Tooth and Claw

Car journey

Julia sat in the front seat of the car, her head drooping against the window and her eyelids heavy. It had been three days of travel and they were just beginning the fourth. This evening they would arrive in Third City at last and she would be able to sleep in a real bed again, instead of in the car. She could hear the guys shuffling in the back, bored and uncomfortable after so long confined. Annie was ignoring them, eyes fixed on the road as she drove calmly onwards.

It had been a strange journey. Their first night had been violent and fast and Julia still couldn’t quite believe Cal had blown up a car with a grenade. She couldn’t quite believe she’d let him. But the followers had been shooting and now the pack’s vehicle had one fewer rearview mirror and no spare tyre, so in that moment it had made sense. She had almost been glad that he could use a gun and had picked up one from the attackers, if for no other reason than they didn’t have to go hand-to-hand against three cars worth of assailants – or two, after the grenade. It had made the enemy think twice and give up, letting them get away to safety. For a foe that was willing to toss a grenade into a public motel room and shoot through a peephole, that was a blessing.

Every other night since had been quiet. They hadn’t stayed at a motel again, choosing to sleep in the car and rest offroad at night. Perhaps their Wendigo pursuers had given up after the mess of the first night. Or perhaps they were just waiting and watching in the shadows for a good moment. She hoped it was the first, although she was fairly sure that she could lose them once the pack hit the city proper if it was the second. Damn it. It was unfortunate timing. She’d known the Wendigo tribe had to be waiting in the wings somewhere, waiting to punish her and Nahuel. But it had been so long since the last attack, since the last time anything had happened. She’d warned Nahuel in the end, but with everything else happening it had seemed like those particular foes had left the grudge to lie and the pack had been allowed to breathe.

Clearly now was the time for things to change. It made sense – they were outside their territory, away from friends and allies, out in the wilderness of America with nobody to turn to. It would have been the perfect moment to take revenge, had it succeeded. As it was, they had gotten away, the enemy having given up rapidly after testing the water and finding it deeper than expected. What little she understood of the Wendigo tribe painted them as more akin to Red Talons than Bone Gnawers, uncomfortable in the city amid the human ‘stain’. Hopefully being within the confines of Third City would be enough to deter them and keep them away until the Storm Bringers had finished with their business here. For now she would focus on whatever Victor had called them here for. For now, she would focus on being back in the home that wasn’t home anymore.



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