Traveler: Storyteller Tales: Wolv in the Night

            Valencia quickly covered the view of the Wolv.  She popped open the full door, but Miss Watson would not stop screaming until her young man came running to hold her.

            “It was terrible, dead and staring.  Cold eyes full of evil.  It was evil.”  Miss Watson tried to explain between sobs of fear.  Valencia escorted the couple out the door, shut down the internal systems and sealed the door behind them.

            “Paper.”  Valencia tried to change the subject. 

            “Up here.”  The young man said and he escorted her to the main tent, but slowly because Miss Watson did not want to be let go.  She settled a little by the time they arrived and contented herself to sit in a chair while Valencia wrote out the phone number.

            “I’ll never be able to sleep.”  Miss Watson said.

            “So come back here tonight and keep me company,” the young man suggested.  “I have no intention of sleeping until these people come and take that thing away, whoever they are.”  It was an awkward but a sincere invitation.

            “I could come back,” Miss Watson said.  She looked at her man with hope.  “Oh, but I would be so close to that thing.”  She pointed.

            “Don’t worry.  The boy said two thousand years old.  I am sure after two thousand years it is dead.”

            “But—“

            “Besides.  I’ll stay with you.  Nothing will get you in the night.”

            “You better stay close.”

            “I will.  I promise.”

            “Ahem!”  Valencia had to cough to get their attention.  “Now no talking about this to anyone except these people.  You can talk to these people, but that’s it.  Especially don’t talk about it to Glen.”  She pointed at Miss Watson.  “Now we have to get going to get back to the city anywhere near the right time.”  She handed the phone number to the young man and went away.  Glen came back and immediately took Miss Watson by the hand.  He dragged her at first, but eventually she understood and let go of him.  The rest of the students were already loaded up in the bus, waiting.

            Glen took the seat right behind the driver and sat by the window.  Something was troubling him but he couldn’t name it.  By the time he got back to New York, he had forgotten most of what happened, but something held on and would not quite let go.  He took the A-train back down the West Side, took the Path and train home, but he was still concerned about something.  He went to bed that night with a worried look on his face.  It was not until one in the morning that the pieces came together. 

            “They might sleep for a hundred years or even a thousand years if not picked up.”  He said it himself.  “Or two thousand years.”  He said it out loud and added, “Damn!”  He got up and dressed as quietly as he could so as not to wake the family.  He went downstairs and jumped into the little Triumph convertible.  The top was already down.  The thing could not do better than fifty with a tailwind, but it was the only car he was allowed to drive.  He backed out of the driveway in the dark and turned on his headlights when he reached the street.  He hoped he could remember how to get there, and he said, “Damn, damn,” the whole way.

            Glen pulled up to the dig with his lights off.  What was he doing?  That was when he decided he was insane.  Still, he had come that far.  He had to see.  He turned the car, backed in for a quick getaway and crawled slowly into the dark, going from one bush to another as if the Wolv might not see him.  He knew the Wolv could not only see perfectly in the dark, it could hear him a mile away and smell him at an even greater distance, but being sneaky made him feel better.

            Glen found an arm near the main tent and he almost turned back.  Then he thought about throwing up but swallowed it back down.  There were pieces of people scattered everywhere around the digs.  He almost turned back again, but at last he went up into the tent and he found a survivor.  It was Miss Watson.  Her eyes were wide with madness and her fist was shoved deep into her mouth to prevent herself from screaming.

            “Come on,” Glen whispered.  The woman’s eyes did not move.  “Miss Watson.  It’s Glen.  Come on, we have to go.”  At the mention of his name, Miss Watson looked up but there was no sign in her eyes that she recognized him.  “We have to go.”  Glen spoke with more volume and like he had done the previous afternoon, he grabbed her hand and dragged her out of the tent.

            “No.”  She protested, feebly.  “If we move it may see us.”  But soon, like on the previous afternoon, she came to understand where they were headed and stopped resisting.  Glen could pick up the pace then and the woman had no trouble keeping up.

            Glen jumped into the driver’s seat as soon as they reached the car.  Miss Watson crawled up the trunk and fell into the back seat.  Glen started the engine but over top of the whine of that little four cylinder, they heard the howl.  It was close, and Glen left in as much of a cloud of dust and gravel that little Triumph could produce without stalling. 

            “I see it!”  Miss Watson screamed.  Glen checked his rearview mirror an saw it as well.  It looked to be about the size of the car and it was running on all fours and gaining.  After a short way, though, they got to some pavement and Glen revved it up from thirty-five to as near fifty as he felt was safe.  The Wolv could go across country, but Glen knew that on foot even the Wolv could not catch them at that speed.  Unfortunately, he also knew the Wolv could track them no matter how fast they went, and it would not give up no matter how long it took.

            “What is that thing?”  Miss Watson asked suddenly.  Glen glanced at her as she crawled over the seat and into the front bucket.  He imagined she must have blotted out the trauma of the dig for the moment.

            “Wolv.”  He answered as well as he could and concentrate on the road.

            “Wolf.  I can see that.”

            “No, Wolv.”  Glen shook off the correction and decided to go in a different direction.  “An alien.  Not smart.  Not sophisticated in engineering.  Probably could not fix the escape pod, but not stupid.  Clever and cunning.  The Humanoid Empire used them as front line troops in battle, and they rarely had to send in the second line.  They are warriors, hunters and absolute killers—predators.”

            “Wolv.”  Miss Watson tried to word.

            “So how did you, you know, survive?”  He asked and the woman looked at him at first as if she did not understand what he was asking, but then she did and she looked away.

            “I was in the outhouse.  I heard the screams.  I did not dare come out.”

            “All that shit probably disguised your scent.”

            “I heard it sniffing around the outside and I almost screamed myself.  But then it went away.  I waited a full hour.  When I came out, I saw…”  The woman began to cry and Glen hardly knew what to say.

            “We’ll get through this,” he said at last.  “We will survive this.”

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