|LEADING THE PACK|
Silver Nights Trilogy, #2
David J. O'Brien
(99c/99p through Sunday 19 March)
Life has been good since Paul McHew left his werewolf pack twenty years ago and married Susan. Patrick is the eldest of their four children and feels the pull of the full moon earlier than his father had.
Patrick itches for the city, but things have changed since his father's time. The economy is booming and everyone has a smart phone. But in a post 9-11 world, where security cameras abound, everyone is being watched.
Patrick must make the city streets his own as the eldest of a new generation. To do that, he must learn to control his own impulses, and those of his pack mates, if he hopes to become their leader.
Encountering a potential mate and facing a definite rival, can Patrick be the alpha everyone expects him to be?
• • •
The man watched the hare graze calmly across the closely-cropped paddock. In the silver light of the full moon, he saw its nose twitch as it scented the wind. Crouching low, he stalked closer.
Off to the left, cattle snuffled; somewhere beyond he heard the click of a deer stepping on a dry twig in the woods. Right of the hare, a badger dug for worms and grubs. He ignored them. He could not easily take down a cow alone. The bull would make it difficult, would come to the cow’s defence, and the herd would mill about him. While he could avoid their horns, he would not be able to suffocate the cow, or bleed it out unaided.
And the man did not want company; not that kind.
The hare would be sufficient to satiate his hunger. For now.
His quarry just ahead, its eyes reflecting the bright moonlight, the man crept forward. His long hair swept over his forehead, closing off much of his peripheral vision. Though naked, the thick hair that covered his chest and extended over his back and shoulders insulated him from the breeze.
He felt the soft grass stems between his toes, digging into them for a greater grip on the soil beneath.
The hare turned away from him. The vision that might have helped warn it of the naked human’s approach was at its weakest, and the man took advantage of that.
The next thing he was aware of was kneeling on the ground, the dead animal in his hands. Its neck was broken, its ribs crushed. A small trickle of blood dripped from its nostrils.
The man could not remember how it happened. It had taken place too quickly for him to have time to think about it, for it to register in his consciousness.
There was only action; automatic and reflexive.
The hand and the body, were, indeed, quicker than the eye. The information had reached his brain, but not the part involved in conscious thought. It looped through the cerebellum and brain stem back to his muscles as they powered him forward upon the unsuspecting animal.
Only when the body’s work was complete and the prey caught, did the brain once more return to the luxury of thinking, allowing the man to surmise the events. He had run four yards faster than his thoughts could keep up and grabbed the animal as it started to flee. He’d dived upon it and pinned it to the ground with the full weight of his body. Death had been instantaneous.
The man lifted himself up and held the limp animal by the ears. He exposed the throat. With his two left canines he ripped a hole through the soft skin. Blood started to drip. He put the opening to his mouth and sucked up the flowing liquid. Then he lifted the body up over his head and raised his mouth to drink it all, taking the legs between his fingers and pulling, to push the blood through the limbs and torso.
When the corpse ceased dripping, he put his fingers through the hole and ripped off the head, tossing it aside. Then he pulled the skin back off the muscles in one piece. The animal skinned, he bit into the muscular back legs and tore off strips of raw meat. Barely chewing, he swallowed hard on the flesh and walked through the paddock under the moonlight.
He caught the scent of the cattle and deer on the wind and, coming from the other side of a hill, heard the neigh of a horse, then a long, drawn out howl. He grinned to himself. The blood still on his lips dripped to his chin.
The animal consumed and his stomach filled, the man wondered what to do now that particular desire had been satiated.
A voice whispered to him.
• • •
David J O'Brien was born and raised in Dun Laoghaire, Ireland. He studied environmental biology and later studied deer biology for his PhD, at University College Dublin. Instead of pursuing his life-long interest in wolves and predator-prey interactions, after completing his doctorate, he taught English in Madrid, Spain, for four years while his girlfriend finished her doctorate in molecular biology. They married and moved to Boston, USA, so his wife could pursue her career and David decided that teaching was a vocation he was happy to continue. After seven great years teaching Biology at Boston's Cathedral High School and Zoology at Bridgewater State College, he returned to Spain three years ago so his wife could set up her new research group in her hometown of Pamplona shortly before their daughter was born. He currently teaches English and science in Pamplona in addition to writing and looking after his children.
David has loved writing since his teens. He began with poetry and had one of his first poems published in Cadenza, a small Dublin poetry magazine at the age of fourteen. Since then several more have been published in journals and anthologies such as Albatross, The Tennessee State Poetry League, Poems of Nature and various anthologies of Forward Press imprint in Britain. He began writing fiction soon after and wrote the novella that would later become Leaving The Pack at the age of seventeen. Though his academic writing took precedence for a number of years, and he is still involved in deer biology and management, he kept writing other things in his spare time and has always dreamt of one day being able to do it full time. While living in Madrid, he wrote some non-fiction articles for the magazine Hot English and while in Boston for the newspaper Dig.
An avid wildlife enthusiast and ecologist, much of David's non-academic writing, especially poetry, is inspired by wildlife and science, and he sometimes seeks to describe the science behind the supernatural.
His Young Adult paranormal novel The Soul of Adam Short and children's novel, Peter and the Little People. He has also published three novellas under the pseudonym JD Martins.
Find David Online:
Website - http://davidjmobrien.wordpress.com
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/DavidJMOBrien
YouTube - http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCIIUO91SFG-Kq0tKnWd7RAg
Google+ - https://plus.google.com/u/0/+DavidOBrienauthor
Tirgearr Publishing - http://tirgearrpublishing.com/authors/OBrien_David