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Copyright © 2018 by Jade DragonSong
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The rain poured down around Arthur. The terrible, driving, pouring rain. He'd just gone on a little jaunt for his Alpha Father to get some herbs. He was only supposed to be gone a little while.
Not three whole days!
For three days straight the rains came down. At first, he was ecstatic! He loved the rain. Flowers smelled better, the scent of the pine and conifer grew more fragrant and the earth. Oh boy, the smell of freshly-wet earth filled his nostrils, taking him back to a time where he was as carefree as a butterfly.
But after a couple hours, he knew he was going to have to take shelter. He looked; he searched. But nothing. After six hours, he was completely drenched and he knew he had to find something or he was going to catch his death.
Bedraggled, chilled to the bone and more tired than he'd ever been, he stumbled upon what promised to be his life-line.
He'd wiped the sweat from his brow and surged ahead, unmindful of the stinging slaps of driving water pelting his skin. His muscles ached, near to the point of cramping and when he felt his forehead, it felt a bit hot.
Maybe, just maybe, if he could make it to the cave before nightfall, he'd have a chance.
By the time he'd reached the cave, it was pitch black. He couldn't even start a fire as there was no dry wood.
That's where his nightmare began.
Searching around in the darkness for dry timber in a cave wasn't exactly his defining moment as a human. No one told him that he could get lost in a cave. But...here he was.
Cold, naked, hungry and...definitely lost.
Arthur lay back against a musty rock, hopelessly lost and utterly defeated. He was going to die in this cave, he just knew it.
Off in the distance, he heard the faint drip, drip, dripping sound of a stalagmite. Even though he was sure it was light outside, he could see nothing.
Arthur had no idea how long he'd been holed up inside this infernal, musty cave, but it had to have been for the better part of a day. Maybe two. Who knew keeping track of time was so difficult in the dark?
Sleep. Sleep was difficult. Arthur thought of his Alpha Father as he drifted in and out of consciousness. He was a good man. A great provider. A tear slid down his face as he thought of the real possibility that he'd never see him again.
He tried to sleep, but the constant dripping kept him awake. Slowly, he felt his grip on reality loosen and soon he was seeing things. Ghosts. Spiders. Demons. Rats. Was that one gnawing on his shoe? He kicked it weakly and heard a sickening thud in the darkness.
Before nightfall of day two, he'd slipped unconscious from dehydration and madness.
"All right! Who wants another crack at the master?" Jordan, a tall, lanky were-wolf, called out at the pub.