Who was Jacob? Almost as soon as I thought this, a russet-coloured face appeared, lit up by a wide white smile. The overlarge boy shook his head, shaggy hair bouncing in his silent laughter. Another memory took me.

“Thank God you’re safe, Bells,” he growled as he crushed me in a hug. Muffled by his shirt, my reply was incoherent.

“How did you get away?” I asked tearfully when he released me. His clothes were torn in places, very dirty.

“We’ve been keeping in wolf form. They don’t pay attention to animals. They don’t know that we’re unusual, see. There aren’t many humans left about who would tell them.”

I saw how his face twisted into a grimace.

“What about everyone on the reservation – Billy?”

“They’re at Billy’s summer house.”

“Billy has a summer house?” For a moment I was too surprised to feel relief. He grimaced again.

“Well – it belonged to my mother. That’s why not many people knew about it. It’s like a small ranch house in the forest. The – things –“ he gritted his teeth “- don’t wander about in there. They think any humans who are in there won’t last for long.”

“But what about them? Do they have enough food – space – for the whole reservation?”

There was grief in his expression.

“Not everybody made it out. Most of them did though – it’s a tight squeeze, and there are rations on what they have managed to obtain and hunt, but they’re doing okay. The pack is eating wild to save their supplies.”

I nodded absentmindedly, just glad that almost everyone was all right. My stomach twisted as I thought of Renee and Phil. There had still been no word, and there was no way they had gotten that flight to Florida. If they had escaped the airport... I imagined what might have happened. The aliens would escort them to the trucks, Renee tearful, protective Phil standing up for her, getting Tasered when he was too outspoken, my mother’s sobs of fear...


The End

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