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Torches in the Wood, Blood in the Snow

By Debora Hellinga All Rights Reserved ©

Fantasy / Horror

Torches in the Wood, Blood in the Snow

Lilly slammed the door shut and immediately locked it. She tried to calm her breath and trembling hands as she hoped the guys had not heard her. Which was wishing for the impossible and two heads immediately popped around , one from the living room and another from a bedroom. Before they could say anything she raised her hands and yelled her apology, hoping they would let it go. Still, she could see Percy and Brian exchange looks for a moment, before Percy followed her to the living room.
“You guys,” Lilly sighed when she looked around the living room and kitchen, “What happened? Did an explosion of junk food clash more food happen?”
“Hey, we’re hungry guys and we can't always eat our food,” Brian left the couch and stood before the table. He cocked his head and gave her his most cheeky smile, daring her to go against him.
“Are you alright?” Percy asked as he walked up to the table and looked at Lilly’s shaking hands.
“Fine,” she lied.
“It’s Solomon, isn’t it?” he said with a low voice, his golden-brown eyes flashed. The landlord was known for his loose hands and his chase after women.
“It’s nothing,” she lied badly, “Really.”
“We still haven’t picked someone,” he went on. Brian straightened his back and was eager to hear Lilly’s reaction.
“And I am not going to,” she said clear.
“Shame,” Brian shrugged, “But you still have a couple of hours.”
Percy pointed his nose in the air and sniffed loudly, then he turned his face to Lilly, “What do you have in your purse?”
“I wanted to surprise you. But you guys made this place a mess,” she sighed, “Please stop forgetting you’re living with a human – who happens to be a woman and likes the place neat.”
“But you’re still going to give us the meat, right?” Brian said eagerly, recognizing the smell.
“You two are horrible. You might be dogs, but you live like pigs.”
“We are not dogs,” Percy said sharp, the insult showed in his eyes and in the eyes of his brother. Still, Lilly looked through the shining golden-brown eyes, for she was not intimidated by them.
“Then start acting like it,” she said sharp and picked the raw meat from her purse and tossed it to the brothers. They hungrily grabbed the meat and ate it from their hands. Lilly rolled her eyes and began the dishes, since no one else would do them.

Lilly had gotten used to the loud eating noises Brian and Percy made when they were eating. Still, the first time she had met them and saw them eating, she had nearly fainted. But according to her grandmother it was her destiny. Her father, Jason, had opposed and yelled and threatened, even though he knew he was no match for Nora’s (his wife) family. In the end, he could do no more than bow his head and accept the ways of her family.
In the beginning Jason had not believed his wife when she told her his secret. He had laughed and joked about it, until Faol had shown up at his office. With his dark hair, golden-brown hair and his deep voice, Jason felt intimidated for the first time since his teens. Faol explained he was the Alpha of his clan and would not allow anyone to threaten any of his people. Jason had not understood a thing, but Faol only said he had to ask his wife and to keep his lips sealed or pay the blood price.
That night he had yelled and demanded the truth of Nora. She said she could not tell him everything, for his own safety. All she could say was that she was not a family member of his Faol’s clan, but only a caretaker. But they were connected to the clan by blood and their fates were woven together till the end of all ages.

And so was Lilly’s life. For five years now she had been living with Percy and Brian, sons of Faol’s sister, so Lilly should probably feel honored. Besides, she carried on the family tradition, which had begun in the early middle ages. When she had accepted Faol’s invitation her grandmother had immediately made the traditional coat for her.
Then she had quite school, moved to a nearby city and had gotten a simple job to take care of Percy and Brian. Not once had she complained, opposed to the blood spilling, or asked for something in return. And perhaps it was time to do so.
“Percy,” Lilly turned around and tried not to soak anything around her.
“Solomon?” he immediately said, wiping the blood from his mouth. She gave a small nod, knowing she was ending someone's life.
"Consider it done,” Brian nodded with his mouth full. For a moment she hesitated, but she knew someone had to do something about the swindling pervert.

“Let’s go,” Percy said. Lilly put on her red coat and followed the brothers, all the way into the frozen forest. As soon as they spotted the first torches, Brian and Percy shed their human bodies and turned into the deep brown wolves they truly were. It happened in a few seconds and they hardly made a sound doing so.
Walking between the two wolves, Lilly reached the circle of torches. There were roughly thirty wolves and eleven caretakers. Her grandmother stood beside Faol, who was one of the four wolves still in their human-forms.

The first one was a slutty student, the second a lying baker, the third a corrupt lawyer and some other people followed. All were slaughtered and eaten. After that, Solomon was thrown in the midst of the circle. He cried, begged and whimpered. His glasses were steamyy and his wet beard caught more tears. Lilly felt no remorse.
“I believe this is for one of our caretakers,” Faol looked at Lilly, “So let’s end him, for all our caretakers. For all those who hide our identity, protect us from and counsel us from the stupidity of humans. Eat.”
Before Faol had spoken his last words, Brian and Percy jumped on top of the human before other wolves joined them. The snow colored red as the human died. The wolves thought of themselves as cleansers, trying to keep rid the human race of scum. Lilly looked at the golden-brown eyes of the wolves and the read coats of the caretakers as she wondered how many people knew the true story of Red Riding Hood.

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