Story Excerpt
Heir of the Wolf That Bit You

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It just wasn’t possible. Matthew Jackson pushed a shaky hand through his short brown hair and stared down at the little stick again. The stupid little window still read positive.

Two lines.

Not one.

Matty grabbed the directions that had come with the box and read them again, just knowing that he had to have messed up the test somehow. It was the only explanation ‘cause any other outcome just wasn’t fucking possible.


One line meant negative.

Two lines meant positive.

Matty glanced at the white stick again, hoping one of the lines would suddenly disappear, or that someone jump into the room and screamed fooled ya! Yeah, no one was there except him. He even closed his eyes and called in every birthday wish he had ever made. When he opened his eyes again, he still saw two thin pink lines.


Matty groaned and tossed the stick into the garbage can right along with the first five tests he had taken—all of which had been positive. Staring down at his hands for a moment, he pressed his fingers together as he tried to accept what he was seeing with his own two eyes.

He had dismissed the nausea that had come last month as the stomach bug that had been going around the grocery store where he worked. When he started to throw up at the smallest little whiff of almost anything, being sick made sense. Everyone was getting sick. When he started to add on a couple of pounds a few weeks later, his renewed appetite after being sick was the perfect explanation.

But the butterflies that started fluttering in his stomach last week couldn’t be explained away by overeating or a stomach bug. Matty didn’t have a single explanation for them. Not one. And that made him more scared than he could ever remember being.

Hell, he was downright terrified.

Maybe it was gallstones?

Or a tumor?

He was even hoping for a brain aneurism right about now.

There had to be a reasonable explanation because the one he was coming up with just wasn’t possible. He had taken the stupid test just because he had run out of answers. Matty had full confidence that couldn’t possibly be the answer.

Fuck if he hadn't been wrong.

Matty pushed to his feet and walked out of the bathroom and down the hallway to the kitchen. He grabbed the phone book and started looking through the white pages for the free clinic down in Old Town.

Maybe it was time to call in the experts.

Once he found what he was looking for, Matty wrote the address down then went to find his jacket. He started to grab his wallet off the entry table then had a second thought about that. Did he really want anyone knowing who he really was under the circumstances?

The Old Town Free Clinic took in a lot of indigent patients. Maybe he could get away with telling them he was homeless and didn’t have any identification. It was better than the alternative—which would most likely get him a free ride to the local insane asylum.

Matty grabbed his bus pass, some cash, his house keys, and his brown hoody. He left everything else behind as he walked out the front door and headed for the closest bus stop. His stomach was in knots and threatening to rebel but this time, Matty was pretty sure that it was due to nerves. That didn’t mean he didn’t run to the nearest bathroom the second he got off the bus and throw up.

He’d say that being nauseas was the worst part of this whole ordeal but he’d be lying through his teeth. Not even the looming chaos he was pretty sure his life was about to fall into was the worst.

No, not knowing what in the hell was going on was the worst. At least if he knew, or had some warning, he might know what to expect. Instead, he was finding everything out as it happened and then freaking out because shit like this just wasn’t possible.

The bus ride seemed to take forever and Matty could swear that every unbathed, sweaty person on the planet sat right next to him. By the time the bus stopped down the block from the clinic, Matty practically ran from the bus.

He ignored the whistles from a couple of smarmy looking men standing on the corner, stopped long enough to drop a couple of dollars into the can the homeless man was holding, then made his way inside the clinic.

“I…uh…need to see a doctor,” Matty said when he reached the check-in counter. He tapped his fingers nervously on the countertop as he waited for the registration nurse to acknowledge him.

“Fill this out.” The woman held out a clipboard with a form on it and a pen attached to the clipboard by a small silver chain.

“Thank you,” Matty whispered then turned away and walked over to one of the empty chairs. It didn’t take more than ten minutes for Matty to fill out the form, mostly because he wasn’t exactly sure what to check besides his vital statistics.


Stomach cramps.



Weight gain.

Frequent urination.

Strange cravings.

Sore nipples—yeah, he was thrilled with that one.

God! Matty tilted his head back and stared up at the ceiling. He was a fucking idiot. He knew that. And the second he turned this damn form in, everyone else would know it as well. But Matty needed answers. He needed to know if he was really crazy or not.

He was pretty sure that he was.