Wolf's Blood

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Batchelor, Louisiana

Susan timidly peeked out the curtains careful not to let any light out to draw attention to herself, Hannah, Tasha, Terrell and Jenkins. One hybrid Wolf had made short work of Susan’s car. Glass shattered, tires flattened, rims resting on the driveway, fiberglass fenders and plastic bumpers looked like paper that had gone through the shredder.

“I’m glad everybody is safe,” Jenkins said, glancing over at his ghost son then wandering over and putting his arm around Susan’s shoulder to comfort her.

Jenkins looked over at his son glaring at the front door. His ghost son stared out through the closed door as if it had been open and he could see everything. The ghost could see the glowing eyes crisscrossing the subdivision and in the distance could hear the terrified screams of the helpless victims.

“I hope my husband gets here soon. There is still no response on the house or cell phones and the Internet is out,” she clung to her daughter Hannah for dear life.

Terrell had been afraid to go home until his mom arrived, so instead they had brought his older brother and his girlfriend next door to Tasha’s; his parents were working at A-line on second shift. He had expected to see them arrive home before trick-or-treating ended but they were still not home. He had to make conversation with Tasha in the kitchen to keep his mind off of them. His brother and his girlfriend sat in the other room watching TV.

“So you went as a waitress, then?” Terrell nervously laughs.

Tasha chuckled, “yeah, you ass!”

Terrell’s dad, a black machinist, and his mother, a Latin nurse, found each other when Terrell’s dad received a grievous injury while trying to repair a stalled engine on his press by himself. They locked eyes and they were never separated again, 20 years and counting. Terrell had an exotic mix of Nubian and Latino in him. He had black shiny curly hair and he was tall and toned with caramel skin. Tasha thought that he would surely make the girls swoon when he developed a little more but still barely 13 years old he had a lot of growing up to do.

Barring pregnancy when she bore children, his parents did not deviate from their routine for 20 years. They were a pillar of consistency for his brothers and sisters. When work ended they were home at 10:15 without fail. Even when his parents got a flat tire they got a cab so they wouldn’t be late. Now it was 10:40 and they were still not home and that worried him. He could feel his stomach clench. He involuntarily shook like a Chihuahua. She noticed his prideful and defiant pale eyes looked frightened and scared.

Tasha could see the worry in his eyes and tried to console him, “maybe your parents went out to dinner after work to see everybody, all dressed up, this being Halloween and all.”

Sirens began to wail quietly in the distance at first, then louder and louder as a car turned into the subdivision, a sudden squawk on the walkie-talkie, “Come in, come in, this is Rogers, can anybody hear me?

Over.”

Jenkins saw Susan’s eyes light up when she heard her husband’s voice as he responded, “This is Jenkins. We are at Tasha’s house; everything is okay, what is your E.T.A.?”

“Just a few blocks away, we will be there soon, over.” The walkietalkie squawked.

“Did you find the reporter that you were looking for?” Jenkins asked unknowingly.

Only static and silence come from the walkie-talkie in Jenkins’ hand. Jenkins could cut the tension with a knife when Rogers meekly spoke, “there was no sign of her…”

Rogers’ voice broke from the unconscious guilt, “but we did acquire a stranger that can tell us more about what is going on.”

If jealousy and anger could kill, Jenkins would’ve been dead when he looked at Susan’s betrayed and angry eyes. He was kicking himself for not realizing. Jenkins wanted so much to comfort her and tell her how sorry he was but he didn’t know what to say. He felt a sigh of relief when he heard the squealing’s siren then the warning howls of a dozen animals close by.

“They’re here!” Phillip exclaimed, looking at his father and pointing at the closed door.

The wail of sirens and shouting could be heard coming from outside. They could hear footsteps and then a loud banging on the door, “this is Rogers, let me in!”

Susan rushed toward the door and let her husband in. She threw the door open and threw herself into Rogers’ arms. Hunter and Dr. Jacobs filed in around them. As Detective Jenkins saw a dozen lunatics some lurching but upright, others on all fours. They looked human in the shadows save for their eyes all aglow. The shadows in the middle of the street were held at bay by the incessant blare of the sirens. He saw lupine like beasts leaping in and out of the shadows. Some beasts had long muzzles and long, pointed ears and long tails while some beasts sported short muzzles without tails to speak of.

The wind had picked up through the subdivision the last leaves on the trees falling to the ground and gusting into the living room. Closing the door, Dr. Jacobs could smell the strong stench of the gathering aroma of the infected. Hunter sat down at the kitchen table. Hunter motioned Terrell, Tasha, and Rogers’ wife to come as he had a story to tell.

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