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The thick smoky air surrounded me as I walked past the burning garbage can. My eyes watered from the heat from the fire, my chest tightening as the the stench of the smoke increased and I closed my eyes briefly.
Exhaustion rendered my body from walking quickly as I would have liked to and instead I found it difficult to even concentrate on how to move, the soles of my feet feeling numb.
My worn out sneakers slid against the wet ground and I cursed under my breath, placing my hand against a cold wall to steady myself.
A lady with a young child passed and I immediately recognized them as werewolves. Only werewolves wore the most expensive looking clothes, the fabric clean, free from any blemishes. Werewolves also carried an air of pride and arrogance, looking down at us humans, showcasing their fangs in warning whenever we got to close to them or did something they didn't approve of.
That was exactly what the lady was doing, her sharp fangs bared as she overheard me curse. She eyed me in disgust, placing a hand on the pup's shoulder and urging him to walk faster.
I fought the urge to glare at her and instead continued on walking, being careful not to slip against the ground once more.
My mother was waiting for me at the door, a tattered shawl around her skinny shoulders.
She was always worrying about me whenever I went off to work in an underground mine, owned by the werewolves. She was constantly concerned that the werewolves would go on a killing spree, again. It had happened a year after they had taken over our town, their hatred towards us motivating them to do so.
A mother having to live with the fear that her daughter may never come back home is absolutely horrible and it only heightened my anger towards the werewolves.
The shawl did nothing to keep her warm; her slim figure trembling with every chilly breeze. Her eyes brightened in the slightest once she saw me approach, quickly pulling me inside the small house.
She pressed a quick kiss on my forehead, her lips cold. "Come on, I left over some soup for you."
She urged me towards the other side of the room. Since there was no furniture, I sat on a carpet and watched as my mother shuffled over, a forced smile on her tired face.
She placed the hot soup on my trembling hands and I murmured a soft thank you to her.
The chicken soup warmed my stomach and I sighed, enjoying my first meal for the day. I began to finally relax and I laid back on the carpet, placing the now empty bowl beside me and closed my eyes.
Memories of how life used to be before the werewolves came flooded my mind. I hadn't live in this extremly small, one bedroom house. Instead, my first home had been fairly large with a swing in the back and a spacious garden. I used to play with my two neighbours, Giselle and Anne.
We would play for the whole day, laughing and making silly childish jokes.
I had wanted that happiness that I had felt when I was younger to always last. But now that was a cold distant memory and I no longer feel that strange, foreign, feeling of joy.
That is, unless I am with my family.
I stood from the floor after minutes ticked by and made my way over to the other corner of the room. Curled up in thick black blankets were my young sister and brother. Soft snores came from them, their small chests rising and falling whilst they slept. I leaned over, tucking small limbs under the blanket.
The soft plopping noise of my mother filling a small tub with hot water sounded through out the room, causing my sister, Alyssa, to frown in her sleep.
I quickly walked over to the tub, placing the divider in front of it so no one would see me naked.
I stripped off my wet clothes and sank in the now lukewarm water. It didn't take me long to bathe. I wanted to be in and out as fast as I could, before the werewolf came to check on us.
I had only managed to put on a shirt and underwear when the knock sounded, before the slamming noise of the door being roughly pushed open.
The noise startled the twins out of their sleep and I gritted my teeth, quickly grabbing a pair of shorts and putting them on. My mother went and comforted the twins, whilst the werewolf, Sander, looked around the small room.
Sander was one of the many werewolves who patrolled and inspected the homes of the humans every night. He didn't like us, we didn't like him. I would make it clear that it was shown in my expression, but never did I speak it out loud.
That same disgust that all werewolves wore when they looked at us humans filled his eyes as he watch me make my way towards him.
"I heard you didn't show up on time for work, Miss. Valle." His voice was deep, like most of the male werewolves. It was also filled with unmistakable hatred which made me want to punch his jaw until that sneer disappear.
I narrowed my eyes. "I was only five minutes late. I had to make sure that my brother and sister were properly fed."
Sander snorted, his dark eyes flashing. "Can't your mother do that?"
I clenched my fists. "She was already at work, sir."
He growled warningly at me, his right eye twitching with annoyance. I pressed my lips together and watched him silently as he looked over my shoulder and at my family.
"Don't be late again. You won't like what will happen." He turned and walked back out the house, his boots clanking heavily.
I had the sudden urge to spit at him, but instead went against the feeling, choosing to grip the fragile handle of the door and peer down the road, watching as he walked away. Finally I swung the door closed, and advanced to my mother and the twins, humming to my young siblings, luring them back to sleep.
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Beyond These WallsWerewolf
Life has been difficult for Rebecca and other humans every since the werewolves took over. She has to abide by their strict rules and it is almost against Rebecca's nature to do so. But for the sake of her family, she does. When life seemed as if...