The first time I turned was at midnight on my sixteenth birthday. I was cleaning up after my birthday party. It had been just a few of my athletic team and of course my best friend Joanna. We had cake, cookies, homemade milkshakes and popcorn. We had all sprawled out in the lounge and watched the latest chick flick. It had been lovely but now I was tired and ready for bed. My Mom and my Aunt had gone to bed already but I hated to wake up to a mess so I had decided to clean up a bit first before going to bed. I had filled a trash bag with paper plates, cups, serviettes and empty sweet and crisps packets. I hauled the bag outside the back door into the paved back yard intending to put it in the large outside trolley bin.
As I stepped out the back door I took a deep breath of the pine scented air and stopped a moment to look around me. The big, old, full moon, was shining down, lighting up the night with a silvery glow. Stars twinkled like diamonds spread on a black velvet cloth in the crisp cold sky above me. They shone so bright they looked almost close enough to touch, it was breathtaking. The rocky mountains shone with their white caps of snow in the distance. All was quiet in our little town of Banks Alberta at just a little before midnight on the 7th of July.
Unlike many of the other teenagers in our small town, I loved the isolation and beauty of my home town. I had no desire like many of them did to go out and conquer the world. I was happy and content with my life. My family had been founding members of the town’s largest logging company and we lived on inherited wealth. My mother was a housewife and My aunt was on the board of the company among other investments. Whatever I needed I had, (although my mom was pretty strict about not spoiling me.) We had satellite tv, and I had just got an apple i-pad for my birthday. Just because we lived in the middle of nowhere didn’t mean we were cut off from the world. I was thankful on this birthday for the good if boring life I led. I knew many people had things much worse than I did.
I strolled across the yard towards the trolley bin and had just lifted the lid to empty the trash bags when the strangest thing started happening to me. My nails suddenly grew inches in seconds, thick, black and razor sharp. Before I could even scream other changes started to happen. I felt an itch between my shoulder blades, right at that spot where you can’t reach to scratch yourself. The itch travelled all over my body in an uncontrollable wave as I sprouted a thick grey and black pelt. I fell to my knees and watched helplessly as my hands turned into paws. My bones and muscles stretched and altered into a new form and it was so painful I screamed except it came out as a howl. I ran my tongue around my mouth and found my teeth had become canine too. They were many, sharp, pointed and jagged, I cut my tongue on them. ’What the hell is happening to me?’ I screamed inside my head.
Finally the changing seemed to be over, I waited a minute or two to be sure and then tried to move. Coordinating four limbs to walk instead of two was a bit awkward at first but I soon got the hang of it. I loped around the garden, feeling muscles and bones move in a whole new way. I found a puddle and gazed at my reflection, yip I was a wolf alright. Big, furry, charcoal black and grey, strangely my eyes had remained blue, claws, paws the whole nine yards. ’I must be hallucinating’ I thought. Someone must have spiked the punch. I was safe in my bed and having the strangest dream ever. I tried to convince myself but deep inside I knew it was all real as unreal as it seemed.
Then I noticed something else, my sense of sight and smell were heightened. I could sense things in the wind, smells of garbage, oil, tar and mist assaulted my now sensitive nose, I could even smell my mom and aunt in the footprints around the yard. But overlaying all that was an even weirder smell. I struggled a moment to identify it, then realised it was blood... human blood... and it was coming from the other side of the fence, from the alley behind our back yard. I trotted over there and hit a snag, I had no fingers to open the gate latch. ‘Dam, I thought, now what do I do?’ For some reason the urge to investigate the smell was overwhelming me. Somehow I just knew it was important to find the source of that smell.
I looked around the yard, everything shone clear as daylight in the moonlight due to my heightened vision. Then I realised that the trolley bin in the far corner of the back yard was right up against the fence and an easy jump for me in my new form. I loped over to it and jumped up onto the lid. From there it was an easy jump over the fence and to the alley on the other side.
I landed on the tar and sniffed around. I could “see”, the trail of blood with my nose. It distinctly led to the bird sanctuary which was a few blocks from my house. I padded along the quiet roads following the scent, completely absorbed. Fortunately there were no people around at that time of night in this quiet suburb.
I followed the trail to the sanctuary and then hit a problem, the scent was on the other side of the fence and there was no way in. I loped along the fence for awhile and eventually I discovered a small hole under the fence. By scrunching myself up I wiggled my way under the fence through the hole.
Once on the other side my senses were on high alert. I could hear the scuffling of small creatures in the undergrowth. The smells of rabbit and squirrel were making my mouth salivate and my tummy grumble. The thought of biting down on a warm rabbit and feeling the blood squirt into my mouth was a delicious temptation, but at the same time the human side of me was screaming ‘ooh gross!’ It was a very confusing feeling to have the two halves of me in conflict like that, but my human control was stronger. I forced myself to put aside my hunger and concentrated on the blood trail,
I didn’t know why but the urge to find the source was driving me crazy. I loped along through the bushes and trees, jumping easily over logs and the little streams that criss crossed the reserve. The freedom, strength and flexibility of my new body was wonderful, I had never felt freer.
The smell got stronger until I reached a clearing and found something I couldn’t believe. A person was lying curled up in the clearing, clearly unconscious. But that wasn’t the weird part, the weird part was he was half wolf half boy. The fur was there and the hind legs but his face was human and his chest which I could see through his torn t shirt was very nicely muscled but definitely human. His breathing seemed shallow and he was covered in blood, it looked like he had been attacked in the middle of the change from wolf to boy.
I poked his face with my nose and scrabbled at his arm with my paws. When that didn’t work I licked his face. He stirred and opened his eyes, they were the colour of melted chocolate and looked gentle despite the obvious pain he was in. I licked at his wounds and he patted my head, showing no fear of me. After a few minutes he sat up and then changed the rest of the way completely into a boy.
He patted my head again and thought to himself, “Wow this is one pretty lady wolf.” I could hear his thoughts as clearly as if he had spoken out loud. I laughed inside but just lay down trying to look cuddly and non threatening. My stupid wolf tongue lolled out my mouth and my tail began to wag of its own accord, clearly my wolfie side liked this boy/wolf.
He sat down and leaned against my side. He was scratched and large bruises were showing through the rips in his t shirt. He also looked exhausted. He wrapped an arm around me and I could hear his thoughts, he was scared, confused and in pain.
He ran over the events in his mind, (and I could see the images as clearly as if they were on a TV screen.) He was trying to piece together what had happened to him. He had been on his way to the sanctuary for his nightly run and had been in the alley behind my house when he was attacked by a bunch of men in full black combat gear. (We had not heard anything as the movie had been loud.) He had tried to change into wolf form to protect himself but they had grabbed him in the middle of his change and thrown him into a van. The next thing he knew he had woken up here in the sanctuary battered and bleeding.
He didn’t know how they knew he was a werewolf but they did.It was also a mystery as to how they had found him. He remembered hearing one of the men say to the other “This vermin scum should be put down.” The questions tumbled and flitted around in his head till I was dizzy. He clearly had no idea why or by whom he had been targeted just that they hated our kind.
Now he was thinking to himself, they must know about my kind. But how? It was a closely guarded secret. Normal humans had no idea that werewolves, witches and vampires walked among them in plain sight even nowadays in the year 2017. Most people thought of these things as fables legends or fairy tales. Someone had obviously realised they were real and felt threatened by it.
His heart beat faster as he realised he must warn the others of the pack, they were in danger from these strange men too. He tried to get up but his ankle twisted and he collapsed back onto the ground. Right now he had little strength left. I did not know what else to do so I licked his face again and curled myself around him as he lay curled in a heap on the ground. I wrapped my furry body around him and I think exhaustion just won out in the end, because he fell asleep between one breath and the next.
A few minutes later I drifted off to sleep myself. The tweeting of birds and a ray of sunshine woke me in the morning. I was alone, only paw prints and a few drops of blood proved that the wolf boy had even been there. What was worse, I seemed to have turned human again with the sunrise and here I was was stuck alone in the forest,stark naked. Thank goodness there was no one around this early in the morning to see me.
I looked around desperately for something, anything to cover myself with and that’s when I spotted his t shirt hanging on a bush. He had left it for me to wear. It was a bit grubby and torn and had dried blood spots on it that looked like mud but it was better than nothing. I wondered how he had known that I was a werewolf like him and not just an ordinary wolf. If I ever saw him again I decided I would ask him. I pulled on the t shirt which thankfully came down to my knees and covered all the important bits.
I needed to get home, my mom and aunt would be awake soon. I headed towards the gate, I would have to sneak past the entrance booth to get out, but after last nights’ adventures that seemed simple, and it was. I hid in some bushes near the gate and when a tour bus stopped and the guard was busy taking their entrance fees I casually walked out among the crowd. No one noticed me in the confusion.
Once I was clear of the reserve I ran home as fast as I could. Part of me was still not sure if this had all really happened or if it was just a dream or hallucination. At last I reached my house, swung open the little green gate and hustled to the front door, hoping none of our nosy neighbors were awake yet to see me creeping into the house half naked, so early in the morning.