Black and blue and bleeding.
The shabby home was spotless, you could eat your food off of the floor if you so wished, but I knew it was not going to be good enough. For my father the small cabin I called home was never clean enough to save me from a beating, maybe it would be the muddy boot print he brought in with him that I had failed to foresee. Or possibly the ring mark his beer had left on the coffee table that night, but either way, I knew the night would end with me black and blue and bleeding.
My father hated me, I didn’t know why or for how long, but that is the only explanation I could think of. I was a good girl, I did as he asked, I never answered back, I never questioned anything he said or did, but for as long as I could remember I would receive my daily punishment.
No matter how bad the beating was however, I would wake the next morning with no lasting damage, as long as he stuck to using his fists or boot I would heal. I had a few scars, mainly from when he used the belt that had the silver buckle, silver took time to heal when used on werewolves and I knew those scars would never fade.
I was a wolf, I knew that much, but on my thirteenth birthday, I didn’t transform as I should have and now at twenty years old, I doubted I ever would. My wolf was there, I could feel her sometimes clawing at the back of my mind, but something kept that wall up, stopping her from escaping. My best guess would be that it was either the malnutrition making me too weak or my own fear, or both that kept her caged, but those were only theories.
The door slammed against the wall and in staggered my father, holding a plain white plastic bag and the room filled with the smell of chips.
His greasy dark brown hair stuck to his sweaty face as he collapsed onto the sofa, opening the wrapped portion of steaming chips, the smell of vinegar engulfing my nose.
The resemblance between us was non-existent, I had long blonde hair to his brown, my eyes were the lightest of blues where he had almost black, his large crooked nose stood prominent on his face, whereas my little button nose brought no attention. The only thing we had in common was how filthy we were and I was not dirty by choice. I cleaned the few clothes we had by hand as often as was allowed, three sets each, but before the first hour of wearing them was up, they smelt of unwashed bodies and needed to be washed again.
For me it didn’t matter how dirty or how badly I smelt, because I was not allowed out in public, but I always wondered how my father was not embarrassed to go out in that state.
He sat forward on the threadbare sofa, picking up four chips at a time with his nicotine stained fingers, his black fingernails made my skin crawl as he rammed his food into his cruel mouth. A chip dropped onto the floor and I was there to pick it up in a nanosecond, but again it wasn’t good enough. I heard the clunk before I felt the steel cap boot smash into my temple, sending me falling sideways to the floor.
“Always in my way, little shit.” He mumbled as he continued to eat, not even raising his head to look at me.
I grabbed the stray chip and crawled away from him to dispose of it without saying a word.
“I come home from a hard day’s work and I don’t even get a beer when I get home? f*****g lazy b***h. What’ve you been doing anyway? The place looks like a s**t heap!”
My father’s idea of a profession was as a thief, he would break into people’s houses and sheds and steal anything worth money, selling it on to pawn shops in surrounding areas. After his eventful day he would either come home and expect a beer and food on the table or he would be at the pub until closing time.
I went into the fridge and picked up a can from the bottom shelf, grabbing a coaster out of the drawer as I walked back into the living room. I placed the wooden coaster on the table followed by the can on top of it, not a second later the can was up at my father’s lips as he took a swig, returning the can to the table, ignoring the protective disc he had picked the drink up from.
I grabbed the scrubbing brush and a bowl of warm soapy water and knelt on the floor, to scrub at the muddy imprint by the front door. Just as the dirty mark had disappeared, the door opened, knocking over the bowl of soapy water and soaking the carpet.
I looked up and glared at the man towering above me. His green eyes looked down at me guiltily, knowing that he had just caused my beating for tonight. Alexander was a new acquaintance of my father’s, but they had become very close, very quickly, he knew all about the beatings, but failed to stop them. He tried to help, he had a tendency of dragging my father off of me and down to the pub when he saw the beatings were getting too bad and smuggled me small pieces of food when he saw that I hadn’t eaten in days.
At twenty, he was much younger than my father and a hell of a lot cleaner. His wavy dark brown hair was parted to the side, falling slightly over his ears, along with his sharp cheekbones and strong jawline, I had often wondered why he was not a model, but I knew the real reason for that, like us he was a rogue.
Rogues are the most hated type of wolf, and the less attention brought upon us the better, many were exiled from their previous packs after betraying the pack. Others were lone wolves who chose criminal acts to survive rather than residing in packs. Then there was the worst kind of rogue, the mad wolves, driven insane by the loss of their mates, they were the most feared by all other werewolves, for these unfortunate souls had no fear and nothing to live for. And then there was me, I would have loved to be in a pack, but like the rest of my life, I had absolutely no choice in being labelled as a rogue. My father enjoyed his freedom and life of crime too much, not having to answer to anyone concerning his illicit deeds.
Although I didn’t know Alex very well, I didn’t think he fell under any of these categories. He was a lone wolf, yes, but unlike my father he frowned upon illegal activities, instead he would pick up small jobs, at the moment he worked part time at the pub my father frequented. I had overheard him once telling my father that he had not yet found his mate, so he couldn’t be insane, but then that only left him with being exiled and he just didn’t seem like the type of man to betray anyone. So how he had become rogue was beyond me.
“Look what you’ve done to the f*****g floor now!” My father yelled from his place on the sofa.
“No, Jeff. It was all my fault. I knocked it over. Freya was just cleaning up.” Alex tried to defend me, but I knew there was no point.
“She must have been in your way for you to have knocked it over. So it was her fault.”
Alex let out a long sigh as my father raised from the chair and he stepped aside aiming an apologetic look in my direction.
I heard the ripping sound of strands of my hair leaving my scalp as my father pulled me up, a fist wrapped in my hair, his other balled fist pulling back and I prepared myself for the initial blow to my stomach. I coughed as his fist made contact, I would have doubled over in pain, but his fist in my hair kept me in place. The next hit got me in the jaw, more hair ripped from my head as my head was forced to the left by the impact. I was thrown to the floor and I watched as the loose strands of my long locks drifted slowly to the floor as his boot cracked my rib. My nose crunched, my lip exploded and the room began to spin into darkness as I heard Alex’s voice in the distance.
“Come, leave her. We’ll get a drink.”