Rhett's shoulder ached. Thank god for Canada's free healthcare. He did not want to imagine paying for several appointments.
The paramedics looked at his shoulder, when he had arrived at the hospital and were confused. Why was a man shirtless and driving to the hospital with such a deep shoulder wound? Even Rhett couldn't really explain that to them. Couldn't explain what or how he got the wound.
The doctor frowned after cleaning and dressing the wound, "I'm going to put you on antibiotics. Because if I didn't know any better, I would say it looks an awful lot like a human mouth did that. But the wound is too clean. So Mr. McLaughlin, when you get home, check for blood and remove whatever caused this injury, alright?"
Rhett could feel the way he was staring past the doctor as he hummed an affirmative.
When he got home, Link was sitting on his stoop, Barbara in his lap. The man was shaking like a leaf. "Hey neighbor," he swung the door shut behind him as he walked towards the cabin.
Blue eyes looked up in terror, "I- You-" the guy couldn't seem to figure out how to start his sentence.
"All patched up. Must have taken a stumble last night."
Link's eyes were large and round, Rhett didn't miss the way the creature scooted away from him like he was the monster.
There was a tremble to his hand as he shopped for groceries. The burning sensation from his wound trailing hot fire through his blood.
He knew he wasn't turning into a wendigo, that's not how the curse worked. But he couldn't help but think something was spreading from the wound and into his system.
Link would patiently sit on his porch, waiting for the blond to return. Would take the bags from him with trembling fingers.
As if the monster was afraid of the human .
The days were getting shorter, and colder. Rhett was beginning to get curious about how Link survived out in the forest during the winter. If there were campers or ice fishers he hunted.
He heard about the couple that had gone missing in the woods near here. Locals had said they pair must have eloped somewhere else. That no one would be able to find anything in the woods.
That the locals were trying to hard the dark secret roaming the night calling out in hunger. The one he saw on the edge of his property looking like the cat who caught the canary the same morning the couple was reported to have gone missing.
Yet, it was never his hands that trembled when he interacted with Link. The creature still going out of his way to help Rhett even though the wound was almost healed.
As if Link owed him for the injury, as if he felt bad for seeking out sustenance.
They never talked about that night. Not about the bite, not about the soft moan that spooked the creature into the night. It was like nothing had happened.
That wasn't true. Link was terrified. You could see it in the shake of his hands, the blue of those inhuman eyes.
And Rhett had to wonder.
Was Link the monster in this horror story? Or was he?