Chapter 49

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Alex stared in horror at the growling monster that approached, too shocked to move or react. Never in his life had he ever seen a dog that big. Its eyes reflected the red lights from Alex’s car, giving the creature a hellish look. Its dark brown fur was standing on end along its neck and back, its snarl revealing huge white fangs. As its deep growling got louder Alex felt his teeth rattle, slowly Alex reached over and turned the key. When the engine roared to life the wolf took a few steps closer to the car, angling itself back to cut off Alex’s escape. In a blind panic, Alex threw the car into reverse and hit the gas pedal as hard as he could.

The small car lurched into gear and tore out of his hidden space, spitting gravel and dirt into the wolf’s eyes as Alex backed off. Snapping at the flying gravel, the wolf shook its huge head and with an angry bark lowered its head and took off after the car just as Alex spun around and tore out of the parking lot. Alex had just hit the main road when the wolf appeared in his rearview mirror, chasing him down with impossible speed, and gaining fast.

Alex hit the gas harder and felt the small car lunge forward, watching the speedometer as it slowly climbed; 45, 55, 65… Alex looked into the rearview mirror and cursed, the wolf was still gaining. Alex turned away from the mirror and pressed the gas to the floor, knuckles turning white as he gripped the wheel, barely keeping the speeding car steady as he raced through turns and over hills. He could hear the wolf barking and snapping through his open window but he didn’t dare look back to see where it was.

Then, in mid stride the wolf reared back and jumped, a flash of brown fur flew over the car and landed in the road in front of Alex, turning around quickly to face him down. Alex yelled and slammed the breaks, the car swerved and fishtailed between the lanes, tires screamed as they tried to cling to the road. The wolf lunged at the car as Alex struggled to maintain control, slamming the gas back down the second the car passed by, its teeth snapping just inches from the passenger side window. The car lunged forward once more and gained a little distance from the wolf as Alex straightened it out in the correct lane.

The wolf was once again almost on top of Alex by the time he saw the lights of Conway ahead. Gripping the steering wheel as hard as he could, Alex kept his foot firmly on the gas until he passed by the first set of shops. He heard the wolf howling in frustration just as Alex looked back to see the wolf force itself to a stop just before it could follow Alex into the lights of the town. Before losing sight of the wolf Alex saw it sit back and howl before running off and disappearing into the woods.

With his heart racing, Alex made himself slow the car down to the speed limit, carefully making his way down Main Street. He needed to get to Nadia’s house and show Margret what he had, and now there was a new sense of urgency. Alex had no doubt somehow the wolf had something to do with Ethan. Had he been seen anyways? Did he not wait long enough before coming off the mountain?

With these questions in his mind, he turned down the road that would take him back to Nadia’s house. He had wanted to drive on the main roads, it was a longer drive going the back route and there were less people along the way, not to mention more woods to drive through. Unfortunately, Alex knew he had no choice after being chased off the main drag, going back would risk running into the wolf once again. He had to take the back way through the woods. Taking a deep breath, Alex drove into the darkness of the forest.

Alex scanned the forest relentlessly for the first few miles, terrified that the wolf would jump back out of the woods and land in front of the car. After a few nervous minutes, Alex finally started to relax and loosened his grip on the steering wheel. Suddenly, a grey shape burst out of the woods and slammed violently into the side of the car. Alex heard the sound of crunching metal and breaking glass as the car was driven into the other lane. Holding on for dear life, Alex struggled to regain control of the car before it was spun completely around. The grey wolf was spinning around for another attack when Alex hit the gas once more, barely keeping the car from driving off the road. He looked in the mirror just in time to see the grey wolf bracing itself to lunge after him.

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