I don't have much time... None of us do. This book thing, I'm writing, will help you defeat it. Defeat them. For the sake of all man kind, read this...

- Dusty


2. Why Me?

He ran all through the night. I was scared at first about the racket he must of been making. But I strained my ears and only heard the sound of crickets, chirping happily in the damp weather. I felt tiredness overcome me and the wolf must of felt it too.

Stay awake you fool. Sleep, and they will hunt us down.

"Hunt you down. Not me. I did nothing!"

A low rumbling sounded from deep inside his throat. Like a witches laugh you only learn about in bedtime stories.

Tomorrow, when they find your childrens' and wife's bodies, swimming in their own blood, without yours. What do you think they will assume?

I closed my eyes and rubbed the lids hard. Images of the murders flashed in my eyes as vivid as when it happened.

"They are going to think I did it..."

I mumbled, really only to myself. The realisation flooded my body, churning the terror I felt with guilt and unease.

"Why me?"

I sniffed back a tear that longed to fall.

The evil creature laughed again.

Your selfish. I just made you watch your loved ones die, and all you care about is yourself? That's why a chose you. Humans can be heartless. I also have seen what you do to the less fortunate.

The word instantly made me shiver with disgust. The homeless appalling. They can't find themselves a job, they don't work to sustain the stability of our town. Yet they beg, for everything we have because they are too lazy to work for it themselves.

Then I realised, he was right. I had created a group that were strongly against the homeless or 'less fortunate' as some might say. We had a plan to fight off these diseases that threatened the tidiness and stability of our town. So we would take it in turns to walk around the streets looking for the homeless.

They mainly coward in shop fronts and park benches.

Once we found one, we'd grab them and take them to my shop. I had figured that, if we just told them to leave they wouldn't. However if we gave them a little bit of convincing, they would leave and never turn back. They were hauled onto my working bench, just beside the furnace. Their legs and wrists were held down by two other men. I dipped a metal brander into the bubbling flames. They licked at the metal as if it were a treat. The homeless were branded with the royal symbol, usually on their chest or stomach. I didn't care much for the screaming so we usually tied a cloth to their faces which muffled their cries.

I felt terrible once I had realised the insanity of it. Back then though, it seemed right and normal.

My mind returned to the present and I saw that we were no longer in the woods. We were walking into a field of sorts. Plain grass stretched on for a couple of miles in front of us. I looked up at the sky and saw a tinge of orange near the horizon. Dawn was upon us. The wolf growled in annoyance as the orange haze.

We circled around the perimeter of the field. Every rustle of a bush caused bike to rise up my throat. The feeling of eyes watching out every move, wouldn't leave my mind.

"We're not alone."

My voice was shaky and nervous.

I know. But soon, I have to go. You will have to protect us.

I thought maybe this was the way out. To kill it, I would have to die.

"If I die..."

Hush you fool!

He sliced through my sentence with his harsh voice.

If you die, I will be split into three souls instead of one! Would you really want that?

"What will become of me?"

You will be torn to shreds and become food for my hungry souls. Hahahaha!

The voice softened to a whisper and it's laughs had faded into the surroundings. He circled around one more time before curling into a ball on the grass.

I will be back

He gave out a howl that sounded oddly like a yawn and continued.

Keep us safe. You know what will happen if you don't.

Then, with a fizzle and a popping noise, the voice was gone, my senses shrunk to its normal, dull self and I felt my muscles and hair shrink to fit human sized skin. I became me again.

I was fully unclothed and bare to the elements. The sun by now had fully risen over the horizon. It's rays tore at my skin with scorching heat. I staggered to the canopy of trees to the edge of the field. I felt faint and the need for water pulled me from any other thoughts I had swarming around my head. I trampled through overgrowth and mud patches until I heard the trickling of a lake. The water looked clear enough to drink, so without thinking, I fell to my knees and shovelled the water into my mouth. The cold water oozed down my dry throat, washing away the foul taste of blood.

I walked for several hours in a direction I believed to be south. I had no intentions of heading back to my old home. I trudged through the slop without any luck of finding an establishment of any sort. Was I banished to the woods? Would this be my home now? Even if I did find civilisation, I was stark naked! No one would want me in their presence! My firm reputation would be ruined. I found a large faun leaf and wrapped it around my torso. With that, I willed myself to push forward in the hope of finding some answers. I left without another thought toward the predator which stalked me. Hungry for vengeance and blood.

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