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Poetry/Short Stories

Wolf Story

by Rob Diaz Marino

I laughed out loud. "You mean you've never heard that story before?"

"No!" Kelly replied, looking a bit embarrassed.

"My Grandpa used to tell it to me all the time, in fact, he still does.  Heck, it was common folklore when I was 5 years old." 

"Well I only moved here last year, so I definitely missed out on the story." 

I sighed, kicking a small stone off the sidewalk and into the bushes. 

"So are you going to tell me or what?" Kelly asked, giving me a light hit on the chest with the back of her hand.  

"Okay, okay!" I laughed, turning away from her and messing up my slicked hair so that I looked like my Grandfather. I turned back towards her, and she gave me a surprised look.

"Nice hair," she commented.

"Well, us old people have so little hair that we don't need to care what order it's in," I said, putting on a gruff voice.

"Oh god," Kelly sighed, rolling her eyes, "I hope nobody sees us."

"When I was a kid...about your age lass, 16, the prime of my life", I continued, turning my head up to the sky, pretending to think. I had the mannerisms of my Grandpa down solid. "There was a man by the name of Blake White. He was about 12 years older than me, that'd make 'em...twenty-eight. Now Blake loved to hunt wolves. Said he was doing the world a favor to exterminate those 'vicious rabid monsters'."

Kelly giggled as I pushed my imaginary pair of glasses higher on my nose, and I continued to look contemplatively up at the sky. Then she realized what I had just said, and her face became serious.

Story continued below


"He'd kill wolves. Why, what have they done to him?"

"Weeeell, they said that when he was about...oh, 2 years old, he wandered into the forest, in fact, this one right here," I said, pointing. "Just out on a little runaway tangent from his parents, when he was attacked by a wolf. Luckily, he wasn't badly hurt, but it left a deep wound of anger and fear in his heart, that never healed."

"That's ridiculous, wolves hardly ever attack people. The odds are astronomical."

I put on a fake cough. "Ahem, pardon me, hairball."

Kelly whacked me on the arm. "Stop the act and finish the story!"

"Our first date, and you already like hitting me," I laughed. "I see we're making progress. You don't hit a stranger affectionately."

Just for that, she hit me once more and stormed ahead of me. That only proved my point.

I had to run to catch up with her.

"Not a word," she warned me, "Unless you're planning to enlighten me with your story."

"Where was I?" I asked, my mind blank as to the last part that I had just told.

"Blake being attacked by a wolf when he was 2." Kelly reminded me.

"Oh yes. Anyway, so one day, Blake was out in this forest here late one night, huntin' wolves-"

"I didn't know there were wolves in this forest," Kelly interrupted, surprised.

"Well, until Blake got his first rifle, that is. So, he's out stalking through the forest, tracking a wolf. Finally, he gets one in his sights..." I held up an imaginary rifle, and aimed, "...and he was about to shoot, when...whoosh! An arrow whizzes by his head, just narrowly missing, and sticking in the tree that he was peeking out from behind."

"I don't think that was an accident," Kelly commented.

"So after he looks around, and can't see where it came from, he yanks the arrow out of the tree, and the head is about this long," I said, putting about a 7 centimeter gap between my two index fingers, "and sharp as hell. Made out of stone, and the shaft, out of swamp reed, with real feathers at the end. Of course, Blake, being of low intelligence, thinks that it's just some old Indian with bad aim, out huntin', so he confidently heads in the direction that the arrow came from to warn the native guy that he was out here, and to watch his aim."

Kelly shook her head. "An Indian? Spare me."

"This is the way the story goes," I protested. Kelly sighed and shook her head.

"Anyway, he emerged in this clearing completely filled with mist. 'Hello?' he calls, but gets no response. Suddenly he spots the wolf again, and that immediately distracts him. He was quite surprised that the animal hadn't run away when he had yelled. Slowly he took aim...WOOSH! Another arrow flies by him. He didn't even see where this one went. He hit the deck, and the wolf ran off out of sight."

Kelly was gazing at me anxiously. I had her riveted!

"So, there he is, hiding in the grass, clutching an arrow in one hand, and his rifle in the other, finally catching on that his life was in danger. His heart was beating at the rate of a jackhammer, and he was looking around to see if he could spot the threat, but still he could see nothing. Finally, he got up the courage to crawl in the direction that the arrow had been fired from, his foolish, fearless stupidity returning, mumbling to himself, 'No one messes with Blake White'. Then he reaches the edge of the clearing, still no sign of the attacker. He walks through the brush, keeping low, his rifle ready, with his sweaty left hand pressing the arrow to the barrel. Through a circle of eerie blue light, he can see part of a silhouette. The head and the legs blotted out by the shadow of the trees and bushes. He can see the figure's hand on its hips, and the bow slung over its shoulder.

'Alright buddy, one false move and I'll shoot!' he yells, making himself visible. The figure stood still. It hadn't even flinched when he had jumped out of hiding. So Blake slowly approaches the insanely still figure, and as he gets closer, he notices that the outline of the figure's arm isn't smooth like skin, but rather furry, like some kind of animal.

Blake's eyes are bulging out like this far," I said, indicating with my hands, "as he approaches even closer. With his finger on the trigger now, and the gun pointed at the creature, he reaches for his flashlight with his left hand. This was kinda' awkward because he was still clutching the arrow, so he decided to slip it under his belt in the place of the flashlight.

'Don't move,' he mumbles, as he points the flashlight at the figure. He takes a deep breath as he feels a droplet of sweat trickling down the side of his forehead. He flicks the switch and the light pours onto the creature, making its eyes glow. Now it took Blake a few seconds to actually realize what he was looking at. By that time, it was too late. The wolf-creature pushed the barrel of the rifle down towards the ground, as Blake was no longer supporting it. The gun went off, the bullet hitting the ground, and the sound startling the creature. It knocked the gun right out of Blake's trembling hand. Then it twisted its canine muzzle into a snarl and grabbed Blake by the neck, raising him off the ground. Blake dropped the flashlight. 'Please, please don't kill me!' Blake whimpers, as he feels the creature's angry breath on his face.

'Look at me!' the creature yells. 'Look me in the eyes, you coward. The next time you take aim at an animal, remember my face, and beware! I will always be near to stop people like you from killing for no reason.' The wolf creature sets Blake back down on the ground, and he collapses to his knees, crying like a baby.

'Now run! Run like the coward you and your people are, and know what it is like to be hunted.' The creature growled before turning, and disappearing back into the forest.

Blake couldn't handle this. Despite seeing the wolf-creature with his own eyes, he still couldn't believe that the experience had been real. And what had it said about him knowing what it felt like to be hunted?

'Oh crap!' Blake yelled, as he realized what the wolf-creature meant. He grabbed his flashlight and took off, completely forgetting about his rifle, and ran like hell back through the forest. The branches of the trees and bushes clutched at his clothes and face like little claws, sometimes leaving painful scratches on his skin, but he was too afraid to notice. Too afraid that an arrow would come whizzing out of the darkness and that would be the end of him.

He ran, literally blindly, since he couldn't afford to have the little branches scraping his eyes out, and by the time he emerged back in civilization, he was a bloody mess...and what luck, he was right in front of the Police station! He ran in, smearing his blood all over the clean glass door as he pushed it open.

A policeman at the desk looked up. 'My god! What'n blazes happened to you?' the policeman exclaimed in a southern accent.

'I was out huntin'...and the arrow...the creature grabbed me by the throat-'

'Calm down sir, I can't make any sense of what ye'r saying!'

Blake took a deep breath, and swallowed, his lungs burning. 'I was out in the woods, and I was attacked by this...this creature. It was part-wolf-part-man, officer, I swear! I saw it with my own eyes with my flashlight.'

'I'm sure you did,' the police officer said, trying to calm Blake down. 'Bertha, wha' don't you get the First Aid kit?' he said to the horrified receptionist.

'No! You don't understand officer! That thing's gotta be exterminated! It’s a threat to everyone, what if there's more of them!'

'Is this...creature what done this to you?' the policeman asked, pointing to Blake's bloodied face and clothing.

The receptionist came back into the room and opened the First Aid box. She opened a bottle of disinfectant and poured it onto a large cotton ball, and began dabbing the scratches.

'Nah. The bushes scratched me up when I ran away. The thing threatened to kill me!'

The officer’s eyes jumped up from his notepad. 'Wait a minute, this thing talked? Just what exactly were you doing in the woods anyway?'

'I was shooting wolves. But that don't matter, that thing's gotta be killed before it hurts anyone!'

The policeman jotted something down on his notepad. 'Sir, did you drink any alcohol prior to going out?'

Blake paused. 'Yes, I did drink, but I saw the thing, it was real! As real as you are now, officer, I swear!'

'Sir, now just how much did you drink?'

Blake looked down at the ground for a moment. 'A...a bottle-'

'Of what?' the policeman asked so fast that it startled Blake.

'V-Vodka,' Blake mumbled.

'A-a whole bottle?! Whewee! You're more soused than a pickle!' the officer laughed. 'I'm sure whatever the vodka saw for you wasn't real, sir. Why don't you just let Bertha finish treating you-'

'No!' Blake yelled, pulling away from the quiet receptionist. 'No, this thing is real! Look officer, the wolf creature fired this arrow at me!' Blake pulled the arrow out of his belt and held it out in front of him.

The policeman slapped his hand to his forehead. 'Now you're telling me that it carries a bow too! Man, I'm puttin' you in the drunk tank!'

Blake tried to struggle while the policeman clipped on the handcuffs. 'But that thing's still out there!' he yelled. That was all he could say, while he nervously rocked back and forth on the cot in the jail cell. 'That thing's still out there...'

And to this day, Blake hasn't so much as touched a rifle. The end."

Kelly looked at him wide eyed. "Wow, that was a great story. And you told it so well!"

"Thanks...you're a good listener," I replied, trying to find some way to complement her back.

"You know, it sounds to me like the wolf-creature was the good guy," Kelly commented. "I mean, just because of one attack, the guy goes out and kills as many wolves as he can? I don't see the point in that."

"Yeah, that's what I used to think. The wolf-creature is the good guy, because he's trying to protect living creatures from senseless killing..." I said, drifting off into thought.

"Wouldn't it be cool to make friends with a creature like that?" Kelly asked. "I mean, you'd feel totally special, 'cause you'd know that nobody else has a friend like that."

"Y'know, that's just what I was thinking," I laughed abruptly. "Wouldn't it be interesting to talk with an animal. Find out the way an animal thinks, the way it feels. I wonder if that wolf-creature would have a sense of humor? I'd love to use some of my jokes on it."

Kelly laughed. "Oh yeah, like the one that you told me about the farmer's wife, when we were at the dance. A creature like that probably wouldn't get it."

"Ha! Yeah, I know," I said laughing. "Probably too innocent."

As we came around the corner, we heard several voices yelling and laughing malevolently. I began to feel nervous. I was about to suggest taking another route so that we didn't get mugged, but then I saw the kids that were doing it. I recognized them from school. They were a gang, one grade higher than Kelly and I, that were never seen apart. They seemed to be having fun, kicking something in the center of the circle that the five kids formed.

"Wait here," I told Kelly. She instantly got a concerned look on her face, but she wasn't fast enough to stop me.

"Hey! What're you doing?" I yelled.

Five heads slowly lifted to regard me. With horror, I saw a battered stray dog in the center of the circle.

"My god!" I exclaimed. "You sick people, leave that poor dog alone!"

They all just laughed at this.

"Dis kid's challenging us five?" One sneered.

"The dog's probably dead...but oh, look. We don't need the dog anymore, we got this kid now!"

I stood my ground, frowning deeply. "For your sake, I'd rather not fight."

Their laughter burst out. "Oh, for our sake...hey, once we're finished with you, we could do your li'l lady there."

That was the last straw. My whole body was shaking with anger. I put my hand forward; "Can you hear this? Well then let me turn it up for you!" I turned my hand over to show my middle finger more clearly. "I'm not gonna be threatened by a bunch of PUNKS like you!" I spat.

Their looks turned angry at my words, but then they noticed that a claw had grown on my middle finger...that Grey fur was sprouting through my skin, and my muscles bulged and tore through my clothing. Energized by the moonlight, I became a werewolf. I was almost disappointed when all five ran away in terror.

"Kelly," I said horrified, remembering her presence. "I'm sorry you had to see this...I..."

But her eyes were gleaming with excitement and fascination. She didn't run away like all the others. Instead she got closer. I was shocked.

"Rob? I...I have to tell you something," She said, cautiously touching my robust, furry arms, looking deep into my icy-blue eyes.

"What, that you're a werewolf too?" I jested.

She laughed, "I truly wish I were. No, I wanted to tell you..." she paused, hugging closer. Her face came closer to mine...we actually kissed.

I was delirious with happiness that I had been accepted for the true me. "My grandpa, on his death bed...he gave me this responsibility. To look after all living creatures, to defend them from man's slaughter...I thought I'd be alone my entire life...why aren't you afraid? What did you want to tell me anyway."

She hugged me, pressed her chin into my shoulder, and whispered in my canine ear, "I've had my share of werewolf boyfriends where I came from, and you're, by far the most sensitive, funny, romantic, and handsome one I've ever met.