Wolf: A Hunting We’ll Go, II
‘You know what,’ you say after pondering this. ‘I think… you take the lead on this. I’m not the sort of person that gets a bruised ego if I’m not in control. And you’ve got way more experience than I do in this, since you’ve been doing this longer than me.’
Ali’s eyes glimmer as she nods. ‘Smart, smart. I’d be lying if I didn’t say I’ve got a bit of an ego for myself, so hearing that definitely makes me feel good inside.’
You snort. ‘Oh, well, I can always take it back.’
‘Nope!’ she cackles internally. ‘No take backs. Now come on, let’s hunt.’
She turns and starts to move, and you pick up to move after her - it isn’t hard for you and Ali to run at the same pace since you’ve got the same sized bodies this time around, although even as you start to run through the forest, darting among the trees and thick shrubs together, you notice she’s still faster.
Akam and Shira are flying overhead, chattering away while they do. You feel pleased that the genies are remaining by your sides - although, you get a strange sense that Shira would stay by Ali one way or the other.
You shrug it off, however, and focus on following alongside Ali.
‘How many forms have you taken so far?’ Ali asks.
‘Only two,’ you admit. ‘I was a falcon first, and then now a wolf.’
Ali chortles. ‘Only two, huh? Damn. You’ve really yet to live yet until you’ve experienced the bodies and abilities of… I mean, there’s a lot of different creatures to pick from, right?’
‘Yeah…’ you concede. ‘But, I’ve got rules set by Akam that I have to be mindful of, too. I can only change forms every two hours, so, unlike you, I’ve got a time limit holding me back.’
‘Oof,’ Ali says. ‘That stinks.’
You don’t mind it so much, you feel. Your life isn’t hectic to the point where it would be an issue for you, although you do have to admit to yourself that being able to transform on the fly without a time limit would be much, much easier.
You wonder if Akam would ever be open to altering the wish, if that’s even something he could do - then again, he’s been very kind to you as has, like giving you these random little abilities without you having to make your third wish. Actually, as you run alongside Ali through the trees, deeper into the thick rows of green and brown, you can’t help but be a little curious…
‘You never said if you’d gotten your second wish granted,’ you say.
Ali giggles. ‘I did, yes. And my third, too.’
You can’t help but gawk, to the point where you almost skid to a halt. Somehow, you manage to keep moving, although you do slow for a moment as you absorb the fact this woman has gotten all three of her wishes already.
‘Wait…’ you say. ‘I don’t understand. Akam said that when a genie grants all three of their wishes to their Master, that they usually…’
‘It’s a bit… complicated,’ Ali says.
The two of you move around several thick tree trunks, and Ali’s movement slows to more of a trot. You are appreciative of this, since you’re way too overcome with surprise to keep running right now.
‘It’s true, typically when a genie grants their final wish, they return to their lamp or vase or whatever they happen to call home,’ Ali says. She doesn’t look at you as she speaks, only keeping her focus forward. ‘But there are a few ways to work around this, although these are pretty uncommon from what Shira’s told me.’
‘Did you set her free?’ you ask.
Now you stop, and you can’t help it this time. Ali stops, and she turns to face you at last. You’re overwhelmed by your own curious feelings, is all - you found out from Akam that many genies didn’t like to be set free because it robbed them of their homes and a portion of their abilities. You didn’t get the sense he was lying, and as Ali eyes you, you feel that he was indeed being honest.
‘Sorry,’ Ali says. ‘It’s not some huge secret or anything. It’s just…’
“A bit of a taboo,” Shira finishes as she swoops down to float beside Ali. The gorgeous genie puts a hand on Ali’s head and smiles tenderly at her, before turning to smile at you. “Ali and I are lovers, my friend. That is tied to her final wish, the one that has allowed me to remain free in the open, but, also retain most of powers. I did lose my lamp, admittedly, yet I don’t mourn this fact.”
You’re amazed to hear that - you never thought that would be possible, since such a thing never crossed your mind. Yet before you can really start to sink your teeth into it - metaphorically speaking - your stomach groans again.
You snap out of it, temporarily, and now find yourself torn between wanting to ask more, and shelving it so you can hunt first… and then ask later, maybe.
Written by Hollowpages on 27 July 2020
Wolf: Wild Hearts