Mike is an amateur writer working on building a hopefully compelling story. He lives in The Village of Lakemore, Summit Country, Ohio.
A note from Me, A name I call myself
The following story is set in the Stephen King Dark Tower Universe in the aftermath of book 5 Wolves of the Calla. While this is fan fiction based on someone else's IP, it doesn't contain any named characters from the original story. I started this as a primer for a longer story that would have included characters from Book 5 and Book 7, but as of right now, I have no plans on writing that story. I told someone online about my crappy fan fiction, and after doing that, I decided to post this to show just how bad it was. So, enjoy.
The children slowly surrounded the deer. The deer was the biggest buck in its territory at least 150lbs. The oldest of the cubs slowly walked up to the deer out of the deer’s sight. The cubs learned through the years how to step silent. The cub sprung. From a standstill, the cub jumped on the back of the deer, grabbing the antlers and twisting the head. Its forward momentum turned the head around as the cub came off the back in a sliding motion. As all this happened, the rest of the hunting pack moved. The youngest brandishing a curved knife with a bone handle. As the cub on top twisted the head, the deer fell. The cub with the blade quickly cut the deer deep from the crotch to sternum spilling its guts. The deer first jerked then fell dead with a satisfying crack of the neck. The children moved in and quickly dressed the deer. The pack would eat well that night.
Birth of the Pack
It was the night the wolves fell to the seven near Calla Bryn Sturgis. None of the children knew any of what was happening. In the last two nights, the wolves collected children from neighboring villages and Callas. The count was around forty. While the collection teams did their jobs, another group watched over their charges. To the wolves, these things are not children; they are cargo. Valuable cargo. On average, one citizen was killed in the acquisition of a charge. The final would be a one to one ratio of wolf to child or a total of seventy children ages from two to thirteen. Most are around the age of six. The oldest of the children had to be tied down to prevent them from fighting back. The rest huddled around each other for warmth and out of fear.
The night was coming to an end with no sign of the raiding parties. With a clunking sound, the wolves started to fall. A signal was sent out, telling the wolves to cease all actives, kill their charges, and return. Over the years, the signal bandwidth shortened with much of Thunderclap no longer in range. Only one wolf received the order; most received cease order and shut down. The one drew its weapon and started to shoot the tied-up children. After the third shot wolf, AL11279 shot the firing wolf off its horse with a shot to the communications array. Wolf AL11279 didn’t receive any instructions. This wolf was working on the original program. Protect the charges at all costs.
The oldest of the children were dead. The rest huddled together. The smell of urine was heavy in the air. The wolves were not programmed to account for long term care. Their base program was built to inspire fear. The fear the adults and children have for the wolves. Fear kept people inline. Fear kept the children from running.
Wolf AL11279 was receiving half communications throughout the morning hours. By 10 am, Wolf AL 11279 received a signal that reset its operating system changing its motivations from attack and collect to defend and protect. With that, Wolf AL 11279 detected the smell of the children as well as their crying.
Wolf AL 11279 instructed two of the wolves that remained operational to seek out food and clothing for the charges. The other wolves lost without the signal and desperate for orders followed Wolf AL 11279. Two hours later, they came back with a wagon. The wagon was filled with clothing of all sizes and food, a mix of random things from a cured ham to flour. The front of the wagon was coated in blood.
The wagon was left unpacked while the children were driven toward a small pond. The children were instructed to strip down and clean up. Some soap was found in the wagon, and after some actual protesting, the children did as they were told. The oldest of them helped the youngest bath then dress in the clothing from the wagon. The food was distributed to the children. One child was given a whole ham and another a bag of flour. The children split the food among each other, tossing the stuff they had no use for, such as the flour.
Four Years Later
Four years after the last culling, the wolves and their charges settled in the lands known as Thunderclap. They couldn’t send the children back with many of them orphans. It was also against their programming. In the preceding years, the wolves first just fed the children. The children came to call Wolf AL 11279 Wolf Mother or only Mother. Wolf Mother just called all the children cubs except for the oldest two. Using Roman mythology, it called them Romulus and Remus. The two founders of Rome who were raised by wolves.
Mother had no programing on love, understanding, and teaching, no programming differentiating between boys and girls or gender in general. It was not crucial to the Pimli Prentiss and the Breakers in Algul Siento. Searching its memory banks, Mother developed a way to train or maybe in doctorate the children into something that fits its programing. How to kill with speed and accuracy.
As a child reaches a level in its training, Mother bands the child with a homemade brand in the shape of a wolf paw. The placement of the brand was an indication of ferocity. A mark on the hand is for cubs who stay at the den the further up, the meaner. Six-year-old Abe was marked on his face. Separated from an older population and society, the younger children grew feral. The ones that remembered their own names still answered to them, but most chose new names. The machines dehumanized the children.
Wrong Time, Wrong Place
A still cold wind blew across the open lands known as Thunderclap. Abe scanned the horizon looking for prey. In the distance, there was a man with a dead deer in a one-wheeled cart. He was at the wrong time and the wrong place. Abe followed the man tracing his path to anticipate his direction.
An hour later, the man came upon a small child in his path. The child was maybe five or six. Dirty dressed in clothes just a little too big for him or her. With the long hair, the mismatched clothing, and the dirt, it was impossible to judge sex. The man saw the mark on the child’s face. The mark of the wolf pack. He let go of the cart and stepped around it and started to walk slowly away, never leaving eye contact with the child. As he stepped off, he slowly reached for his crossbow.
The rest of the pack struck. Two came up from behind with wood clubs hitting him in the head and the back of the knees. He fell to his back. Just as he landed on his back, a third struck his face with a club. The club bashed and broke his nose, shattered his jaw, and popped one of his eyes. Two grabbed his arms while another two using curved knives cut the tendons holding the arms in place. Abe sitting in the road walked up, pulled out a knife, climbed on to the man’s chest, and slits his throat. The wolves took the deer after beheading and skinning the man. His head was added to the collection of heads marking their territory. Warning the people to stay out. Abe cured the skin for something.
Size is Everything
The pack was down to twenty-nine children after four years with accidents, desertions, and failed hunts. Romulus, Remus, and mother decided they needed to add to the pack. It was time to take more children. People started to homestead on their side of the river. People with children.
Mother sent out Remus and a small group of cubs to scout out the homesteaders. The group was given an eye from one of the fallen wolves and instructed to point it at the people. The eye recorded what it was aimed at. After two weeks of watching the scouting party came back to report. The next day mother assembled the pack and laid out its orders.
With dawn came the morning chores for Abigale Sanders. Her life was nothing but chores. From morning to night, she worked. None of the children were at the age where they could help, and her husband worked in the fields all day. She spent half of her day cooking, mending, cleaning, and the rest tending to the children. Two sets of twins. Four years after the fall of the wolves, the women of the Grand Crescent were still having twins at almost every pregnancy. There was talk among the people that some women were starting to have singleton pregnancies. Maybe multiple births would slow down or end. But that’s the future. Today her world is built around the children ages six and four.
That morning Abigale was hanging up the laundry to dry. Mercifully Kevin and Karin were potty trained and the diapers in the past. Kevin still wets the bed, but not every night. Hanging the sheets, she could see a child walk among the rows of hung laundry. Then the stench. A mix of body odor, piss, and filth. Maybe potty training was not over yet. Then she saw him. Six maybe seven years old and looking like he rolled in a hog wallow. She remembered some stories about feral children with wolf blisters but who could be live such talk. This one had a mark on his face that looked like a paw print. The boy stared at her. He smiled.
His grin had a malicious intent behind it. Some shadows passed behind the hanging sheets. Abigale started to step back away from Abe. The sheets closed in on her. The children brought her down, tying her up in the sheets. Just for a second, she thought maybe just maybe she could live through this. Abe walked up and drew his knife, showing her the blade. She begged, not for her life but for her children and her husband. Abe pointed to one of the children, even a smaller one than him holding her husband’s head. That is when Abe went to work on her. It took her an hour to die. Abe was becoming adept at cutting around significant arteries. Making the suffering last longer. The cubs took the children and made their way to the den.
Ten years later, the pack had grown in numbers. Romulus and Remus were now adults twenty and nineteen. Most of the surviving wolves were long dead. Scrapped to keep Wolf Mother functional and training new cubs. The children grew up; they grew into puberty. Sex, both consensual and rape happen from time to time. The pack was built on the survival of the strong, so Mother turned a blind eye to such actions. Cubs were taught to take what they want even from each other. The first generation of cubs born into the pack suffered a nearly 80% mortality rate, with no-one understanding how to care for babies. The pack eventually found a way of giving birth to a generation born to kill.
The decision was made to split the pack into four parts with Romulus and Remus creating their own packs with Romulus going north and Remus south. The other two stayed with Mother. Mother would train new recruits, and Abe would create a hunting party to do what he does best. Every member of Abe’s smaller pack was given a leather armband made from human skin Abe collected over time. Most of Abe’s clothing was made from his trophies. Before they split apart, the pack made plans to meet at the start of reaping every year.