-2006, Small town forty minutes out of Beaufort-
“Lorelei. Now, what on God’s green Earth are you doing?” A young girl of sixteen turned around. Behind her, standing on their long beaten down wrap around, was her mother. The familiar tired blonde curls and sharp hazel eyes greeting her. “Nothing.” Her mother walked off of the wood and onto the dirt. “Don’t be like that. I’ve told you over and over again you need to tell me how you feel.” Lorelei rolled her eyes, dropping the long stick in her hands. “It’s not like any of the feelings have changed. You might as well keep your assumptions.” She could hear the all too familiar sigh of her mother. The sound of her footsteps approaching her. They weren’t heavy steps, but not exactly light either. Her steps…they were like determined steps that somehow gained more uncertainty with each press of the sole into cushion. A predictable erratic. “I wouldn’t have any assumptions if you just told me how you feel for once. Your life ain’t so bad that you should be struggling to talk about it.” Lorelei rubbed her foot into the ground. It was best to destroy her doodles in the dirt before her mother reached her. “Because you know all about my life, don’t ya.” The familiar feeling of being pulled to face a direction by the shoulder overcoming her. Her mother’s eyes looking down at her. For such a gentle shade of green, and such a lovely looking woman, her eyes at a close enough distance where one of the sharpest things in this country. “Your life, ain’t that bad. It’s like you want to be depressed. Like you take some sort of comfort in it. In hating the world and those in it.” Lorelei suppressed the bitter chuckle that was trying its hardest to escape her lips. It was true most of the time she hated the world and those in it. But it wasn’t about choosing that as a permanent state, it was about the accumulation of life events. Of cynicism becoming the shell that protects you from the repetitive patterns.
The sudden sound of a screaming voice causing both of them to turn their heads. It was old man Abbot. The recluse who never left his property, and threatened those who stepped on it with a loaded Mossberg 500. The man was somehow not on his land and screaming his head off as he ran towards them. “Y’all need to get inside. And barricade us in it.” Lorelei looked at her mom. “We always knew he was probably off his rockers with that life of his, but now we have definite proof.” When he crossed the slight hill that was before our dirt path driveway we could notice spots of blood on him. Lorelei wondering if he actually went through with shooting someone. Although, if he did there was no reason for him to be here. They may be neighbors, but there was five acres between each other’s houses. Old man Abbot stopped only briefly in front of the two. Immediately grabbing her mother’s arm. “I mean it May. This ain’t some joke. There’s a monster out there. Showing up in people’s homes. Killing them.” He started to pull Lorelei’s mom towards the house. Not even turning around to check if Lorelei was following them. “I fired off five rounds at the thing. Ain’t nothing happened.” He pulled her up on the porch turning to call out for Lorelei. “This ain’t no joke, little girl. I saw it drag the Cornwell boy over to my property. Completely shredded.” Lorelei looked at the crazy old man with a sense of glitter in her eyes. The small rural gas stop finally had some entertainment. Old man Abbot finally coming out into the world.
Old man Abbot suddenly started to scream again. Panic in his voice. “It’s here. Lorelei!” She turned to look in the direction he was looking at. She was expecting to see absolutely nothing, or at the very least some jacked up redneck stumbling about. Instead, standing there some ways down was a wolf. No, it was too large to be one, even if it looked exactly like one. Its hazy coat was mottled with reddish black. The spots pressing down the fur, so it looked greased up from the distance. Without sparing a moment, Lorelei broke out in a run for her house. Jumping from the porch steps straight into the doorframe. Old man Abbot slamming the door shut behind her. Finally, looking up again to see what they were doing.
Her mother was standing there shaking. She seemed to not be processing the situation well. Old man Abbot seemed to be trying to push the nearest table against the door. Panting as he pushed, “Hurry and find something to push against the back door.” Lorelei nodded and walked past her mother and into the kitchen. She closed the curtains and pushed the circular wooden table against the glass. The dreadful feeling that it wasn’t going to do much good creeping over her. Lorelei running back into the front room. Her mother in the same exact place as before. Old man Abbot pushing more furniture over towards the door. Lorelei looked out the window. She couldn’t see the wolf. The hair on her arms standing up as her body sent signals of warning. A wolf that size doesn’t just appear and disappear. It should be at the house already. Breaking in and claiming whatever prize it was here for. Lorelei having the sudden feeling as if she was in a game. A losing one.
“A gun. Y’all have a gun, right? Where is it.” Old man Abbot said in his panic as he turned away from the door. Lorelei walked over to the fireplace and pulled down a long thin box that was mounted on hooks above it. She opened it quickly. Lorelei pulling out the Remington 870. She wasn’t a great shot, so she tossed it over to the old man. Maybe he would have some luck with it. “It’s loaded.” Old man Abbot nodded his head and turned to her mom. “May. You need to wake up, now.” Lorelei raised a brow at him. Wake up? Its not like she was asleep. She had managed to move from her spot to sit on the couch. In her hands was one of the decorative candle holders. She was clutching it so tightly her entire hand seemed to turn white and red. May turned to her daughter. “Lorelei, you need to find a place to hide. You have to let us take care of this.”
Lorelei could only sigh as she walked over towards her mother. Kneeling down in front of her. It’s not like she could tell her mother she had a feeling it didn’t matter what they did. That when she saw that wolf the first thing that flashed in her mind was the little book of Grimm from when she was a kid. Or that now that she was kneeling in front of her, a part of her wanted to laugh at the idea of a large wolf showing up in the 21st century at someone’s doorstep to kill them. So she did what she could do and patted her mom’s hands. “Mom. You don’t have to do this alone. You would end up getting yourself killed.” May looked down at her daughter a bit taken a back. For a moment, removed from her panic. “Lorelei, I am your mother and if I say I will handle it than I will handle it. Do you understand me?” Old man Abbot walked over to them. “It’s nice y’all want to have family time, but we don’t have time for that. We need a phone and a place to hide. In case it tries to get in.” May stood up slowly. “The basement. There’s a phone down there…” Old man Abbot nodded his head and nudged for the two of them to get moving. As Lorelei descended the stairs, she couldn’t help, but feel the strong feeling that she was basically making things easier for whatever was coming for them. It felt like she was heading for a slaughtering pin. Still, she held her mom’s shaking hand and entered the basement.
Once inside the basement, Old Man Abbot ran for the phone on the wall. It was one of those retro things that came with an old Southern house. History and all of that. No matter how many times he pushed down the yellow stained numbers though no call went out. He turned to look at the two of them. “It isn’t working. Why isn’t it working!” May started shaking her head in confusion. “I don’t know. It was working just the other day…I…the phone.” Lorelei sighed. “No, it wasn’t. It’s been four years since that phone has even almost worked.” Old man Abbot turned to glare at her. “Why are you saying this now!” Again, Lorelei felt like she couldn’t just out right say it was because she felt like it was pointless, death was coming one way or another. So she lied. “I didn’t think. Y’all were moving so fast. And there’s a freakin’ wolf outside our house. And a dead Cornwell boy apparently.” Old man Abbot walked over to her and grabbed her shirt collar. “You’re lying. You are working with that wolf. Ain’t ya.” Lorelei put her hands up. The lunatic did have their gun in his hands. “How on Earth would I be working with a wolf. We can’t even talk.” Her mother went to take a step forward when Old man Abbot took a step back and pointed the gun at them. “Stay back. I always knew something wasn’t right about you two… Especially, about her. The town rumors reach my porch step too.” Lorelei but her lip to suppress the ill-timed chuckle. How were rumors able to reach his front porch without being shot up consistently. Rumors must be the zombies around these parts.
May slowly walked towards him. Her hands up shaking. “I don’t know what rumors you heard, but think about it. We followed you down here into the basement. You saw that monster.” Old man Abbot turned to point the gun at Lorelei. “And I was cursed for this to be the closest house. There’s a monster in the room with us. She killed two boys.” Lorelei looked at her mother. A part of her surprised she managed to return to some sort of calm state. She was never very good in emergencies. Besides, Old man Abbot was right. She had killed two boys, Marshal Bennett and Lyle Compton. To be fair, it was obvious self-defense. Lorelei hadn’t lost one night of sleep about it. The rest of the town seemed to lose a lot more than a few. May took a deep breath. “It was self-defense, James. Just like what we might need to do.” Old man Abbot turned the gun on her. Now, he was shaking.
The sound of glass and wood shattering from above them turning their attention to the basement stairs. Old man Abbot’s gun moving to face the door. “It’s here.” Lorelei’s mother holding up her candle stick. She had forgotten that was still in her hands. Loud echoes of growling could be heard approaching the door. Lorelei sighing, as her heart finally began to speed up. “So I was right.” She muttered. The door ripping open out towards them as a wolf jumped down the stairs. Old man Abbot firing off the gun in panic. Lorelei doubted whether or not all of the bullets even hit him with aim like that. The wolf sinking his jaws into the Old man as he tore him limb from limb. Time slowing down more and more as the Old man wailed out. Lorelei walking over to her mother. She covered her eyes. “There’s no need for you to see any more of this.” She could feel her mom shaking. Feel something greater than a primal panic for survival as she fell to the floor. The wolf turning towards them. Lorelei could only feel anger, and a hunger mixed in with it, coming from the wolf. Now, it was their turn.
The wolf leapt forward and her mother pushed her back. Lorelei’s eyes lighting up with confusion, as she felt herself fall away inch by inch. When she saw the wolf not go for her throat but for her legs to drag her under him. Tears appeared in the corners of her eyes. How strange she thought. Lorelei wasn’t the type to feel in these sorts of moments. “Mother…” escaped her lips as she watched the wolf dive in. May, not even able to turn her head to look at her daughter, in-between her cries of pain shouted, “I love you, Lorelei.” And just like that, her mother’s corpse didn’t resemble her mother in the slightest.
The wolf turned to look at her. Lorelei could feel the ecstasy the wolf felt from tearing into flesh. How it seemed to soothe its anger. She calmly looked at the wolf. “Above all, may silence make you strong…” She muttered. Lorelei imagining a zipper that would close her mouth forever. The tiny, irrational and human part of herself would now allow herself to walk completely into the arms of death without even a single act of defiance. Taking away the mutt’s pleasure was the very least thing she could do. Lorelei watching as the wolf jumped towards her. He landed on top of her. Similar, to her mother the wolf didn’t go for the jugular. He went for her sides. Tearing at her arms, legs and face. Her head whipping to the side.
A strange moment happening. Her eyes settling on a dusty remnant of the past. A collection piece of sorts. The untouched relic of her dead father’s love for civil war remains. Here eyes focusing on the sheathed saber. Something small stirring in her. When she felt her body being thrown in that direction, her hands clutched the sheath. As the wolf turned his head, before she even took a small breath to confirm she was somehow still breathing, she pushed the sheath away from the old blade. The wolf turning his head back towards her. She could feel his irritation grow. That feeling kindling whatever small thing sparked in her. Lorelei didn’t want to quietly resign herself. Not at something that made her so angry as well.
When the wolf jumped back at her something she can’t describe still to this day happened. The dull, out of use blade, made its way into the neck of the creature. Somehow, without realizing it herself, her arms allowed themselves to work one more time as they pushed it into the throat of the jaws of death. All with out her realizing she had actually acted upon anything. The wolf falling over to the side of her. Lorelei watching as his eyes glazed over. Shiny to dull. Her attention flickering back to the ceiling as her breaths became shallower and shallower.
“She’s alive.” Said a male voice. Lorelei slowly opening her eyes. She hadn’t known they would open. All she could see was the hazy shapes of black cloaked figures in the foreground. “I wonder if she was the one who did that to the wolf.” Said a very different voice. Lorelei in her haze could feel the curiosity rolling off of him in waves. A much sterner, bored voice following. “It matters not. Kill her and be done with it.” The sound of footsteps approaching suddenly cut short. The curious voice speaking up once again. “Come now brother. We have ended up all the way here. We may as well see if anything useful could come about it.” Lorelei found herself blinking a few more times before a face came into focus. Brown hair and crimson red eyes. A bloody laugh coming out from somewhere inside her. “First a wolf and now this. Merde.” A dry cough coming out of her. She wasn’t aware she could still cough. The man spoke up once again. “Little one, do you know what we are?” Lorelei had an idea. “Deces.” She could hear the same curious chuckle ring out. “I wonder…” Lorelei remained silent. She could feel herself slipping away. The man speaking up once more. “Tell me, do you want to live?” Lorelei, on a reflex she did not know was part of her, breathed out, “Why not…” The curious man leaned down and then she felt hell.