The wolf pack gathered on a rocky outcrop that ran along the perimeter of the woods. The huge Alpha male took up a position on the highest point as he looked down over his pack. The winter had been harsh and food was scarce, in fact, a couple of weaker pups had recently succumbed.
The leader’s attention focused on a small log cabin in the distance. Until recently it had sat abandoned but, suddenly, there was smoke rising from the chimney indicating that it was now inhabited … and where there were humans there was food. He leapt down from the rock and signaling to two younger males, with a special form of silent communication known only to wolves, led the way stealthily towards the cabin.
Matt Barnett stirred the pot of beef stew on the fire, as his twin brother Kurt walked in the door with another armload of firewood. Dropping the wood into a box beside the fireplace, Kurt complimented his brother, “Man that smells good. I am starving after the long hike up here.”
“I never thought we’d return to this place,” Kurt said. “I used to love coming here as kids,” he choked back tears, “but since that last time … when … when Dad was killed by the wolves, it’s been sitting here abandoned.”
“Well, lucky for us it is still habitable,” replied his brother trying to maintain a calm composure.
The wolves sniffed the air as they moved in an ever decreasing circle around the cabin. The scent of the stew cooking assailed and tempted their acute sense of smell. The leader wisely avoided approaching the front door and led the way around to the back. A metal trash bin attracted the attention of one of the two younger wolves and he nuzzled it until the lid fell off.
The loud clatter caused him, and the other young wolf, to run off to a safer distance seeking the cover of the closest trees. The Alpha male, though, stood his ground and raised up onto his hind legs, front feet resting on the cabin wall for support.
The noise of the dislodged lid aroused the two young men inside. Picking up his rifle Matt walked cautiously to the back door, followed by his brother Kurt. As he pulled open the back door Matt’s eyes opened wide in amazement and he slowly lowered the gun that he had cocked and ready to meet any danger.
From behind him, Kurt exclaimed excitedly, “Dad…is that you? We thought you were dead!”
The werewolf had assumed his human form just before the door opened. Suppressing an instinctive growl, the figure coughed and said, “Hello sons! Long-time no see.”
John Hansen © 2019