Chapter 7 Tuesday, 0700 hours (7:AM)
When I woke up, I felt great. We were being held as prisoners at a zoo. That was incredibly wild. I looked out the window. The sun shined bright and the zoo seemed empty. It felt spooky in a nice way, and beautiful. Yeah, we were locked in our room, but we weren't trapped. There were vines and things growing up the wall of the building. We could always climb out the window and down to the ground. There were wild animals out there, but I'm sort of a wild animal myself. While I was looking out the window, a couple of the other kids came over. We looked for some wild animals, but couldn't see any.
Then we heard someone unlock the door. "Okay, guys, Breakfast."
That reminded me that I was starved. Without even putting on my shoes, I ran out into the other room. I saw heaps of food on rolling carts. We pounced on the food and while we scouts all ate together, Jeffrey went over to eat with his father. I sort of missed Rom.
After breakfast, the Calfers sent us back to our room. They said Jeffrey could stay in the other room with his dad, but Jeffrey decided to come back in with us. Boy. It was too bad he wasn't a werewolf.
After breakfast we got bored again. There was nothing to do. I think I called Jeffrey a name.
"I am not," Jeffrey said.
"You are too."
"I don't remember what we were arguing about, but it was fun.
"Are too, and you stink," I said.
"Well, you stink too, XXXX"
I wrote XXXX instead of what he really said. He used the nickname my parents called me when I was very little. I promised my Cub Pack that I'd kill anyone who called me that. I wondered how Jeffrey found out.
"Jeffrey. You're dead meat," I said. Then I jumped on him. It was a pretty even fight. Jeffrey was a little taller and heavier, but I'm wilder. Then we heard a loud bang on the door. I think a Calfer hit the door with his gun. I guess he wanted us to be quiet. Jeffrey and I froze, and then we looked at each other. I think we both knew then that we were having fun.
After a while, we got bored again. I thought it would be fun to have an official den meeting so I called one. We talked a lot of Cub Scout stuff while Jeffrey just sat on a bunk and stared at us. We ended the meeting with our pack cheer. We all joined hands and yelled, "Pack 666. Wild and free."
"Wild and free. Yeah, sure," said Jeffrey. "You're not exactly free and I don't think you're particularly wild. And with those dumb uniforms, you guys all look the same."
"That's because we're a pack," I said. Then I threw back my head and howled. The rest of the pack howled too. Someone banged on the door again, but we just howled louder. A lot of Cub Scout packs howl, even if they're not werewolves.
After we stopped howling, we played some scout games but we really wanted to go outside and play.
"You can't go out," said Jeffrey. "There are wild animals out there."
"I'm wild too," I said.
Jeffrey didn't answer.
"You know, Jeffrey," I said, "You're tame and domesticated. Big cities do that to kids, I've been told. You should be more like us."
"Yeah. Wild and free." He didn't say it nicely.
"Yes, wild and free."
"I'm every bit as wild as you, Cat."
"Are not. "
"Yes, I am. And I don't need any stupid uniform to be wild."
That made me mad. "I don't either."
I took off my scout shirt. The rest of the pack took off their shirts too. Jeffrey stared at me, and then took off his shirt. We looked at each other for a while and then I took off my socks. The pack did too, and so did Jeffrey. It was sort of like a dare. Then I took off my pants and stood there wearing only my underpants. The pack did the same, and then so did Jeffrey. The kid was okay.
"Alright. So we're all wild," I said, "but we're not free. I don't know about you Jeffrey, but we're getting out of here." Then I opened the window all the way and jumped up on the sill. I looked back at Jeffrey.
"You're crazy. There are dangerous animals out there, and besides, you'll freeze to death."
"Naa. It's warm as toast outside. Anyway, we know what animals are dangerous, and what aren't. We'll hang out with those that aren't."
I could see my pack liked the idea, and they all came up to the window. I looked back at the door, where someone was banging with a rifle butt again. "If they like animals then we'll be animals."
I came dangerously close to violating the prime precept and telling I was a werewolf. But I didn't tell. No werewolf would.
I looked back at Jeffrey. "You'll find us hanging out with the wolves, and if you're not coming with us, at least don't tell CALF where we are."
"You're nuts, Cat. I'm not coming."
"Fine," I said. Then I jumped out the window and climbed to the ground on the vines. I waited at the bottom until the rest of the pack got down. Then I noticed that we were all wearing only underpants, and that gave me an idea.
"Wait here a minute. I've got to go back for something."
I climbed back up, and stuck my head in the window. Jeffrey stood in the middle of the room with all our scout uniforms scattered on the floor around him.
"Jeffrey. Hand me my canteen. It's the dirty blue one over there."