Hey, guys!! Here’s the next chapter of my story!! I hope you like it as much as I do! 😀
If you haven’t read the previous chapters:
All was silence for about ten seconds. Then Flora spoke in a trembling voice. “What does this mean?”
“She is cursed,” said Greely quietly. “She has two Alphas, but therefore she has none. I don’t even know if Zios will take her. She is growing more wolflike by the second, and I don’t know if there’s much we can do. We can try having Peck accept her again, but I have no idea what’s going to happen.”
Juniper was silently crying. Flora just stood looking stunned, and Lucky was still standing with her brows drawn. “Have you told Peck?” asked Flora. Greely didn’t reply. After a few seconds of silence, she smacked him on the foreleg. “You big meanie, you dual-accepted with another Alpha and didn’t even tell her.”
“Let’s go tell her now,” said Greely sheepishly. It was amazing how the pretty silver wolf in her navy fox hat could make the Wolf Alpha back down.
He must really like her, thought Juniper as she tried not to giggle.
Crashing was still playing happily downstairs, and even though she smiled cheerfully at them, all four avoided her gaze. The rabbit – now almost entirely a wolf – looked concerned as she pumped her legs hard to keep up with them.
“What is it, Flora?” she said. The tone of her voice almost made Flora cry.
“Honey, do – do you remember anything from before we found you?” Crashing furrowed her brow and looked out into the distance. “No.”
Flora took a deep breath. “You – you’re not a wolf, Crashing,” Flora said, and at last the little pup knew the truth. “You’re a rabbit.”
Crashing’s shoulders drooped, and Flora could see the surprise in her face. Juniper, who had been listening to the conversation, gently picked Crashing up and set her on her back. “There’ll be another acceptance ceremony. You can pretend none of this ever happened, and you can be a normal rabbit for your whole life.”
Crashing looked from Juniper to Flora to Lucky and looked indecisive. All of a sudden she gave all three wolves a huge hug.
“I can’t forget about you,” she cried as they embraced her, and the wolves knew they could never forget, either.
Peck was still drowsy when they arrived at her palace. It was a burrow-type thing carved into the side of Peregrine Peak, and the entire thing was inside an enormous geode. The walls and floor were made out of purplish crystal, and Peck’s bedroom looked like something from one of Flora’s bedtime stories.
Greely told Peck everything. To their surprise, Peck didn’t seem all that surprised about anything.
“Crashing Cutestar?” she said in an amazed voice. “You’ve changed so much.”
“She’s a wolf now,” said Greely darkly.
“We can re-accept her,” said Peck. “Everything will be fine.”
Greely didn’t seem so sure, but he decided to go with it. “Yes, we – ”
Then Peck turned on him. She stood up on the couch so that she could look him in the eye, and slapped him in the face.
“Agh – what – ?”
“You never told me? How long have you known, you big – ugly – ”
“Er, Peck,” began Juniper, wincing, but the comparatively small rabbit showed no signs of lightening up. She had to content herself with giving Lucky, who was bouncing up and down and pumping her fist, a withering glance.
“It will never happen again,” said Greely, looking very shocked as he gingerly rubbed the stinging spot on his face.
“It had better not,” hissed Peck. Then she looked back at Crashing, and her face cleared immediately. “You three have been taking good care of little Crashing. I thank all of you.”
“It was no problem,” said Juniper. “She was so much fun.”
The ceremony was scheduled for two days later, at six o’ clock just like the one they had attended. Flora and Juniper felt very stupid that they hadn’t noticed Crashing wasn’t a wolf. Lucky couldn’t care less.
They brought Fauna and Scooter home at about three o’ clock that day. They told them both Crashing’s story, and Scooter, who was a rabbit herself, couldn’t believe she hadn’t noticed before.
“Flora, can I tell a story tonight?” asked Fauna before they went to bed.
“Sure, honey,” said Flora. She was very tired, anyway, between two trips to the Hive, that day’s revelation, and trying to keep Juniper’s wound from getting too nasty.
“Okay,” said Fauna, and thought for a moment about what story she was going to tell. “Once upon a time, there was a snow leopard named Julia. This was a real long time ago, so they all had different names.”
“Okay,” said Crashing.
“She was a super good warrior, and she wanted to start a place where young animals could learn how to fight.” She leaned in close to the rabbit-gone-wolf. “Here’s a hint. It was the battle camp.”
“Cool,” said Crashing in awe.
“So all the animals that wanted to fight came to Julia’s camp. And when the phantoms invaded for the first time, Julia ended up as the Snow Leopard Alpha.”
“Awesome!” said Crashing.
“But when she and her animals went to fight, Julia didn’t make it.”
“But her descendants still run the battle camp, and that’s why snow leopards always run the camp.”
“How do you know all that?” asked Flora. She was amazed that the penguin knew a story that even Flora considered obscure. Fauna thought about it for a minute. “I don’t know.”
“That’s a really old story,” said Crashing in awe. “Like… when the Alphas weren’t Alphas.”
“Exactly,” said Flora. She kissed both of them on the forehead. “Goodnight, you two. Sleep tight.” She closed the door and had her first night of peaceful sleep in two days.
They’d all had a rough time.
Thanks for reading!
Summer ❤ 😀