❝And into the forest, I go, to lose my mind and find my soul.❞
Dead leaves crunch and break apart underneath my converse as I walk deeper into the forest, the trees that were tall as a four-story building and hung over me with branches that stuck out the length of an RV. I swatted a bug that flew by face the same time I ducked under a low hanging tree branch.
“Shït!” I hiss out between my teeth when a sharp-edged branch on the ground scrape against my ankle. I look down to see a small trail blood sliding down and disappearing into my white socks.
“Just what I need,” I mutter to myself, continuing on my way and through the shrubs.
What seemed like hours but was really five minutes, I finally burst into a clearing the sight takes my breath away. The air was fresher, while I took a deep breath; everything was clear even with the dark sky and the moonlight shining down in the middle of the clearing. But that’s not what caught my attention, my feet began to move on their own, my eyes locking on the ocean view ahead of me that stretched for miles.
The deep blue water rippled and glistened in the evening light, it was until I had stopped that I gazed down and saw a steep cliff with a long fall. The waves crashed violently against the sharp-edged rocks. I whistle, stepping back to a safe distance when I saw how close I was to the edge.
I enjoy those few minutes, with the wind blowing gently against my face, the sound of the ocean below me and the rustle of the tree leaves brushing against each other. I took in a deep breath. A sudden crunch! pulled me from my peaceful moment causing me to whirl around.
I examine the forest for where the sound came from, just like before, there was nothing in sight. Movement in the far left of the woods caught my eye and all air left my lungs.
A wolf, the size of a bear, walked out into the clearing its step slow and predator like. It’s muscles rippled underneath its brown fur that was matted with dirt and mud. My body froze, muscles tightening together and fear began to creep within me when its unnaturally red eyes locked on my form.
We stood there staring at one another, its lips slowly pulling back, showing its teeth that looked sharp as a knife’s point and the length of my finger, a growl so intense and deeply resonated from its chest. My hands twitched and my legs began to shake with adrenaline coursing through my veins.
Just like a flickering switch, it darted towards me, a bloodthirsty snarl tearing through its throat. My legs pumped me forward; a goal set in my head as I sprinted through the trees in the path I’ve come from, it wasn’t long after I heard pounding sets of feet behind me. Another snarl sounded from behind causing me to push harder, my feet slamming against ground picking up speed.
My heart beats frantically in my chest, slamming against my ribcage as I ducked and dodged under leaning branches. Hot air brushed against my calves and I knew what it was, my legs pushed me up as I hopped over a fallen tree trunk the sound of teeth snapping together ringing in my ears. The fear within me spiked higher.
My lungs began to burn and my muscles strained. I grit my teeth as my eyes began to blur with unshed tears, white puffs of air past threw my lips as I continued to run taking a sharp turn to the right. The wolf shot forward, confused by my sudden turn, with my head turned watching as it skids to a stop; my foot collided with a rock which causes me to trip, my ankle twisting the wrong way.
I scream in pain, falling to my knees while scraping my hands against the rough ground, creating cuts and wounds that spill with small amounts of blood. My ankle throbs painfully as I bite down on my bottom lip to keep any further sounds from escaping. I twist my head around to look over my shoulder, the wolf shaking its head before it lifted up sniffing the air. When its gaze snapped in my direction, I was up on my feet limping away.
I heard its footfalls behind as I limped, not putting pressure on my injured ankle; I could hear its growls behind while it snapped its teeth together that I know was begging to crunch down on my bones. A couple of tears slipped down my cheeks, the cool air drying them instantly. It was then that I broke from the forest line into the backyard of my house that I was able to finally breathe regularly.
I made no sign of stopping until I was up on the porch steps and grabbing ahold of door handle and rushing inside. I slam my back against it, forcing myself to take calming breaths as my chest rises up and down with every harsh breath I took whilst I stared wide-eyed ahead.
My gaze snaps over toward the dining table, where Mom, Dad, and Logan still sat. Mom stared at me in shock, her eyes roaming over frame while Dad’s did the same.
“W-what happened. ?” she whispered, as she slowly stood from her chair, the two men following in tow.
I lick my dry lips, turning around, I push the small window curtains to the side searching the woods when my eyes spotted those glowing red orbs in the dark before they disappeared into the darkness that lurked around the trees.
A hand on my shoulder caused me to jump, whirling around coming face to chest with my Dad. His eyes softened, his hand moving to cup my forearm, I hissed in pain, the action caused him to jerk his hand away from the gentleness in his brown eyes gone and now replaced with a hardened look.
“What happened Abigail?” he questioned, his voice hard yet concerned.
I tilt my head up to look him up in his eyes, “Wolf.” I whisper, “Out there.”
His whole body tensed up the same moment Logan came rushing forward. Dad guided me out of the way and into Mom’s arms while Logan ripped the door opened and darted outside.
She leads me toward the chair that she recently was sitting in, she pushed me down, and kneeled down, her hands gently cupping my face.
“My baby. .” she mumbled, brushing a wet part of my hair away from my forehead.
She looked me over, dirt clinging to my clothes and mud stuck to my knees for when I fell. My ankle was swollen, blue, purple and green all mixed together. Blood still flowed down from a few cuts, a bruise on my forearm and my lip busted. Her eyes welled up with tears.
“What have they done to you?” she began to speak to herself.
I paid no mind, my eyes drifted toward my Dad who stared at me an emotion painting his face that I couldn’t point out. His once light brown eyes seemed darker than dark. I looked away and stared at the wall, my body slowly shutting down.
It was then that Logan stormed in, that all hell broke loose.
He strode up to Dad his large hands reaching out and fisting the collar of his shirt roughly yanking him to his face, glaring murderously at Dad.
“Was this one of your tricks?!” he spat at him, his tone expressing his venom.
One of Dad’s hand shot up, gripping Logan’s wrist in a firm hold. “I have no idea what you’re talking about,” he replied with an equal venomous tone.
Logan growled one that sounded way too close to the wolf. But I thought no further about it as my body began to slouch and my eyes fluttering closed.
“Gentlemen, please! Don’t do this now.” Mom pleaded her eyes shifting toward the two angry men.
They ignored her.
“Don’t bullshìt me, rogue! Were you trying to distract me with your silly talk while your buddies attacked my people!?!”
His simple reply seemed to anger Logan more as he swung Dad around and slammed him into the wall, picture frames falling and shattering when made contact with the ground.
“You’re sick, you used your own daughter—”
“I would never! What makes you think I’ll associate with those wild dogs and put my pup in danger!?” Dad suddenly shouted pure anger invented on his face.
Everything became a blur of shapes, my head lolled to the side, no strength left in me to hold it up. The grip Logan had on Dad’s collar tighten.
“You were once one of them.” he hissed.
“I’ve changed,” Dad gritted out his teeth.
“Old habits die hard, Cole.”
The last thing I remember was Dad’s fist flying towards Logan’s face and Mom screaming as my body slid off the chair hitting the wooden floor.
Then complete darkness.