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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4. Chapter 3.

 

Chapter 3,

 

 

 

            Naomi started to panic again, and her breath was spacing out and hasting- just as before. “Ha-ha! Listen to her! She sounds hilarious!” One of the men said, pointing and laughing hysterically. Naomi could taste the salt dripping into her mouth as the tears ran down, and couldn’t get her breathing under control.

            “Um, should we do something? She sounds like she’s having an asthma attack.” The other dark silhouette actually gave sincere concern.

            “Ah, fuck her. It’ll make it easier than killing her later.” The man kicked dirt and snow into Naomi’s face.

            “She’s not animal, not like the ones we are after.”

            “We’re all animals, bud.” The man lifted Naomi up by her scarlet-red scarf, and brought her to eye level, “You ain’t too bad on the eyes, little girl.”

            The evil ambitions in this man’s eyes peered through the dark and back into Naomi’s, causing a sense of hysteria. She tried kicking back, but had no leverage being lifted a foot off the ground. Her heart was pounding and her face was sweating; she was terrified as to what they might do to her.

            “Jeff, leave her alone. Let’s get her some help, and let the boss handle-“

            The one named Jeff felt around her chest, “Holy shit, you should feel her heart race.” Jeff continued to feel around, making his way to the zipper of her jacket.

            “Dude, just stop!” The other man got in his face. The two silhouettes stood strong against each other.

            “Come one, have some fun. No one is going to-” The sound of flesh ripping, and blood spraying made everyone freeze. Naomi screamed as the blood sprayed in her face, and the severed arm still held onto her scarf.

            “Ahhhhh!” Jeff fell to his knees in shambles. His flashlight fell over, and lit up the scenery like a Broadway show. There he stood, strong and bold, snarling his ferocious canines with massive rage. His red eyes lit with a passionate fury, absorbing all attention to it. The blood dripped down from his teeth spilling onto the white snow.

            “I-I-I-It’s one of them!” Jeff flew onto his back, scrambling himself away. Shiro stalked his prey looking completely different from before. His calming demeanor was gone; his peaceful aura shattered, now what was left was a monstrous being, pushed to his absolute limits. Naomi was actually able to calm down when Shiro made his appearance, but now she doesn’t know if she should feel safe, or endangered.  

            Jeff tried to get up but fell right back over; “Please no, please!” He looked over to his friend for help, but he had already disappeared into the night. “No! Dammit, no!” This man had lost all humanity, cowering and panicking like an animal.

            Shiro crept his way up Jeff’s body, staring dead into his eyes. Jeff’s own blood was dripping onto his face, spilling down into his mouth from Shiro’s face. “Please-” Shiro viciously ripped apart his face, digging deeper and deeper. You could hear the man screaming for a bit, before his jaw was ripped clean off, and then there was only painful gargling. Naomi could only spectate the lower half of them and listen to the horrific sounds, as the darkness covered the mutilation.

            Soon enough, it was silent, as Shiro has always made it, but now there is guilty and shameful ambiance that was never there before. He left his head tilted down, breathing out intensely. He kept his back faced to Naomi, not allowing himself to seen. He got off the mangled corpse and walked back into the shadows of the forest. “S-Shiro?” Naomi let out, still uneasy whether or not he’s still the same Shiro.

            Naomi wobbled her way up still complete shaken, but forced her body to follow him deeper into the forest. At this point, Naomi wasn't making any true conscious decisions; it was more like she was on auto pilot  and she was only following the event that was happening at the time. She could barely see, and what she could make out looked the same to her, and it wasn't too long before she had absolutely no idea where she was. Thankfully, the sky was clear for once, and the stars and moon lit the way, just slightly.

            They walked through two arched trees that were a little more distinguishable from the rest, and the whole area illuminated radiantly. The sight made Naomi gasp; it was like they were in a totally different world from before. She never even knew there was this big of a lake here, spreading out in the middle of the forest like an oasis. The reflection of the moon onto the lake was breathtaking, and the surrounding trees and mountains made it picture perfect. She saw Shiro make his way to the lake, dunking his head in and cleaning the blood off. He shook his body like a dog, and just laid down, looking into the reflection of the water.

            Naomi made her way closer to Shiro, still taking in the beauty of this scene. She nestled down right next to him, and took in a satisfied breath. It looked like she was sitting next to the edge of space from the perfectly, clear, reflection from the sky. Naomi saw that Shiro was still staring at his reflection, remaining completely stoic. When she went to look at hers, she saw the blood was still smeared on her face. She franticly ducked her face in, scrubbing as hard as she could. “Uh, disgusting.” Naomi remarked out loud, sounding as if she was about to puke.

            As she quickly tried to dry her face, Shiro watched her with a sort of fascinated look. His facial expression were hard to read, considering he was a wolf, and he kept his ominous look about him.

 Even with the blood washed off, it still disturbed Naomi inside. “S-Shiro…” Naomi took her time to center her thoughts, “how could- I mean, I should say thank- no, thank you, Shiro…thank you so much. You saved my life and I couldn’t express my gratitude more, but…” Naomi kept her eyes focused on her reflection.

            Shiro tilted his head looking curious as to what she is about to say. “Never mind…thank you.” Naomi turned her glance to Shiro and gave a full smile, but it turned sour as she began to cry. Like a floodgate, all the emotions of what just occurred poured into her mind to the point that Naomi couldn’t think straight. “My mom, Shiro, my mom…” Naomi lunged herself into Shiro’s coat, crying and sobbing immensely, “What should I do…” She felt so diminished and empty; one second her mother was right there, sitting next to her smiling as she always did, and within seconds, everything changed. “I’m so lost Shiro…” Naomi continued to sob and ramble until there was nothing left to give.

            “I wish my dad was here; he would know what to do…he always did.” A little smile managed to make its way onto Naomi’s face, “He always did…” Shiro waited for her to continue speak, but the lake remained quiet. He looked over and saw Naomi had collapsed from exhaustion. When Shiro tried to get up, Naomi grasped his fur tighter like a child snuggled up in her favorite blanket. Not wanting to disturb her, Shiro rested his head on her arms and drifted off as well.

 

 

 

 

            The morning was grey and sorrowful, only a prelude to what was about to come. All of the town’s people in High Oaks were called upon, and as they all marched their way there, the gossip spread. “I heard that the Reid’s tried to run away last night!” One would say. “No way, that’s insane; what happened to them?” Another person would jump into the mix, “They ended up speeding down the highway and crashing- at least that was what Officer Rick told me and my husband.”

            “But they were such good people, what would provoke this?”

            “No clue.”

            The good citizens rallied around the front of the mayor’s office, and waited patiently. One man stood tall, making his way up to a podium. Mr. Aylwin straightened his tie, and waved to the crowd, “Why hello and good morning. Well, it’s not all good I’m afraid.” The crowd started to get a little rattled, “Now, now. Nothing too big, but I’m sure you all know that I wouldn’t be calling a meeting for no reason. Last night a family tried to escape the city; some of you may have heard. When one of your hardworking officers tried to stop and warn them, they sped off immediately. Sadly, they ran into some ice on the road and met their short demise.” The crowd wound up again, “Now you may ask, ‘Why were they trying to escape, and why would you use the word ‘escape’?’” Mr. Aylwin took his sweet time, staring into the heart of the people, “We have reason to believe they were working with the terrorists, and tried to escape from this place. And I know you might not trust me or my people completely, but please understand, they were working with those monsters out there. They wanted them into your wonderful city.”

            The people, who use to be Naomi and her mother’s friends, were now in anger and fury. Alistair lit the fuse, and as expected, the crowd burst into a frenzy of rambling. Some were saying they deserved it, others were still sympathetic, but ultimately turned to this false belief. Alistair kept his concerned and powerful face, but inside he was laughing. “I assure you my people; we will weed out the ones who want your town to burn. We have already found more within your community, and have dealt with them, just as you would all have wanted. Anyone walking outside of curfew will be apprehended and considered a traitor to your neighbors, your city, and even your country. Until this threat has been eradicated, I hope you all put your faith in my hands.” Mr. Aylwin expected a massive applause, and as if on cue, the masses cheered.

 

 

 

            The birds chirping pleasantly awakened Naomi to the new day. She opened her eyes to a slit, just to exam around. She saw the lake and the sun just at the tip of the trees. Slumber was calling back to Naomi though, and she wanted to follow it back to dreamland. But a sudden realization struck, and she remembered the predicament she was in. Thrusting up with haste, Naomi sat up and looked around franticly. “Shiro!” She called out, hoping to get some answers, but he was nowhere to be found. Instead, she discovered that she was lying on a brown blanket, next to a fire. All the snow was even pushed away, creating a makeshift campsite.   

            Naomi felt the blanket and noticed it was made of wool; it also looked hand crafted. Just as she was examining the blanket, a compelling smell slithered its way to Naomi. She got up, made a quick stretch, and walked over to the fire. There she saw one fish was roasting on a stick. It kind of made her grossed-out, due to hating anything tasting like fish, but her empty stomach tempted her so. It reminded her of when her dad would take her camping, and all she could eat was what they caught. No matter how much she begged and whined, there was still only fish for dinner. Eventually, she would break down and eat it, and it seems the same occurrence is happening now.

            “Uhh!.” Naomi whimpered out, giving a dissatisfying gesture. She looked around again, and jumped a little when she noticed two red eyes peering at her. Shiro managed to creep his way up behind her.  “Whoa, when did you get there?” Naomi kept her shocked expression.

Ignoring her completely, Shiro dropped two more fish that was in his mouth, next to the fire. “There’s just no way you did all this.” Naomi put her hand on her hips, “Okay, I’ve come to terms that you are a wolf with human intelligence, that’s all well and good. But how did you do all this?!” You could tell Naomi’s mind was racing with theories and questions; Shiro looked amused and laid down across from Naomi and the fire, waiting to hear her speak, “I mean, I don’t care how smart you are, you’re missing one key thing-thumbs!” Naomi paced back and forth, “I get you can fish, duh you’re a wolf, but make a fire! You even made a rock pit fit around it so nicely, what the hell.” Naomi nodded her head and chewed on her thumb nail. She looked at her blanket again, and noticed this time she was in a different spot than she had fallen asleep at. “No. Just no. How did you move me?” Shiro rested his head down, losing his interest and yawned out. “Oh, I’m sorry, am I boring you?” Naomi spoke sarcastically and plopped back down.

            “If you moved me, you would have needed to roll me over like a log, and I doubt you did that- did you?”

            Shiro shook his head lightly.

            “Then how?”

            He gave no reply, but instead got up and walked over to the cooked fish. He clinched the stick that was roasting the fish, and moved it over to Naomi. Shiro gestured his head, motioning for her to grab it. Naomi was a little surprised, but took it with a smile, “Thank you…I seem to be saying that a lot lately.” Naomi gave a forced chuckle. She waited a little for it to cool off and tried biting into it. The first bite tasted sour and salty, but she forced her way through it; either for her own hunger, or not wanting to insult Shiro, Naomi did it.

            Shiro ate his uncooked, and already had two down by the time Naomi had two bites in. Shiro went back to his amused gaze, and watched as she ate her food. This went on for a bit until Shiro’s ear made a quick twitch towards the forest. Naomi stopped mid bite, and looked at Shiro curiously. He jolted his head up, as his ear made another twitch. Naomi couldn’t tell what was happening, and to her, everything seemed at ease. Shiro stood up and stared motionless into the forest. “Shiro, is everything alright?” Shiro quickly moved his head back towards Naomi and nodded; then, without any warning, he fled off.

            “Wait! Shiro!” Naomi scrambled up, but by the time she stood, she lost sight of him. It quickly turned quiet, and Naomi pondered if she should go after him. Something in her told her to go, so step by step, she ran off into the forest, doing her best to follow him.

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