This was written so fast. Little boy decided we needed to visit the neighbors today, taking away all of my morning writing time and making me late. I'd decided to write something werewolf-y for once. I don't think I wrote wolves before. Anyway, here is my quickest story yet. (Quickest written, that is. No spell or grammar check, simply typed and posted)
“Heee-eeere woofie, woofie, woofie.”
The words shrilled through the trees ripping me from my trance. I listened carefully, closing my eyes to concentrate. This had happened before, often enough I’d begun to make it a habit to hold off my change as long as possible to keep the idiots from harm.
I was running through the woods before I admitted that might have been harsh. Usually the “idiots” were freshmen disbelievers our on a dare without enough confidence to make a sound let alone call us, but this wasn’t too far off. I still hadn’t yet figured out what the locals meant sending them out here. Murder by wolf? They knew what these woods contained. Our secret was not held as close as perhaps it should have been.
So far I’d kept them alive, but one day I knew I wouldn’t be fast enough. Listening to the rustling in the bushes, I wondered if tonight might be that day. I hit the clearing at a full run while my four legged brethren spent some time sniffing around the area, learning about the intruder. I didn’t want to know anything about her, I only wanted her gone before they goaded her into running and becoming the hunt.
She stood confidently at the center of the clearing at the edge of the woods, grinning when I burst through the trees, but what had I expected from someone with enough confidence to call? Cowardice. Still, something seemed wrong. While I could see cars shooting by on the highway, I didn’t see her car.
Did someone drop her off? It would be harder to get her to safety that way. My change was only a few minutes away and my own car was a mile in the other direction. These freshman always had to make things harder. But she didn’t look quite like a freshman. She was still attractive in her pink sweats and low cut tanktop, but her face didn’t hold the round-eyed innocence the freshmen tended toward when a half naked guy rushed out of the woods.
Her eyes were calculating. Triumphant. I heard a short howl in the woods and a rifle cocking about three feet behind me. Close enough it might as well have been point-blank range, but far enough away I didn’t have a chance of getting a hand on his gun. They’d been prepared for this.
“Same guy,” she said. “He’s the one chasing all our sacrifices away.”
What could I say? Thoughts screamed to the front of my mind, like “Sacrifices?” and “Are you effin’ nuts?” but I was smart enough to keep them to myself for a few minutes. Because I was pretty sure they were effin’ nuts. Holding the gun behind me was her perfect match. A well-muscled man in jeans, a ripped wife-beater, and a camouflage cap.
I lifted my hands in the universal sign of surrender trying to find the words to figure out what they wanted without getting me killed. Wolves howled in the distance and I twitched, holding mine inside.
“Can I help you?” I asked, deciding that had to be innocuous enough to keep me safe.
“Yeah,” he answered from behind me. I turned to face him, edging a little deeper into the woods while I did. She walked around to stand behind him, smacking loudly on her gum. It made me the only one not entirely hidden in the trees. I don’t think they realized the danger. “We wanna be werewolves.”
“Ohhh,” I smiled. That was not entirely unexpected. I’d brought it up as a possibility several times before since our secret wasn’t entirely a secret. That someone would eventually come with that request. The rest of the pack were sure that no one would ever believe the rumors, but they farmed the commune. I was the only one with modern world experience. College and everything. “Not gonna happen.”
As I inched forward, he inched back, keeping me from reaching the gun, but that was OK. I didn’t need to reach it. As long as we were in the woods the sheriff had decided long ago this was our business. We could do anything here. As long as he never had too many bodies to explain. And bodies weren’t a problem for us.
“Look, you.” He snapped. “I got a gun.”
He cocked it again for emphasis, ejecting an unspent round onto the ground. I wondered if I could get him to do that a few more times, but I didn’t have time. I’d pushed my change as far as it would go. The woods erupted around me with fur. The others knew I didn’t have time for wordplay. The rifle barrel swung wide, tracking three different directions before Eric slipped up behind him, using teeth to rip apart the man’s ankle. He screamed, firing a random shot as he fell.
I flew backward, my wolf shredding my human self, yelping and licking at the blood dribbling into my fur. My front paws wouldn’t work. I could hear screaming, crying, and begging in the background, but none of that mattered as much as the fact that I couldn’t stand up. They surrounded me, curling close to keep me warm, licking my ears to keep me calm. The dirt under me was wet and dark, but I needed sleep.
I heard a whine in my place of safety, but it was too much trouble to answer.