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The Wolf Wars Saga

From the author of Choose Me or Lose Me.

After the Wolf Wars, the werewolves and humans agreed to an uneasy truce and divided the world among themselves. Werewolves took the forests and plains, and humans took the cities and towns. Humanity was further segregated into Workers and Elites. Now, food is scarce and the Workers are starving, which is how twelve-year-old Worker Ellie winds up hungry and stranded in werewolf territory. Are werewolves really the fearsome beasts she’s been warned about, or have the Elites been hiding the truth?

Age Rating: 18+ (Content Warning: Rape and violence)

 

The Wolf Wars Saga by Michelle Torlot is now available to read on the Galatea app! Read the first two chapters below, or download Galatea for the full experience.

 


 

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1

Summary

From the author of Choose Me or Lose Me.

After the Wolf Wars, the werewolves and humans agreed to an uneasy truce and divided the world among themselves. Werewolves took the forests and plains, and humans took the cities and towns. Humanity was further segregated into Workers and Elites. Now, food is scarce and the Workers are starving, which is how twelve-year-old Worker Ellie winds up hungry and stranded in werewolf territory. Are werewolves really the fearsome beasts she’s been warned about, or have the Elites been hiding the truth?

Age Rating: 18+ (Content Warning: Rape and violence)

Original Author: Michelle Torlot

Book One: Beyond The Border
Ellie

I sat on the overturned tree trunk, staring into the distance. The sun was low in the sky, not quite set, giving everything a beautiful glow.

“What the hell are you doing, Ell?”

I looked up to see my big brother, Jackson standing over me.

“You’re awfully close to the border…you know the rules,” he scolded.

I rolled my eyes and stared out towards the horizon.

“Don’t even think about it Ell. They’ll punish you for even thinking about it, and you’ll be on half rations for a month,” Jackson warned.

I rolled my eyes, “half of nothin’ is still nothin’.”

Jackson nudged my shoulder.

“Here, I know you’re hungry,” he smirked.

I looked at his hand. My mouth opened wide in shock. It was some sort of processed food. We never ate that, hell I’d never even seen anything like it before.

“Wh…What is it? Where did you get it?” I hissed, as I looked at the wrapper in his hand.

He broke it in half and handed me one half, eating the other half himself.

“It’s called Choc-o-late,” he sounded the word, “and if you don’t know, you can’t get into trouble.”

I quickly started to eat it, savouring the the sweet taste. It was so good!

I chuckled, “and you tell me off, just because I’m looking over the border.”

Jackson shook his head.

“That’s different, if the guards find you, they’ll shoot you on site.

“If they find you…” he pointed towards the horizon, “well, Christ knows what’ll happen to you…if the rumours are true,” he concluded.

I shook my head, and pursed my lips.

“They have more food than they know what to do with, and we…we have none. Their animals eat better than us.”

I forced back the tears that were threatening to fall. Thankful that Jackson didn’t see my distress.

Jackson chuckled, “they are animals Ell.”

I rolled my eyes as I chewed the last of the snack. My stomach still felt empty, but the chocolate bar had helped.

Jackson put his hand on my shoulder.

“C’mon lets get back before we’re missed. You need to get some sleep, get those silly ideas out of your head.”

I stood up and allowed my brother to shepherd me back to the work camp.

We would be up at dawn, dismantling what was left of the town nearest the border. Then the bulldozers would come in. After that we’d pick out the rocks before they tried to plough and plant it.

It wasn’t proper farmland. It was the remains of an old town, too close to the border to be inhabited. Besides, food was scarce.

If there was a chance that they could grow any food, it had to be taken.

It had been like this all my life, and most of my parents lives. After the war, the humans got the cities and towns. The werewolves got the forests and plains.

You only had to look over the border to see grazing cattle, orchards of fruit, fields full of crops.

Towns were all very well, but you couldn’t grow food there. The only spaces were the man made parks. They had already been used for growing food. There just wasn’t enough.

The only reason my brother and me survived when our parents died, was because of the work camps.

You worked twelve hours, you got one meal. If you could call it a meal. Vegetable stew which was more water than vegetables, and a bed.

If you got caught stealing food, it was an instant death sentence. Crossing the border was the same. If the werewolves didn’t kill you the guards would.

Life for humans was a living hell. It had to be worth the risk, to cross the border, steal some food and bring it back.

If we didn’t find a way to get more food, the human race would die of starvation.

We got a few suspicious looks from the guards as we headed back into camp. We just kept our heads down. Once we were back in the blockhouse where the beds were, we headed to our bunks.

Mostly families slept together. If you were on your own you got lumped with either the males or the females. Depending on your gender. I guess me and Jackson were lucky, we had each other.

I laid down on the bunk, and Jackson sat on the edge of the bed. He always did that, until I fell asleep.

“Do you think they know we’re virtually starving to death?” I whispered.

Jackson frowned, “Who?”

I hesitated, before I lowered my voice, “The werewolves.”

Jackson shook his head, and scowled.

“Just leave it, Ellie. You shouldn’t even be talking about ’em.”

I sighed and closed my eyes.

I knew Jackson only had my best interests at heart, but I was damned if I was going to starve to death, or die of some disease because my body wasn’t strong enough to fight it off.

Sleep eventually came, but it didn’t last long. The gnawing pains in my stomach due to lack of food, woke me.

Everyone else was still sleeping, except for Jackson, who to my surprise wasn’t in his bunk.

I thought of the choclolate bar we had shared earlier. Was he stealing food? How could he be so reckless. Then my thoughts turned to the border. If I was going to do this, it would have to be now.

Jackson would understand. There were less guards posted at night. I could slip across the border, and slip back. Find a hiding place for the food. Then me and Jackson could share it.

Desperate times called for desperate measures, and I was desperate. Everyone was. We were literally starving to death. I doubted everyone was, but we were the lowest in the human race.

The lower level manual workers. We were disposable.

I swung my legs over the bed, and quickly pulled my long dark hair into a ponytail. Then I grabbed a small backpack from under the bed, before creeping out of the blockhouse.

My clothes were dark, so I was able to hide in the shadows. I was thankful for my hair colour, as it blended in the dark. Only the moon lighting the way.

I had been planning this for a while. I knew exactly where the guards would be. They always took the same route, checking the perimeter and the border.

I watched as the guard walked to the other end of the camp and headed towards the border.

I stayed in the shadows until the border guard headed to his next checkpoint.

Luckily the border wasn’t fenced. It was just a row of painted boulders. Everyone knew not to cross the line. Tonight, however I was going to ignore the rules. Tonight I was going to find some food.

Getting over the border was easier than I had expected. The guards were probably not expecting anyone to try and cross.

After all most of the people in the blockhouse were kids, who’d had it drummed into them from an early age.

The rules, the punishments, but most of all that the werewolves were monsters who feasted on the flesh of babies.

All of us were orphans. Parents had been killed by the fever, or from starvation. Some had been killed by the guards, just for trying to steal some extra food for their children.

Ours had perished with the fever. This had been my life for four years. Worked until I almost dropped from exhaustion. Jackson was older than me, and stronger.

This was his last year here, then I would be alone. Jackson would be shipped off for guard training, unless he went AWOL. I wondered if his nightly disappearances had something to do with that.

He didn’t realise I knew he left at night, but I did. I just didn’t know where he went.

The ground on the other side of the borderline was similar to ours, hard clay that was had to dig into. I guessed it was mixed with concrete.

Once you were about one hundred yards in, the hard clay turned loamy, then you could see plants breaking through. Weeds mostly, but then it turned to lush grass.

I bent down and ran my fingers across it. I’d never felt grass before. I’d seen pictures when I was little, but not felt it, or smelt it. It had a scent all of its own.

I couldn’t help but smile to myself. My father always used to lecture us, when he was alive. ‘the grass is always greener on the other side’ he would say.

Meaning that we should be grateful for what we had. Truth was, the grass was non existent where we came from.

I headed further in to the werewolf territory. Keeping low, and as quiet as I could be.

Jackson didn’t realise, but I had seen these so called monsters. The last building we had cleared, I had found a book and a pair of binoculars.

I’d shoved the binoculars in my jacket, and was looking at the book. The guards didn’t find the binoculars, but I got beaten later that day for taking an unscheduled break.

It had only been five minutes, but rules were rules. If they’d found the binoculars it would have been much worse.

I’d used them a few days later, after work. The guards were at a different checkpoint, but it was still light.

That’s when I saw them. They were working in the fields. They didn’t look any different to us, except they were taller, more muscular.

Why were we supposed to hate them? Were they really any different to us?

It was then I decided I would cross. They had plenty of food, we had none. They didn’t look like monsters, at least not from a distance.

There was no sign of them now of course. Any sane individual, werewolf or human, would be in bed at this time of night.

I headed further into their territory, then I saw it in the distance. A building. It looked like a barn. It was quite close to a pen which contained animals.

I quickly looked around, there was no sign of anyone, so I headed towards the building.

I had been right in my assumption it was a barn. I slid open the door, allowing the moonlight to filter inside.

I almost let out a whoop. I had hit the jackpot. There were bags of fruit and vegetables. Also a box with what looked like stale bread. I grabbed an apple and bit into it.

I’d never eaten an apple before, but I’d seen a picture. The inside was brown and soft in places. It tasted good.

I grabbed handfuls and put them in my backpack, between finishing the apple that I had started. Then I grabbed some of the stale bread. It was hard, not soft like it should be, but it wasn’t mouldy.

I ate some. It wasn’t as nice as the apple, but beggars couldn’t be choosers.

The vegetables looked like carrots. Some were small, others misshapen. I bit into one. Nothing wrong with that. I put a few in my backpack which was now full to the brim.

Hitching it on my back I grabbed another apple and piece of bread, and headed for the door.

That’s when I heard it. A howl, followed by another.

I ran, my heart about to explode out of my chest, I headed back towards the border.

 

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2

Ellie

I ran hard, not daring to look behind me. Maybe the normal people turned into monsters at night. Maybe they lived among normal people. Hell I didn’t know.

I wondered if the controllers who taught us the rules even knew. If they did, they didn’t say. Just enough to frighten us. Talk about curiosity killing the cat. This was going to be my end.

As I got closer to the border, I froze. I could hear guards, and shouting. They must have heard the howls as well. If I went back now, I’d be dead. If I stayed here I would be dead.

The loud crack of a gunshot and a sharp pain in my arm made the decision for me. Clasping my hand to my arm, I ran away from the border. I could feel liquid running down my arm.

Thankful that the only monsters I could see were the gun wielding maniacs. I did the only thing I could think of, I headed back into werewolf territory. I just had to find somewhere to lay low.

I quickly scanned the horizon. Past the crop fields and the barn were some woods. I would hide in there until morning.

When I was far enough from the border to be out of range of the bullets, I checked my arm. It didn’t look to good. My hand had done little to stem the flow of blood.

I ripped off some of the material of the vest I was wearing, and wrapped it around my arm. I tied it as tight as I could, in an attempt to stop the flow of blood.

By the time I reached the edge of the treeline, I was beginning to feel light headed.

It was eerily quiet. The moon shone brightly through the tree canopy, giving the ground an eerie glow.

I sat down on the ground, and slipped off the backpack. Leaning against the tree, I closed my eyes for a moment.

My eyes snapped open when I heard the sound of a twig snapping.

A man stood in front of me. When I say a man, he was more like a giant.

He looked at the backpack, then he looked at me. His eyes narrowed.

“What are you doing here, human?”

I felt my heart begin to race, my mouth was suddenly dry.

“I…I…” I stuttered.

He took a step closer. As he did, I pushed myself further against the tree. Not that it helped, but there was no way I could run. My legs suddenly felt like jelly.

“You’re hurt,” he stated.

I looked down at my arm. The makeshift bandage was already soaked with blood.

This was it. I was either going to bleed to death, or the man or monster in front of me was going to kill me.

Was he the monster that they had warned us about? The way he had addressed me as human made me think he was a werewolf. Why didn’t he look that different from us? Granted he was huge.

Not just tall, but muscular.

He had light shaggy hair, which fell to around his shoulders, and a beard the same colour, that was neatly trimmed.

I watched in silence as he knelt down next to me. He took hold of my arm, gently but firmly and began to unwrap the makeshift bandage.

He frowned, then looked at me.

“You’re own people shot you!” he exclaimed.

I nodded. Tears pooled in my eyes with the realisation that I could never go back. Not unless I had a death wish. I close my eyes. I didn’t want to shed any tears.

I had to give the appearance of being strong, even if I wasn’t.

I clenched my jaw and took a deep breath.

When I opened them again, the man was removing his tee-shirt.

“This may hurt a little, pup,” he stated.

He ripped the tee-shirt, and began to bind my arm.

I tried to muffle a cry, which came out as a whimper when he tied off the makeshift bandage.

His eyes then landed on my backpack. I tried to make a grab for it, but he was too fast and snatched it away.

When he opened it, his face contorted in a grimace of disgust.

“Why are you stealing rotten food?” he demanded.

I frowned, “its better than what we have.”

He stared at me, and shook his head as he stood up, towering over me.

“Can you stand?” He asked.

I nodded, and pushed against the tree behind me. Once I was standing, I realised how wobbly I felt on my legs. Had I really lost that much blood?

He glanced at the backpack and tossed it away. Then he took a step towards me. Before I realised what he was doing, he had picked me up like a small child. Settling me on his hip.

“Hey!” I yelled.

I thought about thumping him, but then thought better of it.

“If I let you walk pup, we wont make it back until dawn, and that arm needs looking at,” he huffed.

I sighed. He wasn’t wrong, but where was he taking me, and more importantly, what would happen when I got there?

I rested my hand on his shoulder. Was it my imagination or did his skin feel hot?

He smirked.

“Our body temperature is naturally higher than yours. I don’t suppose your human leaders told you that, pup?”

I shook my head, “they didn’t tell us much, except that you were monsters.”

He glared at me. Shit, I shouldn’t have said that. He could probably snap me in two without even thinking, and I was the enemy, after all.

His look softened slightly.

“Don’t worry, we don’t hurt pups, its not in our nature. Maybe you should think about that when you think about who the monsters are,” he chided.

I lowered my eyes.

“Sorry,” I mumbled.

He had a point. I’d just been shot by my own kind, and saved by the enemy. Saved for now anyway.

He smiled, then he gently brushed a strand of hair from my face.

“What’s your name, pup?”

“E…Ellie,” I stuttered.

“Well little Ellie, you better hold tight, and close your eyes. I’m going to run and it might make you feel a bit sick if you keep your eyes open.

“The last thing I need is for you to vomit down my back.”

I put my hands on his shoulders, and I felt his hand on my back, holding me in place.

I did as he suggested and closed my eyes. Goodness knows what he would do if I threw up over him.

I’m not sure how fast he ran, but I could feel the wind rushing through my hair. It also felt like the breath had been taken out of my body.

He’d only been running about ten minutes when he came to a stop.

I heard him chuckle.

“You can open your eyes now, pup.”

I slowly opened my eyes. When I did, I gasped.

We were nowhere near where we had been before. I glanced around, there was no sign of the border. Instead a large house loomed in front of me.

It was massive. It had about three floors. There were other smaller buildings dotted around, but no people, or werewolves. Then I realised it was the middle of the night.

As I looked at his face, his eyes flashed black. His normal eye colour had been different. I gasped, and tensed. Was he now going to turn into some sort of monster?

Colour drained from my face, and my heart felt like it was about to explode from my chest.

Moments later his eyes returned to normal.

He must have realised what had happened, because he gently rubbed my back.

“It’s ok pup, don’t panic.”

I bit my bottom lip.

“Y…Your eyes…” I stuttered.

 

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