Chapter One: Encounter with the Wendigo
Summary: When Jack is attacked by the Wendigo, Sandy saves him and takes him to finally meet the other Guardians while he recovers. They also learn more about the other winter spirits that roam the Earth. Takes place before the events of the movie.
This is also my first fanfiction (well the first one that I actually published) and I hope to update this regularly. This will also be posted on my Fanfiction.net account, I'll update it with the link later, so that you guys can read it on either format that you prefer to read it on.
The description of the Wendigo that I use is actually on the ROTG wikia page (through I don't know if it is just a fan page or if the actual author made this character or not, though I do think it's the former but either way, that's what I based the depiction of the Wendigo off of).
More information on Yuki-Onna.
Disclaimer: I don't own the Rise of the Guardians or any of the characters within that franchise, but I do own this story and whatever character I make to put into it (though there won't be many of those, so don't worry).
But other than that, I do hope that you guys enjoy this story and I have many in mind to do after I finish this one, but what those are a secret. Thank you for reading this.
Warning: This story mentions of Graphic Violence for at least the first chapter.
It felt like his heart was going to come bursting out his chest as he stumbled over a tree root, knowing any mistakes would mean his life. A low growling laugh seeming to bounce off the trees, a noise that could make even the feared Pitch shiver. He was being played with, but he didn’t care since that would mean that he was given some extra time to get a chance to become airborne, which he couldn’t do while he was in this thick Maine wilderness. All he needed was a small clearing, hell he would even take just for the trees to lessen up a little. Anything.
He had heard about some people going missing in this area, blizzards sweeping in out of nowhere. Now he wasn’t in full control over every winter weather phenomenon, no one truly was except for Mother Nature. However, there was a few spirits who had control over it like he did. Yuki-Onna being one, though he found that he could make some of her storms die down, even just a little. He noticed that he was getting stronger though, since each time he was able to do that a bit better each time, though he wasn’t sure how much was her just humoring him.
By that point, she had been, and still is, one of the few spirits who was willing to talk to him or explain anything. She wasn’t really a friend, barely an acquaintance, they probably would have been better friends if she didn’t enjoy freezing people (but really when no one else wants to talk to you, you take what you can get, besides she was actually cool to talk too (pun intended)).
She was one of the scariest spirits he knew. So, it was understandable why he was startled when he asked her about the storms that seemed to appear out of nowhere along the border of the United States and Canada and she freaked out. Telling him that if he truly cared about his own well-being, and even if he didn’t, that when those storms are happening to stay well away from those areas and not to even attempt to diminish them, unless he was well up in the sky hidden behind clouds if he couldn’t help himself. Honestly, he had been rather lucky that he hadn’t come across the wendigo before this point. It was the first time that Jack found a topic that she did not explain further, just leaving him with that warning before disappearing with a flurry of new snow.
From that moment he heeded their words, staying away from that area when there were sudden snow storms, going there when he absolutely had too. But then he had heard about people who either went missing or was found dead whenever there was ever a storm of that nature. Sometimes they were found frozen to death, or more disturbingly, the ones who weren’t found like that. The humans could never tell if they were mauled on by some sorta animal or even another human, since the marks were clearly not from any animal they knew about. Jack had looked before and let’s just say that he didn’t need Pitch to get nightmares every time he absolutely needed to sleep for months afterword. It was easy to know why Yuki-Onna didn’t want him to become like them. Jack didn’t want to think about the ones who were never found. He eventually learned more about the Wendigo through books in those libraries that started to pop-up more and more in the late 19th century. There wasn’t much, but what he did find wasn’t pleasant. The Wendigo didn’t seem to care whether his victims were the elderly or young, healthy or unhealthy, poor or rich. He didn’t discriminate.
The one thing that Jack didn’t realize was that he would go after spirits too, since all the books all described him as a cannibalistic-like monster who ate humans. This was even more so since Yuki-Onna gave him a pass as well, not realizing that was only because he was a winter spirit like herself, a child as well. So, several decades of this, her warning gradually loss as much impact as they once had.
That was how he came to the point where he was now, running for his life on a moonless night, the moon only peeking out every now and again through the clouds but not enough to be of any help.
There were no storms, no warning except for the growls that he was still hearing and the occasionally glimpses of brown fur, white, and this blue glow. Taking a chance, Jack glanced over his shoulder, trying to see if his stumble had costed him any distance between himself and the Wendigo.
Turning back around, he barely catched himself from running face first into a tree. Scrambling around it, Jack kept going, hoping that he hadn’t just ruined any chance that he had at escaping. Sweat trickled down his face, freezing into a frost. It was almost hard to hear over the hammering going on in his chest.
It wasn’t just growls behind him–the putrid stench of death, the wind howling in his ear begging for him to take flight, and desperation crept ever closer. He tried pick up his pace, which wasn’t much. It wasn’t hard to imagine himself becoming like one of those corpses, ripped apart bit by bit. Alive throughout most of it.
Focusing so much on just running, it was almost impossible to full-on stop when hellish red eyes appeared in front of him, being a good ten feet above the ground. Glowing in the darkness of the night, the only thing taking away from them was the icy-blue glow where his heart should have been, which explained what the glow from earlier was. This was his first good look at the beast, and what he saw caused him to lose any breath he had had as a shiver ran down his spine, despite the fact that he couldn’t feel like cold. The creature in front of him was unlike anything he had ever laid eyes on before, the closest being this a mix between a deer and a man, and that wasn’t even that close. His eyes trailed up as he couldn’t help but freeze. It was a wonder how the.… the thing…. could even stand with how emaciated it was, seeing as you could see all of its joints and even some bones where the skin had rotted away, it was wonder how it was even able to stand, much less run. Gagging as stench burned his nose and made his eyes water, the need to empty his stomach growing as he saw the decaying pieces of flesh and organs dangling. It was wearing a rib cage as a chest plate and a helmet made from a deer skull, paling further at the sight of small human skulls, what were obviously from children, dangling from a string that was tied to the antlers. Some flesh and hair still left on one of them. It had a cruel smirk across its face, showing off just how sharp its teeth were.
He just wanted to go home, with his lake and his trees. Where the wind would wrap him up in the closest thing to hug that they could do and sing him to sleep. He didn’t want to be here anymore, he really didn’t.
The dead leaves crunched on the ground in front of him, causing him to snap out of it. It was now only a few feet in front of him, instead of the several yards it had been what only seemed to be seconds ago. Jumping, Jack scrambled to turn to flee, slipping a little on leaves in the process. When had It moved? Was I really not paying that much attention? Normally that would never have happened.
He only made it a few steps before searing pain erupted down his back, causing it to explode in his head with a blinding whiteness as he crashed to the ground. He vaguely noted that someone was screaming. Who was that? Where they being attacked too? It took him a moment to realize that it was himself who was screaming. Desperately digging his hands into the soft soil, trying to get away as the shadow loomed over him, one hand still gripped tightly on his staff. Fighting the urge to curl up in a ball. Trembles racking through his body. A burning had set behind his eyes awhile ago, something warm and wet sliding down his cheeks, freezing along the way. Oh god, oh god, oh god. Please, I just need a moment to be able to get away. I’ll never bother the Easter Bunny again, Manny please. He begged silently, but Manny stayed quiet as always. Hidden behind clouds like he didn’t want to see him anymore. He probably didn’t.
Jack cried out when he felt those razor-sharp claws sink into the flesh on his back once more, easily tearing his ruined sweatshirt and the flesh on his back again. He distantly mourned the loss of his sweater, it was one of the few things he owned. Struggling to get air, “p-please, let me go.” He tried, hoping that maybe it would have mercy on him just this once. “I’ll nev-never come here again or… or mess with yo-your storms… please.” He didn’t care that that would interfere with his spreading of snow, let one of the other winter spirits do it. Hell, Mother Nature could bring winter to this part of the world herself. He just wanted to go home.
Its warm breath huffed over the back of his neck in a mockery of a laugh, “now why would I do that?” Its voice seemed to echo off all the trees nearby, sounding almost like a broken record player that humans used to be so fond of. The effect was something that Yuri was fond of doing, but to actually have it done on you? It made his skin crawl even more than before. He couldn’t remember the last time he had hurt like this. A clawed hand covered in red that glinted in what little light could get through the trees which had lessened in this part of the forest, his blood he distantly realized, appeared in front of him. Stopping what little progress he was making to get away from it. He could feel the warmth of it as it leaned over him. It was miracle that he had not thrown up yet, but he wasn’t doubting that it might happen soon. “It’s been awhile since I last had a taste of a winter spirit, normally they know better than to come into my territory. But I suppose that you didn’t get that message, huh?” It spoke into his ear, Jack turning his face away from the creature, squeezing his eyes shut.
Was this how he was going to die? Slowly by a thing that would have fun doing it? With no friends, no family, no believers… no anyone? No one who would truly care whatever or not he lives or dies? Sure, the Wind would miss him, but they would get over it soon enough. Jack curl up slightly, drawing his hands back to cover his head, trying to push back the burning in his eyes, despite the fact that tears were already making tracks through the dirt on his face. It wasn’t working very well, as his crying turned into full out sobbing.
Suddenly there was a piercing pain tearing through out his shoulder, as its teeth sliced through flesh and almost to the bone. It felt like it was trying to detach his arm from his body, wrenching another scream from his sore throat. His eyes snapping open. Instinctively, ice shooting out defensively around him. A shriek was heard above him, as the creature let go of him. Taking his chance, Jack shot more ice at it, as he realized that he had forgotten that he still had his staff in his panic. Scurrying away while he still could, a stabbing pain radiating all throughout himself. He grunted, determined to ignore it as well as the way that his vision swam in-and-out of focus.
He didn’t even need to call for the Wind, as they quickly snatched him up as soon as he was free. Behind him, the Wendigo gave an angry snarl. It barely missed his ankle, its claws lightly grazing it instead. It stung, but in the grand scheme of things, it was nothing.
The Wind wrapped him up, doing their best to get him away both as quickly and gently as they could. They were furious with the Wendigo for harming their child, they wished that they could have been more help, but the trees kept getting in their way for them to really do much up until that moment.
The Wendigo howled in outrage at having both their meal and entertainment taken away. No. Just no. That wouldn’t do. No matter who Its victim is, no one can escape their wrath. No one is safe no matter how far you are. So, as it saw Jack becoming further and further, he raised his bow made of bone, and nocked one of his arrows. Drawing it back quickly and adjusting its aim, he let go
Of course, the boy’s precious Wind attempted to steer the arrow away from his target, they only succeeded at making the hit an unlethal one. The shriek of surprise and pain was enough to satisfy him for now, knowing that the Wind would be better at throwing his arrows off course from this point on making the weapon relatively useless. The boy would be one of few to get away from him, but if he ever came here again or just outside his territory again, well let’s just say what those corpses those humans found of their friends would look like they were models.
Jack could barely keep his eyes open, much less stay in the air. However, this wouldn’t be the first time that he fell asleep in the Wind’s arms, all he needed to do was to keep his staff in a position where it wouldn’t fall out his hands as soon as his eyes slipped shut. He had definitely calmed down a lot more now since he was now several miles away from where he was attacked, he wasn’t really sure where he was, just that he must be going further North since it was getting colder. He felt like weights were being tied on him and he just wanted to curl up in a ball, but the wind refused to let him down just yet.
Black spots were taking up most of his eyesight and everything was starting to spin. He rubbed his eyes with his free, trembling, hand, attempting to rub the tiredness away with little effect. He just wanted to sleep, why isn’t the wind letting him down? He felt like he knew the answer why but for the life of him he couldn’t remember what that reason was.
Why couldn’t Sandy just leave him alone? He was trying to stay awake! His eyes were getting to be too heavy to keep open, the pain long since becoming numb some time ago, he couldn’t remember who long though ago through. Keeping them open was sapping more of what little strength he had, so he let them stay close, fully trusting the Wind to get him safely to wherever they decided to take him, finally falling unconscious.
He didn’t realize that he had let go of his staff as he did so.