Monday, February 8, 2010

Wolf Moon-Chapter 1b

For the previous installment of Wolf Moon, my paranormal writing project, click here.

After a few more bites of loaf and mashed potatoes, Chuck found himself back at the front door putting his shoes and jacket on and cursing the pig that would not die. A biting cold wind slapped him on the face as he shrugged his shoulders up and walked a few yards to the shed to pick up the pig feed and then another hundred yards or so to the pen where Betsy waited with eager snorts.

Careful not to touch the charged wires of the electric fence, he lifted the handle on the gate and pushed his way past the overly zealous nudges of Betsy to the trough. Her hot breath seeped past the thick fibers of his jeans as her snout not so gently implied that he should move out of her way. He poured out the last of the feed and checked her water jug. There was plenty left and his ingenious little idea of rigging a small warmer to it kept the water thawed and good to drink, despite the subzero temperatures of late January.

He thought about running straight back to the house, but for once he pitied the poor animal and decided to give it a few moments of his attention. Betsy was his precious little girl's pet, after all. He didn't really hope it would die. Well, not completely. Sometimes, like when he saw the packages of meat in the freezer dwindling faster than previous years, he really did want to bring the swine's life to an end. Or when he thought about Jeanie having to come out in the cold to feed the wretch, what with wolves about and all. That's when he hated her. But now, as her warm belly brushed up against his leg, he kind of felt sorry for her and maybe even loved her. It wasn't her fault they couldn't really afford to keep buying her feed, or keep her fence charged so the wolves couldn't get in. All she knew was that she was out here alone with her family gone. The idea of it made Chuck sorta sad.

He stroked the pig's back and patted it on the side. She wasn't so bad. He could learn to like her. With a sigh, Chuck shoved his hands in his pocket and looked up at the sky. A full moon, bigger than he'd ever seen, hung in the center of the great blue dome. A few stars here and there twinkled beside it, but the moon took center stage. The grinning man smiled at him as if to say life was going to be all right. Chuck knew better, of course. Those foolish fancies had ended with his childhood long ago. But it was nice to remember them from time to time, and pretend he still believed them.

He patted Betsy one more time and started back to the house, latching the gate behind him. Chuck didn't make it four feet past the pen when he heard a howl that sent chills rushing up his spine. Wolves. And close, too. He shoved his hand into his coat pocket, looking for the pistol he hoped was there. Dammit. He forgot to grab it on his way out. Chuck cursed himself as he turned around to unlatch the gate. From the sound of the howl, there was no way he was going to make it back to the house, but the fence might keep him safe.

A thick growl from right behind him cut through the night air. He paused for a moment before he decided to turn and face the animal. A lone wolf with lips drawn back, his wet chops smacking, stood just feet from him. Odd. Most wolves didn't hunt alone.

Before Chuck couldn't even bring his arm up to defend himself, the wolf lunged into the air, straight for him.


Check in next week for the next installment!

~Emily White

1 comment:

Yay! Comments! Oh, how I do love them! :D