wilderness ventures

Werewolf Calum

The night was eerie, no light to be found. You could barely see your own feet in front of you as you ran through the thicket of the woods next to your house. Something was coming, you were sure of it. The further you ran the more distance there seemed to be in front of you. The branches on the trees became thicker and more dense with every step you took. Your black vans were now caked in mud and sweat beaded on your forehead and nose as you sped through the wilderness. The darkness consumed everything. You could see nothing, hear nothing, feel nothing, only being able to sense a presence chasing you through the forest. Suddenly, you reached the edge of a cliff. Looking down the slope you could see that the black water below was churning, craving death. You had nowhere to go but down or back. As you contemplated what to do, you felt two strong hands grip your waist and a raspy voice in your ear. “You should have known better.”  Suddenly, the two hands holding you in place roughly shoved you forward and over the edge of the cliff. As you were falling you screamed out for someone, anyone, that could possibly save you from the dark waters below. The blackness approached faster and faster and faster and you braced yourself for impact. You hit and it felt as if every bone in your body had broken. The water flooded your lungs and your clothes dragged you down into the depths. Your vision began to fade, until you were left with nothing.

With a sudden jerk, you awoke sweating, palms clutching the sheets. Your vision was blurry, but you could’ve sworn you saw a figure, a man with a defined jawline, dark hair and dark eyes, hovering over you, strangely without a shirt on. His eyes boring into yours.  You gasped, and rubbed your eyes. As your eyes adjusted, you looked around your room again and found you were alone. Although, your window was open, allowing a slight breeze to flow into your room. The man without a shirt must have been a figment of your imagination. An aftereffect of the nightmare.

That same dream had haunted you every night for the last two weeks. The same darkness corrupted your nights and the same voice haunted your dreams. “You should have known better.” Dreams were supposed to mean something weren’t they? To prepare you for real life you though. Or at least that’s what you had learned in school. So what did this mean? And why were you forced to experience it every night? Sighing, you rolled out of bed and headed towards the shower to cleanse yourself of the grossness you were feeling because of your nightmare.

All too soon, you were forced to get out of the shower and get ready for school. You never really had that many friends in school. You prefered to be by yourself, usually hanging out in the back staircase and reading a good book or listening to music. Grabbing a granola bar on your way out of the house, you began to walk to school. Then, you saw something move out of the corner of your eyes. Already on edge from the night before, you whipped your head in the direction of the movement seeing something that made your blood run cold. There, across the street hidden in the trees was the same boy that you thought you had imagined above you this morning. He had the same serious look on his face, the same dark eyes and rigid jawline. He still lacked a shirt, showing his defined torso, which if you hadn’t been so frightened would have turned you on a little. But instead you were frozen with fear, unable to remove your eyes from him. His eyes were boring into yours for what seemed like a lifetime, when a sudden howl of a wolf distracted you and caused you to look past the boy for the source of the noise. By the time you looked back towards him, he had vanished. You shuddered, wondering if he was real or if he was your imagination and unruly nights sleep catching up with you.

School was boring as usual. No matter what you did to try and keep your mind off it, your thoughts kept wandering back to the shirtless boy. His face was forever etched in your mind. This meant one of two things. First, you could just be certifiably insane or second, the boy could be real and have actually been in your room this morning and was now following you. Both options were terrifying, it was just hard to pick which was more terrifying. Deciding that the stress was just too much for you, you decided to duck out of school a little early. You sneaked out the back door, zipping up your jacket to protect from the cold and started walking home. As you passed the woods parallel to your house you looked to see if maybe the dark haired boy was peeking out from behind the evergreens. He was nowhere to be found, which surprisingly, disappointed you slightly. Suddenly, you had an idea. You had to find out for yourself if what you were seeing was real or if there was something else wrong entirely. Crossing the street, you jumped over the ditch and landed on the soil on the outskirts of the woods. Hardly anyone ever went into these words. Locals always stayed away because of the giant wolves that were said to inhabit it, but no one had really seen one-at least not anyone you had ever talked to. There was one woman who lived on the very edge of the south end of the forest who practiced the old art of herbal medicine. She was said to be very in touch with nature and would tell stories about her communications with the wildlife to anyone who was crazy enough to listen. Apparently she had a son, but she homeschooled him and kept him sheltered enough to the point where no one knew if she actually ever had a son.

Pushing all thoughts about the medicine woman to the back of your mind, you ventured deeper into the wilderness. The further you ventured, the more the forest began to resemble your dream. The woods became more dense and darker with every step and you were worried you wouldn’t be able to find your way back. The snap of a twig sounded off behind you causing you to turn around quickly.

“W-who’s there?” You tried to speak with authority, but you had to admit you were scared. Out from under the brambles scampered a little squirrel, making you giggle slightly at your paranoia. Turning back around, you immediately ran right into a bare chest. Looking up you were met with none other than exactly whom you had come into these woods for. Although, you were still surprised and so you let out a shrill scream. Immediately, the boy covered your mouth with his large hand, holding onto your waist to keep you in place.

“Don’t make any noise.” He spoke softly, but firmly. You looked up at him. He was taller than you had expected up close and his brown eyes were even deeper and more beautiful than anything you had ever seen. His arms were toned, biceps bulging, and his skin was a rich tan color. His lips were full and plump, a few shades lighter than his skin tone. Easily, he was the most attractive boy you had ever laid eyes on. With his hand still over your mouth, you nodded quickly and slowly he removed his hand from over your mouth. “What are you doing out here?” He demanded, furrowing his thick eyebrows together.

“I-I was looking for you.” You blurted. Already you could feel your cheeks burning at your confession. The boy raised his eyebrows.

“Why?”

“Because I thought I saw you in my room this morning and then I saw you again in the woods and I wanted to know what was going on!” You felt both your temper and your confidence levels rising as you began to call him out on what you saw. The boy just stared at you with a brooding look, eyes dark and eyebrows still knitted together. He had you back against a tree now, and his arm rested next to you head, almost caging you in.

“I wasn’t in your room this morning.” He was trying to intimidate you. But you stared right back.

“Yes you were I saw you.” You spoke back to him.

“No I wasn’t I…” he was cut off by a howl in the distance, followed by another and another that seemed to be getting closer. His eyes went wide. He took your hand and pulled you along behind him through the forest.

“Where are we going?’ You asked as he dragged you along.

“Anywhere but here. I have to get you out of the woods.”

“But why? What if I want to stay?” You challenged. He was about to answer you when you heard the padding of feet moving rapidly behind you, followed by a soft growl. You turned and didn’t see anything but you knew something was close.

“No…:” The boy whispered. With surprising agility and speed, the boy pushed you into some thick bushes, causing you to fall into the dirt as he crawled in after you.

“What the hell are you…” You got out before his hand was once again clamped over your mouth, giving you a warning glance. He brought his lips closer to your ear and mumbled out a breathy response.

“I need you to trust me and be quiet okay? I promise I’ll explain later. I just…you need to be safe.” The boy worriedly glanced out from between the branches of the bush and sighed “This is going to sound weird, but I need you to be in my arms for a second. My scent needs to rub off on you.” You gave him a quizzical look, but you couldn’t help but trust him. Too many weird things had already happened for you to not. You scooted closer towards him as he engulfed you in his strong arms. He began to rub his hands up and down your arms, desperately trying to disguise you. You melted into his touch as he continued. Nothing had ever felt better and you let out a little sigh of content, causing the side of the boy’s mouth to curve upwards into a small smile.

“What’s your name?” You whispered, almost inaudibly since you were still trying to be quiet.

“Calum.” He answered you, still focused on rubbing you up and down.

“I’m Y/N.” You whispered back. Suddenly, Calum perked up like he had heard something you hadn’t. “Stay here and don’t make a sound okay? I’ll come back for you I promise.” And with that he was gone, leaving you alone to question what you had gotten yourself into.  

You kept your eye on Calum as he approached the source of the growling, when before you eyes there were suddenly two men standing in the small clearing outside of where you were hiding. Still trying to be quiet, you craned your neck to be able to hear what Calum and the other mystery boy were saying.

“Calum, what are you doing out here. You should be back with the rest of us.” The first man spoke, his voice deep and throaty.

“Just doing the afternoon rounds. So far there’s nothing to be worried about.”

“Are you sure? Because I heard a scream and I smelled a human. No human ever comes into these woods, as they shouldn’t. Calum if I find out that you went to see her and if you brought her back here you know what has to happen.” The man stood tall, trying to assert his dominance over Calum.

“No, I didn’t bring her here, I’ve been following orders.”

“I followed her scent all the way here, I know she’s here Calum don’t lie to me.” The man’s eyes scanned the wood, searching for a sign of life, his heightened senses on edge. You saw Calum instinctively and subtly move his body in front of where you were hiding to mask your scent from the other man. How in the world he claimed he could smell you was beyond you, but you weren’t really in the position to be asking questions currently.

“She’s not here. I haven’t even seen her today,I swear. But you can’t keep me away you know that. I am not going to let anything happen to her, no matter who she is. She’s my mate.”

At Calum’s confession you couldn’t help but let out a gasp, but realizing your mistake you clamped your hand over your own mouth, praying that he hadn’t heard you. But of course, he had. The older boy gave Calum a smirk before stepping over to where you were hiding, yanking you out by your hair and causing you to let out a whimper.

“No!” Calum lunged over to you, but the man yanked you back away from him and bared his teeth, which seemed to grow in size with the angrier he became.

“You know what the prophecy said Calum, we can’t let her live.”

Let her live? He meant you had to die? What even was going on? You stared wildly at the two boys.

“Calum?” You asked, hoping he might be able to clarify, but his attention was not on you at this point. He was shaking, trying desperately to control his rage for you, but he looked like he would explode any minute now. Looking at the other boy, they both looked about ready to explode. The hair on the arms of the man holding you were standing straight up and his legs were shaking, He craned his neck around to look you in the eyes and you saw that his pupils had shrunk in size and that his iris’ had turned a dark gold color. He was frothing at the mouth, like an animal. You screamed and Calum sprinted towards you, tackling you to the ground before right in front of you, the other boy transformed into a monstrous wolf, fangs bared and drooling. Calum stepped off from on top of you and turned to face the giant animal.

“Calum what is…OH MY GOD!” All of a sudden Calum had also transformed into a wolf, of equal size to the other. His fur was a dark brown color, and his eyes were the same angry gold color. He leaped at the other dog, and they were lost in a flurry of dust and fur so that you could hardly even see them. You were speechless, thinking that this kind of stuff only happened on the big screen. You were mounted to the floor, legs unable to carry you away from the scene unfolding in front of you.

The brown wolf, whom you identified as Calum suddenly turned his head toward you and beckoned you to what you assumed meant to run away from him, his eyes pleading with you. You were broken out of your trance and you turned and ran as fast as you could praying to God that you made it home safe, leaving the two fighting wolves behind you and still wondering what in the hell just happened.

___

Part Two

Masterlist 

hey sunless sea fandom,

i want to go to the high wilderness with the merchant venturer, and i was wondering, what are the best things to do to ensure my scion has as many advantages as possible when i start that playthrough?

also what’s the most efficient way to pass down echoes - i know two legacies let you keep half your money, but is there a way to keep a larger percentage? e.g. should i buy the zeeside mansion and then my scion can sell it?

finally, if i make a shrine to stone, will it be passed down to my scion?

Arrow Canyon Wilderness is an intriguing landscape with distinct and eye-catching landforms, including Arrow Canyon Range, one of the most scenic ranges in southern Nevada and must #mypubliclandsroadtrip!

The western face of the range is a spectacular cliff marked with dramatic bands of quartzite and limestone arching across its length. The central portion of this area contains a wide valley cut by numerous washes, providing endless panoramas. The northeast section showcases spectacular Arrow Canyon, which is several miles long and confined by sheer canyon walls that are so tall and close together that sunlight rarely reaches the bottom. Pahranagat Wash runs along the northern edge of this wilderness and flows through Arrow Canyon. The wilderness also includes Table Mountain, a small mesa top on the east side of Pahranagat Wash, which is adjacent to, but separate from, the rest of the wilderness. This 27,530 acre wilderness is just 40 miles northeast of Las Vegas.

Silence along the rugged ridges and peaks of this intriguing backcountry destination will become more and more apparent the deeper into the wilderness you venture. Infrequent visitor use and the need for route finding skills provide great opportunities for solitude and recreation including hiking, horseback riding, rock climbing, hunting, exploring, and camping under the night sky.

Photo by Kurt Kuznicki, Friends of Nevada Wilderness

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The teens in California watched this before actually sailing down the river. It didn’t get old.