A Steampunk Guide to Hunting Monsters 10 | Page 17

" Philomena !" he shouted , above the sounds of screaming and flames . " I must insist that you listen to me !"
What would he say ? Would he feel the same way ?
" My - my personal implements are all formed of solid silver ," Mr . Longville informed me , aghast . " This beast is not a werewolf !"
No , it is no werewolf ," Thunderboy said . " You see before you a skinwalker ."
The Beast came closer . It roared with a hundred voices , and the pile of skulls collapsed behind us , preventing any escape ! The monster leaped upon Thunderboy , who seemed loathe to fight back !
" How does a person defeat a skinwalker ?" I asked Percy , who pulled out one of his pocket manuals on werewolves and began to flip through it . Perhaps it was the anxiety over the approaching monster , or perhaps he couldn ' t see quite so well in the dark , or perhaps there was no information in that tome , but he could not seem to provide an answer to my question in that moment , which was quite contrary to his nature !
Thunderboy had deflected the beast , and it looked towards Percy .
" It must be given a name ," Thunderboy said . " I have been unable to do it for many moons . It weighs on my heart , as it weighed on my auntie . But she was ready to tell you ."
Thunderboy looked at me with the most desperate pleading in his intense , and beautifully dark eyes .
Suddenly , the Beast seized upon Percy ( knocking aside his physical defense as the feeble thing it was ) and , howling in rage , the
Beast threw Mr . Longville violently into the pile of wretched skulls .
And here is how my mind thought : 1 .) The beast must be named . 2 .) The beast hated the railroad . 3 .) The beast fled towards the old woman ' s house . 4 .) I saw the old woman followed by a dog that seemed not quite like a dog . 5 .) The old woman had a son named Aaron . 6 .) Thunderboy was unable to name the creature , which weighed on his heart as it weighed on his aunt .
7 .) The old woman was ready to tell us something secret . 8 .) The old woman ' s second name was Frew .
It was my only option , for fate had led us here .
" Aaron Frew !" I called out as the beast turned towards me . " I name you !" And with that the skin of the beast flew off like a flickering shadow , and the boy underneath started flailing his hatchet at me and Thunderboy , like one possessed . The boy slashed at Thunderboy , giving him a nasty cut .
Percy had managed to grab ahold of the wolf skin as it darted through the sky , and he rushed towards the fire , throwing it in . And then ... well ... I suppose I felt bad , for my heart dropped as Thunderboy watched his cousin begin to crackle and flake like he was on fire . The skinwalker ran out through the darkness , tormented by pain , turning to ash .
I remembered my previous comments about wishing to have a werewolf skin to display in my parlor . It seems to me now to be a bit of a foolishly light-hearted desire .