Of Wolf and Man

"One last, grand, forest still stands tall, just waiting to be explored. Stretching farther than any landmass known to man, and nurturing an uncountable amount of creatures. These denizens of the forest, the ones hidden from humanity, rage their own war within, praying that they don’t disappear into the myths. But of course one group only wishes the past to stay in its place, to be forever forgotten- to be forever, extinct…"

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3. Chapter 2.

 

 

Chapter 2,

 

 

 

            “Hey, Val?”

            “Yeah?”

            “Do you ever wonder if there is something out there worth searching for?” Naomi laid flat on her desk, with her arms stretched out over the sides.

            “Sounds a little too deep for me, Naomi.” Val sounded muffled with her head cozied up in her arms.

            “You’re never any help…”

            “Uhhh.” Val sat up, letting out a huge yawn, “I’m sorry, but you should know this by now.”

            “Yeah…” The feelings of anxiety are far from gone, even more so now. After school yesterday, Naomi walked back to where she first met eyes with Shiro, but he was nowhere to be found. She may just have to forget about him, and this whole experience, but how does one do that, especially now. No one can just go through this whole fiasco, and just pretend there isn’t something more wondrous out there.

            The day went by slow, and the whole school was called in for an urgent assembly. You could hear all the mumbles and gossip from the kids, guessing what this could be about. It seemed all but two kids were trying their best to figure it out.

            Naomi was still obsessing over what to do, or if she should tell anyone. So many thoughts plagued her mind, and caring about some random assembly, were far from her mind. Val on the other hand, was dazed off about god knows what. The two opposites sat right next to each other, both with their heads nestled on their laps.

            The principle made his way onto the stage of the auditorium and walked up to the microphone stand. He fixed his ugly tie, and tapped onto the microphone letting out a short, “Uhm”. This short greyed-man, looked close to his retirement, and had to squint to see all the kids sitting down. “I am terribly sorry to call you out so sudden, and to interrupt classes, which I am sure all of you are hard at work.” The students all laughed at the principle’s obvious sarcasm. “First, let me say that this is very serious news, and second, please take this as mature as you can. I have here, The Committee of Civil Service, a newly found group dedicated to protecting us from any type of terrorist’s activities. As you can tell by their description, they are here with troubling news.” Everyone snapped into a different mood, and gasps and gossip spread out like wildfire instantaneously, even provoking the teachers.

            The commotion managed to break through into Naomi’s head. When she looked up and saw everyone’s scared expressions, she asked one of the students next to her what was going on, “Excuse me, but what is everyone freaking out about?” The male student shrugged her off, and replied with an angered, “Shh!” A little hurt, Naomi retained her attention back to the assembly.

            A man with a very strong posture and business-like etiquette, walked onto the stage next to the principle. He wore a grey turtle neck, and a black, linen, suit that was unbuttoned. The principle gave an approving nod and spoke, “Let me let allow the man who runs this committee speak on their behalf, Mr. Alistair Aylwin.” The students applauded like they normally do when someone walks onto stage.

            Mr. Aylwin waved and nodded here and there, then cleared his throat, “Thank you for the introduction, and thank you all for coming here.” From his squared jaw, and slick hair, this guy oozed with charisma. “I’m sure many of you are very worried and frightened, knowing what we do. I wish I could say there is no need for alarm, but there is.” The auditorium was dead silent, and there wasn’t a non-serious face out of the bunch. “As you all know, the forest that your great city resides in is the biggest forest in the states, and that makes it easy to hide in-I think you know where I’m getting at by now.” Aylwin cleared his throat once again, “Our mission is to find the terrorists that have hidden themselves in the forest, and eradicate them.”

            Naomi couldn’t believe what she was hearing, and neither did the students around her. After a moment to let people breath, Aylwin continued, “Our group isn’t any normal government division, in fact, we are supposed to remain hidden from the common people, but as I fear these terrorists are becoming more dangerous, it is only right we reveal ourselves to you; and explain what is going on.” So far, Mr. Aylwin’s face held straight, but it started to turn dismayed the more he spoke, “The terrorists already murdered a few of my men, and have made signs of moving into this city.”

            Chatter broke out furiously, and even the teachers couldn’t contain themselves. For once, Val was wide awake, and looked at Naomi with despair. “Now, I know this makes you all feel unsafe and insecure, as it should, but please put your anguish to rest. I promise my group will protect you at all costs!” His voice rose with intensity.

            “Sadly though, there will be rules set in place to protect you all. They will be announced at the town meeting tonight, letting everyone know what is going on, but go ahead and warn your parents and neighbors. We told you kids first, above everyone else, because we felt you are the heart of this town. Thank you for your time, and be safe, please…” Mr. Aylwin took his exit, being followed by the applause of the students.

            The students stood up, and made their way back to class. On the way, Naomi turned to Val, “This is insane; I can’t believe this is happening…”

            “I know, me too. Do you think they’ll end up evacuating the city?”

            “That could be a possibility, but I have to wonder, who are these guys?” Naomi went into her pondering state, “I mean, doesn’t the FBI or someone like that, usually deal with these situations.”

            “Well, you heard them, they remain hidden. At least they’re gracious enough to let us know what is going on.”

            “I guess…” Naomi looked like she was thinking even harder, and Val picked up on that, “You over think stuff too much, and for the most part, there’s nothing to worry about.” Naomi felt a little silly and gave a faint nod back.

 

 

 

            “Mr. Aylwin is here, Sir.” The frail assistant spoke very soft, and was still getting use to her new job. She was one of those people who would cry over the littlest things.

            “Thank you Ms. Laura, I’ll see him now.” The principle spoke very kindly, and always had joy on face, even if he was squinting half the time, but that joy was endangered from today’s news. Aylwin walked in raising his hand out; the Principle took his hand out in response, and gave a strong handshake. “Quite the shake for someone of your stature.” Mr. Aylwin chuckled and gave an easy smile.

            “Well, there is always more than meets the eye, Mr. Aylwin, and I must say, that speech was handled well; considering the topic.” They both sat, and already seemed at ease from each other’s company.

            “You got me there; you definitely got me there, and please, call me Alistair.” He flashed a big smile, showing of his perfect teeth.

            The principle changed his expression to a grievous one, “So, Alistair, how bad is this terrorists threat, really?”

            “Maybe not as bad as I set it out to be, but fear keeps us alive.” A devilish smirk formed.

            “Oh, I see…” The principle lost eye contact and looked disapproving.

            “Please understand, I just want to ensure the safety; it is what our organization is about.” Mr. Aylwin tried to regain his faith.  

            “I might not agree, but I will trust you.” The principle took a drink of his coffee, “I have been curious though, where does your committee get funding from?” The old man tilted his head.

            Alistair readjusted himself in his chair, “The government.”

            “I mean, what section?”

            “Sorry but that has to remain classified.”

            “Seems a little silly, doesn’t it?” The old man gave a weak but sincere laugh.

            “You ask a lot of questions from a secret society.” Alistair’s brow angled just slightly, while keeping his smirk.

            “Excuse me, please, but I have always been this way. I just get curious, and it gets the better of me.” He takes another sip, “It just seems odd, is all. You even said you weren’t supposed to show yourself to the public; are you not going to get in trouble for this?”

            “Water?” Alistair glanced at the glass and pitcher on the desk.

            “By all means, Mr. Aylwin.”

            “Thank you.” Alistair grabbed the pitcher, and poured slowly. During which, he gave a powerful glare at the principle, but he was unmoved by it. “I own this committee, and that means what I say, ‘goes’.” That last word was spoken sternly, but quickly changed back his tone, “You have nothing to worry about.” Alistair took a drink, taking his sweet time. “Asking questions just makes this more difficult, and we don’t want that.”

The principle’s tolerance for this man was beginning to run out, “I apologize, Mr. Aylwin, but I have every right to know about these things. This is my school and this has been my town since I was a lad.”

            “…Just when we were hitting it off…” Alistair spoke hastily and under his breath.

“What was that?”

After clearing his throat, Alistair sat up, “Oh, nothing.” He made his way around the principle’s desk, keeping his sight towards window. “Beautiful day, isn’t it?”

The principle was caught off guard by his statement, and tried to respond calmly, “Um, why yes. It’s always is in this town.”

“Have you always lived here?”

“My whole family has for decades.”

“Where are your kids and wife?”

“Um, they moved off to the big cities. Can’t blame them; this place isn’t for the lively.” His next words sounded like they were forced out, “As for my wife, she passed away six years ago” His voice cracked and sounded a bit broken as he looked at the calendar, “Actually, It’s six years ago today.” He took a moment to clear his head, and looked to his right at Mr. Aylwin, “This is really none of your business,  can I ask why you are-“

“You’re an old man, how long have you been working here?”

“I, uh, been working here for sixty years. I could have retired last year, but decided one more should do it.” The principle was growing irritated, but tried to keep his cool; he was also becoming much more uneasy.

By this time Alistair made his way all around the room, and staggered behind the principle like death, right before he takes his victims. “Allow me to adhere to your retirement.”

“Wha-“ Before the principle could finish, a dagger pierced perfectly through his neck, spraying the desk and walls in blood. Alistair covered his mouth, as he bled furiously to death. “I will be taking control in this school, so don’t fret and sleep.”

A few seconds of squirming, and the room filled with the sorrow of death. Alistair threw the principle’s empty head onto the desk, landing and breaking an old photo of him and his wife.

            Two average looking men in winter wear, busted into the office. “Sir, what should we do with her?” The man that spoke was huge, and was dragging the secretary by her hair. She wailed around on the floor trying to escape but the restraints were too tight, and she couldn’t scream due to having tape around her mouth. The poor girl looked over and saw all the blood, and soulless body of a dear friend. The muffled cries from the secretary irritated the large man, “Shut the fuck up!” She tried to calm herself down.   

“Do what you wish, just make sure she isn’t heard from again.” Alistair cleaned of his blood and sleeves, looking emotionless.

“Sweet, come on missy, we’re going to have some fun.” The man dragged her back out, and disappeared. The other man stood diligently there; he looked smaller than the other one, but seemed far more capable. His dirty-blond hair hanged slightly over his blue eyes, and looked almost as good as Alistair; if it wasn’t for that unsettling scar through the right side of his face. “So what now, Mr. Aylwin.”

“We have a town meeting to get to, Alex, after that, we will start setting up in the school. Make sure none of the staff stays around to find this.”  

“Yes, Sir.”

 

 

Naomi paced rampantly through her room, hallway, and living room, thinking of all the things that have occurred so recently. Nothing was making sense, and her whole reality has been reconfigured. A wolf with human intelligence and terrorists planning to make an attack on the town, everything seemed wrong. She looked out the window, seeing the starlit sky, then back at her phone’s clock, then back again, “Mom, when are you going to be back…Now is not the time to be late.”

There was clunking noise coming from the door, and Naomi rushed steadily over. Her mom crept open the door, seeing her daughter standing there looking desperately lost. She greeted her with that motherly smile, and Naomi glanced a smile back, “So! What happened?”

“Let me guess, you've been pacing this whole time.” She said as she locked the door back up.

“Yeah, ha-ha, whatever, now tell me!”

“Well, it seems the whole town is in a crisis, and the CCS is putting this town into marshal law.” Naomi’s mom didn’t sound as lively as she usually did.

Naomi squinted her eyes, unsatisfied with her answer, “This all seems really sketchy.”

“I know Hun, I’m not buying this either, but apparently this whole town is.”

“Did they explain why they cut off the cable, internet, and cellphone towers? No one has any service.”

“For protection, they said.” Her mom sighed heavily, and hung up her jacket. “I have no idea what’s going in everyone’s head. That, ‘Mr. Aylwin’, makes a speech and everyone is all for whatever he says.”

“What do you think is going on, Mom?”

“I honestly have no clue, but I do know we are getting out, tonight. I know when something is up, and there is no way this group telling us the truth.”

Naomi was half-hearted about it, but leaving does seem like the best option; at least until everything is normal again- if it ever is.

That night they packed a good amount of their stuff, and drove off quickly as they could. Naomi leaned her head against the window, staring out into the forest. “I guess I’ll never know who Shiro is, or was.” Before she could daydream more, the lights of a police siren lit up, flaring into the car. “Hun, just relax.” Her mom noticed Naomi was starting to tense up. She pulled over and lowered her window.

A policemen walked over, shining his flashlight into the car, “Mam’, didn’t you hear, all residents are to remain in their houses.”

“I felt this was no place to be right now, so we are just going to go to my sisters for the time being.” Naomi’s mom held her polite tone and expression.

“I’m sorry, but no one can leave; just orders.”

“And why’s that?” That polite tone was dropped in an instant.

The police officer was shocked a bit, “I, um, was told that it was to keep us safe.”

“I knew it, screw this.” She slammed her foot as hard as she could on the gas and flew off.

“Mom!?” Naomi was starting to panic, and her breathing was growing shorter. Her mom looked over quickly, “I’m sorry Naomi, but we can’t stay here and follow these drones!” Her face looked stern and determined; determined to protect her daughter at all costs.

“But Mom-“ Naomi was holding her chest as tight as she could.

Her mom looked over and panicked herself, “Are the pills in the back?!”

Naomi could only nod.

“I can’t slow down Naomi, I’m sure the cop is right on our trail.” She looked incredibly worried, thinking hard of what to do, “Naomi!”

She snapped her head at her mom.

“You need to regulate your breathing on your own. I know it’s going to be hard, but you have to do it for me, honey. So follow my breathing patterns.” They both began to breathe in unison, and Naomi’s clutch on her chest loosened up. Her mom left her gaze on Naomi too long, and when she looked back over, she saw a blockade of unmarked cars.

The sounds of rubber peeling on the road echoed out, while both Naomi and her mom clutched the car. They managed to stop right in front of the blockade. “Naomi, if anything happens, I want you to run fast.”

“What-“

“Honey, I love you, and you are unbelievably smart, so I know, you know, that something bad is happening in this town.”

Naomi nodded with a pale face.

Three men in dark clothing walked up to the car, covering their eyes from the headlights.

“You need to run as fast as you can.”

“But Mom-“

“Hehe, no ‘buts’, honey. I haven’t said that in a long time.”

Naomi was unamused by her mom’s light talk, “You’re coming with me, right?”

Her mom gave a dull look implying, “We both know that isn’t happening.”

Naomi took a huge breath, but mid inhale she bursted into tears, “I can’t mom…”

“You have to, honey…you have to.” Her mom tried as hard as she could, but the tears came rolling down.

The men knocked on the window; they looked like the shadows of man.

Naomi’s mom reached over and opened the door, then made the hardest push in her life; she flung Naomi out the car, and kept with the adrenaline by swinging her car door as hard as she could, slamming into the man stalking the car. You could hear a nasty crunch and some blood spilling up from the man’s face. With no regrets, Naomi’s mother slammed on the gas pedal one last time, flying into the blockade.

There’s was no way she could look, so Naomi ran into the forest as soon as she managed her bearings. She could hear a loud crash and a bunch of men yelling out, but nothing faltered her tunnel vision as she continued to run straight.

Naomi hoped that the night masked her enough, but nothing is that easy as she could hear twigs breaking and footsteps trudging through the snow. She could faintly hear one of them speaking, “I think I saw someone coming out of the car this way!”

“Which way?!”

“East!”

“I can’t let them get me, I can’t; I can’t!” She was tenacious in her efforts and made no folly. She was no longer crying, either from the wind freezing them, or pure dedication, but she pressured on.

 The night helped her, but was also an enemy. Many branches scrapped along her legs, and eventually one tripped her up. Naomi tumbled forward landing face first into the icy-cold snow. Naomi laid still and couldn’t get the momentum to keep going. She started to cry again, and gave up hope suddenly. The sounds of twigs busting and snow ruffling was growing louder. Naomi made one last effort to lift herself up, but both her mind and body was depleted.

The reflection of light hitting the snow shined so brightly into Naomi’s face. She tilted her head up and saw two of her pursuers, laughing disgustingly over her.   

 

 

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