Seeing that the wolf was panicked and in pain, Potter leapt to his feet, burying his fangs into the wolf’s throat. The wolf paddled its mighty claws in the air as it frantically tried to knock Potter away. But with every swipe, it began to lose strength until it finally fell still, hanging half in and half out of the window like a blood-stained rug.

Potter withdrew his fangs from the wolf’s throat, and wiping away the blood and fur from his chin, he looked at me and said, “Thanks.”

I pulled the stake from the beast’s head, and as it came away, it made a sickening squelching sound that made me want to puke.

Standing by the window with blood dripping from the jagged tip of the chair leg, I watched the wolf shrink in shape and lose its fur as it returned back to its human form. The body that now lay bleeding on the floor was that of a young female. It was difficult to tell exactly how old she had been, as by removing the stake from her head, a loose piece of scalp had fallen across her face. Her naked skin was smooth and creamy white and I guessed she couldn’t have been too much older than myself.

Before I’d had any chance to feel pity for the human woman that she had once been before being matched with the wolf, the front door exploded inwards in a shower of razor-sharp splinters. I spun around to see Murphy fly backwards into the stairs, the banisters snapping like matchsticks. Before Murphy had even hit the ground, a set of black leathery-looking wings sprung from his back. With a set of fangs and claws that a prehistoric monster would have been proud of, Murphy launched himself at the wolves that were now scrambling over one other, desperate to get inside the farmhouse.

Potter saw the wolf before I did, and with a sweep of his arm, he set me spinning backwards towards the fire. With the heat of the fire prickling at my skin, I watched the wolf clatter into the wall, where I’d been standing only moments before.

Dragging myself to my feet, I watched as both Murphy and Potter set about the wolves as they charged through the door. They moved with such lightning speed, that it was almost impossible to see them. They became nothing but a series of shadows as they flitted about the room. Clumps of wolf fur and flesh sprayed up into the air and stuck to the wall like jelly. With my stomach lurching, I watched the lumps of meat slowly slide down the damp-ridden farmhouse walls and splat onto the floor in raw-looking piles. The howling, barking, and snarling filled the room, and it was so loud it was like someone had cranked up the bass.

Their growls vibrated off the walls and made me tremble.

Through the haze of blood and shadows, I caught fleeting glances of Potter and Murphy as they hacked, sliced, and bit their way through the wolves. Despite their constant bickering they now worked as a team – a team that had trained hard together over many years. It was almost like each would anticipate the move of the next. Potter would lunge one way, as Murphy kicked and ripped in the other. For the first time that night, Murphy didn’t look or act like some old grandfather with his pipe and comfy slippers. As I watched him fight, I realised that Murphy was a sleek predator, designed to kill, as was Potter.

As the butchery continued all around me, a wolf broke free of the fight. It rolled onto the floor before the fire, and I couldn’t tell which burnt more fiercely, the hissing knots of wood, or the wolf’s eyes. Spotting me, the wolf rolled its foaming pink tongue around its snout and came towards me. With his ears pinned backwards, he snarled and leapt into the air. I raised the stake before me, but I was too slow, and the wolf pawed it from me. With the window behind me as my only means of escape, I gripped the arms of the girl hanging half in and out of the window and pulled. There was a tearing sound, as her stomach snagged on a shard of glass that stuck from the window frame like a broken tooth. With the wolf snarling at my heels, I hoisted the dead female from the window, where she rolled across the floor to the wolf. Smelling the fresh blood, the wolf paused and dragged its fleshy pink tongue across the loose flap of scalp that still covered her face.

Throwing my hands to my face, I watched as the wolf buried its snout into the opening of her skull and began to lap up her brains.

Unable to watch, I knew that while the wolf paused to feed, I had a few precious moments in which to make my escape, so I scrambled out of the window. The cold night air hit me like a slap in the face and within moments, my nose had started to turn numb. From inside the farmhouse, I could hear the continued roars and snarls as Potter and Murphy continued to fight the wolves. Now that I was free of the farmhouse, I looked around for somewhere to hide. The moon was high in the sky and made the long grass shine as if it had been sprayed with silver. On the other side of the farmhouse I could see the silhouette of the burnt-out barn. Then, there was a scratching sound coming from behind me. I glanced back to see the wolf who I’d escaped from leaning out of the window. Its snout glistened in the moonlight, smeared with the brains of the dead Skin-walker.

It sniffed the air; then, as if finding my scent on the wind, it turned and looked at me with its seething eyes. Howling, it bounded from the window and raced towards me.

Blind with panic, I screamed Potter’s name as I raced away from the farmhouse and back along the coastal path that weaved its way down Black Hill. My heart felt as if it were going to explode in my chest as the long, brown coat and tree-hugger dress flew out behind me and I raced along the path. The sound of the wolf’s breathing thundered behind me, and I started to cry with fear. With my arms working like pistons, I raced forward, drawing in lungfuls of icy cold air. I wanted to scream for Potter again, but I just couldn’t draw enough breath into my lungs.

The wolf was so close now that I felt its teeth snag at my dress, and I stumbled forward.

That was all that the wolf needed, and I felt the weight of its paws on my shoulders as it dragged me to the ground. I lay there waiting for its ferocious jaws to sink into me, when suddenly it felt as if it had disappeared. I rolled over in the grass to see the wolf soaring away from me and up into the sky. Screwing up my eyes, I just caught sight of Potter and his pointed wings as he dragged the wolf upwards and away from me.

“Run Sophie, run!” Potter roared.

I staggered to my feet and not knowing in which direction I was heading, I just ran. With the sound of the wolf howling high above me, I raced across an open field. The ground was uneven, and I stumbled and fell as I made my way across it. In the distance I could see a slate stone wall.

Believing that it would offer me a place to hide, I headed towards it, all the while the wolf barking and woofing overhead as Potter fought with it.

I reached the wall, and hitching up my dress, I scrambled over it. I found myself standing on a hard surface, completely different to that of the field that I had just raced across. I looked right and could see that I was standing in the middle of a narrow country road. I glanced left, and that’s when I saw the car bearing down on me. It was swerving left and right, but before I’d had a chance to dart out of its way, it hit me and I was spinning through the air. Then everything went black.



The wolf’s blood sprayed into my mouth and it was hot and sticky. It dribbled off my chin and splashed onto my chest. It made one last swipe at me with its claw, which swished over my head. Thrusting my claw into his chest, I gripped its beating heart and popped it. With it twitching in my arms, I ripped out its heart and watched as it spiralled away from me back towards the ground, its tail jerking from side to side. Throwing its heart over my shoulder, I looked into the distance to see Sophie racing away into the dark, and I went after her.

With my wings folding backwards, I lost altitude and skimmed just inches above the field towards her. The wind snagged at my hair, and as I sped towards her, I saw Sophie scramble over a wall that lined the edge of the field. Glancing to my left, I saw two cones of bright light racing through the dark and the sound of a car engine revving at speed. I looked back at Sophie and saw the danger she was in. I opened my mouth to call her, but before the words had even worked their way up my throat, the car struck her. As if in slow motion, I watched Sophie cartwheel over the bonnet of the car and land on the road with a sickening thud.

“No! ” I roared, bracing my wings, and landing in the field on the opposite side of the wall from where Sophie now lay motionless in the road.

The car screeched to a halt, and I started over the wall. Then, I was grabbed from behind and thrown into the ditch.

“No, Potter,” Murphy growled in my ear.

“You’ll be seen.”

“I have to help her,” I hissed, pushing him away from me.

“Look!” Murphy snapped, pointing over the wall as he crouched behind it.

On my knees, I peered through the brambles and nettles that lined the wall. A man climbed from the vehicle and walked back up the road towards Sophie’s body. He lent over the body, as if examining her. Then, the passenger door flew open and a teenage girl staggered onto the road. She fell to her knees, and then losing a shoe, she stood and weaved her way up the road towards the man and Sophie. I could see that the young girl was pissed.

“They’ll help her,” Murphy whispered.

“Now let’s go.”

“I can’t just leave her,” I said.

“Potter, we can’t risk being seen,” he snapped at me.

“I can hide my wings and claws. I could look like one of them.”

“We can’t risk being seen with or without wings. It won’t be long before more Skin-walkers come and find the bloodbath that we’ve left up at that farm,” Murphy insisted. “If these people see us, then they might...”

“I’ve got to help her,” I told him, looking into his bright blue eyes.

“Find a way of pushing the world back,”

Murphy said, “and you will help her. None of this would ever have happened, and Sophie will go back to being that young woman who was studying music, the woman who ignored your letters...”

“But can we push it back?” I asked him, desperate to know the answer.

“I don’t know,” Murphy stared back at me. “But we’ve got to try. Not just for Sophie’s sake, for all of our sakes.” Copyright 2016 - 2023