And here we learn some useful facts about werewolves… No guaranties given for fitness regarding any werewolves you might run across on earth, though. You have been warned. And leave a comment, will you?
Time passed. And nothing happened. Seconds passed like hours, or maybe hours passed; Laiva couldn’t tell. Finally she reached the point when she couldn’t stand it any longer and hesitantly she opened her eyes. She blinked. The wolf was still standing in the same place as before. It didn’t seem to have any ambitions to attack either; just stood there as if held back by an invisible wall. It took Laiva a few moments to realise it wasn’t even looking at her; it was staring at the fire. The werewolf was morbidly afraid of fire!
She couldn’t help grinning. She couldn’t help giggling. She couldn’t help laughing. All the dread that had rested heavily upon her heart left in a volley of laughter. It was just too much. And Laiva would have laughed until she was completely exhausted, hadn’t it been for the look. The werewolf was looking straight at her and it was… Well, it shouldn’t have been possible for a wolf’s mouth to do that, but it was definitely smiling. Unnervingly. It was still waiting and while it was waiting the little wood that nurtured the fire was slowly burning down. The situation hadn’t changed at all; she was still trapped and the wolves were still waiting and the fire was still the only thing that stopped them from ripping her to pieces. And on top of that anything she had to defend herself had just turned out to be useless.
As far as she knew the only thing that could really hurt them was silver. That and chopping their head off. She got that one off a man in the pub. He had been making a living of hunting monsters, or at least he had said he did – and he knew what he was talking about. People bragging or telling stories acted… differently. You got a feeling for that with time.
‘Girl,’ he had said, ‘silver’s optional. Stops em regenerating, ye see, but can’t do that without a head either, can ya? Chop it off and it’s a goner. Works on anything with a head, werewolves no exception.’
Laiva hadn’t asked about the things without a head. Some things are better left unanswered and she was somewhat afraid that he would have answered that one; knowing that there were things without a head had been quite enough to give her nightmares. Nightmares of headless things chasing her through the woods, their acid stench in her neck and claws tearing at her clothes… Even now the mere thought made her shudder. Though she would rather have those nightmares for the rest of her life than the one she was in right now.
Did she honestly believe she could get out of this in one piece? The werewolves were going to tear her apart before she even got close enough to stab them, not to mention cutting their heads off. On the road she had had surprise on her side – and she had been lucky. You didn’t have to be particularly bright to work that out, and she was bright. Everyone said so.
In any case bright enough to know that the one thing she needed were silver arrows; which didn’t help at all. She had only ever seen them once. Isrin had shown them around in the inn one evening. He had come across them among other things… and bits, as he put it, at which point daddy had given him one of his not-in-front-of-the-child looks. It had been three days since the monster hunter had left.
And even Isrin hadn’t held on to them. She knew for sure, because he had been bragging how good a deal he had struck when he returned from his next trip to the city. When he settled his bill she had seen the shimmer of gold in his pouch; most people in the village only ever had copper. Well, except for the ornaments and trinkets, but those were only silver plated in most cases anyway… except that silver plating should do, shouldn’t it?