The Wolf

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Waking up in the middle of the forest at an unknown hour had become practically normal for Tate. Doing it once a month for a half of a year can have that effect.

His eyes adjusted to the light in the forest and he groaned as he pulled himself off of a bed of branches and leaves. A bug crawled up his arm, and he swatted it away. The summer sun shined through the trees, heating his skin. Tate examined the area, figuring out where he was so he could find the set of clothes he had placed in a tree the day before. He used the nearby sound of running water as a clue that he must have been close to the shopping district of town. This meant a ten minute walk through the forest. Naked.

Tate shrugged and started walking, pulling twigs and grass out of his dark brown hair. He had scratches on his arms and legs, and his entire body felt sore. He felt his face from the forehead down, checking for injuries. He stopped at his mouth, which was coated in some dried up substance. He rubbed some of it on his hand and examined it. It was a deep red color.


He brought it up to his nose and smelled it, and recoiled when he recognized the scent. It was the smell of bloodied knees when he fell on pavement as a child.

Tate threw up right there, in the middle of the woods.

His thoughts immediately went to his little sister, who would often run to the woods on the nights when she was too upset with their mother to stay in the house. It could be her blood, staining Tate's lips. He could have attacked a human last night.

He ran to the other end of the forest, where he collected his clothes and put them on in a flash. He cleaned his face of all of the blood, and tried to get the disgusting taste of vomit out of his mouth. He pulled a piece of gum out of the shorts he had on and popped it in his mouth. He chewed it nervously as h walked out of the forest, barefoot and frighted.

The walk to his house was short, and he made it there in six minutes. He grabbed the spare key from under the doormat and entered the house.

"Hannah?" He yelled anxiously. His sister came running out of her bedroom and nearly tackled him.

"Tate where were you?" The tiny thirteen year old yelled. He let out a breath of relief and hugged her back.

"I was out at the lake all night," He said. After he'd overcome his initial reaction of relief, he pondered her reaction to his return. It wasn't like his being out all night was a new thing.

"What's wrong?" He asked as he let her out of their hug. She craned her neck to look up at him.

"Didn't you hear?" She asked. He shook his head.

"Last night someone was attacked by an animal in the woods," She said, "They're dead."


Once Mackenzie and Sophia were done cleaning the blood off of her balcony, they went to the gazebo in her back yard to wait for Julian. Mackenzie texted Allison to tell her that they'd hang out as soon as possible, but right now she was ditching her to help out the new kids in town. Allison wasn't angry. Allison never got angry at Mackenzie.

Her boyfriend Joshua, on the other hand, was pretty pissed. Mackenzie brushed him off though. What she was dealing with was something bigger than he could understand.

Mackenzie watched as Sophia checked her phone again and pursed her lips.

“Julian should have been here ten minutes ago, he had one job,” She said. Mackenzie tapped her foot impatiently under the table.

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