Scene-Of-The-Month: “The Wolf”

The votes are in and the readers’ choice for the next scene of the month is — wait for it — The Wolf. There really is a werewolf in this book, honest — just not yet.

“Did you hear about the poacher who went off the cliff?”

Glenn paused, holding a can of red paint, and glanced at Holly. The trunk of his car was full of paint, crimson latex, purchased by Holly at a dozen different stores along the way here; he had already loaded up the cans of red spray paint that Tyrone had brought. Glenn himself had brought three paintball guns and boxes of ammunition. “Is this some sort of joke?” Glenn said. “Like the chicken that crossed the road?”

“No, this really happened. Just down the hill from the campground.”

“I didn’t hear about it.”

“He was right here, in this park, camping in an old trailer,” Holly said. “He left before the police came to bust him. There was an accident and he took out an SUV, then his truck went over the cliff and exploded.”

“What happened to the people in the SUV?”

“They weren’t hurt, I guess.”

Glenn put the can with the others, pulled back the plastic cover, and closed the hatch. “Too bad,” he said.

“The SUV got trashed though,” Holly said. “That’s one off the streets for a while.”

Glenn grunted. “One down, ten million to go. Where’s Tyrone?”

“He’s still in the woods.”

Holly and Tyrone had gone for a hike together, which actually meant they had gone off to the forest to fuck. It was like a ritual or something, every time the three of them got together. One year, when Tyrone had been in a county lockup and hadn’t shown, Glenn had suggested maybe Holly would like to do it with him instead. The memory of the look on her face, before she burst out laughing, still made his dick shrivel.

“I suppose Tyrone told you about this.” It must have been him; Holly hadn’t left the campsite since she’d arrived, and certainly hadn’t spoken to anyone. She’d just been sitting at the picnic table, watching the road and fidgeting. He wondered sometimes if she really believed in what they were doing, or if she just came for the sex.

“Yeah,” Holly said. “He had to come in through the mess. They were loading the hunter’s trailer onto a truck with a crane. The game warden told him what happened.”

“Game wardens.” Glenn snorted. “Tools of the corporate interests that are exploiting our natural resources.”

“Yeah,” Holly said. It wasn’t a that’s right, it was more of a whatever.

“Ty shouldn’t have talked to him,” Glenn said. “Draws attention, you know? The guy might recognize Ty’s car if he sees it again.”

“No problem, man,” Tyrone said. Glenn hadn’t heard him enter the campsite; it was remarkable how quietly Ty could move through the woods, almost like he was a forest creature himself, creeping silently along secret paths. “We’re taking your car to the lodge, right?”

Glenn didn’t know why Tyrone and Holly bothered coming back separately. It wasn’t like he didn’t know what they were doing. “How was your hike?” he said, a little crossly. He could have used some help loading the car.

“Satisfying as always,” Tyrone said. “Looks like we’re just about loaded up?”

“Yeah,” Glenn said. “We just have to wait until dark. The check-in counter shuts down around eleven and doesn’t open again until six. More than enough time to get it done.”

“What if there’s a late check-in?”

“They have to ring a bell to have someone open the main door. We’ll be cutting the wire to the bell so it doesn’t work.”

“What if they pound on the door?”

“Have you seen this place?” No, of course Ty hadn’t seen it. Glenn had done all the reconnaissance for this action; they alternated picking targets, and whoever’s turn it was did most of the legwork before the actual event. The others wouldn’t learn the details until it was time for the actual operation. Helped keep things opaque, so if one of them got caught, there was no chance of spilling whatever the current plans were.

Of course, this meant that the success of any particular action was largely dependent on the planning abilities of one person. That led to a large variability in target quality. Holly’s two actions had both been against SUV dealerships, one a firebombing, the other involving subtler vandalism—sugar in gas tanks and oil fill tubes, glue in door locks, golf balls in exhaust pipes. Tyrone had only had come up with one job so far, at a golf course that was being built near a wetland. The developers had somehow gotten permission to construct a series of levees to reclaim some boggy areas for their back nine; Ty’s plan to break the levees and flood the golf course had succeeded so spectacularly that it made the national news. Although Glenn was pleased that they’d pulled it off, it had made Ty a bit cocky, which had probably led to his getting arrested and missing Holly’s vandalism campaign the next year.

Glenn’s favorite target was animal exploitation, but his first plan—trashing a mink farm—hadn’t worked out so well for the liberated animals. Who knew minks were so dumb? They had gotten run over in vast numbers, like unusually dim raccoons; they had also fallen victim to neighboring dogs, foxes, hawks, and other predators. A large percentage had simply been recaptured. So this year, he figured they would strike for animals that were already dead: The stuffed menagerie at the lodge, which they so proudly displayed on their Web site.

After all, he reasoned, dead animals couldn’t run off and get themselves killed after you rescued them.

Good thinking by Glenn! How will it work out? Tune in to the next scene of the month to (maybe) find out! Meanwhile, the Eclipse Saga will continue next week.

The poll has been reset and voting is open for the next scene of the month!

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