Word Count (1951)

In the valley on the planet of Fantasia, Filtiarn was sleeping peacefully when he felt little paws trot over his wing. ​Filtiarn opened his one eye and yawned. He lifted his head and looked around. He saw his two adopted kids, Cara and Faolan, playing with a ball. Filtiarn stood up and walked over to his children.

“Hi, daddy! Good to see you’re up,” Cara said. “Kiyiya is at the cave door wanting to come in.” ​Filtiarn walked to the cave door and pushed aside the vines.

“Hello, Filtiarn. Queen Ea needs to see you as soon as possible,” Kiyiya said.

“Alright, thanks Kiyiya,” Filtiarn said as he took off into the morning sky.

Just as ​Filtiarn landed in front of Cottonwood Castle, a lightning strike hit it. ​Filtiarn sighed.

“That Raijū,” he mumbled to himself stepping in the castle. Raijū was a coyote that was the brother of Queen Ea. The gods gave him the power of shooting lightning wherever he pleases. He had been a threat to Clan Lang ever since the clans split.

Filtiarn walked inside. Queen Ea liked to keep things simple so Cottonwood Castle was not made out of bamboo or up in the highest tree. It was in a cave and had vines for the door like everyone else’s. ​Filtiarn walked into the dining room. He saw Sterling at the end of the long wooden table with a scroll that had the Black Crow Clan’s seal. Filtiarn knew it couldn’t be good.

“You called for me, Sterling?” ​Filtiarn asked coming inside. Sterling looked up at ​Filtiarn. She was a daring princess and a great warrior. Her mother was Queen Ea, and her father was Blizzard, who was now on the Black Crow Clan’s side.

“Please, sit down,” Sterling said. ​Filtiarn did as he was told. “This morning I got a letter from Black Crow Clan.” Sterling handed him the scroll. It read: ‘Give us your clan’s pups by daybreak or we will attack Clan Lang! Choose wisely.’

“Of course, we all know that Cara and Faolan are very dear to you and we surely will not make Edon give up her only pup,” Sterling explained.

“Then we must gather all of Clan Lang and warn them of the danger that will be coming soon,” ​Filtiarn said.

“And what if not everyone comes?” Sterling asked.

“Then they are endangering all of Clan Lang,” ​Filtiarn said leaving.

“Everyone!” Sterling’s voice broke out later that evening, “I wish this meeting was for a good cause, but sadly it isn’t. We are here to gain our strength before Black Crow Clan brings a war to Clan Lang. They will attack tomorrow at daybreak so we must be ready to fight against the Black Crow Clan.” ​

All the best guards in Clan Lang were taking Cara, Faolan, and Chan, Edon’s pup,  to the Painted Fields where Jumbo lived. Jumbo was a Painted Cow who was a good friend to the pups and had gladly agreed to take care of them. ​Filtiarn saw Edon, Kiyiya, and Gunnolf in the corner of his eye talking. ​Filtiarn looked around. It was daybreak and in the distance, he could see Raijū in his stone throne being carried by Zev and Blizzard. Zev and Blizzard were once flying wolves, but when Blizzard turned to Black Crow Clan, Zev turned with him.

Filtiarn’s ear quickly turned to hear a howl in the distance.

“Incoming!” he yelled.

​Filtiarn bolted to get to his position. On his back, he kept his tooth-dagger from his first kill, even though it was completely useless due to the fact that he still was just a wolf. He reached his position just in time to see Raijū being set down on the ground. ​Filtiarn could see from there that Raijū had taken all of the clan’s pups. ​​Filtiarn strapped on his warrior necklace that everyone in Clan Lang wore for the belief that it would protect them in war and looked ahead. Raijū snapped his head sideways so his eyes could meet ​Filtiarn’s. Raijū called on lightning and shot it at ​Filtiarn. ​Filtiarn looked up. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw lightning coming right at him. He jumped back making him land into a thorn bush. ​Filtiarn felt the pain in his wing as he saw Raijū snickering. ​Filtiarn could only guess that Raijū thought he was dead. He struggled to get to his paws again. He found that his wing was tangled in the thorns; he was stuck.

Kiyiya made it to her post just in time to see Shasta being trapped by a cage. “No!” she thought. She briefly scanned the battlefield. She saw Sterling facing Blizzard, Sterling’s father. What Sterling didn’t know was that Zev was sneaking up behind her. “Look out!” Kiyiya yelled lunging toward Zev. Zev looked behind himself startled. Taking the moment of confusion, Sterling threw herself on top of Zev. Strangely Sterling didn’t hurt Zev. Kiyiya knew that Sterling could handle it so Kiyiya went to find someone else to fight. Turning around, her wing was faced with a lightning strike. She felt the pain in her wing and the coldness of the grass as she fell to the ground.

“Sir, I think you got one,” Kiyiya heard Blizzard say to Raijū. “She looks important.”

“Is she dead?” Kiyiya heard Raijū’s raspy voice ask. Kiyiya let out a long breath, like every other flying wolf, she had a gift; her gift was to be able to stop her heart from beating. She closed her eyes and her heart stopped.

​Filtiarn knew he wanted to go back to the battlefield, but he couldn’t move so he had to stay where he was. He looked over toward the battle zone to reassure himself that his friends were still alive. He saw Gunnolf, looking content; Edon, doing fine; Sterling, reckless as always; Kiyiya, lying on the ground. What? On the ground? He didn’t know she had the gift to “play dead,” so he thought she really was dead. He looked over in her direction, he saw that Raijū left her there also thinking she was dead. Filtiarn couldn’t stand to see one of his friends die, so he turned his head and looked at his other friends. What happened? ​Filtiarn saw Sterling chained up while hanging upside down, Gunnolf inside a cage pacing back and forth, and Edon trapped in a corner with Raijū’s warriors all around her. ​Filtiarn knew it would be best not to attack because of his wing and he would seemingly get caught. ​Filtiarn watched all of his friends leave with a heavy heart.

Kiyiya woke up and looked around at what was now an ash field. Then she heard a rustle in a thorn bush. Kiyiya got up and walked as quietly as she could towards the bush, thinking a spy was nearby. She could only see the outline of a flying wolf, but she knew who that tooth dagger belonged to.

“​Filtiarn, is that you?” Kiyiya asked getting closer to the bush. The figure looked up.

“Kiyiya?” it asked.

“​Filtiarn, it is you!” Kiyiya exclaimed. ​Filtiarn stood up trying not to grimace due to the pain in his throbbing wing.

“I thought Raijū killed you,” he said. Kiyiya smiled helping Filtran up.

“I have the power to make my heart stop,” Kiyiya explained nuzzling him.

“That would’ve been nice to know before the battle began,” ​Filtiarn said limping out of the thorn bush.

“How’s your wing? It looks like it got hit pretty hard,” Kiyiya commented letting ​Filtiarn lean on her shoulder.

“It hurts,” ​Filtiarn admitted as they walked towards his home to bandage their wings up.

“I got hit as well. I think it will be hard to get everyone back if we both can’t fly,” Kiyiya pointed out when they reached ​Filtiarn’s cave.

“Yes, but we still have to get them back. Who knows what they’ll do with everyone.” ​Filtiarn stated as he laid on his mat. Kiyiya started to bandage ​Filtiarn’s wing.

“I think we will need Gunnolf’s spike soon. It’ll be useful,” ​Filtiarn told Kiyiya getting up to help her with her wing.

“I think so as well, but Gunnolf loves his spike very much,” Kiyiya remembered as she laid down.

“That’s why he has another one,” Filtiarn smiled as he finished bandaging Kiyiya’s wing. “I think we should get it, Gunnolf would understand,”

“Okay, let’s go get it. His cave is not that far away,” Kiyiya said getting up and leaving his cave.

“We have to remember to be careful,” ​Filtiarn reminded her pushing aside the vine door to Gunnolf’s cave. “Raijū might have sent some spies here if he thought some wolves were still alive.”

“I know,” Kiyiya said slipping Gunnolf’s spike over ​Filtiarn’s head. “You look good in that,” she giggled as she turned to the door. “Come on, we better get started so we can get there before anything bad happens to them,” Kiyiya said running in the direction of Black Crow Clan’s base. “Besides, I know someone who will help us,” she called over her shoulder. ​Filtiarn turned on the light on Gunnolf’s spike and took off after her.

​After hours of walking, Filtiarn turned and looked toward Kiyiya.

“We are about there,” ​Filtiarn said.

“I heard that Zev is a spy for us and he knows we are coming,” Kiyiya said as she snuck into the Black Crow Clan’s campsite. Luckily for them, there was a meeting for everyone there, so everyone’s attention was on Raijū.

“Come on, I see Zev at the end of the room,” Kiyiya whispered as she trotted silently to him. ​Filtiarn turned off Gunnolf’s spike and walked behind her.

“We need you,” ​Filtiarn whispered as he walked up behind Zev.

“​Filtiarn! Kiyiya! I’m glad you made it here safely,” Zev said pulling them both into a corner. “I can get your clan out, but I don’t want to be seen. We need a distraction,” Zev said.

“I think a fight is a nice distraction,” ​Filtiarn said.

“Why don’t we run around the tent screaming?” Kiyiya joked. “Okay, just don’t hurt anyone, only surprise them. I’ll take care of Raijū.”

“Alright, are you ready?” ​Filtiarn asked as he got into a good position to attack.

“Ready!” Kiyiya exclaimed as she ran towards Raijū. Kiyiya leaped in front of Raijū while ​Filtiarn snarled chasing everyone out of the tent.

“What good would it have been to steal all of Clan Lang? Even if you kept the whole clan, what did you need them for?” Kiyiya demanded.

“I needed all of your people gone so I could work on a base that is moving around. I’d say that your clan needs to be careful. My spies are everywhere, and so am I,” Raijū said as he bulldozed past her and took off into the night.

“Zev, did you get everyone out?” Kiyiya called into the back room, regaining her balance. All she heard in response was silence. ​Filtiarn crept into the back room. Everyone was out. “Where’s Zev?” Kiyiya whispered to ​Filtiarn.

“I don’t know,” he said finding Cara and Faolan. He put them on his back and left with everyone else.

“Everyone’s here, your highness,” Gunnolf said to Queen Ea the next day.

“Good,” Queen Ea said and spoke louder so everyone could hear her. “I would like to thank ​Filtiarn and Kiyiya for not leaving Clan Lang behind and helping us get back to where we made a home. ​Both of you, ​Filtiarn and Kiyiya, are heroes in all of our eyes.” ​

Filtiarn knew a new war, a new day, and new adventure was always on its way, but when it did come he’d be ready.

Thanks Rachel (my older sister) for helping me edit!

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