Ken stared at the clouds as they flew by. Wind whipped his hair around his face, sometimes hitting his eyes. In front of him, Maya hung on to Calicu’s thick neck as if she would fly off. Once she mentioned something about not being big on riding dragons to far places, and the otherside of the country was a pretty far place away. In his head, he went over the plan he and Maya had come up with. When they reached ground, he’d distract the ogres while Maya went to save whatever people were being held from a small town not too far away.
“There!” Called Maya, “Land by the outskirts of the town, Calicu.”
A low growl rumbled in the dragon’s throat as a response. He made a wide circle, his orange scales glinting in the sunlight, then slowly decended into a small clearing by the town. Maya and Ken jumped off. To the right was a narrow two lane road, and on the left were trees.
“Calicu, stay hidden in the trees. We’ll give a call when we’re ready to go,” Ken said, looking up at the big dragon. There was a small growl of understanding then he lumbered behind the trees. Ken then looked to Maya, “Need me to track them?”
Intently looking around, Maya said, “Yeah, I think so. I can’t quite tell where they’d be. This road looks rarely used, so they could be able to cross it,” she looked across the small road, “or they could be on this side just further down. Our sources only said near the town.”
Ken closed his eyes, and let all of his current thoughts and worries dissolve from his mind. All he focused on was primal instinct. A rippling sensation flowed through his abdomen, as he felt his muscles start to contract. Hair started to grow from every inch of skin, his nails hardened and become claws. The unifrom became constricting, and using his claws he tore it off, to reveal long brown fur, covering his body. He dropped to all fours, and unable to resist, a howl escaped from his muzzle. Opening his orange eyes, he looked up to see Maya now looking at him.
“Did you have to howl?” She asked.
The werewolf just grunted and sniffed at the ground, searching for an ogre scent. Near the edge of the road there was a pudgent smell mingled with the fear of humans. He beared his teeth, and ran off to where the smell was thicker. Running toward it, he could sense Maya easily staying behind him. It always surprised him how agile Maya was in heels. Suddenly, he stopped and pricked his ears up. Footsteps. Heavy, slow footsteps not too far away.
His partner stopped next to him, and they slowly picked their way through the woods, until they saw a clearing in the distance. Far to the left he heard muffled whimpers of humans. He took a breath, looking to the left. Maya looked that way too, and her eyes showed that she understood. Even though he couldn’t speak words in his wolf form, he’d been her partner long enough that she understood what he meant.
Slowly, she lowered herself into a crouch and whispered, “Kenny, you go out into the clearing, attack one of the ogres and then I’ll free the people and come help. Ready?” He lowered himself to the ground, getting ready to leap. “Go,” she said.
Springing up he landed in the middle of the clearing and stood on his hind legs, and howled loudly. A surprised, unarmed ogre charged toward him. Showing his teeth, he snarled and grabbed the monster’s fist in his clawed hand, then brought him close and dug his teeth into it’s shoulder and neck. Blood dripped from his muzzle as he threw the ogre to the side. Hearing footsteps from behind, he dropped to all fours and turned. As the monster’s wooden club came down, Ken bit at his leg, feeling the bone between his teeth. In pain from the hit over the shoulder, he crushed the bone between his jaws, making the ogre wail in pain.
A sharp pain spread on his stomach, as he felt the kick of another ogre. Whimpering, he backed up some, feeling another club hit him in the back. Growling, he looked up, and slowly stood. On two paws he was almost at the ogre’s height. Anger blazed in his eyes as he lifted his club. Ken caught the club with hih right hand and pulled it out from his grip, then grabbed at his tangled beard with his left hand and pulled him forward to the ground. With the club, he whacked the ogre as hard as he could on the back of the head.
“You will not disturb us anymore!” Yelled a gruff voice, and an arm tightly locked around Ken’s throat.
Coughing, the werewolf struggled for air, digging his claws into the ogre’s arm. With every scratch his grip tightened. Leaning his head back, he parted his jaws and nipped at the ogre’s chin. In surprise, he loosened his grip. As hard has he could, he bit down on his upper neck, then dragged him to the ground. Growling he looked around, ready for more, only to see the ogre whose leg he broke sitting not too far away from him. Snarling, he walked over to the last living ogre.
“Wuh-wait! Have mercy!” He screamed, pitifully, “I have a family at our tribe.”
Ken almost couldn’t believe this monster as he walked closer to him, showing all of his teeth, blood dripping from all of them.
“Wait,” Maya said walking over to them. She picked up one of the other’s club’s as she walked by. “Where’s your tribe?”
“They’re north! In a forest near some mountains! We were running out of food so-”
“You travled hours away to terrorize some small town!?” Maya asked, angrily. She took ther club and swung it at the ogre’s cheek. He coughed out a yellow tooth, with some blood. “What brought you here?”
“We-we lived here years ago, but then moved afraid the humans would know our prescence. Near the mou-mountains, we ate animals, but our tribe was missing the taste of human meat, so the leader sent a few of us here to hunt.”
Looking up at his partner, Ken saw a scowl form on her face.
“Let’s leave him here,” she said, angrily, and then walked away, dropping the club.
Ken followed after her without looking back. He knew exactly what she did. With a broken leg like that he wasn’t going anywhere anytime soon, and would eventually perish. As angry as she was, he knew she wouldn’t kill him herself. He rose to his hind legs and gently nudged her arm. She smiled up at him and said:
“Thanks. Let’s go home.”
* * *
“You know, you are just way too quiet, sometimes,” Mariah said to Jasmine as they walked through the hallway together, their arms linked.
“Really?” Jasmine asked, with a fake smiled on her face. As they walked along, the half-vampire really wished, Mariah would take her arm away. Being this close to a full human, Jassie could hear the blood circulating throughout her body and feel her steady heartbeat.
“Yeah, but it’s not a bad thing. You just won’t be able to find a boyfriend so easily is all.”
“A boyfriend?” She asked, stopping in her tracks, “Shouldn’t we, uh, you know, focus on getting and education and learning what we can now?” She did not sign up for this to date people.
Mariah laughed and said, “We’re young. We need guys. Besides, we can multitask, yeah?”
“Sure, I guess.”
“So anyway, I was thinking, how about you and Cole?”
“Wha-what?” Jasmine asked, bewildered.
“Come on, Penny. Cole. He’s a great guy,” she said, and started walking again, tugging Jasmine with her, “and I’m sure he thinks you’re cute.”
Jasmine made a face. She’s seen Cole around them, and he’s always looking at Mariah like she’s the last girl alive. “But I think he-“
“Were you homeschooled before?” Mariah asked, cutting her off.
“Um,” Jasmine quickly tried to think back to what their story was supposed to be, then said, “No, we lived farther north and were in a private school.”
“Ah,” Mariah said, “Seems that private school really drove home studying, huh?”
Mariah quickly turned and grabbed Jassie’s hands then said, “Hey! You just need to have a sleepover at my place! We’ll do all kinds of fun things, and I’ll help you shop for some clothes to go on a date with Cole!”
Now, she inwardly panicked. What should she say now? They didn’t have anything going on this weekend. No extra missions or anything. Could it hurt her this once? What if she got hungry and needed blood? “I’ll…ask my parents and call you…later…” she let her voice trail off dumbly. Oh, she knew that response must have sounded fake.
“Okay, good. If they say yes, you can just ride the bus home with me tomorrow, and you’ll be on that date Saturday evening!”