Lily’s father never hid anything from her. She knew that she had been found in a lake of lilies and had been named after them. She knew that until she began to talk, he had tried to sell her but no one wanted to buy a baby. She also knew after that, nothing could get him to give her away . Lily was never afraid of the forest, for she knew she had laughed with it at some point in her childhood. She had been raised by it.
She took each step with confidence. She trusted that the forest would care for her. She didn’t notice how the rocks slid through her feet as she hiked down the hill. Her foot landed on a loose rock and tripped her. She lost her breath. She tried to cling on to rocks or roots but they all slid past her fingers. They cut on her skin as she rolled down until she hit the bottom.
She gritted her teeth at the pain that shot across her body like knives. She stayed still for a moment, her head dizzy from the fall. She breathed in deeply and pushed her cut hands against the ground.
Sharp pain crushed onto her left leg and she heard a crack. She screamed and clawed at the ground. She looked up. A boulder pinned her bloodied leg to the ground. She tried to pull on her leg, but pain paralyzed her. She could barely move. She pushed on the boulder but did not have enough strength. She leaned back as her hands shivered. She didn’t know what to do.
Leaves rustled in the distance. Lily grasped the earth. She pulled on her leg but again, nothing moved. She looked around for anything she could use to defend herself, but there was nothing more than some small stones. She trusted the forest, but not people. Her heart was at her throat as the noise got louder and louder. A scream built up as she thought she knew what was approaching. “Wolf!” She yelled. But she was wrong. A young boy stepped out of the woods. Dark brown wavy hair, strong built, years older than Lily. He stopped. He stared at her, shocked. “Please don’t hurt me.” She exclaimed.
He shook his head, “Don’t worry. I won’t.”
She looked at the boulder and back at the boy, “Could you please help me? The- the rock fell on my leg and I think it’s broken. I can’t walk and I’m really far from my home.” He didn’t move. “Please. I don’t know what else to do.”
He stared into her eyes for a moment. Then, he nodded, “I’ll help you.” He walked over to the boulder. He pressed against it and rolled it to the side. Lily moaned as the rock moved. She pulled her leg away and crawled back. The boy looked at Lily’s leg. Scratches and blood covered it. His face went pale. She tried to push herself onto her feet, but the pain shot right back. She collapsed onto the ground once again. “Let me help you.” He said. He knelt down and scooped Lily up. Lily grabbed onto his shirt. “Can I take you to my village? You could stay there until you heal and can go home.”
Lily didn’t trust him but she knew she had no choice. She nodded, “That would perfect.” He grabbed Lily tightly and walked back into the forest with her in his arms.
The boy wondered if the people looked at him the same way they looked at Rowand when he carried him into the village. They seemed curios, scared even, at the girl he was holding. He walked through the village and arrived at the door of a small house. “A healer lives in this house. He will take care of you.” He said to Lily, “Would you knock for me?”
Lily knocked on the door, her body shaking. She wasn’t sure if it was out of pain or nerves. “I can’t pay. I don’t have anything.”
The boy hesitated. He nodded, “I’ll pay for you.”
“Thank you.” Lily replied, “You did not have to help me so much. I’m really thankful.”
“You’re welcome, my dear.” He replied.
An old man opened the door. He looked at the boy and shook his head, “Who did you hurt now?”
“I haven’t.” he replied, “This child got lost in the woods and got hurt. I want you to help her.”
“And what do I get in return?” The old man asked.
“My services. Until she is well enough to go on her way.” the boy replied.
The old man looked at Lily and nodded, “Alright. Bring her in and lay her on the table. I will be with you in a moment.”
The boy stepped into the house and took Lily to the table. The house was darker than the ones Lily was accustomed to. Few dim candles placed around the house painted the brown walls with gold. There wasn’t much except a table, a couple of scattered chairs, and hay in stacks. Drawers and a small fireplace lined the walls, but no windows. A staircase led up into pitch black darkness.
The boy laid her down and sat on a chair next to her. Lily laid back and tilted her head. “My name is Lily.” she told the boy, “What is yours?”
He shrugged, “I don’t have one.”
She raised an eyebrow, “How old are you?”
“Seventeen, I think.”
“Why do you think?” Lily asked.
“I was abandoned in the forest when I was little.” He replied, “Or at least that’s what I think happened. I was found ten years ago, educated, and taken in as a servant.” Lily listened silently, wondering if their meeting really had been a mere coincidence.
“And the people who found you, they never gave you a name?” Lily asked.
He shook his head, “They call me Wolf Boy because I used to live with wolves in the forest.”
“That’s not a name.” She said, “May I give you one?”
“Why would you want to?” He replied.
“If you’ll be coming here until I’m well enough to leave, I’d like to know what to call you.” She argued.
The boy nodded. “Alright.”
Lily smiled. She thought for a moment and then spoke. “Would you mind if I called you Wiccan?”
“Wiccan?” the boy repeated.
“Wiccan, the son of wolves. I thought it might be fitting.” She stated.
“Wiccan.” he said, “Yes, Wiccan will do.”
“I’m glad you like it.” She smiled.
“Lily,” Wiccan felt the name in between his lips, “how old are you?”
“And what is a twelve-year-old doing alone in the forest?” The old man interjected as he climbed down the stairs with a large bag under his arm.
“I was looking for… well, for something. I’m not sure myself.”
She looked at Wiccan for a moment. He looked through the window, “It’s getting late. I should probably go.”
“Will I see you tomorrow?” Lily asked.
“You better. He’s got to pay off your debt.” The old man stated.
Wiccan nodded, “Good night, Lily.”
“Good night, Wiccan.” She replied as Wiccan left her behind.
The instant Wiccan walked through the door, he heard a scream. He was too tired to decipher who had yelled or what had been said. He ignored and kept walking. Rowand grabbed his arm and threw him around. Pain shot through his arm but he had grown used to pain. “You were supposed to be back by sunset. Where were you?”
“I found some… some business to take care of.” He stated.
“And our business?” Rowand asked.
“It’s done. That’s all you need to worry about, right? That whatever you tell me to do, I get it done.” Wiccan spat.
Rowand slapped him. “Stop being disrespectful, boy. Go make us something to eat and clean up. You look disgusting.”
Wiccan clenched his fists and nodded, “Alright.” Wiccan walked through the halls and pulled on his hair. He could feel the heat rising in his body, but could do nothing about it. He closed his eyes and pushed it down. He touched the burn marks on his arm. He didn’t want to get any more.