Wolves…a new writing, unedited…

I was a wolf once. 

Back when I killed people for the government. Now, I can’t see the difference between myself and the sheep. I am older, therefore slower. My reaction time isn’t what it used to be. Just yesterday, I heard the familiar whoop, whoop, whoop of a military aircraft, and I rushed out to my porch to see if my guess was accurate. I wasn’t. It wasn’t military at all. Instead, it was a medical chopper hauling some poor soul, who I assumed tittered somewhere between life and death, to a local hospital for life-saving treatment.

Today, I had an appointment in town. As always, I tried hard to not set a regular pattern for them to follow. The mysterious ‘them’, or ‘they’ are the boogeymen that haunt my mind. They know my secrets, and in time, they will come for me. As I drove home, a dark gray Charger much like the state patrol has used, rushed up to my bumper. I cut my eyes to the side mirror, but I could not make out the driver. Every window in the car was deep black. “No push bar,” I thought, “it’s probably not them.” Still, the driver stayed on my butt. I slowed down and moved to the right. They didn’t pass. When I pushed my vehicle to 60 m.p.h., five over the posted speed limit, the driver behind me closed the distance.

I tapped my brakes, and they backed off. “I’ll take the long route home,” I muttered, as I veered off onto a ramshackle road that led past my cabin. The Charger veered off behind me. Once again, the driver rushed to my bumper, as if I owed them money. 

“Screw this,” I said to my pooches, “y’all hold on.”

As we made a sharp curve, I floored the gas. My vehicle shot down the bumpy road, and I expertly avoided the potholes that seemed to grow with each passing day. Heavy branches laden with green leaves shaded the road. I zipped through the area hoping to lose my pursuers. 

For just a moment, I thought I lost them. As I peeled off to the right, I was dismayed to see the Charger make the same turn. “I’ve had all of this I’m gonna take,” I growled, as I made a left turn into my drive and slammed on the brakes.

The gray Charger slowed down and eased past my vehicle. I drove down to my house and pulled out my Mossberg 590 Tactical shotgun and threw it on the backseat. 

“Come at me, bro.”

They didn’t come at me. I didn’t see them again that day, but I finished my business and went back to my cabin. I stopped on my way in and shut my gate. When I finished my time as an assassin for the government, I bought a small cabin out in the middle of nowhere. It’s my fortress from the insanity of the modern world. One of the first things I did was put a gate at the end of my drive. There’s one way in and one way out from my home. Uninvited  guests become permanent ones. I dispose of them in my flowerbeds, and their bones provide calcium for my prize-winning roses. 

After I shut the gate and made sure my homestead was secure, I carried my shotgun in the house and waited. No one came, and I didn’t receive a menacing phone call. I was surrounded by silence. 

It was disconcerting. “I’m sure that person was following me. Why would they follow me for over twenty miles and then just leave?”

The stress and rush of adrenaline that pumped through my veins due to my fight-or-flight instincts tired me out. Sleep tugged at my eyelids, and I yawned. I carried my shotgun to my bed and laid it next to where I sleep, but before I could sleep I needed to find my pills.

My medicine would make everything right in my confused brain, but first I had to find them.

I’d imagine by now, you-the reader-have written me off as just another lunatic that has fanciful delusions of self-importance. My mind is now clear of boogeymen, dark Chargers, and unidentifiable aircraft. I would laugh with you, if I wasn’t correct.

A long time ago my partner told me, as he bled out in a steep ditch in Florida, “just because you think they’re after you, and you’re the only one who knows it, doesn’t mean you’re delusional.”

Like I said, they won’t stay away. Sure, for now it seems like they’d rather torment me with following me and learning my patterns. Searching for weaknesses they can exploit. Learning the terrain that makes ‘accidents’ appear normal. Researching the target before eliminating the target.

I would do the same thing in their shoes. 

Get the target off-balance, then come at them from the side. It’s the oldest trick in the manual, and it’s still used because it almost always works. Even when the target is aware of what is going on, it’s usually too late to stop it.

Sleep tugged me down into a dreamless slumber, and I slept soundly for 37 minutes. I came out of my slumber in my living room, lying on the couch, the shotgun resting on the top cushions within easy reach. Everything was quiet except for the shutting off and clicking on of my air conditioner. Instead of jumping up straightaway, I stayed on the couch and listened. Nothing moved on my porch, the only noise was the soft jingle of the chimes. 

I sat up and took a sip of my water. 

Then, I stood and walked out on my porch, using the side door instead of the front. My nearest neighbors have nothing to do with me. It’s my fault I’m sure. Of course, it might have to do with me relieving myself on the front porch, but they can’t see me do it. Then again, they are kind of strange in their own right. 

It’s not like I took a vacuum cleaner outside and tried to vacuum my grass. I’ve heard the gossip in town. “Ole Freeman is a strange duck,” one clique of old women said while I wandered the aisles of the local dollar store. 

You know how small towns are. The gossiping circles are usually a gaggle of old women who go to church on Sunday acting all holier-than-thou, but spend Monday-Saturday running down their neighbors. Not that old men are any better. The only difference is the topics.

“War didn’t do that to him,” another circle whispered every time I came around. “He was a deranged lunatic long before then.”

It’s nice when people let you know where you stand. 

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