Scene-Of-The-Month: “The Wolf”

The votes are in and the winner for the next Scene of the Month is (surprise!) The Wolf. Now I know I’ve been teasing everyone with promises of more werewolf mayhem; there isn’t any in this particular scene, but in the very next one after this, the fun really begins. I’m not sayin’ you have to vote for The Wolf; I’m just sayin’.

Charles Christopher Darwin—he didn’t know what his parents had been thinking when they named him that—sat in his attic office, frowning down at the small sample of wolf pelt he had clipped from the larger pieces found in the dead hunter’s Airstream. He was starting to think that the fur might be synthetic, although that didn’t make a hell of a lot of sense. If you were going to go to the trouble of poaching, why use artificial fur to adorn your trailer? And there was no question that the guy just liked decorating with poaching gear. Not with all those jars of urine.

Darwin had never seen anything quite like the interior of that old trailer. It was obvious from the wreckage that the thing had been a freak show on wheels. In addition to the jugs of piss and the tanning equipment and the half-dozen leg traps, they had found tarnished knives, daggers, even a katana. The guy had apparently forged his own bullets for the various handguns and rifles they had found. Tears in the aluminum skin of the Airstream revealed that the hollow spaces within the walls had been stuffed with dried plants. Darwin figured this served as cheap insulation, leading him to believe the hunter lived in the trailer full-time.

Yep, this guy must have been an interesting character. Sadly, he hadn’t survived the plunge into the valley, so they couldn’t ask him to explain what the hell he had been up to.

He picked up his jeweler’s loupe and took another look at the pelt. When he ran his thumb through the fur, he could see that each individual hair was translucent and tightly ridged, producing a sort of refractive effect that caused them to change color. The presence of his thumb turned the surrounding hairs a pale peach. He had never seen anything quite like it. Granted, he wasn’t an expert on hides, but if there were an animal with this sort of camouflage, he thought he would know about it.

In any case, it definitely hadn’t come from a wolf.

He wished now that he had taken samples from the other pelts as well, instead of letting Shanley impound them along with the rest of the hunter’s belongings. Darwin looked at the telephone. Should he call up the sheriff and ask to be let into the impound yard? It was pretty late, and dark; the moon shone through the dormer window at the end of his office, partially obscured by the tall pines around his house.

He had a good working relationship with Shanley and the deputies, in part because he didn’t do things like calling them up late in the evening asking for favors. It could wait until tomorrow, he decided. He was going to want to send these furs out for analysis, anyway, and he couldn’t do that until the morning.

Besides, it wasn’t like the pelts were going anywhere.

Or are they? Tune in to the next scene of the month (assuming The Wolf wins — you can help it out by voting for it below) to find out!

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