by Bob'n Around
Something to sink your teeth into.
|They talk about people treating pets like family, of stranded dogs traveling countless miles cross country finding their impossible way back home. I once had a duck crack open its shell and adopt me for its mother. Farm life offers ample opportunity for tame and wild to combine together and take up relations.
It wasn’t until I was raised and grown up to womanhood that the strangest pairing of all fell into welcome embrace. It happened this way.
“Chores are done, ma.” I’d barely completed them in time. Pigs slopped, goats herded, cow milked and Bess, my favorite horse, curried to a fine gloss. “Going to take Bess on some exercise.”
“Storms coming, weather channel says,” My mom pushed up a window, laid her ear out to a distant call of thunder. Chill hadn’t yet set in and the air was dry filled with a kind of crackly tension waiting to be unleashed.
“Fencing got broke through down by the river. Some hobo, likely or them Polish new neighbor kids next farm out, don’t speak English worth a holler.” I was busy with blanket, saddle, bit and reins. Bess gets feisty when she knows we’re a going. She wants to be off gallivanting before she’s ready.
Bess finds her way easier when I sit loose and sort of unconnected. I’m a lightweight hundred and two rising five foot four off the ground. Thin where should be thin and curved nicely according to whistles sent my way. I squeeze knee’d Bess to a pause when we got to the shallow water crossing. “Sure enough. Trouble on the other side.”
There lay a criss-crossed pattern of tangled barbed wire and fence posts half dragged into a swirl pool of chuckling water. A shadowy man sized figure moaned like the storm wind come racing and combing my long hair. Made me laugh a wild triumphant cry. “Got chew.”
Course, I didn’t know what exactly I got, yet. Sure were making a fuss about it. I got off Bess and approached careful. Keep a twenty-two rifle on Bess to meet such unanswered questions as this moment provided.
The gathering cloud cover darkened the sky into pure night. The moon winked through the haze. The man shadow jerked, letting out a wolf howl scared my nerves so silly, they near left me. Bess stood on her hind legs, eyeballs rolling, turned on a dime and fled.
“Jest wait until I find you back home, girl.” I did not favor getting rain drenched into shivers. My poncho still rode on Bess’ back.
When I turned my attention back to my immediate problem, it had disappeared. Upon investigation dog fur and wolf tracks mixed with barefoot human presided over the broken fence line. The river was quickly changing from chuckle to an angry roar. I near slid in the slimy mud which enabled whatever manner of creature had been released and fell into the river’s clutches. With a current like that I would drown first time going under the rising wash. “Hells, bells.” I cried, grabbing at anything within reach.
Powerful strong fur covered arms embraced me of a sudden, quick as a thought. I hung on, was lifted up, feeling the steel springs coil and uncoil in solid muscle. The gray eyed man face near as my next breath was fur covered, too. No fancy beard and mustache, This growth, soft as down, traveled from brow to chin and in between.
I admit it, I yelped a frightened scream. “You’re a wolfman.”
The thing howled with laughter, near split a gut. Let go long enough for me to roll free searching for my gun. It had canines the shape of ivory daggers and an odor scent wild and free. Set my loins aquiver. “Who let you out of your cage?” I shuddered, crossing my arms with instinct of self preservation. It raised my proud breasts into view. They danced with my slip and slide hunting balance.
The wolfman stood naked, his manhood raised in admiration. It was the sudden downpour of a river falling down from the sky that saved me. When the wolfman leaped at me, wet mud caught my heel. It cushioned my butt when I fell. I slid right between the furry creature’s open legs passing over me.
“Help.” I let out a holler with no hope of the same. The wolfman, though agile, slipped as had I. Mud bound us together over the riverbank. Me fighting like a caught snake, biting and spitting venom. The wolfman turned thin air where my attack struck.
We was become corks riding mad waves. I felt the sharp bite of where the barbed wire wedged us rolling together in a death match.
The bite of the wolfman came next, sealing my fate. The terror gave me inhuman strength. Small, slippery wet size broke me free. Barbs stopped tearing naked flesh. Breathless, I surfaced finding air. The beast’s nails raked water. “Drown, damn you.”
I kicked it away, felt it go under. The river took me sweeping around a bend. Rocks caught me, wedged me tight. “Ma?”
She’d come looking for me. Bess come back without me riding her flanks. “You look like you been fight’n the devil hisself.”
“Oh, ma.” She were tender as if I were but a babe. Bess would have none of me. Made me growl ugly.
“Come on. You’ll have to walk it.” She slipped. I caught her, my wounds felt small. I was strengthening up.
“What you wear’n, girl? You caught some wild fur thing?” Bess broke and she run off.
It was me carrying ma back toward home. My mouth, adjusting to fangs, didn’t want to do no talk’n. “I’d best leave you here,” I spoke. “Cause’n too much farm animal ruckus.”
Pigs was squeal’n, chickens squawk’n and every other animal following suite, catching the wild scent of me. Ma waved me away. “You smell bad nuff clog my nose shut. Go clean up. I’ll handle this mess.”
I ain’t seen her or kin until recent like, me being on the hunt. Know’d a certain wolfman put me like this. If’n he weren't dead, when I would find the critter, I was going to prove how to tame him into becoming a pet or die tryin'.
Found fur that weren't my own down by the river. Bared my teeth at it, I did. It were fresh. There he was a shadow turned real, kneeling, cupping a drink. Ears perked up, he sensed me coming at him.
This time there was no wind howling at us, no fire flung from the sky. We became the storm. It was less a mating than a physical fusion. I had known what making love felt like in the back of car seats. This was a madness eliminating anything but the ultimate expression of who and what are.
When done, He lay panting, nuzzling me, testing to see if I was yet alive. My bruised and battered body had left its mark on him as well. I watched as he healed himself. He spoke, "You are taking too much time."
He began to lick my wounds, helping the process along. "We are one." His voice was a low throated urgent growl. "We own each other, you and I."
The full moon had blessed our union as no other night could have done. "Rise up. I want to look at you," he said.
All I wanted to do was lay there feeling his warmth, his heat next to me. I needed it, wanted it, felt it was my new and forever home. "Nest with me," I pleaded, urging him with my hands.
We both stared at them. They were human, unadorned with fur or tipped with claw. "Change," he commanded, lifting me up.
I tried, but the rage was not upon me, my only feeling one of love. An all too human emotion swept over me. I stood before my pet, watching him whine and pace, unable to believe his eyes.
"Why? I gave you freedom to be such as I." There was sadness that brought him back into his human form.
It is where we still fit best, where love blossoms in his wild breast. We learned together his bite had innoculated me, forced a change into assuming his guise for little while, as if a sickness were upon me. It took time for my inner core to reassert itself and return me to who I was, an all too human woman with his child growing in my womb.
When the full moon returns, so does he, half tamed, responding only to me and no other like me. We roam and hunt nature's wilderness, he and I. He humors me calling him, pet.
It is a life that stirs my blood like no other could. I am immune to becoming other than what I am, but after our love I surge with the strength of ten. Ma is glad to have me back. I am a help worth the having on her farm.
Ma gave us part of the wild land not yet under cultivation. She has grown to like not having to worry about weasels, bobcats or foxes preying on her stock. And my wolfman knows, when the scent is upon him, when he is restless with coming change, to leave with me at his side gone hunting farther afield among the wilds.
Love is the great conqueror, taming the wildest heart. Now, we meet soul to soul in our intimacy, except under the light of the full moon when we frenzy together in a world unknown to the likes of you. He is careful of my human condition, healing his careless nips of affection, afterward with his own heavenly form of balm.
I have never felt more healthy, happy and thankful for barbed wire, a broken fence and the river's flow.
1650 word entry into the "Paranormal Romance Short Story Contest"