The shadow wolves—I don’t know if that is their actual name, it’s just the one I gave them—converged on us like a dark cloud. Fear grip me like a vice, threatening to squeeze every last bit of air out of my lungs. My heart stopped for so long I wasn’t even sure that it would ever beat again. It was the scariest moment in my life. It was even scarier than when my parents were killed by those werewolves, and that didn’t make any sense. Why, out of all the monsters, was I afraid of these ones?
I wrapped my arms around my sister and hunched down to protect her from the oncoming onslaught. We sat there for a lifetime waiting for the wolves to kill us. To tear us into so many pieces that no one would even be able to identify us. But nothing happened.
Eventually I gained the courage to look and there were no shadow wolves. The whole field was drenched in sunlight again and there were no monsters in sight.
“Huh?” I mumbled as we both stood back up.
“Where did they go?” Alex asked me, her voice calm and cool.
“I don’t know.”
“This is too weird.”
“Yeah, well, at least I am here to protect you. I wasn’t going to let those wolves kill you.”
She turned to face me with one eyebrow so high I though it was going to leap from her head.
“Are you kidding me?” she blurted.
“What?” I replied.
“You were this close to crapping your pants.” She held up her fingers like she was about to pinch them together, indicating just how close.
“That is so not true.” I don’t know why I argued with her. I definitely was. But it wasn’t like I was going to admit that to her, ever.
“You are so full of it.”
“I don’t get scared.”
She shook her head, letting go of the issue. I wasn’t going to let that one go if I could help it.
We both looked around a couple more times, making sure that the shadow wolves were definitely gone. They were.
“Okay then,” I said, a little louder than I should have for some reason. “I think it is obvious where we want to go.”
“Yeah,” Alex said, acting like she agreed with me. “Back to the warehouse.”
“Not a fat chance. Those wolves were clearly trying to scare us back where we came from.”
“Don’t you think that is a little obvious? If they wanted to scare us away they would just kill us.”
“Maybe they can’t.” I don’t know how that made any sense.
Alex made a face mixed with anger and humor, like she wanted hit me but laugh at me at the same time.
“Don’t be a dumbass,” she finally blurted.
Looking back at all of this my logic might have been right in line with hers but in the moment I knew the right way to take and there wasn’t a thing that she could say or do to change my mind.
“No,” I said with authority. “We need to keep going the way we were.”
We stared at each other like two cowboys—well, a cowboy and cowgirl—neither of us willing to budge. She was young and naïve and I was not. Just shut up. I am old enough to know better and I had to grow up really fast, so don’t act like you know better than I do. I’ve been through a hell of a lot more than most of you.
Alex let her shoulders slump in defeat, just like I knew she would. I couldn’t let her win that battle or I could set the notion that she could be right. I needed to establish authority over her. Don’t judge me.
“Fine,” she mumbled. “Lead the way then.”
“I’m glad you see it my way,” I said, right before I turned around and crossed the field.
We continued down the path to our salvation. At least that is what I thought. I told you, looking back I probably should have followed my sister’s logic…