RELAY - Wolves of the New World

Discussion in 'Games, Jokes, and Fun!' started by MrsBrooke, Aug 29, 2014.

  1. MrsBrooke

    MrsBrooke Songster

    Aug 11, 2014
    Magnolia, Texas

    It was a scorcher.

    As the sun sank into the west, Providence felt a bead of sweat drip down her spine leaving a salty trail of effort behind. She hummed to herself as she yanked a carrot from the ground and tossed it in the woven basket already filled with tomatoes, squash, and green beans beside her. Sitting back on her heels, she drew the sleeve of her blue plaid shirt across her forehead and smiled.

    This was the life.

    In the background of her reverie, a hammer pounded mercilessly on something metal in her husband's barn-turned-workshop, the chickens coo'd and scratched happily, and the goat kids bleated and romped around their small pasture as the nanny goat munched on weeds and kept a watchful eye on them.

    An early-evening breeze blew through the tomato plants, and she caught a whiff of cooler air on the horizon. It was almost autumn. A delicious shiver went through her at the prospect of cooler weather.

    There would be snow soon and so much to do before then.

    Cradling the basket of freshly harvested vegetables into her hip, she made her way into their small, country home. It took Providence and her husband two years to build their cabin. They used timber from their own land and a small mini-mill chainsaw that he had inherited from his late father.

    The scent of finished bread hit her as she entered the kitchen bringing back memories of her mother. When her mother passed three years ago, Providence became the owner of the land that had been in her family for generations. One hundred and fourteen acres of pasture and woods, set right up against a national forest. It was heaven.

    Before Providence and her husband came to the wild, they struggled in the city.

    It was loud. It was dirty. It was busy. So many smells and sounds. It was deafening to their senses. People talked about the convenience and ease of life, but Providence just felt... crowded. They didn't fit in. After seven years of city life, they both knew it was time to leave.

    They sold their house and most of their creature comforts. After three days of deciding what was necessary and what wasn't, the two loaded up their truck and U-Haul and left the concrete jungle for good.

    Now, their nearest neighbor was half a mile away - a much better arrangement than having quibbling newly weds beyond their bedroom wall and toddlers living above them in their small, two bedroom loft. While the house was barely larger than their apartment in the city, they felt like they had SO much more room.


    As Providence busied herself cleaning the carrots, she felt more than heard someone enter the kitchen. His arms slid around her waist, and she smiled as his teeth gently marked her neck and shoulder.

    "Smells good in here," her husband said, his voice rumbling into her skin.

    "Just came out of the oven. We've got some butter. You hungry?"

    "Always," he said and made his way to the table. He popped open the lap top and took a seat at their kitchen table.

    At six feet, three inches, Providence's husband was a formidable size. With broad shoulders, thick arms made strong by hard labor, and a lean torso, he was capable of building, hunting, harvesting, reaping, and carrying almost anything. And with those same strong arms and calloused hands, he could nurse a baby goat, help a newborn chick hatch, and love and comfort his wife. He was a good man.

    As Providence set two slices of bread and some fresh goat butter on the table, she saw his brow furrow. This usually meant bad news.

    "Well, it's happening."

    Though a mouthful of bread and butter, she asked, "What is, love?"

    He was silent as his eyes raced across the information on the screen. She could tell something was wrong. Very wrong. She was silent as she chewed and waited for more information.

    It felt like an eternity before he spoke again. "The economy is gone."

    Providence choked on her bite of bread as she swallowed. "Gone?" The surprise in her voice was plain. They thought they had at least two or three more years before the crash.

    He nodded slowly. "Yes. Gone."

    The Federal Reserve had been printing money since the Great Recession of 2008. In Early 2015, after policy makers realized that flooding the market and "throwing money" at the economy wasn't helping, they did what was known as the Bail In. Just as the government bailed out the big banks in 2008, this time they did a nation-wide sweep of everyone's checking and savings accounts. Based on a person's tax bracket, they deducted a percentage of what was kept in the bank. People were outraged... for a while. Soon after, NFL seasons came around, and people forgot completely about the Bail In.

    One year later, the value of the dollar had diminished so much that rampant inflation ruined industry, and life became increasingly difficult.

    On their homestead, Providence hadn't really noticed all that much. They were fairly self-sufficient save for the few small items they would pick up in town if something fell into disrepair. Other than that, they lived pretty much off-grid.

    "People are making a rush for the banks to withdraw their money," he continued as he clicked to another article. "They are posting armed guards at the front doors of Chase and Bank of America. Wells Fargo hasn't been able to respond as quickly, but they are putting a limit on what you can withdraw."

    Providence had a long-standing distrust of the government and banking in general. Ever since the NSA conspiracies were proven true (and even before that), she and her husband had been wary of anything involved in technology... and even people. Anyone wrapped up in their cell phones and Facebook were suspect. It's like they relinquished control of their lives. She had read somewhere that people checked their phones 113 times per day. The American Psychological Association even came up with a name for it - "Fear Of Missing Out." She laughed when she saw that. There were so many more important things to do than worry about someone's made-up life.

    But she wasn't laughing now.

    Russia and China had dumped all of their US Bonds, and the dollar was now worth less than toilet paper thanks to the Federal Reserve and Quantitative Easing. The stock market plummeted. People were crowded outside the doors of banks, screaming and waving their debit cards in the air desperately trying to get their meager amount of savings out of the failing behemoth.

    It was too late for them.

    "The looting has begun." He snapped the laptop shut. Fortunately, the big cities were very far away. The closest city to them was fifteen miles away and had a population of less than 30,000. It was well-documented that people, in times of crisis, lost their minds. Looting, murder, and much worse were regular human happenings.

    "Do you think we should we tell the neighbors?"

    He was silent for a moment, his brow furrowed as he thought. Finally, he stood from the table, his gaze still far away. "Yes. We should see what they know. Send the email to The Group. I need a shower."

    A smile touched the corner of her lips as she sat down and opened the lap top again. He always liked to be clean when he was about to begin something.

    Her fingers flew over the key board as she banged out the message.

    "Dollar tanked. Collapse eminent.

    This is not a drill.

    Be careful out there."

    She clicked send and made her way to the barn to saddle up two of their five horses. It was better to take the horses and leave the truck in the driveway. It was still safe enough to leave for a while.

    She had just gotten the bit into one of the horses mouth when her husband entered the barn. He grabbed another bridle off the tack wall and walked up to his horse. Roy was a big, sturdy buck skin, as sure-footed as they came. Placing a hand on the side of Roy's neck, he bowed his head and leaned forward against the massive creature's forehead.

    "It's time, old buddy. We're going to make it through this."

    Providence could tell he was saying it more for himself and her than the horse, but she still felt comfort in hearing the assurance. She led her piebald paint out of the barn and hoisted herself up in the saddle. Her horse, Lady, danced a little under her weight and whinnied.

    "Easy, girl," she said and patted the side of Lady's neck.

    Roy trotted out of the barn, her husband astride him. They both kicked their horses and started for the edge of the woods - the most direct route to their closest neighbor's farm was a mile's ride through the national forest.


    ((A few notes...

    If you've made it this far, I'm happy to have piqued your interest! Welcome to a Relay, my friends! A relay differs from an RP in that you control more of what other characters do and, therefore, move the story along faster. Instead of going paragraph by paragraph, you go chapter by chapter.

    From here, you have a few options... You could choose to write your character as the owner(s) of the farm that Providence and her husband are going to... Or you can create a whole new character and start your own story line. At this time, Providence's husband may have a player coming in to write him.

    A few notes about this Relay:

    1) These people are werewolves. They are capable of turning into wolves that are a little larger, can walk upright, and have opposable thumbs. They are capable of forming a few human words (poorly) and "speak" to each other using howls, growls, and body language.

    2) Not everyone is a werewolf (you are welcome to make your character a human or werewolf... Or anything else you wish, but let's keep it "real" ... no "mythical" creatures, please... ex: dragon shifter)

    3) No god-modding. No character is all-powerful. Everyone can be injured and must take time to heal. If you write that someone breaks their leg, expect to see them in a cast for a post or so (speed-healing for shifters is kosher).

    4) Practice The Golden Rule! Don't make someone else's character do something that you wouldn't want your character to do (unless you have the permission of that character's owner).

    5) Let's keep it PG-13 for the kiddos, okay?

    I think that's it.

    The gist of the story is this - It's mid-August 2016. The economy has melted down. There are riots, murders, looting, and anarchy in large cities. Paper money is worthless - silver, barter and trade are the law of the day. This is a relay about how creatures living on the fringe of human society might fare in a societal meltdown. The location is somewhere in Montana or Idaho, think mountains and forest... Fall is approaching.

    Werewolves are able to shift at will, are naturally stronger and faster in their human forms than people, have heightened senses in both forms, and are required to shift at a full moon. They have no allergy to silver. A bullet is a bullet, but they are quite resilient and can't be taken down by one or two shots (except in the head or heart).

    I'm excited to see what happens in the next chapter! :D @LoveThatChick , ready when you are. ;)

    Let's go!))
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 10, 2015
  2. LoveThatChick

    LoveThatChick Songster

    Jul 9, 2014
    Cedar Hill, TN
    (Thanks, sorry for the late relay, I didn't know you had started it yet! :p )

    "Get out of my way!" A teenage boy named Blaze shouted, trying to fight upstream through the panicked crowd, that was frantically running away from a man with a machine gun, who was shooting people left and right, taking their belongings, and yelling about the apocalypse and gods punishment. Blaze reached the side of the street, climbing onto a car, pulling in own rifle off his back, and taking careful aim.

    The shot rang out over the chaotic sounds all around, and the religiously crazed man slumped to the ground, dead, a bullet in the side of his head.

    Blaze jumped back down from the car's roof, swinging the strap of his rifle back over his shoulder to rest next to his backpack. He had used guns for years, hunting with his father while oh vacation, but he felt, unsettled with killing a human, though he managed to convince himself that there was no other way, which in this case, was true. The street had emptied and he looked up and down the it, wondering which way he should go. Seeing a black motorcycle a block away to the right, he jogged over to it, "Lucky me," he whispered, seeing the key still in the ignition. He swung into the seat and started it up, pushing his brown hair out of his eyes.

    It took him an hour just to get out of the city, and a half hour later he was speeding along through the countryside. He slowed as he caught site of a small farmhouse, with a truck out front, and pulled into the road that lead up to it, hoping he'd be able to to get a meal from them. He had not brought any food, instead filling his bad with ammo, and a fire starter.

    He rode right up to the house, taking the key out of the ignition and walking to the front door. He knocked, no response, he knocked again, louder this time, nothing. Blaze frowned, this was the only house he had seen for miles, and there was no one home! He looked around, thinking.

    Blaze walked around the side of the house, and seeing the garden, frowned even more. He didn't want to steal, but surely, if the people who owned the farm hadn't just picked-up and left, they would not notice a few tomatoes missing...

    He didn't know it yet, but the couple that owned the farm left to warn there neighbors, and would be back.
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2014
  3. MrsBrooke

    MrsBrooke Songster

    Aug 11, 2014
    Magnolia, Texas
    ((The person who was going to write Prov's hubby can't do it.. So his name is Riker.))

    The sun was well below the horizon as the horses whispered through the forest, their hooves swishing through the leaves and and undergrowth of the conifers.

    The last quarter moon cast eerie beams of milk-silver light through the branches turning the world a pale navy. As it rose, the trees around the two riders grew quiet and still. The calm that only comes at night overtook the forest.

    Somewhere in the distance, a lone owl hooted signaling the begin of his nightly hunt.

    Providence shivered. It wasn't the crisp chill in the air but a feeling that washed over her as a ghostly cabin materialized like a phantom through the trees.

    Riker was keen on their surroundings as he reigned his horse in short of the cabin.

    It looked to have been abandoned some time ago. The area felt unoccupied and seemed to slump in on itself. The wood used in the build was turning gray at the edges, and the roof appeared to sag slightly with no visible life to hold it up. All the windows were intact. There were no signed of foul play. A full season's worth of fire wood was stacked against the side of the cabin, a blue tarp thrown over it to protect it from the elements.

    "I guess Jim and Carol have already gone," Riker mused aloud as he swung his leg over the saddle and dismounted.

    Providence nodded silently and cast her eyes around the area. A coold breeze shifted the tarp, startling her paint mare. "Shh," Providence eased and gently pulled the reigns. "Easy, girl."

    As Riker moved to the entrance, the door swung open with little encouragement. "They didn't bother locking the door behind them, either." He vanished inside.

    Providence swung down, gathered Roy's and Lady's reigns and tied them to the nearby water pump. She grabbed a flashlight from her saddle bag and made her way towards the door.

    She found Riker in the kitchen with a note. Moving into a beam of moonlight streaming through the kithen window, he held it up and read it to her. "'Couldn't take everything. Weapons and ammo in the master closet. Extra food out back. Storm coming. Good luck.'"

    Providence tilted her head. "I wonder how long they've been gone?"

    Riker shrugged as he set the note back down on the table. Providence noticed that there was a square of bare table where the paper had been and a layer of dust around it. "Some time, looks like." He began moving towards the back of the house in search of the cache of weapons.

    Providence clicked her flashlight on and ran the beam along the interior of the house. Nature was taking over. Cobwebs and dust covered everything.

    A static crackle cut through the silence. Providence jumped and spun to face the noise as a two-way radio spring to life and faded just as quickly. Her light fell on a dusty black box, a mic, and a car battery wired to it.

    Riker made his way back from the closet, his arms filled with ammo boxes and a few rifles. "What was that?" he asked.

    "There's a radio on the counter. It picked something up and scared the daylights outta me." She illuminated the contraption in question.

    Riker chuckled. "Thank goodness it wasn't anything serious." He motioned for her to follow him out the door.

    "What about the food?" she called after him as he began splitting the ammo and guns between the two horses' bags to spread the load out.

    "We'll leave it," he said as he pulled a leather strap tight over Roy's withers. "You never know if we may need to come here again. It's good to have two stashes."

    "And what if someone else discovers it before we return?"

    "Lucky them, then." Riker untied Roy and Lady and swung back up in the saddle. He spun Roy in a tight clrcle as Providence mounted up behind him. "Let's head back. I think we've done all the damage we can do here."

    Providence cast an uneasy glance back at the cabin as she nudged Lady toward the trees. She knew that Jim and Carol had been keeping track of the unfolding events just as she and Riker had, so they must have had good reason to pick up and leave what looked like several weeks before. Providence wondered if they should have done the same.


    Blaze's eyes rolled back in his head as he took another big bite of the huge, juicy tomato. "This is definitely better than any city tomato," he mumbled as juice ran down his chin.

    After moving through the garden snacking on veggies, he noticed that there were several peach trees that dropped their fruit. Blaze figured there was no sense in letting perfectly good peaches go to waste, so he grabbed a few and leaned back against the tree, enjoying the last vestiges of the early evening as the sun set. He unshouldered his rifle and laid it next to him as he sighed contentedly.

    After a few peaches, the lulluby of clucking chickens, the warm sun, and a full, happy belly did their trick, and Blaze slipped into a deep sleep. His brain needed a rest from the stress of the day.

    He awoke sharply as something cold and mean poked his arm.

    The business end of a shot gun met his gaze as Blaze scrambled backwards. Wielding the weapon was a black-haired man, gray at the temples, with steel blue eyes and a scar running from the corner of his left eye to the bottom of his chin.

    He was wearing a white button-up shirt under a tan leather jacket with jeans and brown boots. He looked every part the wild man. A dark brown leather brimmed hat with sweat stains shielded his cold glare from the fading sun.

    "And who're you?" he growled with a deep drawl.

    Blaze held up a hand at the stranger as he scooted. "I, uh... I just found this place!" he cried. "Please don't shoot me!"

    His mind flickered back to the sight of the man felled by his own bullet... So this is Karma, Blaze mused.

    "Oh, I'm not going to shoot you, young'un. Ain't my place."

    A little color returned to Blaze's face as he realized this wasn't the owner of the property. "I was just hungry. I wasn't trying to steal. I escaped the city as it was melting down, and it was the first place I've seen for miles."

    The stranger adjusted the toothpick in his mouth. "The city, huh?" he said slowly. "So you made it out?"

    Blaze nodded. He didn't dare try and stand up. He knew his rifle was on the ground just a few feet away, but despite the stranger stil holding him at the end of the shotgun, he really didn't feel too threatened. "It's crazy out there. People have lost their minds."

    "Well, maybe it's your lucky day that you found this place. Then again, maybe it ain't. You've been eating out of the garden of the finest people I've yet to know."

    Blaze swallowed hard.

    "Then again, when Riker is in a mood, ain't no tellin' what he's lible to do to ya."

    "Look, I'm really sorry... I didn't mean to--"

    "Hush up," the stranger said cutting Blaze off. "I'm not the one you oughta be apologizin' to. Somethin' tells me, with all this goin' on, that wherever Riker and Provi have gotten to, they ain't gonna be there for long." The stranger swung the rifle up over his shoulder. "So here's what we're gonna do. You're gonna come with me, and we're gonna wait to see what Riker wants to do with you for eating up his fine tomatoes and peaches. Move it."

    Blaze hopped off the ground, grateful to be alive for at least a little while longer, and reached for his rifle out of habit.

    "Nope! You leave that right there, kid."

    Blaze slowly backed off. "Sorry. Habit."

    The stranger nodded and motioned toward the barn. "I'm gonna lock you in the barn until Riker gets back. Then you can plead your case to him."

    The young man was silent as he stood in the tack room surrounded by saddles and bridles and feed barrles. The sweet smell of hay and horses surrounded him as chains dragged over each other and the stranger locked him in with a thick padlock. A steel-blue eye peered at him through the thin gap in the door.

    "Now you stay put, young'un. I'd hate to have to track you down if you escaped."

    And with that, Blaze heard the sound of retreating boots as the man strode back towards the house. It was dark now. The moon climbed in the sky, and Blaze sat down in one corner of the tack room to await the return of his judge and jury.
  4. LoveThatChick

    LoveThatChick Songster

    Jul 9, 2014
    Cedar Hill, TN
    The stranger let himself in the house through the back door, then made a sandwich, and sat down to eat at the table, awaiting the return of Providence and Riker.


    After what seemed like an hour, though he knew it hadn't been that long, Blaze picked himself up off the cool floor, and started feeling his way around the dark room. A few small streams of moonlight came through the wooden boards of the ceiling, and he guessed that there was a hayloft above, and continued feeling around the room, hoping to find something to help him brake the lock and get out of there.

    No luck there... Blaze thought glumly, then something caught his eye, on the ceiling, something he hadn't noticed before. A trapdoor, probably used to throw hay down or something. Whatever it was for, he could use it to escape.

    Blaze felt around again, pulled one of the heavy feed barrels under the hatch, and carefully climbed up onto it. He was 17, and tall for his age, so his hand could easily reach the trapdoor.

    He grinned slightly, and pushed up, but the door didn't budge. He tried again, but harder, no joy. Blaze scowled, then put all the force he could muster into one more shove. The hatch flung open with a loud wrenching sound. Blaze steadied himself on the barrel, then with one hand holding on to each side of the opening above him, he swung his legs up and through the hatch, and pushed himself the rest of the way up.

    His tired muscles protested at the difficult more he had just done but he ignored them. He had always been strong, and good at climbing things, and had gotten into parkour a few years back, so he had no qualms about jumping to and from, and climbing buildings.

    Blaze closed the hatch behind him, and noticed that it had been luck, before he busted it, that is... He looked around, he had been right, it was a hayloft. It wasn't as dark as it had been in the tack room, he walked around the large haystack to the opposite side of the loft, to the loading door. He quickly unlatch end it, and swung it open.

    Blaze leaned out, he couldn't see any sign that the stranger was coming back out of the house anytime soon, so he started climbing down, finding easy hand and food holds as he went. Once he was on the ground, he pushed his dark hair forum his eyes and glanced around, trying to decide whether or not to go for the motorcycle. "Well, that would be the fastest way out of here..." He muttered, then thought about his rifle, but knew that there was no way of getting it back at this point.

    Off in the trees, the sound of a horses' whinny alerted Blaze to the owners of the lands return. He started for the house, running as low and quick as he could. He reached the front, leaped on the black bike, pulled the key from his back pocket, and shoved it in the ignition.

    The engine roared to life, he started forward, and was about to speed off as fast as he could, when he heard the door open, and the horses galloping towards him...

    (Edited because I missed a latter!)
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2014
  5. MrsBrooke

    MrsBrooke Songster

    Aug 11, 2014
    Magnolia, Texas
    As Providence and Riker emerged from the tree line at the back of their property, they saw a shadowy figure leap from the hay loft, rolls, and come up running. Riker immediately pulled his rifle from the saddle bag, took careful aim, and cursed as the shadow passed around the front of the house.

    Lady and Roy broke into a full-out gallop as Providence and Riker dug into their sides with their heels. They heard the bike's engine roar to life and saw the illumination of the headlight as the young man spun out and took off down the dirt path that lead to the two-lane road headed back into town. The horses charged around the side of the building, and Providence caught sight of Chester bursting out of the door as the bike's wheels made purchase on the asphalt. All that was left was a blur of red tail lights.

    "Chester!" Riker said as he pulled Roy up short of the paved road and turned around to trot quickly back towards the house. "What on EARTH is going on here?"

    Chester leaned easily against the door frame. "Riker," he said deeply and tipped his hat. "Providence. Nice to see y'all, too."

    Providence rode Lady out to the edge of the road and watched the tail lights being swallowed by the night. This wasn't exactly how she planned this day to end. "First, the world loses its mind... Then we're overrun by lunatics," she muttered and turned Lady back towards the house.

    Riker dismounted and lead Roy to the barn where he removed his saddle and gave him a fresh buckets of alfalfa as a reward for the horse's good work. As Chester related the evening's events, Providence joined them in the barn to put her horse away as well.

    "He was leaned up against the peach tree, snorin' up a storm," Chester said with a laugh. "Had tomato seeds stuck on his cheek."

    "Who was he?" Riker asked. "Is there any chance he will bring more people here?"

    Chester motioned his head to the corner where a few five-gallon gas tanks were stacked in the corner. "I had the pleasure of filling up another can for you. It was only right, seeing as how he used your place as a bed and breakfast while you were gone. Eye for an eye, right?"

    Providence laughed. "So you mean to tell me you siphoned all the gas out of his tank?"

    Chester nodded and smiled crookedly. "Since he was all cozied up in the tack room there, I didn't figure he'd need it... Got his rifle there in the house, too. Nice Remington."

    Riker clapped his old friend on the shoulder. "It's good to see you, Chester."

    "Any word on the rest of the Group?"

    The black-silver haired man shook his head. "Jessica showed up after I'd locked the kid up. She was upstairs sleeping. I think she had to come most of the way on foot, poor kid."

    "That's what you get for living in the big city." Providence shook her head and made for the house.

    Upon entering, the smell of unusual bodies hit her, one male and one female. She smelled Chester's scent and saw the evidence of an eaten sandwich - the crusts had been discarded and left on the plate. He'd always had that habit. Providence grabbed the plate and tossed the bread scraps into a bowl to take out to the chickens in the morning. As she wiped the plate off with a towel, she heard a yawn and a tiny thud as a small fair of feet hit the floor above her.

    After a little more shuffling upstairs, the thumping moved towards the stairs. Providence turned and smiled at the young red-headed woman emerging from the darkness of the second floor loft.

    "Well, good morning."

    Jessica stretched her fingers towards the air, her legs tensing as she rose to the balls of her feet. She had on one of Providence's plaid shirts and a pair of pants that were much too long so she rolled them up around her ankles. Her fiery red hair fell about her shoulders and back like a tousled water fall. She slumped into the chair previously occupied by Chester.

    "I heard that bike out front leave in a hurry. What's going on?" she asked through a yawn as she rubbed her eyes.

    "Some kid that Chester locked up in the tack room escaped and took off on his bike," Providence replied as she placed the plate back up in the cabinet and shut the door.

    "Locked up? In the tack room??" Jessica exclaimed surprised. "I swear that man is so archaic."

    "Well, what was he supposed to do? Have him in for dinner?" Providence joked as she snapped the towel playfully at the young woman at her table.

    Jessica's hands flew up as she batted the towel away and giggled. "Well, I am pretty hungry."

    Providence took the chair next to her and sighed. "Chester drained his gas tank, so he won't get far. Maybe a mile or two."

    Riker and Chester strode into the kitchen. "I see the chickens will get the rest of my sandwich," Chester commented off-handedly as they all gathered around the table.

    "They will, and I assure you it is appreciated," Providence said with a smile.

    "Down to business," Riker said, shortly. "We've got to decide what to do with this kid. Chester tells me he's a young man who escaped the city and made it all the way here before stopping for a bite from the garden. He caught him asleep, locked him up, and now he's escaped. Normally, that wouldn't be a problem, except for the fact that the less people know about our whereabouts the better. It may not even be possible to stay here indefinitely. We may have to move."

    Jessica groaned and slumped farther down in her chair. A sharp glance from Riker silenced her.

    "It's not ideal, but Chester and I think we need to get the kid and bring him here. The only gun he was carrying, we have. He may have a knife, but I can't imagine the ladies couldn't handle it, right, Provi?" Riker winked at his wife.

    Providence looked to Jessica and asked, "You ready?"

    Jessica nodded. "Yeah, I'm pretty rested. We can go get him."

    "Good. Chester and I will stay here and hold down the fort until you return. We'll board up some windows and start loading any extra magazines we have for the rifles."

    The two women scooted from the table and headed out back in unison. Providence went to the barn to saddle a fresh horse, this time choosing a bomb-proof thoroughbred mare named Cookie with a white star and black mane and tale that was used to the smell of a wolf. She saddled up and trotted out of the barn. Her gaze fell upon Jessica as she moon bathed.

    "Ooh, it's so nice!" Jessica said as she stripped the jeans and shirt off to stand in her underwear.

    Providence laughed. "Would you hurry it up?"

    The sound of bones popping out of socket took over the silence as a shadow seemed to fall over Jessica's skin. Rust-colored fur moved across her body like wild fire, and she tipped forward on her toes to catch herself as her hands became large, claws paws. Her face grew long, and her nose turned black and leathery. Providence watched as Jessica's ears traveled up the side of her head, grew pointed, and began twitching at all the nighttime sounds.

    In bipedal form, the wolves were elite among humans. With super speed, hearing, smell, healing, and strength, they were formidable... But in wolf form, they were unmatched. They myths born out of human fear were just that - myths. They were not allergic to silver, but a well-placed bullet was a well-placed bullet and, while one or two shots wouldn't slow them down, not much can live through a direct shot to the head or heart. Anything that could kill a human, could kill a werewolf... but you'd need much higher doses of it, whatever it was.

    A ruddy red wolf stood now in place of the red-haired woman. Larger and thicker than any natural wolf, Providence could see the muscles and sinew rippling under Jessica's skin. Cookie didn't even bat an eye.

    "You ready, fluffy butt?" Providence teased.

    Jessica clicked her teeth together and pawed at the dirt.

    Providence spurred her mare and the pair took off. Jessica ran out front, her nose following the trail of sweat and exhaust leading them straight to Blaze.


    Blazed kicked the back tire of the useless machine as it sat on the side of the road, his gas needle resting above the big, red E. He cursed and stomped and kicked it again. Fortunately, he saw no signed that he was being followed.

    He should have known that man with the scar was no fool. In addition to having no transportation, he was completely unarmed, save for a small pocket knife, and had no food and no water.

    "What a sight this is," he said and squatted down on the road next to the bike. The moon was high in the sky and Blaze estimated it was midnight or past it. The events of the evening had him wired, so even if he found a spot to rest, he knew no sleep would come.

    He had been sitting by his bike wallowing in his misery for a while when he heard the distant sound of hoof beats coming fast. He dove into the scraggly undergrowth on the side of the road and watched as a women on a brown horse broke through the trees on the other side and approached his bike slowly. Immediately after the horse came the biggest dog Blaze had ever seen in his life. The shoulders of the monster came almost as high as the horse's. He blinked a few times to make sure he was seeing what he was seeing.

    He heard the woman say something to the dog, but he couldn't quite make out what they were saying.

    The giant canine sniffed the air and looked straight at Blaze's hiding spot. He held his breath.

    "We know you're there," the woman called. She threw her leg over the horse and slid to the ground. "You can come out. It's okay."

    Blaze weighed his options. He knew he wouldn't be able to outrun the dog, much less a horse. He reached into his pocket and flipped open his knife. It would be better than nothing if the women sicced the dog on him.

    Emerging slowly from the cover of the brush, he saw the woman smile. "Now. That's better, isn't it?"

    "Who are you?"

    "My name is Providence. My husband and I own the property where you, ah, had dinner and a nap earlier."

    "And the guy that locked me in the barn?"

    "That's Chester. He's very nice once you get to know him."

    "Am I really having this conversation with you right now?" Blaze was getting exasperated. "I just wanted to move on. I was hungry. Look, I'm sorry I ate your tomatoes."

    Providence waived him off. "It's not about that. We can't let you leave. If you tell anyone else where we are..."

    "You have my word. I won't."

    She shook her head. "Sorry, but that won't cut it."

    "So you're going to drag me back and lock me in the barn again?" Blaze asked angrily. "I won't let you!" he yelled and turned back and sprinted back into the forest. He heard the woman on the horse yell, "Wait!" as he crashed through the underbrush.

    It wasn't long before he was eating leaves and dirt as the huge dog bounded after him and tackled him to the ground.

    Providence trotted up behind them and signed. Blaze twisted and turned, struggling to get up. Somewhere in the back of his head, it registered that a dog shouldn't have opposable thumbs...

    "Calm down. We're not going to lock you up."

    Blaze stopped struggling and craned his head to the side. The dog's hot breath was on his cheek.

    "Jessica, you can let him up. I think he knows now that he won't get far."

    The dog, Jessica, moved away from him and sat down nearby. Blaze cast an uneasy glance over at the dog. His brain saw dog, but there was something not right about it. "You're going to kill me, then?"

    Providence's laugh was almost a bark. "Heavens, no! To be honest, I don't know what we're going to do with you. Riker will want to ask you some questions... Who knows? You may be offered a place in the Group."

    "The Group?" Blaze asked flatly.

    "We've been studying the fall of the economy for some time now, and we've been preparing for it. We've got a group of people together who have been doing the same. We all decided that when the time came, we would all convene at our property to decide where to go and what to do from there. We're just waiting for the rest of them to arrive... If they don't show up, we may have openings that need to be filled."

    Blaze stood up and brushed leaves off the front of his shirt. "I guess I don't have much of a choice, then."

    "Nope." Providence smiled sweetly and held her hand out.

    As Blaze took her hand, he was lifted rather easily off the ground and settled into Providence on the back of the horse. Jessica the dog trotted up beside them and they made eye contact. Chills went down Blaze's spine as he met the dog's rather human gaze.

    Providence kicked her horse, and the trio began heading back to the farm house. Blaze wondered how much more trouble could possibly come his way tonight...
  6. LoveThatChick

    LoveThatChick Songster

    Jul 9, 2014
    Cedar Hill, TN
    It had been years sense Blaze had ridden a horse, but it didn't take long for him to fall into rhythm with it. His father had been an adventurer, a outdoorsy man, and he had travailed all over North America.

    Many times, his father had brought Blaze with him on horseback rides, hunts, mountain climbing, bungee jumping, and all sorts of exciting activities. But those days were long gone, and they weren't coming back, ever.

    He glanced to the ruddy red canine trotting along to the right, it looked back at him, and he could have sworn that it winked. Blaze tore his gaze from the dog, thing, and looked back down the road, wishing he had not given in to his stomach and kept on the road.

    The house came into site, his heart fell, and worries about what could be coming creeped into his mind.

    Providence could feel his apprehension, but didn't comment, it was understandable after the events of the night.

    As they draw close, Jessica loped ahead of them, around the back of the house and out of site.

    Providence brought them to the back of the house, the dog was gone, and Blaze wondered where it went.

    "Alright, you can get down," Providence said with a smile.

    "Okay..." Blaze hoped down, just as the back door swung open, and Chester stepped out onto the porch.

    "Jessica says you got him just fine," The man said in a playful tone to Providence, leaning against the door.

    "Yes, no trouble there," She dismounted smoothly.

    Blaze did a doubly take, "Wait, you called the, dog, Jessica. What dose he mean?!"

    "Just get on in here, boy." Chester ordered, and after a pause, Blaze stepped up onto the porch, and continued to the door. An uneasy feeling was settling over him, he didn't feel particularly threatened by Providence, she seemed like a nice person, but Chester, he worried him slightly, the fact that the man had put a gun to his head earlier and locked him up in a tack room didn't help...
  7. MrsBrooke

    MrsBrooke Songster

    Aug 11, 2014
    Magnolia, Texas
    Blaze was ushered into the house between Providence, who took the lead, and Chester, who followed closely behind.

    Riker looked up from the map he spread over the table. He gave Blaze a once-over and motioned for him to sit, his gaze returning to the lines, grids, and dots laid out before him. The edges of the old paper were worn and yellow. It appeared to Blaze to be a well-loved map. Next to the map were pencils and a metal box with a few dials on it. It also looked worn and ancient. One of the antennae jutted out at a funny angle halfway up.

    Chester took the third seat across from Blaze and made himself comfy.

    Providence busied herself about the kitchen. "Blaze," she asked, "are you hungry?"

    Blaze's stomach responded for him with a resounded gurgle. He blushed and looked at the toes of his shoes.

    Riker and Chester looked at each other.

    "Fortunately, I've got some extra meatloaf and gravy with potatoes and greens. It's not a steak, but it'll get you through the night." Providence moved towards the fridge and cabinets without waiting for an answer. She was taught manners by the mother, and they stuck.

    "There's no more information coming out of the city," Riker said, pushing the map back and rubbed his stubble-covered chin with his hand. "It seems like everything has completely devolved into chaos. As far as we are out here, we're safe for the moment... But," he cast a glance at Blaze, "people will come looking for what they can find - water, food, weapons."

    Providence slapped a full plate of hot meat and veggies smothered in gravy before Blaze. His eyes grew wide, and his mouth turned into Niagra Falls. The smells made his eyes water, and he began shoveling the food in his mouth.

    Chester threw his head back and laughed. "I had that same reaction the first time I had Provi's cookin'. It'll make a freight train take a dirt road."

    Blaze turned even redder and made a conscious effort to slow his eating. He wasn't sure what meatloaf had to do with freight trains, but he did agree it was one of the best meals he could remember.

    A red-headed woman around the same age as Blaze strolled into the kitchen. She had on rolled up, too-long jeans that hung loosely off her shoulders and a plaid flannel shirt. She was finishing buttoning the last few buttons as she took the fourth and final chair, slouching into the space like an old blanket.

    "What?" she snapped when she caught Blaze staring. "You've caused all this trouble, and now we're feeding him?" She was soon silenced by her own plate of food, which she tucked into heartily.

    A glob of gravy fell from Blaze's gaping mouth as he watched Jessica eat. There was something familiar about all that red hair...... No, thought Blaze. Lots of animals have red fur. Still. There was something unsettling about what was going on here.

    "So where do you keep your big dog?" The words tumbled out before Blaze could check himself.

    "Big dog?" Chester asked, cocking his head to the side. "What do you mean big do---Oh."

    Jessica stopped mid-bite and stared at Blaze like he just grew a third, maybe a fourth, head.

    "We don't keep dogs on our property," Riker replied, his gaze boring holes in what Blaze could only describe as his soul.

    "But when she came to get me," he motioned toward Providence, "she was on a horse and had a HUGE dog with her!"

    The silence in the room was palpable.

    "Maybe you should finish your meal and head upstairs for some rest. You've had quite an adventure today." Providence's tone made it clear she wasn't asking or suggesting.

    Blaze quietly nodded, scooped the last few bites of food in his mouth, and allowed Jessica to show him to his quarters upstairs. He felt uneasy, but from what he could gather these people meant him no immediate harm. It couldn't hurt to get some food and rest before he went... where? Blaze hadn't really considered it before, but he didn't have a "where." He was a wild young man, out on his own, in a society bent on violence, destruction, and mayhem.

    It sent a small thrill through him. The man he would grow into was bubbling up inside of him, and he wanted to face the world and fight and conquer it. At Blaze's inexperienced age, he was convinced that he could, too.

    Jessica opened the door to his bedroom. The hinges creaked in protest, and Blaze found some comfort there. It was like being with relatives somehow, not that he would really know what that was like. Jessica pointed to the small twin-sized bed. "There you go. I know Riker keeps a spare change of clothes, so get cleaned up and get in bed."

    Blaze couldn't help but smile as he sat down on the edge of the mattress. It was so soft, and all the blankets were filled to bursting with down feathers. He longed to curl up and close his eyes. With a full belly, doing anything BUT closing his eyes was becoming more and more of a challenge.

    Jessica hopped over to a chest of drawers in the room and pulled out a shirt and an extra pair of underwear. Seeing the look on Blaze's face at wearing previously loved underwear, Jessica's expression hardened. "Look, Blaze... It is Blaze, right? ... We're in a world of crap right now. This is the safest place ANYONE could be right now."

    Blaze believed her.

    She continued. "If wearing a pair of pre-worn, CLEAN underwear and doing what Riker says is the price I had to pay to stay here with them? I'd consider that getting off easy." She tossed the clothes at him and pulled a pair of jeans from another drawer.

    Blazed looked at the faded denim and green flannel shirt. What IS it with these people and FLANNEL!? he mused in his head. "Thank you," he said... And he meant it. It was chilly tonight, and spending it under a bridge in the city or exposed in the forest was less preferable to this borderline pampering he was receiving. A soft bed? A full belly? He struggled with that much when he was on his own in the city.

    Jessica paused on her way out the door. "You're welcome."

    "What's going to happen when I wake up tomorrow?" he asked as he rubbed the soft flannel between his fingers.

    Jessica shrugged and moved to the foot of the bed. She drug her nails along the grain of the wood and laughed. "How should I know? Probably breakfast?"

    Blaze tried to stop his laugh, which turned into a choked hiccough. He felt his face flush. Jessica was very pretty in a fascinating sort of way and made him a little nervous. When she smiled, Blaze could see how oddly sharp her teeth were.

    "Goodnight. Sleep tight. And mind the things that go bump in the night." She shut the door leaving Blaze to his thoughts.

    As he leapt under the covers and snuggled himself into his spoils of war, his last thought was how strange it was to watch Jessica walk out of the room... It was almost like she was .... wagging.


    Providence absent-mindedly dried the dishes with a towel while she listened intently to Riker and Chester discussing their next move.

    "I'm not sure how long it will be safe here. The largest town has a population large enough that they will exhaust their looting supply within a few weeks." Riker poured over the map. "The question is, where do we go from here?"

    "And what do we do with the boy?" Chester asked. "It seems, for better or worse, that he's with us."

    Riker was silent as he sat back from the table and interlaced his fingers behind his head. He breathed deep and sighed. "I don't know what to do about him."

    "We could make him one of us," Jessica chimed as she bounced down the stairs.

    "Well, that escalated quickly," Chester said, his chest rumbling as he chuckled.

    "I mean, I'm just saying, but, like, it would make sense... We wouldn't have to wait for him all the time, he'd be of MUCH more use that way, and many hands make for light labor."

    "It may be that choice is the only one we have, but, right now, we do have other options." Providence put the towel down and quietly placed the dish in the cabinet before moving to sit down. "It would be different for him. He would be Made, instead of Born."

    "Yeah, I know... but the results are still the same," Jessica quipped.

    "Yes, but he would have to survive the First Change," Riker responded. "Not many do."

    Chester cleared his throat and crossed his arms over his chest. He knew all too well the pain of losing a loved one to the First Change.

    "Besides, it would have to be Blaze's choice," Providence reminded her. "Even then, there's no guarantee he'd remain sane after learning the truth."

    Jessica slumped in the chair, a sullen air coming over her.

    "You act like you've got some skin in this game," Chester said, ribbing her.

    "What! No way!" Jessica turned as red as her hair. "I'm just saying that I... well, I mean... I kinda like having someone around that's the same age as me."

    Riker waved his hand in the air as if dismissing a troublesome fly, and Jessica knew the subject was closed for now. "We've got to come up with a plan for temporary camp. Tomorrow, Chester and I will scout farther north into the woods where the mountains start and see if we can find a temporary camp in case things get bad here sooner than expected."

    And with that, the unofficial meeting of the minds was adjourned.

    Chester stood and yawned. "And on that note, I think I'm gonna crash. You mind if I take the floor?"

    Providence smiled, "Chester, you know we have plenty of beds."

    He nodded and moved towards the living room. "Yeah, I know... And you always say that, too. One of these days, you may just have to get used to this old dog lounging around your place."

    With that, he turned the corner and, with some snaps and pops, they all heard the sound of claws click-clacking on the hardwood floor as Chester curled up in a ball in front of the fire and tucked his nose under his tail.

    Riker shook his head. "That old hound," he said as his lips turned up in the smallest of smiles. He and Chester had been through hell and back together.

    Providence looked at Jessica. "Time for bed, pup."

    Groaning, Jessica hauled herself out of the chair and made her way upstairs as slowly as molasses in the winter time.

    Once everyone was in their respective sleeping places, Providence saw Riker get that mischievous look in his eye. She lounged back in her chair and grinned at him.

    "With so many people in this house, I don't know when I'll get you all to myself again, Provi," he said, his voice tinged with mock-complaint.

    "Oh, what ever will we do?" Providence chided him, stood, and started moving backwards for the door.

    A hunger came over Riker's face, and his lips pulled away from his teeth as a playful growl thundered from him.

    Providence turned on her heel and was out the door before he could stand and get around the table. She ripped her shirt off, hopped out of her jeans, and left a trail of clothing for her husband to follow.

    There were still a few good hours of night left before day break. It had been so long since they had been for a run. It was now or never.

    She felt a wave a nausea as her bones shifted and started to realign, each footfall needing its own concentration lest she trip and fall over her own feet as she change took over. Her skin burned as each hair follicle thickened and grew, covering every inch of her with a snowy, silver fur. Providence waited until the last moment to tip forward, her newly sprouted paw pads made contact with the dewy grass. Her shape flew across the ground, her feet barely making contact as she ran.

    She heard the pounding of paws behind her and lowered her head as her heart skipped a beat and her paws picked up the pace. He may catch her in the end (like he did each time without fail), but she always made him earn it.
  8. MrsBrooke

    MrsBrooke Songster

    Aug 11, 2014
    Magnolia, Texas
    ((I'd like to add that ANYONE can join this Relay! You can either pick a character or make up your own! There is no length requirement to posts... Just join in and add to the story!

    The guidelines for writing along are listed in the first post. It's pretty flexible. :)

    Come on in! <3

  9. Shybies

    Shybies Hatching

    Jan 16, 2015
    "What am I going to do?" her voice whispered upon the wind.

    It was late, how late she could only hope to imagine. It felt like days had passed but it had only been mere moments. Clutching her shivering body, the raven haired young woman winced. Why had she chosen her leather skirt and corset to escape in when that had obviously been a bad idea from the beginning. Goth till the end her family would have laughed, but she would never again hear those teasing tones. Fate could be so cruel.

    Pain. Scorching, seering, pain crawled through every fiber of her being as Rayne stumbled for what felt like the hundredth time. Her labored breathing pounded through the night as she pulled herself up in an effort to keep moving. Move or die, that was all that was left.

    "Come out, come out, wherever you are little girl. "

    The sickening oily voice had been repeating, mocking her every move. Escape from one hell had forced her into an entirely new realm of fear and terror.

    " You're injured and that body of yours is going to give out. I promise I'll end it quick little lamb chop. "

    Gagging, Rayne pushed through the thick foliage, fresh blood running down her broken and mangled left arm. It had taken all she could to save it from being severed at the man's cruel and hideous hands. A memory that flashed all too vividly before her eyes.

    The flames bathed the darkness as they consumed the small Cavalier that had held her family hostage. Her mother's screams had stopped, followed by her father's tears. It was eerily silent now, save for her small sobs. They had been pinned in the crumpled front seat, a drunk driver running them off the road. Rayne had barely gotten free before the fire had started.

    Everything was chaos, nothing was safe. Now her only hope was gone in a blaze. Where could she go, where could she hide.

    "I had hoped for a three course meal, but I suppose a delicious treat such as yourself will suffice. "

    The last words before jaws had sunk into her tender flesh.

    Another wave of nausea brought her to her knees as she fought her stomachs mounting protests. Why was she so sick, why did it feel like fire ants had taken nest inside her very core. There wasn't time for this.

    "I won't surrender, not to God, and not to you! Not tonight!"

    Gripping the nearest tree branch, Rayne used it to launch herself forward into a run. Twigs and leaves snapped in a whirlwind behind her as the man pursued her as if she were a fillet mignon, rather than a victim of fate.

    Skidding to a halt, she surveyed her surroundings. Where to go, where to run, could she hide? Yes! A small lake sparkled as the silver moonlight twinkled against its surface.

    Darting to the left, Rayne dove into the murky depths, swimming haphazardly as far as her battered body and arm would allow. As she held her breath and her mind lost its consciousness she could faintly hear the frustrated growls of her attacker.

    "You are dead little lamb, you just don't know it yet. "

    (Sorry everyone, hope this is okay. It's a bit challenging using only my phone for this.)
  10. MrsBrooke

    MrsBrooke Songster

    Aug 11, 2014
    Magnolia, Texas
    ((Stand by. Writing commencing!


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