Our lives are over. There was no way around this, no way we could ever live without fear of someone discovering what we did.
I had been in the library typing up my lecture notes from this morning unaware of the horrors that would soon haunt my life forever. Respecting the rules of the library and not wanting to disturb others I had put my phone on silent, missing the six frantic calls my sister had made to me.
It was only when I took a break and glanced at my phone did I notice the calls and texts messages. Without hesitation, I put my laptop in my bag and walked out of the library, leaving my books and stationery there so people would know the spot at the table was occupied.
“Hi Cami, what’s up?” I asked her as I zipped up my bag.
“Nala.” Cami whispered before she started crying. “Something happened, you have to come home.”
“What? What happened? Are you okay?”
Cami didn’t answer and all I could hear was anguish cries.
The feeling of dread crept down my spine like a spider leaving a trail of silk. I felt it all over my body, taking control until I’m almost frozen. In this frozen state, my mind offers me only one thought. Help Cami.
“I’m coming home.” I told her as I walked back into the library. My body went into auto pilot as I gathered my stuff and headed towards the car park. I don’t even remember driving, all I knew is that I had to go home.
As I entered our house, it was eerily quiet and I couldn’t help but shudder as I stepped into the hallway. “Cami!” I called out. “Where are you?”
“I’m in the kitchen.” Cami’s voice was hoarse and shook slightly.
I walked towards the kitchen, the sound of my shoes hitting the floor seemed to echo in my ear as if it was on loudspeaker. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but my body was preparing itself as my heart started racing and my palms began to feel clammy.
I couldn’t believe my eyes, I didn’t want to. I had never seen anything like this not even in my worst nightmares. My sister was huddled in the corner of the room, her clothes torn apart, clutching a bloody kitchen knife and her phone. Tears were streaming down her face, her mouth opening and closing as if she was trying to talk but no sound came out.
A man lay on the kitchen floor, a scarlet liquid had drenched his white shirt and had began to pool all around him. His trousers were around his ankles and he wasn’t moving.
Thoughts accelerate inside my head, causing everything to hurt. I want them to slow down so I can breathe and process what is in front of me but they don’t. My breaths come out in strangled gasps and my vision starts to blur. The sound of my heart hammering inside my chest was too loud and felt as though it would jump out of my body. The room started to spin and I stumbled backwards towards the ground.
“Nala?” Cami cried out softly, pulling my attention towards her. My horror-filled eyes met hers and I took her appearance in again.
I dropped my keys and bag on the floor and with unsteady feet, I walked towards her and gently pulled the knife and phone from her grasp. I put them down on the counter and helped her up. Her trembling figure made my heart clench and though I had some sort of idea about what may have happened, I didn’t want to confirm it just yet.
“I’m going to fix this, but first, let’s get you all cleaned up.” I whispered to her.
Cami looked at me, her tear stained face breaking my heart. “I killed him. Nala, I killed him.”
“Shh. Come on.” I supported most of her weight as I helped her up the stairs to her bedroom. “Can you tell me what happened?”
Cami started trembling and tears filled her eyes again. After a few seconds of silence she started to talk. “He- he- I couldn’t stop him. I tried Nala, I tried so hard but- but he was so strong. I saw the knife and I-I- wanted him to stop.”
I pulled her into a tight hug. “I’ll call the police, he tried to hurt you, it was self-defence.”
Cami stiffened in my arms. “We can’t. Nala, he’s a werewolf.”
“It doesn’t matter, it was still self-defence.” I tried to reassure her.
Cami shook her head and let out a pitiful sob. “He’s from the visiting pack, he’s high up on the ranks. We can’t call the police, they’ll- they’ll..”
They would kill her. The Alpha of that pack would kill her. We stayed in silence for a few minutes, just holding each other.
“Okay.” I started as I pulled away from her. “We’re not going to call the police but we have to clean up.”
Cami nodded and we went into the bathroom we both shared. Cami started to take her clothes off, letting out little whimpers as she did.
“Please stay.” Cami whispered as she met my eyes.
I nodded and motioned for her to sit on the edge of the bathtub. I turned on the taps and water started to fill the bath. “Did he- did he actually rape you? Did he… stop before he actually..” I trailed off unsure of how to ask her and silently praying that he didn’t get a chance to.
Cami started crying. “I tried to stop him!” Pain and rage coursed through my body as she confirmed what happened.
“Shh. I’m sorry for asking. It’s going to be okay. You’re going to be okay.”
After Cami took her clothes off- or what was left of it- she got into the bath and closed her eyes whereas mine trailed across her body lingering on the bite marks and handprint shaped bruises. The water started to turn a light pink and I looked away.
“I’m going to get you some clothes.”
I went into her room and grabbed her pillow and screamed into it. All I felt was anger and pain. How could this have happened?
I bit my tongue as I tried to hold back the tears that threatened to leave my eyes. As I thought about what my little sister had gone through I couldn’t hold them back any longer. At first one small tear escaped, sliding down my cheek, and rolling of my chin. Then another and another, until my eyes flooded with them and a steady stream of salty tears flowed out.
Cami was all I had left, our parents died when we were young and our paternal uncle took us in. While he and his wife were never said anything, I knew we were a burden to them. They already had three children and adding another two young children did not make things easier.
Before I had turned 18 we had discussed what we would happen next and my uncle and aunt were okay with me taking responsibility for Cami, in fact I think they were a little relieved. Cami was only two years younger than me so it wasn’t as difficult as it would have been with someone younger. We decided to move back into our old house in Manchester, I started university and Cami started college.
My parents had a little money saved before they died and my uncle also gave us some money to help us. Our house was mortgage free so we didn’t have to worry about that but did have to pay other bills. We wanted to use as little of the money from our parents and uncle so we both got part time jobs. Cami worked around 10 hours a week and I worked around 20 hours. Getting a loan from student finance was a bonus. We weren’t thriving but we were doing well in terms of finance.
Taking in a deep breath, I wiped my tears away and pulled out some clothes from the wardrobe. I had to be strong for Cami, I had to help her.
I knocked on the bathroom door, even though it was open to alert Cami that I was back. She looked towards me blankly. “Come on.” I said as I passed her the towel. “Let’s get you dressed.”
Cami dressed silently as I drained the tub, watching the light pink water swirl around. “What are we going to do now?”
I turned back towards her and held her hands. “You’re going try and get some rest and I’m…I’m going to cover the body up and come up with a plan.”
Cami shook her head. “I want to help. This is all my fault.”
“Listen to me.” I told her firmly, gripping her hand tightly. “This is not your fault. Do you hear me? This is not your fault.”
“Let me help you.”
I let out a long sigh. “Fine, but if it gets too much for you, you need to tell me.”
Cami nodded sombrely and followed me down the stairs. I didn’t know what I was supposed to do. Should I google this? But what if it what I search gets traced back to me? I couldn’t afford to make any mistakes so I needed to think this through.
I walked into the kitchen slowly, grabbed a tea towel and threw it on the face of the man laying on the ground. I didn’t want to see his face.
I grabbed my bag that was discarded on the floor and picked it up, all the while staring at the body. I pulled out a notebook and pen and headed towards the living room.
“What are you doing?”
“People get caught because they panic and rush things, we can’t afford to make a mistake. I’m going write down everything we need to do so we don’t forget anything.” I told her as I flipped over to a new clean page.
“Are you being serious?”
I glanced at her and nodded. “We have to be extra careful, he’s a werewolf from a visiting pack they’re going to look for him when he doesn’t turn up. We can’t have anything leading him to here. I know this is going to be hard but I need you to tell me exactly how you met him and how he got here.”
Cami swallowed and nodded. With a shaky voice, she explained how he had coming into the Costa Coffee she had been working in for the last few days. Every time she was working he would strike up a conversation with her, it was friendly at first but then he asked her on a date. Cami explained that she was 17 and wasn’t interested in dating a man in his late 20s but that didn’t seem to faze him. She was covering a shift for her colleague today and he was there but this time he didn’t talk to her, just watched her.
“When I opened the door, he came up from behind and pushed me. I didn’t see him following me, I should have noticed him!” Cami cried out, putting her head down. “I ran to the kitchen, I thought maybe I could leave through the back door but he was too fast and then…”
Cami stopped talking and we both froze, our eyes widening in fear.
Someone was at the door.