Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Sweet Sixteen is supposed to be a turning point in your life. a Howl in the night by Courtney Rene at Rogue Phoenix Press

A Howl in the Night
By Courtney Rene

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Sweet Sixteen is supposed to be a turning point in your life. The world is before you in all its glory, just waiting for you to reach out and grab it. Right? For Abigail Staton no, not so much. Not only does she suddenly lose her best friend due to a fight, but suddenly her mother expects her to believe that the father, she has never met, is actually a werewolf. With that revelation, Abby is thrust into the world of two wolf clans who are not only fighting each other, but also fighting for Abby, one of the few females born to the shape-shifters. Her father is determined to pair Abby up with Derek, a very dominant and overwhelming shifter. Abby vehemently balks at this union to disastrous results. When war is declared between the two clans, Abby has to decide what side she is actually on.


Then a new thought crashed into my brain. “Wait a sec. If my father is a werewolf...?"

“Not a werewolf, just a wolf,” my mom said, interrupting me.

“Okay, fine,” I said. If her story was true though, I had to wonder, what did that make me? It was my turn to pop up off the bed and pace around. What about me? Was I going to grow hair and fangs and run around trying to bite people? “Oh, God.”

It felt as if my life was over. How was I supposed to finish school if I turned into a wolf every time the moon was full?

Would it hurt to change? It always looked like it did in the movies. I had seen that werewolf movie where the guy runs around London eating people. The change was always accompanied with screaming and pain. Was I going to hunt down my friends and family and eat them?

I didn’t know if that was really how it worked or not, but before I could work myself up into a real freak fest, my mom said, “I have watched you all your life Abby, and I have never seen anything wolf-like about of you. I promise. That worry has always been in the back of my mind, but nothing has ever come of it. You’re fine. Come on, you don’t even like meat.”

I had to admit, thankfully, that she did have a point there.

She gave me a sideways look then said, “How do you think I felt? There were times that I was worried I was going to give birth to a puppy. How would I have explained that to my doctors?” My mom said this with a raise of her eyebrows and a grin.

This threw me for a moment. She was actually teasing me? At a time like this, she was cracking jokes? “That’s not funny,” I said.

“Oh, come on. Yes it is.”

Maybe it was a little funny, but there was no way in the world I was going to admit it then.

“Whatever,” I said with a shake of my head. “So, now what?” I was still holding onto the hope she had only hit her head that night and didn’t real know what she saw.

“I don’t know, honey. I just thought with your dad finally getting in contact with us, well, that you should be prepared. That it was time. You know?”

No, I didn’t know. In that moment, I felt a little lost. The day was supposed to be a great day. It was my sixteenth birthday. My world was supposed to have been great. Instead, I may have lost my best friend and found out that I not only had a father, but one who may or may not be a wolf. It was not a fabulous day after all. In fact, I decided that birthdays kinda sucked. “No. He may be my father, but he’s not my dad.”


I shook my head at her and left to go to my own room. I needed to think, and I couldn’t do that in her room with her looking at me with her sad eyes.

Mine was your average teen room. It had a bed, dresser, desk, and full mirror. There were clothes thrown about, but that was to be expected. I was a teenager, after all.

I dropped down on my bed with a huff. I had so much swirling around in my head I was getting a headache. I felt it coming behind my eyes. It figured. It was one more thing to go wrong that day.

I looked longingly out my window at Brian’s little yellow house and wished I could go over and talk to him. I could see he was home. The light from his room was spilling out into the night. Maybe he would laugh at me and tell me I needed to go have my mom checked out. I would have agreed. Maybe he would have helped me do some research and we could try to figure it out for ourselves. Instead, I felt so alone and lost and overwhelmed.

My mom was not the loony type. She always had her feet firmly on the ground. She never lied to me and always tried to tell me the truth. I didn’t know if I should believe her now or not. I know I didn’t want to believe her. Who would?

I looked down at my hands. They looked like just normal hands. No claws, or hair. They were just small, thin, girly hands.

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