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Chapter 8

That night I barely slept, my brain was spinning from the revelations and experiences of the last few days. At midnight I turned and I was thrilled to just get out and run. By now the change happened quickly and almost painlessly and I was prepared for it. I did my change and jumped the fence like an old hand. The sanctuary was calling me and I answered its call. The gap under the fence was easier now and within minutes I was running free in the forest.

My lungs pumped, my heart beat, my senses felt the night come alive around me. It was the best I had felt all day and the worries just melted away as I ran and jumped and dodged and weaved between the bushes and trees.

The other wolves soon joined me and we raced each other to the clearing. Because they didn’t talk as such, they were peaceful relaxed company and I was glad to be with them. Chase was looking all fluffy and beautiful with his bright brown eyes, thick fur and bushy tail he looked every inch the leader of the pack. I lay down next to him and we greeted each other with nose sniffs and licks. He was pleased to see me too. I had to admit to myself that I was more comfortable with the wolves than the witches. Then suddenly the peace of the night shattered like a broken window.

Chase suddenly stood up, his fur bristling and puffing out all over his body. He gave a short, barky howl and the whole pack came to instant attention. There was a rustling in the bushes around us and suddenly we were surrounded by men dressed head to toe in black. They wore teflon shoulder, elbow and knee pads with kevlar vests and black balaclavas, if it wasn’t for the eyes you wouldn’t say they were even men. They reminded me of huge creepy black beetles with hard carapaces and wicked weapons. There were about ten of them and eight of us. But they had the guns.

As a pack without command we all just ran, slipping deftly between these horrible humans with our wolf agility. We couldn’t fight or bite back, they were too well armoured so we ran. Then the chase was on and I was running for my life. I heard shouts and gunshots echoing through the park and then I saw Smoke, one of the wolves in the pack, fall down and not get up again. I had no time to grieve or even try help all I could do was run, run, run. Luckily I was agile and fit and I out ran my pursuer fairly easily.

I made it to my hole in the fence, checked around that no one saw me and scuttled under the gap as fast as I could. A jagged piece of the fence ripped my coat in my haste and I could feel warm blood dripping from the wound. I wanted to howl at the pain but I controlled it. The last thing I needed was to give away my position. I raced down the deserted snow filled streets and headed for home and safety.

Dawn broke as I got home and I turned back into myself and dressed hidden from sight behind the big topiary bird bush that flanked the front door. My mom had quite a few bushes grown and trimmed into animal shapes in her garden. They made convenient hiding places for the change I laughed to myself as I hurriedly dressed, picked up the spare key from the terracotta flower pot and let myself into the house.

My shoulder was sore and still dripping blood where I had gashed it. I knew I had to protect myself from infection so I crept upstairs to the bathroom. I had a quick hot shower and tried to calm my racing heart, the images of the chase kept flashing through my mind like a movie reel on fast forward. After my shower I took out the antiseptic solution and plasters from the cupboard under the kitchen sink. I had some experience with injuries due to my cross country running training, so in just a few minutes the wound was bandaged and feeling better. I took two ibuprofen as well and went to bed.

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