- February 3, 2021
The Alpha Chapter 1
“There is something to like about wolves, and predators at large, they don’t argue about the semantics of the kill.”
The one is strong, but the pack is unstoppable, that is what my father taught me. That is what I know, that is a fact of life. Nothing beats the pack, no one can defeat the pack.
Now the pack hunts. We are not many when we hunt, but we are strong, and we are fast.
When the Cervidae graze their grass the mother and the father eat with the pups. They do not take turns. They all eat at once.
That is their mistake.
By the time they pick their heads up, my strongest son is already on them. Another young son on his first hunt, trails behind him. My brother and I, we wait for the first kill so we can make the second.
My sons struggle but they are strong. One is almost ready to leave and form their own pack, find their mate. They go for the young, they think this is smart. It is, until the father comes. The father Cervidae raises its horns, goes after my sons.
My brother and I start now.
My sons let the young go, they struggle and avoid the father’s hooves and the rearing of his horns. They nip at him; they aim to draw blood from his legs and his sides. The father stomps and steps on them, they fight on.
They are hungry. Death comes over time, but we have large numbers now, we are the biggest pack. We have the numbers; they can stall for me.
The Cervidae rears, it kicks my son, he growls, he tries not to yelp as he trips over his legs. He growls and he holds in the pain. The other Cervidae leave, they run. We will hunt them later; my mate will eat them. This father is mine.
My sons distract the father. He sees my brother and I coming, he sees me coming, but it doesn’t matter, my four legs carry me fast and far.
My brother’s jaw closes on its leg, and I go for its neck. I taste the fear in his blood. He did not run when he saw me, most don’t when they see the alpha.
My jaws clamp down on his neck, we pull it down. When I was young, when I was a fool, this would be long, drawn out. The Cervidae would struggle and fight. Now I am older, experienced, the alpha, and this is nature.
We pull him down, and I tear out his throat, as it should be.
We eat our fill and for the pups. My mate has had the pups, she will hunt for herself. I will tear a piece for the pups, see if they can swallow it. They won’t, they are too young, they must learn to try.
I am proud of my sons. One has grown up, and the other is growing. The strongest, the eldest, he will challenge me or he will leave soon. That is the way, he is beta and I am alpha. He will not win. That is the mistake of young betas, of sons. They will attack the alpha, who is smarter, greater, and experienced. I will dominate him. I will beat him down.
It is better for him to leave, find his own mate instead of mine. He might stay, his mother is no longer my mate. That is why he will challenge me. Otherwise he would leave without question. He does not want his mother as his mate.
He still licks my chops between bites, tasting the meat I have tasted as he did as a pup when I fed him. It was another time; I know that time is almost over.
A growl from nearby. We lift our heads, except for the youngest, the fool. We see it, it should not be here, not on our hunting grounds.
The ursine, the dark ursine.
It is larger than us, stronger, and darker as it comes out of the trees. Why is it here? It does not eat deer, but it licks its chops for food and looks at our kill before us. Why is it here, and why is it already turning the snow red?
The ursine approaches and my brother growls. He does not approach, I approach, I am alpha. I approach, I am not slow, I am not fast.
The ursine do not come here, they do not bother us. They live near water, the river, for their swimmers and planters. It sees me, it approaches our kill.
It growls at me.
The ursine is strong, it could kill me, kill my sons, my pack. There are more strong canines here than in other packs, but arrogance is death, and we are life. The ursine will meet death if it does not retreat, or we will.
It is taller, barely.
I walk to it, and step within its reach.
He snarls, he swings his claw. I move, he misses, he cannot reach.
Ursine are faster… when going straight.
I nip at his sides, I bite his legs, I warn, go back. He does not listen, he proceeds.
I growl, I sink my teeth in, and he turns around. He turns around for me. Now we fight.
My sons, my brother, they come, they come to fight. It is to the death then.
I turn and run back to avoid his bite, my son jumps on its back and tries to draw blood. He falls off the ursine’s back without it. The ursine turns, and my brother slashes its face. The ursine roars in pain and hits my brother with the back of his paw. My brother yelps and rolls, but stands up.
It is the ursine’s padded smack that is deadly. The outside of the paw, the arm, hurts but can be withstood.
This ursine is slow, it cannot catch us. It should catch us, but we nip and we bite. It turns the snow red, more and more, too much.
We did not cause this, the ursine was already bleeding. The ursine was already dying. How could this be?
My brother, my sons, they do not care, do not notice. They nip and they bite, they work to take the bear down. We bite and nip. It chases one, and is attacked by another. It can never get one of us, but it should. I bite chunks from its arm, my brother its leg, my sons both or one. We kill it slowly, it’s strange. It is not nature for the ursine to die by canine tooth and claw. It should have run away, it should never have come, but it cannot. It keeps fighting, until there is nothing left.
It roars when my son’s teeth sink into its leg. It stands on its hind legs and roars. I leap at its side. I sink my teeth into its neck and I taste ursine blood for the first time. It’s the same, yet different from Cervidae, and different from canine blood. I do not like it.
But I rip.
The ursine falls, my brother escapes its weight, and when it lands, we all sink in our teeth.
We kill it, we tear it apart. We are the first canine to kill an ursine, and taste our victory.
I do not like it. I like Cervidae.
My brother eats and howls. He is proud, he cheers, he grows combative. He does not see any issue, and neither do my sons.
They eat and howl, and they feel proud. I look at the ursine.
I look at its wounds. It bleeds from more than me, why?
I sniff, I search, and without fail, in little time, I smell a scent… far more dangerous. It is cold, hard, and inside the ursine.
We did not win. We are the scavengers, and this ursine is mad. I snap at my brother; I warn my sons. Do not eat the ursine. They had only chewed, ursine meat is tough, but they wanted to eat anyway.
They are confused, they grow combative.
I dominate them.
There will be no challenge. I teach them with scars, and wounds. My brother challenges me, he wants my mate. I slam his head to the ground, beside the ursine’s.
I am alpha, they remember that. They grow angry and upset, but now they listen.
They will not admit it, they will cheer, they will gloat, they will try for mates, to be alpha, but we did kill this ursine.
Something worse, something more fearsome, had met the ursine first. Something had killed him before he had found us. He was dead and walking.
The one is strong, but the pack is unstoppable, except when it meets the one… the one who killed the ursine, from the inside.