Lycos

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic
Ever felt the tug of a full moon? The magnetic pull of nature, red in tooth and claw?

This was originally meant to be the prologue of something longer, but I never finished it.

Submitted: October 11, 2009

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Submitted: October 11, 2009

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It starts as an itch.

An annoying patch of red skin behind my left ear that I can ignore at first. After all it’s Hell Week and between coddling the new writers, stroking the egos of the tried and true old writers and finding a replacement for my lead Sports Editor, I have zero time allotted for anything else.

Before long, however, the itch travels down my neck, sparking off nerves like a wildfire under my skin until I can’t stand it any longer. I have to get home, get somewhere I can lock myself away from the world before I can’t control myself.

Before it’s too late.

I leave the Tribune on foot, sticking to side-streets and avoiding the public as best I can. The itch has changed into a constant burn, sizzling from my skin straight through to my bones. It won’t be long now, I realize with a start. I’ve waited too long, and this is my punishment.

My muscles jerk as I walk, preventing me from running full-out as my instincts demand. A sudden spasm deep within my gut causes me to double over in front of a bakery window. Glancing into the mirror-like surface, I can barely see the public persona I try so hard to keep up. My hair is matted with sweat and my pale skin is nearing translucent.

With a shiver I look into my eyes, but I don’t see the normal human I want so desperately to see. I see a caged animal, fighting against its imprisonment. I see the cage weakening with each blow, and I feel the animal within: hungry, angry and strong. So terrifyingly strong.

I push myself back to my feet and continue on. Only three blocks from home would be a stupid place to lose control. Just keep walking, keep moving. Keep going. I increase my pace as much as my throbbing legs will allow and within minutes I see my apartment. With its crumbling bricks and cracked foundation, the building has seen better days, but today it looks like nothing less than salvation.

Through the door.

Up the stairs.

The world is blurring as I grab for my keys and struggle to remember which one matches my door. Finally, I find the right key and shove it into the lock. Brushing unseeingly past the minutia, I reach my bedroom door and rest for a moment against the reinforced wood frame. But I can’t rest here.

My body won’t let me.

As I close my bedroom door behind me, I feel a temporary sense of calm. I made it. I'm home. Before I can get too comfortable, however, the pain in my body reaches a fever-pitch, knocking me to the floor with a powerful blow. With shaking hands I struggle out of my clothes, leaving them in a pile in the corner, forgotten.

I'm not sure which is worse: the change itself, or the fear that comes before it. Knowing what is about to happen makes it all the worse, but I just can't seem to access the rational part of my brain as I'm being ripped apart from the inside.

I crouch on the floor, hoping to ease the pain as my muscles stretch themselves to their proper length. Next, my bones begin their torturous dance of expand, contract, expand, contract.

My terror hits a high point as my throat begins to change shape, from human to wolf. For a few moments all oxygen cuts off and my brain struggles and fights for life. Once that long moment passes, the rest of my change is slightly easier.

I fall to the floor and whimper as the last shudders of adrenaline course through me. It's done. Any trace of the human in me is gone, replaced by a 90 pound red wolf. The desire to get up and move is overwhelming but I resist, pulling myself under my bed. It's a tight squeeze in my new form, but the close quarters comfort me in a way that my open bedroom can't.

With the wall to my back and the human world rapidly becoming a distant memory to my wolf brain, I fall into a sound sleep.


© Copyright 2018 Roselyn. All rights reserved.

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