Raymond Coulombe, Michael Gallant, Timothy O. Goyette
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Wolves of the Tundra
by Edward Sullivan
The snow cracked underneath his boots. He could look back for miles and see his own foot prints. He didn’t understand why they didn’t come for him. They had left this gear a little to conveniently laying around. It was good gear but not sufficient for this wasteland. It was obvious he wasn’t supposed to make it more than a day or two.
Each time the wind howled he swore he heard them, then he would convince himself it was just his imagination. The heat of his body melted the snow that got inside his clothes whenever he stumbled. That same howling wind drew the heat fro his body and gave it up to the ether. Ron Johnson had pursued stories through war zones and hurricanes and lived to tell the stories to his readers all around the world. He was thoroughly convinced that he would not survive coming to investigate reports of werewolves in the these snowy Canadian hills. He kept walking because he didn’t know what else to do.
He had come across the cabin just where his guide told him to look when he said he would go no farther into the Rougarou territory. The whole town was unwelcoming and looked at him funny when he said he was looking to go back into that country. He had seen the cabin and there was smoke coming from the chimney. That was the last thing he remembered till he woke in the basement. The two backwoodsman taunted him for days in that cellar. He watched them change just to scare him over and over. Then one day nothing. After twenty fours hours of nothing he overcame his fear enough to climb out of the sub-basement. He found the clothes and a flashlight. He got the clothes on grabbed the light and ran out the door. He got forty feet from the cabin and that was when the howling started. He ran flat out till he couldn’t stand, as soon as he could he ran flat out again. Now he swore he hadn’t seen or heard anyone or thing for miles.
He was considering just hunkering down in the snow when he noticed a light through the trees in the distance. The Town? He steeled himself to the pain of running when he was so cold and so tired. His breath leaked warmth out into the frozen waste around him.
He got to the tree-line and it was the town. Then he heard it. Feet running through the snow behind him and growls. No! He would not make it all this way just to lose out at the last minute. The snowy town’s streets were empty but the lights were on and cars were parked at the local town watering hole. He ran with everything he had left. He half sprinted and half stumbled down the one little street. He got to the bar and couldn’t feel his feet, his lungs ached from the cold air cycling through his lungs quickly from exertion. He threw open the door.
“The wolves, they are real. Behind me. Help.” The heat of the inside of the bar hit his lungs and the temperature change made it harder to breathe. The waitress came over and helped him up.
“Please. They’re coming right behind me.” He fell on his knees and looked up at her in desperation.
She turned towards the old fellow nursing a beer near the front door. “Monti lock that door.”
He gained some breath back. “We’ve to get help. The sheriff or something.”
“Easy city boy. It’s Sunday city boy. Everyone in town is here to watch the football from down your way in the States.” The girl smiled at him.
It was then that he realized they were all looking at him. He looked across the room and there were the two men from the cabin. The old man by the door “Monti” cleared his throat.
“God only knows a football game just ain’t right without a proper buffet spread, Right kin?” The old man started to change.
Then they all changed.
micheledutcher - It's tough to boil down a feeling in under 1000 words, but the author does it in this one. And just when you think the main character is safe - CHOMP! Too much fun!
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