Shane, second in command of the werewolf hunters’ gang, sat in the corner of the dimly lit small shack

, picking at his stubby fingernails with his knife. He flinched in pain when he dug down too far and his thumb started to bleed. When he hissed in pain, the other hunters glanced up briefly before one of them, Simon, shoved his cards down, showing that he won. The others groaned and reluctantly pulled out their money before placing it on Simon’s seat. He sauntered over to where Shane was trying to stop the bleeding. “Here,” Simon said, tearing off a piece of his shirt and handing it to Shane. He grunted his thanks and tied it around his wounded thumb. “Looks like the noble werewolf hunter is wounded, by himself no less,” Simon jeered, grinning at him with his broken yellow teeth. “Aw, it’s okay little Shane,” he continued his teasing, this time tugging on Shane’s dyed-black and dyed green hair in fake affection. “Piss off,” Shane growled, narrowing his oddly colored violet eyes and swiping out with his backhand. Simon dodged out of the way and shook his head. “Don’t make me go get Derek, Shane. You know he doesn’t like to be bothered with the trivial,” he warned, talking about the leader of the hunters. Derek was the only reason Shane wasn’t starving and begging on the street corners. He was the one who had taken Shane in. Sure, Shane had detested killing werewolves (and the occasional person) before, but now he was used to it. Killing had become inconsequential to him. In fact, the permanence of this job suited him. Shane knew that as long as he did what Derek said, he had a place to sleep and eat. Shane stood up, brushed some dirt from the floor off the seat of his pants and shoved Simon aside. “Shane, come here for a moment,” Derek called, leaning against the door frame that led into his office. Hearing his name called, Shane turned around and trudged over to Derek. “There’s an erratic newly formed werewolf is on the loose. I’m going to need your group to take him out for me,” Derek ordered. Shane knew he had no choice but to obey. When Derek wanted something done, you did it; no questions asked. The only other option was to be exiled from the gang. When that happened, they were bitten by the half-werewolf dogs they kept around, and therefore became a part-werewolf. And then they couldn’t go outside anymore, due to the omnipresent werewolf hunters on the prowl for them.

“Who am I going to be taking care of this time?” Shane questioned, looking for his gloves. He could barely see on this side of the room, due to the only source of light being used for a card game on the other side of the shack, and the windows were no use at night. After groping around for a few minutes, he found them. “His name is Thomas,” Derek said simply. Shane froze in the middle of pulling a glove on. Tommy. Angrily, he finished pulling his hands through the fingerless gloves and stuck his knife onto his studded belt. Tommy was his best friend; they’d fought against werewolves together in this very gang. Shane’s gang set off after Thomas, him and his gang racing through the dark streets and trying to avoid the headlights of cars that drove by. It didn’t take long for them to find Tommy’s trail leading into the forest on the outskirts of town. The gang paced around, and Shane could feel their excitement; it was so thick in the air that Shane could slice it with his knife. Thinking of cutting made him slide his fingers over the sharp curve of the blade, imagining how easily it would cut Tommy’s ear off. Shane wouldn’t kill him, just scare him enough so that Tommy would turn tail and never return. “I’ll go in alone,” Shane said as he pulled a mask on his face and his hood over his head. Luke, his right-hand man, whispered to him. “You sure about this?” Shane nodded in response and took off into the woods. He took it slow, making sure that he wouldn’t alert Tommy to his presence by stepping on sticks and rustling leaves. Shane heard Tommy before the saw him, and slowed down to a stop to wait for him. Thomas’ pounding steps got closer and closer, and then a shape broke through the line of ferns on the overhang above Shane’s head and bore down on him. Before Shane could stop him Thomas had ripped Shane’s mask off. His half transformed wolf face furrowed in confusion, but then he realized who it was that was hunting him. Tommy spluttered incoherent words, bristling. Shane instinctively knew that a fight was brewing, and he would have no choice but to kill. After exchanging fierce blows, he pulled his knife out of his belt and stabbed wildly; ignoring the wounds he knew he was receiving. At last, Thomas went limp, and thinking he was dead, Shane rolled off him, wiping some off the blood of his jaw and leaned against a tree before cradling a partially deep scratch mark on his forearm. Then Shane heard movement, and glanced up to see the weakening Tommy throw the knife right towards him.

Stupefied at seeing Tommy still alive, Shane didn’t have a chance to react. The knife hit its target, going right through his hand and pinning it to the tree. Howling, he yanked it out and launched himself at his best friend. Straddling the dying boy, Shane prepared to slit Tommy’s throat. But then, three werewolves crashed through the trees. Thomas had joined a pack, and Shane knew he had to kill Thomas in order to escape alive. Shane plunged the knife into Thomas’ chest, and then jumped off him before bolting, not stopping to look behind him. After running blindly through the dark wood trying to escape the murder and the werewolves, the shock of what he’d done sunk in. He hadn’t just warned him by cutting off his tail or something, he’d killed him, ebbed out his life force, taken his best friends life. Stumbling backwards, he braced himself against a tree and grabbed his rapidly beating heart, but then he noticed that he had a freely-bleeding bite mark on his forearm. Thomas had gotten him in the end. Shane screamed to the heavens knowing the inevitable was going to happen, and then his yelling morphed into a howl he turned into a wolf. Then Shane ran, just ran, paws smacking the ground, panting as he sprinted away, away from his past, the murder, the gang, and his touch with reality as his wolf-mind took over. Behind Shane, The gang had discovered the Tommy after scaring away the other wolves from their mourning. Luke pulled the knife out of the dead boy’s body, wiped it on his jeans, stuck it into his belt, and grinned. He was now the undisputed leader, seeing as the knife was the sign of leadership among the hunters. With it, Derek had killed his first werewolf, and whoever had it was automatically second in command. And his first order as the gang’s leader? Hunt down and kill the werewolf Shane.

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