The Last Huntress

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The Birth of a Werewolf

“Red? The shower has been on for a long time, are you okay?” Donovan’s voice came from the bathroom door. I heard him perfectly over the roar of the shower, telling me that my hearing was very, very good. The slight ringing had gone away, but I blamed that on the shower. I didn’t answer him and it seemed as if he wasn’t going to leave. I haven’t heard the door close again.

“I’m not leaving until I hear the shower turn off and you come out here.” Was he really going to play this game tonight? The creak of the door and the sound of him sitting on the sink counter just across from the shower gave me the answer.

I slowly pushed the small lever back into the wall of the shower and felt the water turn off quickly. I didn’t open the curtain and it wasn’t because I didn’t want him to see me in the nude; I didn’t care about that. I didn’t want to leave the shower because then I would have to face what I’ve become. What I’ve been forced into becoming.

I waited for a beat, and that was one of the worse decisions I’ve made since I woke up.

Every tiny sound, every little pulsing around me came at my ears like I was in a room with surround sound. The drip of the water spout next to me sounded like someone tapping on the side of a fish tank and I was the fish, unable to get away from the thumping sound.

Soon the noise wasn’t the worse part because Donovan pulled the shower curtain back quickly and exposed me to the fluorescent light above me. It didn’t bother me too much with the curtain closed but now it was the only thing I could see. He didn’t say a word but when I felt the small hand towel wrapped around my head I knew it was him. He covered my eyes and my ears.

“Sorry, I forgot how much it hurts after you’re turned. It’s only been a week for me but the first few days were torture. I bet it’s different for you though, being melded with Howl must give you magnificent hearing and sight. She was always the better hunter.” My head slowly stopped pounding as I adjusted to the towel wrapped around my face and head.

“She was the better hunter? I have a higher body count than she ever did.” I could hear his soft chuckle, I wasn’t sure what was so funny.

I couldn’t give him my normal look but I hoped my voice came at him the same way.

“It’s just good to hear you back to normal. Being turned, seeing your face when he showed me to you in the throne room. Even seeing both of you dead in the grass. It’s all been a bit much.” He had a point there, but I wasn’t here to make nice with a vampire. I pushed away from him and tried my best to navigate while blindfolded. I made it back into the room where I woke up and while I stood in, what I assumed is the middle of the room, I felt around to see how well these new senses worked.

“Can you feel the room is empty aside from the two of us?” Donovan asked from behind me. I could feel the tiny peach fuzz hairs stand up on the back of my neck. What a neat trick. I didn’t answer him, instead, I pushed my feelers out a bit more and found the main door.

“That’s not the best idea!” I heard his slight shout but ignored him as I walked through hall after hall with the blindfold on and no clothes and I didn’t care. I felt the wall as I walked through the small almost tunnel-like halls. I knew they were only hallways because I could only feel a door or two every so often making me think there weren’t a lot of big rooms. Then I ate my words when I came across a bubble of air.

Now, that may seem weird to say, but it’s what it felt like. I could feel the door in front of me and when I turned it, after figuring out there were no other tunnels to the right or the left of me, I grabbed the knob with my good hand and gave it a twist. The room that opened up I could only describe as being a pocket of air. There was a slight commotion from something inside of it for a moment but when I stepped over the threshold there was nothing going on.

“Red, it’s not a good idea to be roaming the halls-”

He stopped talking and I wasn’t about to take my blindfold off to see why. I didn’t want my headache to come back. I listened as well as the towel would allow me to, but I didn’t get to feel my way around this room.

The sound of wood hitting the floor made my head turn to the right. I steadied myself for someone to attack me but that’s not what I expected when my body was pulled into a very tight hug.

“I never thought I would see you again, Little Red.” That voice...Where have I heard it before...

“Redley, I need to take this off your face. Your vision should be calming down as well as your hearing.” Donovan’s voice cut through the hug that was tighter than anything I’ve felt before. Soon the hug ended and the feeling of a robe was being pulled over my good arm and other one. Donovan reached up and pulled at the knot that kept the towel tied around my head and I tried to stop him but he was faster at that then keeping up with me in the halls.

When the world around me was revealed my new eyes met with someone I could barely place. I squinted slightly at the man standing just in front of me. Donovan stood to the side and when I looked around behind the man I could see about half a dozen other people I’ve never seen before. Were they all human? I spotted Hera with a wooden pole in her hand, waiting for something to happen. I wasn’t sure how I felt about her right now.

“Redly, you don’t remember me, do you?” The man with the umber colored eyes and rich brown skin asked me a simple question but I wasn’t sure if I could answer it. Do I remember this man?

Then it clicked.

“Dad?” It was an impossible guess but when a smile spread across his face I seemed to have hit the nail on the head. He pulled me into a hug again and I only came up with more questions.

“How are you here? This can’t be happening, I saw you burned alive when I was a child.” I pulled out of his grasp and saw the guilt written on his face. “I know, and please believe me when I saw it wasn’t my idea, maybe we should go talk somewhere more private.” I didn’t want to talk about it, I wanted the answer right here and now.

His expression told me I wouldn’t be getting what I wanted. The thought of him being alive for over twenty more years than I believed him to be made my blood boil. Anger coursed through me when I looked at his face now. He couldn’t have been with me this entire time, he chooses to stay away from me, his daughter.

There was an intense pain in my shoulders, something that made me reach back to try and soothe. Soon it wasn’t just my shoulder blades hurting, my neck, back, and legs joined the pain. Then something horrifying, more so then when my arm was ripped off me, my collarbone broke in two on the right side.

I remember screaming out in pain and seeing the fear on my father’s face before I fell to my knees. Over to my left, I could see Hera rush over to me but I pushed her away with a strength I’ve never felt before. Not even the tiniest bit of Donovan’s blood gave me this strength. Another scream tore from my body when my legs began to break and my hip joints along with them. Soon I blacked out to save myself.

Minutes seemed to turn into hours as the pain coursed through my body. But when I finally woke up all I felt was the leftover anger from seeing my father alive again and the new sensation of a power I’ve never felt before.

Then I looked down and saw something that struck fear into my very being.

Before my eyes, I saw a single paw on the floor that I hadn’t seen since that night in the fields. I would recognize them anywhere, they were Howl’s after all. I looked up through the pain in my head and saw Hera and the rest of the people in front of me with shocked looks on their faces. Hera wasn’t quite as bad as the others, seeing as she can turn into a freaking tiger, but she still seemed impressed.

“Red, well technically I’m talking to Howl too, how are you feeling? I see that your arm situation hasn’t resolved itself, sorry about that.” She was right, I only had one paw on the floor in the front I could feel the two in the back. Learning how to walk with only three legs might be easier than learning with four.

It seemed like a dumb question, one that everyone asks when they go up to someone that’s in pain or something. I couldn’t speak and when I tried it sort of came out in a huff. Something I remembered Howl doing a lot of. Looking down at her paws with these new eyes I felt a jolt in my chest like before in the shower. It was her, she was telling me she was with me.

I wasn’t as upset this time around, I should be I just turned into a wolf after a slight anger attack. My hearing was so clear that I didn’t have to try and cover them anymore, my eyesight, while it was very clear, began to adjust to normal viewing standards. I took to sniffing around and ignoring all the people around me, including my father who seemed to have gone pale with what has just happened.

“You seem to be doing fine if you want the training grounds are just outside that door.” Hera pointed to a door to the left and I tried out my new legs and began to head towards the door. Hearing the soft words of Donovan speaking to my father I made a mental note to ignore him for a while since he seems very chummy with him. Before I got to the door I felt the sensation of fur on my left side. I looked over to see the tiger from before. I pushed myself through the doorway to smell the bright scents of grass and dew outstretched in front of us.

The tiger nipped at the ankles until I was sure enough of myself to start running after her. I wasn’t sure what would happen next, and I wasn’t speaking about the small game of tag we are currently playing, but in the grand scheme of things.

I wasn’t sure if I would die tomorrow or if the world would fall in flames but for the first time in nearly thirty years, I didn’t care. Not one bit. I was going to run with Howl at the controls and a tiger nipping at my ankles while I didn’t care about the status of the world for a moment.

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