Wolf's Blood

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Wolf’s Den Tavern

Lou LeBeau made a sigh of relief when he burst through the dense forest into a clearing and found a dirt trail that he recollected; almost to New Roads. He tore at the straps of his motorcycle helmet and threw it on the ground; it bounced along the trail until it disappeared in a tall gathering of weeds. He had been sweating so profusely that the cool night’s air was a wonderful relief to him.

His brooding blue eyes were bloodshot with tears. He still could not believe his brother had actually died. He had seen the gory scene with his own eyes, had seen his brother torn to pieces. He had tried to shoot the monstrous thing but to no avail. The mysterious beast just continued mauling his brother. Nevertheless Lou was not the type of person to linger on a horrible situation, even the death of his own brother. He focused on the matter at hand which was him trying to get out of the accursed woods to safety.

Lou instinctively checked his wounded chest, now numb to the touch and strangely, he felt better. His wound only an hour ago was an oozing jagged gaping hole that began to heal, now just a scar with a rosy glow. He felt exhilarated, a teenager and Superman all wrapped up into one as he throttled the motorcycle for more speed, his natural endorphins were on overdrive.

Lou flew down the road at breakneck speeds, glad to be on the flat surface which afforded him the luxury of a smooth ride. Until he came upon the flashing neon green lights of an out-of-the-way hole in the wall bar a strange sensation came over him, compelling him to stop. Lou slowly stepped on the break as he turned into the gravel drive of the Wolf’s den Tavern and Tattoo Parlor.

Row after row of Harley-Davidsons and Choppers lined the parking lot. While surveying the impressive lot, Lou suddenly became selfconscious of his own ride and what a beater it was among all these others.

The place itself a rundown, termite infested, two story wood building that seemed to loom over Lou. Up on the balcony patio there stood four greasy haired bikers that noticed him the second he rode up.

“Hey boy!” A blonde bearded, tall and lanky man stopped his conversation with his three friends and turned his attention down to Lou, “Hey boy, I’m talking to you! You better be getting on that shit bike of yours and movin’ on!”

Lou ignored the blonde biker’s ribbing and made his way to the front entrance even though he could feel the biker’s eyes burning holes in him. He was almost out of sight when a volley of beer cans rained down at him. Lou instinctively looked up to the balcony and the bikers.

“Boy I’m not kidding! Be on your way, go in and its hell to pay!” The biker drunkenly warned a beer in his hand.

Directly below them about to head inside when a golden shower came streaming down soaking Lou’s hair. Lou was shivering at the thought of what it might be when he realized it felt ice cold, just beer he thought, though only slightly relieved. The biker’s raucous laughter floating down to him, something came over him as he pushed the sodden hair out of his face. He tilted his head up, smiled shyly and gave the bikers the bird. The laughter abruptly trailed off.

“You’re dead man!” The blonde yelled down to him, signaling his friends, they immediately swung the door open loud music exploding out of it. They disappeared inside; the door slammed which shut with a clang.

He should’ve been scared out of his wits being by himself in this desolate spot with menacing strangers, but the upcoming conflict only exhilarated him and he felt unmistakably drunk with power like a perpetual PCP trip wrapped up with a steroid chaser. He felt as if there was a powerful Wolf-like being guiding him, a duality that he easily accepted. His senses were on fire with new smells, sounds and his vision crisper than it had ever been, despite the darkness. Lou walked through the dual glass doors confidently and stepped inside the tattoo parlor. Obviously closed for the night the lights were off and the tattoo studio door locked but a sign on the wall said, “Wolf’s den Bar... upstairs and to the right.”

Lou walked up to inspect the sign but a noise caught his attention. He wheeled around on his heels to survey the scene. In the dark he made out a shadowy figure closing the door to the tattoo parlor. He waited a moment to be sure that there weren’t any people waiting to ambush him and then continued quickly up the stairs to Wolf’s den.

He went still for a moment; his hand frozen on the doorknob, listening to the rhythmic bass beat of the house band. As he entered the upstairs into the dance room he was blown away by the clean, modern lines of the room in contrast to the rundown exterior.

Halted by a large man putting a hand up, Lou impatiently flashed his I.D. to the bouncer and disappeared into the ruckus of the crowd. His senses were awash with exciting new sounds, colors, and smells that he had never sensed before. He felt alive for the first time as if he had been reborn, listening to music how it was always meant to be.

“Can I get you a drink?” An attractive scantily clad waitress asked him as he walked up to the bar.

“Jack and Coke, more Jack less Coke, please.” Lou had to yell so she could hear him over the loud music.

Lou leaned his back against the bar with his elbows resting on the top of it so that he could soak in all the new aromas and sounds bombarding him, loving every minute of it. The musical beat seductive, almost rhythmic in intensity. Lou took his drink from the waitress and handed her crumpled bills, enough to pay for his drink and a generous tip.

The flashing strobe lights had Lou feeling quite strange and disoriented; almost nauseous when the crowd parted. He could see the four bikers from the balcony coming for him. Realizing he would be soon cornered by the angry bikers he scanned the bar for any kind of weapon such as a wine bottle or beer bottle but coming up with nothing.

“I knew we would find you!” One lanky biker spit, in-between taking gulps from his bottle of beer.

Lou could instantly tell from the blonde biker’s clothing that he concealed a gun. As the four men circled around him he racked his brain for a way out but it was no good. He began to think he had bit off more than he could chew. Lou looked around for a judicious bouncer or a Good Samaritan in the writhing sea of men and women mingling and gyrating to the music who might be able to defuse the situation, Lou found none.

“Hey guys I don’t want any trouble,” He said as he turned his back on the four men, as if ignoring them would make them give up and go away. He downed the remainder of his drink in one gulp and lowered his head, “I just want to drink my drink in peace.”

Fine invisible hairs began to sprout all over his body, like a comforting blanket. His jaw began to ache and throb as, little known to Lou, new teeth began to sprout in his mouth. He shivered enthralled in ecstasy as the parasite began to take hold of him and induce a metamorphosis, pain mixed with pleasure. Instead of fighting the strange feeling that had come over him he welcomed it and urged it on.

Lou took a deep breath and spun around to face the antagonists who yelled obscenities at his back, fists clenched in anticipation of the coming conflict. The dirty, blonde biker instantly grabbed for his concealed piece, the rest of the group following suit took out brass knuckles and knives. The one biker without a weapon grabbed an unused chair and held it up over his head at the ready. Lou found himself growling involuntarily. Keenly focused as his senses sharpened and he reveled in the sensation, ready to scrap.

“You’re so fucking screwed man!” The dirty biker said through his stained, clenched teeth.

The biker stepped up to Lou and pressed the cold barrel of his gun up against Lou’s temple. The group watched, grinning, weapons at hand. The two men were standing eye to eye, staring at each other, both seemingly unwilling to back down. Lou could see the blonde man’s eyes were bloodshot from one too many drinks… He thought this might work to his advantage.

The biker began yelling something at Lou as he pressed the gun harder into his skin. Lou didn’t pay attention, watching the sea of people part behind the bikers, like Moses parting the Red Sea, people automatically moved aside. A blur of motion and the biker who had held the chair held it no more, only harmless shattered pieces remained on the dusty floor. The lead biker still oblivious to the interloper shrieked in

Lou’s face until the strange man darted forward and with a vice like grip squeezed in between his hand, barrel and trigger of the gun, rendering it inoperable.

“What the shit?” The dirty biker called out as the struggled for control of his weapon.

“Not in my house!” Boomed the unknown man; the shout sending chills down the bikers’ spines.

The bikers cowered before the interloper. The two men with knives slunk back into the crowd; the others were in shock, too stunned to move.

“There will be no guns in my establishment boys!” Viddarr, the owner of the bar, loudly commanded.

Viddarr, an impressive sight to behold, even with his frumpy attire, a gray hooded zip up sweatshirt and matching gray sweatpants and his presence unmistakable for the owner of the place. Standing about six foot, four inches, with his forehead concealed by his hood, he still like a granite statue as his brown and crimson flaked animalistic gaze burned holes in the blonde biker’s eyes.

“Give me the gun.” Viddarr commanded.

The blonde biker, Daxx, begrudgingly handed over his weapon and nodded to what remained of his gang to put away their weapons too. The bikers edged ever closer to their blonde leader as if he could protect them if it came down to blows. Viddarr sensed their uneasiness and seemed to enjoy it. Grinning, he exposed his crooked canine like teeth as he feigned an attack on one of the dirty blonde’s minions, watching him cower behind his shivering leader.

“I don’t want any trouble in my establishment.” Viddarr put a heavy arm around Lou, “if you boys want to go out to the parking lot and settle this outside, you are more than welcome to.”

“But for now I’ll be confiscating this.” Viddarr gestured at the 9 mm.

He examined the 9 mm from muzzle to butt then back again, shaking his head with a smile as he wrenched the gun from Daxx’s hand. He took the clip out and checked the chamber, ejected the remaining bullet, which hit the ground with a dull thud. Viddarr gave the dirty biker back his gun minus the clip. The dirty leader hesitantly reached out for his gun, sweat beading on his brow.

“If you use this ill begotten gun on me you’re a dead man… you and all your piss ant Mickey Mouse club members.” Viddarr spit when he spoke as he put a firm hand on Lou’s shoulder.

Lou tried to hide his pain from Viddarr’s iron grip but he winced anyway. An agonizing pain as if his shoulder had shattered. Uneasiness crawled up from the pit of Lou’s stomach. Something about Viddarr made him want to tuck his tail between his legs and run. He felt like he had gone from the skillet to the fire. However he felt secure in Viddarr’s self-declared “safe haven” the Wolf’s den, a reprieve against the four men that wanted so badly to beat him into the ground.

“What’s your name?” Viddarr turned to Lou, his eyes aglow with the pulsating lights of the club, burned a hole into Lou’s soul.

Viddarr turned his back on the lead biker to examine Lou’s healing wound. He wrinkled his nose and breathed in Lou’s essence, his eyes brightened and a radiant smile crept onto his otherwise grim face. Thrilled that he had just confirmed what he had expected; Lou was definitely going through “the change” and at a rapid rate.

“My name is Lou LeBeau.” He said meekly.

Viddarr’s posture and demeanor changed quickly, a new rage kindled in his eyes. An overwhelming instinct to protect his kin took over him. His powerful arms seemed to elongate as Viddarr turned around, reaching for the blond biker who had pulled a dagger from his belt. Lou couldn’t believe his eyes; Viddarr seemed to transform his limbs at will. Brown hair grew out of them like a dense tidal wave of fur tresses, ebbing and flowing. Lou saw the glint of silver from one of Viddarr’s many tribal tattoos as his arms flexed. Massive monstrous like hands reached for the dirty blonde’s throat lifting him clear off the ground.

“You hurt Lou in my club or on my land and I will kill each and every one of you slowly!” Viddarr growled, “I promise you that!”

The Brown bearded man, the smallest of the four, tried to tiptoe up from behind and stealthily once again pull his knife out. Viddarr’s back to him, He swallowed trying to build up his nerve his Adam’s apple bobbed under his scruffy facial hair. He prepared to strike but he hesitated as he tried to steady his shaking hands. Viddarr’s ears twitched and appeared to slightly swivel, like a satellite dish moving into position to lock onto a signal.

He didn’t even move his head while he repositioned his body casually to defend against the source of the sound. Viddarr quickly and with little effort struck out with his other arm, all while still holding the dirty blonde biker high off the ground. The gleaming dagger fell to the floor as a now talon like palm smashed down onto the bearded man’s forearm.

Earsplitting shrieks and cries muffled the sound of the sickening crunch of the bearded man’s forearm breaking. Viddarr quickly spun back around with an ease that blew Lou’s mind, startling the rest of the bikers and knocking them off balance. He still had a hold a strong grip on Daxx’s neck, his hands uselessly clawed at his Viddarr’s hand uselessly wheezing. Viddarr tightened his grip and the man’s face started to turn purple.

“Get out!” The sound of his booming voice interrupted some of the people trancelike dancing, “You wore out my patience, leave now or I will kill you on the spot.”

Patrons craned their heads to see as Viddarr released his hand from the blonde man’s throat, dropping him to the floor. The acidic scent of urine wafted in the air, as the blonde man’s pants darkened. His friends, instantly compliant, helped him to his feet as they all scuttled to the exit door and down the stairs. Viddarr made eye contact and nodded to one of the burly bouncers who then grabbed a few other bouncers to assure the safety of the other patrons as the rough-and-tumble bikers forcibly made their way outside.

Like a switch that had been flipped, the agitated demeanor and grim expression utterly gone from Viddarr’s face. He beamed with excitement as he turned around again to face Lou. Viddarr once more put his arm around Lou’s shoulder, almost protectively; Lou noted that his muscled limb had converted back a heavily tattooed human arm again, no dense fur visible. Viddarr called for the bartender’s attention with a snap of his fingers. A scantily clad woman eagerly came to his side with a half-gallon of vodka and two shot glasses on a brown serving tray.

The faded, yet ornate label and decorative glassware told Lou the vodka Viddarr had, probably his own private stock, was very old and expensive. She carefully poured two glasses to almost overflowing, all the while her eyes never completely left Viddarr’s face, then handed Viddarr the shots. He motioned dismissively to her, that her services would no longer be required, and with visible disappointment in her eyes she left the bottle of alcohol and quickly retreated back into the shadows to the other end of the bar.

“Drink up!” Viddarr smiled as he offered Lou his expensive vodka, then looked down at his dirty sweatpants, “Excuse my grungy appearance I was just out for a run.”

Lou accepted the drink but sat secretly confused by the owner of the Wolves den’s focused interest in him. Before he could finish his first glass Viddarr poured him another. Lou began to protest with his palms up and shaking his head but Viddarr was insistent so he reluctantly downed another shot. He gagged while trying to keep down the potent firewater as Viddarr prepared them yet another.

“I don’t think I can take another.” Lou choked, wiping his mouth as he tried to suppress the bile building up in his throat.

The alcohol had not helped his edginess. He had felt funny to begin with, the strange compulsion to enter this place along with feeling like his skin would burst at any moment when he began to hear, see, smell, and feel things that he couldn’t comprehend.

Lou was taken aback by what he saw happen next; Viddarr’s eyes began to glow and what were once human eyes now had an unmistakable animal-like appearance. A scowl crept over his thin lips and lines of disappointment creased on his otherwise seamless face. Unknown to Lou, Viddarr was irritated but excited. After all, he had been calling out every hour on the hour for the strong changelings, ever since Aticus’ call of arrival, and Lou was the only one so far to heed his call.

“Drink,” The alcohol sloshed over his hands as he pushed it across the table towards Lou. “It will help with the assimilation.” Viddarr said kindly, no hint of his earlier agitation.

He put his hand on the bar to stabilize his woozy body now drunk and confused more than ever, he thought, assimilation? Head swimming from the alcohol, his brother’s recent death and the monsters’ attack and here he sat with Viddarr. His strange yet appealing scent that told him in some otherworldly way they were kin.

Viddarr looked into Lou’s confused eyes and compassion came over him as he poured Lou another drink. Lou reluctantly knocked back yet another one as if Viddarr was his father and he didn’t want to disappoint or displease him.

“Assimilation?” Lou asked aloud in an unsteady voice while Viddarr roughly grabbed his chin and looked into his eyes, checking for signs and changes that only he might recognize.

“Yes, assimilation.” Viddarr said, again smiling crookedly as he released Lou’s face. “I am so thrilled and delighted that you came to me!”

Viddarr pointed past the inebriated crowd and through the pulsing lights of the dance floor to a door that said “employees only”. He didn’t say anything, only gave Lou and pat on the back and a gentle nudge that hinted “follow me” as he got up.

Lou staggered from the relative darkness of the bar, onto the dance floor and made his way through the sweating, grinding crowd of people. The sound of the industrial music’s beat invigorated him as he forced his way past the men and women, most of them dressed in Gothic, Emo or Biker apparel, all dancing together as one. He abruptly stopped and squinted, rubbing his eyes he now saw what could only be described as black and white hues. He focused his drunken eyes to see further all senses came into play as a 360° kaleidoscope of sight, sound, and smells made his equilibrium feel off kilter.

Lou took a deep breath in and smelled Cyprus trees and unique wild musk that reminded him of his younger years going to the Zoo and seeing bears for the first time, he instantly whipped his head around to search for Viddarr. He saw in color again but his brain started to sense minute intricate aromas as well, culminating in a cacophony of colors the human eye could not process. He took in a deep breath and this time he smelt roses, fresh salts and baby powder. His head involuntarily whipped around and focused in like high-powered binoculars on a well-dressed woman pining for Viddarr’s attention. He promptly moved her aside gracefully, staying his course to the metal doors ahead. That’s when Lou noticed several women, some with their dates, who stopped what they were doing or saying to stare at Viddarr longingly. A new strong scent made Lou’s eyes water and he pinched his nose to block the nauseating smell. He twirled around to find the source of the stench when to his horror he realized he was colorblind once again.

Lou looked over in Viddarr’s general direction, he had almost made it off the dance floor and over to the doors but he had been delayed by several women desperate for his attention. Lou saw Viddarr only in black and white when an idea came to him and he took a long deep breath. He could not believe his eyes as color vapors shimmered in the air around him like heat waves dancing off a freshly paved road on a scorching summer day. The aroma of a zoo, specifically the smell of brown bears infiltrated his nostrils and his eyes involuntarily focused in on Viddarr and his long braided brown hair, color coming back to him again.

Disorientation knocked him to the ground as he realized he saw smells! He breathed in and instantly picked up on ash, charcoal, grapes and blueberries. He followed the smells to see a woman that had too much blue eye shadow on. He could smell beeswax, and that reminded him of crayons and getting in trouble with his twin brother because they wrote on the walls and T.V. with them. He also detected the strong scent of cherries as his eyes intently focused on her very red and luscious lips. He breathed in again deeply now noticing tequila, rancid crawfish, and bile and he realized that he stared at a grayish green faced woman that had had way too much to drink. He closed his eyes and cupped his hands over his ears; trying to block out the amplified and hectic noise all around him. But he still heard a distressing conversation. He did not hear through his ears, he realized. The exchange vibrated the sparse fine hairs of his forearm. A source of the vibrations also a clue where the conversation had come from, so he turned to that side.

“I know! She is so wasted!” It came from a shirtless male that smelled like the ocean’s salt waters and strong whiskey.

“She is so bombed she’s about to pass out standing up!” The man with an overwhelming smell of acne medication said, sounding amused.

Lou timidly opened his eyes and took his hands from his ears when he overheard the whispered conversation with the two men. He focused in on nothing just staring at one of the paneled walls when everything truly came into focus. Sight, smell, hearing and touch all came together to work like one well-oiled machine, instinct taking over and giving him preternatural abilities. He heard loudly and clearly the dark whisperings of two men plotting to attack the unaware and overly inebriated woman slowly crossing the dance floor. Unfocused, yet aware of everything, he heard her labored breathing, noted the noxious smell of bile and whiskey swirling like a whirlpool in her gut and concluded that a violent bout of vomiting was in her near future. As he stared at nothing he envisioned the poor sickly green face of the woman and heard the conversation of the shirtless tan man and his acne scarred fellow plotter. He could clearly see in his mind’s eye the red and infected pustules on his pock marked cheeks and could smell the surgical steel piercing in his lip, a smell that reminded him of a hospital room. The entirety of this he took in from the crowded and noisy dance floor in seconds, the bar about 100 feet away, all but invisible in the dim lighting to normal human eyes.

Lou found himself shaking with instinctual rage. It coursed over him as he thought about the helpless and oblivious woman, and found himself letting go of what he considered normal human thoughts. He saw himself, as if floating over himself, but quickly snapped back to reality as a sudden excruciating pain blinded him. On the verge of passing out, his inflamed gums burst like a volcano, white peaks pushing up out of pink soil. Wave after wave of orgasmic ecstasy over took him as the mounting pressure in his gums subsided, revealing bright virgin white enameled molars.

The bones of his third fingers as well as each of his pinkies exploded beneath his skin and became a disgusting gelatinous mixture of calcium fragments. His eyes widened as he watched his fingers lengthen and felt the previously shattered bones begin to harden as if they were concrete setting up in a foundation. Lou felt himself floating over his body again, his mind still there, all rational thought and reasoning foreign to him now just the mind of the Wolf remained.

Viddarr was standing by the employee entrance when he noticed Lou still halfway across the floor shaking, with buckets of sweat pouring down the dance floor and more importantly his steadily glowing eyes shining like beacons amongst the flashing black lights. Viddarr growled under his breath, a faint mutter that the music instantly drowned out, except for Lou’s sensitive ears which caught it.


Lou heard Viddarr loud and clear but again, not through his ears but in his mind. Lou cocked his head from left to right, curious, but he didn’t move. Viddarr sprang into action, marching back through the crowd he gripped Lou’s shoulder so hard it bled, and pushed him back over to the door which he opened with one hand and with the other effortlessly hurled Lou through the opening. Lou felt like a rag doll as both feet lifted up off the floor and he found himself soaring through the open door.

“Sorry but I had to get you out of the crowd before you could wolf out on me!” Viddarr explained.

“Wolf out?” He didn’t have the time to ponder the words that Viddarr had said while he found himself on his belly like a snake. As he looked up at Viddarr he suddenly remembered the two scheming men, “But that poor girl...”

Nothing happened at Viddarr’s bar that he wasn’t aware of. He knew about the inebriated woman and her peril and nodded a reassurance to Lou that something would be done. He opened the door and waved in the direction of the girl and then the two men across the bar. Immediately bouncers from four corners nodded and rushed to the woman’s rescue.

After the two men were cordially forced into a dark corridor by the four redshirted bouncers that Lou swore to be some form of giants straight out of a comic book, his racing heart slowed to a tolerable speed.

Viddarr offered a hand to help him up off the tiled floor. Slowly he got up on his feet gasping rubbing his numb hand as Viddarr’s powerful grip cut off the circulation to his wrist. He couldn’t help but notice all the digits of Viddarr’s hand were the same and his black fingernails were unusually long, thicker than humanly possible, cutting into Lou’s still human fragile flesh.

Viddarr could tell by Lou’s diminishing perspiration and heart rate which a normal rhythm now that he could stop worrying about his haven being wrecked. He had worked his fingers to the bone for the Wolves den tavern when he had finally awoke from his state of suspended animation. A kind of hibernation of sorts, but to Viddarr it was hell.

After all, the tavern was his literal den, a neutral zone, his sanctuary, and his escape from all the realms of what he considered the dirty unchanged. Viddarr had all the carefully considered safety precautions in place so that the newly infected, Viddarr called them changelings, and the parasite itself would mildly lay dormant while they were in his club. Thin copper screening all throughout the ceiling, hidden away in the plaster, the music had a hidden low frequency sound loop that only a canine could hear which forced a calmed state as if they had been force-fed tranquilizers. All the precautions had worked very well for a century… until Lou came.

Viddarr’s excitement could not be hidden; Lou had responded almost simultaneously when he howled an aria for all the virgin lycanthropes in the Louisiana area to come to him. And his reaction to the two lowlifes at the bar only proved he was going to be a very strong lycanthrope so he couldn’t afford to take any chances, Viddarr locked and secured the doors.

Lou could feel the unknown presence leaving him and he could think clearly again, like a fog had lifted, but strangely the absence of the monstrous presence made him feel empty inside, somehow incomplete. He had felt so strong, powerful. Now with the presence gone he felt weak and helpless. A lone tear dropped onto his cheek.

“Wolf out?” Lou asked again, wiping his face, before rough callused hands violated Lou’s mouth unexpectedly, causing him to gag. Viddarr, without regard of objections, opened Lou’s mouth as wide as it would go, inspecting the newly formed teeth and smiling to himself.

“The Change is beginning already Lou, which means you’re merging with the wolf quicker than I ever seen before.” Viddarr explained, stripping off his gray hooded running shirt before looking into Lou’s eyes and seeing a hint of the longing and a loss inside Lou’s eyes. “Don’t shed a tear boy, the Wolf is not gone.”

“The wolf?” Lou asked as Viddarr examined Lou’s hands, smiling with his crooked teeth exposed, as he did.

“Yes,” Viddarr finished his examination walked toward a desk drawer and pulled out a fragile looking perfume bottle wrapped with a sigil pendant, “you have been given a gift.”

“Wolf out? What is this about the Wolf and I’ve been given a gift?” Lou wondered aloud.

He stared intently at Viddarr noting again that he was heavily tattooed with broad round shoulders, a massive chest, a lean long abdomen, slim hips, and had arms that were longer than normal ending in huge hands. Viddarr caressed the perfume bottle as of it was the elixir of life itself, closing his eyes he breathed in deeply its fragrance and held his breath. The minutes ticked by until he finally exhaled and turned to face Lou.

“Yes,” Viddarr’s animalistic brown eyes staring straight into Lou’s soul, “you were attacked by my brothers and one of them bit you. The Wolf’s blood is coursing through your veins as we speak, yet you have your wits about you still.”

Lou intently mulled over the night’s events in his mind as Viddarr closed his eyes, again sucking in his precious fragrance. The more he thought about the attack and subsequent death of his brother by the hands of the monsters, the more his temperature rose. Grief turned to rage and he found himself growling involuntarily. His dilating eyes catching just a glimpse of florescent lighting from the rafters, started to glow as the mechanics of the eye itself began to change, becoming more animalistic in nature.

“THEY infected ME!” As his larynx began to metamorphosis his usual human speech turned into garbled grunts, “and they killed my brother!”

Viddarr’s pride was hard to conceal, he shook with excitement. He had no doubt that Lou was a kindred spirit, genetically compatible and one of those who had the parasite from birth lying dormant, in cryptobiosis. Lou would have gone his entire life with the gift unnoticed inside him. Just minor differences between Lou and a normal human… like his bushy eyebrows, thick hair, unusually toned muscular appearance, thick large hands, and his lust for adventure and the outdoors as a tell. Lou would have never realized his potential unless he had miraculously stumbled upon the well-guarded ritual known by the clans of the lycanthropes themselves to awake the solitary slumbering parasite within him. He must have been born of lycanthropy blood, though extremely diluted; the cocktail of enzymes that were released by the invading parasites awoke it from slumber and the mixture of his parasite and those of Aticus’ caused parasites to mutate. This, Viddarr realized, is how Lou’s mind held it together throughout the changing when a normal human would have been walking around like a dead eyed drone, a slave to their baser instincts slowly transforming, in two or three Moon cycles and be racked with pain.

Viddarr closed his eyes for the third time and once again savored the sweet smelling perfume. Viddarr truly meant this as he laid a hand on Lou’s shoulder to comfort him. “I’m sorry about your brother. He would have made an excellent addition to the pack if exsanguination did not overcome him first.”

The combination of the copper screen and a low frequency droning, so low humans were unaware of it, had an instant calming effect on Lou’s mood, so by the time Viddarr went to the perfume bottle for the sixth time it peaked his curiosity. He couldn’t help but notice Viddarr’s odd addiction to the perfume like a crack addict needing his fix.

“What is that?” Lou pointed at the bottle in Viddarr’s hand, “some kind of designer drug?” He was beginning to relax now and found a comfortable leather bound chair which he proceeded to flop down into.

Viddarr, lost in thought for a moment, turned to Lou and without warning flung the perfume bottle at his face. No thought, just instinct taking over, Lou’s forearm was a blur of motion as he caught the perfume bottle mid-flight before it struck him. Lou’s instinct and speed impressed Viddarr who exhaled a breath of relief knowing full well if the perfume bottle had shattered onto the floor it would have been the end of Lou.

“You are very lucky my friend, if you had dropped that I would have torn you to pieces.” Viddarr smiled as he said this but Lou knew from his eyes he had not been joking.

Lou brought the bottle up to his nostrils imagining that if he sniffed the unknown substance he would become a green hulking midget, running around in his underwear or something similar, as hallucinations took over his mind. But then, he was already hallucinating wasn’t he?

He thought, taking a whiff of the fragrance. He smelled the potpourri of honeysuckle, blooming sunflowers and a hint of blueberries or blackberries, he couldn’t tell. It was very sweet and slightly salty.

“It’s just perfume!” Lou exclaimed, eyeing the bottle, taken aback a little.

Viddarr snatched the perfume bottle from Lou’s hand, visibly offended. “Yes it’s just perfume!” He again closed his eyes and returned to his own world as he passed the bottle under his nose.

“You smell only some sweet scents, but I smell so much more.” Viddarr explained.

He went on to explain that the scent was from his long lost love. He had gathered her sweat and tears the day that she had died and bottled it up. Carefully adding just enough alcohol and water so it didn’t dry out, he had been doing this ever since she took her last breath so many years ago. Then he obtained a magical amulet so when he found the woman with the sweet scent the physical reincarnation of his soulmate the enchantment would force her to remember him.

Lost in memory, he hesitated for a moment, “I could close my eyes and she is there again…”

Viddarr seemed lost in time as he relished the scent one final time before turning and carefully swinging an oil painting outward, revealing a hidden opening. The painting was a portrait, presumably of his lost love which he still pined for; every brushstroke was rendered with precision and care. For a moment Lou thought it looked as life-like as a photograph, it was of a young girl about twenty years old. Her striking light blue eyes seemed to captivate. She had a proud chin, her blonde hair, which framed her face. The brushstrokes of her hair gave her hair life as if being blown by the wind. No signature claiming this brilliant piece of art; however one look at Viddarr admiring the portrait who the true artist had been. He could almost see Viddarr tirelessly working with paints, using just his memory to render such a beautiful likeness.

Viddarr stowed his precious bottle in the hidden alcove and gently pushed the painting back up against the wall. He considered Lou for a moment before continuing.

“Years of practice and you too will be able to smell the distinct aromas and subtle nuances of terror, desire, ire, hate, lust, and longing that sets apart every human individual and singles him out, or be able to… Capture their memory.” For the first time Lou could see a truly human side of Viddarr who stood with tears pooling in his eyes. “This is the wolf growing inside of you, do not fight it. You are wolf wearer now. Your spirit wolf grows strong inside of you.”

Lou knew Viddarr had been right sending shivers up his spine making his stomach clench in nervous excitement. It had not been a series of bizarre hallucinations after all! The spirit wolf was coursing in his veins and he was reveling in it.

Viddarr turned away from Lou, letting this sink in, swinging his long brownish black braids. The sides of his head had been shaved at one point but now the hair had grown back so the sides stuck out like a lion’s mane.

“Forgive me Lou,” Viddarr said, touching bushy forehead

apologizing, “like I told you, I was out for a run.”

With that Viddarr pulled an electric shaver out of one of the drawers of the eloquently detailed desk, plugged it in and proceeded to make quick work of the bushy hair at his temples and around the back of his head. Something told Lou that Viddarr had done this ritual many times as no stray hairs fell to the floor, the clumps made it into the wastebasket he stood over.

He then called Lou over and gestured for him to lean over the hair catching wastebasket. Lou obeyed leaning down and lowering his head. He watched his hair fall in clumps while the clippers buzzed a straight path down the middle of his head. Leaving the sides of his hair intact, giving Lou a “reverse Mohawk”. Viddarr’s work done he put away the shaver and told Lou he could sit down in the nearest seat.

Lou reached up and felt the strip of naked scalp that ran from the top of his forehead all the way back to the base of his neck. He sank deeper into his seat and looked around for the very first time to really inspect the room. He couldn’t help but notice the plush soft brown leather chair which he sat upon. He also noted all of the décor in the room seemed an exquisite quality, ancient looking and obviously expensive. This, Lou thought intuitively, is probably Viddarr’s sanctuary.

Lou couldn’t sit for long, exhilarating and a little nervous tension had him up and looking out through Viddarr’s tinted plate glass window at the night sky. From the second story window he could see the banks of the Mississippi as it slithered past. He also spotted the two men who had been plotting against the inebriated woman, looking around and seemingly in a desperate state of confusion.

Appearing dumbfounded, the man with the overabundance of the scent of acne cream stood still as a statue, the only movement he made was one hand rubbing his chin. The man who had an embarrassingly orange tan stood looking up into the night sky. Lou could swear the orange man had turned around and spotted him. He ducked back a little, leaning away from the window.

“Don’t worry,” Viddarr said assuring Lou, then quietly putting his hand unexpectedly on Lou’s shoulder, almost causing him to jump out of his skin. “They cannot see us, they cannot even see the bar anymore.” Lou raised an eyebrow at this.

He went on to explain, “long ago I saved a troll-born Rune Caster or witch called Yala from certain death at the hands of our mutual enemy, The God’s Light. As gratitude she taught me many runes and to cast them. One such rune keeps my domain safe from those that have mischief in their hearts; the trouble makers will not be able to see the bar or anyone within it once they leave.”

Lou had so many questions but he finally said just one word asking puzzled, “Troll-born?”

“Yes, troll-born, a race of men and women that had certain features that divided the troll-born from the normal human race. Yala was born with a face only a mother could love…” Viddarr paused a moment for affect and then said, “sadly even her own mother did not love her.”

“Anyway she taught me a couple of incantations one of them I cast when I built this place years ago. Would you believe that at one time this place was a brothel? I don’t begin to understand her incantations and frankly I’m usually suspicious of sorcery and magic.” Viddarr looked into Lou’s confused eyes. He turned from the window and paced around the room to find a little wooden box.

“But how did that old saying go? Magic is only science, yet to be explained.” His eyes lit up as he remembered the location of what he was looking for.

“Look at me going on and on. There’ll be time enough to socialize, but right now I’ve got to get you ready.” Viddarr mumbled while he crouched down and opened an ornate cabinet next to his desk and carefully pulled out a small, very old, homemade box.

On all sides of the box was a mixture of Runes and Slavic writing, in a wispy design. Lou moved closer to examine the box further. On the top of the box depicted a full-bodied wolf standing on all four paws encased within the wolf the body of a man.

“War is imminent for humanity. I’m sorry to say I think I sold my soul to the devil when I heeded Aticus’ call and agreed to aid him.” Viddarr said with a hint of regret in his voice.

He then proceeded to pull out from the box, one by one, what looked like small stainless steel spikes of two different sizes and lay them out in order on his desk. On closer inspection Lou realized the spikes were not made of surgical steel as he might have thought, they had the distinct patina that only came from polished silver.

“In the days of old, my tribe, the Úlfhéðnar, pierced their bodies with silver encrusted bones or wore inscribed silver fired clay of their own designs to distinguish themselves from the others.” Viddarr reflexively unscrewed the bases from the spikes and then he pulled out a scalpel from inside the box in a practiced manor as if he did this often, “however, gone are the old days of sticks and bones…”

Lou looked at the screws, the scalpel, and the spikes and he saw for the first time, because of his proximity to Viddarr’s newly shaved head, that he had his own spikes embedded horizontally in his scalp where his hair had been shaved from his temple. They alternated from big to small, five on each side. Lou’s stomach twisted in a sudden realization Viddarr intended to embed these silver spikes in his flesh as well!

“When the battle begins, the silver will distinguish you from among all the others in the growing pack. Where you put the piercing dictates your station, you’ll be my Lieutenant. When that time comes, the silver will let the younglings know that if you give orders, they are to obey them without hesitation.”

Lou lifted one eyebrow up in confusion and shook his head as if in protest but something about Viddarr’s presence forced him to temporarily hesitate. The logical side of his mind should have convinced him to run away from this back alley surgery. He should have yelled out in protest as soon as he realized what was going to happen. An overwhelming sense to obey Viddarr, however, came over him at that moment. It was a feeling that he could not understand, but like a scared but fiercely loyal little pup, Lou consented.

The scalpel pierced Lou’s skin. A steady hand cut a straight line about half an inch across, and then stopped. The only way that Viddarr knew the membrane had been penetrated was a small trickle of blood forming along the cut. Then with two gloved fingers, Viddarr lifted up the skin and forcefully inserted the screw between the muscle tissues. Pausing for a second to ensure everything was okay, and Lou was still breathing steadily, he then screwed on the top portion of the spike until it was tight. One down, six more to go, Viddarr worked at a fevered pace embedding the spikes in Lou’s skull. He paused only when Lou let out a small gasp as the bases of the spikes were inserted. He could feel through his gloves that Lou was sweating profusely now.

“We use silver just at the base of the skin so when we transform the piercing is not affected by the alteration… Anything made from other than that and it will tear and fall out in our transformation,” Viddarr explained working with the skill of a surgeon.

Viddarr implanted the seventh and final painful silver spike in Lou’s skull in just enough time to keep Lou from passing out from the excruciating pain, and coaxed him to try to breathe more slowly as he hinted he was finally finished. While Lou leaned forward, Viddarr, beaming with pride, put away his piercing and surgical tools. When he saw that Lou was more composed and relaxed he continued talking to him.

“In the beginning it will be hard to control your impulse to lash out and feed, as the Wolf’s blood grows stronger inside you. Remember you are two beings, becoming one. When you become Wolf always remember you’re still a man! You are in control of the beast because you are the beast. You are a human that can channel the beast do you’re bidding, not the other way around and you must always strive to remember that too! Now, I’m off to hunt. Be wary of those four men, the bikers you so successfully pissed off, that will inevitably find you. Good luck.” Viddarr stood and opened the office door for them.

Lou’s stomach fluttered as he wondered about the men and what they might try to do to him if they found him. He reasoned that they wouldn’t dare to touch him while he was in Viddarr’s vicinity, but he wondered just how far that protection extended?

Viddarr led him out another emergency exit, bypassing the loud music and frenzied patrons, whom Viddarr told Lou, didn’t need to see him leave. Lou chuckled to himself Viddarr explaining that it was “for their own good!” that he avoided them. The pair traveled down a dark dusty secret corridor, then traveling up again until eventually exiting through open the double doors to the fresh night air.

Lou stepped back to watch fixedly as Viddarr tore away his binding pants. The speed with which he transformed, made Lou’s eyes hurt, almost too fast for the human eye to perceive, into a hulking dark brown wolf. He looked most like a dire wolf, Lou thought, admiring his luscious, thick fur luminous in the moonlight. Viddarr turned to reveal a short, stout muzzle with lips set in a scowl which revealed white curved and very sharp looking fangs. Fangs he could easily sink into unsuspecting prey. Lou wondered momentarily if the expression on the Wolf’s face was meant to be a macabre smile of sorts when watched as the Wolf sped off towards the woods.

Leaves crunched under foot as Lou walked around to the front of the mystically cloaked Wolves den. Just as he rounded the corner, his blood began to boil, hairs all over his body stood on end, and a clarity he had never felt before came over him. He knew for the first time he really did have both the senses of Wolf and the senses of man. His brain was making a mad dash to process the wealth of information and combined them all in a surreal cornucopia of preternatural sound, smell, and imagery but he relished the convoluted chaos all the same! Lou felt rigid, his sinewy physique nearly bursting, virgin nerves merging, intertwining and firing in unison in an explosion of epic proportion, so he didn’t even notice the two men sneaking up on either side of him.

Callused and tattooed hands roughly grabbed Lou’s upper arms on each side. He took a hit to his abdomen, taking his breath away. One, two, three strikes and he fell to the ground. His shirt wet, sticky and warm, clinging to him. He didn’t get hit with a fist. In dreamlike horror he realized he had been stabbed with a knife.

How strange, Lou thought, he didn’t even feel any pain. Hadn’t someone told Lou when you are stabbed or shot, for a moment you don’t feel the pain because you are in shock? The mechanics of the knife; solid, thin and razor-sharp like a surgeon’s scalpel cutting into skin and flesh… the patient doesn’t feel pain, at least for a little while. That was exactly what happened to Lou as he pressed his palm firmly over his abdomen, trying to suppress the bleeding.

Woozy he stumbled then fell. Milky white fingers turned crimson as the blood oozed out between the gaps. Dime sized splotches slowly turned to nickel, quarter, then silver dollar size until eventually his white checkered shirt was soaked red. Lou could just make out a human shape in the darkness before he closed his eyes, his hand flopping onto the gravel beside his face.

Daxx, the dirty, blonde leader of the biker gang, slipped out from the protection of is gang smiling in triumph as he looked down at Lou. His smug demeanor was hard to conceal when he saw Lou white faced in a heap on the ground, bleeding profusely. His boys had caught the black haired bitch responsible for this whole embarrassing incident. He had to get out his pent-up aggression after the confrontation which had led to Daxx and his gang getting kicked out. At least the night would not be a total waste, he thought to himself.

“Hey Daxx, it didn’t seem like the bouncers took us that far, but I have yet to see our bikes anywhere, let alone that fucking bar!” Dirt, the Brown bearded biker was in an all-out, psychotic break, brought on by the dirty bathroom crank, three days of alcoholic indulgence, not to mention the disorienting and strange absence of the bar itself vanishing.

“Don’t worry about it Dirt,” Daxx squeezed Dirt’s cheek and smiled, “at least we found that stupid pussy so he can pay!”

Daxx patted Dirt’s back, trying to reassure his fragile mind. In truth, after the bouncers forcefully escorted them outside and into the cold night, he had yet to get his bearings straight either. The trip under the bar to the exit outside seemed relatively short, yet Daxx could not see the lights from the Wolves den anywhere around. Resigning himself to sobering up and waiting till first light, Daxx returned to the task at hand the punishment of Lou’s body.

“See!” The underling, the one who had stabbed Lou yelled, “you don’t fuck with the Wolf riders!”

The second biker cleared his throat and spat on Lou’s face, then proceeded to kick Lou in the ribs with his steel toed boots until he heard a crack.

“Fucking die you bitch!” The other underling spat.

He quickly motioned to Daxx and Daxx handed over his empty gun. He searched in an inside pocket of his leather biker jacket for an extra clip until he was interrupted by an unnerving sound, the origin of which sounded uncomfortably close.

Just beyond the clearing where the trees and brush began to thicken, so even the full moon’s light could not penetrate night’s eerie darkness, a lone wolf howled. So close to the four bikers and one dying man but still far enough away that they could not pinpoint the source of the sound concealed by shadows and camouflaged by the trees. They glanced nervously around, interrupting the would-be assassination with Lou still lying on the ground.

Lou’s weakening heart fluttered then beat faster than before, gaining strength. Somehow, between Lou’s bouts of unconsciousness he had managed to hear the distinctive high octave pitch of a proud song, sparking recognition. Though no longer human, a wolf’s now, his cognizance recognized Viddarr’s voice, he instinctively knew it. An overwhelming instinct of survival progressed through the depths of his broken being.

Viddarr had become his blood brother, his general, in a pack in which he had become a fledgling member. Viddarr had given Lou an order to stand his ground and fight with only his melody. Lou struggled to open his eyes, the lids were stiff as if they were a seldom used door that refused to open, but he managed to open his eyes.

The ocular bundle of nerves almost the biggest bundle of nerves in the human body is the storage pathway to the brain itself. That is why when Lou looked up into the night sky he was instantly captivated by the full moon’s glowing presence. His eyes began to dilate as his transformation started.

Lou thought about Viddarr’s aria, stand your ground and fight. He thought, do not fight the Wolf inside you, you are two organisms as they become one… stand your ground and fight!

He was possessed by the parasites, the spirit of the Wolf itself. He felt his spine shatter into millions of pieces, releasing thick molten, magmalike plasma from his groin to the top of his head to the bottom of his toes and then back again. Wave upon wave of bliss made him lose control of his bodily functions and ejaculate in his pants. He staggered, trying to hold back a groan of pleasure. As if he was a marionette, pulled and controlled by an unknown force, Lou instantly got up on shaking knees, then he stood up, obeying Viddarr’s command.

When the orgasm subsided there remained a throbbing immeasurable sense of power. Lou could feel a very presence and an instinct unknown to normal men. His bones had reshaped themselves, his gums burst and had emerged fangs, his skull and face both became more than human, the very hairs thicken to fur and scurried in thousands of frantic pathways across his flesh, his heart had ceased its crashing palpitations pumping strong, slow and steady now. His lungs once straining for breath, gulped an unobstructed deeper breath. The scents, sounds, colors and forms which were unknown to normal people burst upon his senses as if for the first time he fully understood the supremacy that the Wolf’s Blood parasite could provide. The bikers stood stunned, in disbelief. The man the bikers stabbed three times still lived. He stood for the first time more than human, more than wolf; he had become a virgin lycanthrope and hungered for vengeance.

Daxx and the others looked at Lou, slack-jawed and still in drunken disbelief. An extended nose, cheeks, jaw and enlarged lips cast the illusion of a grotesque smile upon the wolf man’s façade. However, the sharp bloody fangs were all too real.

The underling holding the bloody knife did not have time to see Lou’s slightly stretched neck or his head arched as if it is a question mark, as he snarled at the man. His ears, hairless yet distinctively lupine-like were high up and framed on his pate in such a way that it complemented his silver studs in the full moon light and juxtaposed the strip of black hair that had just a moments ago been shaved off.

The underling with the knife couldn’t help but be transfixed with Lou’s haunting eyes. They were glowing, an intense yellow, an effect of the dilation which increased the cones and rods, reconfiguring in the blood of the Wolf’s blueprint. Too busy staring at the glowing eyes to see Lou’s extended nose with huge, widespread nostrils breathing blistering breath onto his exposed neck or his enlarged jaw as it clamped down on his windpipe.

The armed underling could not count the forty two teeth that pierced his fragile flesh, locking man and beast together in a deadly embrace. Forty two teeth; thirty two human teeth and ten lupine teeth, including carnassial teeth, that made it so his jaws had to expand to make room for them, which meant also the enhanced ability to crush and shred bone. Now, Lou’s carnassial teeth shredded the biker’s windpipe, destroying the armed underling’s spine in the process. Limp hands could not hold the bloody knife any longer and it dropped down onto the ground. The now unarmed underling followed soon thereafter.

In a flash Lou turned to the other underling, the one with the gun in one hand and the fresh clip in another. The man did not have time to dodge the unusually bulky, extended arms; one arm was reaching out to grab his thick throat with while his other made a wide, swift swipe of claws. Before he could load the 9 mm, the biker’s arm was filleted like a fish. The biker looked down at his arm with astonishment, seeing his skin peeled back like the rind of an orange, the bones of his wrist visible, his mangled veins and arteries severed and blood pulsing out in an arc with each beat of his terrified heart.

The wounded biker did not have time to see the thick fur sprouting out of Lou’s sinewy forearm. The buttons busted off the cuffs of his white shirt that had gotten ridiculously tighter, smaller and shorter which might have looked comical in a different setting. The tops of his matted fur looked like the peaks of a mountain range, the blood that covered his fur looked like black snow.

The petrified group could see the beast-Lou’s furry chest, his heart beating feverishly, and his ridiculously small shirt, stretching three times smaller than it had been before, as it ripped open at the buttons, flapping in the wind and exposing the beast’s lean taunt abdomen. Lou’s expanded hips and swollen thighs made his jeans tear and burst at the seams, looking like tightly worn shorts.

The mortally wounded biker’s vision faded in and out so he could not see the thick dark fur in patches all over Lou’s tightly wound calves as the beast’s feet tore through his boots like wet paper bags, the balls of his feet resting on the dew covered grass now. Forefoot and toes thick and callused but not yet the full pads of a lupine, dug deeply into the earth. The mid-foot and hind-foot upright, the beast was still on its toes even though the ankles had yet to transform into the lupine’s signature reversed knee. The pale faced biker did see, however, Lou’s two pinky toes as they atrophied and fell to the blood spattered ground, before the biker fell over and closed his eyes forever.

Lou felt himself floating, as if tethered above his own body. He could see the two dead men on the ground in a pool of blood. Daxx was whiter than usual, glassy eyed, and slack-jawed. Dirt was bent down fumbling with something in his boots.

Remember this, Lou ordered himself. A hunger like none he had ever felt before came over him, but he was distracted by the glint of the weapon now in Dirt’s hands as he stood up looking triumphant.

The more Lou tried to reason logically and the more he tried to respond on his own actions, the hazier his mind would get. That’s when it hit him, what Viddarr had said, don’t fight the beast!

Lou felt himself letting go, keenly aware of all his heightened senses, all of the sights, smells and sounds. Consciously he was aware of all his cognitive faculties but his extremities were moving on only instincts now, his cerebral sub consciousness in control.

Danger! Lou thought, hunger racked him but the man called Dirt had produced a snub-nosed revolver which had been concealed in his steel toed boots. He had swung the gun around and it was aimed in Lou’s direction.

What should I do? But his body had moved before he had a chance to think about what he would do next. Like a bushido master practicing with sword in hand since he was young enough to hold it, he simply reacted without thinking.

Conscious for the entire melee, the beast of Lou was amazed by his power and the lightning quickness of which he was now capable. Lou’s body was in fervor, acting in concert beyond his control, Lou watched on in a lucid dream-like state of observance.

Daxx watched helplessly, reduced to the mentality of an infant, as the unfathomable spectacle unfolded. The leader of an ultra-violent gang he had seen his share of vehemence. He had even done the dirty work himself countless times, decapitating and dismembering a disloyal snitch or another rival biker that wandered into his turf. However, this was a fable from his youth, a terrifying nightmare that had come to fruition before his very eyes.

The frenzy of the attack reminded him of a wild dog fighting for scraps. In fact, even though Lou still had features that distinguished him as human…still a “bipod” for all intents and purposes, Lou appeared to be a feral dog. He heard a whirlwind of sounds, of snarling, snapping, and pleading, screaming and growling, as Lou tore into Dirt’s wrist. Lou the wolf-man Clamped on and twisted it this way and that until the gun dropped from his bloodied and useless hand.

Daxx strained his eyes to see the blur of carnage called Lou. The wolf-thing gnawed off the loose flesh and snapped Dirt’s shoulder. Lou’s head twisting back and forth until fangs tore through arteries and bone. Dirt, off balance, fell to the ground leaving him breathless from the beast-Lou’s weight on top of him.

The heart beat no more in Dirt’s crumpled and broken body. The beast man stood, unaffected by his own severe blood loss from the wounds he had received earlier. Only the whimpering leader, Daxx, remained alive.

“I’m sorry,” Daxx apologized trembling, “I humbly bow before you, please don’t hurt me!”

He groveled and pleaded, snot dripping from his nose into his dirty beard. Daxx fell to his knees; he, the leader of the great Wolf Riders found himself humbly trembling before the fabled wolf man. The biker’s pleas fell on deaf ears, however. Lou’s clawed hands tore through Daxx’s cheeks, and the Wolf-thing Lou sunk his curved teeth into Daxx’s throat. Daxx’s heart stopped before he hit the ground. The dirty deed finished, the wolf man collapsed in exhaustion as well.

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