Hello, everyone! Welcome back to BITTEN! I'm so sorry that this episode took this long to be released. My life has been pretty busy lately, but I've got some good news! Since this week is Thanksgiving, my workload will be significantly decreased. My goal is to release two chapters of the story this week - meaning Episode 4 (you're reading it right now) and Episode 5. I can't guarantee Episode 5 will come this week, but I'll work on it. Thank you so much for your patience and support for me in this story. Here are the links to previous episodes. You can find the links for future episodes in my signature as they are released, so stay tuned! -/- | TEASER | Episode 1 | Episode 2 | Episode 3 | Episode 4 (Yay, it's here!) | -\- WARNING! As always, BITTEN contains the following themes: Violence Blood and Gore Other Horror Elements Readers, proceed with caution. You have been warned. Here's the tag list. If you want to be on the list, you can either follow me or simply request to be added. That way, you can always be notified when a new episode is released! If you want to be removed from the list, just say so below. @Alexonn @AnotherLaDevotee @Asuzo @Bheryl @CapsLock_ @GamingWithJ3n // Waffle @ISpoooookyPanda @Kokeno @Kra3tys @PartyZoneAugust @_Remmeh_ @SilverAkita @The_Spice @TheYoshinatorz @Yokono @Zero-kun Thank you all so much for the support! I love hearing your feedback about the story. I hope you enjoy Episode 4! Read on! Spoiler: EPISODE 4 -/- Episode 4: More Violence -\- "It's safe. Come on in," Samuel said over his shoulder. Rose shuffled inside alongside Elizabeth, who was holding Lily tightly. Once inside, Rose quickly shut and locked the door behind her. The cold air pushed against the wind chime hanging on the front porch, creating violent, but somehow soothing music that penetrated the front door. "Alright, you three," Samuel said softly. "If anyone sees anything suspicious, let me know right away. I don't want anyone to be alone anywhere for more than a few minutes unless Elizabeth or I allow it. Make sense?" Rose and Lily nodded. The family slowly removed their coats and scarves; Rose hung hers on the pegs suspended from the wall and turned to enter the kitchen. She picked up a glass and filled it with water from the sink. Samuel entered the kitchen and turned to Rose. "Well, I dropped your blood sample off at the lab," he stated. "We should hear back by tomorrow morning. I think you'll be fine. Does your bite still hurt?" "No," Rose said as she glanced at the bandages that still covered her forearm. "I haven't felt anything since you killed that... thing." "I still think that's very strange," Samuel replied as he wandered around the kitchen slowly. "I'm glad you're not in pain, but I don't quite understand why it's so neutral. Perhaps the lab can shed some light on that. Until then, try to stay safe, okay?" Rose nodded and slowly sipped water from her glass. She made sure Samuel knew that she was going to her room to change, and after he approved, she made her way upstairs using the staircase by the front door. Feeling safe inside her bedroom, Rose quickly opened her closet and changed her clothes. She glanced at the mirror to see herself before leaving. Wearing a gray hoodie and blue jeans, she pulled her long hair up and formed a large braid. After cleaning up her bed a little, she turned out the lights and returned to the main floor. "...know if she'll be okay," said Elizabeth. Rose could hear her parents talking from the kitchen. "I told you, I don't think that thing had rabies," Samuel replied, clearly a bit tired. "It wasn't foaming, and it just attacked her. She didn't provoke it. Whatever it was, it's dead and we'll hear about her blood sample tomorrow. Until then, Liz, please get some rest. We need to be able to keep the kids calm." Rose strolled into the kitchen, trying to be as casual as possible. "Where's Lily?" she inquired. "Watching the television," Elizabeth replied quickly. "I made sure she wasn't watching the news." "Speaking of the news," Samuel said, "we should check it the first chance we get. I want to know what's going on out there. I don't think you two should watch... it might get graphic considering what's been going on." "I'm watching," Rose said firmly. "I was bitten, so I want to know what's happening." Elizabeth agreed to tend to Lily while the news was on, and Rose sat to wait for the program to start. * -/- * -\- * "I'm Jess, and this is the twelve-o-clock news," said a voice from the television. A woman in a purple blouse sat at the desk and spoke to address the news. "Terror continues to grip the four-county area," Jess said, "but this tragedy continues to spread. Other neighboring counties have experienced attacks, and even a town in the neighboring state spotted a creature that fits the description of these attacks. "Fifteen attacks have been reported since last night's evening report. Of the eighteen victims, five have died. The other thirteen have been hospitalized, and their current health is unknown." "Why didn't we go to the hospital, Dad?" Rose asked shakily. "Because I didn't think it was necessary," Samuel replied simply. "You aren't feeling any pain, and you don't seem to be sick. If your blood sample comes back with a bad report, we can go to the hospital." Rose zoned out for a moment and sank into thought. Why were these attacks happening? What could be going on out there? She was already attacked once; it wouldn't be too unlikely for it to happen again, right? "The creatures reported in the attacks all seem to have the same general description," Jess stated, and Rose snapped back into focus. "Large and furry, with four legs and a powerful bite. They all seem to be in the canine family. Other species of attackers have not been reported but could be possible. All residents of the nearby counties are recommended to stay indoors as much as possible, and to stay away from animals." "Do you still want a pet?" Samuel joked, grinning. "More news will come this evening, but we hope nothing eventful will arise before then. This strange phenomenon is spreading. Stay inside. Do not go outdoors at night. There is strength in numbers, so try to stay with someone at all times. This is a serious condition. Do not underestimate their strength." The news program cut off shortly, and Rose stared at her father. "Dad," she whispered, "what's going to happen to us?" Samuel placed an arm on Rose's shoulders and hugged her. "We'll be alright, Rose. Don't be afraid. I might just have an idea." * -/- * -\- * "Elizabeth, what do you think? Should we go?" Samuel and Rose had just explained to Elizabeth what was happening on the news. Elizabeth seemed shaken, but still firm. "We don't have a camper, honey," Elizabeth replied, skeptical. "How are we going to be able to leave if the only vehicle we have is that old thing? That won't get us where we need to go." Samuel stood still for a moment, apparently deep in thought. Suddenly, his expression brightened and he fished a small card out of his pocket. He rushed to the telephone with a smile on his face. Everyone was silent for a moment while Samuel waited for the other line to pick up. "Mr. Walker?" he asked. "This is Samuel Lupus. We met each other at the supermarket today, remember? I need some help."