Point Breeze Motel
The Van left the makeshift driveway and Tommy smiled and remarked, “Boy, I’m sure glad to be leaving that shithole! What do you think that godforsaken place is worth, Sarah?”
Tommy turned toward Sarah who deliberately turned away from him and lowered her head, pretending to fumble for the newfound diary turning page after page. Purposely avoiding Tommy’s gaze she said under her breath,
“It is decrepit, I agree with that, I know I was excited about selling the place, but now…”
“I checked the Internet and with the current real estate market in Louisiana, we could make bank if you sold it, Sarah.” Tommy informed Sarah.
The creases in his forehead deepened and his wide eyes turned into slits of frustration; intermittently he stared at Sarah trying to get her attention while at the same time trying to watch the road. This infuriated him even further when he noticed she was not paying attention to him but instead reading through the pages of her ancestors’ book.
“I don’t know, Tommy.” She said softly, without even tearing her eyes from the diary she had been reading, “Besides, when I talked to the lawyer things were not finalized yet.” She didn’t even address the “We” aspect of his comment, unwilling to talk more than she absolutely had to.
Sarah could hear Tommy muttering something under his breath. She pretended Tommy’s filthy mouth had been intended for the huge pothole that racked the van but she knew it was intended for her. Bracing her for the back and forth rocking of the vehicle, like an ocean dweller on a stormy sea, her eyes locked onto the pages of one of Alicia’s inner thoughts.
She glanced through a sampling a bit of her diary, “I found him quite by accident, just bird watching and enjoying one quiet, warm, pleasant day. A start came over me, at this tree line just near to the river’s edge. I thought I saw the green glowing eyes and Raven black fur of a huge predator… Skipping through pages, “…I my eyes shut tight to wait for the inevitable attack…” a pothole distracted her.
Sarah skipped through pages until picking yet another place and reading aloud, “…I braced myself and began to pray. However, it was not talons or the claws of an animal; I felt his delicate warm human hands upon me…” She said to herself, as Roxy touched her shoulder, breaking her concentration.
“Hey Sarah,” Roxy said, a half Korean, half Latino mix which made her stick out from the rest of the group but in a good way, always the life of the party and a close confidant of Sarah’s. She leaned in and whispered, “I noticed you seemed a little shocked when you saw Tommy. If it helps, I’ll room with you when we find a motel, if you want.”
Roxy had been a fixture in Sarah’s life since freshman year. Sarah closed the book to look towards Roxy’s infectious smile. Roxy’s slender and short stature, her sleepy blue eyes, round face, caramel complexion and voluptuous rosy lips made Sarah laugh when she crocked her head from side to side with one eyebrow raised in an inquisitive fashion.
The close quarters of the van began to cramp Tequila’s legs; she stretched out her legs and put them on the laps of the three passengers sitting next to her. The annoyance gave way to acceptance with her impish smile. She was oblivious to AJ and Garrett’s reddening faces as she searched through the pockets of her deliberately low cut jean shorts for her blackberry.
Tommy gave up trying to get Sarah’s attention and now he observed the dirt path while intermittently beating the fragile GPS in frustration as he navigated down the unfamiliar road for the third time. He wrinkled his nose at the thickening smoke billowing forth from the back of the van. Once in a while in a straightaway he snuck a peek at Sarah as she stared out the side view window daydreaming and oblivious to him.
“Hey I found a perfect place.” Tequila exclaimed, she had been staring at her BlackBerry like a zombie but now she excitedly waved her BlackBerry around trying the group’s attention, “look, it is perfect! The rooms all have their own kitchenettes and everything!”
Tequila slid off the vinyl seat and hit Tommy’s back playfully to get his attention. Tommy tried his best to ignore her. His response came before he ever even seen the glowing view of Point Breeze Motel. “Yep, yeah, sure, whenever we get out of this damn forsaken maze that place sounds nice, Tequila...” He said just to appease her as he rolled his eyes.
Making a game of annoying Tommy she purposely moved uncomfortably closer to him, putting her right arm on his shoulder and her left arm, with the BlackBerry, purposely in his face until he was forced to acknowledge her presence with an uneasy smile.
“Yeah, yeah I see it Tequila!”
Jac and Garrett, both brothers, had always had an infatuation for Tequila. They were friends with AJ, who was friends with Sarah, who was friends with Tequila. When the chance arose to take a road trip, the three musketeers as they called themselves jumped at the chance. Roxy opened a side window in the rear of the van and lit up a cigarette. The group bellowed out an annoyed protest in unison but Roxy was oblivious. “Roxy,” Desiree silently tried to get her attention. “The van is overcrowded and cramped already, please stop the chain smoking.”
Luggage stacked up like a game of Jenga, Tina and Jac, lovers, took up the middle couch seat. They were locked in an intimate embrace oblivious of the quarrels and the group. Roxy and Desiree brought up the rear of the van. Their legs were curled up in a ball so the luggage would fit; their backs resting uncomfortably on either side, their arms resting on the rear tire fenders. Desiree and Roxy coming had been an afterthought, when Sarah found out there were more men than women going with her she frantically tried to find schoolmates to even out the uneven ratio.
The jarring jolt from the progressively deepening potholes quieted the group suddenly. They traveled in irritated silence for the majority of the trip. Sarah stared out absent mindedly at the view of the river to her right. Four left turns and her family estate could be seen in the background once more releasing a collective grumble from the group as they were still hopelessly lost.
Sarah stopped reading for a moment to look out at the scenery. The miles upon miles of greenery and the unique fragrances of honeysuckle, fresh Tributaries, and warm lake waters comforted Sarah’s soul and somehow reminding her of her dreams running carefree through the grasses and the weeping Juniper. Unaware of Lance’s wolf, visible as a red streak as it hurdled through the weeds and the obstacles on all fours, concealed by the trees, easily keeping pace with its prey, the white Van.
However, a white wolf burst out from the river’s edge to stalk the stalker. He had glowing golden eyes, a red sigil tattoo on his muzzle. Virgin white furred abdomen and in contrast to the white fur an obsidian black diamond-shape on his belly. He had stalked tiny elusive pray for millennia. So he easily kept up with the bumbling huge red Wolf with an odor that assaulted his senses.
Weekly obsessive howling sparked Devon’s curiosity. He felt a stirring in the air, smelt a new pack emerging. He had searched for three days, feverishly investigating for other signs of hiding places of the growing infected… Track marks, dead carcasses, anything that would tell him how many there were, where, and how large the unknown blasphemous pack had gown, finding trailers, houses and shacks. Now he stealthily tracked the crimson wolf now.
The Lycanthropes were driven to hide out; they were forced to live in the shadows of humanity, driven to the brink of extinction hundreds of years ago. Devon and most of the Lycanthropes were peaceful by nature, driven into hiding, they spent their days frolicking, chasing, hunting small game and napping. With little interaction with man, humankind all but forgot the werewolf, they were found now only in the recesses of the mind and imagination. And that’s the way Devon liked it. That is why it worried him so, Aticus emerging from the shadows with his hordes.
The van driving a straight shot on the interstate boredom had gotten the better of the group and they were at each other’s throats by the time they finally made it to New Roads. A twenty-two mile trip but the beat-up van had been lost in the back roads and marshes for hours. Finally finding its way back to civilization the van slowly made it past the Pointe Coupee general hospital and onto the Point Breeze Motel and Lakeside Kitchenette Apartments.
Sarah noted four hunters laughing and joking amongst another, seated and stretched out on the end of an open tailgate, waiting for their leader with guns in hand. Gung ho for whatever beast might be terrorizing the neighborhood. Sarah felt a chill come over her and she clutched the old diary closer to her breasts. Guns scared the hell out of her; guns, booze, and paranoia were certainly a dangerous combination.
Chet Vandal, a self-declared swamp rat, had come from Mississippi spillway to Pointe Coupee. He heard somewhere that the Pointe Coupee Perish was offering a bounty for the animal responsible for the growing uneasiness. Finishing his sixth beer before pumping his shotgun he gave an easy glance at Sarah as the group of ragtag college students passed by.
Sarah had no time to think about the potential horrors as the van turned another corner she could see a sign for Point Breeze Motel a few miles away. The van came alive again with excited conversation. The van turned onto a paved road, badly needing repair, snaking past the False River’s edge until they were at their destination.
Devon’s white wolf form stopped just past the interstate and before human domain, watching the other wolf from behind. Lance stopped and looked in the distance beyond the lake, his superhuman hearing making out every whisper. Now almost human, a wolf-man in appearance with a smashed-down elongated black nose made for an extremely short muzzlelike visage. Red fur completely covered his entire bare body giving him a shadowy appearance. Only the glowing red eyes gave away the stalker’s position. To the human eye the tiny groups across the Lake made for a colorful blur, but Lance’s eyes were not human. He could hone in on the lake like an Eagle’s eye, and turned his attention to Sarah, the target of his master’s obsession.