I was seven years old when I met the beast.
I knew that I should have been frightened; the stories told of monsters in the forest had become embedded in my brain. With those words of caution ringing in my head, I could not feel any sort of trepidation as I stood before him. I should have spun around, despite myself, and ran back to my mother.
For a reason that I never quite understood, I didn't.
Perhaps it was the fleeting thought that my savior had returned. My knight in shining armor, whom I'd previously presumed to be dead, was in front of me again. In a different form, yes, but in front of me just the same.
He came back to keep me safe.
My curious eyes examined the beast in front of me with a fondness that I wasn't aware I had. The fur, like silver, was shining under the moon's light. Bright yellow eyes inspected me in alarming serenity. He was the beacon of hope that I'd recently lost.
I was standing outside in my backyard with my nightgown lightly grazing the freshly cut grass and my bare feet sinking into the damp soil. I held my teddy bear, Fluffoo, tightly against my chest as I took another daring step forward.
Like a moth to a flame, I was drawn to the creature.
The beast was sitting patiently on his hind legs just inside of the daunting forest. A thin line of bushes was all that stood between us. An overwhelming urge had me yearning to press my tiny hand against his beautiful fur.
His height tripled my own and everything about him appeared predatory. He was the one thing my town tried to rid of existence. He was what my mother worried about. He was everything I should have stayed away from.
I clumsily skirted around the bush until I stood directly in front of him. Feeling confident, I reached on my tiptoes and pushed my hand through the thick fur. The warmth he emitted caused a smile to curl on my lips.
"You're soft," I commented with joy. Fluffoo suddenly fell out of my grasp and I wrapped my arms around the beast as best as I could.
The beast nuzzled its nose against the top of my head.
"Thank you for coming back to me," I murmured, my voice muffled by his fur.
"Ella?" A sharp voice snapped me out of my trance. "Ella, where are you?"
Turning my head, I noticed my mother poking her head out of the back door. I gave the beast one last squeeze before skipping back to my mother.
"It's bedtime," she said in a tired voice and lightly tugged my arm into the house.
I ran from her grasp and up to my bedroom on the top floor. I immediately pressed my tiny nose against the window; my beast was nowhere to be seen.
The next day, I thought it was a dream. I thought that until I realized Fluffoo was missing.
First, I panicked. My stubby legs sprinted outside in sudden desperation to find him. I searched for hours on end, even going deeper into the forest; my mother always scolded me when going in there alone.
Just as I was about to give up and start crying, I saw Fluffoo sitting on a boulder. I was standing more than a dozen feet away from my backyard, far enough for trees to hide me. I bounced over to him and pulled him into a hug.
That's when I noticed tiny holes in the back from teeth.
In that very moment, I knew that I had befriended the wolf outside my window.
YOU ARE READING
(1) Puppet (Preview)Werewolf
BOOK ONE of THE CURSE SERIES When Isabella Calloway saw the wolf outside of her window, she felt safe again. Then, he left. Years passed, and all that she could do was wish that her guardian angel would return. Instead, a man with a tormented smil...