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Rolfin's Orb
Book 11 - Diamond – Malawi
Chapter 11

          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.”

The five 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 eyes.

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.

“They’re 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. “Quiet, Jason.”

“They’re trying to break the door in, Uncle Angus.” Fiona ran to her mum. “Mum, what’s going to happen to us?”

“Don’t be 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 into pieces.

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.

Nahimena appeared. 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.

“What just 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 safe.”

Nahimena selected 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 time.”

                             *  *  *

“A wizard?” 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. 

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