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The Wolf

By Grayson Tumult All Rights Reserved ©

Thriller / Horror

A Short Story

The wolf approaches.  It’s big and dark…and threatening.  The wolf lurks, just inside my head.  It’s not really a wolf, but more a darkness that settles in and all around me.  Like a fog that doesn’t lift.  When the wolf is near, I retreat to my secret place.  The sanctuary I find lies in a tiny corner of my shattered mind.  Sometimes, I can close the door to that sanctum and find peace, losing days at a time.  Unfortunately, there are times the door won’t close.

The wolf shows me things.  It’s the stuff of nightmares and terror and things I would never imagine.  I have witnessed the calculated stalking of prey, the pursuit, the capture and the violent ending of an innocent soul.  At those moments, I can feel the wolf in my hands and in my heart, but mostly in my head.  I hear him howling at me during the destruction of life.

There was a time long ago; it seems like forever, when I was able to control the wolf.  As a child, I remember the burning anger rise in my chest, like a pyre.  I would direct it inward, instead of striking out, and the anger would feed.  I didn’t know it then, but it was feasting on the very fiber of my sanity.  Until the day, it lashed out, beyond my grasp and into a life of its own.  I couldn’t stop myself from pushing that boy out of the tree.  It was so long ago; I can’t even remember his name.  We were pretending to be famous hunters, searching for the great white wolf.  Everyone thought his death was a tragic accident.  I knew differently.

As I grew older, the wolf grew more ravenous.  I was no longer able to control the urges and through fear, I discovered my secret place.  I would sense another storm approaching and retreat.  I remember once, as a teenager, waking up in clothes covered with mud and traces of things too horrible to acknowledge.  My parents never had a clue about my activities on that night, or any other.  I never found out what happened, I can only imagine the unspeakable horror.

As an adult, I finally reached a point where I sought professional help.  I lied to the doctors, but only about the details.  I confided in them about the darkness that descended upon me, bringing with it intense pain and anguish.  I even said that it felt like a wolf lurking inside my head, gripping my ears and pulling them inward.  They told me that it would go away with the right medication.  They assured me that the pills would send the wolf away.  They lied to me.

In the distance, I can hear the approaching wail of the sirens.  Someone must have found the bodies.  They were so young and so in love.  Seeing them, my jealousy raged at what I would never have.  The wolf settled in, casting a red pall over my vision.  Losing myself, I knew nothing but the infliction of pain upon those two innocent souls.  I tried in vain to retreat to my sanctum during the attack.  For a few furious moments, I was one with the wolf.  When it was over, I knew I had lost the battle for control.  There would be no doctors, no pills with the power to free me now.  My final lucid act was to lead the authorities to my door.  Dropping my wallet at the scene, I returned home.

The sirens are closer still.  My head has been quiet while I wait for them to arrive.  Blood and flesh has dried to blotches of dark brown on my pants and shirt.  Like freakish tears, bloody streaks line my face.  No…not now…, the sirens wail and the screeching of tires out front, awaken the beast.  Inside my head, the wolf screams for survival.  I long for the ability to hide in my secret place and to forget.  Never wanting to return and face what I have become.

The pounding on the door accelerates my heart rate.  My senses bristle with electricity as the door crashes inward.  Weapons are drawn behind bright lights that leave glaring spots in my vision.  I can hear myself snarling at them, yet am powerless to stop.  A deafening blast fills my ears as a barrage of metal strikes my chest, knocking me to the floor.

It didn’t have to be this way.  They promised me the pills would make it all go away.  They lied to me…….

THE END

Grayson Tumult

July 2015

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