Gene’s head pounded as he came to. Eyesight blurry, he could not see past his shed. Confused, disoriented, and bloody the fog lifted in his cognizance. Outside at the shed by his house his heart skipped a beat when he thought of Chance.
Was his boy all right? His boy was outside when the intruder attacked him! Worry about Chance weighed heavily on his mind. He struggled to get to his feet when he saw Chance sitting down Indian style with his head down.
“Chance, oh buddy, are you all right?” He shouted.
With an open palm he smacked his face and shook his head; he had to get it together for his son’s sake. He got down on one unsteady knee to get a better look at Chance. On closer inspection Chance’s hand was bloody.
“What happened to you?” Worry was evident in his voice, he pointed out somewhere in the vicinity of the alley, “Did that man hurt you?”
Down on his knees he leaned closer, scooping him up in his arms and looked for any more other signs injury. Chance’s eyes were vacant and glossy with a confused look on his face.
“You bit me, Dad.” Chance said matter-of-factly. “I’m really hungry, Dad.”
Chance’s face was flush and sweating profusely, hot to the touch when Gene felt his head. Gene’s mind was racing to recover some fragment of memory that he had lost. Did he really bite his own flesh and blood? He felt sick to his stomach from the prospect.
“Stop it, Dad.” He shooed his hands away, “I feel fine. I’m just starving, please, Dad, I want something to eat.”
Guilt washed over Gene then denial set in. He got up off the ground and offered Chance a hand.
“Let’s go in and we’ll wash your hands off and maybe then your Mom will be back with some food.”
Gene surveyed the yard, confident the threat had gone he ushered his son inside. The screen door shut with a thump that startled an already skittish father.
Turning on the faucet steadying his shaky hands on the marble countertop he tried to shake the remaining cobwebs in his head. Suddenly his gut twisting in knots he rested his forehead on the counter as well. No type of virus or disease manifested itself so early he reassured himself.
Water, water, water! He could not get enough life sustaining, thirst quenching water. He couldn’t help himself gulping down draught after draught the excess dripping onto his chin and spattering onto his shirt.
Gene sighed as the cold water finally satiated his thirst. He looked back to see his boy running like a madman at full tilt circling the living room. Relief washed over him, the guilt of biting his only son vanishing. Seeing him made him chuckle, jumping about, trinkets floundering on their resting place as the incessant hurdling from couch to coffee table and back again shook the trinkets perilously close to falling to the floor.
Gene couldn’t put his finger on it but something subtle had changed in Chance’s appearance. Something foreign had invaded his son for sure. Although he had no time to ponder this change as a sudden, incapacitating throb coursed through his intestines twisting them in knots like a damp towel squeezed dry. Wave after wave of nausea hit him like a freight train until he passed out.
Gene came to outside his house. The moon brilliant and bright high in the sky told him several hours had passed. Not since his drinking days when he drank himself senseless, waking up to a missing piece of time he could not recover, had he felt like this. Staggering in circles around the yard for minutes until making his way back inside where Chance stood in the kitchen eager to greet him, desperation and hunger in his eyes.
“Dad,” Chance said with a frail meek voice, “My stomach hurts, I’m hungry.”
Chance held his stomach standing just inches from his father and the backdoor. Closer to his son now he could see what he thought had been physically wrong with him. His clothes did not fit him anymore. The collar of his shirt looked heavy sliding down to his shoulder. It was a new shirt too; Gene knew it because he bought it for him less than a week ago. Now the shirt looked like an ill-fitting hand me down soaked in sweat from head to toe making the shirt heavier still. Chance had been portly, a languid child. Now it seemed like with every bead of sweat the fat melted away. His son had grown at least 2 inches and he knew this because chance stood eye to eye with him. His eyes were more than dilated he could just make out the blue in a sea of black but was suddenly interrupted from comparing his son’s features when his son squalled loudly.
“Dad, did you hear me, I’m really hungry!” Chance said, his stomach growling.
“Hold on a buddy I will get you something to eat,” Gene winced.
His gut twisting in knots again from a terrible thirst he decided to go to the faucet once more before finding something substantial for his son to eat. An intoxicating, strange aroma inundated his senses, one of decayed meat. A concentrated smell of garlic, salt, and many Cajun spices made his mouth water. He wondered where the aromas were coming from. He focused further and he zoomed in on the buzzing of the refrigerator. Did he find the source of the aroma just from concentrating?
Gene was beside himself.
He looked up in the window at the brilliance of the full moon unfettered by clouds in the night sky. His eyes began dilating then the world went black.
When his mind awakened he noticed a tacky foreign substance on his hands and all over his cheeks spilling over to his chin, neck, and shirt. Frantically he looked around for his son, oh God he thought, did I bite him again? Relief washed over him when he found his son by the open refrigerator.
Chance had a dark red substance all over his mouth too. Gene licked his lips tasting a distinct familiarly sweet substance. It was barbecue! The open refrigerator door confirmed his suspicions. The doors on the refrigerator were off its hinges, shelves off the top posts and catty cornered spilling milk and leftovers onto the floor. Aluminum foil wrappers lay torn open in a heap their content or what was left of the meat stripped to the bone lie in a pile on his shoes.
“Dad, look!” Chance looked at his palms excitedly. “Look I’m rich!” Chance proceeded to hold up his cupped palms so his dad could get a better view.
Holding in his hands is what gene thought to be small bones. Further inspection however left him slack-jawed and stunned. It isn’t bones he stared at but teeth. Chance’s temporary baby buds had fallen out and permanent teeth complete with root had grown in his mouth. Gene nervously smirked; if the tooth fairy existed he would be rolling in dough!
1, 2, 3… Gene finished counting the top teeth then on to the bottom. His teeth or a facsimile there of were cruder in appearance more canine than human but positioned securely in his gums. Gene stared at Chance’s baby teeth still in his grubby barbecue stained hands when he realized that not only did Chance have all his teeth but he counted more! In fact he saw his son mutating right before his eyes.
He saw some of the distinct familiar features that made Chance his memorable son. He had the wide round blue eyes, spread back in his baby face. A high forehead that magnified every expression he made and a fleshy face even though he had lost extreme amount of weight. However the familiarities ended there.
He had blue eyes for sure but the eyes were one of a predator. Chance reminded Gene of teen Wolf or teen Wolf two. Infact he reminded him of many, many B-movie spoofs in which a character is hilariously inflicted with lycanthropy and set out on two legs like a guerrilla or an orangutan. His proboscis had elongated and his lips spreading out and widening until there were no distinguishing lips altogether, just a horrid oral cavity whose distorted disturbing expression one of an eerie smile.
Chance’s whole head had become and oval shaped monstrosity not unlike an egg. His pointed ears seemed out of place bursting out of his unkempt wild hair. Chance 11 years old, was nowhere near puberty yet but his chin had become scraggly five o’clock shadow needing a desperate shaving. His hair had grown down his face leaving him with a mutton chop appearance. Chance’s jaw and cheekbones shattered turning into a small muzzle.
This would’ve been time for Gene to run but he stood steadfast. The transmutation of his son should have scared him, however in the depths of his primitive mind he was overjoyed, undergoing a transition phase faster than normal Gene beamed with pride. He couldn’t help but instinctively howl when Chance ripped off every shred of his clothing.
He had grown another four inches in a matter of hours. He could see his spine as it was curving. The sacrum and coccyx bones had lengthened bursting out his skin whipping about in a skinless display of excitement. His shoulders were displaced so limbs could function on all four feet.
Unfettered blonde hair became blonde fur traveling to his broadening neck then abruptly stopping on the base of his spine making a V formation, the beginnings of a glorious crest, swaying back and forth like waves in the sea whenever he stirred. His shoulders down to his abdomen still absent of fur but his groin sprouting up blonde fur looking like a loincloth as if an attempt at modesty. Chance had become a semihairless lupine creation.
Chance sensed his mother’s approach before Gene, scampering off like a scared little rabbit towards the safety of his room. Gene peeked through the blinds as the headlights of his Range Rover rolled up the driveway the glare temporarily blinding him.
Even though they had eaten every scrap in the refrigerator Chance is hungry again. Three rooms back with the door closed Gene could hear Chance’s incessant whining and growls.
A neurotic obsessive compulsion washed over him, a primal need to feed his seed. Survival of his kindred a basic need in his primeval consciousness. Hunger gripped him as well, a churning stomach and drooling mouth is evidence of this. A whiff of fresh hot fast food permeated the walls and he breathed the pleasing aroma in.
Gene feared his boy changing; growing at a rapid rate through the esoteric adolescents of sorts he would need more than processed chicken substitute and cold fries. Cheeseburgers, chicken nuggets and fries are not only what Gene and Chance smelled coming through the windows and door. The sweet warm smell of fresh tender meat set their juices a flow.
Chance’s door slowly opened as he fixatedly yowled at his father. The silent communication between the two forged their dark strategy. Gene stepped back against the kitchen table. The hybrid Wolf thing that was Chance crept up from the shadows of the hallway toward the living room.
The key slid in to the lock and turned, the door opened; Gene’s wife stepped in and looked around, “anybody hungry?”