WOLF

Thunder clouds rolled into the small New York town of Bayal from the east, covering the sky in a stormy gray blanket. The small, half torn-down houses in the town of Bayal were empty. All except two.

One belonged to a cranky, cantankerous, old man, who was wealthy and owned practically the whole town. He could have fixed up the houses and made another fortune by selling them. Only he knew why he lived alone in solitude and didn't sell the houses.

The other house was rented out to a young woman, aged twenty-two. She was fresh out of college with a degree in creative writing. Armed with money from her family and the ability to write, she settled in the small town to get experience for her first story. The kind of story, you ask? A ghost story, filled with angst, mystery, suspense, and even romance, was the plan.

Lightning flashed across the sky, illuminating a dark shape on the sky. A black woolen wolf, its shadow leaving black footprints everywhere-across the sky, on roofs, on the streets, on top of trees, or anywhere else you can think of.

In the house of the young woman, cheerful bright music was playing and the smell of coffee lingered among the house. The worn nautical blue carpet was stained with footprints of slender feet and the wolf's. The woman herself sat on a red bean bag chair, pen in hand, paper on lap, and coffee cup nearby on the floor. The woman's name was Perrie Fabihart.

Perrie tried to drown out the roars of the storm outside with her music and thoughts of her novel. Usually both worked well. Tonight, in the old town of Bayal, it did not.

She fiddled with the pen a few times before sighing. Perrie just couldn't concentrate with the wind and noise outside. She walked back into her cozy bedroom, and, pulling off her brown sweats, put on a pair of dark gray jeans. Tying her curly cocoa hair into a ponytail, she pulled on her heaviest purple jacket over her bright red sweater that was the color of blood. Tugging on her black boots, white mittens, and gray hat, she decided to go out for a walk. It would calm her crazy thoughts for a bit.

That was her first mistake.

Perrie walked, hunched over, into the thundering rainstorm. The cool, sharp rain pounded onto her back, creating a nice sensation for her sore muscles. The thunder boomed again, and she shivered. Maybe this wasn't such a bright idea after all.

She walked passed tons of broken down houses, with caved in roofs, holes in their walls, and deep dark craters as floors. The paint peeled in the wind and swirled around like colored snow. Perrie laughed, a light, airy sweet sound.

That was her second mistake.

The laugh carried in the wind, bouncing off walls and filling the air. Perrie smiled at the sound. It was happy and made her feel like she wasn't so alone after all.

Not so far away, a wolf sat on his haunches, ready to attack. His dark fur was soaked from the rain, and his black nose was sniffing the air. Did he just hear the sound of a human?

Perrie grinned again and shouted out, "Hello, hello," just for the fun of it.

That was her final mistake.

The wolf growled in delight and licked his chops, finally able to enjoy the feel of human skin again. He pounced up into the air like a mountain lion and tackled Perrie, claws digging into her skin.

Perrie screamed, a high pitched note, and then she was gone. Dead, lost to the world. Her blood spilled red onto the streets as she was consumed by the wolf.

At dawn, Perrie felt herself surrounded by fluorescent people, all dressed in clothes from the nineteenth century. She looked down at herself, and realized that she was glowing too. "What are you all? What am I?"

A man with bright glowing green eyes answered, "You are a spirit. A ghost, some might call it. You are part of this tribe, called Sacrifice."

"Why?" Perrie asked.

"Because you were destroyed by the wolf that roams the city of Bayal," he answered, "The wolf who was created to teach a murderer a lesson, and we are sacrificed to teach him a lesson."

Perrie remembered as the night before came back to her. She remembered her fatal mistakes. Her twenty-two years of life flashed before her eyes, then disappeared with a "pop!" "May I join you?"

"Come," answered the tribe together, and she floated into the group.

Deep inside a house in Bayal, one that was once a glorious mansion, a man named Fettell sat at a silver table, head in his bloody hands. The hands that were always bloody, as the sign of murdering someone in cold blood. He had killed another human. A young girl, full of life. He knew he shouldn't have let her stay here. That's how he had killed the last boy. And because of his evil, what he had done at first, he would pay now and forever by bearing the curse of the wolf. For eternity, he would undergo the painful transformation and then the terrible longing that he felt inside him. The terrible longing to murder. He stared up at the ceiling, tears rolling down his face, as he repented for his actions.