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February 8th, 2020

12:30pm

Thyrsus

 

Irritated. This was the best mood that anyone could hope from Tom today. Tonight, the beast came out and the next and the next. During this time, most knew to stay out of his way. He had seen to some last-minute preparations for the weekend and was going over a final checklist with Roderick before he departed Upstate.

 

“Shipment arrives this afternoon. I’ll return Tuesday.” Tom spat the words out angrily…like it was offensive for him to have to say these things. He wasn’t trying to be rude, and Roderick knew it. Tom was so grateful to have someone like Roderick to run things while he was gone. He was unable to demonstrate his gratitude properly now, but Roderick understood.

 

Without another word, Tom stepped into his car and started driving north. He was driving toward a cabin in the woods he had that was about 4 hours or so due-north of New York City. A few of the Bakkhos knew that Tom had a place, but none knew where it was precisely. They were content with letting Tom do his monthly thing and come back to business. Any time that he was required to stay in the city rarely went well. Stepping into the cell was a very hard thing for him to do…and it was getting more and more difficult to do so each time. He avoided it whenever possible.

 

Tom pulled up to the cabin. It was a non-descript plain cabin in the woods. It was slightly more modern with drywall and some other typical house-appropriate furnishings. Other than that, it was a bare-minimum shelter. There was no running water. The electricity was provided by a generator that was only ran to keep the refrigerator running. There were two cots set up in opposite corners of the single room. One looked barely used…this was his, as he only slept here a few nights a month. The other cot was much more worn. This cot belonged to his father, Frank Gallo.

 

The Nevus event awakened the dormant lycanthrope virus in both Frank and Tom…to much different results. While the virus manifested in Tom in extreme potency in all respects…the physical strengths, weaknesses, rage…in Frank it manifested a bit differently. He was a wolf as well, however his mind was ill-equipped to cope with the change. It sent him to the edge of insanity and left him there. Frank is lucid and relatively normal…so long as he doesn’t interact with anyone other than Tom. Anytime he encounters another human, his fight-or-flight response is triggered and he panics and runs away…or panics and attacks with a feral-ferocity. Tom created this residence for Frank to be able to stay remote and hidden, but close enough to keep an eye on. Frank tried to visit him one other time a month besides the change, however his duties often precluded him from doing so. This cabin was Frank’s prison and refuge. He could never return to the city. His anthropophobia prevented even the most casual of human interaction with those that weren’t Tom.

 

“Good to see you, son.” Frank had walked in the back door, with an arm load of wood. He looked grizzled and barely sane. He set the wood down and walked over to hug Tom. Tom could feel the anguish in this hug. His poor father was lonely…but he was alive. And the next three nights he would be the most alive he’d be for the next month. Hunting together as wolves, ironically enough, was just enough to keep him on this side of sane. For now, at least.

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