PROMPT: Tragically HIp
WORD COUNT: 1,384
NOTES: This is my week one entry for January's brigits_flame. Some violence, some swearing.
Claire knew the party was over when she heard the first scream.
She should have heard the heavy thumping of a body slamming into a solid wood door and the tearing of the wood splintering. But the music was so loud that it was making the house throb.
She should have noticed the uneasy tension growing in the other room. But she was sitting on the kitchen counter, wiping the sweat from her beer can and feeling comfortably buzzed. Her head was light and airy and she enjoyed the sensation of not thinking about anything, anything at all except Jason's eyes that reminded her of water reflecting in a chlorine-blue pool.
She should have smelled musky odor of wet dog and foaming saliva. But Jason was having to stand so close to her to be heard. She could feel his breath on her cheek and if he were any closer, he would have to kiss her. She wanted to reach up like they did in the movies and put her hand to the back of his neck and pull him in.
Instead they both heard the scream. Jason turned his head with an expression that wanted to be amused, but couldn't erase its concern. Claire body became rigid with fear. All she could think was, No, dad. No, no, no. No, dad, no.
Then another scream followed the first. Others in the kitchen began shift uncomfortably and mutter under their breaths. On kid, who was in Claire's English class, she was sure, slurred, "Duuuuude. Who died?"
Jason pulled away from her as the sounds from the next room erupted. Yelling and screams, and the sound of bodies slamming against one another. Someone slammed through the swinging kitchen door, followed by several others. Someone slammed into Jason and he fell back into Claire, knocking her head against the cabinets.
At some point the music cut out, because in the ensuing silence, Claire heard a voice shout, "Run. Run!"
"There's a bear in the house!" said another.
"There are no bears in California," Jason said, though the panic was too intense for him to be heard and kids were piling into the garage to get out. Claire was still pinned to the counter. She couldn't think logically enough to function, or even answer Jason when he asked her if she was alright. Her mind was still stumbling over the question of bears. No, there were no bears in the house. She knew there were no bears. But there were wolves. Well, one wolf. There was definitely one wolf in the house, in the basement, where she had locked him up like a good, dutiful daughter, like she had to do every month, and she never forgot, never forgot, so how, how, how was this even happening?
"I'm going to go check things out." It took Claire a moment to realize Jason was speaking, and another moment to realize that he had left her and crept over to the living room door. Just before he slipped through the swinging door, she noticed that he had a butcher knife in his hand.
"Oh shit," she said out loud. Just what the hell did he think he was going to do with a butcher knife against a pissed off werewolf, or even a bear, damnit, if that's what he thought it was. He wasn't some crazy woodsman with an axe; he was a dumb fucking soccer player, and not even first string.
She lept off the counter and almost ran after him, but then stopped. Just what the hell was she going to do, going after a werewolf with no weapon. So she headed toward the back of the kitchen toward the hall. On her way, she saw movement under the kitchen table. The kitchen was quiet now and she didn't hear anymore yelling from the living room, but she could see someone hiding. It was a boy she didn't recognize either from her classes or from her school halls.
"Get into the garage," she said, pointing into the direction of a door. But he just whimpered. "Now! Damnit, get you ass moving, now!" she added more forcefully and he sent a chair skidding across the room as he scrambled for the door.
In the hall it was quite. She couldn't see any movement or hear any sounds from the direction of the living room, as she quietly slipped into her room.
Someone screamed. Claire screamed and jumped a mile high. A second later, her friend Althea had her arms wrapped around her. "Oh, my god, Claire! Claire! There's a, a ... i don't know what it is. A bear! Or something. Oh, my god, oh my god. What the hell?"
"I know. It's okay. Okay?" Claire wriggled loose of Althea's grip and pulled open her bottom drawer. She pulled out a five-foot long bullwhip that was partly woven with silver thread and a six inch silver dagger. She hated that she had these things, but her father insisted that she have them and know how to use them.
"There's always a chance that I could get loose one night," he would say in his soft, soothing voice. "And if that happens, I want you to be able to defend yourself." Claire had just enough wolf in her that her father seemed to recognize her, or at least tolerate her, when the full moons came around. On those nights, she would sometimes go down to the basement and read. He never got riled up when she was there, never thrust against the side of the bars, like he did when her uncle or anyone else was around. But the argument that he would never attack her was a weak one at best. There was no telling what a werewolf would do when he changed.
Claire secured the dagger to her waist, and unlooped the whip so that it hung loose along the ground.
"What the hell are you going to do with that?" Althea's hair looked mangled and even more wild than normal, and her eyes were as wide as dinner plates.
Claire wasn't really sure herself, but she said, "Don't worry about it. Just stay here and lock the door."
"You can't go out there."
"It'll be fine. Just lock the door." Clair slide out of her room and closed the door behind her. It felt like ages since the first scream had tore through the house, but it must have been only minutes.She could hear the sound of scuffling, of something big and heavy moving about in the living room and she wondered if Jason was in there. She had never had to confront her dad as a wolf before. He had always been safely secured in the cage of the basement during the change.
Claire tried to loosen her muscles like she was taught, but she was tense and rigid as she made her way down the hall, standing close to the wall. She could see into the front portion of the living room. The couch was knocked over and ripped into. Bits of white fluff floated around the room. From behind a couch, Claire a pair of sharply healed boots. Claire knew those boots and she knew ho they belonged to. They were the designer boots, all style and no comfort, that Sam was showing off earlier in the night along with her new BCBG dress. Claire remembered making some comment to Jason earlier in the evening, saying how too bad she couldn't buy a personality to go along with those super kewl boots.
She tried not to think about Sam behind the couch, or what stat she as in, and instead peered around the corner. A great hulk of black fur had its back to her. It was occupied with something on the ground. It pawed at something and made low rumbling sound, its muscles rippling beneath its fur.
Claire took a slow deep breath and then stepped around the corner. She let her arm with the bullwhip pull back and then forward with a loud crack to catch her father's attention. The wolf jumped and lifted it head to look at her with rheumy yellow eyes. It growled, a low rumble, and Claire immediately knew her mistake.
This wolf was not her father.
Side note: I intended to finish the fight through, but am short on time, so I'll end it here. I will try to finish up it up with next week's theme, if possible. I started this story with the idea of "tragically hip" being a girl, dressed to the nine's who was attacked by a werewolf. As I started writing, I realized there as a bigger story here, so much so that there was about 700 words of back story that I wrote and cut (because it didn't fit in this scene). So I may have to outline this out and see if there is a novel in this or at least a really long story. (^_^)