Nocturnesque Chapter 7

by Jeff Lewis (aka The Werewolf!) © 1985

They were still there. The old man and her parents. The old man, the Elder as she called him, scared the bejesus out of me. Anybody who could do what that man could do should be put somewhere far away, somewhere safe.

I put on my most carefree attitude and slumped into an armchair near the couch. Ok, I said to them, what the hell is going on?

The Elder sat back on the couch, crossed his legs and gave me a look that would petrify water.

You are a special case, he told me. You have the gift but it has been buried by your parents and their parents for who knows how long back. Once someone has the gift, it cannot be taken away. But it can be sealed off, covered and forgotten.

Hold it, I said to him. You mention a gift. What gift? I don't have any gifts!

He turned to my love and asked her if she had told me of herself. She said no and looked a little ashamed.

He told her that it was this deceit that buried her and hid her. When two souls are this close without joining, they suffer each other. She looked even more ashamed and I wanted to strike this Elder for making her hurt. She looked up at me and stopped me with her glance.

Well, I was conviced by now that I had walked into a nest of truely insane people. I'd read about small isolated cultures like the Amish or the Hutterites and how their neighbours tended to think of them as pretty weird, but this was different.

This wasn't a throw-back culture trying to shut out the rest of the world, they really seemed normal and at the same time all these little weirdnesses kept me spinning. Actually, more than spinning: I was flat out terrified. What that guy did to me had to be the best example to hypnosis I've ever seen.

The Elder has stopped talking to the others and turned back to me. He told me that my soul had to be freed if there was to be any joining of souls. That's the way he talked, "joining of souls." I had come a far distance for this woman. Even now, as I looked at her, I felt a fire grow in me. No, not a lust, not that kind of fire, but a hunger, a need to be near and be a part of her and to have her near and with me.

Until I had seen her for that first time, my God, only four days ago, I had felt bored yet fairly content. Now I felt this gaping hold in me that screamed to be filled. I knew only she could do that, but in all honesty, I didn't know if I could take much more of the weirdness.

The Elder drew me back by asking if I truely loved her, and I stared at him. I then looked to her again and he knew the answer.

The Elder began to speak some ritual talk about joining their people and following their rules and becoming one of their people. I was startled when he talked about killing and how it was only to be done to get food or to defend yourself. I calmed a little when I realized he was talking about hunting animals. His spiel was a ritualized speech that got stranger as it went on. He talked about not telling others about their "clan", as he called them and about running with them, which I didn't understand at all.

Finally he finished and asked if I was ready to decide. I wanted to be with her, and I was damned if some weird religion was going to stop me. So, I'd join and then if it got too weird, I'd try and talk her into quitting or something. She walked upto me and brushed her hand along my cheek and told me to think hard about this. I turned to the Elder and steeled myself.

I'm ready.

He removed the thick black coat he wore and laid it on the couch. To my surprise, he then removed his shirt and began removing his trousers. I looked to the rest of them and they seemed to take this in stride as it people stripping naked was a normal thing.

A moment later, he had completely finished. He was well built for an older man, muscular and slim. Suddenly he called to me and simply said "prepare." As I watched, he seemed to blur and become fuzzy. I felt a sharp pain in my head but forced myself to watch. The blur seemed to coalesce into a different form and slowly come back into focus. Before me was a large grey wolf! I staggered back in shock and hit a wall behind me. The wolf lept at me and I put up my arms to ward it away. I felt the sharp white teeth puncture my skin then pull away. I fell to the ground and cried out in terror. The great beast still stood over me, its hot breath on my face and soft fur on my arm. I could see into the golden eyes and perceived a flare of green light. It laughed at me!

There was a grey blur as the animal lept from me and flew, it seemed, back to the couch. The shaggy beast blurred and seemed to reshape into the Elder.

I looked at my arm and saw the punctures in my arm, the rills of blood trickling and realized that this was not a dream or some weird cult. I lept up and dashed for the door. I threw the door open and ran out into the night. Three dark shpaed detached themselves from the night and sped past me. I tried to lose them but could not. I knew I was doomed and was about to give up when I hit something large. I got a grip on myself for a moment, just long enough to recognize my car.

I tore the door open and dived in pulling it closed behind me. A grey shape thudded onto the cars hood and a black and grey face peered in. I could see the green fire of its eyes and the sharp white teeth. I dug for the keys and slammed them into the ignition and twisted. The car lurched forward and reached down and put the car in neutral and twisted the key again. It started and I floored it. The car spun around and threw the animal from itself and in a shower of soil and pebbles shot away from the farm house.

Speeding along the back road I suddenly saw a man in the middle of the road. As I bore down on him I could see it was the Elder. I slammed the brakes down but couldn't stop. The car began to slide and coasted right into the Elder and finally came to a stop sideways in the road. I took the flashlight from the glove compartment and stepped from the car. I shone the light along the road but couldn't see anything. I checked the front and sides but did not want to stray too far from the road. I listened but did not hear any groans or calls for help. I climbed back in the car and restarted the engine and drove off, determined not to stop until I was back home again or at least someplace with lights and lots of regular people.

My mother and father and the Elder returned. They padded to the center of the room and returned to their human form. My mother took me up in her arms and told me not to worry.

I held her and held back the anger and sorrow I felt. I turned to the Elder and demanded to know why such a display was put on. The man had never seen a change nor had he even known about that ability! He was completely unprepared and that stunt probably scared him away forever and we were damned lucky he wasn't killed outright by the shock!

The Elder made a noncommital remark about shocking his ability back and that was a risk worth taking. How dare he! How dare he take a risk with my love without talking to me first. Rage washed over me and I felt my eyes burn. I changed, dug my way free from my clothes and ran out the front door, my long legged loping stride carrying me far out into the pasture area before it struck me. I had changed! I skidded into a stop and tripped into a roll, my legs all tangled together like a cub. I rose and shook myself off and sat down in the sweet grass. I could see clearly in the brilliant moonlight and realized what the Elder had meant.

I loped back to my parents house, slunk into the living room. My parents and the Elder were sitting on the couch sipping some highly spiced tea of some sort. The odour tickled my nose. I stepped into the room and they waited. I changed back and took up a sarong sitting on the chair next to me.

I thought you might want that, my mother said to me.

I turned to the Elder. You did that on purpose. How could you?

It worked, he replied.

But what about him, I cried out. I've lost him!

Not exactly, the Elder replied. He will need help in just a few days. You should head back as soon as possible. You have proven that he is coming to us, you couldn't have changed without him.

He'll never talk to me again. I saw his face, he was in terror! Dad, Mom, please talk to him and get him to help me.

My father came over to the chair and stood behind me. He put his arms around my shoulders and kissed my cheek. My beloved daughter, he began, the Elder is the wisest man in town and knows all of the secrets of our clan. If he feels this is the correct route, then you must follow this path.

I turned to my mother and hoped she would be on my side, but she too agreed with the Elder. She reminded me that my love was really of the clan, and that would bring him back when he was ready. She told me to get a good night sleep and that the next day, they would send me back to the city to help him prepare. I felt miserable. I couldn't go to him now. I couldn't remove that picture of him lying against the wall his eyes wide with shock and horror as the Elder pinned him down. I'm not sure I could have taken that myself.

I climbed the stairs and prepared to go to sleep, but was too restless and angry. I needed to work off this anger. I opened the window and changed again. I jumped to the porch roof and then to the ground. I ran off to the back road and headed out to the grove where the gang used to hang out when I was young.

I ran hard and felt the crunch of gravel under my paws. I dived into the woods, scaring the small denizens up at this dark hour. The moon was up, flooding the forest with a sliver glow as bright as daylight to my eyes. The branches striking me were my prey and I bit at them drawing the sour sap. I growled and snarled at them and finally burst through the trees into a large open area in the woods.

The smells of my childhood flooded over me as I slid to a stop. I walked forward into the argent glade. Children still came here; I could smell the warm musk of a young cubs fur, the excited scent of a pair exploring each others bodies, the sweet smell of exertion after a hunt.

While I was alone, I had no life mate as so many of my friends did, I still felt a part of my friends and we shared so much.

I remember my first hunt, my clumsy body tumbling over a small field mouse, later to become my favourite hunt food. I remember my first heat and my first mating. So desperate for that joining and yet so terrified. When we locked, we paniced of course, even though we learned all about that at school. Poor Stevie, he was so embarrased by that, everybody teased him for days.

There was a rustling from the woods and a handsome male came through. He padded over to me and brushed his muzzle against mine.

You called, he said to me.

Stevie! Goodness, you've grown so.

You have too. I heard you were back in town and I had to come over and see how the clans prodigal daughter was doing. When I got to your place, I saw you leave by the window and followed, discretely of course.

Of course. Since when have you been discrete?

Now, now. I've missed you very much, you know?

I've missed you too. Have you found a life mate yet?

Uhm, yes. Do you remember Jenny.

Jenny, that runt!

He lept forward and bit my muzzle. I yowled. Sorry, sorry, I didn't meant anything by it.

Don't you talk about her that way. She's not a runt. She filled out quite well and well... she needs me.

I could see that he needed her too. I shifted and held his furry body and kissed him. I'm sorry it couldn't have been me, I said to him.

I'm sorry too. You know I'll always love you. You were my first love.

And you were mine, I said honestly, this is a different kind of love.

I know, he said quietly.

I grabbed the fur at the side of his head and pulled him up so we were looking eye to eye. You are the closest person to me next to my life mate and don't forget that Steven.

He whined and licked my face then cradled himself in my lap. I gently bit his ear and scratched his cheek. He had grown into a very handsome young wolf and I knew I'd enjoy making love with him but I just didn't want to. He licked a nipple and I gave him a gentle shove then shifted. I snapped at him and then broke into run. He chased me and we ran in and out of the woods. He would catch up to me and leap on me. We would tumble together, snapping at the loose fur on each others neck and arms.

Finally, exhausted, he collapsed against a log and I fell across his legs. He nuzzled my ears and neck and rested his head on my neck. We dozed for a while like this then rose up and shifted together. He looked just as handsome as a human. I hugged him again and kissed him and told him that I would see him again. He touched my cheek and then shifted back and took off in the direction of town. I shifted shortly after and trotted back to my old home.

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