I pushed the front door open, rushed inside, slammed it shut and leaned against it for a few seconds to catch my breath and gather my wits. There was about to be a big confrontation, and it was not going to be pretty! I was furious at my mom and aunt. Why hadn’t they warned me? Had they known this could happen? Why had I changed and were they werewolves too? had so many questions bubbling in my head I thought I would explode like an over boiled tea kettle.
I stormed up the stairs and charged into my mother’s room, opening her door with a bang.
She sat up bleary eyed and said “Wha..? Whats going on?” Then seeing the look on my face, realisation dawned and she seemed to wake up fully in an instant.
“Oh dear Clarissa, you turned didnt you? She asked as she climbed out of bed and shrugged herself into her rose pink fluffy dressing gown and matching satin slippers.
She came to me and gave me a hug then said, “we need to talk. Let’s go downstairs and have some tea.”
“Evelyn,” she shouted as she walked past my aunt’s room. “It looks like Clarissa turned, come at once please.” I just followed my cuddly dear old mum down the stairs in stunned amazement, the wind completely taken from my sails by her calm manner.
She went straight to the stove, put the kettle on for tea -her cure all for all ills - and gave me another hug, “now, now Clarissa dear,” she soothed “ I know this might all be a shock to you but we will explain everything. Sit down dear,” she gently but firmly pushed me onto a kitchen stool.
The kettle whistled just as my Aunt Evelyn came down the stairs in her fern green terry cloth robe and matching curlers in her hair. Her face still looked soft and gentle, like it always does when a person first wakes up, but her cobalt gray eyes were alert.
She inspected me from head to foot with a glance and said “well you seem to be alright.”
“Alright?” I squealed,”No Aunt Evelyn, I am far from alright” I exclaimed. “I turned into a bloody wolf last night and you knew it could happen and didn’t warn me!”
“Now now dear,” said my mom patting me on the head like a noisy puppy, “Don’t take on so, everything will be ok you will see. It’s just a bit of an adjustment, that’s all.”
Then she put a steaming cup of tea down in front of me - chamomile by the smell. As I mentioned, my mother has a tea for everything. She handed my aunt her cup of coffee, plonked herself on the seat next to me with a mug of tea and said, “Ok, tell us exactly what happened.”
I explained to them about how I turned and about going to the bird sanctuary but I said nothing about meeting the wolf boy. For some unknown reason his fear had seeped into me too and I didn’t trust anyone just yet. After all my own family had not warned me about what would would happen to me. I wondered what other secrets could they be hiding? When I was done I leaned back, crossed my arms and said, “Now it’s your turn to do some explaining.” staring at my mother hardest of all.
My mom said quietly but with the effect of a bomb going off,“your aunt and I are witches dear.”
“What?!” I screeched “ first werewolves, now witches. Has my world gone insane? You’re witches? Really?” I yelled in disbelief, anything less witchy looking than my mother would be impossible to imagine. She was cuddly mom 101. Not some powerful witch, the idea was ridiculous!
My head spun but I asked the question as fast as they tumbled through my mind, “Do you have powers? What kind of powers? Are you evil? Do I have powers, why haven’t you ever told me this?” my questions tumbled over themselves.
Aunt Evelyn finished her last swallow of coffee, took a deep breath and began to explain, ” we come from a long line of witches dear. We live in plain sight and use our powers carefully and in secret. The people of this world feel very threatened by things they don’t understand, so we keep to ourselves and live unnoticed among them..”
“Ok if you say so,” I interjected, “but why did I turn into a wolf? That’s not a witchy power is it?”
My mom fielded that one and I could swear she was blushing. She cleared her throat. “No darling, you are part witch part werewolf. One year, 16 years ago Evelyn and I went to a Samhein Festival and there I met a werewolf and well ...things happened and 9 months later I brought you into the world.”
The fact that they even knew what a Samhein festival was boggled my mind, the fact that my mom had been there and gotten pregnant by a werewolf, that was a lot to grasp. I sat there speechless for a while, my mouth opening and closing soundlessly like a guppy in a fishbowl.
I was angry, insulted, offended and embarrassed. There were so many feelings swirling through me at the same time I felt like I was caught in a tornado of emotion and confusion. Eventually I took a long calming sip of my tea and said, “Oh, so that’s why you never told me about my father? I was born from just a fling?”
“Well yes but I’ve never regretted having you,” my mother hastened to add.
My Aunt calmly intervened, “actually your birth was quite unexpected. Witches and werewolves mating does not usually result in offspring.”
I tried to wrap my head around this revelation on top of everything else I had just learned, “So not only am I a half breed witch and werewolf I am a one of a kind?” I asked with big eyes. “Lucky me.” said my sarcastic self rearing her ugly head.
“Yes dear, that is quite correct. Unfortunately there is no DNA test for this sort of thing, so we had no idea what would happen when you turned or even if you would.
You could have only been born with your witch powers or just a werewolf or a mix of the two. There was no way to know and no need to worry you until we saw what happened. Now we have and we can handle it.” My aunt was as cool and calm as always.
I wanted to strangle her, shake her, scream at her. She was talking about this major life changing event like it was nothing! What was wrong with her? My mom just sat there looking intently at the pattern in the brown and green kitchen tiles, she wouldn’t look me in the eye.
“Well, I definitely turned into a werewolf thats for sure.” I said, “as to the rest, I don’t know if I ‘inherited’ any other ‘gifts’” I declared. It didn’t occur to me then to mention that I had read Chase’s mind when in my wolf form, I just thought it was a part of the whole werewolf thing. It wasn’t.
I was exhausted and my head was spinning. I needed some alone time to process all this. “I’m not going to school today. I am exhausted and need time to process all this.” they didn’t argue, just nodded.
I got up, climbed the stairs and on the way to my room decided to take a shower. To me, I still smelled of wolf, forest and Chase. His unique smell lingered in his T shirt. .
After my shower and a thorough washing of my long honey gold hair I dressed in my comfiest pajamas, bound my hair in a towel turban to dry and passed out on my bed. When I awoke it was mid afternoon and I and I was starving.
I stumbled downstairs into the kitchen and opened the fridge door to see what I could find. There were the usual fruits and vegetables and such but my craving was for meat, raw, red and bloody. My mouth salivated at the sight of the leg of lamb my aunt had been planning to make for dinner. Without even thinking about it I grabbed it and started munching on it like a rabid dog. And that was how my mom and aunt found me when they walked into the kitchen a few minutes later. My face and hands were smeared with blood and I was chomping on a piece of lamb like a wild animal at the kitchen table.
“Clarissa Jane,” my mom screeched, “what do you think you are doing, young lady?”
Speaking around a mouthful of meat I answered, “I was hungry.”
My aunt who was standing behind my mom chimed in, “we can see that dear. But just because you are part wolf now that does not give you the excuse to lose your manners completely!” She fetched a plate, knife, fork and serviette and put them down in front of me.
I obediently put down what was left of the lamb shank on the plate and wiped my hands and face with the serviette. My ravenous hunger was almost satiated, so I could eat the rest quite properly with a knife and fork.
My Aunt Evelyn made herself some coffee and sat down at the kitchen table with me while I ate. She said nothing and my mom just left me in the kitchen to go to her room and have a lie down. She seemed rather overwhelmed by the situation and still couldn’t meet my gaze as she left the kitchen. The thought crossed my mind to call her back and ask if she even knew who my father was, but I didn’t have the strength to deal with that just yet, so I kept quiet.
After a few minutes of uncomfortable silence my aunt said, “You could be a little nicer to your mother dear, this is hard for her too you know. We had hoped this wouldn’t happen and now that it has, she is not sure how to deal with you.”
I was indignant, ‘hard for her?’ I thought, ‘What about me?’ My whole life had been turned upside down overnight. Fighting with my Aunt was pointless so I just quietly finished my meal. I decided to go talk to my best friend in the whole world. If anyone could make me feel better about this wild situation she could. We had been friends forever and were like sisters.
“I’m going to Joanna for a bit Aunt Evelyn, please tell mom.” I said and walked into the hallway without waiting for a reply.