Featured Story

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The Wolf Prince of Insopia Grove

by Hayley Fisher

aged 17 from Canada

Complete eternal happiness is when your heart beats a little faster and boiling blood flows rapidly through your veins. The world gleams as if it obtained a blissful hue of ecstasy. Every stride along your path is taken with confidence and passion. The sweet, aromatic scent of mother’s freshly baked cookies forever lingers in the air with the comforting presence of high spirits prancing about. 

The sun shines brighter and a rainbow lines the sky. Your favourite joyous tunes are set on repeat. Every single one of your heart’s desires is fulfilled within an instant. No need for shooting stars, wishing wells, or magic spells. Everything you could possibly dream of is yours for the taking, including heaven’s bells. 

One may say this feeling is unachievable and irrational. Every individual is broken in some shape or form. However, light will always fill the cracks, as long as you take the time to notice and appreciate it. Living creatures are driven by one universal emotion that causes us to fight—greed.  Greed for power consumes a soul, devouring every last smile, laugh, or tender touch in sight. 


Light comes in the form of a certain individual; someone who will be worth living for. Someone who will chase away the horrors hiding in the dark, slay your demons from your torturous past, or possibly, slay the demon within you. When you look into their hopeful eyes, you know that death is no longer an option. You promise on your heart, body and soul, that you will never leave their post. They may be someone you’d sacrifice every last desire for because their presence and smile, will be what you long for the most. 

True pain is when you lose the one you loved the most, at the fault of your own bloody hands. The preposterous horror you feel when you see the wonder in their eyes fade. The echoing screams and thumps of their limp body hitting the floor, the blood puddle at your feet, in an array of splatter. Your heart abruptly stops just like your lover’s, but somehow you stay alive. You breathe in but you cannot exhale. Your blood runs cold and you wish you were dead. But tragic, doomed fate, awaits you instead.


One freezing, autumn night, the wind shrieked through the evergreen trees. The blood moon hovered up above, reeking havoc on the small village of Insopia Grove. Rain poured from the cloud’s fearful eyes; thunder crashed louder than the drums of war. 

Missy Bellville, the twelve-year-old princess and future Queen of Insopia Grove, sprinted through the forest. Her drenched, blond hair spilled out of her dark green cloak. It was a sad attempt to hide what the hungry predator craved. Missy’s face was damp and tears leaked from her crystal blue eyes. Her pale skin was flushed red, as she stopped to catch her breath.  She gasped when she heard the low rumble of a growl against her neck. 

“Missy Belville, come with me, or your kingdom will meet its dreadful demise.” 


The warm breath against her frostbitten flesh soothed Missy, but the solemn words caused her to shriek in gruesome horror. 


I heard her troubled cries from miles away and raced to her side. My brother, in wolf form, stood tall and mighty, teeth clenched together, forming a horrific snarl. As soon as he saw me, he pounced, his body slamming me to the ground. Missy stood in disbelief, watching two large, dark coated wolves rip through each other’s flesh and fur. 


 I softly mumbled under my breath, “Missy run!” But she remained still in shock. 


She always was a curious child, but if she wasn’t careful, that could lead to her death. Frustrated and concerned for the girl’s safety, I turned around to face her, and howled as loud as I possibly could, urging her to take off like a frightened fawn. Instead, the stubborn girl pulled out a sword her father had given her for protection and swung it at my brother, who had been preparing for another attack. 


My brother took a hard blow, as the blade sliced through his right eyebrow above his chocolate covered eyes, stunning him.  With a whimper, he hit the floor with a loud thump. 


Missy stood and watched as if she was waiting for something magical to happen. I howled once again to try to send her off screaming towards her castle. My forest green eyes met hers, begging her to run before the rest of my pack arrived, but it was too late. 


Dark coated wolves, slowly stalked towards us, surrounding her with their drool-covered snouts. Yellow beady eyes watched as her breath quickened, waiting for the right moment to strike. Her delightful scent of vanilla perfume and cherry lip gloss wafted in the damp, cool air. 


My brother in an attempt to save Missy from our hungry relatives jumped on top of her fragile mortal body. Her head slammed into the sharp point of a rock, fracturing her skull. Blood splattered everywhere; she would have died and I panicked. I had no choice. I bit into her neck, giving her the bite of a werewolf. 


I grabbed her by the hood of her cloak, jumping over my brothers and sisters. She screamed, as my paws ran as fast as I ever thought they could. Her arms and legs scraped against the cold hard ground, leaving cuts, scrapes and bruises galore. The scent of her blood was almost too hard to not indulge in. It took every bone in my body to refrain my teeth from engulfing her right then and there. 


I left her a shivering, sobbing mess on the castle doorstep, and howled at the top of my lungs, hoping to wake the King and Queen of their slumber. The lights immediately switched on, casting an illuminating, glow upon Missy’s crippled body. That was the night I promised I would never let Missy go through such trauma again. With overpowering sorrow, I quickly scampered back into the forest where beasts like me belong. 


In the distance, I heard Missy’s parents question Missy’s whereabouts. 


Missy’s voice quivered as she said, “I went to play with my friends Xavier and Damion.”    


From that night on, the forest was deemed dangerous and the whole town developed into a panicked frenzy. The werewolf bite on the princess’ neck, caused the King and Queen to barricade the town from the forest; but little did they know, that the two monsters they feared were already inside the kingdom, living amongst them as neighbours, friends and shopkeepers.       

My brother and I were playing in the village after school when the barricade went up. My wolf pack was out and about in the forest scavenging for our dinner. A magical force field, lined with a silver coating, was plastered on the walls of the village. It was deadly to a werewolf’s touch; no werewolves would be able to get in or out of Insopia Grove. 

I heard my mother and father howl for my brother and I, but it was too late; we were officially trapped in the kingdom of Insopia Grove. 

My brother and I lived amongst princess Missy Bellville for a little over a decade. We attended different schools because my brother and I were poor orphans, placed on the lowest tier of the kingdom’s class hierarchy. My brother and I worked on the wheat farm. Every day we worked our fingers to the bone. But when Missy Bellville would walk down the cobblestone path, our jaws would drop and our heartbeats would quicken. 


“Good day Xavie,” Missy sung. 


The sound of her angelic voice, pronouncing my name would ring through my ears, supplying warmth and sunlight to every cell in my body. 


“How do you do this fine afternoon, my lady?” I asked while quickly stumbling to my knees, grasping her hand, to place a soft kiss upon her finger tips. 


My trouble maker of a brother, Damion, picked her up and spun her around. Her ladylike, pink floral dress, spun elegantly as soft giggles escaped her rose coloured lips.


“Damion! Put me down now!” she shrieked, as Damion barbarically laughed before placing her down gently on the wheat field. 


I laughed and asked, “Now Missy, you ought to be getting home. It is nearly dark. What can we do for you?” 


She teasingly replied, “It is princess Missy Bellville to you sir, and I wouldn’t mind a fresh loaf of bread to eacy on the night before I am wed.”  


“Being wed?” Both Damion and I asked with urgent concern. Missy grinned and nodded.


After Missy left, my brother and I frantically reviewed what Missy had told us. She was to get married to Sam Mercury, the son of the King’s nobleman. He is one of the kingdoms top hunters; he shoots to kill and succeeds every time. How could the King and Queen marry their princess off to a man who kills her second identity for pleasure? 


“Wow Xavier, there is no way anyone would know that girl is a rabid beast,” Damion said laughing. 


“Yes, the King and Queen did a marvellous job, concealing my mistake,” I said solemnly.         

Damion looked at me for the first time with pity and compassion.


“Xavier, it was not you fault; it was the only way. Her parents should be praising you. You should be engaged to her for your honourable action. I would not have had the guts necessary to do it.” 


A feeling of comfort washed over me, but I knew there was nothing I could ever do to stop Missy’s marriage. 


Every blood moon, Missy, Damion and I would be locked together in the dungeon of the kingdom. It took some convincing for the King and Queen to let Damion and I bunk with Missy on those nights, but they did not want to risk the spreading of the werewolf curse throughout the kingdom. 


Endless nights of board games got us through, but we hated feeling like we were beasts or killers. In our wolf forms, we still have emotions, but humans believe we loose control of our senses. This is partially true, as we face the longing need for protein; however, it does not need to be human protein like all the myths believe. Dozens of canned raw meats can easily relieve the hunger. 


But tonight, something was different. Missy didn’t show up. Damion and I paced, anxiously waiting, with bated breath. I couldn’t help it. I howled as loud as I could. We heard a distressed howl from Missy, and Damion was already out the door. 


We picked up Missy’s scent and tracked her and her hunter down. To my displeasure, her husband to be, Sam Mercury, was the evil culprit. Missy in wolf form, with white as snow fur whimpered as the wind of Sam’s axe sliced through the air, towards her neck. Damion took immediate action, leaping into the air trampling Sam to the ground. Missy cried as I snuggled up to her, while Damion finished Sam off. 


The next morning, Damion and I returned the princess back to her castle. 


Enraged, I yelled, “What kind of parents are you? You put your daughter in immediate danger and practically disowned her on the nights the blood moon hovers above!” 


Damion patted my shoulder, urging me to calm myself down as I was speaking to royalty. Her desperate parents practically begged me to marry their daughter in order to supply her with the necessary protection. 

Missy, Damion, and I, smiled in union, excited to make some well needed changes to the kingdom. Werewolves and mortals would soon live in perfect harmony.  

Featured stories still to come. 

The Wolf Prince of Insopia Grove by Hayley Fisher aged 17 from Ontario, Canada

Anxiety by Maahum Nazir aged 17 from London

How The Stars Weep by Megan Kruger aged 15 from London

Time is Ticking by Johana Pusuluri ages 14 from Devon 

The Storm in the Glass by Poppy David aged 14 from London

Black and White by Valerie Anireto aged 13 from Abuja, Nigeria

The Talent Show by Ana Cuseta aged 11 from Valencia, Spain

Sir Arthur Canoon Doyle and the fairies by Loveday Lock aged 11 from South Wales

The Burglary by Matthew Wong aged 11 from Hong Kong

Beatle-weetle by Niall Hamilton aged 6 from Doncaster 

Small and Beautiful by Katie Bates aged 10 from Newton, USA

Temptation by Tommy Bustard aged 10 from Portballintrae, County Antrim, N Ireland

The Journey Across London by Jacinta Khadouri, aged 11 from London