Saturday, December 5, 2009


Chapter 3

Mercer sat before the pale moon rising. They had been walking all day. Although his leg was healed, Mercer still had a limp about him. The leg that he had broken would always be just the smallest bit shorter than his others. Urnasus was sleeping beside him. With a smile on his face, his body rose and deflated without a care in the world. Mercer looked at the white bear and his bright reflection cradling the moon's rays. An odd amount of glow was bouncing off the strange bear's fur, enough for Mercer to know it was simply not natural. Throughout the walk they had not talked much together. For some reason Mercer was enjoying the silence way too much to try and disturb it. And it was just now, in lunar company, with Urnasus fast asleep, did he break from his state of ecstasy and take a deeper look.

Mercer began to think about his marvel as a warrior, his instinctive skills, and bold charisma; all of the characteristic that stood out amongst the rest. This, he thought, was the true meaning behind the great white bear's arrival. Urnasus was a jolly beast. When he walked, his robust belly would shift his weight like a pendulum, with every step he took. His cheeks and eyes were more innocent than mysterious, but admittedly all the more interesting. So all Mercer could do was walk with the mind-racing beast. The young soldier had only been in a handful of battles and he was already being knighted by glory. Think about it, there had to be some crucial reason why Mercer was found by this divine lord of animals. Him above all else. As the sophomoric wolf thought more about his significance and fame his ankle began to tingle. It was hardly noticeable at first, but as his spirit grew with his ego, the pain became unbearable. His leg was throbbing right where it had been broken. Mercer was so weakened that he fell to his knees. He could no longer stand, and was quickly losing the ability to move.

All of a sudden, a bright white fire came sprouting out of his leg, floated over to Urnasus, and stirred him awake. The mighty bear growled awake and moved to his two feet, right before he opened his eyes, Urnasus gave out a fierce roar. The fire grilled the edges of the white bear's fur, and danced around like static nerves. It spewed onto Mercer and encapsulated him. In all of the young wolf's self-loathsome hate, the fire, born from his pain, churned itself into the Great White Bear's glory. Urnasus converted Mercer's attitude and ration. The wolf fell victim to a most empowering change of mind and heart. Immediately, he weighed in on his juvenile vanity. He was no great warrior, no prodigy, he was just a soldier. And now he could see that. He was beginning to look at everything with new eyes. His spirit, present through the mystical fire, soared into the sky. Morale on high. Mercer quickly realized that he need not be forced to live a feral life of war. There was more. There was more to all life. Mercer could feel it deep down, in the core of his heart. Perhaps he did not know what it was yet, but he still knew something more was waiting for him out there.

Mercer realized the Great White Bear's paw was resting on his shoulder. When he looked at Urnasus, he then knew this was all because of him. Mercer felt as though he had grown in his mind a hundred years. His becoming a soldier and proceeding battles were mere infanthood for him now. In the quick orbit of the white fire, Mercer gave up his quest to be a warrior. That aspiration was no longer at the bottom of his heart. Instead, there was yet another far more satisfying feeling of not knowing and excitement over what was to come. The sole idea of infinite potential rained down upon Mercer's thoughts. So many possibilities. He stood back up and the pain was gone. He nudged Urnasus in the belly with his head. He felt like the pain was gone forever but his limp remained. Urnasus plopped down and had a seat on the floor. Mercer ran around him like a fireside dance, chanting to the clouds and stars in the night. Uranasus, with a laugh, leaned back and knocked Mercer over with his paw. Mercer hit the ground and immediately bounced back up and jumped over Urnasus. They scruffled on the ground for a while. Well, Urnasus remained on his backside as Mercer scurried all around and over him. They did that until eventually Urnasus and Mercer fell asleep in a small pile.

The sun was soon rising and the wolf was full of refreshed joy. When the rays grabbed Mercer and brought him with them; as they rose, so did Mercer out of his sleep. He did not resist the sun's urges. Mercer got to his feet and gave a yawn, but instead of a mute stretch of the cheeks, he released a smooth howl. Urnasus rose to the morning wolf's beckoning. He stood up next to Mercer and said, "Are you ready to start your journey?"
Mercer replied, "I thought it already started." Urnasus grumbled and chuckled at the wolf's response.
"And so it it has..."
Mercer the Spanish Wolfe and Urnasus the Great White Bear walked on a trail only known by Urnasus and heavily anticipated by Mercer. Before last night, Mercer was thinking so often and so madly, 'Where am I going?' That he could barely keep himself from tripping over his own thoughts. Now, that question was gone, and there was more of a declaration. Like a sound-waves, ringing off the walls of his mind, his ode to whatever tomorrow brings was ever present.

Urnasus turns to Mercer, as if unaware of his controlling their walking path, and asks him, "Where to now, my pilgrim?" Mercer's first reaction was to say, 'pilgrim?' but instead he replied, "My family. Before we do anything else, they must know of my new life." This answer worked on two levels: The first level was his true understanding briefly revealing itself, realizing the next step of his journey, and acting on it confidently. The second level was avoidance of having to predict what this pilgrim title bestowed and his pilgrimage may behold. Remnants of his old self still lingering around. His instincts would be always true, and to deny his past entirely would be to deny who he was at heart. And 'who he was' apparently seemed to be somewhat important. To him, he was simply a warrior of the Wolfe Pack, recipient of his birth right. And now thoughts of what he would tell his parents and his siblings when he returned to the Basque Country swarmed his thoughts. Little did he know, he would never stop being a warrior.

Together they walked over the woodland hills of Spain. Soon they will cross over to a place ruled and inhabited by wolves. In the Land of the Wolves there were only two kinds of life for the males: warriors and farmers; hunters and gatherers. What is a pilgrim? And where does it fit along with warriors and farmers? Mercer hoped that his new friend would be able to shine the same gentle and divine nature that first got him, to all his kin. In the Wolve's Den, other species are not commonly welcome. For soon their journey would truly be tested, and he would know whether or not he was just desperately trying to live in a dream.

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