By Vivian Arend
Wolf Flight Vivian Arend 2009
(part of the removed chapters)
“TJ, why are you hiding by the storage shed?” Tad had wandered the entire camp to find the boy.
“Because I can’t hide in the cabin and if I hide on the dock, well, duh, people will see me.”
Tad shook his head in disbelief. “Are you insane? Are you going out of your way to piss your brother off? I thought you had to make lunch or something.”
TJ leant on the barrels stacked behind him. Large plastic containers with a tight seal to keep bears out of the supplies stood in a neat line along the side wall of the storage shed. “Oh, I already made lunch. It’s on the table.” He took a cautious look around before he confided,
“Actually, Mom made lunch at home and I just unwrapped it. Don’t tell Keil, I hope to gain some brownie points here.”
“You’re a menace to yourself, aren’t you?”
“Klutz of the first water, that’s me. Only I do have my redeeming qualities. I’m very well read, I have excellent dental hygiene, and I never fart in public unless I mean it.”
Tad stared around the mountainside with delight as TJ rambled on. What a beautiful place to bring clients to canoe and fish and—
Tad glanced back to see the boy nudge one of the barrels out of line with its partners.
TJ shifted his body weight to the side to avoid the barrel on his right. That put him into contact with the one on the left and it slid off its base, wiggled a few times and fell in a direct path toward TJ. The entire wall of barrels collapsed in chaotic fashion, coming to land in a haphazard pile, the loud crash echoing through the air.
Frantic with concern, Tad raced to where TJ was buried to pull him out. “Keil, Steve, help!!!” he cried as he spotted TJ’s boot emerging from under the mess. Several of the barrels landed propped on each other, forming a pocket of space. With some luck TJ wouldn’t be crushed beneath the heavy barrels. “Hang on, TJ, we’ll get you out of there.”
Tad gave a gentle tug on the boot, to see if it might be possible…and then he wasn’t sure what he had planned to do. Because the boot came loose in his hand, a plain white sock clinging to the inside.
The barrels rocked, and Tad stepped back for a second. Heavy footsteps approached and he had just turned back to the pile when he heard it.
A long drawn out wolf call, that came from under the barrels.
Tad spun around as Keil rushed up behind him.
“Where’s TJ, as if I don’t already know the answer?” Tad pointed and Keil cursed. “Shoot, Tad, I guess you’re in for a little surprise.”
Another howl rose on the air and Tad shivered. “Keil, if we pull the top barrel—”
“It’s okay, Tad, give me a minute here.” Keil stomped around to the backside of the pile and shoved hard. The rest of the pile shifted and Tad tripped over his own feet in an attempt to reach safety and still keep his gaze on Keil.
A large shape slipped past the barrel beside Keil.
It was a timber wolf.