I Met Dean In The Woods One Day, Now I Can Never Go Back

Beau Rogers
Beau Rogers

I am safe, I am happy, I am home. With a healthy baby boy wrapped up in my arms, I couldn’t help but believe it. My life would have been so different had I not woken up late that day all those years ago, fate apparently taking an interest in me for once.

I rocked my sweet baby Adam, back and forth, sitting in an old whitewashed rocking chair that I had pulled up from the deepest corner of Dean’s basement. For a while I could not bring myself to go back down there, not quite remembering what had happened down there but still feeling phantom pain whenever I passed by the basement door. The basement only held bad memories for me. It was where I got accustomed to life with Dean, a long process that was confusing and I still don’t understand, and where I had Adam.

Bloody, blurry, painful memories. Lots had changed since then, and I was with Dean now. Dean was safe. Dean made me happy. Dean was my home. He provided for me and our baby, I couldn’t ask for more. Looking up from Adam’s sleeping face, I took in the view before us. It was the beginning of Fall and the leaves were changing into beautiful reds, oranges, and yellows. This deep in the forest, with so many trees, it seemed that everything was on fire, a fire that was still until a breeze passed through and made the flames dance.

I remember that the day I had met Dean, the trees were still green, and it was August. I remember that I used to live with my dad, the town sheriff in a small two-bedroom brick house. My dad’s face is blurry now, I haven’t seen him in so long.

I remember meeting Dean, vaguely. Waking up late to school, I had taken a shortcut through the woods. That shortcut lead to Dean, and I have never gone back. I wonder what month it was now, probably October or November. It was hard to tell sometimes, Dean was careful to never leave any newspapers in the house where I might see them. He said it would only upset me. Dean always knew best.

I leaned down to take a little sniff of Adam, he smelled good, like fresh cream and flowers. Baby scent. Dean smelled more like leather, wood, and tobacco, good strong smells that were burned into my brain. Dean said I smelled like sweet strawberries and grass, and that he would never ever forget how I smelled. He said he could smell where I’d been in the house for days after being in a spot. My nose wasn’t as strong as his, but I believed him nonetheless.

Dean didn’t let me leave our house in the woods, and I didn’t want to leave. If I went into town people would see me and try to take me away from my family. Disappearances happened sometimes in Riverview, but the disappearance of the Sheriff’s daughter didn’t happen. So even though it had been years, I wasn’t sure how many, my dad still had posters with my face up everywhere.

They didn’t understand though, I am happier here than I ever was with my dad. I am different now too, in ways that they don’t understand.
Adam and Dean’s family is now my family, and I wouldn’t ever leave them. Meeting Dean in the forest that day had changed me forever. Literally. Werewolves were things of myth and legend to the people of Riverview, but to us, it was life. That’s why we stayed together, wolves are stronger in a pack, and they’re happier and healthier. Dean’s family were all born this way, I was the only one who wasn’t. This made me dangerous and unpredictable as a wolf.

I sometimes wonder why Dean bit me, he knew what would happen. Bitten wolves could be perfectly fine, functional humans until the full moon, when the change made them into bloodthirsty monsters. The time I escaped my chains in the basement and the deaths that followed was a lesson on how dangerous I could be. Even my own pack were at risk.

Sometimes I’m mad at Dean for turning me. I got the sense though that Dean needed me that day though. He was looking for someone and he got me. Thinking thoughts like these were dangerous for me. I knew at this moment, three of Dean’s family members were inside the house and could hear my heartbeat starting to speed up as I thought these dangerous thoughts.

Like a prayer I repeat, “I am happy. I am safe. I am home.” I can never go back to my dad. I can never be human again. I can never leave this house. I think in my head.

I look down at my son. Adam had yet to experience his first full moon, and I had yet to have mine as a mother. I wondered how it would be different. Knowing that I would never live with myself if anything happened to my baby was something that kept me here. Kept me sitting on this decrepit rocking chair, in this isolated house in the woods, with a house full of werewolves that could hear my heartbeat banging in my chest. I kept sitting because I cannot leave. I can never go back to my dad. I can never be a human. I can never leave, and I am scared to death of being here. TC mark

Cliff Barlow’s second book, Darkness Prevails, is not for the faint of heart. You’ve been warned.

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