Shiver cove part 1 tamyr.., p.1
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       Shiver Cove, Part 1: Tamyra, p.1

           TJ Shortt
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Shiver Cove, Part 1: Tamyra

  Shiver Cove

  Part 1: Tamyra

  By: TJ Shortt


  This is a work of fiction. All characters, organizations, and events portrayed in this novel are either products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously.

  Shiver Cover – Part 1, Tamyra

  Copyright © 2015 Patricia Collins

  All rights reserved.

  Cover Art Copyright © 2015 Jason Shortt

  This book is dedicated to the one who has been nothing but dedicated.

  Your endless support made this possible.

  I love you Jason.

  Chapter 1

  A tickling sensation roused Tamyra. She scratched her stomach. It took a moment to sink in, but her fingers met skin with no resistance. No pajamas, no blankets, only bare flesh. As the fuzzy sleep feeling dissolved, she became aware how the warm June breeze played over her, caressing her.

  She jolted awake, shaken to find herself not in bed. Night sky above. She slumbered outside and to her horror, naked. Tamyra wrapped her arms around her light brown body to shield herself as she rose to her haunches.

  Confused and frightened, she bit back tears. She woke up in strange places a few times since the first change, but last night she locked herself in a cage. With each full moon her wolf-self adapted, becoming harder to contain. Embracing the wolf seemed impossible.

  She needed a clear head to get a grip on her situation. Pushing aside the answers of how, she focused on the question of where. A backyard. The house looked similar to hers. She hadn’t left her own neighborhood.

  As the dark sky over the houses began to take on an orangey hue, she grew more alarmed. A lump formed in her throat and the water welling up inside her bottom lids threatened to spill. In the light people would be able to see her naked. Annoyed at her emotions trying to take over, she chuffed to clear her throat and wiped her eyes.

  She had to pull it together. Crying wouldn’t make things better. Finding focus, Tamyra searched the area for anything to help cover her body.

  The tiny yard consisted of a patio area with enough space to hold a plastic table and four chairs. She crouched on a grassy patch smaller than the patio. There wasn’t enough room for a shed. A shed could have been useful.

  She spied the table’s sun umbrella and contemplated pulling the fabric off it. The task would require a lot of work and Tamyra didn’t like the idea of wrecking someone else’s property. She decided it would be her last resort.

  She tried to dismiss the feeling of being watched. The paranoia had to be due to being so exposed. Her gaze flitted over the windows of nearby houses. Although she couldn’t see anyone, it didn’t help much. Despite the warmth of the night, a shiver ran through her. Tamyra brought her attention back to the problems at hand; find something to hide her nudity and figure out where she ended up.

  Knee-high bushes lined the fence and she scuttled over to them for cover. From beside her came a rustling sound. The breeze toyed with some type of paper under the bushes. A lucky break. Hopefully something as big as a newspaper. She stretched out her right hand as she clamped her left arm over her breasts. Her fingers brushed paper. She grabbed it. Thick, heavy paper. It made crinkling noises as she tried to dislodge it.

  Making a slight tearing sound, it came free. She held a large paper sack, the kind her mom collected leaves in. The part Tamyra could see looked intact and dry.

  She rolled the bag over and groaned. The bottom of it dripped cloudy brown water and a musty worm smell emanated from it. Tamyra glanced back at the patio umbrella and cursed herself for even thinking it. The leaf sack would have to do.

  The wet part tore off with little effort and damp leaves spilled over her toes. Cringing at further exposure, she moved her left arm and shook the bag with both hands until everything emptied out.

  Tamyra held the paper sack to allow for as much cover as possible. While rising to stand, she slipped the bag over her head. It stank. Fortunately the wide sack didn’t really touch her skin, except where her arms had to clamp down to hold it up. Grateful to be covered to the knees, she tried not to think some of the wet spots pressing against her could be slugs or worms.

  Time to go home, hopefully without being seen.

  She loathed the idea of leaving the secluded backyard, but seeing the street signs would be key to figuring out where she was. She crept up to the gate. The low chain link didn’t do much to hide her from the street. Tamyra shuddered as she reached for the latch, terrified of being seen.

  She sucked up her courage and opened the gate. She hoped, because of the early hour, no one would be up yet. As she stepped onto the driveway, the bag rustled with every movement. Tamyra knew her fear made the sound thunderous to her alone, but the knowledge gave no comfort.

  She scanned the street. Tamyra knew her surroundings; a block, a park, a few houses and then home! To her relief, there wasn’t a soul in sight.

  She darted down the driveway towards home. Tamyra managed to fly up the street and cut into the schoolyard before she encountered any more trouble.

  Chapter 2

  Tamyra smelled the cigarette smoke a second before she laid eyes on the three girls. They sat on a bench with empty bottles at their feet. Knowing these girls, they probably spent all night drinking. She stumbled and all three girls burst out laughing.

  She sought to find her footing while keeping her grip on the makeshift dress.

  "Nice fashion statement, Tammy!" Spat the school bully, Vicki Burton.

  She hated being called Tammy and the ensuing laughter reminder Tamyra of hyenas. The two smaller girls mirrored their leader, pointing at Tamyra.

  Could her morning get any worse? No doubt the whole school would hear about this. She wanted to run, but feared a chase would incite them to become violent.

  "Stopping to give us a fashion show? Hey, you can be the envy of bag ladies everywhere!"

  More hysterical laughter.

  "Look, it's an outfit that doubles as a garbage bag. Hey, it’s already full of trash!"

  Strange, Vicki’s dirty blond, grease-matted hair didn’t bounce around at all when she laughed. As Vicki licked her lips, an image of the big slug from Star Wars made her feel better for a second.

  “Yep, you’re Trailer-Trash. Your daddy ran out just like all the other Trailer-Trash!”

  Expecting more insults about the leaf bag, the words hurt as much as a slap in the face. Her dad just had to be the principal at her school when he packed up and left. Even though the mean girls had no clue Tamyra’s secret had caused him to flee, Vicki struck a nerve bringing up dad. Tamyra bit her lip to stop her chin’s involuntary quivering.

  “All our parents are divorced, Vicki.” Kate said.

  “Yeah and all our dad’s still want to see US. Trailer-Trash’s daddy just up and left, never to be heard from again.”

  Unable to bare another insult, Tamyra launched herself into a run. Her left foot came down hard on something sharp and the pain shot up her leg, halting her dash immediately. She almost tripped attempting to lift her injured foot.

  She stood with her back to the girls, but she could sense they rose and moved towards her. As she brought her foot up, in an awkward pose over her knee, a quarter-sized chunk of bloodied glass fell to the ground. A few drips of blood rolled down her foot and off her toes. Her eyes followed as red rained to the pavement.

  Tamyra snapped her attention back to Vicki and the ghouls. They were closing the gap quickly and it terrified her. Any of them could try to pull the flimsy bag away. She couldn’t allow them to get close.

  She put her heel on the ground and tried to run. Coming down on the one heel, instead of her whole foot, made her gait
awkward and jerky, impossible to generate any type of speed.

  "Guys she's bleeding, maybe we should leave her alone."

  "And miss an opportunity like this? No, no, girls, we should HELP her."

  "Yeah Trailer-Trash! Come here, weeeeee'll help you."

  Tamyra hobbled along as fast as she could, somehow managing to stay ahead of them. She didn’t believe Vicki and her friends had any intentions of helping her.

  "Trailer-Trash, I'm talking to you. Don't try to run away. It's rude!"

  "Yeah. Vicki's talking to you!"

  "Look at all the blood. She's really hurt. Come on, let's have another smoke."

  "Are you gay or something Jill? Sticking up for Trailer-Trash here because you have a thing for her?"

  "It's not like that. Just... well... she's bleeding bad."

  "Who cares? If she wasn't running around with no clothes on, her foot would be fine right now. So Trailer-Trash, where's your clothes?"

  Tamyra’s tormenters seemed content to lag behind her, a small blessing. She knew her tears would only fuel their insults if they could see her face. She hated being unable to stop crying.

  “Maybe she lost them working the boys at the trailer park!”

  “Isn’t that what her mom does?”

  Vicki and the ghouls laughed again. They knew her mom worked as a psychologist. Despite not making sense, the insults still upset her.

  Almost to the path leading onto her street, she couldn’t get there fast enough. Tamyra wished she had the nerve to stand up to their bullying. Understanding she wouldn’t, she put her energy into hobbling faster.

  “Yep, Trailer-Trash mother-daughter team doing the trailer park.”

  “And they’re so bad they end up having to pay their johns back with everything they’ve got. Including the shirts off their backs!”

  She no longer cared that tears rolled freely down her cheeks as she emerged onto her street. Between the musty stench of the bag, the insults and the throbbing pain in her foot, she didn’t think she’d make it passed the three houses she had to.

  “Tamyra? What’s going on? Baby, are you alright?”

  The second her mother spoke the laughter died behind her and she heard the bullies slinking off.

  “Mom, help me!”

  Before the words left her lips, Karen Costa closed the gap between them. Tamyra slumped into her mother’s arms, momentarily forgetting her pain. Sobs wracked her body. Her mother spoke to her and rubbed her shoulders, while guiding her home.

  Once inside their house, her mother gently led her towards the couch, passed by it and pulled out a dining room chair for her. As Tamyra sat down a whoosh of moldy air met her nostrils and she understood why her mother didn’t seat her on the couch.

  “What happened?”

  Her mother’s gaze fell to Tamyra’s foot.

  “Baby, why don’t you take that filthy thing off and wrap up in the couch blanket? I’ll get some peroxide and bandages for your foot.”

  Tamyra peeled off the paper sack, vaguely aware as she moved. She stopped herself from flopping down on the couch and removed the blanket from the back of it. She seated herself back on the chair. Her mother returned with full hands and bent down to look at her bloody foot.

  “You don’t need to do that, mom. I can feel it, it’s already healed.”

  “So weird. Not like when you were little and I used to patch you up,” her mom said with a sigh. “OK. We both know the story of you being chased home in a leaf bag starts with you being a werewolf growing into your new abilities. How about instead of every outing ending like this, you agree maybe moving to your aunt Kiki’s is a good idea.”

  “Ending like what, mom?”

  “Quite frequently with you outside naked and of course with crying.”

  “I don’t always end-up crying. There was that one time…”

  “Oh honey. I know you don’t want to leave your friends behind.”

  “It’s my senior year!”

  “I know starting over is hard.”

  “Hard? I’ve been here my whole life.”

  “Once the wolf genes showed, you knew things were going to be different.”

  “Great. So not only do I get to be a full-moon-freak, but now I get to be a friendless full-moon-freak?”

  “There are other kids in Shiver Cove.”

  “Yeah, and?”

  “And you can make new friends.”

  Tamyra fought to not allow sorrow to overcome her again. She knew her mom was right. Things would be so much better to have secluded woods to roam and no worries of being caught.

  “Please think about it. Your aunt Kiki owns an entire forest. No more waking up in neighbor’s yards and wondering if you’ve eaten their cherished pets. I know your friends mean a lot to you and how hard making new friends can be, as shy as you are.”

  “You’re still convinced leaving the city was the best thing Aunt Kiki did at my age?”

  “Yes, I am. And you wouldn’t be going to live with strangers, like she did. I can’t guide you the way your aunt can. Genetics are a funny thing, skipping me and then branding wolf on you. I’m so sorry this has been passed to you through our family. I’m sure your aunt Kiki’s first hand insight will help better than I can.”

  For the first time it occurred to Tamyra, her mother would also be leaving behind friends.

  “Mom, you’d give it all up for me? Your job, your friends, this house?”

  “Without a second thought.”

  “It really helped your sister that much?”

  “You know my thoughts on this. Please, just think about moving to Shiver Cove.”

  Chapter 3

  Shiver Cove. Shiver Cove. The name echoed in her mind. So, the wolf was going to take Toronto away from her too, eh?

  She turned the tap and waited for the water to warm before dropping the couch blanket. Tamyra stepped into the tub and flipped the shower on.

  She absently ran soapy hands over her skin. In her fog she barely noticed remnants of her last change, a couple leaves and a small clod of dirt, rinsing down the drain. She turned her back to the spray and let the water caress her.

  For the millionth time she asked; “Why me?”

  Genetics. Rotten, nasty, genetics. Some people got big noses, others got the shortness gene, but not Tamyra. Nope. Genetics hadn’t cursed her with anything seemingly so simple. Lycanthropy. Grrrrr. She shook her head and suppressed the growl, fighting the wolf reaction.

  Why couldn’t her father’s genetics have been dominant? As soon as she thought of him, she slid to the bottom of the tub. Tamyra brought her knees to her chest and slumped around them with her arms. She felt her eyes burning again and figured why not let go? Maybe because no one could see her now, the tears refused to fall.

  Bad enough the mean girls called her names. Why did they have to bring up her Dad? The biggest price tag of her curse.

  As the water pattered her skin she allowed her mind to take her back to the last time she saw her Dad.

  They were out celebrating. Her report card came in perfect, her grades the highest in the school he was principle at. His face beamed and he kept saying how proud he was all night. Despite Mom not being able to join them, dinner was amazing. They talked and laughed and stuffed themselves with great food.

  Dinner ended and during the drive home she felt strange. Her skin tingled. At one point, for the tiniest instant, passing headlights washed over her and she glimpsed her reflection. For as long as it took her to blink, her eyes glowed with eerie golden animal eye-shine.

  But it had to be nothing. Even though she knew about the curse, she never truly believed she could become a werewolf. She spent hours thinking about how cool and then how awful the werewolf genes would be, but in her imagination it never afflicted her.

  As she pushed off the notion anything was happening, she watched the hair on her right arm grow darker, courser and much fuller. Tamyra gulped and drew her arm out of her father’s sight. Her eyes
flicked to him, yet he seemed unaware.

  Fur. Her right arm sprouted fur. WEREWOLF! Reality smashed into her. She should’ve been prepared for this. Nothing could’ve prepared her for this.

  In a terrified voice she barely recognized, she screamed; “Stop the car!”

  Her dad hit the brakes and the car jerked. On instinct, Tamyra threw her right hand against the dashboard to brace herself.

  The look of horror as her dad’s gaze found her furry arm branded deep within her. He gasped; “Real?! It’s all real?”

  “Help me, Dad!” she pleaded.

  “Werewolves. Real werewolves.” His voice now hardly a whisper.

  The skin on her face burned as something cracked in her nose. A snout started to form. More fur bristled along her other arm. Tamyra’s body shook as much from fear as pain. “Please, dad. What…” her voice choked off in a ragged growl.

  Her father drew his head down as if pulling into himself. He muttered constantly, but the only word she could pick out was “werewolves.”

  Terror threatened to drown her, as her muscles twisted and contorted. Agony reigned. What had her mother said? “If you feel the change, you need to get to a secluded place.”

  Tamyra’s throat felt worse than a round of strep. She barked out “Forest” and prayed her father would understand her. If he heard her, he gave no indication. A loud keening noise escaped her. It sounded more canine than human.

  The seams of her jeans gave way as her thighs bulged. Tamyra cried out and flung an appendage, more resembling a paw than a hand, on her father’s arm.

  His head snapped up and he immediately recoiled from her touch. Slamming his back against the door, his face hid nothing of his terror and disgust. He fumbled for a moment and then his fingers found the large silver cross dangling from his neck. “Back demon!” he called, brandishing it at her.

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