Only now did I truly understand. Only now did I fully realize what I was. Human and beast together, I was a werewolf.
As I sorted my books from school, my phone began ringing. It was my best friend, Daniel.
“Hey Dan,” I said.
“Hey Joe, you nearly ready?”
“Yeah, give me five minutes.”
“I’ll be outside.”
“I’ll be outside.”
I put the phone down, and put the rest of my books in my bag. I slung it over my shoulder and checked myself in the mirror. My black hair was nicely gelled up, and my blue eyes sparkled. I smiled at my t-shirt, which said, “iJog, the best way to get into shape.” And had a big fat man, huffing and puffing with an iPod whipping him.
I walked out of my bedroom, and entered the hall. Best thing about living in a bungalow—Not having to walk up and down the stairs about six times a day.
I made my way through the hall, the red carpet just after being hovered. My parents were already gone to work, so I grabbed my house keys and locked the door form the outside. I turned and Daniel waved a hello.
His brown hair fell into his eyes and he flicked it back, his green eyes showing. They were seriously intense. He had jeans on today, which was odd since he usually had tracksuit pants on.
“Okay, let’s go,” I said, starting to walk down the street. The school wasn’t far so we got there in about ten minutes. I went to Maths and Daniel went to Geography.
The day passed and school was finally done with for summer. Next year would be an important year. An Exam Year. Ugh. But happy thoughts for now, it was summer. I was meant to meet with Daniel at the Cheese Cough, our usual hang out, but I bumped into an old friend.
“Joe? Joe Barzia? Jeez, somebody’s hit puberty,” my old friend Thalia said. She had the same features, long brown hair, pure purple eyes. Extraordinary eyes. Her cute button nose perked up, along with her smile, when she saw me.
“Thalia? Awesome. I’ve missed you, Zongo.”
“Sorry, forgot you hated it. How’ve you been?”
“Oh, good, good. You?”
“Same. Hey, listen, I’m going to Cheese Couch, want to come?” I was hopeful she would. I’d had a crush on her since I was young.
“Oh sure, I’ve nothing better to do. And it’ll be a good way to start the summer,” she said, flashing me a perfect smile. Oh God, I loved her.
We entered Cheese Couch and straight away Daniel wolf-whistled at Thalia. She laughed and waved. They knew each other?
The smell of cheese passed as we sat down as a woman with a tray of melted cheese sandwiches passed.
“You know each other?” I asked. I couldn’t help but feel disappointed when they both nodded and smiled.
“We... briefly dated,” Daniel said, a cocky grin spreading across his face. I could feel my heart pounding, wanting to jump out of my chest and put me out of my misery. I tried not to let my pain show on my face.
“And how come you never told me?” I asked.
“We weren’t really friends then. Remember?”
I remembered it all too well. But I didn’t let it get to me.
“I remember. So, Thalia, how come we haven’t talked in so long?”
“I don’t know, here, I’ll give you my number.”
“Okay, I’ll text you later. So guys, what should we have?” I asked, checking the menu.
“Two take nines and a fifteen foot garbage truck?” Daniel asked. I couldn’t help but laugh as it reminded me of the time Daniel set out on a mission to find out the secret of Cheese Couch’s addiction. He had been so sure it was garbage when they took him behind counter and showed him. It was a very delicious cheese.
Daniel and me were seriously full on laughing when I noticed Thalia staring out the window, a look of concern on her face.
“What’s wrong,” I asked, still smiling.
“Nothing.. What time is it?”
“About five o’clock, why?”
“I’ve to go soon.” She checked her phone for a few minutes then smiled and returned to us.
We ordered the same as the woman that had passed us and waited for our meal, telling jokes about bars.
“Okay, I’ve got one. A ghost walks into a bar and asks for a drink. The bartender says sorry, I don’t serve spirits.”
We just stared at how bad that Thalia’s joke had been. She was laughing her head off.
Daniel and me looked at each other and in unison, we said, “Women.”
The waitress came and gave us our food. Daniel and me devoured ours in a minute, where Thalia had only two bites.
“Seriously? You’re such pigs,” she laughed.
“We’re not pigs,” I said, offended, “we’re men!”
“Yeah, men are pigs,” she smirked.
“Oh really? And what makes girls so brilliant?”
“Being a girl.”
“Oh haw haw, you’re so frikken funny,” I said, pushing her playfully.
“Thalia, what time did you say you had to go?” Dan asked, looking out of the window at the trees beyond. There was a forest next to Cheese Couch. A nice forest, very green. But most forests were green, weren’t they? Okay, let’s say this one was more green.
“I didn’t say a specific time. About half five though.”
“It’s quarter to six now, you fool,” Dan laughed.
“Oh crap! I’ve got to go, now!”
“Want us to go with you?”
“No, I’m grand. My house isn’t far.”
I got up from my seat so Thalia could get out. She said, “Thanks,” and looked at me for a split second. In that split second I could see her eyes. They were pale white. They were usually purple.
I grabbed her arm. “Are you okay? Your eyes..” She pulled her arm from my grip and ran out the door.
What was that about? Girls and their hormones, I suppose.
I sat back down, wondering why her eyes had been white.
“What’s wrong, man?” Daniel asked me, slurping away at his chocolate milkshake.
“Huh? Oh, nothing, I’m fine. Hey, listen, I think I might head home too.”
“Really? That sucks. Mom has Greg over..”
I could see the sadness in Daniel’s green eyes. Greg was his mother’s boyfriend. His father had died when he was a kid in a hit and run.
“You could always come over to mine,” I offered, knowing it would cheer him up.
“Awesome. I’ll bring some DVD’s.”
“Nice. Want something before we go?”
I lightly laughed at him, then got up and left. The walk home wouldn’t be very long, but it was getting dark and I was hoping Daniel would be alright.
As I was turning the corner to my street, I heard a low growl from the forest. The same forest near the Cheese Couch. There was a path, and it was quick, so I had taken it.
I turned, and saw a shadow a few metres away from me. Oh God, I thought. The thing growled more, and pounced. I jumped forward, and the thing just missed me, but something like a claw raked across my back. I screamed in pain. I tried to move, but I was losing too much blood. I lay there, motionless, until finally, my eyes closed.
I woke, and instantly felt my back. Nothing. It had been a dream. I looked down to the floor where Daniel was sleeping in a sleeping bag. I sat there, thinking about the dream. I was one of the people who believed that every dream had a meaning. The more I thought about the dream, the more I forgot it.
I decided that I may as well just forget the whole thing. I jumped out of bed, put on a pair of tracksuit pants and a white t-shirt, and I went into the kitchen.
I made some cereal, and sat at the kitchen table. I looked around and noticed that something was different. The walls were still their pale green colour, the appliances were still in the same places, the washing machine in the left corner, dishwasher at the right corner, microwave on the counter. The fridge right next to it. The presses were different though, the wood. It seemed more… patterned. I don’t know. Why was I noticing this? I was confused so I headed back to my bedroom, with my cereal.
Daniel still wasn’t awake, so I sat in my bed, eating my cereal. I finished and placed the bowl on the floor next to my bedside table, noticing how sharper the colour of the wood was. What the hell?
I grumbled to myself and looked out the window. It was still pretty dark outside. I checked the alarm clock on the bedside table and groaned. It was only 6:10. I tried getting back to sleep. After ten minutes, my eyes finally shut and I vanished into my dream.
Someone was standing over me. I could feel them. I tried opening my eyes, but that was a no go. They were speaking to me, but the lack of blood because of my back made sure I couldn’t hear. I felt something press up against me. A nose? It felt… doggish. My mind froze. The thing that had attacked me. I was scared, I couldn’t move, my nerves were shot. I couldn’t scream or yell. Was it going to kill me? I’m sure it was.
I braced myself for the worst. The thing started nudging me with it’s nose, like it wanted me to move, or to get up. It seemed to be getting angry. I couldn’t move, didn’t it know that? I guess it didn’t because the next thing it did was bite me.
A heavy, slimy, sharp bite. My shoulder burst with flames of pain. I was screaming on the inside. I was about to die, and it didn’t care. I was fading to unconsciousness again. No, I told myself. I didn’t know why, but I had to stay awake to see what happened. It was important.
The wolf stopped biting, seeing as I didn’t move. It nudged me again. My hearing was returning. It was sniffing me! A twitch in my finger. The feeling of unconsciousness went away. The bleeding my back seems to have stopped. The thing walked around me. If I opened my eyes then I could see what it was. I tried, but it was impossible.
The thing seemed to be whining. It came closer and I heard twigs crack underneath it as it sat down. And then it howled, and I knew what it was. It was a wolf. I was being killed by a wolf. The wolf whined again and I felt something wet fall on me. Tears. The wolf was crying. It hadn’t meant to hurt me. It just wanted me to move.
The wolf bent over me, and dipped it’s head over my body. It would wait there, it would wait until I died.