I was going to post this with the next section, but I figured what I have here is a good enough breaking point.
Read. Enjoy. Comment.
"I want to go over there and check on him," Tara told Chris.
"I'm telling you the guy's fine. He was just exhausted. Let him rest."
"No. Something is not right," she insisted as she continued to pace between the kitchen and living room of the small house.
"When I went in there last night he was passed out on the couch.” Chris tried sounding reassuring, but came across too aggressive, like someone was accusing her of lying. “He was so out of it he didn't even wake up to the racket I made. I bet I could've robbed him blind and he'd..."
“That was last night. We should’ve heard something by now.”
“Yea. You called him like seventeen times already. Maybe he doesn’t want to talk to you because you’re harassing him.”
Tara stopped her pacing in the arch way of the two rooms and stared at Chris. She was standing at the kitchen table pouring some milk into a bowl full of Cap'n Crunch cereal. Dawn sat quietly in one of the chairs watching the two of them with a worried look and kept her mouth shut.
"It's almost seven in the evening and you're eating cereal? You should be eating dinner."
“We should all be heading out to eat, but I don’t see that happening any time soon, and I’m starving.”
"You know, eating like that is going to catch up to you."
"Naa. Not me. I'm always on the move; keeps me thin," she said with a wave of her spoon before scooping up some more.
Tara remained where she stood still troubled by the lack of communication from Sean. She studied Dawn, wondering why she was being so quiet, and why she wasn't jumping at the opportunity to go and visit him. Ever since yesterday it seemed as though she was keeping more to herself and Tara had the suspicion she was hiding something. Judging by the way she was constantly letting her head hang low, it was likely she was feeling guilty, but whatever it was could probably wait. Eventually Dawn's conscious wouldn't be able to bear the weight and she'd confess to whatever was bothering her.
Tara's instincts were telling her Sean was in trouble and dealing with him was her first priority. Somehow she was going to have to get him to face his problems and cope with them.
He had more than enough time to let his recently recovered memories settle in and for the initial shock to subside. She wasn't going to tolerate anymore dodging of the subject. In his fragile state it simply wasn't healthy. She had a feeling he wasn’t going to ask for help, but if he did it’d likely come too late. Trouble was she wasn't sure if he even realized the full extent of the danger he was in so if he wanted a future it was up to her to make sure he got the picture.
Tara turned, going into the living room and grabbing her jacket from the back of the sofa where she usually laid it down every time she came here. Chris threw her bowl down on the table, spilling a few drops of milk over the edge and pursued Tara into the other room.
“I’m telling you leave the guy alone. He’ll come to terms with himself when he’s ready and then we'll talk to him.”
Tara looked at Chris as she shrugged into her jacket, ready to continue the argument, but changing her mind as it only felt like a waste of time. She tried it Chris’ way and now it was time to confront Sean. He had to face his werewolf persona whether he was ready or not before it was too late.
Tara didn’t say anything else and headed out the door.
“T, wait for me!” Dawn shouted as she ran out the door in pursuit while throwing on her jacket.
They both got into the car and started it, giving the engine a minute to warm up. She swiped her gloves out of the little storage compartment between the front seats and slipped them on while glancing at Dawn out of the corner of her eye. She sat there unaware of how much she was avoiding looking at everyone else in the face. She was definitely feeling bad about something, and feared disapproval.
"Anything you want to talk about?"
Dawn kept her eyes straight ahead, but winced ever so slightly at the question. She swallowed hard as though her mouth had suddenly become too dry to talk and shook her head, making the curtain of hair in front sway back and forth.
A few seconds later Chris came out and got into the car.
"Decided to join us?" Tara asked barely able to keep the I-told-you-so from her voice.
"I might as well go with you."
She couldn’t help but feel irritable. Chris was insisting her way was right, Dawn was evidently keeping a secret that she probably shouldn’t, and Sean was in denial. Out of the four of them she was the one acting most responsible which further served to increase the stress she was under.
Tara forced herself to take a deep breath and exhale all the negativity before flipping the car into reverse, backing out into the road. She made it a habit not to drive with her emotions. Unfortunately it didn’t seem like she’d be able to tonight.
Unable to bite her tongue any longer she confronted Chris. "Why did you go over to Sean's place last night... by yourself?"
"I told you. My boss said he called in sick. I figured something was wrong so I swung by."
“So!? Damn it, Chris! Did you even stop to think what if he wasn't himself?"
“Yea, I did.”
“Then what? What would you have done?”
“Stop him?! Oh…,” Tara bit her lower lip to keep herself from cursing. “Chris, how were you going to do that?! Pick him up and throw him around? Use your powers to hit him with things? I’ll tell you right now all you would've done is piss him off and wind up getting yourself torn to shreds. Then the Knights of Merlin would show up, put him down, and I would get faced with a bunch of uncomfortable questions that'd probably get me in trouble.”
"Really? Do you have to blow everything out of proportion?"
"What?!" Her head whipped in Chris' direction and she stared at her in amazement. "I don't think you get it! You jeopardize..."
"Look out!" Dawn suddenly yelled.
Tara's first reaction was to slam on the brakes. Everyone jolted forward and snapped back into their seats as the car abruptly stopped. She had missed a traffic light which had just turned red and barely kept them from plowing into an intersection.
No one said a word as they all sat there staring wide eyed recovering from the shock. It wasn’t until the light turned green when Chris suggested maybe she shouldn’t be driving right now.
“How about no one talks until after we get there,” was her tight lip reply, and the last couple of minutes were driven in silence.
Last edited by SilentStrider (2012-02-20 04:51:33)
Okay here's another section. Maybe I should keep some of these in reserve and make you all wait a week or so.... Na. You'd want to kill me for leaving you in suspense. As it is I can't make these posts quickly enough.
The evening hours made it harder to find a parking spot close to his apartment complex, and Tara drove around the block looking for the nearest available one.
"Why'd you do it?" Dawn asked Chris after they all got out of the car. The sound of her voice helped to dispel some of the tension.
"What? Come here alone?"
"Didn't you think it'd be dangerous?"
"I guess... yea. Look, I wasn't thinking, but I realize it was stupid. I just... I dunno... had to prove I could."
"I understand," Tara responded, struggling to instill sympathy in her voice, and to speak more gently. "Next time let us know."
Together they walked the length of the block, each of them with their own thoughts of what condition they'd find Sean in. They entered the building and made their way up the stairs to his door. After knocking several times with no answer Tara asked Chris if she could tell whether or not he was there.
"No. He's different than you. I mean with you I can sense your mind, presence, whatever you want to call it, but with him it's like he doesn't exist."
"Just like a vampire." Tara meant to keep the comment to herself, but it came out louder than intended. "Can you unlock the door?"
"Not without seeing the locks."
"How did you get in before?"
Tara shook her head and started back the way they came. "You're going to get yourself in trouble one these days."
"Admit it! You'd do it yourself if you could," Chris replied with a prideful smile
They walked all the way back outside and around to the side of the building where the fire escape was. Chris made a hand gesture as if she was pulling something down out of thin air and the ladder came loose falling with a loud clang. The other two jumped a little with the noise and looked around nervously like they might get reported, but Chris told them to relax. The people here were probably used to hearing it during all hours of the day.
Climbing up a second set of stairs to the third floor served to rekindle Tara's attitude. When they got to the right floor they saw his window was open about an inch and there was a clean arching crack in the glass right above where the latch was.
"I closed and locked it when I left," Chris said as though she felt the need to defend herself.
"What about the crack?" Tara asked while staring intently into the dark room beyond. "Was that you?"
"Yea," she responded guiltily, but no one seemed concerned since all their attention was focused on what they might find inside.
Tara led the way, opening the window and climbing through, and moving off to the side. The whole apartment was dark and sat absolutely still. The only light in the room came from the green numbers on the microwave showing the time. She waited for the others to file in while she listened and attuned herself to her surroundings.
The place was empty. It was clear that no one was home.
They followed slowly as she made her way past the kitchen and into the living room. Tara flicked the light switches she passed no longer feeling the need to be stealthy. There was a noticeable release of tension from the other two when the lights came on.
The first thing they all saw was the little red and yellow pills spilled out on the coffee table in front of the couch and the three empty bottles they came from. Tara's eyes bulged at the sight, and she wished for nothing more than to grab Sean by the shoulders and scream at him. She fought hard to keep herself from calling him some choice words in front of Dawn, but in her mind she used every indecent name she could think of and didn't care whether or not Chris picked up on it.
"Holy... Did he take all of these?" Chris knelt nearer the table and stared in astonishment. "This wasn't here last night."
"I'm so mad at him right now I could choke him!" Tara practically yelled. "How could he be so stupid?!"
"What did he do?" Dawn clearly looked worried and upset; more than seemed reasonable. If Tara didn't know her better she'd have thought her actions were exaggerated.
She finished scanning the room then walked down the hallway to where his bedroom was and looked inside. It only took her a couple of seconds to catch the empty spot on his dresser where he kept his sword. This answered her suspicion and she knew exactly where to find him. Before the other two could catch up she was already heading back into the kitchen.
"Where are you going?" Chris pursued, trying to figure out what was happening.
"To the roof."
Last edited by SilentStrider (2012-02-19 10:50:11)
Definitely setting the scene for what seems will be fairly interesting confrontation when Tara finds Sean and the whole scene unfolds. Dawn's little mystery conversation w/Sean also has some interesting possibilities. Good stuff and definitely wanting more.
I'm glad you're enjoying yourself RW. I have one more post and then I'll be working on the "hunting for the werewolf scene". I still have a detail or two to work out with it, but I'll make it worthwhile. I promise. I jotted down a loose draft of the conversation between Sean and Dawn, but it was more for my own notes so I could gauge how much time they spent. I was considering posting it here as well, you know, just as a little something special behind the scenes look. Eventually at some point in the story what she asked and what he told her will surface, but I leave it up my readers whether or not they want to take that sneak peek or not. It can spoil things for you in the future.
They stepped out the window and raced up the fire escape. Up on top most of the area was clear with the exception of some pipes, a covered stairwell, and some industrial sized AC units. The surface was gray with bits of loose gravel here and there. Not too far from where they were standing were some torn up clothes spread out in a mess and Sean's sword.
The scene spoke for itself. It was dreadfully obvious what had happened. Sean had come up here to calm down and regain control, but this time it didn’t work. The werewolf side of him wasn’t willing to stay in its chains any longer, and broke free perhaps taking over permanently.
Tara wanted to scream and yell, blaming herself for not taking action sooner, but none of that was going to help now. She closed her eyes and collected herself. She had promised to help and getting angry would only cloud her mind. There still might be a chance she could save him, but she’d have to figure out a plan before he did something they couldn’t recover from.
Tara wordlessly walked over to the exquisite blade that glinted with what little light was present. It was suppose to be attuned to him in someway. Perhaps she could use it to locate him. While her other two friends made sense of what they were seeing she bent down and reverently picked up the weapon. This was her first time actually holding the sword and the opportunity to study it up close was too tempting to pass.
It came as second nature for her to use her aura sight and with it she could see the magic contained within. At first glance it looked simple, subtle, and broken, but when taken in context with whom it was meant for, it felt… appropriate. Calling it a weapon didn’t seem right. For Sean it was more like a tool: an instrument of healing. The enchantment seemed sloppily made, but the energies were leaking less than the first time she had noticed it. As if with the passage of time the spells woven into the sword were improving and maturing to completion. In her hands the elegant blade felt light and well balanced, and had the potential to serve well if ever used in an actual fight.
She studied the flow of magic, easily losing herself in the folds of its complexity until her concentration was interrupted by her friends gathering around.
“It happened, didn’t it?” Chris said solemnly. “He snapped.”
Tara looked from one to the other. Chris looked sorry, like she pitied him. Dawn had tears ready to fall and was carrying enough shame to make her look like she was going to be sick. Tara stayed focus on her, looking for a connection to the way she felt and Sean’s disappearance.
“I’m so sorry,” Dawn suddenly burst forth with a sob. “It’s all my fault.”
Both she and Chris looked at her uncomprehendingly, expecting an explanation. Instead she hid her face behind her hands and used the moment to wipe her vision clear.
“What happened?” Tara pushed gently as she stood to address her friend appropriately.
“I saw him yesterday right after his final,” she sniffled as she spoke. “He wasn’t doing well, you know, like he was all shaken up. He told me he was trying to get a hold of you to talk, but couldn’t. He looked really bad…”
“Did you do something?”
“He asked me to take off my pendant and just talk to him and it helped. He got better, and said he’d be fine. I saw how exhausted he looked and he told me he hadn’t slept in days, and that he was going home to sleep.”
Tara looked away, trying to prevent them from seeing the disappointment on her face.
“T, I’m sorry,” Dawn pleaded, hoping for forgiveness. “I just wanted to help him.”
“I told you keeping that crystal on you was important,” Tara said, forcing herself to keep her voice soft. “Do you not understand that?”
“I know, but he was in trouble.”
Tara turned around and leveled her stare with the person she was charged to protect. She gazed upon her not as her friend, but as a seventy year old Wizard who had yet to come into full power. She didn’t mean to do it, but it was necessary. Her friendship was important, but above all else she had to make sure Dawn remained safe, and if that meant she had to further shatter the comfortable illusion of how they thought of her, then so be it.
“Dawn, listen to me. Nothing is more important than you remaining a secret. If you undermine that then I can’t do my job. If you want to ignore my instructions; if you want to embrace your fate, say so now, and I’ll stop. I’ll even do everything in my power to teach you. But if you trust me; if you heed the warnings, you have to do what I tell you. There can be no compromise; no exception. Do you understand?”
They both looked at her as though she was a stranger. This was not the Tara they knew, and they were taken back by the shock of it. Although it pained her, Tara held herself steady and didn’t relent the image she was portraying. It was essential they realized the full seriousness of the situation.
Dawn held onto her humiliation while at the same time looking surprised by the way Tara was talking to her. “I’m so sorry. I didn’t mean…”
“Stop! You have to tell me what you want.”
Her demand hung in the air, bringing an awkward silence to everything, and Dawn spent that moment searching Tara's face, looking for an explanation. It was the expression Tara didn't want to see. The look that said she suddenly wasn't so certain who this person was who she had known all her life. Despite how hard it was Tara held her ground, refusing to budge until she made her choice known.
"I want to be safe," she finally spoke. "I'll do what you want."
"Okay." Tara closed her eyes, took a deep breath, and released the image she was portraying. When she reopened them she was more relaxed and looking back reassuringly. She couldn't know for sure the emotional somersault Dawn experienced, but she could imagine it wasn't an easy pill to swallow.
"You'll be okay," Tara told her. "I swear it."
She wanted to know what she was thinking, but whatever was running through her head at that moment would have to wait. Right now she had a more immediate problem of a mentally unstable werewolf running around who had to be reigned in before he did something she couldn't undo.
Tara needed to clear her mind and focus on how she was going to address Sean's predicament. She walked over to the edge of the roof where she imagined Sean in his werewolf form had leapt off and looked out at the rest of Louisville wondering where he was and what kind of mess he had gotten himself into.
First she'd have to track him down. Then she'd have to get close enough to somehow change him back. There were a few ideas floating to the front of her mind of how she'd find him, and using the sword as a focus seemed like the best one if she could pull off the tracking spell without getting caught. Of course she had the bracelet, but the heat it would likely radiate after such a casting would certainly sear her flesh.
Finding him would be easy compared to figuring out what to do with him afterwards. Ideally she'd want to change him back, but how, she hadn't a clue. The best thing she could think of off the top of her head was to take a chance with a herbal concoction based off of wolfsbane and injecting it directly into his blood stream. If she did that though there was a possibility...
She quickly put an end to that line of thought, praying her mental wards were sufficient enough to keep Chris from eaves dropping. Usually they were, but sometimes she admitted to being able to catch glimpses every now and then.
Eventually Chris approached her from the left and joined in gazing at the night time city lights. "You're going after him, aren't you?"
"Of course I am."
"Maybe I can help you find him."
Tara looked over at her raising an eyebrow.
"How?" Dawn questioned, joining them on Tara's other side.
“By tuning into his thoughts.”
"You said his mind was like it wasn't there for you."
"Yea, but he's not the same after he transforms," Chris began explaining. "He becomes a different person. I don't think the werewolf side of him can shield his mind the way Sean does."
"All right then, give it a try," Tara nodded at her.
Chris closed her eyes and appeared to be concentrating. After a few seconds she opened them shaking her head and exhaling fully like she had been holding her breath.
"It's not working. The only contact I ever had with him was brief so I'm not familiar enough with his mind to find it over too great a distance. But If got closer I'm sure I could pin point him."
“It’s worth a try.”
“After we find him then what?” Chris was quick to ask.
“I’m still figuring that part out.”
“I can help,” Dawn spoke up, sounding hopeful.
“No. I want you to stay here.”
“You’ve done enough already. Let Chris and I handle this.”
“Tara, don’t you think…,” Chris started to say.
“No,” she interrupted, “because I know exactly what she wants to do, and I’m not letting it happen again.”
“So you’d rather have me try and hold him in place while you cast some sort of spell on him? Didn’t I hear a warning from you earlier that I’d wind up getting myself killed that way?
“We’re not taking him on until I have something ready.”
“You guys are acting stupid.” They both looked at Dawn surprised to hear her actually throw out an insult. The affect was slightly lost with both of them staring at her as she appeared to retreat into herself. “I can’t believe you’re actually looking to get into a fight with him,” she practically mumbled.
“I’m not fighting him. I’m going to capture him,” Tara tried to clarify.
“And he’ll go willingly of course,” Dawn’s voice spiked with sarcasm, another attribute neither one of them were used to seeing from her. “You know, I figured you guys would understand him better than I would, but you don’t.”
“And you do?” Chris had to ask.
“You still think he’s going to hurt you, but he’s not like that.”
“So what… you want us to walk up to him and say, ‘Excuse me mister big bad wolf, but my friends and I were wondering if you’d be so kind as to escort us home cuz we’re just a bunch of poor defenseless girls. And then after we’re home you can let us experiment on you ‘til we turn you into a real boy again.’ Yea… that sounds realistic.”
“Underneath it all he’s still Sean," she continued to defend him, "just a different version of the same person.”
“I know you want to believe that, but we can’t risk it," Tara said shaking her head, not understanding how Dawn could continue believing Sean was harmless. "I might be willing to give him the benefit of the doubt, but I’m not heading out there without being prepared. And you’re not coming.” She added the last sentence more as a command.
“But if it wasn't for me he wouldn't be in this mess now. I want a chance to fix this."
"You're staying and that's final."
"Uhh... Tara...," Chris said, getting her attention, "you should probably let her come. If you don't then she's just going to do it on her own, and then how're you going to keep her safe?"
"Hey!" Dawn shouted, "Did you just read my mind?"
"No?" her voice squeaked in response and she did her best to put on an innocent face.
"You did! Didn't you?"
"Maybe," she shrugged.
"Knock it off you two," Tara addressed them. She sighed bringing her hand up to her forehead and pinched her eyebrows together. "Fine. Dawn, you can come."
"See!" Chris pointedly told Dawn. "I did you a favor."
Tara shook her head and started off toward the fire escape. She had a lot of work ahead of her and it wasn't looking like the night was going to get any easier.
Last edited by SilentStrider (2012-02-22 06:02:02)
I'm having a little trouble deciding on the setting for where they would catch up to Sean in his werewolf form. I was thinking of either some wooded place or a cemetary. I'm leaning toward the later for the affect it would add to the mood and all the cover/obstacles the stones and mausoliums (can't spell check that since I'm on my phone) provide. I was also thinking to myself where are some places werewolf-Sean would go and why. I'm going to try and press on with what I have going on inside my head for now, but I'm very much open to suggestions at this time and will consider your ideas. I could potentialy redo the whole setting for this scene. It remains to be seen.
Another detail I'm hung up with at the moment is what kind of chemical will Tara use on him to neutralize/revert Sean? I was thinking perhaps some kind of tranquilizer or nerve toxin to immobilize him so she can get up close and administer her innovative concoction to change him back. But if she's using some kind of powerful tranq what's the plausibility of her obtaining such thing, or does she have some already available and secreted away someplace like the shotgun she has?
Well that's where I'm at right now... a little hung up on research and figuring out the layout and POV for the scene. Let me know what you guys think and I'll be working hard to post another story update ASAP.
I don't think the cemetery is a bad choice but if your looking for something unique you might check actual Louisville landmarks and historic places.
Not a big chemist either but maybe something simple like a sleeping potion/spell and then a ritual.
Also be cool to see a scene from the werewolf's point of view.
Last edited by mrRW (2012-03-07 13:18:50)
For Chris it felt like it took forever before they were actually able to begin hunting Sean down. All Friday night Tara fretted over trying to formulate some kind of mixture that could force a werewolf to turn back into a human form, or it's natural state of being. Chris didn't understand the difference between the two, but evidently there was one. Tara had gathered a slew of books and notes from some secret niche no one knew where and placed several discrete phone calls for information from people who owed her favors.
It wasn't until early Saturday she actually gathered ingredients and started cooking, boiling, baking, and grinding stuff to powder. During the middle of the whole process she stepped out while leaving specific instructions with Dawn on how to continue. When Tara returned after an hour she had with her a case containing a tranq gun and three darts. They were both shocked to see her with it, Dawn more so out of alarm they were going to shoot him, Chris with the fact she had such a thing in her possession. All their attempts to find out where she got it was met with an ambiguous answer while she redirected the conversation onto different topics.
The worst part of all, at least for Chris anyway, was the waiting. The moment they learned of Sean's fate she wanted to head out immediately and search for him, but Tara had to point out matter-of-factly, "then what?" They needed a plan, and as it turned out it took them nearly twenty four hours to make one, gather everything needed to carry it out and get some sleep.
In truth it was Tara who came up with everything since she was the most qualified and had experience with things like this.
She didn't know about the others, but sleep didn't come easily to her. She was far to anxious with her imagination playing out different scenarios. She wondered if she'd have to pit her telekinesis against him and if she'd be strong enough. There were also thoughts about the presence of Dawn being there and if she'd be a hindrance. Exactly how dangerous Sean would be no one knew for sure, but Tara assured them he would be different than he had been in the past. Meaning he'd be more animal and less human, then again that's how Chris already thought of him.
Their first outing began Saturday evening after they all had a chance to catch some sleep. Dawn drove while Tara navigated with Sean's sword lying across her lap. She said she was using the link it had with Sean as a compass to help point them in the right direction, but she had no idea of knowing the distance. That was Chris' job.
She used her telepathy to constantly scan for the werewolf presence she had touched once before. They were only cursory sweeps and nothing more. The last thing she wanted to do was get caught up in his mind. She had already paid for it once.
It only took them a couple of hours to find him the first time in a heavily wooded area west of Louisville, but their approach wasn't coordinated and lacked stealth. Then again would stealth have even mattered with his supposedly keen senses? He dodged in and out of their sights running circles around them as a group and as individuals. It took Chris a while to realize he was playing his own version of hide and seek with them, and when next she caught a glimpse of his shiny yellow eyes looking back at her from the shadows she flipped him off and headed straight back to the car.
Needless to say, Tara was annoyed at her, but if he wanted to play games with them then her reply was, "Screw him! He can come to us!” Not long after Tara conceded and gave up.
The entire evening was an utter failure. The only one who didn't seem bothered was Dawn. It was late in the morning, they all had been up all night stumbling through the woods stepping in who knew what, and on the drive home she was smiling, looking like she enjoyed herself. Chris asked how she could sit there and not be bothered by what they were doing. Her reply was astonishment they didn't feel the same way. To her it was all exciting, like being on an adventure or a quest straight out of a fantasy novel.
Chris groaned, pretending to be bothered by Dawn's infinite capacity to see the positive in any miserable situation, but secretly she admired the trait. It was their plan to get some rest and regroup, however it was her plan to rest and leave for work. She didn't want to head back out but as soon as she opened her mouth with the "I have to go to work" excuse she felt like crap for saying it. Still though, how was she going to pay her bills if she didn't keep her job.
The girls dropped her off at the restaurant on their way out. None of them said a word to her on the way over and it was easy to tell they weren't happy with her decision.
She didn't last more than an hour waitressing. Her mind felt raw from the extensive use of her telepathy yesterday evening and the early morning. Every little thought that seeped in scraped against her consciousness like nails on a chalk board. There was no way she could function through her entire shift and maintain her sanity.
It was obvious she wasn't feeling well. Without warning she went up to Ed, told him she had caught whatever Sean had and was going home. She folded up her apron, which looked more like a ball of fabric with two dangling tie strings, tossed it carelessly on the counter and added she didn't care if he fired her over it. There was no way she'd make it a whole eight and a half hours in her condition.
On her walk home she used her cell to call Dawn. It still had fifteen percent charge which was enough. She would've called Tara's but it broke during one of their private sessions of her learning finesse and control with telekinesis. Chris had accidentally pushed the buttons too hard.
Dawn answered after two rings.
"I changed my mind. Can you guys come pick me up?"
"Don't give me a hard time. My head hurts and I'm not in the mood to argue."
"But we’re already out here. We're looking for him now."
"Please don't make me beg. I need to get away, and being with you guys would help."
"Hang on a sec."
She could hear her on the other end saying something to Tara as though she had moved the receiver away from her mouth. There was a muffled exchange of words from the opposite end then Dawn's voice came back.
"Okay. Where are you?"
"By the time you guys get here I'll be waiting at my house."
Dawn promised they'd be there as soon as they could and hung up.
Chris navigated home, keeping her eyes on the ground and doing her best to ignore the thoughts of other nearby people. As soon as she was able she detoured onto some back streets which significantly lessened her discomfort, but the whisper of some minds still pursued her. Even after she made it home the walls of her house weren't enough of a sanctuary.
Quickly she flicked on the TV and turned up the volume. It wasn't the best solution, but the sound and pictures provided enough of a distraction to help. She only had to wait long enough for Dawn to come pick her up then they'd be well out of the city and away from all the random thoughts.
There was time enough for a fast shower and for her to grab a change of clothes. She also had the foresight to throw a few sandwiches together, because last time they were out they had spent the better part of twelve hours in the woods looking for him. She didn't know if it bothered the others but feeling hungry really got to her.
The TV was too loud for her to hear the car pull in, but she knew the second they turned onto the block. Dawn's thoughts came through clearly despite all her attempts at drowning out what she heard. It was like seeing a beam of sunlight illuminating her on a crowded street. It was a beacon of sanity for Chris and when reading minds felt like a curse her presence was a vital relief.
Chris was out the door and in the car before it came to full stop. The speed at which she darted in startled the other two. Without even trying she could tell they understood her desire to get out of the city as quickly as possible.
The fact she could so easily pick the thoughts right out of their heads bothered them. It was blaringly obvious. Chris told them she was sorry, but there was no way she could help it at the moment. Neither one of them wanted to hear another apology and for her not to worry, they understood.
Tara, thankfully, turned on the radio and her and Dawn sang along with whatever was on. Singing wasn't exactly Chris' forte and she thought it was a stupid idea, but once she saw how well their voices matched with what she heard from their thoughts she appreciated it a lot more.
It was a relief when they crossed the bridge out of the city. They finished up a third song before Chris let them know she was good. Naturally, Dawn was having fun and opted to sing solo for a couple more tunes. The constant bombardment of random thoughts left her behind the further they drove into the country. As they went Tara paid attention to the sword laying across her lap while navigating Dawn in the right direction.
They drove for an hour and half, narrowing his location to somewhere within a hundred acres of woods. The area was sectioned off by a couple of main roads and some back streets. Using a combination of the sword and the portable GPS navigator plugged into the cigarette lighter Tara was able to roughly triangulate his location. Dawn picked a spot in a dead end street to park the car and together the three of them made their trip into the woods.
Fortunately it was still during the day, which meant he'd most likely stay within the boundary of the woods. Werewolves in general were a lot like other animals and preferred being far away from humans. Under the cover of darkness he was a little braver and there was no telling how far he'd go if given a reason. So far they'd been pretty lucky he hadn't gone further from the city... yet.
It would have been so much easier to share Dawn's opinion, but Chris knew better. She had touched his mind in his beast form, and it was every bit that of an animals. Extremely clever perhaps, but certainly lacking all the higher brain functions of a normal person. The bottom line was he was dangerous and to believe otherwise was foolish.
No amount of reasoning made Dawn see the truth. Fortunately they were at least able to get her to accept the possibility he could harm them. Although, the main reason she did was because Tara told her if she didn't she'd get left behind.
Before going in they determined which way the wind was blowing and decided Tara and Dawn would wait down wind while Chris circled around to the other side of the forest. It was her job to try and flush him out, driving him toward Tara where she could hopefully get off a surprise shot without him dodging it.
It was a good plan in theory, but not one she liked. Being by herself in a forest that was about to get dark in a couple of hours while hunting down a werewolf with the intentions of capturing him certainly wasn't anywhere on her bucket list. His playful antics from last night made her less afraid, but in her book he was still a big fuzzy psychotic monster. She didn't want to get suckered into thinking he was nice and then have him turn around tearing her apart in a flash of rage.
The one bit of satisfaction she got out of their plan was the fact Tara had to remove the charm she had on herself that obstructed Chris from reading her mind. Naturally she resisted, but in order for Chris to maintain a connection without being in direct contact it was the only way. Logic and reason won and Tara consented.
To Chris' surprise and disappointment the daylight was fading faster than she anticipated. They had lost more than a hour setting setup. She figured she had roughly half an hour before the sun touched the horizon and maybe another half hour after that of decent light. There was no way in hell she was going to repeat last night by continuing after dark, and she made sure to convey her thoughts to the others. Tara's response was that she had better make her efforts count because she wasn't quitting until they had Sean back.
The reality of what she was doing didn't fully set in until after she was about a hundred meters away from where she sensed him. She kept her telepathic scan shallow, barely grazing the surface of his mind. Not deep enough to know what he was thinking, but just enough to know his location. Her technique worked on everyone. No one ever felt her. But Sean's mind wasn't anything like she ever encountered before, and right now it wasn’t the side of him she wanted to experience.
She forced herself to swallow and take a step forward. She wasn’t a quitter and wasn’t about to start backing down now.
Last edited by SilentStrider (2012-05-11 06:20:06)
Here you go mrRW. I hope the hunt scene was worth the wait and it works well. Once again the time I get to write is very chopped up so its hard for me make sure I have the flow of everything the way I want it. Let me know what you all think
Read. Enjoy. Comment.
If he didn’t already, he would know she was there and heading right for him. How was she going to get him to run where she wanted?
“No time like the present for me to use what you’ve been teaching me, right Tara?”
“Just watch the amount of force you use. You’re trying to steer him, not crush him.”
“I got this.”
“And control your emotions…”
“I got this!”
Chris moved forward alert and ready. Whatever fear she had she tucked away into a distant corner of her mind. She was ready. Mostly.
“One, two, three, ready or not here I come.”
She kept her focus on where he was and advanced without concern for stealth. He didn’t so much as flinch at her presence which meant he had to have known she was there. No matter. He was going to be in for a big surprise.
Chris waited for him to make the first move. She caught a glimpse in his mind before he actually committed, and when he did she jabbed her open hand out, palm sideways. With it she pushed a wall of force into his path and sustained it. Maintaining it and keeping it stationary was not something she was used to doing and required more than her usual concentration.
She was rewarded with a satisfactory “thunk” as she felt his body smash into her wall. He fell back hurt, stunned, and confused all the while with her moving closer. Predictably werewolf/Sean turned and ran the opposite direction and she was ready for him. Another quick jab placed a new wall in his path.
This time, however, before he collided something gave it away and he turned running parrallel to it, directly toward her. She pulled her hands back prepared to defend herself and he instantly veered off again going past where she had created her wall of force.
Damn it! He was a fast learner. She was used to using her hands to project and manipulate her telekinesis and creating walls was still too new for her to improvise quickly.
Again she blocked his path doing her best to contain him and stick to the plan. She anticipated his turn toward her and quickly slammed another wall perpendicular to the last one. Chris fully expected him to run into it again, but instead he leapt over it, catapulting through the air straight at her. There wasn’t time for her to do anything.
He landed next to her and she felt like she was stuck in slow motion. Next thing she knew a heavy shove sent her flying off her feet. Before she could recover he disappeared out of sight.
The werewolf was laughing at her. She could feel the amusement in his mind. He was going to mess around with her just like he had the other night. Chris felt an explosion of anger and got up screaming her frustration at him like a challenge.
“Come on you bastard! Let’s see what you’ve got!”
“Chris! What are you doing?”
“I’m gonna get him!”
“Stick to the plan!”
“Come and get me!”
She spun about trying to get a lock on his location while she gradually moved toward Tara and Dawn. Some how he figured out how she was finding him and was doing something to mess up her senses. Her telepathy told her he was in one place while her ears told her another. He was moving so fast, picking a random direction and then hurtling himself toward her. The brush shook and leaves fell. She thought he was going to burst forth and pounce on her again, but just before he got to that point everything went still and he retreated to pick out a different direction to charge from. He was toying with her, getting her to panic and react. It was all a freaking game to him and he was using her like his plaything.
She twisted her fear into anger and mentally pushed at one of his charges. He strafed to one side, dodging the hole she made into the green, and shot forward, closing the distance between them instantly. Again he knocked her off her feet.
She jumped up, recovering quickly, punching the air in his direction. Her telekinetic punch struck only air and she screamed obscenities in his name. How could he be so damn fast and then ghost away like that? He was white for god sake. He should’ve been sticking out like a sore thumb against the backdrop of brown and green.
The two of them repeated the cycle two more times and then she got him.
He was picking the side she punched with. If she used her left hand then he hopped to his right. It made it so if she tried to use her other hand she’d cross over her first punch which screwed up her accuracy and slowed her reaction time enough for him to get right next to her. She punched against one of his charges and he dodged it like before, but this time her first punch didn’t carry with it a telekinetic projection. Her second one did and she hit him dead on.
He yelped and it was his turn to go flying off his feet, and fly he did. He shot up into the air more than twenty feet crashing into branches which helped slow his decent.
“I got him!” Chris yelled ecstatically.
There was a slight pause of silence then she heard a deep threatening growl roll through the woods. It seemed to vibrate and echo off of her surroundings so she couldn’t tell where it came from.
Panic welled up inside of her robbing her of thought. She couldn’t think; couldn’t collect herself. Then without warning he was there. He must’ve come at her from the side because the next thing she knew a hairy arm swung into her gut, folding her over like a ragdoll and knocking all the air out of her lungs. In a single fluid motion the hit followed through with her slung over his arm and him leaping high into the air. She felt for sure they were going to crash into the trees, but instead the rocket motion stopped and his arm was somehow replaced by a tree branch. It happened so fast it took her a second to process it all.
She was draped over a thick enough branch to hold her weight. It took her several seconds to catch her breath and to secure herself in the tree so she could figure out how to climb down.
“Chris, what’s happening?!” Tara yelled in her mind. Chris could feel how tense and alert she was and imagined she was glancing all around looking for any signs of Sean.
Before Chris could respond she heard Dawn scream along with Tara’s simultaneous, “He’s got her! He just snatched her and then they were gone! I don’t even know what direction they went! Chris, help me!”
She could feel the desperate panic in Tara’s mind. She’d never seen her like this before. Tara was scared, more than she had been, and there was no telling what she’d do to get Dawn back.
“Hang on! I’m coming!” Chris quickly climbed down. It was more like falling, she never moved so fast in her life, and b-lined for Tara.
“Dawn, where are you? Are you okay?” She surprised herself with how calm and focused her thoughts were. Her friend was in trouble and she was going to get her back.
There was no clear response. She received a sense of disorientation and blinding fast movement and could detect her some four hundred to five hundred meters west. Chris relayed the information to Tara and they both changed course joining up at a halfway point. Together they ran, heedless of the noise they made. Tara looked like she could've been a soldier with the tranq gun crossed in front of her, angled up. She also looked like she could spit bullets from her eyes.
“Dawn?!” This time Chris expressed more urgency.
“I’m fine,” She responded with a hint of laughter.
Chris was taken off guard and slowed down while relaying the message to Tara. She did the same and they both came to a halt.
“What’s so funny?”
She laughed again and said, “He’s playing tag with me and being silly.”
“What?!” Chris thought and exclaimed in disbelief.
“He’s running up to me and tagging me. I go and try and look for him and then he sneaks up on me from another direction. It’s fun.”
“Are you crazy!? He could hurt you if you’re not careful!”
“Hmph,” she chuckled. “Whatever.”
“Can you believe this,” she made a face at Tara.
“Come on,” Tara commanded. They switched back to being stealthy, and crept closer. Soon enough they were able to see and hear what was going on for themselves.
Sean, the white werewolf, was crouched with his legs tucked under him and leaning forward with his mammoth arms supporting him. His head was turned to the side and in front of him stood Dawn with her hands buried in his mane and moving like she was scratching him. Even crouched he was he still taller and she wasn't the least bit intimidated. She was like a little girl who found a cute lost puppy and had every intention of bringing him home to keep as her pet.
Chris stared in astonishment. "Next Elmira there is going to be hugging him and calling him George."
There was a sudden "pftt" sound and Chris looked over at Tara in surprise. She had the gun aimed at their werewolf and had already taken the shot. When she glanced back at where the dart went werewolf/Sean was standing at his full height and blocking Dawn from what he perceived as a potential threat.
“Did you get him?” Chris asked in a whisper, and more than a little frightened to be at the receiving end of the werewolf’s threatening eyes.
“No. He swatted the damn thing right out of the air.” Tara was quickly reloading a second dart into the gun. She never once took her eyes off of Sean’s, nor did she blink.
The monster took a deliberate step forward and Chris saw in his mind there was no intention of stopping. A low growl bubbled from his throat and became clearer when his lips peeled back revealing fangs that gleamed whiter than his fur. She didn’t know what he was going to do exactly, but she certainly didn’t want to find out.
Suddenly Dawn stepped between them, putting a hand on his chest and shouting, “STOP!” Surprisingly, he did, and he looked down at her with confusion and with such expressive innocent eyes. It shocked her how he could switch so fast from monster to adorable puppy in less than a second.
“You don’t have to do this!” Dawn looked over her shoulder at the two of them. “He’s not going to hurt us!”
“Dawn get out of the way!” Tara pleaded with her, keeping her voice neutral and as devoid of emotion as she could make it.
Steadily and with practiced fingers Tara quickly reloaded the gun. Werewolf/Sean looked back up at the two of them, calmer, and seemingly considering Dawn’s command. She could feel in his mind he had dropped whatever anger was there a moment ago.
“Tara, maybe we don’t have to do it this way."
“Damn it Chris,” she hissed. “Don’t back out on me now.”
Tara had a new dart in the chamber and the gun leveled at her target. To Chris’ amazement their fearless leader began closing the distance with the intent of shooting. She didn’t know how she could do it. She had to have nerves of steel. Her own legs were practically jello. All she could manage was taking one step forward.
“I’m just saying…”
“Chris?” Tara’s fear level spiked for an instant, and the werewolf sensed it. His glare returned with a silent snarl on his face and was directed fully at Tara as he took another step despite Dawn blocking his path.
“No!” Dawn yelled at him with a stern voice, as if she was reprimanding a pet dog. He twisted his body and stepped around her in one smooth motion, but she didn't stay there. She quickly got back in front of him and repeated her demand.
"Dawn. Get out... of the way." There was finality in Tara's voice and Chris knew there was only seconds left until... She didn't know what was going to happen, but she knew she didn't want to find out.
Maybe Dawn felt it too. She looked meeker when she looked back at Tara.
The gun went off. The dart shot out with blinding speed nearly at the same time as the werewolf struck the air in front of him. The second dart laid on the ground with its capsule broken and liquid leaking out.
Tara wasted no time in reloading, but they were only twenty feet apart. There was no way she'd get to take another shot.
The next thing any of them knew the gun went flying out of her hands and she went spinning to the ground. A white blur settled over top of her and a massive wolf head was inches from her face, emitting a rumbling growl with saliva starting to drip from its mouth.
"T!" Dawn shouted in a panic and started to run over to her. She took a single step and smacked right into an invisible wall.
Next the werewolf's eyelids got heavy and began closing. Just before he fell to the ground Tara rolled out from underneath. One of her legs was partially pinned but she managed to pull it out. A dart was sticking out of his back courtesy of Chris. It was the first one fired. There was no sound to warn him as she used her powers to pick it up and plunged it into his side below the ribs.
Tara didn't hesitate for a second and quickly took a syringe from a small case she had hooked to her belt. Immediately she stuck it in his neck and pressed the plunger then took a step back hoping what she gave him would work.
Tara watched and waited with wide, worried eyes. She had kept her cool ever since the beginning of their hunt. For the most part she came up with the plan to get Sean back, and led them all to this point. She stood, frozen where she was and with each heartbeat she visibly swayed. Tension filled her; Chris could see it in her posture.
No one said a word. They all just stared at the white fur mound in front of them. Tara had told her there was a chance it might not work so Chris shook off the moment and got her head back in the game. She wanted to be ready if he didn't change back and woke up with murder in his eyes.
"I hope I didn't kill him. Please don't die. Please don't die." They were stray thoughts that Tara projected with intense emotion. She was pretty sure it wasn't intentional that she picked it up.
Tara never told any of them it could kill him. The idea left Chris feeling numb. What if they had?
Sean, or rather, the werewolf lay motionless and not breathing. Dawn had her hand pressed against the invisible wall Chris still kept in place just in case. She looked like she was about to fall to her knees and cry. Chris wondered if Tara told her about Sean's chances?
She was the one to stick him with the dart. If he died that meant it was partially her fault too.
Chris held her breath hoping it wasn't his last; wishing she could give him hers.
All three of them stared, hanging on a single critical moment. No one breathed. No one moved. Nothing made a sound.
"It's working," Tara announced with relief.
Chris felt her heart start beating again. Fatigue hit her all of a sudden with a surge of relief. It was finally over.
"How can you tell? He's not breathing," Dawn observed.
"He's starting to change back. See," she pointed at his hands, "the fingernails are changing colors and shrinking."
"But is he alive? Don't they always change back to their original forms if they..."
"That's the movies. In real life there'd be no cellular activity if he was dead."
With that explanation Dawn was able to relax too and figured everything was going to be alright.
"Chris, think you can put a circular wall around him in case he regains consciousness?" Tara asked.
Although she hadn't tried anything more complex than a flat wall she nodded her head any way and concentrated. She touched her finger tips, making a circle, and imagined putting a big jar over top of him. They all witnessed a thin impression of invisible force push into the ground shoving leaves and forest debris aside as well as snapping several dry twigs. It was impressive, even to her.
"What now?" Dawn asked.
"We wait for him to turn human, cover him up, and get out of here. After that you and I are having a talk."
"T, I was..."
"No. Not now. We're not finished here yet and I want to remain focused."
"If you talk to her right now she's gonna blow up," Chris warned Dawn discretely. "Wait until we get back and she's had time to cool down. She’ll be calmer and listen to you."
Dawn bit her lip nervously and let Chris know she understood. It was good advice and she'd be a fool to ignore it. Chris didn't think she was.
Sure, things could've gone smoother, but who's to say Dawn's way wouldn't have been better and possibly even safer. Regardless, the bottom line was they found Sean and were bringing him home, and none of them got hurt in the process.
Well... he did, but he didn't really count since he basically regenerated from anything. He could afford to get roughed up. Heck, he probably had fun.
Slowly Sean’s form melted and reduced in size. Chris couldn’t pick which one she wanted to watch more; his handsome naked form or Dawn’s bright red face as she tried to keep from looking.
Dawn wanted to go wait for them at the car, but Tara wouldn’t let her go for fear of her getting lost in the woods. She thought about arguing the point; however, even she had to admit to herself it was likely she would.
Chris would’ve offered to take her back, but she already knew she was the likeliest candidate for carrying their unconscious friend.
Yep. It was definitely becoming clear who was the muscle of their little group, and it definitely wasn’t the guy sleeping on the job.
Tara didn’t let her drop the protective barrier until he had fully changed back. He looked rather peaceful laying on the ground the way he was. It almost seemed a shame to disturb him.
“Get your head out of the gutter and help me,” Tara told her as she got the blanket out of the backpack Dawn carried.
“He has a cute ass, don’t you think?” She smiled at Dawn’s increased embarrassment as she tried not to notice. It was also an attempt to get a response out of Tara, but she kept her professional-like attitude.
“Sure he does. You can tell him all about what you think after he wakes up, but right now I just want to get home.” The way she said it made Chris think she already had her mind on what had to be done next. It wasn’t that hard to figure out. They saved Sean from his immediate problem, but they still had to come up with how to help him so it didn’t happen again.
Chris felt bad for Tara as she started to realize how much responsibility she was trying to carry. Protecting Dawn (mostly from herself), trying to save a self destructive werewolf, and putting up with her smart mouth during their little training sessions. She began to feel bad as she asked herself who she had to help her with… what was it called… the Arcanus?
Chris had no idea the depth of her problems, but she silently swore she’d make more of an effort to find out.
Last edited by SilentStrider (2012-05-11 06:38:56)
Very cool scene. I thought the forest worked well and helped give that sense of speed and disorientation to everything. Was unexpected that Werewolf Sean was so playful but ending up fitting nicely w/what you were trying to. Hope to see more soon!
Really like the story hope for more soon
Thanks! I'm still working on it, but the way this past year has been I haven't brushed up any of the new material for reading. I also ran into a bit of snag for my next scene so I'm trying to work through that or just change the scene entirely. I'll figure it out one way or the other.
Good to hear from you SS. Let us know if we can offer any suggestions to help get the ball rolling again.
This is good stuff. I hope you aren't finished.
Thanks Afflicted. I'm always happy to see other people enjoying the story too. I'm certainly not done with it yet. There's lots more to tell. I just have to get the writen part of it caught up with what I have outlined and everything else that's still in my head. It's hard for me to find proper time to write, and by proper I'm talking about at least four consecutive hours of uninterrupted quality writing time. I'm still only getting bits of snippets here and there filtered with plenty of interuptions. Part of it I know I have myself to blame due to this story not being high on the priority list, but it's still there waiting to get bumped back up. It's just one of those things that's so solidly stuck in my head that even if it takes me ten years to get the first story completed I'll still get it done. I'm not syaing I'm going to take that long (God, I hope not) I'm just expressing my comittment.
MRrw, I did see your reply a day or two after you posted. My appologies for not acknowledging you sooner. Your offer of assistance is geninuely appreciated as well. I have some ideas to get the creative juices flowing again and to give you guys some more stuff to read. Let me know what you think...
1) I can skip ahead a bit in the story (no more than a scene or two) to where I know how I'm going to write it and give an outline of the basics of what I skipped over. Naturally I'll have to go back at some point and write it all properly, but for now it might be more baenifical.
2) Another idea would be for me to write something of a brief side story of.. say, something like Gregor's past. Perhaps a few exerpts from his personal diary. It could be about any character or aspect of the story you'd like to see expanded upon at this point. I'm open to suggestions.
3) My last option is to pick the story up well into the future. I'm talking about somewhere in the middle of book three or nar the beginning of book four (yes I litterally have that much of the story thought out and enough material to support it). I realize that it would be huge leap forward andlikely confusing, but in some ways I think it might also be kind of fun to show you what these characters will be like a year from now (that's a year in their lifetime, not ours). That's just my opinion about it as a writer, I'm not sure how I would feel about that as a reader... which is why I'm throwing this thought out to you guys for some feed back.
This post is being done from my phone and spell check doesn't work much like this so I appologise for the condition of this post if it's not writen to the standards I like to keep myself at. LOL not that I have high standards, but I try.
I would just skip ahead a scene or two. I think that as the story progresses what needs to take place in the skipped scene or two will become more an more apparent.
Thank you very much for your advice mrRW. I will take it to heart and likely do as you suggest.
I had a funny image in my head just now of someone jabbing me in the back saying, "Come on man! Get back to writing!"
Sometimes its all the motivation needed.
I'll get to work on it ASAP and at the very least keep you guys posted. Whether I have enough organized for a post or not I will put something up here if for no other reason than to get back into making regular updates again and to show some hard evidence that I'm still alive with every intention of seeing this to its end.
Looking forward to it!
Waiting for the next post.
I haven't been back in a while!
So glad to see you're still at it!!
I eagerly await the next installment!!
A quick update -
I added a separate post concerning the development of this story for those that may be interested, but be forewarned there are a lot of spoilers and references to events that have not yet unfolded in the current story. Some of you may be displeased while others may be begging for answers. Here's the link... The Bond (writing exercise for book 4)
It's been almost a year later but here's me picking back up where we left off. More will be on the way. I'm setting a goal for myself to add a new story segment every week. Guess we'll see how it goes.
Read. Enjoy. Comment.
His eyes felt crusty and wouldn't open without rubbing them. Moving his arms took far more effort and coordination than normal. It took him a while to gather his senses, but when he did he realized he was in a small bedroom lying in a bed with a blanket covering him. His head felt stuffed with cotton, his throat was dry, and everything else felt numb, almost as if his entire body had fallen asleep on him.
Time slipped by while he tried to recall what happened.
There were a lot of pills. He had taken so many he lost count. He remembered his werewolf side pressing in from all around, suffocating him, causing panic and fear to rob him of reason. Instinctively he had grabbed his sword which served as a focus, but even that didn't suppress the beast.
What had happened, and how much time had passed?
He started to turn his head to take in more of his surrounding, but it made his vision blur and the disembodied feeling worsened. He thought it better to just lie there and hope the sensation would fade.
It was easier to close his eyes and use his other senses. The sheets smelled of laundry detergent and fabric softener, but mixed in was a scent of ice cream, fast-food, and perfume. He was definitely somewhere in Chris' house. Probably in the spare bedroom she seldom used.
Another more familiar, feline scent caught his attention. Serenity was lying comfortably between his arm and upper body quietly resting with him. Her presence made him realize Chris, and likely Tara and Dawn too, had gotten into his place. What else they must've seen he had to wonder.
There were some softer noises coming from outside his room and down the hallway, most likely from the kitchen. It sounded like the girls, but they were talking low and the closed door and walls made it difficult to hear clearly.
Their voices were reassuring.
He wasn't alone.
From the bits and pieces he was able to make out, there was some kind of Christmas pageant going on at a church that evening which Dawn was supposed to be a part of. She didn't want to go. Her reason being she wanted to be around in case he woke up. Chris and Tara were trying to persuade her into going anyway; arguing she had two solos and her voice would be notably missed. He was shocked when he heard Chris volunteer to stay behind and keep an eye on him. Being alone with him was not something she'd willingly do before.
There was a lull in the conversation with no apparent decision on what they were going to do. Chris' voice got closer as he heard her enter the hallway saying she was going to check on him. For a moment he considered closing his eyes pretending he was still sleeping. He wasn't sure if he was ready to face any of them yet, and discover what he had done as well as get lectured from Tara, which from the general atmosphere he assuredly felt was going to happen.
The door to the bedroom opened a few inches silhouetting Chris' frame. The light that came from beyond his room wasn't that bright, but to Sean's sensitive eyes it was intense enough to make him squint. So much for pretending he was still asleep.
Chris paused in the frame of the door while her eyes adjusted. It took her a few seconds before she finally asked him in a whisper if he was awake.
He hesitated for a moment before responding, "Yea." His voice came forth in a low dry tone sounding like he was in desperate need of water.
"How're you feeling?" There was a delay in Chris' response. Obviously she wasn't expecting to find him awake.
He thought she was going to turn around and announce to the others he was conscious, but instead she unexpectedly stepped further into the room, and closed the door most of the way shut.
"I have something I want to say to you," she continued to keep her voice hushed as if she intended to keep what she said private.
Sean held his breath without realizing. He wasn't prepared to get into a conversation yet. His mental faculties weren't up to par.
"I... I was gonna...," Her lips moved as though she silently stammered with whatever she was going to say, but then recovered, finding alternative words.
"It was my idea not to talk to you about all the stuff we opened up in your head. I figured at the time you'd be better off if we didn't."
"It's all right. It's not like it matters anymore." His voice cleared up some of the way, but retained a crackly affect.
"Well if we had, maybe you wouldn‘t be where you are right now."
"If you had I probably would've snapped at all of you." Her comment annoyed him, but it was easy to keep his voice sounding neutral through his parched whisper. "No, you did the right thing back then by not bringing it up"
"What about now?"
Sean wanted to roll away from her and curl up under the blanket rather than continue, but he couldn‘t. His body hadn't recovered from the odd numb sensation so moving still felt uncomfortable. The most he felt up to was shifting his head to the right; away from her. Just mentioning the blocked memories brought them back in a series of rapid still frames that painfully stabbed at his stomach and heart.
"Really?" Chris said with mock surprise. "Is this how you're going to be?"
Sean looked back at her not bothering to hide through a narrow gaze his lack of appreciation of the way she was judging him.
"What?! Why bother pretending when I've already seen the worst of it?" Her voice grew hoarse in an attempt to find a middle ground between whispering and yelling. It was rather pointless by now for he was certain the others were likely on their way to investigate.
"Do you think you're protecting me or them by sparing us?" she continued. "Do you think what's happening to you now is better?"
His face softened.
What the hell was he thinking showing such attitude? These people cared enough to pull him out of a dark place, and there he was acting resentful.
However, what could they do?
In the recesses of his mind he could still sense the beast laying dormant like a hibernating bear. They managed to save him for now, but what about the next time his werewolf persona pushed itself to the surface again? His problems were only temporarily fixed.
"What do you want me to do? Talk about it?" Sean tried to raise his voice, but the lack of moisture in his throat made it impossible and Chris seemed oblivious to his condition, but it was a trivial point to him. "You've already seen everything better than I could ever describe."
"Dude, that's not the point! You're the one that has to figure out how you're going to cope with all this. Even if I told you straight up, 'Hey, this is what you have to do,' it won't matter unless you choose to accept it, whatever that may be."
There was more she wanted to say, and himself equally so, but a knock at the door interrupted them.
"Everything okay?" Tara asked, poking her head into the room to try and see beyond the darkness. Dawn’s face wasn’t far behind peeking over her shoulder.
"Yea. Look who's finally awake," Chris told them in a dismissal fashion. More likely it was her attempt to diffuse the frustration she had allowed to build up.
Sean could feel restrained excitement come from Tara and Dawn as he was sure they were relieved to know he was awake.
"It's dark in here. Mind me turning on a light?" Tara’s hand was already on the switch and turning it on before she finished her sentence. He squinted and reactively brought his arm up to shield his eyes. It was a less than graceful motion since the lack of feeling in it made it difficult to coordinate where he wanted it to go.
"Sorry," she said guiltily and went to turn them off again, but he stopped her, telling her not to worry about it, he’d adjust.
"So how're you feeling?" she asked stepping up to the bed and sitting near where his leg was.
"I feel disorientated," he croaked, but managed to sound clearer than before, "and numb, like every muscle in my body is is just starting to wake up."
"That could be a side affect of what I hit you with."
"You were stuck in your werewolf form and not willing to revert back so I had to do something to force you to change."
"I gathered that much. What did you hit me with?" he clarified as he managed to push himself up so his back rested against the headboard.
“I used concentrated snake venom from the black mamba in a tranquilizer dart to knock you out. A normal dose wouldn’t do much, but with larger amounts most regenerative creatures have difficulties because of the chemical makeup being more complex than your average poison.”
“I appreciate the extra info,” Sean interrupted, “but what I want to know is what you gave me to make me change back?”
Tara suddenly looked very uncomfortable and hesitated in responding.
"In other words I don't want to know." It was better to just accept where he was now and focus on what was next.
"Yea," she said wincing, "you'd probably appreciate it more if I didn't tell you."
Dawn hadn't fully come into the room and it wasn't until now he noticed she had left and returned with a glass of water. She offered it to him and he showed his appreciation with a nod of his head. As soon as the liquid touched his lips he gulped it down. Although feeling was returning to his body Sean still had to focus how he gripped the glass and maneuvered his limbs.
She took the glass back and without asking turned to refill it. Sean was about to tell her not to and gathered the will necessary to swing his legs out of bed. He stopped abruptly once he realized he was only wearing a pair of briefs under the blanket.
"We got you a some clothes from your apartment when we picked up your cat," Tara told him, anticipating what he was thinking. "Over there on the dresser," she nodded.
He fought to avoid turning red in the cheeks, but doubted he was very successful based on the smirk Chris futilely hid behind a hand. Tara was the only one demonstrating any level of maturity. Instead he diverted his thoughts to the pageant Dawn was supposed to be attending that evening.
She quickly returned with a refill and after he drank it all he asked her what time she had to be there. It took all of them a few seconds to realize what he was talking about.
"Technically, now," Dawn responded. "I'm supposed to get there early to warm up."
"So it's not too late. If you give me a minute I can go."
Tara frowned. "You should rest."
"Na. I need to move around."
She shook her head disapprovingly. "If you feel like you need to move around that's fine, but let's play it safe and stay away from people."
Obviously Tara didn't like his response, but he couldn't continue lying there in bed. Nor could he accept staying cooped up inside this small house. However, he had to address his first priority which he did by clearing his throat and glancing at his clothes on the dresser.
"Come on let's give the guy some privacy," Tara said, understanding, and turning around to usher the others out.
"Aww! It's not like we haven't seen him naked before," Chris protested.
"Chris!" Tara yelled, as she hurried them out of the room closing the door behind her.
Sean was relieved they had finally left. He pushed the covers off and carefully swung his legs over the edge of the bed. The numbness had been replaced by a tingling sensation that ran through out his body like the flow of blood had been restored and every nerve was waking up. The more he stretched the better everything felt.
"By the way," Chris shouted from the other side of the wall, "Tara told me to tell you that you have a cute ass!"
"I did not!" came her protest. Sean could also make out the sound of her swatting at Chris.
"Quick! Get a camera! I made her blush!"
"I'm not blushing! You're irritating me!"
There was an infectious giggle from Dawn and he didn't know whether to continue being embarrassed or to laugh along with her. They continued talking, but Sean let it become background noise and focused on getting his body to move properly.
He stood up stretching and moving his limbs until he felt like he had regained proper control over them. Serenity got up from her comfortable resting position and did her own version of a feline stretch. She promptly sat down watching him, giving him one of her cute silent meows in hopes of receiving some attention. He obliged by scratching behind the ears then picked through the clothes. There were jeans sweatpants and several different shirts with long and short sleeves along with his sneakers.
Seeing the selection available, his cat, and knowing they had likely brought everything over to take care of her made him wonder how much of his place had they gone through. It was considerate how they were looking out for him, but it also added to the sensation of being exposed. Once again he reminded himself it was better to not even think about it, and to focus on how lucky he was to have friends like them.
He threw on a plain grey long sleeve shirt, a pair of jeans along with his sneakers and headed out of the room. Chris' living room was small but big enough for a TV, three seater sofa and a recliner. The carpet was a brand new soft blue, and the walls had a clean coat of white paint with a couple of family pictures. One of which had Chris in it, smiling, and an older man, likely her grandfather. The picture was his favorite thing in the room because she looked genuinely happy, and such smiles were a rare thing to see with her.
The girls were spread out and he could tell he was the subject of their conversation because as soon as he entered they all got quiet and looked straight at him. Rather than wait for any of them to say something he spoke first, asking if there was a jacket he could borrow.
"Yea. I got something you can wear." Chris jumped up, moving past him to disappear into her room.
Tara still looked disapprovingly about his intentions. "This is not a good idea."
"According to you, and I can understand why, but I've recently changed so it's not going to happen again soon."
"So..." Dawn interjected, "after you've transformed it kinda resets the timer... so to speak?"
"Basically? You're not even sure," Tara insinuated.
In truth, because of his current circumstance, he wasn't sure, but at that moment he just wanted to feel as close to being human as possible. Laying low in hiding, fearing his next transformation was not his idea of being human. It would be more akin to feeding the monster within.
It wasn't just a want. It was a need to socialize. To be around other people and to get in touch with his humanity. To remember what it was like to be his normal self and enjoy life without his second nature clawing to get out.
Chris returned with an old brown leather jacket. It had a musty closet smell and felt heavier than it looked.
Sean slipped his arms in and said, "I am sure about going out. Since we have some place to go and we're running late then the sooner the better."
He zipped the jacket up, opened the front door and stepped out. Tara's mouth hung open like she wanted to say something, but was too stunned by Sean's poor reasoning and stubbornness.
With a smile Chris moved to follow. "Can't beat em, join 'em." Then she was out the door too.
"Looks like we're going," Dawn shrugged and scooped up her jacket from the back of the couch. "You coming, T?"
"Unbelievable," she muttered to herself as she did the same and left.
Last edited by SilentStrider (2014-08-25 15:41:05)
Nice addition. Great to see the story back underway! Hoping to see more soon!
I don't really want to fill up these posts with me saying that the next addition is in work, but I at least want to let anyone that is still watching and wondering about my commitment that I'm here and striving to create more readable material. I'll have one more additional post to conclude this chapter and then the next one or two (depending if I can condense it appropriately enough into a single chapter) will be about the creation of the Bond between my four main characters.
For me it's been a delicate and defining part of the story, and critical I get it right. I've rearranged the setting, conditions, and character interactions several times and I think I have it to the point where I can move forward so you all can continue reading. Creating the Bond and describing it seems almost as important as when Sean, Tara, Chris, and Dawn (well... sort of Dawn) came clean and shared their supernatural secret. It took me a long time to get that scene to a point I felt comfortable with it. I'm currently outlining some dialogue to get a taste of how well everything flows and hopefully continue to make it a worthwhile read.