Hope Springs

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Chapter 7

When we got home the first thing I did was greet Mom and May. Mom informed us that the two of them had seen a large black wolf prowling around the house and then had added that May had decided to take up gymnastics and ballet, while Maria was going to stick with soccer and ballet. The next thing that I did was go upstairs and grab the laptop that we all used. I went to an incognito window, because the whole bottle was suspicious enough and I didn’t want my parents to know about my suspicions yet. Not until I figured out what it was and why they had.

I typed in Aconitum noveboracense into the search window and scrolled through the results, looking intently at everything that I saw. The flowers were blue and hood shaped but they could also be purple. It was commonly called Northern Blue Monkshood or Northern Wild Monkshood. There wasn’t a lot of information on it so I decided to just type in the word monkshood. I was sure that I had heard it somewhere before but I couldn’t remember where.

Wolfsbane. Monkshood is also known as wolfsbane. Members of the genus aconitum are also known as wolfsbane. But why would they have wolfsbane in the house? And why would I be allergic to wolfsbane? Wolfsbane only affects werewolves and I was definitely not a werewolf. I’m fairly certain I would know if I was a werewolf.

Maybe researching werewolf lore would help but I seriously doubted it. What was the point in researching it when I wasn’t even a werewolf? But maybe werewolf lore would provide some insight onto whatever was up with my parents having a bottle of wolfsbane in our medicine cabinet. There had to be a legend somewhere that would maybe give me some clues. I scanned the titles of various articles before finally deciding on one and figuring that even if it was a total bust it would at least give me some entertainment.

The Legend of the White Wolf

Aconite/monkshood/wolfsbane are all fairly deadly even to a regular wolf. But to the white wolf it is even more deadly. The white wolf doesn’t have fur that is white (not until their 300th year alive) but is called a white wolf because this particular wolf has a pure soul. In her first eighteen years of life the white wolf will not be able to shift and will be more susceptible to the effects of aconite. Once the white wolf turns eighteen she will be able to shift for the very first time and unless the white wolf has found its mate the experience will be very painful and the white wolf may not survive. The color of their wolf on their first shift will be black. The colors will then transition to brown, dark grey, gold, a sandy color, silver, and finally white.

Most werewolves can of course live to be thousands of years old and won’t age as rapidly as humans, do. At 300 years old a wolf can look twenty-one or even a little younger. As the white wolf gets older it will gain a better immunity to the effects of aconite, but aconite will still pose a risk. There are many theories on where the white wolf will originate from, but the most prominent theory is that it will come from Summer Falls.

At that I nearly slammed the laptop closed. I was starting to think crazy thoughts. There was no way that werewolves actually existed and even if they did there was no way that I was a werewolf or a “white wolf”, it just wasn’t possible. But...I shook my head. Nope. Not possible, werewolves didn’t exist. That was just too crazy.

“Trinity are you hungry,” Mom called and I hopped off of my bed, heading downstairs slowly. I was still trying to convince myself that this whole werewolf idea that was now in my head was insane and just not realistic..

“Yeah what’s for supper,” I asked, trying to sound casual.

“May is finishing off the Mexican food and I have ordered pizza,” Mom said, clapping her hands together and I smiled, wondering why she had called me down here in the first place if she had ordered pizza and supper wasn’t really ready. “Are you okay?” She observed me for a moment, “You still look pale, honey,” She reached for me and I batted her hands away. Her face fell and I immediately felt bad but I didn’t want to be touched, not when I had questions.

But the questions were just way too insane to ask her or anyone really. I’m sure that my friends would humor me but I was also sure that if they saw how anxious the werewolf thought made me or how fixated I seemed on it they would probably drop me. Maybe Max would humor me but I didn’t want to risk him thinking that I was this insane chick who was suddenly super obsessed with werewolves.

“I’m fine Mom, really,” I gave a feeble smile, “I guess I’m still just a little tired. But I feel so much better.”

“Good,” Mom smiled, “But your temperature is still running a little higher than normal.”

“Yeah well I can’t help it that I’m hot,” I smiled and Mom laughed, the tension in her shoulders easing. “Where’s Maria?” I looked around, noting that May was also absent. “And May?”

“Your father decided to take them to the shooting range and teach them a little about archery,” Mom scowled, “They are only six and are too young to be around weapons, but your father was insistent.”

I sighed, “I don’t get it either. They are only six. They are way too young to be handling any weapon and I don’t understand why they need to learn how when they have Dad who is fairly competent with a weapon.”

Mom shrugged, “He worries about them.”
“Too much I think,” I murmured, “He never worried that much about me.”

Mom smiled fondly at me, “That’s because he knows that you can take care of yourself. Despite how independent Maria acts it’s just an act. You were always independent even when you were younger Trinity.”

“Is that why Dad never taught me how to use a gun or a bow and arrow?” I asked and Mom stiffened as she moved around the kitchen, fiddling with little objects.

“Partly,” She finally said, “He didn’t think that you needed to learn a weapon. Trinity, look at it this way. May despite how hard she tries has never been your Dad’s favorite, you have always been the favorite and I guess he wanted you to always rely on him and if he taught you how to use a weapon then you wouldn’t rely on him.”

I sighed, but couldn’t really refute her logic. It did make sense but something just seemed a little off to me. Maybe I was being just too suspicious because of the stupid aconite pill bottle and the werewolf lore that I had read. I sighed, leaning slightly against the counter with my hip and watching Mom as she continued to move around the kitchen, trying to find something to do.

“Mom, what’s wrong,” I finally asked after she had made three more circles around the kitchen and she sighed raking a hand through her hair.

“Just the sighting of that wolf near our house has me on edge,” She confessed, and I bounced slightly on my toes. I really wanted to hear about this wolf. I didn’t believe that the wolf was a werewolf and the more I thought about it the crazier I seemed for believing in it. So from now on I was going to try to forget about even researching werewolves and I would just stay away from the aconite pill bottle.

“What did the wolf look like,” I asked and Mom looked at me her expression full of exasperation.

“It was...” She seemed to be trying to remember, “Big. Black. Blue eyes.”

“Wow, that was so descriptive,” I said, sarcasm in my voice and she glared at me. I sighed and offered a meek apology.

That night was relatively quiet. Maria was focusing on reading her book instead of engaging in dinner conversation, Mom was giving Dad the silent treatment for taking the twins to a shooting range, Dad knew that trying to talk to Mom would get him nowhere and he didn’t seem to be in the mood to talk, and May obviously could sense the tension in the air and was surprisingly silent. I played with my salad for a few moments before pushing it to the side and choosing not to eat it. By the time dinner was over the silence had not faded and Maria and May had both retreated to their room.

I decided to do the same thing, I could sense the beginnings of an argument and had no desire to be there. Before I went to bed I glanced at the laptop, biting my lip in thought before I turned away from it and tried to fall asleep.

Werewolves....They did not exist. They couldn’t exist.

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