2 weeks later
“Alright. You’re all moved into the second room. I’ve called the wedding planner to be sure everything is still on schedule… Did I get the photo album book from Mom?” I turn from the window in the kitchen to my sister lounging on the couch. She looks up from her phone.
“Yes, you did, Blaire. You should come sit down, you look stressed. I mean you’re saying your to-do list out loud.” Ivy pats the couch space next to her and I flop down.
“You’re right. Michael had a work conference for the past couple of days and with the wedding in a month and not getting time to think because work is piling up, it’s slowly been building. Don’t worry, it’ll pass.” I let out a sigh of air thinking about all the crap I have piling up on my plate. Then an old idea came to mind. I whipped out my phone to check. Yep, full moon soon. “Hey Ives, you want to go on a walk?” I look over for her response.
“Sure. I’ll go get my-”
“No, not now,” I interrupt. “You know like old times.” The dawning comes on her face and she hesitates. Why? We’ve been doing this since we were teens. Her gaze goes glossy and unfocused, but then it lights up and she cracks a grin.
“I think that would be a splendid idea.” She says and walks into the kitchen. We’d be going on a night walk, you could say. Always when it’s warm out and when the moon is brightest, usually the week of the full moon, so we can see. People may think it’s sketchy and a very bad idea for two girls to go out at night for a walk, but in this small town and the lack of criminals in our region, we’ve never felt threatened. The time out in the crisp night air clears the mind and it’s always so peaceful to look up at the stars. The trees, the breeze coming off the mountains at night, and the creek a short distance away give off a smell indescribable and honestly my favorite smell in the world. The moonlit walks have always been mine and my sister’s favorite thing to do together.
“I’ll make dinner and then we can head out,” Ivy calls from the kitchen
We finally stepped out into the glowing night. Everything had a moonshadow. We walked on the road running out front of the house, enjoying the fun of sauntering down the middle of the road.
Our destination was just up ahead and that’s when I first felt like we were watched. Something or someone was stalking us, their prey. The peace of the evening fled and in came a chill. I looked over to Ivy to see if she’d sensed it too. She had.
We both nodded and casually turned to head home. My biggest worry is not on who was stalking us. Both of us knew it was most likely something- a curious animal, maybe? I hope. We had a house to our left and our right the trees towered over us, leaving little gaps in the canopy to see some spots in the forest. As I watched the trees, something big and dark bolted by a patch of moonlight. That was it. We don’t want to be here, something bad is about to go down.
I grab Ivy’s hand and start running. She understands and I let go so we can both sprint at top speed. The adrenaline is pumping through me and it kicks in more when I can see the front porch lights.
Two scraggly wolves jump from our rights out into our path. Ivy and I skid to a stop, holding our hands out towards them like we were trying to calm an angry… well, beast. The dark eyes brought out the shine of their canines that they bore; they weren’t backing down. I didn’t dare take my eyes off the monstrosities before us or to utter a word to Ivy. I assumed her thoughts were near identical to mine.
Why are they being aggressive? Animals don’t usually attack unless provoked. I guess they looked like they could use a meal… which might be us at this point. How are we getting out of this? Will we make it by? Honestly probably not. There were two of them that we knew of in front of us. Are there any preying from behind? That’s when I spun around, but I made it no further as a sack of flesh and bones was thrown on top of me. I felt a sharp pain in my shoulder as a clawed paw slashed it. The wolf smelled foul as it breathed down on me. Its snout was right in my face. Its lips parted and teeth ready to sink into my exposed throat. I heard a scream and a thud.
“Ivy!” I struggled underneath the beast on top of me. It snapped at my face and decided to finish the job when the weight was knocked off me. I finally drew in a full breath and could smell things other than rotting meat and blood.
I snap back to reality and the dirt under me slows me as I scramble to my feet. My shoulder complains, but my mind is on finding Ivy. She’s lying on the ground, but I can see her chest moving up and down. I look around the rest of the clearing and see a brawl happening several feet away.
An overwhelming power surges from the pile of fur. There’s blood staining the dirt and growling and snarling that may end up waking up the houses in a mile radius. The biggest wolf I’ve ever seen (and hunting with my dad I’ve seen many) takes out one of the wolves and looks back towards us. Its eyes weren't the same as the others. The wolf all together was nothing like the others. His glowing eyes met mine and the world wanted to start collapsing in on me. Too soon, it turns back to finish off the others.
A tug at my hand drags me away from the shocking scene and my shocking thoughts. I turn to see Ivy’s pale, dirt-covered face and wide eyes. We bolt.
Next thing I know, I’m slamming the door and bolting it shut behind us. I run to the back door and do the same and make sure to close all the windows. Mostly to cut off the guttural and wild animal sounds coming from the continued fight. There we stood, not speaking a word for a moment. The only sound is our rushed breathing.
“Blaire.” Ivy slowly walks towards me as I watch tears run down her face. I hadn’t noticed until I went to wipe dirt from my face that tears had been coming out of my fear-filled eyes as well. I also noticed the gashes in my right shoulder where the wolves claws nicked me. The blood has had long enough to run to my fingers, where it continued on down to the floor. My t-shirt and shorts were a tattered dirty mess. Ivy didn’t look much better.
I find myself melting in my sister’s arms. We slide down to sitting in each other’s arms on the floor, letting each other quietly sob. After what feels like forever, the silence takes over and we pull away from each other. I gave her a small smile suggesting I was alright.
“Would you mind sleeping in my room tonight?” I ask Ivy and without hesitation she nods her head.
“Let’s go get cleaned up.” All I kept thinking as I walked down the hall to the bathroom was what had kept the impending death from prevailing on my sister and I.