The smell of freshly crisp fallen leaves tickles my nose with urgency, a calling that only I can feel. Twitching my ear, I wake from my deep slumber of thoughts. I inhale deeply, gratefully taking in the fresh new seasonal air for summer has finally passed. Most people despise the end of summer but to me it is heavenly. The achingly hot sun brings me headaches that are unbearable to endure, I can literally do nothing without having to hydrate every 2 minutes. And it doesn't stop there. Along with headaches, I get violent itching on my skin which makes me just want to rip all my fur out(don't worry I won't). Last year I was stuck in the river for weeks just to ease the pain in my muscles plus I had to eat fish. Ugh! Way too many bones.
With that thought, I stretch my limbs out across the fluffy carpet of my den shaking out my ginger fur. I had worked hard on its interior, scavenging around and yes I will admit stealing some things but to me, it's simply borrowing with no return. How else would I get my hands on human supplies without a stable job?
My bed, a mix of sheep's wool and moss, is located in the centre of the den surrounded by a few fairy lights that I hang all around the ceiling. Near the entrance is my small kitchen which consists of a stove and a cooler along with baskets of other human essentials, like coffee. I also have my books and school stuff along with clothes lined up on the other side, I hang them up to help keep them clean from the muddy floor. My 1 pair of converse that I took from my schools lost property sit broken up and muddy underneath them, they're two sizes too small but they're shoes. I managed to make a small wooden shelf where I put my toothpaste, toothbrush and a hairbrush.
Finally at the back of my den is my personal belongings and research. Years and years of searching and random information that I'm trying to link up. It's an absolute mess that only I can understand. The den itself is made of woven wood, leaves, mud, insulated material I found left in the old campsite and whatever else I could find to help waterproof the home. And yes my bathroom is a bush and my fresh river water. Luxury.
I love my home. Living alone for 14 years I will admit is extremely lonely, but I have a goal to work for. A goal that I am still nowhere near completing but that doesn't matter, I will complete it. Stops my life from being so boring and hopeless, I guess.
I stand up slightly dizzy from the bright early sun that glows dead into my eye. I groan in frustration. School starts again today. I have been in wolf form for all summer and now walking just seems weird like it always does. Being a werewolf, let alone being a lone werewolf, is hard. You're providing for two, living as two. My wolf, Athena, is a strong spirit in heart and physical form. I love playing around with her and talking but Athena will always express her opinion in times of need and there is no stopping her. We work as one but I have learnt to gain my own control. We are a great team but if there is some sort of off button to shut her up then I will gladly take it.
'Ugh! I don't talk a lot! I just know what's right' She growls in my head, I can practically hear her eye roll along with her sassy whining.
'Whatever you say Thena, just try not to distract me in my lessons today' I laugh.
'Pfft! We don't need those stupid lessons. Humans have it all wrong, your father would h...'
I stop laughing, dropping my head slightly to the forest floor. Athena, like all wolves, travel from ancestor to ancestor meaning she used to be my great great great great...grandmother's wolf. She remembers my father, mother and my whole family but not greatly, only their description and basic personality. She basically knows just as much as me, other than the small memories of when I was a toddler.
'I'm sorry' she mumbles.
Nodding my head I continue my walk to the river, I had accepted years ago that I was alone but these scars don't fade. Maybe there could be someone left. Some family. And if there is I will find them.
I was careful to find a spot for my den. I needed a close water source, with frequent prey but also a place far from humans and packs. Humans would freak out seeing a naked girl bathing in a river or shifting into a massive wolf; packs would brutally kill me for coming near their land. Fact one, werewolves are extremely territorial which lead to our famously fantasized anger issues. It's also why I planted my scent around a small area, including my den, just so I will know if someone has entered my space and also to tell others to back away. Happy wolf, Happy human.
I look down at my reflection in the water. My deep brown eyes, that are a bit like the acorns we get spring time, stand out against my usually pale skin which had been tanned from the summer. However, my most distinct feature is my fiery red hair that sits in long waves down my back. A few freckles dot my cheeks and I hate them because they make my face look...messy. I'm not a runway model but I'm decent enough.
Washing my red locks in the fresh cool stream I think through my past. Well, I try to. I can't remember where I came from or who my family are. The farthest back I can remember is my mother's face all bruised and scarred as she cried in pain. I was maybe 4 or 5. She was so hurt. Tortured. And I still don't know...
'Maybe we should go for a quick run? To warm up those human legs' Athena suggests, smiling kindly.
I nod, slowly standing from the river edge and breaking off into a run. The cold air hits my wet body, drying the droplets away. My hair floats behind me in the air as I sprint, I forgot how much fun running is. My legs are still wobbly so I don't run at my usual speed but I still manage to dry off and remember how to actually walk again. When I make it back to the den I realise I'm going to be late as my rustic wall clock says 8:45. Only 15minutes to get to lesson 1 and I haven't even eaten breakfast. Oh well, I can pick something up from the kiosk on the way there, I need some more toothpaste and batteries anyway.
Slipping on some torn jeans- torn from a thorn bush not fashionable at all - and a jersey top I found in a thrift store, I comb my hair keeping it tucked around my neck protectively. Since I knew nothing of my own species, I read up on werewolves and I know that protecting my neck will hide my scent. Since my scent is rouge, a gross smell apparently, I must hide it carefully. I don't want to attract trouble but sadly Athena and I have a love for trouble. I brush my teeth spitting the minty froth into a nearby bush and slip into my barely stable converse. Once I'm all set I grab my bag, swing it over my shoulder, and sprint in the direction of the kiosk.
Fact two, werewolves have extremely fast reflexes. From my den to the kiosk it would be a rough 20minute drive but for me to run it would only take 5. It's really useful and really fun, like amazingly fun. It's probably why werewolves are always so ridiculously fit in all these movies and books, running is just too much fun.
When I reach the kiosk the same small South African shopkeeper sits behind the till reading some flashy magazine on celebrity gossip. I think his name is Rodger but I'm not sure. He's there every day and sometimes I think he's glued to his rusty old stool and never sleeps. I slowly strut down the aisles grabbing a Dr Pepper, some Flaming Hot Cheetos, batteries and some toothpaste. I leave £3 on his counter and leave without him even taking a peep. That idiot just lost another £7.
Athena chuckles. We have decided to reduce the amount we leave on the counter every visit by a pound so next visit we leave £8 pound less. So far we have been perfectly fine. I stuff the batteries in my pocket, dropping the toothpaste in my bag. Maybe I can find some more batteries at school, then I would be stocked up for another week for my fairy lights.
When I reach the school the entrance is empty of students meaning I am late. Shrugging I continue my walk to the front doors where a few human 'bad boys' are smoking together.
'Nice to see you back Blair. Too bad your hair is still carrot stained' A tall skinny guy says who looks like a human pencil dressed in all black and wearing a red beanie. Kyle was his name.
I stop in my place smiling bittersweetly.
'Obviously, your girlfriend finally dumped you this summer. Tough love Kyle but we all saw it coming'
His face lowers into a snarl which he uses to scare me but it only makes me laugh. Walking up to him I glare dominantly into his eyes.
'Don't forget who I am, Berns'
He gulps, his once confident exterior plummeting down. He breaks his cigarette between his shoe and leaves with his buddies around the back of the school. Fact three, all werewolves have an aura. Some auras are more dominant than others and I have learnt mine can overrule humans. If I only I knew how strong it really was, but I have never met another werewolf. And I don't want to. If I ever met another werewolf it would most likely lead to a fight considering I'm a rouge and EVERYONE hates rouges. It's only because rouges are considered crazy, evil and weak. But I'm pretty sure I am none of them.
Turning back to the entrance I make my way down the corridors till I reach my class. Geography. I can already hear my overly excited teacher from down the hallway as he screams the countries of the world at the class. Great. If this doesn't give me a headache then I don't know what will. Brace yourself, Athena, cause something tells me this will be a long day.
Athena grunts in agreement. She hates all this human business but I kind of love it in a way. Yes it's effort and I have to do all this pointless homework but it gives me a chance to interact with people. I would definitely go insane without school. 14 years of purely being in the wild and not talking to anyone sounds dull as hell.
Bursting through the door and marching into the classroom I stand next to a shellshocked red-faced teacher and a gaping class. Athena is curiously shifting around in my head but I put it aside. Staring at Mr Denver I smile slightly.
'Sorry I'm late sir'