#Chapter 51: Breaking News
I went to work that night with a smile on my face. It felt good to get back to work, and the diner was surprisingly busy, which kept me busy after
spending so much time in my head for the past couple of weeks. It was refreshing to feel like my life was getting back to some sense of normalcy; no Lisa, no skeleton bodyguard as far as I could see, and no strange attacks from feral werewolves.
Halfway through my shift, however, it seemed that the universe simply couldn’t exist without throwing some sort of drama in my face.
I was cleaning up dishes and wiping down tables after the dinner rush. It was quiet in the diner now, with only a few people seated here and there. I was whistling along to the music playing on the radio, and smiling to myself, just happy to be back in my old routine.
My smile faded when I heard the bell on the door jingle and looked up to see a familiar face walk through the door.
It wasn’t Enzo, or Justin, or Lisa, or even Luke. If it had been any of them, I would’ve been annoyed.
Instead, I was terrified.
It was K.
I knew he came looking for me specifically, and that this wasn’t just a crazy coincidence, when he walked in and immediately looked directly at me.
Seeing his face nearly made me drop the bin of dirty plates I was holding, but I somehow managed to maintain my composure.
“S-Sit anywhere you like,” I said with a forced smile despite my racing heart.” I’ll be right with you.”K smiled back and nodded, taking a seat at a booth in the corner. I took a deep breath and scurried into the kitchen, setting down the bin of dishes next to the dishwashing station and smoothing down my apron with shaking hands.
Part of me considered running. The back door beckoned to me; I could just run out of the diner and never come back… but I really needed this job.
I considered calling Enzo as well, but I also couldn’t do that for two reasons: for starters, my phone was in my bag, which was under the counter out front, meaning that K could potentially see me calling for help and do something horrible. I barely knew this guy, and it seemed as though he was stalking me if he knew where I worked and exactly what time I would be on shift… Hell, for all I knew, he could’ve been a mass murderer of humans, not just werewolves!
Besides, I couldn’t tell Enzo because then Enzo would think that I had been in cahoots with a supposed werewolf hunter. K might’ve killed someone that Enzo knew personally; there was no way of knowing, and there was no way I could tell him about my meeting with K.
I was stuck talking to K.
Telling myself that this was all just a big coincidence, I steeled my nerves and headed out into the dining area.
Time felt as though it was moving in slow motion as I made my way over to K’s table. The whole way there, he was staring directly at me — unblinking, unmoving. Like a hawk waiting to strike its prey.
“F-Fancy seeing you again,” I said,
taking out my notepad to take his
order. “W-What can I get for you?”
“No theatrics,” K said abruptly,
reaching into his pocket and pulling
out a folded up piece of newspaper. He unfolded it and smoothed it down on the table, then slid it to me. “You still not interested in having your Lycan problem solved?”
With shaking hands, I reached out and took the paper, my eyes widening as I read the headline.
“BREAKING NEWS: Hiker finds man brutally murdered in abandoned house on Newburgh hiking trails — Locals claim supposed ‘werewolf’ attack.”
My hands started shaking even more. I raised my gaze up from the paper.
“Just a town over, sweetheart,” K interjected. “Now you tell me that that werewolf wasn’t your precious Lycan friend.”
“There have been a lot of Lycans around lately,” I said. “It could be anyone.” I didn’t want to believe that Enzo would ever do such a thing. He had sat here, right in this very booth, and told me with all his heart that he was not a killer.
K merely shrugged and stood. He was big and towered over me, and it made me feel like a scared little field mouse in the shadow of a mountain lion.
“Whether it was your Lycan boy or not, creating one less of those monsters would be doing the world a favor,” he said. “Come with me and we’ll find out. Once you get a taste of how good it feels to watch the light go out of their eyes… You won’t be able to get enough of it.”
I took a few steps back, my eyes wide as I shook my head vigorously in horror.” No,” I replied, my voice shaking. “I can’t. I’m not…”
“Not a killer?” K said.
I was too frozen to respond.
K merely chuckled and left me with the
I watched through the window, still frozen in my spot from shock, as K climbed into a beat up pickup truck and drove away. After what felt like an eternity, I finally became unfrozen and quickly stuffed the newspaper into my apron just as Phil hobbled up to me.
“Why did he leave?” Phil asked,
leaning on his cane and peering out the
I shrugged. “Changed his mind, I guess,” I lied.
“Hmph.” Phil grumbled and hobbled
When I got home that night, I had so
many things swirling around my mind.
Was it truly a werewolf that killed the
man in the town over? Was it possible that the werewolf was… Enzo?
No. I refused to believe that Enzo was a killer.
I stayed up far too late that night, pacing back and forth across my room and chewing my nails down to stubs as the newspaper clipped stared at me from its spot on my desk. I must have read it over and over again a hundred times, looking for some sort of proof that it wasn’t a werewolf attack…
But the information was too spot-on. Several locals claimed that they saw a giant wolf on the night the man may have been killed. When his body was found, it had been covered in gashes. Not just one here or there, but always three or four in a row. Like claws.
The wounds were so vicious that the police were still trying to identify the body. All they could identify was that he had been wearing a business suit.
I read the article again one last time, reading quietly aloud to myself, when I came to a sudden and horrifying realization:
The man was killed right around the time that Enzo had been gone for several days.
Right after I was drugged by a man in a suit.