It rang through the mountain forest, carrying through like the roar of a lion. It was human and inhuman, the hoarse chortle of a monster and the howl of a wolf. The haughty laughter of the mocking, the sobbing laughter of the broken man, the joy of a mother and the ecstacy of the maniac.
The wolf knew none of this, of course. All he knew was that the pack had found prey.
He led that pack of five now through the woods, moving towards the sound of laughter. Trees brushed against his fur like the fingers of the desperate and the claws of the mad, jerking against him like a warning. He paid the branches and brush no mind. The smell of meat was close indeed.
The creature seemed small, and the wolf knew full well it wouldn’t feed his pack for long. However, they had gone three days without food and as such couldn’t afford to be picky. The wolf’s sensitive nose told him he was close, so he slowed and began to creep through the brush. It scratched at his skin and once or twice snagged his fur, as if attempting to stop his progression. Again, the wolf ignored the pleas of the brush and crept until it could see it’s prey.
The creature laid in the center of many destroyed trees, in the center of a small crater that merely looking at caused the wolf’s fur to stand on end. It had two arms and two legs, but smelled strongly of wolf. It was covered in blood, had hair that was the color of red flame, and was rolling on it’s back. The noise, the far-carrying noise was coming from it’s mouth.
The wolf felt something emanating from this creature, pressing in on the instincts of his mind. He could feel his heart begging him to flee, but he couldn’t afford to ignore this. If the creature was covered in blood and making noise, it might be injured. He snarled a command to his pack, and they circled down into the clearing around the crater.
The creature continued to laugh.
The wolf could feel the pack’s unease. They saw it too – whatever this thing was, it was dangerous. Attacking it would be foolhardy.
The Alpha snarled his command. The pack would eat tonight, he would make sure of it.
The wolves charged at the creature.
Volk stopped laughing and leaped to his feet, rivulets of blood pouring down his chest. The first wolf – an auburn female – came from his right.
“I will only attack one at a time, with one arm at a time.” He said calmly to himself as the wolf approached. “I will stay completely still.”
He slammed his right fist into the wolf’s head, and the creature’s skull caved in. It was dead before it hit the ground.
He licked the blood off of his fingers as the wolves continued to circle. “No, no, no… still too easy.” He laughed again, this time with the dark mirth of the completely assured.
The next wolf, clever little thing came from behind and even managed to grab Volk’s neck. Volk allowed it to bite for a while, drawing blood, before grabbing it by it’s head, ripping the head off.
“Letting them get the first blow is no fun either.” He pouted as he used the wolf’s head as a projectile. The head’s fangs cracked the other wolf’s skull open, and the third wolf died as well. “Animals are… too weak.” He sighed and turned to leave. He had already deemed the wolf pack unimportant.
The fourth wolf – the Omega – and the Alpha of the pack snarled, thinking it’s apparent attempt to leave a sign of weakness. They charged simultaneously.
Volk was already out of the crater. He ripped up the remains of one of the trees and threw it like a javelin. It pierced the Omega, sending her falling into the crater. The Alpha caught Volk’s ankle and tried to break it, but the god of war was all like ‘Bitch please’ and ripped off it’s head like he had the last one.
“Not strong enough or smart enough.” Volk muttered. He tipped the wolf’s head back, drinking the blood. He smiled at the taste of the blood, then broke down laughing at how dumb it was to drink the blood of the wolf but leave the head. He decided to keep the head, for now. Perhaps he’d find a use for it.
He then moved to the Alpha’s body and looked at it hard. He memorized the head, body, shape of the wolf creature. The creature’s form made Volk giggle. He decided to keep it, too. Their form was pathetic and weak, and it made him laugh.
He remembered that his own blood had spilled during the fight and stuck his finger into the wound, still chortling. As he licked up the blood, he began to chuckle again. The pack creatures had been so stupid. They should’ve run the moment he killed their first without breaking a sweat. But they didn’t! And it tickled his insides, made him want to make his enjoyment manifest!
He shifted into the form of one of those creatures. “Oh, woe to us! We who weren’t smart enough to run! Why did we have to die, all we did was blindly charge into suicide!!”
He chuckled loud, hard and long, and it rang throughout the entire forest, until it built into a crescendo, into the essence of Volk.