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Heart of the Wounded - Chapter 3 Part 2

……………

Time passed. That was all the human part knew. Worlds passed beneath the paws of the black beast, but the human half was left unaware. There was nothing but the promise of eternity in darkness. Until one day, he was called.

“Spirit inside the wolf…”

His mind stirred.

“Spirit inside the wolf…”

The word wolf echoed throughout his mind. Slowly, his eyes opened. There was a small amount of light from a candle. The dim light was still enough to blind him. He slowly let his eyes focus and adjust.

There was confusion. The human half of the wolf had been gone from his world for so long, he had forgotten. His mind was scrambled and the thoughts made no sense. He was unsure where he was, who he was with, even his own name and identity. There was an odd feeling cloth around him. It was slightly uncomfortable but soothing. The thought was confusing.

A man was seated before him. He had dark tan skin and black hair. His eyes were dark and full of wisdom. There were odd colored rocks hanging from his ears. He wore clothing that had never before been seen in this land.

Instinct reacted. The human half of the wolf pushed the man away. He bolted into a corner of the room and huddled there. It was then that he realized that he wasn’t a beast. He studied his hand.

There was laughter. It was deep and sinister. A glance at the odd stranger showed that he wasn’t the one laughing. Looking all around, there was no one.

“Are you doing all right, spirit inside the wolf?”

The words made sense, but barely. He tried figuring them out. The spirit in the wolf…me. Am I doing all right? All right is good…Am I good. Slowly, he shook his head.

“What is your name?”

Name?

That’s what people call you, moron, the voice that had been laughing at him earlier replied.

Again, the spirit inside the wolf shook his head.

“You cannot remember your name?”

This time, he nodded.

“To make life simple, may I refer to you by your spirit animal?”

Another nod.

“Young Wolf, I do not know what has happened to you. I am a shaman. Do you understand that?”

Wolf shook his head.

“Do you understand the word ‘guru’?”

Again, Wolf responded negatively.

“Do you understand spirits?”

Wolf looked down. The voice spoke. You do understand spirits. I can help you with that. Slowly, he nodded yes.

“A guru works with the flow of spiritual energy in humans. They rely heavily on chakra points, the points where energy gathers. This makes sense?”

Surprisingly for Wolf, it did. He nodded.

“A shaman relies on the spirituality in nature. We harmonize with living creatures and the earth.”

“I…I think I…understand…now,” Wolf spoke for the first time. His throat was dry, and speaking seemed foreign, so it was difficult.

The shaman handed him a bowl of water. Wolf grabbed for it, but was unable to hold onto it. The bowl slipped through his fingers and landed on the ground. The bowl was made of thick clay, so it didn’t break, but the contents drained out.

The shaman smiled slightly. “You are not used to fingers anymore.” He picked up the bowl and refilled it. He motioned Wolf over. Cautiously, Wolf crawled towards the shaman. He sniffed at the water, making sure it wasn’t laced with anything. How he would be able to tell, he couldn’t figure out. He leaned forward so that he could lap up the water, but the shaman moved it.

“You will drink it how we, as humans, drink.”

Wolf unconsciously employed the beaten puppy look and sat where he was.

“Turn and you will be able to quench your thirst.”

With a suspicious look, Wolf turned. The shaman wrapped his arm around and lifted the bowl to Wolf’s lips from behind. With the first taste of the clear water, Wolf was eager for more. His hands came up and covered the bowl. He drank deeply until the bowl was empty. He dropped his hands and the shaman pulled the bowl away. Wolf turned and looked at the man expectantly.

“Do you want more?”

Wolf nodded.

The shaman filled the bowl back up and handed it to Wolf. Wolf tried to wrap his hands around the bowl, but the muscles were too weak from lack of use that he couldn’t support it on his own. The shaman helped Wolf lift the bowl so that he could drink again.

When he was finished with the second bowl, Wolf was satisfied.

Give thanks for that, the voice demanded.

“Th…thank you,” Wolf muttered.

“You are welcome. I think I shall leave you on your own for a little bit.”

The shaman stood to leave, but Wolf grabbed his pants leg.

“I…have…question.”

The shaman knelt back down beside Wolf. “You have a question? What is it?”

“There’s…a…a voice…in…” momentarily confused again, Wolf could do nothing but brush his hand across his forehead.

“There is a voice inside your mind?” the shaman asked for clarification.

Wolf nodded.

“That is the spirit that has possessed you. I can sense no evil will towards you from it, and I cannot remove it from you. You will need to learn how to live with it as one.”

“As…one,” Wolf repeated quietly and thoughtfully.

“That is correct. I can leave now?”

Wolf seemed to be lost in thought.

The shaman stood and made to leave. When he got to the door, he heard Wolf’s quiet voice ask softly, “name?”

“My name? My name is Kotma.”

“Shaman…Kotma…” Wolf mused. He pronounced the words strangely, but the point got across.

The shaman smiled slightly. “Very good. Now, good night.”

“Good…night.”

The shaman left the room. All was quiet save the flickering of the candle flame.

I don’t like that shaman guy. He seems too nice. He has the patience of a human parent. I could eat him for breakfast.

“No, spirit,” Wolf said aloud, hoping the spirit knew he was talking to it. “Don’t eat.”

That’s what you are saying now. But, it isn’t like you always get a say in the matter.

A sharp sudden pain over powered Wolf’s body. The Wolf Spirit was laughing then there was darkness once more.

……………

Wolf spent the following weeks in constant struggle against the Wolf Spirit. At times, he would be in his human body. Those were times he felt at home and most comfortable. Other times, he would be in the furry wolf body. He knew that the Wolf Spirit was also able to have control over both bodies because the shaman would sometimes tell him that he seemed different and his eyes were blue. When the Wolf Spirit was in charge of the body, Wolf was thrust into the darkness. He hated the darkness with a passion.

The shaman always seemed to be around. He provided food and water, and even some mild conversations. Sometimes, mostly when Wolf was a beast, the shaman would talk through the door. Kotma told stories often. Wolf barely remembered them from day to day, but he enjoyed them all the same. They were tales of life, tales of nature, and stories of animals and beasts. There were gods that existed only for those that were one with nature.

The Wolf Spirit laughed at the stories. He said that he would eat the shaman’s gods. Wolf would ask if the spirit were always hungry. He insisted on eating anything that he didn’t like.

“What is the spirit’s name?” Wolf asked one day after Kotma had told one of the stories. He was sitting in the room with Wolf. Wolf lay on the bed, watching the shaman from above.

“I do not know the name of your spirit. It is a strange spirit, one I do not know.”

“If…if I know the spirits name, do you think I could control him?”

“You can never control a spirit. They are free from any shackle. However, if you knew his name, he might compromise with you.”

“I…I think I want to compromise with him.”

“It will be tough.”

“Damn right it will be,” Wolf growled. The shaman turned to see the Wolf Spirit staring at him with the liquid blue hues. Kotma looked at the wolf calmly.

The wolf leapt at the shaman. Kotma stood quickly and brushed the wolf’s attack aside. The wolf landed on the ground and stood still, growling. It bowed its head suddenly. When it looked up, it had golden eyes. Wolf whined.

“You need to know how to switch forms. There are a couple ways that I know of. Right now, you can best use the physical idea. Come here.”

The wolf plodded over to Kotma. The shaman knelt by the wolf. “There is a small area right under the last ribs.” The shaman ran two fingers up and down the wolf’s ribs and stopped at the last ones. “This soft spot has special properties for one such as you.” Kotma pressed diagonally under the rib.

Wolf yelped with the sudden pain and collapsed on the ground. He continued to whimper. Then, he realized he was human again.

“Control,” Wolf mumbled. “I need control…I…I need to face that spirit…I need to talk to him.”

“Yes, but not today. I am unsure how that can be arranged. Someone I know is coming soon to see you.”

Wolf nodded.

“He will know?”

“Maybe.”

……………

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