Altar of Change Preview

Do you ever wonder what lies at the end of that nearly hidden dirt road you just passed?  It could be anything, really.  And even if you know, you may not know the full story.

Vine wants to escape her life.  She hates her job, her love life, and the soullessness of the city.  So she decides to move back to a place from her childhood.  Best case scenario, she’ll have a nice place to live and be able to make a fresh start.  What she finds is so much more than that.

Welcome to Willowisp, a community where there’s magick in everything and everyone.  The old gods are given their due, and the seasons are celebrated the right way.  There are also terrible dangers, both magickal and mundane.

Vine finds herself being faced with challenges, and friendship, the like of which she’s never known.

 

***Prologue***

Green, wind, leaves in wind. Sun through trees, light dancing on rich earth. Cool breeze and warm sun spots on pelt. Peaceful. Quiet.

Food struggles. I watch for a moment, then lean down for killing bite. Tear throat, splash of hot blood in mouth, screams go quiet. Meat is good. Meat will feed me. Prefer rutting.

Tried to mate with wolves and dogs. They know I’m different, they try to escape. Some I mate with, some become meat. Some I mate with and then eat. Rutting is best, but meat will help stomach pains.

Still, hungry. Craving the rut. Craving someone who needs. Wolves and dogs are simple. Mate or no mate. Easy.

But humans, they need. And they don’t know why they need. They want and don’t want, they rut or think about rutting, over and over, and they don’t know why. They’ve lost their wolves, their animals inside. The animals inside are scared by all the noises and words. Too much noise. Too many words.

I tear the chewy flesh of my prey, thinking. Where did I last scent humans? I have been in the forest too long, forgot how to use words to snare, how to lure humans. Humans make a rich meal, so much need.

Road, I think. Road leads to humans. I lift snout to wind and begin to scent. Tree bark, blood of prey, wind off of river, stones and cool earth. I scent deeper, searching. I find it. The scent of large, stupid animals that humans call ‘cars’. Cars don’t know enough to be afraid. Too stupid to mate with or eat. And too crunchy.

I finish eating, crunching bones, and begin to trot. Find road, find humans, feed deep.

I walk and nap and eat, tracking scent of ‘cars’ along dirt track deep in forest. Small track, few cars. Frustrated. Scent for human lust on air, and catch… something. I scoot back off road as the sound of stupid ‘car’ nears.

I hide. Easier to track than to ambush ‘cars’. I lift my snout, and scent again, over hot, sick smell of stupid ‘car’, I scent human. Better, human who needs. A female. Confused, sad, missing her mate. Good meal. VERY good meal.

I close my eyes from dust as she passes, and wait. Will give her a head start.

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