The Wolves

The only light in the kitchen came from the refrigerator as he opened the door, looking around for something to eat. Tony hummed to himself as the cool air fell across the kitchen floor. He was restless tonight. Not only was it a full moon, but tomorrow was his first day on the new job. He didn’t want to mess this one up. He received the news last week he had been chosen as the new help in a nearby shelter. Living on a wilderness reservation was going to take some getting used to.

Finally settling on some leftover pizza, he closed the door, plunging the kitchen into darkness. He slowly made his way out into the living room, where the TV awaited. He fumbled around, a slice of pizza hanging out of his mouth, looking for the remote control. That’s when he heard it. Was that a wolf?

He froze in place, and waited to see if he was just hearing things or if he would hear it again. After a short time, he gave up listening, blaming his imagination; he continued to look for the remote control.

Finally finding the remote nestled between the cushions of the couch, he sat down, the slice of pizza now mostly eaten. Just as he was about to turn the TV on, he heard it again. It definitely sounded like the howl of a wolf; but this time, it was closer.

He looked out the window, squinting from the brightness of the moon. Even with the moon lighting everything up, he couldn’t see anything out there. Living in the woods is great and all, he thought, but holy shit, it’s really spooky out there.

Since he couldn’t see anything outside, the howl was quickly forgotten. He went back to hit the couch and watch some TV. Just then he heard a big CLUNK from the kitchen and jumped out of his skin in fright. Fortunately it was only the automatic icemaker in the freezer dropping ice into the ice bin.

Chuckling to himself, he sat down on the couch, slice of pizza fully eaten. He began channel surfing. To his disappointment, there was nothing to watch on TV this late at night except infomercials.

“There’s never a damn thing on TV,” he said to the empty room. Then he heard something again.

This time it wasn’t the howl of a wolf. Nor was it the ice machine. It was more like a scratching sound. It sounded like nails scratching wood. It was coming from behind him, in the kitchen. It was like something was scratching at the back door. He went to go investigate, but not before he picked his shotgun up near the front door. He had bought one the other day as he was moving in. You can never be too safe in the woods.

He made his way slowly to the back door, shotgun in hands. He could still hear the scratching sound. It sounded like a critter pawing at the door, trying to get in. Probably some damn raccoon, he thought.

He stopped and picked up his flashlight on the side table as well. He might need it when he looked outside. The batteries seemed to be dead, since the flashlight was not turning on at all. He hit the flashlight with the heel of his hand a few times, and it came on in a flash. At the same time, the scratching stopped

He thought to investigate further, but he’s seen all the movies. When you open the door, they come after you. Tony wasn’t going to fall for that sucker move. He was going to stay put, inside, where it was safe. He pointed the shotgun at the back door and waited. But nothing happened.

He shut off the flashlight, turned around, and came face to face with a silver-grey wolf the size of a large mastiff. In sheer horror and surprise, Tony threw up the shotgun and the flashlight into the air and fell back on the floor, and crawled backwards until the back door stopped his retreat.

“Go away now!” he screamed, as the wolf began growling. “There’s nothing for you here! Go! Go away!” He waved his arms to try to scare the wolf away.

The wolf instead took a step closer, and began growling. Tony tried to stand back up, but the wolf inched a little closer as he tried to get up. He couldn’t understand it. Wolves don’t attack humans. And they certainly didn’t open doors and enter houses. Confused, he slowly tried to reach the knob to the back door, so he could try to make a break out of the house.

The wolf watched Tony as he opened the back door, never moving from his position. Relieved, Tony managed to crawl backwards out the back door. As he closed the door, the wolf cocked its head to the side, as if he was trying to understand what Tony was doing.

As the door clicked shut, he heard the wolf inside immediately start snarling and attacking the door. He had made it out. He let out a sigh of relief. He was safe with the wolf inside the house, and he was outside. He stopped though. He couldn’t get a small creeping question out of his head. Don’t wolves hunt in packs? He turned around to see the back area of the house filled with a dozen wolves. They began growling at him.

“Balls!”

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