Moonlight filtered through the trees as a young woman wandered aimlessly through the dense forest. An eerie silence hung over the land and nothing dared to break it.
The woman stopped beside a tree and leaned wearily against it. "Oh Sassy," she said, "How did you get yourself into this?"
No answer presented itself to her at that moment. So Sassy brushed her long, brown hair from her eyes and pushed away from the trunk of the tree. "This was supposed to be a fun trip
a relaxing visit to the woods but all I get is more stress." She cursed her bad luck.
Her feet moved tentatively forward and the damp leaves quieted her movement. Soon a gentle, but steady, rumbling could be heard. It sounded familiar to Sassy. Instantly she stopped and listened. "Can that be
Quickly she rushed forward in excitement for getting a drink- and once she rounded a corner, a waterfall came into view. A smile spread across her face and she fell to her knees while using her hands to cup water to her mouth.
Without warning, an angry roar came from behind her. Sassy paused with her hands halfway to her face. Water trickled out of the gaps in between her fingers and fell back into the pond.
Snorting and grunt resounded from where the roar came from. Sassy slowly turned to face a huge, mad grizzly bear. The bear glared at her through squinted eyes. His teeth were revealed as his lip was curled back in a snarl. They locked eyes and time seemed to stop.
Sassy's breath came out quickly and in short spurts. Adrenaline coursed through her veins and carefully she stood up. As soon as Sassy had stood, the bear charged at her. Fear froze her in place while the huge monster ran at her. "It's all over," she thought, "I'm going to die."
A ferocious growl snapped her out of the paralyzing trance she was in. Amazement reflected on her face when a red colored wolf bolted past her and attacked the bear.
The two animals collided and the wolf had the advantage of speed. His Sassy assumed it was a he- jaws clenched around the bear's neck. They fell to the ground in a pile and Sassy watched in horror.
At first it seemed that the wolf had the bear down. Only come to find out this was not the case. Without even trying, it seemed, the wolf was thrown under the bear by his large paws.
Yelping signaled that the red wolf was in pain. Teeth from the bear were sunk into his side and blood mixed with the wolf's red coat. In a desperate attempt to free himself, the wolf bit the bear right under his left eye. He growled in pain and let go of the wolf's side.
With the now given chance, he rolled away from the bear. Blood dripped freely from the bear's wound. One last growl escaped his throat, and then the bear turned running to safety. Sassy smiled in relief and looked at the wolf. He tried to stand but fell back down whimpering in pain.
"Here let me help you," Sassy ran over to him and gently she wrapped her arms around him.
The wound on his side was bad, that much she could tell, but what wasn't clear was if there was anything wrong internally. Blood matted his fur and a whine escaped his throat when he finally stood. "Sorry sorry," Sassy apologized.
The wolf looked at her and did the last thing expected
it spoke. "It's okay
thank-you for helping me get up."
They stared at each other for a long time before Sassy broke the silence, "Ummm
no problem, but did you just talk?"
He grinned at her and replied, "Yep I sure did
my name is Atom, what's yours?"
Again silence and only the waterfall made noise in the background. Atom looked up at her expectantly. "Nice to meet you Atom, I am Sassy."
Atom smiled kindly at her and she returned the smile. He cleared his throat slightly while saying, "I can take you to my cave
it's just right there behind the waterfall."
Sassy looked at the waterfall and nodded. Sighing, Atom started walking very slowly to the waterfall. Cascading water threw a cold mist into the air around them and Sassy helped Atom continue up the slippery stones.
Together they entered a dark cave with the waterfall behind them. "I can't see
can you?" She asked walking blind.
here allow me," Atom answered.
He let out a sharp yip and light filled the cave. Torches on the walls lit up as if, "Magic?" Sassy pondered aloud.
Nodding, Atom carefully laid down on a black blanket. "Yeah, it's just a hobby of mine." He told Sassy as she started caring for his wounds.
"Lay on your other side so I can fix these bites," she said to him.
Atom did as he was told and once he did, Sassy could tell that this was not a small injury. She looked at him saying, Ï will need to clean this and get a herbal mixture to dress it."
"Please, do what you must." He replied and sat still waiting.
She rose from the ground and rushed outside. First she needed water and that was the
easiest thing to get. Sassy removed her sweatshirt and soaked it in the water.
"Now to get the plants needed for the medicine." Sassy thought whilst she searched through the mass of vegetation that surrounded the pond.
Luckily, Sassy loved the outdoors and knew almost every plant and animal in it. This allowed her to gather the required ingredients quickly. Once everything was gathered, Sassy dashed back to the cave and rushed to Atom's side. He laid still and watched her as she cleaned the wound with the wet sweatshirt.
After she deemed it clean enough, Sassy then began concocting her herbal paste. She applied the crème with her sweatshirt and then bandaged Atom's side with the sweatshirt.
"All done Atom
ummmm can I sleep here tonight?" Sassy asked when she had finished.
Atom nodded, "Yes you may
you look cold."
Shivers rocked Sassy's body and she tried to hide the fact that she was, indeed, cold. "N-n-no I am n-not c-c-cold," she stopped speaking as she realized that it gave her away.
lay by me, we can share body heat to keep warm," Atom invited her.
Crawling, Sassy cuddled into Atom's warmth. Soon her trembling ceased and Sassy looked at something around Atom's neck. "What is that necklace?" She asked pointing to a small blue vial on a chain.
He opened his eyes and said, "My mother gave it to my when I was little
she told me that in a great time of need, it could be used to save someone special."
The torches flickered and what Atom had said started to sink into Sassy. He is bound to meet someone special in his life
for a reason unknown to her, Sassy was bothered by this. Could it be, she wanted to with Atom?
"No," she thought, "I just met him
why would I want that?"
Atom closed his eyes again and his breathing slowed down to a steady pace. Just like that he was asleep. Sassy yawned and followed Atom's lead.
Birds chirping and the sound of the waterfall woke Sassy up the next morning. A quick glance around the cave showed Atom was no where to be seen. Sassy pulled herself from off the floor.
A grumble from her stomach announced that breakfast was required. "Oh what shall I do for food
oh I know." A smile crossed her lips and she headed out from the cave.
"I will gather some plants for a salad
maybe Atom will like it too."
The rest of the morning went by in a blur as Sassy collected every known edible plant she knew. Everything went smoothly until she came across an unknown plant. She was positive that it was safe to eat. Still there was something odd about it; the plant was very leafy and green, almost like lettuce or cabbage. Only it was not in a ball shape, the leaves grew freely.
It looked harmless and smelt good, so carefully she picked it and continued on. When she returned to the cave Atom was still missing. Sassy tried to not worry about him as she prepared the food.
The strange plant was the last to be mixed in with the others. A sweet smell came from the leaves and made Sassy's stomach growl again. "I might as well taste it." And with that she nibbled on a leaf.
A metallic taste covered her tongue and Sassy felt her insides start rolling with sick. Instantly she knew she had made a mistake. The sweet smell was a poison that the plant secreted as a natural defense.
Pain radiated from her belly and she curled up on the floor in agony. Her eyes were forced closed and waves of gut wrenching pain washed over her. Something entered the cave and Sassy squinted to see Atom clutching a dead duck in his jaws.
The minute he spotted Sassy in the fetal position on the floor, the duck flopped from his mouth to the ground. He stared at her for a few minutes, sweat broke out onto her face and she gagged again. This time sickly, yellow vomit erupted to the floor from her mouth.
"Sassy what's wrong," Atom asked in a worried tone.
Adrenaline rush kicked Atom into gear. Before he knew what he was doing, he had moved Sassy to the blanket. His keen eye spotted the salad and by that was the odd plant.
please tell me you didn't eat that
this is my fault, I took too long getting the food." Atom felt tears coming to his eyes.
Sassy had become delirious and a cold sweat ran from her body. Time was not on Atom's side, he had to act quickly. The cure for the plant was miles off and Sassy wouldn't last that long.
She needed a miracle
. A special antidote. Then it struck Atom, "Special
to save someone special," his gaze drooped down to the blue vial around his neck. It all made sense now.
Fate led him to meet Sassy
because she was that special girl for him. Now it was time to save her, he dipped his head down and the necklace fell to the floor. He looked at Sassy one last time before removing the stopper from the vial. "Here goes everything," and then he poured it down Sassy's throat.
Hours passed and nothing happened. Soon Sassy fell into a deep sleep and her sweating stopped. The poison seemed to lose its hold and Atom sighed in relief. Everything turned out fine.
What Atom didn't know, was that he spoke too soon. Right before his eyes, Sassy started to change. Her form started to revert to resemble a canine. Blue fur began sprouting from her body and Atom watched, amazed.
A beautiful tail pushed out from her spine and her face also extended, into a snout. Purple stripes ran across Sassy's new blue coat. Changes occurred inside her muzzle; teeth sharpened, her tongue elongated, and her sense of taste became that of a wolf's.
An animal-like whine came from Sassy, indicating her vocal cords had been altered. Her nose flattened and darkened to a blackish, grey. Inside her nose, things started to shift and she could smell new scents she could not smell before.
The shape of her head made it so her ears were on top. They grew pointed, like a wolf's, and attached to new muscles that allowed her to move them to detect different sounds.
Her arms became forelegs as her hands and feet became paws. Claws replaced finger nails; her body was now that of a wolf's. Atom sniffed Sassy and found that she also smelled like a wolf.
A moan followed by a deep breath, came from Sassy and her eyes slowly opened. "What
why do I feel funny?" She asked and tried to stand.
A paw from Atom stopped Sassy from standing and he said, "Let me explain
please don't be mad at me."
Twenty minutes later, after a long discussion, Atom and Sassy laid curled up together. Sassy was calm about her transformation because it was the only way to save her. Another, but secret, reason she didn't mind it, was that Sassy was thrilled that she was the special person Atom mentioned.
She licked his lower jaw affectionately. "Atom," Sassy said gently.
"Yes Sassy," Came Atom's reply and he looked into her eyes.
"I don't know any other way to say this but
I love you." Sassy smiled at him and he leaned into her and they kissed.
The action was totally unexpected but greatly welcomed. Sassy wasn't sure how long it lasted but it blocked out the outside world. When they broke free from one another, Atom smiled, "You are mine
and I will love you always."