Series 4 Episode 4
Drew couldn’t believe it. He had trusted his friends to know their way around the forest. He was only being curious, but he would never have agreed to venturing so far in if Brett didn’t promise that he knew the way. They were only eleven years old, after all.
It felt like Drew was finally being responsible and grown up, going out without his parents. However, he was out way later than expected. The forest was dark, and the natural light of the moon was being blocked by the overarching trees. Furthermore, he was lost, and totally separated from his friends. Phone signal was terrible, and Drew was quickly beginning to panic.
Looking around, he saw nothing but tree trunks and broken twigs on the ground. Drew tried retracing his steps, but there only seemed to be an endless amount of forest in any direction. His parents were going to be so worried. They would never find him out there. Nobody would. Crackle. He heard a twig snap behind him. Maybe it was Brett?
“Brett, are you there?” Drew called out. No response. More crackling sounded, though. It got nearer, and nearer, and nearer.
“This isn’t funny, Brett,” Drew yelled, feeling more and more anxious with each crackle. His heart was almost beating out of his chest.
Wham! Drew felt himself crashing to the floor. He was pushed with quite some force, being lucky to avoid knocking his head. He couldn’t see a thing.
Instantly, Drew felt a sharp pain rushing from his lower leg. It was as if he’d been stabbed numerous times in close proximity. The pain was intolerable. Whatever stepped Drew gave way, and he heard twigs crackling again, faster and getting further away. The pain didn’t subside, though. Drew was hurting like crazy. He had never felt such horrible pain.
Grabbing his phone out of his pocket, Drew set the brightness to its maximum and shone it over the wound. It was a gruesome sight, as if he had been bitten by a wild animal. There was no way he would be able to walk. He just had to pray Brett wasn’t too far away after all…
Never had Jono been more anxious than he was on the drive to Dylan’s house. The nerves and anticipation were sky high. He had quickly abandoned the meeting he had summoned with the rest of the pack at the treehouse after receiving a text from Drew: “Come to Dylan’s now.” He didn’t have to be asked twice.
Jono parked next to Caroline’s car on the driveway and dashed to the front door, twisting his key in the lock as quickly as humanly possible. That key was the symbol of everything he and Dylan had built as a couple. Whatever this Fenrir was, it had stolen it from him. Jono was never going to forget that.
He bounced up the now-familiar staircase, enjoying the familiar smells of the house, mostly Caroline’s perfume and Dylan’s cologne. The walk to Dylan’s bedroom felt like an excessively long hike, though. Jono was scared. He needed a good outcome to this chat.
Pushing the door open cautiously, Jono met eyes with Dylan, who was sat in the middle of his bed. Drew was sat in the armchair near the window, very much present but keeping a distance.
“Hi,” Jono awkwardly greeted. Things had never been awkward with Dylan before, but suddenly he didn’t know what to say to him.
“Hi,” Dylan said back. It was said with so little emotion. As if Jono meant nothing to him.
“We need to talk,” Drew headed the meeting, “Dylan, I know you have no idea who Jono is, but you trust me, right?”
“Yeah,” Dylan warily answered, “I’m all ears.” This sounded more like the Dylan that Jono knew. Keen to learn and improve himself.
“Jono isn’t just your boyfriend,” Drew explained, “He’s the love of your life. You’ve been inseparable for almost a year.”
“Why don’t I know you then?” Dylan questioned. He sounded like he wanted to know. Like he was desperate to piece everything together.
“Do you remember the scratch you got last night? From the wolf?” Jono queried.
“How do you know about that?” Dylan seemed confused. Jono perched on the end of the bed.
“Because you were protecting me, and your pack,” Jono kindly explained, “You know, it’s not just me. You’re the alpha of the most amazing pack. All of our friends.”
“Why do I only know Drew?” Dylan was unsure. This was still the most confusing part for Jono. There was surely no reason for Dylan to remember only Drew?
“I don’t know, but that scratch wiped your memories, and I’m scared, Dylan. It doesn’t want you, it wants us. A pack. Your pack. We’re stronger together,” Jono pleaded, “I need you.”
A tear crept down his cheek. He was never going to stop fighting for Dylan.
“I can see why I like you,” Dylan smiled. His usual self started to shine through, and Jono had never been more relieved.
“Want to meet the pack?” Jono suggested. Drew nodded in Dylan’s direction, encouraging him.
“Guess I need to,” Dylan smiled nervously. Jono was thrilled. The Dylan he adored was on his way back. No Fenrir could split the dream team up.
Yasmin didn’t feel like going home that night. Her new house was fine, and she had ensured it was considerably homelier than her mum’s pad in New York, but she was preferring the company of Lily for the night.
Besides, she wanted to talk about Freddie to someone, too. She trusted nobody to keep her secrets more than Lily. Dylan was her best friend, but Yasmin knew he was likely to tell her secrets to Jono. If he even knew who she was still. She hadn’t seen Dylan since the Fenrir got to him, but she wasn’t sure she wanted to. She had known Dylan longer than anyone else in the pack, and she couldn’t bear to see him in that way.
“Yasmin?” Lily clicked her fingers. Yasmin had been lost in her thoughts, forgetting Lily was next to her.
“Sorry,” Yasmin snapped back to reality.
“Anything you wanna talk about?” Lily offered. Yasmin barely knew where to start. Perhaps she should just drop the bombshell?
“Freddie and I broke up,” Yasmin revealed.
“Hold up, what?” Lily seemed surprised. Yasmin supposed their relationship issues were the last thing on Lily’s mind, what with everything else going on, “I thought we were going to be sisters-in-law?” Yasmin laughed. She knew Lily would always cheer her up.
“We kinda decided together, I guess. There’s no bad blood, it just wasn’t working,” Yasmin justified, “We don’t hate each other, so best believe I’ll still be your bridesmaid when you marry George.”
They both laughed. They were half-serious in any of their wedding chats, but Yasmin knew if she ever did marry, it wouldn’t be any time soon.
“That’s all that matters,” Lily smiled, “Are you sure that’s all that’s on your mind?”
“Of course not. I think we’re all overthinking like crazy,” Yasmin sighed.
“I’m so worried about Dylan,” Lily admitted, “And Jono. This is breaking him.”
“I can’t see him. I don’t want him to look me in the face and not recognise me,” Yasmin confessed. The thought of it alone terrified her.
“What if Diego’s right about the Fenrir? What if it wants us?” Lily wondered.
“We barely even know who Diego is,” Yasmin reminded. So far, she had no reason not to trust him, but it wouldn’t be the first betrayal of trust she’d faced in recent times. People needed to earn their place in the pack. Josh worked for it, Diego needed to as well.
“He seems alright,” Lily considered.
“So did Chase,” Yasmin recalled, “And my dad.” Lily seemed to be considering it. They had to be careful, or it could cost them.
Freddie had been looking forward to heading home all day. He wanted to challenge George to a bunch of video game duels, drink copious amounts of coke, and basically chill the heck out.
However, Josh was joining them, and not for a three-way match, either. Fortnite was going to have to wait. Instead, they were going to check on Noah. They had to warn him, and George too, exactly what was going on. Freddie couldn’t lie, he was really worried about George. If Noah really was becoming a Fenrir, it was bad news and George stood no chance.
Bursting through the front door, Freddie dashed up to George’s room. He saw Noah lying on the bed with a laptop in front of him, while George was focusing on the TV. It all seemed pretty damn normal.
“Hey, what’s up?” George sounded concerned by Freddie’s frantic entry.
“We know what Noah is,” Freddie explained, cutting to the chase.
“Huh?” Noah sat up, diverting his attention away from the laptop.
“The reason you’re so erratic,” Josh explained, “You got bitten by two alphas, so there’s basically two wolves inside you, battling for dominance.”
“Eventually, they will both merge and become one power-hungry wolf called a Fenrir,” Freddie continued, “And I think it’s already happening.” He noticed a book tucked under the duvet next to Noah. A familiar book. The Bestiary.
“What’s this doing here?” Freddie demanded to know.
“I don’t know, I’ve never seen it before,” Noah was baffled.
“It’s been there all day, I assumed it was yours, what is it?” George wondered.
“The Bestiary. It went missing from Drew’s bunker. Why did you take it?” Freddie accused.
“Listen, calm it dude,” George scolded, “This Fenrir thing is what attacked here?”
“Yup, and it has powers beyond any werewolf. It wiped Dylan’s memories of the whole pack,” Freddie continued.
“The whole pack,” Josh repeated, as if he were processing it.
“Yeah,” Freddie confirmed, confused.
“Caroline knows everything now. I suppose that makes her part of the pack,” Josh realised.
“He can’t forget his own mom,” George said, “Right?”
“I need to get home,” Josh decided.
“Need some company?” Freddie offered. He knew things had been difficult at home for Josh, and he wanted to be there for his friend.
“It’s okay. I’ll be fine,” Josh assured, rushing out. Freddie had to take care of his own family, after all. A family Noah was fast becoming an extended member of.
Sprinting home, Josh was worried. Things at home could be going really badly, and although he had warned Ed earlier that day about difficulties with Dylan, it had only just occurred to him that Dylan may not even remember Caroline. Josh had no idea how Dylan might have reacted to finding out he couldn’t remember his mum. Besides, Caroline would be distraught beyond words. Josh didn’t want her to know unless it was entirely necessary.
He shoved the front door open, hoping to run straight upstairs, but Caroline heard him come in.
“Josh? Hey sweetie,” Caroline called out. Josh went to join her and Ed in the living room.
“Hey,” Josh smiled, trying to act normal.
“We thought you’d like to know we’ve got a meeting with your social worker tomorrow,” Ed explained.
“We’re finalising your adoption date,” Caroline excitedly continued.
“Already? Wow,” Josh smiled uncontrollably. Suddenly, he felt a rush of happiness flow through his body.
“Might be a while before it’s official, but the wheels are turning,” Ed smiled too. He seemed just as happy as Josh.
“Have you seen Dylan, by the way?” Caroline queried. Ed’s smile turned to a dead straight face, as did Josh’s.
“I think he’s busy with an assignment, that’s all,” Josh replied.
“Oh, I’d better bring his tea upstairs, then,” Caroline spring out of her seat and paced towards the kitchen.
“No, no, it’s okay, I’ll bring it up,” Josh offered, hoping to dodge the situation entirely.
“No worries, I need to visit the ladies’ anyway,” Caroline responded.
Damn. There was no getting around that. Josh followed her upstairs, hoping the situation could be dodged.
Entering Dylan’s room, all seemed normal. Dylan was sat in the middle of his bed, Jono adjacent, with Drew on the armchair. They had sheets of paper and textbooks littered all over Dylan’s usually-pristine bedroom.
“Hey, I’ve barely seen you today,” Caroline smiled, placing the tray of dinner down on his bedside table.
“Sorry, been really busy,” Dylan kindly replied. Josh was amazed. Everything seemed totally normal. Josh’s lie seemed to be true after all.
“Alright, I won’t keep you. Have fun,” Caroline replied, before shutting the door on her way out.
“That’s my mom?” Dylan said as soon as she left. His act slipped into a confused, worried voice.
“Sure is,” Drew answered, shoving the textbooks out of the way.
Wow, he really had forgotten his mum. Josh couldn’t believe it. He was the glue that held the family together, after all.
“How can I forget my mom?” Dylan was visibly stressed.
Josh opted not to say anything. He didn’t want to complicate matters further, but he shot Jono a worried glance. The door opened behind Josh again. Caroline was stood there, her cheeks wet from tears.
“I thought you were acting shifty,” she said, looking primarily at Dylan, “We need to talk.”
Never had Dylan felt more confused. Nothing that had happened that day made any sort of sense, and it was stressing him out. He had no recollection of anybody that was supposedly in his pack. He trusted Drew, but as far as he could remember, it had only been the two of them since he was bitten.
Now he was being faced with his mum. How could she have been? Nobody forgets their mum. Though no matter how hard he tried, he couldn’t think of how his actual mum looked.
“What’s going on, Dylan?” Caroline queried, “I knew something was going on. I’m part of this now, I deserve to know.”
“I think maybe we should talk about this downstairs,” Josh tried to manage the situation.
“It’s okay,” Dylan replied, “I want to talk.”
He looked to Jono, who was smiling kindly. He was beginning to understand what he saw in him. Drew couldn’t have been wrong about that. It spurred him on, knowing he had the support of someone like Jono.
“What’s happened to you, Dylan?” Caroline wondered, “You talk like normal but you’re looking at me as if you’ve never seen me before.”
“Where is dad?” Dylan questioned. If he didn’t remember his mum, maybe his dad was downstairs too?
Jono’s smile dropped, though, and Caroline looked lost for words, as if he’d said something really bad.
“Oh sweetie,” a further tear slipped down Caroline’s cheek. She walked to the noticeboard on Dylan’s bedroom wall and unpinned one of the numerous photos up on display. She handed it to Dylan and started pinpointing who each of the three people in it were, “This is you when you were eleven, and there’s me. This guy next to you is your dad.”
“Why was he in a hospital bed?” Dylan questioned naïvely.
“Honey, he died the next day,” Caroline explained as delicately as she could. Dylan felt emotional. As if some sort of feeling had been triggered in him, but he didn’t know why.
“You remember him, don’t you?” Drew wondered.
“No,” Dylan felt a tear slide down his cheek, “I don’t know why I feel like this. Mom.”
He reached out to touch her hand, like it was a reflex. As if it made him calm down. Caroline embraced him in a warm, comforting, homely hug. It was the nicest feeling ever.
Waking up alone in his own bed was a slightly weird feeling for Jono. He was so used to spending his nights with Dylan, but understandably, this wasn’t the time for them to be sharing a bed. Things had certainly improved over the course of the day before, but they had a lot to re-establish still.
Now, Jono could only look forward to seeing him at school, and the wait was killing him. Jono waited patiently at the bench, sat with Lily as well as Yasmin, who was typically early.
“Sit still, you’re making me nervous,” Lily ordered. Jono hadn’t realised his leg bopping under the table. He couldn’t contain himself.
“I’m too anxious,” Jono defended himself, just as he saw Josh and Dylan approaching.
“Hey,” Jono smiled. Dylan looked at him shyly, but raised a smile nonetheless.
“Hi,” Dylan replied, sitting directly next to Jono.
“So, this is Yasmin,” Jono introduced Yasmin sat opposite, who waved back awkwardly. She looked terrified to offer anything more.
“I’ve heard all about you. I’m sorry I don’t remember you,” Dylan blushed.
He obviously felt bad for what had happened. It broke Jono’s heart. It obviously wasn’t Dylan’s own fault. This was what he adored so much about him, though. He wore his heart on his sleeve.
,”And this is the biggest annoyance of the pack, Lily,” Jono smirked. Lily whacked Jono jokingly on the arm.
“Here comes trouble,” Josh observed as Freddie and George arrived with Noah.
“What’s he doing here?” Yasmin questioned, staring right at Noah.
“He can’t hide away forever,” George defended.
“I guess you’re the rest of my pack,” Dylan observed.
“Yup, this is Freddie, George, and your beta Noah,” Jono introduced.
“I’ve got a beta? One I bit myself?” Dylan seemed scared.
“You kinda saved my life,” Noah replied. He was quite similar to Dylan, notably in his kind and gentle approach. There was no doubting Dylan would take to him quite easily. Again.
“We’re just missing Drew, then,” Dylan noticed. He seemed almost disappointed, but then Drew was the only one he actually remembered after all. The one bit of familiarity.
“He said he wouldn’t be around today for practice,” Jono recalled.
“The shop,” Dylan realised.
“What shop?” Yasmin was confused.
“Drew took me there yesterday,” Dylan explained, “To help him become a werewolf again. We met a woman called Edwina who said she could help.”
“And he’s gone on his own?” Lily seemed concerned.
“If anyone can handle themselves alone, it’s Drew,” Josh sensibly mentioned. Jono knew he was right. All they could do was continue with their day. Try to instil some normality into Dylan’s life again.
However, almost on cue, Josh’s phone buzzed. It was a text.
“It’s from Ed,” he announced, “We need to get down there.”
The sense of mystery surrounding Edwina’s shop didn’t subside at all for Drew’s second visit. All of the different herbs and spices in the jars intrigued him, and he was desperate to know what they were all capable of.
However, for the time being, he only needed one remedy. As far as Drew knew, it was impossible to be “cured,” of being a werewolf. It simply couldn’t just go away. That meant his inner wolf was dormant, and it needed waking up.
The bell on the door sounded as he walked in, alerting Edwina to his arrival.
“Ah, my boy, come and sit down,” she guided, still smiling as kindly as before.
Drew sat on the reasonably comfortable armchair in the corner of the shop. He watched as Edwina carried a rather large cup, almost like a chalice, over.
“I’m afraid you need to drink all of this. It contains a mixture of herbs and oils,” Edwina vaguely explained, “Like I said yesterday, this is not tried and tested. It might not work.”
“I know, I understand,” Drew gave his consent.
He looked inside the chalice as Edwina passed it to him. It was a rather disgusting green colour, and it stank. Drew couldn’t define the smell, but it’s how he imagined vomit to be. He hadn’t thrown up since he was a little boy thanks to his healing powers. Now he was totally sure he needed those powers back.
Holding his nose, Drew went for it. He tipped the chalice upwards and felt the thick liquid trickle down his throat. He did it in one go – he had to, desperate to avoid the taste.
Letting go of his nose, Drew felt the effects instantly. He fell forwards onto the floor. Clambering to his hands and knees, following his reflexes as his mind was foggy, Drew felt his insides burning. He was in so much pain, and he had no idea what was happening to him. For the first time in ages, Drew was scared.
Ever since he saw Noah with the Bestiary, Freddie was a little sceptical of his fellow beta. There were only a select few people who knew where that book was, and the fact it went missing just as they needed it was more than convenient.
There was no denying that he was becoming a Fenrir, but nobody seemed to have considered that he might already have been one. Noah might not have even know he was doing it, but they couldn’t afford to ignore the suggestion. Freddie made sure to sit next to Noah in maths, right at the back of the room.
“The Bestiary,” Freddie whispered, ensuring Mr. Larsen couldn’t hear.
“I told you, I don’t know how it got there,” Noah was firm in his response.
“I’m not accusing you,” Freddie backed himself up, “But I’m just saying, what if you didn’t know you took it?”
“You think I’d do that?” Noah seemed annoyed by Freddie’s theory.
“Not you, but the Fenrir, maybe,” Freddie reasoned.
“I’m not the Fenrir,” Noah responded. Freddie noticed his fists were clenched extremely tightly. He was getting irate and on the verge of shifting. This had to be avoided; they were in a classroom, after all.
“It’s fine, we’ve got Dylan back now, he can help,” Freddie reassured. He wasn’t backing down on his point.
However, Noah lost it. He ripped his maths book before flinging the desk in Freddie’s direction. Much to his relief, Freddie’s reflexes allowed him to grab the desk before it injured him.
“Mr. Kosinski,” Mr. Larsen intervened, “Do you need to take time outside?” Freddie saw Noah’s eyes glow bright yellow, just like his. A far cry from the blood red colour he saw before.
“Out. Now,” Freddie commanded, pushing Noah towards the door. He escorted him to the boys’ toilets. Noah had fully shifted, and he stared at Freddie like he knew he had to kill him. Freddie was going to have to act fast, for both their sakes.
Dylan was quite happy for Jono and Josh to take the lead at the sheriff station. Dylan had been introduced to Ed, his step-dad, the night before and he seemed pretty reasonable. He was pretty shocked that he had even told Ed or his mum about being a werewolf. That didn’t feel like something he would do, unless he had to.
Nevertheless, he was quickly realising that he really did trust all of these people. No matter how much or how little he could recall, he felt at ease when around them. Whatever this Fenrir did, it didn’t take away the way he felt about every one of these people.
The sheriff station was busy, deputies rushing around as if something crazy had gone down. Ed was stood at his office door, waiting for them impatiently.
“I’m so glad you’re here,” Ed greeted. He seemed to lack the charming, jovial tone he had the night before in favour of a more serious mood.
“What’s gone down?” Jono interrogated.
“I think the Fenrir is here. One of our deputies got mauled outside. The intruder alarm sounded and I heard a howl,” Ed explained.
Dylan felt terrified. He’d fought this creature already. It was strong – stronger than he was. Fighting it again didn’t inspire confidence inside him, especially following the effects of the scratch.
“We’ve got to evacuate,” Dylan decided, “Nobody’s safe when it’s here.”
However, almost on cue, the Fenrir growled, the rapturous sound filling Dylan’s ears, making it hard to track its location. Then Dylan saw it, pouncing from behind to directly in front of him, blocking the main exit. The huge, dark, fully-shifted beast with its blood red eyes.
Dylan stared the horrific beast in the face. He wasn’t sure how, yet, but Dylan knew he was going to triumph. He wasn’t going to settle for anything less.