- February 3, 2021
The Alpha Chapter 3
“Pain is relative, do not expect the cub to stand the pain of the alpha.”
The cats should learn their place.
‘Benji,’ they call the one with the stripes. The ‘tiger,’ they call it. Man, they call prey and rivals these words. I see them, and hear them call the feline with the stripes, ‘Benji.’ They call the feline with the large hair, ‘King.’ I don’t know the meaning, just that the felines respond to it, feel pride from it.
They are meek, they are prey.
The one called a tiger; he eyes me in our cages. He has been here a long time, and I have been here for… a few moons. He eyes me through the cage, he stares at me, as if he can scare me.
The alpha does not get scared.
Man rattles the cages, mine and the tiger’s both. I was too focused on the feline; I should have known of their approach.
“Knock it off you two,” one female Man goes. She feeds us, she soothes the one they call ‘King’ and ‘lion.’ She comes after the other male Man beats them, the one in the shining skin and strange colors. He would not dare beat me. He knows he cannot conquer me.
“I don’t get why they don’t like each other.” The female makes noise again. She made noise at me once, spoke as if I understood. I am canine, she is Man, they think themselves so smart, yet they speak where I can listen. They think I want to.
“It’s a wolf and a tiger, cat and dog, of course they hate each other.” The male makes noise, but at the female. At least they can understand each other. It would be amusing and pathetic if they couldn’t. I wouldn’t have been surprised.
I rest my head to sleep. I must rest so I can make a plan, find my pack. I bet another beta has become alpha. Stupid runt is breeding with my mate-
“Wolf, wolfy wolf.” The male interrupts me with this pointless noise. I open my eyes to see him meeting them. He wanted to wake me.
I can see it in his eyes, the aggression, the challenge. He wishes to be alpha, better mutts have tried, but I will meet his challenge.
When I lift my head to meet his challenge, the male makes more noise. “Oh look, I think he’s listening.”
The female makes noise as I crouch to pounce. “What are you going to call-”
I snarl and I growl, I bare my teeth against the bars. As this weak prey bounce back, I wait for him to free me from my cage. He wanted to challenge me to be alpha, he will get it.
Both of the Man prey jump back screaming and yelling. The lion, King, rises to growl at me. He wants to challenge me too? He thinks I am afraid of his size?! I fear nothing, I will fight him to the death after I rip out the Man prey’s throat!
The other prey all cower as the tiger joins in and roars along with us, the stupid cats, useless felines. I will take them all on! I will fight them all and be the one left standing!
“Shut up! Shut up you stupid animals!” The Man prey is screaming now. Hah, cowardly male, the female stands straighter than him. Where is his bravery, where is pride, his challenge? It disappeared as it always does, at the sight of my teeth.
I watch the cowardly male grab something from behind the tiger’s cage. The male picks up this… weapon, and sticks it through the bars at the lion. The lion roars in pain.
Hah! What the feline deserves!
The male moves to the lion, yelling and screaming all the way. “Shut up! Shut your goddamn trap!” That’s his failed attempt to scare us, to seem bigger than he is.
The lion cowers back at the male’s approach… I expected nothing less of the fat and lazy feline, the parasite.
The female calls after the male. “Stop!” She seems to reach for the male’s weapon, this rod with sharp points. I don’t see the point, who cares if he stabs the cats? They have more than enough meat to suck it up.
The female is too late to stop the male from stabbing the lion. The scared feline clams up in silence. The female grabs hold of the male’s arm, challenging him, to take his weapon. He knocks her back, shoves her to the ground. Hmm, I wonder if she is his mate. I rarely fight with my mate, and she keeps the females in line… but she was stealing his weapon.
The male yells at the female. For once, I am actually curious to what he says. If she is his mate, I should go for her first, his rage would bring forth a mighty battle. If not…
… she might just let me out of this cage.
“You do not touch me.” The male is good at one thing, being loud. He yells louder than the female, he drowns her out. “These are my animals; I will raise them as I see fit.” This fight reminds me of me and my mate. We have barking contests all the time, I’ve never bitten her though.
The female takes the chance to yell back as she crawls to her feet. “I’m telling my father, you can’t treat them like this!”
“I’m your father’s best attraction, he’ll let me treat them however I want!” Whatever he growled, he got the last word as she runs away. I bet her tail would be between her legs if she had one.
Man continues to be pathetic, they must cage predator and prey alike to be safe, and they cage each other out of fear. I almost feel bad for-
The male stabbed me with his weapon! The coward! I go after him, plunge my teeth between the bars to reach for him! He thinks I will tolerate this?! He think me like the lion and tiger?! I am the alpha! I am the canine! I am-
“Listen here you stupid dog, they say you can’t tame a wolf, that there’s a reason there aren’t any in the circus, but those same people call you nothingcompared to them.” He points at the cats, King and Benji, the so-called lion and tiger, the meek felines. His tone does nothing but make me fight harder to break these bars, but they won’t move. They must be the strongest of cages to hold me!
“I broke them!” the male keeps screaming. How long before he realizes that I do not care? “I broke the king of the jungle, I broke the king of the savanna, I can break a mutt lost in the forest.”
I bark and I growl, I’ll meet his cowardly challenge, he need only unlock these bars. I will give him all he’s worth. He can even keep his weapon.
“They say that the lion and tiger are stronger, but the wolf doesn’t belong in the circus because it can’t be broken.” The male comes dangerously close, stupidly close in his attempt to taunt me. I growl low to meet his tone. I can come down to his level to beat him at his own game. “I will break you, and you will be my best act. The audience will applaud me, for being the man to break a wolf.”
He keeps looking at me and saying that name. He and the rest of Man. They keep saying ‘wolf.’
“I think I know what to call you now.” The male is still talking, why is he still talking and not fighting? There’s not supposed to be this much talking in a challenge! There is to be fighting and death! “I’ll call you Bones, maybe if you make this easy I’ll throw you one.”
I can smell the pride from him. He has nothing to be proud of, he’s pathetic, the most worthless of the bunch. Even the most caring of mates would leave a runt like him out to die alone. Omegas look down on him.
The male turns around, and then stabs me again.
“Rarr! RUFF! RUFF! GRAARRRR! GEEEEERRRR!!!!”
The male feels pride, and he turns his back to me as I jump and claw at the bars! I will be free! I will be free of this cage! I will rip out your throat you puny Man! I promise you!
The male laughs, he makes one lasting noise. “Soon, Bones, soon.”
Soon, this Man will die.
I think I am learning now. Man, they keep saying the same thing. I am now sure that when they say ‘wolf,’ or ‘Bones,’ they are referring to me. Like how the cats were tiger and lion, Benji and King. They call me Bones.
I am no Bones, I am alpha. I will show them that today.
Man moves all the prey and predators outside, as they… build. They’re like the castors when they build their dams of sticks. Those water rodents are tasty, a rare treat. I’m licking my chops thinking about them. Man doesn’t seem to have any of them caged up though.
No, Man just keeps building these dens made of cloth, with these strange colors. They have so many colors that serve no purpose. These dens look like blood, but they don’t move like blood, it’s confusing, infuriating. Man makes no sense.
And they are obsessed with cages. They build this tall metal cage, with much room and these… I don’t know what to call them. Ledges? But ledges up to nowhere? What is the cage to hold? I will find out, I’m sure.
Man has set my cage next to the lion’s and the tiger’s. With all of their muscle and fur, the big cats shake with every wind blow. They are in my element. To them, the wind’s cold brush is a sharp wound to their side. For me, it is an old friend, a member of the pack, there when I wake, there when I hunt, and there when I sleep.
The wind tries to lull me to sleep, but watching the large cats whine and shiver is too amusing, at least until that male comes.
He’s not in his colorful fur anymore. He looks more like the others of Man, and approaches me with his weapon again. I see the point he stabbed me with, and the curve of it behind his hand. It looks hard, rough, unnatural, the point rusted sharp. It reminds me of the hard snow that they hunt with.
The way he carries his weapon is how a beta bares his teeth. Does he seek to follow through on his challenge?
He drags his weapon across the bars. The noise it makes grows louder and louder, it’s annoying, he knows this. That is why he does it. I will not be provoked again like I was before. He will know my true fury when he releases me from this cage.
He continues past my cage, and he continues to the lion, King.
“Ah good, the platforms are all set up.” The male makes noise.
“Do you have to bring the crowbar?”
There is another male Man. I didn’t notice this one…
Looking at him, I can tell why. He’s plump, fat, short and small, an omega. He doesn’t even register as a threat, even with the tree skin in his hands. This tree skin looks tough, hard, and thick, unlike other tree skins.
The beta male’s eyes snap at him. He makes noise in the omega male’s direction. “It’s only if King doesn’t want to listen.”
“I thought that’s what the rifle was for.” The omega makes noise back to the beta, and shows his large tree skin to the beta.
The beta stares at the omega, and looks down at the tree skin, confused. “Is that the tranquilizer rifle, or the ‘rifle’ rifle?”
The omega looks down at the tree skin, he looks confused. He reminds me of my pack’s omega. I miss nipping at his legs, biting him, dominating him, watching others dominate him. It made the pack happy, it made him stronger. Man doesn’t dominate their omegas enough, their runts shouldn’t be so fat and plump. They should be fed less not more.
That is how omegas grow strong, they are beaten, and they learn. They learn all of the packs tricks, even the alpha’s, and then they become the alpha.
That is how I went from omega to alpha. I learned.
I learn now.
The beta opens the cage, and the growl is forming in the lion’s mouth, until he sees the beta’s weapon. Then fear consumes the lion.
The beta points King out of his cage. King stands slowly, watching the weapon in the beta male’s hand. He is afraid of it. To be afraid of a Man who needs a weapon to save his life… pitiful, the lion is a pitiful predator.
It takes far too long for the King to leave his cage, for me and the beta male. The beta raises his weapon and yells at King. “Hurry up!” King is big enough to fight a bear, yet he cowers at the puny male and his weapon. It’s as if the feline wants every predator to know how pathetic he is.
King hurries out of his cage, and stops upon seeing the omega male. The fat Man can’t even scare this frightened cat.
The lion’s roar builds in his throat, but it changes into a cry when the beta male hits him with the dark snow weapon. The beta male yells and points to the big cage. He screams and hits the lion again. “Go! Now!”
The rest of Man seem to stop, and watch. I cannot tell what they are thinking, but it’s easier to notice now how many of them there are. They’re like a sickness, a sickness that watches the beta beat the lion and drive him into the big cage.
Ah, that is what it’s for.
Why does King get a bigger cage?!
The beta closes the cage behind the lion, only for a moment. He gives King a change to run around the perimeter of the cage. King spends little time looking around the cage. He is either familiar with it, or he is the dumbest of predators. Likely both.
When the beta male opens the cage, and enters with this strange tree… It smells like tree skin, but it does not look like tree skin.
I’ve seen Man sit in things that look like that. They are so strange with their tools and contraptions. If they were less inept at surviving, they’d sharpen their claws and their fangs. Then they wouldn’t need their tools and contraptions.
He carries that, and this long black thing. It bends and uncurls, it stretches and expands. I cannot tell what its supposed to be.
King knows. He stares at it with fear, similar to the beta male’s weapon. Ah, this must be a weapon as well, as it makes the King cower to demands.
The lion sees this weapon, and the omega does too. The omega stands outside the cage, afraid of the frightened cat, with his tree skin aimed. “Do you really need the whip?” The omega male seems to be making noises that go nowhere, but the beta male still turns and responds. At least I think he responds.
“Yes, I need the whip, it’s the hallmark of the performance!”
“I just, I just figured with the gun and everything…”
“Stop figuring things then, did you check which gun it was? I don’t need you firing a bullet because you can’t tell the difference between the tranquilizer rifle and the real one.”
“What difference does it make? If you want to tranq a lion you have to overdose it anyway!”
Man makes a lot of noises. They all seem so focused on themselves. It’s as if they can’t stand each other. How do they survive?
The omega doesn’t make any more noise at the beta, but the beta still gets mad. Maybe it wanted it to make noise, maybe that’s why the beta is staring him down.
The omega eventually makes more noise, “It’s the tranq gun,” and the noise brings pleasure to the beta’s face. What a good omega.
Throughout that whole strange interaction, the human noise contest, King didn’t make a move against the beta Man. He’s a predator who should have been taught to stalk, hunt, and kill, yet it didn’t take any of the chances the beta male offered him.
I wonder if the tiger is as disappointed…
I turn my head to the other cat, Benji, and he’s licking his balls. Idiot, this is the time to be studying Man, learning how to escape. I thought cats were supposed to be smart. He can lick his balls anytime and he chooses now to do it.
What was that? I turn my head from the tiger back to the big cage. I made Benji’s mistake! I should have been watching the big cage.
What was that noise? I missed it! Suddenly King is cowering, and moving towards the middle to another of Man’s contraptions. This one even looks to be made of trees too! Maybe the beta’s new weapon will tell me…
It’s uncurled even more, much more. It’s covers the large distance between the beta male and King. Even with the beta male approaching King, the weapon lies across the ground. That’s a long range.
Hmm, that is a clever weapon, and it seems to have drawn blood. The lion’s cheek bleeds, poor kitty. I wish I knew the cat’s language so he could hear me mock him.
I grow even more amused to see the beta male crack the whip again, expecting to see the big cat cower, but that doesn’t happen.
The Lion moves… No, move isn’t right. It’s what an alpha has to do for its mate.
King trots to the ledge, the thing the beta male called a platform. He jumps up and he jumps down, moving across the platforms as if his life depended on it. It likely does.
The beta male snaps his weapon. The noise it makes is frightening, hearing and not knowing where the crack comes strikes memories of lightning through my mind. That strange flash that came when I was a blind pup, as were all of my siblings after we were first born.
When canines are born we are blind, defenseless, and terrified. We couldn’t protect ourselves because we couldn’t see. There was no greater fear in pups than when there was lightning. The adults laughed at us, apparently they were smarter pups. I remember the terrifying bang of the clouds over my head, the bangs so loud that it drowned out the falling water.
It always reminded me… of a kind of whip. That’s what the weapon will be called.
The beta male strikes his whip, and the lion moves faster and faster with each crack. Yes, I was right, this is a performance. The lion performs for Man.
I need a new word for pathetic. My mind cannot describe.
King moves as fast as possible, running himself ragged like a deer that’s been chased past a mile. As King runs, doing his best to be a prey, the beta male gestures for another Man to come with a pole and circle on top.
Now is when I notice that Man has surrounded the giant cage, awestruck to watch a once proud predator perform for them.
Hmm, now I realize it, I have been drawn in too.
King jumps through the hoop until the beta male yells his command, and cracks the whip. At Man’s call, King stops.
Man points to the ground in front of him, and King comes to lay down in front of him, within striking range. There’s no need to charge, no need to lunge, King only needs to swing. He only needs to slash once, and that would be the end of it.
That, would be Man’s throat.
King doesn’t make a move.
The beta male taps the lion’s nose and the lion opens his mouth for him. The apex predator of whatever forest the lion is from, opens its mouth at the order of Man, and holds it open.
Then, as all of Man watches, as the hairless primates prove their power over us all, the beta male bends down, and sticks his head in the lion’s mouth.
And Man starts slamming their hands together.
The beta male is fearless as he holds his head in the lion’s mouth. A second, that is all it takes, a mere second for the lion close its jaws on the Man’s head.
I see now, he has more than just conquered the lion.
He has tamed it.
I wonder if Man can tame a lion’s fear itself.
“RUFF! RUFF! RUFF!”
I scare all of Man, every head around the giant cage turns, but I don’t watch them, I watch King. For a moment I see it in his eyes as King shudders, the beta male feels fear. The lion reacts to me by closing its mouth, but it pulls away from the beta male’s head as he does. His chops graze the fur on the beta male’s head. For a moment, the beta male thinks he’s going to die.
Soon he will, today is preparation.
King reacts as I want him to. He turns from the beta male, he roars and runs at the cage. He takes my bait, and his claws slam against the cage, making males and females of Man scream. The only thing better than a tamed lion, are terrified Man. Their fear is their reminder that predators are born to kill, and they are prey pretending to be us.
No surprise, King is not shown mercy, but what do I care? He’s just a big cat. I can hear King’s cries and the sound of the dark snow beating him, and its music to my ears. The sound of the beta male carrying on like a newborn pup, is oddly pleasing. The sound of the beta male’s pack of Man attempting to calm him, and failing to calm him, is most amusing.
I rest my head and sleep to the sounds of stupid cats getting what stupid cats deserve.
If the rest of my days were to end like this… No, not even this would be enough.
I am the alpha of my pack. I need freedom, I need my mate and my omega to dominate. I cannot forget what I am, the less I want to never be it again.
Her scent, yes, when I can’t remember what she looked like, I can remember her scent. I can’t tell the difference between any of my mates by sight. Besides from my first, which was much darker than the mate I have now, they all look largely the same.
I’m sure she would have had much trouble telling me from other mates if she had had one before me.
Through scent we could always find each other, tell the difference. I remember chasing the beta males from her, and her going for the throat of any beta female who wanted me. She was more aggressive than any other mate I’ve had.
From the other canines, the other ‘wolves’ that I’ve met, from outside my pack, they seem to mate for life. If one is no longer alpha, neither is their mate. I wonder if they both are usually usurped, or the other rather not be an alpha than take a new mate.
I’ve never bonded like that before, but maybe for my mate now, I would. As if any beta would have the chance. I’ve never had a son or a brother who could stand up to me, and I’ve never seen another female even challenge her after her first bite.
No, we’ll be alphas together, till the day we die.
Oh how I remember her scent, when I sleep, when I dream. I used to hate having to sleep, having the moon curse me to close my eyes and be vulnerable. Now, in the cage, I’ve come to appreciate the chance to rest my eyes.
I’m learning from Man. I’m learning their language, some words… I don’t like it.
I won’t think of myself on their terms, as the wolf, as they like to call me. I am alpha, I am the strongest canine, I should not be heeling to Man, and especially not that beta male.
When I escape, it will be with his blood in my mouth. They will all rise in fear of me after my kill, and with their terror pooling from my mouth, I will-
A loud noise wakes me from my dark sleep, but this sharp pain, it makes it hard for me to open my eyes, to rise from my legs.
When my eyes open, I see double, I see…
The beta male.
This is my chance, I see it now, as he opens the cage. The fool, terrible… beta… fool…
Why am I struggling to stand? My mind feels… slowed, I can’t think. I stumble up to my front paws as he steps in. I have to get up, this is my chance, this is my-
This harsh, numbing pain slams into my arm. I’m forced to the ground. I can’t move my back leg, I feel something… something warm, and liquid running down my leg. I try sniffing, to smell something. I smell blood, and smoke, strange smoke but I don’t know what else it could be.
I can’t move, I can’t get up as the beta male stands over me. I can barely turn my head or move my eyes. I can only look up at him as…
What is he?
What is thismonster standing above me? It’s this, twisted, and malformed beta male, with the air between us shifting like the image on water. It’s like the world has flooded, but it won’t suffocate me. My own throat is suffocating me-
I barely have it in me to cry in pain, I see it this time. I see him lift the weapon that beat King, the one they call the crowbar.
He hits me again, it’s the only thing I feel, the pounding pain… my insides feel warm. No, they burn with this stabbing pain!
“That will teach you.”
It comes, in a whisper, lighter than the wind, but it feels louder than my heart beating in my chest.
He keeps hitting me, why does he keep hitting me?
“And God said, let us make man in our image, after our likeness.”
I feel my body throb, I struggle to breath.
“And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea.”
“And over the fowl of the air.”
Why won’t he stop?!
“And over the cattle!”
BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG!
He shakes my cage, and the other predators… they make not a sound.
“And all over the Earth, and over every creeping thing, that creepeth upon the Earth.”
And it stops, he stops hitting me with his crowbar, but the pain is still there. I still can’t move, I’m still defenseless.
“You will obey me, you will do the tricks your taught, you will make me a star. You will be, my wolf.”
He’s trying to break me, do to me what he did to the lion, and the tiger. He thinks because he broke them, he can break me. He believes that they are stronger, yet…
He came in here, only when I was defenseless.
He fears me, he fears my jaws, he fears my TEETH.
I will not break, I will not submit, I am alpha, I am the leader of the pack!
I will not break.
“You, you goddamn mangy mutt.” I can hear the aggravation in his voice, the aggression. He understood my answer.
I will not break.
I will not break.
I will not break.
I will not break.
BANG! BANG! BANG!
I will not… break…