Strength is what we gain from the madness we survived.



The dark room turned bright when the light suddenly came on.

"Wake up!"

Someone shook the little girl's shoulder rather impatiently until she showed a sign that she had woken up from her deep slumber.

She rubbed her sleepy eyes with her stubby fingers before opening them. In the dark, her hazel colored eyes stared at her father, questioningly. Why did he wake her up when it was still dark outside?

"It's still night time," she said peevishly and was ready to hit the pillow again, but her father pulled her hand instead. "Why?"

Her protest was drowned in the commotion coming from the outside. The sound of howlings and screamings pierced through the serene night. People cursed so loud while begging for their lives.

"Dad, what is happening?" she opened her eyes wide when she noticed that fire had engulfed this house. They were surrounded by fire.

The little girl saw how the flames danced on the walls as the heat suffocated her, while dark smoke disrupted their vision.

"Dad!" The little girl was now screaming at her father since he didn't answer her. He was busy dragging her across their living room and kitchen.

Her small feet couldn't catch up with his, thus her father picked her up without slowing down at all.

Fear coursed through her veins and her heart began beating so fast when her father didn't answer her question. Her mind wired to the worst thing that could possibly happen to her pack. Her lovely small pack…

The little girl closed her eyes tightly and hugged her father's neck as he rammed his back against the burning door, covered with flames, before they stepped outside of the house and the cold night wind hit her face, along with the screams and howls. The sound became very clear now.

The little girl whimpered when she glanced at her scalding hand, she blew on her hand, so the pain could subside a little, though she knew that she would heal soon, since she was a shifter, but still, it hurt.

Her father didn't want to waste even a second and put her down when he slammed his back against the door. He didn't stop when he dodged his attacker and turned blind eyes to the dying people around him, as he did his best to avoid them. He needed to save his daughter.

"Close your eyes, little one," her father whispered to her when the gruesome scene entered her vision under the bright moon light.

The little girl obediently closed her eyes, while licking her hand. She hoped it could heal sooner.

Gradually, the screams and the heat subsided until it became a faded background sound behind them. Even so, her father didn't slow down his pace. The ground beneath him thumped loudly against his barefoot.

And only when silence engulfed them and he was pretty sure that he had created a great distance between him and the slaughtering back at home, did he slow down his pace. He briskly walked through the trees.

"Can I open my eyes now?" she asked. She could feel her father's heart beating so fast and his breath was labored.

"Yes, little one, yes," he said breathlessly.

The little girl blinked a couple of times before she took in her surroundings. Apparently, they were in the woods near the basketball field, which meant they would be in human residences within a few minutes of walking.

"Daddy, my hand hurts," she whined and showed her almost healed backhand.

Her father kissed her small hand and her cheek, but he said nothing, as he kept staring behind his shoulder and picked up his pace again.

The little girl looked around her and whispered to her father. "Were the green people chasing after us, daddy?"

Her father nodded vigorously, "yes, yes."

She furrowed her brows. "It means we can't go back to our house again, daddy?"

"We will go to your uncle's pack, honey." He stopped walking all of a sudden. His muscles tensed up when he caught a strange sound around him.

The horror was palpable in those hazel eyes, the same eyes as hers, and his fear permeated through his skin, cloaking the little girl with dread.

"Daddy?" she tightened her small arms around her father's neck, her hazel eyes looked around her worriedly.

"Honey, shift to your wolf," he said, as he bent down his body and put her down on the ground, yet her arms snaked around his neck, as she stubbornly clung onto him. "Be a good girl and listen to daddy."

He tried to pry her arms from his neck, trying to not hurt her as much as possible. He knew that she was terrified, but he didn't have time to coax her.

"Shift to your wolf," he said sternly. The urgency in his voice made the little girl panic. "Listen to me baby girl,'' he said, cupping her small face between his palms. "Go to your uncle's pack." Desperation was thick in his voice as he had to send his daughter away no matter what.

"But, uncle's pack is very far," she sobbed, tears welling in her eyes. She didn't like it, because she knew what would happen later. She knew that she wouldn't see her father again, just like she knew that their lovely pack no longer existed. She wouldn't be able to see her friends either.

She knew that once the green people came, they would destroy everything dear to her. She slept experiencing the same nightmare time and again that became a lullaby.

"You have been there a couple of times, you know the way," he said, demanding his little girl to be brave and mature enough to take care of herself. "You have to reach the pack. Don't look back, just run. Promise me you will run."

She looked at her father, tears fell on her rosy cheeks and then to her hand that had healed.

"You are a big girl now." He looked around and realized that they were close.

"I am only six, daddy," she reminded him.

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