It’s been forever since I posted anything from this story, and I’m SOOOOO sorry! But here is the next chapter of the story. It might be the last one for a few more weeks for sure as I’m working my ass off to try to finish some other projects I have going on. Plus, with trying to set myself up to quit my “day” job, I don’t have a ton of extra time as of yet. Not until I am actually done the janitorial gig and working for myself once more.
Hunted – Part 5
The hike to the landing was shorter than expected, not even the thirty minutes he estimated. I fell a couple of times when I stepped on a loose rock, but thankfully didn’t hurt myself.
From the landing Luka had pointed out, we could see the entire valley. The hills were rocky in places, but most were covered in small shrubs, grass, or trees. The highway looked much smaller from so far away, the cars nothing but small moving objects.
Luka took a seat on a flat rock near the edge of the hill, patting the spot next to him.
“I won’t bite,” he said, waving me over.
Still shaken from the emotions I had been feeling on the drive, I wasn’t quite so sure about that statement but made my way over to him anyway.
“I know it’s a long drive, but I love it here. It feels easier to think out here. Like the air makes it easier or just being away from the city relaxes me.”
“I like the view,” I said after a moment.
I felt him tense next to me and glanced over to see him hunching over as if in pain. I reached out a hand and touched his back, causing him to flinch. Drawing my hand back, I leaned down to see if I could make him say something.
When he didn’t answer, I tried again, touching his back again with the same result.
A low growl tore through the air beside me and I jumped back, landing on the hard ground a few feet away. I backed away a few more feet before standing up, turning my head about to look for the quickest way down the hill.
“Alex, wait,” said a quiet voice, and I realized Luka was looking at me through his shaggy hair.
Too stunned and confused to answer, I stood there stupidly, waiting for him to continue.
He forced himself to slowly sit up and regain his composure, although I could see him shaking violently. As he patted the seat next to him again, I found myself approaching him once more. I was sitting with him before I could stop myself.
“What just happened?” I asked, staring wide-eyed at him.
“I don’t know. It happened earlier today, too. That’s why you found me on the floor of the bathroom.”
“Are you hurt?”
“The pain stops after a few minutes. I’ll be fine.”
“You should see a doctor.”
He raised an eyebrow as he watched me.
“I really don’t think a doctor can help me, Alex. Something is happening that I can’t explain, but I doubt a doctor can explain it either, and I’d rather not have to go through countless tests just to find out they don’t know what’s wrong with me.”
Seeing no point in arguing, I gave him a look of disapproval and let out a sigh.
“So what now?” I asked after a few moments of awkward silence.
“Now we wait.”
“I don’t know, honestly. I just feel like we should be here.” He looked at me with his friendly smile, and I looked back down at the highway to watch the passing cars.
We sat in silence for a long time, watching the sky growing colourful as the sun dipped down to the horizon. The moon was already up, a small sliver just above the horizon on the opposite side of the sky to the sun. There weren’t many clouds, but more were moving in from the south, creating a dark corner where home was.
There were sounds from animals coming from the woods around us, but nothing that sounded very big. Most sounded like nothing more than birds, squirrels and rabbits.
When the sun reached the hilltop across from us, I turned to Luka and nudged his shoulder. He didn’t react but kept staring forward. I nudged him again and got the same lack of reaction.
“Luka, we should head back down before it’s too dark to see the trail.”
He didn’t respond, still looking forward.
I moved to stand and he stopped me, grabbing my wrist. He looked up at me with wild eyes, and I tried to back away as he tightened his grip. I realized I couldn’t pull my arm away from him.
He still said nothing as I tried to calmly ask him to let me go, causing me to panic more. He was watching me closely, although he didn’t seem to see me. It was more like he was looking past me, like he didn’t really see me at all.
As I looked at him, his face began to change. It was as though he wasn’t quite human anymore. The look in his eyes was more animalistic, more rabid. He seemed dangerous. And it scared me.
It took a few moment for me to see that his face was actually changing. There was a strange cracking sound like cracking fingers but louder. His grip became even tighter, and I could feel my hand throbbing as the blood flow was cut off. I tried again to pull my hand away, and he immediately let go causing me to lose my balance and fall backwards.
From where I sat on the ground, I watched as his body morphed, bones looked like they snapped, and he emitted noises I had never even imagined, let alone heard, in my entire life. As I backed away as best as I could without standing, I saw his skin tearing.
Muscles tore through and became exposed as he grabbed at himself and tore chunks of flesh from his own body, throwing them to the side carelessly as if he didn’t feel it.
I could feel myself shaking violently, and no matter how hard I tried, I could not make myself get to my feet and run. I wondered briefly if this was what I had always heard referenced in books, this strange deer in headlights thing I was doing. I had never pegged myself for a total coward, but it seemed I had been completely wrong.
There was something in his eyes that was wrong, though. No matter how much I wanted to run, I wasn’t sure I could justify leaving him. He obviously knew something was wrong earlier that day and that’s why he had taken me here, but did he know this would happen?
“Luka?” I found myself whispering, edging slightly closer to him as his body kept changing. He was becoming an animal. I took in a deep breath and held it as I remembered what he had told me. He had been convinced it was a werewolf that had gotten to him.
Lost in my thoughts, I didn’t notice when the noise stopped. I hardly saw the canine in front of me as it sat waiting, staring at me with worried eyes. When I did see him, I fought the urge to jump on him.
He was massive, completely black, and he had the same eyes that Luka had. The only thing that remained the same was his eyes, and even those were not exact. He shook his head and got to his stomach before me, whining quietly. He laid his head on my feet, still whining, and seemed to wait for me to do something.
“Luka,” I said again, this time a little louder, although still not much more than a whisper.
The wolf’s head lifted slightly, and cocked to the side a bit as the whining stopped. A paw reached out and touched my foot as if grasping for something. The paw touched me again as I heard another small noise, and it took a moment for me to understand that the noise I now heard was my own crying.