The Brown Overall
Fenrir howls; the sound cascades like a wave through the trees, scaring birds and squirrels. Freedom! Freedom to eat whatever he wants! To shit whenever he wants! Sleep whenever he wants! Freedom!
He flips around and rolls around in the underbrush, reveling in the smells of nature; of pine and snow, that acrid, powerful scent. He gets up on four paws and starts to make a list. Reaching Fallowfell is number one on that list. But first he needs information– he’s twenty years out of the loop after all.
He takes up a groundeating run that turns kilometers into nothing. An ordinary wolf can maintain a speed of fifty to sixty kilometers an hour, give or take. In his monstruous form, Fenrir can double that speed.
Ten hours later he stops at the edge of a small town. No, not town. A couple of houses in the middle of nowhere. The scent of a small store wafts from the north. A village, really. But it will do. He reforms his shape, doing something that only he and Loki can do; taking the shape of a dog, rather than that of a wolf. Less conscipucous that way, he figures.
He passes the first house and inhales.A baby, two females, one which is the mother to the child, all present in the house. No, not this one.
The second house has cats, which by process of elimination removes it from the count.
The third house is empty. Fenrir smiles a dog’s smile. He trots a lap around it, searching for a wantage point where he won’t be spotted. On finding it, an outside deck next to the house, he shapeshifts into his two-legged form. He grows the nail of forefinger longer and places it against a glass-door. Applying pressure and drawing a circle an oval of glass tumbles out. He puts his arm through the hole, and unlocks the door.
He takes one hesitant step inside. No alarms are triggered, a possibility he had considered. He catalogues the room in front of him; living room with a sleek screen mounted on the wall. He has heard about these things. When he went to prison, the tv-screens were square and blocky.
He gingerly moves up from the living room taking a stair that deviates into two paths. He sniffs. The left path leads to a bedroom where a small child normlly sleeps, the scent that originates from that direction is young and unformed. The right path leads to another bedroom where a man that isn’t shaving properly sleeps.
Fenrir claps his hands. “Bingo”, he says out loud. He open the door and in the same movement closes it with courtesy.What he is about to do isn’t polite, but there is no need add insult to injury. A large bed, a large bureau and a table next to the bed make up the room. He rifles through the bureau, searching for clothes that will fit his size. The owner of the clothes is by far larger than Fenrir, forcing him to pick the smallest clothes possible.
He glances down at the brown overall that all prisoners of the Bastille wear, the one he has worn for twenty years. He removes his overall and folds it neatly, not quite able to throw it away yet. He grabs a pair of jeans three sizes too large and puts them on, followed by a belt with a strange logo of an apple in the colors of the rainbow. Fenrir grabs another overly large piece of clothing in the form of shirt and tucks it in.
He walks downstairs and locates a bathroom. The man who greets him in the mirror is both familiar and a stranger; he recognizes the blue eyes and the shoulder-length hair, but the beard…. the beard needs to go.
The products in a nearby stall are of an inferior quality to the ones they are given in the Bastille, and yet he can’t help but note that the freedom to chose makes the shave so much more worthwhile.
A shave, and new clothes. Now… his nose guides him to a kitchen of cheap plastic and a humming refrigerator. He takes out a bar of chocolate and breaks it into smaller subunits. It wouldn’t do to gorge himself now. Piece by piece he eats the chocolate, shuddering, as tears flow down his face.
When he has finished the chocolate, and wiped the tears away he searches for a computer or a book to tell him where exactly he is. The computer, if the owner of the house has one, is either with him or he doesn’t own one. He finds a book on geography in the living room, but there are no notations in it.
“Hmm, what to do….” There are of course other avenues open to him. But they’re obvious, and when the agents of Pier 7 investigate, Fenrir wants them to have as few clues as possible. He could- his ears prickle up as he makes out a vehicle moving down the street. Could it be…?
The vehicle parks at the house. He makes a snap-decision and bounds down the hallway to the door. He leans back against the wall opposite the door and starts to count down.
1…. the car is locked….
2… steps on gravel….
3…. key entering keyhole…
4…. door swings open
5… a back is turned against Fenrir, and he makes his move. He puts a claw against the fat man’s throat. “Don’t make a sound”, Fenrir says in a conversational voice. “Don’t shout, don’t scream and you can get out of this alive”, he continues. “Nod once, if you understand”, he commands in the voice of a man who once led the wolfpacks of Sweden, the alpha of alphas.
The fat man nods, a bead of sweat making its way down his brow.
“Where are we?” “Hiringe”, the man says. “And Hiringe is where?”
“Norrland”, the man answers, phrasing his answer furtive statement.
“And Hiringe, Norrland is how far from…. say Umeå? Luleå?” “I… I don’t know about Umeå, but Luleå is three-hundred kilometers south”, the man stammers.
Fenrir nods and slams the fat man’s head abruptly into the wall. The man slides down, unconscious. Fenrir taps his elongated nail against the door. Should he spare this man? If he does, then the investigators will surely talk to him. But if he doesn’t, then he might as well be the criminal they accused him of being when they locked him up twenty years ago.
He taps his finger against the wall and makes his choice.
Twenty minutes later a non-descript dog trots of out Haninge, carrying a bag of brown overalls in its mouth.