”Wolf” A Short Story By Panayotis

Wolf

Wolf

By Panayotis

The man sat in his office as he looked at the clock on the wall, it was Friday evening and it was already 6:00 pm. No wonder he could not see anyone outside his office. Everyone had gone home by 5:00 pm. He knew that he had to get his paperwork together and get ready to go home.
Grudgingly he promised his brother that he would go with him ice fishing this weekend. He was not looking forward to going. But He loved his brother but his brother was an accident ready to happen. The man sat there trying to think of a way out of his predicament as the phone rang, it was his brother.

“Hey what are you doing? We’ve got to get going.”
Okay, Tom, I’m almost through here, I’ll be ready in half an hour.” His brother told him okay and the park was almost two hundred miles away, so he begged him to hurry.

As he hung up the phone he wondered why he kept getting himself into these dilemmas. It did not take him long to get to his apartment, it was just around the corner. The apartment was small but adequate.  He enjoyed the location; it was downtown and was only a few steps away from major restaurants and the city’s bustling nightlife.

Within minutes, he was home. He changed into some warm clothing and stood to wait at the entrance of his apartment building for his brother. Soon, his brother drove up and they were on the highway heading north towards the state park.

“So Tom, is the fishing good?”
“Good, it’s great. All you have to do is cut a hole in the ice and the fish will jump right out,” Tom sniggered as he spoke, “they just can’t wait to get out of that cold water.”
“Right, I believe you, Tom.”
“Honestly Peter, I wouldn’t lie to you?”
“Not unless you had to, right? By the way, what’s the weather forecast like? I thought I heard that a big storm was coming.”
His brother did not say anything just kept driving.

“Did you hear what I said?”
“Yea I heard you, it will be alright I have a nose for these things.”
Peter suddenly started to get nervous. Whenever he hears his brother say that he is in control, he panics.
“Listen Tom is there going to be a storm or not?”
“Yea, a little one, they always exaggerate, you know that.”

The problem was that he did not know that. The weather forecast was normally right on the money and if they were wrong, they usually underestimated the strength of the storm. He was very angry with  Tom. He should have known better than to trust him.

Snowflakes started to hit the front windshield. They had been driving for nearly an hour, leaving small quaint towns behind as they got closer and closer to the state park. It was now snowing very badly. He could hardly see ten feet ahead of him. He glanced at his brother Tom, as he strained his eye to see ahead.

As he was telling his brother, “Don’t you think you should slow down a bit, the visibility…” his brother slammed the brakes on the car. The car skidded out of control as soon as the tires made contact with the ice surface that lay hidden underneath the snow.

The car crashed through the guardrail as it momentarily became airborne. It grazed a snow pile on its way to a large evergreen tree. The crushing sounds of the hood of the car were the last thing the men heard.

Peter slowly opened his eyes, awakened by a loud blaring sound; he felt sweat rolling down his face. Suddenly realized that he was not sweating, but was covered with blood. He then saw the site of his brother’s blood covered face as his eyes focused and it came into view. His brother’s body leaned against the stirring wheel. He pulled his brother off the stirring wheel as he spoke to him. There was no response; his brother was breathing, yet unconscious. He tried to see how badly his brother was hurt. There didn’t seem to be any bones broken, but he could not be sure.
He grabbed his cell phone and tried to dial out only to find that he was unable to get a signal. He wasn’t surprised, the weather was miserable outside.

Then he heard for the first time the howling. Thinking to himself that it sure sounded like a wolf. Boy that was all he needed. Looking at his watch; he must have out cold for almost an hour after the impact. Dam he was freezing, he tried to see outside the window but couldn’t, it was covered with snow. So he opened the door with difficulty, it was blocked. With a strong heave, the door gave way and opened. He got out of the car and looked around. But he could not see very much, it was dark, the moon was hidden behind the clouds. He noticed that the snow had slowed down drastically to what it had been. Trying his phone again, still no signal.

The tree that they hit was enormous; it had to be at least one hundred feet tall. The car had never got to the truck of the tree. The huge branches had stopped them. He walked towards the enormous pine tree as he slid under its branches to a large clearing protected by the tree. He knew that he had to get his brother out of the car or he would freeze to death.

Here he could use what he had learned as a Boy Scout and start a fire. Yes, that was what he was going to do, so he headed back to the car and opened the door, his brother hadn’t moved. As he tugged on his brother, he heard the howling of the wolf again, he was certain that the sound was closer. The snow had practically stopped as he looked up to see the moon escaping the clouds. The area lit up. He slowly dragged his brother as they disappeared between the branches, he had not noticed the killer eyes in the distance.

He had the fire going in a short time after he laid his brother on a layer of pine needles, covered with a blanket taken from the car. The fallen branches from the tree were very dry and ignited easily. He checked his brother, who seemed comfortable as he walked around picking up some of the fallen branches. His arms were full as he turned around and was terrified at what he saw.

A wolf was slowly moving towards his brother with its jaws wide open. It looked like the wolf could taste its next meal. He dropped the pile of sticks on the ground, which startled the wolf. He quickly grabbed a branch from the fire and attacked it. The wolf momentarily held its grounds as a heart retching growl came from it. The animal wasn’t afraid of the man, but the fire was another thing altogether. Suddenly, the head of another wolf came into view with two more right behind it.

Seeing them, he grabbed another branch and with one branch in each hand, he charged the wolf. The wolf was too scared of the fire that it ran back the way it came with the rest of the pack right behind it. With the wolf gone, he rushed back and brought more wood for the fire. He wanted to make sure that the flames were big and hot. This was the only chance they had to survive.

He turned as brother spoke.“What happened?”
He quickly explained what had happened and the predicament they were in. He tried again to use his cell phone. A smile came across his face as he heard a dial tone. He called 911.

The next few hours were the scariest of his life as they waited for help to reach them. It had started to snow heavily again and he knew the roads would be blocked everywhere and he didn’t know how long before help would arrive. All he could hear was the movements of the wolves around him as they continued to look for a way to attack.

What he heard next was what sounded like a gunshot. There was a rustling sound as the head of a trooper came into view.
“Everybody okay, we’ll have you out in a few moments. He smiled as he looked down at his brother.

A few moments later, they were in the emergency vehicle. The paramedics made his brother more comfortable as they took care of him.
As they drove away, he glanced out the window as he saw the moon again escaping its prison. He could see in the distance the pack of wolves, with their haunting eyes gleaming in the night.

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