I was sitting on top of the roof of the carport of where I lived. It was where I always went when I needed to unwind or sometimes just cry. We lived in these crappy apartments because, well we couldn't afford anything else. My mom who was sick all the time and my dad was never home. When he was, he was tired and often drunk. Which some days that was great because, he slept or vegged in front of the T.V. Other times it was hell, and I would see the back of his hand more than I would see my own reflection. When I would hang out with my friends they would ask me how I got my black eye or bruises on my face and arms. I would just laugh it off with a joke or make up a story of how I mouthed off to some punk and I got beat up for it. I would say something like ,"Well at least he won't be able to write for a week, because I got a thick skull." I would laugh, and they would look at me saying I was one messed up dumbass. I would say no I'm just crazy.
I had been sitting on the roof for a while and completely lost in my thoughts when I heard a scream. It was short and it sounded bad. I felt like running immediately, but I didn't want anyone to know I was up here. So I carefully, and quietly, rushed myself toward where I heard the scream.
The tin roofs were starting to get slippery anyway, because there was a fog rolling in for the night. Along the carports were alleyways. The lighting was low and more often it usually catered to the low life or gangs in the neighborhood. It is through the alleyway in which you have to exit to get to your apartments. It was there I heard the scream. I worked carefully over to the edge of the roof and peered down. I could see a man standing over a woman who was laid sprawled on the ground before him. He looked liked he was undoing his pants. I was pretty sure of his intent; I could feel myself heating up and getting angry. I could feel myself shake with excitement and at that moment I jumped. I don't why I thought at that moment, that this was one of my best ideas, but I was committed. I landed on top of him with my feet hitting his shoulders. This caused him to fall forward into the brick wall of the carport. I could hear the sound of his head smacking into the wall. I wasn’t so lucky myself, I fell back toward the other side of the alleyway hitting myself against the opposing wall. I guess the way I was hunched over, my shoulders and back took the brunt of the impact.
Feeling a bit dazed and stunned, I found it hard to breath. I forced myself to my hands and feet, and crawled over to the woman. She was sprawled in an awkward position and she seemed to be unconscious.
I realized she wasn’t a woman, but a girl I recognized from from school. I was in the ninth grade. I think she was in the eleventh. I remember seeing her on the bus to school. She was quiet and soft spoken and she rarely talked to anyone. I remember her name being something like Stacey. I pushed myself to my feet and tried to wake her up. She moaned a bit, but didn’t open her eyes. I turned toward the guy, but he disappeared. There was a small pool of blood on the ground. Not a lot, but just enough to convince me I wasn’t imagining things. I recalled then, as to where I have seen her live. It was on west side of the apartments. The opposite of where of my apartment resides. It was a large complex, so I wouldn’t have seen her much, unless maybe at the bus stop.
So I knew I had to get her out of here. I didn't think I would last long if the disappearing guy had friends around. I felt an urgency to get her safety anyway. I wasn't very graceful when I struggled to pick her up. She wasn’t very heavy, but I wasn’t very strong. I managed and hoisted her over my shoulder, regardless.
I started to work my way toward the side of the complex where I thought she might live. There was a playground in the middle of the complex where I needed to cross.
The clear night that I was enjoying earlier began to be obscured by a rolling fog coming in.
Even though, I really didn’t have far to go, I began to sense a danger, or maybe a vulnerability about our situation. Whatever it was, my skin was crawling and was crescendoing toward a panic. I was just on the other side of the playground when I heard it. A low and throaty growl.
We were in a large open square in the middle of the apartments. It was about fifty yards in one direction, north and south. And about a hundred yards the other, east and west. It was the east and west direction I was carrying her across. Bordering around the complex were tall bushes. It was of course from one of these bushes I heard the growl. Again the growl came from the bushes and at this point I froze. I had to set her down anyway and I couldn’t have protected her with her on my shoulder. If I had been by myself I would have ran. The apartments were not in the middle of the town, but actually on the outer borders. On the edge of the suburbs. So, there were houses on one side of the complex, and large open fields on the other.
I thought perhaps it might have been a stray dog that wandered from the fields, or maybe a coyote. Whatever it was I intended to scare it off, hopefully.
I remembered then I had a pocket knife. It was a gift from my grandfather. It wasn’t a large knife, but it had a lock and I always kept it sharp. I brought it out and opened it. I put myself between the girl and the animal in the bushes. It growled lower this time and I pinpointed where it was at. There was an opening in between the bushes, and I saw a pair of eyes. Not the dim refraction of light that animals have, but a red glow. The eyes seemed to be just hovering in the air, suspended. Then it growled again, and the eyes blinked. The growl was louder and more threatening. I crouched and growled back. I don’t know why I growled back , but I felt the fear was crawling all over me. I thought I will bite, stab, or whatever it takes to live and keep this girl alive.
The beast stepped forward, and raised its head as it cleared the bushes. It was huge, I was crouched, but it didn’t matter. I knew it was at least over five feet when it was only on its all fours. I also knew it wasn’t a stray dog or a coyote. It was a wolf. I love animals, and my grandfather had a small farm and I’ve spent many summers working there. We’ve had wild dogs and coyotes, and this was neither. I crouched lower and tensed up. Shaking my fist and three inch knife at it, I yelled.
The beast stepped forward a little more and, taking an aggressive stand, it growled again. I grew angry and I wasn’t going down in this way. I’m certain I said a few choice words. I stomped hard on the ground and yelled at the beast. I wasn’t sure, but I thought I saw a look of surprise on its face. There was a lot of fog and the lighting was still low, but I was sure it hesitated. I had a glimmer of a thought that I might be able to scare it off. That was short lived, when the beast stepped forward again and lowered its head as if to charge. I growled louder myself and stepped forward again, and stomped on the ground. I wasn’t backing off now. If I was going to die then I’m taking a piece of it with me. I yelled loud and fierce. I wanted it to know I was scared and angry. I will fight to my last breath.
It charged and knocked me to the ground. As it charged I close my eyes, so that I didn’t realized I had been pinned to the ground. I felt ashamed of myself, but I continued to stare in the beast's eyes. It had both of it’s paws pinned against my shoulders, which prevented me from moving. I dropped my knife somewhere, and I tried to feel around for it. It was to no avail.
I tried to resist to force it off me, and it would force me down harder and snap its jaws within inches of my face. I could feel its warm breath , and wanted to cough from the stench.
I screamed at it again. Daring it to kill me, to get it over with. It growled and and brought its face close to mine so that its nose was touching mine. It stared into my eyes, which seemed like an eternity. I kept wondering about the girl and why know one would come and check out the noise. Then in and what seemed like an impossible amount of speed it turned and bit me on the shoulder. I didn’t really feel it at first. I don’t know if it was the shock or the rush of adrenaline. But the initial part of the bite was a quick and dull pain and seemed unreal. Then the pain came fast and intense as the beast shook its head vigorously. Forcing the bite to go deeper. I screamed and finally everything went black.