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From Omega to Sigma
A Litnet Short Story by Tung Lynn Li
Footsteps. They know I'm here.
I ran and I ran. I don't know where I'm going, I just know I need to get away.
CRACK! Ouch! Stupid twig! They have to be in the places and moments you don't want them to be. And- argh! Bloody branch of bushes. I can stand wounds from the nips and bites and scratches and slashes from my pack members (it's a wolf's life), but half-dried leaves, cobwebs, and other bush stuff in my glossy white coat? How unsophisticated!
Keep running, keep running, keep running, keep running, keep running. Don't look back, just keep running!
Through the forest and the pines and the bushes and the streams. Dashing and swerving for miles. It's second nature for me to do this. I've been hunting and playing hide-and-seek with the cubs in this frost-covered land long enough. You could even say I'm an "experienced" wolf, except that I'm far too young and still a little too inexperienced in the Alpha Leadership department to be considered for a position that's typically reserved for the elders in a wolf pack.
But even in my short life, I've hunted and I've played. I've ate, slept and followed the team where they went. I've lived, I've loved, I've laughed. I'm never going to do these things again.
I'll never die a free wolf or LIVE long enough to become one.
I could hear them behind me. My pack. The ones I've used to call my friends, my team, my foster family, even my soulmate. They're coming for ME.
We have a rule in our pack: no member is allowed to walk me from it anytime they wish, at any age or status. If they do so, not only will they be banished from returning forever, but they will also be killed for it. This is so that the self-exiled member will not join another pack and possibly form and allegiance against our pack. Security issues. Applies to everyone.
Even if it's a foster family member or the love of your life, yes. I personally chose to abandon them after YEARS of wolfish thinking in exchange for being able to roam free and peacefully, unbothered. For the permission to live under my own terms and not follow a hierarchy of order and politics anymore. I'm tired of those things. I'm gonna miss the cubs, but I'm not gonna miss being the scapegoat for every single damn thing that goes wrong and always being the last wolf allowed to eat our kill for the day.
I've always hoped somewhere in the depths of my wolfish heart that they'll abolish that stupid rule and come looking for me. Well, they are looking for me now, closing the distance between us. Except that they're not looking for me to cover me in wet licks, friendly sniffs and warm snuggles. They are looking for me to KILL me for being brave enough to make my own choices, just this once.
A wolf pays with his life for the price of freedom, independence and full autonomy in my pack. We're different. But yet, "different" members of the "different" pack are not appreciated.
I ran and I ran. Don't know where I'm going, but I have to run away from those that I love because I love myself just a little bit more.
A LOT more, actually. But it doesn't matter anymore. I'm pretty sure they don't love me anymore so my love towards myself is all I've got now. And my will to live and get the cold-crapping fuck outta here. And my speed and agility — don't fail me now, please.
Speed and agility lead me through the last of the trees to a ravine. A large, swift stream of water was rushing beneath me, a 10-feet drop, at least. I am cornered.
Sigh. So much for becoming a Sigma Wolf. If I’m gonna go down as the Omega Wolf who got killed by his pack Wannabe Sigma Wolf, I might as well live up to my score and turn and face the music ‘til the very end.
The Alpha appeared first, followed by the rest of his underlings. Woof-woof-woof! They all barked-laughed at me seeing me surrounded, grounded, and gone.
They didn’t even talk to me. They didn’t even ask me why I wanted to leave (well, they did but not in a nice way). They didn’t even consider changing the rules of their group and maybe giving equal treatment to all members of the pack in the future. No, it doesn't work that way in the wild. I was ravaged, killed, torn apart, shredded and eaten like a ferine canine HUNGRY for revenge.
Hungry. That’s all I feel now.
"So since how long ago have you been hearing these voices?"
Ummm, not so long…… probably a few months back?
"About half a year ago. I think."
"Okay." She looked down at her pad and scribbled some notes. And the vintage-looking room was silent for a moment 'cept for the sound of her pen on paper. I twiddled my thumbs.
"Have you experienced any scary, impulsive or illogical thoughts that seem incessant?"
"That you can't seem to push away."
"Uh, no?" No thoughts, only voices. And how is a person with schizophrenia supposed to know if their thoughts are illogical or not?
"Any fears like someone is planning to get you or is planning a conspiracy to get you?"
"No, don't think so. That's paranoia, right?"
"Maybe. But various mental illnesses can share the same traits and symptoms so I must ask you all sorts of questions so that I don't accidentally misdiagnose you with a therapist."
Paranoia. Schizophrenia. OCD. Anxiety. Hallucinations. They're all different but I don't know what is plaguing me. All I want is to pinpoint it and be cured before my whole life crashes down because of it.