Gareth ran through the trees, following her. He spotted a hunters blind up ahead. He ran past it, and her scent began to fade. He back tracked into the clearing, where her scent was the strongest.
He stared at the blind. Come one, make some noise, he thought. He heard something tap the blinds wall.
“GOTCHA!” Gareth yelled, running towards the blind. He put his fist through the wall. The girl opened the door and ran out. Gareth yanked his fist out and gave chase.
The girl ran into the swamp. Gareth jumped over a log and landed in front of her. She turned around. Gareth pounced on her. Gareth stood up, flipped her around, and grabbed her by the throat.
“Hello, pack leader,” Gareth said, raising his other hand, ready to strike. The girl gripped his arm, attempting to get Gareth to release her. Gareth lowered his hand and stared at her.
“Is she more similar than you expected?” a voice behind Gareth said.
Gareth turned around to a large pack of wolves, which were in front of four werewolves. Standing behind the werewolves was a large, grey beast. The beast had a wolves head, a muscular, human body, claws, and wore a loincloth. The girl swatted Gareth’s hand away, and ran towards the pack. The wolves let her through. She stood next to the beast.
“I can smell the stench of my brother’s blood all over you,” the beast said.
Gareth cracked his knuckles.
“Your scent is very familiar as well. It’s as if you’re one of my own.”
Gareth charged at the beast. The werewolves attacked. He jumped over the first werewolf. The second werewolf slashed at him. Gareth dodged, kicking it in the side. The third werewolf slashed Gareth in the face. The fourth werewolf tackled him to the ground.
“Back!” the beast yelled. The werewolves retreated. The beast beckoned the werewolf who slashed Gareth. “Show me your claws.”
The werewolf raised his bloody claws. The best licked one of them. “Hmmm…” The beast closed his eyes and licked the other claws. Gareth stood up, holding the side of his face.
The beast opened his eyes. “I know this blood!”
The beast came at him. Jesus, his speed—! Gareth thought before he was grabbed by the throat and slammed against a tree. The beast laughed as Gareth dug his claws into its arm.
“I’ve forgotten about you, neighbor boy,” the beast said. “My life has been so busy since I left my ‘owners’ all those years ago.” Gareth attempted to kick the beast’s testicles. It squeezed his neck, stunning him. “You look you’ve had quite a life as well. Do you remember your friend Ian?”
Gareth coughed. The beast grinned, and pulled Gareth’s left hand towards his mouth.
“Maybe you’ll remember this.” It bit down on Gareth’s hand. Gareth screamed as he felt his flesh being torn apart. He heard his wrist snap.
The beast released Gareth’s hand and grip on his throat. He fell to the ground, withering in pain. “The humans who took me in named me Lycaon,” he said, “and before I left to become what I am now, I apparently gave birth to you, neighbor boy.”
Gareth looked up at Lycaon, growling, baring his teeth.
Lycaon kicked Gareth in the chest.
“My four evolved brethren want you dead for what you did to their brothers,” he said. “I wanted you dead too, but I’m not sure about that now.” Lycaon pulled Gareth to his feet and leaned him up against a tree. “I’ll have to think this situation over. To appease them, I’ll just beat you into a pulp for now.”
He gave Gareth a right hook to the mouth. Gareth felt his mouth fill with blood. Lycaon grabbed him by his hoodie and continued to pound him. He swung Gareth around and threw him into the swamp.
Before Gareth could lift his face out of the water, Lycaon landed on his back. He grabbed Gareth’s hair and slammed his head repeatedly into the mud. He lifted him over his head and threw him into a compost pile.
Gareth tried to get up. His whole body was shaking. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw the girl biting her lip.
Gareth heard a snap. He looked at Lycaon, and saw him holding a large branch ripped from a tree. Lycaon approached Gareth and hit him with the branch until it broke in half.
“I’ve made a decision,” Lycaon said, tossing the branch aside. “How about you join my pack? I’ll convince the others that you killing those two was part of your initiation.”
Gareth struggled to get his arm from out underneath him. Lycaon extended his hand. Gareth lifted his hand and raised his middle finger.
Lycaon snorted. He grabbed Gareth and lifted him over his head with one arm.
“Back in the day, my ‘owners’ used to throw a little football around for me to fetch,” Lycaon said. “I admit, there are some memories of my former existence that I still treasure.”
Lycaon threw Gareth into the air. He broke through the branches, and nearly collided with a bird’s nest, before he was clear of the forest.
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