Promtpt - Reincarnation
Snow was said to have been a gift from the goddesses.
Pearly white and as cold as ice. Fluffy and soft. Gentle in the breeze and lighter than air.
Heavy as stone, sharper than the most piercing of swords.
Snow was said to have been a gift from the goddesses, but it was never said whom this gift was meant for. Was it for the trees which lost their leaves ever snow season? Was it for the animals forced to sleep many a night and day to ward off hunger?
Was it for humans?
The answer, like so many gifts bestowed by the goddesses, is that snow is and was a gift granted to the land itself. A moment of rest from the fretless struggles of plants and animals and humans alike. But snow was not without its merit.
While the snow is cold, it can keep in the heat. The perfect home for wild rabbits, now with their white coats, as well as wolves, sleek and grey. It is a balm for humans, the perfect numbing agent for bumps and bruises and scrapes and scratches.
But above all else, snow and the season it brings along with it, is the season of rejuvenation and rebirth.
This tale my friends, is different than all others. Because it is true. It is about a young girl named Weiss, who cared so deeply. It is about a wolf who yearned so strongly to be what it could not be become.
It is about the breaking of the rules of this very world on which we live, in an effort to gain what we cherish most of all.
It all began, like so many other stories do…
Once upon a time, in the small village of Atalasia, there lived a young girl, the second daughter of a respected merchant by the name of Weiss. Weiss was a boisterous young fellow, much like her elder sister, caught up in her own personal wiles with big plans for the future. A future she'd be certain at seeing to herself.
For you see, the village of Atalasia was plagued by the winter wolves. That is, wolves that appeared only in the months of the great snowfalls, which these clever people had given the name: Winter. It wasn't particularly out of the goodness in their hearts per se. As Weiss's elder sister, a famed knight whom had moved away and to the grand castle in Atlas only returned on her birthday. A day which coincided near perfectly with the first snowfalls. Thus, the season was named.
But that is a story for another day.
Weiss wished to become as well known as her knight of a sister. But without the markings of strength bestowed upon her by the village elders, like her dear sister, she had no hope of being named a knight. Instead, she was given the markings of spirit. And so, true to her markings, she would muster up that fighting spirit inside her and fend her village from these winter wolves.
At the ripe old age of eight, mind you.
Her father was a merchant, and thus possessed many a sword. But with her age, the longest and heaviest she could carry, was a small dagger made of cheap iron, with a weathered old grip of wood, wrapped in broken leather. The ends of leather were frayed and easy to rip, but it was a perfect size for Weiss and so Weiss took it with her.
Wrapped in fur coats and heavy boots, Weiss set off in search of wolves. You see, if she could find their den before they could arrive at her's, the day would be victorious.
She travelled an entire day, only realizing as the sun was setting, that it would have been better to tell her merchant of a father where she was wandering. The cold winds of night picked up and Weiss grew as scared as she was suddenly tired.
As is known, the spirits of the snow bring with them their sisters, the spirit of lethargy and the trickster spirit of calm.
At the other end of the forest, a young wolf pup strayed too far from her den. And with the snows blanketing the ground in white, she was unable to find her home. And so she wandered through the frozen rivers and around trees this with the weight of snow.
Covered in thick wolven fur, this young wolf feared little about the cold, even the icy frosts of night. This wolf, being a pup, was also not as intelligent as she thought. You see, without the warm embrace of their dens, or the cloaks of their mothers' furs, young wolf pups may die of frost just the same as young humans. What this pup did fear was the little cries and hiccups she faced. A young girl and a young pup looked at each other.
Scared to be alone, yet scared to be near one another. They almost turned to part.
If not for the fact that both Weiss and the wolf were hungry. It took time. And patience. And not a little force of will for these two to come together, but they did. And surely they would have died that night if they were alone. But the wolf's keen nose found cattail and rose hips buried deep. A dagger planned to face off against the wolves was instead used to dig for food to save them both.
And wrapped in a hole made of snow, these two slept together, the warmth of their bodies keeping each other safe and calm.
Much changed over the course of that night and day. Weiss grew to care for this wolf pup.
The wolf pup grew to care for Weiss.
The next day, they travelled together, helping one another in ways neither could imagine. The withered old wood of the dagger became a stick for the two to play and bond.
The pups soft fur became a comfort for Weiss to hold when she grew scared of the forest's endless quiet.
Weiss cared for this pup more.
But the wolf. Well, the wolf grew to love Weiss.
And it was then, on that third night, that everything changed. And their lives would never be the same.
In search of a place to rest, they discovered a cave. A cave already occupied by a fearsome bear. Weiss screamed in fright as the bear's growl shook the world itself. She ran as fast as her little legs could take her, but it would be no match for a bear as large as she.
It must be said my friends, that this bear is not the villain of this story. You see, it was but a mother bear doing what mother bears do. If Weiss had stepped but ten more paces, she would have fallen over the bear's children, her cubs. And a mother bear, just like any mother, fearful for her own children, would do anything to assure their safety. Even if it meant scaring and hurting a young girl such as Weiss.
But Weiss was not alone.
The wolf did what she could to protect the girl she had grown to love. But a bear's claw is still a bears claw, and a wolf pup is still a wolf pup.
But the bear turned away and Weiss was safe.
She cried over the wolf pup's dying body, not realizing she was praying to the goddesses themselves. Praying and wishing that this young wolf would survive in any form, even if it was not alongside her.
Weiss cared for this wolf with all her whole heart. But the wolf, the wolf loved this girl with her whole spirit.
And it is said that the goddesses themselves answered Weiss that day. But Weiss would not know for many a year that her wish had been granted.
Weiss grew up into a beautiful young woman, the likes of which the village of Atalasia had not seen for many a generation. Hair as white as snow, as soft as silk and flowing gracefully down her back. Eyes as blue as ice and piercing like the blizzard winds. A graceful stride and a gentle soul. Very much the perfect daughter in all truth.
As is true of any a daughter, both perfect and otherwise, they are not without their suitors. And Weiss had many. Men and women from across Atalasia and even as far as the castle of Atlas itself, they flocked to court Weiss. But few were even granted so much as conversation.
Weiss was picky, you see. She remembered her wolf pup all those years and yearned for someone as compassionate as that young pup who had saved her life. Someone as playful as that pup who had entertained her days. Someone as trusting as that pup, who slept in her arms when they were both as fearful of each other as they were of the elements themselves.
She thought she would never find such a person.
That is, until she met one Ruby of the Roses. A wanderer from a far off land, wrapped in a fur cloak with eyes of piercing silver. Her laugh was… boisterous. And golden. And soft and warm and chilling and exciting, all wrapped into one.
I could never hear enough of her laugh…
But Weiss at first was weary of such a person. To travel so far, for many months, just to have a chance at meeting Weiss? It was foolish and foolhardy. What gave this woman the right to meet with her than the lords and ladies whom she had turned away at the door? Distance? Pah, that was meaningless to Weiss.
But Ruby promised that she would wait just outside the village until such a time that Weiss wished to meet with her. For a conversation if anything else. Weiss disagreed, saying Ruby should not waste her time by waiting.
Ruby still waited.
So many lords and ladies and villagers and knights that she had told to wait for her, all left after not too long. Yet Ruby stayed. Protected from the elements only with her cloak and a small fire she prepared each night.
Weiss first thought it must have been the distance. If Ruby was from far enough away, this wait must seem like no time at all compared to the length of her journey.
And so Weiss met with Ruby for the first time. At first, just to find out how long Ruby had travelled for. But Ruby's kindness and way with words did something to Weiss's heart and so she stayed to talk, not realizing they discussed business and politics and nature and history and all manner of Weiss's favourite topics all through the night and into the next morning.
Weiss, as furious with herself for conversing for so long with this stranger, as she was with Ruby for keeping her up all night, left and did not see Ruby again for many a week. Long enough that even the furthest travelled would want to leave.
Yet Ruby stayed.
And so they discussed again.
It was that second night of talking that Weiss heard Ruby's laughter for the first time. And her heart beat fiercely in her chest and it was taken by this woman.
They talked for a third night, then a fourth. On that fifth night, Weiss fell asleep in Ruby's arms. And Weiss woke up, curled around Ruby. In much the same way that she had curled around that wolf pup so many years ago.
The two spent the day together. Ruby found a fallen tree branch and whittled it into a stick. A strange occurrence which brought back an even stranger memory of her own stick which she had used to play with that wolf pup.
Never before had someone reminded her so strongly of that wolf pup from so long ago.
At first, Weiss thought it had to be just happenstance. She thought of that wolf pup often enough.
But then, it seemed like Weiss could only think of that pup when Ruby was around.
Maybe it was the wolf pup's spirit offering its blessing to Weiss and Ruby, that they were indeed the perfect match.
And it was true, they were a perfect match.
And so Weiss declared her love for this Ruby of the Roses and Ruby of the Roses declared her love for Weiss. They were married in a joyful celebration on the anniversary of Weiss's journey to vanquish the winter wolves.
Ah, I forgot to say. Me and my old age, as it were. Weiss learned much from that time with her wolf pup. And as such, she learned that wolves did not wish to harm humans, but were themselves hungry for food. Wishing only to share in the harvests of humans. And so, Weiss ensured food was left for the winter wolves each season and there was nary an attack on their village again.
But Ruby and Weiss married and they were in love for many a year. Weiss loved Ruby and cared for her, happy that her wolf pup spirit had chosen this woman for her.
One day, Weiss woke up in their shared bed, to see Ruby smiling sadly at her, tears filling her eyes.
It was then that Ruby of the Roses shared her story.
You see my friends, Ruby was a human, born without a human's spirit. Instead, she was that with the spirit of a wolf. A small little wolf which died in the arms of a young girl whom she had fought for and defended with her life. Her very being. That little wolf pup loved that young girl so much, that the goddesses heard the pup's whimpering pleas, and was reborn into the body of a young girl.
Ruby travelled for months to find Weiss. And she had found her. And she was happy.
At first, Weiss was confused. How could a wolf spirit inhabit the body of a human? How could a human be born without a human spirit? It is just not possible, and not done. She was saddened at first. Sad and shocked that Ruby was the very wolf she cared for all those years ago.
Then Weiss grew angry. Angry that she was not told long ago.
But then once more, she became saddened. Weiss, as intelligent as she was beautiful, understood why Ruby was telling her this story.
A wolf spirit cannot inhabit a human body. Not for long. They two are incompatible. Ruby would be gone soon.
Weiss and Ruby hugged for hours. And even as Ruby's body grew weak, fending off the strength of the wolf spirit inside her, the two showered one another in love and happiness not seen anywhere else in the world.
But too soon, it was time for Ruby's spirit to depart from its human confines. One day, Ruby stood up, kissed Weiss a sweet goodbye and left, returning back to the forest of her youth.
And I… Weiss swore. Swore that she saw Ruby's fur cloak wrap itself around her body, transforming that woman she loved most dearly back into a wolf as she was meant to be.
You see my friends, this story may not seem like it has a happy ending. Weiss was separated from her wolf as well as the love of her life. But, some things may be bittersweet.
The very much elderly Weiss looked down at you all, her friends, sitting patiently on the floor of her humble wooden house, laying in fur blankets, sipping on hot cocoa and cider, while a fire crackled calmly in its place. Weiss's bones were old, and her face was wrinkled. Her once long and graceful hair was withered and grey, yet still held a sheen that shone with wisdom and grace.
Next to her, resting gently, was an elderly wolf.
Weiss smiled at you all. There was nothing left to be said.
Weiss had told her story with its ending both happy and sad and bittersweet.
She placed a hand on the soft fur of her aging wolf.
And then wished you all, a pleasant night.