When the Lone Wolf Cries
Chance spent the day in something of a haze. From the moment he awoke to the moment he left Harold's home was nothing but a blur. His trance like state was broken when he backed into the driveway of his former home. His glare shifted to the three full five gallon gas cans in the backseat of his car then to the setting sun. A quick glance to an in dash clock told him it was only seven which allowed him plenty of time to do what had to be done before Devin arrived. A few moments passed as Chance leaned back in the seat and drew in a deep breath. Though he appeared calm on the outside, in his mind millions of thoughts raced.
After moving the gas cans in logical placement, Chance took a few moments to take one last look around the home. Part of him wanted to make sure he didn't forget something, the other part just wanted one last look. With a heavy heart, chance clomped up the steps and to a gas can at the far end of the hall. Keeping his mind clear, the boy picked up the heavy weight, pulled off the cap and started spilling the fuel around all the bedrooms and along the hall floor then down the steps. He tossed the now empty canister to the top of the steps and turned to the kitchen.
Once there, Chance opened the second canister and repeated the process of pouring the gas in the kitchen and around the dining room where he made sure to use a good heavy dose of fuel. With that canister empty Chance tossed it aside and went to the living room and the final container. He had to stifle the tears and sniffles as he emptied the last gas can around the living room making sure to overlap the fuel at the stairs and in the dining room. A smell of raw fuel filled the house and for the first time, the stale air and odor of dried blood mixed into a gagging stench making it hard for Chance to breathe through his nose.
Chance moved to the door and stepped out far enough to be on the outside. He wiped tears from his eyes before reaching into his pocket to retrieve the book of matches. He pulled one from the pack, lit it and stared at the small flame with a child's wonder. He then brought the one match to the book. "Rest in peace, family..." He spoke lighting the entire book of matches. "...goodbye, bad memories." With this, Chance chucked the book of matches into the house.
The reaction was instantaneous; a vwhooosh sound accompanied a flash of bright orange flames that spread along the fuel path. Even as the heat danced at his body Chance stayed in place to assure his plan didn't fail. When the heat became too great, Chance backed away until he stood a good distance from the house. In the night time he could clearly see an orange glow from the second floor windows. His plan was indeed in full motion and could not be stopped now.
Chance's gray listless eyes stared at a two story home engulfed in flames. Thick black smoke billowed over the orange glow before fading into the darkness of the night sky and countless stars dotting it. He drew in a deep, sharp breath and turned away slightly. Almost every single muscle in his face tensed as he listened to the crackling roar of the fire. A gust of wind blew across the landscape, he remained motionless as the same air current directed the thick smoke north east – towards the direction of town. He knew it would only be a matter of time before he could hear approaching sirens, still, he stood and watched the home burning brightly as a wildfire in the night.
Seconds; hours. Time had no meaning. His mind returned to how quickly the house had become engulfed with fire. How the windows sounded as the ones that were intact had shattered. The way the sickening smell of stale air in the house, dried blood and gasoline combined into a gagging stench. He knew for sure that he would remember this night for the rest of his life.
A gentle hand on Chance's shoulder forced him back to reality. Even without looking over, he knew the hand belonged to Devin. Both remained in silence; Chance forced his glare to the company as Devin brought up his free hand and an ornament dangling from his fingers. Chance's eyes grew big as he noticed a polished silver cross tinted with yellow orange reflections of the fire. His focus jumped between the necklace and Devin's teal eyes full of strength and reassurance. Without conscious thought of it, Chance took the necklace with one hand and lowered his head into his free hand. Several rapid breaths into and out of his chest was all the signal Devin needed. Silently, Devin reached out wrapping his arms around Chance to draw him as close as possible.
"I-I..." Chance tried to speak through the tears and squeaky voice. Devin shushed Chance in a soft and quiet tone.
"Let it out. Just let it all out." By now, tears were forming in his own eyes as he held the one person that taught him the cruelties of life.
"Forgive me mother, father. Please don't hate me, brother." Chance shrieked through his sobs – his entire body shook in Devin's holding grip. Devin stood confident in the notion that this night would be the changing point in Chance's life. And for him to be there was the best thing for both of them.
Early the next morning Devin awoke to a gentle patter of rain against the outside of his truck. With a yawn and a stretch Devin looked around to find Chance standing at the still smoldering pile of burnt rubble only three feet thick on the concrete slab that used to serve as the homes foundation. As he approached, Devin noticed Chance made no effort to shield himself from the drizzling rain while popping marshmallows in his mouth for his breakfast. He simply stood silent almost as if he were allowing the rain to cleanse himself, his spirit, his life.
"If I'd known what you had planned I would have gotten some burgers and hotdogs too." Hearing Devin, Chance let a slight smirk adorn his face then a few chuckles escaped his throat. Devin blinked in shock. "Dude...did-did you just...laugh?"
"Yeah, I guess I just did." Chance looked Devin eye to eye, smiled and nodded. Before Devin knew it, Chance reached out and put his hand on his shoulder in a friendly manner. "I really do appreciate you being there last night. I just didn't want to be alone for it." Chance brought his glare from Devin to the cloud latent sky and drew in a deep sharp breath only to slowly release it. Devin moved in a way to slide his hand on Chance's back at his neck and shoulder.
"Don't think anything of it. Besides, I do love a good barbecue." This brought an honest laugh from Chance.
"Come on, I've got to stop by my uncle's place to pick up a couple of things before we leave." Chance spoke heading towards his car next to Devin's truck. "You know, I'm surprised that you didn't call out the fire department."
"I was going to, but when I saw you standing there I realized why you said 'bring the marshmallows'. Because you apparently had already planned it all out before you called."
__ __ __
Chance, with Devin at his side, stared Harold eye to eye. For the longest time the trio remained silent.
"Just remember; you've always got a place here if you decide to come back." Harold was the first to break the silence while holding out his hand for a formal handshake. In response, Chance took it and moved in until they were in a familial hug.
"I'll be back to visit for sure, uncle." Chance looked up; Harold looked down. Both smiled as tears crested their eyes.
"You keep yourself out of trouble now, you understand?"
"As long as you take care of my car." Harold and Chance hesitantly separated not wanting the moment to end. After Chance picked up the boxes, Devin recited an odd chant allowing a neon blue and pale green vortex to open in the living room of Harold's home. The view in the center of the spiraling mass was that of a thick forest surrounding a large lake. Devin pointed to the location.
"Goodbye Chance." Harold called out, Chance turned and grinned.
"I see 'goodbye' as the end of something. A simple 'see you later' will do just fine."
"See you later, then." Harold smiled giving Chance one last pat on the back before the boys walked into the vortex. Before Harold knew it, the spacial rift collapsed leaving him alone in the now silent house.
"I'm gonna miss that kid..." Harold frowned while looking over to a small picture hanging on the wall.
__ __ __
Detective Sanders sighed and closed the box of evidence containing everything including the case files. As he slid the box into place on a shelf Sanders drew a breath of relief. For the first time in years, he cold finally allow himself to think of something more than the Sunter Murders. The light mood followed him as he bounced up a flight of stairs and out of the storage bay of the police department. After he returned to his corner office, Sanders sat down and picked up the phone. A few short rings echoed before a woman's voice answered.
"Hey, it's me." Sanders smiled hearing how light his voice sounded without the weight of the case looming over his soul. "I'm going to clock off early today. Be ready when I get home because I'm taking you out to dinner at Casa Del-Grand. Listen, I know I've been distant all this time, but it's over now...we can get back to having our life." He listened for a few moments then responded. "You like yellow roses, right?" Another pause. "How does a dozen of 'em sound?" Yet another pause, he chuckled. "All right, see you then. Love you too my wittle snookums."
A/N: A lot of you have been asking if Chance burned the house down in the first chapter of this story, and why he did if he did. After reading the entire story it should be a little clearer as to his reasons and actions. If you want to go analytical on it, Chance burning the house down was a way of cleansing his body, mind and soul of all the negative emotions that it represents.
With that in mind, this was the first book in a short series. The next Lone Wolf book will be the life of Chance and Devin as they live in Serity with the trials and tribulations that follow. Though it may be a while before it's posted as I have to work out all the different angles, rules and everything about a fantasy world.
Now I don't normally do this, but I feel it's warranted this time. JMEM1: Yes, ch 11 was a little slow as it served as a setup for this last chapter. Devin as a wolf wasn't really mentioned previously but it was implied...probably a little too subtle though. Anyways...Glad to know I can still keep 'em surprised.