A Fresh Take On A Classic Legend
“Mr. Harrington, are you still with us?”
Ross Harrington, a twenty-year old university freshman, sat at his desk. He had short hair and glasses for long distance. Ross opened his eyes breaking out of his daydream. He was sitting in chemistry class finding the material confusing and difficult to understand. This tended to result with the information going through one ear and out the other due to his boredom and lack of understanding.
“Mr. Harrington,” the Professor repeated.
Ross came back to his senses. He looked up with a blank expression upon his face.
“Perhaps next time I catch you daydreaming in my class I’ll fail you immediately, do I make myself clear?”
Ross was silent for a moment. He watched as the Professor tapped his fingers on his desk awaiting a reply. The tension between Ross and his Professor grew as the uncomfortable silence lurched across the room. Some students turned their attention to the window, while others began doodling on paper. One student coughed.
“My apologize Professor.”
When class was dismissed the Professor waved him over to his desk. Ross waited for the people in front of him to exit the staircase.
The Professor removed his spectacles and pointed his finger at Ross making a come here motion. Ross walked slowly over noting the expression on the Professor’s face.
“You need to see this. It’s a disgrace.”
The Professor pulled out his grade book from his desk and pointed to Ross’s name. Sure enough, the Professor was correct, Ross looked at his grades, which were not terrible, but nonetheless he was failing on average.
“You’re awfully silent Mr. Harrington. Don’t you have anything to say about this?”
“I don’t sir. I try my best...”
“Well pick up the game damn it. If you don’t bring your grades up by the end of this semester, I can assure you Mr. Harrington, that I will fail you. Get out.”
Without hesitating, Ross stormed out of the classroom. Inside he felt enormous anger boiling as he entered the hallway and headed to his next class. The hallway was pretty dense and because of this he had to make his way through the crowds of other students. He arrived at his next class and walked inside heading to a desk by the window. As the students entered his eyes took notice of, in his opinion, a beautiful female student in a black dress and gothic dragon ear cuffs that looped around her ear lobes. When the girl noticed he was looking at her, she returned the look and smiled.
That afternoon around 2:30, Ross sat alone on the courtyard grass eating an apple and sandwich. Next to him was his satchel that held his writing material.
“Hello Heather,” said Ross.
Heather lifted her black skirt and sat down. Ross’ eyes usually went to her dragon ear cuffs first and then to her blue eyes. He reached out and shook her hand.
“Hello,” she responded back giggling. “Ross, you can be pretty weird sometimes.”
“Is that a bad thing?”
Heather parted her lips slightly and looked down at the box of strawberries.
“Please help yourself.”
Heather reached for a strawberry. She held up the strawberry and playfully moved it towards Ross’ opened mouth. Heather pulled back playfully and then moved the strawberry into Ross’ opened mouth. Ross closed down on the strawberry and slowly chewed, sucking in all of the flavors that the strawberry had to offer.
Heather took out a metal case from her pant’s pocket and removed a cigarette that she placed in-between her teeth. She then took out her lighter, struck it and brought the flame up to the cigarette and inhaled. She blew the smoke into Ross’s face.
“Thanks for turning the other way,” said Ross, sarcastically as he coughed.
“What are you working on?”
“A modern take on the werewolf legend. So the character will be carrying cell phone, iPhones, laptop computers...you get the idea.”
“Like, Ginger Snaps.”
“Yes, except better.”
“Speaking of werewolves, I got something you may be interested in.”
Heather went into her backpack and pulled out a heavy werewolf encyclopedia book that got Ross’ attention.
“Gosh, this book is large.”
“I know. I used these sticky notes as tags for specific sections that I found fascinating.”
“May I borrow this?”
Ross opened the book and began reading it. While he kept his eyes on the book he asked, “Would you like to go running with me tonight?”
“Well, I understand it is going to rain.”
“Come on,” said Ross looking up. “What’s a little rain?”
“Great. How are your drawings coming along, Heather?”
“May I see some of what you’re working on?”
Heather opened her knapsack, pulled out a leather binder and undid the lace that kept it shut.
Inside were sheets of paper with drawings of incredible Gothic illustrations. Some of the imagery was disturbing, depicting depression and suicide, while others were more sinister. Nonetheless, Ross was highly impressed and he made sure Heather knew it.
“Have you made profit off the drawings you’ve produced on your site?”
“Yes,” replied Heather.
“I visit your website regularly, by the way.”
“Thank you, that means a lot to me.”
“You should consider an art major.” Suggested Ross.
Ross then came across an amazing drawing that transfixed him. The drawing was of a female and male vampire having a wedding in a gothic castle in Transylvania. The second drawing showcased enormous detail the night sky, in the corner a huge full moon shown bright and the main subject’s, a man. His skin was going through the transformation of man into a werewolf.
Heather dragged on her cigarette before standing up and walking down the cobblestone path to the metal cigarette douser. As she put out the cigarette she noticed three male students walk towards her. The guys in some of her classes and had a history of bullying her.
“Hey, look Jerry,” said the blond. “It’s the socially awkward bitch.”
Heather turned to try walking back to Ross, but she was blocked as Jerry, and his two friends surrounded her.
“Hey, Goth bitch, I asked you to the spring dance but you declined. Nobody says no to Jerry McCarthy.”
“Well I did. Deal with it, bitch.”
As Jerry slightly pushed Heather, he moved in and touched her below the legs. He tried to put his fingers up her dress. His friends grabbed her from behind. Suddenly, Jerry felt a fist strike him on the side of the head. He fell violently to the ground. Two of his friends came at Ross and made a few swings at him.
Heather gathered herself, took out a pen, pressed the top button and the tip ejected. She walked over to Jerry and jabbed the ink into Jerry’s hand. Jerry let out a scream. The pen was removed from his skin with blood.
“Augh, goddamn you. Augh!” Shouted Jerry.
In a rage Heather stabbed Jerry again in the same hand. When Heather made a motion to attack one of the other boys, Ross’ arm encircled her and she was carried backwards. She suddenly became hysterical.
“Put me down, Ross! Put me down!”
“Stop it, Heather. That’s enough!”
“Put me down, damn you!”
Then she shouted at Jerry, “You like picking on people weaker than yourself? You’re nothing but a fucking coward!”
Later that afternoon, Heather and Ross sat on one end of the Headmaster’s office and Jerry with his two friends on the other. The office was filled with intense silence. Heather clutched onto Ross’s arm very tight as she trembled with fear. The door opened and the Headmaster walked into his office and closed the door. He was a tall, clean bearded man with short hair, in modest shape and had an aura about him that demanded a respectable silence, even by those who where not fond of him. The Headmaster walked over to his desk, faced the students and folded his arms. Everyone was on edge; Heather especially felt her heart beat at an uncontrollable pace. She felt sweat drip down her forehead. Her eyes darted quickly to Jerry who had a bandage around his cut.
“Now, I have read both reports from eye witnesses, as well as each one of the testimonies. I have reviewed this case carefully and it appears all of this could’ve been avoided if Miss. Graham where allowed to be left to stub out her cigarette.”
The Headmaster went onto recite the facts as they where. Then he came to his conclusion. He told Jerry and his two friends that they are to clear away from Heather and if Heather reports they have come near her, they would be suspended. “Do I make myself, clear?”
Jerry and his two friends where required to attend counseling every Thursday at three-thirty when classes ended, then the Headmaster dismissed them.
In the hallway Heather took Ross by the hand and they headed outside and behind the main building. Since they where alone, they started to kiss. Ross felt Heather’s hand touch between his legs.
Ross moved her hand away, but kept it down at his leg.
They headed to Heather’s dorm wing. Heather unlocked the door and opened it. She guided Ross into the dorm room and closed the door. Heather shared a room with her friend Gabby, who was on a date with her boyfriend at the student café and social building; the beds where basic single bunk beds so Ross and Heather didn’t roll around a lot. In the early evening, Ross and Heather laid their sides running their fingers down one another’s chests. Heather had her body pressed up close to him. She lifted her head and said in a soft voice, “That was amazing.”
They heard rainfall outside patter against the window.
“You going for a run, still?”
“Of course, Ross.”
They then heard the sound of the dorm door open and then close. Gabby’s voice could be heard talking to the third roommate, Laura. Instead of becoming embarrassed and having to rush out of the room, Ross and Heather began to giggle. They heard Laura say, “Heather, you in?”
Heather and Ross shrieked with laughter as they frantically tried rearrange the sheets so they where more covered. They had tossed the heavy sheet off because it was easier to have intercourse with only the light sheets. Laura stepped into the room and when she saw Ross and Heather in bed together, she had a surprised look on her face. “Oh, Christ! Sorry.”
And out she went, shutting the door behind her. When she had left, Ross and Heather burst out laughing.
Laura had feared Heather was going to snap at her. In the past, Heather had snapped at Laura.
When the door closed, Heather snuggled up to Ross and kissed him repeatedly. “We’d better get dressed now.”
“Agreed,” said Ross smiling.
Heather came out of the room and headed into the bathroom. When she came out she had red highlights in her hair. As she passed Laura and Gabby, she joined them on the couch and sighed with pleasure.
“How was it,” asked Gabby.
“What?” Asked Heather dreamily.
“The sex,” said Laura.
“Amazing,” replied Heather in a musical voice.
Despite the rain, the weather was warm. Ross and Heather wore iPod/MP3 player holders strapped around their waists with the ear-buds in their ears. They took off down the courtyard and off campus. The rain fell at a steady pace and dripped off the tree branches. Heather followed behind Ross, keeping a good pace but soon slowed down to a jog. The rain fell from the sky at a stead pace it dripped off the tree branches. At times Ross removed water from his eyes so he could see more clearly. Heather followed behind at a good pace but soon slowed to a jog. She took out her ear buds and listened closely to her surroundings. A sound that came out of the woods grabbed her attention. What she heard sounded like an animal. Ross stopped running and turned around.
“What’s the matter,” asked Ross.
Ross watched as the look on Heather’s face turned stone cold with fear as out of the woods emerged a vicious wolf. The animal was wet to the bone and showed vicious teeth. The drool fell off its jowls similar to the slim from the Alien films. Heather was shaking in fear but did not freak or run. She stood where she was. The wolf and she stared at one another intensely.
Heather suddenly panicked, turned and ran as fast as she could as the wolf bolted after her.
Ross sped with vicious speed towards her. Before the wolf could latch its teeth onto its victim, Ross leaped in front of the creature and tackled it to the ground. The wolf’s teeth snatched at Ross who was on the ground trying to hold the wolf’s jaw open. The wolf scratched Ross on the chest, tore open his shirt and ripped open his skin releasing blood fuming from the wound.
The feel of the rain touching his wounds made him scream at the top of his lungs. He punched the wolf and threw the animal off him. He soon found himself running through the woods at fast speed with the wolf trailing him from behind. Whenever Ross looked behind him, he saw the wolf ganging, closing the gap between them.
Heather ran back in the direction Ross ran when the wolf chased him. It was still raining. The sky was darker then before. When she looked up she saw a full moon in the sky. After frantically searching, she found Ross’s body lying on the ground with the front of his shirt and pants torn and covered in blood. She bent down and her hands were shaking uncontrollably as called for emergency help.
“9-1-1 what is your emergency?”
“You got to help my boyfriend! He was attacked by a wolf and there is a blood all over him!”
“We’re sending an ambulance crew over right now, we’ve just tracked your location,” said the operator.
Ross was transferred immediately to a hospital for treatment. When he came too, he noticed there where no get-well soon cards sent from the school, only from his family and Heather and her family; but he felt glad he had people in his life who cared about him.
However, Ross knew what that creature was and a fearful thought crossed his mind.
Late that evening, Ross was sweating and drinking more water than usual. He began experiencing stomach problems and found it difficult to digest food. Despite the meds the nurses gave him, Ross told them the meds made him feel worse. That same night, he was lying in his bed reading when he felt his eyes hurt. He put his book down and headed to the restroom. Soon as the bathroom door opened he saw Heather standing in the doorway of the room. When Ross made his way painfully back to his bed a growl came from his chest that extracted a pain forcing him to the floor. Heather walked over to him and helped him up.
“I’m beginning to feel different but not in a good way. That night in the woods when the wolf bit me…it did something to me.”
“What are you...oh shit.”
Heather helped bring him to the bed. Ross lay down on his back. Heather joined him on the bed and took out her sketchbook opened. She turned the pages until she came to the illustration of the werewolf Ross admired when they where in the courtyard. Suddenly, he began to thrash back and forth. Heather panicked and jumped into the bed and held him down. “Ross,” she said sternly. “Stop thrashing.” When Ross stopped, she rested her head against his shoulder blade and closed her eyes.
Screams came from the hospital as people ran frantically.
“Help me!” Shouted a Doctor who was lying on the ground covered in blood and was dragged into the room.
Heather ran quickly down the hall and knocked down and the wolf leaped at with its mouth open and she screamed.
Ross bolted up, sweeting, his face shinning with fear.
“Oh my god,” he said.
Heather opened her eyes.
“I, oh damn. I dreamt I transformed into a werewolf and massacred the entire hospital. I even killed you.”
Heather pulled Ross towards her and wrapped her arms around him.