“You’re really going to make me do this, aren’t you?” I ask John.
“It’s for your own safety and you know it. We could all be in danger if someone saw you wandering free.” He points out to me.
“I know, I know. It just doesn’t seem fair.” I tell him as I step through the open door. He shuts it behind me and places a small lock through the hole.
“Well, maybe this will teach you not to steal motorcycles.” He says with a laugh.
“Borrow.” I retort. “I borrowed your bike. I had every intention of returning it.”
“But you can’t now, huh?” His smile is reaching from ear to ear now. His canine teeth stand out amongst the rest. His smile could be viewed as scary at its widest point. “I have to go. Sleep tight.”
His car peels out of the driveway. I listen as it pulls into the driveway next door, where my friends are barraging him with hurried expressions. They are running late and they need to reach the mountains before midnight – before we phase. I have about four hours to wait out the night before it will be the midnight hour. I decide to take advantage of this time and sleep. Phasing is always easiest when you were asleep. I prefer going to sleep a human and waking a wolf. It cuts down on the pain you experience during transformation.
I wake to the changing colors of the sunrise and footsteps approaching from across the yard. I remain with my stomach against the ground and my head between my paws, allowing my eyes to follow the sound of the footsteps. What I see shocks me more than I could have thought possible.
Dr. Sinclair is walking up the driveway. He is swinging his keys in a circular motion around his pointer finger. He whistles a small tune that I can’t make out. He is no longer wearing the white lab coat of the hospital. He walks quickly to the door. I can hear the knock from my cage across the yard. There are two more knocks before he starts heading down the driveway. About halfway down the drive, he turns to look around the yard.
In a matter of moments, his eyes have found my cage. He is staring at me carefully, a puzzled expression taking over his face. He slowly begins walking toward me. I keep my head between my paws. I can’t bring myself to close my eyes, even though I know I should. I reason that he will be more likely to leave me alone if he thinks I am sleeping. His eyes take hold of mine and he continues to hold my gaze as he approaches.
He’s holding his hand out in front of him, as you would for a dog. He is probably hoping to keep me calm by approaching gently. I’m not even sure if he realizes that I am a wolf and not a dog. He is inches away from the pen now and his hand is as near to the fence as possible without going through its tiny holes.
I don’t need to sniff him in order to know that I trust him. I recognize him from the way he walks and gently says “nice doggy”. The familiar smell of his shampoo is comforting as I struggle with my inner wolf. I press my nose against the fence near his hand.
He slips two fingers through the hole and gently pets the side of my nose. His eyes are traveling towards the door of the cage. He moves his other hand towards it, fingering the lock. What was it about humans that make them ignore the warning signs? Such as a cage with a padlock?
He mumbles good-bye and pulls his hand back. I almost let out a whimper, but think better of it. No need to put this man in danger because I want him to stay. He walks to his car and I watch him go, placing my head between my paws once more.
* * * * *
Howling by Pamela MacLean is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.