Dad wasn’t amused hearing my story about how some people were hunting deer at night in the woods that wasn’t even a hunting ground. Elliott, who joined the dinner, backed up my story.
“The place was perfect for gathering, but we don’t think it’s safe,” he said.
I really thought he would hold on to his ‘hunters-don’t-exist’ view in front of Nathan, but fortunately, he went with what I suggested.
“It’s forbidden to hunt outside the hunting ground,” Dad said. “I should report this to the Sheriff.”
“And tell him what?” Nathan chimed in, with his mouth still full of mashed potato. “That two teenagers—one happened to be your daughter—snuck into the woods at night and witnessed the shooting?”
Here we go again. Nathan gaslighting someone on the dinner table wasn’t really a new thing.
“Yes, that’s exactly what he should say,” I insisted, ignoring how the wording could put Dad into shame for having a teenage daughter going into the dark woods wi
The decoration for the homecoming night was already 80% finished, making it a forbidden room for any students other than the committees. It was decorated with black, gold, and silver color. Sparkling star decorations were hung on each corner, the paper lanterns were arranged as an arch in the entrance, and gold draperies was put as a background for the photo booth. The high ceiling was covered with black cloth, which would be luminated by light projector, making it look like a sky full of stars. Olive was raving about it this morning, but she couldn’t help after school because she had to take her mother to the clinic. So, she listed all the stuffs that needed to be done today and sent it to me. A little advice for those who bore missions from Olive Hartwell: do it right or have her knock on your door at night just because you put the wrong size of cups on the table. At the same time, Mom also sent me the list of groceries I had to purchase for the Full Moon.
The stories about hunters had been circling around werewolf tribes for long, as the history of supernatural beings was shaped partly because of them. There were two kinds of hunters—the ordinary one, humans who just liked to hunt wild animals; and the ones who hunted the supernaturals. The latter was what we always feared of, although many werewolves just fended it off because there had not been many cases about our kinds dying because of them. Nathan was definitely one of the skeptical ones. He thought being hit with a silver arrow was just a coincidence, or just Little Thea craving for attention. He couldn’t prove me wrong back then, but he still stayed with his principle: hunters were real, but they were not a threat to us as long as we stayed hidden. Mom’s explanations just struck me like a lightning bolt. If Nathan was right, both kind of hunters didn’t just threaten wild animals out there, but also humans. I heard from my parents once that hunters would
Nathan looked around the empty garage which was turned into a small music studio. From the radiance in his eyes, he actually admired the view. I wasn’t wrong about him being a guitar player, but he did it just for fun because he didn’t seem to care much about music that time. “You had friends over?” He glanced at me. “These are their stuffs?” “Yes,” I answered lazily. I truly didn’t want to deal with Nathan tonight after Dad gave me a cold shoulder about the garage being used by my human friends. Besides, Nathan didn’t even discuss about what he found last night over dinner. If he really did want to change like Mom said, he would let me know that a human was hurt and I witnessed it. “Are they performing for the homecoming tomorrow?” He asked again as his hand snatched an apple on the table. “No,” I replied, still focusing on my homework. “Too bad. I would like to see them perform,” he said and then bit the apple. “Mom, is my suit for the homec
The cancelled Full Moon celebration obviously made Elliott curious. Dad had talked to the Elders about the cancellation with a client’s death as a reason. While it was true, he didn’t say anything about hunters and such. Elliott called me when I was busy at school. I had to go out of the gymnasium to take his call and it only just full of him trying to dig deeper into the ‘reason’ that apparently didn’t satisfy him. He wasn’t this nosy when he was a kid, but it really wasn’t a surprise for me. “Is it because those hunters?” He asked after I refused to give him a clear answer. “Come on. I don’t think Elder Whitlock is that paranoid. He’s one of the strongest wolves I’ve ever met.” “He’s not an Elder anymore and he’s not paranoid,” I sighed. “He just feels like it’s not the right time to celebrate when he’s mourning.” Another thing I didn’t tell Elliott was Dad’s client who died was one of the hunters we saw back then. I would trust 10-year-old Elliott
Two hours before the homecoming night, the preparation was finally complete. Mrs. Keener let us come home to dress up. Even though it seemed like she would let us to have fun, she also expected us to be ready whenever a decoration fell down or the food ran out. I was resting my body on the bed when Mom knocked my door. She walked in and her jaw dropped at the sight of me lying down. “Thea, why aren’t you dressed yet?” Mom went into a sudden panic. She grabbed the maroon dress that I hung in front of my closet and gave it to me. “Calm down, Mom, it’s still two hours away,” I drawled. I really needed to close my eyes even for just five minutes, but Mom wouldn’t let me as she pulled me out of my bed. “At least, let’s do your hair first,” she urged. After forcing me to sit in front of my make-up table, she undid the hair tie that bound my hair into a bun. “Selene can do the rest.” “Selene?” I almost forgot that my brother would go to the homecomin
I was waiting for Olive to come when Dad arrived from the Sheriff’s office. He was holding a brown paper bag with a frown across his face. “Are there any news?” Mom who was just came back from the laundry room to take my jacket looked worried. Before he replied, he looked around. “Where’s Nathan?” “He already left with Selene,” I replied. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that he would leave me alone even though Olive and I could fit into his car and we could go to the school together. “The Sheriff confirmed that the bullets in Rick’s rifle were indeed silver,” Dad notified. “The good news is he didn’t seem to have any idea what were they for. He just thought that Rick liked to experiment on hunting.” “There’s nothing good comes out of this,” I whined. “Dad, he was a hunter—a werewolf hunter. It can only mean that the man who was with him was a hunter as well. God knows how many more of them out there.” “Yes. It was probably Sam Johnson,
When Burn to Ashes finished their second song on the stage, I was already on my 14th ‘I told you so’ to Olive. I wouldn’t stop until she finally admitted how good they were. “You win, Thea, so please stop saying that,” Olive gave up. “Yes, they’re good and Mrs. Keener looks happy. Are you satisfied?” I still didn’t wipe the smile off my face. “Very,” I said. “This unreasonable bad blood between you and Jim needs to stop, to be honest.” “Sorry, I don’t take any more of your non-sense requests,” Olive scoffed as she folded her hands. Her eyes went elsewhere and she grumbled again. “Ronny’s finally here. I’m going to smack him for troubling everyone this afternoon.” I blocked her way with my body. “Give him a break, Olive,” I said. “That’s what team is for, remember? You cover for someone, being a reliable back-up.” “You’re starting to sound like my dad before the big game,” she sneered. “Yo, team! One for all and all for one!” I giggled
After I had my first transformation, it wasn’t exactly rainbows and unicorns. My life as a full wolf had just begun. The first few months, shifting was the most painful. The wolf part of me took the dominance as soon as the Full Moon appeared. Dad said I had to let it out because it would just hurt me inside out if I kept holding it in. The thing was, I always fought against it. Even when I learned to shift whenever I wanted, I just couldn’t take full control of me, which was why it always resulted in a big pain. Nathan told me the only way to have a smooth transformation was to make a deal with it and make it a win-win situation for both of us, otherwise we would lose at some point in this inside battle. Seeing Wolf Ronny in front of me with an uncontrollable fury and pain in front of me took me back to those days. I was only a kid, but I had to go through it to win. It seemed like Ronny was unfortunate enough not to have someone like my dad to train me. If