Nocturnesque Chapter 8

by Jeff Lewis (aka The Werewolf!) © 1985

Sometime after calming down to the point where I wasn't speeding anymore, I was ready to just be scared out of my wits. What kind of monsters lived in that town? God, people who could change shape! What do you call them? Werewolves? That's just not possible. I saw it, and it still isn't possible.

God, my arm hurts. I pulled back the sleeve and saw the puncture marks in my arm. They weren't human; they looked like a dog's teeth marks. No, no, no, no, no.

Oh no! She was one of them! I still wanted and needed her but she was one of them. I'd made love to her, to a wolf. Oh God, that's sick. I felt dirty, soiled, cheated, raped.

I drove on in the night passing small towns until I was so exhausted from non-stop driving and non-stop adrenaline that I was weaving about the road and nodding off.

I stopped in the next town and found a motel. I checked in and spent the next hour in the shower. I couldn't wash the awful feeling from me. I watched TV for a while then passed out on the bed.

My sleep was rough and punctuated by sudden awaking, screaming from flitting memories of dreams so horrible that even those wisps made me shiver.

I would look at my arms and watch for new hair. When I went into the shower, I stopped at the mirror to look at my face and see if my teeth had changed to fangs. They hadn't. I was still completely me with dark saggy bags under my eyes, a ringing headache and an arm that felt as if it were about to burn off.

I was growing very concerned about the arm. I began driving and made it into the city just as the throbbing in my arm became intense. I went to a hospital near my apartment and checked into emergency. When I told the nurse that I had been bitten by a dog, she took one look at the arm and led me to a cubicle. The doctor asked if the dog was rabid and I said no. She asked if I was sure and I said very sure. She injected an antibiotic and an anti-tetanus shot, then wrapped a gauze bandage about it. She gave me a prescription for penicillin and sent me home with the warning that if it got any worse, I was to come back right away.

I assured her that I would and then finally made my way back to my apartment. The shot seemed to help, because the pain was subsiding. I began moving things from the car trunk to the suite and suddenly realized that all of her stuff was still in my car. I couldn't throw them out, so I carefully collected her bags and dropped them off at her place.

Her landlord was surprised to see me alone but I didn't give her a chance to ask any questions. I headed back home and finished unpacking. I didn't have the faintest idea as to what I could do about all this, but as long as I could keep myself busy I wouldn't have to think too hard about any of it.

Finally, after unpacking, cleaning my apartment twice and washing all my clothes and ironing them and even doing my income tax, I had run out of things to do.

I made a very large drink and flopped into my easy chair. I was tired and confused. I sat there and for a while allowed my mind to idle. I still wanted her and still needed her. I could feel it like a physical ache, but there was no way I could have anything to do with creatures like that. Hell, I didn't even like dogs! Good God! I really am going round the bend.

I took a long pull at my drink and look once again at my arm. I was finding those teeth marks to be a kind of holding on point. You know how you pick at a scab when you know perfectly well that doing that may infect it? Or how sometimes you find yourself humming a song you can't stand?

Half of me wanted to look and not see them, and half of me was glad it was still there, just to prove it really happened and that I wasn't insane.

I felt restless and weary at the same time. It was only eight o'clock but I decided to try and sleep.

The sound of dogs barking woke me in the morning. Mother came in and gave me breakfast which I ate. I came downstairs and joined my parents in the living room.

Mother took my hand and reminded me that my love was already one of the clan before we had met. He just had his gift weakened by force. I was known that many people throughout the world had the gift but during the middle ages, because of the persecution of the church many of our people took to being strictly normal and either married out of the clan or carefully prevented the changes.

She told me of the ways of passing the gift to someone who doesn't have it and reminded me that a bite is the most dramatic but also the most effective way as the hormone that triggers the change accumulates in saliva.

She looked at me as if I should see where all this was going. Everybody learned about this in high school. Then it hit me. He was bitten! That meant the changes were taking place right now and he had no one to guide him. The biting techique was so cliche and so excessive that almost no one ever used it anymore. I had almost completely forgotten about it.

This was terrible! He would start changing within a couple of days and would have to learn how to cope with the new body he'd have. He would have to deal with new senses and awareness. In the olden days many a newcomer would go insane. That's what caused the werewolf scares of the middle ages.

I knew I'd have to go find him and that I'd need help. I called Steve up and told him the problem. He told me to wait and he'd be right over.

He arrived within fifteen minutes and hurried in the front door. Jenny was with him. He was right, she had filled out very well. The two of them made a striking couple. She walked up to me and gave me her hands. I felt her sadness for me and thanked her. Steve quickly agreed to come and Jenny would come along with us. Having been separated so suddenly from my own life-mate, I couldn't even think about keeping them apart.

I thanked my mother and father and they told me to bring him back as soon as he agreed to and then they could give him the full measure of help he would need.

Steve led me to his car and we all got in and began our trip back to the city.

The night was filled with strange images and sights. I rolled back and forth as fire burned my gut and ice numbed my head. I sweated and shivered, wrapped tightly in my sheets.

I tried to stand and reeled as the room spun end over end around me. I had to get to the washroom before I threw up. Ahead of me, bands of brilliant coloured light rippled over the wall and furniture and small spasms did the same over my skin.

I reached for the bathroom doorknob only to see my hand pass through it and the door. I yanked it back and collapsed to the floor.

I must have passed out for a period because when I opened my eyes again, the room was filled with light. I felt beaten and hurt all over but at least the spinning had slowed to a constant rocking. Now I could stand up.

I looked out the living room window and saw a dark sky. The stars were like sharp daggers of light, each a different tone of music. The walls of the room themselves cast a light that was a myriad flecks of colour, changing and shifting.

I clutched at a chair as a particularily large wave rocked the apartment and threatened to spin me to the floor.

The floor bucked and I was thrown. I landed hard on the carpet, on my back looking at the ceiling. I was looking directly at a fly walking on the ceiling and it was a little beacon of blue light.

I looked at my hand. There were two hands, one in the other. As I watched, the inner hand lifted out of the darker outer hand and the outer hand fell to my side. I pushed against the darker body and I was free. I stood next to my old heavy body; it lay there glowing a dark red. I should have frightened out of my wits but now I felt calm.

We had been driving in shifts all day and speeding a bit but we got in to the city and arrived at his apartment quite late the same day. I could feel that something was happening even from here. Steve and Jen said they could feel it too.

We went up to his suite and found the door locked. We focused through and stood in the dark living room. Our eyes adjusted to the lighting and I was the first to see his inert body lying on the ground. I began to run to it but Jen stopped me and pointed up to a corner of the room near the ceiling.

There he was, sitting sort of cross-legged in mid-air watching all of us.

It's happening faster than it should, Steve said. Jen, this is your department.

She walked over to where the ghostly form was hovering and reached out to him. He started and began to drift back through the wall. She gently took his wrist in her hand and slowly pulled him back to where we were.

She touched his hand to the inert body on the floor and pressed it in. The hand sunk in upto the wrist. He started to resist. I could hear him say that he did not want to go back, but she slowly pressed more of him back into the lifeless form.

He seemed to give up resisting and moved to a better position and seemed to lay down into his body and snuggled his way in. The last of the glowing form disappeared.

Jen moved closer and listened to his chest. His heart hasn't started, she said. This is your department, Steve.

Steve move over and placed a hand on the still chest. A glowing hand lifted free and plunged in. The muscles of his arm squeezed and then the etherial hand was withdrawn. My love coughed and gasped. His eyes opened and looked about with terror. Jen touched his forehead and he went to sleep.

We lifted his sleeping form and carried him into his bedroom. Laying him in bed, I undressed him and covered him with a blanket.

Jen looked at me and told me a wolf form would have to be paired to him or else he would revert to a wolf protoform. She asked if I would like to do it and I deferred to her wisdom. I could see that she and Steve had the making an especially fine Elder couple.

We returned to the living room and Jen sat in a chair. As I watched, her soul-form detached and did a strange turn and vanished. Moments later it returned and was carrying a thin silver thread. She walked to the bedroom and stood over the bed. She reached into his body and pulled a silver thread from him and wound the two together. The thread she brought in became diffuse and formed a cloud around his body and then was absorbed.

I hope you like this form. I think he'll be very handsome. I hope he'll be happy with it.

I'm sure he will, I told her. I know you have good taste, I said turning to Steve. He grinned and blushed a little.

He's not ready yet, but this should get him through the worst of it. He'll have to come back to the town soon, only the Elder has the skill and power to handle this kind of thing. I've never worked a trapped gift before.

I'll stay here until we reach the end, he told me. I thanked them and gave them the key to my place. They could stay there until things start to happen.

Steve and Jen got ready to leave and I thanked them for their help. I kissed them both and walked them to their car.

I checked out his fridge and made up a list of things we would need over the next few days. I knew he'd be sleeping pretty soundly for the next few hours and so he'd be safe. I found his keys in his pants pocket and headed out to get some groceries.

Running. Panting. Thick woods pulling against my face. I'm warm and happy. I stop and smell the fresh musk of the forest floor. Turning about to press the grass and twigs down, I lay in the brush and sleep.

I awake and look about. This isn't woods. What is this place? Things are over me, I'm inside some place and it smells of humans. I have to get out. I leap but the thing I'm on gives way and I fall to the ground. The ground is covered in something that catches my claws and makes a ripping sound. I run about this place and see no way out.

I look about and see stars and run for them only to be stopped by some hard thing I can see through. I whine in my excitement. I want out of this place. Before I can stop myself, I dribble urine on the ground and start to paw at the hard stuff.

My want becomes desperation and suddenly I'm out in foul smelling air on a cold hard ground. I look out over a ledge and see I'm high up over ground. Again I become desperate and feel a tension grow in me. Suddenly, I'm a few feet above the ground and falling.

I land on my belly and yelp as my groin hits the hard surface. I whine and limp away. I can smell salty water in the air and follow the scent.

I unlock the door and knew in an instant that I'd blown it. I set the bags on the counter and rushed to the bedroom. He wasn't there. Damn!

The door was locked, so he couldn't have left that way. I shifted and sniffed the bed. I could detect two different scents on it, human and wolf. This was bad, that meant he's done his first change.

I tracked his scent out into the living room. I scented a small trace of urine and could smell the axiety and stress in it. I shifted back and walked to his room again. I reached into his pants and withdrew the medallion I gave him. The bond was still there, I could use it to find him, even in a wolf form.

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