They called it the Wolf Days. It was the two weeks of the year when the days were short and the dark reigned. Snow would accumulate and the days could be freezing cold. Not that I bothered. I had been roaming the region a month. I knew most of the people fairly well by now. It was a small and close knit society. The area was former Indian territory. The small ridge to the west of the little town had been a sacrificial site to the gods. In those times Indians from a wide area had gathered for the annual ceremonies.
The young generation was more or less oblivious to what had taken place on that hill. None of the older people talked much about it either. Fifty years had passed since the last time there had been any activity among the pine trees. Then a devoted group had tried to rekindle the old traditions. Blood had been spilled and most of those involved were still languishing in jail. Their attempt to recreate the old mystery sect had of course occurred during the Wolf days. I had been one of those who had witnessed the mess they had caused.
The legend had it that it was during those weeks that the wolves assumed human shape and mingled with the native Indians. The wolves abducted small children who they intended to raise as their own. The weakest ones would become food for the perpetually hungry wolves. The Indians came to believe that the wolves’ behavior was induced by evil spirits. They had thus initiated rituals which they believed would mitigate the spirits. Now things were stirring again, and only a few struggled against what might become a new era in the district’s rather dull history. I was there to overview everything, and take care of the troublemakers.
I had carefully made my preparations for the mission I was to undertake . My six knives were sharpened. Each of them had a unique elaborate pattern carved in the handles. I knew every one of them intimately. I knew how they felt in my hand. I knew how they balanced in my palm, and I had tossed them thousands of times until I could hit a target with the most astounding precision. No wonder I had been commissioned the task. I was after all one of the most experienced, and had a long record of handling possible trouble very efficiently.
Late evening would provide the perfect timing. Most people would be tired after a long day and their guard would be down. Many years in the business had provided me with the necessary insight in when to strike. The person I had appointed my first victim had annoyed me immensely since my arrival. I hated everything he represented, and it would be a pure joy to cripple him. The thought made me feel elevated, and gave my existence a sense of purpose.
The moon was full, the air was crisp, and it was quiet inside their house. The kids were sleeping. He was reading, and his wife was down in the basement folding laundry. Not that it would have mattered if they were together. I would have accomplished my mission without any hesitation anyway. Circumstances couldn’t stop me now. My favorite knife was lying steadily in my palm. I wasn’t nervous. I believed this would be as easy as usual. Most of them were ignorant of the truth. As I entered the room I quietly positioned myself in front of him. He apparently didn’t recognize my presence.
The knife’s name was Condemnation. I tossed it with all my might aiming at his heart. To my astonishment the knife hit something resembling an invisible wall, and fell to the floor without doing any harm to the man in the chair. Then he opened his mouth and the power of the word he uttered hit me with a force prior unknown to me. My other knives mystically dissolved, and I stumbled backwards shaken by the impact. Then he said it again, and in an instant my hands and feet were in chains, and I knew I was damned.