The Ruins of the God’s Light Monastery, California
The pair huddled up next to each other, James and So-seti, human again, laying on the grass the smoldering smoking remnants of the God’s Light ministry hovering in the blue sky.
Matt sat on the cold soil with knees pulled up to his chin. The change had happened to him and swiftly and just as swiftly had stopped abruptly. Matt had converted back to human again. His head a pin cushion, sudden stabbing barbs through his forehead. Squinting from the intensely bright noonday sun he threw his arms together in a gigantic self-induced bear hug. He could not remember anything he did last night but he felt every powerful sensation… the unadulterated power, he was already missing the experience. Like a prolonged orgasm he had not experienced anything like it before. His headaches felt like he would die, and it would give him sweet release but he would not change the experience for anything at all, and he thanked God that he was given a second chance instead of his good friend simply mauling him to death.
The lunatic test subjects had gone running in a straight line for Louisiana. Lucius, his pact fulfilled, had floated off in a different direction. James and So-seti veered towards the God’s Light village. So-seti thought clearly enough to get the two spare crutches, a backpack full of clandestine supplies. Thanks to So-seti’s secrets James had not transformed back again, still in his hybrid-Wolf form a perfect workhorse to carry all the supplies. His claws and arms full to the brim he carefully traversed the break in the wall and successfully escaped the God’s Light compound.
Though human again with shredded clothing Matt waited outside the wall for James and So-seti to arrive. Matt felt loyal to them like a cohesive pack. However, Matt had become extremely tall but puny in comparison to last night and frankly felt intimidated and terrified looking at James and So-seti. He tried to stay in the shadows by the oak trees quietly observing them and trying to make himself small enough that he would not be noticed.
Last night her heat with all the pumping adrenaline, excitement pheromones interlacing with their wild powerful musk twirled all around and infused the strange couple. James and So-seti copulated, a comingling of a legless wrinkled hybrid-Wolf and wolf man. An awkward beginning to their fornication So-seti had no calves, amputated below the knee. She had a lower focal point for James’ bipedal wolf-man’s manhood to concentrate on. He got down on his knees as she backed up to his groin. His engorged member entered her, determination and lust getting the job done.
Eventually with his load spent they collapsed on the ground, James hugging her, his arms squishing her sides his claws gingerly pressing her teats. So-seti panted with exhaustion her tongue licking his muzzle, her tail wagging in satisfaction as they lay lazily on the soft grass. The wolfman and the disabled Wolf stared at the Moon content and free until they drifted to sleep snuggling, So-seti finally enjoyed a peaceful slumber without silver nitrate in her veins for the first time in centuries.
Matt made the most of his powerful form while James and So-seti were indisposed for a moment, killing every wild animal, big and small he came across. Running about on all fours, though he could still walk upright, stalking rabbits and field mice to his heart’s content. He felt uncanny power, every sense and sensation new like a baby, so surreal.
They stayed on Diablo Mountain by the new ruins of the God’s Light church until the sun came up the next day. By the time James had stirred the sunlight warmed the whole of his bare skin. As he wiped off the caked up sleep from his eyes he couldn’t help but notice So-seti. Her skin had a glow that he had never seen before. The deep wrinkles were gone and just faint lines remained. Her face somehow more pliable and flawless her neck filled out. He could no longer see every movement of her spine and arteries. Her thin brittle hair somehow fuller and black as oil. He had seen a sneak preview before when he interrupted the flow of silver nitrate to her IV and she transformed temporarily. She looked different. Though he was generally really bad at gauging ages she appeared to be in her 40s maybe even late 30s, a skin-brittle and skinny 90-year-old who had reverted to her youth.
He listened to her strong powerful heart beating slowly and consistently. He couldn’t help but stare lower at her bare taunt navel, his eyes lowered to her firm smooth thighs. His eyes reverted toward the silver posts impaled through her bones, two in each stub and his heart sank. Even with the silver nitrate gone from her veins she remained hobbled.
Matt had summoned his courage to walk up to James and talk to him while So-seti still slumbered, “Thank you… for this gift you have given me.”
James did not flinch; too busy examining the studs that went through the bone, pointing to her stumps Matt remarked, “You know…”
“The spikes have been permanently fused to the bones…It’s ironically called Wolf’s law, when the bone breaks then heals it becomes harder than before.” Matt pointed at her stubs and the shiny silver posts traveling through her skin and bone, “it’s called bone modeling. They found out awfully early on when lycanthropes start their transformation the bones break, they shatter into a million pieces. When the lycanthropes turn the bones harden again and condense thicker and stronger than before. This process starts over again every time they transmute. So with every transformation the bones break and reset until they are like steel, tungsten carbide, or something much harder even than diamond. The down side is when you impale silver rods in the bones the rods adhere to and fuse together. Doubly, the conductive silver interferes with the parasites and they’re disrupted so that the legs or arms don’t grow back.”
James could not hide the fact that her missing legs and the horror that she endured made him sob like a baby. The weeping woke Soseti. Her hands impulsively stroked James’ cheek to comfort him. Now that she was awake Matt tried to make his body smaller, less noticeable because in his mind until last night for all intents and purposes, he had carried out orders as a God’s Light employee and he worried So-seti would take out her anger and frustration on him.
“Oh my child it’s going to be all right.” She consoled James, but she stared daggers at Matt. James could feel icy tension in the air the oxygen leaving the trio like a vacuum in space, “you’ve already freed me from the burning poison in my veins and for that I am extremely loyal to you.”
Matt knew that she could instantly maul him, he would exsanguinate from a severe wound from her sharp claws. His fragile neck flayed open by a surgical strike to several arteries. He would die before his feet left the ground but she resisted her instinct for a friend of James she would spare his life. James realized she had an extreme loyalty toward him; she viewed him as a mate. James viewed Matt as a friend. But he purposely moved between them, just in case, a reluctant referee.
It still amazed him as he breathed a faint smoky air and listened to the faint noises of traffic and commotion at the bottom of the mountain. Every sound and odor exceptionally magnified. If he wanted to he could hone in on one particular car horn, engine and conversation and follow it indefinitely. He could single out the faint nuance of smells such as smoke, a flowery fragrance, and flesh, and easily follow it. The train of thought shattered when So-seti’s familiar sensual and stimulating musk seared through his nostrils. Her nakedness had him nervous.
So-seti whispered in his ear, “I can smell the road, we are getting close.”
Her nonchalant attitude for nakedness and closeness had him anxious. He tried to train himself to look upwards at her eyes, a bright brilliant green, but he found himself staring at her breasts instead. He cannot help it, after he unplugged the silver nitrate drip her drooping sagging breasts, the breasts of an 80 or 90-year-old now lifted a little defying gravity and had become firmer, now the breasts of a 40 or 30-year-old. James felt a stirring in his loins until he looked down at her amputated legs and tears sprung up in his eyes once again.
“I smell a stranded car…” without the silver nitrate running through her veins for quite a while now she had become calculating, shrewder, “from the sweat it is a man… weak, scared and anxious, and more importantly, he is alone.”
He reluctantly turned away from her naked form and looked down from the mountain. His eyes squinted trying to see the highway below. Even with James’ enhanced eyesight with massive sturdy branches that obstructing his site he could only get a fleeting glimpse of the cars and trucks like tiny ants speeding by this way and that.
“On the highway there is a yellow car, the occupant sitting in the driver’s seat, you can smell the smoke from the stale cigarettes. Do you see it?” So-seti questioned James.
He focused his eyes straining to see the car amidst the thick branches, “No, sorry, I can’t.”
“Do not think, just smell the burning oil and coolant, hear the radio in the distance then let your eyes naturally find the stalled car.” So-seti instructed, limping with her crutches over to the cliff edge to teach James some of the secrets of the changeling.
“I can’t see…” James frustratingly snapped, then froze and yelled excitedly, “Wait, I think I see the car and I hear a flint striking and I smell smoke!”
He began zeroing in on the yellow car like he was turning the knobs on a telescope, a Volkswagen beetle with its hood up. He could even see the heat plume, wave after wave distorting the air around the ruined engine.
A tow truck with his flashing lights emerged through the trees and stopped to help the stranded motorist. The backup lights lit up and the tow truck maneuvered in such a manner that the driver could lower the boom.
“There are two now and a functioning truck. This is a test for you, James,” she pointed to the tow truck and Volkswagen beetle, “Howl out, grind your teeth, dance around with wild abandon, do not think what you’re going to do, let your body do all the work for you. Purposely travel back into your subconscious, let your mind go and The Wolf Blood will awaken inside of you.”
So-seti coaxed James down onto his knees so they would remain hidden, “do not think, just feel. Can you hear your heart beating?”
A bend in the road concealed So-seti and James discussing the procurement of the tow truck, “change, my love, without the moon’s influence changing you!”
“I don’t understand!” James said in frustration.
“Go into a trance, a daze, and a dream-like state… it is easier that way. Visualize the Wolf inside you.” So-seti instructed, “Try to flex and strain every muscle in your body as if being drawn and quartered by four horses running in different directions. The end result, envisioning the inner wolf flooding your being…”
James’ heart raced, his hair stood on end, his blood started to boil as he watched the VW bug owner’s backside but he beat his fists on the ground frustration ensuing, “I can’t change!”
So-seti fumbled for something in the backpack until she found what she had been looking for, “here, take this, is going to be easier for you to change if you’re out of your body… Here!”
So-seti force-fed a black powdery substance into James’ mouth, was it Ergot, Peyote, Opium? He could not see what she gave him but in a moment a mild hallucination ensued. He began to feel dizzy and disoriented. His heart began to beat harder as he found himself emerging from his hiding place between the rocks. James looked at the tow truck driver securing the bug. The owner of the disabled car obliviously yelled into his cell to some anonymous person on the other end while sucking on a cigarette.
Suddenly she dove off the cliff with her crutches in hand. Like an Olympic gymnast she weaved and twirled down the cliff. She used her crutches as a brace to stick between branches her stumps swaying in the air. The branches groaned with the added weight before she leaped off again. The branches split in two, leaves freed from twigs floating down towards the traveling cars on the highway.
James inched closer to the edge psyching his body up enough to jump off. Even with So-seti’s missing limbs she jumped from tree to tree like a flying Fox. She gradually drifted down towards the mountain’s edge rolling over any gradual decline until she blindly leapt off the cliff again.
He looked over at Matt who stood hidden behind a tree. His eyes black as coals, sunken and bruised things, no lights of consciousness could be seen. Nevertheless Matt’s manners told of an undying loyalty for his Savior.
He beat himself in the chest several times to psych himself up, jumping up-and-down for the first time since before his accident. He had to catch up with So-seti several yards down the mountain now. His teeth clenched as he found himself growling involuntarily. Hairs all over his body began erecting and fever progressed. He gathered his nerves and took a good long breath as he jumped.
James didn’t remember anything until his feet landed upon the ground safely. Sizing the mountain up, he apparently scaled down a 300 foot cliff, astonishingly landing on his feet without breaking his neck. He quickly scanned for So-seti then searched for Matt who still looked at him up on the ledge of the mountain.
The site of the nude man just materializing from thin air left the tow truck driver slack-jawed and silent for a moment before he yelled, “what the hell!?”
He let his body go as the woman’s voice instructed him. He did not know if it was a mixture of drugs, unleashing his unconsciousness, or the combination of heart racing adrenaline but his human arm had changed into a fusion of something monstrous and half-lupine. Fur sprang from his forearm. His nails had grown talon-like claws.
James did not think, only reacting, on autopilot. He hyperextended his left hand, the hand had just nights before hung useless by his body. Before he knew it he could see his arm as it lashed out in an arc. James saw all of the attack as if detached.
A consequence of the magnetic Moon nowhere in sight his arm felt heavy like bricks, he felt as if his whole body was moving slower than molasses and a million needles stabbing his body all at one time. Yet his arm instinctively slashed for the second time at the wounded and frightened VW bug owner which severed the man’s shoulder to the bone, reminding him of the killing of the mountain lion.
Even if he felt like he moved in slow motion the human victim’s reaction time was no match for his uncanny lycanthrope speed. A thick spurt of warm crimson blood shot out from the stranded motorist’s partially severed shoulder his cell phone twirling towards the ground before he finished dialing 911 for emergency assistance. The spray felt tingly and delicious on his tongue. A strange warm fantastically copper metallic taste that satisfied a hunger he did not even know he had.
The delicious spray had set off a domino effect; James flew towards the injured man’s body in a frenzy knocking his body off balance. His lips stretching as his mouth swelled then popped. The jaw dislocated to accommodate more teeth. Thick teeth turned into large protruding fangs which sunk into the stranded and now wounded man’s exposed neck, easily sinking into tender human skin. James’ pupils dilated as he gulped down torn muscles and flesh.
The bright sun physically hurt James’s dilated eyes temporarily freezing the new changeling’s horrid onslaught long enough so the wounded man could make his escape. As the driver’s door opened the high frequency screech like nails to a chalkboard made his ears bleed wailing out in pain.
From the combination of a blaring radio station, blind spot in the window and paperwork the tow truck driver had been unaware of the commotion, the lethal conflict that transpired until he heard a thump and the truck rattled. A burly man with three years growth of hair on his face opened the glove box to reveal a small 9 mm. He had oily, dirty overalls he threw his clipboard onto the bench seat, and cocked his gun and stepped outside on the shoulder of the road.
A white halo of dazzling light an unpleasant bleached brightness all around had James dizzy, unsteady on his limbs. It made him blind and the temporarily high frequency made his ears ring but he could still smell. He could smell the fresh blood coming from his victim and the burnt antifreeze coming from the disabled bug to the back of him. He could smell the hydraulic oil and lube coming from the tow truck to the right. Suddenly he smelled the overabundance of body spray several yards away and the unmistakable aroma of gunpowder directly in front of him.
A loud bang and James reacted instantly dodging the projectile. Another bang another dodge and the aroma guided him like a roadmap and James had the tow truck driver in his clutches. Another quick bang, this one muffled as James slammed into the burly man. The jolt forced the gun from his hand and it fell on the ground harmlessly. The burly man’s eyes widened in shock, disbelief and fear as he a saw James’ monstrous eyes. No empathy could be seen in his eyes no compassion no human thought remained. Just lupine thought and animal bloodlust he knew the last shot hit him, but no pain had registered in his eyes.
A thought ran through the tow truck driver’s mind as the monster crushed his’ head again and again against the truck window frame… if eyes were a window of the soul, then what about this monster’s eyes? He saw bright golden eyes, the eyes of a wild animal, frantic, frightened, desperate, no forgiveness in the eyes only an insatiable hunger to live. After the 13th time of his head smashing in on the door frame, his skull cracked. He looked into the lunatic’s eyes for the last time as he slipped into unconsciousness. The tow truck driver’s blue eyes seemed red now, a vivid crimson as blood stained and filled in the once white part of his eyes. A laceration on his scalp bled down his forehead like a viscous waterfall. He slumped over but stayed on his feet, his arm wedged through the seatbelt he exhaled a last breath standing upright.
James’ heart rate slowed affecting his feral state. He turned around then promptly collapsed onto his knees. From a large bolder he saw So-seti sneaking out from hiding to inspect the bug owner’s dead body.
Hunger and curiosity forced Matt to gain enough confidence to come down the mountain as well. He snuck cautiously and slowly over, drooling hungrily over to the body.
So-seti tore off the lips of the dead man and greedily devoured it. Her eyes still slits of discontent but So-seti knew James trusted him, so she learned to get along. After she finished, she grew claws and tore the rest of the face off and offered the bloody meat to Matt which he gratefully but a little timidly accepted.
James smiled; he thought the kids were playing nice. The pain hit him suddenly and without mercy. He felt a stabbing sensation in his lung every time he took a breath where he had been it by the bullet. So-seti and Matt turned around in time enough to see James collapse.
He awoke feeling disoriented with a severe headache. The sun had set and he could see again. He remembered being shot suddenly and he pressed his palms to his chest feeling only a scar.
“I tried to clean you up a little, Matt tended to your wound, and he got the bullet out so you can begin to heal normally. With a foreign body I was afraid you couldn’t heal at all, my young changeling, your blood being so young,” So-seti comforted and soothed him while stroking his cheek and hair, “when the Moon is full again, you should be healed when you change…or sooner than that if you learn to metamorphose early.”
He looked up at the night sky through the window of the tow truck. In the driver’s window bits of brain and crusted blood blurred the light pouring in from the street lamps passing by. He wasn’t exhausted but his body hurt everywhere. For one dreamy encounter in the ambient light of the truck So-seti seemed flawless, her body felt firm and tight. So-seti’s lips were fuller and her green eyes brighter still like sparkling emeralds but then he looked down at her amputated legs. She probably gorged herself on human flesh and metamorphosed, James reasoned.
Matt was a different story altogether. He looked pale his eyes sunken in there would be no metamorphosis, he was a drone, a ghoul, no intricate thought it all. He did what he was told but there would be no transformation before the next full moon. However, he had been a loyal friend and ally, he’d follow him anywhere. He slipped into unconsciousness again.
“Don’t worry my dear, I’ll teach you; the wolf’s blood inside you is strong. Remember to go into a trance your heart rate and breathing is paramount. I’ll be there guiding you all the way, I promise.” So-seti whispered.
With So-seti’s instinctual directions Matt turned down the interstate as James lay on So-seti’s lap somewhere between consciousness and a dream on the way to Raccourci Island, LA, headed towards Sarah’s inherited plantation.