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Nuevo Lobo - Chapter 2
What was inside the door at the end of the corridor blew my mind. Until today, I would have never believed that this was even possible. I walked into the room and it felt like a breeze just whipped by my face. I pulled my heather grey jacket down to my hands and folded my arms, thinking my mind was playing ticks on me but I wasn’t just imagining it. It looked like I had just walked into a forest. Instead of tile flooring, there was lush and thick grass. A small stream ran from one side of the room to the other. In the center was a massive tree as tall as a house and as wide as a truck. As I followed the tree’s trunk up to the top, something caught my eye. Up in the tree something was moving. I couldn’t quite tell what it was, but then something large and furry jumped towards me.
Out of the tree came a large black wolf. It landed within feet of me and a loud growl emerged form its throat. I flinched and jumped backwards and then froze where I was. It passed in a semicircle, still growling, eyeing me up. I thought the wolf was about to attack me, when Frado stepped in.
“It’s alright Willy. She’s one of us; a newbie.” Frado said.
The wolf hesitated for a moment, looking at Frado. When Frado nodded slightly, it relaxed and stopped growling. His eyebrows eased back away from his eyes and he stood up. What happened next blew my mind. It happened in a split second. If I had closed my eyes, I would have missed it. This wolf apparently called Willy was no longer a wolf, but an old man, around 60. He somehow transformed right in front of my eyes. The fur looked like it had been pulled back towards its roots and his limbs seemed to shrink. His tail disappeared, paws turned to hands, and his long snout pulled back into smiling wrinkled man.
“Wow.” I said out loud without noticing.
Willy laughed and suddenly there were laughs coming from all around me. I looked around, startled and saw a dozen more wolfs suddenly change from beast to man. The people were so different from each other, so much that you wouldn’t see them hang around each other in the real world. Their age differences caught my attention. There were middle aged people, old geezers, young adults, and small children among them. I could feel my face getting red out of embarrassment. Suddenly I felt a hard pat on my shoulder. A lady in her thirties had her arm around my shoulders.
“Oh stop laughing you guys.” She said. “It all happened to us when we were first introduced.”
With that, everyone quieted down and went back to what they were doing before.
“They were just laughing because they were excited to have someone new here.” The girl told me. This lady was very short and stout, with wild red hair that was pulled back into a messy bun. Her smile was crooked and she was missing a few of her teeth.
“Thanks.” I told her; she smiled more.
“Anna.” I introduced myself.
“So what do you think abou-“
A loud bang broke our conversation. Willy changed back into a wolf and scurried off into the next room. I flung my head around to see Jack storming towards us. Rosie walked away before he got to us.
“Frado! What the heck are you doing?!” he screamed “I told you to keep an eye on her. Not reveal everything!”
Frado hung his head, avoiding Jack’s glance.
“What if she couldn’t take it? What if she left and told the whole world about us?”
“I wouldn’t have.” I told him.
He looked surprised. He stared at me for a while then sighed and ran his hand down his face. He looked tired. He motioned for Frado to leave and Frado slugged back through the door we came in. Jack stood quiet for a while, probably thinking things over.
“What did Frado tell you so far?” He said softly.
“Um. He told me what you guys are, that everyone chooses someone else and that’s basically it.” I answered.
He nodded then asked. “Did he tell you about the Nighters?”
“Knights? Like sword and horse knight?”
He chuckled. “No. It’s spelled with just an ‘n’.”
“Oh. What are the Nighters?”
“I’ll show you.” He motioned for me to follow him. He led me back out the door we came in from and down the opposite hall which was full of small rooms. We were headed for the 3rd door on the right. The room was full of old pictures. There was one picture that stood out. It was larger than the rest and positioned in the center of all the photos. It was the one that Jack was showing me.
“This is where it all started.” He pointed to a small boy in the picture. “His name is Mike; he was my best friend.” In the picture, next to the boy named Mike was another boy that resembled a young Jack. “When I was first chosen, I came here and met Mike. We got along wonderfully, doing everything together. Our job was to keep nature away from the humans, but as we grew older, Mike grew tired of the humans. So he grew apart from us and formed his own group called the Nighters. The Nighters now, when the humans get too involved in nature and cause harm to it, they try to punish the humans. Unlike us, the Nighters have trouble controlling themselves when they make the change and it makes them want to attack the humans. It’s now our job to make sure they don’t succeed.”
We stood there just looking at the pictures. I couldn’t believe that there is a separate world from our own that we didn’t know about. Also that there are a group of people risking their lives to keep it that way. I know that I wasn’t too thrilled about doing this earlier, but now I am proud to be part of it.
“Well, I’ll get Frado to show you to your room. All of your things are already up there.” He said finally.
“You mean I can’t go home?” I was worried.
“Well, every few months you will be able to. Also, your family has been told everything and they have agreed to let you do this.”
“Do I have to do this my whole life?”
“No, you will have to do this until you’re over 30. That is the age when you are able to choose someone to take your place and leave or stay.”
“Is that what you are going to do? Now, that you have chosen me, are you going to go back to your family?” I asked
Jack turned away from the picture and sighed. “My family was killed by the Nighters 6 years ago.” I stayed quiet but before I could say anything, Frado stepped into the doorway.
“Great timing Frado. I’d like you to take Anna to one of the open cabins upstairs.” Jack said.
“Way ahead of you.” Replied Frado. He held up a keycard in his hand with the number 238 on it. I headed to the front room with Frado and out into the hallway. We turned a corner and then stepped into a large elevator. We were so tired that neither of us talked until we got to the 4th floor and to room 238.
“Here it is.” Frado yawned.
“No problem. You’d better get a good night sleep. I’m going to guess that Jack is going to push you hard in training tomorrow. Good night.” Frado laughed and then closed the door. I threw the key on the end table by the door and took a good look around. Inside my room was a full bathroom with a separate shower and bathtub. Next was a common room with a couch and flat screen TV. The other half of the room was a kitchen with a fully packed fridge. I grabbed the milk out of the fridge and found some Cap n’ Crunch in the pantry. I made myself a bowl of cereal and in not time I was finished. When I walked into the bedroom, I almost fell over. There was a king size bed with a large dresser where all my clothes were sorted perfectly. In the room was another TV and on the nightstand was a picture of my family and another one of my friends. I changed into my pajamas, clicked on the TV, but in no time I fell asleep almost instantly, not knowing what was going to be thrown my way.