The cries of rage from both sides sent a chill through me. We at least outnumbered huge creatures, some of whom ran on four legs and others on two. I assessed the situation in ten seconds and realized one important fact: these creatures were after me, not the others.
So I threw myself into midst of them.
"You crazy, stupid, two-leg mouse!"
That would be Edmond.
I was not suicidal: the move startled the creatures who were preparing to attack the others and now turned to me, more than a little wary, wondering what trick I planned.
I wished I knew myself.
I had counted on one factor and it appeared to work. With the werewolves focused on me, the others were able to regroup and attack on their own. I saw Beth and Harvey taking advantage of that moment, moving quickly, bringing out their weapons --
Time had slowed down. The wolves had turned, growled, and taken a step closer in a circle of brown fur, blood red eyes, and huge gaping muzzles. The teeth looked sharp and the ones standing on their back legs had long claws as well. I noted them all, my heart pounding but my head clear.
Lord Snow attacked first. The yowl of the huge cat cut through that moment of timelessness as he leapt, sweeping so close by me that I felt the brush of his fur on my face. Front and back claws grabbed at any creatures in the way and knocked two others down as well. The rest of my companions were charging in now, weapons in hand. I wondered if I needed to get hold of something like a knife. Didn't like weapons, but in a place that apparently didn't like me --
Two of the creatures came straight at me in a leap, one from straight ahead and one from the left side. I stepped backwards with instinctive haste and almost tripped --
The two werewolves collided with each other. One went down in a heap and the other fell over him, started to stand -- and went down again.
A couple darts protruded from his back.
"Get down, all of you! Mark, down!"
I threw myself down into the mass of dark, unmoving werewolf fur. The creature smelled as though he'd been rolling in the grass somewhere recently, and I wondered where he could have found grass at all in this desolate place.
There were sounds all around me. I dared lift my head enough to see Lady and her people charging through the area and helping Beth's group kill the werewolves. I wondered if I should be upset at the deaths, but I remembered Tommy and knew that we didn't want this evil turned loose. Even if they had ben something else before, there was no going back now.
Darman had done this.
At the mere thought of his name, I turned and found Darman -- Sheriff Creston -- standing at the edge of a ruined building. His hands moved oddly. Directing the werewolves? I started to stand to rush forward and tackle him.
Maggie knocked me down.
"If you do one more idiotic thing, I'm going to have Lady put a dart in you and we'll cart you through the rest of this nightmare!"
"Glad to see you, too, Maggie," I replied with a bright grin. Beth scrambled over to join us and I introduced her to my cousin. "Maggie is really the brains of the family," I said.
"Good, because it's plain it's not you."
Maggie gave a nod of agreement and didn't even smile.
"Hey, it worked! They turned on me and the others had a chance to attack. I'm glad you came along though, Maggie. How did you find us?"
"Chance," she said. "I told Lady I was not giving up until I found out what happened to you. She said she knew some people who might be able to help. That would be you, Beth."
"And I found him by chance as well."
"And Edmond," I said, seeing the cat bounding towards us.
But I noticed that Darman saw as well, and he waved one hand. A werewolf turned from one of the others and made a leap, grabbing Edmond by the back leg and lifting him --
I went crazy. They might have thought I was crazy before this, but this time the howl I gave put the werewolves to shame. I went straight up to my feet and charaged.
So did Maggie. And Lord Snow.
The werewolf never stood a chance. I grabbed his arm, Maggie caught Edmond, and Lord Snow simply grabbed him by the back fo the neck. I let go in haste and the snow leopard bore him down and began shaking the werewolf like a ragdoll. I had the feeling Lord Snow was letting go of a lot of frustration right now.
Maggie had Edmond held close. I could see the cat trembling and hoped it was reaction and not injury. When I looked past her I could see Darman retreating at a run, soon lost in the shadows of the buildings. One werewolf trailed after him and even that one limped.
I hoped it would be a while before we had to face him again. I looked around at the others and everyone looked stunned. A few were hurt but they were already being treated. Lord Snow had given up his attack and came limping back to us. He looked ready to collapse.
We couldn't stay here, though. I knew that would make it too easy for all our enemies to find us. I looked around with growing worry.
Davis crossed to Lord Snow and laid both hands on the huge cat's head. I could see the energy going to him and hoped Davis was wise enough to stop before he was too weak as well.
But he gave us a chance. We had to go before something else happened.
To Be Continued. . . .