Dog Tag

In this alternate reality, werewolves live among us. Feared though they are, they are treated as normally as possible. Just one thing marks them out from others - a silver dog tag necklace. Every full moon, the wearers of the dog tags are rounded up and put in cells in the WereControl Headquarters.
Wisteria Lewin wakes up one morning wearing a tag that she cannot get off and has no idea how it got there................
*I've used the name Wisteria before, yeah I know, but it's such a lovely name that I couldn't resist using it again*

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5. Four

My mind has gone fuzzy. They'll be here in a matter of minutes.

"Freddie! Hide me!" I whisper frantically.

"What? No!" he squeaks. "If they find you hiding they'll arrest me!"

I glare at him. "Not helping!"

I glance around his bedroom. I know from experience that the officials check every room, under every piece of furniture, every cupboard and closet and attic and basement. There's no hope. I'm going to have to shove the Tag under my shirt and hope they don't see it.

I tuck the sliver of metal under my black t-shirt and rush downstairs, snatching up my turtleneck. I shove it on, trying to steady my breathing. Freddie follows me down, still barefoot, and his eyes land on the bolt cutters, knives and various cutting tools on the kitchen table. His eyes bug and he sprints to shove them under the kitchen sink.

The doorbell rings. Something springs into my mind.

"Freddie!" I hiss. "Problem two!"

"What?!" he hisses back.

"They're going to wonder why I'm round here!" I murmur, trying to ignore the rapping of knuckles on the front door. "They know who lives in each house!"

"Just - !"

There is a loud click and the door swings open. It's not exactly reassuring to remember that the officials all carry keys to every house.

A small army of bulky guys in black SWAT uniforms, holding rifles and tazers stand on the porch. Bit much, my brain thinks absent-mindedly, but the thought is wiped away as they barge inside.

"Parents, boy?" the leader demands of Freddie, who is standing nearest the door. The leader - shall we say the Big Cheese - is wearing a more armoured version of the black uniforms. His hair is blonde, short and shaved at the sides. Tattoos peek up from his collar and his flashy ear studs and nose ring advertise him as the Big Bad Boy.

"They're out," Freddie says nervously, as Big Cheese stomps past him into the sitting room, casting a critical glance around. "Conference in the city."

It takes Big Cheese a few seconds to register my presence. His eyes travel disbelievingly over me. "And who is this?"

"I," I state coldly, not liking the way his eyes take me in, his eyebrows going up, "am Wisteria Lewin. His best friend."

"And why are you here and not home, girl?" he says.

I scowl. I really don't like this guy now. "We were doing homework," I sneer. "Lost track of time."

He snorts, and I have to restrain myself from playing him some chin music. Let's see him pull his smug smile with a broken jaw.

Freddie puts a hand on my shoulder warningly. I turn and smile tightly at him.

"Front and centre!" Big Cheese barks. I clench my fists and stand a few feet away from him with Freddie to my right. About four other soldiers stand guard at the door.

Big Cheese comes up to us, scanning our collarbones. My heart starts to thump painfully, face heating up. Please don't blush, please don't blush, please don't blush.................

Big Cheese frowns at my chest. I risk looking down. A thin lumpy line runs around my neck. The chain is showing through. Oh, isn't this just fantastic.

He reaches forward and touches the chain through the fabric of my turtleneck. His fingers leave a frozen feeling spreading from the place they touched, like I've just been struck by a snowflake. His brow furrows and he looks me in the face. I avert my eyes, unable to make contact.

"Take your shirt off," he says abruptly.

My breath catches in my throat. One of the other soldiers steps forward, looking scandalised. "Sir - !"

Big Cheese puts a finger up  and says sharply, "quiet, John." He turns his Arctic gaze on me. "Do it. Now."

I take my turtleneck off slowly, praying frantically. Please don't let him notice. Please let the Tag just disappear. Please, please, please - !

I drop the shirt to the floor and straighten my plain t-shirt. Big Cheese steps forward. My heart speeds up to supersonic.

In slow motion, it seems, he puts a finger on the neck of the t-shirt, and drags it down, exposing the silvery chain.

He snags it on one finger and drags the Dog Tag out for the world to see.

In the blink of an eye, two soldiers are behind me, pushing Freddie away, tazers aimed at me. Big Cheese is snarling. "Thought you could hide, did you?" he spits. "Filthy mutt." He raises his voice. "We got a resistance! Take her!"

"Wha-" My indignant protest dies in my mouth as I am seized from behind by the two officials and dragged bodily from the house. On autopilot, I struggle, as they push me across the front garden and toward the large black windowless bus with the word 'WERECONTROL' on the side in massive purple letters.

"Freddie!" I shriek, trying to pull away, my hair flying wildly. "Freddie!"

"Ria!" he calls back, and he looks like he's going to run after me, but a load of the soldiers hold him back with the ends of their guns and the threatening crackles of multiple tazers charging up at the same time.

"You don't understand!" I bellow. "I'm not - !"

My words are cut off abruptly as what feels like a bee sting presses into my upper right arm. I swipe at it viciously, infuriated, and a small droplet of blood comes away on my fingertips. I look up drowsily, and one of Big Cheese's henchmen is holding a now empty syringe.

I give one last scream of anger, but it comes out like the weak dying wail of a wounded animal. I see Freddie's desperate face before my vision becomes veiled with black and I droop, my blood sluggish, my limbs heavy.

The last thing I hear before I pass out is the gentle hiss of the automatic doors of the bus opening.

 

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