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The Beast in Me (completed)
Suddenly, Sheena cringed,
“My gosh! Your injured! Your shoulder!”
“It's just a scratch!” I brushed it off and shrugged my shoulders, which was a stupid gesture as it induced an intense a jolt of pain in me. I grimaced. Sheena looked worried at me.
“Lemme have a look, it could be serious if it was inflicted by a werewolf.”
I made a defensive step backwards.
“I'm a Veela, you know, I have healing powers!” She giggled. My defenses sank and, reluctantly, I gave myself up to Sheena's care. Again she attempted to apply her powers by holding both hands close to the wound without touching it. But although she seemed to strain for some time, it seemed as though nothing was going to happen. Sheena looked frustrated. She tried over and over again but it appeared as though I was immune to her powers.
“I don't understand...” Sheena sighed disappointed but I guessed that we both had the same hunch.
“I'm a werewolf, Sheena. Veela's don't tend to heal werewolves, remember?” I said without completely suppressing a sneer.
Sheena looked aghast.
“I never seriously meant what I said earlier... about us being enemies... you know that. I never believed anything like this could be reality... until now.”
“Well, it is real ...and I suppose we better start dealing with the consequences.” I sighed.
“That's true... we need to learn more about this stuff... Veela-lore.”
“Or werewolf-lore!” I added with false pride.
“It's connected, can't you see? We define each other. If only my mo... wait!” Sheena stopped and looked at me with wide eyes.
“Mrs. Hensley! Of course!”
“What?” I was confused.
“She knew my mother. When we met her at the market she wanted us to come visit her. Because she knows! She knows what this is all about, I can feel it! We need to pay her a visit. Maybe she can explain things to us. How this works. How we can protect us against the werewolves.”
I sideglanced down to where Mandy was lying. She had budged a bit in her unconsciousness.
“Mrs. Hensley? I dun-no...” I said in a drawn-out way pretending to be skeptical, against my own sense that Sheena probably was dead on right. Then I realized that Sheena's body was appearing more solid for every second that went by. Her glowing white aura was dimming and it looked as though she was about to turn back into her human form, just as I had a few minutes ago. Sheena also seemed to become aware of her transformation,
“You better take Mandy back into town... I need to look after my father. Will you manage?”
“Whaddya think?!” I said gruffly. Defying the pain in my shoulder, I bent down and carefully scooped Mandy's limp and wet body from the ground. I was surprised at how easily I could do it. Right, my superpowers used to linger on a while even after I retransformed into my human form. I wondered whether the same went for Sheena. Hadn't Zeus mentioned that the werewolves' chance to attack was when the Veela was in her human form. I hesitated but Sheena nodded encouragingly,
“Just be careful! Uhhmm... you do realize, we're gonna have to keep our... second nature... a secret, right?” Sheena said reasonably.
“Do I look like I'm going to go around bragging about being a werewolf?!” I barked at Sheena and regretted my temper immediately, “Sure, I'll carry Mandy back to her house and make the whole thing sound like an attack by ordinary wolves.”
Sheena gave me a forced smile. Her eyes expressed something that I wished I could respond to more kindly than I could bring myself to do. I don't know what was wrong with me.
“Sheena, I...” that was all I managed to bring over my lips. Sheena smiled,
“Get her into safety now!”
Only after we had parted, it struck me that it indeed was Sheena's birthday today. And what a birthday it had been already! How would we ever be able to go back to normal after this? After my own transformation for the first time, I had been able to fool myself into believing that everything had been a figment of my own imagination, perhaps a mental illness. Although that possibility still could not been ruled out completely, now it seemed that there was a whole supernatural world unfolding before us. Not only for me but for Sheena as well. We were truly in this together. But I was afraid of the fact that we could end up standing on opposite sides at some point. Even though Sheena denied it, we were enemies by nature. I still posed a potential threat to her and those who she protected. I was a werewolf - of kinds.
Once I was back in the normal world, things changed rapidly. I brought Mandy back to her parent's house where everyone was worried sick. The wolf attack was swallowed hook, line and sinker, setting off an immediate hunt by a horde of rangers. Mandy was hospitalized, my mother was informed, and I was interrogated by the police. I was treated as prime witness. But I sensed that something else hung in the air. I couldn't lay my finger on it though. But inspector Dan Shelley was asking strange questions about the dam incident a while ago.
“It's strange that you're involved in rescuing a girl from your school again... some would say suspicious.” He said. His tone was benign, not accusatory at all but only confounded at the circumstances. My mother however took me into protection.
“You leave my son alone, Dan! He's been through a lot for saving that stupid girl! Look, he's injured and needs care!”
“It's okay, mom, I'm fine! Inspector Shelley's just doing his job here.”
My mother was wrapping a blanket around me more tightly. I winced.
“I'm sorry, Priscilla, but the wolf attack on the girl was not the only thing that we're dealing with here tonight. In fact, we're facing more tragic things.”
Both my mom and I fell silent and stared at him.
“There was a death. Sorry lad... you'll soon hear about it anyway... one of your schoolmates...”
A lump formed in my throat. Please. No! My mind was screaming.
“It's Martin Riley...” he said gravely. It hit me with both shock and relief. Relief because I had been worried for Sheena's sake and shock because I knew that Marty had been one of Frank's droogs as of late.
“How...?” my mom stammered.
“That's a mystery by itself. We found him on the premises of the Cheekenovah Reservoir Dam hydroplant. Apparently a falling accident.” Then he turned to me. “I suppose you have some recollections of the place yourself...”
“So he trespassed over the fence...”
“No... the fencing was reinforced since that accident with the other girl... you rescued. No... the main entrance was unlocked. He... or someone he was with must have gotten hold of the keys. Somehow.”
“Frank...” I muttered before I could stop myself.
“What did you say, son? Do you have any information about whom he might have been with last night?”
“I... uhmm, no.” I said. “But there are probably many people who have a key to that place. Isn't there a lot of construction going on out there?”
Dan looked awkwardly to the ground but then he fixed my eyes,
“You've been honest with me son, so I won't give you any less: we found that there seems to be some irregular activity at the dam and the surroundings going on as of late. Construction has been extended into the adjacent reservation and has been exploited for thus far unknown purposes. We have started an investigation. Of course the Sawatzky Mining Corporation has some explaining to do. According to our information Mr. de Veela who is the person in charge for uranium ore mining at SMC...” My mouth flew open in protest, “...appears to have had possession of the master key for the building. We will start questioning him first thing in the morning.” Dan finished.
In my mind, I was rapidly piecing Mandy's story together with this information. My head was aching. Sheena's dad had the key, uranium mining at the dam, Marty dead, Mandy's so-called prank on Sheena. It all added up to one thing,
“Frank...” I muttered again. Dan looked at me suspiciously.
“You know more than you've said, don't you...?” Again his voice was more empathetic than policing. He sighed, “Look, we know who's the ultimate person in charge in this town, but... ...and we know that the behavior of certain youngsters have been questionable. We are doing what we can to...”
“There is only one person who is responsible for all this mess. He never gets tried. He's immune to the razz...” There I used Frank's slang. Ugh! But I was a droog now myself, wasn't I?
Dan's expression hardened,
“Don't imply anything you would regret, son. No one is immune to the police authorities. But evidence is necessary... not just hearsay or bad reputation. If you have anything substantial to convey, come forward, otherwise I advise you to be careful of any false accusations. You are sixteen now.”
That was a clear threat. My mom, looked appalled at Dan and pulled me away from the place.
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