In Seattle Jonathan didn’t know where he was headed as a young man. Everything was changing so fast around him. And what he saw originally as a small city was now becoming undoubtedly bigger than New York it seemed. But seeing this, Jonathan had felt that he would have more of an opportunity to meet all sorts of people. All cultures. To finally find his pack.
When Jonathan was just a kid his family had nicknamed him the wolf. And no, not of wall street. No, it was a much deeper meaning than that. You see, Jonathan was what some would call a loner, but to his mother it was so much more than that. Johnathan was strength. He was love. He was compassion. A true leader of this world, his mother felt. Although, she’d always feared that such would get him either killed or to a point where he’d contemplate doing it himself. The world was that nasty, but around the right people she knew that one day Johnathan would become the very thing the world needed—a hero.
It was college when it had all clicked for Jonathan. Something about how he felt about the world and people was loving, no matter how much they hated him. Again, he was just what the world needed.
“Hey Raymond, can I ask you a question?” asked Jonathan, to one of his classmates.
Raymond was a little like Jonathan. He was definitely a wolf but had found his pack long ago. Although they were in college, Raymond was what one would call popular in high school, which normally didn’t exist in college but oddly for the University of Washington it did.
“Yeah what’s up man?” said Raymond, stuffing his face with a bag of Cheetos Puffs.
“Have you ever felt like you were destined to do something in this life? Like, out of all the years you’ve been alone you can feel a responsibility coming on that will impact everyone if you succeed or fail,” said Jonathan.
“Gah… typical lone wolf,” sighed Raymond. “Who do you think you are, our Messiah now. Relax man, you’ll find your pack. Trust me, I felt the same way but then poof! Things just changed, ya know.”
“Yeah… I guess,” said Johnathan, unsure.
Jonathan still couldn’t feel a pinch of what Raymond had said would eventually come because the truth was, there was a part of him that still lingered the thought of one day he might just die alone. And not even like a cat lady. Just in complete darkness, no companion, alone, on a god-awful hospital bed being fed food probably worse than prison food.
By the sound of the bell, Jonathan picked up his book bag and headed out of the class into the hallway. He felt like a ghost. No one looked up at him or said hello, not even when he smiled, which he felt he’d practiced in the mirror so many times it was perfect. But at the end, none of it impressed anyone. It was even more of the reason to why he felt he didn’t have a chance at all. But once he’d made it to the bus stop, he’d figured he could read a Manga or two to take his mind off it a bit.
Just a few pages in Jonathan could smell something strange in the air. Just ten blocks west of him. And for whatever reason, he’d felt the need to pursue in it.
“Better to walk than wait for a bus that’s already 10 minutes late,” Jonathan had convinced himself.
As Jonathan approached it, he could feel a faint heartbeat, and the smell would be much clearer to. Something like Iron, he assumed, which he worried could be nothing else but blood. But in all honesty, he had already known that that’s exactly what it was.
Jonathans mother had warned him more times than what he could count about taking night classes on Friday’s, especially around the Capital Hill area. In her words, “That was when the freaks came out at night.” But for the most part all Jonathan had seen on those nights were drunken clubbers that had had more liquor than what they’d pride themselves in handling. It was man-child’s game.
Once Johnathan had hit the corner, around an alley way was a long streak of blood that looked like it had been painted to the concrete like a giant paintbrush. For Seattle any would have assumed it was another form of graffiti, but this was just like in the comics Jonathan had read growing up. It was a crime scene, but what kind? he wondered. All kinds of thoughts had run through his mind. Was it a vampire? Was it some crazy Joker-like wannabe? But as Jonathan scooted his back against the cold brick wall a loud scream would let off, making his legs feel numb and his chest stiff.
“Help… Help me…” said a voice around the corner.
Jonathan remained silent. Besides, what the hell was a 20-year-old kid going to do.
“Please… I know you’re there,” spoke the voice again.
“Shit… how do they know I’m around the corner?” whispered Jonathan, to himself.
“Because I can smell ya,” coughed the voice. “You smell like old spice and fear. Now are you just going to hide back there all day and let me die or are you going to help.”
Johnathan then poked his head around the corner, and his eyes would grow wide. It was woman. She had gashes on her arms, legs and near her shoulder, still oozing with blood that was blacker than what he thought blood could ever get.
“What… what happened to you?” asked Jonathan, helping the woman up to her feet. “I’ll call 9-1-1.”
“No,” shouted the woman. “I’ll tell you later but first we need to get out of here and some place safe,” said the woman.
“But what could be safer than the ambulance?” asked Johnathan confused.
“Trust me,” said the woman. “If they found out what me or you were, then it wouldn’t be as safe as what you’re thinking right now. This way.”
The woman hopped further down the alley with Jonathan by her shoulder. It was longer than normal. In fact, Jonathan hadn’t recalled the alley ever existing yet their it was, nearly as long and narrow as a railroad.
“So, what did you mean back there? You know, about if they knew what we really were,” asked Jonathan.
“Such a young pup,” chortled the woman. “I’m surprised that there’s been any of you to breed and live to tell it.”
“Pup? What do you think I am, some kid or something? You look no older than me,” said Jonathan, annoyed.
“Thank you for the kind words but you have no idea,” said the woman. “I’ve seen more moons than an adult grey wolf.”
The woman then broke from Johnathan and pulled aside a giant metal trash bin that would take 50 men to move. Under it was a latch.
“How… how did you do that?” asked Johnathan, astounded.
“No time to explain, in here,” said the woman.
“You mean down there? In that pitch-black hole?” asked Johnathan.
“Ugh… such a pup you are. I tell you what, if you go down their I will tell you a secret about yourself that you don’t even know yet. And if you’re good, I just might even give you a scooby snack,” said the woman, sarcastically.
“Oh haha,” whispered Johnathan
Despite all that the woman promised, Jonathan thought long and hard about. Maybe he was walking into murder or maybe, just maybe, this was his chance to finally figure out why he’d felt the way he did his whole life. Like a wolf in sheep’s clothing. No, like he was in wolfs clothing. But regardless of what he wanted from the woman, he could not deny that she was annoying and rude for someone who was getting their butt saved by whom she saw as a kid.
Still, Johnathan jumped down behind the woman and it would be completely black everywhere.
“I can’t see anything,” he said.
“Focus,” said the woman. “Control your breathing, listen to your heart and when they are both within sync of one another, open your eyes again.”
Jonathan closed his eyes, he took a deep breath and listened for his heart until it was in sync with his breathing. He then opened him.
“What… I can see…” said Jonathan. “But how?”
“I’ll go ahead and cut to the chase boy. You’re…” the woman paused, coughing up blood to the floor.
“I’m what?” asked Jonathan.
“Wow… Never struck you as not the gentlemen type…” coughed the woman. “But you’re going to need that. But seriously come overhear and help me will ya. And then I promise I’ll tell you. Just can’t say much with these wounds.”
“What do you want me to do?” asked Jonathan.
“Grab that needle and thread over there, on the table,” said the woman.
On the table was a needle and thread, but many other things that Jonathan felt himself slightly disturbed by. Was the woman a doctor? Or some sort of psychopath? There were just so many sharp objects. Objects that of which were certainly not designed for a cook.
“Do you see it?” asked the woman, impatient.
“Yeah, got it,” said Johnathan. “I’ll be right over.”
The woman had pulled up a chair and sat reverse in it.
“You ever do a stitch before?” asked the woman.
“No,” said Jonathan, nauseas by the sight of the woman’s wound. “But my mom when I was child taught me how to sew my ripped-up jeans. Its actually a funny story. I was…”
“I don’t need to here any stories right now!” interrupted the woman. “I’m bleeding out over as you can see.”
“Right… S-sorry,” said Johnathan.
“It’s just like sewing a pair of pants like you said, but be gentle,” said the woman, with a stern look on her face.
Slow and steady Johnathan closed the wounds that were carved all over the woman. When it was all over Johnathan would be covered in blood. Oddly, it made him feel hungry. What once smelled like iron, was now beginning to smell a little sweet, like syrup on pancakes. Inside, Johnathan could feel his skin boil and his heart pound with excitement. He wiped the drool from his mouth but for every time that he did it would get even worse.
“Oh boy,” said the Woman. “I guess your natural instinct is finally beginning to surface.”
Johnathan looked at his hands. They were trembling. He could’ve sworn he’d cut his fingernails the night before, but now they were as long as the woman’s if not longer.
“What’s happening to me?” asked Johnathan panicked. “Am I going to die?”
“Ha! Far from it! If anything, someone else just might if we don’t get you under control,” laughed the woman.
Jonathan stood speechless. He could feel the bones in his body crackling all around but strangely it had felt good. Like getting your back cracked after a long massage.
“Drink this,” said the woman. “It’ll make you feel better.”
From an old cabinet, the woman had pulled out a red cup, with plastic wrap covering the top of it. Once she’d pulled the covering off, Johnathan immediately felt a nauseating taste in his mouth.
“What is this?” he asked.
“You don’t want know,” said the woman. “But trust me it will make you feel better. A little less dangerous too for my sake.”
Johnathan nodded and then took down the cup as if he were drinking a glass of milk. And it had gone down smoother than expected.
“Well,” said the woman. “How do you feel?”
“Good… Good, thank you,” said Johnathan.
“Yup, told you it would work,” said the woman, with a grin. “It always does.”
Gradually, Johnathan’s heart rate, and even his nails came back to their normal state.
“Sorry to cut this moment short, but please can you tell me what it is about me that’s so different than the rest?” begged Johnathan. “I mean, what was it that was just happening to me?”
“Wow, I mean, I honestly thought that you would’ve gotten the picture by just seeing what you saw with your hands,” said the woman. “But oh well, I guess the truth wouldn’t hurt at this point.”
Johnathan stood by and waited patiently for the woman to speak. He wasn’t naïve. He had pretty good idea of what he might’ve been, but still, he wanted to hear it from another’s lips.
“You’re a Werewolf,” said the woman. “But not the kind you see in those movies. You know, teen wolf etcetera.”
“Then what kind of wolf would I be if not any of those?” asked Johnathan.
“You unlike the wolf that attacked me can change into a full wolf, regardless it be day or night. I can smell all that royal privilege in your blood, and so naïve to see that it exists. I can’t lie, I’m kind of jealous.”
“I figured it was another one of us that did that to you,” said Johnathan, reassured. “But what do you mean royal privilege. I’m just an average joe.”
The woman laughed.
“Hey, what’s so funny?” asked Johnathan, pissed.
“So, you’re telling me that your parents told you nothing?” asked the woman.
Johnathan shook his head.
“No. I mean, they always joked about me being a wolf, but that was always metaphorically speaking I assumed,” he said.
The woman then pulled out a chair.
“Sit down,” she said. “I need to see something.”
“Okay…” said Johnathan, sitting nervously.
The woman then grabbed Johnathan’s face with her cold and dry hands. It was as if she were dead, yet, very much alive from what Johnathan could tell.
“Hmm…” squinted the woman.
“What?” asked Johnathan.
“Who are your parents? What are their names?”
“Sasha and Trevon Barclay,” said Johnathan. “Why?”
The woman then fell back onto the floor. She wasn’t breathing. She was in complete awe by what Johnathan had told her.
“What’s going on?” asked Johnathan.
“You… you need to… we need to get you out of Seattle, now!” shouted the woman.
The woman’s voice alone put chills on the back of Johnathan’s neck.
“No! Not until you tell me the truth!” shouted Johnathan.
“That wolf…” said the woman. “The wolf that tried to kill me earlier was Bram. You see, Bram wants to be the superior of all werewolfes but in order to do that he needs to destroy all royal blood lines. That making you one of his targets.”
“No… We have to go to my mom and dads,” said Johnathan, panicked. “I have to tell them they’re in danger.”
“It too late,” said the woman, with sadness in her eyes. “They’re already gone.”
“What the hell are you talking about? I just talked to them a couple of days ago,” shouted Johnathan.
“I’m sure you did. But after that Bram found them, and from what I’ve heard he’s gotten your brother too,” said the woman. “Your family was the last of the royal blood lines. Its not a surprise they kept it a secret from you. You can’t be killed for the things you don’t know. And so, they thought.
“No, no, no, no, no… this cant be happening,” cried Johnathan.
It was just like he imagined. He was all alone. No family, no friends, no companion, just him and the darkness.
“I know what you’re thinking,” said the woman. “But don’t let it get to your head. Its more than likely the ones who are alone are the ones that are the strongest. And you and I can be strong together.”
“No!” shouted Johnathan. “If I got nothing to lose, then I guess the only thing I have left is to take out the big bad wolf then.”
“Don’t be ridiculous! That wolf will gobble you up and spit you out. Just look what he almost did to me.”
Out of nowhere the rough had come down and dust would be everywhere.
“What the hell was that?” asked Johnathan.
“Boy! Don’t move,” said the woman, fearfully.
As all the debris settled in the darkness sharp eyes lingered.
“Well, well, well,” said a voice. “Figured I’d find you down here, just never thought you’d have a present for me Fiona.”
“Fiona? Who’s Fiona?” whispered Johnathan.
“Oh, she didn’t tell you, did she?” said the voice. “Fiona is your aunt.”
Johnathan looked back at the woman. And her head would be pointed down to the ground.
“Is it true?” asked Johnathan. “Are you my aunt?”
The woman, known as Fiona, then nodded. But immediately, she’d jumped in front of Johnathan, gritting her teeth like a rabid dog.
“This isn’t going to happen the way you want it Bram,” said Fiona.”
Slowly, the eyes that lingered in the dark emerged themselves. Bram wasn’t anything like what the woman had described the royal wolfs to be. Bram wasn’t pure bred. He was an abomination. However, he was an abomination at the highest tier, which was undoubtedly strong enough the take on any purebred. It was said that the more wolfs like Bram killed, the more human hearts they were most likely to have eaten, the stronger they’d become. And Bram had well more than his fair share of it.
“It was you,” said Johnathan. “You’re the one that’s been all over the news lately. Corpses found in ally ways with no hearts.”
“So, whatcha want a kid, an autograph?’ laughed Bram.
To be Continued