Okay folks, here it is: the third installment of my short story ‘The Change’, as promised in my last blog post. Wow – I got something completed when I said I would! 🙂
The Change (Part 3)
‘God, I wish that bloody mutt would be quiet. Shut up, you stupid dog!’
The words jarred me out of my howling. I crouched, all senses on alert. I heard footsteps, and the smell – I supposed that must be what humans smelled like, now that I was a wolf. But where were they? I realised with a shock that someone was walking the path round the outside of the park. But that was miles away – well, not miles, but pretty far from where I was. Yet I could hear and smell them clearly. No wonder my senses were so overwhelmed by the nearby animals.
‘Must have heard me. Thank fuck. That stupid howling was going right through me.’
There was a laugh, and the two men walking home from the pub continued on their way. Beer, sweat, cigarettes…but underneath a delicious scent of something I couldn’t define for a moment. Wait – it was similar to a good steak, or maybe a pork chop. Oh yuk – I was drooling! Over the smell of human flesh, my animal senses telling my brain that a tasty meal was walking by! Oh God.
The part of me that was – whatever I now was – wanted to hunt those men. It was threatening to overwhelm the human part. I had to deal with my hunger, fast. There were plenty of other creatures in the park that I could eat.
I forced my attention away from the men and onto the other tantalising scents around me. There was something…several somethings. Small, but with a delicious, gamey smell. Rabbits! They were at the edge of the trees, quite far away, and they were nervous. They’d heard my earlier howling. Now I’d stopped, they were emerging, nibbling grass but hyper-alert to everything around them. How was I supposed to catch one?
My posture had changed. I was standing, compact and still, scenting the air, some new part of me working out the best route to my prey and how long it would take to reach it. If I let the beast – I was already thinking of the new part of me as the beast – take over, she would know what to do, I was sure of it. Could I do that? What if the beast’s attention wandered onto a human instead? Still, the men had gone, and I couldn’t smell anything similar nearby. My stomach growled, and so did I. If I didn’t satisfy my hunger, something bad would happen. I closed my eyes for a moment, and let the human in me disappear.
The wolf ran silently, circling the park, keeping downwind from the warren. On her own, hunting wasn’t as easy as with a pack, but it was perfectly possible. She couldn’t bring down anything huge – but there was nothing big in the park, anyway. Her keen hearing and smell told her what she needed to know. A fat, juicy rabbit had wandered a little further from the trees than the others. The wolf paused. Her prey was still unaware of her. Homing in on her target, she covered the last few metres in the blink of an eye. Before the unfortunate bunny knew what was happening, the wolf’s jaws had closed over its neck and snapped it. The other rabbits bolted back to the burrows, but the wolf had what she wanted. She checked round to make sure nothing else was a threat to her or her meal, then settled down to enjoy the results of her first hunt. She ate the whole rabbit, her digestive system designed to cope with fur and bones. It was important to eat as much as possible when large prey was scarce – or forbidden.
I can’t describe that first taste of meat as the beast. I suppose it was like eating a tender, juicy piece of meat as a human – except this was raw, body temperature, and sweeter than anything I’d ever tasted in a restaurant. My teeth, designed for the task, made short work of the rabbit. It was as I was finishing up that the human me decided to reassert herself – by being grossed out at what the wolf had just done. I stared down at the few scraps that were left, and shuddered. I had killed and eaten another animal. I spent my days saving animals’ lives: now I would have to kill them to feed this new me. Uurgh.
Logic told me it was much better to eat a few rabbits than a human being. It was scary how much I had wanted to hunt the men who had passed by earlier. But what was I to do now? I gazed up at the full moon. That had been the trigger, hadn’t it? At least that bit of the stories was right. So would I change back when the sun rose? I felt myself panicking again, and forced it down. Then another thought struck me. Clothes! I trotted back round the park to the lake. Yes, there they were, all over the path, shredded by the change. I gazed at my ruined jeans and top. My coat had split in two, but by some miracle was otherwise intact. And it was a long coat. I was obviously going to be naked if – when – I changed back. I spotted a rhododendron thicket nearby; a good place to hide. I seized the two halves of my coat in my jaws, dragged them into the bushes, then curled up on top of them. Exhausted by the night’s events, I fell asleep.
I woke, shivering, and being prodded by something sharp. Everything was dappled light and dark, which didn’t seem like my bedroom. For a moment I didn’t know where I was. Then I remembered, and sat up, clutching my head as a branch poked me in the ear.
I sat up! I clutched my head!!
I was human shaped again. I was just about together enough to realise that the town clock was striking. Eight o’clock. It was light, but if I hurried I’d make it home before too many people were about. I gathered up the pieces of my once-beautiful coat, and put them on. It would have to do. I emerged from my hiding place cautiously. The park gates weren’t unlocked until nine, but there were always people like me who sneaked through. No-one about. I wrapped my arms around myself in an attempt to stay decent, and hurried for the gap in the fence.
I didn’t know what I’d say to my housemates if they saw me. I didn’t have my key, but there was a hidden spare. Too many incidents of one of us coming home drunk, keyless and having to be let into the house in the small hours. Fortunately no-one was up when I got back. I had scurried past a couple of people on the way, but they weren’t looking at me properly, thank goodness – probably thought I was on my way home from a wild night out. Ha!
Safely in my room, I shed my coat rags and threw on a dressing gown. I wanted a shower, but first of all… I booted up my laptop. Clearly, once I was clean, I needed to do some research.
That was twenty years ago, almost to the day.
I’ve learned a lot since then. About what I am, what I’m capable of, and how to live this life.
I know what you want to ask – have I ever killed a human? Well, that’s a story for another time.
That’s the thing, you see. There’s no support group for me to go to. Others of my kind…well, I’ll tell you about them in due course, too.
So you can be my support group.
My name is Lucy, and I’m a werewolf.
I hope you enjoyed this story of how Lucy became a werewolf. Follow her further adventures in More…