The electric shock had scrambled his brain pretty effectively. Ben had taken note of that and would have to be cautious of it. Given the effect it had on him, he could imagine that it would be very easy to pass out and become completely vulnerable or to lose focus and transform without control. He stood up and arched his back with his palms pushing into his tail bone as he looked around.
“This is ridiculous” he mumbled to himself. His, or rather Jed’s, axe was destroyed, he terrified a pretty young woman, got blasted with a taser, twice, and it was starting to get dark out as storm clouds filled the sky. “What a day” he mumbled again and picked up the broken piece of shaft. He looked closely at the head of the axe. It had been embedded so deeply into the tree that one last stroke would down it for sure.
Ben didn’t really want to leave the tree like that, knowing that it could tip over with a strong wind and kill someone, but taking it out now with the storm coming wasn’t going to happen, he’d have to come back tomorrow and finish knocking it down. He started back towards the cabin. “So Benny my boy, what did you learn today?” he asked himself mockingly.
In truth, he had learned something. He learned that he could use his ability to gain an advantage on others. Focusing enough, he could hear and sense the changes in their body and know their mood or whether or not they were hiding something. He learned that he had to focus and be in control at all times, especially when focusing was difficult. And lastly he learned that electricity may be his kryptonite and that he would have to be aware of it as well as anything else that may affect his self-control.
There were probably other lessons, but he couldn’t really think of any, he was still thinking about the woman who had downed him and ran off with a little piece of his heart, and a bigger piece of his pride. His chance to apologize would come sooner than he had anticipated. A loud scream bellowed out through the forest from the west. He knew immediately it was the nameless beauty and his heart pounded furiously in his chest as he feared for her safety.
He ran towards the sound, leaping and diving over and around the smaller trees blocking his path. He could get there quicker if he changed, but he would also scare her beyond reason if he did. With a feverish determination he pushed forward recklessly. Another scream. He was maybe a hundred yards away now and he could hear the sound coming closer, she was running towards him.
Fifty yards and closing fast. He couldn’t see her yet, but he could smell her. He could smell what was making her scream as well. Twenty yards now and she was in sight. She had fallen and slid along the forest floor, scraping herself up and lying on her back with her hands in the air defensively protecting her face as the large wolf approached.
Ben leapt into the air and crashed down beside her with a loud thud and pushed the big wolf hard with both hands. It was in the air for a good seven feet before hitting the ground and then rolled back up to its feet, uninjured but surprised. It snarled and bared its teeth as the other members of the big alpha male’s pack revealed themselves from behind the trees.
The terrified woman instinctively grabbed onto Ben’s leg and dug her face into his calf. “Let go!” he shouted and pulled his leg from her. She cupped her face in her hands and curled up into a fetal position waiting to be torn apart by the vicious beasts. Ben raised his arms and howled into the darkened sky. The sound caused the woman to cringe and break into convulsive sobbing. It was loud enough that it even sent a chill down his own spine.
The wolves stared Ben down, trying to intimidate him, but he held his ground. After a moment they slowly backed away and retreated into the forest. It wasn’t a battle worth fighting. The alpha male stood fast, locking eyes with Ben, and then howled to the sky before turning and breaking into a run to catch up with the rest of the pack.