Nightfall: Full Moon
Copyright © 2016 by Roland
All Rights Reserved
All Rights Reserved
"So tell me, how you are feeling?" Runi said to Colt as the other boy was looking up at the moon.
Colt smiled as he glanced over. "You know I thought all the business with the moon and Werewolves was all made up, but…"
"It is and it is not." Runi said slipping into the teacher role that he had taken on. "You have known your true nature for less than a week now, you have learned control faster than other pups I have seen. However, by your very blood, you are drawn to Luna's gaze. The way legends speak, Luna is our mother."
"Our mother?" Colt asked, not really understanding.
Runi nodded, then motioned for Colt to sit on a log, as he himself sat. "Yes. I have said before, that no one really knows how we came to be, but just like Humans, both Vampires and Werewolves sought to understand their place on this planet. Legends and myths were created from this. The particular legend I am speaking about, says that Luna created both of our kind. The Luna that faces the Earth, lit by the sun's rays, and shining down on us at night, is the Luna that created your kind, the Werewolves. However, like with everything in nature, balance must be achieved. To do this, the dark side of Luna, created the Vampires. One that can live in the light, and tied to the face of Luna. The other one, my kind, Vampires, forced to hide ourselves from the Sun, much like the Dark Side of Luna must do."
Runi sighed as he looked up at the moon, then continued to speak. "Of course, we Vampires tend to take on more aspects of the Dark Lady -- hunger for power, corruption, and the like. Having to survive on the blood of Humans does not help. It tends to make Vampires forget that we were not meant to be lords over the Humans, but to help protect them, sometimes from themselves."
He turned and met Colt's eyes. "You yourself will have to face a similar struggle tonight. You will feel yourself filled with such raw power that it would be easy to get lost within it. You must not let yourself be lost. The Beast inside of you is there to help you, to guide you, but ultimately YOU must be the one in control. It will be difficult, and frankly I expect for you to lose yourself to it for a time tonight."
"What happens then?" Colt asked nervously.
"I will act as your Alpha would. I will beat you down until your Beast submits. If you do not learn to control it, then I will have to assist you in that." Runi said this with a feral grin which caused Colt to shiver. "Do not worry pup. As I have said, even a pup can take on a few Fledgling Vampires, and survive. However, I am not a Fledgling. While Werewolves have impressive physical abilities, they are no match for the abilities I have learned to use over my time. I will not allow you to do something that would get yourself hurt, or worse. Nor will I allow you to hurt others till you learn to control the Beast."
Colt was silent for several seconds before he spoke with a very nervous voice. "What happens if I don't learn to control it?"
"If that were to happen, then I would do what any proper Alpha would do. I would make sure that you are not a danger to anyone… ever." Colt searched Runi's eyes for any sign that he may not be serious, but found none.
"You would kill me?" He asked softly.
"Yes. If that happened, the part of you that is Colt would be thankful for it. I have seen only one of the Wolf Folk who was lost to their Beast. It was not a pretty sight what they did to many people before their Alpha was able to subdue her. Before she died, she thanked him. It is the most merciful thing that can be done." Runi paused then gave a sad smile to Colt. "However, I do not believe that will be your fate. As I have said, you have learned control faster than anyone I have ever seen. While I know it will be a struggle, I have no fear that in the end, you will subdue the Beast, and learn to make it obey your will, and not the other way around."
Runi saw that Colt still wasn't truly understanding, and was more than a bit afraid. He stood and motioned for Colt to stand up. When they were both on their feet, Runi began to walk. "It is much more pronounced in Vampires, than it is within the Wolf Folk, but one's mind and will are so very important during this time. You must accept who and what you are. You must know, deep down within your soul, that you are the one in control. That you are the master, not anyone else. You ARE Wolf Folk, but you are also Colt. and Colt must be the one in control. Does this make sense?"
Colt did not speak for several moments as they walked. Finally he nodded to himself, and then to Runi he said, "Yeah. I really think I do." Colt lapsed into silence for almost a full minute before he began to speak again. "I was eight when we first moved here. Dad had just gotten the job with the fire department, so we moved closer to the station. When I started school I was almost immediately targeted by one of the school bullies. Mainly because I was smaller than most of the class, but also because I was smart. One day I came home with a black eye, and my father asked what happened. I didn't want to tell him, but finally I did. He never got upset, or anything like that. But he took me to the firehouse that weekend. We talked to a bunch of the fireman, and one guy in particular." Colt chuckled at his own memories. "It was funny, he was a huge guy, over six feet tall, and weighed like two hundred and fifty pounds, most of it muscle. Everyone called him Runt. When I asked about his name, he sat me down and explained that he's had that nickname since he was my age. Because he was so small. He told me about how he used to get bullied, too, until he finally decided to put a stop to it. He started to lift weights, and went to learn how to fight. I asked if he would teach me, and he said he would. Every weekend for about a year I would spend Saturday at the firehouse, working out with this guy.
"It took almost three months before he would teach me anything about fighting. First he said, I had to get into shape. It was hard, but he wouldn't let me quit, and finally I wouldn't let myself quit. It was only then that he said he knew I was ready to learn fighting. Before he taught me anything, he sat me down and explained to me that knowing how to fight is one thing, knowing WHEN to fight is more important. Walking away is the best thing to do when you can, but knowing that you can handle something if you can't walk away usually makes it so you don't have to fight. But, no matter what happened, I had to be in control. It didn't matter if the other guy started the fight. I had to be the one in control. I had to be the one that stopped it when it was time, and I was the one that had to make sure that I didn't take things too far."
Runi smiled. "What he said reminds me of what my Sire said to me before he would allow me to be turned. He said that with great power, comes even greater responsibility. But always remember to humble yourself in front of others, for only by serving others, will you yourself become greater. You must accept what you are, for denying what you have become is beyond foolish. The greatest of your powers come from within, but only when you truly accept who you are." Runi stopped and turned to Colt. "Are you ready, pup?"
Colt stopped, looked into Runi's eyes, then up into the sky where he saw Luna looking down upon them. He stared at her for several moments, before he lowered his eyes till they once again met Runi's. Runi knew the boy was ready when he saw that his normal green eyes were now a dull yellow. He knew that red would brighten to a smoldering amber when he did change. Colt nodded, and Runi took a step back. Colt was ready, and Runi knew that worrying about simple things like the clothing he was wearing would break the moment. When he started to speak, his voice took on almost a hypnotic tone.
"Deep within every one of the Wolf Folk is a Beast. This is the Beast that fuels the Rage within you. It is this Rage that is your greatest weapon. Feel it. Call it forth. Control it, as it will want to take control of you. The Beast wishes to do nothing but destroy. It is a creature made entirely of the Rage that is fueled by all the wrongs that you have suffered in your life. Reach down and feel it. Wrap it around you like a cloak." Runi saw almost immediately that Colt had grabbed the Beast, grabbed the Rage, and was already starting to change. He pushed his shock down at how quickly Colt was learning, and continued.
"Feel it growing with every heartbeat. Feed that Rage. Bring it forward, but control it." Runi then raised his voice to an inhuman volume. "YOU ARE WOLF FOLK! BRING FORTH YOUR WAR FORM!"
Colt screamed out, first in pain, then in rage. He bent at the waist clutching his stomach. After no more than a second, he threw his head back and Runi watched as his face extended into a wolf's muzzle. He saw fur explode out of his body, as his clothing was torn to shreds. Colt screamed again, but it quickly turned into a wolf's howl of pain. He bent over again as his body rearranged itself. Muscles exploded out of his arms and legs. His normally flat stomach suddenly grew darker with fur, but the muscles were easy to see. His legs shifted to that of a wolf's hind legs.
Colt fell to his knees panting in pain. Pain that he thought might have ended, but then it came again, worse this time. He threw back his head and howled out one more time. Runi distantly heard every woodland creature running in fear as the largest predator any of them had imagined was suddenly in their woods. Way off in the distance, Runi heard other wolves answer Colt's call, with their own mournful howls. Those howls though turned to ones of joy as they knew, deep within themselves, that one of their cousins had found their true skin.
When Colt raised his eyes and looked at Runi it was with a muzzle full of razor sharp teeth, and huge fangs. The grin on Colt's face made Runi know that the Beast was close to the surface, ready to take over. "Push the Beast down Colt."
"Power." Colt said in a language that Runi knew well. It wasn't a language that any Human could speak. It was the language of the Wolf Folk. "I feel soo much power."
Colt slowly rose to his feet, and again Runi was impressed. Colt was not a large Human, but his War Form was immense. He easily stood over eight foot tall, and had more muscles than any pup he had seen before. He knew what this meant, but also knew that now was not the time to try and explain this to Colt.
To prove his point, Colt let out a small snarl, and Runi got ready for what he knew was about to happen. "Attack me." Runi said as he set himself for a fight. He knew that the Beast needed to be let loose before Colt could learn to control it. He had hoped that Colt's Beast wouldn't be this strong, but with how easily the Beast rose to the surface, Runi knew what had to happen now.
"ATTACK ME!" He shouted at Colt, who snarled and then leaped at Runi from over twenty feet away. Runi was prepared, but no matter how much he was prepared, the sight of a huge Werewolf charging at him still made Runi nervous. Especially seeing the six-inch razor sharp claws, and the fangs that he knew wanted nothing more than to tear into his flesh. He held his ground till the last moment, then with speed quicker than Colt could follow, he moved to the side, grabbed onto Colt's body, and threw him as hard as he could. Colt crashed through two large trees before he hit the ground on his back. He spun around and crouched down as he looked for the little Vampire. When he spotted him, Colt grinned a toothy grin and actually laughed.
He looked down and spotted the tree he had just been thrown through, and quickly moved over to it. Picking it up, it didn't even register to him that the tree he just lifted easily was the same size as he was, in his Human form.
Howling out in rage, he threw the tree at Runi and then started running towards the boy. Runi easily dodged the tree, and actually let Colt get close to him. Just as Colt was about to rip his claws into the boy's chest, Runi moved forward with blinding speed, and hit Colt three times in the chest, hard enough to drive him back more than twenty feet. "Control Colt. Do not let the Beast just blindly attack. Use what you know about fighting. Combine the Beast's strength with your own intelligence."
Colt stopped and looked at Runi for a moment. He felt himself snarl at the boy, but the words made sense. He howled out in challenge, and attacked Runi again. Only this time when he got close, instead of coming in hard and fast, he shifted to the side, leapt into the air, and racked at Runi's chest as he dove past. Runi barely was able to move out of the way, and Colt was coming at him again an instant later. This time Runi allowed himself to get slashed by Colt's claws, not as bad as Colt would have wanted, but Runi knew that he had to allow the Beast to smell his blood.
Colt let out a howl of victory as he saw the blood dripping from Runi's chest, as well as the blood on his claws. "You have drawn first blood." Runi said softly. "But that will be all of my blood spilled this evening." He grinned as he motioned for Colt to attack. "Let me show you what a true Ancient Vampire can do." With that, Runi attacked Colt.
Colt didn't know that anyone could move that fast. Before he could even get set, he felt himself flying backwards. Just as he landed, Runi was there again, pressing the attack. Colt fought back as well as he could, but every time he thought he would actually hit the little Vampire, Runi wasn't there, and Colt felt a blow fall from somewhere else.
The fight only lasted a few minutes, but to Colt it felt longer. He fought with himself to not lose himself to the Rage that was building inside. Finally, on his hands and knees Colt called an end to the fight. Immediately Runi backed off. "Good, now, bring your Human form back. Most of your injuries will heal when you shift." Colt closed his eyes, and did as he did when he was in Wolf form and wanted to change back. This was much more difficult though. The Beast was fighting him, it did not want to be put away. It wanted to continue to fight, even though Colt knew he would not win, the Beast didn't care, all it wanted to do, was to fight.
It took him almost two full minutes to call his Human form back up. Runi was beginning to worry if Colt could even do it, but finally, slowly, Colt began to change back.
Colt looked up to Runi from where he was panting on the ground, on all fours. "You suck." He said with a grin, then collapsed from exhaustion.
"I still can't believe you beat the shit outta me." Colt said the next evening as they were walking through the woods.
"Well, I had to make sure your Beast understood who is actually in charge." Runi said with a laugh.
Colt stopped walking and looked Runi in the eyes as he spoke. "You keep speaking about the Beast as if he were someone other than me. Why's that?"
Runi was silent for a moment before he motioned Colt to keep walking. After a few feet, he began to speak. "Your Beast is a part of you, but also somewhat separate. Have you ever heard of someone being so angry that all they could say is that they were seeing red? That they did not know what they were doing?" Colt simply nodded so Runi continued. "Your Beast is like that only stronger. When you bring forth the War Form, your instincts are to attack, to kill. That is what the War Form is for, that is its only real job. From everything I have ever learned from the Wolf Folk, I knew it was that when you are in the War Form the Beast is calling for blood, begging for it." Runi stopped walking and looked around. "This is a good place to really explain what I am talking about. Please disrobe, and bring forth your Beast."
Colt started to get undressed without even thinking about it. He almost laughed as he realized that a week ago, someone asking him to take his clothes off in the middle of the woods, would have made him run screaming. Now though, it really didn't bother him for Runi to see him nude. Plus, even though Runi had brought clothes from his home, he was quickly running out of them due to every time he shifted while wearing anything, he shredded them.
Once he was naked, he looked at Runi for guidance, but Runi stood there silently. Colt realized that he needed to do this one on his own, so he started to feel for that place deep inside of him that held the Beast. When he found it, he concentrated on it, and tried to bring it forward. After a moment he stopped since that wasn't working. He opened his eyes and looked for guidance from Runi, but the boy remained silent.
Colt took a deep breath and closed his eyes again. He found the Beast deep inside again, and tried to figure out how to do the shift. It was so easy yesterday when Runi walked him through it. Now though, now he couldn't figure out how to do it. 'Colt...' he said to himself, 'letting it out isn't gonna work, you need to go in there...'
Taking a deep breath, he looked at the large blob of Red that he imagined the Beast to be, within himself. This time instead of trying to pull at it, he dove into it.
From somewhere, he heard the Beast howl, not in pain, or rage, but in joy. Joy at being released. Joy at being free. He felt the Beast wrap itself around him, like a protective cocoon. 'Blood!' He heard the Beast cry out. It wanted, no, it needed blood.
'Not yet.' Colt said and the Beast suddenly turned on him, even though he couldn't see anything other than a Red haze, he knew the Beast was now snarling at him.
'I want blood!' It said again. Colt realized that this was the real test. Last night, the Beast was in charge, now Colt had to bring the Beast under control.
'NO!' Colt said firmly. 'You will get blood when I say it is time.'
The Beast screamed in pure unadulterated fury. The Red haze swirled and coalesced into what Colt thought he looked like in the War Form. It howled again and made as if to attack Colt. 'I'm in control here.' Colt said softly. 'You will do as I say, not the other way around.' Colt took a step forward and the Beast actually stepped back. 'Trust me, we will have blood. But we will do it my way, understand?' Colt was feeling a power rise inside of him that he never felt before. He felt himself grow, and the Beast shrink. 'I am Wolf Folk!' Colt heard himself scream out, as he felt himself start to change, and the Beast started to lose shape. The Red Haze was filling his mind again, only this time, it was flowing into his body. 'I am the Warrior! I will not be denied any longer.' He opened his eyes, knowing instinctively that he was larger than his Human form was. He threw back his head, and met Luna's gaze with his own. He drew a deep breath, then howled out a challenge to anyone that would deny his right to exist. Deny his right to live as Luna intended. He would not, could not be a slave. Deep inside he knew how the Wolf Folk of old felt when they were given the choice of death, or a life of servitude. He would be no one's servant. He would be no one's slave. He could not be. The Wolf would not allow it. A Wolf was no one's slave.
He howled again, and again. Announcing his presence to any who would dare oppose him. Calling them to him. But none would answer that call, not here. Not yet.
When he lowered his head, and allowed the last howl to die out, Runi was looking at him with a grin. "You are a powerful pup." He said with a chuckle. "However, be thankful that there is no one else around that would understand the challenge you just laid down. Had a Wolf Folk Elder been nearby, they may have taken you up on that offer." Runi stepped forward and placed a hand on one of Colt's arms. Looking up, Runi met Colt's eyes. "Remember my young Warrior. You may be powerful, but there is always someone out there more powerful than you. That is where your intelligence will come into play. The greatest challenge any young pup has is to master their Beast. Making the Beast bow to their will, not the other way around. You are the first one I have known to be able to do it so quickly. You are progressing faster than I had thought." Runi stepped back and grinned. "Tonight you will learn to fight with Colt's intelligence balancing the Beast's instincts. When you learn how to do that, then you will truly be ready to learn the true ways of the Wolf."
For the next several hours, Runi was merciless as he pushed Colt further than the boy thought he could go. But he also felt that Runi knew exactly what he was doing. Every time Colt wanted to call a halt, he felt himself gain strength from inside himself. He knew then that the Beast would not allow him to quit, would not allow Colt to give up, no matter what, he would fight on.
Runi would be attacking him, then call out for Colt to shift into one of his other forms. Colt had to do this in the middle of combat. At first, he couldn't do it. He couldn't shift while still fighting, but he started to realize how he could do it. Now shifting through all three of his forms was as easy as walking, once he figured it out.
For the next several days, Runi would try and surprise Colt. Either telling him to shift suddenly, or by attacking him without warning. Colt was really beginning to learn to listen to the instincts that were suddenly inside him. Runi had to explain that they didn't just suddenly show up, but he was learning to listen to what was already there, that living in Human society had dampened his instinct, but now that the Beast was awake, the instincts were stronger. All Colt had to do was learn to listen to them.
Two weeks after Runi found Colt in the woods, Runi woke to find Colt sitting outside the lair, in his Wolf Form. He smiled down at the large Wolf, and spoke normally, knowing that Colt would be able to understand him. "We must go into the city tonight. I need to feed."
Colt cocked his head in confusion, then melted up into his Human form. "I thought Vampires only had to feed like once a month, or something."
Runi shook his head with a grin. "No. It really depends on how much of the blood we use to fuel our abilities. This last week keeping up with you in the training has forced me to use my abilities more than I am truly used to anymore. In all honesty, I do not need to feed tonight, but if we are to keep training the way we have been, I will need to soon. I have learned to never let myself get too hungry, as that is when something will happen, and I will need to use my abilities."
Colt nodded in understanding, then hesitantly asked. "Do I really need to go with you?"
"Yes you do." Runi said firmly, then softened. "I have a feeling that you and I will be spending a great deal of time together. My feeding is something that you will have to get used to."
Colt hesitated but then nodded. "I guess that makes sense, but, well, I really don't know if I can watch someone die like that."
"I know it will be difficult for you." Runi said softly, his voice full of compassion. "I do not know if this will help or not. One of the abilities a Vampire gains shortly after their turning, is the ability to read a Human mind. As they grow older, it becomes easier and easier."
"Wait, you mean you can read my mind?" Colt asked in shock.
Runi smiled and shook his head. "No. Remember, I said I can read a Human's mind. I know it is still difficult for you to accept it, but you are not truly Human. Now, I am sure if I tried hard, I could, but you would know it instantly." Runi paused, his eyes boring into Colt's.
Suddenly Colt knew that Runi was trying to enter his mind, and the Beast leapt forward in challenge. He felt himself start to shift into his War Form, but held it back. At the same time, he felt his mind slam shut, pushing Runi out. Runi pulled back, and smiled at Colt. "I told you, you would know if I tried. Now, you will also know what it feels like if a Vampire does try that for real. However, it would have to be an Elder Vampire to even get close enough to be able to invade your mind like I just did. However, now that you know that, please trust me when I say that I only feed on the wicked. Before I was turned, my Sire made me take a vow that I would only feed from those that preyed on the weak. In all the years that I have seen, I have never consciously broken that oath."
Colt picked up on the wording of what Runi said, but knew better than to ask about it. Colt somehow knew that Runi was ashamed of the times when he broke the Oath, so he wouldn't ask about it, not yet anyway. Deciding to let that slide, Colt asked more about what would happen this evening. "So we're gonna go into the city, find some bad guy, and, what? You want me to watch as you kill him?"
"Actually, that is exactly what I want you to do." Runi said with a very serious tone.
"Why?" Colt asked. He had hoped that Runi would let him be somewhere else as he fed, but now…
"For several reasons. First of which being that you need to see this. You need to witness someone's death. Remember Colt, there are many Vampires out there right now, hunting you. I have taught you how to fight, but the one thing I cannot teach you is how to watch someone die. It is something that you will have to grow accustomed to, because you will witness more death than you can imagine. Most of the time it will be at the end of your claws, as you fight for your very survival. However, other times, you will have to watch as others die. This is what you will start to learn tonight."
Colt was silent for several moments as he stared out into the woods. Finally he sighed and looked over to Runi with a small smile. "You sure like to take the direct route, don't you?"
Runi laughed as he nodded. "Yes, I have found that to be the most productive path to take. It prevents confusion most times." The smile fell away from his face as his eyes bored into Colt's. "I am truly sorry for what I must teach you. For what you will have to see and endure. If there were a way that I could shield you from all of that, I would. However, we both know that is not possible." Colt nodded his acceptance of that fact. "I said before, and I shall say it again. I will do everything in my power to protect you. However, the best way to protect you is to teach you what you need to know to be who you truly are. I have taken on the role of your Alpha, since there is no one else that can take on that task. As such, I will do what is needed to make sure that you can survive on your own when the time comes."
Colt grinned a lopsided grin. "So what should I call you now, Master?"
He took a step back when Runi's eyes flashed red, and the smile vanished from the smaller boy's face. "No." He said in a deadly serious tone. "You will have no master. You cannot have one. When we are in formal situations, you may refer to me as Alpha. But never will you refer to anyone as master."
Deep inside of Colt, the Beast agreed with Runi. Colt would never, ever, be able to call anyone 'master'.
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