"There is no such thing as fear, my child." His voice was calm, but so void of emotion. It was soothing to the ears of the wolf pup.
"Then why are people afraid of things, even if fear is nothing?" The pup replied, her little golden eyes demanding for more information.
"They only fear it because they don't know how to handle what they're faced up against. They don't know what to do, so 'fear' is planted in their minds." He responded quickly. He turned to the young wolf and smiled, silver teeth glinting in the moonlight. "This is why I want you to grow up strong, Aurora. Don't be convinced that there is such thing as fear. Face it and you will realise what the world will give you if you are strong."
The older wolf stood up, white fur like snow as he paced into the inner quarters of the den. The young she-wolf however, basked in the peaceful serenity of the mountainside.
"I'm not scared, I'm strong!" She trumpeted to herself puffing out her chest and raising her chin to the moon, but as she looked at the distant celestial body in the sky, she felt tears well up, too much to handle. A single tear ran down her silvery fur and onto the shining rock underneath her.
"Mom's name was Moon," she whispered, looking at her back, which was edged with blue, swirling markings. Unnatural. Something only she had. They glowed at dusk but nulled at day.
"Aurora! It's getting late, better head to sleep," the older wolf called from inside their home, his orange eyes shining through the shadows.
Aurora smiled, "I'll be brave, just like you, mother," She headed into the shadows of the lair.
Fire. Ember. Flame.
She was hunting, then the blaze sparked. Separated by the trails that blazed them apart, she had no way of getting back to Argent. The flames blotted out the natural sunlight, the air thick with hazardous smoke.
Worse, her father and four siblings, forced to turn away from her due to the flames that drew them apart.
Ashes, stinging and heavy at her eyes. Dust, tugging at her fur. Heat, draining her energy little by little. Burns, slowing her agility. Fumes, suffocating her slowly.
Aurora's throat was dry, a rasping noise was the only sound to escape her mouth. Howls, useless against the roaring furnace. The fires flickered, danced and spat, warming the ground and burning the trees around her.
She started panting desperately. It was getting really hard to breathe.
Aurora turned her head in every direction, seeking a route out of the merciless wrath of the blaze. In the corner of her eye, a hollow underneath the branches of a firewood tree, which, obviously, is immune to fire.
Aurora's eyes sparkled with hope and determination pumped through her veins. With a rush of adrenaline, she ducked for the shelter and pressed her charred, ash-quilted fur against the roots and ground beside her, curling up against the tunnel walls as she waited for the intensity of the flames to cease.
When she awoke, she saw that the whole forest was grey. All life forms had been destroyed. The tree stump she had huddled in was half-dead. Ash and smoke filled the air. Aurora took the time to shake off the dead coals and dirt from her coat, then set off to find her way back.
"Hazel? Stream?" She cried for her sisters. No response. Just the breeze carrying the fumes aloft the wind. "Karma? Leaf?" Nothing returned to answer her call for her brothers. They must be elsewhere. Maybe they escaped?
Calling was hopeless and Aurora intended on giving up until she heard a faint, distant clamour. A voice that carried her name in its message was to her right. She glanced that way and ran towards it.
Alas, she found the source of the voice. Now she was in the heart of the charred forest, no relief from the empty, dead land. There was a fallen tree, one in which looked like a shelter.
"Aurora?" The voice called again. A coal coloured snout poked through the entrance of the tree pile. Two orange eyes lit up upon the sight of the she wolf. He dragged himself from under the branches and exhaled with relief.
"Thank heavens you're alive as well, Karma." Aurora laughed at her brother. Then she realised something else. "Where's everyone else?"
Karma's eyes dimmed. He stalled for a second, then finally decided to speak. "Leaf got lost. We couldn't find him- he's out there. Everyone else went somewhere else. I kept back to find you and Leaf." He started to paw at the dirt. "I couldn't f-f-find h-him."
"Let's look now, he could be somewhere around here," Aurora offered. Her older brother smiled weakly at the cheer.
"We better hurry though. It's going to go dark soon," Karma added. And the duo started to search.