Chapter Fifteen: Plague

Chapter Fifteen: Plague

A Chapter by Joshua Donahue
"

Forbidden. Evan and his werewolf pack are called to an emergency meeting of all local werewolves where the virus strikes one of their own. But that is not the only new victim of the virus.

"

FORBIDDEN

 

BY: J O S H U A  D O N A H U E





Chapter Fifteen

Plague

 

“Sorry, Mom! I gotta skip dinner tonight,” I shouted, hoping she wouldn’t stop me as I ran by the kitchen to head out the door. Luke was waiting for me with the truck down the block.

“And just where do you think you’re going, young man?” she questioned me.

“Uh -- Luke’s?” I said, winging it. It was quite easy to tune back into our normal mother-son relationship we had had before I left Hale the other day. Then again, our relationship had now changed. We weren’t at each other’s necks like we had been before. It was for the better, I suppose.

“On a school night? Evan, you know better than that.”

“Right. But this is school-related. See, we -- Uh -- Um -- We’re working on a project together. And it’s due tomorrow. Okay. Bye!”

She stopped me again. “A project, huh? What’s it on?”

“Uh, pesticides. We’re testing pesticides and how they affect insects,” I lied like a fox (a wolf, actually).

“It’s a supernatural thing, isn’t it?” she said easily as if she hadn’t even heard my excuse.

“I -- ”

She put her hand up to stop me before I could explain. “You know what, I don’t wanna know, because if I know, I’m going to want to stop you. But I trust Daryl and Trent to keep you safe, and that’s enough for me. But I want you home no later than nine-thirty!”

I barely caught her motherly sentence, however, because I tore out the front door like greased lightning.

I walked briskly down the sidewalk, stuffing my cell phone in my pocket. The houses I passed stood quietly, all lights dispersed in utter darkness. Even the majority of my neighbors’ pets were asleep, thus I needn’t worry about their irritating barking. But at least all of those things were allowed to sleep in silence, while I was headed out of my normal life and into a paranormal one.

The night was still, the moon was out -- though not full again since that meeting in the woods -- and the wind was blowing a slight breeze upon my face, making my head full of hair flow with it. Though quiet, the night had a sense to it that I couldn’t quite place -- like something major was breaking through in the world. Something serious. So serious that our wolf pack had to call an emergency meeting tonight.

I scanned the road for Luke’s truck and saw headlights flashing some ways down the street. I took it as the signal.

As soon as I reached the truck and I climbed in the vehicle, Luke raced off at top speed.

“What’s going on, dude?” I asked while struggling to buckle my seatbelt while he was speeding like crazy.

“Something big!” he said.

“I got that. But what is ‘something’?”

“Otis.”

“What about him?”

“He’s been infected,” Luke stated.

“Infected by what?” I didn’t know what he was talking about at first.

“You know those deaths that have sprung up in the papers and stuff lately about a mysterious virus going around when we talked about it your first day at lunch? Well, that’s no ordinary virus.”

“What do you mean?”

“I mean, that virus is designed specifically to infect and kill supernatural creatures. But something caused the virus to infect mortals too, so the death rates have skyrocketed.”

“What does that mean then?” I asked.

“It means that Otis doesn’t have very long to live, unless a miracle happens,” he stated.

“But, there’s a cure, right? I mean, that’s what scientists are for, right?”

“Since when do scientists know how to cure viruses that are meant to infect supernatural beings?”

I looked out the side window in despair and stupidity.

A minute passed by slowly, and at the same time, speedily.

“Is death the only option from the virus then?” I asked Luke as I was still scanning the passing-by features.

“Yes,” he gritted with his teeth. He was upset about having his grandfather infected, I could tell. But Otis was my grandfather too. Still, I had barely known him for a mere few weeks; it was different for him.

“How long do we have?” I questioned.

“I don’t know. But luckily, Otis thinks he will last a lot longer than the rest, because his supernatural immune system is a bit more vast and potent than the rest of those that have been infected recently.”

Some good news, at least, I thought gloomily. “So, where are we going now?”

“Meeting. In the woods. My dad and Daryl are calling all the local packs tonight. They’re going to inform them what has happened. Susan is staying behind to take care of Otis. She’s trying different brews that she knows, hoping one may work. She’s the best at what she does, so she’s really the only thing that we got going for us. As of right now though, Daryl’s the leader, being the oldest sibling from Otis.”

Typically -- referring to the only two or three times that I had even gone -- it took Luke and me about ten to fifteen minutes to get to the woods where it sort of became the werewolves’ “spot”. But not tonight, only five minutes tonight. Luke’s urgency shocked me because nothing like this had happened to me before. I had never actually known there was more to the supernatural world than running around as a wolf and playing hide-and-seek. However, it was only reasonable to say there had to be more. I just didn’t know if I could handle all of this.

When we arrived to the campsite, we parked the truck in the same spot at the familiar clearing from that unforgettable night and exited the vehicle. There was no fire alight tonight, however, and I saw no one. It was lighter in the clearing then the rest of the woods, I noticed, considering there was no canopy above us; it was just Luke and I.

“Where is --

But before I could even ask my question completely Luke said, “Follow me.”

We began to walk across the clearing. While in the middle of it, Luke began to shed himself of his clothing, leaving me to look away awkwardly. After he morphed into a wolf, he turned around to look at me, expecting me to imitate his actions. I didn’t really want to at first, but then the animal memories of being free and living in the wild got the best of me, engulfing me too far until I was obliged to do it.

Within moments, we were both running through the dirt, grass, and fallen leaves that cluttered the forest floor. I didn’t know where we were headed, so I kept questioning Luke about it. But “follow me” was the only thing that he replied. His urgency was still alert, and his speed pushed me to my limits. Nevertheless, I stayed within distance.

We arrived at yet another field. I had already found myself in so many fields that they all looked pretty much the same to my eyes. This field, however, had sort of a small mound in the center of it, and on that mound, I saw a fire in the middle, casting light on figures that I couldn’t place at first.

Luke and I raced up the small hill, my eyes coming to realize some of the figures as some of our own. But there were other people whom I did not know. When we reached the top, and every pair of eyes were on us, I realized that people were morphed as both humans and wolves. All of the human guys were wearing only a pair of jeans or shorts because they had obviously ran the entire way as a wolf. All of them were males with a warrior-like physique, making me feel like a child trying to fumble into a crowd full of wise adults. They made me feel even smaller than before as they were big, sturdy, and leader-like.

“Now we may begin. Everyone find a seat,” Daryl instructed, just like a true leader would as he saw Luke and I enter the fire area.

There were logs that encircled the flames just like back at the clearing in the woods, and many people that were in human form sat there. But others, who were morphed as wolves, either lay on the soft grass or sat like dog statues in an owner’s yard with full alertness. I transformed back to my human side with my clothing still on, making me feel out of place even more just as Luke did the same after he received a pair of jeans from his father, transforming out of sight.

Subsequently we found a place with my other cousins Derek, Michael, and Edmund on a log. I looked at Michael’s face to see if I had left a mark on his face from when I had hit him unknowingly, but then I felt pretty stupid because I remembered werewolves healed extremely fast. “Duh,” I internally groaned to myself. Then I recognized I didn’t have fur as my outer skin. I was apparently having trouble distinguishing human thoughts and verbal werewolf commands.

The atmosphere seemed tense when we had arrived, but it seemed to ease just a smidge now that everyone was going to find out about Otis. Nevertheless, being in a group of werewolves while they were on edge made me feel a little insecure anyhow.

Then Daryl spoke with Trent by his side. “Alright. Now, I’m not going to go through all the usual speeches, I’m just going to cut right to the chase: our pack leader, Otis Woods, has been infected with the virus that has been spreading.”

There was an intense gaze at Daryl from everyone. Every person that was in wolf mode had now lifted their heads up and perked up their ears. There was even a gasp or two, I think.

“Now, his mate, Susan, is trying to cure him as we speak. Right now, that is the only cure for him. John, any reports from your area?” Daryl said.

An older guy that could be guessed to be about forty or so spoke.  He said an aged voice, “No. None of ours have been infected, at least. However, the rates of the human infections continue to rise daily.” The guy had dark hair with a few streaks of gray within it. He had a certain glisten in his eyes that reflected his lengthy past, which made him seem all the more wiser.

“I see. What about the Walker pack? Anything to add?” Daryl asked.

Another elderly man stood and spoke. “No. But the infection has never really been big in area so far.” Then he sat.

“Walker pack?” I said out the side of my mouth to Luke beside me.

“Yeah. That’s the Walker pack,” he said with a nod to the guy who just stood up. “He’s more like a hippie, really, but still respected throughout his clan. And that’s the Oakes pack,” he indicated to the man who was named John, who had spoken first. “And there’s the Sullivan pack,” he pointed to the guy across from us. “And the Winston pack,” he told me while gazing at the older guy now reporting for his crowd.

I looked away and listened as Daryl specified the same facts that Luke had told me earlier about the virus. One of the packs knew a friend up in New York, as it appeared, who said the virus hadn’t reached that far, and he was having no problems. A guy named Adam from the Sullivan pack knew a guy in Florida who said it was fine there too.

“So, it’s obvious that whatever caused the virus has originated in our area,” Daryl said, after he had learned all the information that could have been given.

“You think something caused it?” a teenaged boy from the Walker pack asked Daryl.

“Not something. Someone. And it’s our job to find out who that person is.”

“But how can someone create such a thing?” the same teenager questioned with curiosity and confusion.

“I don’t know. But it’s our job to find that out. Maybe someone did it purposely to destroy supernatural creatures like ourselves. Or maybe it was an accident. But how ever it happened, I am going to find out. Now, who’s with me?” Daryl screamed the last bit.

In response, all of the packs gave a cry of “I!” to prove their support. Talk about your werewolves, my mind voiced, not feeling the need to internally voice things anymore.

There wasn’t much more information that had to be told at the “emergency meeting”, except the expression of all of the packs’ opinions and their perspective on the virus, so it all came to a close. The packs were each ordered to use any resource necessary to contain the virus so they could find a cure for Otis. But I could see the looks in all their faces: doubt. Many believed once you became infected, there was no turning back. However, this was one of their own that was being talking about, so that gave them more of a drive. Although, is it enough?

Typically, Luke had informed me, the whole assemble would hang around a little after the meeting and make it more into a party, and possibly go for a hunt, but this wasn’t a normal meeting. They would even perform special rituals and such, like at the first meeting I had been invited to when I was unaware of what I truly was, he had said.

Maybe there would eventually be a normal meeting I could walk into, knowing everything that is going on, including about me being a werewolf, and be able to talk with the other pack members. Though, the way things currently were, that, too, was doubtful.

After the end of the meeting and everyone was dispersing, Daryl called me to him by the edge of the fire after he was done conversing with his brother. I walked over, unaware of what he was about to tell me.

“I’m proud of you, Evan,” he said, patting my back good-naturedly.

“For…” I proposed.

“For doing as Otis said. I know it was hard, but it’s for the best, you know. Those nymph girls would do nothing but cause trouble. Glad to see you’re fitting in with us so well. Just like your father,” he said.

“Oh…Okay. Well, thanks,” I replied, not wanting to point out that my father wanted out of the pack.

Then I walked off with Luke, trying to push down those emotions that lingered to the bottom layer of me about Summ --  

I am a werewolf damn it, and it’s time I start acting like one, I said to myself. Then I morphed into a wolf, and I trotted back to the truck with Luke, who had shredded the jeans his father had given him.

I pushed all thoughts away and pretended like nothing was ever wrong, so Luke would not pick up on my internal conflicts, and to prove to myself this was what I was born to be: a werewolf and nothing more.

*     *     *

I quenched my thirst by gulping down a can of Pepsi, listening as Austin told a funny joke.  Strangely, since I had realized my heritage and its many features, I had been drinking more and more often, as well as eating. It seemed as if becoming a werewolf not only gave me an inner wolf, but also an extra inner stomach. The weight never showed though.

While at school, being surrounded by Austin, Mitchell, Jessica, and Cheyenne made me feel…normal again. Then there was the existence of Luke at our lunch table, which reminded me of what I truly was. I wanted more than anything to be normal, or at least act like it, but my wolf side followed me everywhere. One minute all of the werewolf drama seemed really cool and made me feel powerful, but then the next minute, I felt like crawling into a hole and waiting there until everything became normal again. Still, ever since the emergency meeting with the werewolf packs, I felt like I had fallen deeper into the dark hole of the supernatural. I need to suck it up, I kept reminding myself whenever I found my brain confused over what was right and wrong.

While I laughed with my friends at the lunch table currently, thoughts of the werewolves raced through my mind. I thought of Otis’ condition, the virus that was spreading, and whether or not my mom was at risk just like the rest of the small town’s inhabitants. I had been worrying about her ever since I realized just how easy it was for the virus to show up on the doorstep of my family.

I remembered just a previous night when the virus had finally started to enter my life with even more force.

My mom had told me Wednesday night at the dinner table: “You know, I think I’m going to be home more often, Evan.”

“Did you get fired?” I had asked her in return.

“No. I’m sure the school has told you kids about that virus that has been going around lately, and how everyone is becoming sick and such, right? Well, it seems that people are becoming more frightened of it, and seem to find more comfort in their own meals at home than ours. So the owner of the restaurant is planning to open the place only on certain days of the week so he doesn’t go completely out of business.”

Even though I had my quarrels with my mother, I still loved her, and I would do anything for her, so my protective mode rose as I said, “Why don’t you just quit?”

She had starred at me in disbelief.

“I mean, just until this whole thing blows over,” I continued.

“And who, Evan, would pay the bills then? Besides, I like my job. It’s…small, compared to back in San Francisco,” she had said as she began gathering the empty dishes from the table.

I shook my head to pull it out of the past just as Mitchell spoke to us all at the lunch table. “Have you guys seen that new Michael Myers movie yet?” he asked us.

“No, but I want to badly. That thing looks like it’s gonna be good,” Cheyenne said as she replayed one of her favorite scenes from the previews.

Then Jessica chatted with Cheyenne about the movie as Austin and Mitchell began talking to each other about something. Luke just remained quiet, however. After the first meeting -- the one where I whipped Michael in the face with a tree branch -- , I was a little scared of Luke and what kind of occult stuff he was into; but I had learned the truth now, and things had changed. We were more like brothers now. At times, I would wonder if our friends would still hang out with us if they knew the truth about what we were and what we could do. I asked Luke didn’t he ever want to tell our friends; however, he pointed out the way people treated the nymphs at school, and it made me think twice. So maybe it was a good idea that our secret remained a secret, for our sakes, as well as theirs.

Since our friends had their own minor conversations amongst themselves, my eyes wondered around the lunch room. It all looked the same since I had first arrived, except me; I was different, and that difference made me feel like an outcast from everyone else with their normal lives. It made me envy them. They went about the day talking about their dates tonight, which football team would squash the other one, and the latest school gossip, while I, on the other hand, was sitting still, racked with worry as I fretted over the virus that could infect me, my mom, my cousins, or anyone else I cared about and if they would die -- not to mention the fact that I already had a grandfather who was infected and could die any moment. Plus, there was the whole werewolf thing that tied into it all and made it all the more complicated. How normal they were, and how abnormal I was.

As I grazed the land of the normal around me, my eyes worked their way up the stairs and to the section up top where the few tables were. I saw the group of girls that I now despised with every fiber of my being, ever since Summer had revealed her whole “joke” with Rose. I didn’t believe it at first, but I had no choice but to believe it in the end. Summer was now my worst enemy, just as if I was any other wolf in my pack. I had pushed her out of my life and away from my brain. She no longer had any meaning to me, except the standard relationship that was embedded into the lives of werewolves and nymphs. She was nothing to me.

And yet, as I looked up at the table, the girls weren’t doing their usual scanning of the crowd. Instead, they were whispering in hushed voices that even my extra werewolf hearing couldn’t detect. I admit, I was a little curious, so my ears lingered there, trying to distinguish the voices of the group and the rest of the cafeteria. I couldn’t get anything, however.

I looked the other way, feeling the gaze of Luke on me. Even so, I still kept glancing up at the table every now and then to see if I saw Summer, just to remind myself why I despised her. I hated her and her friends no matter what. On the contrary though, my curiosity had always been a character flaw of mine.

Then Austin drew me, Luke, Chey, and Jess back into a group conversation with he and Mitchell when he said, “We have a plan.”

Jessica let out a sigh and said, “What kind of plan is it this time? Please don’t tell me you plan on sneaking out again. You remember -- ”

“No, not that kind of plan, Jess. I was referring to the Michael Myers movie,” Austin said.

Jessica looked away in slight embarrassment. “Oh…”

“Anyways, Mitchell and I were thinking about going to the movies this weekend to see it. Anyone wanna join?”

“Sure,” Cheyenne and Jessica said simultaneously.

“I’m game,” Luke said.

Then everyone looked at me. “I guess.”

“Say…tomorrow? My dad’s car? Eight ‘o clock?” Austin asked us.

Everyone agreed.

“Good then. It’s a date.”

I didn’t know whether Hale had a movie theater, which I’m pretty sure it didn’t, but I decided not to ask. Instead, I glanced towards the girls once again. Summer was absent; and now that I had begun to think about it, I realized she had been absent all day. That was odd.

As my friends talked about tomorrow and the plans we all had, I thought about her absence. I loathed her, of course. Nevertheless, her absence attracted me for some reason. I didn’t know why, but I felt the need to know why she was not at school today, or had been for the past few days. I started to go ask her friends, and then I remembered the humiliation I caused myself the last time I had tried that. Not such a good idea, I thought to myself.

            I waited until our lounging period came after lunch, and I hung back in the cafeteria as the group of chicks was the last ones to leave. I had promised my friends I would meet up with them later, so I couldn’t stay long for the chance of Luke finding me.

When they saw I had hung back intentionally for them, the redhead, Rose, got a scowl on her face immediately. “What do you want, mutt?”

She called me a mutt. Now that was kind of odd for a girl to call a guy, unless she knew my secret. “You know?” I asked her.

“Of course we know. How can we not smell the stink of you from across the room? Now, what do you want from us? Hasn’t your pack taught you the rules yet? You have a lot to learn, pup,” Rose retorted.

Her friends stood behind her, all with furious looks beaming in my direction; it made my defenses even stronger. “Look. I just came to ask you a question. That’s all. Now let me ask the damn question so I can get the hell out of here and away from you,” my voice said, rising.

“Fine,” Rose muttered as she looked to the side and away from me, as if defeated.

“Where’s Summer?” I asked.

Rose’s head snapped back to face me. “What do you want her for?” Rose asked, her anger obviously growing again.

“I have my reasons,” I said. “Where is she?”

“Well, you’re wasting your time. She’s going to be gone for a while,” Rose told me, her eyes beginning to glisten more than usual. She was crying.

Rose no longer seemed this stuck-up, snobby girl anymore. She looked more like a sad, frightened little girl that needed to be rescued. I still didn’t like her though.

“Where is she?” I asked with a little more force than intended.

But instead of Rose answering my question, it was another girl behind her. Autumn, I think was her name. “She’s infected. She’s become infected by the -- the virus.” Autumn had small tears leaking down her cheeks now like she had just lost her best friend.

Rose gave her a look of small fury to imply Autumn wasn’t suppose to say a word, but Rose forgot her anger immediately when I then said: “Show me.”

*     *     *

I didn’t think much about what I was doing, because if I did, I would regret it. Still, I couldn’t just ignore the things I was doing either. First, I was skipping school right now. Second, I was associating with nymphs. Third, I was headed straight into the enemy’s base -- the nymphs were taking me back to their place. Although I was blindfolded, my werewolf senses should’ve been able to detect where I was, but I they must have placed a special scent on the cloth so I couldn’t smell anything past it. That was the least thing from my mind right now though. I wanted to know if they were telling me the truth or not about Summer.

To refrain from touching me, acting as if I was the virus that had been spreading, the nymph girls tied a rope around my wrist and pulled me along behind them like a puppy dog. It was a little embarrassing. However, I merely pushed the humiliation aside.

I felt like I was in some kind of forest. Since we had snuck out of the school, they drove some kind of vehicle some ways until I felt nature under my feet as I touched solid ground. Afterwards, we walked with the majority of the time being occupied by the cracking of twigs under my feet, as well as the rustling of leaves. I heard Rose disapprove of the idea of taking me to see Summer, but several of the nymphs thought it was a good idea in hopes of me and my wolf gang having any news on the virus I could relay to them. After that, Rose shut up.

The outside air was warmer than before, but it was still cool. The month was now May as of today -- I noticed because I had seen it on Mr. Wallace’s chalkboard earlier, and I could tell spring was going to fade soon, allowing the intense heat of summer to roll in. I enjoyed this time of year, though.

After what seemed an endless amount of time of walking and being pulled by a rope, we stopped. They removed the blindfold from my eyes, and I blinked several times to adjust to the new lighting environment I found myself in. I was in the woods obviously, but it was more like in a clearing of some sort.

I was facing a house that was made of what seemed like wood. It wasn’t a two-story home, but it still looked appealingly professional. Off to my right, I could make out other houses through the trees of the same structure, and I assumed that was where the other nymphs lived at. There was no basketball goal, no paved driveway, or anything else that you may see at a typical human home in South Carolina. I didn’t even see the car we had rode in. Although there was a flower garden which outlined a dirt driveway from behind me, and a more vegetable-like garden to the side of the house. It looked like a home that belonged to a conservationist.

Rose opened the front door to the home, and I followed behind all the other girls one by one. Inside, pretty much everything matched the outside: bare. It had pictures along the walls, but no paint, inside flowers to give the house a more comfortable feel, but no television, and carpeted floors, but no fancy decorations. Yet again, it looked like they were trying to save the planet. Guess nymphs take recycling seriously, I muttered mentally.

A woman entered from what looked like the kitchen, and she let out a gasp at the sight of me. She resembled Summer, I instantly noticed. She then began shouting in a language I had never heard before, and she looked like she would rip my head off if there wasn’t a group of nymphs between us.

Rose ran forward and pulled the woman out of the room and back into the area she had exited, where I heard the woman continue to shout at Rose in the odd language. After a moment, I heard Rose respond in the same manner, except a little calmer, to the woman. Autumn then took the lead of the gang and led us down a hallway. She stopped at a closed door. They then parted away from its entrance, and everyone looked at me. I walked forward awkwardly, opened the door, and went in, leaving everyone else outside.

I looked around. I saw an open closet not containing much items, a tall dresser beside a window, and a bed with a nightstand beside it. But all of those monotonous things were nothing to me. It was what was in the bed that stole my attention. Lying in the bed, drenched in sweat, with her hair scattered like stray pieces of string, was Summer. She was shivering like she was cold, but her body looked heated up enough. Her covers were in a mess around her as she lay before me.

I edged over to the bed, knelt down beside her, and examined her thoroughly. Her eyes were barely cracked open as they looked up and saw me.

“Evan, what -- ” she choked out. She couldn’t even finish her sentence to me.

Summer cringed several times, trying to reiterate the sentence, but she was in pain. Her throat was hoarse as her blue lips trembled. I could tell she was indeed infected.

On the nightstand, I saw a pail of water with a washcloth inside. I drained the water from the cloth, and I applied it to Summer’s face and forehead. Seeing her like this hurt me for some reason. I wanted to ease her pain, to make her feel happy. I wanted to be the one to save her from this purgatory, before --

Then it hit me: she’s going to die soon, I thought. The virus kills, and it’s going to kill Summer.

I could smell the faint scent of her honeydew smell, but it was fading, just like she was.

My anger wanted to be unleashed, but I tried my damndest to contain it within a mentally-locked cage.

“How long until the virus takes its full effect?” my teeth ground at the girls still standing at the door. I couldn’t say the words die or kill because it would hurt me even more.

One of the girls stuttered her words.

“How long?!” I asked with little impatience.

“We don’t know. Not long though,” one of them finally said to me.

My eyes burned with tears from anger and sorrow. My heart shook and its pumping was off the charts. I leaped up from my crouch by the bedside and stormed out the room. It was too much for me.

I punched the nearest wall, leaving a gigantic hole in it and paying little attention as blood oozed from my knuckles. I banged my head softly against the wall in front of me out of despair as hot, salty water leaked from my eyes. More anger needed to be let out. So I turned around, and I found a nearby table in the hallway, holding portraits. My hands flipped it over with such strength that it ended up at the other end of the passage as everything on it exploded into bits. I pulled back my fist for another attack at the wall. However, someone held me back.

“Evan! Stop it! This isn’t what she needs right now! Do you hear me? Summer doesn’t need this. What she needs is a cure!” Autumn yelled at me over my heavy breathing and banging while grasping my arm with surprised force.

I fell back against the wall and slid down to the floor with my face in my hands, tears emitting as if from a volcano. I was angry at myself. I hated myself for deserting her when she needed me. I loathed myself for choosing the werewolves over her. I reviled myself for leaving her behind. It was my entire fault. If only I’d…I’d…I’d done something! Maybe if I didn’t let her get away from me so easily, maybe she would still be with me, regardless of what she said. If only…

“Evan. Do you hear me? She needs a cure,” Autumn repeated, as if expecting me to whip out a magical potion out my back pocket.

            I sucked up my tears so I could reveal myself to the audience around me as I said, “There isn’t one.”

“What?” Autumn asked.

“There is no cure! All I know is that someone is responsible for the virus. That someone created it somehow by accident or on purpose, and the werewolves are trying to figure out who that person is,” I told them, steamy droplets still being released from my eyes. I knew if Luke knew what I had just told them, I would be in some serious trouble, but I didn’t care. All that mattered was that girl that was in the other room right now, needing my help as she withers in pain.

“But as long as someone finds that person, a cure can be made, right?” Autumn asked.

The other girls remained silent as they watched and listened to our conversation.

“I -- I don’t know,” I said bluntly.

“But if it was created, then it can be uncreated,” she said.

I said nothing else.

All of the girls then began to shuffle out the hallway and into the kitchen, where I heard Rose and the other woman still conversing. I remained motionless, paying the least bit of attention to the voices in the other room and still shrouded by the mess I had caused. Autumn lingered for a moment, and then, she, too, followed her friends.

I got up on my feet and entered back into Summer’s room, trying my best to hide my emotion.

She looked lazily up at me as I entered and muttered, “What was all that―that noise?”

The sound of her voice was like a dagger to my body. I felt ashamed of myself for losing it a few moments ago when I needed to be by Summer’s side.

“Shh. Rest. You need it,” I told her as I sat on the bed alongside her.

Tears wanted to escape me, but I had to be strong for her, so I held them back.

I leaned forward and kissed her forehead as she closed her eyes and drifted off into a sleep, trying to forget her painful condition. Regardless of what she had said to me before, I clutched her hand into mine, and squeezed softly to let her know I was still beside her, and I would remain beside her, even until the very end.




© 2010 Joshua Donahue



Author's Note

Joshua Donahue
v4.0 UPDATE: A few more typos and errors that I left behind when fixed my OTHER errors. Keyboards, ahhh! :) Oh, and I reduced the usage of the word "but" from 80 times to about 50!!! Wahoo! I think it sounds better now. Thanks reader for telling me about that word! Guess I need to do the same thing for my other chapters...but I'll do that after I finish. :P

v3.0 UPDATE: Once again, thanks to Adina I found many mistakes. Thanks!

v2.0 UPDATE: I fixed some careless mistakes that I left behind. Thanks Kira for pointing them out! :)

I did this chapter quickly, so there is most likely some errors or mistakes in some werewolf facts I stated in previous chapters. If so, please point them out. Also, when I write and go back to review it while on the computer, I cross out words and sentences, and I usually try to delete them before I post them. But there were multiple cross outs on this chapter, so I may have left one or two behind. If you see any that are crossed out, then please disregard it and point it out. Thanks!

There is another scene in this chapter where Luke goes in the buff as in Ch.14, and I was told by a reader that Evan seemed unfazed by his cousin doing such a thing. I thought I covered that part in Ch.14, but maybe I didn't. So I made sure I did it in this chapter!
And please, ALWAYS leave your truthful reviews for me whether I agree with you or not. Just try not to be too harsh. As always: Read. Rate. Review. xoxo :)

p.s. still aiming for the end of August for this book to be completed! hope I make it!

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In the beginning, supernaturally should be supernatural (when talking about the virus), and when he's explaining the world he'd been 'drug' into, dragged would probably work better. Virus' should be viruses. Then around the fire, you said "but then I recognized I had didn’t have fur as skin." What?

Ohhoho, the virus hits home TWICE. Honestly, I'm very curious about what happens next.

This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 7 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.




Reviews

Some emergency meeting, they left knowing exactly what they did going in. It says that Luke shed his clothing, but somehow transforms back with it still on?
Anyways. . . . I've only read this chapter, so I really don't know much about what's going on.

Your writing is good, but some parts sound weird or awkward. Some areas include, but are not limited to,
-I quenched the thirst of my throat
- I internally groaned to myself, but then I recognized I had didn’t have fur as my outer skin
-There is no cure! All I know is that someone is responsible for the cure.
-tears emitting like a volcano.

There's a lot more than that. And some of your analogies don't really make that much sense like "being free and living in the wild washed upon me like the ocean,"
(How about a wave? an ocean sounds more like a hurricane just attacked you).
And 'greased lightning'? what are we in the seventies? (I actually just watched Grease against my will, so that reminded me of it, lol).

Maybe this was answered in a previous chapter, but how do they know the virus of supernatural origin? they don't really seem to know much else about it.

The diaogue is pretty natural, but maybe a little overdramatic. Your style is decent but at times inconsistent. You have random sprees of sophisticated wording, followed by the awkward teenagers narrative. This could use a real slow look over, most of the stuff is pretty easily caught.

I would watch repeated words especially 'but'. You use it like a thousand times through this chapter. Like here, "But I could see the looks in all their faces: doubt. Many believed that once you became infected, there was no turning back. But this was one of their own that was being talking about, so that gave them more of a drive. But is it enough?"

All in all, I would say this chapter is awkward, both in a good way and in a bad. Good because it's from the point of view of an awkward teenager, but bad because it's overly awkward in places that it shouldn't be, like in description.

Not bad, storyline seemed decent, and I was glad to see that, other than the phrase 'wolf pack', it had very, very few Stephanie Meyer aspects. So good job on that front. Length was reasonable as was the end. Not much else to say about it.

This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 7 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

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There's one big mistake in here that really needs to be fixed. You wrote that 'an elderly guy who was about forty' stood up. The last time I checked, forty is barely even middle age, let alone elderly. Elderly could be used (and should be used) more in reference to someone at least over sixty. Nowadays most people are living beyond seventy. Even if most people were dying at about seventy, forty still wouldn't be considered elderly. So, to keep your story believable and accurate, you should change that. I found a few other things, but they are very, very minor. One part towards the beginning says...."running around in a wolf and playing hide-and-seek." It should probably be, "running around as a wolf," etc. In the part about arriving in the familiar clearing it says, "fo that unforgettable night." An easy fix. There's the part about, "males with a warrior like physique, making me feel like a child trying to place his feeble opinion"...This sentence would be better if it was broken up and went something like this, ..."males with a warrior like physique. It made me feel like a child who was out of place." The part about placing one's feeble opinion is good, but it doesn't go with the idea of the intimidation of warrior like physiques. You could add something like, "I felt too weak and feeble to even place my opinion." Just a suggestion. The last thing I noticed was 'pale of water.' It should be 'pail.' Little grammatical errors like typos and misspelled words are something a good editor will catch for you, and they aren't very significant. But the age issue is one that will affect your audience, and definitely needs revision. Other than all that, I enjoyed the chapter as I usually do. Things are definitely getting more interesting with the virus and such. And of course, this is not a bad review. I just feel it my duty as reviewer to point out the things that need pointing out. I think you're doing an awesome job with the plot so far.

This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 7 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

The dialog id very belivable and the story has gotten much better. I like the thought of werwolves and the virus hitting home again. And Kira found the typos in the story so there will be no need for me to repeat that. Can't wait to see what happens next and lets hope you get the book finished by the dateline you have set.

This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 7 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

In the beginning, supernaturally should be supernatural (when talking about the virus), and when he's explaining the world he'd been 'drug' into, dragged would probably work better. Virus' should be viruses. Then around the fire, you said "but then I recognized I had didn’t have fur as skin." What?

Ohhoho, the virus hits home TWICE. Honestly, I'm very curious about what happens next.

This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 7 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.


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Joshua Donahue
Joshua Donahue

Jefferson, SC



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