Feature Short Story
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                                                 Wolves
                                                                  By Matthew Wallace


  The wolves circled their meal like vultures close to starvation.  They could smell the blood coursing
through his veins as his adrenaline caused his heart to pump faster.  As he looked at his attackers, sweat
beaded from his forehead and his mouth became dry with anticipation.  He felt a sudden rush of humanity,
coming to terms with the fact that each passing breath he took could be his last.

  Bright yellow eyes were all that could be seen through the dark abyss in front of him, but he could hear
the wolves snarling; he could feel them salivating at the idea of sinking their razor-sharp teeth into his
flesh.  He had to act fast, refusing to believe that this would be the cause of his demise.

  He crouched into position and felt a sharp and intense pain radiating through his back.  Like the crack of
a whip, he could hear his skin tearing open and his wings sprouting through them.  Rearing back and
shouting into the heavens, his fangs grew inside of his mouth.  His fingernails split from his hands, claws
breaking through his nailbeds.  Breathing heavily, he snarled back at his attackers, daring them to pounce.

  The first beast sprang forward, sinking its teeth into his arm.  He howled with pain before gripping the
wolf's skull with his claws and ripping it to shreds, tossing it several yards.  Two more wolves charged him,
but he was quick enough to strike them down before they could inflict and damage.  He quickly attempted
an escape, registering that his remaining assailants took a step back out of fear; but they quickly made
their way after him, refusing to give up the hunt.

  He had to get back to her.  She had told him not to leave their campsite in the first place and now they
were both in danger.  He could see their campfire dead ahead but could hear the wolves gaining on him
by the second.

  “Alyssa!” He shouted, hoping she wasn’t sitting in their tent and could hear him.  “Run!  Run Alyssa!” He
could see the top of the tent through the trees.

  As he broke through the tree line, he saw her, standing by the campfire.  Hearing his shouts, she turned
to see him running straight to her, an expression of terror spread across her face.  Overwhelmed with fear,
she let out a horrendous scream.

  “Babe, we have to go now!” he said, finally reaching her.  He grabbed her by the arm, trying to pull her in
the direction of their car so they could escape to safety.

  “What the hell?” she screamed, so frighten she was starting to cry.  “Who are you?”

  “It’s me, baby,” he responded.  “We have to go right now.”

  “Adam?” she asked, her voice quivering.

  He suddenly realized his wings were still outstretched and his fangs were protruding from his mouth.  
Blood from the wolves he had been able to fight off was dripping from his claws.

  “What the hell are you?” she screamed, trying to rip herself from his grip.

  “I don’t have time to explain right now,” Adam said, his voice pleading her to forget what see was seeing
for a few minutes so they could escape.  “We need to go.  There are wolves after me and if we don’t go
right now we are going to die.”

  She didn’t seem to be listening to him as she still fought for her freedom.  Finally escaping his grip, she
raced towards their tent.  She unzipped the flap in the shelter and dove into it as if it were a safe house.

  Adam raced toward her, understanding of her immediate fear, but impatient due to their situation.  He
could see the wolves crossing the tree line.  They needed to make their escape right this second or they
wouldn’t survive.

  He reached the tent, but before he could enter, Alyssa appeared in the opening, brandishing a pistol.

  “Baby,” he yelled, hands outstretched to protect himself.  “They’re here!” he pointed toward the wolves.  
“We have to go!”

  She screamed and shouted back at him, “Don’t come any closer or I’ll shoot!”  He howled in frustration.  
It sounded like the screech of a banshee, making her ears pop, frightening her so much that she accidently
discharged the weapon.

  The gun made an explosive sound and the bullet pierced Adam directly in the heart.  He fell backward,
landing hard in the dirt, blood gushing from his chest.  The taste of copper filled his mouth and he could
feel the life leaving his body as he transformed back into his regular human form.  He undulated as his
wings retracted into his back, scrapping the dirt.  His fangs shot back into his skull and new fingernail grew
over his claws.

  Alyssa stood over his body, realizing what she had done.

  “Oh god, babe,” she said, laying down on top of his body, tears in her eyes.  “I’m so sorry.  I was so
scared.”

  He looked up at her, blood dripping from the corners of his mouth.  A smile appeared across his face
before he started to convulse.  She cried harder and harder as she watched the light leave his eyes.

  “NO!” she screamed, the reality of what she had done sinking in slowly.  She sat there with her arms
draped over the love of her life’s dead body.  The sound of snarling beasts caused her to look up from the
tragedy that sat in front of her.

  She saw their bright yellow eyes surrounding her.  They could smell her fear and hear her heart begin to
palpitate.  She stood and turned to run for the car as the first beast pounced.  Its teeth sunk into her skin,
her screams echoing through the woods.  Blood erupted from her wounds as she looked back at the body
of Adam whose lifeless eyes were staring directly at her.  The sorrow she felt slowly numbed as her life
began to fade.
About Matthew Wallace

Matthew Wallace is a
published short fiction
author and an aspiring
novelist. He currently lives
in Houston, Tx with his
wife and attended the
University of Houston for
Psychology. In addition to
writing, he has performed
stand-up comedy all
across the United States
of America.