Myth, fairy tale or superstition.
A tale, so old, passed down from generation to generation. The origins of these barbaric creatures were unknown – that is, until now. This gripping tale of a young man and his determination to survive will change your whole perspective on a legend long told.
Innocent eighteen-year-old Cory discovers something about himself that makes him different from the rest of his family. An old generation bloodline has ascended upon the young teenager. It doesn't take him long to realise with every full moon that comes around, he has a gift that he must hide. The mystery behind his new-found condition slowly rises to the surface and threatens everything Cory holds dear. When he's suddenly thrust into a fight for his survival, Cory must make the ultimate sacrifice – or be faced with death.
A werewolf story like none you've ever read before.
An original fiction.
You will not believe how this one ends.
Written over three volumes – Discovery, Betrayal, Survival
Written by Michelle Rae
Cover by Tablo Covers
Editing by Laura Cordero - Tablo Editing
"Werewolves is the myth told to hide the truth"
“Keep up loser or we’ll leave you behind."
Molly called to Cory as he remained back staring out over the picturesque scenery of the Blue Mountains National Park. Six days into their seven-day trek they were on the return leg. The weather had been perfect with only the increasing cloud cover making the likelihood of rain a strong possibility. Whether it was the change in the weather or the walking they had done during their holiday, Cory couldn’t explain the ever-increasing tension within his body. An itch he couldn’t scratch crawled under his skin making him irritable.
“All right, all right, I’m coming," Cory yelled back. "Bossy pants,” he murmured under his breath.
“I heard that,” Molly called out before laughing.
Cory didn’t reply, he knew full well she hadn’t.
Thumbs under the straps over his shoulders, Cory adjusted the heavy load of his backpack as he caught up to his family.
“What’s up with you today?” Molly asked as they followed their parents and several other backpackers they had met with along the track.
From the moment he had woken that morning, Cory had been moody and distant. His hearing had amplified to a point where even the ants scurrying for food before the rainfall had bothered him. But he couldn't share this with Molly. And it wasn’t just his hearing that'd increased. His eyesight had gained a magnification that allowed him to see those ants in perfect detail on the trees –even from metres away.
“Don’t know," Cory replied, "Tired maybe. Like my bones want to jump out of my skin.”
“Are you coming down with something? You should tell Mum and Dad.”
“I’ll be fine, there’s not much they can do while we’re stuck in the middle of a national park.”
“Still, you should say something,” Molly said.
"This happened a month ago, and it passed after three days anyway."
Molly turned and glared at Cory. “See a doctor when you get home, it might be serious.”
“Yes, Mum,” Cory joked. Two years older than Cory, the relationship with his sister was a good one.
“I’m serious, Cory.”
“If it gets worse, I’ll tell Mum.”
Only recently he’d been experiencing this strange turn of events. The first time it happened, Cory had paid little attention. Now, surrounded by nature and wildlife, Cory not only saw but also heard the forest coming to life. It was as if the approaching rain was calling the forest awake.
“So, why are you here again?” Cory asked Molly. So long as he talked and focused on something else Cory could ignore the strange sensations in his body.
“Just because I’ve moved out of home doesn’t mean I can’t still come on Dad’s mystery holidays.”
At twenty, Molly had left home in November the year before to be closer to university. She and three friends shared a place, much to the amusement of their father. Cory thought that with her new life Molly would not have time for their family anymore. But, Cory had to admit he would never miss one of his father’s surprise New Year’s holidays either.
“Even if it means walking hundreds of kilometres with a heavy pack through the middle of nowhere,” Molly added loudly.
“You should be grateful your father didn’t choose the Simpson Desert,” Sarah, their mother, replied over her shoulder. Both Cory and Molly laughed sharing the personal joke.
“Next time,” Derek, their father called out.
“No, thank you,” Cory replied.
“You love my mystery holidays and I bet this time next year you’ll both be packing your bags again ready for our next adventure.”
“Have you planned it?” Molly asked.
“Maybe,” Derek replied without elaborating.
Cory didn’t doubt their father had something planned in the back of his mind.
“We’ll set up here for the night,” Derek told them.
It was their last night and Cory couldn’t wait to be gone. The holiday had begun on a high but now whatever it was Cory was experiencing was crawling through his body, tearing him apart. Unable to concentrate, the forest grew louder the later in the afternoon it became.
As they sat around camp that evening sharing stories with the other campers Cory found that every sound around him was amplified and every sight magnified. Cory might have mentioned to his parents his concern over his condition. Instead he kept quiet which Molly did not miss.
“Do you want me to mention something to Mum?” Molly leaned over and quietly asked.
So intent was Cory on listening to the small nocturnal creatures scurrying beyond the camp it drowned out the surrounding talk.
“Cory,” Molly said again.
His name loudly mentioned beside him drew Cory’s attention back to the group. Cory looked over at Molly unable to focus on her face. Rather, it was her eyebrows that drew his attention. It was as though he was looking at them beneath a microscope; he could see details of all the hairs that had been removed. The manner in which they were sculptured startled him.
“What’s wrong?” Molly asked.
“Is something wrong?” Sarah repeated.
Cory knew it was not the right time or place to mention his strange affliction.
“I’m fine. A little unsettled.”
The look from both women drew concern, and Cory went on, “If I had arthritis I’d say the change in weather was troubling me but that’s not it.”
“I’d be surprised if we get rain tonight,” Sarah said.
Derek, drawn to their conversation, remarked, “The forecast mentioned light showers but you know what it’s like this time of year, we’d be lucky to get any.”
“It feels like the entire forest is alive because it knows the rain is coming,” Cory said.
“I doubt we’ll get any rain,” Derek said with assurance.
Cory let it go and the conversation went onto another topic.
Earlier than usual, Cory excused himself and went to bed. Half an hour later, Molly crawled into the tent they shared.
“Are you sure you’re fine?” Molly asked. She turned her torch on, placed it in the corner, and got ready for bed.
“Yes, I’m fine, will you stop asking,” Cory snapped.
“Sorry, I’m worried. You’re not acting yourself.”
Cory lay on his back, arms under his head. For the last half hour he’d been staring at the dust trapped within the woven fabric above him. The accuracy and detail seen convinced him what ever was going on wasn’t natural.
“I’m fine, Molly. I think Dad was wrong about the rain. It’s coming and it won't pass in a hurry.”
“And you can feel this?” Molly asked. She removed her clothes from under her jacket while trying to put the windcheater on that she wore to bed. Cory ignored her, getting changed.
“Smell it, taste it. I know it will rain,” Cory told her.
“That’s weird,” Molly replied.
“I know,” Cory agreed.
Molly climbed into her sleeping bag, turned her torch off, and snuggled down facing Cory.
“You know that smell in the air when it rains. There’s none of that. If there was rain wouldn’t you think the rest of us would notice? There’s cloud cover but not the kind that indicates rain.”
There was no point trying to explain that the forest was telling him the rain was coming. The roots beneath the soil hummed with anticipation and the birds waited anxiously for the tasty meals to surface.
“We’ll be leaving tomorrow so if it rains or not it doesn’t matter,” Cory told her.
“Will you talk to Mum when you get home,” Molly asked.
“Yes, I will.”
Molly rolled onto her back and snuggled into her sleeping bag. Cory watched her in the darkness; her features clear to him even without the light beyond their tent. Cory tucked his arms in and, pulling the sleeping bag up and around his neck, he too closed his eyes to sleep. However, the constant noise kept Cory awake long into the night.
It was still dark when Cory rolled over and adjusted his sleeping bag to get comfortable. He didn't think he'd been asleep for long and looking at his watch he realised he’d only had two hours. With a sigh, Cory closed his eyes and prepared to drift back to sleep – until something beyond his tent stirred him awake. With a slight turn of his head, Cory listened before noticing that silence had fallen again. The sounds of the night that had kept him awake before were finally gone, and relief washed over Cory.
As he settled back down the voices of several young men nearby distracted him. Concerned about who they were and why they were there at such a late hour Cory decided to investigate. For a moment he considered waking Molly, but decided against it.
The wind had picked up during the night and the chill in air sent a shiver through his body. Cory glanced at the sky and the thick gathering of clouds. The rain was almost upon them.
A noise to one side drew Cory's attention, but he could see nothing. With sky covered and the trees creating an even darker environment, Cory could surprisingly see the surrounding details with clarity. The exceptional eyesight he had at that moment was magnifying every detail to the point of perfection.
He could see tree trunks as though he were looking at them in the first morning light. He could identify every leaf and, as he marvelled in the wonder, three figures moved from behind the tree to stand three metres away.
Surprised by their sudden appearance, Cory stared at the three young men before him. Every detail, down to the clothes they were wearing, even the colour of their eyes, stood out as clear as day. But it was the soft orange glow like a translucent fire dancing around their bodies that fascinated him the most.
Cory stood frozen as the tallest of the men stepped forward before he was stopped.
The man named Seth paused and turned his head towards the one who spoke. Cory studied the men and noticed they were no older than he was. The one called Seth and the one who spoke looked like they were brothers. They both had blond hair worn short in differing styles. The third stood further back within the trees. Shortest of the three, his features looked softer – less menacing – and he may have been the younger brother. He had dark hair, worn longer than the others, which fell in a shaggy mess around his face. His body was also thinner and less bulky than the other two.
There was no mistaking their intentions; they were up to no good.
Seth turned back to face Cory and then stepped forward.
“It’s not for us to decide,” the shaggy haired man said.
“Shut up, Neve,” Seth replied harshly.
Seth’s manner surprised Cory. It was then that Cory became concerned for his safety.
“We’re just scouts. We need to notify Tom,” Neve replied.
“He’s right Seth, we’ve done what we came to do, let’s go.” The brother said.
None of the men took their eyes off Cory as they spoke.
Seth growled, giving Cory a glaring look, before turning and disappearing into the trees behind him. The unnamed man turned as well, leaving Neve alone. The light around Neve’s body shimmered and Cory flinched upon seeing it. Neve turned and disappeared. Cory blinked, staring at where they had been and in the distance he heard the ominous sounds of thunder as the wind gathered strength.
The cold encroached around his body and Cory crawled back into the tent and back into his sleeping bag. His body shook as the sounds of thunder continued to roll in. Curled up into the foetal position, Cory pulled his head into the sleeping bag so he might get himself warm. What he witnessed made no sense. What puzzled him the most was the orange glow surrounding their bodies. What was that? It was so faint but the fact he saw it made him sceptical.
Cory was almost settled as a noise against the tent distracted him. The slow patter of rain increased and finally the drumming of the rain lulled him to sleep.
“Wake up, Cory.”
Cory went to roll over but his sister stopped him.
“Cory we have to get up. It’s raining and doesn’t look like it's going to stop. We need to pack up.”
Cory opened his eyes, as the sounds of the rain grew heavier against the tent. He rose and pulled on his clothes then helped Molly pack away their belongings before exiting the tent into the drizzling rain. The effort to pull down the tent and put it away was difficult and one neither enjoyed. Despite the weather, Derek was enjoying himself, which made Molly and Cory’s moods worse.
“At least we’re leaving today,” Molly said.
His blond hair plastered to his head, and drenched to the bone with his soaked backpack weighing him down, Cory walked though the pouring rain behind Molly. He recalled his encounter during the night, but as hard as he focused on the details, his current condition and utter misery lead him to think it was nothing but a dream.
When he thought about it, men glowing orange in the dark was utter nonsense. He couldn’t recall the names mentioned and if it were a dream details like that would never be remembered.
During their homebound trek, the continual fall of rain drowned out any other sounds. Although his eyesight was still exceptional, Cory’s misery didn’t allow him to focus on it. He trudged through the mud as his thoughts drifted to the warmth of a shower.