That evening, as everyone got ready to settle down for the night, I left my house and made my way to the supermarket. If I was going to make it through the night, I needed some essential supplies.
While the sunset, I bought a flashlight, some snacks, and bottles of water which I put into my bag. After purchasing the items, I walked back out but instead of heading home, I got into a taxi.
“Where to?” The driver asked with a smile as I got in.
“The woods,” I replied and did not explain.
“It is a little too late to go in that direction,” he told me.
“Just take me as far as you can go, leave the rest to me.”
With a shrug, he shifted gears and we were on the way. As far as I was going to pay him, all he had to do was mind his business and drive the damn car. And thankfully, that was just what he did. I was not in the mood for small talk anyway.
I was not going to the woods for camping; neither was I going there to hike. No, I had a more serious issue at hand.
Four weeks ago, after taking a ride on the subway I had made use of the same alley I made use of each night. But this time, it was not empty. I saw an animal that at first I had thought to be a dog, but as I got closer to it I realized it was no dog at all. It was a wolf.
I froze immediately, my hands dropping to my sides in the semi-dark alley. With a low growl, the animal began to walk towards me, his eyes were yellow and I could see them clearly. One paw before the other, and I was stepping backward, hoping to get out of the darkness of the alley and into the well-lit street.
That was when I heard a second growl from behind me, it was from another wolf. I knew then I was cornered, both exits had been blocked. But I had to get the hell out; no way was I going to be wolf food. The only way out was by scaling the fence, so just as the wolves lunged at me, I ran full out, and using the trashcan stationed by the wall I was able to lift myself high enough to latch onto the top of the fence. But not before one of them sank its teeth into my ankle.
I was able to knock it off and I staggered home, my ankle bleeding profusely. I tried treating it, but the blood would not just stop flowing. Until all of a sudden, it stopped of its own accord. But that was when I developed a severe fever and headache, throwing up almost throughout the day. I went to the hospital but they had no idea what was wrong with me, they found no virus or venom that could have been transmitted into my body when the wolf had bitten me. Medically, I was clean, I was healthy. But I was seriously sick.
And just like with the bleeding, I became fine all of a sudden. I had never felt so healthy in my life, or so strong. It was then I began to suspect that I had not been bitten by an ordinary wolf, could it have been a werewolf?
This realization scared me to my core; I didn’t want to become a werewolf. If the movies were right, it was not a fun kind of life at all and the full moon would always be a sign of severe pain to come. But there was no other explanation for the phenomenon my body had been going through, except for the werewolf theory. And I was turning.
I had no choice but to accept the cold truth, I was a werewolf now and it was going to be my new life. There was no two ways about it, and the sooner I accepted it the easier it was going to be for me.
And today, exactly one month since that tragic night, it was going to be a full moon. And everyone knows what happens to wolves whenever there is a full moon. I could not risk turning back at home; I didn’t want to hurt my friends and neighbors. It had to be somewhere far away, where no one would think of coming to. And the only place I could think of was the woods. And that was why I was on my way there.
“This is as far as I can go,” the driver said pulling up at the end of a bridge. “I am sorry mate, but it would be silly of me to go any further. You shouldn’t either.”
“Nah, I will be fine,” I replied as I quickly paid his fare and then climbed out of the taxi, hurling my bag with me.
By this time night had set in fully and the moon had climbed halfway out of the sky. I was running out of time. I hurried down the road, took the unmarked path, and walked into the woods. With my flashlight guiding me, I went deeper and deeper; crunching dead leaves and twigs underneath my foot. When I got to where I felt was far enough from the city, I took off my clothes. I did not want them tearing when I turned. I arranged them along with my bag and boots at the bottom of a tree.
By the time the full moon was over me, bathing me in its soft light, I was ready.
And when I felt the first bone shift and the first pain strike through my body, I embraced it.
This story was inspired by this week's fiction prompt which is By the Light of the Moon. Feel free to try it out.
Thank you for reading.