Preview of “Howl”

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(I apologize in advance if the text in this post looks strange, because as I type this in wordpress it is looking really funky and I can’t figure out why. Nothing seems to be aligning in the center no matter how many times I click the button, and it looks like it may have taken out some of my indentions. Le sigh.)

Hello again, everyone! Didn’t I say I was going to post this last week…? I should really stop throwing dates around, because I can never seem to stick to them. Finally, I thought there would be a time I would actually post something when I said I would…but, no! Of course not! I had to get sick (well, sicker. I’ve been sick for two weeks now), and then one of my grandmothers got sick and had been in and out of the hospital. I am so sorry guys…I will try to remember to not give out deadlines so I won’t get anyone’s hopes up.

So here it is! The first five pages of the sequel to “Ice” I gave out at Decopolis:

 

 

Howl

the sequel to Ice

By

Elissa Lewallen

 

 

 

Copyright Elissa Len Lewallen

Not for individual sale, or reproduction .

 

 

Chapter One:

Alone

 

 

Nobody wants to be alone. Loneliness is one of the worst feelings you can have. It’s hard to shake, and it lingers, making you feel hopeless.

There was a time when I felt like nobody in the world understood me, and that I was destined to feel that way for the rest of my life.

Then someone came along who did and was all too eager to befriend me, even though I was quiet and strange and unhappy. He helped me to smile and warm up to my uncle, whom I didn’t know very well at the time. If he hadn’t have healed me, I may still be having awkward conversations with Uncle Justin that just consist of a few words. I would still be miserable. I would still feel unbearably lonely.

Kavick, the one who saved me, brightened my world when it was cold and covered in white. When I thought I would drown in this world of ice, he showed me how to see the beauty in it. The way I perceived Alaska, and the rest of the world for that matter, depended on how I felt inside. If I hated my life and the world, then I would hate this place. If I loved my life, then I would love everything around me, too.

Of course, the death of my parents changed me permanently. I still haven’t completely reverted back to my old self, even though I feel like the hole they left has healed. I’ve moved on from the tragedy, but I will probably never be quite the same, and I will never forget them. I used to be a lot like my friend Charlotte, very talkative, except that I would be terrified the whole time I interacted with others. I would always say the wrong things, quickly ending the social experiments in disaster. Now I don’t even bother trying to make friends, because I love the ones I have.

And, I love the boy who saved me, more than anyone. Therefore, I’m content. I’m finally happy again. Maybe even happier than I ever was in California, the place I called home before I moved to this world of snow.

Kavick, the strange boy who came into my uncle’s house for shelter one night…I remember that night like it was yesterday. It was that fateful meeting that I learned there was another lost and lonely person out there like me, someone who had experienced more loss than me, but could still somehow manage to smile, even though he was still healing himself. I learned later that it was seeing me that had made him smile again. I still don’t understand how someone as dreary as I was then could make anyone smile, but he said that it was the kindness that I showed him.

I called Kavick a strange boy because he seemed strange to me then due to the fact that he can turn into a wolf at will. Descended from a line of Native Alaskans known as the “Wolf-People” that have the ability to turn into wolves and Huskies, Kavick is a cross between the two, having had a father who was a black wolf, and a mother who was a Husky. But whether Kavick is truly a wolf or a human, he doesn’t know. I know, however, that he is a human first and foremost, for he is the best of humanity. He is the most kind and loving person I know. There are people that would call him a monster and want him dead for his strange ability, but Kavick is the farthest thing from a monster.

 

“You can do this,” he told me, locking his pale blue eyes with mine. He spoke with a confidence I didn’t feel, but it put me at ease knowing that he believed in me. He placed his hand on mine that was holding the gear shift. “You don’t have to be afraid anymore. You’re fate doesn’t have to be your parents’.”

His hand on mine was making my heart race even more, yet the anxiety and fear that I was going to crash began to subside. I tried to keep from staring at him for too long (a habit of mine) and keep my wits about me. I looked to the road, silently telling myself that I could do this, just like he had told me before.

He removed his hand from mine and I put Kavick’s old car in drive (he kept calling it new though, since he had recently purchased it) and gently pressed on the gas. After I had inched along and it appeared I wouldn’t be racing toward any nearby trees like last time, Kavick cheered me from the passenger seat. “Woo! Alright!” he clapped. “I think it’ll be okay to go a little faster, though.”

“O-okay,” I said nervously. I was too scared to look away to glance at my speedometer, but I knew that I was going under five. I clutched the steering wheel for dear life and prayed I wouldn’t dart off. I barely tapped it with the toe of my sneaker, and when that didn’t seem to change anything, I tapped it again. Now I was going at a near normal pace. This pace might have been acceptable if I was backing out, but I wasn’t. Kavick had turned the car around so I wouldn’t have to worry about tackling that today.

When I reached the end of the gravel road that lead to Justin’s house, I stopped at the battered stop sign. Then I turned on the blinker. There weren’t any cars coming from either direction, but I kept sitting there.

Finally Kavick spoke up gently, “I think it’s okay to go out on the road.” He then pretended to check for cars, but I knew he had seen the deserted street already. “Yup, clear both ways.”

I clenched the wheel tighter, trying to get my heart to stop racing. “I can’t do this,” I whispered to myself, losing all of my tiny bit of confidence.

“What?” I could barely tell he was looking at me from the edge of my vision.

I couldn’t hide my breathing anymore. It was loud and fast. I could feel my chest heave with every quick pound of my heart, like it was going to jump out of my chest. I couldn’t move. I was like a statue glued to the seat. I couldn’t take my hands off the wheel to even turn the annoying blinker off, or put the car in park.

“I…I can’t do this.”

“It’s okay.” He kept saying that. Everything was “okay” when I tried to drive. “You’ll be fine. Just calm down.” His voice was soothing, but I couldn’t calm down.

“I can’t,” I said between breaths.

“Yes, you can,” he said, gently like before. “Tell yourself to take a deep a breath.”

My breathing was more like gasps now. My lungs were clenching up. I couldn’t keep from thinking about the mangled mess my parents’ car looked like in the newspaper. A trucker had been drinking and driving. Eighteen wheelers like that one were a common sight in these parts. My parents had swerved to avoid the truck when it crossed into their lane, causing them to lose control of their vehicle. It had flipped and crashed into a tree.

I’m doomed, just like them.

            “You’re not going to die like your parents,” he said, as if he could read my mind.

“Y-you don’t know that.” I mentally kicked myself for being so weak, for not being able to control myself.

He put his hand on mine again and said in that same gentle voice, “Just let go of the wheel. Turn the engine off.”

I gripped the wheel, telling myself I could do it, that I wasn’t going to be scared and pathetic anymore…but I couldn’t. It took Kavick peeling my fingers off the wheel and taking the key out for me to get a grip. Once the noisy car went silent, I was able to relax. I wanted to put my arms around him, knowing that being close to him would make me feel better, but I somehow thought that was inappropriate, even though we had already told each other we loved one another. We had even kissed once.

I kept telling myself I wasn’t going to cry. After a good sniff I seemed to be better, but my hands were still shaking.

He turned in his seat to face me straight. I turned in mine to return his gaze. He smiled at me and wiped a lone tear that had fallen against my efforts. “We don’t have to do this today. Let’s try again another time.”

I put on my determined face and said, “I can do this.”

I went to grab the keys, but he moved them out of reach and used the opportunity to steal a kiss. It was brief, but it stunned me silly. It had been ages since he had last kissed me, and I had always been too awkward to attempt it since. In fact, the last time he had kissed me was when he had told me he loved me, which was several months ago. Since then it had only been a few pecks on the forehead when we were alone, which seemed to not happen much anymore.

Now the keys were long forgotten and proving a point to myself didn’t seem so important anymore. After several seconds of me staring at him like an idiot with my mouth open, he said in an amused way, “Weren’t expecting that, were you?”

“No,” I said monotonously, finding that it was hard to gather my thoughts and that my heart was racing all over again.

Kavick gave me an apologetic grin and said nervously, “I know I…”

Suddenly, we heard the distant crackle of gravel behind us. We both groaned, knowing it was Justin. He never liked being home alone for long. With graduation approaching, Justin had been making comments about it only being a matter of time before a boy would whisk me away from him, leaving him alone again. Kavick quickly unfastened his seatbelt and switched places with me.

Once we were on the road, he asked me, “Where do you want to go?”

“Mmm…how about your house?” I figured we might get to be alone there. We hadn’t been alone much ever since Kavick started working two jobs. Not long after Kavick got out of the hospital, a little hunting store had opened in Marsh, the next town over. That’s how Kavick was able to buy the car we were riding in.

“You really want to go there?” he chuckled.

“Well, why not?” I smiled, watching him drive. “You’ve got a better idea?”

“I’m surprised you would want to go there when I can take you anywhere you want.” Then his eyes widened like he suddenly got an idea. “But, we could go to the Magic Place from there, if you want.”

I suddenly got excited at the idea. It would be like old times. “Let’s do that!”

After driving through town and a few winding roads through the woods, we were at the Skarling house. It looked battered and old, just like his car, but you could tell a family once lived in the home. It was as if you could sense it. Maybe it was the many rooms that produced this effect. I wasn’t sure and didn’t put too much thought into it since I was thinking about the Magic place. Kavick and I avoided the house all together, rushing out of the car and running for the woods.

We ran in zigzags to avoid the trees, Kavick being in the lead, of course, with his long legs. He knew the way better than me, as well. It was daytime, so it wouldn’t be as cold and we wouldn’t have to light a fire. There was only about half an inch of snow on the ground which was mushy and melting. He jumped up and swung from a limb that was hanging over. When we finally reached the last of the trees, I stood still, not following him anymore. I looked across the expanse of white and the cloudy, gray sky overhead. I almost thought it gloomy, even though I had gotten used to such days. I hadn’t thought these kinds of days gloomy for a long time, actually, and I wondered why I did now.

And then I suddenly knew why.

Just like I had been scared to go on the road, I couldn’t bring myself to enter the place I had once thought of as magical. Now all I could think of was the last time I was there, on a cold, cloudy day just like this. I took a deep breath and noticed that I didn’t see my breath, unlike that horrible day. It was May now, so it should have been warmer none the less, but as the weatherman on the TV had said earlier that day, we were experiencing a bit of a long winter.

Kavick spun around and then stopped, sensing I wasn’t near him. He gave me a concerned look. “What’s wrong?”

I placed a hand on the tree beside me, nearly clinging to it. The gun shot kept echoing in my mind. Kavick’s blank stare. The blood. Marcus.

“I HATE YOU!”

I had screamed it so loud.

I felt bark prick the skin beneath my nails and the stinging that followed told me I was bleeding. I hadn’t realized I was digging my nails into the tree. “Maybe this wasn’t a good idea,” I said in a little voice.

He walked toward me and extended a hand. “Take my hand,” he said gently. “I promise you won’t regret it.”

I took it, instantly feeling better, and we walked for a while, side by side in silence. I kicked at the snow and said, “It’s kind of boring when there’s not much snow to work with, or ice to slide on.”

However, just taking a walk with him was better than being stuck in a car. I never could get truly comfortable in a vehicle since my parents’ accident.

“We can head on to the forest, see the waterfall,” he suggested.

I remembered the last time we went to the waterfall. I had nothing but good memories of that. Suka had been excited about hiking, but once we had reached the waterfall she had become obsessed with the notion of jumping from one of the big rocks.

 

Remember, you can buy “Ice” for your Kindle for only $2.99 from Amazon.com if you want to catch up before the sequel comes out! :)

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