It was dead silent. The woods were never completely hushed. All the crickets, all the birds or other little animals were not scuttling about or making any sort of sound. I just kept walking. Why didn’t I take my truck to Charlotte’s house? That way I wouldn’t have to walk passed the woods at night. On a normal day, I walked by the woods several times, but they usually didn’t freak me out. It was the consuming silence that came from between those trees. It was hard to see, and with my imagination on hyper drive, it was as if the darkness was bleeding through every branch. The sound of my shoes was louder than the stillness. I walked a bit faster now, wishing I was already home and in my comfy bed.
Without a moment’s notice, something pounced on me, growling. It came crashing down on top of me as I hit the sidewalk. With the darkness, all I could see was a set of pearly whites and a pair of great big, yellow eyes staring directly into mine. I screamed, trying to roll out from under it. It growled, partially like a wolf but seemed darker, hungrier. The demon wolf stumbled off. I still tried rolling away, so that I had enough space to get up and run. Abruptly, it locked its teeth right above my right hip. I shrieked in pain, punching away at its head. He clenched his jaw tighter, excruciating as I went limp in its mouth. I was the weaker prey. I was inferior to this animal.
Jerky drags eventually pulled me into the forest. I tried separating him but his jaw was locked on, gripping my flesh as tightly as possible. I could scarcely breathe; my brain just barely registering what was happening to me. I was going to die. I was going to die now. My body had given up against this demon creature. I couldn’t let it drag me where no one would find me.
“Help me!” I shouted at the top of my lungs.
The animal instantly unhitched its mouth from my side, howling to cover the sound of my screaming. All I remember was the massive shape and the strength of his howl before my body and mind gave away to the shadows of death.
Sweat. Pain. I felt pain. I knew I had to be alive if I felt pain. I doubted heaven would hurt just to breathe. Perhaps, this was hell. What had I done to be sent to hell? It was excruciating. I whimpered at the searing burn in my side. No, this couldn’t be hell. Slowly, I opened my eyes, waiting for the blur to turn to shapes and finally clear up. No, this definitely wasn’t hell.
I moaned again, noticing all that I was hooked up too, and reach over to the side of the bed. Pressing the nurse button on the remote next to my hospital bed, I waited for the agony to end. Please, just let it end.
Within a minute, a woman in light pink scrubs came into my hospital room, her bright orange hair and freckles were the first features I noticed.
“You’re awake. What do you need, Sweetie?” she asked nicely.
“Water,” I struggled to say through the sharp ache above my hip.
“Does your wound hurt? I can get the doctor. He’ll give you some more pain meds. Be right back with your water, Darling,” she acknowledged.
So it had really happened. Was that just a nightmare, the events playing in my head? Goosebumps raised the hairs on the back of my neck. It was real. That animal was real. That demon creature really had attacked me. How did I survive? It had dragged me into the woods. I was so sure no one had heard me or would find me. The doctor came in suddenly, interrupting my thoughts.
“Good afternoon, Reva. How are you feeling this morning?” He asked, coming to stand next to my bed. He used a button on the remote to sit the head of the bed up a bit. Any further and the angle would affect my injury.
“It hurts. A lot,” I panted, saying in between short breaths.
“Let me give you something to ease the pain. You’ve been out for a day and a half now. Your Grandmother is here. She hasn’t left this hospital since she got the call two nights ago.”
I closed my eyes while he released some more medicine in the I.V. I could hear footsteps in the hallway, moving passed my room’s door. Slowly, the ache began to dull. I eased back into the hospital bed, trying to relax. I opened my eyes again and Grandma was sitting in the chair to my left, talking to my sister. Time had passed since doctor had been in to give me more meds.
“Everything will be okay, Mara. Reva will be okay,” Grandma said, holding Mara’s hand.
“What would I do if we had lost her? I mean, what would have happened if no one had found Reva and that…animal…” she cried, resting her head on Grandma’s shoulder.
“Reva!” Mara exclaimed, reaching out in the direction of my voice.
I lifted my left arm out to catch hers, pulling it back down to the bedside. Slowly, I rubbed her middle knuckle; a personal action only by me. From this familiarity, she smiled beautifully. If only she had the ability to see, than she’d see the beauty that I looked at every day.
“Are you feeling all right?” Grandmother asked.
“It’s a constant jabbing that’s half covered by pain medication, but I think I can handle it.”
“Are you thirsty, Darling?” she asked.
“Actually, quite,” my voice cracked again.
She reached over to the side table next to my hospital bed, grabbing the Styrofoam cup of water and handing it in my direction. Slowly, I sipped. I wasn’t completely dehydrated from the fluids that were being pumped into me.
Charlotte came running through the door.
“Reva!” she shouted.
I smiled in her direction, thankful that my best friend had come to visit.
“I’m such a terrible friend. I should have driven you home, but you know how stubborn you are with walking; always having to be healthy and fit. I’m so sorry,” she cried.
“Charlotte, it wasn’t your fault. I was just in the wrong place at the wrong time. No one’s ever been attacked by a wolf here, I don’t think,” I said, sighing.
“I still feel guilty,” she gulped.
“Don’t. I’m alive. That’s all that matters. All I have to do now is get back on my feet,” I implied.
“That’s Reva for you. She’s attacked and injured by a wolf and she’s ready to stand on her feet within four minutes of waking up,” Mara explained, laughing.
Grandma chuckled. As she did, the doctor entered the room.
“Feeling any better?” he asked, now smiling.
I nodded, sipping more water.
“Doctor, when do you think she can go home?” Mara asked, serious and no longer laughing.
“She should stay at least a couple more days. We have to make sure there isn’t an infection in the wolf bite. We already tested you for rabies and it came back negative.”
“A few more days? I missed the history test. Charlotte and I were studying for it before I left to go home,” I pouted, angrily.
“Well, you should rest for a while longer. That bite will put some strain on your daily routines for a while,” the doctor explained.
I sighed, wondering what other quizzes or tests that I missed. It was going to be real fun playing catch up for the next week or two.