THE WOLF FOLK SERIES
THE ADVENTURES OF JEREMIAH TATE
A STORY OF A BOY COMING OF AGE IN AN
Charles W. Bird
Charles W. Bird
This story is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are either the product of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously and any resemblance to actual persons living or dead, events or locales is entirely coincidental. This story is protected by copyright and may not be reproduced by any means without the express, written permission of the author.
Prologue; Jeremiah Tate is nearing 16 years old and struggling to become a man in a family without his father. What he does not know can hurt him, yet what he does know leads him to explore further. On his 16th birthday, he is confronted with a situation that turns his entire world upside down, everything that he had believed in was suddenly suspect. When he finally works it all out in his mind, he is no longer the boy he thought he was, nor was he completely human.
The Wolf Folk are an ancient race, their exact origins are lost in the mists of time. They are likely the origin of the legends about Werewolves, however they are neither werewolves nor are they wolves. They are shape-shifters who have the ability to modify their appearance and are telepaths of considerable power. They mentally convince their observer of their wolf status. There were originally six great houses or families of shape-shifters that lived in peace with their human brothers. As civilizations began to grow, those jealous of the Wolf Folk began to harass them. They held humans in great esteem and refused to fight back. As continents began to emerge from the ice ages, the Wolf Folk emigrated away from their homelands and arrived in Alaska about 10,000 years ago, crossing the land bridge with the peoples who became the Hopi, the Cherokee and the Athabascans. The latter betrayed them and were subsequently shunned by the Wolf Folk, although they retained legends of shape shifters as their descendants became the Navajo and the Apache peoples. They had few laws among them, however, their traditions would not allow them to hurt a human, nor, for that matter, eat one, despite what old tales said. In fact, the Oath of the Prime Pack Leader stated, in part, "in sight of the Great Creator, I shall allow no harm to come to our cousins, the Humans through fault or deed of my own or those holding allegiance to me. I swear this upon my Ring and my life, so help me God!" This oath was so binding, no wolf would cross the line and harm a Human, nor allow harm to come to a human.
From Book 3; His Mother had supper ready and they all sat down to their first home cooked meal in many months. They had all lost weight and their faces showed their haggard exhaustion. As his Mother began to put food in front of them, Jeremiah looked in the envelope his Father had given him. The first paper was his Diploma from Cashiers High School. Shaken, Jeremiah fumbled for the second paper, it was his Acceptance as a Freshman at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill! All he could do is look at his Father and ask, "How?" Franklin smiled at his heir and replied, "You had sufficient credits and your grades impressed the Freshman Entrance Committee that you were selected on the first round. You are entered in the School of Management Science. He turned to Jeremiah's Circle and said, "You all will be going with him, so make your plans accordingly." The next day, Franklin took Jeremiah aside and told him of his great pride in all that he had accomplished. He said, "Jeremiah, Prince Alpha and my Heir, you have accomplished more in the last six months than most Prince Alphas accomplish in their lifetimes. I am astounded and pleased beyond measure that you are my Heir.
OFF TO UNIVERSITY
Jeremiah and his Circle had only a week to prepare; Freshman Orientation would begin a week from that day. They decided to take two of the Ford Expeditions. Between the two vehicles, all their luggage and personal items could be carried inside and still have sufficient room for them all to travel in comfort.
The Clan owned several houses near the University and Jeremiah was to pick which one would be most suitable for them.
Before they left Cashiers, Franklin took Jeremiah aside and told him that his safety was paramount. The confrontation in Myrtle Beach with the religious bigots had shaken the Alpha Leader and he was not about to have his heir subjected to those idiots.
They could not physically injure even a half grown wolf, and Jeremiah had already shown his wolf to be a 700 pound Timber Wolf, but they could make life unpleasant or even "out" the wolf folk to the general population.
Jeremiah was larger and more powerful than almost all adult wolves in the South Eastern Clan! He was an accomplished mind speaker and Franklin suspected that his son had inherited several other powers known to their folk in the past, powers thought lost long ago.
After observing him, Franklin was convinced his son had inherited the power of coercion, something not seen in their folk for many generations and he already knew his son had the power of distance mind-speak that equaled or surpassed his own.
As anxious as he was to see Jeremiah succeed, he knew it was going to be a long four years. It had been a desperate wait for a Prince Alpha to survive the change and Franklin was growing weary as the sole leader of his people, he had been Alpha Leader for 500 years, and he was nearing middle age, he would soon have seen 1,500 years of life.
Jeremiah and his Circle packed up their vehicles and were ready to depart on Thursday, before Registration began the next Monday. As he watched the laden vehicle depart, Franklin felt a pang of regret that he had not befriended his son and heir before this. He was shocked out of his reverie when he heard, "It matters not, My Lord and Father, we are together now, no matter the distance that separates us!"
Franklin was shocked, "How did he penetrate my shields?"
All he heard in return was a giggle of a youth becoming an adult.
It was a short drive to Chapel Hill and, after they looked at the several properties available to them, they selected the one called "Greystone Manor" It was set back from the street in a grove of ancient oak trees and the property was surrounded by a high stone wall. The front gate was electronically controlled by a button device in each vehicle.
The property came with several groundsmen, a butler and cook. There were also, two day maids and a handyman. All were wolves of the Clan and the butler and cook were live in, husband and wife. All were Clan Warriors and would help protect the Prince Alpha with their own lives, if need be.
Jeremiah was a little awed of the property, he had lived his whole life with his Mother in the simple surroundings of a small mountain community. He felt a bit uncomfortable and out of place in a house that looked to him like a medieval castle.
Chub only smiled, he knew there was yet more to come. They had hardly unloaded the cars when the buzzer rang from the front gate.
Chub was "expecting" so he answered the call and told those who were ringing to come to the front door.
The Butler, Mr. Bell, answered the door and bowed low, "Please to enter, Your Highness'."
Chub was standing in the hallway, a grin from ear to ear. He turned to Jeremiah and said loudly, "MY LORD PRINCE APLHA WOLF, I AM PLEASED TO INTRODUCE YOU TO MY MOTHER AND FATHER, LORD PRINCE WOLF GERALD FRANKLIN TATE, YOUR UNCLE AND YOUR AUNT THE PRINCESS EDWINA MARGARET TATE."
The Cook, Mrs. Madeline Bell, announced that tea and cakes were being served in the drawing room and they all went to enjoy a light repast.
Jeremiah kept staring at Chub's Father, since he was Chub's Father, he knew that he was his own Father's Brother and he did indeed look like a slightly younger version of his father, Franklin.
Gerald laughed, "Nephew, if you stare any harder, you shall burn holes in my hide!"
Uncle Jerry was a jovial man, much given to smiling and laughter. He explained that the Tates had been attending the University since its founding in colonial times. He was the University Provost and, if Jeremiah needed anything, anything at all, he was to let him know about it immediately.
He went on to say, "Chub is in charge of your security and he knows what he is doing. If there is any danger, you follow Chub." He added, "Chub has warriors at his disposal all over this city, you may not spot them right away, but they are there none the less."
More soberly, he held Jeremiah's hand, "Nephew, we lost one Prince Alpha because we did not understand the danger, IT WILL NEVER HAPPEN AGAIN!" He then hugged Jeremiah and introduced him to his Aunt Edwina. He told him that Chub was their youngest and only surviving child and that they loved both boys very much.
Jeremiah made up his mind that he was going to ask Chub what happened to his other siblings and what happened to his own older brother, the lost Lord Prince Alpha. There was something about the thought of his older brother that "niggled" at the edge of his mind.
They spent a pleasant afternoon visiting and getting to know one another before Uncle Jerry said he had Provost duties that needed taking care of.
Their guests made their good-byes and Jeremiah and his Circle finished unpacking and putting their belongings away.
They spent the next several days becoming familiar with the University and its town. They located the several libraries and Jeremiah set up his bank accounts at North Carolina National Bank (NCNB). The household accounts were handled by his Father's accountants but he was responsible for his own personal accounts.
His Father put a sum of money into his personal account and that was going to be all he got until the next quarter.
His Prince Account, the funds he used to help others in their Clan or other clans, his Father's accountants kept at $500,000 and Jeremiah submitted an expense record each month.
Samantha was his Office Manager and she kept all his records ready for inspection by his Father. Of course, the "boys", Phil, Kevin, Paul and Donnie were his personal Warriors, with Chub as their leader and he was responsible for their needs and expenses from his Prince Account.
Betty was an enigma to him until one day, she explained, "Lord Prince Alpha, I am your healer, should ever be hurt, you need but call out with your mind and I will come to you. We shall not ever suffer the loss another Prince Alpha!"
Later that night, Jeremiah was getting ready for bed and Chub was checking the windows in his bedroom. Jeremiah asked, "Chub, what happened to my brother, the first Prince Alpha?'
Chub asked his friend and Prince to sit down, "Prince Jeremiah, there were two such princes before yourself."
Chub continued, "The first one, I did not know, he was before my time. He made his change and he was a happy, talented young wolf, I am told. He loved his mountains, like yourself, and was happiest when he was roaming through the forests as a wolf."
Chub had to control his emotions before he could continue, "He disappeared one day and, weeks later, his body was found, torn apart as by wild beasts. None has ever discovered who or what did that terrible deed and it nearly killed your Father. He roamed our lands, screaming his anger and sorrow, they began to fear for his sanity before he came back to us. The loss of Robert Franklin Tate staggered the Clan and caused many changes in our life style. Never before had it been necessary to guard a Prince Alpha as we guard you."
Chub sat for a long time, silent in his own thoughts before he continued the tale, "The second prince, Peter Franklin Tate was also a talented young wolf when I was still a youngling. He was universally loved by all. He made his change to wolf, but was unable to change back. Eventually, he lost his mind and became all wolf. He lives still, some occasionally see him but he is lost to us. We make sure none will hurt him and he will sometimes come for food or treatment of a hurt. But he cannot change back to human and, as time goes by, he remembers less and less of what he was."
He finished his story by saying, "That, also, nearly killed your Father, so, when you went through change and successfully returned to us, human, your Father cried for a week."
Jeremiah decided in his own mind that he would seek out his older brother and befriend him. Chub caught glimpses of Jeremiah's thoughts and prayed that his friend and charge was not setting himself up for hurt and disappointment.
Orientation week began and rapidly led into the beginning of classes. That Jeremiah loved his classes was evident in his grades and he made both the Soccer Team and the Wrestling Team.
He wanted to go out for debating, but his counselor advised him to wait until his sophomore year and not spread himself too thin as a freshman.
He was popular with his classmates and was delighted when he discovered two young Wolves from other Clans, Timothy Joyce from the Inland Clan and Bart Davison from the Gulf Coast Clan.
Both were hesitant when they discovered that Jeremiah was the Prince Alpha of the principal American Clan. All the Clans of South America had disappeared in the 1800's, leaving the Mexico Clan as the southern most Clan remaining in the New World, and it was the only Latin Clan known to them. So much had been lost and Jeremiah wondered if there were any wolves surviving, lost somewhere in the jungles of Tropical America.
However, both young wolves soon learned that Jeremiah was their friend as well as their protector. Jeremiah would frequently have them over to Greystone Manor for a weekend. Tim Joyce had briefly met Jeremiah when he had rescued the Inland Clan and, by the end of the first semester, he was on a first name basis with the young Wolf Prince.
They all stayed clear from the several religious clubs on the campus, which was hard to do as the Soccer Team Captain, Mathias Gorman, was also President of the Christian Student Union and he was always proselytizing at every soccer meet and practice.
Chub was concerned as Mathias Gorman's parents were part of the same group they had trouble with down in Myrtle Beach. He kept close watch whenever Mathias was around.
When the young man discovered that Jeremiah lived at Greystone Manor, he was constantly angling for an invitation to visit the fabulous mansion. Chub had consulted with The Lord Alpha Wolf and was advised to watch closely, but to do nothing unless absolutely necessary.
Chub had warned Jeremiah of the danger and they all walked warily around Mathias. The boy became quite insistent that he be invited to Greystone and both Chub and Jeremiah were concerned. They both believed that Mathias thought that Jeremiah was quite wealthy, which he was, and was angling to get Jeremiah into his Christian organization in order to tap him for donations, to be the group's financier.
If it were only donations, Jeremiah would have been happy to give him some money and get rid of him, but that was not the case. Mathias was convinced that Jeremiah would be the "sugar daddy" for the group and they simply could not have him even for a visit. All those there were wolves and, sooner or later, he would discover them.
By Christmas, Mathias was becoming offensive in his attempts to befriend Jeremiah and had taken to following him around campus. They suspected that he or some of his cohorts were spying on the Manor and following them around town.
Jeremiah had taken to assisting some young wolves who were trying to start a book store and he discovered Mathias Gorman perusing the books that the two Wolf Men were stocking.
They had stocked a small selection of books intended to assist wolf youths as they came upon their majority. While the books were not locked away, they were kept in the back room.
Somehow, Mathias got access to the back room and the first thing they knew, the Christian Student Union members were picketing the bookstore. They were carrying banners proclaiming that wicked fiends and Disciples of Satan were operating the bookstore and corrupting the good people of Chapel Hill.
Jeremiah was sufficiently angry, he could not keep his eyes from going ruby red and his canine fangs were seen protruding from his lips. Chub feared exposure every time Jeremiah left the Manor, but it was time for Jeremiah's heritage to kick in. He was indeed, as his Father suspected, gifted with the ancient Power of Coercion, a power not seen among them in more than five thousand years and was thought to have been lost forever!
The next morning after Jeremiah had confronted the group out in front of the bookstore, they abruptly withdrew from the University and were never seen again. When Chub asked him, all Jeremiah would do is smile and say that he had asked them to leave the bookstore alone.
Chub shivered and Jeremiah hugged him, whispering, "Never to a friend!"
Chub was duty bound to report the incident to the Lord Alpha and, afterwards, Franklin Tate wondered how many more of the lost ancient powers would his Heir bring forth when he finally found out, Franklin Tate would be frightened nearly out of his wits.
SPRING TIME IN THE MOUNTAINS
Spring break brought improved weather to the mountains of the Carolinas and Jeremiah longed for the freedom of his woods. During Spring Break, he roamed the mountains between Chapel Hill and Cashiers, passing his mind over every wild creature he came across.
Chub knew what he was doing, but he hesitated to report to Jeremiah's Father for fear of upsetting the man he loved and respected beyond all others. He confided in his own Father and they agreed to watch the situation closely and that Chub was to report immediately to the Lord Alpha if he detected a problem.
The semester progressed towards its end and Jeremiah's grades made him number one in the Freshman Class and a Dean's Scholar.
They were all looking forward to a summer off from their classes, Jeremiah invited both Tim and Bart to spend some time with them in Cashiers. Both Wolves genuinely liked the Wolf Prince and were delighted to spend some down time with him. Gradually, both young wolves came to be part of Jeremiah's Circle and would remain with him for the remainder of their lives.
Chub had clued the entire circle, including Tim and Bart, about Jeremiah's quest for his older brother who had become lost as his wolf, unable to bring his human back. They spent weeks roaming the mountainous country of North and South Carolina, rambling as wolves far into the deep forests, seldom seen by man.
Several times, Jeremiah thought he caught a trace of a wolf that was not a wolf, but each time, nothing was there. He knew it could be a long search and he was not discouraged.
Just after the 4th of July, they were so far into the forest that they doubted if even the Cherokee knew of its existence. They had run all morning and the nine young wolves were laid out in the shade, trying to catch their breath.
Suddenly, Jeremiah caught the thought he was searching for and he sprang to his feet, his companions hot on his tail. They found Jeremiah confronting an older wolf who laid on the ground at Jeremiah's feet, whining and making strange noises.
Jeremiah brought forth his human and laid the wolf's head in his lap. He looked up at his friends with tears in his eyes, "THIS IS LORD PRINCE WOLF PETER FRANKLIN TATE!"
The wolf whined and tried to climb into Jeremiah's lap. Jeremiah held the wolf until nearly dark, communing with him mentally. Jeremiah remained in his human as they trekked back to Cashiers and his Mother's home. The older wolf walked quietly beside Jeremiah, keeping his head against Jeremiah's leg.
Chub was a far speaker and he called for the Lord Alpha Wolf and told him what was taking place. Jeremiah smiled and let Chub know that he had heard him speaking to his Father.
Chub shook his head in wonder, none should have been able to overhear him. Jeremiah just smiled and hugged the older wolf.
It was nearly midnight when the group finally reached Jeremiah's childhood home. As they approached, Lord Alpha Wolf Franklin Jeremiah Tate was standing on the porch, waiting for them, "APPROACH LORDS PRINCE WOLVES AND BE RECOGNIZED"
Chub immediately stood as Proxy to his Alpha Leader and announced, "LORD ALPHA LEADER, I PRESENT TO YOU YOUR SONS LORD PRINCE ALPHA WOLF JEREMIAH FRANKLIN TATE AND LORD PRINCE WOLF PETER FRANKLIN TATE"
Franklin lost his presence, he dropped to his knees with tears flowing down his face, "I KNOW THEE PETER TATE, I KNOW THEE JEREMIAH TATE, PRINCES OF MY OWN LOINS!"
The wolf whimpered and sent, "ahhh u Papa, You love I".
Jeremiah just clung to his Father while he wrapped an arm around his wolf brother.
Peter was still unable to bring forth his human but Jeremiah told him that he would care for him for so long as they both shall live. Peter attached himself to his brother and was his companion wherever Jeremiah went.
With his power of Coercion, Jeremiah made it possible for Peter to stay with him in close proximity, to those not part of the Family or Jeremiah's Circle, Peter was just an unusually large dog, loyal and protective of his master.
With time and use, Peter's mind speech improved and they discovered he had a quick wit and wry sense of humor. At close to 700 pounds, he was a mighty protector of the Lord Prince Alpha Wolf, none would dare his teeth or claws.
They spent the remainder of summer break in Cashiers, Tim and Bart asked permission of their Alphas to remain part of Jeremiah's Circle. Both were given permission as Ambassadors to Prince Alpha Wolf Jeremiah Tate.
As Jeremiah matures, he awakens more of the ancient powers of his kind. Peter remains his loyal brother and any who would befriend Jeremiah had to first get past Peter. They will all continue their schooling as Jeremiah starts to take some of the load from his Father's shoulders.