The wolf snatched her by the apron and with incredible force, yanking her forward. She fell to her knees and an instant pain overwhelmed her, forcing out a scream. She could feel the concrete digging into her skin and she was sure her pants had ripped, and that she was likely bleeding. The wolf kept pulling at her apron, however, and she struggled to get up.
She tried to kick at the wolf, but the blows seemed to do nothing. Next, she tried to use her legs to fight while reaching for the back of the apron and tried to pull it over her head. Hali succeeded, but the wolf noticed and let go of her apron, only to pounce on her, knocking some of the wind out of her. The wolf grabbed the neck strap of the apron with its mouth and pulled, dragging her across the back alley. She let out another scream, this time calling for help.
Hali had never been so terrified in her entire life. Up until this point, she had been so spoiled with her lucky streak. It prevented anything like this to happen to her, but it had failed her. Her eyes began to water, “Please! Someone help!” she cried out once again.
This time, it was the wolf who froze, Hali followed suit once she realized there was now a second wolf! “N-No!” she cried, struggling against the first wolf with every bit of her strength. The second wolf was about the same size, but with reddish-brown fur; unlike the first wolf, who was the shade of honey. Hali would have noted how strange the colouring was for both wolves, had she not been busy focusing on the situation at hand.
The first wolf released the strap and turned to growl at the second wolf, but it didn’t back down. The reddish wolf just growled back, and with a speed Hali couldn’t imagine, it lunged at the honey-coloured wolf. Within moments, the two were struggling against each other; biting, scratching, and rolling around.
Now free, Hali jumped up and stumbled to her feet, she rushed past the wolves and reached the back door. The remaining garbage bags had caught the door and held it open. She burst into the kitchen, kicked the bags out of the way, and slammed the door shut. Running to the kitchen window, she peered outside to see what was going on.
The reddish brown wolf had the paw of the honey wolf in his jaws and was biting hard, forcing the honey wolf to howl and kick at its attacker, who refused to release the paw. It seemed to submit as it howled, and its paw was reluctantly released. The now injured wolf hobbled away, and the reddish wolf growled in warning. Then it turned and looked to the window, its steel grey eyes met Hali’s. She gasped and stepped away from the window, her knees giving way, as she collapsed to the floor. This gave Hali the chance to look at her own damage, a scene that left her horrified. Her pants had been ripped and her knees looked shredded to pieces from being dragged across the concrete. Hali’s body shook, and before she could control it, tears flooded her eyes and gushed down her cheeks. This was all too much for her, It was like she could no longer trust her own instincts.
Hours seemed to pass, and Hali didn’t move. She didn’t know what would happen if she did. Hali knew for the moment, right here, she was safe; and safe was all she wanted. So when the kitchen door opened, Hali didn’t notice until she heard Conan’s voice.
“Hali? What are you still doing here?” She slowly glanced over her shoulder to stare at her boss. Her tear stained face gave away that something terrible had transpired. “What happened? Your knee’s! Hali, what the hell happened?!”
He was down by her side in an instant and examining her knees. She had no words. Nothing would come out of her mouth, and she didn’t think she’d utter another word again. Unable able to comprehend the events, she could only shake her head at him. Though he came across as seriously concerned, she didn’t know what to make of his timing, coming in right after the attack. Or maybe not… How long had it been? A few minutes? A few hours? Her phone wasn’t on her to check. It was still off and laying on her bed.
“Here, let me help,” he said. He offered her his hands and she took them after waiting for what seemed like forever. She was still feeling numb over what had happened. In shock, even. He guided her over to a chair in the corner of the kitchen. There was a small table beside it, used as a break corner for the staff. Conan guided her down into the seat and she sat, still stunned. Conan went and retrieved the first aid box from beside his office door. He returned and examined the opened wounds before setting the kit down on the table. “Alright Hali, I’m going to widen the rips in your pants for better access to your wounds. Then i’m going to clean it and wrap it so it doesn’t get infected.”
Hali could only nod her head, but when Conan began ripping her dress pants, it seemed to bring her back a little because she jumped. He drew back, holding up his hands, “You okay?”
“Y-yes,” she stammered.
“Like I said, I’m going to open the rips more to get to your wounds, and then I’m going to clean them and wrap them,” he explained again, “Is that alright?”
With a nod, he returned to tending to her first wound. With great care, he got better access, then with a clean cloth and some peroxide, he cleaned it. She winced when the disinfectant hit her wounds, bubbling. Conan took her hand in his and gave it a light squeeze to try and ease her discomfort. He gave her a sympathetic look before doing the same to the other knee. When that was over with, he used antibacterial ointment, then put two large bandaids on for her. Conan stood when the job was complete and put the remaining items back in the kit. He turned to her once again with outstretched hands, “I’ll help you upstairs.”
With little other choice, Hali took them and he pulled her to her feet. And just like earlier, he helped her walk; this time, all the way up the stairs and into her room. Where he wished her a good night and reminded her to tell him if she needed anything. Once alone, Hali tried to process what happened. Conan had stopped prying —which she was glad for— but she didn’t know how she was going to explain what had occurred after he had told her to not take the garbage out. Hali held her face in her palms and shook her head, “I’m such a damn idiot.”