Wolves in the Mist

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Chapter 7

Audrey listened as I told her about my date with Nathan. It almost felt as if I was speaking to myself. “Audrey?”

“Yeah I’m here! So what happened after the arcade?”

I told her that we went to eat and how I ran into Mason. I had to tell her who he was since I hadn’t told her about him before. She didn’t have much to say about him, but didn’t tell me whether she liked him or not.

“So you never texted him after he gave you his number?”

“Nope,” I answered, plain and simple.

“How come?”

I shrugged my shoulders, forgetting she couldn’t see me. “I don’t know.”

“Well at least Nathan told you his feelings. I feel like a proud mom watching her babies grow! So where is my wedding invitation? As your maid of honor I need to start helping you plan,” Audrey said, sounding ecstatic.

“I love how you keep forgetting that Nathan and I are older than you. Besides it was just a date Audrey. I don’t even know when he’ll be back.”

“Well I’m sorry I was born at the end of the year! I felt like a literal baby compared to everyone when classes started,” she mumbled.

"Wait but did you know Nathan had feelings for me for a while and never told me?"

"Yeah I'm sorry. I wanted to tell you, but he said he wanted to tell you himself. I can't believe it took him this long to tell you!”

“I can’t believe he kissed me.”

“HE WHAT?!”

“It was a kiss on the cheek Audrey,” I let out a small laugh. “Calm down.”

"I'm going to call him. Him and I need to have a talk."

I laughed, "yeah sure.”

Audrey spent the next few minutes talking about college. She made a small group of friends that she had classes with. Her professors’ great reviews proved to be true. Classes were going smoothly. I was glad to know things were going well. I pulled my phone away briefly to look at the time.

“It’s getting late,” I told Audrey. “If you’re not busy tomorrow we can call each other again.”

“Sounds good. I have my class in the morning and was planning on getting ahead on homework, but I should have time later tomorrow. I’ll let you know.”

• • •

"Stop!" She yelled as she sobbed. The pain was unbearable. "Why are you doing this?!"

I always had terrible nightmares about things I couldn't understand ever since I was little. I couldn't describe or tell anyone about what I saw or felt for a while. After my parents disappeared, the nightmares only got worse. By then I was able to understand what I was seeing. I was a passenger in a female body. I knew this because of the things the woman wore and the way her body looked.

I saw the things the humans did to her. They humiliated her, stripping her of her clothes and leaving her in her undergarments. I felt it.

They left her body in pain and numb, leaving her wounds all over her body — mainly on her limbs and back. I felt it.

They starved her for who knows how long. Leaving the poor girl’s body to slowly eat itself, trying to stay alive. I felt it.

But it didn't stop there.

I saw the things the beasts did to her. You could see it in their eyes that they wanted to cause harm. These beasts did what the humans did, only worse. They would strip her of her clothing by tearing them off with their claws and teeth. They left wounds on the same places the humans did, created by their claws and teeth.

She and I, we both felt fear towards both, but mostly to the beasts. For we had never seen anything like them.

They were slowly breaking her.

And I felt it all.

It felt so real. I sometimes forgot I was a passenger in a woman's body and thought it was happening to me. I had to remind myself otherwise.

Suddenly, I saw a white light that blinded me. I would lift my arm up over my eyes until the brightness would lower itself.

I saw green leaves and branches brown filling the sky. The lights and shadows danced across her face. I heard leaves shaking and rustling in the wind. The knobby roots underfoot and the dry leaves made the ground uneven.

Why was she in a forest?

I looked down at her body. She wore a pair of jeans, sneakers, and a white t-shirt. She was covered in dirty and sweat. I was tired.

Hanging from her neck were two string necklaces, both had a pearl and a circle made of gold with the initials 'O' engraved in them. Why did she have these? Had these always belonged to her?

Before I could ask myself more questions, a growl erupted from within the forest. She looked ahead at a distance, she could see a pair of eyes from within the bushes and they are staring back at us. A beast.

The girl took a step back and quickly turned around before running.

I heard many growls and many footsteps. I felt her breathing, breathless and sporadic, was an even cadence that mingled with the growls sung by the beasts. Branches assailed her face as she sprinted through the scattered trees.

No matter how fast she ran the sounds kept getting closer and louder.

And louder.

It felt as if they were right behind us, but I didn't want to turn around. I couldn't. I was only a passenger in the woman's body.

What was she doing here? Who or what is after her? Why are they after her?

Suddenly, her right foot took a step further and her ankle got caught by something. She fell to the ground and everything went dark.

I immediately opened my eyes and sat up in bed. I placed my hand against my chest. My heart was racing. My heart felt that it was about to rip out of my chest, slamming roughly against my ribs.

I grabbed my phone to check the time and saw that I had woken up before my alarm. I disabled it and looked through any messages. Nathan sent me a selfie of him at the airport with a message underneath saying made it back in one piece :).

I replied asking him how the flight was but no immediate response came after that.

• • •

I didn’t see Lincoln at work the next. It wasn’t odd when he didn’t because it wasn’t the first time. He never fully explained his absence but it usually involved his family. Sasha, Lincoln’s replacement who I learned their name to be Mike, and I had no issues during our shift. Sasha was the first to leave after cleaning her area. Mike and I didn’t have to wait long for until the next group came to take over the cafe for the rest of the day.

I went home, changed and opened my fridge. There was only a jar of mayo, three bottles of water, a bottle of ketchup, and a bag of grapes. How depressing. I looked at the clock on my stove and saw that it was 7 in the afternoon.

I needed food, at least for tomorrow morning. I could always go back and get more food. I grabbed my phone and l keys, and left my apartment. The supermarket was about a five minute walk from my apartment so I didn't use my car.

When I entered the supermarket, I grabbed a cart from inside the store and went towards the dairy section. I grabbed a gallon of milk and a box of eggs, placing them into the cart. As I strolled through the cereal aisle, I saw a little girl sitting in the cart seat pointing at a cereal box.

"Mommy! Mommy! I want that one!" Squealed the little girl. Her mother giggled, "okay sweetie, here you go. Hold on to it tight." Her mother said as she handed her the cereal box. The little girl smiled.

I slumped my shoulders and sighed, remembering the few memories I had with my mother. I looked back down at my cart and continued walking. At the cash register, my items were scanned and I payed the bill. The lady handed me the receipt, "have a great night miss.” She smiled.

I returned the smile, "you too." I grabbed my bags and walked out the store.

I didn't know what time it was but the sky was pitch black. The only source of light were the lampposts that illuminated the side walk and the headlights of cars that passed by. The place felt empty, there was no one else besides me. At least until I heard sounds coming from an alley up ahead.

A man grunted, "please... I'm begging you!" A violent cough later followed.

The sound of a single gunshot filled the air.

I stopped and immediately grabbed my phone. While dialing 911, I crossed the street and sprinted home. It would be stupid to continue walking in the direction of the crime scene. This wasn't like the books where the girl continues forward curious of what happened when she knows exactly what happened. Utterly stupid if you asked me.

"Hello, 911 here, what's your emergency?" Asked the operator.

"I heard a man speaking. I don’t know who he was talking to. I didn’t see who they were, but there was a gunshot."

"Are you by the scene? What's the address?"

"No I didn't stay. I'm on my way home right now. The address is—” Before I could answer someone had grabbed me from behind and snatched my phone out of my hand. My groceries fell onto the ground, spilling everywhere. “Let me go!"

I struggled to release myself from the person's grip. I was staring at the ground and saw a shadow in front of me. Shit. I struggled even more. A hand grabbed my chin tightly and lifted my face up.

"Hey watch it! Get your hands off me!" I said and looked at the man. The man smirked, "you should have stayed home tonight."

He looked behind me, “take her." I felt the man holding onto me nod and began pulling me back.

"Hey! Let go of me! Who the hell do you think—" I felt something prick my neck. In a matter of seconds my eyelids felt heavy and my body felt numb, before falling into a deep slumber.
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