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“The White Wolf”

by J. McDougald

In the midnight shadows the white wolf was nearly invisible, standing in the foot-deep snow between the trees that surrounded the cabin. Motionless, it did not breathe, eyeless yet it saw everything, with patience that came only to the lifeless. The white wolf sat on its haunches and waited. It needed only one.

#

The game wasn’t over yet but it appeared as though Davey-boy was going to come in last, again. Typical.

Nineteen year old David smirked from across the living room as he watched Mike smoothly drawing Stephanie in with his considerable charm. Dave had liked Stephanie for some time and this was supposed to be the weekend he made his move. It was supposed to be just him and Stephanie, Jared and Tina. What the hell was Mike doing here anyway?

Seeing his beer bottle was almost empty, David left the large den and headed for the kitchen. Jared moved away from his girlfriend and intercepted him at the doorway.

“Hey Davey, sorry about-” he began, speaking loudly to be heard over the music blaring from the stereo.

“Don’t worry about it Jared.” David said raising his nearly empty beer. “Sure the weekend’s completely fucked, but at least I had to drive five hours on ice covered roads into the middle of the wilderness to be here for it.”

“Shit man, don’t be like that! Mike wasn’t supposed to be here!”

David crossed the lavish cabins kitchen to the built-in refrigerator and pulled open the door, facing Jared who’d followed.

“Not a total wash though huh? Thank God for the foot of snow that’s got us all trapped here.” Dave looked into the fridge then turned back to his friend. “Wuh-oh.”

“What?” Jared looked inside the fridge, then back to Dave still not comprehending.

“Think I’m gonna have to make a beer run.”

Jared laughed, disbelieving. “Are you nuts?”

Dave just smiled.

Their small circle of friends had been coming up to Jared’s families cabin for a few years now, and during some of those many trips strange alcohol fueled traditions and rituals were born. Traditions like the Beer Run.

The seeds of the ritual were planted in a moment of pure and dire necessity two years before. Having completely run out of alcohol, Dave, Jared and another friend had trekked drunkenly through the woods to the Anderson’s cabin to re-supply. The next weekend the tradition bloomed with a dare: hike through the pitch-black woods and return with a six-pack from Anderson’s, alone.