Red couldn’t believe her eyes. Standing before her was a wolf, but it was unlike any wolf she had ever seen. He was standing on his hind legs, like a man would, and what gripped her wrist had claws like a wolf, but fingers like a man, although it was all covered in fur. The fur was a greasy black color, just like the man’s shoulder length hair had been. In fact, as she looked at the wolf, she began to realize that the wolf was the man, or had been the man. It was the only thing that made sense, since it was standing exactly where the man had been standing. Then she saw the creature’s eyes. They were the exact golden eyes the man had stared at her with earlier. Somehow, the man had turned into this wolf creature that now had her captive.
She thought all of this quickly, almost in the blink of an eye, and while she was thinking this, she was also trying to fight the panic that was beginning to take her over from the inside. It was absolute terror. What she was seeing was impossible. It was something from a nightmare or a scary campfire story. It was a werewolf, but werewolves aren’t real. At least they hadn’t been up until 10 seconds ago. She could not argue with what she was seeing now, and it filled her insides with fear.
It was that fear that eventually won out over everything else. It won the struggle going on inside her, overpowering her natural curiosity and inquisitiveness. It won out and manifested itself in the form of a scream. She couldn’t hear herself cry out, but she could feel the sound coming through her throat vibrating through her vocal chords. She was sure it was a loud scream. The wolf just looked at her and tightened his grip, his now wolf like snout somehow forming a smile eerily similar to the man’s toothy grin from before.
To his credit, Jamie was not just standing idly by. He saw the man transform into the creature now standing before them, and pushed any questions he had out of his mind, at least for the time being. All he saw was his new friend, Red, in trouble, so he sprang into action. He wasn’t sure what to do first, so he let his instincts take over. The first thing his instinct told him was to get Red’s wrist and arm free. He frantically looked for something that could help him with that. He needed something heavy that he could hit the wolf with. He realized that he was in a library, and some books could be really heavy. He frantically scanned the area near him, looking for the heaviest book he could find. Then he saw it. Right in front of the librarian’s desk was the largest book he had ever seen. He was almost positive it was there largest book in the library. It was a dictionary, but not a little pocket sized one. This dictionary was massive, and probably contained every word in the English language, if that were even possible. He and one of his friends had tried to test that, trying to think of or discover a word that would not be in the book. So far, they had failed.
The dictionary was two steps away, so Jamie wasted no time running to it, and picking it up. He pictured the whole thing in his mind. He saw himself picking up the dictionary, and in one motion, he closed the book, spun around, jumped up onto the desk, and the book landed square on the wolf’s face, knocking the animal down, and freeing Red. That was what he saw in his head, and it was amazing.
What really happened was a lot less impressive. Jamie got to the book quickly, but in his haste to pick it up and jump onto the counter ninja style, he almost tripped over the stand that was holding the book. Instead of jumping up onto the desk, he had to brace himself against it with one hand so he wouldn’t fall. In the process, he nearly dropped the massive volume, causing him to wrap both his arms around it, so as he turned to face the wolf, he was hugging the dictionary.
Refusing to be deterred, Jamie rushed at the animal, pulling the dictionary up over his head, and then yelling as loud as he could. He wasn’t sure why people in the movies always did this as they were running into battle, but it seemed effective. His yell was now mixing with Red’s scream, and the wolf was unsure of where to focus his attention. This worked out well for Jamie, who found the wolf distracted as he swung his giant book at the creature’s head. It landed with a solid thud, and Jamie felt the impact jolt both of his arms. It was enough that Jamie could no longer hold on to the book, so it fell to the floor. It didn’t matter though, since the whole thing had worked. The blow drove the werewolf back just enough, and startled him just enough, that he let go of Red’s wrist.
“RUN!” Jamie yelled at Red, forgetting that she couldn’t hear him. The message must have gotten through somehow, though, since she was now racing away from the wolf. She was very impressed with how brave Jamie had been, and was glad that they had become friends earlier this morning. She was glad he had come with her to the library. Otherwise, she would still be trapped by that wolf. She looked back to give Jamie a smile, to show him how much she appreciated what he had done. As she looked back, though, Jamie was not there. She had been sure he was following right behind her, but she could not see him there now. She looked back at the Librarian’s desk, and stopped suddenly, seeing the wolf now had Jamie pinned to the floor just in front.
Red turned around, and was now racing back to the wolf, who looked ready to kill her friend. As she ran she began trying to put a plan together of what she was going to do once she got there. It was not a complete plan, in fact, it was barely the beginning of a plan, but she had to go with what she had at this point. The first thing she needed to do was get the animal off of her friend. Jamie hitting it hard with that giant dictionary seemed to work before, so she was hoping if she could catch it off guard and throw all her weight into it, she might be able to knock it off her friend.
She pushed herself as hard as she could, trying to get up as much speed as she could, to create as much force as she could. She was only a few steps away. Now just a couple. She leapt into the air, right toward the wolf, and rammed her shoulder into him as hard as she could. Or, that’s what she had planned to do. The wolf, on the other hand, saw her coming and reached out with one arm and caught her in a weird half hug, pulling her into its body. Red’s plan had failed horribly, and now she and Jamie were both going to die.
She was frustrated with herself, but she was still trying to come up with some kind of plan to get them out of this. Then she remembered something. This whole time, she had been thinking of the wolf creature as an it, but he had changed from a man, so the werewolf was a he. That probably wasn’t really too important, except that if the wolf was a he, and standing on his hind legs, then maybe her foot was just in the right position. It was worth a shot. She pulled her left foot forward, and then with all her strength, she kicked it back, hitting the werewolf right between the legs.
It must have worked, because she found herself tumbling to the ground, and saw Jamie rolling, then crawling away. The werewolf was down on the the ground, rolling back and forth, his mouth looking like it was howling. She knew that it wouldn’t keep him down permanently, but it had at least bought them some time. She ran over to Jamie and grabbed him by the arm, dragging him to his feet, and they began heading toward the library entrance.
As they ran toward the door, the wolf recovered from her kick, and was back on his feet. He jumped into the air after them, and was able to cover the ground between the desk and the door in about half the time. As they approached their exit to freedom, they found it blocked by ravenous claws and teeth. The wolf was fully recovered, and angry, making him much more dangerous than before. The smiling snout was gone, replaced by a snarl, his brow furrowed, and he was crouched down on his hind legs like he was ready to lunge straight at them.
They stopped just feet away from the door, and began running in the opposite direction. Not toward the desk, but deeper into the rows of shelves within the library. Their only hope was to hide among the shelves and books, and hopefully confuse the wolf and distract him so they could run out the front door. They had no hope of simply outrunning him, so they were hoping they could outsmart him.
They found themselves hiding behind the end of one of the rows of shelves in the fiction section. Red motioned to Jamie that they should split up, pointing to him and then motioning one direction, then pointing to herself and pointing in a different direction. Jamie understood, but didn’t like the idea of either of them facing off against the wolf alone, so he shook his head violently. Then he stopped suddenly. He had heard something, and it sounded like it had come from the row of books they had just run down. He slowly peaked around the corner of the shelf, and peered down the aisle. He could see the wolf slowly making his way down the row, his snout held high in the air, trying to sniff them out. Whatever they were going to do, they needed to do it now, or they would be found out.
He grabbed Red’s arm and yanked her to his left, running down toward the nonfiction section of the library. As he did so, he pulled off his backpack, and then chucked it down one of the aisles, toward the door. Then he began trying to pull Red’s backpack off her shoulders. She resisted at first, so he motioned throwing it down one of the other aisles. A look of comprehension came across her face, as she took her backpack off, and then threw it as hard as she could down one of the aisles in the opposite direction. A little further down, Jamie pulled off his jacket and threw it down another row. He was hoping his idea would be effective in throwing the wolf off their trail with some false scents.
Red was impressed with his idea, and hoped it would work. She was distressed at the same time, as they were heading deeper into the library and further away from the doors. She feared that eventually they would run out of ideas and places to run and hide. What would they do then? She was afraid that they would simply be at the wolf’s mercy. She couldn’t think about that right now. She needed to focus on finding a way to stay ahead of the wolf for as long as they could. Maybe the jacket and backpacks would work well enough for them to be able to get back to the doors.
For an instant, it seemed like Jamie’s idea was goingto work. She poked her head up over one of the shelves and spotted the werewolf following the scent of Jamie’s backpack down one of the rows. She held her breath as she waited to see what would happen. They had to be sure it would be effective enough for them to start running toward the doors. She did not have to wait long, as the crreature came barreling back down the row, and stopped in the space between the rows. She could see the snarl on his face, and the way his shoulders were heaving with rage. She saw him take deep breath with his nose, trying to sniff them out. Then her heart sank as she he stopped and looked right at her, and began to run.
She dropped down quickly next to Jamie, who had pulled his inhaler from his pocket. She grabbed his shoulder and shook him to get his attention. She pointed back toward the direction where they had just been, and signed wolf, pulling her fingers away from her nose, forming the snout. He seemed to understand, as his eyes got wide. He got to his feet and the two of them began to run. They were out of ideas, and all they could do at this point was try to outrun the creature.
They hung a left, heading to the reference section, and away from the doors. As they made they further into a corner of the library, from which there would be no escape, they both stopped. Red felt vibrations in the air and through the ground. Something big has crashed or exploded. It seemed to have from behind them, so she turned to see what had happened. Jamie had stopped as well, prbably hearing the noise that had accompanied the explosion or crash or whatever it was. She expected to see that the wolf had toppled over some of the shelves in hs rage, as he tore through the library trying to reach them. She thaought she would find piles of books behind them, and the wolf would be almost to them.
What she saw instead took her completely by surprise. The doors to the library had been blown completely off their hinges and were lying on the floor, shards of glass covering the carpet. In the doorway, with some kind of cane or stick in his right hand, sweat trickling down his bald forehead, was her History teacher, Mr. Klukner. Sarah was standing on his left side, looking terrified, and to his right was the giant dog she had seen Sarah talking to the night before. Red had no idea what had happened to the doors, but Sarah and Mr. Klukner probably had no idea there was a werewolf in the library. She had to get to them and she had to warn them.
She looked toward the creature, who was looking at the three new arrivals. He then turned his head and looked Red right in the eyes. Her time was up, she needed to run toward the doors now. She moved as quiuckly and decisively as she could toward the exit. Toward her cousin and teacher and strange giant dog. The wolf moved toward her and toward the dor, making a diagonal line to catch her before she reached the doors. She tried to move faster, but realized the creature was much faster than she was, and there was no way she would make it to the doors in time.
From the corner of her eye, just glancing up, she thought she saw Mr. Klukner pull something from his jacket, and then she thought she saw him toss it toward her. Whatever it was, it landed between her and the werewolf. He saw it too, and when he realized what it was, he stopped in his tracks, and moved awy from it, back toward the center of the library. She looked down at the ground, trying to see what it was without slowing down. Laying on the blue carpet of the library floor was green stem with small, purple flowers on either side, running from the bottom to the top of the stem. To her, it looked almost like lilacs. She had no idea why that would have scared the werewolf, but she was grateful it had.
She reached the door, and Sarah hugged her tight. Jamie got there just after her, and feeling like he was safe, he pulled out his inhaler, as he struggled to catch his breath. Red looked up at Mr. Klukner, who was saying something to Sarah. It looked like he was telling Sarah to take her and Jamie to his classroom, and that he would be coming there soon. Red was wondering why they weren’t calling the police to come put this animal down. What was Mr. Klukner going to do slow that beast down. Red tried to stop to write sometyhing to him about needing to call the police, but before she could start writing it on her notepad, she heard a voice in her head.
Heard is probably not the right word. She wasn’t sure, since she had never heard anything in her life, but she imagined this must have been similar to hearing. It was more like she felt it, though. Like she felt someone inside her head, and that someone conveyed a concept or idea to her, and she understood it instantly. Go, they said. No time. We will stay. We will fight. You go. She had never felt anything like it, and it made her drop her pen and look up. As she did, her eyes met the giant dog’s eyes, and somehow she knew it had come from him.
Sarah took Red by the elbow and nudged her down the hall, guiding her to Mr. Klukner’s classroom. The adrenaline was wearing off now, and Red began to feel like she was in a daze. She had been so caught up in the moment, trying to find a way to escape, that she hadn’t had time to worry or be scared. Now that she was out of immediate danger, she felt allthose emotions russhing in. She began to cry, for no apparent reason. Not just little tears running down her face. It was real crying, complete with sobs and heaving shoulders. She was trying to regain control, but she couldn’t seem to do it. She stopped,not sure if she could keep moving. Jamie was right behind, and almost ran into her. He looked at her and then at Sarah, shrugging his shoulders, unsure of what he should do. Sarah wasn’t sure either,but decided that the only thing she really could do was try to comfort Red. She wrapped her arms around her cousin and brought her in for what she hoped would be a soothing embrace.
It seemed to have the opposite effect. Red seemed to cry and sob more,instead of calming down. Sarah thought she must have made a mistake, so she tried to pull away, feeling slightly embarrassed. As she did, she felt Red grab her tighter, almost like she was hanging onto Sarah like she was some sort of lifeline, and she was afraid to let go. Sarah stopped trying to pull away, and returned the embrace again. Red began to calm down. The heaving and sobbing stopped, and the two cousins broke off their hug. Red still had tears coming down her face, but she was also smiling. The three continued down the hallway to Mr. Klukner’s class.
They walked into the classroom and headed toward the back. Mr. klukner had set up a “study” area for his students near his desk. It was an area with a couch and a couple of armchairs he had set up in hopes students would use the space and their spare time to sit and study history. Most of the time, though, students would use the space to sleep or read something completely unrelated to history. Red, Jamie, and Sarah decided that space would be the perfect place to sit and wait for Mr. Klukner. Red thought this might be a good time to start asking all the questions racing through her mind. She didn’t know if Sarah would have any of the answers, but she was beginning to suspect that Sarah knew more than a little about what was happening. She reached into her pocket and pulled out her notepad and her pen and began to write.
What was that thing? She passed it over to Sarah, who began to write her reply.
I’m not sure, but I think it was a werewolf.
Red raised her eybrows as she read the response. Her first reaction was to tell herself that werewolves were not real, but she was just there. She saw the creature in the library. He had been a man, and then he was a wolf. What else could he be? When she stopped and was honest with herself, she already knew the answer. Really, she just wanted to have someone else confirm it.
Why was it here?
Sarah hesitated before she responded to this question. Red watched her put the pen to paper like she was going to write, and then stop, and try again. She repeated this a few times before she finally wrote down her reply.
It might be best if we wait until Mr. Klukner comes back. He and Alvis can explain more.
Alvis. The dog that was there with Mr. Klukner. He’s, well, he and Mr. Klukner can explain all of that.
Red read the response, and then read it again. Alvis. The dog she had seen with Sarah the night before. The one she had imagined Sarah was talking to. The one that was in the doorway with Mr. Klukner. How could a dog explain anything? Then she thought about the presence she had felt in her mind, and began to wonder. She wasn’t sure how, but she was beginning to believe that dog might be able to offer some sort of explanation. One thing was certain, though. Today was shaping up to be anything but a normal day.
Jake Dietz is a story teller. In addition to the writings on this site, he is also the host of The Geeky Mormon Presents... -a weekly podcast on all things geek. He is also a husband and father of six beautiful children. He loves a good story and will take it in any format he can find.
© Jake Dietz 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jake Dietz with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
Original artwork is © Samuel Norton 2016.