Tag Archive | novel

Final Threat – Chapter 40 – Hidden Monsters

Photo credit: Tambako the Jaguar / Foter.com / CC BY-ND

Photo credit: Tambako the Jaguar / Foter.com / CC BY-ND

Jill stared at the clock on the wall, willing it to go faster.  The teacher’s lecture held no interest for her today.  She’d been home two weeks and although returning to school seemed a little boring, she didn’t mind it until today.  She reread the text on her phone and smiled.  After suffering together through the autonomous rule of the Wolf King, Ulvarg, Robbie and Layla were coming for a little recreation and fun.  Layla’s translocation from the realm of the wolf clan to the human world would begin today.  Jill knew her disassociation from the pack might be hard so her parents had insisted she stay with them for as long as she needed to become accustom to life as a human.

The final bell rang and Jill sprang from her chair.  She rushed through the halls and deposited her backpack in her locker for the weekend.  Another text buzzed into her phone.  She read it as she exited the building and headed toward home.

“We’re here!  Hurry home!”  Jill laughed and picked up the pace as she texted back a list of things they were going to do.  She’d gotten pretty inventive on the activities and knew her friends would enjoy them.  She turned a corner and almost ran into a man coming the other way.  She looked up briefly to mumble an apology but never got the chance.

Jill’s head buzzed and ached as she fought her way up from unconsciousness.  She felt the movement of a vehicle and opened her eyes.  She lay in the back of a an old squad car, her hands and feet bound tight.  She rose as far as she could and glanced at the driver.  Officer Billy.

“This is kidnapping,” she snapped.

“Since you’re not really human, I don’t think it matters much.”  He smiled, glancing in the rear view mirror and met her gaze.

“My father will kill you for this,” Jill said as she struggled against the restraints.  Her fingers tingled.  The ropes cut into her circulation and made moving almost impossible.

“I certainly hope he tracks you down.  Your blood is too much like your mother’s.  Your DNA hints at something abnormal but it’s not conclusive.  I think once Doctor Pendergast has a look at you he might be able to detect your non human heritage.  Kidnapping you adds a special incentive though.  Your father will track you down and when he does, we’ll have the right specimen to test.  We might even try to get a hold of his lovely bride, Rebecca.  A whole family of lab rats just waiting to unlock the secrets of finding and traveling to other worlds.

Guilt ran through Jill’s veins like ice water.  She shivered at the thought of her father being used as an experiment.  Anger rose above the guilt and she struggled even harder against the ropes.  Jill kicked at the door and contorted her body trying to find something that would help her get free.  Officer Billy swerved  and slammed on the brakes.  Jill fell to the floor of the car, her movements limited even further.

“You can’t do this!”  She yelled.  She continued kicking her feet and twisting her wrist against the ropes until her skin burned and bruised for her efforts.  Panic set in as she looked out the window.  They were headed up the mountain.  She saw only rock on one side and sky on the other.  Jill felt a tingle in the back of her skull.  Her vision blurred and she thought she might pass out.  She gasped and sucked in air.  Her limbs trembled against her will as the sensations began to spread all over her body.  She wanted to cry out but the only sound her lips produced was a low growl.

The shift took over.  Jill snapped her eyes shut as she felt her body morph and shift.  Her limbs became slender and long.  The ropes loosened around them and  pulled free of the restraints.  When she opened her eyes, her vision seemed clearer but oddly muted of color.  She gasped and righted herself, pushing against the front seat in an effort to understand the transformation. 

“Settle down back there!”  Officer Billy yelled.

The anger rose again, pushing down the panic and fear.  Jill jumped up on the back seat and lunged for the grate between her and Officer Billy, her teeth bared  and a feral snarl escaping her lips.  He swore and swerved dangerously across the road.  The car slid against the bare rocks and knocked Jill off balance.  Rocks scraped against metal and shattered the glass before Billy snatched the wheel right and they careened across to the other side.  The car smashed the guard rail, bounced back and hit it again.  Jill’s feral mind registered the open window and leapt out in one bound.  She hit the asphalt and turned just to see the car push past the barrier and slide down the steep embankment.  A lone car came around the curve blaring its horn.  Jill scampered across the road and down the embankment.  Her new limbs moved effortlessly and she found the climb easy.  The car lay on it’s top, one wheel spinning while others lay mangled in the heavy underbrush.  Jill smelled gasoline and death.  Circling the car she saw Billy hanging from his seat.  His eyes were open but unseeing and a gash across what was left of his forehead signaled his mortality and threat were gone.

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Going Home – Chapter 39 – Hidden Monsters

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Photo credit: h.koppdelaney / Foter.com / CC BY-ND

King Veelka wasted no time diffusing the hostilities.  He sent out his populist to encourage the rebels to rejoin the pack and offer peace to the jackals for the former king’s egregious behavior, requesting audience with a constituent of their clan to further discuss their truce.  He and his new guards escorted Tomas, Jill and Layla to the holding cells to release the prisoners.

The door to the cells stood open.  The chains lay in a heap on the floor and one guard lay moaning just outside.

One of Veelka’s new guards moved forward, sword at the ready and ventured through the opening.  Soon they heard sounds of a struggle followed by the guard’s reappearance.  He stumbled out and fell hard against the floor battered and bruised.  He raised his eyes and addressed Tomas.

“Your mate is a dynamo and a very angry one.”

Tomas couldn’t help smiling.  He lay a consoling hand on the guard’s shoulder, shifted his appearance to human and ventured through.  After a short minute, he signaled the others to follow.  Jill entered first, eager to see her mother and check on Robbie.  What she encountered sent her into dry heaves.  A  guard she recognized from the hive room lay dead on the floor.   A frozen expression of agony twisted his features.  His skin looked burned and had turned a sickening shade of brownish green as if he’d been consumed by a thermonuclear blast.  Tom pulled Jill away from the gruesome discovery and shielded her from the sight.  Soon she felt her mother’s arms encircling her as well.  Jill tried to breathe but their seemed to be a deficit of oxygen in the air.

“Breathe, baby,” Rebecca said as she rubbed Jill’s back.

“Did the wasp poison do that to him?” Jill asked in a shaky voice.

“Yes, but Robbie’s ok, dear.”

“How?” Jill asked looking up.  Her mother led her to the back of the cell.  Robbie lay on a bed of hay with his mother by his side.  His complexion didn’t look as bad as the guard’s but she still saw the awful greenish hues on his skin.  Jill dropped down beside him and lay a hand on his brow but he didn’t stir.  Paloma gave her a weak smile.

“I’ve stopped the spread of the poison for now but in order to remove the rest from his body, he needs an infusion of a plant extract from our territory.  It’s a ephemeral flower that blooms late in the season.  I purged what I could but it continues to multiply and spread at an alarming rate.  I can keep him in stasis until I get him home.”

Jill continued to rub Robbie’s forehead and smooth the fur around his ears.  She thought a minute and looked up at Paloma, “You put the poison in that guard, didn’t you?”

Paloma’s face turned hard, “He deserved it!  Treating my Robbie like he was already dead, an expendable casualty of war!  He laughed at my son’s discomfort and told me to give up.”  Her face softened as she looked back at her son and tears welled in her eyes.

It didn’t take long for Saal to arrive at the castle.  He met briefly with the new King before he rushed to take Paloma and Robbie home.  He returned later for Tom, Rebecca and Jill.  He spoke as they followed him to a designated portal site.

“Robbie’s responding well to treatment.  His mother should have him back to normal in a few days.  He wants to visit when he’s well again.”

“He’s more than welcome,” Tomas said.

No one knew how Ulvarg had managed to open a portal to the human  realm.  It was an ability delegated to the Guardians.  Saal had proved himself worthy and received this rare gift.  It was a mystery that disturbed them all.

Tomas pulled his family close as they waited for the portal to appear, relieved to have them back and soon, safe in the human realm.  “We should celebrate tonight.  Our first night back home, what do you think?  Dinner out?” he asked.

“Yes!”  Jill said.  “I really want a big juicy burger!”

“I could use a Chardonnay,” Rebecca said.  “Maybe two.”

Tom laughed as Saal opened the portal to their home.

 

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