Chapter 4: The Attack
I wake up. I’m naked. My eyes are open and I look across the room. I’m laying in the middle of the room in a fetal position naked as the day I was born.
“I thought he was a girl,” the guy Fang says, “Did you turn him?”
They don’t realize I’m awake. Some of these ‘people’ are sitting. Some are standing. I sit completely still and barely open my eyes.
“Of course not. I wouldn’t bite him,” Walid replies and grunts a little bit, “He’s far too…feminine. Too skinny. Too weak. That shit blows my mind that he survived.”
Walid looks over at his brother. For the first time from the ground I realize how similar Walid and Fang look. They both have tan golden skin. Fang looks a little more African American while Walid looks a little more Native American. They still have similar pink lips, strong physical exteriors and square faces. Out of all of them in the room Fang is the only one who goes close to Walid. The others seem to keep their distances.
“He’s a threat to you. We should get rid of him now,” Fang replies.
“You want to kill my cousin?” India asks.
Kill? I almost stop breathing.
“Another wolf must have turned him. We all know who...” Walid asked.
I’m not sure what they are talking about. Turn me? I sit completely still too scared to react. It’s only a matter of time before all of them turn to India. The look they give her scares me a little bit. Is she in danger? Am I?
I wonder if I can turn and run. I wonder if I can get out of here. I’m not sure it’s that serious. I’m not certain if I’m in danger. Walid’s brother Fang mentioned killing me.
“He’s awake,” Professor Timus says, “His breathing is…abnormal.”
He can hear my breathing?
All of a sudden all of these people turn to me. They stare down at my naked body. If I was going to make a run for it now is the time. I don’t though. I’m too afraid too. I sit up though and notice them staring.
Their eyes weren’t normal. Their eyes were…different. Walid’s eyes were green and his brother’s was the greyish green. India’s eyes were hazel. The doctor’s eyes were this this orange color. Naomi’s eyes were gold and Amina’s was a similar color but seemed a little more yellow.
My mouth is dry. When I try to talk it barely comes out. I’m horrified.
“We wear contacts,” India replied.
“Girl…what the FUCK is wrong with your eyes!”
I get up at that moment.
“This queen is going to start screaming,” Fang laughs looking at me and crossing his arms.
The others start laughing…all of them except India and the professor. India just crosses her arms. She takes a step towards me. Her hazel eyes are like glitter.
I struggle away kicking at the floor and moving away from my cousin. I don’t get it. This can’t be my same cousin. How could I have not noticed that she wears contacts?
“We hide our eyes to avoid that kind of reaction,” she replies, “With colored contacts. It’s ok…they are just eyes.”
India reaches towards me. I’ve never seen her attempt to be calm or gentle. That was what was freaking me out most of all. The way that the Professor knew I was up by “hearing” my breathing freaked me out. The way all their eyes illuminated the dark room reflecting like freaked me out. I felt like I was in a room with a black light and these demon like people were surrounding me.
“Can we kill him now?” Fang asked.
“Can you shut the fuck up!” India replies.
Now’s the only time I can do it. I get up. I’m about to turn around and run but before I can even look at the door I am blocked. It’s the two girls, Naomi and Amina. How did they move so fast? How did they run across the room so quickly.
They stare at me and part their mouths so softly that a noise comes out.
At first I think it’s a murmur but I start to realize that it’s more than that. It’s something like a growl. A deep, entrancing growl that spreads across the room. There’s no way a human could imitate that.
“What are you?” I ask them before turning back to India, “What are all of you?”
“The same thing you are,” India replied, “A few weeks ago you were…awakened.”
“Speak English India,” Professor Timus tells her, “That doesn’t mean anything.”
India rolls her eyes, “I’m trying. You got these bitches growling and Fang talking about killing him.”
“Who you calling a bitch?” Naomi asks.
I watch them turn to one another. She lets out another growl. This time it comes from the gut. I feel beyond afraid.
“Isn’t that what you are?” India replies.
At that moment they growl at one another. I shit you not. My cousin and this random girl were growling at one another in the middle of this shelter. They look like any minute they were going to turn to each other and go at one another. I think India even makes a move towards her but all of a sudden she stops. There i s a loud snapping noise.
And the noise comes from Walid.
“Everyone get out.”
His voice isn’t screaming but Walid has something of an authority here. I can tell by how they all lower their heads when he gives the order. One at a time they turn to the door and begin walking out.
“Don’t hurt him,” India says.
“Is that a threat?” Walid asks her.
India looks over at Walid. She finally bows her head at that moment. She wasn’t even aggressive when she said it. She was almost begging. Walid stares at her in the darkness though. India lowering her head reminds me of something. I had a dog when I was a child. If you scream at the dog loud enough the dog submits. That’s what was happening.
India was submitting to Walid.
She turns and she walks out of the shelter.
It’s only Walid and I now. Walid has on a white shirt that is fitted to his muscles. He has on an aviator jacket on that has a white fur collar. The jacket itself is brown and has patched logos on the sleeves. It’s that same masculine, sexy vibe Walid always had but there is something else there when I look at Walid. There is this dominance there.
He smiles at me, “Do you know what I am?”
The question is blunt. It’s slow.
Walid laughs a little bit. Even though he is smiling there is nothing welcoming about him. I’m scared as fuck. He is perched on the side of a couch in the room. He looks down at the rug not staring me in my eyes. He crosses his arms. For some reason I can hear the pattern of his breathing. Calm and deliberate. He oozes confidence and masculinity.
“Guessing game. Let me help you out,” he says, “You ever hear of little red riding hood. She goes to visit her grandmother. And she goes: ‘Grandmother! Your voice sounds so odd. Is something the matter?’ she asked. And grandma just replies: Oh, I just have a touch of a cold. Isn’t it cold here? Answer me…little pup.”
He looks over me when he says the word pup.
“Don’t make me ask you again,” Walid says looking harder at me, “Isn’t it cold up here? Not like Miami. Isn’t that where your from.”
Walid shrugs, “Whatever. Close enough. It’s brisk here. So maybe Little Red Riding Hood didn’t think it was odd. Then she notices something else and she says: But Grandmother! What big ears you have. Do you think my ears are big Nasir?”
I shake my head, “No.”
I don’t know what he’s asking for. I don’t know what else he wants me to say. Walid is playing a game with me at this moment and I don’t understand it.
He’s undressing. Earlier in the day I wouldn’t have thought this was weird but right now I want to piss myself. Right now I’m beyond scared.
He has no shirt on. He has no pants…
He is taking off his underwear…
He smiles. It’s not what he wants to hear but I’m not sure what he wants to hear. Walid excuses me, “You’ll learn. Little Red Riding Hood goes what big eyes. And the intruder says: the Better to hear you with. Then she comes down to the teeth. Grandma. What BIG teeth you have…”
That’s when something happens.
All of a sudden the boy I knew as Walid begins to change. His dark hair turns white. His eyes get large. His ears get triangular. His teeth are heavy and large, better suited to crushing bone then chewing meet. His mouth silently transforms as well being a broad muzzle underneath a wide forehead. His abs become a deeply descending ribcage and a sloping back. Fur decorates him all over. White fur. It builds out of no where against strong moderate legs and massive shoulders.
In the next few minutes a wolf stands in front of me. Stanging about 4 feet tall and 8 feet long. The recognizable features are the eyes. His eyes still sparkle like neon emerald stone against the sunlight.
I run like shit.
I barely get through the door. I’m screaming. I’m panting. The snow is so heavy now. The storm is here. I’m covered in it by the time I get through the door. I don’t realize that I’m still naked until I get in the house. I hadn’t stopped running since I saw Walid’s transformation. My body is freezing and I expect to be even colder than I am. My fingers feel like they are about to fall off from the biting cold outside.
Now I’m in the house breathing heavily.
I look to the right. In an old chair India is sitting there. She looks like my cousin again. Her contacts are back in and her eyes aren’t piercing any longer. She sits like India. Her legs are open.
“Are you a…wolf too?”
She looks over, “You need to be discreet about this.”
“Keep the secret that you’re a monster…”
“So are you,” India replies to me shaking my head, “Or don’t you notice that you’re naked. Here…”
She throws a shawl over to me. I’m so angry and afraid that I think about not accepting it. There is no where to go though. The storm outside is brewing something fierce. I could try to make another run for it. I could try to find a car and head down the mountain away from Vanderbilt.
I wouldn’t make it far though. I knew I wouldn’t. So at this point I was trying to see what was the worse of two evils.
Stick around in Vanderbilt with these monsters or make a run for it?
“It’s too cold out,” she says.
Her eyes glare at me, “Can you read minds too?”
“No. That’s not a werewolf. That’s a vampire,” she shakes her head.
“Do those exist?”
“Maybe ask Professor Timus,” she replies, “I’m not an expert in these things. I’m not even an expert in the wolf to be honest. None of us really are. It’s in our blood you know. TImus can explain a lot better. It’s just something…genetic you know? And it takes a bite on a full moon to wake it up.”
“Who did it? Who bit me?” I asked.
She shrugs, “Can you describe the wolf?”
“Black with blue eyes.”
There is a silence. Does she know what I’m talking about? If she does she doesn’t say it. She completely ignores the situation. It’s strange how she does it.
She doesn’t seem surprised, “I see. Regardless of which wolf turned you, the wolf was awakened. It’s in you now. It’s a part of you and sometimes it wants to come out.”
I’m sitting in front of a fire right now. I’m still afraid but I’m realizing that it’s no where to go. Regardless of what India is…she is still my cousin. If she wanted to hurt me she would have done it by now already.
“How can I get rid of it?” I ask.
It’s the only thing that I can think of.
She looks at me rolls her eyes, “Why would you want to? You’re stronger, faster, healthier. You’re blessed. Why would you want to get rid of a blessing?”
She looks at me as though really confused. I don’t get how she can see this as a blessing. If I could change like Walid did that made me a monster. Was I monster? Was I the thing that killed Little Red Riding hood’s grandma.
“So why does he want to kill me? Walid I mean.”
“If Walid really wanted you dead you would be dead right now,” she explains “Walid is the Alpha Dog. He’s leads our group…our pack. You’ve met everyone in our pack. The issue they had with you is that no one in our packed turned you. A stray turned you.”
“The black dog?”
“Yes. He wasn’t in our pack. He deserted us a while back. Dogs are all about territories. When you became a wolf you crossed some old rules.”
“I didn’t chose to get bit.”
“You’re right. But Walid likes you. Clearly he had sex with you. I mean Walid is a lady’s man. Never known him to care for a guy.”
“I wish I could be flattered. I’m honestly scared as fuck.”
She laughs. It’s interesting she finds this funny.
Right now I’m just shaking my head. Walid lives with me. He can be back at any point. If I was intruding on his territory what’s to stop him from protecting his land---or whatever. I look over at India. Now that I understand this thing about packs I’m kind of confused where her loyalty really lies. I was family but what was family to a pack?
If it came down to it…who would India be with?
She crosses her arms.
“You don’t want to piss Walid or anyone else in the pack off. He’ll figure out what to do with you. Until then, don’t tell anyone anything about the wolf. Not Evan. Not any officials. Not any one in the school. No one. Walid has to protect his pack and if you are a threat to it…like the stray. He’ll kill you.”
Her warning is heavy.
“As soon as the storm is done I”ll leave. Tell Walid that. I’m transferring out of here.”
“Are you sure? I can talk to Walid…I can…”
She nods. I don’t know how else to stress it. There is no way in hell I was going to be around this. I knew something was different with me. If that thing happened to be a wolf that was strange enough. I didn’t need people thinking that I was a threat to them.
“Stay here. I’ll go tell Walid.”
“It’s a storm out.”
She looks at the weather, “Wolves aren’t afraid of anything little cousin. That’s something that I’m going to have to show you.”
The night is cold. I would have left that very night if the storm wasn’t so strong. I try to call my father and see if he can transfer me some money to rent a car or catch a flight but there’s no signal in the storm. The lights are flickering on and off. I’m trying to get comfortable, dressing in warm clothes and covering up in my blankets to a cup of hot chocolate. I lock my room door. Regardless of whether or not India said that Walid wouldn’t hurt me, I wasn’t going to take the chance. He was aggressive. He was a fucking wolf. I didn’t know how much control he had.
I find myself googling things about wolves. I learn strange facts. Facts about how wolves live in packs. It makes sense. If Walid was the Alpha that meant that he was able to achieve that status through superior physical prowess. It makes sense that the others wolves or werewolves (or whatever they are) were are afraid.
Everything about Walid screamed dominance.
I take a deep breath and then I google something else: WEREWOLF.
My eyes light up as I look at the screen. A picture of half man-half wolf shows up on the screen. An intense scary abomination. I can’t help but to close the screen.
Just as I close it I hear something in the living room.
There is no answer.
I make my way through the hallway at that moment and cross into the common room. The door is open. There is snow all over the living room. It’s fucking freezing. It has to be below zero. Luckily I’m dressed now.
As I cross the living room I walk to the front door. That is when I see it. Droplets of blood are trickling over the snow at that moment.
“What’s wrong?” a voice says behind me.
It’s Evan. He’s standing there looking up at me with a curious look on his eyes.
“Did you leave this door open?” I ask him.
“Hell no. It’s fucking freezing…” he says walking a few steps at that moment, “It must have been Walid or something like that. Close it.”
I sniff the air.
Something is…off. There is this smell. This smell that I can’t put my finger on but it’s so strong. It’s coming from outside.
“Wait,” I tell Evan.
“You do realize it’s a goddam storm out there right?” Evan asks me.
I nod, “India said she was coming back. She said..oh my god…”
At that moment I see something. I’m not sure what it is but I have a feeling. It must be the smell mixed with the figure hiding in the distance. A sense of recognition comes over me.
The blood trails from the house to the snow. I run out in the snow as fast as I can. I manage to get through the strong gust of wind and look down at her in the snow. India was just lying there!
God no! God no!
She wasn’t moving. She was just…there. I lean over her checking for a pulse. At first it’s just weak…so…weak and so goddam faint. She has been fucking MAULED. Her arm is detached from her body. Bite marks are all over her. Her body looks like it’s been ravaged!
India isn’t breathing! She’s completely naked. Chunks are taken out of her chest.
I don’t notice Evan behind my back until I hear his piercing scream in the darkness!
I turn to Evan, “She’s dead.”
Read the next chapter at www.crushedcrown.com