It’s taken me a long time to write this…but the first night with the Pack was …
There still isn’t a word that my human brain can understand.
We all got to the park around noon. We had a grill. I brought my Bacon Wrapped Chicken and it was quite the hit. (Though, people complained about the toothpicks through them! They wanted to just snap them down.)
I think the place we were was one of the other wolf’s home, on the edge of a park. I’m not allowed to say which one, for everyone’s safety!. There was a LOT of people there, so, one of them, an adorable boy named Alex, who happened to be an albino and a huge sweetie, took me aside and explained how things are going to work.
Normally, before they have a new Wolf with them, they take them aside and help them through their first change. I was warned about this before, that the first few times are painful, like using muscles you’ve never used before. You’re also painfully sore afterwards, because…well, same idea as the muscles.
The party was fantastic, and meeting everyone was so incredible. I’d only met the main Pack since I’d been bitten. (They helped me through the initial confusion and sickness… I met people who held PhD’s and people who were still working their way through school, a mechanic, a waiter, a writer, a stay at home mom…it was so strange, having all of these different people having one thing that draws them, us, together.
Werewolf Packs are actually made up of a bunch of smaller packs. Sub-packs, they call them. I was invited in to one, because we’re all around the same age group, and we’re fairly close together in the area I live, the Diablo Mountain Valley.
The five I met were named Alex, Quinn, Regan, Pandora, and Jeremy.
Five of them finally came and took me aside, telling me that I should quit eating the these amazing Kobe beef strips, and go with them. Alex said something about noticing anxiety. I wasn’t feeling anxious, I was feeling excited. There was this thrum of excitement that hummed between everyone there.
I did kind of want to watch someone else shapeshift before I went through it myself, but they managed to convince me that was a bad idea, saying that when one of the more dominant members of the pack shift, others tend to follow, and the last thing they wanted was a bunch of people in their clothes turning into big wolves. So, they told me to get undressed…which I did, to a point. I wasn’t about to get naked in front of a bunch of people I didn’t really know…and then I sat on the bed for a while, and we chatted until I began to FEEL it.
It felt like a tugging, like an ache you can’t stretch out, but you start trying anyway, arching your fingers, and your shoulders, and your back, and legs, and everything…until it starts pulling you in directions you didn’t know you went in. I eventually dropped back, and bizarrely, I remember that the position I was in is called Opisthotonus, which is Greek for opistho meaning “behind” and tonos meaning “tension”…
And then I think I kind of blacked out. I remember pain, and this feeling of things sliding about, in that way when something needs to pop it aches and hurts… I remember trying to move a LOT, clawing, pulling, trying to get things to be proper…but it’s all pretty hazy.
When I woke up again, I couldn’t stand, I was having a hard time with balance as I fought to get up, and I remember a bunch of hands grabbing for me, grabbing at something to keep me steady, and on four feet. They talked to me, told me to relax, and concentrate on breathing, THEN walking. I managed that, and stood on four shaky feet.
Having a muzzle is totally different, you can SEE the thing. The world look different too, more washed out, but crisper because of the lack of colors to interfere with the input. I could SMELL too. Not just smell, but scents had directions, told me what had touched what, and who had been with who, who had been there…just, incredible.
Alex snapped a picture with his iPhone, and then showed it to me. I HAD thought I was a black wolf, because of my feet, but I was actually white, with black paws, and silver down my head to my back. Some of the girls complimented my coat colors, before we went outside, so I could be Named.
Wolves carry two names. Seeing as I was no longer Kote Tepezano, but a wolf, I should have a name that my Pack would use with me. I was presented to the Alphas by the sub-pack that had helped me through.
They looked at me, and the woman, who’s Wolf-Name is Cinnamon, Named me Ghost.
Ghost because my coat is so pale, and because my legs are dark, so I appear to float instead of actually touching the ground.
They then said to the rest of the group that it was time to Shift and Run. Everyone began flinging their clothes off, which, was kind of hilarious to watch, and I would have been laughing if I’d of been human, but watching everyone else just blend into their wolf form was amazing. They shifted so gracefully, it almost looked purposeful, they knew what they were doing, and there was none of the grinding and popping that I had suffered through.
I was then re-introduced to my Pack:
Kiba – Formerly known as Alex. He was a big white thing with a pink nose that actually looks more like a German Shepard. He can’t see very well, so he has to wear these green Doggles in his wolf form.
Rusty – Quinn. He’s a dark brown wolf with these LONG legs. He’s outlined in black, with these intense amber eyes.
Shadow – Shads – Humanly known as Regan. He’s actually a small wolf, all in black, with blue eyes. He’s SILENT when he walks.
Panda – She’s a bigger grey wolf. She doesn’t actually look like a panda, but she’s got her name because of her human name. Jeremy says that grey wolves are harder to name, because grey is the most common color that people turn. It’s the ‘brown hair’ of the werewolf community.
Socks – Jeremy’s not fond of his wolf name, but he’s a grey wolf that has white socks that go just about to his elbows and hocks, so, he was Named Socks when he was a cub, and the name’s sticking. He could petition for a different name, but he’d have to adjust his position in the main pack first, and he says it’s not worth fighting about.
The others have names that relate to their coat color -Carmel, Cinnamon, Cloud-, or mysterious origins that I’d love to delve into! But, sometime later when we can actually talk.
I was greeted with lots of noses, hips, nudges, and tail wags. They don’t really ‘talk’ but you just sort of know what everyone means when they ‘speak’. It’s strange to explain. I don’t know how we know, but with a glance I KNOW what to do, what the Pack as a group is thinking… I was connected. Not quite hive mind, but part of a group.
When we were all in our fur we FLOWED out into the surrounding area, we moved like birds in the sky, one form, one thought, we followed the Alphas, hot on their heels. It was hard to not be caught up in the JOY of running, the JOY of the Pack, the pure insane JOY of it ALL, being ALIVE and being a wolf and being out in the world and hunting and…
We did hunt. We brought down a deer, and because I’m new, and have no actual place in the pack yet, I fed last, and bickered for scraps. It felt that it was all in good fun…that no matter what, we were all together in this. We’re together in everything.
In the end, we played, we bickered, we showed teeth and marked our territory, we found our groups, and tried to find our place. I learned the bickering settles when everyone discovers their place, but they said it might take several full moons to do that.
In the end, we all curled up together, one big mess of fur and fangs, and claws…
And woke up warm, naked, surrounded by people I have this incredible connection to.
We all filed back to the house, still playing and bouncing a bit, naked as the day we were born, and I was suddenly okay with it. Alex wanted to talk about the psychology of it all, but a kind of short brown haired boy, who’s name I’d learn was Quinn, asked him to be quiet, because…yeah, it was a lot to process.
We showered, and we all had breakfast together. (Eggs and bacon!)
My Sub-Pack gave me all of their information, and asked me if I needed a ride home. I did, because Alex had picked me up at the house, and…then it was back to normal human life.
I slipped back into my human role as easy as a coat that I’d taken off, and simply put back on again. But, I do keep drifting back to the thoughts of the woods, the Wolves, the connection I had with all of these others who are just like me.
Anyway, the moon is waxing, and I can’t wait till the next one.