Background: Woo! This short story officially marks having worked through a quarter of my writing challenge. This is also my thirteenth short story and since thirteen is my lucky number, I’m putting in a bit of extra effort. For some reason up until now I have had a pretty bad writer’s block that whenever I think is gone, it returns with a vengeance. So without further ado, here is Shadow Girl.
Short Story #13 – Shadow Girl
The first time he saw her, he thought she was the most beautiful girl he’d ever seen, even if she wasn’t really a human girl at all. She appeared on a frozen night, when Alden’s breath danced in a white cloud in front of him and the night sky was choked by ice and a blanket of darkness. That had been a while ago, during the snow storm that almost killed him. She’d stepped out of the darkness, pulling them into a girl-like shape until she became human.
Alden cleared his head and focused on walking through the darkened alley, his boots thudding rhythmically against the damp concrete. The gun in his waistband holster was a welcome cold weight until he finally heard them. They howled to the east with an iciness that chilled Alden to the bone. He chased after them, listening to the heavy breathing and falls of their paws. Werewolves were fast but with his speed rune scrawled down his spine he was able to catch up quickly.
There, ahead; they leapt and bounced with the agile strength of normal wolves except these were unnatural. He leapt as the werewolves leapt, only bringing out his gun when they came to a sudden stop. He skidded, shoes gripping against the cold ground and he braced himself against the wolves. He flipped the safety off the gun, training it on the pack as the first one leapt.
He was going to be slaughtered, he knew as the first wolf went down and several others replaced him. They snarled, horrible saliva dripping from their fanged jaws and their claws scratching against the ground. Three advanced at once, knocking him roughly onto his back. The pistol in his hand went crazy, firing with deadly precision. The three collapsed heavily beside him but before he could recover to his feet the next line of wolves were on him.
This is it, he thought, the gun knocked to the side as a wolf batted his arm with a paw. This is how I will die. He fought onward, bashing against the wolves and dodging their snapping jowls. Minutes passed as the wolves bit at him, digging their teeth into his flesh and tearing it apart like a chew toy. Alden grappled with them, almost losing consciousness until the four wolves pulling him apart were whipped aside.
Gentle singing filled Alden’s ears and suddenly the shadows began to part, revealing a girl who stood over him like an angel. She managed a small smile before lifting her bare white arms and the white gown she wore started billowing with an invisible breeze. The wolves whimpered, backing away from Alden’s bloody body and they turned, running through the darkness.
The girl bent down suddenly, kneeling on the ground and she lifted Alden’s head into her lap. Somewhere far away he could still hear the singing, beautiful and haunting but unlike the wolves he wasn’t afraid. Her fingers were feather soft as she brushed aside his black hair, the exact opposite to her moon-pale hair. Her violet eyes fixed on his and she bent down, brushing her soft lips against his for the briefest of moments.
“I will love you always,” she whispered and suddenly she was gone, just like the cuts and bruises that had somehow vanished, leaving Alden to think if he’d dreamed of it all.