Chapter Sixteen: A Plan

Chapter Sixteen: A Plan

A Chapter by Joshua Donahue
"

Forbidden. Evan discovers that the source of the cure has been found and the pack is heading out the same night, except the younger werewolves. So Evan devises a plan with his cousins.

"

FORBIDDEN

 

BY: J O S H U A  D O N A H U E





Chapter Sixteen

A Plan

 

I skipped out on going to the movies with my friends so I could use the time to spend with Summer as she drew what could possibly be her last breaths. It pained me to see her in such a state as I sat tensely near her and she lay pitifully upon her bed. I ended up walking outside several times to get some fresh air as my mind registered the sight, only to walk right back in and watch as she shivered. My body would flinch at every move she made as my eyes never left her. She would whisper my name several times while she slept, and it seemed to me that she was pleading for my help, but there was nothing I could do. I wanted more than anything for that damn person to be found so we could reach a cure. However, there had been no fresh news.

            The nymphs were pissed at me yesterday while I sat beside Summer and held her hand. Rose and her friends tried many phrases to set me off so I would leave, but the thought of leaving Summer alone made me sick to my core. I couldn’t. I wouldn’t. Only Autumn showed me some range of hospitality as she asked me numerous times would I care for something to drink or eat, or even something to lay my head on. And yet, I declined. I knew I was pushing it even being at their place. Besides, my digestive system would most likely chunk up anything I tried to swallow, and my brain was too wired for any sleep. All that mattered was Summer.

            I forgot about the fact that she said she had never wanted to speak or see me again. I forgot about the fact that she had not only stolen my heart, but she had yanked it out, leaving a massive black hole to fill its void. It wasn’t a question of whether I had forgotten, but if she had forgotten what she had voiced to me. Nevertheless, I decided to leave that to her when she came out of her condition, and everything would resume to normal. I was banking on it. I just didn’t want her to die.

            Today was Sunday. My mother was off from work and I had informed her of Otis’ condition, since apparently none of my kind had. I didn’t think I was really breaking any rules, seeing as I didn’t tell her everything. Still, I regretted it.

            I was planning on going over to visit Summer again, but after I had told my mom about Otis, she became a little frantic and her motherly instinct kicked in: she wanted to get over there promptly, equipped with all the hospitable things possible. Not to mention, she wanted me to accompany her. I was going to disagree just as promptly, but I knew I had to get proactive about the virus and get involved some more for the sake of Summer, so I decided to travel along with her.

            When we got to Otis’s house, Susan answered the door. “Oh, hello, Elana! It’s so good to see you! And you, Evan! Great to see you too.”

             “Hey, Susan! We just came by to check up on Otis. I had no idea he had come down with the virus that has been going around, until today, when Evan told me,” my mom said with a cheery smile.

            “Oh, Evan told you did he?” She gave me a sharp stare, and then she turned back on her happy face for my mother. “Well, by all means come on in.” She ushered us inside with me trailing in last.

            “I want to help with anything I can, Susan,” my mom said.

            “Oh, how sweet, my dear. But it’s really not -- ”

            Interrupting her was a cacophony sound from that of an older person in another room. We all three rushed off and headed to the source of the sound, Susan leading the way with surprise quickness for her age and taking hardly any notice of our existence. When we got to a bedroom, I saw Otis lying on a bed, shaking his head back and forth and crying out a noise of agony. He was drenched in sweat and looked like a hot mess.

            Susan went to his side in order calm him. “Elana, get me some ice and a cloth!” she ordered.        

            I could tell she, too, was emotionally disturbed by the state she saw her husband in. It was the same way I felt when I looked upon the dying face of --

            No, I couldn’t think of her right now. I needed to focus on saving her instead.

            My mom returned a moment later, and she handed Susan the ice and cloth. I stepped back against the edge of the room so I wouldn’t prove to be an obstacle for them as Susan gave more orders to my more-than-willing mother. I guess Susan really did need some help, but not mine. So I exited the room quietly, and I strolled around until I found the door that I had once shattered. I took advantage of its replacement and slid it aside as I went outside into the fresh air, not wishing to be in the presence of that sick, twisted, and malicious virus.

            I sauntered out into the backyard a little ways, examining the view -- which wasn’t really much, except the forest, some picnic tables, and a small patio, as well as neighboring houses nearby. I wanted to think about what I could do about the virus and how I could play my role in it, but every time I thought about it, Summer would become queen of my thoughts and I would have to start all over again.

            A part of me wanted to transform and go dancing off into the wild as my inner wolf and forget my worries. Yet, I had never morphed purposefully without one of my family members present, and doing so without one felt…weird.

            As if on cue, Luke appeared beside me.

            I was startled at first, not seeing or hearing his entrance, but I then asked, “What’s up?”

            “The source of the virus has been found” was all he said, not staring at me but at the forest instead.

            “What!? When? Where?” I questioned.

            “Doesn’t matter, because we can’t go,” he told me.

            “What do you mean?”

            “I mean, my dad and our jackass of an uncle, Daryl, says we can’t go and find that person that started all this mess. We have to stay behind.” He faced me.

            He was upset, that much I could tell.

            “Why not?”

            “Guess ‘cause we’re not ‘mature enough’,” he said as he made quotation marks with his fingers as he spoke.

            “But that’s…”

            “Dumb as hell, I know. Believe me.”

            “When are they leaving?”

            “Tonight. I don’t know where they’re going, though. If I did, I would go myself, right now. Have you seen Otis lately? He’s gotten worse.”

            “I know. My mom’s inside helping take care of him.” But I wanted to focus on this “source person”. “Who’s all going tonight?”

            “Daryl and Trent, I know. And I think the alphas from the Oakes and Walker packs, along with the betas from the other two groups. Everybody but us!”

            I thought deeply for a moment.

            “Dude, we’ll get there. Just chill, okay?”

            “Oh, yeah? And how do you expect us to get there when we don’t even know the way, huh?”

            “You’ll see. But first, let’s go get the others and see who’s willing to do it.”

            “Do what?’

            “Later. I’ll explain later.”

*     *     *

That’s your big plan, dude?” Luke questioned me.

            It was in the middle of the afternoon and Luke, Derek, and I were somewhat in a huddle in Otis’ backyard. Luke had called Derek over while Derek was still pissed off about not being able to go with the packs just as Luke was. I was planning to ask Edmund if he wanted to join in on the master plan, but he was apparently already invited by Trent and Daryl. Michael was a little too young, Derek said, so he couldn’t be asked; he’d slow us down, anyhow. And Chris -- he hadn’t even reached the age of fifteen yet, so he hadn’t even morphed a single moment and didn’t know anything about werewolves. It was just us three.

My mother was still inside with Susan, helping clean her house and such -- because old people apparently tend to get lazy with daily household chores when their counterparts are practically on their deathbeds.

            “Yeah, doesn’t sound like much of a plan to me,” Derek grunted.

            “Look. I don’t make the damn rules here. I’m not the one that said we couldn’t go. So do you want to go or not? ‘Cause the less the baggage, the better. Hell if I care. Because I, for one, am going,” I said firmly.

            No response from either listener.

            “That’s what I thought. Now, Luke, when did you say they were leaving?” I asked.

            “Um…tonight. About seven,” he responded.

            “Seven it is then. Derek, stay the day with Luke or something. Just make sure you’re with him before seven, alright?”

            “Whatever,” Derek said indifferently.

            “What are you going to do then?” Luke asked me.

            “I’m going to have to go home with my mom. Because of that, you’re going to watch their every move and text me a good five minutes before you think they’ll leave, got it?”

            He nodded.

            “I want in!” somewhat of a smaller voice shouted, coming from around the corner of the house.

            Our heads shot in the direction of the voice.

            Michael. Great. Just great, I thought.

            “Michael, we -- ” I started.

            Derek interrupted by saying, “Michael, go away! You don’t need to be involved.”

            “I want in!” he repeated.

            “I said no. Now go back home, damn it!” Derek fired back.

            “Either I go, or I snitch,” Michael said, walking toward us with a devious smile prancing upon his lips.

            Derek was getting angry now at his younger brother. “You better -- ”

I intervened: “Fine. But you do as we say, and when we say it. Got it?” I didn’t let my voice falter one bit because I was trying to prove where I stood and where he stood in the current situation.

            “Got it,” Michael replied.

“What?!” Derek was flabbergasted.

            I then spoke in a low voice to Derek: “Look, if we don’t let him go then we won’t get to go. And I want to go. Just let him come, and the moment he screws up, we can send him back, okay?”

            “Fine. But one toe out of line, and back home you’ll come. I mean it,” Derek said, still not wanting to let Michael win.

            Michael rolled his eyes.

            “Great. Now can we please get back on topic?” Luke said, saying something for the first time since the brotherly rivalry.

            “Yeah. Michael -- ”

            “Evan!” my very-untimely mother’s voice shouted from the front yard. “Evan! Let’s go!”

            I exhaled out of irritation. Too many interruptions, I thought.

            “Look, just explain everything to Michael, and keep him with you guys as you watch for when they’ll leave. I gotta go. And don’t forget to text me!” I said with my head flipping back and forth as I jogged towards the front yard.

            “Okay,” Luke said. Then the threesome resumed their huddle with Michael taking my place in the group.

            When I reached the front, my mother was obviously ready to go.

            “Come on, Evan,” she said to me out the driver’s side window.

            “I’m coming. I’m coming…” I muttered, more to myself than to her.

            I got in the vehicle, and then she drove off down the small road through Hale. I peered out my window and through the tall pine trees that littered the town; I could tell it was going to be sunset soon, which could only mean one thing: show time.

*     *     *

My phone gave the small little chime as the screen lit up with the words “New Text Message!” bouncing around the screen, grasping for my attention. I picked it up from my bed, and read:

 

I think they’re about to leave. Come on!

           

            It was time.

            It had been quite a while since my mother and I had left Otis’ house, and since then, I had been trying to waste the time away, constantly glancing upon the face of the clock at my bedside. I was anxious. All I could think about was how much time was being wasted, and the virus could have already taken its full affect on Summer. I had no way of contacting the nymphs, so I couldn’t be sure of Summer’s condition, and that nearly killed me even more. All I knew was I had to focus on getting to that source and figure out a possible cure before it was too late -- which put quite a strain on me considering the fact that nobody really knew when “too late” was. I had to focus.

            After I read the text, I nearly dropped my phone because my waiting was over. I could finally do something!

            I dashed down the stairs two at a time, shoving my phone in my back pants pocket, not realizing I was even carrying it with me.

            I was almost at the door to head outside when a voice said, “Uh, uh, uh. Where are you going? Supper’s almost done.”

            I instantly noticed my stomach was rumbling for food. My werewolf sense made the craving even worse because I could smell the deep, rich smell of pot roast as the main course and brownies for the dessert. Mmmm…that delicious, juicy, bloody rare meat mixed in with finely-cut potatoes and other garnished vegetables, my stomach pushed into my head of thoughts. I was tempted to shove my mother aside, plow into the kitchen, and gulp down the entire meal, but then the thought of Summer invaded my thoughts. I knew then I couldn’t think about food right now. I had to get out of the house.

            “Um…out with Luke and some friends from school,” I said.

            This time, and quite surprisingly too, my mom didn’t fight me. “Fine. Just make sure you’re back before ten.”

            “Sure thing. Just don’t wait up on me,” I said, heading out the door.

            She shut it behind me with a motherly smile taking over her expression. It seemed to me that she didn’t fight me probably because she was just happy to see me go out and about with friends like I could in San Francisco. Except this time, I wasn’t a simple teen she had to worry about 24/7 -- which she did anyway. This time, I was the predator, the hunter. I was a werewolf.

            I ran as fast as my human legs would go, creeping my way behind a house and into its backyard, where I morphed. It was quick and easy, and I was ready to run immediately. But as soon as I started to kick off from the southern soil below my paws, a fierce growl came up from behind me. For a millisecond, I thought it may have been my stomach.

            Looking in my rear, I saw it was a pit bull that stood as tall and fierce as ever, eyeing me to see what my next move was for invading his territory. I didn’t hesitate a single moment. I growled a mighty, and yet quiet, growl that showed my sharp, canine teeth to my weak opponent.

            The pit bull gave a small whine, and it ran back into its little hut with its tail wrapped under it.

            I was the hunter indeed.

            I knew I had wasted precious moments, but I also knew I would make the time up speedily as swift and agile as my legs were whenever I ran. From the backyard, I exited into the shelter of the forest, which I cut across in mere seconds.

            When I reached Otis’ house, I found Luke, Derek, and Michael all crammed up against the side of the home, peeping through a brightly-lit window that was placed above their heads. Luke detected me as soon as I appeared from behind the trees. He motioned for me to dash across the yard as quickly as possible because they were apparently in the room the window led to.

            I did so, transforming back into a human once I reached them.

            “So, what’s happening?” I asked, ready for the pursuit.

            “They’re planning their route and formation -- well, they were. But now they’re getting ready to leave,” Luke told me while Derek kept a close, yet small, eye on them through the window pane.

            “Just in time then,” I said.

            “I’ll say,” Luke said back.

            Michael just remained quiet as if he was finally getting that he was actually lucky enough to even be with us. Good. He understands his role perfectly, my superior mode voiced inside my head.

            “They’re coming!” Derek said in a low voice.

            Hastily, we backed our bodies towards the front of the house as much as possible as they exited via the backdoor. After a second, I could hear the sliding of the glass door as it opened, and then I could see each figure’s dim-lit face.

“Trent, Daryl, Edmund, John Oakes, Hank Walker, Adam and Brad Sullivan, and Dan and Craig Winston,” Luke whispered softly so my brain could fill in the names I did not know of.

            All of the figures seemed to form a creepy-looking, perfect diamond shape as they just stood in human form, all gazing forward into the forest. Daryl was the leader with John and Hank on both sides, Edmund in the middle, Trent and Dan on his left and right, and then Adam and Craig, leaving Brad to pick up the rear.

            I hoped Brad’s senses weren’t all that good because I didn’t want him smelling us at a distance.

            “Any last words before we morph?” I asked my partners in crime.

            They all shook their heads. They understood that once we morphed, we couldn’t speak to one another because if we did, there was always a possibility the other werewolves we were going to follow may pick up on our conversations.

            Then the diamond formation began to strip free of their clothing, down to their boxers. Regardless of the lack of clothing, they looked like an army that was built for the hunt. They all stood with the same posture, the same look, and the same motivation. Not a second later, the figures exploded their boxers to bits and transformed from humans to werewolves, becoming fur-coated creatures of the night with glistening eyes that were set to kill. Subsequently, they quickly retrieved their shorts or jeans in their mouths, and, like cannons blasting off before a huge war, they all raced off before my mind even had time to process what was playing out before my very eyes.

“Ready, bro?” I asked Luke.

“Nope, but let’s do it anyway,” he responded.

Then, we, too, morphed into werewolves and followed in hot pursuit, straining our noses to keep up with their scent. Luke and Derek were more experienced than me at this werewolf stuff, so I let them lead the way -- even though we didn’t have any up-tight, preppy formation like the others. Still, we had no problem keeping up.

*     *     *

As much as I loved being a werewolf (regardless of the fact that I had a problem with it previously), I wouldn’t have minded having a break every once in a while. It very much resembled gym at school -- having a guy who thought he was a damn drill sergeant, screaming in your ear: “Ten more laps, boy! I wanna see you sweat! No breaks, either! Sweat, sweat, sweat!”

At first, I was a little too over-confident when I thought of this simple “plan”, because I thought I could keep up with ease, seeing as how I had always wanted to do nothing except run endlessly without halting. I don’t think I could have been more wrong in my life.

            I. Was. Tired.

            My legs ached from stretching and pulling my body forward in wolf form so frequently, and I couldn’t even imagine what poor Michael was going through at the moment. He looked tough at first glance, but I could tell his fifteen-year-old body wasn’t ready for this.

Nevertheless, I wanted some rest.

            Luke and Derek switched leads every now and then to give the other a break from having to utilize his speed and senses at once, which was quite draining. I could tell they were growing weary themselves, but I didn’t dare say anything because of Daryl and the others, who were about a mile ahead of us.

            So far, we had been traveling through eternal woods. No fields. No buildings. No people. Not even animals. Of course, I would occasionally spot a small, petty bird of some kind, but other than that, there was nothing. I assumed the people we were following had eaten all the animals for energy, while we, being the lackeys of the joint, suffered terribly.

I needed food. I knew I should have just devoured that pot roast when I had the opportunity (once again, my brain had failed to think ahead). Mmmm…those delicious-smelling potatoes, carrots, and onions topped over a meat so tender that it would as soft as butter to my sharp teeth. Scrumptious, I thought to myself so silently.

I licked my lips out of hunger as my empty stomach began rumbling.

Other than food, the only drive I used for energy to keep my body in constant movement was Summer. I thought of her and how much she needed me -- how much she needed a cure. I would be pressed harder and farther than before when the pain she was enduring entered my mind. I was pushed excessively past my limits hours ago. Now, I was making new limits for myself, ones which I wasn’t quite so sure I could reach.

As we ran throughout the tiresome darkness, I could only hear the frequent thudding as our feet pushed off from the dirt below. I also heard the heavy panting of our animalistic mouths as we drooled out wads of saliva as a way of coping with the extreme difficulty of our task. It was strange to listen to such sounds for several hours, but after a while, I forgot I could actually hear anything else, like a song playing on repeat forever, blasting into your ears and causing them to go numb.

We had started from Otis’ house hours ago, and I could tell the night was moving on. I knew my mom would probably be worried; she would just have to get over it though because right now, I was on a mission.

*     *     *

Our destination was unknown to me. I wasn’t aware of the town name that we were headed to, or even if it was a town. I just knew it was somewhere; and eventually, I found out.

We ended up in a group of mountains. I didn’t know the place, since I wasn’t familiar with the East Coast and its terrain; I just knew this was where we needed to be.

The traveling got extravagantly tougher. The elevation continuously transformed as we followed the scent of our kin. This became rather a problem for Michael because his stumbling seemed endless to Luke, Derek, and I as his body apparently grew weaker with every step. Derek seemed to give him the “I told you so” attitude, and he merely grunted at the sight of his younger brother tripping over his own frail body. I tried helping poor Michael, but he pushed me away -- he was trying to prove himself worthy of his older brother, I could tell.

After another hour (more or less) in the mountain environment, we detected a stop in Daryl and his group. It was like a supernatural low-jack really. Out of gratitude, we all slowed our pace down a little so we couldn’t be detected by our relatives in close range. Eventually we came upon a log cabin in the middle of a clearing that seemed to be resting by itself on the side of a mountain.

Our elevation was now higher. Conversely, our altitude helped when it came to the lighting from the moon above, which would occasionally be blanketed in fluffy clouds like a celebrity surrounded by guards for security. Regardless, the night was pitch-black, but, with the moon’s help and with our werewolf senses, we could see just fine.

We remained noiseless and still as possible as we used a crowd of dark, bloomy trees for protection. Michael stayed to the side of us, trying to get his own view through the branches despite the fact that Derek kept nudging him backwards. Luke and I merely looked at the other wolves, grateful for the rest we were now getting.

We saw the group not too far away from us: three figures in the front -- Daryl, John, and Hank, I assumed -- began walking forward as humans towards the door of the log cabin, showing not the least bit of tiredness. The others on the other hand, remained behind, glancing nervously around for danger. Seeing no threats about after a second of dancing eyes, they began to lie down on the ground, allowing lassitude to take over.

Just before the three leaders crossed the clearing entirely, there came a faint thudding of feet pounding simultaneously echoing through the trees. It sounded like…a group of animals running together.

The other wolves -- whom were half asleep now -- didn’t hear a thing, so they showed no sign of a reaction. Even the leaders, who were supposed to be the fittest of us all, didn’t even flinch. We, however, heard the oncoming clamor.

A moment passed by, and then the soft banging of feet stopped abruptly.

All four of us looked quizzically at one another, still not daring to speak.

Suddenly, out of the coal-black shadows on the opposite side of the clearing, came a fierce growl in which I had never heard before. This growl sounded more ferocious and beast-like than I had thought possible. Before I could think it over, several figures -- they were moving exceptionally too fast for me to see who or what they were -- soared through the air out of hiding at the pack of wolves dowsing away in the center, while three more figures went after the leaders going to the door. They were attacking our packs.

They were no ordinary figures, however. They were wolves. Werewolves.

My wolf self nearly let out a whine of shock, but I managed to compose myself. Michael no longer wanted to be in the front anymore -- he ran behind his older brother, out of fear. I couldn’t blame the dude. These newcomers were easily spotted as sadistic, nasty, well-built creatures of the night. I no longer felt like the hunter at all, but more like the prey.

The leaders were quick at responding to the attacks and easily defended themselves in wolf mode, even though both John and Hank appeared old and weak in human form. The others who were relaxing in the center were caught off guard, and the new wolves weren’t too shy about using advantages to their benefit. At first, our pack got bit, clawed, and tore at, but they retaliated instantly, obviously pushing their fatigue to the back of their minds and pulling their strengths to the front.

It was a massive dogfight going on between two groups of opposite sides. I could feel their pain as their wails entered my canine ears.

Derek, being the most ambitious one of the small bunch, began to lunge forward.

Both Luke and I took a quick bite at his legs to indicate that was a terrible idea. He struggled to get loose; though, he quickly gave up, realizing the truth we indicated.

I, too, wanted to jump in and help, but these beasts would rip us limb from limb and not even think twice about it, no matter how young we were. I saw Luke glancing at the battle, keeping his anxiety-filled eyes solely on his father. He wanted to help as well, I knew.

Since they were in a heated battle, we could risk a quick conversation. “You can’t go!” I exclaimed to Luke and Derek. “Those things would kill us and you know it!”

“I don’t care,” Derek snarled back.

“He’s right, Derek,” Luke said, even though I knew he didn’t want me to be right.

“What about Michael? You can’t expect him to possibly go in there,” I said, hoping to reason with him.

“No freaking way will I go in there,” Michael whined.

            I knew that Derek truly cared for his brother, and I could tell he was defeated. He didn’t want to leave him unprotected.

            So we both returned to our previous positions and waited reluctantly.

            We watched as our family was being attacked, and every second, I wanted to go in more and more to help them, no matter what I had said a second ago. Nonetheless, Luke was right: we couldn’t. We just couldn’t.

            Seeing no other way to preoccupy my time, and not wanting to watch my family get slaughtered, I morphed back into a human, as did my cousins -- unenthusiastically -- around me. Being a human was better for us, considering our exhaustion, because it didn’t drain us, as did being a werewolf.

            We all were humans now, yet, Michael and I were the only ones with clothing on while Luke and Derek were nude.

            The two guys realized this instantly, letting out small gasps, and covered up with a tree branch that hung nearby with embarrassment clouding their faces.

            Michael and I laughed at the sight of the two guys naked, hiding in a tree. Momentarily we forgot the onslaught merely yards away. It was a relief that I needed. In fact, we all needed it.

            Just as quickly as the laughter came, it deserted us. Everyone went back serious again.

            Luke and Derek looked as if they were ready to go to war any second. Luke had his fists balled up, and I could tell even he was about to go against his word. Derek was almost at his breaking point as well, squeezing his tree branch so tightly that the limb was at the brink of shattering. Michael just looked quite frightened.

            When I had morphed back into human form, my eyesight had dramatically decreased in range because I could no longer make out the shapes through the branches. I wanted to see what was going on and if anyone had fallen yet, but then again, I wanted to look in the other direction to search for some merriment among the dark trees lit up by the moon and its stars.

            Suddenly, a strident rock song burst from my back pocket with the volume turned wide open, taking full advantage of the cell phone’s speaker.

            All three of my cousins looked at me, and I instantly began digging in my pocket for the stupid phone.

            “Hurry up before someone hears it!” Luke rushed.

            Hearing a human’s voice was quite a relief after not hearing anything for hours on end.

            “I’m -- trying. The -- stupid thing -- won’t come -- out!” I said, trying to get it out my pocket.

            I got it out a moment later after trying so hard, and I shut it off, catching a glimpse at the number to realize it was my mother.

            “Glad nobody heard -- ” I began as I looked towards the wolves through the trees.

            I knew my eyesight wasn’t as good as it was, but I could tell there were at least three figures running toward us, all three growling like they were going for a kill, and each withholding red, gleaming eyes in their sockets. They had heard my phone.

             “Oh, s**t,” Derek muttered.

            “Let’s go!” Luke said, morphing and running at the same time back into the deep part of the woods.

            I jerked Michael up on his feet and waited until he transformed rapidly before I did, with Derek pulling up the rear as a wolf.

            Seeing their targets on the run, the wolves behind us sped up quickly. They were on our tails -- literally -- in mere moments.

            I heard their teeth snap several times as they tried to clamp down on Derek’s rear-end, but he managed to stay a few inches ahead of them.

            I kept nudging Michael along as fast as he would go while still trying to dodge around the fallen branches, the decaying logs, and the prickly briars. I could see Luke a little ways ahead as he slowed down a bit to help get them off our trail as I forced the fifteen-year-old ahead of me to go faster.

            My body was still weak from the several hours of travel before, but I had regained a fraction back since then. Still, even that was nearly depleted now. I had to keep going; it was a matter of life or death.

            Luke rounded back and helped Derek kick dirt as much as possible, hoping that would falter our followers’ senses a little. But these were stronger werewolves, nothing that easy would get rid of them.

            Seeming to realize the same fact I just had, Michael sped up from what appeared to be fear. He knew if he didn’t go, he would most surely die at the paws of his own species. This allowed me to run faster, but Derek and Luke were too close to the pursuers to break away.

I let Michael proceed ahead, and my stubborn, crazy, and too cocky self came to the surface. I stopped, pushing my feet into the dirt to slow down. Luke, who came up at me fast, tried to push me along to make me go, but I remained where I was, allowing my two cousins to pass me to follow Michael. I turned around and faced the three werewolves head on.

            As they came at me, I felt as small as ever for the first time since becoming a werewolf. Nonetheless, I remained standing still. I bared my shoulders as stiff as I could get them and took the attack straightforward.

            When the three savage, mountainous beasts hit me, I felt pain, then numbness, as I was hurtled through the air and smacked into a tree trunk. As I hit, the pain exploded throughout my entire body, and half my bones felt cracked. Several sharp, pointy, yet needle-size, branches all jabbed into my back; it felt like I was lying on a pile of nails with their spiky ends facing me. Blood gushed out all over, and I felt it run down my fur on my back as it become soaked. The bark scraped me head to toe, making me feel burns all over just as carpet burn would affect a human.

            In haste, my werewolf abilities kicked in, and my pain was evaporating slowly while my body was trying to pull itself from the nature daggers.

            The three beings were gradually picking their way towards me with evil deeds spread across their faces. Within seconds, their muzzles were a mere few inches away from mine. I most surely felt like my life was in danger, like I was at the brink of death. So I closed my eyes, bracing for their teeth to sink into me, too much for my body to heal.

            Suddenly, I heard a whoosh of air and a small yelp.

            I opened my eyes and saw the figures were knocked out of my face by Luke and Derek. It happened so fast.

But just as quickly, one of the werewolves regained his stance promptly and went after Derek. Derek raced off through the woods, leading the wolf away from Luke and I, and the opposite direction that Michael was still running away in.

            I started to go help Derek now that I had got back on all fours, but another wolf chased Luke in another direction, leaving me alone with the last wolf. He stood tall, broad, and menacingly as ever, huffing and puffing and ready to come at me with full force. I knew I was done for.

            Still, I was overconfident and stubborn once I realized I now had a small chance against one opponent; so I stood my ground, preparing for the worst, but ready to take it on straight out.

            “What’s your name kid?” a voice asked.

            At first, I was dumbfounded, but I soon realized it was my opponent.

            “Evan. Evan Woods,” I said proudly, as if he should fear my name.

            “Well, Evan, I have a deal for you: you don’t move, and I’ll make your death quick and easy like chowder,” he said, licking his lips.

            “You’ll have to do better than that if you want me on a platter,” I retorted.

            He charged at me like a bull going after a red flag, except I was the flag.

            I barely dodged to the side of his massive body as he came right at me. In the mere second it took for him to realize I had swerved to the side, I leaped at his rear-end, chomping down on his tail; it tasted like a piece of rope, but I didn’t care.

            The wolf howled with both anger and pain, and he swiveled around, slinging me a few yards across the forest.

            “I’ll teach you what real werewolves do, you little brat!”

 He was pissed.

            He stormed upon me so immediate I didn’t have time to react. Again, I was hurtled through the air, but this time, I landed in prickly briars instead of a tree.

They stuck in my skin, replacing the wounds I had gained and lost a mere minute ago. Once again, I felt sharp pains pierce into me all at once. However, I hastily elevated myself from the briar patch. I shook myself heavily and quickly in order to get rid of the remaining thorns my skin failed to push out, only to see the creature heading my way again.

Swiftly, I dodged him so he could enter the patch himself. He let loose a deafening roar that landed in between fury and humiliation.

I took the opportunity to try and race off through the forest to make sure my friends were okay, but before I could get a little more than five yards, my tail was being pulled as I was yanked back by an unstoppable force with razor-sharp teeth.

“And where do you think you’re going, you little b*****d!” he said wrathfully to me.

I wanted to come up with a snappy comeback, but it felt like he was ripping my tail from my body! All I felt was a dreadful amount of pure, dire pain.

My claws dug deep into the soil, snagging at roots and underbrush, pleading for a sturdy object to pull myself away with, but it was hopeless. I kicked backwards several times at the thing that was standing on two legs like a homo sapien and dragging me across the forest ground. I managed to get one small hit in, but my animal legs were too short and weak. Suddenly, I felt a waterfall of warm blood shower out my right side as the bigger wolf clawed me. But up under the heated liquid, I felt the pain. It was the excruciating pain of my fur being shredded easily and my skin splitting open, leaving claw marks in my side as a burning sensation began overtaking my body. There was nothing compared to what I was feeling now. The overwhelming pain quickly became bodily consuming. It seemed my abilities had now abandoned me to this demon from hell, leaving me to rot; it didn’t feel as if it was healing at all, but instead becoming worse.

The werewolf discovered his move was effective because my body was no longer struggling for freedom as he continued to drag me across the forest floor.

Just as the pain became too potent for my werewolf body to bear, instantly, my legs were let loose, and my body collapsed weakly upon the ground. I didn’t know why he had let me go, but I didn’t care, I needed to heal.

I heard wails erupt nearby from behind me, so I slowly strained my neck to view the cause of the commotion. I saw two werewolves in a heated battle, and the one that had been dragging me was losing. I tried to get a view of the face of my rescuer, but his back stayed facing me. Suddenly, I heard a snap and a crunch as my enemy’s throat was ripped out by the newcomer, giving him a foreboding look as his face was drenched in blood when he turned to face me.

It was Daryl.

“What are you doing here, Evan? You were supposed to stay behind with the others!” he growled.

“What about Luke, Derek, and Michael?” My wounds were healing -- slowly -- , so my head began to form itself back to its right state of mind.

“Trent, Dan, and Brad have gone to help them. After that, you four are going home to await your punishment,” he said with order.

“I’m sixteen, damn it! I don’t need to be dictated around anymore! I’m not a kid, and you can’t keep treating me like one!” I fired back at him, still swimming in an ocean of pain and converting it to anger.

“Watch who you’re speaking to! I may be your uncle, but I’ll be damned if I’m going to let an omega talk to me that way, especially since I’m temporary leader now.” He ground his teeth together and emitted a growl to prove a point.

‘Temporary’ being the operative word.” I was furious at the way this wanna-be-uncle was treating us. I had a right to be here. “Besides, I’m not the one who asked for your help. I had everything under control here.”

“I can see that. That’s why you were being dragged across the woods by a werewolf five times your size, covered in cuts and bruises, not being able to heal. Total control, indeed,” he said with absolute sarcasm.

I scowled at him with my werewolf eyes.

My body was coming back to its former strength now, and I was enjoying it.

Our argument was quickly forgotten when a herd of feet came pounding their way toward us. Both I and Daryl brought up our guards, and I quickly moved over to his side to combine our strength.

But none of these actions were necessary because it was just my cousins and their rescuers. Luke looked quite upset, as did Derek -- they must have gotten scolded like I did. Michael, on the other hand, had the expression of pure relief upon his young dog-like face. As for Trent, Dan, and Brad, they were furious, but noiseless other than their typical heavy breathing.

Everyone paused for a minute or so, not saying anything.

Then, we all heard the battle cries of our pack scream out through the silent forest of the night.

Immediately, the four adults took off with both Daryl and Trent saying simultaneously, “Stay put and don’t move!”

Of course, that saying lasted…three-fourths of a minute -- just long enough to allow the adults to reenter battle so we could follow. Michael seemed terrified once again without the aid of his father, so we decided to allow him to ‘stay put’.

When we got back to the clearing, the three of us saw the catastrophic events of the battle since our departure. Blood littered the ground, ripped fur and small bits of tore skin laid upon rocks as werewolves were smashed down on them, and the horrifying wails of ache and fury had intensified. Five werewolves had now become a part of the scenery as they lay motionless with either their throats ripped out or their heads bashed. The entire scene was horrendous, like it was someone trying to bring the most gruesome part of a horror movie into reality.

But my mind couldn’t -- wouldn’t -- think about that.

This is for Summer, I thought to myself.

Headstrong as ever, I was the first of us three to jump into the fight, completely healed. I paid the least bit of attention to the whereabouts of my companions, but my best guess would be helping their fathers or avoiding them for their own sake of disobeying a direct order again.

It didn’t take longer than seven seconds -- I was counting -- for the first werewolf to come running at me with full speed. I easily dodged his frail charge, and then I simply took a huge bite at his tail and began to drag him back to me, much like the event that had occurred to me mere minutes before. I flipped the wolf over and clawed at his underbelly. Huge gashes appeared and blood began to flood out with every strike.

He howled in response.

As I kept clawing at his outside, a huge force plowed me over that made the impact of an eighteen-wheeler seem feeble. I was knocked several yards away, skidding onto the dusty dirt and running and gliding for home plate.

The newcomer looked back at his friend/ally as if they were sharing a mental conversation without my knowing, and then he looked back at me while licking his lips with an iniquitous smile.

In response, I merely bared my teeth to prove my stance and the fact that I wasn’t going to back down from the monster.

His smile faded. He must have realized my small size compared to him and hoped my fear would claim the best of me. But it appeared I had proven he and I both wrong.

I ignored the growls, the howling, and the wails around me as others fought to the death, because I knew I was going to have to imitate them: I was going to have to kill -- which was an action that was unknown to me. I hadn’t actually placed much thought into killing someone or something before because, what seemed like ages ago, I was a normal teen. I didn’t have to worry if I was going to die. Until now.

But no, I couldn’t allow my nervousness to gain control. I had to keep my sanity. For me. For my mother. For Summer.

Remembering her and the fact that she could leave me any second caused me to grind my teeth to the bone to show how badly I wanted my opponent to fall by my hands only.

He seemed to want the same the thing from his perspective as well.

Simultaneously, we both ran like the wild animals we were at each other. We leaped in the air midways, attacking one another several feet above the ground. His force seemed impenetrable, but so was mine! Instead of him pushing me back or vice versa, we collided and plummeted to the ground. I felt his claws dig into my fur several times and blood rush out in response just as my own claws felt warm liquid spew over them as I struck him.

            As we hit the bottom, I rolled backwards and away from the mighty wolf; he copied my instinctive move. We were several feet away from each other now, but I closed that gap as I rushed at him. I was planning to nail him hard with all I had, but he easily pushed me back.

            “Stupid boy! You obviously have no idea who you’re dealing with,” he sent to me mentally.

            “Yeah, I do actually. A big, oversize wolf who’s all talk and no action. ‘Talk is cheap’, ever heard that before?”

            “Ha! Got a mouth on you, eh? Well, we’ll see what we can do about that then,” he responded.

            Losing my balance, I was forced to taste the bland dirt as he charged me unexpectedly. Then I felt his teeth sink into my leg, and I heard the bone crunch like a Butterfinger bar.

            I whimpered out loud, but nobody had heard me because there was too much chaos going on around, so how could they?

            I pushed the excruciating pain to the side as best as I could so I could taste his blood. I snapped at him, ripping off a hunk of his ear as he chewed down on my leg. The nice, cool, and yet warm, liquid spraying out on my face rejuvenated me, and hurt him enough to make him let go fleetingly. Still, the liquid was not enough to heal me as hurriedly as I wanted.

            Seeing no other option, I spit out his ear to face the dirt, and I rapidly raced off, limping with a hurt leg because I could barely stand, let alone stand strong enough to take on anymore of his deadly impacts. I needed to get away, so I ran on the other side of the log cabin and found a path that worked its way up the side of the mountain and through the woods. I took that path without any thought.

            I limped up to the top, gaining a bit more speed with each step I took as my healing ability began working its magic dreadfully slowly. Yet my mind was still racing as sweat was placed over my fur in a thin, filmy layer. I could feel the cool touches of the earth under me, wanting more than anything to just drop in a pit of coolness and relax.

            When I got to the top, I realized I had made a grave mistake. I found myself with an injured leg in a two-bedrooms-joined-together-size clearing with nothing but a sudden drop-off covering an entire side.

I hobbled over to the edge and looked down. I nearly had a heart attack from what I saw: blackness. Total blackness, like a huge sea filled with dark ink; it was an abyss that made me think of the Grand Canyon. I knew that if you fell in that empty space, you were a complete goner.

“Ah, is the little teenager wolf scared? I should have known that no boy of your age could withstand a true werewolf,” a malicious voice said.

I whipped my head away from the pool of blackness below and saw the same wolf from in the clearing. “How do you know my age?”

“Curious, eh? Well, no matter. It’s quite clear that you’re very young in this world of werewolves. I mean, come on. Clothes? On a werewolf? What a disgrace in the omega stage. You remind me more a Chihuahua. Besides, what kind of true werewolf would run away from a fight? And those moves. Well, they were a tad bit childish, if you don’t mind me saying so. But then again, that’s all you really are: a child.”

We were both motionless while gazing into one another’s eyes and waiting for the opposite to make a move. But nobody did.

Due to the fact that I was in no hurry to die, I kept the conversation going.

“A child werewolf that obviously kicked your a*s. Want me to do it again? And what’s all that trash about being a true werewolf’?” I said, getting heated up. The bone in my leg, which my opponent had chewed on, was growing back into place now as it kept giving me small, sharp pains, but I stood still nevertheless.

“A child werewolf with attitude. I like it. After all, I have never had anyone talk to me like that before in my life. My pack would never disobey me. But still, you must be taught some manners,” he said with a smile playing on his wolf lips, which were splattered with my blood.

I was nearly thrown backwards into the black abyss myself from what he had just said. I had understood then what he meant by being a “true werewolf”, because he was a true werewolf. He was one of the most powerful of them all. He was the mightiest, the one with the most authority, the most strength of his pack. He was their leader. He was the alpha.

And I would most surely die.

His smile was stretching from werewolf ear to werewolf ear now. He knew that I knew what he was now. He relished my shock. “Now you see: you can’t beat me, young lad. What are the odds of an omega beating an alpha, huh? Hardly any worth to count. So, the way I see it you have two options: one, you can put up your mightiest fight -- like it would really matter -- and die the most goriest way possible; or two, you can just simply surrender and join my pack. After all, I can’t really pass up the opportunity to gain a young lad like yourself with quite the ambitious attitude in both strength and in the mouth.”

I was dumbfounded, not knowing switching packs was even thinkable, let alone possible. I thought you were only to stay in the group you were born in from the get-go.

As if reading my mind, he then said, “Ah, you’re probably wondering how you can change packs. Well, it’s quite easy. But nobody else really knows how to do it, except for me, among a few others. Still, it’s quite possible, young one. So what do you say?”

I didn’t think about the two options more than two seconds. I knew what I had to do, but it wasn’t going to be easy.

“Over. My. Dead. Body,” I said with such steadiness that I was a little surprised myself.  

The malevolent smile that was stuck on his face throughout the entire conversation had melted to reveal his pearly white canine teeth at me. “That can be arranged,” he snarled.

Then he came storming at me.

My leg was not quite healed, but the worst of the worst of the healing process had passed, so I was able to move somewhat. I used my legs to move to the side right when the wolf was mere centimeters away from me.

He was going too fast for him to realize the big picture behind me, and it was too late as he slid off the edge; I saw him fly completely over from a few feet away with pure shock on his face.

A blast of air escaped me from relief. I was safe now. I had just gotten rid of my first werewolf, and I was officially safe from death’s icy grip.

Abstractly, I walked over with a small shuffle to the edge where the ground turns to coal black, and I looked over. I saw the blackness below, of course, but I saw something else: a figure. It was a human dangling on the side by just an abstract root. No longer did he seem like the menacing alpha moments before, because worry was now written all over his expression in the barely-visible darkness.

My werewolf side urged me to nudge him off, but I had a human side too, which was equally powerful.

Without thinking, I morphed back into a human, and I leaned over the side, smelling the earth strongly through my nostrils as I reached down. He was about in his forties or so, and he was quite big, but it looked like most of him was pure muscle.

“Take my hand!” I hollered below at him.

He was reaching for it, and after a few attempts, he managed to grasp it.

“I’m gonna try and pull you up, okay?”

When I tried hauling him upwards, it felt like I was attempting to pull up a loaded U-Haul truck. I got maybe a fraction of a foot or so before I gave up.

Suddenly, when I merely held onto his hand without any effort, I felt a force pulling me down. I tried to let go, but he held me firmly.

“Let go of me!” I screamed at him.

“Never!” he said in a deep, male voice.

I tried to shake him off, but he wouldn’t budge. Instead, he was pulling me down further, and the root was beginning to rip. I dug my fingernails deep into the earth’s crust, trying to stay on top of the ledge, but it only slowed me down from imminent death. I then began to feel my feet drag across the sand in the clearing and my head go forwards, down towards the total darkness awaiting my arrival below.

“Let. Me. Go!” I continued pointlessly. I began grunting loudly in hopes it would increase my strength against a guy such as the one pulling me to the Angel of Death.

Just as the root was about to break and we were both going to go tumbling to our deaths, I felt someone pull me back up into the clearing.

“Hang on, Evan!” a familiar voice said to me.

I felt the man’s grip tighten, harder than ever for one last attempt to pull me back down.

Then I heard a snapping sound over the grunts of my helper and my adversary. The muscle guy’s grip instantly loosened when he fell into the deep, black hole, and when he did, I was towed back up onto solid ground where I saw Luke. He was in human form in a pair of jeans, of course, but he was covered in bruises and cuts from his own share of fighting.

“Thanks, dude,” I said to him, indebted.

“Anytime,” he said with a grin.

“What are you smiling about?” I asked, considering I had almost died.

“Dude, are you slow? Do you have any idea what you just did?” he asked with glee.

I didn’t want to be the blame for his death. “It wasn’t my fault! He -- ”

“No. You don’t understand. You killed their alpha!”

“I didn’t kill him, okay? He fell, that’s all. Not a big deal.”

“It is when a dozen or so werewolves just went poof into dust.”

“Dude, what the hell are you talking about?”

“Evan, when someone slays a werewolf alpha, his entire pack turns to dust. Don’t you see? You just did that!”

“I -- I -- I didn’t mean to, though.”

“Whether you meant to or not, you did it, dude. No omega has ever slain an alpha before. Ever.”

I gulped. I didn’t want the spotlight. Especially not right now, what with Summer and --

Summer. She still needs me! What the hell am I doing just lounging on the ground for nothing? I need to help her!

I got up on my legs, which were feeling fine now, and I raced off, down the path with Luke following me. When we got back to the clearing, I saw mounds of dust here and there cluttered over the ground with small puffs of smoke rising from them.

Our pack was scattered on rocks and such, healing form their wounds and gaining rest in human form and some type of shredded clothing or bush for coverage of their privacy. Yet, Trent and Daryl were standing with minor cuts on their skin and dirt smudged everywhere in shorts they had carried from home in their mouths, as if it was an everyday job. Then they began looking at Luke and me with questioning stares.

“Don’t look at me! It was Evan. I just helped save him too,” Luke said. “He’s the one who helped get the alpha over the ledge.”

I looked away, not wanting to do this right now.

“Nice going, Evan,” Trent said to me.

Then I felt a slap on the back from Daryl. “Yeah. Nice going.”

Before any of the other werewolves on our side could come up and congratulate me, I said, “What about Otis? We still need to get into that cabin.”

Everyone seemed to remember their mission then and forgot my unexpected deed.

“Right. John, follow me,” Daryl ordered.

“What about Hank? He’s a leader. Isn’t he supposed to go too?” I asked.

“Actually, Hank is hurt badly, so Brad and Dan took him home to Susan so he can heal quickly enough. So I was kind of hoping you would fill his place, Evan,” Daryl said.

I simply stared at him for a moment. I didn’t know what to say, until unknowingly muttered, “Sure.”

I looked at Luke to see if he wanted to come, but he just shook his head. Being the only omega of the group, I followed the two betas, Daryl and John, to the cabin door, leaving everyone else in their human forms. I noticed Edmund resting on a rock some ways away, tending to a wound on his gashed arm. He peered up at me as he examined his damage, and he scowled.

I merely looked the other way, ignoring his obvious envy.

When we got to the cabin door, I noticed everything through the windows was dark with signs of no life at all.

Nonetheless, Daryl knocked.

No answer.

Another knock.

Again, no answer.

Daryl picked up his leg and kicked the door down with surprising force. He rummaged his hand around a nearby wall, where he found a light switch and flipped it on.

Instantly, the presence of a human huddled in the far corner of the cabin was clear as he shivered from jumpy nerves, covering his head and whimpering aloud.

            “Leave me alone! Please! What do you want from me?” he pleaded, as if we were enemies he needed to fear.

            But before Daryl or even John could respond to the guy’s question, I said with an authority that I had never felt before, “We want you to save us.”

*     *     *

After a good hour of calming the man down, Daryl sat in a chair like it was his own home. John preferred to stand, however. I was too exhausted to duplicate his preferences, so I sat. As it turned out, the guy’s name was Philip -- or Phil, as he preferred. He was kind of short with pale skin and hardly any facial hair.

            Phil trembled consistently, but Daryl would keep reminding him we did not arrive on his doorstop from hours of traveling just to hurt him, regardless of what he had seen outside his window when everyone was fighting and screaming bloody murder. He didn’t seem too reassured, but was reassured enough not to run out the door and into the woods screaming for help.

            “Do you know about the virus?” Daryl asked him simply.

            “What virus?” he trembled.

            John and I continued to remain immobile as a quiet audience.

            “You mean to tell me that you have not heard of people dying randomly over the state?” Daryl questioned suspiciously.

            “I don’t get out much. I don’t watch television. I don’t read magazines. So, no, I haven’t,” Phil said.

            “And why is that?”

            “Don’t know. I just like the peace. It’s…enough. Well, for me anyways.”

            “I don’t think that’s the entire truth, Phil,” Daryl said, leaning back in his chair and eyeing the character in front of him uneasily.

            “Well, I assure you, it is.”

            Daryl gave a small grunt, and then he winked at John giving him a signal of some sort.

            John morphed before Phil, causing the guy to topple off the couch -- which he had already been sitting on the edge of -- and into the floor out of shock. I thought it was quite humorous, but didn’t want to ruin the moment by bursting out with laughter, so I just smirked silently.

            “Now, now. It’s still my friend, John. He’s just…transformed. He won’t hurt you, unless his patience grows too thin, so please do give us the answers we want,” Daryl said, both kindly and menacingly as he helped Phil back up onto his seat. “Truthful answers, if you will.”

            Phil seemed to compose himself to some degree. He said with an obvious amount of fear: “Alright. I’ll tell you the entire story. Then will you leave me alone?”

            “Certainly. We have better things to do, anyways,” Daryl responded.

            Phil seemed to take his word for it, so he proceeded on. After all, he didn’t have any other choice. “I’ve always been different from the rest of the people I knew. So were my friends. We were into the whole paranormal stuff, you know? Witches, wizards, warlocks, vampires, and even werewolves. We actually believed it was all real. At least, one of my friends did, and he ended up causing us to believe the same thing. Life seemed too hard for us. We couldn’t take it anymore. So we began to research on how to become something otherworldly. And -- ”

            “Wait, how many of you were there?” Daryl asked.

            “Five, with me included. Anyways, we ended up finding the werewolf business was genetic. So, we found a werewolf -- and it wasn’t easy either. We ended up catching him by -- ”

            Daryl’s face hardened. He didn’t seem too passionate about hearing how some human trapped one of his species.

Phil noticed this too.

            “Never mind that last bit. Anyways, we ended up catching him. I never wanted to hurt him, but Warren didn’t care what we did to him, as long as we were able to extract some of its blood. Warren was evil. He beat -- ” Phil gulped and seemed to remember Daryl’s expression, then continued, “ -- We ended up extracting some of its blood. After that, we injected ourselves with the blood. But we made a bad mistake. When we injected ourselves, it messed with our DNA or something. Something happened, and all of us became very sick and we became scared. My friends, Warren included, decided to let the project go, but Warren took his anger about not being able to become a werewolf out on the captured werewolf. Eventually, the werewolf escaped, and when he did, he killed Warren.”

            Daryl smiled at this, and also seemed kind of disappointed that he wouldn’t be able to do the job himself.

            “All of us went our separate ways and promised to never speak of it again, thinking that our little sickness would just go away soon. But my friends’ condition worsened, while I was getting better. I found it strange, but was grateful I wasn’t like my friends. After some time, my friends started to notice that a few people in their hometowns were getting sick and dying. By then, I had fully recovered. Within a week or so of getting sick, my four friends died from the illness while it spread everywhere else. So I packed up my things and left. I moved here, on this mountain where I stay by myself, alone. I don’t go outside for anything, and I have someone bring me groceries every so often. I am ashamed of what I did, and the fact that my friends are dead because of it makes it no better. I’m sorry. Really I am.” Phil began to sob a little now, thinking back on such terrible things. I couldn’t imagine the amount of guilt that was on his shoulders now.

            Daryl got up from the chair, and he walked over to John, who was now human again, where they stood, huddled together in a corner, murmuring about something. I paid no attention to them as I examined Phil and his pitiful self. He looked down at the floor, like there were memories running across it like a spilled bucket of water. He seemed like an adult who was struck with depression, giving him perfect reason for not being able to cope with life. I felt sorrow for him, even though it wasn’t my doing that had gotten him into this mess. Now his entire life was destroyed because of one silly thing he did.

            I thought about explaining to him the downfalls of being a werewolf and why he should never wish to become one, but I figured he wouldn’t dare trade places with me even if it meant death now. He probably despised us now as much as Daryl despised the Warren guy from his story.

            Daryl actions interrupted my thoughts as he moved back to the edge of his chair.

Phil looked up at Daryl.

            “Because there was both human DNA and werewolf DNA involved in what you did, that must be why the virus has infected both humans and paranormal creatures. It’s the cause of it all. But you say you fully recovered?” Daryl said.

            Phil nodded.

            “I’ll need some of your blood,” Daryl said.

            Phil was shocked. “For what?!”

            “It’s the key to it all. It resisted the virus then, it can resist it now. It’s the key to a cure,” Daryl said.

            Phil remained petrified at what Daryl had just said. When my uncle stood up, Phil cringed away to indicate he was not going to give it up willingly. But Daryl took no notice as he walked towards Phil to show he was going to get his blood no matter what.





© 2010 Joshua Donahue



Author's Note

Joshua Donahue
v3.0 UPDATE: Thanks to Adina (and Kira), I found even more typos and misspellings in this chapter. I can spell. Promise. I just get too much in my head that the wrong word comes out. It happens. And I re-worded some sentences for a better read! Thanks! Keep leaving your reviews!

v2.0 UPDATE: Thanks to Kira, I fixed the use of the word "canon" to "cannon". Also, I added some extra dialogue towards the end to make it clear why the virus has affected both humans and paranormal creatures. Daryl says this. And, if you haven't noticed it before, this was also pointed out in the previous chapter by Luke when Evan gets in the truck with him. :) Hope all information is clear now! Enjoy!

This was a very lengthy chapter. I think it is my longest (besides Chapter Three: First Glance). With that being said, this chapter required a lot of time and construction. I had to change many things and re-read sentences dozens of times before I had the quite right. Surprisingly though, I got it done in 3 days!! So I probably ended up making numerous mistakes in this one. If so, please point them out along with constructive criticism. Do you think I gave enough action? Was it exciting or boring? Did I maintain a proper balance between action and details (details can slow down the action dramatically if not properly used!)? And anything else you feel you need to comment on.
Also, please note that "how the source was found" business is a writer-knows-only type thing. It's irrelevant to the storyline, so it's not put in the story whatsoever (meaning, it will NOT pop up later).
Moreover, I started to realize I was over using the word "but" quite a lot! So I minimized the use of it from 106 uses to about 60! Major cut back, I know! haha.
And finally, I am not sure if I will make my August deadline for my novel. But I AM GOING TO TRY! I HOPE to have the entire novel posted by Tuesday night at midnight! That is when August officially ends. I have 3 more chapters to go! Here's a hopin'!
Hope ya enjoy!

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"Mmmm…that delicious, juicy meat and the vegetables that cakes it like icing on a cake, my stomach pushed into my head of thoughts." Wow, that was an odd sentence. Needs rewriting. Also, you put canon instead of cannon as they leave. And when you say they were getting tired of running, instead of albeit, but just sounds better. And then later, howbeit. Again with the whole wordiness thing.

"He charged at me like a bull going after a red flag, except I was the flag." Uh, we know.

"Swiftly, I dodged him so he could to enter the patch himself. He let loose a deafening roar that landed in between fury and humiliation. " Reword.

Hmm, interesting thing with the virus. But if it was only caused by humans injecting themselves with paranormal blood, why are the werewolves and nymphs dying from this too?

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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Whew! This was indeed longer to read, but it held my attention nonetheless. On the whole, I thought this was a great chapter. It was very exciting to read! There are a couple of sentences, however, that read a bit odd to me. The same one Kira mentioned..."that delicious juicy meat that cakes it like icing on a cake." Also, "make it up speedily as swift and agile as my legs acted as I ran." I think that one just needs to be re-worded to read better. And, "Suddenly, a metro station song burst from my back pocket suddenly." Two uses of suddenly in one sentence. There are also a few misspelled words, but I'd have to re-read the whole chapter to find them again. One was "threw the air," instead of "through the air, " and there was an "s" lacking on the word "face," and an unnecessary "s" on the word "remain." But where they are in the chapter, I don't recall. When I review, I just make notes of things, but not always with their location in the story. Great job though, I loved it!

This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 7 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

"Mmmm…that delicious, juicy meat and the vegetables that cakes it like icing on a cake, my stomach pushed into my head of thoughts." Wow, that was an odd sentence. Needs rewriting. Also, you put canon instead of cannon as they leave. And when you say they were getting tired of running, instead of albeit, but just sounds better. And then later, howbeit. Again with the whole wordiness thing.

"He charged at me like a bull going after a red flag, except I was the flag." Uh, we know.

"Swiftly, I dodged him so he could to enter the patch himself. He let loose a deafening roar that landed in between fury and humiliation. " Reword.

Hmm, interesting thing with the virus. But if it was only caused by humans injecting themselves with paranormal blood, why are the werewolves and nymphs dying from this too?

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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Added on August 29, 2010
Last Updated on December 28, 2010
Tags: chapter, sixteen, a, plan, forbidden, supernatural, teen, teenager, werewolves, high, school, young, adult, nymphs, paranormal, romance, love
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Joshua Donahue
Joshua Donahue

Jefferson, SC



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