Date: Thursday, April 03, 1997 6:38 PM
Subject: The lost
Diana moved slowly down the long hot dusty road, skin turned a deep bronze by the harsh California desert sun, hair dark as midnight fluttering gently in the hot summer breeze. One mile behind her, the blue beat-up old pick up she called her own, sat along the side of the road with the hood up, engine dead, steam still rolled slowly out. The young woman feared that the vehicle had seen it's last mile, five miles from home.
Sighing with a parched throat, she moved along, worse things have happened to her before, the truck breaking down was nothing she couldn't live with. Wiping away the small droplets of sweat, she shielded her eyes from the bright light and adjusted her sunglasses, stopping to look up and down the road.
A dust cloud grew on the unpaved desert road from behind her, the glint of metal shimmered in the sun.
Continuing her long walk homeward, her hopes for a ride home leapt a little as the cloud of dust grew closer. Walking backwards she began to wave her arms about in an effort to get the car to pull over.
Coughing and waving away the dust, the shiny red convertible drove past her. Wow, that's a big dog. She saw a great canine sitting in the back, panting in the heat.
"Thanks," she muttered, raising one hand waving at the car that passed. Lowering her head, she shook it lightly and continued to walk on.....
The long shadow of the worn out teen encroached upon the desert ground as she passed the broken wooden gate to a picket fence that had been long torn down. The gentle nickers of horses behind wire fencing greeted her home. The fading gleam of chrome caught her deep brown eye as she passed to the front porch of the one story house, in bad need of a paint job.
Moving off to the side of the home, her gaze met a very familiar red convertible. Bending low, she wiped the dust from the license plate. New York. Rolling her eyes, she walked back to the run down wooden porch and entered.
"Uncle Henry?" Standing in the livingroom, lined with antiques and native American art, she looked around for the old man. Laughter met her ears, and she turned to the voices, they came from the kitchen. Walking through an archway, uncle Henry smiled to her. He was sitting at the kitchen table along with two men, glasses of lemonade in hand, the smell of stew simmering away. A large.... wolf? lay on the wooden floor, half under the table, large bowl of.... beer? nearly gone.
"Diana!" The old native American smiled at her, and she looked about at the others. "Uncle Henry...," she began as she opened the ancient refrigerator, taking out a pitcher of cold water "The old Ford, she's had it." Carefully, she looked to one of the strangers. He was pale, dark short hair, dark little mustache, blue eyes watched her with vague curiosity. The man was dressed causally, jeans, tee shirt, boots, he appeared very relaxed. Pouring water into a tall glass, she sipped slowly then continued on. "She died about five miles back. 'Fraid she's a goner this time."
Looking to the man's friend, he seemed a bit more tense, often glancing out the window above the sink. He was dressed a bit less casually, he looked more-or-less like he was expecting a business meeting. Short groomed blonde hair, gray green eyes, clean shaven, but a nervous look to him. Many times she had met men dressed like that, always coming out, wanting to buy up the farm, offering "deals," his type annoyed her.
"Damn, that's a shame." Nodding thoughtfully, he looked to the strangers at the table. For a second, he looked at them absent mindedly and laughed. "Where are my manners?" Warm smile, he looked to the niece "This is Richard Payne," he motioned to the casual man as he nodded with a smile "and this is Mr. Vaughn." As he motioned to the suit, he looked away from the window, a small cold smile. A chill rocked her spine.
"This is my niece, Diana Lightfoot." The two men stood as she extended a hand out to greet them. The wolf groaned from under the table. Laughing, Henry reached down and scratched behind its ears. "And this handsome fellow is Iron Claw."
Smiling softly, she crouched low and scratched under the animal's chin. Looking over him, there was something in his eyes, something that caught her attention. Staring deep into them, she realized they were not at all wolfish, but more human.
"These fellows are here to talk to you about your dreams." Immeaditly, she stood, stepping back. Looking at the white haired man as if she had been betrayed.
"What dreams?" She stammered, reaching to the counter to place her glass down.
"They know all about them, that's why they came here." Shaking her head, a nervous grin grew.
"They're just dreams." A feeling on unease crept into her stomach as she looked to the men at her table, then to the wolf with the human eyes.
"Diana, it's okay, really." Richard spoke gently to her, she looked at him. Glass missing the counter, fell to the floor, shattering. Jumping back, her nerves rattled. She threw them all a frightened angry look and ran from the kitchen. Henry sighed and shook his head. From under the table, the wolf watched her run from the house. Waving to Richard to sit, he stood and began to pick up the broken shards of glass.
"She is.... confused." Standing he stepped to a garbage bin and dropped the pieces of the glass in. "Eventually, she will accept her fate. But you must take it easy on her." Staring hard at the suit, his voice dropped "Diana is a very delicate soul. Much to offer, but try and pull it from her and it will shatter." Iron Claw looked up and snorted at Vaughn, as if to insult him. Rolling his eyes, the blonde looked out the window once again.
"We understand that." Richard looked to his counterpart. "Perfectly." Sipping from his glass, he watched the old man finish cleaning the glass. "But we haven't much time." In the old man's eyes reflected a spark of wisdom.
"But do you have the strength to lose a young garou?"
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