I dedicate this story to darkvvulf, Mike Munroe who's art was the most inspiring I've ever seen. If you are out there still, this one is for you; I asked years ago, and I am only sorry it took so long.
“In time we hate that which we often fear.”
“If you hate a person, you hate something in him that is part of yourself. What isn't part of ourselves doesn't disturb us.”
“Change, is the only constant.”
Brian Dorcy was an average person. There was nothing remarkable about him. Physically, he was attractive enough, as humans tend to go for, some would say. He was tall, just over six feet, and he had messy dark hair that refused to be tamed in any way. His eyes were brown, a deep earth tone, that had a tint of hazel and oddly, a hint of amber. His build was not muscular but rather natural, at around two-twenty, with natural muscle that if developed could be formidable. He owed that to working his early years on his family’s ranch and now, construction.
A five o’clock shadow, something he allowed himself to keep, darkened Brian’s cheeks. His skin was a smooth dark tan but not black, nor white, but rather in the middle. He owed his eyes to his father, whom he greatly missed and his tan from spending long days outside in the sun working construction work. His mother now lived in New York city, in a little apartment that Brian sent her money for each month to help her as best he could while he scraped out a living here in the City. Brian had left New York to try to make something of himself two years ago, but had fallen into a rut of low paying jobs and half-hearted attempts at writing, which was his one true passion.
For Brian, writing was cathartic, and if he kept at it, he would be able to sell the novel that was currently resting on his computer’s hard drive and get out of the City for good.
When he was younger, his family had owned a horse ranch in California but those days were long gone and over with; then, they did not have to worry about money, medicine, or food.
Now, every day was a struggle for him.
This evening (it was well after eleven o'clock) the moon was full, showing its pale bone-face through the moving tumultuous cloud cover as the rain storm pelted the filthy asphalt of the alleyways and streets in unending driving pellet drops that stung like needles, making rivers in the gutters into muddy, filthy torrents. The tall buildings of uptown had long since fallen behind him as he walked; his well-worn black high tops slopped in the rain and drove ripples through dark accumulating puddles.
His jeans and white t-shirt did nothing to stop the icy rain, neither did his leather jacket, one of the few things from his father he had left, even though he tried to pull it closer around his neck. He was alone, his old brown leather backpack thrown over his shoulder. Inside, Brian kept his life; his cell phone (a battered Motorola Razr), a pad, a pen and his small laptop. His wallet and apartment keys tended to stay in his jean's pockets where they could not present such easy targets for the gutter scum that lurked in the dark places the City nurtured so well.
Not that he had much cash on him, he thought; A lousy thirty dollars that he had managed somehow to hold onto for the last two weeks. Working as a construction worker did nothing for one’s finances when the rain had been pouring down in driving sheets for the last few weeks. Hopefully, with any luck, the meteorologists were right about the storm front that had been assaulting the City would pass by soon.
Brian needed work and badly.
He did not own a car; thus he had to walk or take the bus whereever he went. While this kept him in shape, he thought sordidly, it did get old after a while. He would have to do something about that soon before the soles on his shoes wore through completely. Hell, he wouldn’t even mind a nice bike; he had a four wheeler that he rode everywhere before the family lost the ranch.
He had just come from one of his favorite places to work on his writing, a local bar in the downtown area, just off 66th Street, called Ero's. Ero's was run by a pleasant older gentleman named Ero Riley. He was of the old guard, a true gentleman. Brian could not recall ever not seeing the man in a suit with his long hair tied back in a pony tail, tending the bar, refusing to let alone else take the job and rather, doing it himself, interacting and remember each and every client that came through the establishment. He had the build of a body-builder but the grace of a duke. His accent was strange as well, deep old English and his pronunciation, Brian reflected, was always perfect.
He also had strange eyes, almost yellow amber in hue, which glinted oddly in the light. Brian enjoyed Ero's because Ero gave him his own private area to sit and work in and made sure he was undisturbed. Ero made sure that Brian's glass at the table never ran dry of his favorite drink. Ero had even installed a wireless network for Brian to access whilst he was there, and actually, Brian chuckled to himself as he turned a corner and skipped over a nasty looking puddle with a dead rat in it, it had boosted clientele once the word got out.
Which was another odd thing, Brian thought as he passed a run down electronics store with several old television sets sitting dark in the window display behind its wrought iron bars. The clients of Ero's were mostly nocturnal, like Brian found himself becoming more and more as he became more and more desperate for money, both for himself and his mother. At twenty-three, he should not have gray hair, but he swore he could have seen a few peeking out after his shower last night.
As he passed the electronics store, a flicker of blue light caught his attention.
One of the television's sitting in the display of Rick's Electronics, a two story flat building that had about as much distinction as a slab of concrete can have, with its brown dirty bricks and aged awnings, had just turned itself on, casting crazy shadows and wild forms as the light pierced the dark store window.
He stopped and found himself captivated by the news story that the television was tuned into, though how it was on or even getting a signal was beyond him through this storm.
With nothing better waiting for him at home for the time being, Brian decided to check the story out and see what celebrity was caught in an affair or what the score was in some war in some far off country was. As he stood in the rain, he thought it best to get under the awning poste haste. Shaking the water out of his eyes with a swipe of his hand, Brian squinted, the brilliant light from the screen temporarily blinding him. His eyes adjusted quickly and then he saw the news report for what it was.
On the screen, a CNN report flashed up with an attractive female news reporter sitting at an large stylish metal and wood desk and behind her flashed a video graphic.
Her voice to him sounded like a stereotypical news anchor and in some ways, Brian supposed, she reminded him of the way Chris Hansen presented himself on the news.
"....and this was the scene just an hour ago in downtown Washington, DC, as members of Lupine Freedom opened fire with assault weapons and Molotov cocktails on a meeting being held at the Library of Congress by expert members of the Regulation Panel, which is currently filing a motion for the passage of the controversial Lycanthropic Registration Bill…"
The camera switched from the news anchor at her desk with the fake New York skyline backdrop, to footage that would have seemed normal coming from a war-zone.
Brian was shocked at the sheer amount of carnage that was filmed by the cameras as the terrorists mounted the large sweeping stairs leading up to the entrance of the marble building, as flames and fireballs exploded, blackening the columns that graced the front of the Library. Screams of panic pierced the night from the footage as gunfire exploded.
The report continued, "... This bill, if ratified, would mean every lycanthrope that is a shifter or a full generation would have to register with DNA sampling, with the U.S. government and be entered into a database for potential offenders. Already the tensions are high between supporters and opponents of the bill, who some say, is tantamount to the eugenics policies of the Nazi party in World War two."
Taking a breath, the anchor went on.
" Supporters argue that lycanthropes are a clear and present danger to anyone in their vicinity, while some who oppose the bill claim that there is scientific evidence that lycanthropes are human and thus are to be granted clear and equal protection under the law the same as their fellow man..”
The shot switched back to the news anchor, her face deadly serious and her eyes dark as she went on. “The terrorists, some of which were full generation lycanthropes, were arrested, though none were killed. However, there was a casualty from the Library's occupants as James Billington, the Librarian of Congress, was killed by a single blow to the head by this lycanthrope, pictured here,” the reporter stopped talking and the report cut to video of the killer.
The killer was a dark furred lycanthrope, standing well nearly seven feet high; his body was well muscled and covered in a dark blue black fur that was sleek and short, like an otters. His face was that of a wolf, wild and savage, with a long muzzle lined with razor sharp fangs. One of his ears had been torn off, and blood covered the side of his head; he did not seem to notice.
His only clothing was a ballistics vest and a pair of tattered tactical pants. His feet were plantigrade, flat footed, like a normal humans, not bent backward as so many fantasy artists portrayed them, Brian noticed; his arms could have easily snapped steel. He had been contained with a special set of binders that completely enclosed his wrists and hands, sealing his fists in steel. The lycanthrope had no way to escape, but still fought savagely against the chains that bound him to the flat bed SWAT truck that he had been detained in.
His eyes were wild with fury and his voice rang out across the parking lot, screaming at the top of his lungs, his mouth flecked with foam as he raged uncontrolled.
" YOU FURLESS MAGGOTS!!!! YOU WILL PAY FOR THIS! SUPERORITY! WE WILL WIPE YOUR SPECIES OUT FROM THIS PLANET!"
At this, the news report switched back to the blonde reporter who gravely continued.
“...This lycanthrope has been identified as John Carrey, fittingly known in police records as Brutus. Carrey had a long criminal history of assault and battery, theft and several murders have been laid at his feet. He is wanted in several states and it is unknown at this time whether or not the prosecutors will seek the death penalty, but if convicted of aiding in tonight's brutal attack and of the crimes of which he is accused, the law may seek the Madison Treatment for Carrey...."
Brian just shook his head.
Lycanthropes were a new development of sorts. Just over ten years ago, it was discovered that lycanthropy, not the mental affliction, but rather the physical transformation of a human into a wolf, was not legend at all but rather a type of hidden underground secret. The secret was discovered when a high profile scientist named Donald Madison had discovered the gene that controls the shape-shifting abilities of lycanthropes, commonly known by their slang name: Weres.
Madison had been on the forefront of Were research now for years, often he publicly claimed, to find a cure for the people who were afflicted by lycanthropy.
When the news story broke and other scientists confirmed it and lycanthropes began to come out and reveal themselves for the first time in hundreds of years, the public reaction had been strong, composed mostly of fear and bigotry with a healthy dose of old fashioned hate.
Brian did not understand why people feared or hated the Weres. He had seen Weres day in and day out for as long as he could remember and never had any problem out of them. The only reason Brian recognized them as Were's was because they were what had been termed Full-Generation Lycans or First Generations.
The people who happened to have this variant of lycanthropy could never assume human form, and were forever locked in their wolf like bodies, even though their minds and emotions were still one hundred percent human. The other kind of Were, the shifters, were impossible to tell that they had the astounding ability to shift from human to wolf form in a matter of seconds, because they looked exactly like normal humans.
He knew that there were extremists in every flock though, and to him, it smacked of the same race versus rights argument that sparked off the violent Civil Rights movement in the 1960’s.
That was really all that Brian knew about the Were situation or the current political situation or in fact, about the science of Were's at all because Brian detested politics. He saw no reason to panic and fear them; sure there the crazy ones but hey, the same could be said of normal people too but for now, he could not let himself get dragged down by other people's struggles. His alone were enough to deal with.
All Brian wanted to do was to stay out of the fight, to live his life and be as normal as he possibly could while avoiding living on the streets as much as possible.
Shaking his head, he felt the hairs on the back of his neck prickle.
A cold wave went down his spine and Brian felt his body go rigid as if he had stepped into a freezer.
Turning, he squinted out into the rain as a car that was driving far too fast on the road shot by, sending up a spray of water that reached him, even as far back as he was on the sidewalk. He jumped back, throwing his hands up in front of his face as the cold gritty muddy spray hit him. Cursing, he wiped the water out of his face.
As soon as the glare of the car's headlights had dimmed and it had passed away, the streets were dark again, except for the pale light cast by the dim streetlamps that barely worked. In their yellow glow, he saw that four men had assembled in the opposite ally. Though he could not see them clear enough to make out exact details, he could see that they were clearly not the kind of person you wanted to be around in a dark city in the rain alone. They were dressed in baggy clothes, ragged shirts and torn jackets. They stared at him, unblinkingly, and Brian got the distinct impression he was being hunted.
Like a lamb to the slaughter.
Making the choice right then and there that he did not like that thought, he pushed it from his mind.
Deciding it was far more prudent to remove himself from the dark side streets and alleys and get himself home as soon as possible. Brian did not meet their gaze but rather took off at a brisk walk, leaving the electronics store behind, trying not to show his unease as the four men left the ally and fell into step behind him. Tightening his grip on his pack, Brian moved quickly, feeling the rain sting him, burying itself into his hair, shirt, like a million wet damp cold nettles. Behind him, he heard the footsteps of the two heavier men increase with his own.
One of them called out, "Hey, buddy, we need to talk to you!"
Brian heard an unsettling chuckle come next.
This was not good.
Another car passed by him, slinging mud and dirty water into the air, the headlights blindingly bright. Brian took the opportunity to duck into an alley hopefully losing his pursuers long enough in the glare so that he could find a different way home. He was no coward, but four against one was not exactly fair odds.
The alley was littered with trash, refuse and the waste of lives day in and day out, complimented with overturned trashcans. A rotting metal rusted dumpster filled to capacity sat at one end and a fire escape crawled up the side the empty building on the right but it was too far out of reach. A rat squeaked and bolted across the asphalt, vanishing into a wall. The only streetlight in this alley was blown and it was like entering a velvet darkness that was wet with the Earth's grimy tears.
His heart sank quickly as he realized his mistake.
The ally was a dead end.
A fifteen-foot high wooden fence blockaded the far end.
Not good, Brian thought, seeing no way out of the alley. Brick walls surrounded him on either side and again he cast a longing look at the fire escape ladder. It was too high for him even if he jumped.
“Damn it..." he cursed, turning around to see that the four men had appropriately blocked off the entrance to the alley.
Now that they were closer, he could see them better. The shortest was a man probably in his thirties with grizzled hair and a filthy jacket with no shirt on beneath it. His eyes were dark and beady, shifty, like a rodent. The other two, with their completely shaved heads, were clearly tee-teetotalers on bar night judging from the size of their beer guts and biker's jackets. Each of them wore sharpened metal spikes on their closed fists; iron knuckles.
The last man was a tall one; he was probably the worst out of the four as the other three had the air of lackeys, of toadies.
This man was no toady.
He had the atmosphere about him of a coiled snake, ready to strike. His eyes were a bright, clear ice blue and they possessed a horrid sick sheen to them. He was dressed as the others, in baggy clothing, with leather jackets. His boots were riding boots, and they made clear their arrival with controlled and precise clicks as their metal sole tips clinked on the asphalt. His own hair was slicked back and perfectly coifed, giving him a desperate civility that you knew was a lie the moment you saw it.
“Now, now...you shouldn't have made us run, buddy. We just wanted to talk to ya." he said, his voice as oily and slick as the rest of him. Brian's skin crawled.
He nodded in response. "Well you fellas have said hi. What can I do for you?" Brian replied, trying to keep his voice calm. His own voice was a mix of a rough baritone, which a copper feel to it, like old well-worn but loved metal. He kept one hand on his backpack strap, his fist tightening unconsciously.
“It’s not what you can do for us...it’s what we can do for you, buddy. Your pack looks very heavy. Meet my associates...Shank,” the tall man indicated the shorter man to his right who grinned dementedly, “Coby and Grindr." he pointed with a sweep of his long bony fingered hands to the bulkier men to his left, who both flexed their own fingers threateningly, the spike-knuckles glinting in the occasional lightning flash.
Thunder began to chatter on the horizon, low and steady.
"Nice to meet you.” Brian cracked, backing up, trying to find a way out of this before he ended up on the news tomorrow himself.
" Oh no, the pleasure is all mine...My name is Skinner, " the tall man said, reaching into his right breast pocket of his jacket. Brian couldn't see the object clearly at first but a second later, the sound told him all he needed to know.
A gleam in the darkness, the gleam of sharpened steel and an eight inch switch blade appeared in Skinner's hand. He looked at knife like a lover and then to Brian.
"Now why would you reckon they call me that, buddy?" Skinner said, advancing forward a few feet, switching the knife to his right hand into a reverse grip, the blade turning from a vertical shaft of death into a horizontal razor.
Brian decided not to answer and instead opted to bolt for the fence. Perhaps if he used the dumpster at this base as a vaulting point, he could leap over it, never mind that the fall to the other side would most likely do some serious damage, but it was a risk that he was willing to take rather than be butchered by these mugger wannabes.
"GET HIM!" Skinner yelled, and like attack dogs, Shank, Coby and Grindr leaped forward, moving faster than their bulk and stature would belie.
Brian reached the dumpster, placed his foot in the brace where the trash truck's beam would normally slide and boosted himself up and reached, reached wildly for the fence top. His left hand fingers grasped the wood, feeling the wetness of the ledge, while his right hand buried itself in the slop and muck that was the garbage that lined the dumpster’s filthy rim.
For a moment, he gripped it and threw his weight into hauling himself up.
A violent fork of lightning split the sky, throwing crazy shadows all over the alley and the thunderclap screamed afterward, vibrating Brian’s bones.
Then he felt the grip on the back of his jacket, felt the stinging stabbing of iron knuckles and a second later, he fell through space, before slamming into the ground, the wet asphalt rushing up to kiss him in the face. His pack went skittering into the dark corner of the ally, its contents spilling all over, the laptop crashing into the far wall with a sickening crunch. His notebook with his writing in it landed face down, open in a filthy puddle just beyond his reach. The wind was drove from him from the force of the impact and he felt warm blood cascade down his stomach and chest where his shirt had come up, the asphalt scraping his skin raw.
"Hold him!" Brian heard Skinner bark.
Coby and Grinder wasted no time in grabbing Brian by the hair of his head, gut punching him, driving the spikes home, and with a single fluid motion slung him into the front of the dumpster hard enough to shake it with a resounding thud of flesh hitting metal. The sharp agonizing nerve burning explosion of pain in his lower back as the edge of the dumpster caught his spine made Brian double over.
Gasping for air, Brian struggled as much as he could, his upper arms held fast in the crushing grip of the two men on opposite sides of him.
Brian’s feet were still free and he made liberal use of them, trying to twist up either Coby or Grindr's feet, but they were having none of it, easily maneuving away from his weak attempts. Shank who up until now had stood aside with Skinner, was suddenly there, in front of Brian and solidly drove a booted foot violently into Brian's groin, instantly subduing him.
Brian felt sick, as if he were going to throw up as a lead weight dropped into his gut, and for a moment he saw stars, and sagged against his captors, unable to scream, unable to cry out in the sheer shocking agony of the pain he now felt in his loins.
He let his head hang limp, matted with water and dirt was the rain continued to pour, unable to fight anymore, instead reduced to taking deep breaths to avoid passing out.
Skinner laughed, as if he found the situation amusing. He walked slowly, like a big cat over to his prey, the blade in his right hand glinting in the thunder claps that had begun with first sparks of lightning a few moments ago; the storm was intensifying rapidly.
Skinner stopped in front of Brian, where the thief simply stood, and then Skinner took his left hand and used his index finger to lift Brian's head up, to make Brian face him. He lowered himself to face Brian, eye to eye. His cold blue orbs stared into Brian's dazed eyes. Skinner's voice was like poisoned silk, low and conspiratorial, as if he was giving Brian the winning lotto numbers.
“You know, you could have made this much easier on yourself. You do not know the countless people who I have gutted for fighting back or trying to run. All we wanted was your money but I hate a runner more than anything, buddy."
Brian tried to scowl and finally, worked up the best he could do.
He spit in Skinner's face.
Skinner did not cry out in shock but launched a powerful sideways blow with his left hand that sent Brian's head clanging off the back of the dumpster. Brian’s vision went crossways and began to swim. Brian tasted the wet coppery taste of blood gush in his mouth. He spat it out onto the ground, glaring at Skinner.
"You'll pay for that one," Skinner snarled, raising his right hand with the blade in it, the gleaming steel razor edge snarling in the lighting that flashed. Shank, Coby and Grindr laughed. This was fun.
Even broken that laptop would fetch a pretty price...after all, they had watched him for weeks in that ratty bar, Ero's. Skinner knew how much he had on him.
As he cocked his arm for the blow that would surely decapitate Brian, lightning flashed again and Coby and Grindr's faces drained of any color, turning a sick shade of white. Skinner noticed at the same time as Shank. “What is wrong with ya...getting' cold feet after all this time?" Shank jeered. Skinner saw the true fear in the eyes of his men and suddenly he realized they were looking behind him...and up.
Keeping the knife at Brian's throat, Skinner turned and looked up, following the looks of stunned looks of terror on his men's faces.
"Jesus Christ..." Skinner felt the words fall from his mouth as his eyes took in what he was seeing, his face going ashen and eyes dilating in shock.
There, perched upon the roof's edge of the building that made up the right wall of the alley was a figure, a two-legged figure. It was well over six feet high, powerfully muscled and covered in (dear God) fur, Skinner realized.
Covered in gray otter sleek fur, just like a dog.
Its form was human, two legs and two arms with human-like hands, five fingered with an opposable thumb, just like a humans; the feet were flat like a humans, the toes and fingers ending in blunt black claws. It was dressed in torn jeans that ended at the knee, with rags of jean material reaching its furry ankles.
It had a long tail that was bushy, just like a wolf's that snarled in the night, curled like a snake, lashing in the storm. Its upper body was shirtless, and like the rest of him, was covered in dark gray fur; the body itself as Skinner previously noted and could now see better, was toned, and fit, and the head (Jesus H. Christ and Mary too)
…the head he saw was not human at all...but rather....
Its ears were long and pointed, ragged and its muzzle, once graceful, was long and covered in four scars, slashed down sideways, as if it had been clawed. The nose was black like a dogs and the mouth was lined with fangs that made a steak knife look tame. The eyes, to Skinner's horror, were fixed on him and were glowing with an odd light of their own, an amber yellow glow. Skinner felt his heart begin to pound in the rising panic he felt that matched the bile rising in his throat.
With the next lightning flash, Brian was able to focus his eyes enough to look up and see what held his captors attention and he saw what they did, his blood ran cold.
A Full Generation Lycanthrope.
He felt his brain disconnect as he tried to process what he was seeing.
With a roar like a lion's the lycanthrope leaped down, dropping down three stories to the pavement below, landing in a crouch. From his new position, Brian saw the yellow eyes flick up to Skinner and then the lycanthrope spoke, his voice was raspy, dark and quiet; it had a gruff quality to it, as if from disuse, and it was deep. Not James Earl Jones deep, no, but more like Kevin Bacon.
“Don’t you boys have anything better to be doing tonight, like hitting up the roach motels on Fifth? Leave him alone…Now."
It was not a request.
Skinner, now caught between the Lycanthrope and his own prey, made a snap decision. Whatever this creature wanted, it sure as hell wasn't going to kill him. He was not going to end up on the news as a furry victim. Not Skinner Johnson.
A memory tugged at his subconscious as he stared at the man-creature, something familiar. Then it hit him.
"Mind your business, fur-ball. I've heard of you on the streets, trying to save people, be some kinda hero. This has nothing to do with your flea-ridden kind; get lost before you get hurt."
The Were simply blinked, the yellow eyes dimming momentarily as he did it. He had been following this one for days now. He knew this one was named Skinner. The scumbag had robbed countless, left more than a few bodies in the dark alleys of the city. He had no desire to hurt anyone but he also had no compulsion to spare them if bullets began to fly.
" Apparently you guys don't speak English. I said, leave the man alone." The Were had not risen from his crouch.
Seeing that they were not going to be torn limb from limb immediately, Grinder and Coby and Shank let go of Brian and backed into positions next to the dumpster, sliding their hands into their jackets. Brian tried to move but Skinner moved the blade, nearly sending it through his throat.
"This one is mine," Skinner said to his men, turning his back on the Were, forcing Brian's head up with the blade of his knife, exposing his neck.
" Kill Fido."
"Kill a lousy Were? With pleasure." Grinder snarled, apparently having grown his bravado back. He reached around to his belt and drew his own knife; Shank did the same and Coby pulled a small pistol from inside his jacket, sliding a round into the chamber as he racked the slide back, the ratcheting sound loud in the alleyway with all the cold heartlessness that all steel seemed to possess.
" I don't want to kill you." The Were said, shifting his weight on his ankles.
"Too bad...we want to kill you." Coby stated flatly, and took aim with his pistol and fired.
The gun shot was painfully loud, and even the thunder above did not swallow it entirely. The muzzle flash was like a second sun. The round slammed into the Were's right shoulder, throwing blood and tissue out, causing the Were to stumble backward with the inertia of the bullet; the Were uttered a small cry of surprise.
"NOW!" Grindr barked, bringing his blade to bear as he dove forward, seizing his chance to gut the wounded Were.
With a move so fluid it seemed impossible, the Were rolled to the right, coming up on his knees, directly in the path of the razor knife in Grindr's right hand. In a split second the blade would slice into the Were's jugular and he would bleed out in the alley.
That split second never came.
Even as he was rolling, the Were's powerful arm and left hand shot out, fingers open; the sound of flesh striking flesh, the thick wet sound was swallowed in the lightning burst. The Were had flat palmed Grindr to the solar plexus, driving him backward.
At the same instant Grindr went back on his ass to crash to the pavement behind him, the Were's right hand came up and caught the falling man's right flailing wrist and simply twisted, breaking it with the sickening sound of cracking bone, pulling the man to the ground with enough force to stun a bull into submission.
At once Grindr screamed and the blade fell the the asphalt clattering out of sight and that was the last thing Grindr ever saw as the Were brought his knee up into Grindr's face, cracking his skull and snuffing out his life like a lit match in the wind.
Coby lined up a new shot and fired; the gun sputtered pitifully; it had water logged in the rain.
"gorram it!" Coby cursed, and dove down next to the dumpster to un-jam his weapon, ducking like a scared dog. The Were moved towards him his tail lashing in the rain.
Sliding in like a whip snake, Shank tried to slice the Were's Achilles tendon. The Were was too fast, jumping out of the way, grabbing Shank by the back of the shirt, rolling back around to the left and up to his feet, hurling short stocky Shank face first into the brick wall with an ear splitting thud, sending spider-web cracks through the brick face, shaking dust loose from the mortar.
Shank sank to the ground and moved no more.
Skinner hauled Brian away from the dumpster and held him, struggling, and the blade against his throat. “You want to save this meat-sack, eh, fleabag? You wanna kill my men? Well gently caress you!”
Before the Were could cover the distance to him, Skinner turned Brian around to face him. " I promised to kill you slow and I ain't gonna lie. "
“NO!” the Were barked and dove towards Skinner.
Coby chose that moment to rush the Were and slammed shoulder first into him, knocking him backward in a flying tackle, the jammed gun forgotten.
Skinner drove the blade of his knife deep into Brian's abdomen, twisting it.
Brian felt a scream rip from his throat as the knife pierced him and a terrible fire begin to spread through him, as much as the red blood that gushed from the wound, spilling onto the pavement. His whole body went rigid as Skinner dragged the knife up through his bowels and finally, yanked the blade clear and tossed Brian away like yesterday's trash.
The world tilted wildly and gravity snared him, dragging Brian crashing to the ground. He felt the pain but his stunned brain could not process it.
Brian felt his awareness slow down as the pain overwhelmed him, his hands went to the gash in his stomach, the shirt ripped where the knife went through, blood soaking his hands, making them slippery and wet even as he tried to staunch the flow of his life force. He lay where he fell, too weak to move, trying to stay awake even as the pain and the strange heavy feeling in his eyes wanted him to go to sleep.
He heard muffled scuffling and saw twisted distorted shapes as his consciousness fled his body.
Was this dying?
Yes...it must be...
With a snarl, the Were simply straight punched Coby in the face, breaking his noise with a meaty-bone crunch; hot blood cascading from the fat man’s nose, even as he fell away to the ground on his knees, his bravado broken and his strength useless.
The Were crossed the distance between himself and Skinner in two seconds, backhanding Skinner into the dumpster before the man could even turn around to face him. The skinnier man’s feet left the ground with the force of the blow and crashed back first into the sharp edge of the dumpster. The thunder swallowed the wet splintering connective snap that was his spine.
Coby had done the smart thing; he had taken the opportunity to run and run he did, leaving the alleyway in sheer terror, taking his gushing ruined nose and leaving Skinner to face the creature alone.
Skinner lay where he fe1l, his back broken from the sheer force of the impact with the dumpster's hard right edge.
He was able to look up at the Were who stood over him. He glared at him with hate in his pain-filled eyes. “Your kind are nothing...Humans are the only ones...So you've killed me...you weren't able to save him, were you...were you, Max?"
The Were flinched at the sound of his name. He supposed word had gotten around about his nocturnal exploits.
“Go to hell." Max said, and turned away from Skinner, whose eyes rolled back in his head as he died, blood leaking from his mouth from the internal bleeding; he literally downed in his own blood.
Max stepped over his corpse and moved over to Brian, whose form was now still on the ground, the pavement stained in blood. He couldn't save him...there was no way he could get the man to an ambulance or hospital in time.....just like he had been able to save his family that night years ago from the raiders...he was just as pathetic as the men who'd he'd put out of their misery tonight. Half angry, half frustrated, he growled to himself.
Turning, Max hung his head and went to leave the alley, and he was half way over the dumpster and the fence when he saw movement.
His sharp eyes caught it and he saw the unbelievable.
The guy that Skinner had stabbed was alive.
Dropping back to the ground, the pavement wet on his bare feet, soaking through the fur, Max moved quickly to Brian, and knelt beside the man.
Brian looked up at Max and for a moment, they simply locked eyes. Then Brian did something that Max did not expect.
"Thank you...for trying..." Brian said, his voice fading, the light going out of his eyes as his life fled his body.
Max did not respond. Was this what his life was going to be? Watching everyone he tried to help die and be ripped away from this world? Was that the curse of being what he was? To be nothing but a monster...he was no one, nothing...what could he do....he had failed again..
Then it hit him. He knew how to save Brian's life.
" No...I can't...." he said out loud, his voice barely a whisper and even as Brian's lay his head back and closed his eyes, Max made his decision. He would not loose another life. Not this time. Not tonight.
Going against every belief he had, he took Brian up from the ground and bared his fangs, and drove them into Brian's left shoulder, holding them there.
Brian's eyes shot open as the pain of the bite drove away any of the pain he felt from the stab wound. Brian felt a fire pulse through his veins, as if his very blood were boiling and he gasped in shock, his back arching like he was hit with an electric current.
As Max held Brian in the death bite, the bloody gash on Brian's stomach seemed to close a bit, the blood flow slowing to a trickle.
Finally, weak from the blood loss and pain from the newest injury, Brian passed out from shock and went limp in Max's grasp.
Max immediately withdrew, and spit out the blood from his mouth, the iron copper taste flooding his senses. For a moment, Max thought he had killed the man. He quickly wiped his mouth and checked Brian’s pulse and then realized with shock that the man not only had a pulse and instead of growing weaker...it was growing stronger.
Unsure of what to do next, Max did the only thing he could and took the man's jacket off, ripping what was left of Brian's shirt from his body and tied it around his abdomen, creating a tight make shift tourniquet. Replacing the jacket and making sure he wasn't doing any more damage, Max lifted Brian's limp form into a fireman's carry.
Moving quickly as he could already hear the police sirens wailing, he vaulted onto the dumpster and over the fence in a single fluid motion. His feet hit the ground hard and he began to run, carrying Brian with him, and deep inside, praying he done the right thing to whatever god that would listen to him. Behind him, floodlights and blue-red flashers light up the night, even as Max vanished into the darkness.
(WOLF Main Theme: (music) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DU203TWhrTE
by: Anthony Milhorn A.K.A ShadowWolf2010
Wolf and all related materials © 2000 Anthony Milhorn.
All rights reserved under the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works.
**"New Beginings" courtesy of Future World Music, Volume 7-Evolution.**
Last edited by ShadowWolf2010 (2011-04-24 22:29:46)
Wow! Great beginning. I love your description of the environment, and the clever way you present the reader with some of the information of the world's backdrop through the news.
I'm guessing Brian is your main character? A colorful introduction you gave him. I can relate to his life as a construction worker since I've been in that field too.
You had a few sentences with repeated words or misspellings, but nothing you can't fix later. I would also recommend when proofreading, read it aloud to yourself. It's a tip I picked up from my writing critique group that I've just started to attend, and I find it helps with catching most of my mistakes.
Also you taught me a new word too: plantigrade. I had to look it up on a dictionary site. I liked it.
I look forward to reading more whenever you continue it
Last edited by SilentStrider (2010-01-17 22:37:34)
Wow! Great beginning. I love your description of the environment, and the clever way you present the reader with some of the information of the world's backdrop through the news.
I'm guessing Brian is your main character? A colorful introduction you gave him. I can relate to his life as a construction worker since I've been in that field too.
You had a few sentences with repeated words or misspellings, but nothing you can't fix later. I would also recommend when proofreading, read it aloud to yourself. It's a tip I picked up from my writing critique group that I've just started to attend, and I find it helps with catching most of my mistakes.
I look forward to reading more whenever you continue it
Thank you so much for the feedback! It's greatly appreciated! Brian is one of the main characters and is the one the story will focus on the most but Max as well and a few others that havent been seen yet. I will definitely try that tip about reading it aloud, never thought about that. Thanks!!!
Look forward to hearing more of what you think! Again, thanks!!!
Chapter 1: Morning
He opened his eyes, his eyelids drawing back slowly, like a newborn.
His breathing slow and deep, and the sound of it was loud in his ears.
The first thing Brian was aware of was how bright the sun was.
His head was pounding, his awareness in a daze.
It streamed in through the windows as if the gates of Heaven had opened and were beckoning to him, warming him with its soft heat.
Brian squinted, trying to focus his eyes, screwing up his face in the glare, raising his hands to shield them from the brilliant sun. For a moment, he did not remember or recall anything that had occurred that night before. He felt hard springs pushing up through scratchy thing cloth below his back and knew immediately that he was not in his bed at home. He was covered in something else that was scratchy. Reaching down he saw that it was a faded, dull gray wool blanket that was moth eaten, ripped, and patched together crudely.
It was not his.
He propped himself up on his left elbow, sitting up slightly, the springs now digging into the point of his elbow. He felt a slight but sharp flaring hot pain shoot across his left shoulder. Looking down, straining his neck and eyes, he saw that it was bruised; a very large bruise that was yellowed and had a deep purple-green tinge to it, like it had been there for a week or more. It vaguely looked like there were puncture marks there; in fact, they looked like an animal bite.
How did he get bruised? For that matter, what in the hell had taken a chunk out of him like a chew toy?
He rubbed his eyes, careful not to move his shoulder the wrong way because that hurt like hell when he did, the muscles and tendons screaming in agony, and took in his surroundings, squinting in the light streaming through the high window at the end of the couch he was on. Even though he moved gently, his shoulder still sang a fresh song of pain; he grunted with it but it wasn't as bad as it had been. Then a thought struck him.
Wait a minute…a couch?
Brian looked around him and saw that he was on an old couch, a faded cloth model that last saw popular use back in the early 1980s. It was a horribly tacky olive green thing and yet, it also seemed to belong to the room in which it sat. Looking around him, he wondered what in the hell was going on.
Across the couch against the wall to the right was a smaller couch, this one, he saw was an old salvaged love seat and was just as patched at the blanket that covered him. It was a dirty red-orange synthetic leather couch with more holes than patches. A faded rug, covered with sinuous twisting blue jungle leaf patterns that looked like it may have been scavenged from a motel, covered the scuffed dark and faded hardwood floor.
A small broken down television set sat out in front of the couch on an old teacart that was hobbled together with jury-rigged supports and screws that did not match. It seemed as if one blow would tip it over. The TV itself was an old 17-inch set, color most likely, but had a twist knob on the front and an actual dial for changing the channels; there was not a remote or an infra-red port that he could see. Twin aerials jutted out of the back, forming the traditional rabbit ears under heavy duct tape and tin foil.
How odd, he thought.
Across the room, he saw a white partitioned wall that reached from floor to ceiling, and went back further, forming a relatively small separate room with a simple door on it. The door was slightly ajar and through it, he could see the bathroom; a small toilet and a grungy looking sink and what might have been a shower. To the left of the bathroom room was what must have passed for the kitchen and dining area as one space, with a rundown green-yellow stove and a few cabinets that had been installed by hand, not to mention constructed by hand by whoever called this home. The wood of the cabinets was smooth and well-handled, but unfinished, as if the builder had found the process of finishing and painting them to be not worth the extra time.
A teal-green folding card table served as the dining table with one rusty folding chair sitting against the wall. A dingy refrigerator ran with a loud ticking sound, as if its motor were about to give out in a final wheezing death.
Twisting himself up higher and around, Brian saw twin sized bed shoved up against the far wall, covered in torn ratty looking blankets and a pillow. The bed was unkempt, as if whomever was sleeping there had gotten up and not made the bed, or not slept well by the looks of it.
Twin folding windows behind the loveseat let in the most light, turning the room amber, making it warm and inviting, despite the poor decor and trashy looking items that seemed to have been rescued from death at the hands of the junkyard crusher. The walls were bare, with no paintings or photographs, Brian noted, and their paint was fading; in their prime, they had been a industrial green color, like a hospital's.
A single bare light bulb sat in a socket in the middle of the room. With the room itself being one large space, one really didn't need a ton of lamps to light it, Brian supposed.
Then he realized that he was shirtless.
Panic turned his stomach and a sudden damp cold fear leaped into his throat; he immediately leaped up from the couch, tossing the blanket into the floor into an unruly heap. He remembered what happened last night, the memories attacking him in violent flashes so real it may have been happening all over again.
" I promised to kill you slow and I ain't gonna lie. "
The knife piercing his gut, ripping through skin, vessels, the muscle wall and into his stomach, the feeling of burning acid as his stomach began to leak blood and acid, burning and searing as the knife dragged up, past the first and second and third rectus abdominus, (wow I remembered that one from anatomy class) tearing into his left obliques. The feeling of his life pouring out of his body, the thought that he was going to die in a filthy muddy alley with the piss puddles and rats, the searing stabbing burning that---
Brian looked down at himself; I should not be alive, was his only thought.
His shirt, red and blood soaked, ruined beyond any washing machines good graces was wrapped around his middle as if someone had tied it in a tourniquet to staunch the bleeding.
His jacket. to his relief, he saw had been draped over the dark wrought iron railing of the spiral staircase that led to the floor below, as if to dry. He instinctively reached below the shirt, sliding his fingers below the cloth, expecting to feel a wet, sticky wound gaping in his guts but felt nothing but the smooth skin of his stomach and the light covering of hair that was there and...raised scar tissue? Now that it was clear he was not dead, Brian took more interest in his impossible predicament.
Slowly, almost afraid to confirm what he felt, Brian untied the knots of the shirt, unwrapped it from his body, and saw to his amazement, the gash that had been there the night before now only existed as a slightly raised scar that ran from his belly button and up around to just below his chest.
What is going on here? His startled brain demanded insolently, as if it was more concerned with the physical impracticality that was being shoved into its mental face rather than being grateful for being alive.
Letting the shirt fall to the floor, he crossed over to the room and touched his jacket. The fact that he could feel the well-worn leather beneath his finger tips told him again, he was not dreaming. He was glad that his jacket had been spared; it was the last true thing he left of his father before he died.
His father had been an avid motorcycle rider and had an old ninety-six Harley Sportster 883 Hugger that he loved nearly as much as his own family. Brian fondly remembered the roar of its well-tuned five-speed engine. He also warmly recalled the dangerous but somehow hypnotic deep cherry red color, the glistening chrome of the handle bars, with its smooth black leather seat, a seat that Brian had been itching to sit in since he was old enough to know what a motorcycle was, although his mother had always been hesitant. His father had taken him riding on it one day and never told his mother.
The rush and the speed of the wind in his hair was burned into his mind, and Brian had always wanted his own cycle ever since.
His father had always worn the jacket when he was riding and never once did Brian see him without it…except the day he died. He had driven the car that day and Brian always wondered, if he taken the bike, would he have been killed?
The day the ranch was sold stood out in his mind not because of the fact that they lost their home (the home was lost the day his father was killed to his recollection) but seeing the auctioneers roll his father’s bike into the packing crate after some rich bike enthusiast had purchased it to store it in his collection.
The nails driving the wooden door onto the crate still pounded in his ears even though it had been what felt like a life time ago.
His shoes were still on his feet, he noticed, snapping back to the present. His pants were dry and he was over all, feeling nearly normal except for the heavy metal rock concert that was going on behind his eye balls from the headache from where that low-life mugger had back-handed him. His mouth stung but was manageable.
His backpack, he noted wasn't anywhere to be seen.
Then he remembered.
"Damn it..." he groaned.
His laptop, all his writing and notes, his research for his book, gone.
Obliterated in a single shot. Now he would have to start all over; more months of construction work, working fast food when that was slow and scrounging away for a life he seemed to be damned never to have. He knew he had to look terrible from the beating he took last night. Desperate to keep his mind off the loss of his work, which was burning like a hot brand, and not seeing the occupant of the little apartment, he moved across the room and entered the bathroom. There was a single pull switch hanging from the ceiling and he tugged it.
With a click, a dim yellow bulb came on, throwing an even dimmer yellow light in the bathroom, bathing the room in a weak yellow ambience. The window behind the toilet was frosted glass so he could not see anything out of it but jumbled shapes that flowed together as if the world outside were crying and it was all running together. The light of the sun had not yet reached this far as it rose, but it was brightening fast.
Brian saw that the tiles in the bathroom were white and green, and just as old as the rest of the place seemed to be. The toilet, the seat and lid were down, was a dingy white and the seat was made out of that fake plastic wood he thought only cheap motels could pull off without looking trashy.
In the floor next to the toilet was a pair of old tattered jeans that were ripped into rags below the knee and a cast aside pair of briefs. The jeans were covered in blood stains. Wrinkling his nose, Brian turned back to the sink. The sink in the bathroom was a simple pedestal sink, like you would find at any road side truck stop. Above it was a dirty mirror. Looking into the mirror, he saw his five o'clock shadow was thicker, darker; he needed to shave soon he guessed. His hair was messier than usual and his left eye had a light bruise around it from the blow he had taken from Skinner.
He had looked worse, he recalled, thinking about the time he had the four wheeler accident when he was fifteen. That had been bad.
Reaching out, he turned on the facets scuffed metal taps and cool water rushed out easily in a clean miniature waterfall, splashing up against the rim of the sink in a faint mist of cool comforting moisture. Cupping his hands beneath the gushing stream, the water splashing all over the ceramic rim, he doused his face with the icy spray. Finally, the pounding behind his eyes stopped and the headache seemed to gradually clear until it was gone. Squinting through his water soaked eyelids, he groped around and found a blue towel hanging next to the sink on a crooked towel rack. It looked clean. Realizing he didn’t have any other option, he took it from the rack.
Bringing it up, giving it a quick more in depth evaluation, he shrugged and dried his face with it, noticing the odd smell it had. It smelt like wild earth and strangely, Old Spice. His mind pictured images of a raging mountain stream and blue skies with white clouds and snow...and a woman with long dark hair and sad but gorgeous blue eyes.
The vision was so strong, almost like a memory. Frowning, he pushed the image aside. He must have hit his head harder than he had thought.
He tossed the towel aside; it landed with a thump on the toilet seat. Now that he felt more human, not to mention awake, he looked back in the mirror.
Then he noticed something odd in his reflection.
Something very odd.
Leaning closer, his hands clasping the rim of the sink, he looked at what was perhaps the strangest thing he had ever seen in his life: his eye's irises, normally a hazel brown had turned jade green with flecks of amber gold and black.
" What in the hell...is going on..." he heard himself mutter. Was he going blind? He didn't think so. He could see perfectly well. In fact, his vision seemed sharper and far more defined that he remembered it, almost as if he had a high definition camera for each eye. Shaking his head, he didn't want to deal with any more weirdness just yet; last night was more than enough. There was probably a rational medical explanation. The change in his vision and his eye color was probably a result of having Skinner play knick-knack with his skull.
Leaving the bathroom, forgetting about the light, he moved across the room and decided to leave his jacket where it lay for the time being. Walking over to the kitchen area, Brian saw that the room was not as empty as he originally had thought. On the counter was a bowel and next to it a set of bloody tweezers.
Carefully, he looked in the bowel. As he looked, the strong smell of disinfectant struck him and there, in the bowel was a spent bullet, covered in scarlet.
One of the fat men, the cueball with the gun had shot the Were. Did the Were pull this out of himself? Jesus…
The full-generation Were that had saved his life. Was this his apartment? Did Were’s even live in houses? He struck the stupid idea from his head the moment it came in.
Turning away from the kitchen, he moved back into the area that seemed to the living room and then he saw something he didn't see before; there was indeed a picture on the wall, a single photograph that hung above the headboard of the bed. He had not been able to see it from the angle he had originally being laying at.
Curious, he moved closer.
The bed itself was a simple twin-sized mattress and box spring on raised cinder blocks with thick wooden slabs as supports. There were sheets, which were surprisingly clean, though rumpled, and the remaining blankets and top sheets had been tossed aside, along with the rough looking pillow. Looking above the headboard, Brian examined the photo, but did not touch it.
The photo was old, and it had to come from the early 80's and from the look of it, from a Kodak Insta-Matic. It was in color, though the colors were faded from years of display. In it, a man and a woman were arm in arm. The man was a distinguished looking gentleman, with swept back brown hair and a devil-may care smile.
His eyes were the deepest coal black, with just a hint of amber and he wore what looked like snow gear. In his arms, was---what the hell, Brian thought---the woman from the vision in the bathroom when he had smelled the scent on that towel. There she was, her raven hair cascading around her shoulders, her round goddess like face broken into a laugh that could have healed the world's wrongs and her eyes, a brilliant ice blue with just a hint of cobalt. They flashed out of the photo and grabbed yours, and they seemed to pierce you.
Brian noticed the wedding band on her hand. Apparently, they were husband and wife. Behind them, a glorious mountain rose to a cloudless sky on a brilliant winter's day. Around them, the snow was thick and fresh and there, to the left was a deep thick forest of pine and evergreens that was like something out of a magazine.
Frowning, Brian was about to take the picture off the wall from where it was pinned with a single thumbtack, when a sudden frustrated shout made him jump in place.
That same gruff voice carried up form below, through the metal spiral staircase.
It was followed by the hollow clanging sounds of metal striking metal and what sounded like a tool box being kicked violently across a room. Realizing the shout wasn't directed at him, Brian looked around and didn't see what he pictured to be a werewolf's abode. He thought it would be a chaotic den like place but it looked so normal. Too many late night movies and squalid news reports, he told himself.
His fingers unconsciously found his left shoulder...the bruise....the Were had bitten him...
The Werewolf had bitten him.
Oh my God....
I'm dreaming...I have to be dreaming...it was a hallucination...there was no Werewolf, no mugging, no...this is a lucid dream that's what it is....come on Bry-
no, snap yourself out of it. Wake up! Too much time spent at the computer, too much caffeine...
But his subconscious piped up in that nasty little smug voice saying oh yes it did and you were bitten old boy. You know what that means.
Again from downstairs the sound of metal ratcheting metal and the clink of what sounded oddly like wrenches echoed in the apartment.
Swallowing the sudden growing panic he felt at the implications of that realization, Brian did the only thing he knew to do and moved towards the staircase that spiraled down and into the floor. Its wrought iron black metal squeaked a bit under his weight but held steady as he descended. One step at a time, not knowing what to expect, he went down and around and around again, finally stepping out into what appeared to be a large garage.
The garage made no attempt to hide what it was, being made of unpainted cinderblock and gray concrete. The smell of grease and oil was strong, and it vaguely reminded him of the way his father used to smell after hours working on his bike.
Florescent lights that were at least ten years old hung from the ceiling on thin chains, housed in old vented metal cowls the color of pea soup.
Piled into a corner behind the spiral stair case was a set of old tires and rims, haphazardly tossed. To the immediate right of the stairs was a storage room with its door open, a single bare bulb lighting it. Inside were boxes of car parts, and what looked like to be a make shift closest with a few items of clothing inside as well as bric-a-brac from years of collecting and tools of all kinds.
Directly in front of the stair case and about twenty feet from where he stood, Brian saw several work benches lining the walls, covered in parts, tools, grease and oil cans, screws, nuts and bolts and pieces he didn't even know car's had.
In front of the work benches sat an old Ford truck. To Brian it looked like at least a 1975 or '76 Ford. It was dull red but parts of it were as clean as the day it came off the lot; the truck was boosted off the floor on cinder blocks and parts of its transmission and engine guts lay scattered across the garage bay, its hood raised and a work light hung from the hood's edge. From where he stood, he could not see who was working on it but he could see the outline of his body from the side; the upper part of the person was deep in the engine compartment of the truck.
The moment his foot set down on the concrete of the garage, the person stiffened and stopped working. Brian knew what he would see there but was not prepared to accept it yet even as the head, neck and upper body of the person extricated from the engine bay, leaning on the edges of the truck.
It was the same Full Generation Lycanthrope from last night.
His regal wolf like head and tattered ears were the same and his fur, covered in grease, was the same dark gray silky color and his arms, as powerful as they were last night were propped up on the side of the truck's engine compartment as if it was completely normal. The Were was dressed in a pair of dirty faded jeans, whole this time, no shoes and a white tank top with an old battered black digital watch on his right wrist with a thick leather strap.
His tail flicked back and forth as he took in Brian; Brian noticed that during the day, the Were's eyes were blue and oddly, the same shade of ice blue as the woman’s in the photo upstairs. In his powerful yet graceful hands, Brian noticed a socket wrench driver. His hands and wrists, Brian noticed were wrapped dingy white cloth strips with long ends that hung free, as a boxer would wear shock tape.
Another weird thing was that Brian discovered was that he could smell him. He smelled of Dial soap, the soft pleasant clean smell, and the same sharp masculine scent of Old Spice and a hint of the wild earth that Brian had smelt before on the towel. The Were's fur was clean, except his hands, which were covered in grease, unlike last night and fur was not bushy or prickly at all but rather as smooth as an otter's. The four slashing scars that draped his muzzle were not as noticeable in the day light. A Budweiser beer can set balanced on the right front fender of the truck.
The Were raised an eyebrow and said gruffly, "Morning," before he went back to his work, noticing that Brian was too much in shock to say much of anything. As the Were spoke, Brian saw his teeth and instantly saw where the puncture wounds had came from, teeth just like dog’s.
Finally, after convincing himself that this Were wasn't one of the crazy ones like the one on the news last night and realizing also that the guy had saved his life, Brian moved forward, stopping just a foot from the truck. For a moment, he watched the Were work, trying not to think about that bite.
The Were did not look up from his task but continued his work. After it was apparent that the Were was not going to speak to him without being spoken to, Brian did what he thought was the smartest thing he knew to do. Brian did not want to broach the subject of last night before he was sure the Were wasn't going to kill him and he wasn’t sure if the Were’s lack of communication was from hubris, intolerance for regular humans or perhaps, even just that he wasn’t much of a talker.
" So…", Brian said, looking the truck over. It looked much better up close; clearly this Were was a talented mechanic. The front end of the truck was nearly restored and the chrome trim had been polished lovingly back to a silver sheen.
"...what's wrong with the truck? " Brian stammered his hands held stiffly by his side and prepared himself to run in case the Were attacked him.
The Were chuckled; oddly it was a good sound, one that Brian associated people making when someone has done something irrevocably stupid...like ask stupid questions. Brian immediately regretted the words that just left his mouth.
" The block had a crack in it the size of the San Andreas fault...the ignition coils are shot...the oil gaskets are rotted through...." the Were said quietly amused, tilting his head to the side a bit so he could look up at Brian and continue his efforts on the engine that lay bare before him, indicating the engine on the floor next to Brian’s feet with his blue eyes.
Brian didn't know anything else to say. "It looks nice."
The Were raised another eye brow and barked a gruff "Thanks."
Realizing he was getting nowhere fast, Brian tried a new tactic. He was feeling the questions about last night boiling over and he didn't want to ramble or start screaming in panic, either of which was about as likely to happen as the sun setting later that evening simplity from the irrationality of his whole situation that he had found himself in.
"What year is it?" he asked instead, looking over the truck again.
At this, the Were pulled himself completely out of the trucks engine bay, took a sip of his beer and grabbed a cloth from the workbench, and wiped his hands with it, the grease sliding easily off his fur, which surprised Brian. He had thought that the grease would clump up and stick to the fur. The Were noticed him watching.
“2009.” the Were said.
It took Brian a moment to understand the Were was joking with him. The Were noticed his confusion and quickly added “The truck’s a ’75.” Finishing cleaning his hands, the werewolf continued.
"Our fur is like a duck's feathers in some ways; it shed's light amounts water and most other contaminants." he told Brian, tossing the grease cloth back onto the bench.
The Were walked around him and over behind the truck to the work bench along the far wall and began rifling through parts.
"About...last night...." Brian turned to face him, looking at the strong back of the werewolf who was now shuffling through his tools on the bench.
The Were stopped rifling and seemed to grow still. Before his courage failed him, Brian dove in. " What happened....did you...?"
Despite the fact that the Were's reply was as quiet as a pin dropping, Brian heard it as if it had been through a megaphone.
The answer was like being hit dead on by a speeding Mack truck with the grill looming larger and larger before it finally slammed you into the next county, demolishing you into tiny helpless bloody pieces.
Anger and fear began to compete against his nervousness. "But doesn't that mean that I..."
" Yes. It does." the Were said, sighing and turning around to face Brian, crossing his arms in front of his powerful chest, his tail still behind him, leaning against the bench as if having this conversation were the most natural thing in the world for him, although Brian could see that the Were was troubled by it all the same.
No. It couldn't be...his work...his life...it was over as he knew it and with a sudden fury, Brian's temper flared, out of a mix of disgust and mingled shock at the news the Were had just given him. He was not human anymore. It felt like he just been told he had terminal cancer with only days left to live, leaving him hollow inside and the void needed to be filled.
"Why? Why....I had a life....I was...---" Brian shouted, his face flushing hot with anger, his eyes boring into the Were's ice blue ones who did not flicker but smoldered in something Brian couldn’t quite determine…remorse? Regret?
“Gee. You're welcome, " his voice dripping in sarcasm, the werewolf said, irritation crossing his noble features. " I did it to save your life. If I didn't you would have died before I could have gotten you to an ambulance." his voice became louder, not shouting but louder than a normal conversation and was sharp and pointed.
" And what...you were normal? What do you think we are? Monsters? Jesus H. Christ..." the Were snarled and went back to his search on the tool bench turning away from Brian, leaving Brian standing there speechless.
At a complete loss for words, Brian now understood the full implications of what he had just been told. Now he understood why his sense of smell and sight and hearing seemed much sharper than normal...why his eyes had changed color...
He was a Were now himself. The truth sunk in like a steel spike and hurt and scared him just as badly.
His world reeled before him as the full ramifications sank in....the people on the news...the lobbyists and political wars....the death and murders...the controversy...everything he wanted no part of...he was now a part of. He had just wanted to be an author, to sell his work and make a living for him and enough to keep his mother comfortable in her little apartment in New York but not anymore. No, now he was...something else.
Rage and horror seethed through him like a red hot current. Unable to contain it, he lashed out, screaming in fury and confusion and just more or less out of the sheer frustration of being tossed into this new existence without so much as a consideration.
His fist caught the edge of the large red and black tool box that was on wheels, a large Craftsman model that had been positioned within easy reach of the truck. It flew backwards, sailing violently into the far wall, crashing loudly, its drawers and contents cascading onto the floor in a glorious shower of clinking and clanking metal and parts and pieces. The attack on the tool cabinet made his knuckles sing in white agony but he didn’t care. The Were rounded on him instantly, slamming down the part he was working on, causing the whole work bench to shudder.
"gorram it! Cool your ass down. I could have just left you to die in that filth hole. I saved your gently caressing life, buddy. If not for me, Skinner would have gladly gutted you and shat down your throat." The Were yelled, facing Brian, his eyes livid, the iris's glowing the faintest yellow, the muscles in his upper arms bunching as he pointed a finger right into Brian's face, the black claw just a centimeter away.
" Tell me a regular human that would taken a bullet or knife for you, or anyone else. Come on!" the Were shouted, jabbing his finger closer to Brian's nose. "Tell me." Nodding, after Brian's stunned silence, he continued. "Yeah, that's right, Were's aren't human. We are just slobbering mangy dogs in your little world." the Were finished, his voice lined with a deep hurt and anger all of its own fury.
Lowering his finger, the angry Were stormed off, leaving Brian behind, dumbfounded. Watching the lycanthrope mount the stairs, Brian shut his mouth and after the Were had gone, leaving the garage in absolute silence, he realized what his situation was and exactly how much of an ass he had just been. He wondered if he should take the chance to run...maybe there was a cure for it...maybe Dr. Madison from the news reports could help him....
Not knowing what else to do, he went after the Were, climbing the stairs, he moved back up into the apartment level. He found the Were standing in front of the television, which was turned to the news station. In between the bits of static, Brian heard the morning news playing. He stood there like an idiot, and decided he had to do something...to say something.
" Look I---"
"Shut up. Listen." The Were snapped, nodding towards the television. Brian moved next to him so he could see the screen and he felt his remaining conviction that he was dreaming final give way to stark reality. He could feel the heat coming of the Were’s body and wondered if Were’s had a higher body temperature than normal baseline humans.
On the screen an older newscaster with salt and pepper hair and a droning news voice was talking.
"....Police are still searching for the responsible suspect in what appears to be a homicide deep in the city's lower east end. Last night, police were called to this alley, between Rick's Electronics on 54th Street and this old shoe making plant, where local residents said they heard gunfire and screams..."
The news report flashed to scenes of the alley from last night. Police cars surrounded it, with yellow and black police tape cordoning off the alley; uniformed officers and detectives in plain clothes moved hurriedly about, like ants in an ant hill.
The reporter continued. " ...When police arrived, they found a total of three bodies, and a scene of a brutal triple, and possible quadruple homicide. The victims, 42 year old Earl "Skinner" Johnson, 39 year old Eddy "Shank" Stone and 34 year old Randall "Grindr" Flagg, were found slain. All three members were known in the criminal underworld and had multiple warrants out for their arrest in relation to a bank robbery last month..."
The footage cut back to the scene of the attack, where EMT's were carrying out bodies in sagging black body bags, shapeless masses that had once been living human beings. Brian cast a quick glance over at the Were next to him. He's face showed no emotion but disgusted contempt. Brian wondered if he hated himself more, the act of what he had done, or the criminals.
The Were made no attempt to clarify, so Brian kept watching the somewhat fuzzy but manageable picture.
"...Also of interest, police found items and articles that apparently belonged to a Mr. Brian Jacob Dorcy, twenty-three, of 68 Spinners Road Apartment Complex, including a broken computer and multiple papers and documents, mostly ruined by the storm from last night..."
The Were looked over at Brian who felt sickened again looking at the images of his broken possessions, lying there, on the asphalt, covered in blood and ruined beyond recognition. Brian refused to let the Were see him angry again. Once was enough.
The report continued, cutting back to the reporter at the station. "Authorities were also quick to state that they were able to find several hairs, blood and tissue and after testing confirmed that there were lycan in origin, 22nd Precinct Police Chief Gary Rummelds stated this morning."
The camera cut to a scene of a uniformed officer, a pasty man with a balding receding hairline and a stern face with steel gray eyes. He seemed to be on top of his game and spoke hurriedly into the microphone of the reporter who was shoving it into his face at the crime scene as he walked to his squad car. “I can tell you this much, “Chief Rummelds said on the tape, looking quite harassed in the process.
"It is obvious that a Were committed these horrible acts and we have our main suspect in Mr. Brian Dorcy. A warrant has been issued for his arrest so we can question him further as his body was not found among the victims.” The detective took a breath and continued. “If you encounter him, do not speak to him, do not engage him. He is to be considered armed and dangerous until we know otherwise…,” the chief said before getting heavily into his squad car slamming the door behind him. The report cut back to the anchor but Brian didn't hear any of it.
He was sick to his stomach with fear and a guilt he knew he should not feel. A burning embarrassment flamed up in his chest and he sunk to the couch and buried his head in his hands, too shocked to say anything. His life really was over.
The Were did not say anything for a moment, conflicting emotions crossing his wolfen features before he finally moved in front of Brian and finally, sat down next to him on the couch. For a few seconds, he didn't say anything. Brian finally broke the silence. “That’s not right...I didn't kill those people...You only killed them to protect me. I remember you even gave them the chance to back off...they attacked you...you had no choice. They would have killed both of us."
The Were snorted. “Welcome to our world. This is what it feels like to be us." After a moment’s thought, the Were continued, his voice low and gruff as ever, a slight bitterness creeping into his tone. "At least you have the ability to hide...to at least look like them. Me, I can't. I can never be like that. I was born this way. Hundreds of us are each day. This,” he indicated the apartment "is my life. I’m luckier than most. Some don’t even get this much. Some give up...some kill themselves out of desperation, others the lynch mobs get. Most of us just want to live and be treated fairly. That’s all."
Brian nodded. There was nothing else he could do. Not only did his life's work get ground up into paper and electronic parts...not only was his life as he knew over...not only had he lost his humanity....now he was a wanted man and coming face to face with the reality that normal people treated Were’s like lepers. It was a cold shock, something he had never experienced before.
Finally, the Were's gruff facade seemed to crack a bit. He stretched out a fur covered hand to Brian. "My name is Max. Max Mullen. You can stay here for a while I guess. No place else to go really."
Brian looked at the hand that was being extended to him. Take it, and cement his new life...or brush it way and fight the truth, when a lie could be so much sweeter, was so much sweeter.
The Were noticed his hesitation. “I’m not going to hurt you. I’m human too..same as you..only I look a little different.”
Half smiling as best as he could and even most of that was an act, belying the twisting coiling turmoil and cold icy fear and panic in him, Brian took Max's hand and shook it. " Brian. Brian Dorcy as you probably know by now. " Brian said sheepishly, indicating the TV with a nod of his head.
Max grinned lopsidedly. “Yeah I guess I do."
“Sorry about downstairs...this is just...so much to take in...My whole life..." Brian drifted off, his voice failing him.
Max nodded. "It’s not a pretty world. Try growing up like this. Made things hell, I can tell you that much."
" What do we do now?" Brian asked, trying to understand all that was happening to him so fast, feeling for all the world like he was tied to the back of a locomotive going Mach 5 down the tracks.
Actually, Max had no idea. But he knew that Brian's first shift was not far away. He had seen others go through it, natural shifters, not like Brian and personally, he felt glad he never had to. So he simply stated a fact. "We wait."
“For what?” Brian asked but he already knew the answer.
Max got off the couch and left Brian sitting there as the TV blared a commercial about a used car lot downtown with the best deals. Max was half way back down the stairs when Brian asked a question that was oddly on the forefront of his mind.
"Who is she? The woman in the photo."
Max could not blush but he felt his cheeks grow hot anyway and he looked down at his feet. That was one subject he did not want to talk about. But as much as he had wrecked this one guys life, he supposed he at least owed him honesty.
Not looking back over his shoulder at Brian, Max's reply was quiet, his more open mood gone instantly.
Max disappeared down the stair well and back into the garage. Moments later, Brian heard the clinking of metal on metal and suddenly, the music from a radio blared up from downstairs; Brian grimaced at the song that was playing; Credence Clearwater Revival, Bad Moon Rising. The irony was not lost on him.
Not remotely funny.
Brian found himself considering what Max had told him about the woman in the photo. So they were his parents.
Strangely, under the gruff reply Max had given him, Brian felt a deep sadness that did not match Max's imposing presence, but was reflective of some old hurt or wound that never healed.
Apparently, Brian thought, there was much more to Max than met the eye.
Unsure of what else to do, Brian felt how tired he really was for the first time, and found that he didn't care that he was a wanted man or that his savior was a werewolf or anything else. Right now all he wanted to do was sleep.
Snapping off the TV, he stretched out on the couch and closed his eyes, and hoped that when he opened them next, he would be in his own bed, in his own apartment...but a nagging voice in his head told him clearly that he would never live in that apartment again. He thought about his job; he couldn’t work anymore.
No one would hire a Were.
For what felt like hours, he laid there, exhaustion creeping in like he had so many times from late nights as a teenager through the windows of his mind and body. He lost himself in chasing thoughts as the sound of Max working on his truck clanged up from below. The sounds were comforting in their own detached way; the click and clanking of the nuts and bolts, the clicking of the socket wrench. They were hypnotic. His eyes grew heavy and his consciousness drifted.
At some point, he didn’t recall he closed his eyes.
Finally, at last, Brian slept, a true sleep and darkness took him once more but this time, he welcomed it.
Last edited by ShadowWolf2010 (2010-07-29 09:29:17)
Once again, I must say bravo to your writing talent. Your descriptive words paint an incredibly detailed world and makes me feel as though I'm right there with your characters. Excellent job!
I noticed a couple of mistakes where adjacent words could be swapped, a word or two needing to be put into proper tense, and a few sentences that could use a bit of rewording to make them flow better, but overall an awesome, awesome job. Don't worry too much about the mistakes I point out. You can always catch them later when you're editing. I think the important part is that you're writing well and developing this fictional world with brilliant realism.
I can't wait to read more!
Thanks again! When I write I just put words to page first and edit last so I most definitely am going to go back and fix the spelling/grammar ( I tried the reading outloud bit and and it does work!!!) once the story is done. Ill update you when the next part is ready. I wrote from 7:30 last night until after 12:30 midnight lol
The night was still, patient, calm and quiet.
It was snowing, the flakes falling, drifting on the night air, settling softly on the two and half feet of the stuff that had settled upon the ground, like a cold, brittle blanket of frozen tears on the earth that did not care.
The trees stood dark and silent, sentinels of the wild, their scent, a thick heady pine-filled musk, green with life, which filled his nose, and the cold purity of the snow that awoke his senses. Above him, as he trudged through the snow, the stars lit the sky up as they could never do in a big city; no, only here could it happen where every one of them was visible, like kings of heaven watching the lives of earth play out below.
He felt the cool snow beneath his feet, crunching as he lifted one foot in front of the other. His snow gear and parka added an extra layer of warmth and soft protection his fur could not provide alone and kept him mostly dry. The backpack of gear on his back rubbed into his shoulders but he did not care. He loved the outdoors and since his mother had let him off a week early from home school, he fully planned to enjoy it.
He had tried going to school once; the other children had been terrified of him at best and cruelly vindictive at the worst, often cornering him in groups of three and four, beating him with their fists and feet, whatever they could lay their hands on.
His parents had of course notified the principle who’s only response was predictably that it was his fault and that perhaps it would be best if his parent’s pulled him out of public school, for the benefit of everyone involved.
That had happened years ago; he had been home schooled since them, from third grade up until now, his senior year. Other kids his age would have been partying, going out to movies or even better, preparing for their prom night.
Those things were for normal people who could walk down the street and not get shot at, screamed at or spit on.
Ducking a tree branch and setting off a small avalanche of heavy wet snow from the higher branches, he clambered over a deadfall and went back on the trail. Behind him, the deadfall sat still, snow covered, its spiky branches and limbs sticking out at odd angles, like bleached bones.
He spent his time outdoors when he wasn’t doing his lessons. Outdoors, with no other people, he was free to be himself with no one to hurt him, no one to comment on his appearance, no one to cast looks at him as if he were something filthy and remind him how different he really was from the world.
Naturally his mother worried about him alone in the wilderness but he was more than capable of taking care of himself; most people would freeze to death and die in the Alaskan mountains. His advanced senses and agility, combined with his own stubbornness provided him more than ample security while he was out on his hikes. Sighing contentedly, he realized that this was the one place on earth that he could walk around in plain sight with no one pointing and screaming. Here, he was free.
He was nearly back to the house; probably no more than a few hundred yards, having spent the night in the higher mountain pass. He could see the edge of the woods just ahead, beckoning like a welcome sign. Ducking a low hanging branch, he stopped where he stood.
A frown crossed his lupine features.
No...not just a sound.
A shiver ran down his spine and his tail flicked back and forth as he perked his ears forward, training them to get a fix on the direction.For him and others like him, sound was three dimensional, and his ears were like a radar, only built into his head. Who could be out here?
Nothing from the east...nor the west or south...no...this was--
---the scream came again---
North. It was coming from the north...from the...
Fear flooded every inch of him and a cold worse than snow and ice could ever produce chilled him to his core. His heart sped up and he felt an electric charger run down his nerves. He suddenly found his feet moving, his legs pumping wildly as he dodged branches and limbs as they slapped at him, slowing him down, often triggering snow falls and falling icicles.
Images from the news papers refused to leave his mind...those crazy people...the ones who thought people like him and those who were like him should be put to death...the whack jobs who had hung Donnie Parsons last year, pinning a sign to his chest painted in his own blood that said "abomination."
They had cut off Donnie’s tail and draped it around his neck, around the noose that killed him, like a sick ascot.
Or the people who had torched the civic center in the middle of town, burning it and twelve people inside it to the ground, all the while scrawling hate messages on the walls of the surrounding buildings.
No, it wouldn't be them...they didn't know that he and his family were here...that was why his father insisted moving to the base of the mountains near Denali; few people ever came this way.
Ahead, even as he ducked an ice laden limb that nearly took his head off with its crystal claws, he could see through the tree line a brilliant orange glow that had nothing to do with the cold still night. It flickered and danced, like a beating heart, and the smell of wood smoke and the acrid tang of burning ash stung his eyes and nose even from this far away.
Panting, he burst through the tree line and into his own back yard and saw his only fear realized; the two story log cabin that his father had built for his mother years ago was ablaze, flames licking out of the windows, fire reaching into the sky like a beacon, screaming and hissing as the inferno spread. Within moments, he knew, the house would be consumed.
His eyes darted left and right, knowing he would see his mother and father outside, away from the blaze, his own blue night vision seeking the shapes in the wild dancing shadows that had to be his family that escaped the blaze.
What he saw was something else.
Men dressed in black cloaks from head to foot, like dark ghosts, jeering and lobbying jars full of gasoline and stuff with rags into the fire, the sound of shattering glass and the whoosh and leap of flame, the crushing heat from the flames soaring each time this was done, piercing his eyes and ears.
He knew them. They had come at last...It was not too late...it couldn't be...
The raiders had finally come for them.
For the first time in his life, he lost his temper in fear and anger as panic gave way to instinct. He threw off his backpack and launched himself at the nearest man with a battle cry that rang true of a wolf, a roar like a lion's and a deep snarling growl. His fangs found flesh and the man was dispatched before he knew what hit him and he was tossed aside like a pile of black rags.
His cry of anguish had alerted the other men who were attacking his home and they came at him, with knives and burning torches and pikes and clubs. His claws tore one's face and he shoved the man aside, ducking a punch from another even as the one wielding the knife came in for the kill. Twisting to avoid it, he felt the blade slice his flesh, cutting through fur and skin.
He heard a voice cry out and realized it was himself, a pained snarl e
He felt warm blood flow and found he didn't care. He had to get to them.ven as he twisted free of the blade, breaking it in the process.
One of the men grabbed him from behind and managed to pin his arms as the others beat him, spitting on him, holding him back. One of the men, bigger than the rest, snarled, his growl almost animal like; He thought he saw claws before fire-hot pain split his snout as four gashes from unseen claws raked his nose as he caught a glimpse of yellow eyes. His attacker laughed in his face. Screaming in anger and desperation he tried to break loose, even as he saw his father's body lying on the snow, there, just south of the porch stairs. surrounded by a pool of scarlet. Tears stung his eyes. His father had been killed fighting these men.
Roaring, he broke the man's arms at the elbow with a surge of strength he never knew he had and broke the other man's neck, snapping the pike as he did so. He knew he could not save his father but the loss was like having his heart ripped out, felt the happiness in his life go out, like a candle flame in the storm. His mother...
...another scream from inside the foundering house. She was alive.
The big man who had scratched him in the face came around for another blow. Ducking the slung fist, he brought an elbow back into the man’s face, breaking his nose. Clutching his face, the man went down.
"Mom!!!!!!" he cried and left the men that had survived his rage broken and bleeding on the ground; those who had gotten too close never moved again.
Mounting the porch of the house, trying not to look at his father, the searing heat made his eyes instantly dry out, the hot wind gushing out of the gutted house like the devil playing a game of jackstraws. Above him, he saw the roof finally catch and knew he only had minutes, if that to find her, to drag her out, to save what was left of his life. He the warm sticky blood from the stab wound dribbling down his side and knew the needed to staunch it while his body healed it but that was not what he cared about.
He moved forward, diving for the broken down door that had apparently been smashed aside with a single powerful blow, nearly breaking it in half. A wave of heat nearly flung him out. His lungs burned from the smoke, his eyes swam and he felt sick from the sickening smell of burnt wood, fabric and plaster. Forcing himself through the blaze, leaping over the flames, he landed heavily in the living room.
All around him was hell made manifest; fire licked and consumed everything. He saw his school books burning; his mother's favorite blanket that his father had made for her for their anniversary, clumsy as it was, nearly ashes, the pictures of the family turning to celluloid mush in their frames.
The kitchen was impassable; a wall of fire blocked the door and was punching through the walls. The back room was also already gone and the hallway had collapsed, with burning beams of wood and furniture. The stairs leading up to the second floor were relatively untouched.
Underneath the smoldering odor of his life burning away around him, he smelt something else; a sharp rotting eggs scent.
Instantly he knew what it was.
“The gas…” he heard himself whisper to no one else.
Making his decision fast, as he did not see his mother on the ground floor, he knew she must be upstairs. He jumped over the ruins of the couch and coffee table; they lay broken like match sticks, ripped to pieces, shredded and tossed aside like toys.
Under his feet, the wood was growing hotter and he had to move constantly to avoid burning his foot pads.
The propane takes were in the basement; if the fire had reached that part of the house yet then he was about to go sky high with his family. At this point, he felt in his heart, he wanted to die already. It would be a blessing and in a way, he wished for it.
Taking the stairs two at a time, he finally reached the second floor where he saw that his room was already gone, burning so hotly he could not even get near the door way. The spare bedroom was in the same state which left the bathroom and the master bedroom on the far end of the hall with its bay window. He moved quickly, his breathing becoming harder and harder, his lungs fighting to work as he moved down the hall. He ducked by the smashed end-table that always held lilies, his mother’s favorite flower. He remotely saw the flowers tossed across the hallway and the vase that had held them, the vase from his grandmother lay in ruined shards.
He passed the only picture in the house that seemed to be untouched but was starting to smoke. His father had taken a family portrait on his tenth birthday and his mother had it blown up and hung on the wall in the hallway so that she could see it every morning.
They all stood as one, with the camera on the tripod, his father’s left arm around his mothers waist, her slender graceful arm around his and there he was, in the middle, grinning like a fool at the new snowmobile that his dad had gotten him against his mother's wishes. Her hair was unmoved in this photo, and there around her neck was the golden pendant that he had given her himself, shaped like a wolfs head; inside was a family portrait he had cropped from his scrap book;
He saw her in the master bedroom, on the floor, her hands clenched around her middle, lying prone on the floor as the dark figure stood above her. He took in the dark figure in about the same second it to him to lunge at it, foolish as it was because the figure was twice his size and did not look human....it looked...almost like
Snarling, he did not care if it was a Were or a regular human, he would not whoever it was take her from him too.
The dark figure heard his feral snarl and turned only slightly to look over his shoulder at the charging teenager.
The dark figure grinned savagely revealing razor fangs and maroon eyes.
Leaping for the figures throat, he found himself smacked sideways by a single powerful blow that sent him reeling across the room, smashing backwards into his mother's vanity table; Glass shards rained down and he felt them stab into his back as he slumped to the floor, seeing stars.
"Leave him alone!"
He heard his mothers tortured scream, as she fought to raise herself to protect her son. The dark figure looked down at her with hate in its maroon eyes. Instantly it lanced out its left hand and grabbed her by the neck enclosing her throat in its powerful dark furred hands. A muffled scream was torn from her as the figure leaned close and seemed to whisper something in his mother's ear before letting her drop to the floor with a sickening thud.
It seemed to pause and look at him, a strange gleam in its eyes before leaping, jumping out of the bay window, straight through the plate glass, two stories down to the ground below, and moving faster than the night, it was gone.
He forced himself up and across the room, pain shooting throughout his body, struggling to remain conscious. Outside, the men who had survived had gotten up and were yelling and screaming orders, some were jeering as they retreated into the night, vanishing like ghosts. The one whose nose he had broken wiped the already drying blood from his face. The man glared once and bolted with the others.
The flames had begun to lick at the curtains and door frame, and the room had became brighter as the fire fed on the clothes in the closet and the smoke had grown thick, making the world a crazy shadow world of fire and death. Crossing the room on his hands and knees, he went to her, his mother, and found her, lying where she fell, dressed in a simple bathrobe, her raven hair smelling like flowers and lilies, damp from the shower she had just left.
Her beautiful blue eyes like his own, were rapidly losing their fire and going dark as her life left her body. She was conscious enough to see her son. He moved her as best as he could to the only part of the room that wasn't burning, away from the hastily smoldering bed and night stand, just in front of the bay window, where the cold night air blew in through the broken panes.
Looking at her, he saw she pressed a hand on her right side, where her kidney was he knew, and he knew that even as the scarlet blood left her, that she would not be with him long.
Again, tears of anger, a deep raging frustration, the feeling of helplessness threatening to drown him and pain welled up as he tried to remain calm as his home burned around him, his father lay dead in the snow outside, and his mother lay dying in his arms. She lifted her other hand and let go of her side, raising her hands, despite him trying to get her put pressure on the wound the dark figure had clearly given her, a cruel and painful death with a single well placed knife wound.
Her soft graceful hands sought out and found his face, his muzzle and whiskers, his cool nose and soft dark gray fur. Her soft fingers brushed the open cuts on his snout and he realized he did not feel the pain as it was, but rather as the last thing, he would ever feel, from the woman who gave him life. She held his face in her hands and looked into his eyes and for the last time in her life, her eyes burned with the fury of the former spirit of life she showed every day as she spoke, her voice nearly gone from the rapid loss of blood.
"My son...my beautiful son...I love you...."
He felt his heart break as he pulled her close to him and tried to make her to live by sheer force of his own will power; the tears from his eyes he did not feel even as they fell; the pain he felt inside numbed him to everything else.
“Don’t worry mom...I'll get you out of here...."
He looked around wildly for a way to the leave the room; with a roar, the ceiling in the hallway collapsed and above him, the roof timbers groaned and sagged, causing dust from the ceiling to fall around them like snow. The flames had now begun in earnest, growing larger than he was; soon the house would collapse.
“...be strong...no matter what they do to you...no matter what they say...be strong, my beautiful son...always."
The light in her eyes faded, and finally, like the setting eternal moon, winked out and went dark. He felt her go limp in his arms as her hands fell from his face and she could have been sleeping, a sleeping beauty never to wake again. At that moment, he realized he was utterly alone. He held his mother close and cried into her hair, like a child, but she could not comfort him now or ever again.
With a terrible quake, the whole house shook and the floor timbers split, revealing the raging inferno that was now the first floor; there would be no escape that way. There would be no exit from the room. He knew then he didn’t want to escape. He wanted to die here, with his family; then, he looked down his mother and through watery eyes, and he knew that she would not want him to perish here.
All of his life, she and his father had striven to make his life as normal as possible, even though the dark days when the world outside confronted him and came after him. He could not die here. He had to get her out of here...to give her the peace she deserved in death. He would not leave her here to be consumed in the flames of terror and hatred. He looked at her, lying in his arms and realized something was missing.
It was not on her neck. Frantically, he looked around for it. It was now the last thing he had of her. He reached up to the nightstand and his fingers found the picture frame; in the photo, his parents stood together, happy. He grabbed it and realized that he was out of time; the pendant would have to be left. Clutching the photo to him, he forced himself to stand, wrapping his arms around his mother’s body.
Crying out in pain as he stood, the wound on his side tearing open again having closed up, he picked up his mother's body and held her to his chest and moved to the shattered bay window. The drop was precipitous; would he make it without breaking his legs? Even with his immune system as powerful as it was, broken bones were no joke and---
The decision was taken out of his hands as the propane tanks in the basement exploded, ripping the house apart from under him. It was if the hand of God had reached down and flicked the house aside as if it had merely been a house of flimsy cards.
A fireball the size of a semi wiped out the entire basement and first floor; he felt himself get picked up and thrown, straight through the window. He felt his grip on his mother slide...and then she was gone as he sailed through the night. He seemed to fall slowly and then as he neared the ground the world sped up to proper speed as it rushed up to strike him in the face. The snow did not soften the impact; his breath was driven from him, his fur singed, slamming down hard enough to break three of his ribs. He felt them break, the wet meaty snap echoing through his body.
The roar of the explosion thundered for miles, shaking snow from the trees. Amber orange flames light lit up the yard and nearly the entire north woods turning the night into breaking dawn. Debris, glass and pieces of the house rained down, flaming, slapping into the wet snow. Fighting the searing pain in his body, he climbed to his feet and ran back towards the obliterated home.
"NOOOOO!!!!!!!!!" he felt himself scream, knowing he would be denied even the dignity of burying his parents and saying goodbye.
They were cremated instantly in the rising fireball as the flames broke open the very foundation of the house in their viciousness. A new heat-shock-wave slammed him back down into the earth again as the secondary tank blew, finally ripping the house from its foundations and collapsing what remained of the house and his life into a worthless pile of burning rubble.
Defeated, he lay there, in the snow as the fire burned down, unable to move, even as dawn came hours later, his tears frozen to his fur, his body aching and the hulk of the house that was the only home he knew, now a smoldering pile of embers and wood.
He had failed...he couldn't save them...failed...
In his hands, he held the charred photo frame, with its picture inside, untouched, smiling up at him….
Max awoke with a start, sitting bolt upright in bed, panting, and his eyes darting wildly from each corner of the apartment. Nothing was amiss; it was all the same, stark reminder of the life he now had. The memories from years ago haunted him every night when he slept, tormented him, reminded him of his failure, his ineptitude to save his family, to save the only time in life he was ever happy. Falling back on his pillow, he closed his eyes, sighing, his chest rising and falling as he caught his breath.
The sheets and blankets had become tangled around him, like snakes and angrily, he kicked them off, lying there in his work jeans, embarrassed and hurting all the same. Opening his glowing yellow eyes in the dark, he picked up his arm and looked at the watch on his wrist.
It had been hours he saw since he had came up from the garage, well after night fall to find Brian in a deep sleep on the couch. The guy hadn't shifted yet, Max noted. It would be at any time now, he reckoned. He glanced at his watch again.
4:30 AM. How Brian had slept through him tossing and turning again, Max had no idea.
Sighing, he let his arm fall back to his side to the sheets which were cool and soft against the bare fur of his back. He hated sleep. Every time it came to him, the memories came back, to throw it in his face the fact that he had let his family die and those responsible live.
That was why he went out at night, getting into the fights. The pain he felt there, as the blows rained on him, as the bullets burned through his arms and legs, helped to dull the ache he felt inside that had nothing to do with any physical injuries.
Max desperately wanted to go out now, to run, to do something to focus on anything but having to face sleep again, but he could not leave Brian to fend for himself.
Sure, the man was an adult; but the change that was about to happen to him was beyond what most people could stand and stay sane.
He would not leave him alone and let him enter this new world without someone there, even though Max felt the guy could be a pain in the ass. He would not let Brian be alone like he was...the years of hunger, scavenging, fighting for survival, the hiding.
No, never again…even, if he wanted to knock Brian’s lights out for being a prick.
Considering what Brian had been through, Max had to admit, he had a right to be a prick.
Trying to clear his head, Max closed his eyes and tried to rest.
This time when he fell asleep, it was thankfully dreamless, a rare occurrence for him.
Within moments, he was lost back in the darkness, with the only motion his deep and slow breathing; his tail moved in little jerks as he fell deeper into slumber.
Outside in the city, sirens screamed, gunshots rang out. The howls of Lycans and the damned created a fitful music and the city went on in her lunacy.
Last edited by ShadowWolf2010 (2010-04-07 19:21:26)
Oh Shadow... you write so well. I absolutely love the way you blend your words together in a poetic yet descriptive manner. Max's dream was an excellent way for us to learn more about his character and his defining past that haunts him.
The way you depicted the house burning down and the emotion that you fed into Max's loss was incredible. It was as though you had actually experienced being in a house while it burned down around you (of course I hope you haven't, that would be awful). As Max held his dying mother in his arms and she shared her final words with him my heart wrenched in sympathy, which is an excellent testimony to your skill as a writer.
There were a few word mistakes, but they're hardly worth mentioning, because the last thing I want to do is discourage you from continuing this captivating tale. Although I will say that your errors are becoming less frequent.
I can't wait to read more of this fantastic story.
O.O must have more!!
Yup on the errors. I keep reading it aloud to catch them but i always miss a few. Ah well, editing is for later. I really appreciate all the feedback guys.
I'll post more as its done.
its ok i am always running late for something (school, dinner, favorite tv program...)
Don't worry if you don't get to post something every single day. It's not a requirement, but always enjoyable to read, no matter how brief it is.
If you don't mind sharing with us... What do you do for work?
And one more question I like to ask is how old are you? Overall it's not really important to answer if you're not comfortable with the question, but it's a little something I personally like to know, because it helps me to understand slightly better the perspective of the individual I'm having a conversation with. There's so much of the visual aspect that's lost when communicating to others exclusively through text, and a person's age gives me a vague idea of the kind of experience I'm dealing with.
Of course it's only fair that I share with you the same information that I ask for, but understand, you're under no obligation to reciprocate.
I used to be a U.S. Air Force military member, and my job consisted working on, and fixing the airplanes. Now that I'm out of the service (thank heaven) I found a job working as a contractor inspecting and fixing military planes. I'm doing pretty much the same thing I was doing in the military, but it's less work, I get paid more, and I don't have to worry about going back over seas. I'm also 35 years young
Not a problem at all my friend! I am 23 years old going on 24 this June 20th (which coincidently is Max's birthday, but he is older than I am by three years...thought I'd at least share some info from my notes so that gives you some idea of the time line of the story and when its events take place). I work for AT&T Mobility as a Customer Service billing professional, meaning that I assist customers day in and day out with billing and account problems, as well as minor technical support.
I am a male, but you can't really tell with my screenname I suppose. I live in the beautiful mountains of East, Tennessee and normally I spell quite well, but when I get into my writing I speed through and don't often catch those glitches (bad habit! LOL).
Other than this story here, I do have some work that has been published locally, including horror fiction in the ghost story RotherWood, another paranormally themed dramatic piece called Mule Mountain, a historical piece from the POV of an 8 year old Japanese girl called Asahi that takes place on the morning the atom bomb first falls (a piece I felt needed to be written after seeing the horror and destruction that was caused that day on both sides of the conflict and from studying photos of the event), a short Christmas story called Silent Night and my other work in progress, a Ghostbusters piece I am writing that is posted over on gbfans.net called Canis Mors.
I love a good story more than anything and I enjoy creating them as well. If you have any questions, please never hestitate to ask them. I am an open book (pun possibly intentionally permitted!). Now I have to run...work calls!!
Last edited by ShadowWolf2010 (2010-01-21 09:49:48)
Chapter 2: Change
Another day has ended, set me free
reflections of the future are staring at me
looking into nowhere and asking why
open your mind before you die
follow you or follow me
I don't know...
----Future World Music, "Follow You or Follow Me."
His bones burning woke him in the dark with a deep electric fire that knew no single point, but was everywhere in his body, from his femurs to his teeth.
Brian nearly fell into the floor off the couch before steadying himself faster than he would have thought with a single well placed palm on the floor, the sudden jerk of him stopping completely jarring him from his slumber. Opening his eyes, the world appeared in a strange blue haze, as he were wearing filtered blue lenses and he saw everything in shades of blue, from the light to the dark. Strangely, he saw, Brian noted he could see perfectly clearly, as if he was wearing night vision goggles.
Blinking did not clear the blue tinge to his vision and soon, it focused itself and then he finally comprehended what was happening: his new senses were activating one by one. This must be how a werewolf sees the world at night or in the dark, he thought. He sat up quietly, trying not to wake Max; he could hear the other were's breathing, slow and steady from across the room in the direction of the twin bed that was shoved into the corner.
He shoved back the scratchy blanket and waved his hand slowly in front of his face; it was there, in the dark, in light shade of blue, bright. He wondered vaugely how long he had until he lost his humanity all together. Snorting, he shoved the covers off and dropped his feet to the floor. He still wore his shoes and pants and his jacket still hung where Max had left it the day before, on the railing of the stair case. Now rested, Brian took in his entire situation and tried to sort through exactly what the hell was going on.
One,he supposed was that the night before he had been assaulted and mugged and murdered by three lowlifes in a back alley near the electronics store.
Two, the Were sleeping in the bed had somehow saved his life by passing on the werewolf gene to him, turning him into a werewolf himself.
Three, it was only a matter of time before his body was turned into a Were, just like Max was.
Brian had always been a rational minded person; he did not belief in the unexplained. This was like being shoved into a bad movie. None of it seemed real, even as he took in the blue night world around him but the scars on his stomach told him it was all too real; he had already had a date with death and lived to tell about it but still...he felt he could never tell his mother; the shock would kill her most likely. He really should call her he supposed. It had been a week since he had. She was probably worried sick. If he had a girlfriend, Brian snorted, she would be worried too, but again there was no one.
Ero's bar was probably closed. Max did not seem to have a phone. Looking over at Max, he saw the Werewolf had turned over in his sleep and lay on his own stomach, tail hanging down from under the thin sheets and his arm and wrist dangling just enough over the side of the bed so that Brian could see the watch there. Even this far away in the dark he could see it perfectly clearly; it read 5:05 AM.
He could not just sit here anymore. He had to get up, to get moving to do something besides wait for the inevitable. After a few minutes, the burning in his bones subsided to a dull ache.
As quietly as he could, he stood and thankfully, the floor did not creak or groan as it did in his apartment. Moving with a new unnatural silence, Brian grabbed his jacket off the railing and slid it on; the cool leather felt comforting against his chest. Taking the stairs two at a time, he descended into the pitch black garage, and moved through the open space, nimbly avoiding the tool boxes, tires and parts as though he had a search light, the shades of blue turning wildly as he turned his head looking for the door besides the main garage door.
He saw it, to the left of the driver's door, a simple metal frame steel door with no peephole or anything; just a simple industrial door that was never made for a home. Perhaps that was appropriate for the garage Max called home. Sliding between two tool boxes, Brian tried the knob; it was locked; of course it would be.
Frustrated, he turned on the spot, looking for another exit
The window at the front of the garage. It was a small single sliding window, probably rusted shut, but that had to be the way out. Making his way back out of the corner with the door between the tool chests, he stepped over the transmission that had been pulled out and reached the window. It was about two and a half feet up above his six foot frame; most likely when the garage was first built it was designed more for ventilation that asthetics. There was a large metal tool chest there as well, but it was not on rollers. If he could boost himself up on it...
Vaulting up on it, almost knocking over an old coffee can, Brian saw the window was not locked and he soon found out why; using his hands, he pulled up; it did not budge.
Simply because the metal frame was rusted shut.
He pulled harder, until the metal frame bit into his flesh, hurting but he didnt care, he had to get out and get moving. He could not stay here and just wait for it to come for him...the change...He looked at his reflection in the glass and felt a moment of fear and revulsion shoot through him, even anger.
His irises in his eyes were glowing a brillaint green.
Growling, the sound came from his chest and he was surprised to feel it come from him, a deep animal wolf-like snarl and he felt strength enter his arms, a shaky electric pulse that felt almost like the rush of adrenaline.He heaved up; the window was instantly wrenched up and free from its long rusted frame; the sound of screaming metal and tearing screws echoed through the garage. Shocked by what he had just done, Brian nearly lost his balance and had to steady himself.
The window was up; the hot muggy night air from last nigh'ts rain blew in and without a second though, Brian flung himself out the window feet first, landing with a thud on the cracked and broken black pavement outside the garage. The stars were all too visible tonight; there were no storm clouds to hide them and there in the middle of the sky, looming bigger than he had ever seen it was the brilliant pale bone face of the full moon.
Standing up and not waiting to find out if Max had awoken or not, he set off into the night, his shoes thudding against the concrete of the ancient cement of the sidewalks and alleys as he moved deeper into the inner city; he did not know what he sought or why he left; only that he had to run, to run and maybe, if he ran long enough, he could outrun the creature inside him and get away from the fate that waited for him at any moment. In moments, Brian was lost in the shadows of the night, and just like the wolf that was now part of him, was gone.
In the apartment, Max's eyes shot open, gleaming yellow in the dark; He sniffed once, taking in the smells and instantly, he knew Brian was gone;
Cursing under his breath, he dove out of the bed and for the stairs and there, downstairs saw the open window; Grabbing the keys to the door out from under the coffee can that stood on the tool chest that Brian had obviously boosted himself out the window with, Max unlocked the side door and charged out into the night, the hot city air slapping at his fur and the scent of exhaust, smoke, brick, drugs and sex assaulting his senses. He rounded the alley way of the building that adjourned his, and leapt, his hands grabbing hold of the old fire escape ladder that was there.
Hauling himself up with little effort, Max went up two flights of metal stairs, high above the pavement below, his feet clanging on the old wrought iron and he emerged out onto the rooftop, the sandy gravel and black tar of the roof cold and uncaring beneath his feet pads, the world around him dark blue in the night.
Max moved quickly to the edge of the roof, threw his head back and breathed as deep as he could, tasting the scents on his tonuge; the bitter smell of smog, the sickening sweet smell of someone smoking pot in the next building, the acrid tang of gunpowder. No...where was it...He turned his head to the side, facing the inner city and there, he found it; the same bark like scent that was Brian.
Instantly images and memories came with the smell from last night, the blood seeping through Brian's shirt as Max carried him, soaking his fur with a wet stickyness that had taken hours to clean out; the iron metal smell of the blood itself, the smell of death from the crooks he had lain out in that alley; He now knew the direction to take and if the scent didn't fail, Max would find him.
Running back about ten feet from the edge of the roof, Max charged across the roof and right over the edge; the second his right foot touched the crumbling edge of the roof, he pushed off as hard as he could, causing a cascade of concrete powder and pieces to rain down into the alley below, his left foot out in space and flung himself into the air. Sailing, he slammed down with a crunch of gravel on to the next roof, the force of the impact jarring his knees and ankles. He repeated this process, never stopping, his breath coming in pants as he moved as fast as he could across the city to save the man he had turned into this life, hoping he could catch up to him before the guy was killed ....or worse.
Over head, the moon watched, a silent sentinel to the lunacy below and it did not care.
Last edited by ShadowWolf2010 (2010-04-11 22:21:25)
Another great segment! I wonder exactly what kind of danger Max thinks threatens Brian. Perhaps that may be a little bit of foreshadowing, hmm?
I'm really looking forward to seeing how you describe the transformation that will soon assault Brain. From a writer's point of view, it's something that I enjoy reading and learning from.
Keep up the fantastic work! I'll be here to read and support your next post
Last edited by SilentStrider (2010-01-22 01:09:00)
Ah yes, music. At times uplifting, sad, happy, patriotic, or other. Within it lies infinite complexity.Speech and music share many charecteristics. Both can be threatening, cajoling, uplifting and other. But really, its job is to sound good, spark ideas or other. This is a great story, and its always interesting to see how a story turns out. Though sometimes there are glaring plot mechanisms. Eros is obviously a werewolf. First, the amber eyes. Next, the nocturnal habits of his employs. Finally, the fact that werewolves exist and can blend into society. Also, Eros could be a meeting place for werewolves. Bars, pubs and taverns as meeting places for underground societys has been explored often.
Ah yes, music. At times uplifting, sad, happy, patriotic, or other. Within it lies infinite complexity.Speech and music share many charecteristics. Both can be threatening, cajoling, uplifting and other. But really, its job is to sound good, spark ideas or other. This is a great story, and its always interesting to see how a story turns out. Though sometimes there are glaring plot mechanisms. Eros is obviously a werewolf. First, the amber eyes. Next, the nocturnal habits of his employs. Finally, the fact that werewolves exist and can blend into society. Also, Eros could be a meeting place for werewolves. Bars, pubs and taverns as meeting places for underground societys has been explored often.
Can I give a bit of spoiler as it doesnt really hurt the plot ..
just a tiny one. Ero's is not a werewolf. His employees are all human and the only reason they are there late at night is that most bars tend to be busy late at night...that and Brian only works on his writing there at night as he usually works during the day.
As for the blending into society, only the shifters have the luxury to blend in; the FG weres are not afforded that privacy and have to live their lives as part of society yet apart from it due to the bias and hatred and fear that floods my universe's world.
I agree totally about music; it is a powerful motivator, as well as personal experience in some situations. I really appreciate every bit of feedback and enjoy the development of the plot and hopefully, you guys will like what I have in store.
Thanks for being such awesome readers!
In the ghost light of the moon, the world appeared in shades of blue and navy. He soon learned that hot objects or objects that had recently been touched glowed a brighter blue than normal and oddly that he could almost see scents; not quite but close enough. He also quickly learned that scents have memories; Scent Memories, he guessed they were called in that each scent carried information beyond just a chemical smell; they now carried emotions, histories and so much more. It was nearly over whelming in a city this large,with everything that had a scent, almost, he thought, like being bombarded by talking voices, screaming, laughing, jabbering and cackling madly all at once in a drowning cacophony.
He stuck to the back alleys and side streets, running blindly, with no destination in mind; he only knew that he had to run. His legs ached and his knees screamed for mercy; he was not used to running like this. Around him, buildings and people shot past in blurs; he could still smell them; the stink of sweat and body odor, the musky smell of rut and the sickening smell of drugs and alcohol, flooding his mind with their information. He wanted to scream himself; it was reaching a point where he could not tell his own thoughts from the scent memories; in his head, images and feelings and emotions danced; lust, hatred, anger, sadness,despair, dark joy, his own panic; Brian surely felt he was loosing his mind. Around him people screamed as he nearly fell into them, brushing them aside. He felt their hot bodies against his and he felt sick and retched.
His shoes slapped against the asphalt and the hot night air choked his lungs; the world swam before his eyes and his vision swayed; throwing his hand up to his eyes, Brian stumbled, nearly falling; a trashcan clattered away, spewing its contents wildly as it crashed to the ground as he ran into it, steadied himself and stumbled away backward onto a side street
The alley stretched between the backside of an abandoned apartment complex that rose six stories on the right and on the left, a shorter bakery, long since closed for the night. The alley was the same as the one he had nearly been murdered in, but his eyes were watering now too much to see much more than blue blurs as a sharp searing bone cracking pain shot through his skull, making his teeth throb, driving spikes of agony into his eyeballs and ears. His feet crunched on trash, discarded cans and old burned out barrels were stacked to one side of the alley, on the left; hobos apparently made this a frequent hang out, but not tonight.
A sound escaped Brian and for a moment it shocked him that it came from inside him: a half twisted scream and a bark, a gruff sound, a deep chest sound. His eyes widened in fear and he could see every detail flooding him from the contours of the bricks to the shite stains on the alley walls; he could now smell the urine from the places where rats and men made their homes and the disgusting smell of old rotted clothes and boxes, of decaying food and the wet husky smell of mold.
Without warning his knees locked in place, and then buckled as if he had been hit from behind; he crashed down, tearing the knees out of his pants, the dirty concrete again taking a toll from his flesh and hot werewolf blood flowed into the night from the wounds.
Collapsing onto all fours like a child, Brian whip-lashed as his spine flexed of its own accord, like a whip snake, snapping his neck back ward and forward as it did; his ribs convulsed violently, and he felt himself vomit violently, spraying his hands in the warm liquid that was more water than anything he had eaten in the last twelve hours and bile.
There was a jerking from behind his navel and he felt the muscles in his stomach tighten and contract and loosen and contract again, making his whole body heavy with each contraction as his fingers and hands splayed wide. He watched, unable to stop even as he closed his eyes against the sudden hot rush of pain that ran from his toes to his fingertips, his eye lids forced back open by the sheer intensity of the wave. In horror, he stared in shock as metacarpophalangeal joints and the interphalangeal joints in his hands began to flex, popping open and stretching, moving beneath the skin, stretching tendon and tissues, crackling like bubble wrap.
Fingernails and toenails grew thick and turned black as pitch, curling into short blunt claws; beneath his skin the tickling burn of his muscles moving, stretching and growing instantly felt like someone had taken hooks and sunk them into his flesh and were pulling at them from all directions. He panted, breathing hard and raspy as he tried to stand only to fall as his legs began to change, the calf muscles growing thicker by the second, his knee caps thickening and moving forward even as the femurs and thigh bones stretched the tissues they attached to.
Brian felt his stomach drop and suddenly his whole body was shaking as if from low blood sugar, that same weak feeling he got when he worked himself outside on the job too long or lifted too many loads and refused to let anyone else take the job, not caring about the blazing sun. Another wave shook his abdomen but no vomit came this time, only dry heaves, which were worse. He felt his ears disconnect from the bone and slide up, up and backward, the cartilage snapping and cracking.
A sharp ripping split up between his panting agony and his dry heaves; he recognized it as the sound of jean material being shredded; a new pain came and this one threw him down on his side, finally onto his back, arching up with the sharpness of it; he bit down, his teeth cutting his own tongue; hot blood gushed in his mouth and he nearly choked, spitting it out; the ripping had been his lower jean legs, the weave of the jean material not strong enough to with stand the massive transformation his body was rapidly going through. With another ripping sound, the seam at the back of the seat of his pants ripped asunder and he knew then without seeing it, he had a tail.
After trying to hold in the scream that was building inside his lungs, Brian realized he could not hold it in and finally as his teeth began to split, cutting his gums and his jaw bone dislocated with a sickening crunch, he finally screamed, the sheer force of it ripping his throat and lungs raw; what came from him was not a scream, not a human scream but something more, a deep primitive sound, a long drawn out howl, a screaming howl, the agonized howl of a tortured beast, the howl of the wolf.
He felt the bones in face break and another scream tore from him and his face, nose and mouth began to stretch, to elongate, and finally they formed a muzzle, just like Max's, solidified, the end of his nose turning black and moist. New teeth punched through his gums, bleeding, healing and cutting anew; the grinding of molars and incisors and bicuspids was painfully loud in his skull; his spine flexed again and he felt himself thrown sideways with the force of it, slamming into the stack of old metal oil drums, bringing them down in an almighty crash, burying him within.
His toes began to crack and twist down, forming the same type of toe-paws that Max had for feet; he felt the rough pads grow in on the palms of his hands and the soles of his feet and finally, felt the itching fire of each and every part of his body growing thick sleek fur that was as ebony as the darkest night and blacker than the depths of space itself.
The last thing he remembered before falling into a sea of unconsciousness, drowning there, was his tongue lengthening and stretching the length of his mouth, becoming much more flexible than it used to be and he saw his hands before his vision went; powerful, and graceful, shaking but covered in a sheen of black fur, and yet somehow still human but also all too much like a wolfs fingers; he remembered this, and the five dark shapes of men coming down the alley dressed in black, from head to toe.
Vaguely, he thought, he knew them from somewhere...but he did not know where...
(....Men dressed in black cloaks from head to foot, like dark ghosts, jeering and lobbying jars full of gasoline and stuff with rags into the fire, the sound of shattering glass and the whoosh and leap of flame, the crushing heat from the flames soaring each time this was done, piercing his eyes and ears...the scent of wild and Old Spice...the towel...scent memories....)
Unable to move or hide or even walk, he reached out a single hand to them, a final gesture for help, unable yet to speak, blood pouring from his nose and gums, his brilliant green eyes dimming in the dark even as the laugh from the dark figures reached his ears and he knew that there was nothing funny....there was only one reason why these men would be laughing.
They were coming for him.
Last edited by ShadowWolf2010 (2010-04-07 19:22:48)
What a fantastic description of a transformation scene! I loved the insight to how he felt his bones rearranging, especially the head changes where he felt it vibrate through his skull. Very dramatic, and thoroughly detailed. Next time I need to describe a transformation, I just might use yours as a reference to help me visualize all the many aspects a human body might go through to become a werewolf. I love your writing style. Fantastic!
thanks, strider! feel free to use it whenever you need to! it was a challenge i will admit and originally this scene was very different but i like it better this way. More will be up as soon as I get it. thanks guys!
“Well, well, well. Look what we have here, boys.”
His voice was high and cold, snake like. The other four men behind him, all of them dressed in matte black clothes. Black trousers, black boots, black long sleeved shirts and black leather gloves; over the shirt, was a sort of poncho, custom made that hung to their knees; it too was jet black and their faces were covered in hoods that concealed their features, leaving only their eyes visible, with the faintest suggestion of all too human features beneath. The hoods were long and tapered at the back, almost like a pony tail.
Three of the five men were empty handed, while the one behind the leader held handcuffs and rope; the leader himself, the speaker, held a three foot solid iron crow bar like a mace. In the back of his mind, his vision swimming, Brian knew that these men were called Hell’s Gate.
He did not know how he knew but suddenly he knew that he was in mortal peril at the hands of the men; the scent they gave off was overpowering, making him wretch; it was the biting acrid tang of alcohol, the bitter flatness of testosterone and something else…hatred. Their hatred was hot, like an inferno; it knew no limits and was wild and untamed, pure, primal. It stank like brimstone.
The five of them entered the alleyway, blocking off the exit to the street. All around them outside the confines of the alley, life went on; cars shot down the street, honking, their engines growling. Humans walked by, oblivious to what was going on in the shadows, scurrying to get home in the early morning, or from the police or from drug deals across the city-scrape. Brian saw some Weres go by as well, full generation by the looks of them, but they paid no mind.
They moved with their heads down, eyes downcast, trying to avoid touching anyone, trying to stay out of everyone else’s way; even from his position underneath the barrels, Brian could hear people gasping and snorting cruel comments under their breaths; others just gasped in shock.
Shaking his head to clear it, he put his hands out in front of him, shifting his now much different body under the heavy metal; to his surprise he found he was much stronger than he used to be. He had to get himself out of here, to get away from them before they reached him. He did not want to hang around and see what they had in mind for him. He had heard stories on the news now and then about were-hate groups, rogues who wondered the street, hunting down Weres in lynch mobs, murdering them or torturing them to death to show how superior humanity was and how much better off it would be without those freaks (I’m one now[) in the world, Brian thought, trying to bring his knees up under him.
“Grab him before he can get up!” the lead dark man ordered. They were faster and more organized than they looked; Brian discovered this to his dismay as he felt the heavy metal barrels being kicked from his back and found himself being dragged to his feet like a rabid dog. He tried to squirm away, his muscles and body still shaking from the overload of the adrenaline it had produced during his shift; he felt a heavy hand in leather grab him behind his skull at the base of his back, twist into his newly grown fur and yank backward, snapping his head up and back as if he were a dog.
Moving almost military precision, the man who had him by the scruff of the neck nearly lost his grip for a few moments when he realized that Brian was easily taller than he was, now that he had grown several inches. Brian attempted to make use of the shock and rip free but he only got a quick blow to the back of the head from an unseen fist and a blow to the back of the knees that sent him down on his hands and knees. Stars exploded in front of his eyes and he felt himself sway.
He felt his left and right arm jerked behind his back and felt the cold metal as the handcuffs were slapped on to his wrists; they barely fit around them now, he noticed remotely.
Brian couldn’t bring himself to call out; it was happening all over again; for the second time in less than forty eight hours he found himself a prisoner and his life about to end. The first time it was for money; for greed, avarice. This time, it was for pure and simple hate and cruelty. He wasn’t sure which was worse.
Now balanced on his knees as if he were bowing, his hands locked behind his back in steel, he felt someone throw a rope around his neck, forming a crude noose.
With a quick jerk, the noose tightened, the rope digging into his neck, burning through fur and scraping the skin under his fur raw; his breath stopped suddenly, gagging him/ Brian choked and then the tension released but the rope did not leave his neck.
He realized that the rope was not for hanging but for control…it was nothing more or less than a damn leash.
Thus subdued for now, he did not fight back; he couldn’t. But deep inside, he felt the first stirrings of a primal anger that he had never felt before and every moment he was held there, it grew and grew, coming closer to the surface.
With wary and pain filled eyes, he watched the lead man saunter up to him, his long black hood flapping in the hot night air.
He looked at the creature before him. It was not human. Could not be human, for God would have never let something like it ran rampant on the Earth; it was not natural and it could not be permitted. He had to protect his family, his God, his truth and by God in hell, if violence was how he had to make the difference then he would.
Stopping inches from the bound...thing…he examined it, his eyes roving over its form. Standing it would be close to seven feet in height, and judging by its lean but powerfully built body, it would probably weigh close to 350 pounds. Over all, it was human in shape; in fact, if it weren’t for the blunt claws, large feet, jet black short fur that covered every inch of skin it had, the long graceful wolf’s snout lined with fangs and teeth, pointed ears, tail, and glowing green eyes, it would be human. He noticed oddly that the beasts hands, fur covered as they were, were powerful and graceful; a working man’s hands, he supposed.
Vaguely, he wondered what kind of work this creature did when it was hiding as a normal human.
The creature looked up at him, its gaze burning into his eyes; his deep brown irises locked with the unnatural green ones that glowed with their own light. There was intelligence there; he saw, intelligence that could not be permitted to exist. It threatened everything normal people stood for. His children would not go to school with these beasts; he would not share a city with them; they did not belong.
He looked behind the bound animal to the men standing behind it; His second in command and his third stood at three foot radius from the left and right sides of the monster, ropes taught in hand, the ropes tied around its neck, holding it in place like the dog it was. He glanced quickly and made sure the beast’s hands were cuffed; they were. A single look from him to his fourth man made the fourth man step forward and yank on the cuffs; Brian felt his wrists scream in agony as the metal chaffed fur and flesh; the cuffs were indeed secure.
Now feeling that it was safe to get closer, he took the crow bar in his left hand, and stretched out the straight end, placing it just beneath the monsters chin, right in the place where the fur would have made a goatee on a normal man; with an almost gentle exertion, he made the Were on the ground before him look up at him.
Brian felt the cold metal bite into his chin; he swallowed and found that he no longer tasted blood in his mouth; his gums had stopped bleeding. To his surprise, he found he could smell the metal of the crow bar; it was a wet copper smell and beneath it, even though the bar was clean and by all intents and purposes, Brian realized he could smell the iron blood that had been washed away from it over and over, the lives it had taken.
He did not flinch or blink when the man looked down upon from his black hood, like the judgment of God himself was being passed; Brian felt the anger inside him growing more by the moment. His breathing quickened and he could not help it; he didn’t care he realized anymore what happened to him. He was sick of being everyone’s door mat, of everyone’s punching bag.
He said nothing even as the man in black spoke to him.
“What are you doing messing around in the trash, dog? Thinking you might find something to eat? Just like your kind to rifle through the refuse…like animals.”
The words stung and only fed the growing rage Brian felt. He had never before been hated; certainly he had known dislike and sure he had been in fights before; but never had he felt such hatred for something that was nothing more or less than who he was.
The four others laughed, and Brian felt his wind cut off as he was jerked back yet again, his air supply coming back as quickly as it left. One of them, he wasn’t sure which, launched out a powerful sideways kick that caught him in the snout, the thick smack of shoe soles smacking into flesh deafening in his ears.
Head reeling from the impact, his vision momentarily going blurry, Brian spat blood and felt something rumble in his chest; a deep seated growl began to purr.
As the lead man in black moved the crow bar back from his face, Brian felt the cold iron as it scraped away. He looked at the man who was putting the bar in and out of his right hand, like a baseball hitter does with his bat just before hitting the ball out of the park.
Brian saw scraps of his jacket lying on the ground beneath their feet being ground into the dirt, remembering the life he had, the life that was taken from him, the new life and world he was part of; he felt the rush of adrenaline again, but this time, his muscles stopped shaking and for the first time since his shift, he felt stable.
“I’m going to do what your mother should have done when the whore gave birth to you….put you out of your misery.”
Brian looked up at the man, even as the crow bar raised up and for a moment was held high, like a torch, its metal gleaming in the yellowed street lights.
In that same instant that the man in black swung to kill, the anger that had been building up inside Brian broke with an inhuman fury, a white hot rage taking over his every move.
A terrible snarl escaped from him as he flexed the muscles in his back and lower arms, snapping the handcuffs like they were matchsticks. It hurt, but Brian did not feel it.
The clinking of metal bits and pieces hitting the asphalt was loud and it was like thunder in his ears as he brought his hands around to his own throat, getting to his feet at the same time, grabbing the rope that bound him and ripped it away, taking in a welcome breath of air. The two men on either side of him jumped back, cursing, going for weapons they had in their black clothes.
The men behind him ducked to the side as Brian felt himself swing around with a well placed backhanded blow; remotely, he felt his knuckles glance off the man’s skull and a second crack as the connected full force with the second man; the man who tried to duck out of the way went down in a crumpled heap, blood pouring from underneath his black hood. The other one was thrown back wards into a pile of garbage, blood gushing from his broken nose.
“gently caress!” the lead man yelled, throwing himself back. He got a good look at the face of the Were before him; the lips and snout were pulled back in a terrifying snarl, fangs bared; the Were’s eyes had gone from a brilliant green to a pure white blue, burning with the sheer fury he had exploded with.
Not wasting a second, he moved in for the kill before the Were could do any more damage, swinging the crow bar at the back of its skull while it was turned around.
The crow bar, moving with the speed of a bullet suddenly stopped; the force of the stopping jerked his elbow joints in their place and the lead man in black looked on in shock and horror as he realized what had happened.
He saw the powerful black furred hand grasping the crow bar, the Were’s right arm outstretched, its head lowered, its features a painting of dark rage.
Without so much as a word, the Were yanked the man closer, jerking the crow bar back towards himself, until he and the creature were nose to snout, the burning white eyes with their black pupils glaring into his own. He could feel it’s hot breath, and for a moment, he realized this is what it had to be like to look the devil in the face.
With a deep growl that to him sounded more like a tiger than a wolf’s, the Were flexed its muscles in its lower arm and then bent forward, pushing, its biceps bunching; with a scream of tortured metal, the crow bar was twisted out of shape back towards its wielder.
With a growl, the beast tore the weapon from the man’s hand and tossed it aside into the darkness.
Brian could not believe that he had just done that; it was impossible, yet it happened. He would think it over later, he thought. Right now, he had something else to attend to. He was never going to be anyone’s plaything again.
He felt the man shaking in his grasp, defenseless his fear stinking up the night, burning Brian’s nose. People like this disgusted him, nothing but bullies. He had been bullied in school.
He would not be bullied again.
With a powerful shove, he sent the man backwards, onto his ass; the man in black landed hard, the breath knocked from him, stunned from the force of the blow he had just taken.
At that instant, Brian heard an explosion in the night and saw fiery lightening and he let out a cry of pain and shock as something that was hotter than the flames of hell tore into his side and his upper arm from both sides at the same time.
He realized it was gunfire.
Snarling he instinctively ducked and rolled, driving towards the left, his left claws catching cloth and then he felt the gush of warm blood as he struck flesh. He barely saw the man he had just impaled, dropping him like a sack of flour to the ground. As the man fell, Brian grabbed the gun from his wrist, breaking the man’s arm with a sickening crunch of wet meaty bone, casting the fire arm aside, letting the injured man fall where he bled out in seconds.
The other man behind him took aim and pulled the trigger; another round slammed into his leg, just above his left knee. Brian stumbled.
Out in the streets, people had begun to run away, screaming as the gunshots echoed. Brian could hear in the distance police sirens coming.
Roaring in pain and anger, Brian launched himself at the man, knocking him back into the brick wall in a football tackle he had not used since high school. The man’s head whiplashed back and hit the wall; he was unconscious but alive. Brian let him fall into the pile of barrels he himself had just recently been under with an almighty clang.
The lead man had crawled away, trying to get to his feet but his knees were shaking too badly, his legs rubbery in terror. Growling, Brian crossed the distance between them in less than two steps, reached down and grabbed the man by back of his black hood and shirt, throwing him around on his back, driving his foot into the man’s gut. The man screamed in agony as Brian’s toe claws bit into his flesh through the cloth.
Brian found he didn’t care.
He drove his foot deeper and knelt down, and in a single fluid motion ripped the man’s hood away, revealing the face beneath.
What he saw in the blue tinge of his night-vision was something he did not expect; he did not see the hard face of a criminal or crook, not even the scarred face of a drug addict or a murderer. What he saw was the man next door, a simple, non descript man with nothing outstanding about him all other than his eyes, which even though there were watering in terror, were also still full of that hot hatred he had displayed earlier.
The man’s hair was cut short in a buzz cut, military style and his face was not round but also not the square jaw of a solider like man, as Brian had expected.
His rage was not yet spent; Brian realized he could easily snap the man’s neck, could prevent others from dying at his murdering hands, could prevent more pain and suffering.
Snarling, Brian reached down and placed his right hand around the man’s neck and tightened his fingers.
A thump came from behind him.
Brian felt his ears perk backward. He knew the voice. Even over the police sirens oncoming screams and the panic in the streets outside the alley, he knew that voice.
Not letting go of the man lying beneath him, Brian turned his head, looking at the man, the Were who had given him this gift.
“What? So he can go free? So he can kill again? He’s nothing but a murdering bastard, Max. Can’t you smell the blood on him?” Brian’s voice cracked. He knew how crazy he sounded even as he said his voice shook.
“If you kill him in cold blood, “Max said, as Brian tightened his grip. Just one quick move and it was over. “.. Then you are no better than he is.”
Max stepped out of the shadows from the crouch he had dropped into. He had obviously just literally leaped from the roof to the ground. Standing there in his jeans and shirt and no shoes, his dark grey fur and his gleaming yellow eyes, Brian looked at Max, who himself two days ago, killed three people easily, and felt the lunacy of the situation beginning to sink in.
“And what about you? Is it ok for you?” He snarled.
Shaking his head, Max stood at Brian’s right hand side, taking in the new werewolf. “Killing is never ok…I didn’t want to kill those men, but they would have killed me and you if I had not.”
Brian snorted and turned his back on Max. “Save your speeches, Max. You’ve always been like…like this. You don’t know what its like to loose everything you have in a single day, to have your whole gently caressing life turned upside down!” snarled Brian unrelentingly.
For a moment, Max said nothing. His reply when it came was soft and something in the way it was said, broke through the rage Brian felt.
“Yes, I do.”
Blinking, Brian looked down at the man he held in a death grip, listened to the screaming tires of the police he knew were just blocks away now; the streets in front of the alley had cleared and the first rays of the sun were peeking out over the horizon, bathing the city in a golden glow that did not seem justified with the carnage in the alley.
“You’ve won. Let him go. Don’t be like him.” Max asked. He did not order Brian but rather, in his tone and the way he said it, was giving Brian an unsaid choice; be human or become a monster like the man before him.
For the first time sense he had ran out last night, Brian felt the pain of the bullet wounds, felt his body grow tired from the shock it endured. He realized now there was no turning back from his new life. And he realized he was not alone. Despite the way he had reacted towards him, Max had stayed with him. There was more to him than met the eye.
Max looked towards the sirens, his eyes now their normal ice blue in the early dawn light. “Brian…we need to go. You’re bleeding.”
Snorting, Brian looked back from Max to the man beneath him. Finally, Brian made the choice that he knew would change his life forever and where it would take him, he did not know but he knew that he at least had a friend that would not let him take it alone.
He released the man’s neck and instead yanked him close by his shirt front and growled long and low; “ I don’t want to see you in this part of town ever again…if I see you so much as speak to a Were…”
He left the rest unsaid and let the man go, raising his foot off of him and releasing his shirt. Standing, Brian nearly fell, his left leg almost giving out from under him. The flaring pain reminded him that he had been shot. The man did not look a gift horse in the mouth and scrambled to his feet and bolted, leaving his two dead men behind and one with a severe skull fracture and concussion.
His rage ebbing now, pain brought him back to harsh reality.
Max moved fast and got under his right arm, throwing Brian’s left arm over his shoulder and supporting him.
“You shouldn’t walk on that. We need to get those out,” Max said, indicating the bullet wounds that were burning like acid. Blood had spilled down his chest and stomach and arms, marking Brian’s jet black fur like tiger stripes, “ …and I know a place that we can go. We can’t go back to the garage now. Too many cops will be out.”
For the second time in his life, Max Mullen had saved Brian; this time, from himself. “Thanks....for everything.” Brian said, his voice low and gruff as his shoulder flared painfully as Max shifted his grip.
“That’s what you said last time before you got yourself into this mess.” Max said pointedly. Brian shook his head, his tail hanging limply behind him as he limped beside Max, leaning on his new friend for support. “Well, I was being a boneheaded ass. I tend to do that. I mean it this time...whatever is in store for me, whatever will happen, bring it on.”
For the first time since he had met him, Brian saw Max actually smile. “Yeah yeah, come off it. It’s a whole new world out there. You haven’t seen anything yet.”
“Open eyes and open heart always the best way…or that’s what my mom used to say when I was a kid.” Brian said. “ Sounds stupid huh? “ he swallowed back a cry as his knee cap felt like it was going to explode.
Max shook his head, and turned down a side alley into a dead end street. It was just as trashy as the alley that came before it. Brian’s eyes, now back to their now normal bright green and seeing in regular colors saw what looked like a door behind crates. “Stand here for a second.” Max said and when he was sure Brian could stand, let him go. Quickly, he moved the crates out of the way and Brian then saw a rusted old iron door. Working his fingers and claws up under the edge of it, Max heaved, and the door screamed open, rust dropping from its hinges.
He opened it just wide enough for large person to squeeze through. “ Let’s go. The city has all kinds of old tunnels down there. I know my way around them enough now that I could walk them in my sleep.” Max motioned Brian over. Being careful of the other’s wounds, Max helped Brian through the door and then followed him, dragging it shut. Brian heard the clicking and clacking of what sounded like a formidable lock bolt being slid home. His vision instantly shifted from normal colors to the hues of blue that Brian knew was his night vision.
Even though he could not see his own eyes, judging by Max’s glowing yellow ones, Brian knew his were glowing as well; he found now that it did not bother him and he was actually grateful for being able to see as the stairwell that they found themselves standing on top of had no lights.
It was like looking down into the bowels of the earth. The walls were covered in graffiti, the stairs had no railing and were made of simple concrete, pitted and broken from years of use and age; time, lots of time, Brian mused. He found himself trying to think about anything except the last few minutes and the fact that he had probably killed at least one, maybe two men. He didn’t remember. Distracting himself, he let Max support him again as they made their way down the stairs into the darkness.
“Where does this go?” he asked, his voice echoing as they descended the space around them opening up into a cavern like space as the Were’s moved below street level into the subbasement of the building above them.
“Somewhere that’s safe,” was the only reply.
Max was busy thinking about what Brian had said himself; Open eyes and open heart always the best way…
His mother had said the same thing to him all the time growing up. Funny how life works out, he thought and shook his head, hoping Brian did not see and tried to focus on the task at hand.
Around them in the open space, their footfalls echoed on empty concrete and shadows danced across the stone. Rats squeaked and ran amok and water dripped from a broken pipe. Max lead Brian over to a hole in the far west wall that had long ago been knocked out. In the gaping space behind it, Brian saw a tunnel twisting away snake like in the dark; he realized what he was looking at the moment he saw the carved bricks and sweeping vaulted ceilings of the tunnel.
“Is this—“ he asked, amazed despite his condition.
“ Yep..the old pneumatic transit system that Edmund Grady designed back in 1843. The system may have failed but the network of tunnels he had built are still here and mostly passable.” Max said. He helped Brian across the threshold of the jagged hole and into the tunnel itself. “You can go all over the city in these things. If you know the way.”
“So…where are we going?” Brian asked again as they began to move down the eerily empty tunnel, the silence and the weight of the streets above pressing down on them.
Max’s reply was oddly loud in the dark, or maybe it was something about the way the tunnels made one’s voice echo, like babbling voices and whispers.
Brian nodded, not knowing if Max saw or not. He limped along, hoping that this Draco knew how to get bullets out and hopefully, he thought, he may get some answers to what the hell was going on with those guys in black and why he kept seeing things with scents and smells. He didn’t want to ask Max. Max had done enough for him already.
Behind them, the gaping hole had vanished as they wound deeper into the bowels of the city; around them the air played and danced on the walls, echoing slightly, making it seem as if there were invisible people and that those people were talking in hushed tones about the world around them and the silly and macabre things men do and then laughing because they never cared in the first place.
Last edited by ShadowWolf2010 (2010-04-07 19:24:27)
yay!!! keep it coming.
Ah yes, religion. Just because they do it in gods name they think others aprove or even god him/herself.