The Flavors of Night
You'd like to think that a pack of Wolves closing in on you isn't a bad thing, but let's face it, it means you're most likely gonna die. Now I wish I hadn't yelled so much at Mom yesterday when she ordered me to clean my room and wash the dishes. I was getting so close to my best kill streak in Overwatch when she had to interrupt me. I hate it when she interrupts my video games, so I may have left things on the wrong foot. Too late now.
Suddenly the Wolves all snarl, indicating they're about to pounce. If only that blonde hadn't gone running off so fast. Maybe she could've helped me out. I guess I'm on my own. I have to figure this out myself.
I've never actually been caught by the wolves before, only chased. I've always been quick and smart enough to evade them, but now I'm caught, trapped on all sides except up, of course. Up! Maybe I could somehow jump up and evade them? If they're about to pounce...that would be the perfect moment since they would all collide with each other and I might be able to escape. Besides, I can jump much higher and farther than your average human, so maybe that can get me out of this.
Still, though. Even if I do manage to do this jump right, they'll obviously call the rest of the pack and I'm still going to have a hard time escaping them. I'm really starting to regret talking to Day and giving the Wolves such an advantage.
An instant before they would have shred me to pieces, I leap up in the air and land soundly on a neighboring rooftop feeling as epic as Pharah from Overwatch. I look back to see the wolves all disoriented, but I know by now that that won't last long. I've made them mad, which means soon they'll become bloodthirsty, which ultimately makes them a thousand times faster and stronger. Not something I'm looking forward to tonight, but at least I have a chance, small as it may be, of surviving now.
I take off towards my house at full speed, hoping that I'll be able to evade them and somehow not drag them into my home. I've only had them chasing me once before, a long time ago, before I knew what they were or how dangerous they could be. Fortunately for me, back then I had another superhero who fended for me and taught me how to fight that managed to hold them off while I escaped. Sadly, he didn't make it. I'll never forget him and never stop regretting running into the initial enemy that created those biologically-modified wolves. If only that supervillain hadn't shot that chip or whatever it is into me that prevents me from harming a single one of them. I still haven't managed to get it out after all these years.
I debate trying to call out for Day in case she's still around somewhere, but honestly it'd hurt my pride too much. She already called me a rookie. I mean, this situation is sort of different though than your average fight because there's physically no way for me to try and kill these enemies. My only option is to outsmart them, but, of course, I have very little time to do so. Once they get angry, they can run faster than me, so I need a solution now.
Think, Kiro, think. What would I do if this was a video game? Look for some sort of powerup or another character that could help me. But powerups don't really exist in real life, and I've already decided calling Day is out of the question. Well, I guess the only thing left would be check my surroundings. Sometimes there's hidden things that can help. Not that I have the kind of time to be searching every rooftop for a way out of my tricky situation-
I spot a glint of metal on the house in front of me. It's a pipe! My body takes that as a signal to take the situation into its own hands. Adrenaline courses through me as my hands fumble for the pipe and latch onto it, sliding down quickly. Hopefully the wolves might be confused as to where I went or at least take a moment getting down from the building. I need all the time I can get.
I run along the sidewalk towards the park, not knowing where else to go. There's no way I'd go to my house when the wolves have clearly got to be following me.
I tread on the ever-so-familiar grass of my childhood safe haven. I used to come here all the time when I wanted to get away from my parents or just life in general. It's so nice to have fresh air and be able to sit on a nice bench in the cool shade with wet grass tickling your feet. Out of old habit, I plop down on my favorite bench and close my eyes, forgetting about everything that was just going on. For a second I almost trick myself into thinking that I'm not a superhero, that I'm just a normal boy who loves this place.
I'm taken back to reality with the crunch of grass to my left. The Wolves must be here. What was I thinking? I just wasted all the extra time that descending that pipe gained me. I stand up abruptly, but something moving in my peripheral view catches my eye.
A golden retriever appears before the Wolves and starts barking. They growl in return. Though I know that this is my chance to get away, I can't just sit still as these wolves tear apart this poor dog. It has no clue what it's getting into.
I rush over and stand in front of the dog, hissing at the wolves in warning. They growl again, and up close I can see the bloodthirsty look in their eyes. Though I should be scared, somehow, knowing that I'm protecting this innocent dog gives me strength.
The dog barks again and leaps onto one of the wolves' heads, gnashing furiously at it. As I go to land a blow on one of them, my spine straightens and an electric shock runs through me, forcing me to collapse from the pain. Damn it. I completely forgot about my situation. I can't hurt them no matter how hard I try.
I hear bodies colliding and fighting, but, unfortunately, my body's decided it's too tired to stay awake any longer.
I wake up without a sound at midnight, ready to go pounce on my newest prey. I stretch my lazy limbs and swing my legs over the bed, slipping into my black combat suit and slapping a mask over my face. I glance in the mirror as I pop my ears, watching my green eyes turn to slits, black cat ears grow out of my ebony hair, canines extend in my mouth, finger and toenails stretch out into sharp claws and a long, black tail curl out in an elegant spiral behind me.
I rush over to the windows, eager to go out into the cool darkness. I hear a sound coming from one of the other rooms in the house. Could Mom or Dad be up? Surely they wouldn't check my room for any reason. I leap off out the window and into the night, landing on a neighbor's rooftop. I know you're thinking it's hard, but with a cat's agility, this is the easiest jump I could ever make. It's much harder when facing an enemy and having to leap up to a rooftop that's a story taller while twisting around mid jump so I don't get hit by enemy fire. Fun times.
I breeze from rooftop to rooftop, searching the streets below for any sign of trouble. None as of yet. Tonight's been awfully quiet. Too quiet.
Suddenly I hear a rustling, that of someone moving. I jump steadily towards the noises, making sure to pause once I land on each rooftop to make sure I'm going the right direction and that I haven't lost the sound. In an instant I'm staring above an alleyway watching a masked girl with long, blonde hair flowing out behind her running along the alleyway. She's wearing a bright, yellow suit that matches her mask. What's she doing with that, trying to stand out? If she's a superhero, she's kind of lost all the element of surprise going out at night. Anyone could see her from miles away. It's like she's trying to get on my nerves. I work my butt off not to get seen and here she is flouncing around in a yellow suit which in essence says, "Come at me, enemies!"
I jump to a rooftop right next to her and prepare to jump down, but I hear another set of footsteps. I twist my head to the right and spot a man swaying every which way on his feet evidently from alcohol coming her direction.
Without even thinking about it, I break my own protocol and shout to her "Watch out!"
In an instant, I'm repentant of what I've done. I can hear the ears turning and the Wolves rushing out towards me. I won't have much time, maybe five minutes, before they start chasing me and I'll have to dash out of here. I turn to go, but something in my mind makes me hesitate. Why am I acting so weirdly tonight? If I just followed my protocol or my backup protocol there'd be no issues. But staying here when I'm clearly in trouble? Something's up with me today.
Suddenly a flash of yellow appears before my eyes. The girl from earlier walks up to me and says mockingly, "Thanks for the heads up, but you were a teensy bit slow. I had already heard him ages ago. If you ever need help fighting some little, puny enemies, I could certainly help you out, rookie."
"Rookie!?" I exclaim. "I am not some rookie! I've been superhero fighting for years and taken care of this entire city during the night without it even knowing it."
She scoffs. "You? No, it couldn't have been you doing all of that ninja work. Only a true master could defeat fifty enemies in just one blow."
"Yes. It was me. So be careful who you call rookie."
I leap off onto another rooftop, annoyed. It's not like me to brag or take credit for anything I do, but this girl just really got on my nerves. It's like she sees me as a piece of dirt. I am better than a piece of dirt! Though I ought to get credit for all I do every single night, I don't, and someone who clearly could realize how much I do doesn't believe it and spits in my face for helping her out. Definitely not someone I'm going to want to hang around.
"Wait up!" she calls after me. I pause; I'm not sure why. "Are you really the legendary Night?"
"Yes, that's my superhero alias. I'm glad you finally came to your senses."
I turn around and notice she's standing right behind me. And no, I wasn't as agile as I would have liked when I jumped back, surprised. "Can I get your autograph?" she asks. She extends a sharpie and a notebook with a picture to me, a drawing of me leaping from a rooftop. "Please?" she begs.
"Did you draw this yourself?" I ask. She nods shyly. "It's really good."
She smiles, looking down at her feet. "It's just a sketch."
"Well, it's a beautiful sketch. So, what's your name?"
"Day," she responds.
"The opposite of Night," I muse.
"Yeah," she mutters.
I take the photo into my clawed hand and uncap the sharpie with my mouth, writing the following on the page next to the drawing:
Good luck fighting villains! Oh, and a piece of advice, don't judge people by their cover like you did me.
"Alright, here you go," I say, handing it back to her.
She takes it and smiles at me. "Thank you!" she shouts, and she's gone. What a strange girl!
I try to take off then realize that something's blocking my way. No, not something. A Wolf.