Lore’s Corner
July 1, 2017
Dear Hattie By Helen Bishop
July 1, 2017

Beyond the Red Hood Ch. 8 & 9

VIII

As Brook walked through the woods she could not help but think about that night they were hunting the werewolves.

Brook and Nick were sitting in a truck watching as a lone werewolf lefts a house under the light of a half moon. Nick was fighting hard to keep from changing. Werewolves that have killed and tasted human blood can transform any time that they want. The ones that don’t want to kill have to use a lot of will power but the closer time gets to the full moon, they will have no choice but to change. Nights of the full moon are when Brook chains Nick up to a tree to keep him from killing. Tonight though, they discovered that one werewolf was out hunting the competition for a local farm. They have suspected that the farm was run by werewolves but they just didn’t know which farm to go to.

Nick put the truck into gear but left the lights off so they wouldn’t alert the werewolf to their presence. Slowly they followed the werewolf until they reached the O’Grady farm.

“The O’Grady’s? Shit do you know how difficult it to kill an Irish werewolf?” she asked.

“Let’s just hope that they aren’t drunk” Nick said.

“Oh man that would be very bad.”

Nick chuckled lightly and she looked at him with a raised eyebrow.

“Why are you laughing at me?”

“Werewolves can’t get drunk Brook. Their metabolisms are so fast that they can’t” he said.

She punched him lightly on the arm.

“You’re such a jerk, do you know that?”

“I can’t help it that you’re so gullible” he said with a smile.

The werewolf crept across the property and then swung the barnyard doors open and they caught a glimpse of several people greeting the werewolf with cheers. They watched the werewolf transform back into human form and raise his arms into the air cheering.

“Tap the KEGs it’s time to celebrate. No more competing farmers around here.”

Nick looked to Brook and brought his axe out from the back seat.

“You ready to work?” he asked.

“Yeah” she said.

She raised a shot gun before getting out of the truck. Brook hadn’t been on many hunts at this point and this is the first one where there were so many werewolves in one location. Her hands began to shake slightly as she raised the shotgun.

“You go in front and I’ll go around the back. Wait until you hear a fight break out before you come in and start shooting. At that point they will be focused on me and won’t notice you until it’s too late” he said.

She nodded her head with her eyes open wide.

“Hey you’ve got this. Don’t worry I will make sure nothing happens to you” he said.

Nick gave her a reassuring smile and she watched him walk away until he disappeared into the trees. She waited for his signal to come in and start shooting and her nerves were so bad that the gun continued to shake in her hands. Then she could hear a loud yell and several roars as the people inside of the barn started transforming. She could hear tissue being cut from limbs and could see blood splattering out from the barn.

“Okay Brook you’ve got this. Now charge” he yelled.

She ran as fast as she could holding the shot gun high and pulled the trigger in the direction of the first werewolf she saw. The gun didn’t fire though and she tried to fire it again. A werewolf noticed her and started charging after her. Before it got too far Nick brought his axe down over the beasts’ head burying the blade into its skull. Brook fell to the ground and tried to reload the shotgun but it was jammed so instead she dropped the gun as she stood. She ran back to the truck as fast as she could, panicking. Once she got to the truck she fumbled around for another weapon and that’s when she got an idea. She reached in the back floorboard and pulled out a few bottles of Nicks’ homemade moonshine. She felt around in the glovebox for a lighter until she found one.

“Yes, now all I need is some cloth.”

She looked around looking for something to use for a wick and then just ripped her T-shirt around her belly up to just beneath her breasts. She tore the fabric and stuffed it into a few of the bottles. Then she jumped into the drivers’ seat, turned the truck on, and then shifted it into gear driving straight for the barn entrance. She started honking the horn loudly to alert Nick that she was coming. Several werewolves were attacking him. One of them leapt toward him but Brook rammed the truck right into the werewolf. The other werewolves turned their attention to her as she got out of the truck with two bottles of moonshine already lit. She threw one of the bottles against the side of the barn smashing the bottle. The fire ignited the fiery liquid as they came in contact. The flames spread over straw and wood causing them to ignite as well. She was getting ready to throw the other bottle but another werewolf grabbed her arm as she raised it. It took the bottle from her and threw it in the back of the truck.

“Oh shit run Brook” he yelled to her.

He hurled his axe at the werewolf that had her and the blade buried itself deep into its back. Nick sprinted toward her and grabbed her on his way out. He threw her over his shoulder and she watched as the flames from the bottle ignited a can of gas that Nick kept in the back. The gas can popped from the flames and fire spread over the truck. Her eyes grew big as she noticed flames on the trucks extra supply tank. The trucks gas tanks ignited and exploded from the heat causing the barn to explode as well. The force from the blast sended Nick flying and the two of them landed beside the house.

They both turned and watchd as several chunks of werewolf meat started to fall and litter the ground. Nick looked at her and she started to cry.

“I’m sorry Nick I didn’t mean to blow up your truck.”

She covered her eyes as she began sobbing. He move over closer to her and wrapped his arms around her to show her comfort.

“It’s okay it’s just a belonging. You’re more important than some truck. I’m just glad that you’re safe.”

She buried her face into his shoulder and he started rubbing her back to continue comforting her.

She snaped out of the flashback and then looked back to the direction of their camp and suddenly felt very foolish and immature for acting the way that she did toward him. She knew that he would never want to intentionally hurt her and that she probably overacted. She placed her hands in her pockets and started walking back to the camp keeping her eyes on the ground the entire trip.

“Hey Nick I’m sorry I didn’t really listen to what you said.”

When Brook looked up to where Nick was, she covered her mouth in shock and tears swelled in her eyes before flowing down her cheeks. The sight of the woman she accused of being one of Nicks ex-girlfriend was bouncing up and down on top of him naked. He had a goofy grin on his face which broke her heart.

Gianna looked at Brook and licked her lips while an evil smile spread across her face. “You lost your chance honey. Go ahead and put her out of her misery Darius” she said.

Brook turned to see Darius swinging a clawed hand covered with fur swiping at her. She reacted quickly and dodged before running into the woods. Darius chased after her as Gianna started moaning loudly as she comes to her climax. The sounds of her orgasm caused Brook to feel her heart break even more but instinct kept her moving.

Gianna climbed off Nick just as Donovan park the car right beside the truck. He got out holding several restraint straps and walked over to Gianna who was putting her clothes back on. A satisfied smile on her face as Donovan walked over.

“So did you have fun boss” he asked with a hint of jealousy.

“Oh yes but the most satisfying thing though was knowing that that girl was about to die knowing that I took what she couldn’t have.”

“You really are an evil bitch you know.”

“Woof woof baby” She said while licking Donovan on the cheek.

“Now be a dear and load up our recruit.”

“Yes ma’am. What about Darius though should we wait for him” he asked.

“Nah, he’s a big boy. He can find his own way home” she said.

“You’re the boss” he said.

Donovan lifted Nick from the ground and carried him over to the car where he loaded him into the back seat. Then he placed the straps on him to keep him from moving while Gianna opened the car door and sat waiting for her newest boy toy to be loaded.

“The moment we to the strip club I want you to make sure he is comfortable. Have the girls give him a warm welcome on the stage.”

“I still don’t know what the big deal about him is. He’s puny in comparison” Donovan said while flexing.

A growl escaped from her throat as she placed the tip of her finger nail beneath his chin. She made a single claw extend and cut into Donovans’ chin allowing blood to drip down his finger. Sweat began to form on his brow.

“Please don’t kill me mistress.”

“You need to learn your place Donovan. You and all the other dogs in our pack may lust after me, but that doesn’t mean that I want any of you mutts. I am the alpha in this pack and I say who I want to be my mate and it is this man. So, if you dare to challenge me again I will not hesitate to cut you to pieces and feed you to the pigs.”

“My apologies it won’t happen again” he said.

She withdrew her claw and wiped it over his chest.

“Now let’s go” she said.

They got into the vehicle and rode away heading to the club.

IX

Brook was running through the forest with Darius right at her heels snapping his jaws and just barely missing. Then she triped over a tree root and fell forward on her face. She rolled to the right just as Darius leapt towards her and landed on the ground. He turned and snarled at her while digging his claws in the ground.

“Get away from me” Brook screamed at him.

“No, not until you’re dead like Gianna wants. However, she didn’t say I couldn’t have a little fun before I kill you” Darius said.

He licked his nose as he neared her. She pulled herself back using her shoulders while watching Dariuss’ every move. He pounced but before he had a chance to land on her she kicked him straight in the groin. He let out a slight whimper and she rolled from beneath him as he landed. Brook sprung to her feet, reached behind her to feel for her knuckles but they weren’t there. She spun around to look for them and saw the silver on them shimmer in the moonlight on the other side of Darius.

“Shit.”

Darius got back on his feet while holding his groin.

“You will pay for that you little bitch” he said.

“Put it on my tab asshole.”

Darius stood straight on his hind legs towering over Brook. She looked up at him and could feel herself beginning to tremble with fear. Then she gave him a smug grin to hide it.

“Aww look at you, such a big boy. Should I get you a doggie biscuit” she asked.

Darius brought his clawed fist down fast and hard but she rolled forward and he hit the ground. She continued to roll beneath him and manages to grab her knuckles. When she got to her knees she quickly slid them on her hands. Darius turned and grabbed her by the legs and drug her close to him. She could feel his weight on her. He lowered his snout beside her head and snarled. She smelled the rotting meat on his breath as well as feel the heat. She could feel him harden as he pulled her closer to him. “I’m going to make you my bitch before you die” he said to her.

She pressed the button to one of her knuckles making the blade come out before swinging the back of her fist into Dariuss’ shoulder. He roared in pain as he grabbed hold to his shoulder. She used this moment to free herself. Before he had a chance to get to his feet she started swinging. Brook slamed the silver from her right knuckles against the side of his face scrapping fur and meat from his cheek. Then punched him in the gut with the left knuckle. Repeatedly she punched him in the gut with both knuckles knocking him back while burning chunks of flesh from his stomach. She looked behind him and saw the jagged stump from a tree that was knocked down a few feet behind him. She pulled her right fist back and brought it up with all her might.

She leapt with the punch and caught Darius under his lower jaw. The force of the punch combined with the burning sensation from the silver caused Darius to stumble back and fall onto the tree impaling himself. He let out a painful howl as he started changing back to his human form. Once he changed back he coughed sending blood spewing from his mouth. Brook stood there with her fists up and pressed the button to the other set of knuckles making the blade come out.

“I just want you to know that I’m going to make you my bitch before you die” she said with a smug grin.

Brook raised her hands in the air and brought the blades down with full force stabbing them into Dariuss’ skull. His body twitched for a few moments before all life faded from him. She pulled the blades back out and breathed heavily before wiping the blood from the blades.

After the adrenaline wore off from fighting to survive she fell to her knees and started crying. The light from the moon was blocked out from the storm clouds that started rolling in.

Lightning lit up the sky followed by thunder and soon the rain started falling on her through the trees.

Feeling betrayed she got up and started walking back to the campsite. Thoughts of what she had seen entered her mind again the closer she got.

“All I need to do is get my things and then be on my way. If the truck is still there that is. If I’m lucky that bitch will be there and I can kick her ass too” she said.

Thoughts of everything they had been through started entering her mind. How many times he had come to her aid? How insistent he would’ve been locked up on full moons so that he wouldn’t kill anyone or even worse change them into a werewolf as well? His behavior when she caught him with that woman? Nick would never have let someone send a werewolf after me. Nor would he sleep with someone he would have suspected was a werewolf. She crossed her arms to keep warm as the rain continued to fall on her.

Her heart started pounding hard in her chest and she could feel her gut wrenching, fearing that she was about to catch the two of them going at it once again. Then, when she got to the campsite all she saw was Nick’s truck, the steam from the smoldering fire, and the tent still where they left it wide open.

When she got closer to the spot she had last seen Nick she could see his axe propped where he left it. She ran over and picked it up off the ground and a worse feeling came over her than the fear of catching him. Now she was afraid that something had happened to him.

Brook held the axe in her arms and looked around the camp site and saw tire tracks beside the camp leading out to the main highway where they came from. She ran up to the truck and got in laying the axe in the back seat. So many questions flood her mind and she wasn’t sure what to believe. What she did know is that she was still in love with Nick and there was no way that she could just let something happen to him. She must save him even if it’s from himself. Brook started the truck up and drove out of the camp area and onto the main highway not sure where to start. Then she realized that there was one source that she could try. The bar, where everything started when they came to town.

Whenever she got past the rain she pulled the truck over to the side of the road. She reached for her bag and pulled out a pair of black leather pants along with a red tank top with lace trim. She pulled her clothes off and then got out of the truck to put on the others. After she pulled the tank top over her head and pulled it down, she pulled out the harness for her holsters and slid it over her arms. She checked both of her hand guns to make sure they were fully loaded before putting them into their holsters. When looking through her weapon bag she pulled out the harness for the sawed off shot gun and wrapped it around her waist and then attached the strap to her thigh. She grabbed the sawed off double barrel and slid two shells loaded with silver in them and slid the gun into the harness. The knuckles were clipped to the back of her belt and then she pulled out her favorite red leather trench coat and slid it on.

Ready for to find answers Brook got back into the truck and drove heading into the direction of the Blue Moon tavern. On the way, there she tried to remember what the man looked like that relieved Julian that one night and was hoping that he’d be working. That is if the bar was even open since all that went down the previous night. Then again if things had run as deep in this town as they believed, it was probably covered up already.

She pulled into the parking lot and drove to the back of it. Then she looked around at the different cars parked there and even noticed that the front of the bar was mostly wooden since it was built in the fashion of an old-fashioned saloon. She reached into her bag and pulled out a cd labeled “Hunting mix” and put it into the CD player. Then she pressed a button underneath the dash which made spikes run along the front bumper guard. Then “Hollaback Girl” by Gwen Stefani blared on the radio. She cranked the radio up and shifted into drive before slamming her foot down on the gas pedal. The truck revs up and the tires peeled as she drove toward the front of the bar fast. Brook closed her eyes just as she rammed the truck through the front of the building.

When she jumped out of the trucks’ cab several men started standing up and glaring at her. The bartender looked at her wide eyed due to the big whole she made in the wall.

“Who do you think you are? Crazy bitch? Do you know how much that is going to cost you” he said.

She immediately recognized him as the guy she’d seen the other night. With a wicked look in her eye she took the hair band from her wrist and tied her hair up into a pony tail. She looked around and the men ha a feral glow to their eyes. She pulled her silver hair picks from her jacket pocket and placed them in her hair.

“It probably won’t cost me as much as it will you” she said.

The next song started playing and the men stopped transforming as they looked at the truck with their heads tilted in confusion not expecting to hear “Barbie Girl” playing. Brook reached into the trench coat, pulled out both hand guns and started shooting the men who were caught off guard in the head. The rest of them started snapping out of their daze and started transforming. It took them too long though and she kept laying them to waste filling their bodies and skulls with silver before they had a chance to fully transform.

The bartender reached beneath the bar for the shot gun, but Brook reached into her hair pulling one of the hair pins out and hurled it toward the bartenders’ hand. It stuck to the wooden bar behind him causing one of the liquor bottles to shatter. He poured alcohol over his hand and it seeped into the wound of his hand. He yelled loudly and Brook started walking over into his direction shooting anyone coming her way. Once she reached the bar she placed her guns back into their holsters and sat at the bar. She reached over the bar and grabbed a bottle of Jack and a shot glass. She removed the stopper and poured the amber liquid into the shot glass.

“What do you want?” the bartender asked.

He tried to pull the pick out but she reached up and hurled the other pick at his other hand causing another bottle to break over his hand as it was stuck to the bar.

The man cringed in pain and then stared at Brook with hate in his eyes. She took the shot and threw the liquid down her throat before slamming the glass down on the bar.

“I know that this town is over run with your kind. A certain bitch has taken someone very close to me and I want to know where she is” she said.

“Why in the hell should I tell you anything?” he asked.

She pulled the sawed off shot gun from the holster on her thigh and set it on the bar.

“Because this nasty little toy of mine is loaded with silver buckshot” she said with a smile.

“I’m not afraid to die. I would rather die than to suffer her wrath” he said.

“Suffer her wrath? You should be worried about my wrath.” She says with a grin.

“There is nothing you can do that would be more torture than what Gianna can do.”

Brook pursed her lips together while thinking. She slid down from the bar stool and walked back to the truck and made the cd track go back to “Barbie Girl” and set it to repeat.

“Oh dear god no. Anything but that. Not that song again” he said with fear in his eyes.

“Oh it gets worse” Brook says as she slid over the bar.

She reached for the microphone and held it up to her lips.

“Tonight we are having a special Karaoke night. Do we have any requests out there?”

She looked at all the trashed tables and bodies that littered the bar.

“Please, not Barbie Girl anymore” the bartender pled.

“Well, since no one has any requests I will be singing Barbie Girl all night” Brook said before singing the lyrics to the song.

The bartender struggled trying to pull his hands free so that he could cover his ears but was unable to do so. The silver was keeping him from transforming and steam escaped from the wounds causing more torture.

“Okay! I will tell you anything that you want, just please stop singing” he begged.

Brook stopped singing, hopped back over the bar and sat on a stool right in front of the bartender.

“I’m listening” she said.

“Well I don’t know exactly where he is now, but Gianna was here with the guy and her body guard Donovan. She said that they were going to the new strip club she just opened down town called ‘Angel Eye’” he said.

“Oh really? Just so you know that strip club isn’t exactly new” she said.

“They just built it. Gianna said that with the insurance money from the previous strip club she made a new one with improvements. Now that is all I know. Please get me down from here” he pled.

Brook took her sawed off shot gun into her arms.

“Well there is one small problem with that plan. You see, I don’t trust you not to get free and warn them that I’m coming” she said.

She aimed the shot gun at bottles over his head and pulled the trigger causing more alcohol to pour all over him. Then she reached into her pocket and pulled out a lighter with the words “Huff and puff on this” engraved on it. She flipped it open and struck the flint causing a small flame to ignite.

“Well goodnight and look at the bright side you won’t have to suffer her wrath” she said.

Brook threw the lighter at the bartender and turned around just as the flames engulfed his body. She ignored the screams of pain as he was burned alive as she walked to the truck and got in. She waved goodbye to the bartender and backed the truck out of the bar. She hit the gas after shifting back into drive and got onto the main road heading straight for down town.

“Don’t worry Nick I’m on my way. Even if you are an insensitive asshole.”

Beyond the Red Hood Ch. 6 & 7

VI

For fifteen miles Brook keeps checking the rear view mirror to make sure that the authorities weren’t following her. Nick starts moving so she withdraws her hand allowing him to sit up. He stretches his arms out wide while yawning. Then he starts rubbing the back of his neck.

“What happened?” he asked.

“You fully turned but I was able to snap you out of it long enough for you to help me beat wholesale ass. Unfortunately, I kind of blew up the diner.” She says.

He looks at her with his eyes opened wide.

“You did what?” he asks.

“Hey you don’t remember any of that? You were the one that saved me by grabbing me and jumping through the window before the place could blow.” she says.

“No I don’t actually. In fact, I don’t even remember even turning.”

“Do you remember that blonde hussy that you were admiring?” She says with a jealous tone. Nick

looks at her with a raised eyebrow.

“No I don’t. Who are you talking about?” he asks.

“The blonde woman in the charger that you said looked familiar. She came into the diner and talked to those two large men and everyone then started turning into werewolves and attacking. It wasn’t long after that until you started changing. I think I remember hearing one call the other one Darius. I am sure about one thing though. One of those big guys was the werewolf that got away last night.”

“Are you sure?”

She nods her head.

“Someone is playing a game with us. Those guys and the blonde woman are at the center of it I do believe.” Nick says.

“So what should we do? Where do we go?” She asks.

“We should probably lay low for a while and find out what we can without being seen. With that high of a population of werewolves there's no telling how high it goes. The police could very well be run by them.” He says.

“How do you suggest that we do that? There isn’t a hotel around for 50 miles or more that would let us stay there after what had just happened.”

“Then we go camping.” He says with a grin.

“Oh please tell me that you’re joking?”

He shakes his head back and forth while still grinning.

“You know how easy I get sunburned. That and I absolutely hate bugs.” She says with a disgusted look on her face.

“Well next time you will think before blowing up a diner then won’t you.”

She turns her head and squints his eyes at him.

“You’re going to pay for that you know, that right?”

“Yeah, but it’s worth it at this moment.”

“Well where are we going to camp?” She says.

“I seem to remember a trail around here. When you come across it turn there.”

A few minutes later Brook turns the truck down a dirt road. Nick considers the woods as they drive along the road searching for anyone that may be following them.

“Turn into that clearing there and park the truck behind that large Boulder.” Nick asks.

She does as he asks and when she stops the truck they get out. Nick gets the tent out and starts setting it up. Brook however starts rummaging through her bags searching for a snack as her stomach rumbles.

“You still owe me breakfast you know.” She yells while continuing her search.

“Come help me with this tent and we can go hunting.” He says.

“Do you think there would be much game here if the area really is over run?”

“You never know unless you try.” He says.

“A ha!”

She turns around dancing in place holding a stick of beef jerky with a big goofy grin on her face. Nick shakes his head watching her.

“How old are you again?” He asks.

“I'm 21 and you know that.”

“By the way, you're doing that I would have guessed the numbers should be switched.”

She stops dancing and glares at him before tearing the plastic from the jerky and takes a big bite.

“You're pretty friggin hilarious today.”

She takes another bite from the jerky and walks over to help Nick with the tent. When they finish setting it up Nick walks over to the truck and reaches behind his seat and pulls out his axe while Brook retrieves her red compound bow and then slides the quiver full of arrows over her shoulder.

“You do know there is a chance we will probably have to go fishing if there is a river or lake nearby?” he asks.

“That will just give me a more difficult target for my bow. You always say I need to practice whenever I can.”

He shrugs his shoulders.

“Yeah I did say that. Carry on.”

They both turn and walk into the woods ready for just about anything. After a half hour of walking they come across a small lake. Brook looks into the water seeing if she can spot a fish or two and then spots a smallmouth bass. She ties some fishing line to one of her arrows. Then she places the arrow against the bow and pulls back aiming at the fish. Brooke waits patiently with her bow drawn until the right moment when two fish move over one another in the path of her arrow. In a quick moment, she lets the arrow fly from her finger tips and hits both targets impaling them both on her arrow. She drops her bow and starts tugging on the line as the fish thrash about trying to free themselves. A big grin spreads across her face as she drags the fish onto dry ground. After, she lifts the arrow and flashes it to Nick.

“I’ve caught breakfast so now you get to cook it.” She says.

“You know I can’t cook worth a damn.”

“I believe in you. So, chop-chop let’s go Nick.” She says while clapping her hands together.

He frowns as he swings his axe into a nearby tree that’s about 20 feet tall. The axe wedges into the tree holding it so that it doesn’t fall. Then he unbuttons his flannel shirt and throws it down on the ground. Brook bites down on her lower lip not expecting him to take off his shirt. She tries her best not to show that seeing his chiseled body without a shirt does something to her but this time she cannot help but watch as he grabs hold to the axe handle. She imagines him grabbing her with those strong hands of his as firm as he holds the axe handle. The muscles on his arms and shoulders flex as he swings the axe blade repeatedly against the tree until the tree falls down the other direction. Nick swings his axe around so that it is resting on his shoulder. When he looks to Brook he notices her looking at him. The sweat just starting to fall over his chest.

“You may want to clean those fish while I get this wood chopped up” he says.

Just that fast her fantasy cooking in her head was ruined by the thought of pulling fish guts out. She rolls her eyes and turns around walking over to the truck. Brook lowers the tail gate and lays the fish on it before reaching behind her back and grabbing her knuckles. She presses the button to make the blade come out and starts cleaning the fish. However, she cannot help but glance over at him watching as he swings the axe over his head bringing it down over the wood.

“So how’s that firewood coming along?” she calls out.

“Don’t you worry we will have enough.”

“Well come on and bring some over already slow poke” she says.

Nick wedges the axe into one of the logs and then loads up as many pieces of wood into his arms as he can before he walks over to Brook. He drops the wood and walks over to the truck and pulls out a spade and digs a hole for the fire pit. She stands there with her arms crossed growing impatient waiting for him.

“So since this will probably take a while for you to cook I think I’m going for a swim” she says.

“Just be careful out there. We still don’t really know what’s in this forest” he says.

“Oh you worry too much” she says sticking her tongue out at him.

He shakes his head as she rummages through her bag looking for a towel. Once she has one she walks over the small hill to the small sandy beach at the lake. She looks around making sure that no one is in sight even though in the back of her mind she wishes that Nick could see her.

She pulls her shirt over her head and throws it to the ground and then reaches behind her back and unfastens her bra letting it drop to the ground. Then she unfastens her pants while she slips her shoes off. After she kicks them off she pulls her pants down along with her panties. Once all her clothes litter the sandy spot she takes off running into the water.

“Oh shit this water is cold.” She yells out.

She starts to shiver before she closes her eyes and plunges into the water completely. Brook begins swimming while thinking about what has happened today. Thoughts of how strange it was that the entire diner could transform without it being a full moon. The idea that so many werewolves can change without the moons sway and the fact they caused Nick to change as well worries her. Soon her thoughts of worry are replaced with more impure thoughts as she starts thinking about Nick just walking a distance away from her and topless. Her soft pink nipples had already hardened from the cold water but now they begin to flush lightly as she feels a warmth flow over her body until she tingles.

“I hope his heightened senses don’t allow him to smell certain things from under water.”

Back over at the fire pit Nick has set up the logs and is striking two pieces of flint over some dried leaves covering the wood until a spark finally ignites some of the leaves. As the fire starts to spread he walks over to the truck and jumps onto the bed looking for the spit that they keep with them just for these occasions. Once he finds it he stands and turns around catching a glimpse of Brook swimming naked in the lake. He turns away but then curiosity gets the best of him and he turns back and looks again quick before jumping down from the back of the truck.

“Come on old man get yourself together. Even though you haven’t aged you’re still older than she is.” Nick says to himself.

He sets up the spit and sets the fish over the fire. As he watches the glow from the fire he is reminded of a memory from years ago.

Nick is standing outside of the strip club and looks up at the sign. The soft white neon spells out the word angel with a halo circling the A. The Red neon spells out the word eye but the E’s are curved into the shape of horns while the tail to the Y has a fork at the end of it. He lets out a sigh as he enters the establishment and approaches the lady at the pay booth. She has on a halo resting on top of a long white wig and white lipstick. Her white corset pushes her cleavage up which Nick cannot help but notice when she pushes her breast together.

“How can I help you tonight handsome?” she asks.

“I’ve just come to enjoy the show ma’am.”

“Ma’am, are you kidding me honey. I’m not old enough to be a ma’am.” She says while blinking showing off her white eyeshadow.

“It’s just an expression of respect that’s all.” He says with a sly grin.

“Admission is fifteen dollars. However, I think I can look the other way for you sugar.”

“Well thank you ma’am.”

“Just do me a favor and come visit me if you get too worked up.” She winks at him.

“I’ll make sure to do that.” He lies.

He enters the main hall way taking in all the sounds and sights. “Heaven is a place on earth” plays and he sees a woman in an angel costume dancing on stage. She takes her top off and throws it to the horny men sitting right in front of the stage. He looks around noticing that the waitresses are wearing angel outfits and the bartenders are wearing tight spandex devil outfits. He finds a table in a dark area and sits down. One of the waitresses walks over with a smile on her face.

“What will you have honey?” she asks.

“I don’t want anything but thank you” he says.

“Sorry Hun but you can’t just sit here you’ve got to order something.”

“I’ll have a beer then.”

“Domestic or imported?” she asked.

“Domestic.”

“Bottle or Draft?”

“Draft.”

“That will be $3.45 Hun” she said.

Nick pulls four dollars from his pocket and hands it to her. She looks at the four dollars with a raised eyebrow and then smiles at him.

“Are you sure this is all?”

Confused why she is asking Nick nods his head. Then a loud rock song comes on while another girl dressed in black leather with thigh high heels walks out on stage.

“You know I work for tips, right?” she asks.

Nick cannot hear her over the loud noise so he doesn’t answer.

“Do I have to show you my tits to get more money?” she asks getting aggravated.

“What? I can’t hear you” he says.

She rolls her eyes and pulls down her top exposing her naked breasts. Nicks’ eyes open wide and he reaches into his pocket and hands her a ten-dollar bill.

“Thank you honey I’ll be right back with your beer” she says with a smile before walking away.

He watches the leather clad woman and begins sniffing to make sure that this was a werewolf den. This is the usual method he and Brook takes. He enters the area to find out what he can because he is a werewolf so they wouldn’t suspect him. They also wouldn’t suspect Brook either because she is just a human to them. Just as he suspects all the drooling assholes in the audience are werewolves and all the girls are human. He looks around and observes some of them entering private booths with some of the girls.

The waitress brings his beer and sets it down on a napkin.

“Would you like anything else?”

“No thank you.”

“I’ll be back to check on you in a few minutes then” she smiles.

As she walks away he takes his glass and drinks from it. Then the song ends and a woman walks on stage covered in a red hooded cloak holding a picnic basket.

“Tonight ladies and gentlemen we have a treat for you straight from grandma’s house.” The D.J. announces.

A loud howl comes from the radio as the song “Hey little red riding hood” by bowling for soup plays. Brook drops the basket and spins throwing the cloak to the floor and the men start howling themselves as they see her standing there wearing a bright red mid waist corset with a black ribbon tied around her neck. A short skirt barely wraps around her hips and she wraps her leg with thigh high red leggings around the pole showing off her shiny heels. She runs around the pole until she flips upside down and starts spinning around. Her skirt seems to defy gravity as it clings to her upside-down hips while she spins. Nick’s eyes open wide as he spits his beer out all over one of the waitresses that is walking by.

“What the hell man?” she says to him.

“I’m sorry.” He says as his cheeks turn red.

He returns his attention to Brook as she flips around and drops to the floor doing a split as she lands. She rolls around and leans back as she raises her leg slowly. Nick can hear several men panting as their breathing becomes labored. She is exciting a response in them and he knows she is in danger and should never have let her talk him into this. When she stands back up she spins around and snatches her skirt off exposing her red thong as red as fire.

“Okay time to cut this show short” he says.

He stands up and walks over to the stage where he wraps his arm around a man’s’ neck grabbing hold of him by the chin. He then places his other hand on the back of the mans’ neck and spins it snapping his neck with little effort.

“What the hell Nick I have things under control.” Brook scolds him.

One of the men come on stage rushing at her. She spins around and kicks the man in the neck with the heel of her shoe stabbing him with pure silver. Steam escapes the wound and soon flames engulf his body. Nick reaches into his pocket and pulls out a small silver dagger and stabs another nearby man before he starts to transform. Several of the men start transforming and start closing in on Nick. That’s when Brook reaches into the picnic basket and pulls out an automatic pistol and starts firing off silver rounds cutting through the werewolves.

“Wait Brook don’t just start shooting off your guns like that in here.” Nick says.

She doesn’t listen and some of the bullets shatter bottles of liquor behind the bar. Another bullet hits the light above the bar causing a spark to ignite the alcohol spilled on the bar. Werewolves start bursting through the privacy booths roaring while leaving bloody bodies on the floor. Bullets hit the D.J. both hitting him. He falls against the controls causing the music to randomly select “Living Dead Girl” by Rob Zombie.

The blaze from the fire gets bigger and the werewolves even start running and bursting through the exit doors. Brook continues to fire on them but one manages to tackle her. He raised her over his head and she looks back behind her with wide eyes as the werewolf prepares to throw her into the flames. Nick leaps into action catching her before she reaches the flames. The werewolf leaps from one of the stain glass windows and they begin to hear the sounds coming from the firetruck and ambulance.

“Brook we’ve got to get out of here” Nick says.

“I almost got thrown into the fire” she said while going into shock.

Once they are outside he gets her into the truck and they speed off to escape. Brook looks into the rear view watching the strip club burning. Then she covers her ears when a loud explosion erupts and debris from the club flies.

Nick snaps out of his daze and turns the spit to cook on the other side.

“Your fish should be done in a few minutes” he yells so she can hear him.

VII

Brook is cleaning their plates at the lake while Nick is packing up the spit and loading it into the truck. Once she finishes the dishes she puts them away in their bag and carries it over her shoulder before walking back to the truck. She looks up at the night sky taking in the beautiful sight of the country stars. When she walks over the hill she sees Nick and he smiles at her. She smiles back and begins feeling that warm feeling that she has been trying to fight. Then Nick pulls out a bag of marshmallows from the back of the truck and shakes them towards her.

“Oh please tell me you have some graham crackers and chocolate?” she asks hopeful.

Then he pulls out a box of graham crackers and a few bars of chocolate. She bounces up with giddy enthusiasm at the sight of her favorite snack.

“Get the skewers and I’ll meet you by the fire” she says while running around to the other side of the truck.

She runs over to the fire and plops down right beside Nick. He hands her the bag of marshmallows and she takes them from him happily and opens them. Nick smiles while he watches her take a few marshmallows out and slide them onto both skewers. Then she hands him one of them.

“There you go this one is for you” she says winking at him.

“Thank you.” he smiles and holds the skewer over the fire.

Brook lays her head on his shoulder while holding her skewer on the fire. Enjoying the moment with him.

“You may always be over protective over me but you sure do know how to make a girl smile though. Thank you.”

“It’s not a problem Brook. We have been through a lot together.” He says.

“Yeah, you remember that night at the strip club?” she asks.

“You mean the night you set fire to the strip club?” he says.

Just that quickly the moment was ruined and she sits up and slaps him on the shoulder.

“You asshole that was an accident and you know it.”

“Just like the diner was an accident?” he asks.

“Yes it was an accident. I see where you’re going with this and you can stop.” She says.

She crosses her arms as she starts pouting.

“Oh come on now you know I was just teasing you.”

“Sure you were. I can’t help it if buildings tend to blow up when I am around them.”

“It really hasn’t been that many. Only three times.” He says trying to reassure her.

She turns to look at him with a raised eyebrow.

“Where in the hell did you learn to count? There were only two times. The strip club and the diner.”

“Did you forget about that time you blew up my old truck when you drove it into that barn full of werewolves? You ran out of there so fast throwing Molotov cocktails and shooting up the place so much I’m surprised the fire department didn’t get there before we had a chance to get out of there” he says.

“First off the barn itself didn’t blow up it was the truck so that didn’t count. Secondly those weren’t Molotov’s they were your nasty ass bottles of moonshine. I can’t see how you can stand drinking that mess” she says.

She grabs two graham crackers angrily and puts a piece of chocolate on one piece before squeezing a marshmallow between both crackers. Then she slams skewer down on the ground next to her and eats hers in silence. Nick looks over at her and begins to feel guilty.

“I’m sorry I didn’t mean to offend you. I was just trying to pick fun with you” he says.

Brook continues to eat her s’more without talking to him.

“I really am sorry Brook.”

She crosses her arms over her knees and stares into the fire.

“Here is a little tip for you Nick. When you have been teaching someone for so long and that person looks up to you, it’s embarrassing for the mentor to keep pointing out the students’ biggest screw ups. You may only be joking around but I try not to dwell on those times because each time I think of them or am reminded of them. It makes the student feel like they have disappointed said mentor” she says.

He places his hand on her shoulder when he notices a tear fall down her cheek.

“I’m really sorry Brook I had no idea that you felt that way. I’m not good with handling things or people. Which is why I have stuck to myself for so long. I always have done better alone.”

Brook closes her eyes to hold back more tears but fails on doing so. As more tears fall Nick realizes that he must have said something else wrong and withdraws his hand. She begins to feel that Nick is wishing that she wasn’t around and was alone once again. She has tried to fight falling for him because she didn’t want to get hurt if something were to happen. His words cut straight through her and she feels as if she is the only one that feels the way she does. She wipes the tears away from her cheeks and stands up wiping the dirt away from her pants.

“I think I’ll go for a walk” she says.

Nick frowns and stands up.

“Do you need me to go with you?” he asks.

“No I just want a little bit of time alone” she says.

She turns her back to him and walks away from the fire. She stops by the truck and pulls out her red jacket and puts it on before walking into the woods. Nick watches as his heart drops to his stomach. He has hurt the one person that has ever cared about him. He sits down and just lets his marshmallows burn as he gets the food together and puts it away inside the truck.

“You sure don’t know how to talk to women do you Nick?” he says out loud.

“Oh my dear it’s not as bad as you would think. She’s just a little girl who doesn’t know how to act.” The woman from the diner says.

Nick turns around in surprise and sees her standing there with the same tight jeans and top. He looks over next to the fire where he left his axe leaning against a log but before he can get close to it Darius kicks it away from him and punches Nick before pushing him to the ground. The woman straddles Nick before he has a chance to get up. He starts to raise his fists to hit her but Darius grabs his wrists and holds him to the ground.

“Now dear that is no way to treat me. Especially with all I’ve done for you” she says.

“What could you have done for me I don’t even know who you are.”

“I am Gianna love. It’s because of me that you still look so young. I am the one that turned that old woman” she says.

“You mean it was you? You’re the cause of this hell I live. You’re the reason that poor girl lost her family.”

“Now that was just a bonus. I knew that you were hunting me because of all the disappearances that were happening then. All of the hikers and campers’ bodies that I left in my wake. I would have just killed you myself.” Gianna drags her fingernails all over Nick’s chest. “When I saw you one night in my forest though I knew then that I had to have you. So, I turned the old woman and thought she may keep you off my trail so that I could turn you myself. Hell, even if she didn’t succeed then you would have been thrown off my trail for a little while.”

“Why do you want me for when you have your pet here? So, tell me does he roll over when you tell him to?”

Darius slaps Nick across the face and Gianna glares at him and grabs him by the ear.

“Don’t you mess up his face meat boy” she says.

“He should hold his tongue” Darius says.

Gianna rolls her eyes and then returns her attention back to Nick. Then she reaches her back pocket and pulls out a small bottle with purple liquid in it.

“To answer your question, Nick, you have a reputation of being one of the best werewolf hunters in the world. I thought at the time if you were made into a werewolf yourself then you would be on my side. Turn my worst enemy into my lover. Wouldn’t that be quite the challenge? Unfortunately, that girl has managed to keep you in your wits enough that you have controlled your curse. So maybe if I take her out of the equation and get you to turn and attack a human you will finally be on my side. I would kill your side kick and claim you as my prize. You two have been a thorn in my side for too long and I am glad that it’s about to be over.”

“What’s with the purple liquid? I suppose you’re going to tell me that’s some sort of love potion.”

“Nope it’s a combination of extracts mixed with monkshood. It will put you in a hallucinogenic state and act as an aphrodisiac. When your precious human girl comes back she will catch you in a very compromising position. I will break her heart right before Darius here rips out hers” she says.

Donovan walks out from the shadows and gets closer to them.

“Donovan would you be a dear and hold his mouth open for me?” she asks.

He does as she asks and holds his mouth open as she opens the small bottle and empties its contents into Nick’s mouth. He chokes slightly at the potent liquid and even tries to cough some of it up. Unfortunately, he is unable to force enough of it out of his mouth and soon is staring up at Gianna. A haze covers her body and instead of Gianna he sees Brook straddling him. His eyes become dilated and a smile spreads across his face.

“Brook you came back. I’m so sorry that I upset you” he says.

“It’s okay my love, I forgive you, she says before leaning down and kissing his mouth passionately.

Gianna breaks the kiss and looks at Darius and Donovan.

“Go and hide Darius and be ready to kill the girl. Donovan go and get the car ready.”

They both nod their heads and leave Gianna alone with Nick who is looking up at her with love while she looks back at him with lust in hers. She rips his shirt down the center and drags her fingernails across his muscular chest.

“Are you sure that you want to do this Brook?” Nick asks.

“Of course I do my love.” Gianna says.

He reaches up and pulls down her top and cups her breasts.

“I’ve wanted you for so long Nick. I must have you” Gianna says.

She stands up and unbuttons her jeans and pulls them down. Nick watches her longingly as he starts unfastening his own pants and pulling them down. Gianna straddles him and stares into his eyes. He looks back seeing Brooks Green eyes.

“I love you Brook.”

Gianna smiles at him and reaches beneath her guiding him inside of her. She thrusts her hips down hard onto him before kissing him passionately. He reaches behind grabbing her ass giving it a squeeze as she rides him. A wicked smile spreads over Gianna’s’ lips as she enjoys the pleasure of his thrusts beneath her. She also enjoys the thought of Brooks face when she catches them.

Beyond the Red Hood: 4 & 5

IV

Brook is nervous as she walks up the steps leading to Johnson High. It’s her first day as a freshman in a new town. Ever since the day Nick dropped her off at foster care she has moved from foster home to foster home. Never truly fitting in with any of them due to the stories she would tell about the man who saved her from the big bad wolf that was her grandmother. The last foster family had decided to home school her. Every time she would be in a public school she would get into a fight with some kid that was picking on her for either not having a family or she would get into fights with bullies that were picking on others. Today though starts a new chapter in her life and her foster parents decided it was time for Brook to be reintroduced to the public-school system.

She tugs on her knee length green plaid skirt not used to wearing them. The white knee-high stockings are pulled up as high as she can roll them and her brand new black shoes shine from the sunlight. Her white button up blouse is unbuttoned at the top with a green plaid tie in a loose knot is tucked in her green sweater with her long curly red hair drapes over her shoulders. She pauses at the front doors and takes a deep breath before opening them.

Several students stare at her as she walks down the hallway. She continues to face forward but can feel everyone eyes on her and it makes her uncomfortable.

Then the whispering starts and Brook tries to remain calm. Her hands start to feel clammy from sweat so she wipes them on the side of her skirt as she reaches the office door. When she enters, the secretary looks at her with a big smile.

“How can I help you dear?” she asks sweetly.

“Yes ma’am today is my first day.”

“What’s your name Hun?”

“Brook Adams.” She says.

The secretary begins typing on the computer and after a few more key strokes she waits.

“Sorry dear these old computers take so long.”

Brook looks around the room and notices a boy enter the room wearing a pair of slacks and uniform shirt and a letterman’s sweater with a J embroidered on it. He makes eye contact with her and smiles. The secretary looks at him and smiles.

“What can I do for you Kenny?” she asks.

“I need to renew my parking permit ma’am.” He says.

She reaches over and pulls out a binder labeled “Parking Permits” and opens it. She takes out one of the forms and hands it to him.

“You know the drill just fill out one of these and pay the fifteen-dollar fee.”

“Yes ma’am can I bring it back to you during lunch? I’m pretty close to being late for my first period.” He says.

“Of course, dear, I will be here.” She says with a smile.

“Thank you.” He says with a smile.

Kenny looks at Brook and gives her a warm smile that makes her feel weak in the knees but she holds her position and smiles back while giving him a little wave as he leaves the office. When she turns back to see the secretary she blushes when she notices the look she’s giving her.

“He is very popular with the girls you know. I’ve heard that he’s quite the ladies’ man and I’m not a bit surprised with as handsome as he is.”

“Yes ma’am I agree he is handsome.”

The secretary hands Brook her schedule and a map of the school.

“Here you go dear I will page your first period teacher and let her know that you’re on your way there.”

“Thank you ma’am I would appreciate that very much.”

Brook leaves the office and begins walking down the hallway and glances down the hall way and notices Kenny opening a classroom door. He turns and makes eye contact with her and waves at her. She smiles and waves back at him before he vanishes into the classroom. The warmth flows over her cheeks as they turn red again and she continues her way to her first class.

A few classes later Brook enters the gym for physical education. The school provides everyone with gym clothes so they all enter their respected locker rooms and change. Brook feels uncomfortable changing with so many people around her and can feel eyes staring at her so she waits until everyone has left the locker room before she changes. She runs out to the gym floor as fast as she can. The coach gives her a disapproving look.

“I’m so glad that you could join us miss Adams.” He says with a smug expression.

“Sorry sir.” She says with her eyes lowered.

The coach looks around at his class and smiles.

“Welcome to the first day of physical education. When you enter my gym, I expect you all to be changed into your gym clothes and on this floor, ready to exercise in 5 minutes after that bell has rung. Each time one of you are late, you will all have to run 5 laps around the gym for each minute the last person is late. So, everyone thanks Miss Adams for today’s run.”

Everyone glares at Brook and she can feel her face grow hot as they all start to run. Brook follows behind them and runs looking up at the bleachers she can see Kenny sitting on top with a few friends. Seeing him looking at her makes her feel even more embarrassed since it is her fault everyone is having to run.

At the end of class other girls bump into her and shove her out of their way as they make way to the showers. Several of the girls are showering and she slowly enters one of the shower stalls. She removes her gym clothes and starts the shower water and stands beneath the hard water and tries her best to lather up the soap. A few minutes go by and the other girls have left but she still feels like someone is staring at her. She wraps a towel around her body and walks over to her locker to get her clothes. She pulls her skirt on along with her panties before grabbing her bra. Once she puts her bra on though someone slams her locker door closed. She looks at Kenny standing there and her heart begins to pound. She covers herself with her towel and starts backing away.

“What are you doing in here this is the girls locker room?” she asks.

Then she backs against one of Kenny’s friends that was standing on the bleachers with him. He grabs her by the arms and one of the other friends grabs her towel and yanks it away from her. She struggles to break free but the guy holder her tightens his grip.

“You’re hurting my arm.” She says.

Kenny slaps her across the face leaving a red mark.

“Listen here you little slut it’s time to break you in. There are a few rules in this school. Rule number one what Kenny says here goes. Rule number two don’t forget rule number one.”

“I will tell the principle.” She says.

“Oh please this school needs me. It’s because of me that we have won so many state titles. I run this school and anything that I do that other people may disagree with they just look away. Besides who do you think they would believe a star quarterback and A grade pupil or some home-schooled slut.” He says.

Brook closes her eyes tight fearing for what is about to happen. It’s her first day back at a public school and she is going to be beaten and raped and there isn’t anyone that can help her. It’s that moment that she sees his image again back on the day he saved her from the werewolf. He was bitten to protect her and once he killed the werewolf he took her in his arms. That was the only time she has felt safe ever since then. When her eyes snap open she sees, Kenny unbuckling his belt and takes advantage of the moment. She lifts her leg up as fast and as hard as she can to kick him right in the groin. As he falls to the floor grabbing his family jewels while whining, the friend that was holding her loosens his grip from the surprise of her attacking him. She stomps her heel down on top of his foot and he starts hopping. She turns bringing her elbow driving it right into his nose. Blood Starts to pour from the boys’ nose as he covers it with his hands. When she turns to the other guy he starts running away. She opens her locker quickly and snatches her shirt from it and puts it on as she starts to run from the locker room.

The coach calls for her trying to get her to stop but she doesn’t listen. She buttons her shirt up and leaves the school. It only took her first day at public school to cement an idea in her head that she’s had ever since she was a little girl. The only person that she can be safe around is that lumberjack and no matter what she must do she will find him once again.

V

The next morning Brook wakes from her dream recalling a painful memory. The scent of cheap motel room coffee enters her nostrils. She pushes the covers from her and stretches her arms out while yawning so hard that her eyes clench shut. When she opens her eyes, she sees Nick standing there sipping coffee from a mug. When he places the cup down he continues packing his bag. He stands there wearing a black tank top that clings to his body. She can see the curves that outline the definition in his muscles and shoulders. She bites her lip and feels her face become hot as blood rushes to her face. He turns around and tosses a pair of pants at her and just like that the fantasy that was starting to play out in her mind was ruined.

“You may want to put these on if you want to go out for breakfast. I am almost done packing my things and I also put your dirty clothes in your dirty clothes bag. You really should learn to start picking up after yourself.” He says.

“Dude I haven’t even been awake five minutes yet and you’re already giving me a lecture.” She says.

She lays back dramatically and pulls the covers over her head while grumbling.

“Okay well I guess I will be having pancakes all by myself then.” He says with a smirk.

She throws the covers back and jumps to her feet and starts attempting to pull her pants up both legs at the same time but she falls sideways onto the bed. Nick starts laughing at her as she pulls up a little more while giving him a mean stare.

“Why is it that when I say something funny you just stand there but the one moment I fall over you’re hysterical with laughter?” she asks.

He shrugs his shoulders before throwing his duffel bag over his shoulder and walks over to the door. She stands back up and starts pulling them up the rest of the way when he swings the hotel room door open allowing everyone that could be standing outside a view of her panties. She snatches them up the rest of the way and zips them before turning around so that she can fasten them.

“You are an asshole someone could have seen me!” she yells out at him.

He walks back into the hotel with a smile on his face.

“That didn’t stop you from running out side last night in only your shirt and panties.”

“Oh, you’re so impossible sometimes do you know that?” she asks him.

She looks around for her belt and slides it through the loops before getting her weapons up. She rummages through her duffle bag searching for a shirt that she can wear and an acceptable bra. She grabs her t-shirt getting ready to take it off when she looks over to Nick.

“Would you mind stepping outside and making sure the door closes behind you?” she asks.

He nods his head and grabs her bags of clothing and carries them out with him so that he can put them in the truck. He kicks the door closed gentle with his foot as he walks outside. She pulls the shirt over her head and puts on a green bra. Once she fastened she attaches the holster for her small gun. Before placing the gun into the holster, she checks it for ammo. She reaches into her weapon bag and pulls out enough bullets to replace the two that she fired from the small gun last night. When loaded, she slides the gun into the holster and fastens it to secure it. Then she grabs her trusty knuckles that have belt clips on them and clips them on. She grabs her white blouse with a green vine design that spreads across the top. She pulls it down over her belly and makes sure that it hides her hidden weapons. Then she grabs her weapon bag, slides on her green sandals, and walks out of the motel making sure that it locks behind her. She walks out to the truck and sees Nick standing there leaned against it with his arms crossed.

“So, are you ready to go young lady?” he asks with a smirk.

“I sure am old man. I’m glad you had enough time to make it to the truck since I gave you a head start.” She says with a cocky look in her eyes.

She opens the truck door and slides the weapons duffle bag behind her seat. When she climbs into her seat she fastens her seatbelt as Nick gets in on his side. He fastens his seat belt as well and starts the truck before looking over at her.

“So where would you like breakfast?” He says.

“Well there is that small diner around the corner that way.” She says while pointing.

“Luna Lynn's diner?” He asks.

“That would be the one.” She says.

“With a name like that we may find out a little bit of information as we eat.” Nick says.

“My thoughts exactly.”

As the truck leaves the parking lot they don't notice the blonde-haired woman exiting the room beside theirs. She grins before getting into the silver Dodge Charger with black racing stripes parked right outside. Then she drives the car in the same direction as they are.

Brook looks at the buildings of the old small town as they pass them. An army surplus store, an old-fashioned tailor shop, and theater are a few of the buildings passed.

“What was the last movie you had went out to see?” She asks Nick.

“I think it was fast and furious but then again it's been so long since I've been that I don't remember. What about yourself?” He asks.

“Will you promise not to laugh?” She asks.

He raises an eyebrow.

“I can't promise that and now you've peaked my interest so you have to tell me.” He says.

She hides her face as she starts blushing.

“Well while other girls had their parents take them to see Disney movies my parents took me to see Bring it on. It was torture for my poor dad but I had it in my mind as soon as I was old enough to be a cheerleader that's what I was going to do.”

Nick continued to look at her wait a raised eyebrow. Then started laughing as he pulled into the diner parking lot.

“Oh, come on now it isn't that funny.” She said.

“I'm sorry it really isn't I just couldn't see you as a cheerleader. Not now at least. Did you ever try out for cheerleading before you came looking for me? Before you realized you wanted this kind of life?” He asks.

“No, that dream died with my family.”

He frowns remembering that a lot of her life choices were taken away from her.

“Don't you worry I'll make sure that you will have some resemblance of a normal life soon.” He says with a smile.

She turns her head to stare out of the window.

“Expectation is the root of all heartache. William Shakespeare said that you know. If I do manage to have a normal life isn’t the main question in my mind.”

“What is then?” he asks.

“The question is will I ever be able to function with a normal life.” She says under her breath.

“Normal is over rated anyways.”

“So, what did you do in school? What was a dream that you always had before living this life?” she asks.

“As hard as it is to believe I actually enjoy this life. Well the life prior to cursed life that is. My mom made me go to college though for a backup career just in case I decided to live a normal life but I didn’t pursue that career.”

“You never told me this. What kind of college degree do you have?” she asks.

“Well since my mom established the Wolfgang Private investigation office I thought I would be sneaky. I wanted to be close by to my mother to watch out for her. So, I became a private investigator. When I wasn’t hunting I did a few cases a month. I even saved some lives without fighting monsters. When I became a werewolf though I decided to take on hunting full time. I didn’t want to risk anyone’s life.” He said.

“Oh wow, so the whole lumberjack look has been just by choice?”

“Yeah I never worked as a lumberjack. I know how to cut down wood but only when needed.”

Brook nods still looking surprised.

“I would like to know more about you. Didn’t know there was much behind the strong silent type that you have been all these years.”

“I guess you’re just growing on me. I feel comfortable with you.” He says.

“Yeah, I’m awesome like that.”

Nick shakes his head while smiling.

“Well come along if you want your breakfast.” He says.

He gets out of the truck shutting the door behind him. He notices the Charger passing by slowly and sees the beautiful blonde haired woman driving. She seems somewhat familiar but he doesn’t know where he could know her from. She winks at him as she passes by. Brook gets out of the truck and notices Nick looking at the car.

“Who was that?” she asks.

“I have no idea but she does seem familiar.” He says.

“Maybe it’s an old girlfriend.” She jokes.

“I doubt it, she kind of looks like the woman I seen leaving the bar right before you went inside.” He says in a serious tone.

They both walk toward the front door of the diner where Nick opens the door for Brook. She walks in and smiles at the gentlemanly gesture that she never experienced during school. All the boys she had met were only after one thing.

Everyone that's eating in the diner looks up at them after the bell attached to the front door rings. The diner is very quiet other than “Uptown Girl” playing on the old jukebox. Brook looks around feeling uncomfortable with all the stares.

“Have a seat right over there. I'll be with you two in a moment.” The waitress says while pouring a cup of coffee.

Nick stands close to Brook as they walk over to the table. She sits down in the booth and he slides in across from her. Everyone resumes eating and starts whispering to one another. Brook grabs the menu and starts looking at it trying to figure out what she wants to eat. The waitress then walks over ready to take their order.

“So, what do you two love birds want?” she asks.

Brook looks at her with a raised eyebrow.

“I’m sorry ma’am but we aren’t love birds. We just…” she glances across the table not sure how to word their relationship without coming off harsh. “We just work together.” She says with a smile.

“My apologies.” The waitress says with a fake smile. “So, what do you want then?” She asks.

“Pancakes, bacon, and coffee please.” She says closing the menu.

“I’ll have the same.” Nick says with a generous smile.

La Bamba starts playing on the jukebox as the waitress walks away. Nick watches as she walks behind the bar. He looks around noticing a few men sitting at the bar staring at them. One of the men is quite large and muscular and Nick figures the guy must be close to 7 feet tall with a bald head and scruffy beard. The man sitting next to him is the same size but with longer shoulder length wavy hair that looks more handsome. The bald headed one leans over to the other man whispering into his ear while he stares at the two of them coldly.

“I have the feeling we may be getting more than we bargained for in here Brook.” He says.

“What’s up?” she asks.

“Well there are two large fellows staring at us.”

“They better not mess with us until after I’ve had my coffee at least.” She says.

The waitress brings them both a cup of coffee and Brook pours sugar in it from the dispenser. As she stirs it she glances over her shoulder to look at the two men and then back to Nick. She takes a sip from the coffee and clenches her eyes together.

“That is the most bitter tasting coffee I’ve ever had. I think I have changed my mind I would rather fight than drink this.”

The bell on the door catches Nicks attention and when he looks to the door he sees the same woman from the Charger. She walks in with her long blonde hair that is mid back in length. Wearing low rise jeans showing off her black thong. The black tank top stops just above her belly button and is low cut to the point where he can see the top of her gray bra which pushes her cleavage out. A chain choker is around her neck and a set of dog tags dangle from a separate chain. Brook notices Nick staring and turns around to see the woman and feels a ping of jealousy.

“So, are you sure that isn’t an ex-girlfriend?” she asks.

“I’m sure.”

“How can you be so sure?” she asks.

“Well for one, I remember every woman I’ve dated. I can count them on my fingers. Secondly, I am pretty sure she isn’t human. In fact, I think you’re the only human in here. This diner smells of wolf.” He says.

She looks over and watches her approach the two large men. They both talk into her ear and she looks straight at Brook and smiles. The woman turns back to the two men and says something to them and they both stand up and walk towards their table as the woman walks into the kitchen.

“Well madam do you have any words of wisdom from Shakespeare? Here they come.” Nick asks.

She looks over at the cup of coffee and smirks as “Black Betty” plays on the jukebox.

“To do a great right, do a little wrong.” She quotes.

When she hears one of them move a chair as he nears she turns around and slams her hot coffee mug on the bald mans’ chest. She looks up at him as he lets out a low growl. She grins while reaching behind her back and pulls one of the knuckles from her belt. He swings at her head but she ducks and slides the weapon over her knuckles and punches him right in the crotch as hard as she can. He drops to his knees and she jumps up bringing her fist around punching him across the jaw. He starts grunting when the silver reacts with his skin and steam rises from it.

“We definitely have a wolf Nick. With fire in his pants.” She says.

“You mean wolves.” He says.

She looks over to him and sees him grappling with the more handsome man and notices his beard growing longer. Then she looks around noticing the other people in the diner hand started going through the transformation.

“I can smell the beast in you trying to escape. Give in and set it free.” The werewolf Nick is grappling with says.

Brook slides her other knuckle on and leaps over to Nick and punches the werewolf. She then grabs Nick by the shoulder and starts to drag him.

“Come on Nick we've got to get out of here.” She says.

He pulls back and she turns confused.

“What in the hell are you doing we've got to get out we can't handle this many at once.” She says.

She punches the closest werewolf and then makes the blades pop out and stabs the next one. Nick punches the ground and Brook looks over to see his hand covered in fur.

“Oh shit.” She says.

He phases into a werewolf and the other wolves start to back away from Brook.

“Gianna was right Darius he is one of us. The one that she has been looking for.” The werewolf Nick was fighting says to the other.

“Well don't wait around do as she said for us to Donovan.” Darius says.

“Welcome brother we've been looking for you. We want you to join us but to do that you've got to do one thing. You've got to kill your human companion. The girl that got away thanks to you.” Donovan says.

Nick turns looking at Brook through yellow eyes and his teeth exposed from his misshaped snout. Her eyes are filled with terror as he approaches her.

“Nicholas, Nicholas, Nicholas!” She screams out.

He stops right before her and shakes his head. Nick blinks his eyes and his ears perk up.

“Run!” He says in a low grumbled tone.

Nick grabs a chair and swings it around slamming it against Donovan's head. Brook gets up and runs out to the truck. When she gets into the cab she tries to start the truck with the spare keys he keeps hidden in the glove box. Something stops her though as she considers the diner watching Nick being attacked by numerous werewolves.

“I can't leave him like this he's outnumbered.” She says.

Brook starts the truck and shifts into reverse backing the truck into the side of the building. Glass and debris rains over the werewolves’ heads. She reaches behind the seat for one of her guns and Nicks axe before getting out of the truck. A few werewolves see her coming near and charge at her with claws extended. She shoots them in the head with marksman precision. Darius and Donovan hear the gunshots and turn in her direction. When they look up they see her throwing the axe to Nick and he catches it.

“What are you doing you're in danger.” Nick says.

“I can't let you do this alone you're outnumbered.”

Nick swings his axe and cleaves straight through a werewolf’s neck decapitating its head.

“Fine but if I come at you put a bullet in my head.”

Brook starts firing away and it doesn't take long for Darius and Donovan to realize that their numbers are dropping rapidly. They phase back into their human forms and run through the kitchen to escape out the back.

After a few minutes of fighting Nick can smell gas coming from the kitchen and looks over to Brook who is about to aim her gun into the direction of a werewolf that's in front of the kitchen. She fires and Nick leaps through the air and grabs Brook and holds her body close to his. When the bullet pierces the werewolf’s shoulder it continues going into the kitchen until it impacts a metal surface creating a spark. The spark ignites the gas and causes it to explode. The explosion throws Nick through the glass window as he holds Brook. While falling through the air he manages to turn his body around so he is landing on his back-cushioning Brooks fall. Nick hits his head on the pavement rendering himself unconscious. Brook watches as he phases back into his human form and tries to wake him up.

“Come on Nick I need you to wake up. We need to get out of here.”

He opens his eyes faintly and gets to his knees. His shoulders and back are black from the burn spots that have already begun to heal. He walks slowly over to the truck but stumbles right at the door.

“Shit!” Brook says.

She struggles lifting him enough to get him into the truck and pushes him over so that she can get into the driver side. She starts the truck and quickly backs it up watching flaming bodies running out from inside of the diner and falling to the ground. She speeds off getting onto the highway directed out of town. A police cruiser, ambulance, and fire engine pass them as she drives.

“Damn that was close.” She says.

As she drives she glances over at Nick. That was only the second time she had ever seen him change into a werewolf while it wasn't a full moon and the idea frightened her.

“How was he able to maintain control last night but lose it today in broad daylight? Was it those two men? Was it that woman?”

Several ideas run through Brooks mind. The main thing though is worrying about Nick.

“I sure hope he snaps out of it soon.”

She returns her eyes to the road ahead of her and reaches a hand over and brushes it through Nicks’ hair.

III

Brook enters the cave behind Nick with her machete drawn ready for battle. He holds a flashlight in one hand while he holds his axe securely with the other. Brook bites down on her lower lip out of nervous habit as she listens for any sign of a werewolf.

“You made sure all of the werewolves in the bar didn’t make it out, right? There wasn’t anyone that could warn them that we are coming?” she asks.

“Well, maybe the other bartender. Relax, even if any others had escaped we would know by now. Besides we can handle it.” He says.

“Yeah, you’re right.” She says.

Within a few moments they exit the cave and see the cabin in the clearing. Both see several sets of glowing eyes from within the trees. Brook slowly slides the machete in its’ sheath. Then she unfastens the two gun holsters slowly and draws both hand guns out. Her eyes scan the wooded area and the windows of the cabin looking for any sign of werewolves inside. Gooseflesh creeps over her arms and she looks over to nick who has already turned off the flashlight and now has both of his hands on the axe.

“I can feel them. This is a strong pack Brook so I want you to be prepared in case they get me to change. You know what to do if I change and come at you?” Nick asks.

“Don’t worry about it you won’t change.” She says.

“Brook this is serious now what do you do?” he asks.

“Call you by your birth name three times and when you come to your senses and start attacking them I should run away and hide. Then if you come after me again since we know that’s only a temporary solution I put a silver bullet in your head.” She says with sadness in her eyes.

Memories enter her mind about her training from before her first hunt.

“Are you sure that you’re ready for this Brook? We can always wait a little while longer.” Nick asked her.

“I’m ready now quit stalling and let’s do this Nick.” She says readying her crossbow.

“Okay now remember all the rules for if I begin to change myself?” She nods as she holds her free hand on the door handle.

“Okay then let’s rock.” Nick said.

They get out of the truck and shut the doors behind them as they run into the direction of the cabin. Nick kicks the door in and the stench of rotting flesh insults Brooks’ nostrils almost causing her to lose her breath. The two werewolves inside the cabin roar loudly at them. One pounces on Nick biting down on the handle of his axe as the other starts charging toward Brook. She fires a silver bolt at the werewolf but its’ speed catches her off guard causing her to miss. She ducks just before the werewolf leaps at her going over her head.

“Shit!” she yelled as she gets up and starts chasing after it.

“Brook wait!” Nick called to her.

“I’ve got this Nick.”

Adrenalin pumping through her veins Brook runs carelessly through the dark woods. When she realizes that she’s chasing the breeze she stops for a moment to catch her breath. Then she realizes that she has made a grave mistake.

“Rule number one don’t follow a werewolf into its’ domain. Dammit Brook why did you have to go and be so dumb.”

She slowly creeps around as the wind blows through the trees causing the leaves to brush together. The werewolf drops down from the trees landing over Brook. With one swipe, it knocks the crossbow from her hands sending it sliding over the leaves that cover the ground. Brook tries to pull herself backward away from it with her elbows but it pounces on all fours hovering over her. Its’ snout inches away from her face with jaws extended and saliva dripping from its’ long teeth. A low growl rumbles through its’ chest and it raises a clawed hand ready to swipe before a large beast covered in black fur tackles it.

“Run!” it bellows at her.

She recognizes the tatters of clothing hanging from the beasts’ body as Nicks clothes and her heart begins to beat rapidly.

“Oh no he changed while trying to save me.”

She runs through the woods and then hides on the other side of a tree and watches as Nick and the werewolf roll around the fall leaves, each of them biting and clawing at the other one. Then she sees Nick as he bites into the werewolf’s’ neck severing its spinal column. He holds the beasts head to the moonlight filtering through the trees and lets out a loud howl as he presents his trophy to the moon.

Nick sniffs the air catching Brooks scent. She turns with her back to the tree and closes her eyes tightly. Her body shakes with fear as she hears him charging on all fours. Each stride causing loud thudding sounds on the ground. Then there is silence. Paralyzed with fear she is unable to move as she can hear the loud breathing sounds coming from Nicks snout.

“Now, are you ready?” he asks.

Brook snaps out of her memory and nods her head as she holds her guns up ready for action. Nick rushes out into the clearing yelling at the top of his lungs challenging for the creatures to come after him. Several of them start charging toward him through the shadows among the trees. Brook walks out of the cave raising the guns and firing them hitting each target that she aims for. Two of the wolves manage to get past her bullets and close in on Nick. He swings his axe low cutting off one of their front paws. When that one falls to the ground he spins around swinging the axe high cutting off the other ones’ head off. Brook fires again hitting the one without the front paws as it tries to get up.

Each of the werewolves that drop begin changing back to their human forms as they die leaving a trail of carcasses as they make their way to the cabin.

A loud howl erupts from within the cabin and soon several more werewolves come from around the cabin rushing towards them. Brook continues shooting while Nick uses his axe to dismember and decapitate them as they get within range. While the werewolves are keeping Nick and Brook busy the werewolf howling from within the cabin leaps through the window. It lands near them and Brook falls backwards out of surprise but fires off a few shots in its’ direction. The large beast towers over the rest of the werewolves and even Nick looks on at it with shock. It roars defiantly at them and pushes Nick down. It turns around and leaps into the woods while the remaining werewolves cover its escape.

“What in the hell was that? Did you see the size of that son of a bitch?” Brook asks. Nick rolls back until he's on his feet and picks his axe back up. A werewolf gets too close and he chops off its head.

“Keep your head in the fight. Worry about that thing later.” Nick says.

She notices several werewolves closing on her so she empties the clips to her guns.

“Shit I’m out.” She says.

She places her guns into their holsters and reaches behind her and draws her machete out before rolling back to her feet. The silver etching on the blade shines in the moonlight as she twirls the blade in a menacing way. Once she poses in a stance the werewolves stop and tilt their heads while looking at her. A few of them even started snorting with laughter.

“What are you going to do with that big knife little girl?” one of them said with a graveled voice.

“Seeing as you guys are obviously overpopulated I think that I should do the world a favor.” She says with a smile.

She steps in and swings the machete low slicing off the werewolf’s’ cock and balls. The werewolf dropped to his knees grabbing the little stub that remains as his blood mats in his fur. The other werewolves wince as they witness this. Brook brings her machete back up ready to attack.

“Please make sure you spay and neuter all your pets.” She says with a grin.

“Get the bitch.” He says before falling to his face.

“Now let’s not bring your mother into this.” Brook says.

The werewolves charge at her and she swings the machete slicing at knee caps and throats as she moves forward. When she has an opportunity, she spins around and slices the head from the ones that have been wounded. A loud howl echoes in the distance and the remaining werewolves break away from the fight and run into the woods in the direction of the large werewolf they had seen before.

“I must say that's a first. A den of this size that has us out numbered and runs away worries me.” Brook says.

Nick holds his hands on his knees taking shallow breaths. Brook looks over to him and immediately starts to worry.

“What worries me is your lack of focus.” Nick says with a deeper voice.

“Nick calm down you don't want to change.” Brook says.

He falls to his knees as a low growl escapes from his lips. He fights hard to hold back the transformation and in a few moments, he starts breathing normal. Nick looks up to Brook with a disapproving look. The look offends her and she puts the machete away in its sheath before crossing her arms.

“Don't look at me like that Nick.” She says.

“Really, you're going to joke around with werewolves and chop their balls off instead of just finishing the job? That's reckless Brook.”

“I can't go out as a normal person my age. I must stay out of sight a lot so no one would recognize me. I don't get to have any fun so I have to get my kicks in where I can.”

“You made this choice. I tried to let you have a normal life but as soon as you were old enough to drive you left your adoptive parents house to come look for me. So, don't try to guilt trip me.” Nick says angrily.

“You really do need to lighten up.” She says.

Brook walks away and enters the cave alone. Nick lets out a sigh while holding the bridge of his nose.

“I think she was easier to deal with as a teenager.”

Nick enters the cave walking back to the truck. Once he gets there, he can't help but feel a twinge of guilt when he looks at her sitting in the truck while she stares out of her window. He cannot help but feel protective of her since he was just a few minutes late of stopping her grandmother from killing her parents. As he looks at her he notices how beautiful she looks with the pale moon light outlining her face.

“Get a grip on yourself Nick you’ve known her since she was a little girl.”

He gets into the truck and drives out of there. There is an uncomfortable silence between the two of them as he drives. She continues to stare from the window not saying a word. Nick keeps glancing at her as he drives.

“You might want to pay attention to the road. You wouldn't want to drive recklessly, now would you?” She says angrily.

He doesn't respond and the silence between them becomes awkward until he decides to break the silence.

“Why don't you take yourself out for breakfast in the morning?” He asks.

“No, it's “too dangerous”.” She says using quotations.

“You're right Brook I do need to lighten up. You are fully capable of taking care of yourself so you should be able to get out a little bit more.” He says.

She slowly turns her head with a raised eyebrow.

“Who are you and what have you done with Nick?” She asks.

He laughs lightly. “I had a chance to do things before I was dragged into this life. I went to high school, I went to prom, I even went to college for a year before I decided to become a lumberjack. The werewolf that changed your grandmother took a lot from both of us but it took the most away from you. It took away your childhood and a normal life. I did my best to watch after you, but, as soon as the signs of me changing started I knew I had to get you away from me. I thought I was doing the right thing in giving you a chance at a normal life.” He says. She places her hand on his thigh and looks at him.

“I really don't blame you for my not having a life. I blame that werewolf I just need you to lighten up. Don't take life so serious and have fun with it while you can. Have fun with me Nick. Go out to breakfast with me.” She says.

Nick thinks for a few moments and looks over into Brooks’ green eyes. If the eyes were Windows to the soul hers show an ocean filled with courage and adventure. They also show a softer gentler side that's eager for acceptance and friendship.

“You know it's more awkward for me to be out in public than you.”

“You will have me with you what is there to worry about?” She asks.

“I don't know maybe losing control and eating everyone for breakfast instead of pancakes and sausage.”

“You know I won't let that happen. Hell, I'll kill you if I have to.” She says with a wink.

He gives her a half grin.

“What about our age difference? Aren't you worried what people would think?” He asks.

She raises her eyebrow at him again.

“What do you mean by that?” She asks.

“Well I'm much older than you.”

She slaps him on the leg.

“No, you're not a lot older than me. You may have been around a lot longer than me but you're not a lot older than me. You stopped aging the day you were wounded by grandma. So, you only look a few years older.” She says with a smile.

“I feel older though.”

They stop the truck outside of a motel and get their gear together before getting out of the truck. Nick holds both of their bags while Brook unlocks the door to their room. As soon as they enter the room Nick drops the bags off in the corner before collapsing on the sofa.

“I really need a shower.” Brook says.

She unhooked the sheath along with the machete and sets it on the bed. Then she removes the hand guns and holster harness and sets it down as well before she sits on the foot of the bed and pulls her shoes off.

“Don’t you want to wait until morning? It's already been such a long night.” Nick says.

“You didn't get kissed on or gripped by a dirty old werewolf bartender. Besides I have blood all over me.”

“That's why you need a weapon with a little bit more range like my axe.” He says.

“You look like a lumberjack. How would it look if you've seen a woman walking around with an axe?” She says with a smirk.

“Fair enough. I'll probably be asleep when you get out.” She nods while getting a plain white T-shirt and pair of green boy shorts when she gets to the door frame of the bathroom she stops and leans on it while looking at Nick who is laying on the cheap motel sofa covered in holes with his eyes closed.

A warm smile spreads across her face as she thinks back on how many times he has risked his life to save her. Then she turns around and lays her clothes down on the counter before she pulls her blood splattered shirt over her head and throws it on the floor. She leans over and starts the shower and places her hand under the cool water testing it.

“Always does take forever for the water to warm up in these old motels.”

Brook reaches behind her back to unfasten her bra and tosses it to the floor as well. Then she pulls her pants down along with her thong and kicks them aside.

“Great now listening to the water I have to pee.”

She sits on the toilet to relieve herself and then hears the snoring that is coming from the other room.

“Passed out just like that.”

She smiles before she wipes thinking maybe she should go play a prank on him.

“Maybe shaving cream on his hand and tickle his nose? Oh, wait maybe I should record him snoring.”

Many possibilities flood her mind but as soon as she steps into the hot water she forgets all about pranks. She closes her eyes and lets the water do its magic while soothing her muscles.

“Oh my god this feels like heaven right now.”

She takes the bar of soap and starts rubbing it all over her body while the water washes away dried blood that's on her body.

As she relaxes her thoughts drift back to when she seen Nick again for the first time in years after he saved her as a little girl.

Nick walked through the same forest that he rescued Brook hunting for the werewolf that had turned Brooks grandmother. He knew that whoever it was caused not only a lot of pain in his own life but in Brooks as well. The sound of leaves moving around nearby alerted him to a presence so he slowly approached the noise with his axe held ready. He holds it high above his head ready to swing down but the moment he saw a teen age Brook walk out from the brush he changed his axes course to just barely miss her.

“You are crazy girl what are you doing out here in these woods all alone its dangerous here.” He said.

He stared at her with her shoulder length wavy red hair. Her hand was on her chest as she attempted to catch her breath from him scaring her.

“You’re not a werewolf, are you?” he asked her.

“No, I’m not.” She said.

“Then why on Earth would you be here?”

“I’m actually here looking for you.” She said.

He lowers his guard wondering what a teenage girl is doing looking for him. He feels slightly uncomfortable with the way she was looking at him so he cleared his throat.

“I’m sorry I don’t mean to stare it’s just. You look the same as you did on that day you saved me. You haven’t aged a bit.” She said.

The sudden change in temperature snaps Brook out of her daydream and she quickly turns the water off. “Son of a bitch the water never lasts long enough for a decent shower.” She says. Brook grabs her towel and wraps it around her body before stepping out. She looks at the mirror and into her own reflection. Then she notices dark areas forming beneath her eyes.

“Oh, I am in desperate need of some sleep.” She says.

She towels off and places her towel back on the rack before sliding her boy shorts on. Then, when she puts her shirt on she sees a reflection moving from the mirror. She looks behind her to see a small window and listens to hear feet running. She runs out of the bathroom and grabs one of the knuckles set on the bed.

“Someone was watching me Nick!” She yells while running out the motel room door.

Nick stumbles as he rolls off the sofa and once he gets to his feet he follows Brook.

She sees a man fumbling nervously with the keys to his vehicle. Once he gets the door open Brook manages to get to him just in time to push the door against him pinning him to the side of the car. He cries out in surprise and she holds her fist in the air.

“Why were you spying on me?” she questions.

Within a few moments she recognizes him. He is the manager of the motel.

“Please don’t tell my wife. I just wanted a quick peek. You’re so pretty I couldn’t help myself.” He says.

She wants to believe him but with everything they have seen she should make sure. She presses the blunt silver end of the knuckles on his cheek. Small tears well up and the scent of urine fills her nostrils. She raises her eyebrow and looks down to the yellow puddle forming under his feet. She pulls the knuckles back and there isn’t a single burn spot or irritation from the silver.

“Just make sure you don’t ever do anything like that again. I won’t tell your wife this time but I swear to god if I ever suspect for one moment that you’re peeping at someone not only will I tell your wife, I’ll call the police.” She says while letting go of the car door.

“Yes, you have my word, I promise.” He says nervously.

He gets into the car and drops the keys trying to start the car. When Nick shows up beside Brook the car starts and the manager peels rubber from his tires trying to get away from there. Nick looks at the car until the headlights disappear.

“Do I need to get the truck?” he asks.

“No, he’s just a dirty pervert. He won’t bother us again.” She says.

“You’re sure he isn’t a werewolf?” he asks.

She nods her head.

“Don’t worry he isn’t. The knuckles didn’t even make a red mark on his cheek.” She says while yawning.

Nick sniffs the air and turns his nose when he catches the scent of human urine.

“You made him piss his pants?” he asks her.

She shakes her head and he offers his hand waiting for a high five. She slaps his hand before yawning himself.

“Good job girl. Well we had better get back to the room then before we draw attention to ourselves. We really need some rest before we go out for breakfast.”

Brook smiles at him with weary eyes.

“Yeah, you’re right, I need my beauty sleep.” She says.

He smiles at her and places his arm around her grabbing her shoulder.

“Come on hero.” He says.

The two of them walk back to the motel room making sure to lock it after they enter. Nick pulls his shirt from over his head and Brook glances at his chiseled chest and six pack abs before turning around and getting into bed. She pulls the covers over her legs and lets out a big yawn while stretching.

“Goodnight Nick, dream about where you want to eat in the morning for me okay?” she asks.

“I’ll be sure to do that.” He says with a smile.

Within moments Brooks tired eyes are closed and she drifts off to sleep. Nick watches her for a few moments making sure that she falls asleep just as he has done several times before.

“Goodnight Brook and hopefully soon you will be able to have a normal life.” He says with a low voice.

She mumbles something in her sleep as she tosses around and kicks one of her feet out from under the covers. He grins before closing his eyes and within a few minutes he drifts off as well.

Beyond the Red Hood- Chapter 2

A young Red headed woman in her early 20’s enters the Blue Moon tavern. From the moment, she enters the bar all eyes are on her. Her long wavy red hair is tied up into a pony tail with a set of silver decorative picks in her hair. Each pick has several floral markings along the shaft with a silver rose at the ends. A pair of dangling earrings that have the same markings are in each ear. Her milky white skin is smooth as cream other than a few freckles that spread across her nose and sprinkle over her shoulders. Her aqua colored eyes look like ocean water from a tropical beach. Her neck is framed by the collar of her red sleeveless mini dress with a red belt around her waist. She has the dress unzipped down the middle of her breasts showing just a little bit of her bra that pushes her cleavage up just enough to draw everyone attention. Over her shoulder is the strap to her red hand back that has a black lock that fastens it closed. The bag rests to her side just below the bottom of her dress which stops just below her buttocks. Her long legs are so smooth and clear that you would think she had stockings on. Her shoes are black with silver metal heels that have the chain design wrapping around them and underneath the shoe is just as red as her dress.

She walks right up to the bar while checking her crimson lipstick in a compact mirror. The 30 something bartender with the scruffy looking beard doesn’t even attempt to hide the fact he’s staring at her cleavage while wiping the same spot on the counter that he was already cleaning. The woman clears her throat to get the bartenders attention. He grins at her before winking.

“How can I help you ma’am?” he asks.

“Yes sir it’s my 21st birthday and I just wanted to get out and celebrate. I would like sex on the beach.” She says.

The bar tender looks her up and down while grinning.

“Wouldn’t we all honey. Do you have any ID?” he asks.

She opens her hand bag and places her compact inside while looking for her license. When she doesn’t find, it she gives the bar tender a pouty look.

“I must have left it at home along with my money.” She says.

The bartender winks at her while making the drink for her.

“Don’t worry about it sweetheart I’ll let you slide this time.”

When he brings her drink to her he smiles.

“It’s on the house so happy birthday to you.” He says.

“Aww thank you. I really appreciate that.” She says.

She smiles while taking the first sip of her drink. He watches her as her eyes light up and she drinks the entire drink without barely taking a breath.

“Wow honey you better slow it down. You may not be able to taste the alcohol in these drinks but trust me they will knock you on your ass if you aren’t used to them.” He says.

She rubs the tip of her forefinger around the rim of the glass and licks her lips while looking at the bartender.

“That’s really sweet of you to show concern like that. Would you mind if I had just one more? Pretty please.” She asks sweetly.

“Only if you give me your name.” he asks.

“My name is Brook.” She says.

Her head slowly sways back and forth a little before she slides off the barstool. The bartender runs around the bar and helps Brook up. She pulls her dress down to cover her black thong that had been exposed when she fell. Blood flushes her cheeks showing that she is embarrassed for falling.

“Sorry about that. I guess it’s hitting me a lot faster than I thought it would. I would still like that drink though please.” She says while batting her eye lashes.

The bartender looks to the front door and watches a man dressed in black carrying a large white container with the label. “Human organs handle with care”

“Yes ma’am I’ll get that drink for you in just a moment. I just need to check on that gentleman over there first.” He says nodding to the man that just sat down at the other end of the bar.

“Don’t keep me waiting too long.” She says slurring her words slightly.

“Oh, don’t worry I won’t.” he says.

The bartender walks down to the end of the bar and shakes the mans’ hand before taking the container from him and setting it down behind the bar. Brook watches as the two men talk for a few moments before the bartender shakes the mans’ hand again. The mystery man stands up and leaves the bar just as sudden as he entered. The bartender looks at Brook and holds his finger up before making her second drink. He brings it to her and she slurps it down faster than the first one.

“You know Brook I don’t think that you should drive home when you get ready to leave here.” He says.

“Oh, but I have to. I don’t have any money for a cab.” She says.

“Well If you don’t mind I would like to give you a ride home. My relief will be here in half an hour.” He says.

Her eyes roll around in the sockets while her head starts to spin a little.

“I’ll tell you what. If you make me one more of those drinks you have yourself a deal.” She says.

“One more sex on the beach coming right up.” He says.

He makes her another drink.

“So, you never gave me your name handsome.” She says.

“My name is Julian.”

“So Julian, how long have you been living in this town?” she asks.

“Not very long I moved here a few months ago.”

Julian turns and she notices a tribal symbol tattoo on the side of his neck.

“Wow that’s a really cool tattoo. What does it mean?” she asks.

“Oh, it’s a tattoo for a really exclusive club that I’m a part of.” He says.

“Oh wow, I want to be in it. What would I have to do to join?” she asks.

Julian laughs as he places her drink in front of her.

“You don’t even know what kind of club that it is.”

“Well why don’t you tell me.” She says.

She drinks her third drink just as fast as the previous one.

“Well it’s an umm…Wildlife appreciation club.” He says.

“I love animals what kind of animals?” She says excitedly.

“Mostly wolves.” He says with a sly grin.

“Oh, I definitely want to join.” She says.

She looks at him seductively while leaning over the counter giving him a better view of her cleavage.

He wipes a little bit of the drool forming at the corner of his lips.

“I will give you an application when we get to my car.” He says.

Julian looks up to see his relief enter the bar. He waves to get his attention and points to the end of the bar where he set the white container. The other man walks over in that direction while enjoying the view of Brooks’ backside as he walks by giving Julian the thumbs up of approval. He turns his attention back to Brook and smiles.

“Well it looks like I’m able to get off early.” He says with a smile.

Brook gives him that same seductive look with her head still swaying.

“I hope you won’t “get off” too early.” She says before winking at him.

Julian tugs on his jeans to readjust for less room as he walks around the bar to stand beside her. Brook climbs down from the barstool and nearly falls again but Julian catches her and she reaches up and kisses him on the lips.

“You’re my hero. Now can you just help me walk? I didn’t think my first-time drinking would make me that tipsy drunk.” She slurs.

He takes her arm and hooks it through his and he helps guide her out of the bar. They walk over to the side of the building and towards the back.

“Hey, aren’t you parked in that parking lot over there?” she asks.

“No, employees have to park around back.” Julian says.

“Good that means we will have a more privacy.” She says while giving him a long drawn out wink.

“I think you may be drunk Brook.” He says.

“No, I’m not. You’re the one that’s drunk.” She says.

Once they get behind the building Julian pushes her against the wall letting out a low growl.

“Oh someone is kinky. You like to pretend you’re an animal.” She says.

Julian leans in and starts kissing on her neck but pulls back when his cheek brushes against her silver earrings. A low growl escapes his lips but she appears to not notice. She slowly pulls the zipper down a little further giving him a better view of her cleavage. He salivates as he takes in all the intoxicating fragrances she is giving off and doesn’t give much notice to the burn mark on his cheek left from the earring.

“My, my what big boobs you have.” He says.

“All the better to seduce you with.” She says while licking her lips.

Then screams fill the air coming from within the bar. Julian peers around the corner to see customers getting into their vehicles and driving away.

“What in the hell is going on?” he wonders.

Julian doesn’t notice Brook pulling the micro magnum from the holster located just beneath her bra. She takes aim and shoots Julian’s’ knees out as he turns around. He drops to his knees grunting in pain as steam bellows from the wounds made by the silver bullets. Julian looks up at Brook dumbfounded as she pulls the picks from her hair. He tries to grab for her but she dodges and uses one of the picks to staple his hand to the wall, piercing the mortar. When he swings with the other hand she dodges and staples the other hand. Steam begins to bellow from the wounds of both hands as well now.

“What the hell is this you bitch?” he asks.

“This is an interrogation Julian.”

“But you’re drunk I gave you 3 drinks and even slipped more alcohol in them.”

She places the small gun back into its holster and zips the dress back up before she opens her hand bag and pulls out two brass knuckles coated with sterling silver and slips them over her fingers. Brook brings her fist around in a right hook connecting with his left cheek. The impact from the silver burns an imprint of the knuckles shape into his flesh and singing his beard. She holds her hands up in a fighting pose.

“I’ve been drinking for a long time to build up a tolerance to alcohol. It would take a hell of a lot more than that to get me drunk. Now listen to me carefully.

Where is the den for this town located?” she asks.

Julian spits blood on her shoes and grins.

“I’m not going to tell you a damn thing.” He says.

Her cheeks burn red from anger as she kicks him right in the groin with the heel of her shoes A digging in. The silver from the heels burns him against his testicles. Julian screams out in pain but as he lowers his head she gives him a left uppercut burning the hair from his chin. Then a tall man standing 6’ 5 rounds the corner of the building wearing a pair of denim jeans along with a plaid shirt with the top 3 buttons open exposing part of his chiseled chest. A light beard covers his face and he holds an axe over his shoulder. Brook looks momentarily at him before returning her attention to Julian.

“What do you need Nicholas?” she says while punching Julian again.

“I finished up inside and just wanted to come see if you needed any help.” He says.

“I’ve got him right where I want him.” She says.

She stops punching him and grabs Julian by the hair pulling back so that she can see his face. The several hits from the silver knuckles have severely deformed his face. He coughs and blood spills from his mouth.

“I know there is a den here. You have been using the bar as a delivery place for them. If you tell me what I want to know then I may let you live.” She says.

“Okay, I will tell you.” Julian says weakly.

“It’s in the woods behind the Springwood park. There’s a small cave there that leads to a cabin in a clearing.” Julian says.

“Thank you, now you see that wasn’t so hard, now was it?” she asks with a smile.

Nicholas lowers his axe and holds it with both hands.

“Do you want me to finish him?” he asks.

“I told you I’ve got this Nick.” Brook says.

Brook presses a button on both pairs of knuckles causing a silver knife blade to pop out from the bottom of each one. She swings the blades stabbing Julian in the head. Steam bellows from the wound in his head and when she draws the blade back out his head hangs dead. She wipes the knuckles off on Julian’s’ clothes before putting them away in her hand bag. Then she pulls the hair picks from his hands and wipes them on his clothes before sticking them back in her hair.

“You’re getting a lot better at this Red. You even managed to keep him from phasing.” Nick says.

“What can I say I'm pretty motivated. When these things are responsible for taking away everything that's ever meant anything to me.” Brook says.

Nick clears his throat and she looks at him feeling she may have offended him.

“Hey, you know I don't mean you when I say stuff like that. You lock yourself up every full moon to keep from losing control and you do so well during the rest of the phases to hold it in. Don't worry we will find a way to cure you.” She says with a smile.

She looks at him and still is surprised that he looks the same way he did that night he rescued her from her grandmother. One of the benefits to being a werewolf is that you're practically immortal and don't age. Well as immortal as you can be before being pumped full of silver or being dismembered. Nick places his axe over his shoulder and walks over to the side of the building where his truck is parked. Brook follows him making sure that she has everything she brought with her.

“The red dress was a nice touch Red. As usual all eyes are on you.” Nick says while opening the door for her.

“Hey I can't help it they hone in on red like a bull. Besides red is my favorite color.” She says.

“Yeah but did you have to show so much skin?” He asks.

“Gosh nick don't be such an old man. Do you think I would have been able to distract him wearing a sundress? No, so long as there are men werewolves then I will continue to use what God gave me to lure them in. Men become dumb when they are distracted by a sexy woman. It doesn't matter if they are human or not.”

“I hope that you're right.” Nick says.

She climbs her way into the truck accidentally flashing nick with her underwear. He turns his head while closing the door.

“Well at least you wore underwear this time.” He mumbles.

He has a grumpy look on his face when he climbs into the truck. Brook gives him a pouty look.

“Oh come on Nick don't be such an old man.” She picks at him.

“Well this old man has been responsible for raising you. So, excuse me if I worry about you.” He says while starting the truck.

“I'm a big girl Nick and you've taught me really well.” She says with a smile.

“Yeah, I know, you're too cocky and you think you know everything.” He says.

“Nick, I appreciate everything that you've done for me but you're not my father. You're my partner, there’s ¬a difference. Now can we just go and clean out this den.” She says.

“Fine, just be careful.”

Brook rolls her eyes and then props her head up with her hand while she stares out of the window. Nick looks over at her still wearing the mini dress and heels.

“Are you still going to wear that while hunting?” He asks with a raised eyebrow.

She mumbles before she goes through her duffle bag in the seat and pulls out a pair of jeans and a t-shirt.

“Just make sure you watch the road and not me.” She says.

Nick holds his right hand up next to his eye to blind him from seeing her. She unzips the dress and unbuckled the belts and tosses them in the duffle bag. She slides the jeans on and lifts her bottom up from the seat to finish putting them on and fastens them. She unfastened the mini magnum holster from her bra and places it into the duffle bag as well. She pulls the t-shirt over her head and pulls it down over her breasts. The baby blue shirt clings tight to her showing off her figure with a cartoon girl kicking a cartoon boy in the groin with the caption “Please don't make the nice girl grouchy” on it.

“I'm dressed now.” She says while rummaging for her belt.

Nick looks over at her shirt and laughs at the cartoon on the front. She slides the belt through the loops on her jeans and then grabs her shoulder harness for her dual custom red chrome desert eagles and puts it on. She removes one of the guns and pulls the clip making sure that it's full of silver bullets. She inspects the bullets that, instead of having hollow points, have a single question mark engraved on the tips of the bullets. Then she checks the gun making sure everything is working properly. The gun has the words “to be or not to be” engraved on the side. She places the gun back in the holster and then inspects the other one. She reaches underneath the truck bench and pulls out a sheath and pulls out her custom machete that's curved with a jagged blade. There is red chrome on the side of the machete with silver etching along the edge of the blade. Then she slides it back into the sheath and places it over her shoulder.

“I'm ready to kick some ass. So, what weapons are you going to bring this time?” She asks.

He pats the handle to his axe right next to him and Brook shakes her head.

“You always will be a lumberjack won't you Nick? Why is that old axe the only weapon you ever use?”

“It was my fathers’ axe so it has sentimental value. Besides, this axe has helped me out of many rough times. It has never let me down.” He says.

“What happens if it does some day?” She asks.

He glances over at her and gives her a half smile and it reminds him of his mother.

When Nick turned seventeen he decided to follow his mom to work. She’s always been evasive about what she does at work. All he knows is that she works at the Wolfgang private investigators office as a secretary. He believed it for years but when he became old enough to realize that most offices aren’t only open at night. That and every full moon she would come home exhausted and covered with bruises and sometimes wounds.

When he follows her to the office she doesn’t walk inside instead she walks around behind the office where she enters what appears to be a hidden passage built into a large boulder. She stepped in and he could tell she was walking down stairs before the entrance closed. After the door closed Nick looked around making sure that no one could see him before running over and feel around for a way in. Nick begins to get frustrated he turns around and leaned against the boulder. When his back presses against it the entrance opens and he fell backward falling down the stairs. When he stands, he looks around the room with awe at the arsenal of weapons that cover the walls along with different native American and gothic looking relics that have symbols resembling wolves on some of them. His mother looked at him crossing her arms while shaking her head.

“You just couldn’t stand it any longer could you? Well I guess you were going to find out sooner or later. Especially after what happened to your father.”

“What’s going on mom?”

“Nicky, your father and I have lived a secret double life since before you were born.” She said.

“I take it you’re not really a secretary, are you?”

“No baby. I’m a werewolf hunter. Although I do own the Wolfgang Investigators office. The profits from the business pay finance this operation. I tried to keep this life a secret from you if I could. I wanted a different life than this.”

Nick recognized one weapon in particular hanging on the wall.

“I see you found your fathers axe. I decided to hang it here in his memory.”

Nick rubs his hand over the smooth wooden handle. His mother smiles thinking of his father whenever he would swing the axe in battle.

“Your father loved that axe. I would try to make him take a gun or something with more range but he would refuse. “This baby won’t run out of ammo” he would always say.”

“Can I hold it?” he asked.

“Sure Nicky.” She said reluctantly.

He lifts the axe from the wall and holds it in his hands.

“I want in mom.”

“No, absolutely not.” She said.

“Mom, I love you, but this is something that I want to do. It’s in my blood.”

She began rubbing her head feeling defeated.

“Under one condition son.”

“Anything.” He said.

“You have to graduate first then go to college. When you’re in college you can help part time, but only if you keep your grades up.”

“You have a deal.” He said.

He looked at the blade of the axe feeling that he held his destiny in his very hands.

Nick snapped out of his daze and looked over to Brook.

“That's why I have you around to protect me.”

She giggles at him before slapping him playfully on the shoulder.

“You can be such a dork sometimes.” She says.

He stops the truck right after they enter the park.

“Well I guess we need to travel by foot the rest of the way.” He says.

She smiles and cracks her knuckles.

“Well let's go bag our limit of werewolves.” She says.

They shut the doors to the truck as they get out and walk into the direction of the cave. As they make it to the cave entrance a red pair of eyes watch them from the trees. The creature leaps from tree to tree into the direction of the cab on the other side.
Beyond the Hood-Ronald Edward Griffin (Prologue & Ch. 1) Prologue May 23, 2003 It’s a rainy day as a small family ride in their car up a trail in the Colorado mountains on their way to visit a family member that lives in a small cabin within the mountains. Little eight-year-old Brook Adams always loves these little trips to see her grandmother and always makes sure that she brings her a small basket filled with White Chocolate Macadamia nut cookies, they are her grandmother’s favorite. She sits in the back seat wearing her red rain coat with her hood overhead. She can tell that her parents are worried by the way they are talking. “Are you sure that she would want us to come visit her honey? She was pretty adamant about it wasn’t that bad of a bite.” Her mother asks. “Sweetheart if she were on the living room floor bleeding out she would be adamant about it not being so bad just so that we wouldn’t worry. I could hear it in her voice that she was afraid of something.” Her father says. The car parks right outside of the log cabin and Brook’s mother holds open the umbrella so that Brook can get out of the car without getting wet. They all run to the covered front porch where her mother shakes the water off the umbrella before closing it. Her father knocks on the door. “Mom are you home? We decided to come give you a surprise visit.” He says. They don’t hear a single sound inside the cabin so her father opens the door slowly. “Mom we are coming in.” He calls out to her. They enter the dark cabin and Brook can barely make out the shapes of the furniture. “Why doesn’t she have any lights on?” Her mom asks. Her father stumbles to the floor while feeling for a lamp. “I’ve told her about leaving things in the middle of the floor. She will wind up tripping and hurting herself.” He says. He wipes his pants legs off while standing up. Then her mother finds a light switch and turns it on revealing that her husband tripped over the head of a dead bear. Brook’s eyes open wide while pointing at the head. “Mommy!” She cries out. Her mother quickly covers her eyes and turns Brook away from the head. “Don’t look sweetheart.” She says. Her father picks the head up by the bears ear and carries it into the other room dropping it on the floor so that Brook won’t have to see it. The rain picks up and Brook rubs her arms together as a cold chill blows through the cabin. Her father looks over to see a bear sized hole in the wall. “Oh this isn’t good we have to go find my mom.” He says. “What are we going to do about Brook though honey we can’t leave her in the cabin like this.” She says. “We can have her sit in my mom’s room and wait for us.” He says. Brook shakes her head back and forth. “No daddy I don’t want you or mommy to go. I want to go home.” She says with tears in her eyes. Her father gets down on his knee in front of his daughter. “Just sit in grandma’s room so that you can surprise her with the cookies you brought her. Grandma is just fine she’s just lost. Me and mommy will go find her quick and we can all have cookies. Sound good to you?” He asks. She remains quiet but nods her head. Her mother carries her into the bedroom and sits her down on the bed gently and kneels in front of her. She can tell that her mother is worried by the look in her eyes. “Mommy and Daddy will be right back I promise.” She says with a fake smile. “Be a good girl and stay here for us.” Her father says. They close the bedroom door shut behind them as they walk out. Brook’s eyes scan the bedroom as the lightning brightens the room with each flash. After a few minutes’ pass by she can hear her parent’s voices screaming out. Brook gets off the bed and runs out of the bedroom and then the front door. Screaming at the top of her lungs as she runs out into the rain. “Mommy! Daddy! Where are you?” She calls out to them. She falls to the ground after running into a large creature with gray colored fur. Her hands feel around for her picnic basket and she stands shivering. When she gets to her feet she watches in horror as she notices the creature was feasting on her parents remains. The creatures’ ears perk up and it turns its head with bloody entrails falling from its jaws. It strides to her and she stands paralyzed with fear unable to move while staring into the glowing eyes of a bear sized wolf. Its gums curled back exposing a row of sharp teeth that are stained with blood from a recent kill. It lets out a low growl while lowering its haunches preparing to attack. Brook stands there with a tight grip on the basket paralyzed from fear. The creature leaps into the air, but a man gets between Brook and the beast swinging an axe. He hits the creature causing it to lose its momentum and knocking it to the side. The man looks to his arm and sees a large cut that must have come from one of the creatures’ claws. The blood pouring out from the wound weakens the man as he drops to one knee. “Stay behind me little girl.” He says. The creature gets back on all four of its feet and stares the man down while sizing him up. It lets out a roar so loud they couldn’t tell if it came from the creature or the rolling thunder before the lightning strikes. The man readies his axe again and when the creature lunges toward him this time he sides steps and brings the axe down on the back of the creature neck. The creature falls to the ground and the man doesn’t hesitate to bring the axe back up and swings it down once again over the spinal column severing the head from its body. The head rolls on the ground and stops in front of Brook. It’s dead eyes staring at her as the head shrinks. Hair starts to fall and the teeth shrink down to normal human size. Then Brook gasps in horror as she stares into the eyes of her grandmothers severed head. “No not my grandma! I want my mommy and daddy.” She cries out. The hunter slowly staggers over to the little girl. She looks at him and backs away slowly. His body is covered in blood from the wound and from the creature. He falls to his knees and Brook slowly approaches him. “Thank you for saving me. Can you help me find my mommy and daddy?” She asks the man. “I’m sorry little one but they are gone.” He says to her with a sad heart. Her bottom lip quivers before she wraps her little arms around the man’s neck. “What’s your name?” She asks. “Nicholas, what’s yours?” He asks “Brook.” She says before sobbing some. “Who will take care of me?” She asks. “I will do the best that I can.” The man says. He holds Brook tightly to comfort her while looking at the large cut on his arm. A bad feeling burns in his gut as he realizes that he has survived an attack from a werewolf. Soon he will become that which he hunts. 13 years later Nick is sitting outside of a bar watching from his truck. He takes deep breaths trying to hold the beast at bay as the stench of many male werewolves in the area. His dominant instincts drive him to want and kill them all to take his place as an alpha. However, he knows he must control himself. He is more than the beast. He is also a man who has done a lot of great things in his life before he became a creature of the night. He gets out of the truck and walks around the parking lot observing all the different vehicles in the lot. Then he notices a car with a blonde-haired woman driving off. She looks him straight in the eye as she speeds by and winks at him. He feels like he has seen her somewhere before but just cannot quite place her. He notices a picture set above one of the car steering wheel. The picture is of a man holding his son dressed in a cowboy outfit. He smiles as he remembers a day from his childhood. He was 7 years old carrying pieces of firewood piece by piece over to his dad who was splitting logs for the fireplace at his family’s cabin. “You’re doing a great job son. You will be a great logger in no time.” He says before swinging his axe down on a piece of wood. Nick looked up to his father as if he were a God. “You’re going to be strong just like your old man. Then you will be protecting your own family from the big bad wolf just as I have.” His father said. “I’m not afraid of the bad wolf daddy. It’s just a story.” Nick said. His dad gave him a knowing smile as if hiding the truth that Nick just doesn’t understand yet. A loud howl echoed through the woods and his mother rushed outside. “Nicky baby come inside it will be dark soon.” She said. “But mommy I want to finish helping daddy.” Nick said with his bottom lip poking out. “Don’t make me repeat myself son come inside now.” His father placed his hand on Nicks shoulder. “Go on in son I will be inside soon. I just have a few more pieces to chop and I’ll come inside. We will play checkers and drink hot chocolate.” He said. “Can we make s’mores by the fireplace?” Nick asked. His father gives him a half grin and looks up at his mother. “I think we can manage that. Now go in and help your mother out for me like a big boy.” He said. Nick hugs his father tightly. “I love you daddy.” “I love you too son.” He said.

After Nick followed his mother inside they heard the howling sound again. “What was that mommy?” Nick asked. “It was nothing baby just a wild animal.” She walked over to the door and peered through the window watching her husband walking to the cabin holding arms full of firewood. Then she covered her mouth in horror as she sees the massive wolf leaping from the woods charging his direction. “Noooooo.” She screamed. Nick could hear his father screaming out and rushed over to see, but his mother grabbed hold of him hugging him tightly so he cannot see his father being mauled by the werewolf. He snaps out of the daydream when a man clears his throat behind him. Nick could smell the woods on him. “So how do you like my new ride man? I got it from a family that was camping a week ago.” The man said. Nick turns around to see the 20 something year old man standing there full of confidence. “Yeah it’s a pretty nice ride.” Nick says holding back a growl. “Man it’s so cool being a werewolf. I’m invincible and nothing can touch me.” The young man said. “How long have you been a wolf?” Nick asks. “Only a few weeks. That was my first family I killed. I thought it was going to be difficult but I had no problem tearing them apart.” Nicks eyes close together as he imagines the little boy in the picture wondering if he watched his parent’s being mauled by this young pup or if he was fortunate enough to be the first one killed. His breathing deepens as he fights the transformation. “Hey man are you okay?” “Yeah I’m fine.” Nick says while looking around for other people. “You sure man? I mean you’re sweating.” “Sure I’m fine but just thought you should know something.” Nick says. “What’s that?” Nick turns around and puts him in a head lock bringing him to the ground. “You’re not as invincible as you may think.” Nick can feel the young wolfs’ body temperature start to rise and fur starting to grow over his body. Before the pup has a chance to transform Nick snaps his neck with his bare hands before dropping the lifeless corpse on the ground. He stares at the body as its lifeless eyes stare up at him. Nick closes his eyes again and focuses so that he doesn’t transform. He becomes sad and a bit worried. He doesn’t know if he could ever live with himself if he were to take an innocent life. Then Nick sees a young red headed woman dressed to kill walking beside the building toward the bars’ front door. “Good Nick it’s time for you to get back to work. Your dad wouldn’t be too happy if you let that poor girl walk into the wolfs’ den just to be slaughtered.” He walks back to his truck and reaches behind his seat and pulls out his favorite weapon he has ever wielded. He pulls the axe out and steadies it in his hand ready to go to work. “I hope that I can make you proud mom and I also hope to make a difference.” As he waits for the right moment his thoughts drift back to that day. His mother slams the door shut and reaches into the stand next to it pulling out a small hand gun. She checks to make sure that it’s loaded before looking at Nick with tears streaming down her cheeks. “Nick I want you to go down into the basement and lock the door behind you.” She says. “I don’t want to leave you.” He says. “Now!” She yells. Nick runs out of the living room crying as he opens the basement door. He opens the door and locks the deadbolt after closing it. Then he runs down the stairs and hides behind the washing machine. The sound of the front door being broken to splinters frightens him even more. Loud roars and snarls make the house shake. He covers his ears as loud gunfire echoes through the house. Within moments there is only silence until he can hear someone trying to open the door. A few more minutes’ pass by and Nick flinches as he hears the wood splinter from impact. After the sound of a breaking door stops Nick tries to slide back further to remain hidden. “Nicky, baby where are you? It’s me mommy.” Nick peers slowly around the washing machine seeing his mother standing there with his fathers’ axe. He wipes his eyes before running out to her arms. The two of them cry for the loss of his father. His mother rubbing his back trying to comfort him the best that she can. “Mommy, was that the big bad wolf?” He asked. “Yes son, I’m afraid that it was, but mommy took care of him.” “I want my daddy.” He sobs. “I know you do son. I want him back too, but from now on it will only be you and me.” Nick wipes his face and composes himself. “Enough about that now. Time to work.”

Sleepless Beauty Ronald Edward Griffin

Once upon a time long ago there was a beautiful princess named Aurora. She loved nature and on several occasions, would sneak out of the castle wearing a green cloak so that she wouldn’t be recognized and enter the forest regardless of how many dangers she’s been warned about.

On the day of her 18th birthday she came across a cabin with a sweet old lady outside sitting on her porch that reminded her of her grandmother. The lady’s long silver hair pulled back from her face showing her face wrinkled with a lifetime of experience. Aurora had never noticed the cabin in all her ventures into the woods.

“Come over here my dear so I can see you. I don’t get many visitors around here.” The old lady said.

She approached cautiously unsure what to think of her. Auroras’ father had warned her about a witch that lived in the woods but she never believed him and thought that he was trying to scare her. The lady gave her a warm smile as Aurora approached. Any worry Aurora had that moment disappeared as if by magic.

“What brings you out here my dear? It’s very dangerous out here so close to nightfall.”

“I enjoy the company of animals. Ever since I was a little girl I could talk to them. You see today is my 18th birthday and I wanted to spend it with them.”

“My what a wonderful gift that must be. You must feel lonely though because that makes you so unique.” The old lady said.

“No Ma’am I’m never lonely there are animals everywhere.” Aurora said.

At that moment, she realized that she hadn’t heard a sound from a single animal since she came into the old ladies’ presence. Not a single chipmunk, cricket, or bird could be heard. Aurora turned around looking to the woods and can see the animals frantically trying to alert her, but she is unable to hear them. When she turned back to the old lady her body changed before her eyes. The tattered rags she wore were replaced with a long black dress and her silver hair changed to a Jet black. The wrinkled face smoothed out revealing a beautiful woman with green eyeshadow over her eyes. Aurora tried to turn and flee when she realized that she was in the presence of the witch that she had been warned about for so many years but her feet wouldn’t move. When she looked down she noticed roots had come from the ground and bound her to the spot.

“Please let me go. I promise I won’t tell anyone about you.” She pleaded to the witch.

“My dear sweet girl I can’t let you go home. I have watched you from a distance all these years. No one understands me just as they don’t understand you and your gift. Don’t you see we aren’t so different you and I?”

“Just because I can talk to animals doesn’t make me a witch.”

“No, you aren’t a witch, but you would be such a great companion to me. I tire of living in this world alone. Not belonging to nature nor to humanity and always alone. With you here I would never feel alone. I can give you anything you want. Whatever your heart desires.”

The witch snapped her fingers and a green dress that matches her covers Auroras’ body with a beautiful rose broach clasping the cloak on her shoulders.

“You are truly kind and I appreciate the gesture, but I’m sorry I have a family.”

The witch’s eyes began to burn red with anger.

“I will be your family and soon you will realize that you have only me.”

A dark aura surrounded Aurora enveloping her body with darkness and soon she fell unconscious.

Hours later

Aurora woke groggy from whatever the witch had done to her. She looked around and was shocked to realize that the cabin and witch were both gone and night had fallen. When she got up she walked back to the castle noticing that she wasn’t hearing the animals anymore. Instead she was hearing incoherent whispers from the shadows. Once back at the castle her family had prepared a massive feast to celebrate her birthday. She smiled at the gesture but felt weak. Then she realized that she hadn’t eaten yet and probably just needed something to eat. She ate greedily trying to subdue her hunger but no matter what she ate nothing satisfied her. Then she felt thirsty and filled her goblet with water and drank it down so fast water flowed down her cheeks. The water didn’t quench her thirst though. Everyone watched her curious of her strange behavior before she purged all the food from her stomach without warning. On her hands and knees the food continued to spill from her mouth and her back lurched up and down with each purge. Once her stomach was empty of food her mother rushed to her side to check on her.

“Honey are you okay?” she asked Aurora.

She wiped her mouth and began to hear the whispers again as a fragrant aroma filled her nostrils. She looked up to her mother and watched a vein in her neck pulse as blood pumped through it. Acting on instinct she bit down on her mothers’ neck and blood squirt down her throat. Her father and a few servants managed to pull her away. Full of strength and a lust for blood Aurora over powered them and slashed their throats with talons that grew from her fingertips. Within a few short moments, the floor was littered with bodies and she stood there licking her talons. As soon as the blood rush faded away she began sobbing without tears as she realizes that she murdered her entire family along with their servants.

The witch entered the castle with a smug expression on her face. When she entered the dining hall she watched Aurora as she cradled her mother’s head in her lap. Sobbing but incapable of tears now. Aurora looked up at the witch with hate in her eyes.

“What have you done to me? I am now a monster.” She cried out.

“You spurned me and denied me what I wanted. All I asked for was a companion so that I wouldn’t feel so alone. Now you will know how it feels.”

She grabbed Aurora by the hair and dragged her all the way out of the castle. Aurora struggled until the witch took the rose broach and licked the pin before pricking Auroras’ finger with it. The poison seeped into her body and it soon goes limp.

“How do you like the broach that I gifted you? The pin came from an old cursed spinning wheel. The toxin from my blood acted as a catalyst and sped the process of petrification.”

The witch continued to drag the petrified body down the pathway to a nearby crypt that she made for Aurora just off the road. When she Dragged her down into the crypt she laid Aurora on concrete slab. Her eyes fixed on the witch but her body remaining limp and unable to move.

“My face will be the last that you will see. I have turned you into a creature of the undead and you shall live forever in this crypt. The toxin that has petrified you will last an eternity. An eternity that you will be trapped in here. You won’t be able to call out for help. You won’t ever be able to feel love or companionship. All you will feel is an endless loneliness. You will never sleep even though you will appear to be sleeping. You will hear the sounds anyone that may pass by make. This is my gift to you on your birthday.”

The witch kissed Auroras’ forehead before using her fingertips to close her eyes. When the witch left the crypt, she sealed it with a magic spell and turned to walk away. Before she got to far she stopped on the trail and looked to the crypt.

“Farewell Sleepless Beauty.”

Q & A:

Usually I write short stories but this month I decided to do something different. I want to post an interview conducted by all of my friends on Facebook. I appreciate everyone who participated.

Question 1 from Amanda Sheffer. What got you started writing?

Answer. Ive been writing ever since kindergarten actually. I wrote several short stories during elementary school. It was like my own personal escape.

Question 2 and 3 also by Amanda Sheffer. Favorite book you have written? What story are you dying to write next?

Answer. So far my favorite is beyond the red hood. Next I'm looking forward to finishing my blood stained origin stories

Question 4 and 5 Sabrina Pattat. How do you overcome writers block? Have you ever written fan fiction?

Answer. Hmmm I wrote a skit for tiny took adventures in elementary school does that count for fan fiction? Lol. Since most of my stories are paranormal fantasy. The way I handle writers block is to throw in a random monster attack.

Question 6 and 7 Catherine Piper. Favorite book(not of your own) that you've read? What author inspires you the most?

Answer. Magic bites by Ilona Andrews. Who are also fellow authors from Georgia.

Question 8. Teek Teek. Are there any problems you have when working on your books?

Answer. Yes. Time. Time is the biggest problem I have lol.

The Painting

Many centuries ago, there was a mysterious creature that devoured anything that crossed its path. No matter how small, or how large, it managed to swallow everything whole. Many warriors tried slaying the creature, but none were successful, and many of them found their way inside its stomach. One day though, a young, brave, beautiful witch managed to use her magic to capture the creature inside a painting. Once inside the painting, the images on the surface changed into the form of the creature, locking it inside. The enchantment of protection she placed on the painting is so strong that no one – or nothing – could release it. However, if someone from her bloodline were to say a certain phrase while holding the painting, the creature could be freed. If it were to be free, there is no telling if it could ever be trapped again.

Today…

It is young Logan Scott Harris’ fifteenth birthday, and his grandmother gives him a painting that has been passed through their family for many generations. He looks at the painting and is unsure how to feel about it. The painting is of a large grotesque creature with dark, black eyes. Its claws extend longer than its fingers, and the creature has rows of teeth. Some of the teeth are straight, others are curved, and others are just jagged, janky.

“It is said this painting gives either great power or doom, Logan. Legend has-it when the right person holds it, they must speak the words, “By my ancestors, I set you free.” I am sure that is just a silly story though,” his grandmother says in an effort to frighten him.

A car horn blares outside.

“Thanks grandma, I have to go now.”

He hugs his grandmother and kisses her on the cheek, making sure the door is closed on his way out of the house. She has told him many stories ever since he was old enough to talk, and even then, he had a hard time believing some of his grandmother’s stories. Usually, and out of respect for her, he listens. Today, however, he had to rush since he had more important plans mapped out. His best friend Jeff just got a car and is waiting for him outside. He gets into the back seat; Jeff is at the steering wheel and his sister, Julia, is in the passenger seat.

“So, where are we going?” Logan asks.

“To the park…Julia told me that some guys from school are having their own basketball game today," Jeff answers.

Julia looks back at Logan, smiling at him.

“Happy Birthday, I got you something.”

He smiles back as she hands him the small wrapped gift. Once he removes the wrapping paper, he opens the box to reveal a beaded bracelet with her name and his. He smiles as he slides the bracelet over his wrist.

“Thank you, Julia, I won’t ever take it off.”

Just recently, Julia had admitted to Logan that she has feelings for him; they decided to start dating. That day was one of Julia’s happiest and life has only gotten better since then.

Jeff, however, has been a less than excited for them and has even felt a twinge of jealousy. He looks out his rear-view mirror at Logan and wishes they had more time to spend together – just the two of them. Although Jeff tries to be happy for Logan and his sister, he just misses hanging out with his best friend.

“So, what classes are you going to take next semester?” Jeff asks Logan.

“I’m not sure yet, but I was thinking about taking auto shop. That way I can work on my car a little bit. Well, that is, when I get a car.”

“Let me know if you do, and I will sign up too. It would be good to hang out some during school,” Jeff says.

“You boys can have that class. I don’t like the idea of being around oil and grease at school as well as home. Our dad loves chasing me around the house, threatening to smear oil on me from his dirty hands.”

“Now, you will have to worry about three men chasing you around with oil on their hands,” Jeff says.

Julia rolls her eyes and responds, “Just what every girl dreams of.”

Jeff parks his car in front of the basketball court, and they all get out to meet up with their friends and start playing basketball.

*****

A few hours later, they say good-bye to their friends and leave to take Logan home. Once they get there, he invites them inside.

Man, I am tired,” Jeff says.

Everyone catches their breath and sits down.

“Hey, you guys, do you want to see something really cool that my grandma gave me?”

“Sure,” Julia says.

Logan, Jeff, and Julia were the only ones in his home; his grandmother had left a while ago, his mother would not be home from work for another couple of hours. He searches around the living room to find the painting. Once he finds it, he sees his older brother’s werewolf Halloween mask and comes up with a mischievous plan. First, he grabs the painting and turns around, showing it to his friends. The scary image of the creature causes their faces to draw up with looks of disgust.

“She gave me this painting, and said that it has been handed down to each generation of our family. Legend says it can bring great power or doom, but only for the right person – and if they say the right words.” He holds the painting with both of his hands, expresses a serious look, and then says, “By my ancestors, I set you free!”

His friends start laughing at him, not taking his words seriously at all. He turns, sets the painting down, grabs the mask, and then puts it on. He turns quickly and howls at them. This catches them off guard, and they scream. Logan starts laughing as their eyes grow wide.

Julia slaps the mask.

“Ouch! What was that for?” Logan asks.

“You shouldn’t do things like that!” Jeff says.

“Especially to your girlfriend,” Julia chimes in.

“It was just a joke, guys, it’s only me. Ha!”

Their eyes grow wide again, and Logan turns to see what they are staring at as the creature materializes out of the painting. The creature raises a clawed hand preparing to swipe at Logan, but Jeff pushes Logan out of its way. Since it was unable to grab Logan, it grabs Jeff instead. Julia screams as the creature holds him close to its mouth, which is now opened wide enough to stick him in there whole.

“Run guys, get out of here!”

Logan grabs a chair and breaks it over the creature’s back. It slaps him with the back of its hand knocking him against the wall. Julia stands there frozen in terror as the creature swallows her brother and then covers her ears to block out the screams he makes as he moves down its gullet.

“No, not my brother, not Jeff!” she screams.

The creature roars loudly, crashes through the wall, and heads into the direction of town.

“Oh no, it isn’t just a story after all. It is real?!” Logan says with deep concern on his voice. “It’s going to hurt people, and it is my fault. It’s all my fault. I shouldn’t have played a joke on you guys.”

“You’re damn right, it’s your fault,” Julia says before slapping him. “Now snap out of it, and think…you said your grandmother gave you the painting, right? Well, why don’t we tell her what happened, and maybe she can help us,” she says.

He nods his head before he stands, and they leave for his grandmother’s house. Logan is grateful that his grandmother only lives a few houses down. He rushes up the front steps and knocks on the door frantically. His grandmother opens the door with a concerned look upon her face.

“Oh my dear Logan, what is wrong?”

“Grandma, I said the words. I didn’t know the story was true. I said the words, and it came out. It’s loose, and it already ate Jeff,” he spoke as tears were flowing down his face.

“Easy there, son, what are you talking about?”

Julia steps forward.

“Ma’am, he let the monster out of the painting. Do you know how to stop it?”

“But they were just stories…are you kids playing a trick on this old lady?”

“Look at Logan! He’s extremely upset. We would never joke about something like this.”

Logan’s grandmother thinks for a moment and then walks back inside her house. After a few short moments, she returns with a very old journal; she turns the pages and reads the last passage in it aloud while showing the entry to Logan and Julia:

“Ten years ago, I saved countless lives by trapping that creature in a painting. Out of fear that someone in my bloodline may accidently release the creature, I sought to find a way to finally destroy it. I think I have discovered the spell that would be necessary in accomplishing that task. However, I will not be able to try it because I am to be executed for witchcraft. I am entrusting my sister with this journal in hopes that if someday someone does release it, they can finish what I sought out to do. You will find a spell book located inside of the painting full of my spells, and as long as you are part of my bloodline, you will be able to use these spells. On the last page is a destruction spell. Speak its words in front of the creature, and it should be destroyed. Good luck to you.”

“Wow! So, you mean, I have powers? Like a superhero?” Logan asks, almost excitedly.

“There is no time for that – so stop fooling around Logan,” Julia scolds.

They rush back to Logan’s house and rip the painting open to look for the book. When they find it and quickly turn it to the back. Logan reads the lines over and over, memorizing them. They follow the sound of screams to find the creature, and the closer they get they notice body parts and pools of blood all over. They find it inside of a gym throwing equipment around and pinning people under them. Although the creature had swallowed Jeff whole – this time – it grabs two men and shoves them into its mouth with blood gushing as it chews and chomps them loudly. Logan yells loudly at the creature to get its attention, and when it turns around, it sees them. It starts charging straight towards them as Logan raises a hand, aiming it towards the creature.

“Powers of darkness and light, I call on you to combine: to destroy this evil sight.”

A powerful beam made of shadow and light comes from Logan’s hand, and the beam hits the creature forcing it onto its back. The light and shadow creep and crawl all over the creature as the ground opens up. The creature starts sinking into the hole and lets out an ear-piercing shriek. When it is completely in the whole, the ground closes around it, trapping it inside the earth. Julia lets out a deep sigh of relief before wrapping her arms around him, giving him a kiss.

“Help! Help!” faint screams come from down below the soil.

“Jeff?!” Logan and Julia shriek in unison.

They run to his voice and start digging at a fierce pace. Fortunately, he is close enough to the surface to rescue with ease. Julia begins to cry as she hugs his filthy body; Logan is overwhelmed with camaraderie and relief.

“Oh man! Are we glad to see you!” Logan says excitedly.

“Believe me,” he says hoarsely, coughing, “no one could be happier than me right now. I can’t believe I’m still alive!”

“C’mon, Jeff. Let’s go you home and cleaned up,” Julia says, as she and Logan help him to his feet. His right shoe is missing; his clothes are in disarray. Julia turns to Logan, “I just want you to know that I really like you. It will take me some time to get over this horrible night, but I do really like you…or may even love you! But who knows? Just promise me something, Logan.”

“What’s that?”

“Don’t ever play jokes on anyone ever again. You see what can happen when you play jokes on people?”

“You do not have to worry about that. My prankster days are over with.”

He takes Julia’s hand into his own, and he walks them both home.

“I don’t have a clue what I am going to tell my parents about Jeff. He looks like a train wreck,” she whispers, as Jeff hobbles closely behind them.

“I am sure all of this will be on the news. So tell them the truth. Just make sure they have seen it on the news before you tell them anything.”

“You think of everything, don’t you,” she says before kissing him lightly on the lips.

“I know I love you, by the way,” he smiles, melting her heart.

He leaves her house and walks towards his home. Logan feels extreme guilt for what has happened – to Jeff – and to the people the creature devoured. His thoughts shift to Julia and when she insinuated that she loved him. At least there was one thought that made him smile on his birthday. As he makes his way home, he sees the large hole in the wall.

“Oh no. I’m dead.”

His parents pull into the driveway, and they practically jump out of the car. His mom is holding a birthday cake and his dad is holding the balloons.

“Happy birthday, Logan!” they both shout.

When they see the large hole in the side of the house, his father lets go of the balloons; the red, yellow, blue, and green foils float away and disappear into the night sky. His mother drops the cake, and it shatter as if it were glass. His mother’s jaw opens wide.

“Logan Scott Harris, what have you done!” his father yells.

“Would you believe me if I told you a monster did it?”

 

Goldilocks revenge

 

Once upon a time there was a little blonde haired girl named Gianna. Her mother was a beautiful gypsy that traveled all over the country until she met her father. The two fell in love and soon after Gianna was born. She has golden blonde hair and beautiful tanned skin.

            One day though when Gianna was ten years old the family decided to go on a picnic in the woods. What they didn’t realize was they were silently being stalked by a mated pair of bears. They remained from the family’s view until nightfall. As the family slept in their tent the bears raided through the camp eating all of their food. Their stomachs rumbling from hunger. They sniff the air and can tell that Gianna’s mother had started her monthly cycle. The scent of blood fills their nostrils making them hungrier.

            They rip through the tent with minimal effort and the female attacks Gianna’s mother. Her father awakes from his wife’s screams and tries to pull her away from the male. Gianna started crying when she wakes from her parents being mauled.

            “Run Gianna go get help!” her mother cried out.

            Gianna ran from the tent and out into the woods screaming for help. It takes her an hour until she reaches the nearby town. She approached several people for help but they recognized her and refused to help.

            “Your mother is nothing but a gypsy whore and your father is worthless trash so why would we help them.” They would say.

            Discouraged Gianna fell to her knees and broke down crying. Then a lumberjack helped her up.

            “I’ll help you.” He said. “Just show me where your camp is.”

            Gianna wiped away her tears with the sleeve of her shirt and takes the lumberjack by the hand leading him through the forest until they made it to the camp. The lumberjack searches through the remains of the tent but doesn’t find anything but bloody fabric from clothing and material from the tent. Tears flowed down her cheeks and the lumberjack holds her.

            “Don’t you worry. I will find your family one way or the other. Just stay close to me.”

            The lumberjack followed the bear tracks and the trail left from bodies being dragged over the soil. Soon they came across a cave and slowly entered. Gianna sees her parents on the cold rocks in the den staring at her through dead eyes. Their clothing and flesh torn to shreds.

            “Momma!” she cried out.

            She ran over to her mother’s side. The lumberjack tried to stop her before she could run over but heard the loud roar of a bear coming from behind him. Gianna held her mother’s lifeless hand and cried. The lumberjack struggled with the male bear and then the female raised her snout from her father’s gut and roared at Gianna before it swiped at her. She moved out of the way of the bears claws just before they could reach her.

            “Run little girl!” the lumberjack pleaded with Gianna.

            The male swiped at the lumberjack’s belly slashing it wide open. Gianna screams before running by them covering her ears to block out the sound from the bears roars. Once out of the cave she can hear the lumberjack screaming as the bears eat him alive.

            With her heart broken Gianna ran through the woods and no one in the area had seen her again for eight years. On her eighteenth birthday Gianna returned to the same town that she had tried to get help from. Several men stared at her whistling as she walked by. Women stared at her with envy wishing that they could compare to her beauty. Her natural tanned skin and long beautiful blonde hair that are a rare combination for the area. With a wicked grin Gianna fed off the attention until she stopped in the center of town.

            “You know what I find funny?” she said loud enough for everyone to hear. “That eight years ago I could barely get any of your attention when I begged you for help. My mother and father were dying and you wouldn’t lift a single finger to help me. A poor lumberjack died trying to save me and all you could do is shame my mother and call her a whore. You shamed my father and called him trash.”

            The older towns people lowered their heads in shame knowing that she was right remembering that horrible night.

            “My mother may have done a few questionable things in her life but she didn’t deserve your damnation or your judgement. What you sheep didn’t know was that my mother is the one responsible from keeping the wolf at your door at bay. The big bad wolf would have been knocking every night if it weren’t for my mother.”

            Gianna began laughing as she removed her clothing. When she stood in the center of town naked everyone stared at her. Men wanted her and women were disgusted by her. She started touching herself and rubbed her hands all over her body. When the people paid more attention to her hands they noticed that hair had started growing on them. Her fingernails grew longer before their eyes as they grew into claws.

            “Now there is nothing that can save you!” She said through long canine teeth.

            Gianna’s eyes turn golden and soon her body is transformed into a werewolf. People ran through the streets screaming with fear as she tore through one person after another. Soon the streets ran red with the blood of men, women, and even children. The screams of the people are soon replaced by deep laughter as Gianna got her revenge from the towns people.

            Gianna returned to the cave where the bears were and came across three spots where three different sized bears have made into beds. Then she saw three carcasses of animals which she assumed were intended as meals for the three bears. A sly grin spreads across her face.

            The male bear, the female bear, and their cub soon entered the cave. They walked over to their meal they had left and noticed that most of the meat had been devoured. Confused the three bears decided to take a nap before going out to look for more food. When the male reached his bedding he could smell that someone had been in his bed and defiled it by urinating on it. The female went to her bed and smelled the strong odor of urine knowing that someone had been in her bed. When the cub made it to his bed he urinates on himself seeing the werewolf in his bed.

            Gianna roars loudly as she rips the bear cubs head clear from its body. The other bears roared as they attempted to attack Gianna but her speed was too great and she overcame their brute strength. 
            Her laughs echoed through the cave as she slaughtered the three bears. When her work was done she licked the blood and gore from her talons with a grin spread across her lupine snout. Then once again she laughed knowing that on this day Goldilocks had finally received her long awaited revenge.

Dollys’ Halloween
by Ron Griffin

 

As the story goes in an old southern town. There was a young girl different from all the rest. She loved her dolls and her dollhouse. Her name was Dolly and she didn’t have very many friend’s due to her face.

     Before Dolly moved from town to town she was loved by all of her classmates. She was also just as beautiful as the dolls she would play with. Doll-face Dolly is what they would call her. That was until a mean girl who was jealous of her did the unthinkable that Halloween. She followed Dolly from school one day with a box cutter she got from her father’s garage. The girl looked around to make sure no one was around and she pushed Dolly to the ground and straddled her. She used the box cutter to carve the words “Ugly Whore” on her face. As she carved the words she would peel the flesh back so that the skin would never heal back right. Dolly screamed and screamed for help. Her tears burning her cheeks as they entered the wounds. By the time Dolly’s mother found her she was nearly dead.

    The girl was sent to a psychiatric hospital and Dolly went through several surgeries. However, no matter how hard the doctors tried they couldn’t hide the scars.

     After she recovered Dolly went back to school. All her friends and everyone that she thought cared about her would just stare at her without a word. She knew when people would be talking about her because whispers would turn silent.

     After that first day back, Dolly started wearing a porcelain mask made special just for her. Now no matter what she would always be beautiful her mother would always say to her.

    Dolly and her mother soon moved after that and they moved a lot. Every few years on Halloween children would vanish without a trace everywhere Dolly lived. What was really strange though was there was no sign of the children anywhere. However, before midnight on Halloween the parents of the children would find a single porcelain doll in the child’s bedroom.

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