- Word count: 700
- Genre: Military
- Character: A werewolf
- Material: A whip
- Sentence: “You will take the fall for this.”
- Bonus: There seems to be no one left on the planet.
- Keith Dedreich
“You will take the fall for this.”
The crack of the whip reverberated against the concrete wall. His back stiffened as the pain flooded his senses. He growled low under his breath so the soldier wouldn’t know how much it hurt.
“This can all end when you give in.” The soldier with the whip in his hand took a step back ready to deliver the next lash. “You know what you need to be doing.” He watched for a second to see if the one chained would say or do anything. When he didn’t, he struck again. “Just admit it!” He shouted as he added more lashes onto the man.
His back arched with each additional blow. He gasped feeling the old familiarity of his wolf beside him. The Old One didn’t like what this whelp was doing. The soldier had no place beating him like this. He had no idea the power barely contained. Just because his wounds healed rapidly didn’t mean he felt no pain. The wolf circled him, even if in just his mind. They could easily take this one. He was no threat. Shaking his head, Keith fought off the temptation. He soothed his wolf humming the old lullaby their mother had once used.
The soldier lowered his whip reflexively hearing the man hum. He wasn’t entirely sure what was going on right there, but instinct told him he was in grave danger. His superior had told him to break him, to push him into shifting, but now that he was at the tipping point. He couldn’t do it. Fear pushed into his veins like a drug.
“So, you do understand.” Keith said after a few minutes of composing himself. His eyes opened but the human was gone out of them. The reflective glow of his eyes could be seen in the mirror opposite of them. The soldier watched him carefully fighting the urge to run. “I will let you leave.” He took a deep breath to steady himself. A shudder ran through his prone body. The chains rattled with the movement. Keith was trying to keep the wolf in check, but the Old One had other plans. If it hadn’t been for the chains, he would have been Shifted and at the soldier’s throat.
“Your life for mine. Let me out of the chains. I’ll forget this ever happened.” He lifted his head using the mirror to stare into the wide eyes of the soldier. “Or I can just break them and tear you apart starting with your limbs.”
His CO’s voice rang through his head as he listened to the wolf. ‘Under no circumstances will you let the wolf go. The chains are the only thing protecting you and everyone else.’ Still, the soldier felt almost compelled to let the wolf out. His life was on the line right then. His daughter was turning six. If he didn’t, he would never get to see her again. He wouldn’t be able to see her face light up when she opened her birthday present and saw what he got her.
“Decide quickly.” An inhuman note had stolen into his voice. Keith bit the inside of his cheek in an effort to hold onto the wolf.
When the chains fell off, he could not suppress the howl. The soldier had run standing at the back of the room now with his rifle out. It would be useless, but at least he didn’t have it aimed.
“Remember your promise.” He gulped swallowing hard as Keith stood rubbing his wrists.
“What promise?” Keith turned his eyes over his shoulders watching the effect his words had on the soldier.
“Y-You said…If I let you out, you would let me live.”
He chuckled to himself straightening out. For a moment, he toyed with the idea. “I never promised.” Turning around, he could see the soldier trembling. Even after having starved and beat him, the soldier thought of him as a threat. He couldn’t help but find that amusing. It told him exactly what they thought of him. “But I will.” He said at last having frightened the man enough the wolf was appeased. “You ever come near me or my pack. I will forget that promise.”
When the door buzzed, he stepped out into the corridor. The scent of fear rolled over him like ecstasy. These ones had no promise.