I gaze down and | see paws that startle me at first. Gasping at the closeness and realize they are mine, where my hands should be, flat on the ground. Large, clawed but strong paws, larger than I thought they would be. I lit one and shake it, almost as if I need to convince myself that l can use and control this limb, it's truly connected to my body. My legs are solid, with thick silver-grey fur and all the way up my muscular chest, I have a streak of purest snow white that travels as far as | can see. | stare at it, lean back and pull my chin in tight to follow it until I cant strain any further to see.

 

I have very little memory of my mother in her true form, but I know this is from her. She was a white and my father a sSilver yet it's rare to combine both in such a way. Most wolves are brown or grey ... white is a mutation that's almost unheard of and my mother used to try and hide herself because it brought only stares.

 

I shake my head, the unfamiliar weight of a different form pulling me from side to side, not fully in control of my limbs or movements just yet but aware it's so much bigger than my human skull. Staggering on strange legs and fall down flat,

splaying out and bumping my undercarriage as l collide with stone. Aware suddenly to the scene around me, coming back into focus and realizing we are still being watched. Sobering fast as my new metabolism pushes the last of the drugs out of my system and cleanses my blood.

 

The atmosphere is charged, and l'm surrounded by newly changed wolves of all shades of grey and brown, although l'm the only one with white in my coat. Turning as the Shamans chants draw my eyes back to him and trip over my own uncoordinated self as I try to right myself and get up. lts hard to use my hands as front legs and I instinctively rear backwards too far onto my haunches, losing my balance and reeling forward again to correct it, before tumbling face forward to the ground once more and meeting the dust with a lower jaw clunk.

 

“l gets easier. Try to stay on your feet. All four of them.” The voice above me pulls my head to tiÌt towards it and l recoil as | realise Colton Santo is standing right by me, watching as l make a spectacle of myself, in falling flat out on new legs. I don't know if I'm shocked that he spoke to me, or wary that he did.

 

I've never trusted anything about him, or any of his motives, and wonder when he got over here, so close. Avoiding looking directly at him, keeping me eyes averted from his and attempt to get to grips with this weird body and focus on learning to use it. All I can do ¡is whimper back, realizing I have no ability to form words this way and go into my own head link instinctively.

 

Wolves in the same pack have a connection mentally, so they can communicate without talking, which admittedly ¡is impossible as a wolf. We don't' have the vocal cords for human talking. It's also possible when close enough to talk to one not from your own pack. lf they are willing to hear you.

 

It Feels strange. l attempt to link with him, weirded out by this new, almost natural ability | didn't have before. Overwhelmed by all of this and not sure if I am still heavily drugged when in this form, or if this surreal new way to experience everything is wolf sense. Things affect us differently as humans, and this disorientation might just be something I have to adjust to.

 

Yeah well, walk it off. Learn fast. He links me back, a husky familiarity to his voice inside my head that does strange things to my stomach. lIts hardly a polite response and the tone tells me he doesn't really want to have any sort of communication with me, especially not in a head link.

 

i'm not one of his pack and i'm not even on the same level as him. It's disrespectful to try. As if to further demonstrate the point, he walks off towards his father and I flop down to get to grips with everything that I just got hit with. lm heavy, not sure how to navigate my dog body when I've spent my life walking on two legs. I must weigh four times my usual weight for sure, although the size of my paws, suggest maybe even more.

 

“The turning will not last ... only moments fleeting for your first time. When you come out, you will be awoken, and your path will lead you to your destiny. Pay attention, be alert. You are now on the other side.” The Shaman states it loudly and it echoes around the mountain like a sort of prophetic song. One l have heard so many times but yet this time, it finally means something to me.