“I have no other choice!” The desperation in my mother’s voice was as noticeable as my red hair.
“I can’t believe you’re doing this!” I exclaimed, looking over at her from the passenger seat. My mom looked just like me, but an older version. We had red hair, hers a little faded, we were both 5’4, and had smooth, pale complexions. One difference was I had tattoos and she didn’t. We all go through a rebellious stage, don’t we? Besides, when you lived in the hood like me, getting tattoos were a must.
I had my father’s eyes though, or so mom says. I wouldn't know. My eyes are light grey with dark outlines. My mother’s eyes were emerald green.
“I can’t let you stay with me. You’ve gotten into too much trouble this year!”
“Whatever," I huffed.
We stayed silent for the rest of the ride.
After four long hours we finally made it to grandma’s house. I sighed when we got there; Grandma’s home was miles away from civilization. The path to her house looked like cars hadn’t passed through it in ages. Her little white house was almost hidden behind the trees. So basically, Grandma lives in the middle of nowhere.
“Great,” I said, sarcastically.
“Even you can’t find trouble here,” Mom mumbled. “Now hurry and get out before Mother comes to talk.” Mom was never a fan of Grandma, not for as long as I could remember. "And Red, I love you."
I stood there and watched my mom back out. My heart squeezed painfully in my chest. I was regretting not saying I love you back or at least a goodbye. I loved her no matter what or where she sent me.
“Well then,” a voice came from behind me. I turned to see Grandma. She was thin, had a ton of wrinkles and her snow white hair was up in a bun. “Let’s go get you settled in.” She picked up my suitcase and I followed her into the house. And so it began.
Actually, nothing began. Just two weeks of boredom. I would sit in ‘my’ room all day, watching movies, playing card games and eating Grandma’s endless cookies.
It all seemed normal, but something strange was going on.
Grandma would disappear every night. So tonight I decided I would find out where she was disappearing to. I was lying in bed when I heard the front door open and close. I walked silently to the window to see my grandma walking down a trail. After she was out of sight, I left the house, throwing on a black cloak I found in the closet and followed her.
Hours of wandering around in the freezing cold made me realize 1) I would not find her and 2) I was lost.
I was standing on a path, looking around when I felt someone’s breath on the back of my neck. My heart started to race and something wet touched my neck. It was like I was being licked. I stood frozen in place. I spun around but nothing was there. Something in the woods howled and I didn’t pause to think about it. I ran for what seemed like hours before I found myself in front of Grandma’s house again.
I ran inside and stayed there.
Sometime later, someone knocked on the door. I looked out the window to see Grandma. I unlocked and opened the door. Grandma was covered in blood.
“Grandma!” I shouted helping her inside.
“You need to kill me,” she said so softly. I thought I heard her wrong.
“Grandma? I don’t understand. What’s going on?” We made our way to her bedroom. I helped her lay down on her bed.
“My dear Red, I’m sorry. I thought if I brought you here then you could help save my town. I needed someone young to fight with me. All the other hunters were getting old and most of them are dead.”
I shook my head.
“Grandma, I don’t get it? Hunters?” Was she talking about the wolf problem this town was having?
“Yes. We hunt the Infected.”
“The wolves that were once people. Once bitten you turn into a wolf.” She started to cough. Oh. My. Gosh! Grandma was crazy. She thought the wolves were once people!
“Grandma…” I didn’t know what to say to an insane person. “Werewolves aren’t real.”
“No, not werewolves… But Infected… Once you turn into a wolf you can never turn back. This town was always… run...by....them.” She started choking with every word and she became out of breath. She needed a hospital.
“Shh, grandma it’s OK. The wolves can’t get you here.”
“They already have. You should have killed me, but it's too late now."
Before I could react, I saw her ears. “Grandma your ears!” I exclaimed. They looked so big! She looked up at me. “Grandma your eyes!” I couldn’t help but say. They were so wide and round. She gave me a creepy smile and I saw her teeth. “Your teeth, Grandma!” I shouted as she fell back against the bed but it wasn’t her.
Fur sprouted from her skin and before my eyes she changed into a snarling wolf. Oh, no. I was in deep trouble. I screamed and she-I mean the wolf threw back its head and howled. I took the chance to run out the room, closing the door along the way. There was a bang behind me. My heart raced as I ran into the kitchen. I had just grabbed a knife when the wolf came for me. I turned just as it leapt at me and I stabbed the knife up under its jaw before it could bite me. I sighed in relief as it fell to the ground, dead. My relief turned into despair but that had to wait because I heard howls outside.
I looked out the window to see about a dozen of those things. They were growling and howling. I looked around and found an axe under poor dead, Grandma’s bed. You would have thought a hunter would have more weapons. She must have kept them hidden but I didn’t have time to look for them. I gripped hold of the axe as tight as I could. My heart raced as I waited by the front door for them to come for me. I always had been good at getting into trouble but I was never good at getting out of it. I knew one thing though, if I was going down so were a couple of the Infected.
At least for Grandma's sake.
“Thanks for taking me out of the hood and into the middle of the woods run by wolves’ mom.” My words came out shaky instead of rude. I wondered if my mom knew about this when she left me here. That would suck if she did.
I couldn’t think anymore because there was one final howl before I heard them coming closer. My heart pounded so fast, it was about to burst out of my chest. The door crashed open and the first wolf jumped at me, snarling.
I swung the axe.