Strong bonds are needed to hold a pack together; if there were no bonds, each wolf would go its separate way. Just like a human family they are stronger when kept together
“Is that really how werewolves came to be?” I asked.
“It’s how our family, and probably yours came to be. But different people have their own versions and theories. Some are similar and some are clearly made up. You probably heard all sorts of crazy story on how to become a skin walker, or werewolf,” said Gram-Gram.
“You kids and your fancy words.”
“We use the term skin walker or werewolf in this family. There are other “were people” that turn into something different that call themselves were bears, or were dogs, were ducks you get the picture,” Gram- Gram explained.
“Uh, yeah I watched a few horror movies,” I replied.
I regretted saying that the moment it was out of my mouth. Why did I say that? I didn’t want to offend them, I probably sounded stupid too.
“Well let us clear up some myths so you won’t get confused,” Gram-Gram said softly and not the least bit insulted.
“First off, it has nothing to do with being born on Christmas Eve or Saint Stephen’s Day. As I explained earlier it’s something you’re born with. The same goes for drinking water from a wolf print. Why any one would want to do that anyway is beyond me. Also it has nothing to do with making a pack with the devil.”
“Don’t worry kid, none of us worship Satan”, LB added.
“I like Saint Nick,” Red interrupted.
“I didn’t say Saint Nick,” LB said. “I said Satan, the guy with a pitch fork and horns.”
“Oh right, he doesn’t have any fun holidays like Christmas anyway,” replied Red.
“I had always heard it had something to do with a full moon, and being bitten by another werewolf,” I added.
They all laughed.
“Oh yeah, that old story. That’s something the movies have made up. You can’t turn into a wolf from being bitten, which is a vampire legend people mixed into our story. We are not evil; I can assure you we are just different. Some people do get carried away with having wolf or other animal powers. Often these people change into animals when they are very angry which can be an unfair advantage if they are the attacker. Our family has been around for centuries,” Gram-Gram told me. “Well not us personally, but our ancestors have been.”
“So how have you stayed hidden so long, without being noticed?” I asked.
“People see all sorts of weird things, but they often seldom talk about it because they are afraid people will think they are strange, or drunk. Often a skin walker will make their appearance to someone they know no one will believe, such as a child.” said Gram- Gram.
“Makes you wonder about those monster under the bed nightmares doesn’t it?” said LB in a sneaky voice.
“The point is a werewolf could say they are one, and no one would believe them. Yet most werewolves aren’t gutsy enough to admit that to anyone. It’s too dangerous. If people knew werewolves were indeed real they would go on a hunting spree.”
“Just like the X Men, there would be prejudice,” added Red as he gave Lefty a pet on the head. Lefty sighed and rolled over like an old dog.
I was having so much fun talking, I completely forgot the weirdness of knowing I was part animal. I really liked these people. I felt like I belonged. Like I was in an exclusive club. But I also couldn’t help but feel it wouldn’t last long.
“Room for one sir?” said the hotel clerk. He seemed nervous about me. That didn’t surprise me, as I was a big guy. Lots of people found me intimating. Looks could be deceiving though. I had learned that the hard way.
“Yes, one”, I replied solemnly.
“Are you going to meet anyone? ” He asked nervously. I think he would have felt better if I had said yes. Judging by how crappy this hotel looked there were probably only three types of people who stayed here. Hookers, people who hired the hookers, and drug dealers. This guy probably thought I was meeting someone for a drug deal. He was probably thinking back to old detective movies where there were stakeouts. He probably would prefer I was meeting a girl, but I hadn’t been with a girl in a long, long time. I doubted I ever would again as I was thinking what the last girl had been like. When I got to the room it lockted like it smelled horrible. For once I was glad I couldn’t smell anything.
I sat on the bed and took the photo out of my pocket that I had been holding on to for eleven years. It was very worn. It was all I had left of the family I had lost so long ago. Granted I had not lost everyone in my family, but I might as well have. It was still too painful going back there. But I had to return. I had to pay my respects like I did every year, right when the moon was full.
“That guy is creepy”, I heard the hotel owner say to the maid. The walls here were paper thin so I could hear them talking from the next room.
“I guess”, said the maid, who judging by her voices clearly disagreed. Apparently she was into his rugged good looks.
“ But you have to admit he has the most beautiful green eyes”, she added.
“Don’t worry kid you have come to the right place. Come have breakfast with us,” said Red.
They all stood up and walked towards the kitchen; I did too and realized I was human again. “When did I turn back?” I said surprised. “When we were talking,” said Gram- Gram.
As relieved as I was that I was human again, a part of me wanted to see what it was like to be a wolf again. I didn’t want to tempt fate if I couldn’t turn back though.
For breakfast we had meat, meat and more meat, and a small salad covered in meat. I was hungry. I had six sausages, a plate of bacon, a small steak, a few sausage biscuits, and I lost count after that. I wasn’t worried about my heart, because now that I knew I was a wolf this was actually a fairly healthy diet for me. The others kids at the orphanage had told me with the way I ate I wasn’t going to live past 19 without having a heart attack. One girl at the orphanage, who was a vegetarian, said I should have been ashamed of myself. She went on to tell me in great detail how animals were slaughtered. I stopped eating, but only because she had made me so sick I needed to throw up, unfortunately it was on her shoes. I never saw her again after that. Another guy once told me what was in hot dogs, but I just tuned him out.
“Jeez kid, you act like you haven’t eaten in years”, I heard a LB say.
“He’s just excited as it a lot to take in one day,” answered Gram-Gram.
“You keep eating kid,” said LB. “We are just going to make a few calls.”
They all got up except Red and Lefty. When they left Red put a blue dog bowl on the table for Lefty who put both paws on the table and was eating from a the bowl standing up. I wondered how on earth they taught him do this. I’d read somewhere that wolves were trainable, but they couldn’t be domesticated, so what was keeping Lefty from eating everyone else’s food? Then again we were all part wolf too. So maybe Lefty knew we were at the same level as he was, which is why he wasn’t taking our food. I reached over to pet him. Before my hand even got close to him he looked up and growled.
“Don’t take it personal, he’s just afraid you’ll steal his food, ”Red told me.
“Well can you tell him I’m not interested in his food?’ I asked.
Red laughed as if I had just asked a silly question.
“I could tell him but he wouldn’t understand me,” answered Red.
“ I am in human form now, but even in wolf form we couldn’t talk like we were earlier. Real wolves only communicate through body language.”
While Red was telling me this he was putting sugar on his scrambled eggs. I thought this was pretty odd but no odder then anything else I had seen today. Red had a bowl the same size as Lefty’s, but it was of course the color red. That must have been his favorite color.
“So we can’t really talk to animals.” I asked.
“Unfortunately no, we are not Doctor Do little. We can still communicate with the animals we turn into on a spiritual level or something. I don’t know exactly how. Raven explains it better then I do. Why don’t you ask him after breakfast.”
Red was eating right alongside Lefty, by sticking his whole face in the bowl. I had to stop watching when I noticed he wasn’t eating with his mouth closed. That’s when I first started to hear them whispering from the other room. I don’t normally eavesdrop, but I didn’t want to throw up watching Red eat. That would hardly be a great way to repay their kindness for feeding me.
“Should we let the police know that he’s here?” said Silver Ear.
“No way, then they’ll never let him stay here, and we won’t be able to teach him how to use his wolf power wisely”, said LB.
“It doesn’t sound like he’s in a steady foster home right now” said Raven.
“It takes paperwork to be a foster parent and a long time. I heard about six months. By then they might have stuck him with a foster family in Ohio and he might forget all about us” added LB.
“He’s not going to forget us,” said Silver Ear as if she was offended by that thought.
“But if they find him with us and we didn’t say anything, they might get the wrong idea, and think we kidnaped him”, said Gram- Gram.
“Or something worse,” added Silver Ear.
“If they do come by we can say we just found him, which we did,” replied LB.
“But what if he doesn’t want to stay?” said Silver Ear.
“Why not?” said LB. “He’s an orphan.”
“A bunch of strangers suddenly say they want to take care of a boy they found running from a security guard in the woods. It won’t look good, ”said Silver Ear.
“Well we have to let them know that he is ok, or they will start searching these woods”, said Raven.
We can still teach him to use his wolf power at the orphanage, its not that far away, ” added Silver Ear.
“What if he gets adopted? Then he might blow his cover. He’s lucky that dumb rent-a-cop wasn’t smart enough to figure out what happened”, answered LB.
“Look we are getting way ahead of ourselves. Let’s just see how things go. After he has been here a while we can always agree to foster him, see how things work out,” said Silver Ear.
“I don’t know as this is a huge adjustment for a kid to make. We knew what we were since we were born, but this kid is just finding out at fourteen, “ said Raven.
“So I didn’t find out till I was sixteen”, said Silver Ear, “and I turned out fine.”
“That’s because you thought it was cool, and you were a rebel teen, added LB.
Silver Ear snorted.
“Exactly that’s why he...”LB started but was interrupted when Red said
“You know he can hear you”, not looking up from his plate of bacon. There was a silence, then suddenly the sound of a door opening as they moved outside to talk. I sighed, as suddenly I was very tired again. This was probably because I had just woken up from a dirt floor nap.
“They won’t care at the orphanage,” I said out loud to no one in particular.
“They’ll be happy now that I’m gone.”
Red looked up and so did Lefty but I think Lefty just wanted more food.
“Who will?” said Red knowing I wasn’t talking about the others outside.
“The people at the orphanage, they won’t care I am gone. They are probably glad about it too”.
I sighed again, as I felt depressed by saying it out loud although I thought it in my head many times before.
“Oh don’t say that Trooper. Things can’t be that bad,” Red answered back.
“Well the dogs will miss me, but I just set them all free”.
Meanwhile back at the SPCA Nun Moe was talking to the security guard, on why Trooper was missing all night.
“I started chasing the boy, but he was running so fast I lost him,” said the security guard.
“That’s when I saw this wolf, running like crazy. I thought it might be rabid or something the way it was moving so fast; so I got in my truck and started chasing it. Then I saw lots of other wolves.”
He snorted, “We are not allowed to hunt wolves up here because they are endangered”, (he said the endangered part sarcastically) otherwise I would have shot plenty.”
Sister Moe wasn’t listening; if she had she would have asked why he had his gun if he knew he couldn’t shoot in the first place. She was too busy looking into the woods, straining her eyes to see if she could see anything.
“Where are you Trooper?” she thought. If any of the policed had ESP they would have realized she was not thinking concerned thoughts for Trooper. “I will find you Trooper.” “You can’t hide forever”