STRAY: Chapter Six
STRAY: Chapter Six
by J.K. Hogan
Surrounded by wolves, I tear through the trees, pounding the ground as I run until my heart feels as if it might explode. And when I risk a look down, there are paws instead of feet. Four of them, bestrewn with silver fur. And I run because my blood thunders with the need to be wild. If I do not run, I eventually wither and die.
Noah awoke in an unfamiliar place. He was on a cot, with blankets heaped on top of him, and what felt like a heating pad under him. He tried to think back, to figure out how he’d managed to get here. It had been such a cold night. He’d tried to bed down in the crypt he used for stashing his equipment and few meager belongings, but the stone walls and concrete floor had amplified the cold. After only a few minutes, he felt it sinking into his bones, paralyzing his muscles, and he’d known if he fell asleep there, he’d never wake up.
So he’d gone back out into the park, hoping to find a warm place to huddle, or perhaps to hook up with a transient group for warmth. He found no one, and he ended up crashing on a bench. At least the bench was wooden and held his warmth, instead of draining it from his body like metal would have. He had still been worried, because he couldn’t get warm no matter how deeply he nestled into his heavy blanket.
The last thing he remembered was the cat returning. The cat who’d watched his house all those years ago. It couldn’t be the same cat, but somehow he knew it was. The cat had been warm, friendly, and the last thing Sebastian remembered were those clear blue eyes watching him. They were very similar to the black-rimmed blue eyes that were staring at him now.
He bolted upright, clutching his blanket to his chest when he realized a stranger sat in a chair beside his cot. But he wasn’t a stranger, was he? No, because Noah recognized him. He was the exotic man who had saved Noah from his stalker on the day his parents disowned him. Every moment of that day was burned into his mind, so he’d never forget this guy. But what was he doing here?
Below is an illustration that gives me feels, created by Soda specifically for this scene: