Werewolf, Vampire & Witch-
is dedicated to all my L D Friends. (Some of you know who you are.) It is a Trilogy in a Single Volume
Book One: Werewolf Independence
Werewolf Independence (Sample pages)
By E.A. Bundy
His dark form stayed downwind of the small girl he stalked, fully invisible in the night’s moon-cast shadows. Why was she out here alone in the dark? It did not matter. Blood lust was upon him and she was his for the taking. His mouth watered just thinking about it. Ahead, he saw her stumble in the deep gloom of the night. She cried out.
Unable to hold himself back any longer, he leapt forward with surefooted paws, loping across the uneven ground. Night vision aided his silent approach, even despite the powerful lure of her fear-flavored scent. His tongue wiped across sharp fangs, anticipating her taste.
Crouching low, he crept silently closer. She whimpered, but not because of him, he was still unseen. She was lost—helpless—so young and alone. Would he end it swiftly, killing her before she even knew he was there, or prolong her terror by making his presence known?
To him, her eyes were glowing ovals in her face, reflecting the moonlight. She sniffled, and her breath came in little gasps. Her crying stuttered—then halted. Did she sense him at last? He imagined her tender flavor.
A small hand reached out. Not exactly toward him, but surprisingly close. “Mommy,” she sniffled. Her hand wavered uncertainly. “Is that you?”
Her body begged for devouring. Enough delay. The shaggy form rose to full height, his bared teeth reflected in the pupils of her eyes as a growl formed in the back of his throat.
She spoke one hesitant word, “Conall?”
Her voice was somehow familiar. That single word, even though he did not understand it, was a haunting echo he nearly recognized. He sniffed her aroma. Puzzled, he tried to recall a previous encounter. Where had he smelled that scent before? The answer escaped him.
She stumbled forward, her tiny hand brushing his nostrils. Her small fingers touched the hair of his muzzle. No prey had managed that before. Something in her touch brought an additional memory. He searched her face, and recognition seemed near--
The baying of hounds drew his attention. They were on his trail, and just moments away from discovering him. They would soon interrupt his feast, but his impending kill was not worth capture and death. There would be time for the little she-thing later.
He bounded into the night, wrapping shadows around him, but he soon tired of the hounds’ interference. The pack must pay, and so he circled around to approach from the rear, where he picked out a straggler. The kill was quick. Efficient. With one hound gone, he raced after the next…and the next.
The third turned as he attacked, yelping as he nearly seized the dog’s throat. The remainder of the pack responded too rapidly, leaving no time to finish the third one. He was faster than the hounds, but they were masters of the scent trail and would not give up easily.
Did he have time to return for his first kill? No. The pack would harass him long before he could savor her moist flesh. He ran for the stream. He would lead them a grand chase and then double back again to see how many he could kill before they caught on to his repeating game.
Lying in his bed in Independence, Oregon, Conall wished for morning’s arrival. He was sweat drenched, and his body ached as if from heavy exertion. He could not push the vivid images from his mind. One in particular, his sister’s face as her small hand touched him.
Turning on the light, his breath ceased. Red stains soiled his sheets. His hands were bloody as well—but not from his blood. He looked at the mirror hanging by the closet door. The vile redness also ringed his mouth.
Repulsed, he wiped frantically with an unstained portion of the sheet. Not this again—another nightmare? Unfortunately, even bad dreams did not leave real blood behind. What was it then? He shuddered. Was his sister okay? He checked just to be certain. Yes, she was safe. What a relief. He cleaned his face and hands in the bathroom before returning to his bed and stripping away the sheets. Wrapped just in a blanket, welcoming sleep claimed him at last.
Conall L. Canis—the L. stood for Lupis—did not really look like a wolf. He appeared to be a typical seventeen-year-old boy. He was tall and lean, with a dark complexion. His almost black hair often fell across his obsidian eyes. Looks, however, could be deceiving. A tiny grin occasionally showed on his thin face, but Conall mostly hid his smile from the world because terrifying memories haunted him.
A message addressed to Conall rested on the kitchen table. It was in his mother’s handwriting. The words were larger than usual, for emphasis. Parts were underlined. If she was standing there, she would be yelling at him.
The meaning of the note came in two simple questions. What was all that crashing around in his bedroom, and why did he play those recorded howling sounds in the middle of the night?
Conall did not know the answers to her questions. He could guess, but he didn’t want to because his thoughts about that were too scary. The Smartphone rang in Conall’s pocket. He struggled to get it out and check the caller. Not his mother—big relief. It was one of his friends.
“Conall,” she said, “guess what.”
He voiced the first thing that came to his mind, thankful for the diversion. “Your hamster escaped again, and you need me to help catch it.”
“No. This is serious.” Her voice took a more mature tone. “You know there is a big dance coming up next month, right?”
Dancing was really not his thing. “I guess so.”
“Are you going?”
He knew the reason for her question, but said, “I don’t know. Why?” He liked this part. It would keep her on the defensive. It also kept him from thinking about scarier things. Conall knew very well that it was a Sadie Hawkins dance. His friend had the identical name, only with a different spelling, Sadey Hawkens. Since this was the chance for girls to invite boys, she absolutely had to have a date. They were friends, so it only made sense she would ask him.
“I was just curious if you are going,” she said. There was a long pause. “Are you still there, Conall?”
“Yes.” He was smiling. Now she would learn how hard it was for boys sometimes. For him, especially.
“What are you doing?” she asked.
He glanced down at the note. “Reading.” That was somewhat true.
“Oh. I didn’t mean to disturb you.”
“That’s okay. I guess I should get back to my reading, though. Unless there is something you wanted to ask me.” He lowered the phone and buried his mouth in his other arm so he would not laugh out loud.
He raised his Smartphone back up. “What did you say? I had to cough.” If she had any idea he was playing with her, she would get even.
“I just asked if you want to come over and watch one of the Iron Man movies with me. Or else you could bring one of your Blade flicks….”
She knew he was a sucker for all the movies based on comic books. Plus, her family had the biggest flat screen TV available, and he loved watching movies on their set.
She added, “Bring Avatar, if you like.”
Avatar was his longtime top choice, and going over to her place would get him out of his house. If his mom was still mad when she got back, he would be gone. “Okay. I’ll bring several along and you can pick which one.”
“Cool. See you soon.” She ended the call before he could respond further.
The other good news about visiting Sadey was he doubted she had the guts to ask him to the dance in person. She was more likely to use e-mail or her friend, Amber.
Conall headed up to his room to select some movies. On the way, he decided he’d better have a plan for when she eventually did ask him. Of all the girls he knew, Sadey was the one he would want to go with, if he went.
The real problem had nothing to do with her. The difficulty was the day on which the dance occurred. That was right around the next full moon. It was a dangerous time for Conall. He tried not to think about what had happened just last night. He always seemed to black out on full moon evenings.
In his bedroom, he sorted through his movie shelf, trying to pick ones he knew Sadey liked, he paused at Airplane. Remembering how hard she had laughed at certain parts made him smile. The two of them really got along well, most of the time. If he did not go to the dance with her, that would force Sadey to find someone else, because she could never live down going to a Sadie Hawkins dance alone.
Conall thought about the new kid who had started sitting at the end of their lunch table. Something about that guy made him uneasy. It was obvious the fellow was attracted to Sadey; he could not keep his eyes off her. They were both sophomores, so they probably had more than one class together. Conall, being a senior, only had fourth period with Sadey.
As he carried his movie selections down the stairs, Conall felt a chill along his back. What if Sadey went to the dance with the new kid? Just the thought angered Conall. Could he chance going with Sadey if he got home before midnight? Was midnight the crucial time? Maybe the dance was actually before or after the full moon. He would consider that later.
Conall went out to the garage to get his motor scooter, and sped away. By the time he arrived at Sadey’s, she had her family room all arranged. He looked around to see two special chairs set at the perfect viewing distance. She had arranged the seats a comfortable space apart, and between them were positioned their favorite soft drinks. A large bag of popcorn and assorted chips rounded out the snacks.
One of the things that made watching movies at her house so great was the awesome surround sound system. It appeared Sadey had somehow kept her little brother Ethan out of their way, which was a major feat, and especially helpful because the almost-two-year-old loved to sit in Conall’s lap.
As he and Sadey got comfortable for the show, he did something impulsive—something that surprised him. Conall said, “I don’t know if I’m going to the dance, or not.”
That was her opening; what would she do with it?
“I don’t know if I’m going, either. I feel a lot of pressure to ask a guy, but I’m scared to.”
Conall felt guilty for messing with her earlier. “Yeah,” he said, “asking someone out is hard.”
“It is more than that for me,” she replied. “A lot more.”
The silence between them became awkward. So uncomfortable for Conall, in fact, that he found himself saying, “Did you want me to go with you?”
What was he doing? He probably could not attend the dance. What if he did, and something awful happened?
“I wanted to ask you,” she said, “but I know you don’t like to dance. I thought we could just go there together, if that is okay. We would not actually have to boogie. Lots of the kids don’t.”
His guilt piled up higher.
“There is something else,” she said.
He interrupted her. “If you want to ask some other guy, that’s all right. Maybe that new kid?” Why had he thrown that question in?
“New kid?” she asked.
She obviously did not even know the guy had a crush on her, and Conall felt more relieved than he had imagined he would. Now, he had better steer her away from that topic. “What else bothers you, then?”
Staring at the floor for a long time, she finally responded. “I never told anyone about this, but when I get nervous, bad things happen.”
Conall could relate to that and he prompted her to keep going, “Such as…?”
“I think I’m a witch,” she blurted out.
Conall laughed. “Why do you think that?” Of all the people he knew, Sadey was the least witch-like.
“When I put things in the microwave, they cook instantly.”
“That is what microwaves are all about,” he said.
“Before I push the Start button.”
Not feasible, he thought, it must be a shorted switch. He asked, “Are you certain?”
“Yes, and if I just think about putting my hair into a ponytail….”
Conall stared. Sadey’s hair instantly, all by itself, went into a ponytail. Where did the tie-band come from? “Uh…” he swallowed hard. What he had just seen was impossible.
“That’s not all,” she said as rapidly as she could talk, “the more I worry about some things happening, the more likely they are to occur. And did you hear about the time in science class when—”
“You showed up in your bikini,” he finished for her. He tried to control a laugh, knowing this was a sensitive issue for Sadey.
“But I didn’t wear it to class,” she explained. “It was the middle of winter, and I was bored, sitting there daydreaming about being on the beach in Hawaii. All of a sudden, the whole room was silent. Mr. Sere cleared his throat, and when I looked down, I was in this skimpy little floral bikini.”
She turned red just telling about it. “My worst fear is…what if I daydream about being in a hot bath? I had a hard time explaining about the bikini. How could I possibly justify being bare naked in class?”
“If you do,” Conall said, barely controlling a laugh, “make it during fourth period so I don’t miss out this time.”
She leaned over faster than he thought possible and hit him on the shoulder--really hard.
“It’s not funny!” She stood up and raced from the room, grumbling, “Guys are so stupid, but what did I expect?”
Conall felt extremely awkward sitting alone in Sadey’s family room in front of the blank TV screen. He munched compulsively on popcorn. She eventually returned, but so quietly that he barely noticed when she sat in her seat. He looked cautiously over at her, trying not to let her see that’s what he was doing. She had been crying. The mascara smudges had been wiped away, leaving a dark discoloration at the edge of her cheek. She must not have spotted it when looking straight ahead into the mirror.
Ashamed for his contribution to her hurt feelings, Conall knew he must apologize. The problem was, he had a mouth full of popcorn. He was trying to chew quietly and not draw attention to himself. If he could just clear his mouth, he could talk. In desperation, he swallowed a too-large amount, and felt sharp edges grind their way down his throat. He struggled, but could not avoid coughing. Little particles went everywhere.
It was her turn to laugh. “Serves you right,” she said.
“I’m sorry,” he whispered, choking down the last remnants. “I did not mean…” he hacked out a popcorn kernel “…to hurt your feelings.” A partial kernel husk clung to the back of his tongue, causing a gag reflex. He tried to clear it by moving his tongue around. Unfortunately, he was forced in the end to use his finger, and even then he encountered extreme difficulty.
Sadey had a great laugh at his expense. It went on and on until he laughed as well. When they calmed down and were able to catch their breaths, Conall tried explaining. “It is just so hard to imagine you being a witch. You don’t look like one. Don’t witches have black hair? Yours is light. Well, sometimes with orange streaks in it. You’re certainly not ugly…” He couldn’t bring himself to say she was pretty. “You almost never wear black—”
“I do in my dreams,” she said. “I have so many where I wear a black witch’s hat with a little dark bow in the rear. Sometimes, I have two mini braids down my back, tied at the end with tiny black bows. A couple times, I even had daisies woven into my hair.”
“You don’t act like a witch,” he said, wondering what daisies had to do with withchhood.
“Remember,” she asked, “in Tall Mage Middle School when Miss Hunkley grew a mustache during class?”
Sadey had been in sixth grade and even though Conall was then in eighth, everybody knew about that event. He remembered it vividly.
“Miss Hunkley said something mean to me,” Sadey recounted, “and I got angry. She eventually started talking about another subject, but I was daydreaming, picturing her with a mustache. I did not really intend for her to grow one, but when I looked up, there it was. The whole class stared at her. She asked us what was wrong, and about then one of her new hairs tickled her nose. She sneezed real loud, and when she put her hand to her mouth, she felt the matt of hair. Then she screamed and ran from the room.”
Conall added, “I heard she had plastic surgery to get rid of it.”
“Yes, and she took early retirement the next year. When I get mad at Amber, I worry she will end up like that. No matter how hard I tried, I could not make Miss Hunkley’s facial hair disappear. It seems like only bad things come from my magic, and I can’t control it.”
“You made your hair go into a ponytail,” he noted.
“But that happens if I just think about it. Often, it is in the middle of a class. I don’t know how many times Amber has asked me, ‘When did you put that in?’ I can’t magically take the ponytail out, though.”
The moment Sadey mentioned that, her hair tie appeared in her hand, and her ponytail fell away into her normal hairdo. She reached up to be certain. “That’s a first.”
“Maybe you are starting to get more control of it,” he said. “The thing is…you aren’t the only one with a problem.” He wanted to tell her about his foreboding feelings, but his fears prevented him from doing so. Besides, he did not know for certain what his trouble was.
“Who has anything like this to worry about besides me?” she asked. “I didn’t want to believe in witches. I don’t believe in Santa Claus or the tooth fairy.”
As she talked, Conall thought that her “problem” was minor in comparison to his. She was into instant cooking and fashion makeovers, not life and death scenarios.
“You don’t believe me?” she asked.
“Actually, I do.” He surprised himself at how much he believed her. Someday, maybe he could talk about his own flaw, after he figured it out. “About the dance,” he said, “I’m not sure I will be here that day, but if I am, I will be happy to go with you.”
Sadey flung herself across the distance between them and hugged Conall. Then she withdrew self-consciously. “Thanks, you are the only guy I would like to go with.”
Her statement reassured him. Feeling happy inside, he unaccountably said, “Maybe you would like to daydream about taking a hot bath—right now.”
Rather than getting angry, she smiled at him and said, “I am thinking about you in a nice warm bath.”