Wolves! Wolves! Wolves! Wolves! Wolves!

November 27, 2009

Happy Thanks—- err Friday.

Here is another chapter. It is another fantasy chapter. A dream chapter the main character has about work. There are wolves in it.

***************************

It has been one hour since the rains have started. I have tried to put it out of my mind, but it lingers like a nicotine addiction constantly making your skin itch. Until you get to satisfy that fix with a long slow pull on a cancer stick it just keeps gnawing at you. I can hear the rain’s light incessant tapping on the world’s surface: on the office building’s windows, on the cars in the parking lot, on the gravel walkway, on the manicured green grass, on the measured matching stone tiles right outside. I can hear it over the hum of the air conditioning. I can hear it over the soft whimpering of my female co-workers. I can hear it calling to us.

It has been one hour since the rains have started, but it has been 5 years since we learned what the rains will bring. If the rain ended one minute ago, 59 seconds ago, if it ended just one second shy of one hour then we would all be safe. We do not know why it started or how it works perfectly with one hour clock work. After one hour of rain, the wolves come.

I know the date. It is the 9th of September and it is a Tuesday. If there is rain for an hour and the wolves arrive, on a Tuesday or Thursday, it is my department’s job to fight them. Already the preparations are being made. I don’t know why, but my first thought is to finish whatever it is I’m doing: busy work. Filling out an expense report, filing for someone’s “chron”, scanning copies of signatures to the executives, preparing a DHL package, whatever it is I finish it. I will walk outside with a clean slate is how I justify it. That is what I tell people; if today is my last then there will be no loose ends for someone to wade through.

In reality, I’m scared. I use these moments to center myself. This busy work brings me into a Zen Buddhist like state. It is my meditation. This work is infinitely tedious and seemingly has no ending and with that I need to calm myself into an awakened sleep state to deal with how degrading it is to perform these tasks over and over again for full days of my life for weeks of my life for months of my life and I’m in the prime of my life. I slow down and continue to move through what could be my final task. It is hard to concentrate with all the crying.

My department is nine women and five men, including myself. Three years ago there was a vote and ever since we have forbade the women from fighting. The deaths of the men are hard to bear, but the deaths of the women was a sadness felt through all that has never left any of us. We carry those deaths in our hearts and they weigh on our souls. They should have never been let out those doors, any that survived were miracles. This will be my tenth time having to walk outside to face the wolves. I have the scars.

Claw marks across my chest and puncture wounds in my arms, neck, legs and back from their teeth. I have broken bones and bled out quarts of blood, but I have survived. I cannot say the same for the one hundred and twelve of my co-workers that I have seen mauled to death in red messes on those stone tiles out there. That fear of another scene like that today is what makes them cry. The women all tearing up and some of them men too. I sit here stoic out of fear and in my meditation.

The alarm sounds.

The loud train whistle blares when the first wolves appear from the trees. At this I stand. I have submitted my expense report and it is printing right now. I write on a stickie note “need signature for approval” and stick it to the front page. I staple the pages together and place it on the ledge of my cubicle. I nod to a co-worker. She is 60 and a mother of three. I could be her youngest son; that is how she sees me. I nod to her and she knows that if I die she will have this expense report appropriately signed and then inter-officed to accounts payable.

The women give out hugs and words of encouragement. I am an enigma to this office; no one can understand how I continue to make it back from outside. They are afraid of what they have seen. They have seen the violence and what I’m willing to do to make it back inside, for one more day of work. They smile with tears in their eyes and they mouth phrases like “god bless you” “be safe”, but there is a wall between myself and them. Only the new attorney and myself receive no real affection or hugs. We stand and wait. This will be the new attorney’s first trip outside.

The intern has already made the rounds and secured our weapons: scissors, paper cutter blades, FedEx boxes duct taped together as body armor. He hands them out. The new attorney’s blade is so new it hasn’t even cut a sheet of 8 ½ x 14 to 8 ½ x 11. Mine is black. Stained in the wolves blood, hair and skin. Even my own blood. I felt its edge turned on me before. It is almost natural to have it gripped in my hand, the handle wrapped in electrical tape. I hold the scissors in my left hand and my hatchet in my right. The five of us make for the elevators.

The new attorney, the intern, the manager, the old attorney and myself. The new attorney is wide-eyed and shaking with adrenaline. He is scared beyond belief. His brain does not know how to handle any of this and he is on the verge of insanity. On the other hand, the old attorney is barely conscious. He has “survived” 5 times, but at what cost? His back was nearly broken and he is constantly medicated on pain killers to be able to move. He moves at a snail’s pace and he usually is a burden to have out there than a help. He is loved by the women so his death would be hard to take for them. He stands with the assistance of the manager and his ability to grip his weapon is about all he can muster.

The manager has survived 7 attacks and he is of great use. He moves well and understands what it takes to kill. He and the intern are my only help. The intern is young and wild. His instinct of obscene energy driven drunk on fear keeps him running and hacking at anything. His survival of 3 attacks has been a sight; I am more and more surprised at his ability to live and I never expect to see him walk back inside alive. He is not collected when fighting and this leads to openings. His survival is luck and I feel the wolves grow smarter with each encounter. It is only a matter of time now that I see him die in front of me.

When we reach the ground floor, we can see the wolves forming a straight line about fifty yards from the doors. The floor to ceiling glass windows and doors gives the wolves a good look at us and us to them. There are eleven of them. We reach the doors and the security guards release the electronic lock and we push them open. They immediately shut behind and the lock slams closed. We are not allowed back inside unless we have killed the wolves or they have retreated.

When the phenomena began and it was voted that each department had a schedule of when they should guard it sounded reasonable. But over time the deaths and which section could hire new men became lop sided. Our department, the law department, has hired one new man and lost six. Other departments like human resources are over thirty men. They have the numbers and can scare the wolves away with their presence. They limit our resources, they limit our men. I sometimes think who is more predatorial – the wolves or man.   

We separate. We move 7 yards apart to create space. We do not want any friendly fire. The wolves even out their number and size us up. Two for each of us and the final lurking to pick up scraps. I have seen this before. Not many of us will last. I let my blade lower to the ground and move my left leg forward with scissors extended. I am preparing for the charge. The rest are in different states: the new attorney is in a crazed state breathing heavy he’ll likely pass out before they even strike, the old attorney is waiting for the wolves to tackle him and then he will pray for a quick death most likely, the intern and the manager are prepared to start their moving attacks. I lie in wait.

The lurking wolf howls and then the ten dash.

The first two reach the new attorney first he swings wildly at them, the intern next takes off leading a chase chopping at air, the manager next is diving and rolling for cover he slices and misses the one wolf, but it gets their attention, the old attorney is tackled and on the ground he has some fight left and stabs the one wolf repeatedly with the scissors- here comes my two.

With in five feet the wolf jumps; the first mistake and its last. I uppercut through the wolf with the razor’s edge of the paper cutter catching it in mid-air. The deathblow cuts from left to right shoulder to hind leg. The blood sprays me, coats my make-shift armor and blinds me for the moment. The second wolf knows better and attacks my knees. I feel the familiar sensation of wolf teeth entering my skin on either side of my left knee. I fall to the ground my pants and his mouth dripping with my blood. He tears and tears and I scream in pain. There is no help from my co-workers, my fellow men. I grit my teeth and scream through them and with one downward stab I knife the wolf in the neck with the scissors. It goes limp.

With my own blood and wolf blood dripping from my face, I turn to see my counterparts. The intern is wounded, but still moving well. The manager has killed one wolf and the other is stalking him, a stalemate. I look for the new attorney. He is against the glass swinging his weapons in a panic; the wolves are toying with him. I have to help him, he has little time left. I can see what is about to happen before it transpires. The lurking wolf is just timing him. I can see it, but I cannot make it to him. The lurking wolf makes his move.

The two distracting wolves dive out of the way at the last second and the lurker jumps for the new attorney’s throat. He latches on his fleshy neck crimson escapes everywhere. The lurker begins to feed before the body even hits the ground. The three wolves tear into his flesh and I can hear the horrible sobbing through the windows.

The old attorney has stabbed one wolf to death and its corpse is lying on top of his bloody unconscious body. The second wolf is attacking his leg. I push myself up to my feet and hobble over towards the old attorney. I start to yell at the wolf to attract him. He takes the bait. He wants a challenge. He is smaller than the rest, he is young and brash. He runs at me. He is not prepared. I brace for his impact and turn his momentum against him. His tackle ends up with me on top. It only takes one stab through the ribs into the heart with the scissors to end his thirst.

I am back on my feet and covered in blood. I am in the zone. I am dialed in and I can feel the murder oozing through my fingertips drugging my blade into a killing machine. I limp over to more action with each step becomes closer to a stride, my adrenaline has taken away my pain. I leave bloody footprints behind that are washed away from the rain. My pain is washed away, my fear is washed away, I am a mad man.

I yell to the intern to run to me, he turns and takes off in my direction. The wolves close behind the first leaps for his back and the intern senses it. He baseball slides into the grass and I come over the top with my blade severing the beast’s body in two. It is a pleasuring sight. The horrid entrails sprayed onto the stone tiles is beautiful compared to the same sight 10 yards away with the new attorney’s stomach and throat as a fine cuisine for the three wolves. The second wolf following the intern growls, but is scared. It backs up and runs.

The manager’s wolf sees the retreat and follows. The other three wolves have had their fill of flesh and walk away smiling. The manager, myself and the intern breath heavy and try to collect ourselves. We walk over to the old attorney. He has passed. His blood is in rivers across the tiles and leaking into the gravel walkway. He looks peaceful. No more battles for him. No more wolves. The electronic lock is clicked open.

The three of us grab our fallen comrades’ weapons and security badges and head inside. The doors lock behind us and we are met with towels to dry ourselves off with. That is the least they could do. We hit the elevator button to go back to our floor and I know the only thing that waits for me is another expense report to be signed and filed.

I hope it rains on Thursday.

********

Have a good weekend.

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16 Responses to “Wolves! Wolves! Wolves! Wolves! Wolves!”

  1. I now better understand your aversion to Fake-Kristen ending up with Fake-Taylor.

    • I’m not belittling your work. But “I really liked it” seemed boring. I’m sounding like a broken record.

      • Crystal said

        I know what you mean. I almost just posted “Wow” because that’s literally what I said out loud when I finished reading it but I thought it could be taken wrong so I added the boring parts.

  2. Crystal said

    Wow. That was amazing.

    Loved it.

  3. Zees84 said

    Jesus, Jordan! How dare you take a topic that is so close to your readers’ hearts and prance all over it with no respect whatsoever.

    I am, of course, referring to post apocaliptical fiction.

    What the fuck, Jordan? I mean, really! None of this would have happened if you had read any or all of the “Choose Your Own Adventure” sci-fi books my older brothers own.

    So before you think you can just write all this shit about an extremely vital, terribly important part my adult life, just read the fucking books!

    Seriously, though. The topic is not my cup of tea, but, you know there’s no denying your talent for writing. You somehow made it believable, and when I have nightmare because of it, I’ll be calling you to bitch to.

    Have a great rest of the weekend everyone!!

  4. Susanelle said

    Oh, my god, that was excellent. I am stealing this idea.

    (Not the Walter Mitty meme but the office-work-as-scene-from-the-Iliad idea. So funny.)

  5. TDawn said

    Amazing. The imagery I had of the fighting in this chapter was like the final battle scene from The Chronicles of Narnia. I completely understood Benjamin’s call to duty to fight and protect the innocents and his fellow man. I don’t care why the wolves come after an hour of rain on Tuesday and Thursdays, I don’t need to, it just is.

    The details about the office stuff like the stickie note for signature approval, DHL package prep, office supply weaponry were great and made me laugh. It’s like not realizing how funny Dilbert comics are until you actually work in an office environment surrounded by a sea of cubicles.

    Wishing you a weekend of leftovers, many beers, and a Steelers WIN! on Sunday.

    • Raven said

      That was really awesome. I like the ordinary man trapped in an extrodinary situation, even if it was a dream sequence. Obviously, he has a lot more going on in his mind than he does in real life, and I find that interesting. Please post more.

  6. NoirMayhem said

    Wicked. You’ve a hell of a an imagination, Mr. KSWI Jordan, but we already knew that, didn’t we?

  7. MLF said

    OMG.

    You have to publish this book so I can buy/read it.

    Please?

    Seriously loved it- I was smiling like a loon the entire time I was reading.

    • Lala said

      That’s exactly what I thought.
      Jordan, you HAVE to publish it! Pretty please with… ok, I was going to say with Robert Pattinson on top, but I think you would prefer… I don’t know… Megan Fox on top. Wow, it sounded dirty!

  8. UhSKi said

    Awesome start but I have a question– if they know the wolves will keep coming why do they still fight with scissors and box cutters? It’s cool that they can fight with simple everyday things so I didn’t know if there was a purpose behind their continued use instead of say, machetes and machine guns?

    I like it the way you have it, that was just my first thought and was wondering if you were to continue the story if you revealed the reasoning. I love the imagery, setting and the main character’s nonchalance at having to battle wolves at the office.

    • cledbo said

      Being an office drone myself, I’d say it would have something to do with office supply requisition orders, and the higher-ups not willing to spend the money when “The tools you have are sufficient for the job” or some other managerial clap-trap.

      I thought the same thing, “Why no guns?”, and then disturbed myself by knowing the answer…

  9. aneira said

    hilarious.
    if you wrote a novel about this, it would sell.
    theres nothing people enjoy more than humor and mocking monster novels. especially people who hate twilight.
    btw, werewolves can only be killed with silver bullets!
    just kiddin.

  10. cledbo said

    I am a big fan of juxtapositional fiction. I also love the word juxtaposition: placing two very different ideas (office workers/battles to the death with wolves is an original one, to be sure) next to each other in a story and seeing what insanity ensues.

    Your head is one crazy place, though from the sounds of your old job, this is understandable.

  11. Zees84 said

    It is 11 pm, and I’m tired. But, instead of curling into my very comfy bed, I am watching the fucking Steelers game. My husband doesn’t give a crap about football, neither does my dad. Dixon just scored a touchdown, Steelers are now winning. Seriously, KSWI Jordan, fuck you for making me care! But, because you’re my favorite blogger that ever was, I hope the Steelers maintain the lead and beat the shit out if the Ravens.

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