The street was dark, poorly lit, the stereo typical street a young woman stayed away from. Jenny was walking down this street. It was just like any day when she was walking home, except tonight, she felt like someone was watching her.
She stopped and looked behind her like any paranoid person, but there was no one around. She started to see her door turn from a line to a rectangle she start to speed walk towards it. She began pulling out her keys, fiddling to find her apartment key amongst the few others on the ring (gym locker key, spare work key, her parents house key) before she reached the door. She hopped slightly as she reached the small concrete lip the kept her door a few inches from the side walk. She couldn’t get her key in to the door because she was shaking.
She listened to the slight grinding of the key on the lock as she tried to insert the key blindly. Finally she heard the click and twisted the key hard to the left opening the door quickly trying to move through the gap like an excited dog waiting to get into a house. She quickly slammed the door behind her.
As she caught her breath she ran her left hand through her hair, her keys jingling in her slightly limp right hand. She shook her head pulled herself together and laughed at herself. She had panicked like a little kid hearing a noise in the dark. She put her keys down on the _____ stand. She hung her jacket on a hook and quickly through off her sneakers letting them bounce as they would. She walked up her long flight of stairs to her second floor apartment.
She lived above a small tailors shop. In the week the noise was minimal so it was nice, but if she was ever home early on the weekend she could be sure to hear the shop owner and his wife harassing each other. It was more than uncomfortable.
As Jenny reached the top of the stairs she looked at her large open room of an apartment. There was a small____ kitchen on the far side of the room facing over the road. Across the way, opposite of Jenny, was a door leading to a small bedroom with the apartments only bathroom, which was considerably large considering the rest of the apartment. That’s where she was headed. She walked speedily across the “living room” area of the large open room and into her tiny bedroom to the bathroom. The bathroom was a decent sized compared to the shoe box of a bedroom she had just walked through. There was nothing special about it but the tub was actually long enough to lie down in without having your knee’s stick out.
She started to fill the tub with hot water. As the tub filled she started to take her clothes off. A sense of relief with each piece she removed. When she was finally naked she dipped her hand into the tub. The water was still cold. She pulled the stopper out of the tub and just let the water run. This was fairly usual, her water tank never seemed to work or at least that’s the way it seemed to her, it always took way to long for the hot water to actually reach her faucets.
She sat on the edge of the tub and just waited, thinking. She’d been feeling stranger and stranger walking home each night lately.
She worked at a diner that acted as an Eden in what could be called the sketchy part of New York City. Of course New York City wasn’t the city it had been when she had first thought of visiting when she was a kid. 10 years had changed the city. 2012 fears had managed to
become mass hysteria in the Big Apple. In the after math of nothing extraordinary happening it became one big mass city by 2022. The districts were no longer existent, and the city as a hole had become sort of a slum. The part that was worse than a slum, that’s where Jenny’s apartment was. But until the last week jenny had been fine with the city, absolutely fine.
Jenny looked down at her pale white skin. She hadn’t seen sunlight in a while. Back when she lived in Halifax she got plenty of sunlight, when it wasn’t raining. She had loved Halifax while she was there but it had never really felt right. All she could think of was the rain on her face, misting her slowly. She could feel the water pulling together as a drop and rolling down her cheek, barely holding on as the drop rolled down her jaw, stopping momentarily on the tip of her chin before dropping to the ground below. The drop landed with plop, not a splash, like the drop had landed on somewhat dry surface. Jenny opened her eye to see simply steam. The room was full of steam. She reached down and touched the water, hot. Finally hot. She stepped into the tub, cracked the window and slowly lowered herself into the hot water.
She just lay there letting the warm water seep into every part of her. She just lay there trying to let her thoughts completely drift away from her panic and irrational fear. There was nothing going to happen today or tomorrow, or any other day that hadn’t happened to her before. She let her eye’s close.
Without warning there was a low growling noise behind her. She shot up splashing water all around opening her eyes quickly and turning propping herself awkwardly. She looked around darting her head fast and completely irrationally. She convinced herself that by moving like that nothing could hide just out of her peripheral vision.
When it was clear to her there was nothing around she convinced herself it was just some old pipe’s groaning or a weird wind tunnel affect from the open window. She lay back down giving herself a slight shake as if to get her nerves back in line. She closed her eyes and drifted into a sleep.
She opened her eye’s moments later in her child hood home. A small house on the corner of some insignificant street in Halifax. It was her first day she had ever been in the house. She was just adopted by a nice family, James and Becca Audrey. They were good nice people she thought, they let her keep her name.
“Little Miss Jenny Lancrow, welcome to...” her new mother, Becca’s, voice drifted off as she looked around. She walked up the side walk a little and tried to look over the brown picket fence, the paint flaking off to show the dry, thin, grey wood underneath. She stood on her tippy toes, trying to see over the fence, but it was hard for the little five years old, barely 3 feet tall to even reach the top.
Her new father, James walked over picked her up at the waist. As he held her she reached to his head for stability and gocked in awe of the green grass and rock garden full of flowers that went up a short incline in the yard.
Jenny looked down at her father eyes glowing with excitement, “It’s such a pretty yard,
can I play in it? Please, please, please?”She begged, “Mom, I’ll be really carful of the flowers.” She said spinning around lightly making it hard for James to keep hold.
“Those are actually James’s flowers.” Becca spoke with a snicker.
Jenny spun around staring at her new father looking absolutely perplexed. “Really?”
“Yes. And you can play of course; it’s your yard too. You know what; I bet your other dad gardened too.” Her father prodded. Jenny just giggled at him putting her hands infornt of her face while shaking it slightly. “What, he might have?”
Jenny was well aware she was adopted and that these weren’t her real parents and she was perfectly ok with that. She wasn’t overly attached to people. She just learnt to be able to separate herself from those around her, because she knew there was a chance they might just disappear on her. As her father started to put her down she started to feel cold. She closed her eyes slowly as she began to shiver.
She opened her eye’s slowly waking up. She pulled herself out of the tub and its now room temperature water. She closed the window again and took her bath robe of the back of the bath room door. She reached down pulling the stopper out of the tub. As she started to lean back up she heard the same strange growl come from behind her. She quickly spun around grabbing the plunger from besides her swinging it out with a great deal of finesse and skill, as much skill and finesse a plunger being wielded like a sword could be. She put the plunger down and laughed at herself yet again, this time though it was fake, an attempt to push away more disconcerting thoughts.
She left the bathroom and went to her chest of drawers pulling out clothes for the evening. She looked back into the bathroom at her heap of work clothes. She wasn’t getting dressed in anything special, just some casual clothes, she wanted to feel comfortable and the comfort of the bath had been made almost obsolete by the fact she had stayed till it got cold and had continued to get spooked by some random noise. Sweats, a t-shirt, and a cardigan, she just wanted warm comfort and she could think of nothing better.
She was still somewhat unsettled when she heard a series of strange noises outside her apartment somewhere in the street. It sounded like a pack of big cats fighting, really big cats.
She crept towards the top of her stairs. She looked down them at her apartment door. Looking through the smoked glass window (which took up the bulk of her door) she could see the shape of someone on the other side. Jenny worked her way down the stairs slowly. When she reached the small landing at the bottom of the stairs she grabbed an umbrella off a hook beside her coat. She opened the door and there lying on the ground in crumpled dilapidated heap was a man.
His clothes were ripped and tattered. He was bleeding from multiple small wounds all over his body. His breathing was laboured, his back lifted up jerklely, his lung pushing against the ground as he inhaled. His chest quickly dropped as he exhaled. The man was clearly unconscious. He was well built but considering his current condition it wasn’t really that
impressive. Jenny leant down beside him trying to figure out the best way about moving him.
Jenny noticed a strange shape on his right arm. She slowly lifted his arm out from under him. He had a tattoo of a wolf on his upper bicep, which jenny was realizing was much larger and well toned than she had thought. She couldn’t help but give it a quick squeeze, she found herself a little impressed. The mark turned out to be tattoo of a wolf, as if the wolf was climbing down some sort of incline. The wolves’ mouth was slightly parted showing extremely detailed sharp teeth and she thought she might have even spotted a tongue. She was in awe of the detail in the tattoo; it just went on and on. Brilliant red, amber, and orange fire coated the wolf acting as fur. There was a scar under the wolf like someone had gouged out a part of the tattoo; it hadn’t healed well at all. The skin was red and twisted suggesting the wound hand been cut several times in a less then caring manner. Someone had been out to torture this man. Jenny stood again taking in the whole of the man. His hair was white like the polar bear, his skin was pale but that was likely because of the cold. His shoes looked as if a dog had chewed on them.
She poked the man with the end of the umbrella and he groaned. She kicked him lightly and he groaned again. She was about to stomp on his hand, why she hadn’t really thought through, when the man’s arm darted up and grabbed her uplifted foot. Jenny looked down shocked by the man’s sudden agility. The man let go of the bottom her foot, quickly reaching farther up to her ankle and pulled her to the ground. He rolled over and locked jenny’s arms to her back with his left arm as he rapped his right around her neck so she could see his tattoo up close again, of course this time it was uncomfortable and painful.
“Do you see who I am?” He said almost growling, “Do you …fear …me…” he tried to hold on but couldn’t. He was exhausted. It was incredible he mustered the strength to do what he had done already. As his muscles relaxed Jenny started to breath normally. She had been caught completely off guard and had gone into a mild state of shock. She just lay there on top of him for a moment like he was nothing more than the ground. She started to get up moving slowly and awkwardly not wanting to come in to much additional contact with the man. Once she was finally back up on her feet she gave herself a quick dusting off and gave the man a confused look.
She was still running what had just happened through her head when she decided to reach down, grabbing the man’s arms, and dragged him into her stair case landing. She kicked the door closed and the class rattled a little in its frame. She started dragging the man up the stairs, his head making a soft thud on each step it seemed his abundance of long white hair was cushion the impact quite effectively. When she got to the top she pulled a chair from her “dining room” area . She propped the man up on it, his head leaning backwards over the low back of the chair. She found some bungee cords and used them to tie him to the chair temporarily. She dug under her sink and found some old extension cords and used those to tie his legs to the chair legs and strapping his torso to the back of the chair. As a sort of joke after tying the knots she plugged the ends together. She went to lock the apartment door. Speeding down the stairs. She twisted the normal lock and looked sceptically at the door for a minute. She decided the day had been too unpredictable. She through the bolt lock, the chain lock, and pulled down a metal window blind over the window locking it into place at the bottom. She turned and started up the stairs when she heard the weird growl again behind her. She bolted up the stairs through the living room
past her hostage into her bedroom slamming the door behind her and locking it. This time there was no calming herself down or convincing herself she was over reacting. She was scared and there was nothing she could do about it. She fell asleep against the door.
She woke to the noise of clacking. She slowly opened her eye’s rubbing them lightly. It was still dark out her window so she couldn’t have been asleep very long. She opened the door behind her a crack, not getting off the floor. She looked through the small gap she had made to surprisingly find her captive rocking his chair in an attempt to stand on his feet. She assumed he would try to shuffle around using only the slight mobility of his ankles. She stood up in her bedroom putting on her meanest game face, before bringing herself to a “state of calm”. She focused on her breathing, just like she’d been taught in martial arts. She felt like she had herself pulled together. She opened the door wide and walked up slowly from behind him (the chair was facing away from her bedroom, making this quite easy).
When her hostage was on a forward rock she kicked the back of the chair as hard as she could. There was a mighty slur of curses and gibberish. She realised quickly he was using French and English.
The man, in an act of brute strength flipped the chair onto its back and glared at her. He was as intimidating as a snapping turtle stuck on its back, that is if a turtle could berate you with insults and threats. “ You don’t know who I am do you,” the man started yelling, swinging his head back and forth and even spitting a little, “….Wow … you are not the guy who attacked me…you’re not even a guy to begin with…well if they attacked me... why didn’t they attack you when you were near me…it’s not like they care….” Jenny stared at the man puzzled. The man continued jabbering on to himself, switching between English and French and speaking quieter and faster with each word.
Jenny just watched him like she was watching a train wreck, she just couldn’t take her eyes off him. After his speech became completely impossible to follow she just started to look at him for him, and she came to a strange, although at this point not overly shocking revelation. All the small wounds on the man, from whenever it was she found him, were gone. She was confused, and tired of not understanding what her hostage was saying. She walked over to him picking up her umbrella she had put on the coffee table at some point earlier, thought she couldn’t remember quite when, and she poked him with it.
“You really shouldn’t do that ...when you poke an angry animal with a stick their likely to act aggressively.” The man said with a smile. There was a strange pulling sound and Jenny couldn’t help but laugh that the man was trying to break the cords. The pulling noise was getting louder and then, snap. He broke the cords and with amazing speed he reached out and grabbed the end of the umbrella and pulled Jenny to the ground. He stood up, taking the umbrella with him. He swung the umbrella around himself quickly one circle on the left, one circle on the right. As he turned to get a good look at her he noticed that he had done a little more damage than he had thought.
She was sprawled on the ground like a crippled star fish and the small of her back was showing. There was a very distinct scar showing on her back, it was more of a brand. He
assumed she had just gone out and had scaring done. But he kept staring an it dawned on him.
“You have got to be kidding me… you can’t be her….the boss is going to kill me.”
Jenny groaned trying to understand what was going on with this man and his odd statements.
The man tried straightening up and coughed slightly, as if he was trying to look professional in his destroyed clothing.“I’ve been sent here to take you to your daddy… ok. So you’re going come with me …and no hitting. For every time you hit me, I’ll break one of your bones.”
Jenny turned herself around and pulled herself together to sit facing the man. She waited a minute just staring at him. The two’s eye’s locked. It wasn’t romantic it was more like a challenge to see which one could win. Jenny realized his eyes were red, and despite her lack of knowledge in science she knew that wasn’t a natural eye colour.
She jumped up and punched the man in the face as she ran towards her bedroom. As she pulled her arm back the man grabbed her wrist and there was a small snapping noise.
She couldn’t move, and when she looked back she realized she was in pain. The man was holding her wrist with one hand and her pink finger with the other…only the nail was pointing the wrong way. “I told you I’d break a bone for every time you hit me. Now I know you’re not going to believe this little orphan girl, but you aren’t human. Then again you aren’t like me either …your somewhere in between. You see I’m a wolf. You know what actions speak louder than words. They also help with that look on your face the says ‘this guy escaped form an insane asylum’, ya that’s definitely the look on your face. ” It was.
The man threw Jenny’s wrist back at her and he began to cringe. He crouched over as if to rock back and forth like a child. There was a low sound that, as it got louder, sounded like play dough slowly being squished. The man’s clothes started to glow and then turn slightly translucent. The colour under was perfect white. The entirety of the man’s skin was turning the perfect, pristine, flawless white. Slowly his arms started losing their shape and the white skin started to lift in strands that slowly came together as fur coating his entire body. His legs shortened and his hands became paws. He finally lifted his head out form between his two front limbs and his head was now that of a wolves. His mouth left slightly ajar, almost like a half smile. His face, like the rest of him was completely white, except for a black nose and the same red eyes he had before just slightly more animal now. This entire awe inspiring transformation took mere seconds but to Jenny it lasted an eternity. She was both horrified and mesmerized but she got control of her senses as the newly formed wolf took one paw and placed in just slightly forward. She fell backward to the ground and tried to crawl away, in a sloppy crab walk, never taking her eyes off the wolf. She was scared, scared more than from the noises, or the man’s amazing feats of strength, or his strange healing, or by the food at the diner.
“ I’m a wolf and so are you…well sort of …your half a wolf …and half a human …or maybe its 70/30 or 65/45... That’s a technicality.” He said walking towards her in his new wolf
form. “I was sent to bring you to your father because your father thinks they know you exist and the situation is becoming far more critical and the army isn’t so happy with the rebels, and lone wolves, no pun intended, renegades ….and you don’t have any idea what I’m talking about. Well your coming with me whether you like it or not.”
As he got closer she screamed, “No!”
And just as she screamed all she could see was a bright light and she couldn’t see anything. Great, she thought, the crazy wolf man’s gone and killed me. And then she could hear a ruckus and some yelling. And she realized she could still feel the ground, and she obviously wasn’t dead. She stood up and her vision started coming back to her. She saw one tall shape swing something at the much lower darting shape.
“Seriously, what the hell is going on? I want all of you out of my apartment right now.” She’d given up on being scared and was just too frustrated to deal with any more of this insanity.
Her vision became more clear, the figure was a police officer, holding what looked like a base ball bat. The small figure was obviously the wolf, which after taking a couple sweeping looks of the room decided to dart around the officer and down the stairs. His claws made a strange scraping sound as they hit the cement side walk outside (the officer had clearly failed to close the door).
The officer turned towards Jenny looking at the ground as he took off his hat. He threw it and a large flashlight on to the couch before lifting his head and walking towards Jenny. “Jenny, of all the things I’ve seen in New York a wolf in apartment building is the strangest.”
Jenny smiled. “Alex, I should have known you’re the one who would save me from the big bad wolf, with your scary base ball bat.” Jenny walked over and hugged her knight in shining armour, or at least as close as she was getting to a knight.
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