These Wolves Alone Ch. 03byMckenzieMaxin©
The one thing I really remember, I mean, more than anything else, was the music. It was so loud you could barely hear anything. You had to shout at each other if you wanted to be heard, which I didn't. That's why I locked myself in my room.
Listening to *NSync at a deafening volume was not really on my list of things I wanted to do. Father would be home soon and tell her to turn it off, of course I already tried. She won't listen to me, the kid. Of course he would just lecture her about the neighbors halfway down the road that could hear it, then send her home and go into his work study for the majority of the fast approaching night.
Little did I know, my perception of what would happen was half wrong. Yes, he would come in in a soured mood, as usual since mother passed, but he would never go into his study and Natalie, with her loud music, would never go home to her own family.
It happened fairly quickly, just a blur of noises to me, as I never left my room upstairs. Father came home, I could hear his and Natalie's voices mingled in with the loud music. Then it was off, as I'm guessing he told her to do, turn it off.
I could hear her keys jangling as she grabbed her things to leave and the heavy footsteps of my father retreating to his study.
As soon as the door opened as Natalie went to leave, even before my father made it to his study, Something heavy sounded. As if someone knocked her over, as she was trying to leave, rushing into the house. It sounded as if things kept hitting the floor, being knocked over, glass shattered.
My father came running back into the room, hearing the commotion, and then...there was a gunshot, and something heavy fell to the floor...a body. Natalie's scream was cut short as another gunshot sounded.
As I heard footsteps running up the stairs and through the hallway, I hid under my bed. I heard the noises as they rummaged through the bedrooms looking for valuables. and then they came to my room, I heard them trying to get in, as the door was locked and they had no way of getting in, they finally gave up and ran out of the house.
I was thanking, who? Who made them turn around and leave? I was...just thankful that they left... but saddened that the lives of those I loved were taken...what was I to do now that everything I had left was gone?
I couldn't help myself, I was on the verge of tears. My memory barriers had all but disintegrated and my mind was flooded. In a desperate and unthinking attempt to clear my head and give my heart some way to grieve, I ran to the garage and got onto my motorcycle, speeding out of town.
As I pulled up in front of my old house I could see the For Sale sign in the front yard was still up so it hadn't sold yet. I went up the front steps only to turn around again and hide my bike in the backyard. Nosy people in this town would call the cops if they saw something that wasn't perfectly in order.
As I returned back up the steps I got the spare house key from underneath the potted plant on the porch and let myself in. I saw they had left the place all the same, the only difference were white sheets covering every piece of furniture. It looked ghostly like that. I shivered.
I pulled a sheet off of the piece that was in the old place my father's chair used to be. And it was still there. As I looked at it I saw him sitting in it, me on his lap reading me tales of Wolves and Indians, their wars and friendships. As I looked up I saw my mom walking out of the kitchen drying a plate with her dish towel, telling him not to give me nightmares.
I felt the hot tears streaming down my face before they started dropping to the dusty floor. I dropped the sheet that was tightly clenched in my hand and ran outside to the deep forest behind the old house.
I was still wandering through the woods, panting and leaning against several different trees for support as I stumbled across the forest floor. I heard mice scurrying for safety in the brush. Oh yes, don't let the big bad giant get you. Even if he can't keep himself upright. I thought with a grimace. I didn't know what was happening to me. All I knew was I had to get out of that house before I exploded.
I sat down on a large log in between trees. I had to get myself together before I went back. Crack. My head jerked up. That crack was a little too big to have come from a mouse.
"Hello?" I called out to the forest. I was tackled off my log and fell to the ground, lying on my stomach. And someone was sitting on me.
"Shhh. You'll give us away," she whispered, her mouth right by my ear.
"Who?" I whispered back, raising my head to look around. This girl must be crazy; there was no one out here for miles. She clamped a hand over my mouth as I heard footsteps stamping across the ground. I raised my eyes to see to silhouettes running through the trees ahead of us. As they got further away, I was jerked off the ground and pulled through the trees. The opposite way I had come.
"Where are we going?" I was shushed again. I planted my feet and it jerked her back to face me.
"Tell me where you're taking me or I won't go at all." I said with what I hoped was a serious look set on my face.
"To safety," was all she said in reply. And she started pulling me again. I had to admit she was strong. As strong as me even. So, I let her drag me.
We soon came upon an old run down cabin, hidden by trees. Shabby place to live if you ask me. She drug me inside and bolted the door close. I was surprised when I turned around. The small house was just that, small. The living area was also a kitchen and a bedroom. And it was all decorated like a teenage girl's bedroom. Pink and lime green everywhere, fluffy rugs on the floor and hot pink towels on the little wooden counter. I'm guessing there was an outhouse outside somewhere considering this place was barely big enough to hold the posters that were on the walls.
"This looks like Justin Bieber's bedroom." I said with a smirk. I got punched in the arm for that one.
"He likes purple. And you're bleeding." She said.
"Yeah, well, happens when you get knocked to the ground by rogue teenage girls. Who are you anyway? I mean, you just tackle me and drag me here, I could be a rapist or something."
"Yeah and I live in a mansion," she said gesturing around, "You're no rapist Devin, trust me." She finished with a smile tugging at the corner of her lips.
"How do you know my name?" I must've looked nuts because she laughed at me. Seriously though, she didn't look like the stalker type. What did she do, steal my wallet?
"Oh, c'mon now, that hurts." I must have still looked freaked out because she laughed again before making a straight face, "You really don't remember do you?"
"Remember what, you? I mean, you look familiar but this is a small town, everyone looks familiar." She frowned.
"We use to play together. My mom and dad used to come over to your house for business with your parents. You were always hiding in your room because you were afraid of me. Because I accidentally hit you once and broke your nose..." She giggled.
I admit it. I was shocked; I could feel my jaw touching the floor.
"Jessie? Jessie Sullivan? I can't belie—what are you doing living out here?"
I remembered her. Jessie Nicole Sullivan. We did used to play together; when our fathers met at each others houses for business and our moms talked over tea. She was the girl boys my age at the time were afraid of. She was about a month older than me. Back then, much bigger. I was a scrawny kid but I finally grew out of it.
She was beautiful too; then and now. She had light brown hair down to her waist and deep brown eyes that widened when she was excited and closed when she giggled; she also had a curvy figure. She had always made me laugh when we were little. But sometimes her dark side shows, especially when someone hurts her or takes something that's hers. When I took her toy by mistake her anger flashed and she hit me in the nose. You know the rest.
"Yeah . . . well, when my parents died I just couldn't cope I guess. I hated living with my aunt so I ran away. I was just coming to the woods to cool off when I found this little place. I went back to my parent's house to find they left it all as it was. So I snuck into my old room and brought my stuff here, what I could fit in here anyway. No one comes into these woods anymore, except for the occasional hunter. So I thought it would be safe." She grabbed a hot pink cloth and dipped it in a pan of water on the stove and put it to my lip. I winced and she continued.
"So what are you doing out here Devin?"
I thought back to my almost explosion. The feeling of anger that engulfed me, and then the drive to my old house; and the memories I had found there.
"I had to get some fresh air." I answered vaguely. She just nodded her head knowingly.
"All better." She said with a smile, eyeing my lips. I touched a finger to them and winced at the pain I felt there.
"Ow, not all better!" She shook her head at me.
"Don't be a baby. It's going to be sore of course." I just stood there awkwardly watching her put up the rag.
"You know, I never thought of you as the type of girl to end up living in a shack in the woods." She turned and faced me.
"Yeah, well . . ." She trailed off. I walked around and sat on the black futon in the center of the room.
"What are you doing?" she asked, staring me down questioningly.
"Um . . . sitting?" I'm kind of sore after being knocked t—"
"I get it. I get it," she interrupted me, "but we have to see who those men were. I can't have nasty ole pedophiles running around." I gaped at her.
"I thought they were hunters."
"They had no guns." She said flatly.
"The lake is miles from here, and they had no poles."
"So, who were they?" I asked, looking at her curiously.
"Duh, that's what we're going to find out. Right?" I stood up shaking my head.
"No, I have to get back, they'll be worried about me soon."
"You're really going to leave me with pedophiles creeping around." I shook my head at her again.
"I really doubt, they're pedophiles, Jessie. You said yourself, hunters come out here occasionally, maybe they got lost."
"Without their guns, Devin?"
"Maybe they went to take a piss and didn't want to shoot themselves in the ass." She just stared at me.
"Was that supposed to be funny?"
"Yes . . ." She shook her head.
"Are you sure you aren't just paranoid?"
In a voice filled with flatness she replied, "Yes, I'm paranoid. I don't like old men running around the woods that surround my house."
I sighed. I doubt she would let me leave. We hadn't seen each other in, I don't know how long, and now 'old' men are running around the woods she lives in. I pulled my cell from my pocket and called Maria.
"Hey Maria? I just ran into an old friend and I'm going to spend the night with him. Okay?" I listened to the quickly said reply coming over the phone.
"You don't have any clothes with you. Are his parents there? Will there be alcohol? Is he throwing a party? What about you're birthday tomorrow?" Wow, I thought. She sounds like a real mom. I replied to each of her questions.
"We wear the same size. Yes they are. No there's no alcohol. Not that I know of, I'll come back if there is. And I don't care." Okay, so three lies, small lies. No harm no foul. She confirmed that I could stay and I hung up and slipped the phone back into my pocket. I turned back to Jessie who had an excited look on her face.
"Please tell me I'm just staying for the night and we're not actually going out in the woods to look for these 'pedophiles'." She pouted at me.
"We have about two hours to dark, and you still need some fresh air, you look sick." She stepped forward and touched the back of her hand to my cheek and forehead.
"You're hot." I smirked at her, feeling exactly what she was saying I was, sick and hot.
"Well thanks. I try to take care of myself." She slapped my arm.
"Quit doing that." I pouted at her. "No hitting the hot guy." She rolled her eyes at me and headed for the door. I followed her, because I know she would have just left me standing there, pouting.
When Jessie got outside she quietly ran, crouching when she heard noises, to where I saw the men running past after she had tackled me. Luckily for me it was easy to keep up with her, even the ducking under tree branches and jumping over logs. I had always been a good runner, and my uncle had insisted I try out Parkour.
Parkour is another aspect of my life I have, so far, unfortunately left behind. Even though Parkour focuses on moving around objects with speed and efficiency, it trains you to be able to identify and utilize alternate, more efficient paths. Right now I am thankful for being a Traceur. Otherwise I'd be lost in the woods, looking for a crazy girl worried about pedophiles.
Finally she stopped in a clearing and crouched again, looking at tracks that covered the ground. Look to me as if they just ran every which way in the clearing. She mumbled to herself.
"What?" I asked, she looked genuinely worried now.
"Nothing, I can't explain it to you." She said, shaking her head.
"What do you mean?" What did she mean? She can't explain it to me? Was the whole situation Devin proofed? Made to where I couldn't understand? Cause I sure didn't understand what was going on now.
"Devin, these...people, they tracked this clearing up like this so anyone tracking them would lose their trail. This dirt makes better tracks than anywhere else, a tracker would go here first. The leaves and moss out of this clearing don't make track-able tracks. The fact of the matter is, the tracks stop at every opening of this clearing. You generally can't tell which way they came nor which way they went." She took a deep breath after her speech.
"You seem to know a lot about tracking. How did you know all that?"
"I guess you could say it's my profession." She said nodding her head with an expression that tells me she was way of in another world.
"You live in the woods and your profession is tracking." I said, thinking.
She rolled her eyes. "No, I live in Neverland and I raise sexy unicorns, Captain Obvious." Well, she was suddenly back on earth.
"Is there such a thing as a sexy unicorn?" She slapped me unexpectedly. And it hurt.
"Ow!" I growled at her. Her expression was one of shock, but changed in a snap, to annoyed.
"All unicorns are sexy. Now stop being childish and walk." She pushed me toward one of the many openings that led back into the trees. Jessie stayed a few paces behind me, mumbling to herself, something I couldn't really make out. Wait, was that Italian? She continued, not realizing I was listening to her, slowing my pace so I could hear her more clearly. "Lo sapevo." She said, shaking her head. I stopped walking completely and she ran into my back.
"Ow." She said, rubbing her nose. I turned to face her.
"Knew what?" I asked her. She looked at me blankly.
"What?" She asked, still looking confused.
"That's Italian, Jessie; you said 'I knew it'. What did you know?" She looked half shocked.
"I didn't know you spoke Italian." She said, obviously ignoring my question.
"I do. Don't change the subject. Is it something about those guys?" She looked at me seriously.
"Well, they're long gone. And I'm guessing they were looking for us." She said.
"Looking for us? Why? I'm not even supposed to be here. Why would they be looking for a couple of teenagers?" I was rambling on, yes. But I was shocked. Who would be looking for two kids? I mean, yes, one is living in the woods, I'm sure there's a law against that somewhere. But me? I groaned out loud. This just keeps getting better and better.
"How old are you Devin?" She asked, randomly, but her face was intense, serious.
"I'll be sixteen tomorrow morning. What does that have to do with anything?" She nodded.
"And where is your Uncle?" I grimaced. And she saw it.
"Heaven? Hell? Take your pick. Because he sure ain't here." I turned back around and began walking the way she had pushed me. I was curious where she was going with that, but I wasn't going to stick around for the pity party, I've had enough of that. I stopped walking away from her when she called out to me.
"He didn't tell you then." She said to me.
"Tell me what?" I turned around to face her but was still far enough from her that she had to walk about seven feet to stand right in front of me, face to face.
"About who you are. Who we are, or rather what we are." I shook my head. What we are. What the hell was she talking about?
"What?" I asked, my life didn't make sense anymore, all I had were questions and when those were answered I was just left with more questions than what I started with.
"Wolves. That is what we are."