A Tail’s Misfortune — Chapter Twenty-Four: One Day; Shock

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Sora’s breath caught as her eyes moved across the unfolding scene; three brown coated werewolves were spaced around the front room, Devin at their center.  Her dad was flying across the room, moving to strike a couch, it flipped, her father tumbling to strike the wall behind. What … why are they…

Devin seemed happily surprised to see her.  “Oh, great, you saved us the trouble…”

Sora felt feral rage creep up her chest as her hair bristled; she could hear her dad’s heartbeat, but he wasn’t moving.  Foxfire birthed at her tail as time slowed around her. Creating an illusion of herself running right, she darted left, wrapping herself with invisibility.

Skipping a step, she twisted, flicking her tail and sent a red and orange combustion flying toward the nearest werewolf.  The inferno hit the small werewolf in the side, sending it flying back into the balcony and smashing into the bar. It yelped as its weight splintering the wood, the granite countertop dropping on its body.

Her heart froze as Devin moved toward her father, she tried to intercept, her hair prickling as red lightning sparked around her tail.  She made it two steps before a mass plummeted into her, sending her flying back toward the entry hall. Sliding across the smooth granite, she extended her claws, nails screeching across the stone to slow herself, the werewolf pinning her down.  The lightning made me misread my senses!

Slowing, Sora’s claws struck out across the body atop her, “Get off me!”  Sora screamed. The werewolf cries out as her sharp nails ripped down its chest, blood dripping across her front.  It scrambled away, pushing herself up, her eyes widened as a chair shot straight toward her face.

Feeding power to her legs, she leaped to the ceiling, clawed toes, digging into the sheetrock as she scanned for her dad.  Her heart plummeting as she found Devin at her dad’s back, grip around his throat. His expression telling her to settle down.  Seething through her teeth, she dropped back down to the ground, eyeing the recovering werewolves as she waited for Devin to speak.

“Whoa,” he whistled.  “Lori didn’t say anything about foxfire or illusions like that, man.  I guess it was the right move to grab your other friend too, Wanda was it?”

Sora’s gut dropped as frustration and fear crept in.  “You—kidnapped Wendy?”

Breathing through his teeth, Devin nodded.  “That’s it, Wendy, yeah. She lives in that rundown place in Normandy, right?”

Sora’s ears twitched as she heard Ron moaning behind her, fear deepening as she started paying attention to the scents in the air.  Nilly left a while ago and … human blood, Ron’s bleeding!

“Now, I was gonna nab you, knock you out, and take you back, but that seems like too much work now.”  He laughed. “I’ll tell you what, why don’t you follow us, eh? I’m sure you can follow our trail, maybe your friend Wendy will be alive when you show up, depends on how long you take.”

Easily lifting her dad, Devin held his fingernails close to her dad’s throat as he slowly backed toward the balcony.  Should I use illusions?  Mind control? “Stop!”  Sora commanded.  Devin wincing and she felt her body sag.  No … am I too drained?

Fingernails extending to claws, they pressed against her dad’s throat, drawing spots of blood.  “What the—try that again and your dad’s dead! I have a killer headache now…” He glanced over at the werewolf she’d hit with foxfire with a sneer.  “Figures he was useless.” The werewolf’s fur was scorched as it weakly crawled out from under the granite top.

Turning, Sora’s face went white; the hallway to the elevator had the shattered remains of an armchair strewn across it.  Ron was lying on the ground with blood dripping down his face and a splintered section of a chair leg had penetrated his side.  “Ron, you’ve been stabbed!” Sora exclaimed in horror.

Devin breathed through his teeth with a tick of his tongue.  “Too bad. You close to the guy?”

Ron brought a hand up to his forehead in shock as he looked at the blood on his hand.  “Am I—bleeding, Sora?” Coughing, he cleared his throat, pain shooting across his face.  “Good thing it’s not that bad.” His eyes moved down to his stomach, “Oh—crap.”

Sora was locked in place, her mind going blank, she didn’t know what to do.

Ron groaned.  “This—crap. Stephanie—she’ll…”  Looking up at Sora with a serious frown, he cleared his throat.  Coughing again, he spat up some blood to his side, trying to shift a little.  “Look, Sora—you need to—to go.”

Devin laughed behind her.  “That sounds like a good plan because she needs to follow me!  If—you want to see your father and friend again that is. You’ve been summoned.”  Turning to the burned small werewolf, he snapped, “Stop her with your life!” Turning his back to Sora he leaped out of the window, the two other werewolves following.

Conflicting emotions fought her on all sides.  Panicked, she tried running to Ron. Her senses warned her, but she was too flustered to react; the smaller werewolf tackled her.  Rolling to a stop, it pinned her with its body.

Incensed, Sora screeched.  “Get—off!” Flicking her tail around, she lit foxfire across its length and brought it close to the werewolf’s face.  Just before her tail touched him the Werewolf screamed and shoved her away. Claws screeching across the granite while she slid, they met the wool blend carpets, ripping into them to slower herself.  Getting up, she ran to Ron. “Ron, I—I need to call an ambulance!”

Ron took a calm breath, before shaking his head.  “Look—you need to go after your dad. Stephanie—she’s all kinds of hormonal pregnant scary right now and—it would be—very bad for anyone to be here when…”

Sora’s ears twitched as she heard a small boy’s whimpers.  Looking back, she found the werewolf had reverted to an eleven-year-old boy; black burns ran from his face to his chest.  He was staring up at the ceiling, jerking unevenly. Her world seemed to shatter before her eyes. “Did I just—kill a kid?”

Ron groaned as he pushed himself against the wall, examining the boy.  Grabbing her leg to refocus her, Ron said, “Sora—just trust me—okay. Take that boy and heal him—you can do that!  Stephanie should be sensing…” He cut off as his pain and concern filled face deepened.

Sora’s hair stood on end as a chilling aura exploded across the entire area and her breath began to mist from her mouth.  She couldn’t breathe, her blood felt as if it was going to freeze, and a massive, terrifying pressure tighten around her entire body as the air around began to compress into ice.

Sora blinked in shock as Ron gripped her shoulder, ice beginning to creep up his stomach.  “Stephanie will not be in her right mind—she’s…” He cut off as bright glittering ice crystals began to appear around the room.  “She’s locking the area into her dimension—you just need to go—now!” Ron yelled.

Questions flooded Sora’s mind, but she didn’t hesitate.  Running to the boy, she lifted him up with surprising ease.  Stephanie’s a monster that’s strong enough to have her own dimension?  Is everyone in on monsters but me!

Sora’s jaw locked as the shimmering crystals began to multiply and it became harder to push forward; it felt like a tsunami was washing over her as she became heavier and heavier.  Fighting through the mass of force, she felt what little energy she had draining at an alarming pace, her vision going white as her senses started to vanish. Am I going to make it?

She suddenly broke through into open air.  Tensing with sudden vertigo, she locked her jaw as they started free falling, energy beginning to return as the open sky fed her.  Looking down, she saw a truck stopped in front of the hotel. Bracing herself and clutching the boy with all she had, she landed in the bed of the truck; she felt a chunk of energy leave as the truck shocks broke their fall, frame rocking violently.

Sora’s ears caught curses from the truck’s passengers and outside attendants.  Leaping out of the truck bed, she jumped over the barriers and ran onto the beach as fast as she could before anyone could identify them.  Breathing heavily as she set the boy down behind a mound, she sighed. Glancing him over, she realized he was in shock, his body quaking. He’s just a kid and Devin threw him at me like trash!

Her breath caught as she noticed fourth-degree burns across his face and neck, her stomach twisting with nausea.  I did this to a little boy…  She tucked in her lower lip as she followed the fourth-degree burns down his chest.  He wouldn’t stop shaking in her arms, mind unable to process the pain.

Thoughts returning to Ron’s instructions and her dad’s story, she closed her eyes and wished to heal him.  The energy within her shifted, flowing to her tail. Eyes snapping open, she brought her tail around, it emanated a deep blue glow.  Hovering it over the boy’s face, she felt her power draining faster than the sky could recover.

The burns turned to ash as new skin and organs replaced it.  The boy gasped, eyes flying open to look up at her with dread; whimpering he started to struggle in her arms.  Sora felt sweat gathering at her temples as she finished healing his burns. Setting him down, she winced instinctively as he hit her across the face with his flailing fists, but she didn’t feel any force behind it.  That was more draining than I thought … the sky’s giving me a lot of energy right now though…

The boy backed up a few feet before feeling at his face and chest; his gym shorts had shrunk, but still seemed a bit big as it sagged loosely around his waist.  “You—healed me?” Fear still in his voice.

She reassured him with a smile.  “I didn’t want to hurt you—just save my dad.  Are you—feeling okay now?” Good … I thought I might have killed him…

He nodded, looking around with fright.  “I’m supposed to stop you—I don’t want to hurt anyone else.”  He sobbed.

Taking a deep breath, Sora looked into his brown eyes.  “Can you tell me where Devin is taking my dad?”

The boy’s fear faded as he relaxed.  “Devin said to meet him at the golf course if we got separated.”

“North or south golf course?”  Sora pressed.

“North.”

Nodding, Sora said, “Okay, I want you to go where it will be safe and make sure you’re safe getting there.”

“I’ll go somewhere safe.”  The boy repeated as he got up and started running toward town, Sora wondering if his shorts would make the trip.  Getting up, Sora hummed, while looking after him. I hope he doesn’t get hurt.

Feeling slightly better as her energy continued to refill, she rushed toward the North Shore Open Space Park, wrapping herself in illusions.  Her energy returning faster than she used it as she raced across the city’s shoreline. Making it to Fontainebleau Miami Beach Hotel, she ran to Collins Avenue and raced across a short dock to leap across the waterway onto a slow-moving boat.  Her claws dug into the wood to steady herself. Gaining balance, she jumped the rest of the way to Pinetree Park.

She breathed deeply, finding her dad and Devin’s scent.  Gritting her teeth, she continued through the park, jumping atop the red-tiled roof of a mansion.  Devin’s scent was getting stronger, she was making headway. Tail bristling, Sora leaped left as a teenage Nilly appeared next to her with a wide grin.  “Nilly?” Sora panted as she pressed forward to Pine Tree Drive.

“Nilly will always win bad foxes like Sora.  Practicing won’t help!” She giggled.

Hope filling Sora’s chest.  “Nilly—have you seen werewolves tonight?”

Nilly wasn’t breaking a sweat as she started doing acrobatics beside her.  “Wolfies? Yeah, Nilly seen lots of wolfies. Sora knows wolfies?”

Shaking her head, while slowing down a little, Sora swallowed hard and panted.  “No—the wolfies took my dad! I need to catch…” Sora cut off in confusion as Nilly’s head tilted up with excitement.  At the same time, Sora noticed a sharp and familiar scent that was like Kari.

“Nilly needs to go!”  Nilly clapped excitedly, before doing an Arabian double front, followed by a roundoff-double-back layout with a half twist.  “Nilly’s playtime!” She cheered.

Before Sora could say a word, Nilly touched the ground and vanished.  Cursing under her breath, Sora sniffed the air and caught Devin’s scent again; she could faintly smell her dad’s blood with it.  Taking a deep breath, she continued her chase. It’s better Nilly doesn’t get involved, but is she going to hunt a Fenris Wolf?  Nilly seems a lot stronger than I thought.

A Tail's Misfortune — Chapter Twenty-Three: One Day; Life Lesson
A Tail's Misfortune — Chapter Twenty-Five: One Day; Introduction