I could only fight it so long before I lost. I knew this, I accepted it. That's the only thing you can do when you don't get a choice about life. Like all the ones before me I would fight for my life, I would struggle and scream but eventually it would be a death I couldn't avoid.
"Deal?" the gruff stranger in front of me asked, sticking out a calloused hand. I had heard his speech perfectly. Someone was breaking into his neighbor's houses and barns, slaughtering the animals and the women. I knew he thought little of me. To him I was just a teenage girl with the muscle of a man and hair to my waist.
"Are we clear on the payment" I growled. I needed him not to back down when the time came. He grunted in response.
"Alright, I'll do it." I grabbed the old hand and gave it a firm shake. The sun was just going down and the creature he had described would be coming out soon. Turning I hiked up the hill to his barn. The structure was old and it seemed that a stiff wind could knock it over at any minute. Yet I pried the doors open and slipped in. Climbing the ladder, I stepped onto the loft and into damp hay. I shook the clinging strands from my boots and settled out of sight. I could hear goats and chickens below me along with an old cow whose milk was long sour.
I leaned my head back against the wall and closed my eyes. I drifted around in a surreal state of sleep until I was awoken by the sound of long claws on old wood and the horrible smell of skunk and rotting meat. From my point in the loft I could see the door. Leaning forward I caught sight of the moonlight flashing on the pair in question. They scrapped and grappled at the door before finally ripping it completely off its hinges. The assorted animals below me screamed and clucked as the beast stood before him. Covered in shaggy hair the color of night, it stood taller than a man with the face of a wolf. Four inch long claws stood out on each of its appendages and bright yellow eyes glowed out from under its brow.
Crouching forward, I watched as he snarled and paced forward right up to the chickens. Grabbing one by the throat, he lifted it up and bit of the head, spitting it back into the cage. It took less than a minute for him the stuff what remained of the chicken into his mouth and down his throat. I silently stood up, sized him up, and took the correct number of steps backwards to make this perfect. Then I went running forward and pounced landing on his back before he could get the second chicken in his mouth. Roaring in pain and surprise he dropped the chin and spun around reaching for me.
"Dumb dog" I spit before crashing my elbow into his skull. He roared and reached up, wrapping his fingers around my arm and pulling me over his head and off his back. I went flying forward and collided with the far wall. Sliding down into the hay, I discovered myself in the cow's pen. The old milk maker stamped and huffed and rolled her eyes between me and the wolf man that was approaching. Ducking down beneath the heifer, I pulled the silver knife from my boot. It was sad that such a pretty thing was used for killing.
I gripped the handle tight in my fist and when he stood only a couple of feet from me, I lunged from under the cow and buried the knife hilt deep under his ribs. A half-human half-animal scream erupted from his mouth before he buried his teeth into my neck and shoulder. A cry sprung from my lips and recognition flooded me. I know knew what had seemed so familiar about this wolf. I knew who this was and that only fueled me more. I ripped the knife and plunged it repeatedly into his ribs all the while his teeth remained clamped on my neck and his claws stabbed and ripped my clothes and skin. I smiled as his grip on me began to weaken as the silver poisoned his blood. Wrenching away from him, I lifted the knife above my head and brought it down straight into his heart. He released me completely and stumbled backwards. I watched as the fur melted off his body and his head shrunk and reformed. Before me stood a naked boy a couple of years older than myself. His chocolate eyes stared into mine in fear before relaxing into a look of relief. He stumbled back and fell to the ground, dead.
I shrugged off the outer-most jacket and layer it over him. Reaching up, I closed his eye lids. I stood up just as the barn doors were ripped open. I glared at the farmer and his work hand with my own pair of yellow eyes.
"It was a man?" the farm hand gazed confused at the boy on the ground.
"No, it was a wolf" I said softly "do you have my payment?"
"Silver, right?" the farmer narrowed his eyes.
"Yes" I stood tall and strong. I will not back down.
"Yeah, I got yer' silver" he whipped a gun from his belt, aimed at my chest, and fired. The bullet caught me just above the heart. Falling backwards, I smiled when I hit the ground. Finally a man who wouldn't back down. Who'd given me what I wanted. No more would my own beast torment me night after night. As I lay dying next to the boy who had infected me four years ago. For four years I had been struggling to find someone to end my pain forever. I'd also been searching for him for the last four year. Now he was dead and I would be too. No more accidental killing, no more pain. I closed my eyes and met the loving darkness head on.