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Black Ghost- (TW/violence warning from here on out)

Four (1/2)

Quiet was awakened from her sleep by an unsettling feeling that tickled her spine. She took a deep breath, noting that something about her mother’s scent- who was sleeping beside her- was off. She rolled over, yawning, to look over at Gentle. Her mother’s brown-furred back was to her daughter, and she lay so still that she appeared to be dead. Sitting up, Quiet crawled over to look down at her mother, only to find herself numbed to the point of feeling like a coyote made of ice.

Her mother stared blankly up at the ceiling, eyes foggy with the essence of death. A thin trickle of blood was visible, now dried but having before been slipping out from her mouth. Her throat was bitten into, but oddly: it looked almost as if her throat had been bitten from the inside, teeth ripping through the inside of her jugular and then piercing all the way to the outside world. The blood was dry around the wound, caking her fur. The smell of death was beginning to slowly weave its way into the air, but the smell of blood had already faded.

Quiet quickly backed out of the den, eyes wide in panic. She turned, stumbling through the dark clearing over to Soft’s den to wake her. Her silence made her seem suspicious: if only she could have screamed at the sight of her mother’s corpse. Then no one would suspect a thing, even when she truly was innocent.

Prodding her aunt in the ribs, Soft woke. Quiet hopped away from her the moment that she sat up, hoping that the fearful look in her eyes would be enough for her to follow her back to the den and see Gentle’s corpse. Soft squinted at her for a long moment, gaining wakefulness, before shaking off and looking over at her two slumbering daughters. “Quiet,” she whispered airily, “what are you doing up at this hour? Why did you have to wake me?”

She hoped that the amount of panic in her eyes would be enough to urge her aunt on and, spinning in a few frantic circles, she turned and rushed out towards her own den again. Thankfully, she heard footsteps behind her as Soft clambered from the dark depths of her warm den and out into the chilly night. Quiet wasted no time: she sprinted straight to her den and turned to wait for Soft, unable to face her mother’s corpse alone again.

Soft sighed and led the way inside, before erupting into a scream that Quiet felt reverberate through her skeletal system. Within a matter of moments the entirety of the pack was awake and sprinting towards her den, all while Soft darted out again. “What happened?” Soft shouted in Quiet’s face, and she shrank back in fear. The pack was closing in now, surrounding the aunt and niece duo in confusion. “What’s going on? What happened? What did Quiet do?” passed through hushed voices of the surrounding crowd. With ears laid back, Quiet mouthed I don’t know. Afraid. Her aunt appeared unsatisfied- or, honestly, she may not have even known what that meant- and turned away with a grunt, facing Captain, their pack’s leader. “Gentle is dead,” Soft informed him. “She’s got a few bite marks in her throat. Quiet came to get me. I don’t know what happened.”

Captain turned cold eyes on Quiet. She shrank beneath the looks that the pack gave her, feeling her paws tremble so hard that she feared she would collapse. Her shaking did nothing to help their accusing looks, but surely they wouldn’t think that it was her who had slaughtered Gentle? Why would she do such a thing? Gentle was purely the only one of her pack who generally tried to communicate with her. Why would anyone kill her? What did she do?

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