Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Wordsmiths Challenge #28: The Rescue

Headlines of the Daily Gazette in Carpathia
“Plane exploded over the wastelands of the mountains. No survivors and impossible to send a search troop due to bad weather and sight.
Once again it seems that the rebels in our country are trying to gain power through violence. The situation was quiet for some time after the capture of Drago Druga their leader, but his horde was not satisfied and took charge of a flight to the capital city under threats of death to the passengers. After our government remained resolute, they did not hesitate to make their threat a matter of reality. 200 innocent people’s lives extinguished in one moment of senseless atrocity.”

There was a flash, just a flash and a sound and smell of burning. What happened before? Hours of waiting and the taste of fright at the back of my mouth. We were high up in the air in a plane destined for home and one of those bloody terrorists decided to make a name for himself and show us his hand grenades. Just a small request. Release our leader from prison and then you can all go home and nothing happens. I do not know what went on behind the scenes, but can imagine the stress in the cockpit and the radio messages sent to a government that was as hard and resolute as the terrorists themselves. The last I remember is floating downwards; was this the way to hell? Was this the way my life would end, just garbage from an exploding plane.

I landed softly I think, but it was cold. Oh, so cold, carpeted on a layer of snow surrounded by mists, perhaps the smoke from the hell fires below. I was never a perfect person, but I never really did anyone else any harm. My wife left me for another and took the children with her, finding her new man was a much better partner and father, or was it his fortune. Who cares, laying here, my past life returning. Now they are coming to get me, the demons, I can see one of them coming. A faint shape luring out of the mist, walking on four legs, ready to take me. Oh god, the smell of his breath, meaty and warm.

Now laying in a half dream, feeling the saliva of his tongue on my skin, licking, having a taste before the kill. Licking my wounded leg, sore from the explosion and now again floating and away.

“Hello, answer if you can hear me.”

I could hear, but it sounded like a human voice, was this part of the dream. My leg still hurting but not so much any more, just a tingling.

“Where am I, who are you? Is this hell?”

“No this is not hell, you are laying in my hut on the mountain side. You had a bad burn on your leg when I brought you here, but with some good treatment it seems to be improving. I am Josef Medved, doctor to be exact, but since living here I have no practice any more.”

“But my last memory was of a figure walking through the mists on four legs.”

“You have been in delirium for some time so it seems your brain is playing a game with you at the moment. I found you after the explosion, you seem to be the only survivor. All other passengers were torn into pieces, but by some strike of fate you were thrown out of the plane and landed on the snow beneath the trees. It seems the branches of the trees coupled with the soft snow were the reason for your survival. “

It was then that I smelt the familiar smell of meaty breath and something moved next to the bed where I was lying. Soft licks on my hand again.

“What’s that? Please not again.”

“That is one of my wolves, I call him Tabor. He is leader of the pack.”

“Wolves? Are they waiting for my body for their next meal. Who are you?”

“I told you, I am a doctor and live here. I have lived here for many years. The wolves are my friends and it was Tabor that found you. You are alive and will recover, although a few scars will remain from the burns you received from the explosion.”

“Yes, the explosion, because of one man, Drago Druga, rightly imprisioned in the capital for his atrocities. He was just not worth the lives of the people on the plane. Were there no other survivors or at least bodies.”

“I will be honest with you. Yes there were human remains, but this is the country of wolves and it is Winter. The wolves were hungry, no there are no longer remains.”

“You let them devour the flesh.”

“Please give me a good reason why not. The people were dead, their bodies would never be found by the government, they were not able to search in this part of the country. It is as natural for a wolf to eat dead flesh, as it is for a human. Can you really blame them. They did not eat you. You were alive so be satisfied.”

This man had been good to me it was true, and I am thankful for small mercies. I am alive and can return to my world as soon as my leg is healed, so I thought. I lay in the hut and was cared for. I was given to eat and had water. I found the wolves really quite harmless and I soon learnt not to fear them.

Things changed after a few weeks. It was a bright night and a full moon. The wolves were howling as I had never heard them before. It was then that my body ached. My limbs felt as if they were being pulled off my body. My skin was irritated. At first I scratched and found a layer of hair growing on my face, not only but everywhere. I wanted to cry out but only a howl escaped from my mouth which was now full of sharp teeth, and the familiar smell of meat was now coming from my lungs, expelling through the pores of my body. I had to walk, but found that I had four legs instead of two. It was then that a familiar voice entered my head, belonging to the doctor.

“I am sorry, but it had to be this way. I found you dying and cared for you, but me my wolves wanted the reward and we have it.”

“What am I, what is happening?”

“You too are now wolf, like myself. It had to be, but have no fear, we will care for you.”

“You think that is the end; the transformation from human to wolf by the bite of a werewolf. A month later the torn remnants of the body of a rebel leader were found in his prison cell. Drago Druga was no longer. It seems that a wolf was seen leaving the prison on that evening. A remarkable wolf, there were parts of fur missing on one of his hind legs caused by scarred tissue.

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