“A BEAST OF A TALE”
A young Donavo ran through the Bristol Woods. Not far behind him was a pack of large green eyed wolves. They were inching closer as Donavo’s speed decreased. Donavo tripped on a white rock. Donavo, then at arm’s length from the wolves, let out a frightened scream. One of the wolves bit him on his left arm, ripping off a piece of his flesh. He cried out in pain. “Help me! Please somebody!”
The branches on the ground made a crackling noise as footsteps approached. Rocks began to fly through the air. “I’m here.” Some rocks hit the wolves and others crashed down upon Donavo. He tried to cover his face with his hands. Blood was dripping down his left arm. The wolves began to scatter. Agnes approached him. She placed a rock back into her sack and reached out her hand to Donavo.
“Oh, Agnes go away.” Donavo waved her away.
“Oh, you had the situation under control? You are lucky that I showed up.”
“Showed up? You were likely following me.”
“The guardians have said not to come out here.”
“Then why are you here?
“Saving your life, ingrate.”
“No saving needed. Just a little bite. It doesn’t hurt much.”
“Gross. You are not bringing your infection home. You will see a physician. Get up!”
Agnes yanked him up from the ground. “We don’t have time for this.”
“I’m nine you know. You can’t be leading me. I can think for myself, Agnes.” They started to escape the woods.
“If you want to turn half wolf go ahead. Just don’t expect to stay in Bristol. ”
“A wolf? You lie, Agnes.”
“Trust me, I’m eleven I’ve seen things.”
“Things? I’ll ask Nestor. He knows more than you.”
“Yes, Nestor. I’m sure that he’s dying to befriend an infected boy. ”
“You seem upset.”
“You know I’m not going to be around forever to protect you. There are strange elements in this world.”
“I agree, like your face.”
She gave him a menacing glance.
“Can we go to Flaco and see a physician there?” He changed his intention.
“No, we are staying in Bristol. This is not an excuse to go wandering off. You want to get lost on the Octo Trail?”
“I think I’d enjoy being lost.”
“Your infection is growing by the millisecond.”
“I hear about the other villages. Why is it that we never leave Bristol?”
“Well for instance Flaco has loose laws, if any.”
“Yes, Bristol has laws and Flaco does not. Meaning that if you do something bad in Flaco, you might not be punished for it.”
“Sounds good. I don’t like the idea of punishments. But then you stop me from getting into trouble.”
“Or if someone harms you they might not be punished,” Agnes finished.
“Right. Here in Bristol you would go before the Punishere if you did something wrong. He hands out the punishment.”
“Got it. My arm is starting to hurt now. It burns.”
“Hopefully, the physician can treat you before you get all hairy and toothy.”
“Funny. What about the Crescent?”
Agnes whacked him on his arm. “Look, you are never to go to Crescent village or Flaco. Never under any circumstances. ”
“Alright, I get it. I think.”
“I’m serious. I will not come to get you from either of those places.”
“What about Kobo? I’d like to see the berry fields.”
“Kobo is very far from here. I’m sure that the berry fields are guarded. You’d get lost like I said within the eight paths.”
“Ondello? Ash? Sandor? Logoff?”
“You just stay in Bristol for now.”
“I was in Bristol.”
“Stay out of the woods. Stop talking until we get to the physician. I need time to think.”
Donavo rubbed his left arm. He wrapped his fingers around the strands of thick, long white hair that had emerged near his wound. He wiped a tear from his cheek and remained silent.
One week later, the guardians placed Donavo and his belongings in a wagon headed to the Crescent. They wrapped him up well to disguise his new physique. “It is dark. No one will notice him. Don’t worry he will fit in well amongst the other freaks,” the wagon driver assured them. The guardians stood back as Agnes said goodbye to her little brother.
“I thought we would get to the physician on time. I’m sorry. The people of Bristol would not accept you like this. They wouldn’t accept us.” She petted his hairy head.
“You said you’d never come to the Crescent. It’s too dangerous there.”
“You’ll be just fine. Just be yourself. If someone or something bothers you just bite their face off. I was wrong. Who knows, maybe I will pick up enough courage to visit you one day. ”
“You’ll think about it?”
“Yes, of course. In the meantime make good with the other wolves. You are just a boy. You will need to create a family for yourself.” All at once, Agnes felt the worst that she had ever felt in her eleven years. She quickly walked away.
“I have a family.” Donavo’s red damp eyes focused back on the driver. He let out a loud howl and forced himself to sleep.