Now with 50% more useless text Circulation: 98,096,637 Issue: 194 | 10th day of Relaxing, Y7
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Call Of The Wind


by digital_microwave

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“Get that filthy thing out!” a Fire Lupe snarled, baring his razor-sharp canines. “Who brought this in anyway?” he asked, his voice softer and more dangerous now, never lifting his gaze off a small Lupe pup, who was watching him with fearful eyes.

     A wise-looking white Lupe stepped forward. “I did, Leader Scar.”

     “I should’ve known it was you, Tayoka,” Scar grinned unpleasantly. “But why did you bring it here? We have too many in our pack, you know.”

     “But it was cold and hungry. I thought…” Tayoka began.

     “What did you think? Lupes are supposed to be able to defend themselves, so leave that blighter on his own!!” Scar snapped, so angry that you could have sworn steam came out of his pointed ears.

     “Yes, Leader Scar,” Tayoka said, knowing he would never be able to talk some sense into Scar. He picked the pup up. He put it down gently, and whispered, “Go! Run to somewhere. Seek refuge, for in the thick wilderness out here, it is never safe.” The pup stared at him for a moment with big, pleading eyes, as if begging him not to go. Tayoka looked back, hesitating.

     A shout from Scar made his decision. “I really have to go.” The pup just looked on, as the large pack disappeared down the steep hill, sad that his only friend had gone.

     A chilly wind was picking up, rustling the pup’s thick fur. There was something strange about his eyes; they were a pale blue, and kind of milky. Oh—but what feeling was embedded deep within them!

     The pup slowly slunk through the wet undergrowth, rain pelting his small body every so often. He whimpered, never in his life had he felt so alone, so scared. Tayoka had been so kind.

     Ah—there was a cave. The pup hated it, for there was the odious stench of something, but he had to make do. Flashes of lighting seared across grey skies, the rain fell vociferously, the wind howled, creating the most dramatic yet scary scene. The pup viewed it from his shelter, feeling scared, yet in awe of the storm at the same time.

***

“Hey, what’s this?” a voice said, looking at the limp body of the pup.

     Upon closer inspection, he saw it was a girl who had spoken. “Hi, I’m Nora,” the girl said, stroking him.

     The girl seemed nice. She had frizzy brown hair that stuck out in all directions, like a massive clump of bushes. She cradled him carefully in her arms, walking slowly. “Let’s go home,” she said. Home, the pup thought. Where was his real home?

     The wooden door was pushed open. The pup carefully surveyed his new surroundings. It was what you called organized chaos. Piles of books were stacked in a corner. Various things were hidden underneath a couch. The drawers were filled to the brim with junk.

     An enticing smell suddenly hit the pup’s sensitive nose. It was the smell of meat. A juicy piece of steak was laid out just for him. He attacked the steak, lunging forward, tearing huge clumps out with his incisors. Nora laughed. “Tell me your name,” she said, her voice tinkling like silver chimes.

     The pup stammered, and then mentioned, “L-lyle.”

     “Lyle? That’s a nice name.”

     That night, Lyle curled up to sleep in a small basket lined with cozy blankets. This was nice. Suddenly, a piercing howl echoed through the dark night. Lyle felt a sharp stab of pain in his heart. It reminded him of home.

     ***

“Lyle, where are you?”

     Lyle had grown to become what Nora called “My Strong Lil’ Lupe”. His cuteness had faded away, now replaced with the air of a well-built, muscular Lupe. His eyes were still blue, but they had changed—they were not so milky anymore.

     “Hurry up! We’re going to miss the flight to Terror Mountain!” Nora shouted.

     They waited patiently for the Eyries to come at the Eyrie taxi stop. Suddenly, two Eyries, red and blue, stopped in front of them.

     “Terror Mountain, straight on!” said the blue Eyrie.

     They passed wide open plains, lush and green. Lyle suddenly felt as if he remembered something, maybe his home. A tear dropped onto his paw as he tried to recall his real home. After a while, they swooped across calm, azure blue seas, reflecting the colour of the sky.

     After what seemed like an eternity, Lyle noticed a drastic drop on the temperature. Nora hurriedly pulled on her parka. They were approaching Terror Mountain.

     “Isn’t this heavenly?” Nora sighed, admiring the fresh blanket of snow that covered Terror Mountain.

     “It sure is,” Lyle muttered. “I’m going to do a quest for Taelia,” he added.

     “See you then!” Nora said. She headed towards the Ice Caves, a bobbing figure in a scene of white.

     After a while, Lyle came out of Taelia’s hideout. “Okay, that’s two types of candy, Sugared Elephante Feet and Chocolate Kau Pat,” he murmured, going through the list. He was about to go and find the ingredients when he suddenly caught a hint of movement from the corner of his eye.

     He spun around abruptly. It was a Fire Lupe, but Lyle had a feeling he had seen him before, maybe when he was a pup. He knew for sure it was Scar, for he remembered seeing a scar running down the Lupe’s left eye.

     Lyle suddenly felt angry. If it wasn’t for Scar, he would have had a chance of finding his way home! He began to see red. He made a wild lunge at the surprised Fire Lupe.

     Scar didn’t know who attacked him, but when he saw that familiar pale-green coat, he recognized Lyle at once.

     “YOU,” Lyle snarled, baring his teeth, “have denied me the chance of seeing my home. I remember you. You have your pack, your home. I have mine too, but because of you, I never got to go back! You’re lucky that sharp stab of pain doesn’t come to you every moment of the day, even in the night! Breaking, breaking in your mind! For that, you’ll pay!”

     By then a large crowd had gathered, looking astonished at seeing the two Lupes fighting. Nora saw one of them was her own Lyle! She hurried forward, staring at him, mouth agape in shock. Lyle had the Fire Lupe pinned down to the ground with a paw. He was shouting at him, so angry that flecks of froth could be seen flying across his mouth.

     Lyle lifted a paw and extended his sharp claws, ready to put a deep gash on the Lupe’s shoulder. Nora put her hand out to stop him. Lyle lifted his head, and Nora got a shock—his eyes were red with anger!

     “Please don’t, Lyle. Come, tell me why you did that,” Nora pleaded, looking at the Lupe with her soft brown eyes. Lyle was slightly mollified, and he released his grip on Scar. “Let’s go home,” he said dejectedly, “and I’ll tell you.”

     Two cups of warm cocoa later, Lyle spilled out all the details and all the other bits to Nora. She listened attentively, never breaking eye contact and looking more and more shocked with each passing minute.

     “That’s it, I’m going to find my family,” Lyle said, standing up. “Do you agree, Nora?”

     “I don’t know,” Nora said, tears brimming in her eyes. “I don’t want to part with you, Lyle!” She then proceeded to weep, weep, and weep some more.

     Lyle couldn’t bear to leave her like that. She was weeping silently and sadly like a ghost. But there was a feeling that tugged at his heart, beckoning him to go. Lyle was practically torn apart. He let of a series of low moans, filled with longing and pain.

     Nora stopped weeping. Intuition told her that Lyle had to go back. She couldn’t keep him here forever. She regained her composure, and swept the Lupe into a tight hug. “You can go home,” she said, sniffing a bit. The surprised Lyle hugged her even tighter, and smiled. He said distantly, “I’ve got a feeling a clue to where my home is will come tonight.”

     That night, Lupe and girl strolled out into their backyard. The night sky was so beautiful. Little twinkling stars carpeted the whole sky, which was a dark hue of blue.

     “Are you sure the clue will come to you?” Nora asked suspiciously.

     “Positive,” Lyle answered.

     They just lay there, gazing at the night sky, enjoying each other’s silent company. Lyle looked again and again at the large stars. They reminded him of many things like the faulty light in Nora’s Neohome, large, innocent eyes and many other delightful things like Novas, blobs of jelly and even Fyora’s crown.

     Then it came.

     A soft swishing and sighing echoed through the night sky. It suddenly became all cold and eerie, the wind blowing slowly and softly, whispering gentle endearments, like a soothing mother.

     “In the wilderness…”

     “Somewhere…”

     “I will guide you…”

     Lyle shut his eyes tight. The whispering was getting dreamier and dreamier with every passing minute. Nora watched silently, completely transfixed by the sedentary Lupe, who seemed to be in a trance.

     Lyle lifted up his front right paw, and slowly and solemnly, he began to pace forward, still in a trance. Nora was prepared to call out to him, but seeing him in this grave state made her stop in her tracks. She sniffed as she watched Lyle, a green bob disappear down the sloping hill.

     The wind rushed past Lyle, whooshing behind his ears. It gave him hints whether to turn right or left and things like that. Lyle kept walking at a steady pace, like a robot.

     He suddenly halted in front of a large shrub. He opened his eyes. The gentle but eerie wind was gone. Lyle parted his way through, and found a pack of Lupes sitting by a large fire, which was roaring merrily, warming them because of the chilly night air.

     Lyle saw an elderly Lupess looking forlorn and sad. She had long, corn-coloured fur. Lyle had a feeling that this was his mother.

     The Lupess heard the mysterious rustling. She turned around to find Lyle gazing back at her intently. It took the Lupess some time to recognize who the sinewy, pale-blue-coated Lupe was.

     Then she leapt into the air for joy, as she recognized it to be her own son, Lyle! She hugged Lyle tight. “Oh, I’m so happy you’re back! Your dad was right!”

     “Where’s dad?” Lyle asked, slightly confused.

     “I don’t want to talk about it,” the Lupess stifled a sob. “He said he would go out to look for you, he vowed to find you, even though he might take a thousand years, but he never came back.”

     “He did come back, mom. I heard him,” Lyle said, his blue eyes twinkling.

     “How did--?” Lyle’s mom seemed a little befuddled, scratching her chin in confusion.

     Lyle smiled. “He spoke to me through the wind.”

The End.

 
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