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Free Preview of Dreadful: Wolves in the Ice

This is a new short story series I've been working on. I wanted to have it out by Tri-Con, but things always to seem to take longer than I think or hope they do. This is NOT the final version, but it is pretty close minus any typos or a few tweaks here and there. Thanks for reading!

Dreadful: Wolves in the Ice

2

Lynn swore she would never come back to Alaska. She hated this place. The cold, it got to her. She had spent the last eleven years where the weather shifted. She got used to semi-normal seasons. Her dad would have taken the term 'normal' personally. He loved Alaska. He was heartbroken when she left to live her own life. She couldn't stay forever, she told him. She didn't think that would be the last time she saw him. She couldn’t have known.

The storm was getting pretty bad. These rural roads were hell on a good day, but this was not a good day… well, night at this point. She just wanted to get to her dad's cabin. He left it to her in his will. It was the only thing he left her. Lynn's brother got everything else. Of course he did. He never left. He was perfect and everyone in the family just loved him. Her, not so much.

Lynn needed to be alone. After what happened in New York. After what Allun did, she just needed to be away from everyone. Just for a while. She started to cry again, "Goddamn it," she said out loud, "You're not going to let him hurt you anymore," she wiped the moisture from her cheeks.

She was having a hard enough time seeing without crying her eyes out. The snow was really picking up. She slowed down below twenty miles an hour. Her headlights could barely cut through the white static in front of her.

THUD! She heard it. She felt it. She had hit something with her car. Oh my god, she thought. Did she hit a person? Surely not. Who the hell would be out in this blizzard? No, she thought. Lynn exited her car. Snow and ice hit her in the face with a dozen little stings. She pushed her way through the blistering wind and sleet.

The figure on the ground looked like a person, "Oh shit. No, no, no," she said frantically, "Mister?" she could tell it was a man as she crept closer," she noticed he was breathing. She felt a bit relieved, but he could still be really injured.

She noticed something else as she was right on top of him. The man was naked. Completely buck-ass naked, "The hell?" she bent down to check his pulse. He wasn't going to last long like this, she thought. Why the hell is he naked? Maybe this is like a mob hit or something. Alaska-style. Throw someone out in a blizzard and let them freeze. That's silly, she dismissed the idea. It didn't matter. She needed to get him back in the car. She needed to get him to a hospital.

The man's eyes sprung open. The man leapt up onto his feet. The naked man grabbed Lynn and slammed her against the car. He was so strong, "What the hell happened? Who are you?" he shook his head. He tried to clear his head from the car impact, "Did you hit me with your goddamn car?"

"It was an accident. I couldn't see. Are you okay?" she squeaked out. She was scared for a totally new reason now. This guy was crazy. She tried to wriggle out of his grasp, but his hands acted like vice grips. Not just for a naked skinny guy in the middle of a blizzard, but strong for any person. She couldn’t budge an inch.

The man let go of her and grabbed his head, "It's too late," he whipped his head around. His eyes were bright yellow, "I put it off for too long. I can't control it," Lynn heard bones cracking in the man's body as he screamed in pain, "Guess you'll have to do lady," he gave her a sinister stare as his incisors grew a few inches in front of her eyes. Blood started pour out of the man's mouth as the bones and muscles in his body shifted in a grotesque manner. His grin split the side of his cheek as he let out an inhuman shriek. A distorted howl.

Lynn ran to her driver's side door. The contorted, naked man was distracted as he... whatever was happening to him. She put her foot on the accelerator as hard as she could, but only spun out. She forgot what it was like to drive in real snow. She gently put her foot down and she got traction. Lynn went around the man as she swore she saw his head was stretching. Every inch of change audibly fractured his bones and ripped at his tendons. His teeth were sharp and jagged. Those yellow eyes burned through her with insatiable hunger.

Whatever the hell was going on, Lynn was getting out of here. She was well on her way. Suddenly she felt another impact. This time on the back of her car. Like something had slashed her back left tire. She spun 180 degrees. Lynn had no control and just held on. She closed her eyes until she heard the clatter of shattered glass and denting metal. Lynn swore she was screaming, but it didn’t seem to rise above the chaotic crashing around her.

Lynn felt blood flow down her face. Some of the glass hit her like a shotgun blast. Lynn saw that the passenger side had hit a tree. She shook the dizziness from her head. She needed to get the hell out of here. She reached for the door with her bleeding hand. Blood smeared on the handle as she fumbled the door open.

Lynn saw her back tire as she fell into the snow, still off balance from the impact. It had been ripped open. Were those claw marks? She looked around. The snow was coming down even harder, but she somehow could feel that the contorted man could still be after her.

Her father's cabin couldn't be more than half a mile east into the woods. She could make it. She knew it. Lynn put one foot in front of the other. She wrapped herself in the only blanket she had and headed into the white nothingness.

3

Lynn was running now. As fast as her legs could prope