Razor squatted down on his haunches with the friendliest of smiles. "Hey! Tell me a secret. Something you never told anybody before. Something big Something...hehehe...that you wouldn't want to take to the grave with you if the time came for you to cherish your last moments on Earth."
His eyes grew big, a certain level of horror in their expression. "What are you?" He asked softly.
"What are we? Does all that really matter, right now?" Razor answered. "You're fucked. You're totally fucked. You know that don't you?" He lifted his head slightly in the air, "Same as with your two friends up in the loft there. The ones hiding behind those boxes where they think we can't see us." He called up to the upper level to taunt them. "Come on down, you two! Come join the party!" There was nothing but silence from above, but I knew they were there. We all did. "Olly Olly Oxen Free...hehehe! We know you're there. We can smell you. We can even hear your heartbeat getting faster. You're wasting your time hiding in the dark, you know? It's not gonna help to insure your survival. It's only gonna make the game more fun for us." Soon after he said that, I heard movement, and Robbie's face came into the light from the upper level, and a young redhead girl was up there with them. Seeing them made Razor smile with joy. "Robbie...my man. Why don't you and the pretty girl come on down and join us."
"I didn't do nothin'! I didn't send my brother out there to say anything to you, I SWEAR! He did it all on his own!" Robbie shouted, his body shaking uncontrollably.
"Suuuure, of course you didn't." Razor answered.
"HONEST!!! You know I would never snitch on you! Not on ANY of you! Why would I do that? Huh? Why would I try to fuck Cyrus out of his stash?"
"Come on now, Robbie...don't lie to us. You told your big mean brother here to pay us a little visit and set us straight on stealing your liquor, didn't you? Tell the truth."
"NO!!! No, I didn't!!! I fucking swear on my LIFE!!! I never said anything!!!" Robbie was in tears at this point, almost ready to piss himself at the mere sight of the twins showing up like this. Something about that kind of control, the kind of presence that we held for them, made me feel so invinceable. "Please...we'll give you anything you want. I swear, just TAKE it!"
"If we wanted to just take it, Robbie, we could have done that in the first place. But we were trying to make a somewhat 'fair' arrangement and conduct a little business with you...and you backed out on your part of the deal. You know Cyrus doesn't have much of a sense of humor about these things. Why would you even try something like this?" Razor continued to taunt them while Shank kept the other three too scared to move.
But me? I remained perfectly still. I stood there, my eyes fixed on Robbie's brother as he shook in our presence. Now he gets it doesn't he? NOW he understands which of us is the dominant animal.
As my body was still trying to figure out just how 'stable' my human form was at the moment, I smelled something in the air. A fear. A tension. A level of desperation...
I turned to one of the three guys that Shank was watching, and we all knew that he was just taking a few quick breaths before attempting to 'run' on us. I must admit...in my current state of primal comprehension...the very concept was amusing at best. While Shank smirked in the man's direction, Razor was a bit more verbal about it. "Hehehe, you gotta plan, there, big boy? Huh? You wanna run?" The scent of fear increased, and the tension in his arms and legs got tighter and tighter by the second. His eye looked towards the doors, the windows, ANY opening that he could use to escape. His breath had gotten so heavy. So labored. Even if he could reach the window in time, he wouldn't be able to run more than 50 feet before he collapsed from exhaustion. Poor dumb soul. "Go on. Run." Razor told him, and the man froze. "Hehehe, no really, I'm serious. Run. Go ahead" The man didn't move a muscle at first, but soon took a step towards the door. Razor quickly jerked his shoulders in the man's direction, making him flinch and lose what little breath he had. "Hehehe, sorry. I'm just kidding. Go on, run like the wind. Complete safety is just on the other side of that door, playboy."
He was afraid of what might happen if he did, but not so scared that he didn't consider going for it anyway. To his eyes, we were just a couple of teenagers with an attitude. What did he possibly have to fear from us? It's not like we were carrying any visible 'weapons' or anything. So why not, right? He looked over at me for a moment, and I smiled wickedly at him....as I noticed Kriegar's beastly form moving silently in the direction to cut him off. He never stood a chance.
The man suddenly took a few more steps towards the door, and Shank blew him a quick kiss goodbye as he picked up the pace. He started running top speed, his adrenaline pushing him to the limit, hoping to just reach that door and escape this madness. But the distance he covered in 15 panicked footsteps...Kriegar covered in just two or three gallops. The heft of his body rumbled through the floor as he moved to cut him off from his only escape. And it was then that I saw Kriegar in the light for the first time since he had changed.
He was almost twice the size that he was in human form. His chestnut colored fur was thick and full and seemed to spike out in every direction. His ears pointed 'out' a bit instead of straight up, and his massive arms were stretched almost down to the floor. He wasn't like any 'wolf' I had ever seen. It walked on two powerful hind legs, and stood upright, but hunched over slightly...able to run on four legs if it needed the additional support for speed. His breathing caused his chest to heave and expand until it almost looked as though it were about to 'pop'...and his fangs hung low, even beyond his thin canine lips. His fingernails gleamed brightly, even when stained with blood, and when he jumped in front of that door..the baritone sound of his growl was almost deep enough to rattle our bones to their very core.
The man slid to a stop in front of the monster, and made the mistake of looking into Kriegar's eyes. No man feels so insignificant as he does when standing face to face with nature's rage. The animal he spent his whole life trying not to be...might have come in handy at this particular moment.
The two of them looked each other in the eye, both man and beast, and when the man attempted to back down, Kriegar raised his powerful clawed hand to the sky. It only took a moment. One swift motion. And with a muffled roar, Kriegar swung his hand downward to strike the man on the side of the head with a force that was too much for his frail body to handle. The man toppled over to the side from the impact so fast that his feet flew out from under him, and his head hit the concrete floor. I could distinctly hear a crack, and his head nearly caved in...gushing blood like juice from a ripe summer melon! The man was still alive, still conscious even...but the blow had caused so much damage that he literally had to 'hold' his head together with both hands. He twitch and spasmed on the floor, scrambling to his feet, swaying with a dizzied balance as blood poured out of the open head wound, and ran down into his eyes, making him temporarily blind. The burgundy liquid covered his face, and splattered a bit from his nose and mouth as he tried to breathe through them. He was already dead, he just didn't know it yet.
Finally, with a whimper, the man moved a couple of steps into the light, fell to his knees, and then slumped over to the side. The body went into a series of violent seizures, but he was already gone. Long gone. So much for an escape plan.
Everyone else gasped in horror at the sight of it, and Shank moved out of the way to keep the spurting blood from getting on his shirt. Razor was filled with delight at seeing the first body of the night drop to the floor, and turned back to Robbie's brother to have some more fun. "Wow...hehehe, he really almost made it to the door. You know, your friend there is pretty fast. Well...he WAS pretty fast. No chance on him winning any marathons now, with his head split open like that." He grinned. "You know, when you actually take it out and look at it, the human brain really isn't all that big. The size of two fists put together, actually. And so fragile. Doesn't take much to rip one in half with your bare hands...it's just hard to hold because it's so darn slippery..."
"WHAT DO YOU WANT?!?!" Robbie's brother screamed, and we all turned our attention to him.
"We don't WANT anything. We were sent here to complete a simple task...and that's just what we're gonna do."
One of the other guys spoke up, "Look...look, there's about eight hundred dollars in the safe in the upstairs office. I know the combination. If you let us go...I can take you up there...and I can..."
"Shhhhhh..." Razor put his finger up to his lips. "We're not here for money. Humans need money. Animals? We just kinda take what want when we want it. So...save the cash for a coffin, k? Let's just concentrate on the moment of truth we're having right now." He moved closer to Robbie's brother and squatted down again, causing tears of terror to drip from his bloodshot eyes. "You wanna hear something funny? If you ask most people what their absolute tolerance for PAIN is...they usually have no idea whatsoever. Isn't that strange? I mean, people never really take the time to find these things out for themselves." He told him, and then looked over his shoulder at Shank, who was giving him an ice cold smile. "Now...my brother over there...he likes to experiment with this shit. Because, to him, there's nothing more beautiful than a body letting go of the ghost right after a long period of intense and unbearable pain. I don't get it myself, but he believes that the suffering makes the moment of expiration one of true bliss. Me, personally? I wouldn't wanna go out like that, but...you know...he has his methods of entertainment and I have mine." He leaned closer to whisper in his ear. "Between you and me...he's just masking a sadistic impulse that he has to torture his victims beyond their limits, all so he can get some kinda sick rush off of the whole thing. But...if you had seen what he did to the last couple of guys who crossed us...you wouldn't be too keen on telling him that yourself either."
"Just...just let us go...just..." He began to cry uncontrollably, fighting off a fit of hysteria so that he might be able to bargain his way out of this situation. But Cyrus already told us...wolves don't bargain.
"Please don't cry, dude. Really, it's embarrassing." Razor told him. "In fact, it's downright insulting if you ask me."
"Don't do this. We can get you anything, alcohol, weed, money, anything. EVERYTHING! We'll pick up and leave...you'll never see us again! We'll clear out of this place and go so far that..."
At the moment, Razor quickly turned his head to give Shank a silent signal, and with a swipe so fast that it was almost invisible...Shank snatched one of the men's throats out! His nails were like knives, reaching out and ripping through the soft flesh and tissue without resistance. Leaving a gaping bloody hole in his neck, and a fountain of blood that sprayed halfway across the room. Some of the warm red liquid splashed on my arm...and my body quaked from the sensation.
Razor looked back at Robbie's brother, who was almost ready to scream! "I'm sorry...you were saying?" Razor dared him to speak again, staring directly into his eyes. "Didn't mean to interrupt."
The trembling inside of me got worse, but it was accompanied by another feeling this time. I stared down at the blood on my arm, and felt my stomach start to jump and twist inside at the sight of it. I felt a harsh hunger pain run through me, and without even knowing that I was doing it, I heard an angry growl leave my lips.
Shank turned towards me and grinned. "Right on schedule."
Razor joined him with an identical grin of his own. "We told you to try some of that raw meat before you left the house, kid. Frankly, I'm surprised that it took ya this long to get hungry." He turned back to his victim, and said, "Our friend Wesley, over here...he's new. Just learning the ropes. We figured we'd take him out tonight and show him a few new tricks. But...he seems to have worked up quite the appetite in the process. He's not gonna be able to keep his wits about him for much longer. So if you've got some 'magical' way to get yourself out of this...now is the time to use it."
"No, no, no...please don't kill me. Please don't kill me! You want me to beg? I'll BEG! I'm BEGGING, alright!"
"Please don't kill me, please don't kill me..." Razor mocked in a whiny voice. "Do you know how pathetic you sound? Man up! You were gonna die someday anyway. Now you know where and when it's gonna happen. The only question now is...how?" He looked at Shank again, who now only had one person to look after. "What do you think? Any ideas?" He didn't say a word. "My brother doesn't like to talk much."
"That's not true." Shank replied. "I just don't believe in wasting breath"
"So what do you think? We could have our friend Kriegar see how high your head will bounce off of the concrete like he did your friend over there. Or you could have your throat snatched out...but that tends to get a bit messy. OR...we could cut you riiiiight across the belly..." Razor used his pinky, a long nail growing out of the tip, and dragged it slowly along the bottom of his shirt. "Did you ever wanna know what your insides look like? You won't die right away, I promise. Not many people get to se something like that. Sure...it hurts like HELL, but all in all, it's got to provide your last moments with a certain level of fascination. If you've gotta go, go out with a showstopper, right?" Then...he looked back at me. "And what do YOU think, pup? Maybe our boy, Wesley, has something more inventive in mind."
There was a hesitation on my part. Some microscopic piece of me that wanted no part of this. But it was covered up by so much fog. So much emotion So much instinct. And the hunger only added to the confusion.
Razor stepped closer to me, "Come now, Wesley...give us your input. You're not really being a 'team player' here tonight." He looked over my shoulder towards the door. "Is he, Kriegar?" I turned back and saw Kriegar lick his chops menacingly. The pack members carefully reminding me what will happen if I don't fall in line with the others.
My stomach rumbled even more, my limbs began to hurt, and my temperature started to rise as the fever burned itself hotter than ever before. I raised my arm slightly, and with a long, sickening, lick...I tasted the warm blood for the first time. Ohhhh...it was like an electric spark on the tip of my tongue. The bitter tang of it was almost erotic in its flavor, and I was compelled to take another lick. The fragrance of terror in the air continued to bring me into a state of total euphoria, and Razor had done an excellent job of intimidating the others until the room was filled with the aroma. My body was coming to life, and holding it together was like trying to hold a basketball underwater with one hand. The calling was fighting me with everything that it had, and all I needed to do to relieve myself of the pressure and the struggle of it all....was let go
Just then, in a moment of desperation...Robbie's brother sprung to his feet and ran top speed for the iron pipe that he was reaching for before. "Fuck you! Fuck you! I'm not going out like that! I'm taking at least ONE of you with me!" He shouted, his eyes almost blind with tears.
Razor turned around and applauded. "Hahaha, YES!!! FINALLY!!! THAT'S what I'm talking about, baby! Bring it!" He looked up at the upper level. "Hey Robbie, your brother's got some stones on him, doesn't he? He's got real heart, I like that."
My blood began to boil, and my eyes squinted up tight at him swinging that weapon in Razor's direction. "I swear, I'll cave your fucking head in if you come anywhere near me!" He shrieked, but even I could see his hands shaking while holding that thing. If he did anything at all, it would be out of pure terror alone, and nothing else.
Razor moved closer to him, hands stretched out to either side, egging him on. "Come on...take a swing. Do it. Give it your best shot." Robbie's brother didn't do anything at first, but I noticed Robbie getting extremely nervous up above, and he moved away from the edge where we could see him "You want me to turn my back? Is that it? Here...I'll turn around, and I'll give you the advantage, how's that?" Razor turned around completely, facing me with a grin. And just as Robbie's brother found the courage to actually make a move...Razor winked at me...and then closed his eyes.
I saw the iron pipe swing hard and fast, connecting to the side of Razor's head, nearly splitting it open from the impact from the looks of it. And his body fell to the ground with a thud. Robbie's brother backed away from the spasming teenager laying on the floor...and at that moment, the rest of us found ourselves completely 'switched on'. Our eyes focused on him and his measly weapon until we nearly burned a hole right through him. He had caused one of our brothers to fall. He had injured one of the pack...and that was NOT to be tolerated!
There was no resistance left inside of me. The final offense had been made. The last straw had been pulled. And I could no longer stand by and allow any more harm come to my brethren.
Robbie's brother stared at me, almost dropping the pipe from the way his arms were shaking. And Shank gave me an evil smile as he saw me step forward to protect those who were now my family. I could feel Razor's fever begin to burn hot inside, healing him up almost instantly. Fixing everything that had been broken, and regenerating it until it was just like new. I doubt he even felt the pain of it before he was ready to get back up on his feet.
Closer I came to my first helpless victim, and as he backed away from me, my eyes began to glow brightly, my gums starting to itch. "Stay away, kid! I'm warning you!" He said, but it was a fucking weak attempt to appear bold in my presence. This lowlife piece of meaningless shit was drawing his last breaths on this Earth...and he was just too damn stupid to realize it yet!
And then I stopped...my body feeling bloated and full as I tried to maintain some sort of balance. And then...the 'change' began to happen.
It was more involuntary than I thought it would be the second time around My anger seemed to fuel it beyond my level of control. But then again..the transformation wasn't about control, was it? No....it was about embracing the part of myself that was truly wild. That was MEANT to be wild! My arms, my legs...they began to stretch and twist all on their own. And my body began to swell up like a balloon. There was no stopping it now. Despite the amount of pain it was causing me...the release itself was orgasmic! It was like trying to hold back a sneeze or a yawn that was already in progress. The faster it took a hold of me, the better it felt. The emotions expressed in the change were SO pure! So unadulterated! The beast within had full control now, and once things began to shape shift...I could only ride it out to completion.
The others watched in with an unprecedented level of fright and wonder as I transformed in front of their very eyes. I began to bleed from every pore as thickets of light blond fur sprouted from my skin. My teeth grew sharp and pointed, my nose moving further away from my face as my elongated snout became more evident. My fingernails cracked open and fell to the warehouse floor as long, razor sharp, claws replaced them at the ends of my fingertips. Long trails of saliva dripped slowly from my curled back lips, and I had to remember to breathe heavier to support the giant animal frame that I was now a part of. Robbie's brother charged me, hoping to get a few hastened strikes in before my transformation was complete, but I was able to reach out and grab him around the throat before he even got close. My arm felt so long, so strong...it was like I could touch him from the other end of the WORLD if I wanted to. The hunger rumbled in my stomach, and the flesh looked so ripe...so full of life giving liquid A tender chunk of meat to be tasted and appreciated. I lifted this featherweight from the floor, letting his feet dangle as I fought to keep from popping his Adam's apple like a raw egg. He was choking, staring at me as his body released an overdose of that deliciously sweet scent of terror into the air. It empowered me. Made me realize my superior position of his frailty. I slowly pulled him closer to me, to force him to look me in the eye. And a dark primal growl escaped from the pit of my belly. At that moment, his hand released the pipe, and it fell to the floor. Just hearing that sound reminded me of what he was about to do with it. What he had done to my brother with it. And it enraged me even more. No thought process, no filter, no civilized moments of sobriety where my sanity comes into question, and a moral compass is used to determine right from wrong. No...this was much more pure. Anger. Insult. And the power to do whatever I wanted to do about those emotions without consequence. You have no idea how liberating that can be.
Something...hot and sharp...ripped right through my arm, and caused me to drop my victim to the ground as the muscles responded to the shock of it I looked up at the upper level, and Robbie had returned to the edge, holding a rifle in his hand. "You let my brother GO, you son of a bitch!!!" He shouted, readying himself for a second shot. Funny thing is...the pain of being shot in the arm only lasted for a split second. By the time the bullet had passed through me, the fever had already begun the healing process. My body temperature rose just enough to close the wound and fix the slight amount of damage that it had done. I turned to face him, and Kriegar stepped forward to keep an eye on him. But he didn't make a move. He gave me my space to handle this on my own.
It was then that I saw Razor hop up from the floor, fully recovered from the blow to his head, and he walked over to join his brother's side. "Really now, Robbie...did you really think that tiny little pop-gun is going to work on us." Razor teased. "Got any silver bullets in there? Huh? Wolfs bane? You know...you can't believe everything you read in the comic books, Robbie!" Suddenly, Razor and Shank both grabbed one of Robbie's last surviving friends and pulled him out into the center of the floor where he could see him. "I'll tell you what...the faster you and your little girlfriend come down here and stop being so damn antisocial, the faster we'll let your friend here die." Shank gave the man a kiss on the cheek, then took a hold of his hand as they both held him steady.
Then...I watched hungrily, as Shank lifted the man's hand, and with a snap of his jaws, he savagely bit two of his fingers off! Severing them right at the second knuckle, as the man shrieked in agony! The sounds of his screams echoed off of the walls around the room, and when Robbie's brother attempted to get up, I swiftly turned around to keep him in check! I barked loudly at him, my jaws snapping at him as he flung himself back down to the floor, crawling back into a corner as my ferocious growl warned him to keep still. And that's when I heard another scream, as Shank bit off a thumb, and began to chew on it before spitting out the mangled digit on the warehouse floor!
"Come on down, Robbie. Your friend here is in an awful lot of pain" Razor grinned. Robbie hesitated, still holding the gun up, but visibly shaken. "No? Still having second thoughts?" Shank jerked forwards, and this time...he bit off an ear! "We can do this for a looooong time, Robbie! Are you enjoying this as much as we are? He's still got a few 'yummy' appendages left. Maybe we should start aiming a little lower" Shank gave the man another kiss on his bloodstained cheek...and reached down to lower the man's zipper.
"Goddammit!!!" Robbie shouted, conflicted as to what to do. In a moment of panic, he fired off another shot, hitting Shank right in the chest. But he barely moved. In fact...it only made him smile. So to make his next bite hurt even more, he bit deeply into the side of his friend's neck, only taking out a small chunk of meat, while pulling at it with his teeth. Causing the skin to stretch and tear as he slowly peeled it away from his throat. It finally snapped off, and he had a long shred of flesh hanging from his lips, which he sucked in and chewed up with a smile.
"You're gonna be in a world of hurt if we have to come up there and 'get' you, Robbie!" Razor grinned.
"FUCK YOU!!!" Robbie said, crying his eyes out. And now just started firing randomly at whoever he thought he could hit. Enough was enough. And when Shank and Razor looked in my direction to give me the signal...I found myself already in motion.
My powerful arms and legs sprinted towards the side of the warehouse, and with hardly any effort at all, I took a giant leap that nearly brought me all the way to the second level. I grabbed on to one of the support beams, my claws digging deeply into the wood, and I scrambled up the side. Two or three monstrous jumps, and I was already flinging myself over the railing. Robbie tried desperately to reload the gun, but his hands were shaking too bad for him to hold on to the bullets. He was backing away from me, the red head screaming and crying behind him as he dropped more bullets to the floor. I could have easily pounced on them and ripped them to pieces, but some part of me was enjoying this too much. That scent was so addictive. Their fear was so enticing. The amount of raw 'ego' that they trigged in me was like nothing I had ever felt before! I kept wanting to push it further. I kept wanting to feel this POWER inside me as it grew to such indefinable levels! I was a GOD to these people! Do you hear me? A *GOD*!!! And life and death was now MY decision! And I choose DEATH!
I stalked them, slowly creeping forward, feeling more comfortable in this body than ever before. The energies of my pack brothers were feeding me from below, chanting to my senses, telling me to do it. To enjoy it. To bring gore and horror to those too weak to fend for themselves. And once they hit a wall, and couldn't back up any further, I let out a deafening roar and jumped forward! They both moved and I felt myself slam into the wall as they scrambled to get behind a few large boxes of liquor. I ran to one side as they ran to the other...keeping the boxes between us at all times. I was so fast that I was practically nipping at their heels before they could turn around. I was still a little clumsy in this lumbering form, but nearly as much as I was the first time. Finally, I jumped over the boxes completely and swiped at Robbie's back as he tried to run from me The feel of my claws sinking into the wetness of his bleeding flesh was such a rush for me. His shirt was ripped to shreds, and he stumbled on to the floor as the girl stepped over the ledge and tried to escape by jumping down to the lower level. She broke her ankle on impact, and I heard the twins share a hearty laugh at her expense. Robbie ducked and dodged as best as he could, crawling on his hands and knees like a fucking RAT! Trying to avoid me. Getting me ANGRY! I heard the others cheer and shout their approval as I tried my best to cut him in half. And then...due to a lucky strike at his left leg, Robbie fell face first to the ground...and could run no longer.
The others watched from below...Kriegar especially...and once the carnage began, they knew that I had done my job...and began the process of finishing off the others. Te twins stopped torturing their victim and began devouring him where he stood, biting on both sides as pieces of skin and bone flew out in all directions. Kriegar quickly did away with the redhead by breaking her neck with one hand, and then jumped on Robbie's brother to bite, rip, tear, and practically 'pull' him to pieces. The scene was just as gruesome and as messy as Cyrus wanted it to be...and I knew then that we had done well. We shall certainly be rewarded for this.
The screams. I'll never forget those screams. When they're all combined in unison like that...it almost sounds like music. A symphony of pain and suffering. It felt as though I was moving in slow motion. My arms kept swinging, my claws kept tearing...and Robbie just...just had this look of pure helplessness in his eyes. He couldn't fight back. He could defend his own life...not with all the strength and desperation at his disposal. I was killing him. His blood was splashing up onto my face...and he was screaming. Crying out for help. But there was no one there to save him. No one. I had never seen anything so brutal. So merciless. But after I bit down on his shoulder and then took a chunk out of his arm...it was like he just...'surrendered'. He gave me his life. He didn't have any choice. I couldn't stop myself. My adrenaline was running so high, my mind was so far gone...the calling didn't leave room for judgment. I just...kept swinging...and biting...and...and...eating. I was soooooo hungry. So VERY hungry! And Robbie just couldn't take any more. He was consumed by the violence, and accepted his fate as he drifted off into an eternal sleep. He just wanted it to be over. He just wanted the pain to stop. And as his eyes went dead...and the struggling stopped...a bit of my compassion returned to me. And I was forced to ask myself....what had I done?
What had I done?