Welcome to Spirit Hunger, a weekly supernatural romance story.
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Honi often woke up from his spirit travels slightly disoriented. While his body slept, his spirit was busy navigating an alternative reality. He was used to feeling tired and not very well rested after those nights. This morning was no exception. He opened his eyes and stared at his dorm room ceiling. He had spent a couple of hours when he moved in and stuck night sky constellations on the white painted plaster. The eerily glowing sticky stars were a strange comfort to him and helped him remember where he was.
This journey had been particularly weird. Honi was used to strange visions and John had told him in the past that the spirit world would never expose him to more than he could handle. This time though he felt like he was pushed a little far. Vague memories made him shudder. He tried hard to recall what exactly made him feel so uneasy.
There was a girl. His brows drew together in concentration. Not just any girl, Adi with her hair down and looking serene and happy. Ho’neo had merged with him for this experience. He remembered a strong feeling of belonging and an urge to protect. Honi smiled at the memory of her fingers caressing his fur, relaxing him. There was nothing sexual about touch and it had felt so nice, so peaceful. Her little body, even smaller when he was in his wolf form, curled up against him. Her warmth against his flank, an overpowering instinct to protect, to love.
And yet there was still this unease, this dread. It made him itchy. Honi closed his eyes and did an internal check on his body. This was a basic meditative technique that had served him well ever since he was a young boy on his first spirit quest. He relaxed each body part in turn, feet, thighs, hips, belly, chest, arm, hands, and finally his face and head. The familiar routine calmed him and allowed him to try to assess what else he had experienced in his journey.
There was something else, something his mind wasn’t allowing yet to rise to the surface. Honi frowned and tried harder. Little by little, the calmness drained from him again and was replaced with fear. A threat was coming.
Honi’s teeth ground together and he willed himself to relax his jaw muscles. The dream images strengthened and Honi’s eyes flew open. He moaned a little with what he saw in his mind. Adi had been under attack and he had tried so hard to defend her. There had been too many flying shapes. His wolf eyes hadn’t allowed him to recognize the animals but they were evil and their intent murderous.
He threw his arm up over his eyes as if to wipe the images off his brain. Those bird-like creatures had hurt the girl, had plucked both her eyes out and the wolf could do nothing but watch and suffer with her. Adi’s screams echoed in his mind and Honi rolled himself into a ball, whimpering as if he still were the wolf. He nearly threw up, swallowing convulsively to keep the bile down. Adi wasn’t really hurt, he kept chanting over and over in his mind. It had felt real though and suddenly he was overcome with a protective rage that slammed into him like a fist to the stomach.
He sat up in his bed and shook his head, trying to clear it some more. He needed to talk to Adi. Ho’neo had allowed him to experience these images during his spirit journey. There was a reason why he had witnessed the attack on her. That together with her uncanny ability, the gift she shouldn’t have, made him fear for her safety. He quickly splashed water into his face and cursed his long hair. As much as he loved the effect it had on girls and didn’t mind the extra care he had to take with it, today he really just wanted to finger-brush it and get out.
Then he caught a glimpse of his face, the wild eyes and near manic expression. It brought him to a dead stop. He couldn’t go and meet Adi like this. Plus it was way too early. He needed to wait at least another couple of hours before he could try to barge into her dorm. He knew that they had another class together first thing so maybe he could catch her outside the classroom before she went in.
He took his time with the rest of his morning preparation, brushing his teeth and throwing on a white t-shirt. He would have loved to wear something nicer but he was completely out of clean clothes and this was the last shirt that didn’t smell like he’d worked out in it. So what, he wasn’t trying to impress her, right? Honi scoffed at the thought. Adi wasn’t really his type at all, too small, too skinny, too pale. The reason why he wanted to rush to her side was because she needed help.
And yet – his wolf had felt attraction to her. Honi knew not to ignore his spirit animal’s intuition. Ho’neo had felt safe with Adi. Honi shook his head. He didn’t want to examine this thought any closer. He quickly scanned the room for the wolf but he was wherever spirit animals went to when they didn’t want to hang. Honi scoffed. Trust the wolf to get lost when Honi needed a distraction. He was too wired to stay in his room, yet it was too early – a quick glance at his alarm clock made him roll his eyes – to talk to Adi.
So he walked. Campus security were used to him stretching his legs at weird times of the night. When he first got here, he was stopped a few times but pretty soon everybody got used to him walking around the large green space between the dorm buildings or even the park not far away. The place was so different at night. The daily chatter and clamor of students was replaced by different sounds, the barking of foxes, the melodic rasp of cicadas later in the year. Sometimes he felt like he was the only person alive on the planet. Tonight though, he wasn’t alone.
In fact, there were quite a few kids. Some swaying suspiciously after a late party, some working late shifts and getting home for a few hours sleep before late morning lecture. And every single one had a spirit animal on their shoulder or walking with them. No amount of squinting or concentrating made them disappear. Honi hadn’t experienced such a lack of control over his ability since he was a kid. Another question that needed to be answered. Right after why Adi appeared in his dreams.