The next morning I woke up feeling much stronger and ready to take on anything the world may throw at me. I got up early, had a nice long bath, washed and blow dried my hair and dressed in my favorite jeans and a new pink and purple diagonal striped shirt my mom had bought for me recently. I even put on a bit of make up, something I don’t usually do. The necklace I kept in my pocket as I didn’t think I would want to hear all the thoughts of everybody in my school, that would just be gross, and loud.
I was growing a little concerned that since I had had the necklace I hadn’t turned wolf. I wondered if the necklace prevented me from turning altogether, it seemed possible. I knew the witches did not like me being part werewolf but would they? Could they? Do a spell to prevent me changing? I did not want that. I loved being wolf, it was the only time I felt truly free.
I called Joanna from our house phone and arranged to meet her at school. She was surprised I was even going but agreed to meet me at the gate. On my way to school I stopped and bought a new cellphone to replace the one that had broken in my fall. Joanna was waiting for me at the school gate as arranged and said, “I am surprised you are going to school today. Are you sure you are feeling up to it?”
“No, we are not going to school, we are waiting for Chase and then we are going spying.”I explained.
Chase arrived just as the school bell rang and we quickly pulled him aside and explained our plan for the day. He was quite willing to go along with us. We snuck out and were down the street and out of sight in a flash.
Joanna giggled nervously, “I’ve never skipped school before.” she said.
Chase looked surprised, it seemed skipping school was nothing new to him. It was a new experience for me too but I didn’t want to seem like a nerd in front of Chase so I said nothing. We ducked through a few alleys and landed up at the local Mc Donalds’. No one there cared that we weren’t in school and I treated us to breakfast. While we ate our mc muffins and coffee I outlined my plan. Did you get anything from Pete?” I asked Chase.
He swallowed his bite of Mc Muffin and replied “He said he had heard about a rental on Elk street that had some residents complaining about noise in the night and weird comings and goings at all hours.”
“Right, that’s where we will start then,” I said.
“Start what?” Joanna asked.
I pulled out the necklace,”we are going there and I am going to ‘listen’ to what’s going on inside. If I hear anything suspicious we will go tell the witches.They have the power to do something about it.”
Chase did not look happy but couldn’t come up with any better ideas. We finished our food, disposed of our trash in the bins provided and headed out.
It was a warm blue sky day and no cold wind was blowing for a change. Chase led us to the house on Elk Street. It was an imposing double storey brick house with 8 foot high walls and an enormous wrought iron gate that looked like it could withstand an assault by a tank. The house was set quite far back from the gate in a lush park like garden. No one seemed to be around and we found a convenient tree to hide behind. I sat crossed legged on the mossy ground with Chase on my left looking down the road and Joanna on my right looking in the other direction. The tree was wide and we were pretty well concealed from the street, but I felt better knowing my two friends were watching my back. I couldn’t focus and keep look out.
I put the necklace on and ‘listened’. There were quite a few voices inside and it took me a few minutes to isolate them and make sense of what was being said. What I heard was not good. I got an image of a boardroom table covered by a map of the town and the sanctuary. There must have been about twenty men in there and some man with the name tag that said Hunter was giving orders. It did give me some satisfaction that he was in pain from a wolf bite, serves him right I thought. He was angry and frustrated and hated our kind. He had made it his life’s mission to hunt us down and exterminate us. Some of the others felt the same but mostly I sensed they were hired guns, there for the money not for the cause. Perhaps that could work to our advantage I thought. I was so intently focussed on what I was ‘hearing’ I was startled when Joanna tapped me on the arm, “We need to go Clarissa, someone’s coming.”
I snapped out of my trance like state and looked around. A big black humvee was barreling down the road towards the house, it was filled with even more armed men. My heart sank to my boots, how many more were there? I wondered. I was really scared now. Chase and Joanna looked worried too. I pulled the necklace off and stuck it in my pocket. We got up and tried to look casual and innocent as we walked briskly away from the house. We must have succeeded because the men in the humvee didn’t even notice us.
Once we were out of sight we ran, like the hounds of hell were after us, until we were well away from that place and safe. We eventually stopped to catch our breath and decide what to do next. “We need to go see my aunt at work. She will know what to do” I suggested.
Chase snapped, his face suddenly looking furious, what he said next shocked me, “I wouldn’t ask your Aunt the time of day, let alone for help! It was your aunt that fired my dad and refused his pension. He had worked there for 15 years. It was the first time he had ever messed up and she fired him! Don’t you know that everyone in town hates her? They call her ‘the iron bitch’ behind her back.”
My eyes widened in shock and I put both hands on my face, “No, that can’t be true!” I looked at Joanna, sadly she confirmed it with a nod.
“But why didn’t you ever tell me?” I challenged her.
We were standing in the middle of the street arguing like kids, it was absurd.
“She is your family Clarissa, it wasn’t my place to tell you.” she defended herself.
I shook my head in disgust, and said sarcastically,”Well the ‘iron bitch’ is the only person we know strong enough to take on those assholes in that house. There are nearly 30 of them! I’m going to go see my aunt, you guys can come or not, it’s your choice.” and I stomped off down the road towards the logging company where my aunt apparently ruled with an iron fist.
Chase and Joanna did not come with me and I refused to turn around and beg them. It was a long, lonely walk to the company.
(To be continued)
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