Dead Wolf
It was a cold dark night, probably the darkest ever. I sat in my room and watched the rain come pouring down. Suddenly the lights went off and everything around me seemed to be engulfed by an ocean of black shadows. I was shivering on my bed much too afraid to even get up to search for a candle. Just when my teeth started chattering I heard a loud thump on my window and the next minute a cold draft of air came blowing into my room. Whatever had hit my window had hit it so hard that my window flew open, but when I got up to investigate, I found nothing. I closed the window and went back to my bed to continue shivering and wishing I were back home with my parents.

All of a sudden the doorbell rang, which was odd considering the fact that there was no electricity in the area at the time. I went downstairs carefully as I had no intentions of landing myself in the hospital, after all I was here on an important errand for my family. Just as I opened the door, I felt a bitter chill run down my spine. There standing at the door was a handsome man of around twenty-five years of age; at least he seemed that young in the dark.

He smiled and said, "I'm so sorry for disturbing you at this time of the night, but my car broke down and this was the closest house I could find. It's raining, and I'm already wet, if you don't mind, can I spend the night here?" His English was perfect, considering the fact that in this part of the suburbs few people knew English at all. He had a deep masculine voice too, the type most women adored.

He seemed to be a decent man and his warm smile made me feel safe and secure so I allowed him to enter the house. Though he was wet I allowed him to sit on the couch, not thinking of the fact that if mother got to know she would hate me for it. I asked him to wait on the couch while I went to look for a candle. The sky seemed to be getting darker by the minute as I tried my best to search for a lighter or matchbox of some sort. All of a sudden, I heard a click and there stood the man, holding up a lighter just inches away from my face. I knew I had a frightened expression on my face as I gulped.

"Thank you for the lighter." I took the lighter from him and started searching for a candle. It took me longer than it should have to find a candle as I could feel him staring at me in the semi-darkness, which gave me an uneasy feeling. When I found the candle then I quickly lit it and motioned for the man to follow me back to the hall. He sat back down on the couch and I sat on one of the armchairs keeping the candle on the table. Then I turned to the man and decided to ask him a few questions I should have asked him at the door. Mother would kill me for letting a stranger spend the night in the house while I was alone.

"What is your name? Where do you come from? I haven't seen you before." I was doing my best to make him think I had lived in this town for a long time as for some reason it made me feel like boss, gave me a feeling of security.

"My name is Michael Grey." He paused as his mysterious eyes glanced around the room, then he continued, "I'm not a resident, I was passing through this place and suddenly my car broke down. I'm from the northern part of the state. May I know your name?"

I hesitated at first, but decided to tell him anyways as I had asked him his name too and it would be unfair if I didn't tell him mine. "Adrienne." I was starting to feel uncomfortable sitting with him as he wouldn't stop staring at me. I could see a streak of lust in his eyes as he looked at me. I wished my dog, Trevor was here with me, he always made me feel secure.

"Beautiful name. So how old are you, Adrienne? How come no one else seems to be home?" He ran his fingers through his dark thick wet hair and for some reason this made my heart leap. He was really a good looking man, just I didn't like the look in his eyes.

I gulped again and softly said, "I'm nineteen. My par-parents aren't home." I was shivering again as I spoke to him. There was something very queer about him, he didn't seem to be so real, yet he was as real as anyone else I had ever met. There was something very unnatural about the way his hands were placed on the couch, almost as if he was afraid his hands would drop right through the armrest or something like that.

"Would you like something to eat or drink? I can make some tea, coffee, or hot chocolate." I was doing my best to make him feel at home for courtesy sake, yet make him feel like an outsider as there was something about him which was absurd.

"No thank you, I had a big dinner at a diner an hour's drive away from here. I'm quite full. How often do you not have electricity in this area?" He was no longer staring at me in that way, but seemed to be more interested in the lightening and the rain.

I smiled and said, "Okay, if you say so." Then I paused, trying to think of an answer to his question. I had only been here for three days and this was the first power cut since I came. It was a remote place, so I assumed power cuts were normal everyday things, "Well it happens every once in a while, especially during bad weather conditions."

Michael just nodded and went back to staring out the window. Somehow I could tell he wasn't in the mood to talk anymore. I went to the kitchen with his lighter to look for another candle so I could make myself some hot chocolate to stop me from shivering so much. I wasn't all that great at making drinks or cooking, but I could proudly say, my hot chocolate was the best in the whole family.

As I was stirring the chocolate powder into the milk I was thinking about home. The house I was living in was my grandfather's house which he left for me in his Will when he passed away. Grandpa had always been a nice man though he was known to turn red hot whenever something went against what he wanted. He refused to leave the house to my father as he knew my father would sell it, my father being the money hungry man he was. The house was worth around five million American dollars at the time my Grandfather bought it so its value can only be imagined today. Suddenly my thoughts were interrupted by a cold chilling hand on my shoulder that didn't even feel very realistic.

I turned around with a petrified look on my face to see Michael standing behind me. He wasn't smiling as he said, "I would like to go to bed. Should I sleep on the couch?" There on his right cheek and on both his hands I saw deep red scratches which I didn't remember seeing earlier.

"Oh my God! What happened to you? How come you have so many scratches? Did you fall?" I didn't want to think about what could have given Michael the scratches, they were quite deep and impossible to miss. They must have been giving the poor guy excruciating pain.

Michael gave me a vague smile and said, "You probably missed them when I first came. Where do I sleep?" He was obviously not interested in talking about what ever accident he just had.

I showed Michael to one of the bedrooms on the ground floor and told him to change into dry clothes from the closet. Father always kept clothes in the house in case he didn't have time to pack and had to come here on an emergency. Father was here often as he had been wanting the house for ages. As I was leaving I noticed another scratch on his forehead and another one across his left eye. Something was not right, how could he be getting scratches like that for no apparent reason. Another thing I noticed was he looked much older than earlier. He looked more like a forty year old than the twenty-five year old he was looking when he just came. Even his hair above his ears had become grey. I had to convince myself that he probably had all those scratches right from the beginning and he was forty right from the start but I hadn't noticed because of the unnerving dark.

After another half an hour of waiting in the hall for the lights to come back on I was so dead tired that I decided to retire for the night. It must have been around three in the morning, and the rain refused to slow down. I opened my bedroom door and saw the window was all shattered glass and bent metal. The curtains were almost touching the ceiling as the wind blew in, and the floor near the window was drenched with water. I met a strong blast of warm air which stank of blood and rotting meat. Alas, there on the floor was a huge animal with blood and muscles strewn all over the room. The animal was a big wolf, dead, blood and guts mixed with broken glass and rain water. A huge piece of glass jutted out of his neck, which was the probable cause of his gruesome death. The monster stank of a decaying graveyard and I was feeling nauseous because of it.

I gasped and with a fright closed the door to the bedroom. I had just enough time to collapse, screaming, onto the corridor floor before I passed out only to wake later that morning as the sky lightened.

I got up unable to remember where I was. Everything slowly came into focus and I tried to remember what happened the night before. Suddenly the image of the huge animal came into view and I felt like vomiting at the thought. I remembered Michael Grey and decided to check on him to make sure he was okay. I would take care of the creature later.

I felt queasy as I knocked on his bedroom door. No answer. I knocked again, but once again no answer. I decided to take the risk and open his door. I opened the bedroom door to find him covering his head as he slept. Poor chap, probably didn't get much sleep last night. Remembering the scratches, I decided to take a peak at his face to see if I was just having illusions that time. I lifted the covers off his bed and all I found was ashes and dust. I flung the covers off the bed and saw nothing other than ashes and dust all over the whole bed. Michael was missing and there was only ashes and dust where he was suppose to be sleeping.

I searched the whole house except for the bedroom with the dead wolf but saw no sign of him. He hadn't even left a note telling me he was leaving. Dejected I went and sat on the armchair. The doorbell rang and when I opened it I saw the newspaper kept neatly on the porch. I was in tears by this time, too much had happened the night before and everything was still a mystery, everything was still bloodcurdling. I took a look at the paper to ease my mind and there on the front page I read the most shocking news I had ever read.

Michael Grey Found Dead- This morning, new owner of Imaginary Inc., Michael Grey, age 25, was found in a remote area, dead. The doctors did his postmortem and discovered he died at least four days ago in a car crash. He died of a broken neck and other head injuries, death taking place on impact.

More was written, but I couldn't get myself to read it. Under the article was a picture of Michael Grey and I recognized him immediately as the man who asked me if he could stay the night. All I could do was scream.

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