Guy kindly remained parked on the road beside me while I changed the tire. The whites of his eyes seemed more evident than usual and while he gave a constant stream of directions on how to change a tire the fastest way possible. He kept one hand on the wheel and left the van in drive. His other hand held a can of pepper spray ready to use.
But not a single Ostrich appeared during the 30 minutes it took to jack up the car and change the tire. I wondered at my own lack of fear, thinking maybe I was emotionally damaged after what I had been through the day before.
I tightened the last lug nut and began folding up the jack.
“Okay, well I guess you’re good. I’ll see you tomorrow,” Guy said and drove off before I could return his jack. I had been prepared to go on at least one date with him, but as I watched his van disappearing over the hill, I felt no regret.
It was time to get out of here. I might actually make it to work before I was missed. As I cranked up the Nissan, the Channel 9 Media van passed me, headed back to the city. It slowed down and I saw the pale face of the TV anchor Malory for the second time in 24 hours. He looked perplexed to see me, to say the least.
I pulled out onto the road, heading back toward the city as well. Soon I had to pull over to let an ambulance pass me. That was when my heart began to beat harder and faster.
In less than 2 miles, I saw both vehicles again, parked on the road facing two Protector Wolf cars that were parked perpendicular to the road, blocking our passage. A silver town car sat in the midst of it all, and on the road lay the parts and pieces of two human bodies. I heard someone screaming hysterically somewhere off to my left.
There, in the forest, maybe a hundred yards from the road, stood a girl not much younger than myself. Her hands were tearing at her dark hair as she screamed in fear. Two wolves stood on the road, barking and snarling in frustration, and between the girl and the wolves stood a White Ostrich. His wings were spread in defiance and he danced from foot to foot, as though he was rejoicing in his power.
Channel 9 was, of course, filming the whole thing. It was a gruesome scene. Evidently the Ostrich had been working on the bodies for several minutes before the Wolves arrived. There didn’t seem to be much hope that the Wolves would be able to save the terrified girl from the Ostrich. I felt an overwhelming wave of empathy. That could have been me.
From where I sat, behind the other two vans, I had remained unnoticed by the others. An Ostrich could come right out of the forest and get me, and the Wolves might never even notice. I looked all around me, shuddering with renewed fear. And to my dismay, I saw motion on the edge of the road, up ahead, on the backside of the Protector cars.
With relief I saw that it was a third Protector Wolf. He was dragging a human arm. He dropped it on the pavement and looked around briefly, and then began to tear and eat it as fast as he could. His face was stained with blood.