Beyond the Red Hood: 4 & 5
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.
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.
“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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.”
“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?”
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.
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.