I really enjoyed writing this particular challenge. The idea came easily and the random characters happen to be a pairing I like already. It took a couple days to marinate the idea and finally get it written out, but I am pleased with the result. Enjoy
Writing Challenge 09-28-2014
Sally walked carefully down the deserted street. The broken sidewalk could be treacherous in the dim light. Dark clouds blotted out most of the dull rays of light; the threat of a storm was thick in the air. The city offered little in the way of color, gray buildings, beside gray roads; old vehicles rusted away beside the curb, their paint flaked away. It was a sad gray world, so Sally immediately noticed the spot of red next to her shoe. A few more steps found another drop. As she continued down the side walk the spots were appearing closer together. So, she was not surprised when she found a body lying just inside an alleyway.
In her head she could hear her mother’s strident voice. ‘Sally, mind your own business!’ Unfortunately, she could never follow that advice. She was a doctor and helping others was second nature. Instinctively, she checks the vitals. The pulse was slow but strong. A cursory evaluation showed it was a young man with dark hair, wearing only a pair of white pants. He was suffering from multiple gun-shot wounds and bleeding profusely. If she didn’t get him to her clinic, he would definitely die.
Decision made, she looked around to make sure no one was watching. Grasping him as gently as possible, she lifted him on to her shoulder in a fireman carry. Adjusting to his surprising weight, she hurried on down the sidewalk. He was much more solid than his lean frame had implied.
Sally was extremely curious about the man she carried. With the exception of the bullet wounds, he seemed to be healthy. Ever since the plague had begun to wipe out the human race twenty years ago, no one was healthy anymore. The official name for it was Exacerbated Anorexic Disorder. Most people just called it The EnD. The doctors all agree it changes the blood, but how no one can figure out. The result is they are no longer able to absorb nutrients and distribute it to the body. So, the body begins to eat itself. People begin to waste away, just skeletons with skin stretched over top. The worst part was it didn’t kill quickly. The healthier a person was the faster the disease moved, as their health fails, the disease slows and allows the sufferer to live for many years as a shuffling corpse. Ironically, other blood born diseases like HIV caused immunity to The EnD.
As the disease began to spread, people began to fear contact with other humans. By the time the populace fled the cities, it was already too late for most of them. Now most people lived in isolated pockets in the wilderness, Sally couldn’t remember the last time she had seen another healthy person, other than herself.
Somehow, she had a natural immunity to the plague. Mother and she had been studying her blood for years trying to find the secret. Having been born just before The EnD struck the world, she was not familiar with how strong people had once been, but her mother seemed to think Sally had too much natural strength and discouraged her from using it. So, more than just fear for the man she carried caused her to hurry toward the clinic doors ahead.
She skirted around the back of the building and punched in the security code to the backdoor. Stopping to make sure the door was locked behind her; she took the limp body to an exam room. He was still warm and she could feel the beat of his heart. She chose to ignore the slight tingling of her skin as it made contact with his.
Carefully, she laid him out on the surgery table. She pulled off her coat covered in his blood and quickly washed her hands. There were five bullet holes and three exit wounds. She gave him a local and sent up a silent prayer that he would not waken until she had completed her work.
With a sigh Sally dropped the second bullet into the bowl. She took the bowl over to the sink; she would examine the odd little pieces of metal later. They were unlike any other bullets she had ever seen. They had deteriorated the skin around them, making them much easier to remove than ordinary bullets. Closer examination would wait until she had bandaged up the patient.
She moved back to the table and was shocked to see the bullet holes were smaller, she couldn’t see it happening, but each time she blinked the wounds shrunk a little more. Carefully she cleaned the shiny new scar tissue left behind. She was leaning forward to examine the hole below his collarbone, when suddenly his eyes flew open. As soon as the black orbs focused on her, he attacked.
Possessing wonderful reflexes, Sally was out of reach before he was even close to connecting his hand to her throat. He seemed to spring up from the table and stood crouching upon it.
Sally could only stare; moments ago he had been unconscious on the surgery table, now he was intense coiled strength and concentration. She could only imagine this was the way people felt when they confronted a wild animal. Afraid to move, not knowing what would set it off. His hair-band had broken and silky waves of black hair spilled around his shoulders. Muscles rippled under bronze skin, marred only by the five shiny circles. She knew they would disappear, but she was caught in his obsidian gaze and didn’t notice.
Adrenalin pumped through her, she was surprised, wary, excited, worried, and off balance. She didn’t know what was going to happen, but she wasn’t afraid of being physically harmed, even though he seemed to radiate aggression. Perhaps she had spent too long being the strongest and fastest person she knew, but she couldn’t summon up true fear, just a thrilling curiosity.
“Who are you?” he demanded. “Where am I?”
Sally gave her best professional soothing voice. “I’m Dr. Poe, this is my clinic. I found you wounded in an alley nearby. Do you remember being shot?”
He didn’t answer, vaulting down from the table. His eyes darted around taking in the operating room and location of the exits. Sally was careful to remain still and relaxed, her patient was obviously on edge.
“What is your name?” she asked.
Again he remained silent, but moved with more confidence, looking about the room, taking it in with more detail. Sally in turn watched him, fascinated. He was young, mid to late teens, but she would never make the mistake of talking down to him. The boy was definitely dangerous, his short stature, a couple inches shorter than herself, and small frame might cause some to underestimate him. She had already seen enough to know that would be a huge mistake. He moved with a smooth gracefulness she envied.
A part of her brain said she should really be afraid of this stranger, but when he appeared to sniff the air she couldn’t stop the smile. She was professional enough not to giggle, which had been her first reaction.
He turned those amazing eyes on her again and quickly closed the distance between them. Before she got the thought through her brain that she should move, he was invading her personal space and there was no where to go. This time when is nostrils flared she knew he was smelling her.
“What color is your hair?” he asked.
Sally was caught completely off-guard by the question. “What do you mean?”
He looked at the blonde locks and Sally thought for a moment he would reach out and tough them. “You dye your hair, what color is it really?”
Finally warning bells began to go off in her brain. Her mother had dyed her hair since before she could remember. If people saw its true color they would be frightened, it wasn’t natural.
Sally did her best to sound offended, “I don’t see how that is any of your business. You haven’t even given me your name.”
“Chang Wufei, clan Dragon,” he snapped at her, “why are you here?”
“This is my clinic,” she snapped back, “Dr. Sally Poe of the Poe Clinic.”
“I don’t know your Clan,” he said, “are they somewhere in the city?”
Sally frowned in confusion, “I don’t have a clan; it is just my mother and I.”
“It isn’t safe to be in the city without your clan, the enemy will find you here.”
Okay, Sally thought, he obviously needed more help than just having a couple bullets removed. Maybe whatever made him heal so quickly also affected his mind? How sad, maybe she really was the only truly healthy person left. For a moment she had thought she’d found someone like herself.
“Its okay, Wufei,” she said soothingly. “I will be fine. Is there someone I can call for you? Someone who will be looking for you?”
Wufei’s eyes narrowed, definitely not pleased by her tone. Whatever he might have said was forestalled by the sound of glass doors sliding open. Sally looked up to see her mother entering the room. Wufei whirled around and she sensed he was about to spring. While she had not feared for her own life, she was suddenly sure that he would kill her mother if she didn’t stop him.
“Wufei! No!” she cried and grabbed his arm.
Wufei’s senses were under assault. The clinic stank of chemicals; it dulled his sense of smell and burned his nostrils. The harsh lighting was not easy on his sensitive eyes and now his skin burned where Sally held him. Fire burned along his veins in reaction to her touch. The unexpected entrance of the stranger had sent the adrenaline shooting through him; it only spread the fire faster.
From the moment he woke up, he had known something wasn’t right. He hadn’t seen his attacker, so it wasn’t beyond imagination that, that whoever had shot him wanted him to live. It wouldn’t have been the first time he had been “rescued” in the hopes that the after-effects of healing would cause him to mate with one of their females.
The ‘un-awakened’ female before him had been excited and her smell had interested him. Then her answers to his questions had been odd and her sudden fear. None of it added up, he was just starting to get annoyed when it occurred to him; she had no idea what he was talking about. Her smell held no deception, only confusion. She didn’t know what he was. Before he had a chance to confirm his suspicions, the smell of the undead assaulted him as he heard the door.
Sally’s grip on his arm was much too distracting; quickly he pulled her to the floor and crouched protectively over her. She was too oblivious to understand what they were dealing with, but he would protect her. Wufei wanted to growl, the frustrating woman used the new position to grip him with both hands.
“It’s my mother!” Sally shouted up at him.
Wufei looked at the woman standing very still just inside the doors. “That is not your mother.”
Sally tried to shake him, “Yes that is my mother.”
Wufei let the change take him just enough to cause his canines to lengthen. Sally stilled beneath him. She would have felt the change run along her nerves, even if she didn’t know what it was yet. Pulling his lips back, he gave the creature across the room a good view of sharp teeth and let out a low growl.
“What are you doing here blood-sucker?” Wufei rumbled, his voice dropping a couple octaves.
Staying very still the woman answered, “I came to see my daughter.”
Wufei growled again.
“She doesn’t know anything,” the woman said.
“Then why don’t you explain it to both of us?” Wufei responded.
She looked at Sally and gave a sharp nod. “Her parents were killed and she was taken to a testing facility when she was an infant. The plague struck when she was about four-years-old. There was mass panic and the facility was abandoned and the subjects destroyed. I stole Sally away before the building was burned to the ground. It was only later that we realized your kind was immune to The EnD. Sally and I have been looking for a cure in her blood. She has enhanced strength and speed, but hasn’t displayed any other traits of your people.”
Wufei pulled back from the change, returning to a completely human form. “Of course she hasn’t. It takes another Werewolf to awaken the wolf. You could never have taken her through the ceremony. It’s how we control our population.” Wufei spared a glance at Sally; she was wide eyed and silent. She really did have a lot to learn about the world she lived in.
He returned his gaze to the vampire. “I’m going to let you live, but Sally is coming with me.”
She nodded, “I have kept her safe from the other vampires, but with the population dropping each day, I don’t know how much longer I can keep her hidden.” A slight smile curled her lips, “She is just about impossible to control when she decides something.” She waved at the clinic around them. “Good luck to you, wolf. Goodbye my Silly-Girl.” The vampire didn’t wait for a response; she slipped out the doors and was gone.
Wufei stepped back and pulled Sally to her feet. She stood there in shock just staring at him. He sensed the vampire was right; Sally was going to be a handful when she came back to her senses. Quickly he pulled her toward the doors, taking advantage of her docility while it lasted.
Sally mumbled something as he led them out of the clinic. “What?” he asked still moving.
“Blue,” Sally said. “My hair is blue.”
Wufei looked back over his shoulder looking into her eyes, he nodded. “Hello, Dr. Sally Poe, Clan Sky.”
Writing Challenge 09-28-2014
The story ends during a plague. The story takes place twenty years into the future. During the story, a relative shows up. The story must have a werewolf involved in the middle. A character dyes their hair, but it is done for different reasons than people would expect.
Twenty years in the future
Dyes hair, reasons odd