The Fight

You trudge down the street as the hot sun beat down on you. You wipe the sweat from your forehead with the back of your hand. Your dark brown hair is pulled back into a tight ponytail to keep out of your chocolate brown eyes. Your day at school has been the worst you've ever had and you prefer to go home and rest with a nice snack. Maybe watch some t.v. while you think about everything you want to have happen. You smile as you walk into the shade of your porch. A small white cat with a black spot across its eye sits in front of the door in a guarding position. When the cat sees you it gets up and rubs its body against your bare legs, purring softly.

“Hey there, Clove,” you coo, bending down to pick up the cat. “Did you miss me?”

You cradle the cat and scratch gently under his chin. You open the door and walk into the refreshingly cool air. You place the cat on the tile floor and walk through the hall into the kitchen.

“Hello Honey,” your mother greets as she looks up from the cutting board and the cucumber she is slicing. “How was school?”

Hearing your mother’s voice makes your energy drain. You feel tired and particularly annoyed. Your mother always makes you remember all of the horrible things that happened at school. The teasing. The questions. The pain. Everything you want to avoid.

“Fine,” you mutter as you grab a shiny red apple from the woven basket. A thread from your blue and black jacket snags onto the basket and you sigh, freeing the shirt.

“What are you doing wearing that jacket? It’s August for goodness sake, and the first day of going to your new high school!”

“My scars,” you mutter, rubbing your arms.

“There’s nothing wrong with your scars,” your mother assures you. “It’s just a result of an incident.”

“But Mom! People treated me different. They asked me what happened and when I told them, they didn’t believe me!”

“Honey, you hit your head pretty hard. I doubt any of that ever happened.”

"Of course you don’t.”

Your mother slams the knife down onto the cutting board. “I’ve had enough of this attitude!” She exclaims. “All you’ve done is complain ever since we moved here! And not to both me and your father, but only me! This has been hard on me too, you know. He was my husband, and your father. It still hurts me every day to wake up and see his empty space on the bed. Your attitude doesn’t help me forget about anything because I know that I have to deal with you day after day and I can’t ask him to do something about you! Go to your room and stay there until dinner!”

You are taken back at your mother’s explosion, then your face gets red and you grit your teeth in anger. You storm out of the kitchen and up the stairs. You tramp into your room and slam the door, the noise echoing in the big house. You flop down onto your bed, your teeth still gritted.

Her? Her? Is that all she can think about? I need some comfort after today and all she does is scream at me because of my ‘attitude’! You think angrily, clenching your fists.

You stay on the bed for a few more seconds then get up and start pacing the room, muttering and cursing under your breath.

A couple minutes later you step and gaze out the window. You look back at your bedroom door and after quick consideration, you lock the door.

You walk back to your window and open it, carefully making your way down the fire exit. Each stair creaks when you put your weight on it and you wince at every step, afraid your mother will find you.

You jump off the last stair and speed all the way into the woods across the street.

I just need to get away for a few minutes. She won’t even know I’m gone. I won’t get into trouble. I need this. Dad would understand. He wouldn’t let Mom keep me in my room until dinner. He’d just tell me school would be okay . . . Dad . . .

Pine trees raise high into the sky and pine cones litter the ground. Roots stick up from the ground, creating soft bumps. As you travel deeper into the woods, the trees change and vines hang low on the ground, giving almost swamp-like scenery.

You decide to stop and rest after a while. You sit on a stump and stare out to the sky. You feel a ping of anger spring in you and the memories of what happened all day floods into your mind. You clench your teeth harder and harder until you jump up from the seat, throw your head back, and scream into the emptiness of the trees. You shriek a single, continuing, piercing note and birds fly away from the woods to get away from the sound.

You stop screaming and gasp for air. You lean against a tree and try to catch your breath.

As you are resting, you hear a twig snap and a rustle of a bush. You freeze, your eyes widen. You suddenly remember the day when the wolf attacked you. You can practically feel the claws dig into your skin. Your scars start to burn and you rub them, taking off your jacket.

The rustling gets closer and louder and you go stiff against the tree, waiting for the wolf from the nightmares that still haunt you.

The rustling is only a couple feet away and you brace yourself. A figure tumbles from the bush across from you and lands crouched in front of you.

You gasp in surprise when the figure turns out to be a girl, just a couple years younger than you. The girl looks up at you with curious eyes, her pale brown hair falling in front of her olive skinned face. Another twig snaps behind her and she whips her head behind, and quickly rises to her feet. She gives you a scared glance and starts running deeper into the woods, away from the sound.

Only moments after the girl races away, a white creature crashes through the bush and hesitates for a split second to gaze over to you, then starts again after the girl.

It takes you a moment to process what exactly you saw, but then it hits you—the wolf, Macey, was after that little girl. She wants to attack her.

Instinctively, without thinking at all, you run after the girl, leaving your jacket hanging on the stump, the sleeve in a watery puddle of mud.

You run as fast as you can, jumping over obstacles like logs and jutting out rocks, and slapping vines out of your sight. You refuse to let yourself trip, refuse to let Macey catch the poor girl.

You keep your ears open for twigs snapping or cries of terror, and are somehow able to still follow them. Occasional flashes of white fur or growls of the wolf keeps you on track of the running duo.

After minutes of running, you see a large white tail slip between two big shrubs. You run after the wolf, your scars suddenly burning in disagreement.

You just slip through the shrubs when you fall into an enormous hole. You fall and fall, and fall until the entrance of the hole is no longer visible and there is only darkness. Before you slip into unconsciousness, you utter one word that you know Macey had planned for both you and the girl.