A New Home Chapter 3

Jackie couldn’t believe that a week has gone by so fast. She climbs the steps to her tower with firewood loaded in her arms. She finally learned that she could assume any type of cat form and that when she is threatened or frightened, she assumes her most powerful form, which was a saber-tooth tiger. A black bear had stumbled out of the woods towards her tower when she was out collecting wood for the tower’s stove to burn, when she discovered her most powerful form by accident. She had managed to kill the bear in that form, it took a lot out of her petite body, but it was her most powerful form. She also learned what mushrooms and other edible items grew around her from a book she got from the library in town. She used her newfound abilities to turn into a cat and carried her backpack in her mouth through the woods to the road that led into town and changed back into her human form and dressed in her stolen clothes and walked into town.

She found some people to buy some of the bear meat she had. She also learned from her book how to tan the skin. A few times she felt that someone was following her, she lost them in the woods and changed into one of her cat forms. So far no one had spotted her up here at the tower and the path that led up here, she caused a few huge trees that were dying to crash down and block the dirt road, she was going to make it difficult to find this place. The cabin started feeling more and more like home to her as she dropped the firewood next to the wood-burning stove. She stacks the wood nearby, but far enough away so it wouldn’t catch fire. When Jackie finished she scoops some of the stew she made yesterday into a bowl and goes outside on the landing that goes around the cabin and watches as the sun dips down and disappears as she eats her dinner.

Jackie rests her chin on the middle handrail as she stares out over the landscape. She needed to figure out what she was going to do. The convenience store in town was looking for a part time cashier and she was on good terms with the store manager. It wasn’t much money, but she didn’t need much money. The old fire tower in which she was living provided shelter for her and there was enough food in the woods around here for her to catch in one of her animal forms. She could purchase a portable power supply, either solar or a gas generator.

Jackie yawns as she awakes to the sound of birds chirping outside the window. She looks at her battery-powered clock and sees is was only five thirty in the morning. There is a cold nip in the air as she sits up and looks outside the windows to see what the weather was going to be like today, she knows already that it was going to be hot and humid. She takes a sponge bath and puts on a pair of shorts and a light tank top she had found that fitted her. So far, no one had figured out that she was the cause of the recent thefts that had occurred last week. She fixes herself some breakfast and then heads down the steps leading up to the trap door, she had put a new lock on it and hid a spare key nearby, so she could let herself in.

She stays in human form as she walks along another path she created, to the road that leads to the tower, so no one would know someone was here. She walks down the road towards the convenience store and filled out the paperwork for job there, she gets around having to show any identity. She told the manager she was waiting on her birth certificate and social security card. She still had a few dollars and bought herself some candy, while she is standing in line to pay for her it, her nose picks up a familiar scent. She looks around and spots the hunters that had come looking for her a week ago. They were buying beer and a few store made sandwiches.

“How are you guys doing?” She walks past them with a smile on her face.

They look at her as she walks past them. Jackie just smiles as she walks out of the store and around town, it has been a while since she
has been in town. It wasn’t very big, but it had enough things to make it interesting. Jackie walks along and does some window-shopping looking at items she might want to buy for the fire tower. She makes a mental list of items that she needed and what she would like. She spends most of the day window-shopping and then makes her way back on foot to the tower. The walk back was peaceful and it wasn’t as humid as she thought it would be.

Jackie slips out of her clothes and changes into one of her cat forms and starts tracking a deer, she could smell its scent nearby. She starts hunting it, her blood was on fire and her mouth was watering as excitement built up in her. It was like the cat part of her was in control and wanted to track down its prey; the thrill of the hunt was intoxicating.

The cat form she into which had changed was that of a cougar. It felt right to her and it was her go-to form, when she couldn’t decide into which form she wanted to change. She manages to capture her prey and brings it down; the warm sweet coppery taste of the deer blood sliding down her throat satisfied the animal half of her. She eats a few good sized chunks in her animal form and then drags it to the tower; she’ll have to clear the tracks later. She skins the deer and reads the directions she had copied, to tan and preserve it. She smokes the meat like she had read and puts some away in an ice filled container. She had found a couple of coolers that still were in good shape and bought some ice to keep them cool.

She’ll take the rest of the deer into town tomorrow and sell it. After she finishes with the deer, she heads towards the nearby river and cleans up; she also enjoys a good swim. It was deserted and she didn’t have to worry about people finding her out. When she gets tired, she gets out and lies down on the soft moss like she did her first night here and relaxes. She didn’t miss having other people around her, and loved where she was and her tower home.

The following week was busy for her, the person who was supposed to relieve her never showed up, so she had to pull a double shift several times during the week. Some of the customers complained that she was slow, but she didn’t let it bother her. The hunters she met the first night came in every day and they kept talking about finding tracks and blood where she had killed the bear and the deer. She had to visit the camp a few more times to steal more clothes to wear. She even visited a few summer homes and such to take what she needed, so that the authorities wouldn’t get suspicious. She managed to sell the spare deer meat to the same guys that bought her bear meat. She even found a bicycle that someone was selling at a yard sale that just needed some grease and oil; the mechanic in town did it for her for a few dollars. She now rode that back and forth to her tower home. She made sure to take several different routes to her tower, so she didn’t leave tracks.

Summer goes by quickly and the camp closed for the winter, which is from where most of the business the store got came. The manager liked her and decided to keep her on during the winter months. She had another part time job in town at the hardware store, so now she could get what she needed for her tower home at a discount. Jackie learned that the hunters would be coming in soon to keep the deer and elk population down. She just smiles, because she has been doing that herself.

She found out that the tower was for sale and bought it with the money she made, so now it belonged to her, she also owned at least ten acres around the tower as well, plus the road that came up to the tower. The money she made paid for the tower and land. She got lucky a few times and found some gems she could sell for the rest of the money she needed. She had bought a generator for her tower, so she now had power. She had installed a make shift shower, so she could take a shower in the morning before heading to work. She had to take her clothes into town to the Laundromat to wash them or use the antique washing machine one of her customers gave her for some work she did for them. During the spring and summer months it was going to be a big help, because she could use it to wash her clothes and hang them on clothes lines on the side of the tower.

Jackie had managed to get a copy of her birth certificate and her social security card without too many problems. She doesn’t know what happened to her father, all that the authorities knew, was there had been a fight in the house and a lot of blood, they couldn’t find his body anywhere.

She stands on her catwalk and shivers as a cold breeze blows by her, she was still in her nightshirt and had a cup of coffee in her hand; she wasn’t due at work for another two hours.

“Nice perch you have there.”

Jackie looks down at the person who had spoken to her, she didn’t even hear or smell him approach, she had seen him a few times in the
hardware store.

“Thank you. What brings you up here on this breezy morning?” Jackie looks down at him.

“I was just out bird watching and saw you standing up there drinking your coffee. Do you mind if I come up?”

Joe wanted to know more about this girl. He had smelled the scent of a were-cat in the area and followed the scent to the tower.

“How about I bring some coffee down for us?” Jackie liked her privacy.

“That’s fine. I’ll be down here at your gate.”

Jackie heads inside her tower and changes into a pair of jeans, a turtle neck shirt and her shoes, she also runs a brush through her hair. She fills the thermos she bought a week ago with the rest of the coffee and grabs a handful of sugar and creamer packets and takes them down with a spare cup.

“Sorry for keeping you waiting, but I needed to change my clothes before coming down.” Jackie unlocks the gate and heads over towards a picnic table she had bought.

“It’s okay.”

Joe follows the young girl. He could smell she was some sort of were-cat, but couldn’t place it, her scent matched what he and a few of his other pack mates had picked up in the woods around here.

“I didn’t know any one lived out here.” Joe sits down at the wooden picnic table that was hidden from view.

“I don’t advertise it. If people knew that a single young girl was living out here by herself, who knows what would happen.”

Jackie’s nose picks up on a strong male musk coming from this guy; she could tell he wasn’t like any of the men she had encountered. Even when she had encountered him in the hardware store, the other men around him had hidden his scent.

“Coffee” Jackie holds out a spare cup to him.

“Sure.” Joe accepts the cup and watches as she pours the coffee from the thermos he had seen her carry down, he could smell that it was the fresh ground type you did yourself. She must have gotten it at Brenda’s shop.

“Would you like some cream or sugar?” Jackie had stopped pouring about a half an inch from the top of the cup.

“No thanks. I prefer my coffee straight black.” Joe takes a sip of it.

“Not me, I have to have cream and sugar in mine.” She picks up her own cup and drinks from it, she looks at the guy sitting near her and didn’t see any binoculars at all.

Joe saw that the girl looking at him; he had seen her before in the hardware store working for Henry and at the convenience store.

“So, you say you were out bird watching this morning. What birds did you see?” Jackie takes a sip of her coffee.
Joe thinks about her question “There was a falcon flying out this morning.”

“A falcon you say? In what area did you see the it, because I’ve been up since the sun came up and I didn’t see any this morning?” Jackie knew what birds were around her and watched the birds every morning.

Joe smiles as he takes a sip of the fresh brew coffee as he looks directly at Jackie.

“You’re very observant. I’ll be honest with you. I came up here today, because I came across some footprints that led me to this tower. I was curious about them and why anyone would be up here, considering there had been a rash of thefts in town earlier this summer.” Joe was looking directly towards Jackie when he said this to her.

“Well, there must have been a good reason for it, if I recall, not much had been taken that couldn’t have been spared.” Jackie could smell the wolf scent coming from this guy.

“True, but it’s still wrong to steal, but that’s not why I am here. It has come to my and several others attention that there is an unusual cat in the area and we are concerned about it.” Joe kept his eyes on Jackie.

Jackie remained calm and tries to think of everything she has read about were-creatures. They were a fascination of hers, since the vampires had come out to the public a few years ago. She knew that were-wolves could smell your scent and if you lied. Maybe he could tell her if she was some sort of were?

“Do I smell like a were-cat?” Jackie sips her coffee and wonders.

Joe tilts his head to one side and inhales her scent.

“Yes and no. You have the scent of a cat about you, but you don’t smell like a were-cat at all. Why do you ask?” Joe couldn’t figure it out, everything was pointing towards the fact that her scent was that of a cat, but she wasn’t registering or even setting off his wolf as a were-creature sense.

“So, that means I am some sort of mutant then.” Jackie had a feeling she was, but now this guy just confirmed it.

“What’s a mutant?” Joe had never heard of a mutant before.

“Haven’t you ever seen the movie X-men or the television show Mutant X before or even the television series Heroes?” Jackie was surprised that this guy had never even heard of the word mutant before.

“Kid, I’m not into comic books or superheroes. All I know is that you aren’t any type of supernatural creature I have ever come across. You smell like a cat; your mannerisms are that of a cat and even your eyes are cat like. Look, all I am asking is that you come to a pack meeting so the rest of my pack can meet you. The reason I am asking you this is, one, like you said, you’re a single teenage girl living by yourself, two, if the other pack members met you, they will know that you’re under our protection. There are other types of supernatural creatures out here that you haven’t met yet and you will be in danger from them. The third reason is, so we can figure out what you are, I have connections with other were-wolf packs that might know more about your abilities.”

Jackie sits there and thinks about this guy’s offer, she would like to know more about herself and what are her abilities, so far, she has only scratched the surface of what she could do.

“When does your pack next meet?” Jackie figures it might be worth checking out the pack and learn more about what she was.

“Whenever or wherever, I say. Normally, we meet during the full moon to gather and hunt as a pack, but during the week we get together and do other things.” Joe didn’t mind answering Jackie’s question.

“Are there any here with you right now?” Jackie was smelt the air to see if she could pick-up a scent.

“No. I wanted to approach you by myself and speak with you first.” Joe wanted to be friends first with her.

“Okay, I’ll meet with your pack.” Jackie figures the worst they could do would be to kill her.

Edited By: Dave



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