Hello all. This week’s yarn was suggested by my good friend Ben Ingber and the prompt was as follows: ‘A wolf spends each full moon as a human’.
2014 – A Year In Stories
Hungry Like the Wolf
The wolf ran through the forest. The time was near and she had to reach the point before it was too late. She crashed through a bush and fell as it stumbled, but rolled with the fall and was back on the run again in moments.
After another minute of barrelling through the undergrowth the wolf stopped, lifted its nose to the air and sniffed around, trying to catch the scent of the stash. A moment later and the wolf was on her way again.
A few minutes of searching brought her to the right place just in time. She began to feel the change happening as she dug furiously to unearth its stash.
The wolf let out an excruciating howl as the metamorphosis fully took hold.
The process took mere moments, but every time it happened felt like a thousand years of agony. The wolf had hoped that it would get better with time, as she adapted to the process, but it had been 2 years and if anything the process had only become more painful with time.
When the metamorphosis was complete the wolf stood up, on two legs this time, and brushed the soil from her naked body. The recently transformed woman reached down to the ground, where, in her wolf form, she had unearthed a duffel bag.
The first order of business was her hair. A huge mane of shaggy black hair came with her every time she transformed, and she had learned to pack a hairbrush amongst her supplies.
The hair tamed, she put on some clothes. Nothing fancy, in fact quite grubby and worn, but enough for her to blend in to human society for the 48 hours a month she had to spend in this accursed form. It had taken her a while to get used to that, she did not mind admitting, but after a few months she had managed to scavenge enough supplies that humans had left lying around that she could pass.
Just as she was pulling a stained hoodie over her head she heard the crack of a twig snapping. With her wolf reflexes she was leaped towards the noise and a second later found herself on top of an elderly, skinny human male.
The man was dressed in an all black ensemble, except for a white slip of cardboard inserted in his collar.
“Please don’t kill me!” he whimpered, as the wolf-lady snarled intensely on top of him.
“Whaaat did you seee?” she growled. Over the last two years she had managed to adapt her method of communication to a decent approximation of the human language known as ‘English’.
“I didn’t see anything!” the man protested, until the wolf intensified her snarl. “OK, OK,” he confessed, “I saw the whole thing. I saw you change from a wolf in to a person. I had to check my eyes. I must be dehydrated.”
“Whaat do you meeean?” she growled in return.
“Wolves don’t turn in to human beings! There’s no such thing as werewolves! They’re a myth.”
“Whaaaat is were-wolff?”
“When a, when a human turns in to a wolf at the full moon. It’s an old legend. I swear I wasn’t trying to hurt you!” The man burst in to tears. “Please don’t kill meeeeee.”
“I nottt kill you,” the wolf said, getting off the man. “Who you?” she asked the man, who has barely containing the racking sobs of terror.
“My name? I am Reverend Roger Smart. I run the local church in the town.”
“Whattttt you do in woodssss?”
“I was on a late evening constitutional,” Roger said, then upon seeing the confused look on the wolf-lady’s face added, “a walk. I was out walking in the woods.”
“Woodss dangeroussss,” the wolf replied.
“What is your name?” the Revernd asked, after managing to stop crying.
“I not have name. Wolvesss not have name.”
“May I call you Luna?”
The wolf mulled it over for a moment.
“Yes. Like Luna. Good name.”
“OK then. Luna…What just happened to you?”
“Most time I wolfff. I alwaysss wolff until I get bitten by human in fight. Now sometime I turn to humannn like you.”
“Does it always happen when the moon looks like that?” Roger asked, pointing at the full moon, which had now had time to rise properly.
“So you aren’t a wereWOLF. You’re a wereHUMAN!” the Reverend exclaimed. “this is incredible! Though I must admit, it has rather shaken my faith a little. Were…creatures are meant to be just stories. Next you’ll be telling me that vampires exist and my cousin is a necromancer!”
“What isss necromancerrr?”
“Never mind,” Roger said. “Are you hungry, Luna?”
“Yesss!” Luna replied. “You have foods?”
“Come with me,” Roger smiled.
Twenty minutes later they were back at the vicarage, and Mrs Thackeray, the housekeeper, was bustling about preparing some sandwiches, all the while complaining about the imposition of the Reverned bringing around a guest unannounced at this hour.
Mrs Thackeray gave Luna the once over as she placed the sandwiches on the table.
“So…Luna. Tell me about yourself,” she said, indignantly.
“I a wolfff!” Luna exclaimed proudly, not noticing the subtle inflection in Mrs Thackeray’s voice that suggested she didn’t really want an answer. “I turn in to human and Rogerrr Reverendd help meee.”
“I say!” Mrs Thackeray bellowed. “What nonsense! There were rumours of a wolf creature prowling the woods on the full moon but as a good Christian I don’t believe a word of it. Roger, Do you mean to say that you found a woman claiming to be a feral savage and TOOK HER IN?”
“The Lord commands that we offer kindness and hospitality to all those who cross our paths, Mrs Thackeray. Need I remind you of the story of the Good Samaritan?”
Seemingly not requiring a refresher, Mrs Thackeray merely harrumphed, and with one final sidelong glance at Luna, stormed out of the room.
Half an hour later, after Mrs Thackeray had begrudgingly prepared a bed for the guest, the Reverend prepared to say goodnight. However, just as they were about to mount the stairs, there was a knock at the door.
“I wonder who that could be at this hour?” the Reverend said.
He walked up to the door and looked through the peephole. On the other side he could see a host of people jockeying for position in front of the door. Some of them were brandishing microphones, while others had large television cameras mounted on their shoulders.
Reverend Smart pulled back from the door in horror.
“It seems the press has descended on us!” he said.
“Perhaps they got wind of your ‘friend’s’ whereabouts,” Mrs Thackeray replied with a smirk on her face.
“Nora Thackeray!” the normally quiet and mouse Reverend roared. “Did you tip them off?”
“The media circus will surely drag her away. She is an abomination in to god, Roger. If I had my way she would be destroyed.”
“How dare you bring this on to my home. You’re sacked!” he yelled, then added, “And stop calling me Roger. Only my friends may address me as Roger, and if I’ve learned anything over the last half an hour, Mrs Thackeray, it is that you are not my friend, and that you are no longer welcome in my home. Now pack up your things and go!”
“I say!” Mrs Thackeray said, looking as though she was about to boil over.
“I would dearly rather that you didn’t say anything at all!” the Reverend said, coming to the crescendo of his anger. Luckily Mrs Thackeray had already begun to slink up the stairs, with Luna bearing her teeth at the retreating figure.
The two heard a noise come from the sitting room, as if someone was trying to jimmy the window open. By the time they reached it the man was halfway through the tight spot.
“Oh do bugger off!” Roger said, rechanneling his anger as he slammed the window on the man’s head, causing him to fall backwards on to the ground. “Come with me!” he shouted to Luna.
They ran to the cellar and closed the door behind them.
“There’s a way out to the border of the woods in here,” Roger said. “Here,” he added, grabbing as much food as he could find that did not require preparation and stuffing it in to Luna’s duffel bag. “Take this and hide in the woods. I’ll hold them off as long as I can.”
Luna was just out of the back when the first journalist burst the cellar door open.
“Where’s the werewolf?” the woman asked.
“Were-huma…” Roger began, before catching himself. “I mean, I don’t know what you’re talking about. Have you been listening to the rumblings of a doddering old woman again? Mrs Thackeray is off her rocker. Honestly, a werewolf? How gullible do you have to be?”
After consenting to a thorough search of the house for the werewolf, Reverend Smart saw the last reporter off, empty handed, with a slam of the door.
“That should put them off the idea,” he said to himself.
One month later, as the full moon drew near, Reverend Smart trudged up the slight incline to the spot in the woods. He checked his watch and, right on time, he saw a wolf stalk out of the forest and pad right over to him.
Initially he exercised caution, as he was not sure how much memory Luna retained in her wolf form, and was not keen to receive a mauling. He flinched as the wolf increased her pace and leapt towards him, but laughed as he felt the coarse lick of her tongue on his face.
Moments later he opened his eyes to find a fully grown, fully naked woman leaning on him. It had been some years indeed since a naked woman had been this close to him and he blushed as he handed Luna some clothes.
“Come with me,” he said, after she had gotten dressed. “There’s plenty of food at the vicarage.”
Luna followed him as he walked back down the hill.
“Oh,” he added. “You’ll love my new housekeeper. Much more understanding than the last one…”