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Sunday, August 29, 2010


Will was born into your typical home, to your typical parents that loved him. Will’s parents, Ben and Ruth, owned a small farm in north Florida. It was your typical farm for the time with a modest house, barn and the typical livestock one would find on such a working farm. The acreage that the farm was on, was not of such an expanse that it needed several farm hands to manage, but was enough that Ben could manage, along with his wife, on his own. Ben and Ruth were able to eek out a small existence with the livestock they raised and the crops they harvested, enough to live off of, but not enough to become rich off of.

When Will was born, it was a great time of celebration for Ben and Ruth, after having been trying for so long to have a child of their own, they finally succeeded. Will’s early years were not with any great incident, there were the normal childhood mishaps but no major illness or accidents to mention. The only thing of note was that during a few days out of each month, Will would become a rather difficult child. Lashing out against his parents, abusing the farm animals and livestock, being a fussy, ill-tempered child generally during these few days. Ruth tried love and compassion to curb this behavior; while Ben tried a more disciplinarian approach, neither of which being of any such use to stop Will from acting out during this time. During the rest of the month, he was the perfect child; minding his parents, doing his chores and tended to the farm animals and livestock like a responsible, properly raised child.

When Will turned the age of ten, his distemper turned more violent during those monthly periods. First kicking the chickens around the yard to escalating to the point to where he pushed his mother to the floor. When Ben heard about this, he took Will to the woodshed and commenced to lash him with the belt till Ben had no more energy to bring the belt down upon his child. Will was not affected by the beating; it was just another lashing to him, nothing more.

Upon his twelfth birthday, Will’s monthly behavior mis-deeds once more took a turn for the worse. While in school, Will got into a fight with another boy, using his size and speed, took the boy down and commencing to pummel his face to an unrecognizable mess. The boy would survive the beating, but would never be the same again. Will was removed from the school by his parents to be homeschooled; this they thought would be for the best, Will would be able to help more around the farm and his father would be able to control him more easily and readily.

Fourteen saw the ebb of Will’s violent temper and actions. His parents thought that this was finally the point where they were making headway with their son; but what they did not know, was that Will had found another outlet for his violence. Granted, he still liked to kick the chickens in the yard and would disrespect his mother from time to time, but Ben’s belt would remind him that was a bad decision. Will’s newfound outlet was found in sneaking out of the house during the night to run through the woods with his nose through the air smelling all the scents that were present in the woods. Tracking down the sources of the scents and then trying to chase them down, till Will could run after them no more.

Sixteen bore no difference of temperament that anyone could notice from Will. Ben and Ruth were constantly pleased when month upon month would pass without much incident from their beloved son. No disrespect, no violence toward his mother or father and the livestock were, for the most part, safe. The chickens would still get a good kicking and chasing now and again, but that would be it. What was still to be discovered was Wills nightly forays out into the woods. By now, Will’s speed and endurance was like none anyone would have seen, if anyone had seen Will out in the woods on those nights that the woods were penetrated by the light of the full moon, those nights that Will could be found searching for his next chase.

By this time, Will had grown to be a full foot taller than his father, stronger than most men and faster than a jackrabbit. Which all of this combined together would worry his parents, but Will did have a deep respect and love for them, and would do nothing to ever harm them. The only time Will could be brought to disrespect his parents or too even possibly lash out at them physically, was during that period of three days each and every month.

One night while running through the woods, Will caught a smell that caused the hair on the back of his neck to stand on end. It was a smell that for some reason called to him, a smell that beckoned to him to discover it source. Following the smell through the woods, Will chased it for the next three hours till he came to the edge of the woods to the property of another farm. Cautiously, Will approached the farm while still following the smell, determined to find the source, no matter what. Coming around the edge of the farmhouse, he came to the chicken pen were fifteen chickens soundly slept. Opening the enclosure, he crept into with heightened senses to any sounds from the farmhouse that may alert him to the farmers’ possible awakening. Once inside the hen house, he was excited to be so close to these chickens, he wasn’t sure why he felt this way but he wanted to do something to these birds. Then without warning and without alarm, Will set out destroying each one of the chickens. First by just breaking the necks of a few, then slamming some against the coop itself, others he went about with such savagery that if one was to look in during the massacre, they would think they were looking at some animal rather than a fellow human being. By the time that Will had finished, all fifteen of the chickens had been slaughtered. The bodies lay on the nests, the floor with broken necks, bodies ripped in halves, heads bitten off and all for no other reason but for Will’s personal enjoyment.

When Will woke the next morning, he was only slightly aware of what he had done but thought that it had only been a dream and that he had not really done something so disturbing as kill someone else’s chickens. That would be madness; to possibly harm another farmer’s livelihood by destroying their livestock for no other reason but for the shear pleasure of taking its’ life, was against everything Will had been brought up to. Will had nothing against chickens or anything living for that matter, but those chickens were so right for the pickings.

Later that day, old man Johnstone came by to visit. He was clearly distraught, perhaps even more so than when his beloved wife Madeleine had passed on. His visit was not of pleasure, but a warning to Ben and Ruth that all of his chickens had been slaughtered during the night. Johnstone wasn’t sure how the animal managed to open the gate, but somehow it did with free reign on his chickens. When he was asked what kind of animal, he simply replied, “Wolf.” Upon hearing the utterance of the animal, Will was relieved and asked if there were any other tracks that were in the pen, of course there had not. This was even better, as somehow the wolf had managed to cover up Will’s tracks.

Since there was now a wolf in the area and on the loose, Will thought that he should be more careful in his nightly runs through the woods and decided to start carrying a knife with him; it might not be the best protection but it will be something in case a wolf decides to attack him. Besides, he is fast enough and strong enough, he could probably take the wolf head to head, Will reasoned to himself.

The first night when exiting the woods, Will noticed the knife lying on the ground and he thought, “how could he have lost the knife without knowing it since it was strapped to his side?” Picking the knife up, Will continued back to his house not thinking anymore of it.

Weeks turned into months with each passing new month bringing on new vicious attacks unto the neighboring farms by the lone wolf. The local farmers becoming more and more agitated with each new attack, spending countless sleepless nights standing guard over their livelihood, watching out for the lone wolf that has been causing so much fear and destruction but only to never be able to catch him in the act. During this time, Will had stopped going into the woods, except only on the full moons, since during those nights, he would be able to see much better and hopefully be able to see the animal and possibly able to thwart another attack on his neighbors or prevent an attack on his families farm.

One night, the wolf paid a visit to Will’s family’s farm, with the cost being a calf that had been left accidently out in the field from the day prior. From that point forward, Will would split, with his father, standing guard watching out for this dangerous animal throughout the nights. Between the both of them, they would split the nights in half, Ben taking the first half and Will taking the second half. One night, during the brightest full moon that anyone could remember, Will could not resist the urge to take off from his watch to go running through the woods. After all, the wolf had not been seen for over a month, so what would be the harm in taking off for a little bit? Once Will returned, he found out the harm of what leaving would be, the wolf had visited the farm and killed the chickens this night. How was he going to explain this to his father? Certainly he could not tell the truth, so he would tell him that he just fell asleep. Father would understand as there has been many a night that he has been asleep when Will has come to relieve him for the rest of the night.

Will’s father was not as understanding as he had hoped. Even though he had been asleep, there had been no attack, but while Will slept, the wolf attacked the hen house. How could he have been so irresponsible? How could he have let the family down during this time of need? Will had no answer for his father; he could only hang his head and walk away mired in his own guilt.

The next time the wolf was to be spotted, would be back at Johnstone’s farm where the old man was able to get a shot off but missing by just a hair. That shot only stopped the wolf. The animal did not run away like most, but just stood there and started to continue toward Johnstone’s barn. With another shot fired, Johnstone was able to hit the wolf. That shot would fell the beast. When the old man made to where the animal was lying, he made a gruesome discovery, the wolf was not there, but Will was; dead from a bullet from the old man’s rifle.

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