The pack of eighteen werewolves, led by Growler and Phelan, charged through
the forests, meandering through burn-filled glens and gorse-covered hills.
Their massive strides on all fours hammered the heather bells and patches of
bluebells into shredded stems and leaves and crushed petals.
Phelan ran ahead,
stopped and turned around to face them. The werewolves came to a halt, their
claws tearing the peaty ground of a bog. “We’re not far from Inveralba. Stay
close. We’re going to Angus’s first. That’s where most of them will be. They
should be sleeping, so our attack will be made simpler. We’ve two or three
hours before the full moon disappears. Are you prepared?”
Growler turned to
his pack. “Limikin, you take Varulf, Vikolak, Manero and Nahual and head for
the castle. The rest of us can handle the attack on the humans. If you find
anything alive there, kill it.”
werewolves bolted toward Castle Athdara while Phelan and Growler led the
other thirteen into the town.
“There it is,”
Phelan said. He growled and sniffed the air. “We’ll encircle the croft and
attack from all sides.”
The werewolves and
Phelan moved in, silent and undetected. Elspet, who had difficulty staying
asleep because of the continual time changes heard a dimmed growl. She
slipped her feet out of the covers and let them touch the cold floor. She
heard it again. After looking around the room she knew she was the only one
awake so she tiptoed to the window, pulled the curtains back and screamed.
Staring at her were sharp fangs, a drooling mouth, a wolf-like face and evil
The others jumped
to alertness. “What is it? Who screamed?”
Elspet let go of
the curtain. “There’s a monster outside.”
Jeffrey, Jack and
Jimmy went to the other windows. “There’s more than one,” Jimmy said.
“There’s an entire
pack of…I’m not sure,” Jeffrey said.
werewolves,” Jack said. “I’ve seen them before in Transylvania.”
Angus looked over
at Jason. “Jason, take the three books and the orb and come with me.”
Jason did as
instructed and followed Angus. Angus lifted some bricks and a piece of wood
from the floor in the backroom. “Get in there,” he said.
Jason saw a square
room, barely big enough for him to stand. “In there?”
“Yes. Here’s a
torch. Stay in there and guard the books and orb, just in case anything
happens to us. If it does, get hold of the wizards. Keep quiet.” Angus laid
a board down, blocking out his view and covered the board with the bricks.
“They’re trying to
break the door in, Uncle Angus.” Fiona ran to her mum. “Mum, what’s going to
happen to us?”
frightened, Fiona. You and Elspet stay near me. We’ll let the men take care
of this one,” Mairi said.
One of the windows
shattered and a clawed, hairy arm shot inside, reaching for whoever it could
grab. Another window broke and the slats of the wooden door began to crack
Jason turned on
his torch. He shone it on his book. He read off the spell to summon the
Chief Wizard. Though he couldn’t see, he knew he’d come to their rescue.
A light appeared
in the croft. “What’s that? Are the werewolves coming in magically?” Elspet
buried her head in Mairi’s chest.
He saw the werewolves arms and heard the noise outside. “Stand back.”
The men, surprised
to see the wizard, gathered in the center of the room. Nahimena raised his
arms high above his head.
“He’s got a magic
wand this time,” Fiona said.
Callum noticed it
too. “Wow. Cool! First werewolves and now a magic wand.”
Nahimena recited a
spell, swung the wand around above his head and then lowered his arm. The
werewolves withdrew their paws and backed up away from the croft.
happened?” Angus stared at Nahimena.
“I put a spell on
your croft, protecting it from evil. We’re safe now. I suggest one of you
let Jason out of that hole. He’s the one who summoned me.” The wizard smiled
at the girls. “You can relax now.”
Angus tossed the
bricks and board to the side and pulled Jason out. They carried the books
and orb back into the main room.
“I would also like
to suggest a few of us hunt those werewolves down. It’s a full moon and
they’re bloodthirsty. Just so you know, Phelan is among them, in the form of
a wolf.” Nahimena sat on the settee.
“Phelan. I should
have guessed that,” Mairi said. “Where are Johnny and the others? I thought
they’d be back by now.”
“Here’s a note,
Fiona,” Callum said, running with it in his hand.
Mairi, not Fiona,
took it from him. “Johnny says they came home so late and didn’t want to
disturb us, so they went over to Malcolm’s for the night. At least they’re
Julian and Jack to go with him. He took them to the side. “Werewolves are
difficult to kill. They either have to be stabbed with a pure silver knife
or spear and then we’ve got to cut off their heads and remove their brains
and destroy them. I happen to have a silver knife and spear for each of us.”
He pulled them out of his cloak. “We’ll have to do it one werewolf at a
* * *
Growler snarled and gasped for breath. “You neglected to mention that to us,
wolf. I ought to rip your throat out right now, you deceiving creature.”
“I had no idea a
wizard would be there. I’m the least of your worries now. They’re not going
to let us go. They’re coming after us,” Phelan said.
“What? Even a
wizard is no match for thirteen werewolves,” Growler snapped. “You have no
understanding of our strength and power.”
“Nahimena is the
Chief Wizard of Xilia. His powers are stronger than you can ever imagine.
You should go to the castle and hide there with the others. I will lead them
away from there into the woods. Once they are far away I will howl. That is
the sign that it’s safe for you to leave the castle.” Phelan’s silver fur
glistened in the light of the moon.
“You’d better be
right, Phelan. It disgusts me to run from any human.”
“He’s not human.
Now go!” Phelan dashed off into the woods, heading for the croft.
Growler led his
pack to Castle Athdara.
* * *
“That was scary,”
Elspet said, sitting on the edge of the bed.
“Why don’t you
three try to get a few hours sleep? It’s Tuesday now. Daylight will come
soon enough. You’ll probably have to go to your last place today, so sleep.
I’ll watch over you.” Mairi gave each of them a kiss on the forehead, pulled
the cover over them and watched until they fell asleep. She joined the
others on the settee. “They’re asleep. What a night. I forgot to mention
that Joacquin is now with Johnny. He apparently showed up as they were
leaving, so they took him along with them.”
The others nodded.
All closed their eyes and hoped to doze off.