#Chapter 62: Dark Creatures
A woman’s voice screamed for help from the forest. Enzo and I pulled away from each other, just as we were about to kiss for the second time that night. We looked at each other for a moment, the realization of the situation hitting us, before taking off toward the woods.
Could we not have one good night without people being injured or killed by werewolves?
“Stay here,” Enzo said just before we reached the woods. He stopped in his tracks and grabbed me by both shoulders, pushing me away from the entrance of the woods where students and locals often walked on the seemingly-safe nature trails.
I wrenched myself free and shook my head vigorously. Stay here? There was no way in hell I was letting Enzo go into the woods by himself. I would never forgive myself if something happened to him out there and I wasn’t there to help him. “No way!” I shouted, curling my hands up into fists. “I’m not letting you go alone.”
“Nina, it’s not safe–”
“I realize that, Enzo!” I said, stamping my foot angrily. “I’m going with you regardless!”
Enzo stared at me for a moment, a mixture of surprise and worry written across his face, before he sighed and nodded, straightening once more.” Alright,” he said, turning toward the trail that led into the forest and holding out his hand as the screams continued. “But stay close. Don’t let go of my hand.”
I took his hand and ran with him into the forest toward the source of the screams. It was frightening to run with such wild abandon in the forest, but I let Enzo lead the way; something in me told me to trust him to guide us as we ran, so I did.
“Help!” the woman screamed again, this time much closer. We took a sharp right turn, leaping over tree roots and rocks in the way, and soon found ourselves in a small clearing.
Enzo dropped my hand and stepped forward while I stood paralyzed by the scene before me.
A rogue was dragging a woman by her ankle as she clawed desperately at the ground, sobbing and screaming uncontrollably with all of the strength she had.
“Let go of her!” Enzo shouted, his voice almost sounding like a growl on its own. The rogue looked up at him, the woman’s leg still in its mouth, then dropped her upon seeing Enzo and I .
I couldn’t explain it, but there was also something oddly familiar about the rogue’s gaze.
Enzo and the rogue began to circle each other, preparing to attack. I ran up to the woman and grabbed her hand, quickly helping her up and pulling her away from the fray.
Before anything else could happen,
however, the rogue met my eyes, staring at me for a moment — as if it recognized me then turned on its heels and took off into the woods like a wraith in the night.
“Where is it going?” I asked, my voice shaking as I held the sobbing woman and rubbed her back.
Without a word, Enzo turned and stormed toward me, grabbing the woman from my arms and scooping her up, his eyes fixed on me. They were glowing red, brighter than I had ever seen them.
“Run home as fast as you can,” he said sternly over the woman’s sobs. “Get home and stay inside until I tell you it’s safe.”
“Just listen to me, Nina,” Enzo said, his voice low and serious. “Please Just this once, I need you to trust me.”
Before I could respond, the woman’s painful wails grew louder, and in the blink of an eye, Enzo and the woman were just… gone. The forest was silent once more, as if nothing had ever
happened — but I was too stubborn and determined to find out who that rogue was, because something about it seemed too familiar to simply run away.
Instead of turning back to run home like Enzo told me to, I began to go in the direction that the rogue took. I carefully crept through the forest,
trying to stay as quiet as possible as I followed the rogue’s trail; it had crashed so haphazardly through the woods that I could make out a clear path just from all of the trampled bushes and broken branches.
I must have been following the rogue’s trail for nearly twenty minutes when I finally stumbled upon it.
It was sitting on its haunches in the middle of a clearing, staring up at the moon with its head tilted back. As I approached through the bushes, it heard me and jumped up, snarling. I felt my heart quicken as I cursed myself for being so stupid and not listening to Enzo, but then something strange happened.
The rogue stopped snarling and sat back down. Its eyes stayed focused on me, but for some reason, I no longer felt frightened. Somehow, I knew that this rogue wasn’t going to hurt me.
I stepped out of the bushes and slowly approached it, my hand outstretched and my breathing ragged. With each. step closer, I expected the rogue to suddenly jump up and attack me, but it never did. Even when my hand touched.
its massive muzzle, it hardly moved.
For some strange reason, as soon as my hand touched the rogue, I knew who it was.
“Justin?” I whispered.
He cocked his head at me — then, all of a sudden, as if knowing his name made him remember that he was human, he shifted back and collapsed on the forest floor I fell to my knees next to him,
cursing under my breath as I cupped. his face in my hands and gently slapped his cheeks to try to wake him up. His face was clammy, but he was breathing. Within a few painstaking moments, his eyes cracked open and he looked at me with confusion on his face.
“Where am I?” he asked, looking
“You don’t remember?” I replied.
Justin shook his head. “Last I remember, I was heading home from the fair… Then the moon came out from behind a cloud. I remember looking up at it, then it all went dark.”
I furrowed my brows and pursed my lips, unsure of what to say — but before I could say anything, I was alerted by the sound of twigs snapping under foot as someone approached. I jerked my head up to see Enzo emerging from the forest with an angry, but relieved, expression on his face.
“You didn’t listen to me,” his voice rang inside my mind, making my head throb and taking me by surprise. Was this the telepathy I had heard about werewolves possessing?
Without another word, Enzo walked over to Justin and suddenly grabbed him by his shirt collar, pinning him to the ground as Justin thrashed in his grip. Enzo raised a fist to punch him, anger written across his face, but I lunged forward and grabbed his fist. He turned his head slowly to look at me, and I shook my head.
“He doesn’t remember,” I thought to him, using all of my energy to convey the words in my head to Enzo. He looked at me, seeming slightly confused, but lowered his fist and released his grip on Justin.
“Tell me everything,” Enzo said, his
eyes fixed on Justin.