Digging through the dark, winding caverns near Rosendale, a group of dirty and grizzled miners were digging for precious minerals and other minerals deemed useful for humankind's usage. Striking their pickaxes in the ground, a few of the miners would find a few shining stones. Deeper down in the caves, a couple hundred miners were sorting through rocks to find just the right mineral. Some of these were diamonds, which others were just pieces of useless stones which served no use or couldn’t be sold for large amounts of money.
“Alright everyone, it’s lunch time, so use this time wisely!” Bill the Foreman informed the miners as he ran a bell, signaling that it was their break. The miners began to walk away from their work, chattering among each other about various aspects of work.
“Hey boss, we found something down here, you’re gonna want to see this!” A worker in the deep ends of the mine called out to Bill the Foreman, sounding somewhat urgent.
“Dude, I bet it’s something really expensive and valuable for once.” A worker told his friend, who nodded as they pulled out their lunch pails to eat.
“This had better be something important, I don’t want to walk all the way down for some dumb bullets from the Civil War or something else equally stupid.” Bill the Foreman grumbled as he began to walk down through the mine. A few lamps attached to the walls of the mine lit the way deep down, showing a flight of stairs made to descend into the deepest parts of the new mine.
However, the sight that Bill the Foreman gazed upon made him drop a small lantern he was carrying, which shattered on the ground. A few of the workers were gathered around the wall of a mine, which had strange figures sticking out, their hands reaching out for something in front of them. A few gems were encrusted in these statues, which reflected light from a few small lanterns These strange, muscular, humanoid beings were made of a white granite-like material, looking almost like statues made by the ancient Roman artists. However, the main feature that separated them from normal humans were wings, with each figure having two bird-like wings. Each one of these statue-like beings had a terrifying expression of absolute rage, horrifying a few of the mine workers.
“My lord, we have to tell someone! This is the discovery of the lifetime!” Bill the Foreman gasped in pure surprise and a bit of horror, almost fainting as he landed flat on the ground, marvelling at the sight of this angelic beings.
“They’re real, the angels are real! My prayers have been answered!” A worker declared, his frantic voice jumping between excitement, with a twinge of inner joy. The piercing look of these statue humanoids cut through the other workers, causing them to run away with great fright.
The soft and cold snow seemed to sprinkle down on the long streets of New York City like little flakes of sugar from a sifter. Already being a fairly crowded and amazingly busy city, the winter weather oddly enough only seemed to boost congestion and traffic. Cars carefully drove down the slick roads, covered with a fresh coating of ice. Most of the streets were completely backed up, with cars angrily honking at each other. This was quite interesting behavior for the people of New York City, as the date was December nineteenth, nineteen-ninety six.
For most people in the metropolis known as New York City, this would christmastime, a time for forced joy, expensive gifts for whiny children, freshly cut christmas trees that were most likely grown in terrible conditions, and the wondrous joy of interacting with your in-laws. People were out and about doing various holiday errands, like buying the newest plush toy in the “Tickle-Me” line or the newest Power Morphin’ Mighty Ranger robots and action figures.
People pushed and shoved each other as they tried to grab the newest toy, showing their true holiday spirit. The electronic stores weren’t safe either, as new phones and personal computers had begun to enter the marketplace. Rich men and women crowded around some teenaged employee, trying to grab the newest model of cellular phone from the poor kid’s hands. A few fat, smelly nerds were arguing about War Stars I, a new polarizing movie that had just come out.
However, there were a few safe spots, refuges from the chaos of the winter holiday season though they were few and far between. One of these safe zones was Danny’s Warm Bagels and Sandwiches, a little family-owned jewish delicatessen tucked into the folds of the city. There are were a few customers, mostly people trying to hide from the holiday terror.
However, the doors to the jewish delicatessen opened with the chime of light bells, revealing an old customer. Looking around twenty-one, this young man had brown hair, which was a bit spiked as it pointed towards the sky. Blinking his blue eyes, this man stretched a bit, walking towards the cash register. With a fluffy brown tail and brown wolf-like ears, this customer grinned while wearing a green shirt, brown pants, a light purple scarf.
“Good morning again, Mister Joseph Wolfe, will it be the original again?” The cashier greeted the regular customer, with his name being Joseph Wolfe.
“Hello again, Mister Joey! I’ll have the usual for breakfast!” Joseph Wolfe responded to the owner of deli, his voice filled with energetic bravado and a showy personality.
“Alright then, one bagel with schmear and lox sandwich with a small cup of coffee coming right up.” Joey noted as he walked back into the main kitchen, his slightly fat belly jiggling as he walked. Though his hair was gray and his eyesight was beginning to go, old Joey could still run his little delicatessen, which was open for twenty-four hours straight. Sitting down at a small table, Joseph Wolfe began to watch whatever was on the television.
“Oh man, today is gonna be super, super busy with all of this Christmas holiday consumerism nonsense.” Joseph Wolfe sighed aloud as he sat back in a little chair. Watching the sky drop down more snow, Joseph Wolfe began stretching his upper body as his tail began to wag. Looking around the small deli, a few people were seen eating bagels, filled with various fillings. The savory bagels were filled with cream cheese while the sweeter bagels were filled with strawberry jelly.
“Dude, I’ve seen that weird horned girl hanging around here now.” Kendrick gossiped to his friend Howard as Joseph Wolfe eavesdropped on their little conversation. Both Kendrick and his friend Howard were regulars at the jewish deli, often coming in and buying breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
“Yeah, I’ve heard from a co-worker that she has that weird grey skin and those orange and yellow horns, it sounds quite creepy..” Howard replied with a spooky tone, trying to show how long her horns were with his hands.
“I heard some guys from out in the countryside are going out to find her, they’re taking their dirty truck.” Kendrick noted as he took a sip of his pure black coffee.
“Those crazy fools probably think she’s a hellish demon of some kind, I hope they don’t hurt her for some dumb ritual.” Howard sighed as he mixed some sugar and light cream into his coffee.
“Well, looks like I’ve got someone new to protect today, hopefully I can find that horned girl soon.” Joseph Wolfe noted as got up, walking towards the counter of the deli.
“One regular bagel and large coffee, here ya go Joseph.” Joey told Joseph Wolfe as he handed the Half-Wolf his breakfast. This bagel was a regular bagel, filled with soft cream cheese, briny lox, along with sliced red onions and tomatoes.
“Very nice! I just love that special smell of pure black roasted coffee on a snowy New York City morning!” Joseph Wolfe declared, flashing a little smile as he sniffed his freshly made coffee.
“Thanks, I do wonder why you love this kind of stuff so much, very few people like their coffee fully black without even a grain of sugar.” Joey chuckled as he began to sweep around his little deli.
“Back where I lived as a children, there was no such thing as coffee, as it simply wasn’t there,” Joseph Wolfe began his explanation to Joey as he took a bite out of his bagel sandwich, “So to me, drinking coffee is absolute closest thing to heaven and something I can do here in New York.”
“I know you came from a foreign land, but gosh, what country on Earth has no coffee to drink?”Joey questioned Joseph Wolfe, wondering about coffee beans being farmed all over the world.
“Europe, with lots of wolves, kings, and the family I left behind.” Joseph Wolfe tried to tell Joey, who simply rolled his eyes as a response.
“Well, Joseph, you got any plans for the rest of today? I’ve heard everyone around the city is pretty busy preparing for the holidays.” Joey asked Joseph Wolfe as he added some salt to his bagel sandwich.
“I’m gonna protect that girl with the horns, you?” Joseph Wolfe replied, asking a question to Joey in response.
“I’m probably just gonna stay inside decorate my deli or watch stop motion christmas movies, just some low key things.” Joey sighed as he looked towards a small box full of newly bough hanukkah ornaments. Most of them looked pretty cheap, though no one would complain even if he didn’t decorate his little delicatessen.
“Well, I hope you have a good holiday season too, Joey!” Joseph Wolfe responded before running out the door, again ringing the little bell as he waved goodbye.
Stepping outside, Joseph Wolfe caught a fairly strange scent. This scent smelt like a mix of cheap whisky from the local gas station, freshly made gunpowder from the gunshop, and the awful aroma of what could be called “country cookin’” from who knows where. Ducking behind a packed car which was covered with piles of soft, fresh snow, Joseph Wolfe looked towards a small diner, called Tom’s Restaurant.
“Get out, you demon-looking freak! Those comedians don’t want you around to scare all of the people!” A chef roared at a young woman. This girl was wearing fairly dirty clothing, keeping herself warm with a tattered blanket and wearing an old hat on her head.
“Please, I just need some food, anything will help!” The poor girl begged as she was physically kicked out of the old-fashioned diner.
“Hell no! You won’t get any money out of me, demon! I’m quite religious, so I hope you go to hell!” The chef sneered one last time at the girl, before he harshly closed the door to his restaurant.
“Dang, I know New Yorkers aren’t the kindest Americans but my gosh, that was terrible thing to do.” Joseph Wolfe sighed as he noticed a group of men approach the girl in their truck. This American-made truck was white, but covered with all sorts of dirt and mud, most likely from the countryside. A few Confederate flags were painted on the sides of the truck, showing their true allegiance.
“Hey, it’s that girl with the demon horns!” The leader of these men, named Cletus, exclaimed vigorously as he pointed at the young woman. Cletus had dirty blond hair, with a slightly fit body and wearing a bright-red baseball cap. Carrying a few beers on his belt and a shotgun on his back, Cletus was well armed for anything that could happen.
Trying to run away as fast as her thin legs could take her, the girl was stopped by two more of these men, named Billy and Otis. Billy had brown hair while Otis had blond hair, both seeming like they shared a grandmother or grandfather in an incestuous relationship. Trembling in fear, the girl was quickly backed into the corner of a small cafe, in a slightly darkened alley.
“We're gonna expose y'all faw the devil that there y'all are!” Otis declared as he pulled the hat off the young girl. This expose her horns, revealing that she was the girl that the two men gossiped about in the deli.
With grey-colored skin, yellow eyes, and those infamous horns, this young woman appeared around the age of eighteen or nineteen. The look in her yellow eyes was that of absolute terror, like she’d been afraid of something chasing her during her whole life, though her eyes looked like beautiful full moons. The horned girl’s black shirt, which had quite a few holes, was stained with dried blood, most likely from previous attack on her being from other losers. Joseph Wolfe gasped a bit, seeing how this horned girl was quite cute, attractive even.
“Just leave me alone!” The horned girl cried out trying to cover her face as Otis and Billy began to kick her. Crying as she felt the stinging pain of the kicking, the horned girl watched as Cletus bent down to her face.
“Ay didn't think that there ayy demon would look like this here, perhaps we'll make some mowney on the side.” Cletus quietly noted as he rubbed his gross-looking fingers down her chest, which was about average size. Cletus rubbed down her thin, exposed stomach, making her wriggle as his cold fingers ran across her belly. Finally reaching the horned girl’s crotch, Cletus placed his knife where the horned girl’s privates.
“Please, stop touching me!" The horned girl begged Cletus, who licked his lips as he unbuttoned the horned girls tattered pants.
“Tawture huurr faw mowney! Tawture huurr faw mowney!” The group of men chanted like a wild cult as Cletus flipped the horned girl onto her stomach. Struggling as she felt the gross breath of the sick man, this young girl with horns could only cry as she was quickly hog-tied by a few of her attackers.
“Quick, we can't let anybody see us tying up this here girl!” Cletus ordered his friends as they put a gag in the horned girl’s mouth. This poor girl tried to cry out, watery tears spilling down her face as she was dumped into a pickup truck’s back. The men laughed as Otis and Billy both took out weathered baseball bats, showing them off to their friends.
“Here, ay'll hit ayy home run ayn' send huurr back ta hell!” Otis boasted as he struck the horned girl in the back with the baseball bat. The horned girl cried out painfully, but her screams were easily muffled by the well-made gag. Otis gave her another hit, this time hitting her square in the stomach.
“Ay'm gonna get something ta drink, ay'll be raheet back.” Billy told his friends as he walked into a small convenience store. Tipping his hat at the white cashier, Billy headed down to the alcohol section.
Looking through the many types of cheap beer and whisky in the clearance alcohol section, Billy didn’t notice as Joseph Wolfe lightly tapped on his shoulder. Slowly checking over his shoulder, Billy could barely react fast enough as he was grabbed by his weak-looking legs and thrown through the convenience store. Being forced through the large windows of the convenience store, Billy landed flat on the streets, his skin scraping across the ground and slipping on the fresh sheets of ice.
“Billy! What the hell done happened ta y'all?!” Cletus desperately asked his friend, trying to get him off the street. Cletus and Otis dragged their injured friend off the streets, quickly placing him on the snowy sidewalk.
“It were some guy who done looked like ayy wolf!” Billy strongly replied, sounding like he’d been seriously injured. Attempting to scamper away, Billy watched as Joseph Wolfe walked out of the convenience store. The sound of Joseph Wolfe cracking his knuckles could be heard before he looked at Billy and his friends.
“Come on dude, you’ll live. Just go to the hospital or something, or just drink a bunch of that whisky you wanted.” Joseph Wolfe sighed as he gazed upon Billy, Cletus, Otis, and the three other men. Each one had different injuries
“Who the hell are y'all?!” Cletus questioned Joseph Wolfe, who returned the angry question with a small smile. Reaching into his pockets, Joseph Wolfe pulled out a pair of clackers, which were a pair of metal balls attached to a string, which the user would swing around.
“Yo! The name’s Joseph, Joseph Wolfe! I’m basically here to save that horned girl you’ve captured!” Joseph Wolfe happily replied to these men, beginning to swing his clackers, making a loud clacking sound. The group of men were mesmerized, looking at his swinging clackers.
“Hey, those there things are toys! Y'all're nahwt scaring us!” Billy boasted to Joseph Wolfe, his voicing showing a bit of drunken courage. The other men began to laugh as well, with Joseph Wolfe giving a confident grin.
“If you’re all so confident in your skills, then why not fight me?” Joseph Wolfe offered Cletus and his group of friends. Moving his hand at the men, quickly beckoning the group of as a gesture to fight.
“This here guy is ayy joke, shoot him down right where he stands!” Cletus ordered his friends, who pulled out various pistols and hunting rifles. All of the men aimed at their firearms Joseph Wolfe, who simply grinned as his clackers began to glow a radiant blue color.
“Come on all you boys, take your best shot!” Joseph Wolfe taunted the group of men, who began to fire at the confident Half-Wolf. Spinning his clackers out in front of his body, Joseph Wolfe created a bright-blue ki barrier around his front. This special clacker barrier bounced the bullets away with ease, making Joseph Wolfe’s smile grow even larger.
“Is this here guy magic aw something?” Otis asked one of the other guys as their guns ran out of bullets, who could only shrug as an answer to his friend.
“Nope, I’m just really creative with how I use my Ki in attacks! But in a way, it does kind of make me magical!” Joseph Wolfe replied as he punched squarely Otis in the face, sending him flying in the side of a parked car. The parked car’s alarm blared, causing Otis to scream and attempt to cover his ears.
“Y'all bastard! That there were my friend!” Cletus cried out as he drew a long hunting knife and ran towards Joseph Wolfe with the prepared for an attack. Grinning wide like a cheshire cat in Wonderland as he jumped out of the way, Joseph Wolfe slammed his Ki-powered clackers right in Cletus’s face, causing him to scream out as he felt the powerful ki hit his face.
“You see, most Ki users just install with combat-type Ki with weapons or their own fists, while I prefer to add them to other unorthodox things like metal clackers, lawn darts, and yo-yos.” Joseph Wolfe explained as Cletus fell to the ground, clasping his face in pain.
“This here guy can't see me frawum behind!” A man by the name of Bubba declared as he tried to pounce at Joseph Wolfe, brandishing an axe. This axe itself was pretty rusty, looking older than any of the men in which Joseph Wolfe did battle.
“Speaking of lawn darts, I’ll show you guys a new technique of mine!” Joseph Wolfe announced as he threw a bright-red lawn dart at Bubba, causing him to fall as the large dart hit his shoulder. Bubba collapsed to the ground, with beginning to drip down from his wound.
“How does this here dinky little dart hurt so much!? It feels like ay'm a-bein' by bees hundreds av times!” Bubba cried out, trying to pull the lawn dart from his shoulder, which stopped bleeding. However, Bubba could still feel the pain in the middle of his shoulder increase, even as the wound disappeared.
“My lawn darts won’t kill you, but they’ll cause a great deal of pain to those who I fight against.” Joseph Wolfe answered smugly as Bubba tried to pull the lawn dart out of his shoulder.
“Y'all done won't beat us that there easily!” Billy declared as he had set up a powerful machine gun and began to fire at Joseph Wolfe. The noisy shots seemed to pierce through the snow, leaving holes like a little worm. Joseph Wolfe smirked as Billy aimed at Joseph Wolfe, firing at the Half-Wolf.
“Well, you and the many disgusting cockroaches of New York hotels share a good many things in common!” Joseph Wolfe chuckled as he seemed to grab the bullets away with his bare hands. Grinning towards Billy, who’d just run out of fresh ammunition, Joseph Wolfe began to put ki into his scarf, which began to glow the same blue color as his clackers as the scarf began to extend.
“Ay can still run! Y'all done won't be able ta catch me!” Billy exclaimed as he attempted to run off from the battle. However, young Billy was quickly ensnared, captured by Joseph Wolfe’s now lengthened scarf. Entangling like the web of a spider catching a mosquito, Joseph Wolfe’s scarf was more than enough to restrain the fairly injured man.
“Thankfully I’ve got most of you now under control now.” Joseph Wolfe sighed happily, not noticing the last man, named Joe, sneaking up carrying a sharpened dagger.
“Ay've done got y'all know, wolfboy!” Joe roared as he jumped onto Joseph Wolfe, who didn’t seem to react to this attack. Raising the dagger over his head, Joe prepared to strike the finish blow to the Half-Wolf.
“Don’t worry, your friend should be joining you down here soon.” Joseph Wolfe assured Billy as Otis quickly and soundly fell into a full garbage dump, with the top closing down on his exposed arm.
“Why done y'all do this here ta us?” Cletus weakly asked Joseph Wolfe, who didn’t even turn around to notice this man speaking.
“I’m here to rescue that horned girl you’ve hurt, and I see you’ve got her all tied up in your ugly truck.” Joseph Wolfe replied, walking towards Cletus and his friend’s old and beaten up truck. Pulling out the same small butterfly knife from his pocket, Joseph Wolfe quickly slashed the truck’s tires, letting out all of their air and ruining the men’s chance at escape.
With her eyes blocked by painful tears and blood, the horned girl could barely watch as she was taken out from the back of the truck and placed on the snowy ground. Joseph Wolfe used his special butterfly knife to cut the ropes that bound her body, then removing the gag from her mouth. The horned girl now looked upon Joseph Wolfe, seeing his thin but somewhat muscular figure. Placing her hands on the young Half-Wolf’s chest, the horned girl gave Joseph Wolfe a hug, sobbing into his chest.
“Thank you so much for saving me!” The horned girl happily cried as she thanked Joseph Wolfe, clinging to the Half-Wolf tightly. Joseph Wolfe smiled, put his hand on the horned girl’s head, feeling her soft hair. Each strand of hair felt soft, like put his hands through a dog’s fur.
“Well, uh, of course, you seemed like you needed some help.” Joseph Wolfe replied nervously, his wonderful face blushing a bright-red color as the horned girl faced the Half-Wolf. As the two just looked at each other, the horned girl’s stomach began to grumble, stumbling a bit as she stepped back.
“Do you have anything I can eat? I haven’t eaten anything for days...” The horned girl asked Joseph Wolfe, holding her thin stomach.
“Of course! I’ve got a half of a bagel sandwich right here!” Joseph Wolfe replied as he happily gave the horned girl his half of the bagel sandwich. The horned girl licked her lips as she was handed the bagel sandwich, still quite fresh from a few minutes ago.
“Thank you so much, Mister Joseph Wolfe!” The horned girl thanked Joseph Wolfe once again as she began to chow down on the bagel sandwich half. Watching her, Joseph Wolfe noticed something that seemed quite a bit off. Joseph Wolfe realized this, and immediately looked at the horned girl.
“Wait a minute, how did you know my name?” Joseph Wolfe questioned the horned girl, who had just finished eating her half of the bagel sandwich. Licking the rest of the cream cheese from her face with a long tongue, the horned girl looked back at Joseph Wolfe.
“Oh, I heard about you and your adventures before from some of the local New Yorkers, so I’ve been looking just for you to help me.” The horned girl answered Joseph Wolfe’s question as felt the Half-Wolf’s hands.
“Well, that thought kind of makes sense when you think about the details of my local fame,” Joseph Wolfe began to note as he walked away from the scene with the horned girl, “I’m a bit of a minor celebrity around here, fighting the gangs and other street punks.”
“By the way, my name is Chelesa, it’s nice to meet you, Joseph Wolfe.” The horned girl, named Chelesa, happily introduced herself to Joseph Wolfe. Grinning a bit, Joseph Wolfe happily and firmly shook Chelsea's hand, which felt quite warm to the touch, like he’d grabbed a heat stone.
“Oh my, you’ve really got quite a warm hand there, Chelesa.’ Joseph Wolfe pointed out to Chelesa, softly stroking her soft, grey hand. Blushing red at the Half-Wolf, Chelesa began to walk with Joseph Wolfe through the New York snow.
“Thank you, people who know me say I’m pretty warm.” Chelesa replied, giving Joseph Wolfe a little smile as they left the scene, leaving Cletus and his friends in the cold snow.
“Well, would you like to stay at my place?” Joseph Wolfe offered Chelesa, pointing to an apartment complex nearby. Chelesa quickly nodded, grasping onto Joseph Wolfe’s left arm as they began their walk back home. However, as the two walked back, a girl in a nice suit and a white mask was watching Chelesa and Joseph Wolfe, following them through the city...