FeralHeart Creations > Stories

When the River Runs Red (REBOOT)


Hello, all! It's been a hot second since I've posted, let alone been online! So, several years ago I'd written the 'When the River Runs Red' series, which turned into the 'Forbidden Lands,' and the 'Eleventh Wolf.' Upon working on a few other books, I've hit a writers block, and decided to revisit some old ideas of mine. One of my oldest and most interesting works being this series!

In light of the idea for my newest novel, I've decided to rewrite this series and turn it into the story it should have been, even back then. It had been a rather popular story on here when I'd started it (and I do wonder why, with how dreadful the writing was.) That all being said, here is the official first chapter of the reboot!

One last thing, I'm curious if anyone on here remembers the original series (the names of the characters have been changed) but if you do, please comment! I'd love to hear what you think about the reboot!

Shadows danced through the streets in the distance, walking in uniform and the distant sound of barks and howls drifted through the abandoned city. At the top of the hill, just beyond the borders of the city sat a lone wolf. Red fur shone against the bright light of the moon, watching through dark eyes at the figures below.

    Footsteps approached behind her, a familiar scent drifting in the breeze as a larger figure joined at her side in silence. The air that lingered between the two was tense. For several minutes, it seemed as though neither of them were going to speak up. Though finally, a low sigh erupted from deep within the throat of the larger Dire. “Aya,” she spoke in a low warning, yellow eyes peering over at the smaller female. “I know what you’re thinking. Matla (Matlalihuitl) will have your head if he finds out you’ve been sniffing around the borders, again.”

    “Quiet, Nahul,” Aya growled, refusing to meet the gaze of the other. “I’m not going down there. I’m just...watching. It’s been months since our last contact. That’s the longest we’ve gone without hearing from Kieran or the others. No word of the Covenant or any attacks on the patrols.” Her dark eyes narrowed as she rose to her feet, ears flattening against her head. “What the hell are they planning?”

    Nahul’s tail twitched lightly as she surveyed the area below them. As she was no stranger to the war, unlike the young Aya that stood beside her, she was easily more accustomed to the Covenant and the laws that followed in its wake. However, that did not mean that she herself had followed so closely to them. Still though, launching an outright attack against the Ikran Dire’s was not something she would have ever considered doing in her wildest dream. She almost feared the thoughts that were running through Aya’s head as she stared down at the decrepit city.

    The wind made a subtle change in direction, tossing leaves across their large paws and trailing unfamiliar scents across their noses. Nahul flicked her ear, nose to the wind as her body went rigid.  She didn’t even have time to alert her friend when a large black shape lunged out of the darkness and pinning Aya to the ground with a low growl. Nahul was on her feet, lips curled back beyond her fangs. Another wolf stood between her and Aya, badly scarred with long, grey fur that stood bristled and tail arched.

    Aya stared up at the wolf that had her pinned. Bright green eyes nearly glowed in the dark, glinting with a hideous bloodlust. The smaller wolf bared her fangs with a growl. “What are you doing here, pup? This isn’t your territory.”

    “They reek of the Moors,” the other wolf sneered over his shoulder.

    “Moorish Dire’s,” the brown wolf mused with the flick of his ear. “You pups are a long way from home. I’ll bet Lord Akna would be more than pleased if we brought the heads of a couple Moorish blackhearts.” An excited growl sounded from his throat as his mouth opened, reaching towards Aya in a slow, almost taunting act.

    Nahul lunged at the grey wolf before her with a snarl. Just enough of a distraction that Aya twisted under the weight of her attacker, sinking her teeth into his leg and clambering out from underneath him. “I’ll have your head if you think for a second I’d let a couple of daft human-dwellers touch the princess,” Nahul snarled, teeth bared and eyes locked onto the larger Ikran.

    “I’ll be damned, Colel,” muttered the brown Dire as he retreated behind the other with a defeated limp. “It’s the so-called royalty. How lucky.”

    “Haldwin,” Colel warned. He and Nahul stood a tails length away from one another. “These aren’t just any Moorish bastards. It’s the Reaper. Her royal little pup friend is just a bonus.”

    Aya growled. The two shared a glance that lasted but a second, and Nahul closed the space between her and Colel, sinking her teeth into his back and latching on. Aya pounced at Haldwin, who met her in the air halfway. The two collided in a mess of teeth and claws, scraping and raking against each others flesh. Teeth sank into skin and claws tore at fur.

    A shocked and pain yelp sounded as Haldwin held down the smaller Dire with a triumphant grin, laced with pure malice. “A little Moorish brat like yourself really shouldn’t have strayed so far from home.” His tongue ran across his lips, taunting and hungry as he pressed Aya’s face into the ground. “But it’s sure been-”

    The Dire was thrown from his perch on top of the female as Colel collided with him, the two landing in a heap beside Aya. “Run, Aya!” Nahul panted. Blood dripped from her lips and stained her teeth red. She straightened her stance as Aya clambered to her feet, legs aching under her weight. “I’ll hold them off. Get back to the Moors. Warn Matla and the others.”

    Aya didn’t argue. She knew that if anyone could buy her time, it was Nahul. With a brief nod of gratitude, she took off down the back of the hill and towards the vast woods on the other side of the open field.

 Pain ignited in her leg with every stride she took, and a dizzying nausea swept over her the faster she ran. In the distance, she could still hear the fight raging on up on that hill. That only made her run faster. The small Dire was aware of the approaching shape behind her, one that she couldn’t even hope to outrun. But stopping wasn’t much of an option. She’d simply have to keep running, and wait for the large Ikran to overtake her. From there, she’d have to hope for the best. The field stretched out for what looked like miles to her, and with the Ikran close on her tail, she knew it was only a matter of time before-


    “Kieran?” The Dire came bounding up beside her, easily matching her speed. To a full Dire, especially that of the city-dwelling Ikrans, the speed of a Moorish Dire was nothing but a leisurely trot in the field.

    Kieran, the large brown and black Ikran looked Aya over, gold eyes glinting in almost concern. “What happened?”

    “Went looking for you,” the female panted in response. “Didn’t cross the border but...Ikran guards caught us. Nahul is still back there. I have to warn Matla!”

    Kieran nodded, and followed her without another word into the woods. Bringing a human-dweller inside Moor territory was taboo that went without say, but Aya had little choice in the matter. She would need all the help she could get, and Kieran was one of the few Ikrans allowed inside since the war began. Once inside the Moors territory, the two of them slowed to a mild trot. Dread knotted in her stomach as she crawled through the thicket and crossed into the Moorland, Kieran right behind her. Something was off, but she couldn’t place what it was. The only scent in the air was the overwhelming smell of an incoming storm.

    “So,” Kieran opted to break the silence as they headed towards the back of the Moors. “Matla decided to release Nahul back into the wild?”

    “That’s no concern of yours, Kieran,” Aya warned him.

    “Perhaps not,” the Dire agreed, head lowered slightly. His eyes trailed over Aya’s body, and he flicked his ear, noting the blood that dripped down her leg in an alarming amount. “But maybe that wound is. It looks pretty severe.”

    “Let’s just get to the base and I’ll deal with it later. Right now, Nahul is up against two of your over-sized human-dwelling mutts by herself.” Guilt crept into the back of her mind at the thought.

    “Because the Reaper can’t handle herself,” Kieran growled with a lash of his tail in annoyance. “Ever wonder why we call her that?”
    Aya froze. A storm wasn’t the only thing in the air, now. There was something else. The unmistakable stench of blood, and an overwhelming amount of it. “No,” she uttered, the terror evident in her voice. “Matla!”

    “Ayauhteotl! Wait!” Aya hardly heard him as she ran, paws thudding against the ground and sinking into the mud. The smell was getting closer, and was only more sickening the closer she grew to the dens. The sight that lay before her was horrifying. Crimson streaked across the grass, the water stained red with blood. Bodies of the slaughtered torn open and strewn across the camp. It seemed no lives where spared, not even the young.

The stillness in the air was unbearable. But the scents mixed with the blood and death….among it, something was off. Something else was missing.

“Ayauhteotl! Aya, I….oh Stars…” Kieran had come up behind her, halting in his tracks. War was never a good thing, but to massacre an entire pack, to spill the blood of the young and leave them there to bleed out and rot so the vultures feed on their bones...that was low, even for the Ikran Dire’s.

“Kieran,” Aya growled, slowly making her way deeper into the camp. “Listen closely. Return to the City. Find Nahuatl. Get her back here. Safe. And if your human-dwelling mutts did anything to her, I’ll kill them myself.”

In her heart, Aya knew well that not even one of those Ikran Dire’s could do something like this. The putrid scent of the City was nowhere to be found in the camp. The smell was fresh, the massacre having only happened just before they arrived. Had the Ikrans been the one to do this, Aya was more than certain they would have seen them disappearing into the woods.
Whether it be fear, hatred, or sorrow within her, she couldn’t tell. Maybe above all, it was numbness.

I don't know first version. But. It. Is. Amazing! You have real talent! I read it with bated breath. This chapter is amazing! I am waiting forward to the next one!


--- Quote from: Dark_heart on April 09, 2020, 12:03:05 pm ---Hi.
I don't know first version. But. It. Is. Amazing! You have real talent! I read it with bated breath. This chapter is amazing! I am waiting forward to the next one!
--- End quote ---
Thank you so much! I'm glad you enjoyed it!


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