Friday, August 17, 2012

“Declan,” I began, “maybe we should turn back onto the highway?”

(Excerpt of Sororate Chapter One)

Driving to Yushu took a lot longer than we expected.  We ended up driving all day and as the sun set, Declan was still behind the wheel.  We had stopped though for morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea but according to the road signs, we were still 53 km’s away.

“Get out the map would ya, B?”  He said impatiently.  “See if there’s a short cut or somethin’.”

I turned on the GPS in the centre of the dash board and began to fiddle around with it.

“From our current position, which is the fastest route to Yushu?”  I issued the verbal command.

The female voice of the car’s computer replied, “The current highway you are on is the main route to Yushu.”

Declan growled impatiently, “But is there a short cut?”

I didn’t know if he was asking me or the computer then, however the computer answered.  “There is another route which will reduce the journey by 13 km’s but it is not the main road.”

“Who cares!”  My mate barked. “Where is this other route?”

The GPS began to issue the directions and Declan turned off the highway and onto several smaller streets.  I felt nervous about the idea of leaving the main route because we at least had the safety of other vehicles and the bright street lights.  But this small road in the country was dark and poorly kept with many potholes and I didn’t see any other cars.

“Declan,” I began, “maybe we should turn back onto the highway?”

“Why?”  He gave a funny look.  I glanced away troubled as I huddled on the seat.  He looked on in concern, “Are you OK?”

“I’m just cold.”  I came up as my excuse.  My mate switched on the heater and aimed all of the air vents my way.  “Thanks,” I said flatly.

We drove onwards through the inky darkness with the only light coming from our headlights or the computerized features on the dash board.

“Turn right after fifty meters," the GPS directed.

My husband obeyed and we turned down an even smaller road which was only one lane wide and constructed of dirt.  We’re driving down a dirt road in the middle of nowhere in a foreign country at night?  It’s the frickin’ 23rd Century!  All roads were meant to be sealed now, even the roads about our tribal lands were and they were in the middle of nowhere.

“Declan,” I began, “I don’t like this.”

He looked away from the road in my direction for a moment or two.

“Why, are you getting one of your warning feelings, B?”

But before I could answer, suddenly we were jolted forwards as if we ran over something and our tires blew out!


“What the hell?!”  Declan slammed on the breaks as our car skidded to a halt.  Then he quickly put his hand on my leg, “Are you alright?”

I blinked and although the shock had almost petrified me into a statue, I managed back a nod.  

My mate was the first to undo his seat belt and hop out to survey the damage.  I watched him walk around the car to the rear and then I heard him growl out expletives as he kicked at something on the road.  I undid my seat belt to climb out and see what he was looking at.

In the red glow of our tail lights, I saw what looked to be a fence post lying in the middle of the road with several large nails sticking out of it.  

Declan walked back over to the driver’s seat and I watched him lean towards the GPS and press the green ‘assist’ button.  The screen started to flash a green colour, indicating that a signal had been sent to the satellite relay system so a repair vehicle would be dispatched to our location.  If he had hit the red ‘emergency’ button, we would have the Police come and find us instead.  

“OK, a repair truck should be on its way.”  He sighed in annoyance as he looked about. “But being in the middle of nowhere, it could be a while.” 

I scowled as I looked away in frustration.  I knew we should have stayed on the highway!  I shivered again as the cold night air stung my bare legs since I was wearing shorts.  Declan saw this, so he came back over to lend his greater body heat by holding me close.  

“We’ll wait inside the car and keep the heater on.”  My husband offered.

He started to walk me around to the passenger’s door when he abruptly stopped.  I watched him look in a particular direction and he even started to sniff, which was a worry.  Oh oh, don’t tell me we have company?

“Not more Asian Werewolves?” I guessed.

“Uh huh.”  His blue eyes turned glowing green so he could use his Werewolf sight to see better in the dark.  “There’s a bunch of them coming this way.”

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