It took me a minute to realize that the thumping bass of music wasn’t just in my crazy mind and not coming from the house in front of me. Except, it was my house. So why was there gay club music blasting from the inside.
Using his “transportation” powers or whatever Dre and Ivan called them – I turned to look and see if Dre had heard that, but then I remembered that he couldn’t read my mind unless we were in his – and Dre had set us down in the backyard, where Mya’s life-sized dollhouse (that she inherited from me) sat right in the middle. Hey, wait a minute…was the dollhouse rocking from side-to-side?
I gave Dre a questioning look before pointing an accusing finger at the dollhouse. “Is that an optical illusion, or does it look like it’s rocking back and forth?” I whispered.
“No,” Dre said, looking intently at the house, “I see it too.”
We shared a look between the two of us and slowly crept up to the house. Dre pushed me back a little bit behind him, as if he was shielding me, and slowly turned the knob on the little sea foam green door. He popped it open and jumped back, shielding me the whole time.
Dre isn’t so pissy anymore! I celebrated in my head. He’s back to normal now! Except, not really. But things between us are back to normal now!! I contradicted myself. I suddenly felt self-conscious as by the small space between us. My attention was diverted away from the whole dollhouse crisis and I couldn’t help but stare at Dre.
His hair looks so soft. I thoughtfully tilted to my head to the side, wondering just how soft on a scale of softness it would be. Not that I wanted to run my fingers through it or anything, which just sounded kinda stalkerish and creepy. I-I wasn’t a stalker, was I? I mean, I was only going over to Dre’s house to get some answer. Ugh, that’s when Drew had been there. What a hoe! Then again, I’ve kissed Ivan and Dre on the same day. I was the hoe. Damn.
Pay attention! One part of my brain reminded me, and my eyes snapped back to the house. Surprisingly, only like two seconds had passed when I had totally spaced off, and now the door was slowly creaking open, as whoever was inside started to open it.
“I said no video cameras!” I heard a girl’s voice say, and then her entire head poked out. I was shocked to see Felicity Evans, a junior at my school, pop her head out.
Dre’s eyes widened and he stepped away, his hand covering his mouth. “Oh-ho!” He cried out.
“What, what is it?” I said excitedly. I pushed him over and looked inside the tent. I was shocked to see Felicity and Anderson Meiers in the dollhouse, half-naked. Well, only Felicity was half-naked.
“What are you doing in my litter sister’s dollhouse?!” I shrieked, completely infuriated. There were NOT going to be any unidentified substances in my little sister’s dollhouse.
“Why are you just sitting there, get the hell out!” I yelled. I literally grabbed Felicity by her collar and threw her to the ground as Anderson gathered his clothes in a ball and ran out behind her.
Suddenly, I had an idea as to why there were people trying to “get busy” in one of my childhood toys and why there was music blasting out of the house. I turned to look inside one of the windows, and wasn’t surprised to find that there were multi-colored flashing lights streaming from the inside.
“Marshall.” I said through gritted teeth. I started to walk around to the front of the house, with Dre following behind me with a perplexed look on his face.
“What about Marshall?” He paused for a second, still walking beside me. “Wait, he’s the one throwing the party? What about your parents?”
“I don’t know, Dre, I just got here,” I said, trying not to lash my anger out at him. I walked up to the front door and whipped out my key from my pocket, hurriedly unlocked the door and shoved it open.
“Marshall!” I yelled at the top of my lungs.
Everything literally stopped.
The flashing lights stopped flashing, the music went off suddenly, and I even heard a scratch made by a DJ on a record on the turntables. I didn’t wait for answers; just turned on the lights and gave death stares to anyone (actually, everyone) who was staring at me in shock.
“Get the fuck up outta my house,” I growled. Everyone started streaming out of the living room and hallways, and even the bathroom.
“Oh god, at least pull up your pants, Michael,” I said, shielding my eyes as he stepped out from the bathroom with his pants halfway down.
“Sorry!” He said before closing the front door behind him.
Dre looked around the room in awe, while I stood there tapping my foot impatiently, waiting for Marshall to come out with some lame excuse like he always did. Thankfully, there wasn’t that big of a mess, so I guess we could just straighten up and Mom and Dad wouldn’t even know that something had been going on while they were gone.
“Did you see how many people were in here?” Dre said, sound completely astonished. “That was like...500 people! He invited the entire junior class!”
“When he gets out here, I’m gonna kick his ass,” I said, for the sake of rhyming. I turned to look at Marshall coming out the bathroom near Mya’s bedroom, looking buzzed out of his mind.
“Hey, where’d everybody go?” Ivan said groggily, stumbling around. When I saw my brother, half of me wanted to rush over and slap him silly, but then the other part of me wanted to drop down to my knees and just start bawling. He looked horrible.
Marshall didn’t have a shirt on, and only boxers. He had a tie around his forehead, where red lipstick kisses dotted all around his face. His eyes were only half open, but I could tell the whites were red and strained-looking, and his pupils were the size of moons, like he had gotten them dilated. So I knew at once that he had started doing drugs again; and this time, I had a feeling that it wasn’t just marijuana.
Marshall is really tall and skinny, so I’m used to him being all skinny looking, but he looked so frail, like he was going to topple over and break in half. But I think that was only an affect from the way he was stumbling around, so I knew that alongside whatever drugs he had been doing, he had also been drinking. Sure, Marshall was a pretty wild child, he had never done drinking, drugs, and partying all in the same night! At least not like this!
“Marshall Armand Young!” I gasped, horrified and angry all at the same time into one big ball of jumbled emotions.
I ran over to him and yanked the tie of his head. I was surprised to see that it had been taped with cheetah print duct tape, which left a big, red mark across his forehead.
“Ouch,” He groaned, and then let out another moan as he cradled his head. He was probably already hung-over, which meant that he had been excessively drinking, more than he ever had, probably. “Shit.” He added, his eyes still half closed.
“What the hell were you doing?” I yelled, trying to get him to look at me. “Marshall! Open your eyes!” I ordered, and pried them open with my fingers.
Dilated pupils, the redness in his whites, the yellow powdery stuff over his lips; he had been doing exastsy. I couldn’t believe the sight of my older brother, someone I was supposed to look up to. What had gotten into him, seriously?
“What fuckin’ time is it?” He groaned, barely even paying attention to me. He collapsed onto the couch, and then I heard a feminine shriek.
Up popped Luna, her eyes just as jacked up as Marshall’s. I didn’t see any yellow on her, so I assumed that she had done a little bit of weed that night. She saw me standing in the middle of the living room; pissed off as hell while Dre stood quietly next to the door, looking awkward in the whole situation.
“Oh my,” She said, seeming drowsy and embarrassed. She gave me a sheepish smile, and looked towards Marshall, who looked like he was ready to pass out any second.
“Marshall, I have to get home,” She whispered quietly. She put her fingers under his chin and lifted his head up, staring into his eyes. “I love you.”
“Love you too,” He said groggily, still half-asleep. They momentarily kissed, and then Luna climbed up slowly from the couch and slipped on her black gladiator shoes. She went to the door, which Dre was politely holding open for her, but then stopped right before she was about to leave.
“Melita,” She said hesitantly, her hands gripped tightly against her small purse.
I gave a disappointed look at Marshall before swinging my head back around to her. “Yes?” I said impatiently, rubbing the bridge of my nose with my thumb and index finger.
“I’m so sorry,” She said, her Venezuelan accent making her sound even cuter than usual, I couldn’t help but notice. “Your brother…he never meant to hurt anyone.”
“I know,” I sighed. “He just gets out of control sometimes. But don’t blame yourself Luna; it wasn’t your fault.”
Luna shook her head, her short black hair whipping back and forth. “No, Melita. We mad the decision…to become one. I influence Marshall without even trying. He never meant any harm,” She paused before finishing, saying, “Good-bye Melita. It was nice…seeing you. You look great.”
She smiled politely at Dre before walking out the door and down the street. Dre closed the door and gave me a shrug once I gave him a questioning look.
“Yeah, you too…” I said softly, even though she had long walked away. I looked back to Marshall.
I growled, but he didn’t even look up at me. “Dre, can you fill a Ziploc bag with some ice?” I asked.
“Sure.” I could tell that he was glad to get out of this situation. Before Dre had gotten busy with his two jobs and everything, he and Marshall used to hang out. Not to mention when Charlie moved, and Dre took it upon himself to be a good friend. Since then, Marshall had strayed off with Criss, doing drugs and everything. Now it seemed like he was falling into old habits.
Dre returned with the ice pack and I thanked him. I set down the bag on the coffee table and rounded onto Marshall.
“Marshall!” I yelled, louder this time before slapping him across the face swiftly. I don’t know, ever since that first time I slapped Dre when I saw Drew at his house, I was really into slapping. It was so…exhilarating.
Keep yourself on track, Mel. The sane part of my brain gently reminded me.
“Dude, what the hell?!” Marshall said angrily, holding his now red cheek. “When did you get here?”
“Where is Mya? And Derek?” I added in, sending Dre a sideways glance.
“Ugh…,” Marshall groaned. “I’m soo hung-over, and it’s still the night of the party,” he thought about it for a second. “Mel, you won’t believe how wacked I am right now.” He smirked to himself.
I struggled not to go ape-shit and murder him. Keep calm, Mel. Keep calm. I reminded myself.
“Donde estan Mya y Derek, Marshall? Comprende?!” I said, getting up in face.
“Jesus calm down,” He said. “I’m lucky that you carry Tic-Tacs around with you, because I would have just died right then.”
I crossed my arms over my chest and stared at him with my no-nonsense face. He knew then that I was serious, and sobered down.
“Fine, fine,” He said. “Mya went to her friend’s house; the Jackson chick.”
“You sent her to the Jacksons’ house?” I repeated. “Marshall, they’re 90 years old, you can’t just drop Mya off at their house whenever you want to!”
“Whatever,” Marshall replied, rolling his eyes. “And Derek went to his friend Eric’s house. That’s what he told me.”
I went to interrogate him so more, but I was interrupted as Dre mildly cleared his throat. He was obviously feeling awkward in this situation, which was rare for Dre. Seriously, I had seen the guy adapt to so many different social situations that it kind of amazed me.
“Oh. Dre,” I said dumbly, not really knowing what else to say. “Hey, you can go home if you want.” I suggested. A part of me was screaming No!!! What are you doing?! Make him stay home! While another part of me was going It’s for the best…
He half smirked at me, showing his lonely left dimple. “Alright then. I’ll see you later Mel, Marshall.”
Marshall gave him a lazy salute. “Later.”
Dre walked over to me and looked right into my eyes, really creeping me out. He seemed a little hesitant at first, but then I watched with wide deer-in-the-headlights eyes as he slowly bent down and kissed me…on the forehead. Oh god, we were back to that stage. The stage where he did friendly actions towards me and I interpreted them as something totally different.
Oh, not again. I couldn’t help but groan in my head. This was worse than the time where the teachers actually let us eat lunch outside for the first time and I felt tired, so I laid my head down on Dre’s shoulder, and he scooted over closer to me and then I puckered up my lips for him to kiss me and he asked me what was wrong and I ended up totally freaking out and I didn’t even come to school the next day, because I was embarrassed. Damn, I was basically retracing my footsteps, for what seemed like the second time. Oh my god, and I still liked Ivan too. When did I become so girly, seriously? I used to be the girl that barely even paid attention to guys only because they didn’t cause too much drama. Hey, that really is true. Guys are so much less drama—
“Uh, Mel?” Dre said, drawing me in from my thoughts. “You still there?”
I snapped my head back, my attention back on Dre. “Oh yeah. Um, what?”
Dre looked past me to Marshall. “I was going to tell you that I was gonna come back later. You know, through the window. You think he’s payin’ attention?”
I turned to Marshall, who had his eyes shut tight as he played an imaginary electric guitar. I rolled my eyes before calling out to him, “Marshall, stop air-banding, it’s creepy. And oh my god, can you please zip up your pants? I can totally see your…”
“Dongle?” Marshall suggested.
“Dong?” Added Dre.
“Shaft underneath the play-pen.”
“Hey, how about just penis?”
“Okay, that’s enough!” I interrupted Dre, giving him one of my death stares. Marshall shrugged before turning on the T.V. to Mad Men and drawing up his feet on the couch. I watched, confused at what he was going to do, as he brought up his foot to his mouth.
“W-what are you doing?” I said, my attention completely on Marshall now.
“Huh?” He turned to look around at me. “Oh, well you know how I took Child Development so that I could have a class with Luna? Well, today we got into a discussion about why babies like to put their limbs in their mouths and I was just wondering if I could do it.”
I started rubbing the bridge of my nose again. “Oh my god…”
He successfully stuck his big toe right at the entrance of his mouth. “And I totally can.” He said, like it was a big accomplishment before flashing me a thumbs up.
I rolled my eyes before turning back to Dre. “So sorry,” I apologized, giving him a sheepish smile. “I just got caught up in Marshall’s craziness.”
Dre flashed me a 1000 kilowatt smile, making me uncontrollably smile at him with such enthusiasm that I could almost feel my face breaking. Reel it in Melita, you look like an idiot. I warned myself before wiping the smile off my face.
“I’ll be back around…” He looked at the clock on the wall above the T.V. “It’s about 9:30 now, so I’ll be back around 10, okay?”
I nodded. “Alright.” We stood there for a second, waiting for one another to say or do something. We both leaned in to kiss, and then we leaned back, not sure if that was the right thing to do. We went in for a hug, but then that felt to awkward, so it just ended up being a weird bro hug, where only one of Dre’s arms were wrapped around me. He quietly said good-bye and walked out the door.
What? I can’t even get a hug anymore? I pouted. No, no hugs! He’s your friend, nothing more. Stop your constant worrying and get your life back on track. What are you going to do about Brite and Drew at school tomorrow?! My brain tried to get myself back on track. I gave myself a mental shake – literally, by shaking my head side-to-side – and turned back to Marshall.
I walked up right behind him and slapped him against the back of the head.
“Ouch!” He yelled as he turned around to give me annoyed look. “What the hell was that for?”
“Where’s Mom and Dad?” I asked, ignoring his question.
“I’m not gonna tell you know,” He said matter-of-factly as he put on his blue headphones.
Knowing that he hated it when I did this, I walked over and twisted his nipples hard, making him seize up in pain. “Tell me where they are!” I yelled.
“Holy shit—, Mel, purple nurples, really?” He cried, seeming pissed off now. He growled at me. “Mom and Dad are out of town for like one of those hospital conventions. They won’t be back until Wednesday.”
“Wednesday?” I echoed. “They just left and barely even told us anything?”
“You were over at Dre’s house,” Marshall replied ironically as he rubbed his sore nipple.
“Hey, what are you doing over there anyway?” He inquired, giving me a questioning look. “Are you guys fuckin’? For like…” He looked at the clock. “Two hours? Damn.”
I gave him a look. He was being unbelievable! First, he throws a party. Then, he gets obviously high and a little tipsy. And now, he’s asking me about my love life. Where does he get off?
“Really, Marshall?” I said. “You’re asking your little sister about her sex life? That doesn’t creep you out the slightest?”
His eyes lit up and he smirked at me. “So he was banging you! He must be really good.”
“Stop talking to me,” I said, rolling my eyes at him. “I’m going to go get Mel, and when I come back, you’re gonna have a lot of explaining to do about this whole party,” I opened the door and then stopped as I added in, “And the exastsy!” I shouted.
He didn’t even reply. I rolled my eyes one more time before walking the short distance across the street over to the Jacksons’ house. I lightly knocked on the door, knowing that Mr. and Mrs. Jackson would be awake. Sometimes, I would wake up at night and wander around the house, and their lights would still be on, glowing in the night, a complete contrast to everyone else’s dark houses. It was like they never slept, which in a way, was creepy.
That would be soo cool if they were vampires. I cooed in my head. I wonder if vampires are even real. That would be cool, too. Unless they killed humans. I wonder if they would still bite me, since I’m not fully human. Wait, am I part human? I guess I’m like…1/5 human since there’s the hybrid parts and then the rest I get from my parents. Is it odd that this revelation still completely blows my mind? I mean, it’s not everyday that you learn you have THREE parents. Unless you’re like a surrogate kid. I wonder if they do the whole surrogate thing, but they let you put the eggs and sperm in the person, so it’s like, it’s a different person having your baby? Then, you wouldn’t even have to do the work. Plus, surrogates get paid a lot of mullah. So if you don’t have an education or you’re plain lazy and have a vagina, I guess you could be a surrogate. I wonder—
“Melita?” I heard a frail voice say my name.
I looked up, startled, as I was once again caught up in my thoughts. I needed some help from a therapist; I don’t think you should always have this many crazy thoughts.
“Oh, hello, Mrs. Jackson!” I said, finally done from staring off into space. “Is Mya still here?”
“Oh yes, of course!” She said, giving me a smile.
“Mrs. Jackson, are you wearing a gardening hat? You’re gardening at this time of night?”
“Mya, Melita is here!” Mrs. Jackson called. She turned back to me. “Oh yes dear, I garden throughout the entire day.”
I thought about evil people like Aerial and her daughters. Well, Melody and Melanie weren’t that evil, I could tell, but Azrael definitely was. I mean, she pushed me off a frickin’ cliff. If that doesn’t scream “EVIL!!!” then what does?
I gave Mrs. Jackson a wary smile. “Uh, just be careful out there, Mrs. Jackson. I wouldn’t want…anything to happen to you.” I said, trying not to sound like I knew more than I let on.
“Hey, Melly!” Mya greeted at me as she finally reached the door. “Bye, Mrs. Jackson!”
“Bye dear,” She said, smiling at Mya’s retreating figure.
“Well, bye!” I said, figuring that I should probably hurry and get back home, since I had to interrogate Marshall about throwing that party. And maybe he ask him why Luna had apologized to me. I would assume at first because she was apologetic for even partaking in Marshall’s doing of the party, but it seemed like there was something else to it; like there something more to the story that I didn’t know about.
“Oh, and Melita,” I heard Mrs. Jackson say. I turned around.
“You don’t have to be afraid of the howling at night,” She said slyly. “You can be friends with the wolves, you know.” And then she winked at me, before turning around walking back to the house in little, frail body.
I blinked a couple times, completely confused. Had…had Mrs. Jackson just let on that she knew something about werewolves, or was she just being freaky and inane? Something told me that maybe she did know a little somethin’ somethin’ about the whole thing. I laughed to myself. Mrs. Jackson was 90 years old, and she had known about the werewolves probably for a long time. I would have never guessed it would be her, of all people.
“Melita!” Mya called, already across the street and standing at the front door, “Come on, hurry up!”
I slowly turned away from the Jacksons’ house back to my house. I gave one last look towards the window, and saw that Mrs. Jackson was smiling and waving at me. I waved back, and then started going back over.
“Oh, calm down My, don’t get your panties in a twist.” I smirked at her as I stuck my home key in the door.
My groaned. “Come on Mel, you know I hate that phrase.”
I made a clicking sound with my tongue and pointed my fingers at her. “And that’s what I do it.”
I opened the door and we walked in, where Marshall was still lying on the couch, but only in a different position. He was slumped down against the couch so that his head was slumped against the floor. He had his legs curled around the couch and was contently listening to music with his eyes closed.
“Go take your shower and go to bed, My,” I ordered as soon as we stepped in the house.
She let out a sigh, but didn’t complain. “Okay. Night Mel, night Marshall!” She said before receiving a kiss on the forehead from and then going back to the bathroom to take a shower.
I shrugged off my jacket before hanging it on the coat rack next to the door and took off my purple and black zebra striped low tops. I walked over to Marshall, who still had his eyes screwed shut tight. I pushed lightly with my foot on top of chest and he finally opened his eyes.
He let out an exasperated sigh and lifted one side of his headphones off of his ear. “What do you want, Mel?”
I gave a serious look. I was concerned for my older brother. I worried about him. I just couldn’t let him see that if hurt me that much to destroy himself, or else I knew that he would feel terrible and beat himself up inside.
“We really need to talk, Marshall,” I said firmly, hoping he would listen to me.
He let out another sigh, but didn’t look as annoyed as he did before. He slowly rose to his feet and sat down on the couch, patting the seat beside him. I sat down and stared at him, my arms crossed over my chest. I knew it sometimes took a long time for Marshall to become serious when he was in one of his “partying moods”.
“So. What do we need to talk about?” He asked, like he was completely clueless. Like it wasn’t obviously bad that he was back on drugs and had thrown a party. Hell, he was acting like he didn’t even care about Mya, all he did was think about himself and her later, so he just shipped her over next door to the Jacksons’. And that really wasn’t cool.
“Marshall, you threw a party tonight,” I enunciated, looking at him with a completely serious expression. “And, so you could enjoy yourself, you just shipped Mya over to the Jacksons’ house instead of being the responsible older brother you’re supposed to be for her. What if something happened to her?”
“Mel, all you need to do, is chill,” He said, sounding like a stoned surfer guy. “I know that Mya is in the safe hands of the Jacksons’, and so what if I throw a party? It’s my first one. And it wasn’t even going to get out of control.”
I stared at him incredulously. “Are you kidding me? Marshall, if I had come back two minutes later than I had, there would have been jizz all over Mya’s dollhouse!” I shrieked.
Marshall raised his eyebrow at me. “What are you talking about?”
“Felicity Evans and Anderson Meiers were about to do it in Mya’s dollhouse, Marshall. In the dollhouse!” I repeated.
“It wouldn’t have been that big of a deal, Mel,” He protested, like it wasn’t a big deal, which it completely was. “I’m sure that they wouldn’t have gone that far.”
“Anderson’s pants were already off!” I shouted back at him.
“Daaaaaamn,” He said, stretching out the ‘a’.
That did it, I had just about had it with him. “Marshall, you’re being a total and complete ASS right now and this is serious! I’m being extremely serious! You did drugs again, today, Marshall! And this time, you went into exastsy. You said you only wanted to experiment with it that one time. Why do you think it was okay to do it now?”
“I’m sorry, I fucked up!” He yelled back, getting angry at me. How in the hell was he getting angry at me; if anything, I should have gone bat-shit on him by now!
“Well,” I said, slowly building on each word as I rose from the couch. “THAT’S NOT OKAY AND YOU’RE DESTROYING YOUR OWN FAMILY!” I yelled at the top of my lungs, loud enough for the neighbors to hear.
Two things happened at once: Marshall looked so pissed with his flaming red cheeks that it looked like he was about to explode, and two, I felt a familiar pain running through my entire body and especially chest. I realized with horror that I was starting to transform into a werewolf; I was familiar with that feeling now. I clutched at my chest and tried to keep it together as Marshall yelled at me.
“I’m not perfect, okay, Mel? I understand that I made some pretty shitty mistakes, but can’t you get over that for now? I just had a really happy experience, a milestone in my life, and I jus wanted to celebrate. Now will you please get off my ass?” He yelled at, his face stricken with not only anger, but a trace of…sadness?
But well, I didn’t have a lot of time to register his emotions because the pain was really starting to build even faster than I was used to, which meant that I was trying to transformer even sooner. And what would Marshall do if he saw his sister turn into a werewolf? Well, Marshall rarely freaked out, but I think that my transformation probably would.
“I’m goin’ to bed, Mel,” Marshall said angrily as he snatched off his headphones and threw them to the couch. “Oh, or is that okay with you?”
“Mmm…” Was the only sound I could make, since the pains in my chest were agonizing. I collapsed to the floor on my knees (which sounds more dramatic than it actually was) and tried to play if off as no big deal.
Marshall gave me a concerned look with a few small traces of anger. “Are you alright there, Mel?”
“Cramps!” I lied, staring up at him. I bit my lip and clutched my stomach and nodded at him so he wouldn’t suspect anything else. “Yeah, I’m totally PMSing. So, you better leave.”
“Ew,” Marshall said, his face twisting into a weird expression. “Later. I’m going to bed.”
I couldn’t help but add, “Remember to take a shower in the morning!”
Marshall didn’t even turn around. “Fuck you-u!” He sing-songed, stretching out the “u” as he flipped me off.
Eh. I was used to it.
Now, I had to take care of this whole werewolf problem.
I slowly dragged myself across the floor after I had feebly turned off the T.V. and lights, all from my lying position on the ground. I opened the door to my basement room and put a plant in front of the door so that it wouldn’t close on me and leave me in the darkness, where I was pretty sure that maybe Jeepers Creepers or Michael Meyers would pop out and kill me.
I scooted down the stairs with the lights on and found that Bojangles was resting peacefully at the bottom of the stairs, instead of right on the steps where she could trip somebody. And it was always seemed intentional.
I passed by her and sat down next to my bed, breathing hard and fast. The pains in my chest were dulling a little bit to a more throbbing sensation, but I knew that was only because it was starting to spread out through my entire body, which meant I would be turning into a werewolf soon.
No, not right now! I begged, trying to somehow concentrate on being a human so that I wouldn’t go all wolf, but it didn’t even do anything. I felt myself turn into a full-fledged wolf beast; my senses were heightened automatically and I could see my dark fur from the corner of my eyes.