A Touch of Lunacybyc_kitten©
Katherine ran through the woods, the branches whipping her body. Stumbling, she scrambled into a tree hollow and listened for her pursuer. Straining, she heard the wind rustling the leaves and crickets chirping in the night. Would it be safer to hid here, or continue running? How far was it to the road? A twig snapped nearby and Katherine pushed to her feet and continued running, not sure she was even going in the right direction.
Between the tree, she saw a flash of light zoom by. Her aching muscles protested, but she pushed them onwards. If she could get to the road, she'd be alright. Never mind that it was a road in the middle of nowhere and that another car wouldn't pass for maybe another thirty minutes. A car might pass sooner. A state trooper might pass by. She clung to the thousand possibilities of rescue her mind made up as she ran towards the road.
She felt something hit her back and fell forward. The wind knocked out of her, she lay there dazed as something crawled over her, sniffing. 'Great,' she thought, 'I traded a psychopath for wild animal.'
Claws pressed against her back as it stood, pressing its weight to hold her down. She glanced over her shoulder and nearly fainted, seeing the huge canine head peering down at her. Katherine hadn't thought wolves were native to the area. She frowned as she felt hands roaming down her back, then froze as it dawned on her that it had to be some kind trained dog that psychopath had.
She was rolled onto her back roughly, and she screamed. A huge creature, shaped almost like a man, covered in fur with a wolf's head was standing over her. It snapped at her and she choked on her screams. Satisfied with her silence, it continued sniffing its way down her body. She nearly fainted again when she saw the beast's erection.
Without thinking, she kicked with all her might, hitting it right in the balls. It howled in pain as she scrambled to her feet and ran to the road. She stumbled climbing up to the road and nearly cried in relief when she saw a truck coming down the road. Katherine waved her arms widely and stood in the middle of it's path.
"Ma'am, was that your car I saw back there with a flat tire," the driver asked, hopping out of the truck. "Did you go for a run in the woods, or what?" She almost started babbling about werewolves, but decided a little editing would be better on her part and just started before things turned paranormal.
"Yes, I broke down and this man pulled up and asked if I needed help. He dropped off his passenger and said he was going to go into town to keep the mechanic from closing up shop and going home for the night while his friend would help me put the doughnut on. But the guy was crazy. He pulled out a knife as soon as the truck was out of sight and I've been running for more than an hour in the woods with him chasing me. Do you have a cell phone? We need to call the police."
"Just calm down for a second. Get in the car, ma'am. We don't get cell phone reception out here. The town's twenty minutes ahead. I know the owner of the diner and she'll take care of you while we get a hold of the police. Can not believe how crazy some people can get."
Katherine climbed into the passenger side and started shaking slightly. The driver, a kind looking man in his late forties, handed her a jacket that was really too big for her, but Katherine was grateful. It wasn't long before they pulled up to the diner and climbed out.
"Judy, can you set this girl up with some coffee. She's had a rough night. Has Joe stopped by for his burger yet?" Katherine glanced at the woman behind the counter. Her hair was gray, but she didn't have a single wrinkle. Judy moved from behind the counter and started fussing with the girl.
"Poor child. Here, I'll set you up with a meal. We make the best chicken fried steak in the state. Come round to the back. There's a cot that you can nap while I make you food."
"I need to call the police. There's a crazy running around in the woods."
"Now don't you worry a thing. Joe's a trooper that stops by every night for a burger and coke. He's a little late tonight, and thank goodness for that, child. Don't you fret none. When he gets in, I'll tell him we have an issue.
"My mama had this tea blend that was good for soothing the nerves. Would you like some? Coffee will just keep you wired and you don't need that, child. You're like a piano wire 'bout ready to snap. I'm going to get you a cup, child. There's a blanket on the cot if you want to wrap in it."
Judy left her in the backroom and Katherine sat in a daze on the cot. Glancing around, it looked like a pantry with an office wedged into the back. Judy was back in a second with a tray full of food and a mug with steamy tea. After fussing a bit more over Kathereine, Judy bustled out to the front.
The food was good, and after a few sips of the tea, she started to feel sleepy. She set the tray on the floor and curled up on the cot, drifting into sleep.
"You need to talk some sense into him. This makes the fourth time this year. It's going to attract attention, all these pretty little things going missing while passing through the area. We are up to our eyeballs in trouble and we don't need anymore."
"You think I don't know that? He'd said he wasn't going to do it anymore."
"Well, that shows how much his word is worth, doesn't it."
"Judy, you don't want to be saying things like that to the pack leader's brother."
"Oh shush, Theo. I don't care if Joe runs home to tell Alex just what I think of him. This has to stop. He can't keep collecting playthings. They don't make the transformation or they go crazier than him and they have to be put down."
"Judy, he's had it tough since the nightwalkers killed his mate. He's trying to find a replacement. A pack leader is stronger when he has a mate by his side."
"And he's weaker when he's endangering the pack with this crazy nonsense. He isn't fit to be the leader. I know it's his birthright, but the pack comes before all that and you know it."
Katherine lay very still on the cot. They were right outside the door and she didn't want to draw any attention to herself. She'd never cared for those fantasy stories and it annoyed her to no end that she was smack dab in the middle of one. Moonlight was streaming in from an open window and Katherine decided it was her best escape route.
She had no idea how she managed to climb out without making any noise. It helped that the three were all but shouting at each other. She lowered herself out the window, keeping her eyes trained at the door. She screamed when she felt furry arms wrap around her.
"You really are the best I've found so far. I think I'm going to like you."
Sharp teeth bit deeply into her shoulder, her clavicle snapping painfully as the world went black.