
Lilean turned to Yoshirix. “You all can go home now; I can take care of her.” She then walked slowly down to the hill, and approached Myrrta. “So, you came back.”
Myrrta nodded sullenly. “I don’t know what’s wrong with him! Why doesn’t he want to come live with us?”
“I don’t know, Myrrta; forget about him! He doesn’t care about you!” her friend almost yelled at her. “Why do you still care about that... that mutant?!”
“He’s my son,” she whispered sadly. “You should understand.”
Lilean sighed. “You’re right, I do. But he doesn’t care about that!” Her voice softened. “Please, Myrrta, stay away from him! Can you at least do that for us?”
The Tonu mother didn’t answer.
“Please?” she begged, in a helpless tone.
“I- I’ll try...”
From his cave, Firreter watched them depart, with little interest. He didn’t know why he acted like he did. Or why they cared about the other Tonu who said she was his mother.
“The only one who matters is yourself,” he hissed quietly.
His reason for disliking his mother was simple; she was getting in his way. He wasn’t planning to stay in Tyrannia much longer, either. It was too close to others. Even up in his cave, they wouldn’t leave him alone.
So that night, he set out for a new place to call his own, somewhere where no one would pay any attention to him. Trekking across the field, he was nearly invisible in the black of night, as he set off to what would end up to be his future demise.
The next day, back at the field, Myrrta was nowhere to be found.
“Oh no...” Lilean groaned, after hours of searching. “I didn’t think she’d go after him again! Not after this!”
“She’s a stubborn one, alright,” another Tonu chipped in.
Lilean shook her head, frustrated. “I can’t tell her what to do. The best we can to is hope she comes back to us in one piece.”
Yoshirix put his paw on her shoulder. “Don’t worry about her, Lilean. She’ll come back if she wants, but I don’t think she would ever be happy here without her son.”
Gazing in the direction of Firreter’s cave, Lilean wiped a tear from her eye. “Poor Myrrta...”
After days of fruitless wandering, Firreter was hopelessly lost in a dark, winding forest that never seemed to end.
Where am I? he wondered to himself, passing a patch of trees for the fifth time that hour. He heard a whoot’s haunting cry echo through the twilight, announcing nightfall. Frustrated, he lashed at a sapling with his powerful tail.
“Does this forest ever end?!” he called into the abyss.
“Heh heh, does it?” a hoarse voice whispered from a nearby tree trunk. A horribly mutated Korbat stuck its head out of a patch of leaves, staring at him through half closed eyes. Twitching its oversized ears, it croaked, “You’re in the Haunted Woods now, my foolish friend. I don’t know how a Tyrannian like you found your way here, but take my word, there’s no getting out from here.”
Firreter growled, “There must be some way out! If I can get in, I can leave, right?”
The mutant grinned cynically. “Not before the nightslayer gets to you.”
“Yes, Nightslayer,” the Korbat whispered. “He’s a Werelupe who stalks the Haunted Woods by night. If you run into him, it’s over. No one stands a chance against the nightslayer. They say he spawned from the deepest, darkest part of the woods.”
“A Werelupe?” Firreter snorted. “I’m stronger than any mangy Werelupe!”
The Korbat bared its tiny fangs angrily. “No one survives an attack from the nightslayer! He’s not just a normal Werelupe! His claws alone are the size of your forepaw, and from ear to tail, he’s as tall as two Werelupes! He can run faster than you can think, and he won’t think twice about destroying you. Get out of here before nightfall, Tonu, or you won’t live to see the morning!”
Firreter turned and began to leave. “We’ll see about that, skyrat.”
As he crawled through the underbrush, ignoring the Korbat’s shrieks of outrage, the sky got darker and darker, until darkness consumed everything.
Where is everyone? Firreter thought, noticing that there wasn’t a sign of any other living being. Suddenly, a loud growl startled him into jumping into a clump of bushes. He remained motionless as a dark form revealed itself. It was a Werelupe, and Firreter recognized it as the nightslayer immediately.
It was as large as the Korbat had described, and covered in shaggy, matted, fur. Crimson eyes scanned the area for any thing within range. Sniffing the ground, it noticed Firreter’s tracks leading into the bush. Snarling, it leapt into the air, baring its claws and fangs.
Firreter dashed out of the bush just in time to avoid being flattened by the monstrous beast that was at least five times larger than himself. Slinking back into the trees, he tensed his muscles and waited for the beast to attack again. When it did, charging at him with razor sharp talons, he sprang out, ramming it with his horn.
Furious beyond words, the maddened creature slashed blindly at him, striking him across his right eye.
Gasping, Firreter sank back further into the trees, his vision poor. Lunging for the Werelupe’s legs, he missed and landed on the soggy leaf debris on the forest floor.
Nightslayer hit him between the ears with a massive fist, and threw him against a tree.
He struggled to remain conscious as a dark haze filled his mind, fogging his senses. The last thing he remembered before passing out was the sight of a giant Werelupe, glaring at him with eyes of fire.
When Firreter awoke, he was no longer in the Haunted Woods. He was in a field, and glancing around, he saw the woods a long way off in the distance. Feeling different somehow, he walked over to a stream and checked his reflection. What looked back at him was not a brown, mutated-looking Tonu, but a pale, blue-green Tonu, with a scraggly, jet black mane. His body was translucent; he could almost see through it, and his mind was clouded and hazy. Also, he was completely blind in his right eye.
Am... am I a ghost? he thought. He couldn’t remember anything that had happened before he woke up. Who am I?
Confused, he looked around. All he saw besides the dark spot on the horizon resembling the Haunted Woods was another, brighter spot a long way away. Deciding he had nowhere else to go, Firreter set off towards the unknown destination.
To be continued...