“Wolf” Part III

This entry is part 3 of 6 in the series Wolf

Business was light all morning, which left me with ample time to mull over the preoccupation Silver had planted in my head.

Since I had known him, Silver had repulsed dozens of rogues and accepted a few, including me.  The worst of them had never roused the kind of concern I had sensed in him.

If Zens couldn’t frighten Silver, then I had no desire to meet whatever was raising his hackles now.

Zens had no man’s name, he had no desire to live in man’s world.  To that end, he had made it his crusade to devour man’s world.  He slaughtered indiscriminately, which would bother few wolves I knew.  He had however crossed several unwritten, but instinctive, boundaries among our kind.

He never concealed the nature of his kills – of itself no great offense.  It had occurred throughout man’s world and had become food for conspiracy theorists and tabloids on an unending basis.  No, the greatest offense was that he encroached on territories with the same lack of concern which he had for revealing his nature.  This could not be tolerated within the pack structure: to reveal a pack was tantamount to destroying it, even if man’s world only saw a “lunatic cult” it was still shining light into something best left in the dark recesses of man’s imagination.

That the Others were the first to confront the rogue Zens was debatable, even doubtful.  Silver, however, made certain that no other pack would deal with him again.

Zens was a huge beast, some of the old ones said he was a throwback to the fathers of our kind, the Eastern European stock.  Black as night, blazing, feral red eyes – impossible to mistake him for a large dog or coyote.

Silver led the Others for longer than the span of a man, some say many times longer.  He was an elegant beast, shining silver like the moon, eyes blazing like stars trapped on Earth.  Where Zens possessed cunning, Silver blended an educated man’s mind with the innate intelligence of a beast’s.

Zens fought as only a great wolf can, wicked speed and ferocity, but the end was ordained.  Silver was mercifully quick with the death stroke and had never doubted the outcome.

Now Silver knew doubt.  I shivered at the thought and started as the door chime announced the all too infrequent entrance of a customer.  I looked at my watch, still half an hour until lunch.

“Excuse me, sir, I hope you can help me.”

I looked up at the deep tone colored by an unplaceable accent and was stricken by the sheer grace of the man I beheld.  He was tall, well over my six feet three, but unassumingly svelte; he wore his hair long, draped in an auburn mane over his left shoulder which fell to mid-chest.  As his eyes met mine, I was captivated by the deepness of their blue, enhanced by the size of his pupils in my dimly lighted shop.

He continued, unaffected by my scrutiny.  “You wouldn’t happen to have a copy of Mendel’s Works of Man?  I have been less than fortunate around town, and three of my stops have yielded your store as a possible end to my search.”

I tore my eyes from him and cleared my throat, affecting a cough to cover my embarrassment.

“Pardon me,” I began.  “Mendel, hunh?  Well, I seem to remember having a copy here, but it’s been some time…”

I moved from behind the counter, passing within a foot of this most elegant man, trying to concentrate on finding the text.  I heard him follow, and glimpsed his distorted figure in the security mirror at the end of the aisle.  Even in the convex silvered glass his motions possessed a certain refinement.

He chuckled, and I turned to see what he had thought humorous.

His face held little to describe his age, and his eyes sparkled as I beheld the even whiteness of his smile.  “Pardon me, but it has been some time since I saw a copy of the Gita in the occult section.”

I grinned faintly, unaware of the joke and doubting its sincerity.  I picked up the errant Bhagavad Gita, intent on reshelving it.  “Wrong section.  I get customers who treat this place like a public library on their lunch hour.”  I felt somehow inadequate to the conversation he seemed to be seeking, and returned to the search for his book.

“Here,” I reached to retrieve Mendel’s one true contribution to philosophy.  “I thought I had one.”  I extended the book to him.

His slightest movement enthralled me; merely reaching for the book brought to mind the spreading pinions of some great bird preparing to take flight.

As he accepted the book he chuckled again and flashed an even broader smile, all teeth.  His eyes rooted me to the floor with unabashed appraisal.  He weighed the very soul of me and as he turned to leave, I felt I had somehow come up lacking.

With the last jingle of the door chime I started as if from sleep.

I tried to remember what he had looked like but could only recall the blue-black eyes.

Several minutes later I realized I still held the Gita and he had failed to pay for my last copy of Mendel.

It took me another fifteen minutes to realize that the stranger had at no time evinced a scent.

Series Navigation«“Wolf” Part II“Wolf” Part IV»

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  1. Liz’s avatar

    Awesome Dan! I have to admit I feel like I need a tutorial on Wolf, Silver, Zens etc. Keep it up! A bit of writing everyday…

    Happy Birthday!

  2. Dan’s avatar

    :) thanks Liz!
    I wrote this down in a quick frenzy in 1993, and revisited it once (2001) to mail it to my uncle… Now I am entering/editing it to kick off my entrance into “authorhood” :)
    I have to bend this blog software to my will, it is too disjointed for the way I want to present my work…
    I haven’t liked any of the “author” plugins I’ve tested, so I am about to add PHP scripting to my arsenal a bit early ;)
    Peace,
    Dan