If you had asked someone to describe Briana, they would probably
say she was average. Average look, average grades, average home,
average friends. The only thing that really stood out about the
girl was her gift with sports, and her eyes. They were gray,
blue, golden-brown, with flecks of green. Like some people with
hazel eyes, Briana's eyes changed color sometimes. Not that extra
In fact, Briana was very ordinary, until one fateful night.
Briana was taking a shortcut. She had stayed over at Emily's
house to long, and needed to get home fast or face the wrath of
her formidable grandmother. So she was taking the shortcut
through the old construction site near the woods. The site would
have been an apartment complex, but for some reason, had never
been finished. Her grandmother didn't like her hanging over here,
because there were some shady characters that hung around this
place, but Briana needed to get home fast.
In fact Briana was so absorbed in getting home in time that she
didn't see trouble coming until too late.
Briana soon found herself surrounded by people.
One of them came forward. He had a knife.
"This is our land," he said, "You're not welcome here."
"I'm just passing through." Briana said.
"We don't take to kindly to trespassers!" Another one piped up.
"Wotcher got t' pay?"
"What?" Briana said indignantly. "You can't demand money from
people just cause you claim this place belongs to you!"
"Actually, sugar, yeah we can." Said the one with the knife
"Well I don't have any money," She said. "So if you'd just let me
"What's in the bag?" One of them asked. Briana looked at him
coldly. "None of your business." She said.
"Hand over the bag," the one with the knife threatened, "Or
you'll be sorry."
Briana thought about throwing them the backpack and running. The
only problem was that all her schoolwork was in her laptop, and
her laptop was in her backpack. She was sure they would take it.
And no laptop meant no school work. No work meant goodbye grades.
Crappy grades meant no college.
"No." She said defiantly.
The man brandished the knife threateningly. "Girl," he said.
"Hand over the bag."
One of the men tried to grab it from her, but Briana kneed him in
the stomach hard enough to force the wind out of him, and ran.
Another shouted and grabbed her arm, but she kicked him in a very
painful area. He swore and let go. Briana made another desperate
bid for freedom. But she was surrounded. One of them had a gun,
and pointed it at her. She felt her blood rush with adrenaline
that seemed to explode into every cell of her body, and then
everything went black.
Briana woke up in her room. She had no idea how or when she got
there, or what happened last night. It must have been a
nightmare, she thought after awhile. Just a dream.
Briana felt like she hadn't slept a wink. She got up and walked
to the bathroom, passing her untouched backpack. Just a
dream, she thought to herself.
She had an odd, coppery taste n her mouth, and thought she should
brush her teeth. Briana groggily took her toothbrush from the
cabinet, squeezed out a dollop of toothpaste onto it and brushed
her teeth. She spat out in the sink, and instead of the usual
frothy white, it was tinged Pepto-Bismol pink. She stared at it.
Something was lodged between her teeth. She pulled it out and
slowly inspected it. It looked like... a shred of jean fabric.
She looked at her reflection for the first time that morning. She
"What is it, dear?" she heard her grandma ask from downstairs.
"Nothing, Nothing!" Briana said panicly. "Just a spider!" Briana
would rather it was spider, though.
She looked in the mirror again, mouth gaping in disbelief. Dried
blood was smeared all over her lower face and mouth. She was
suddenly wide awake, and looked at herself closely. The bottoms
of her jeans were shredded and caked in mud, as were the sleeves
of her sweater. More blood and dirt was on the tips of her
fingers and under her nails. Her clothes were stretched and had
rips n some places. She looked like a wild animal.
Briana stripped off her clothes and stuffed them under the trash
in the garbage can, hiding them, and hopped in the shower. She
furiously scrubbed her body, trying to obliterate all traces of
blood and mud from herself. She scrubbed under her fingernails
and brushed her teeth three times before the toothpaste was white
again. After she was sure she had removed all traces of blood and
dirt, she rushed to her room and hastily pulled on some clothes.
I will not think about it, I will not think about it!
She told herself. Briana grabbed her backpack and rushed
downstairs. "There you are!" Her grandma said. "You should know,
young lady, that your are grounded from your friend house until
you learn to get home on time! Honestly, coming back so late last
night! What were you thinking?"
"Sorry, Grandma," Briana said. "Won't happen again. Promise." Her
grandma eyed her severely. "It better not." She said darkly.
"Now," She said in a lighter tone, "Off you go kid! I'm not
driving you if you miss your bus." Briana kissed her grandma
goodbye, and then ran out the door to the bus stop.
"Hey, Briana!" Emily greeted her. Briana pushed her disturbing
morning out of her head and plastered a big smile on her face for
her friend. "Hey Emily! What's going on?"
"Nothing much," Emily said. "Hey, did you finish the math
homework?" Briana groaned inwardly. No, she had not; in fact, she
couldn't remember doing anything last night... she shook her
head, banishing that train of thought from her head. "No, not at
all." She sighed. Today would not be a good day.
Briana came home from school in low spirits. As she had
predicted, school had been bad. Having had no homework done the
previous night, Briana had received detention every day for the
rest of the week. Between grounding and detention, Briana's free
time was virtually nonexistent this week.
In a bad temper, Briana skulked up to her room to do her
homework. She was having trouble with her math.
Downstairs her grandma turned on the TV. Briana stared at her
homework, but the TV downstairs was so loud she couldn't think.
She exhaled frustrated and stormed over to the staircase. "Gran!"
she shouted down, "Turn it down; I can hear it all the way from
"BS!" Her grandmother shouted back. "It's always this loud."
Briana marched back to her room thinking Gran must be going deaf.
She sat back down, but was too frustrated to do her homework.
Gran seemed to have turned down the TV, because it was less loud
now, though still felt like it was reverberating through the
walls. She got in bed and clamped the pillow over her head,
Briana was awoken by a pungent scent in her nose. She woke up and
gagged. It smelled like way too much perfume and bleach, which
was a bizarre combo. Briana looked around, wondering where it was
coming from. She sniffed her pillow, and gagged again. Yep, that
was the source. The sheets smelled like it too. She sniffed them
again bewilderedly. They hadn't smelled like that going to bed.
She suddenly looked around. It was really bright. Crap!
She thought, I forgot to set my alarm and slept late!
Briana hurriedly got dressed and pulled on her shoes, grabbing
her bag and running downstairs. Her grandma looked at her
quizzically. "Whoa, slow down girl, where's the fire?"
"No time to talk, I'm late!" She said grabbing a piece of
untoasted bread and cramming it in her mouth. Her Gran followed
her. "Slow down girl! Your not late, it's only seven!" Briana
stopped and looked at her grandma puzzled. "I'm not?" she asked.
"Course not!" Her grandmother said. "In fact, I've never seen you
up this early. It's 10 till seven." Briana was even more
confused. "It is?" Her grandmother raised her eyebrows. "That's
what I just said." Briana looked around. It looked bright enough
to be noon. "But it's so bright." She said. Her grandma just
stared at her. "Hon," she finally said. "The sun just came up. It
still looks like dawn. It's still barely light." Briana looked
around again. "But...but..." She stuttered. Her grandma looked at
her funny. "Hon, there something wrong with your eyes?" She asked
worriedly. "But...no. My eyes are fine." She mumbled. "Weird
dream or something." She lied and went upstairs again. The place
still looked too bright.
Briana when into the bathroom and looked at her reflection. She
gave a start, and stared hard at her eyes in the reflection, torn
between wonder and terror.
Her eyes were an amber gold color. Her pupils were larger, and
the amber-gold iris's were all she could see, the whites
nonexistent. If she widened her eyes, she could see them at the
corners of her eyes. She was disconcerted; these were not the
eyes of a human being. They looked like a cougar's eyes, or a
As she stared at them, her vision changed and unfocused, and the
amber-gold eyes faded to her normal human eyes. The place was a
lot dimmer, with normal human vision. Relieved, she undressed and
got in the shower. However, her relief did not last. Her eyes
went strange again in the shower for a minute, before fading back
and again when she got out of the shower. She got dressed and
while brushing her hair changed back to normal. It was very
irritating, and a bit disorientating. Briana sighed and rummaged
around for her sunglasses. She had a feeling this would continue
all day, and she had a feeling there would be a few awkward
questions if someone noticed. Plus the glasses would protect her
changing eyes from the light changes.
Briana waited for the bus glumly. This was going to be another
Briana furiously copied Emily's homework in math class, hoping
she could finish by turn in time and that she wouldn't be noticed
copying someone else's homework.
"May I have everyone's attention please?" the math teacher Mrs.
Curt said. Briana continued copying furiously.
"Everyone's attention." She glared at Briana, who
promptly slid her homework under her desk and paid attention.
Mrs. Curt swept her eyes around the class to make sure everyone
was paying attention before continuing. "We have a new student
class," She said. "Please welcome Felix."
A skinny black haired guy Briana's age walked in. As he walked
past her she felt her eyes change, and her sense of smell
magnified. His head suddenly whipped sideways to look at her, but
he walked on without slowing down or speeding up. Her nose was
still on over drive; she could smell humans and perfume and
scented shampoos and deodorant and chalk and a million other
things; but what interested her most was the new kids' scent,
which had been blown her way as he walked past. He didn't smell
like the other kids. Well, he did, but there was another smell
under it. I must be going insane Briana thought glumly.
She waited for her senses to fade back.
All through the day Briana's senses faded off and on, and she
suffered for it. During lunch hour, the new kid sat by himself,
eating a tuna sandwich and a carton of milk. Although she never
caught him doing it, she felt like he was watching her for some
reason. His presence seemed t creep up on her, like some strange
sixth sense. Although she never saw him do anything bad or
strange she felt uneasy around him, and developed a strong
dislike. There was something strange about the new kid; she just
didn't know what it was.
Briana was walking to the bus when she felt the strange sixth
sense that told her someone was close. A second later, the new
kid popped into view. Briana repressed the surge of dislike for
the new kid. A strange otherness came off him in waves that made
her want to shudder.
"Hi, I'm Felix." He said, offering his hand to shake. Briana
looked sideways at him. "So I've heard." She said, leaving his
hand hanging between him. After a second he dropped it. "So your
names' Briana, right?" He said still cheerful. Her head snapped
sideways to him. "How do you know my name?" She snapped. Felix
shrugged. "Heard it around." Briana eyed him suspiciously. "What
do you what?" She said callously. Felix shrugged again. "I was
just being friendly. I don't often come across someone like me."
He said. Briana was shocked, and glared at him. "What the devil
do you mean like you?" She snarled. Felix ignored her.
"So whose pack are you in?" He asked. Briana "What do you mean,
'pack'? What are you talking about?" She demanded. He was
"Ah! So your a loner are you? Is this you first shift?"
"What the hell are you talking about!?" Briana growled.
"Oh, come on," Felix said. "You don't have anything to hide, I'm
just like you. I know your like me, too, I can sense it."
Briana looked at him, "I. Have. No. Idea. What. Your. Talking.
About." She spat between her teeth.
Felix rolled his eyes, like it was her being stupid. He
looked at her, and something happened that made her hot blood run
cold. "Go away," She said. Her voice rose high in fear. "Go away
and never come near me again!" Briana ran to the bus. She didn't
look back, but she knew he watched he run off. She sat in and
empty seat and looked out the window. But the Felix was gone. She
popped her headphones in her ears and tried to forget what she
had seen. What had scared her so much.
For a moment they had made eye contact, Felix had had the glowing
yellow eyes of a cat.
Briana washed her face and took a shower to calm down. It didn't
help that her eyes kept changing.
Briana knew she should do her homework, but she was just so
tired, that she just went to bed.
It seemed like she woke seconds later. What woke her was the
cold. It was freezing. She must have left the window open. She
felt around for her blanket. Her hand grabbed...grass?
Briana's eyes snapped open. She was not lying in her room with
the window open. She was lying beneath the bushes in her
backyard. Briana sat up, heart pounding. How had see got out
here? She was wearing very stretched and muddy pajamas. She
rushed inside, and threw her pj's in the wash, running upstairs
and pulling on some clothes. It was six thirty. How had she got
from her bed to the backyard? Why had she been covered in mud?
She sat down heavily. She couldn't think; she was so tired, she
felt like she had when she had stayed up all night. Like she
hadn't even got an hour of sleep. Why was she so tired? An answer
for her other question floated to the top of her groggy brain.
She must have sleepwalked. That was the answer. She had
sleepwalked to the backyard.
A wave of tiredness swept over her, and she fell asleep.
Someone was shaking her. She heard her grandma's voice. "Hey! Get
up girl, it's a quarter til eight!" Briana's eyes snapped open.
She sat bolt upright. "What?!?"
Her grandma pulled her out of bed with streangth that
contridicted her years. "The bus is waiting outside!" Get going!"
Briana was glad she was already wearing clothes. She leaped out
of bed, pulled on her sneakers, grabbed her backpack and bolted
out the door. Just catching th bus in time.
Briana was exhausted the whole day. When she thought she could do
so without getting caught, she dozed off. She was still dead
tired at lunch. Her eyes were still changing under the
sunglasses, and just to make her day perfect, her least favorite
person came right up and sat next to her. "Felix," She said
sharply, "Go away."
Felix grinned even wider. "Hey Briana."His voice was still
annoyingly cheerful. "So, been outside lately?" He said slyly.
Her head snapped up to look at him. "What do you mean?" Felix's
grin widened knowingly. He produced a newspaper from out of
nowhere, and slapped it down in from of her, looking at her as he
recited an obviously memorized article on the front page. "'The
bodies of five men were found brutally mauled monday night in an
abandoned construction site near the woods. The bodies were so
brutally mauled that police have had to use dental records to
identify the bodies. The identities of the victims have yet to be
released. 'We reckon it was some kind of rabid wild animal,' Said
police officer Brett Langton, 'maybe a cougar. People have been
dispatched to capture and destroy the animal, but until then, we
urge everyone to stay as far away from the woods as possible.'"
Briana stared down at the article. A memory came to the surface,
a memory of waking up covered in mud and blood...
"Monday night," Emily said. "You walked through that place back
to your house that night, didn't you Briana?"
Felix stared at Briana, his grin getting still wider. "Is that
so?" he said. "See anything suspicious, Briana?"
Briana looked up at him. Felix knew something about all this. She
didn't know how, but that moment she was sure of it. "No. I
didn't anything." She lied, staring at him. "You must have just
missed it." Emily said. "You were lucky you did." Briana nodded
absentmindedly. Felix hopped off the table, and the paper
disappeared into his backpack. "Well, I should be on my way," he
said winking. "See you around Briana." And with that disappeared
down the hall.
Briana came home after school and sat down to finally do some
homework. She opened her planner, and saw a piece of paper in it.
She picked it up and read it.
If you need strange things explained, just call
- Felix Gatto
Briana scowled at the piece of paper and threw it in the garbage
can beside her desk. Felix was messing with her. She wondered if
this qualified for harassment.
Briana finally managed to finish her homework for once this week.
She ate dinner and went to bed.
Briana couldn't sleep for once. She felt restless, like she had
too much energy. After giving up trying to go to sleep, she paced
in her room. She felt restless. She looked at her alarm clock. it
was midnight. She still couldn't go to bed. Deciding there was no
going back to sleep, she went outside for some fresh air. She sat
on the back porch and looked beyond the chain-link fence to the
surronding woods. She felt her eyes and senses change again, but
by now she was almost used to it.
She suddenly sensed movement in the woods. She got up and walked
closer to the fence to get a better look at whatever it was. She
heard movement again, and saw a flash of yellow eyes.
There was something big in the woods, Briana suddenly thought she
should get inside. There was something really big out there.
She turned back to her house, but found some kind of huge beast
baring her way. It looked like a wolf, but was as big as a tiger
and dark brown. It's paws were the size of dinner plates and
armed with six wickedly curved claws. The gigantic beast bared
it's teeth and growled at her. Briana unfroze, and ran. The wolf
chased her. She ran into the woods, because for some insane
reason her insticts was telling her it was the safest place.
Briana ran fast, but the wolf ran faster. It would catch her
soon. I'm gonna die, I'm gonna die! Briana thought
franticly. Her life flashed before her eyes, and a strange
tingling sensation spread through her body. Her brain was
practacly shut down, but her body knew what to do, it had done
this once before in a time of danger...
Briana's body changed, not just her eyes and senses, but her
whole body. She was suddenly running on four legs, and much
faster, her paws pounding over the earth, her golden fur bleached
in the moonlight...
She ran and ran, and stopped when she knew she had lost the wolf.
She sat beside a stream, shaking from adrenaline and shock. She
stared down at her reflection. A red-golden wolf stared back. It
was much bigger than a normal wolf, about the size of a tiger,
with a black stripe running from muzzle to tail-tip, with
familair amber-gold eyes...
Briana stumbled into her house, clothes torn up and muddy,
exhausted and shocked and scared.She had no idea what was
happening, or what to do. What was happening to her? What was
She suddenly remembered something. She rushed over to the
wastebasket by her desk, rummaging through it until she found the
piece of paper she was looking for.
If you need strange things explained, just call
- Felix Gatto
Briana punched in the number furiously and listened to the
rings.Please, oh please, pick up. Briana prayed. He
answered on the seventh ring.
"Hullo?" A voice fuzzy with sleep answered."Felix?" Briana
couldn't keep her voice from shaking. "Felix, I need your help."
She heard him sigh sleepily. "Alright, Briana. Meet me at the
park in thirty minutes, kay?"
"Kay." She said. She heard the dialtone as he hung up. She got
cleaned up and dressed and looked at her clock. It was six
thirty. She set out to the park to talk to Felix and get some
answers. Briana's house was near the park, so she walked to it.
Felix was waiting for her, sitting on the top of the jungle gym.
It was cold out, being late september. She looked up at Felix.
"Get down here."
Felix hopped down and landed on his feet. He seemed to be waiting
for her to talk. "Felix," Briana said. "What is going on?" Felix
grinned. "I think that would be obvious by now. So what happened
that you actually called me?" Briana stared at him. "No, if
anyones going to explain anything, you are going first." Felix
stretched and yawned. "Very well." He said. "You are a werewolf."
He said without preamble. Briana didn't deny it. She wasn't even
shocked. Last night had made that much obvisous. She asked. "How
can i be a werewolf if i've never been bitten?"Felix laughed.
"You don't need to be bitten to be a werewolf. And since you
obviously didn't do a spell to get this way, you were born one.
"But neither of my parents were, and my grandparents weren't."
"The gene doesn't always surface every gereation, not even every
other generation. It can remain dormant for centuries before
surfacing in an individual. That's why loners like you,
wereanimals that surface at random, are few and far between. It
was probably your ansestors that had it, not parents or
grandparents." He explained.
"And how did you know I was a werewolf?" She asked.
"Shifting Eyes." He said simply. "Your eyes were shifting, that
is the mark of a wereanimal, there animal's eyes show through the
closer it gets to the full moon." Briana looked at him. "Yours
don't." She said. Felix laughed. "Clever. Yes, i am a wereanimal
like you. I started shifting three years ago, and I found that
you can hide your animal eyes, with practice. You can't,
obviously, because this is your first shift. But with practice
you could learn to hide your eyes too."
"What animal do you turn into?" Briana asked out of curiousity.
Felix grinned. "Guess." He said. Briana thuogh about it. "Wolf?"
She said hopefully. Felix laughed at her. "I would hope not."
"Your not even close." He teased.
Briana pondered that for a while. "So what happened last night
that you came to me for help?" Felix asked. Briana told him about
being chased by a gigantic wolf and shifting to escape. When she
finished her story, Felix was no longer smiling. He seemed deep
in thought. "That was another werewolf, but i'm sure that much
was obvious to you." She waited for him to continue. Felix
sighed. "Alright, here's the thing. Werewolves live in packs and
keep themselves secret from humans. The one who went after you
was from the pack that lives around here. Because of the five
gored bodies and the police looking for the creature
responsible." He saw her flinch. He patted her shoulder
comfortingly. "I know you probably did it in self defense,
werewolves aren't killing machines that rip apart everything in
sight when they're wolves, but you still left evidence, and now
the pack needs to lay low. They sent someone after you because
you very nearly exposed them. Shifters need to keep under the
radar. They see you as a threat to the pack, a wild cub that
can't control itself. Of course you aren't, but they don't know
that. They will probably try to kill you again." He said
matter-of-factly. Briana had not expected this. "What should I
do?" She asked. "You need to show them you can control your wolf.
There's a full moon gathering sunday. It's generally wolves olny,
but other weres can come too. I'll take you. You might have to
fight, but not to the death. If yo pass inspection, and i think
you will, they'll except you into the pack."
"What if i don't wanna be part of a pack?" She said sullenly.
"It's not that bad," Felix said. "There are even some people our
age i bet. You guys just gather every full moon, and a few other
things. It's like joining a club. Besides, You don't have many
Briana snorted. "The werewolf club." Felix grinned. "Yep.
Meanwhile, you should stay inside at night until sunday, because
they will most likely send more wolves to take care of you. They
will try to get rid of you before the full moon, because all
shifters change that night, and they're afraid you'll maul
someone else." He explained.
"Great." Briana said sarcastically. Felix looked at his watch.
"We should get to school," He said. "It's seven ten right now."
And with that Felix disappeared. Briana walked home, grabbed her
backpack and managed to bolt down breakfast before the bus rolled
Went Briana gothome she finished her homework and tried to go to
sleep. She was restless like the night before, but stayed inside
because of Felix's warning. When she managed to sleep, she dreamt
of running through the woods.