Pack Matters Excerpt

Rated: PG-13 for language, violence.

The bubblegum bubble pop as Charlotte lifted her green ray-ban sunglasses. Staring into the eyes of Andre. Her box braids swinging to her left side. Her eyes, like daggers, could kill. She couldn’t understand why estranged or not. Someone kidnapped her father.

“What do you mean, you won’t help? He’s your dad too.” 

Andre stood eye to eye with his tall, younger sister. Wiping the blood from his nose.   “He’s not my father.” He turned to look at Bernard, the shortest of them all by an inch, despite being the second oldest at 18. Bernard stood next to Damond, the bulkiest and youngest of the four estranged siblings.   

“You look like him, you look like us!” 

 “That doesn’t mean shit to me.”  

Damond put himself between Charlotte and Andre. 

“Don’t talk to my sister like that, I will break your face.” 

“Well then, keep your sister out of my face.”

Charlotte moves in front of Damond.  “I got this.” 

“Um, guys. Don’t you think this is counter-productive?” Bernard said, not moving from his spot. Charlotte notices how Bernard’s hand continues to rub up and down. He didn’t look at any of them in the eye when he spoke. She had only known him for a few years, she recalled their phone conversations, but this is the first time they spent any amount of time together. From what she could tell, Bernard was the one most like their father. Non-confrontational. Quiet. Unassuming.  

 “Even if you feel that way, aren’t you in Air Force ROTC or something? Dad kept raving about you. The next American hero.” 

 “My whole life is a lie, but there is one truth. He was never there. He knew. He knew he was my father and he never showed up in those 19 years.” 

 Damond grinned. “The way I heard it; your momma lied to dad.”  

Andre cut his eyes from Charlotte to Damond. “and I heard you’ve been in juvie and boarding schools. Keep my mom out of your mouth.” 

 “Come make me.” 

 “GUYS!” Bernard yells as Charlotte and the others turn their heads. The blood from the cut he received from the earlier fight was pooling down his face and body. Wrapping itself around his hand and elongating the nails. 

 “I think we have something else to worry about!” Bernard’s voice was softer as the blood started taking the form of a werewolf around him.  

Charlotte turns to see the same happening to the rest of them. Blood from their wounds started entrapping their bodies. The shell didn’t feel like wearing armor but like a second skin. Almost in unison, they started howling. 

 “Dad has some explaining to do. We have to find him.” Charlotte said looking at her brothers nodding in agreement.

“Once we find him and he explains this werewolf shit, I’m done with you all.” 

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