The Treacherous Wolves (Part 6)

Seems he’s serious this time, Saber thought with a grimace.

            Saber withdrew his sabers and re-released them with a vengeance, each one baring its long, ivory teeth. The wolves attacked with equal vengeance and the snarls, growls, and howls filled the night as carnage ensued. Damon still had that cold, distant gaze while Saber had an expression of desperation. The sound of ripping flesh and snapping bones, the metallic, copper smell of blood suffocated the other animals and caused some to retreat into the shadows, fear drilling its way down their spines. It wasn’t long before the sabers were in disarray again as the wolves had a different demeanor, a more keen and focused ferocity. Their eyes shined a pale blue in the night, illuminating the battlefield. Blood was caked on their snouts and streaked through their fur and they were hungry for more, the sabers stood battered and bruised and bleeding, a look of fear playing among their expressions. The sabers formed a coordinated stance, each one covering the other’s back as the wolves circled them. Damon retained that distant look with expectation, his mind focused solely on the fight; Saber, on the other hand, was fighting with desperation and losing miserably. The fear that at first trickled through his heart had blossomed into an ocean, encompassing his entire body. He tried to fight it, to push it down and suppress it, turn to rage, fury, anything he could use to fuel his sabers, to no avail. He saw the look in one of his sabers’ eyes and it matched how he felt inside, afraid. Saber’s natural instincts rose and took over with irresistible force as he withdrew his sabers and ran off. Damon stood silent with that cold and distant look in his eyes, his gaze shifting toward Saber as he watched him, running like the bounty he truly is. A self-satisfied smirk played along Damon’s lips, but he forced it down and ordered his wolves to give chase. Their heads snap in Saber’s direction and in a flash they’re on his trail. The sounds of footsteps, howls, and wings flapping filling the night.

            Ronnie was in the Saloon the next morning, going through his routine in setting up the bar: cleaning the bar, washing the glasses he didn’t get to the other night, making sure the tables and chairs were tidy and working—as the regulars often got rowdy and broke a couple—and sweeping up. He looked to the windows of the Saloon and reckoned they too needed a good cleaning, so he went down to the cellar and came back up with a bucket. He was just about to go out to the well and fill it with water until the doors swung open and the sheriff rushed it, panting and sweating like a hog in the middle of summer. He rested his hands on his knees and shivered as he tried to catch his breath, Ronnie was all but bewildered because he’d never seen the sheriff with that expression until he saw something totally gross or utterly heinous, and if the sheriff is coming to Ronnie to deliver the news, it was probably the latter. The Sheriff caught his breath and stood erect.

            “Ronnie,” he said, “you ain’t gonna believe this, boy,” the sheriff had a look of horror unlike anything Ronnie’s ever seen in his eyes, “I was takin’ m’daily walk outside town like I usually do, wh-when I got to the middle of the woods, ‘bout the point I usually turn back, I saw something in the distance that looked like a body. At least, I thought it was a body at first, looked more like a lump than anything. Anyway, I walk up to the lump and discover that it is a body, but that ain’t the strange part. Remember those two fellas that were here the other night?”

            Ronnie nodded.

            “Yeah well,” The sheriff shudders at the thought of it, “the body in the woods was the fella that outdrank Billy Weissman!”

            “What?” Ronnie’s eyes grew wide, “You mean someone took’im out?”

            “Yup,” the sheriff said, “an’ that ain’t the worst of it, boy,” the sheriff’s face went pale at the thought, “his head was missin’”

            Ronnie dropped his bucket, “Good God.” He breathed.

            After a long silence Ronnie asked, “What about that other fella? The one with the icy stare?”

            “That fella long gone.” The sheriff said, shaking his head, “That fella long gone.”

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