Warning: Somewhat disturbing content
Written 26/10/00, age 17
Darkness is between me and the four walls somewhere beyond this great expanse of space. The walls are made of steel—I recognize this place from the echoes my breathing creates and the metallic clank of my footsteps. It is a basement in a warehouse not far from where I live.
I hear the breath of another. It is faster paced--more like a panting heaved out from tired lungs, almost dog-like. I hear the clicking of toenails behind me. There is an unhealthy carnivorous animal in this pitch-black room with me.
“Daddy?” I cry, trembling, as I try to calm my desperate breath. I do not remember how I got here.
His voice comes on the loudspeaker. I know he is watching me, behind a one-way mirror on one of the far walls close to the ceiling. Not that he can see me too well.
“I’m right here, sweetie,” he answers.
“What’s happening?” Despite my efforts, I feel my heart pounding restlessly beneath my chest.
“You are in Coleman’s warehouse. In the basement. There is a wolf in there with you.”
I chuckle nervously. “You’re the one who told me a wolf wouldn’t harm a human being.”
My father chuckles in agreement. “Yes, well, things change if the wolf has been starved and beaten for two weeks.”
I swallow hard, and silence my breathing the way I do when my father is looking for me after dinner.
“He is an Alpha wolf,” my father adds. “You learned about Alpha wolves, didn’t you?”
“Yes,” I whisper.
I hear a faint growl from behind me. It is getting closer.
I turn my back to the sound, and place my hands behind my neck. The wolf barks, and I gasp, feeling my chest growing heavier. I begin to wheeze. This asthma never helped me in my survival training.
I know I am no match for a wolf. Short and slight, a scrawny girl with cropped wavy black hair brushing my shoulders, I am only ten years old. Yet the silver knife I have holstered in my belt loop holds me at an advantage. I am very skilled with a knife—to my father’s utter dismay—he’d rather I use something practical, like a gun.
Suddenly, I hear the swish of limbs as something painfully heavy slams into my back, claws tearing at my flesh and ripping the back of my shirt to shreds. I instinctively topple over into a somersault, my hands slashing at the air and hitting the wolf. I hear a faint cry as the wolf retreats for a second, and I crawl fast until I hit a wall. I brace myself against it.
My father speaks again. “You are just to the left of a handgun. Use it to your advantage.”
I feel the floor to my right and find the revolver. My trembling fingers move over it, as I look for the butt and the trigger. I then feel the chamber holes. They are empty.
I panic. “This gun’s not loaded,” I cry.
“There’s one bullet. In the chamber.”
I sigh with relief.
“Now you remember how wolves kill.”
I nod. “The throat.”
I feel a swoosh of air next to my shoulder. The wolf is clawing me. I feel in front of me and find a patch of fur, then hit it. The rib cage. I feel my way up to his snapping jaw, and attempt to muzzle his mouth with my hands, and fail. His teeth clamp down on my wrist, and I feel his eyeteeth digging into a vein. I shove the hand further into his mouth, forcing him to let go.
His jaws snap at my throat, and I slam the butt of my gun into his face.
“That’s not what the gun is for,” my father booms.
“No,” I say.
“Yes. This is part of your training.”
I grab the wolf around the waist, and he tumbles down on top of me.
“It’s either kill, or be killed,” my father says simply.
“No. I can’t kill an innocent animal.” I have now managed to get myself on top of the wolf and am holding him by the throat.
My father snickers. “Innocent? This animal is trying to kill you! Now use your gun and take care of it.”
I point the gun to the wolf’s head. Then my mind switches. I point the gun up in the air, and fire. It isn’t a fair weapon.
I take out my knife and hold it in the air. The wolf charges toward me.
“Good job. You’ve done it.” I have fooled my father for the time being.
The wolf is three feet away from me. On more snap, and my jugular will be opened onto the floor. He jumps. I slash toward the wolf, cutting through his throat.
A hot, sticky fluid pours all over me, smothering my face. I drop the knife, and fall to the floor, sobbing.
“You’ve done it!” My father cheers.
“I killed him,” I sob.
“You had to. He was trying to kill you,” my father assures me.
I stand up and look at the dark ceiling.
“No,” I say. “You were trying to kill me, Daddy.”