The Alien Within: Cast of Characters–Parker Redux

Imagine you’re a fly inside Parker’s house on a Saturday afternoon. Through your faceted eyes you watch him putter about, wiping down the kitchen counters, now hauling a load of dirty laundry to the basement, then heading back upstairs to pay some bills, maybe stopping by the refrigerator to grab a beer first. What’s the first thing you notice? The man talks to himself a lot, doesn’t he? Seems that way–nobody’s around but him. But you’d be wrong. Parker’s not talking to himself. He’s talking to his wolf. And it talks back.

Imagine another scene. You’re that fly again, this time clinging to a trunk of an oak tree in the wee hours of the morning. Parker sits at the tree’s base, his right ear a mere inches away from where you crouch. He’s watching someone walk along a path, wondering why they’re out so early. The person is abruptly pulled off the path and into a stand of trees. Both of you hear the sound of flesh being roundly beaten. Parker jumps to his feet and suddenly you realize you can hear his thoughts:

Oh, no. Don’t let this be what I think it is.

The victim hadn’t cried out when he’d been pulled from the path, but someone was screaming now. Parker had just taken a step to run towards the commotion when his wolf’s hard mental shove threw him off-balance. He stumbled and almost fell.

And you’re going where? it growled.

But—

Stop acting like a damned human. It ain’t our problem.

But—

No dice.

Parker wavered. His wolf was right. He’d been about to break a cardinal pack rule: whatever’s happening, don’t get involved unless directly threatened. The rule was callous, but practical. Getting involved might lead to a discovery of what he was, which could be fatal—for him and the pack. But what if it wasn’t an ordinary mugging?

Seems the wolf has more sense than Parker does, right? Sometimes yes, sometimes no. The truth is that they need each other, brothers against the wind fighting to survive the storm of humanity that wants them dead because of what they are. Hardly seems fair. But then life isn’t fair. And nobody knows that better than the zots.

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