Wolf

After the devastating event Seth experiences with his best friend Tyler, Seth's had constant visions warning him of what to come; his Aunt's car crash, the twin towers... Then in a matter of months, he begins to discover his rapidly increasing muscles, with no explanation whatsoever. But his parents (hard-working police officers) are too busy to notice. Too busy with their own problem... the rapidly increasing amount of disappearances...

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3. Jack

The sunlight squeezed through the blinds of the window sill, creating patterns on the walls. I squinted, blinded by the bright light as the room span in front of me from my drowsiness. The monitor beside me beeped continuously as I surveyed the room in confusion… was I in a hospital? Then the realisation struck me. I gasped; I could open my eyes, I was no longer a frozen statue lying on the bed. I could sit up! A young, fit-looking nurse sat nearby frowning at something on her check board then looked up at me.  She gasped in surprise, dropping her check board clumsily on a counter and called, “Abigail, over here! He’s woken up!”

  I was immediately aware of the wires and tubes that were stuck in arms and neck and the more obvious tube shoved down my throat. I gagged, trying to pull it out with my hands. She rushed hurriedly back in the room this time with another nurse who wasn’t even nearly as attractive. She had scraped her hair back so tightly, I was surprised that her eyes hadn’t popped out and her uniform strained over her large stomach. She remarked gruffly, “Has he finally decided to wake up? Never thought he would to be honest.”

  “I’ll get his parents now,” the other nurse said, hurrying out of the room again. I ripped out the tube from my mouth despite the glares I got from the fat nurse who had told me not to. I had decided not to listen to her.

  “Seth you’re awake!” Mum exclaimed as she rushed in. She let out a small sob as she hugged me, “thank goodness!”

  Dave nodded in agreement although he didn’t rush to hug me. He stood awkwardly behind her, not knowing what to do.

  “How did I end up here?” I asked immediately. I was desperate to find out what had happened causing me to end up in the hospital bed and from what I had overheard, for over a month. I must have missed a hell of an amount of coursework.  

  She glanced at Dave uneasily. He shook his head. She turned back to me and as if she never heard me, she said, “You were in a coma for over a month. We didn’t know whether you would wake up or not. We were so worried.”

  I ignored her, and insisted, “Mum, what happened?”

  She bit her lip and replied, “Look. Seth, we’re not angry with you, although what you did…”

  “What did I do?!” I demanded.

  “We know that your friends were mainly responsible. We shouldn’t have let you hang out with them.”

  “What did I do?!” I yelled again, impatiently.

  “Seth, don’t shout at your mother.” Dave snapped.

  “TELL ME!”

  “Seth it’s obvious; your muscles… they’ve grown massive in a ridiculously short time and you were found unconscious in the woods.”

  “Are you saying I took steroids?” I exclaimed angrily, knowing I had never even touched the stuff before.

  “I knew your friends had influenced you, they obviously do the same… of course you would pass out. We know you guys were drinking as well; Ben had run home screaming. He was obviously completely out of his head and well Jack...”

  I yelled furiously, “They don’t take drugs!” I had only known Jack and Ben for a few months but I was certain that they definitely wouldn’t, despite their rough appearance. They were loud and occasionally did reckless things, but they never took drugs. Their muscles were huge but they trained regularly at the gym and had done for almost two years now so they would obviously be quite muscular.

  But I knew what Mum and Dave thought of them. When they first came round they raised their eyebrows but never said anything until they had left. Then they told me exactly what they thought.

  “Don’t think that just because they’re your friends they would get any special treatment if they ever get themselves into trouble.” Dave had mentioned.

  I glared at him. I hated them being police officers, they knew a lot about some of the teenagers in the area and the state some of them were in. And because of that they seemed to think that every youth was exactly the same. Well apart from Tyler.

  “Such a nice lad he was.” Dave sometimes would say as if he had died. I knew for sure that he had not. He was just… missing. If he was dead he’d be found by now, wouldn’t he? 

  “None of us have even touched a drug before!” I yelled.

  “Seth, you need to calm down!” Dave said, raising his voice slightly.

  “Just believe me,” I pleaded. I looked at Mum’s watery blue eyes and asked, “You do believe me… don’t you?”

  “Fine I believe you,” She said unconvincingly. I think she just wanted me to calm me down. She held me down as I tried to get up, “You have to stay in bed. You’ve just woken up; you need to take things easy.”

  I didn’t feel like I needed to take things easy. I could have easily ripped all the wires and tubes, jumped out of bed and ran out of the hospital if I wanted to, (was that normal?) but I decided to listen to her for once although she never did to me. I added, “Did they see any traces of any drug in my blood?”

  Mum paused, “well no, but…”

  “Exactly,” I said in triumph.

  She sighed. There was silence then I had remembered what she had said earlier. I hesitated, “Um, Mum… what were you going to say about Jack?”

  They gave each other the “glance” again but it didn’t look like they would say anything in reply so I said, “You said Ben ran home yelling… what happened to Jack?”

  Mum gave Dave a nudge as if she was urging him to speak. He sighed, “Seth… I don’t know how to say this but… Jack’s missing.”

I stared at her, unable to comprehend her words as they left her lips. She glanced at Dave, anxious at my lack of response.

   “…Jack?!” I asked again.

  “I’m sorry Seth,” Mum sighed.

 “Seth, we’re not supposed to upset you. We weren’t going to tell you yet.” Dave added.

  “Why not?” I snapped.

  “Because we knew this would happen.” he sighed, gesturing towards me, sat up straight on the hospital bed with a panicked expression across my face “He’s been missing for almost a month now.”

  “Search for him! Put up posters! Tell everyone…” I trailed off. They had clearly already done what I had suggested. Why would Jack’s disappearance stand out amongst the dozens of others? So I just mumbled, “But he’s my friend.”

 “I know. I’m sorry. But we haven’t called off the search yet, I’m sure we’ll find him.” Mum comforted. It was too bad that she was useless at lying.

  I collapsed back on my pillow despairingly. Having one friend to disappear was possible and in recent events, quite likely as people seemed to vanish every month… but two? What were the chances of losing two of your friends?

  Mum rested her hand on my shoulder and assured me, “Don’t think it was ever your fault… that you should have been there.”

  I remember her saying the exact same words just a few years back, when Tyler went. Afterwards, Mum had sat me down in the lounge, watching me with concern as I stared blankly into the fire, dancing in the fireplace.

  “Don’t think that it was ever your fault… that you should have been there.”

Except that time I was there. I was useless… I did nothing. I nodded, telling myself that she could never know. I couldn’t bear her knowing the truth.

  “You’re so brave Seth.” Mum had smiled with admiration; but I was the opposite. I was a useless coward.

 

  “I need to ask you one thing,” Dave said after a while. I escaped my thoughts; the blurred memory from the past was shoved to the back of my mind.

  “Yeah?”

  “Do you know what happened to get you here?” He watched me in concern. I knew what he was thinking; if my recklessness hadn’t brought myself here, then maybe I had something to do with the disappearances. “Do you remember anything?”

  “…no.”

 

***

I never exactly knew why I lied. I’m guessing because if I had told them what I had remembered they would never have believed me, or maybe because I didn’t completely believe it myself. Not only that but, it was likely that I was in my hospital bed when I saw the red… the sinister looking eyes; I might have reacted to the fluids and drugs that were given to me. And even if it wasn’t because of the drugs, it wasn’t the first time I had seen them, they had haunted me in my dreams before.

  There was definitely something wrong with me.

  But I was glad to be home a week later, any time longer and I would have strangled the large nurse; she seemed to have taken an instant disliking to me despite me almost dying and being in a coma. Bitch. When she had insisted that I should stay another week, I almost leaped at her and grabbed her by the neck there and then. But I had controlled my temper knowing that if I didn’t, I would probably stay there for life.

  I found it strange as I walked along the path to the house, although I had lived there all my life it seemed distant and dreamlike.

  Not much had changed for the month that I was away except that the house was a little bit messier and there was more letters scattered all over the kitchen table, and photos. Photos of school children that were strangely around my age, some smiling, some staring solemnly out of the photo, some I had never seen before and some I recognised, and in the middle, amongst the others was the photo of Jack. It was the only time when he looked relatively smart with his tie done up properly, his buttons done up to the top and his sleeves rolled down. As soon as the photo was taken, Jack had ripped off his tie, rolled up his sleeves and messed up his hair. He loved doing this, knowing that it would make the girls nearby giggle and whisper to each other. He smirked at me through the photo.

  I had to find him.

  I turned straight out towards the door, knowing that I wasn’t going to give up until he was found.

  But Dave stopped me at the door, “Where are you going?”

  “Where do you think?” I replied impatiently, trying to dodge round him, “’scuse.”

  “Are you crazy?” He laughed at me, although I didn’t know what he found so funny.

  “Umm… no. Can you move out of the way?”

  “Not a chance son.”

  “I’m not your son. Move.”

  “Didn’t I tell you before? Nobody is allowed out after six.”

  I peered at him closely as if it was some kind of joke, “Ha. Very funny Dave, can you move now?”

  “I mean it. It’s no longer safe and after what happened to you there is no way I am going to move.”

  Was he actually kidding?! I glared at him, “I want to look for Jack.”

  “That’s for police officers and police officers only, especially after six. You’re staying here.”

  “No I’m not I’m looking for Jack.” I snapped, shoving him aside so that he slammed loudly into the wall.

  “Shit, I’m sorry!” I exclaimed, “I didn’t mean to shove you like that.”

  Dave’s reaction was almost comical; he had turned so red that it wouldn’t have been surprising if steam shot out of his ears. He gritted his teeth then growled, “You’re. Staying. Here.”

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