Shifted

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Chapter 7

What I never wanted to do after I had learned that Upton Hill Town was actually home to a pack of gray wolves was encountering the said predator in person. I once even had a nightmare about meeting a wolf: though the one in my dream seemed more like a beast straight out of a B-class horror movie than an actual canis lupus - all patchy, matted black fur, gianormous yellow fangs, dripping saliva, and glowing eyes...

Still, the living-breathing example standing right in front of me could be its twin brother: though a much, much bigger, and more terrifying twin brother.

“Good wolf... Good wolf...” Was all I mumbled, while slowly backing away and racking my brain as to how to react when facing canis lupus.

Was I supposed to run? Wave my arm to appear bigger? Pretend to be dead? Scream my head off and hope that the wolf will run away?

“Gemma!” Emmie decided to make her long overdue appearance. I didn’t even glance her way, not really eager to leave the beast out of my sight even for a second. “What are you doing here?” She asked, clearly perplexed.

“I don’t think we have time for this...” I said through clenched teeth, still slowly backing away. “This guy here thinks I’m his dinner...” I added.

And I wasn’t even joking.

The wolf started to growl - I could feel the vibrations of his low rumble inside my body as if I was in a car and someone decided to turn up bases on full. Saliva was slowly pooling on the ground between its firmly set legs, its fangs were bared in a grotesque smile...

If this guy didn’t want to eat me before Emmie arrived, it clearly changed its mind.

“Oh shit,” Was all my friend said, noticing the situation. I couldn’t agree more. “I’ll try to scare it off. Just back away slowly and...”

Whatever she wanted to add was interrupted by the wolf, who obviously had different ideas. Without any warning, it leaped at me. I screamed, jumped away just in time to avoid its direct attack, lost my balance, and fell on my bottom. I barely managed to close my eyes before the beast’s fangs sunk into my calf. I cried out and started to kick the predator off and yet, it just wouldn’t release me. Instead, it began to drag me into the forest, unmindful of my dislocated shoulder, cones, sticks, or needles that were now adding to the collection of my injuries...

I blindly reached for any object that could be used as a weapon until I finally grabbed a large stone. At the exact moment, Emmie suddenly booted the wolf to the side, and, finally, did it release me. But it wouldn’t let go just like that. No. Rather, it flew off to the side with a fresh chomp of the muscle ripped straight from my right leg.

I screamed when the tendons were giving in with the protest. And then some more when I saw the bloodied white of my tibial bone.

I screamed and screamed until I eventually passed out...


Drip.

...Drop...

Drip.

...Drop...

Was it raining?

"Oh God, Zach! She’s dying...! Oh my God! Zach, please, save her...! You must save her...!”

...Drip.

...Drop...

“What did I tell you about staying away?! If you could just listen when I...”

...Drip...

“Not now! She’s dying... Save her... Save her, please... I-I-I’ll face the consequences... I-I-I’ll say that I made y...”

“You’ll do shit, Emmie! Tell Sydney to get the car ready and get the fuck away from my sight! Jackson and Dwight, you two go after the rouge... And you Matthews... You just hang on...”

...Drop.


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