It's not a curse it's a disease.Hyperglyocious, AKA the process of turning into a werewolf
|*note: this is the very first, unedited draft of my most recent work. Feel free to shread it up ad note any errors you find. I always welcome constructive critisism. The formatting may be off near the end, but I am working to fix it in my spare time, so please bare with me until then. Happy reading!
Something sinister is pent up inside of me, something traveling through my veins, controlling the beating of my heart.
More often than not, it skips a beat. Some days it seems as though nothing at all is beating inside of me. Some days, it seems like even the blood is nothing but crisp and dry.
I’ve felt this way since Dad and I took that camping trip a few weeks ago. Some sort of animal had found its way into the tent and attacked me, I’m pretty sure it was a snake. I woke up in the hospital with my arm swollen to three times its normal size. It was especially amazing that the bite was located on my foot, but the swelling was everywhere else. No one saw more than the tail of the animal, so it’s impossible to tell what species it was. The swelling went down a few days later and I was able to go home, but as I noted before, I just don’t feel right.
Some days I try so hard to feel the beat of my heart, any sign of a pulse. Maybe I wasn’t checking right, or maybe my wrists were still too swollen to feel a pulse. I soothed my mind with thinking that was the case. My fat arms, of course they’d be in the way of important things. Still, inside, I felt nothing but pain and emptiness. Almost as if my insides hungered, leaving me hollow.
Sometimes I feel so much pain that my vision goes white and I don’t even feel my hands and knees hitting the floor. As of today, I haven't felt any abnormalities for two days. As far as I’m concerned the pain is just a memory from the camping trip that forced me to stay at the hospital with Mom and Dad worried sick over me. But, I had a feeling that this pain was over, and my irregular heart beats would soon return to normal. For now, life was peace and things were just as imperfect as they always were.
Chapter 1 – Rising Sun
Sitting up in my lime green bed, I wiped away the first tears of the morning. I found myself unable to sleep any longer, a sure sign I was completely rested; but a part of me still wanted to be asleep - just to be able to block out the world and dream about bunnies in a flower patch awhile longer.
Rising from bed and stretching my stiff body, I lifted my arms toward the ceiling letting out another yawn. I enjoyed the feeling of waking my body so it could move in unison with my mind. Still, I was determined to rid myself of the happiness that this morning called for.
I rose from the bed and tried to stretch out the stiffness. I lifted my arms and yawned, enjoying the feeling of my waking body in sync with my mind. I dragged my feet to the closet, stumbling. I absentmindedly reached in and grabbed the first two items my hands touched; only stopping to be sure they matched.
I looked at myself and poked the imperfect parts: my thighs, my arms, my stomach. So, I threw the clothes onto my bed and removed my pink pajamas, getting upset when my hair kept falling into my face obstructing the view of what I was doing.
I stood in front of the large mirror and slipped into the closest pair of shoes I could find. Looking at myself up and down, I poked the places that were completely imperfect, the places that couldn’t be immediately fixed: my thighs, my arms, my stomach. At least I could see some perfection, in those places that couldn't gain weight: my golden hair, my stunning blue eyes, my pale pink lips, and long, smooth nails.
I grabbed some make-up from the dresser, applying it quickly. Then, letting out a sigh, I grabbed my backpack just thinking of excuses to get out of eating breakfast. One thing I did learn at school: food is evil. It’s unnecessary, just like any video game, completely unnecessary. I turned the knob of my bedroom door, knowing it was too late to just roll over in bed and feign illness.
“Nice of you to finally join the land of the living, Halle.” Logan, my older brother, sat on the kitchen counter munching on a piece of bread. He's always been the favorite child: straight A's, perfect body, paragon of virtue.
I quickly straightened, realizing I let my weakness towards the food show.
“Yeah,” I said, unwilling to offer any more information.
“Are you all right?” Dad asked, laying a hand on my shoulder.
“I’m leaving for school early today,” I said, hoping to brush off any comments about not eating breakfast.
I quickly straightened up realizing I let my weakness towards the food to show, “Yeah,” I said not offering up any more information.
No one ever notices how I actually feel, except Dad on occasion, but when he notices it’s more of a pestering than any concern I would accept.
Dad glared at me in disbelief, then continued picking up his empty plate.
“I’m leaving for school early today,” I said, hoping to brush off any comments about not eating breakfast.
“Okay, sweetheart,” Mom said, and flipped a rasher of bacon. "Have fun."
“Ugh,” I coughed from deep within the back of my throat, “Don’t call me that. ”
Mom didn’t hear what I said, so I grabbed my jacket and slammed the door.
The air was crisp and cold, the sky clear as far as the eye could see. I enjoyed this weather, the sort that was chill enough to seep through a turtleneck sweater, but not so piercing you could feel it through a well-made jacket. People around Montana hate the current temperature so much, which is funny since it’s one of the coldest places in the US. It makes me angry when people over-dress or complain that it’s too cold to sustain human life—which they do often. I always ask, why not move to Nevada or Arizona? But they always say they like it here. I think it’s hilarious.
I observed the animal-like qualities of the neighbors next door, Rex and Fawn were the kids’ names—who names their kids like that anyways?
The weird part was, their names actually suited their attitudes: Rex could always be found doing something obnoxious like chasing his little sister around until she—or he—fell and got hurt; he was always acting like a big, scary monster.
The weird part was that their names actually suited their attitudes: Rex was always doing something obnoxious, like chasing his little sister around until one of them fell and got hurt. He seemed to take pride in always acting like a big, scary, monster. “Hello, Val.” I patted her on the back, wishing she would stop drawing so much attention.
I turned my head toward the horizon, watching the trees pass as I made my way down the sidewalk. It’s too bad my school was so close; otherwise I might have actually been able to work off my extra pounds by now. The walk there didn’t burn more than a few hundred calories, and it certainly wasn’t enough to warm up muscles.
I shrugged, not knowing what to say. “I had a really late night last night. Like everyone else I surrounded myself with, her body had an athletic build and everything about her was enough to make anyone, male or female, look directly over my head and at her. Why I surround myself with these people, I have no idea.
The two jocks at the entrance glanced at us, snickering.
Pushing past them, I followed Valerie into the school, immediately noticing the difference between the daylight and the false white of the fluorescents. ” Valerie said cheerfully, giving me a bow.
“Hello, Val.” I patted her on the back, wishing she would stop drawing so much attention.
Valerie wrinkled her nose, “Are you alright?
You look a little sick this morning. ”
I shrugged, not sure what to reply. “I had a really late night last night. ”
I knew she was wondering what kept me awake late last night, but I had no answer for this lie of mine, so she would have to just wonder.
The two jocks at the entrance were snickered at us. I pushed past them and I followed Valerie into the school, noticing the vast change between the sunlight and the fluorescents.
I let out a sigh, staring at myself in the mirror. Yes, I certainly was a mess. What’s strange is the sunlight doesn’t bother me at all; it’s just the “fake” lights that get to me.
Students and teachers filled the halls, hustling and bustling about. I couldn’t believe the suddenness with which this illness came on. I'd never had an illness like this one before. All of this added to my previous headache from the lights.
“Head off to class, I’ll be there in a moment,” I said, dashing off into the bathroom before Valerie could say anything.
Unlike the crowded, noisy halls, the bathroom was silent; I was alone. The only thing there to fuel my headache was the montonous thrum of the lights. With any hopes, by the time I quit procrastinating in the bathroom, the halls will be empty. My only problem will be the classroom after I leave.
Cradling my body with my abnormally large arms, I leaned against the sink. I looked in the mirror and sighed. Yes, I certainly was a mess. No wonder people kept asking. My faced was drained of color and my eyes were bloodshot. I closed my eyes realizing I looked like how I felt. My stomach started churning. The stench of the bathroom filled my nostrils. I ran into a bathroom stall, closed the door behind me, and vomited. I couldn’t believe the suddenness in which this illness came on. I never had an illness such as this one before.
Finally, I stood up to my full height, feeling decent enough to make it to the nurse’s office. I opened the latch on the bathroom stall and pulled the door open. Just as suddenly as before, I felt the familiar churning and ran to the toilet’s side. Looking up from the toilet bowl I saw Valarie, standing over me looking concerned.
“Are you all right, Halle? Should I get the nurse? ” Valerie asked.
I was unable to speak. I began feeling dizzy and hurled again. The world around me appeared disoriented and discolored—in fact things weren’t colored at all, everything was black and white. Feeling my every limb go weak, I fell back onto the floor. I heard Valerie’s footsteps running out of the bathroom and the door slamming behind her. All I could see were the lights on the ceiling. Then my vision turned white.
Chapter 2 – Eyes of Blue
I opened my eyes startled by unfamiliar hard, white sheets surrounding my body. Upon awaking, I didn’t feel any better. My head still hurt, and my body ached like never before. I sat up in the bed realizing I was in the nurse’s office.
“How are you feeling?” I heard the familiar voice of the nurse.
“I-I” I stuttered looking at the nurse.
I blinked, blinked again, and rubbed my eyes; I still saw everything in black and white. The world appeared like an old movie, the plant sitting in the corner was a grey shade, and the nurse’s skin was a light grey, the ceiling was white, the walls—white. My breathing quickened panicked at the thought of being color-blind for the rest of my life.
“I-I can’t see,” I said, “I can’t see color.”
“Calm down, you’re alright,” she soothed.
“I’m not alright, I-I can’t see color, it’s all black and white, everything, the walls, you, me, the plant. It’s black and white. I can’t see!” I yelled standing.
“Calm down, Halle, let me have a look.”
I stopped fidgeting and throwing my hands around wildly, but my heart remained at it’s quickened pace. The nurse peered into my eyes with a little flashlight, looking for what I knew not, and then stepped back a moment later.
“I don’t see anything wrong or out of the ordinary, but you should still have your eyes checked out by a specialist. Your parents are on their way to pick you up, so get some rest until then.” The nurse turned the light off leaving just enough light left to see, and left the room closing the door.
I sat back down on the little flimsy bed. What if I never got my vision back properly—or at all? I would never be the same again; and the nurse acted like it was nothing, like this kind of thing happened everyday. But, I knew better, you don’t just go color blind from nothing, especially when you’re not even born with it, and you have no trace of it in your family. It’s not some kind of disease that just pops up out of nowhere.
I lay back closing my eyes; at least the lack of lighting helped my headache. This kind of stuff doesn’t just happen to me; it doesn’t happen to this kind of person. Bad health doesn’t run in my family, nor does bad luck, then again, good luck didn’t exactly run in my family either. I just wasn’t graced with luck’s presence—ever. So, you could basically call me “on my own in life” when it came to that.
My breathing calmed a bit, but I knew I would not be able to relax until this problem was properly taken care of. And I prey to God, Mom and Dad won’t just make an appointment for me to go to, I want—no, need to go now. Waiting here, in this smelly place was killing me as it was, and staying home “resting” would not just cure this.
I brushed my hair back out of my face, obvious to the smeared mascara which I could feel greasy and powdery at the same time, all over my hand. The smells of the nurse’s office were really beginning to get to me now. The smell of the plastic gloves was the strongest, and I could smell it so vibrantly you would think I would have one shoved down my throat. I opened my eyes and stared up at the ceiling, I dared not look away, for the ceiling always was white and seeing things any other way terrified me. Not only that, but the white ceiling was the only thing familiar for my eyes now, and I recognized nothing, not my surroundings or anything.
Noticing my breathing quickening again I closed my eyes trying to calm myself. If I just stay calm, it’ll be alright, I soothed in my mind. But, the more I repeated this, the more I went in depth thinking about that, if I “just stay calm” it won’t fix anything. Focusing on “staying calm” would not fix anything except my nerves. If I can’t see again, it won’t “be alright”. Soon, the words didn’t even sooth me, but they caused for more worry than anything else.
“Mom?” I sat up instantly, so happy to hear Mom’s voice, but for that split second I realized I could only see her in black and white. She didn’t look familiar.
“What happened?” Mom asked sternly, by the tone of her voice, I couldn’t tell if she was angry, upset, or worried.
“I-I don’t know, one minute I was fine, and then I just got this massive headache and the next thing I knew I ended up here, and I can’t see, Mom,” I said with a trembling voice. Mom sighed. I knew she was upset.
“Halle, your eyes are fine, if you wanted to get out of school so bad today, you could have just told me—”
“Mom—Mom,” I tried to cut in while she spoke, but she continued over my voice.
“—instead of causing such a scene in this entire school. It’s embarrassing!”
“Why do you think I am lying to you, Mom? I can’t see. Everything is black and white—everything!” Mom folded her arms, “The nurse told me, Halle, there is nothing wrong with you.”
“I would not lie about this, the plant is grey, my arm is grey, you are grey, everything is grey, Mom.” She remained silent for a moment and I just let her be. She avoided my eyes, and I let her. “Fine if you don’t believe me. Bottom line is, I need to see a doctor, and I need one now. If you are not going to take me, I’ll take myself.” I took another glance at my uncolored surroundings, “There is something wrong with me,” I said with as much power as I could.
Mom rolled her sad doe eyes up at me. “Fine, I’ll take you; just get in the car, now.”
After her speaking to me like a little child getting her way, part of me wanted to go alone anyways. I’m not a liar, and no one in my family believed me to be one, so why she assumed that I lied to get out of school was more than beyond me. It was just another something to add to the million other problems in my life. Maybe my family does believe I am liar, after all, I don’t know what they say about me behind my back—besides what I’ve overheard. Oh yeah, that’s another spectacular thing about my life, my family is always talking about me behind my back. Usually I do overhear their conversations, but there are those that do get over me, or ones that I make a point to block out. Yep, I’m rude, inconsiderate, an eavesdropper, a failure, and now apparently a liar. Add it to my list.
I got in the car seeing the blue sky I saw only earlier this morning through different eyes—though grey eyes. The green trees were a dark shade of grey and I couldn’t stand seeing these colors. Of all of the colors, why grey? Why black and white? I recognized none of my classmates without staring carefully at them.
Seeing the Trinity Hospital sign pop up. It was a very large building with a road all the way around the main building. Parking was often atrocious, and a lot of times people didn’t even park in the main parking lot. At any rate, I was glad that Mom was driving so I didn’t have to focus on that. The hospital and school weren’t really too near each other, but in a town this small there’s only one of everything so you don’t really have a choice of where to go.
Mom was the first to step out of the car, and I followed promptly. I slammed the door to the car and collected the “evil-eye” from Mom. Just as I went to take a single step, I tripped over something hard and fell face first into the concrete sidewalk. Mom rushed over to my side to help peel me up off of the concrete. I looked back down barley noticing where the asphalt parking lot met with the cement sidewalk. I wanted to burst into tears, but not because of the fall, because of my eyes. It could always be like this.
I followed Mom into the hospital and she walked over to the front desk.
“Good afternoon, Miss, can I help you?” The woman asked. Mom leaned close to the desk, “Yes, my daughter claims she can’t see, that she is seeing everything in,” Mom put her fingers up using “air quotes”, “black and white.”
I rolled my eyes at the ridiculousness Mom turned this into. But, I wasn’t about to say nothing was wrong when something was. Besides, after the doctor has a look, it’ll prove I wasn’t lying. Then Mom will have something to apologize about.
“Alright Ma’am, have a seat and the doctor will call you—what was her name?”
“Uh, Halle Fletcher,” Mom said folding her arms.
The woman wrote something down and looked back up smiling only to be polite, “Alright, the doctor will be with you in a moment, have a seat until then.” Mom walked over to the nearest seat, and I sat down next to her.
“Sorry to embarrass you, Mom,” I shot out in a cruel voice.
Mom shifted in her chair turning her back on my completely and wearing a big, fake frown. I almost wished she would talk to me, it was much better than turning her back and ignoring me. I leaned my head back against the wall, noticing the headache from the lights again. What was wrong with me? Could it be cancer, or a brain tumor, or something?
I sat there for at least 45 minutes thinking of all of the possibilities that would cause my symptoms—the Hantavirus, Pink Eye—but nothing matched perfectly. As far as I was concerned, it could have been anything, or a combination of everything.
“Halle Fletcher.” I heard my name called and jumped up out of my seat.
I probably looked utterly strange with my quickened pace as I ran into the door the nurse held open, but I was eager to get the diagnosis. I don’t remember wanting anything more than I wanted to know what was happening.
Behind the door there was a long hall with many, many doors—all with numbers on them, 3392, 3394, 3396, 3398, the nurse opened the door to the left, room 3397. There were two beds in the room, but none were occupied. The nurse handed me one of those creepy patent outfits with the backs open.
“Put this on, and the doctor will be around to see you in a moment.” I walked into the room and the nurse turned to leave, Mom walked in the door right away, and closed it behind herself. I stepped around the side of the bed and pulled the curtain half-way around and began undressing, which I did in record time. When I pushed the curtain back to it’s usual resting place, Mom walked over to me and tied the strings in the back, and I sat down in the bed. “Why are you doing this?” Mom asked folding her arms. “It’s not school—”
“Then what; is it boys? Your friends? Do you hate me? Do you hate your family? What? What is it, Halle—”
“It’s not boys, my friends, you, or anyone else in the family—”
“Is it our living conditions? A car? A cell-phone? Why are you rebelling?”
“I’m not rebelling, Mom—”
“Halle, you can’t have us living like this—”
“If you would shut-up I could tell you what’s wrong!” I yelled, “I don’t feel well, I love you, I love my family, and our living conditions are fine, but my vision is grey, I am not fine. There is no other excuse for it. I have never lied to you, and I don’t plan on starting now. I just want to know what’s wrong.”
I slouched back in the bed.
I wanted so badly for her to believe me so I could share my worries and she would tell me it will be alright. The doctor walked into the room causing me to jump.
“Halle… Fletcher,” he said looking at a clipboard, “What seems to be the problem?” I glanced at Mom who just looked away.
“I don’t know, I was fine going to school this morning, and after I got there I just started feeling completely terrible, and I started vomiting. The next thing I knew I was laying on the bathroom floor, and then I passed out. And I woke up in the nurse’s office and I couldn’t see anything in color, and I haven’t been able to since, everything looks grey, they are all different shades of grey.” I paused for a moment taking a breath, “Also, every time I walk into a lighted room I get a terrible headache, if that has anything to do with it.”
The doctor raised his eyebrows, “And you’re still having vision problems now?”
I nodded, “Yeah.”
“Have you ever experienced anything like this before?”
“Only once or twice since the snake bite, I mean I passed out a few times, but I never lost my vision or vomited.”
“Yeah, I was out camping with my dad and I was bitten by a snake, but that was a few weeks ago.” I wrung my hands feeling my palms sweat.
He nodded, “And how old are you?”
“Let’s have a look than, shall we?”
The doctor approached taking out a little flashlight and examining my eyes the same way the school nurse did. Next he put his hands on top of my head.
“Tell me if it hurts,” he said and began pushing in different places on my head, but it didn’t hurt at all.
The doctor took a step back, “I don’t see anything out of the ordinary.” He took a quick glance at Mom, “There is this flu going around, and you might have a touch of it. It matches your symptoms almost to a T. It’s called Hyperglyocious. It’s not fatal, but it is a pain in the neck. The average duration of the flu is around a month. You should begin to regain your eye-sight gradually, having it back completely in a couple of weeks.” He let loose a cough. I felt more relieved than I had in months knowing my eyes would not be like this for long, and I would recover. My life would return to normal. The snake bite and the flu were simply coincidental.
“As for the headaches, they are a part of the flu as well, if they get too unbearable take some aspirin, it should help enough to allow you to continue with your daily activites.” I nodded not being able to contain the wide smile spread across my face. I was going to be okay.
“Thank you, Doctor…”
“Doctor David Lawrence.”
“Doctor David Lawrence,” I repeated like some kind of bird.
Doctor Lawrence patted my shoulder, “You are free to go now.”
He left the room, and I glanced back over at Mom, she still kept the same expression as before. I wanted to say “I told you so” but I refrained from saying anything else as not to make the entire situation any worse as it already was. I already felt bad for telling her to shut-up, but I felt it was necessary. She wouldn’t listen to me, which is so unlike her.
I rose from the bed, pulled the curtain, and dressed into my ordinary clothes again. When I pulled the curtain back Mom stood near the door waiting for me. She opened the door, and I followed her through the halls and back out into the parking lot. Mom opened the car door and sat down roughly without saying anything, I followed, but kept calmer and softer movements.
“Mom?” I tested to see just how angry she was.
“Halle,” she said with plainness, which showed her annoyance with me. I leaned my head back against the seat, “I was just scared, I’m sorry.”
Mom said nothing. Why is she holding this grudge? Why is she still blaming me? The doctor said I am ill, just like I said; it proved I wasn’t lying. It proved it.
After arriving back home, Mom went straight into the kitchen with Dad. Logan sat on the couch watching TV.
“Someone pissed Mom off,” Logan said looking up at me sideways.
“You pissed Mom off, Dumb Head,” I said patting him on the head.
“What?” he asked, taking his feet off the coffee table.
I laughed at him, always trying to keep his standing with Mom and Dad on the up and up, “Calm down, your status is fine.”
Indistinguishable voices came from the opposite side of the kitchen door; I approached and rested my ear on the door.
“She did all of that for the flu, Richard, the flu. She is completely out of control,” I heard Mom yell.
“Maybe she’s just—”
“Maybe she’s just what? Maybe she’s a rebellious teenager.”
“Maybe something is really wrong with her,” Dad said with a worried tone.
“We just got back from the hospital.”
“Maybe something is wrong with her head, Lisa.” I didn’t listen anymore; I turned my back, and walked upstairs.
Chapter 3 – Party with Me
For the rest of the week and far into the next week things didn’t improve very much with the family matters, and the conditions with the flu didn’t get too much better either. Mom did break her silence though, and she did talk to me, but we didn’t speak of the hospital visit, in fact she pretended as though it never even happened. I did take some aspirin as the doctor prescribed, and it did help me to get through school. But, after that I mostly stayed home up in my room with all of the lights turned off. Even at night I kept the lights off for the most part.
Valerie did show a bit of concern for me; she was nearly the only one. I welcomed the sympathy figuring it would make up for whatever part of it my family deprived me of. I told Valerie everything, and she nodded and listened intently, she didn’t judge me like my own creators—my parents. I never remembered an occasion like this before where they didn’t believe anything I had to say, or anytime that they would not listen to my words. I had no explanation for their strange behavior, but I accepted it as what it would be like from now on.
Dad started dropping me off at school, like neither of them trusted me enough to let me walk. As if Mom would not think that I noticed her absence from my life, but I did. She was such a big part of it before, but that woman could certainly hold a grudge.
“Hey, Halle, we’re all going over to the forest south of here to have a bonfire party.” Valerie did a retarded little dance.
I sniffled, “Who’s going?”
“Dean, Drake, Rafael, Justin, Selena, Alisha, Morgan, and Morgan’s brother Christopher… and of course me.”
I tilted my head from side to side, “I’m not sure my mom will let me go,” I said honestly.
“It’s going to be awesome though, you have to come. Everyone’s going to be there.”
“It won’t be everyone if I can’t make it.” I stood up from the grassy school grounds steadying myself against the big tree I was just leaning against.
Valerie placed her hands on my shoulders, “Sneak out,” she said shaking me with each word.
I pushed her hands away, “I wouldn’t do something like that.”
“Then lie, you’re going over to my house for a sleepover with me.”
I gasped, “Valerie!”
“Fine, twist the truth, go to the bonfire with me and then come over to my house for a sleepover.”
“If Mom says it’s okay I’ll go, end of story. I’ll just be very convincing and put on my cute, little sad puppy face.”
Valerie snorted, “You had better come.”
I shrugged picking up my backpack and books out of the grass. When Valerie wants something she gets it, she is a very persuasive person. At times I loved that about her, and others I hated it, it depended on if she was using it against me or not. If I wanted something, Valerie would be the first person I would call for backup, but I wasn’t quite certain that I would be feeling up to going to the bonfire to party. I mean, my eyes haven’t even returned to normal yet. It’s been a real pain in the neck. I must have tripped about a thousand times in the past week, and Logan just loves to stick his foot out at will to add to my suffering.
Valerie and the small circle of friends we shared certainly were party animals. I still don’t know why I hung out with them; none of them were at all like me. But, I guess that’s why they say opposites attract. They’re good kids though, I mean, no drugs can be found around us, but if there was any reason to party—or no reason at all—there would be a party.
I walked back up to the school with Valerie collecting stares from the other students who had nothing better to do. I didn’t really pay attention to where we were going, so I just followed Valerie and thanked God we had the same classes.
“You’ve never met Christopher have you?” Valerie asked.
“Who?” I asked lost in my own thoughts.
“Christopher, Morgan’s brother.”
“Oh, no I haven’t, I’ve only heard his name a few times. He doesn’t go to school here.”
Valerie snickered. “He didn’t used to go to school here, you mean.”
As far as I was concerned he could have been homeschooled, really, I could care less, “Oh, so he’s attending now?”
“Yep, he is officially a student today,” Valerie nodded her head towards a respectable looking student.
“Is that him?”
Christopher looked like he owned the place; already there were a flock of students around him including Selena, Rafael, and Drake. It was a disgusting sight if you asked me. I hate people like that, who think they own everything, everyone, and every place they set foot in—pure arrogance, I could see it already. His overall appearance was that of an ordinary jock, he flexed his muscles when he reached for his books—this confirmed his jock identity.
Christopher glanced toward Valerie and me, but I was sure it was Valerie who caught his attention. I turned my nose up in the air and continued walking down the hall, appearing like those rich kids who think they’re better than everyone else—people whom I’m sure he’s seen a lot of.
“Hey, Val,” Christopher said.
With the shock of him speaking my feet became tangled within each other, but my body kept moving forward towards the hard floor. Before I knew it, two arms reached around me and stopped me from falling any farther. They pulled me back up into a standing position where I realized it was Christopher who saved me from hitting the floor. After seeing this feat I immediately scratched off him as being a jock, normal jocks would just let me fall and then laugh.
“Are you alright?” Christopher asked his hands still grasping my upper arms.
I nodded at a loss for words, and he let go slowly acting like I was some kind of ceramic decoration.
Valerie wore a big knowing smile.
“Are you going to the party tonight, Halle?”
As if it wasn’t a surprise enough that Christopher actually caught me, but he knew my name too. Suddenly I realized if he knew my name, it meant people were talking about me to him, and I wondered what they told him. I just reassured myself that the impression I would make would overrule anything anyone else would say about me. And if he needed confirmation on any rumors he could just ask and I’d tell him right.
“Halle?” Valerie elbowed me in the ribs.
“Uh, yeah, I’ll be there at the party tonight,” I said quickly, nervous at this mystery of a guy talking to me.
“Cool, then I guess I’ll be going too, can’t have you falling with no one to catch you can we?” He gave a casual wink.
“Yeah—I mean, no, I can take care of myself,” I retorted.
The bell rang for the next class. Christopher chuckled, “I’ll see you later tonight, Halle.”
Valerie grabbed my arm and pulled me down the hall in the opposite direction Christopher was headed. No sooner than he was out of ear shot, she stopped me in the middle of the hall and placed her hands on my shoulders.
“You’re in like with him!” she exclaimed.
I gasped, “I am not, and I think he’s self-centered.”
“That can easily be over-looked, Halle, especially with a hottie like him.”
I started walking again, “Val, you’re taken, put your eyes back in your head.”
“And you’re not, besides, you have the hots for him, not me.”
I laughed, “I do not.”
School went completely ordinarily, I discovered that Christopher actually shared a class with me, and that class was totally and completely awkward as he kept staring at me.
“Bye, Halle, can’t wait to see you tonight!” Valerie called as she climbed into the car with her mom.
No sooner than that happened, Dad pulled up in the car. I sighed remembering Mom’s continued grudge against me. I pulled open the car door and climbed in the passenger seat. Dad took off almost before I could even close the door. I gave him a questioning glance. He never was a “happy” driver, but I did sense something was troubling him.
“Your mother isn’t too pleased with your actions you know,” Dad said steering the car out of the parking lot. Now was my chance to fall back into the graces with my parents, “I know, Dad, but I was scared.” The sad, little girl routine worked well with Dad.
Dad sighed glancing out his window, “But, you still should not have acted to disrespectful towards us. We’re here for you; we’re not fighting against you.”
“I know…” I said sweetly.
“I’ve been scared before too, so I don’t blame you for wanting everything to be fixed, but it was still wrong to go off on your mother like that.” Dad was trying to lecture me, I knew it, but he had a soft spot for me, he always has, with me being his “only little girl”.
“I really am sorry for what I said to her,” I wasn’t, she was a total wacko, “I didn’t mean it, and I actually don’t even know what possessed me to act like that. Maybe I was delirious from passing out earlier.”
“You passed out again?” Dad asked as if Mom hadn’t told him.
“Mom didn’t tell you? I was vomiting and then I passed out, and when I woke back up I was like totally color blind.”
“Well, Jesus, you’ve been through a rough patch, Sweetheart.”
“Yeah, I was just really concerned, I’ve never head of a flu that can turn you color blind, I was just happy that it was diagnosed and I knew it wasn’t something—” I inhaled deeply, “—worse.”
Dad turned the car into our driveway, “Yeah, I’ve never heard of a flu like that either.”
Dad turned the engine off and I got out of the car. He got out of the car on his side and twirled the keys around his finger as he walked to the front door. I took a few steps forward and placed my hands on the hood of the car.
Dad stopped and turned around, “Yes, Sweety?”
“There’s this party that Valerie and her friends are having tonight…”
“And they invited me to join them.”
“Oh, I don’t—”
“There won’t be any drugs or anything, just a good clean party.”
I shook my head, looking down at a fleck of dirt on the windshield. He would not let me go; I would not get permission from him or Mom. “It’s down by the river, we won’t be swimming in it or anything, it’s just a nice view there; you know, the forest, the water…”
Dad nodded his head with an agreeable smile, “If your mom agrees, it’s fine with me. You could use to get out of the house a bit.” Dad turned and headed back into the house. Now I’ll have leverage with Mom if she insists on denying me my party privileges.
“Hey!” I flipped around towards the end of the driveway to see Christopher walking up the sidewalk.
“Are you following me?” I questioned saying the first thing that came to mind.
Christopher shook his head, “No, I live right up the street here. Although, now that I know we live so close, I might have to start following you.”
“Now that’s just creepy,” I said not knowing what else to say.
I felt tempted to follow him and walk him home just to see what his deal was. But at the same time I felt it best to leave him be. I’d find out anyways with time.
“See you later tonight, Halle,” Christopher said waving his hand and continuing down the street.
I couldn’t believe Christopher lived right around the corner from me. This guy just comes and takes the best of everything. I watched Christopher walk all the way down the street to one of the last houses on the street wishing I could see him in color rather than in black and white.
I walked into the front door and closed it again, happy for the warmth of the house. Though it was only October it certainly was nippy outside. Logan sat on the couch watching TV just like he always was after school. It made me wonder how he ever succeeded since I never saw him studying like those other students who match his grade level. But, whatever, my A’s and B’s are just fine, more than a passing grade.
Heading off towards the kitchen, I knew I’d find Mom cooking dinner, I thought I might be able to sweeten her up easier there. I opened up the kitchen door to find a sour looking Mom stirring a pot of what I knew not. I approached slowly wiping my sweating palms on my jeans.
“Anything I can help with?” I asked with a shaking voice.
“What do you want?” Mom asked knowing I was up to something. I took a few steps closer, “Peace on earth, goodwill towards man, and you not to be angry with me.” The way I figured this would either make her angrier or help the situation. But, I didn’t know what else to do, so it was a chance that I had to take. When she held her silence for awhile I knew I had to say something else, I just hoped whatever came out of my mouth would not offend her more, “I’m really sorry for what I said before.”
Mom turned around leaning against the counter. I didn’t know if she was going to scold me or accept the apology, it was always hard to tell with her, “Halle, I’m not angry with you; I just wished you handled the situation better.”
“I know, and I’m sure I could come up with a million excuses, but none of them really suffice for what I did. I never should have spoken to you like that.”
I craned my neck to see what Mom was cooking, but in black and white I couldn’t really tell, it could have been some kind of beans, but it could have also been a number of other things as well. With my "wonderful vision" I couldn’t really tell, I really had to rely on the shape of objects rather than their details; which annoyed the hell out of me.
“It’s pinto beans, we’re going to have burritos for dinner today,” Mom said almost as if she forgot her anger completely, or maybe she rather pushed it behind her. “I love burritos; do you need any help making them?” I asked.
“You can help me roll them, I just heated up the tortillas, and everything else is on the kitchen table.” Mom motioned towards the kitchen table as she stirred the pot of beans one last time, flipped the stove off, and then carried the beans to the table.
I grabbed a tortilla off the plate and sprinkled a line of shredded cheese and beef down the center. Next I grabbed a ladle full of beans and added that to the tortilla. Mom reached over me and grabbed a bag of shredded lettuce and sprinkled some on my tortilla and then some on hers. I flashed her a smile, and began rolling up the tortilla. It was times like these that I spent with Mom that I missed. We hadn’t cooked together in such a long time, cooking with her almost made me want to open up a restaurant and her and I could become the chefs.
“Hey, Mom?” I said casually.
“Yeah?” she questioned not looking away from the task at hand. “Valerie is having this party tonight. I told her I couldn’t go though.”
“You can go,” Mom said suddenly. I couldn’t stop my jaw from dropping. “It’s not too late to tell her you’ll go is it?”
“Uh, no, it isn’t, I can just show up.”
Yes, things were finally adjusting nicely and the rough path was over. I succeeded in charming my parents back to their normal state, and whatever was causing them to act as they did before didn’t matter anymore. Even if I didn’t agree, and everything that I told them was a lie, it didn’t matter and I knew I would not win anyways. They would not find out, and my words made them happy anyways.
“When and where is it?” Mom asked. I was waiting for this question, so I had a good answer to it. “It’s near the river south of here, and it’s directly after dinner.”
“Oh, so you will get to eat the burritos.” I let out a laugh, “Yeah, I’d rather miss the party!” Another lie, but it made her feel better and I knew she caught it. But, it was one of those lies that was okay to tell. Even though I wasn’t eating breakfast or lunch, I couldn’t get out of eating dinner, as Mom and Dad thought it was a good idea to get the family involved to eat dinner together. I thought it was a stupid idea, but that was just my opinion.
“Valerie is having a sleep over afterwards too,” I said just to cover my butt if we stayed out too late.
“Oh, okay,” Mom said.
After dinner, I went straight up to my bedroom, the burritos tasted better than the last time we had them. Maybe it was because I made them special with Mom. She was such an excellent chef, I always thought she should have sold her recipes, or opened up a restaurant, or something.
I didn’t know what to wear, I found that my clothes were plain and the items I wanted to wear didn’t match well. I wanted to wear something black, something flattering, something fancy—but not too fancy—I wanted something I would look good in and something I would feel good in. But, I found this type of clothing didn’t exist in my closet. So, instead, I came up with a flowing, brown halter top and decided to wear it with a simple pair of dark-wash jeans. I slipped on a pair of comfortable, easy-to-walk-in high heeled shoes.
With regards to makeup, I put on some of my darker shades of eye shadow and lipstick, which I didn’t wear too often. I wanted to be able to stand out in the dark, and I certainly wanted to make an impression. Though my hair already fell in natural curls, I curled it with a curling iron and the entire thing came out perfectly. The perfection of my look even surprised me; I actually looked half-way decent like those models with their makeup all done up in the magazines. I let out a satisfied sigh and headed downstairs.
“Someone’s all dressed up.”
Looking up from the bottom of the stairs—as I was previously watching my steps carefully—I saw a smug looking Logan, leaning on the banister in front of me.
“And I see you’ve kept your usual couch potato attire,” I said with my classical distaste.
I continued down the stairs.
“Where are you sneaking off too?” Logan asked, jumping in my way.
“I’m not sneaking anywhere, they know I’m going,” I said motioning with my head towards the kitchen where Mom and Dad was.
Logan turned around towards the kitchen and cupped around his mouth with his free hand, “Mom, Halle is leaving the house!” He turned back towards me, wearing a smug grin thinking he was going to get me in trouble.
I mimicked Logan’s grin and raised an eyebrow. Mom peeked her head out of the kitchen glancing at Logan and me.
“You don’t have to shout, Baby, but thanks for letting us know.” Mom closed the kitchen door.
“Yeah, you don’t have to shout, Baby,” I said, hopping over the side of the banister and running for the door.
Logan chased me grabbing my arm as I reached the door, but I managed to pull away enough to slam the door on his wrist. I threw up a hand giving him a taunting wave, but I didn’t so much as look back. I could just imagine what his face looked like. I was out of the house, and I was free. I never felt more alive than I did tonight, I guess I was getting over that flu after all, and just in time for the party. No longer would this be one of my friend’s random ideas for a party, but it would be a party with a reason.
My vision wasn’t any better, but I sure felt good. It almost felt like I should not have been doing this, like my parent’s didn’t give me permission, but they did and it made it all the more better to be out on a night like tonight. The forest was almost a straight shot from my house, I just had to walk down the street and then turn the corner and it was completely straight after that.
It didn’t take long to get into the forest, it was good of them to pick a place with a well-carved trail leading to it, otherwise I’m sure I would have gotten lost. The trail was dusty, and I was sure I’d have to dust off my shoes well after I got home for them to even look a smidge decent. But that was okay, my shoes were just a piece of my look.
Soon, I could hear the loud booming music which told of the party. I pushed past a couple of branches which blocked the path and I emerged into a clearing, on the other side was the river.
“Halle!” Valerie shouted and ran over. “You made it, I didn’t think you’d come.”
“Of course I came, I wouldn’t miss this,” I said walking into the group of people.
Valerie took her place standing next to her boyfriend, Rafael.
“We need to get firewood, it’s starting to get dark,” Valerie said, glancing around at everyone in the group.
Christopher stood up from a rock he was sitting on, “I’ll get it.”
“Halle, why don’t you help?” Valerie suggested giving a little giggle.
I took off following Christopher acting like it was a burden to go with him, but I was actually glad to have a moment alone with him, this way I could solve the mysteries in my mind. We disappeared into the forest, and Christopher began picking up sticks along the way.
“You pick up the wood and I’ll carry them. I don’t want to ruin your clothes, you look really nice tonight,” Christopher said.
“Oh, uh,” was all that came out, his complement was unexpected, and I didn’t know how to answer.
But, I picked up the wood that he pointed out. Really, I didn’t know what wood was burnable and what wasn’t. There was a period of silence, besides him telling me which pieces of wood to pick up.
“So, what’s your deal?” I finally mustered up the courage to ask.
“What’s my deal with what?” he asked, but I figured he knew exactly what I meant.
“What’s the deal with you? You just moved in down my street, you are Morgan’s brother and yet you don’t live with her.” I thought I might be too forward in asking, but he just chuckled.
“My and Morgan’s birth parents split up quite awhile ago. She went with my mom and I stayed with my dad. Eventually my mom remarried, and within the past few months my dad remarried too. And to say the least, I decided to stay out here with my mom, my dad bought the house for me, it was supposed to be college funds for me, but I decided not to go, so… yeah.” Christopher looked over to the left away from my eye contact.
“Oh, I’m sorry to hear,” I said quickly, “It’s great that you get a house all to your self though.”
Christopher snuffled, “Actually, it’s kind of lonely.”
I tripped over a large root from one of the trees, “I can imagine.”
Christopher turned his head towards me, “What about you?” I shook my head, “There isn’t much to tell. I’ve been living here in Wolf Point forever and that’s basically all. I’m just here.”
“That isn’t a very good attitude to have.”
“Well it’s true, there isn’t anything to tell, I haven’t accomplished anything out of the ordinary, I got past 9th grade with my limbs still attached. My parents have always been together, and that’s basically all.”
He glanced at me with a smile, “I’ll find out more.”
“Good luck,” I said slamming down another piece of wood in the large stack he was carrying.
There came a clearing in the treetops and I noticed night had fallen. Christopher led the way down a small trail where we had to walk single file. Suddenly he darted off to the left to allow me to pass, and I saw where he got that extra space. In front of me was a huge oblong shaped clearing with the trees tightly pressed together. It was like nothing I’d seen before. I looked to my left to see a long sharp claw mark in the tree. I glanced at Chris, but he kept a plain expression.
Chris led the way into the clearing and I followed hesitantly. Thick, green grass covered the area. The moon was out and it looked like it was full, or almost full, I couldn’t quite tell.
“Isn’t this place amazing?” Chris asked turning a full circle.
“It’s like it came straight from a fairy tale,” looking from right to left I saw on most of the trees lay a scratch from what I knew not, “I’m just waiting for the monster who created all of this to jump out.”
Chris laughed, “You’re not saying you’re scared are you?”
Now it was my turn to laugh, but I said nothing. I walked over to the end of the field examining the trees carefully. It seemed odd for them to grow together that closely, I’d never seen or heard of anything like this occurring before. I raised my hand to the nearest tree examining the scratch on it. It was large and deep, it almost looked like a human could have made it, but I wasn’t sure. I raised my hand and mimicked how it could have been made, the strange thing was my hands fit in it almost perfectly.
Suddenly pain shot through my head, it was so powerful I fell to the ground and I was sure I yelled. I heard Chris drop the pile of wood and his footsteps sounded as I heard him running towards me. Why did this have to happen in front of him, I knew I would pass out eventually, I thought this flu ended, but I guess I was wrong. I turned my head to see him crouching down beside me.
“It’s going to be alright,” he comforted.
Another pain shot through me, but this time it wasn’t just my head it was my entire body, and I curled into a ball. As it subsided I realized my vision returned to normal. I felt Chris place a hand on my shoulder; I turned my head towards him as if pleading silently for help. He grasped my other arm and pulled me into his lap almost knowing exactly what to do. I clutched his waist as another pain shot through my body. It didn’t disappear this time though. I finally opened my eyes and saw everything in blood red. Chris moved a strand of hair from my face.
When I thought the pain couldn’t increase, it did, but when I went to yell it wasn’t my voice that sounded, and it wasn’t a yell, but it was a vicious growl. I felt Chris push me aside in the grass, and I looked up to see him running across the field. Looking to my left I saw a large orange flower—or it looked orange, I couldn’t really tell. I looked up at the moon. Feeling my limbs tremble, I realized I was shaking violently. My vision turned white again, and I saw no more.
Chapter 4 – See Grey No More
My body had a dull ache and I didn’t want to open my eyes. Feeling the grass under myself I snapped my eyes open returning to reality. Above me was Christopher peering down into my eyes. “Morning, sleeping beauty,” Chris said wearing a peaceful smile. The memory of last night flooded into my mind suddenly, and I remembered clutching Chris and then him running away. “You,” I coughed with my voice surprisingly gruff as if I’d been screaming at the top of my lungs, and who knows I might have, “You came back.” “I wouldn’t leave.” I lifted my head carefully feeling it throb. Chris sat in a crossed-leg position beside me. I moaned, “I feel like I have a hangover.” “And you would know how that feels?” Chris teased. “What happened to Valerie? What about my mom? She’s going to kill me,” I kept my serious tone.
Chris patted my shoulder, “Relax, it’s all taken care of.” I narrowed my eyes at him, “What are you talking about?” Chris sighed, “Halle, I’m not going to beat around the bush with you. But, you have to listen to everything I say, and you have to listen carefully.” I gave him a confused look. “You do not have the flu. You are a werewolf.” “What? Christopher, you can’t joke around with me.” I sat up quickly despite my aching body, but when I did my stomach burned. I lifted my shirt half-way to reveal a large scratch; it was exactly like the ones on the trees surrounding me. “I can’t be a werewolf, it’s just the flu, my vision is better now, everything is better now.” “Don’t you think it’s just a little bit ironic that last night was a full moon?” I glared at him unhappy that he actually came up with a reason why I could be a werewolf. Something entirely fictional. “And you passed out and can’t remember a thing. You howled last night, inhumanly. Do you need more proof?” “Right now you’re not making sense, so if you have proof, it would be nice, Christopher,” I said refusing to believe him. “Let me guess, about one month ago, you were bitten or scratched by something. Since then, things have taken a turn for the worse, your muscles swelled, your head has been pounding every second it has a chance. You’ve been passing out, even vomiting, and your vision turned grey. All of these things happened because you were making the transition from human to werewolf.” I had to look away, everything he said was right on target. How could he know these things? I told no one of the swelling following the animal attack, not even Valerie. The only ones who knew were my parents and Logan. Otherwise, I would have just passed the other information as being rumor someone else told him. But this was something more, and I knew he had to be correct. All of the pieces fit. “Will I always be ill?” Chris shook his head, “No, you should be completely fine by now. Nevertheless, you’ll still ache until that heals up,” he said motioning towards my stomach. “What happened to Valerie?” I asked again. “I’ll get to that in one minute.” He picked a flower from the field and twirled it between his fingers. “Halle, I didn’t come here exactly like I said before. I came here to watch over you.” “You lied to me?” I accused. “No, I just left out some parts,” he was so sure of himself, like he thought I would let it slide, “My parents are split up, and my dad did buy me the house and all of that what-not. But, I came here for you. We don’t let leave our own kind to transform by themselves to wake up in the morning and find themselves lost, scared, and alone—” “You’re a werewolf too?” I realized. Chris nodded his head, “I don’t know who bit you originally, but I assure you, it was pure accident. It really is a curse, a poor, unfortunate curse.” He raised a hand and shook his head, “But there is so much to say about it, I’ll answer some of your questions now.” I sniffled overwhelmed by everything, “What happened to Valerie and the others?” “They’re fine; they are continuing their day like they normally would. Here’s how I set it up: you made it easier on me by going to this party tonight, you were already out in the forest where you should be, and all was fine. When I left you I brought the firewood back and told Valerie that you weren’t feeling well, which you haven’t been for ages so naturally she believed me.” “What about my parents?” “You already took care of that, telling them you’re also going for a sleep over at Valerie’s.” I narrowed my eyes, “How do you know that?” Chris chuckled, “Werewolves have great hearing, especially after you learn to use it. I was kind of—I guess you could say spying on you, watching over you. Yeah, I was standing outside your house for most of the night listening to your conversions.” I opened my mouth to speak, but he spoke right over top of my voice, “It was necessary for your safety.” “That is so stalker-ish.” I was worried, scared, and relieved all at the same time, and I didn’t know that was possible. There were more like me out there, and they had all been through this before. I don’t know what made me believe him, but I did. It seems nothing I would once do, I would do now. Things he said made sense to me. Logically he would have been my potential enemy, and I would be blaming him for passing out last night. “Wait, if you’re a werewolf, why didn’t you transform?” Chris sighed, “And this is the only thing you have against me. You can’t resist becoming a werewolf all night long, but it is possible to delay this. It takes a lot of will and a lot of practice, but it can be accomplished. I did transform last night too, just not as early as you, and to be honest you lasted longer than I thought. And the pain during the transformation process gets easier to tolerate.” Oh boy was he ever a sly talker, “You said you don’t let your kind transform alone, why did you run from me.” “I could only stay so long. While you are in your werewolf form you attack all but your own kind. I was still in my human form, so if I stayed around any longer you would have tracked me down and killed me.” “But you could have just let yourself transform right there, no one would have been hurt then.” “No one was hurt, Halle, that’s why we transform in the middle of the forest. And I didn’t transform right there because I still had to tell Valerie what happened to you.” “Oh, yeah, that’s right.” I felt the grass beside me with a free hand; it was still early, early morning, I could tell by the golden color of the sunlight. “How long was I a werewolf?” “Typically werewolves transform for five hours. It’s the full moon that does it to you, and the moon doesn’t stay out all night long, it usually makes it’s full transition from east to west by midnight.” I hugged my knees with my arms and rested my head on them. I was so tired, physically and mentally, but I knew I couldn’t sleep even if I tried. “What time is it?” “Uh,” Chris looked up into the sky, “It’s about four or five in the morning give or take a little…” I closed my eyes for a moment, this couldn’t be happening to me. Out of all of the people in the world, why me? I had enough trouble living life normally as other people did without my added problem. Suddenly, Chris stood. He looked really tall towering above me; he had a lot of muscle, which I guess was the reason why I mistook him for the jock type, who would have guessed he was actually the “werewolf” type. I was so glad to finally see him completely in color and to have my vision back. His eyes were a grey-green color, which I could have easily mistaken as brown if I hadn’t looked carefully enough. “There’s still more to learn, and there’s plenty to do today, so we should get ourselves cleaned up before school starts. We don’t want to raise too many questions.” I gave Chris a quizzical look as to what he meant by “get ourselves cleaned up”, but looking closer, I noticed that he had a few cuts, and appeared as though he had been rolling around in the dirt. I figured I must have looked about the same if not worse. He extended his hand towards me as to help me get up, which I thought I would not need, but to my surprise my muscles were stiff and even painful to move. But I put on a strong face as to impress Chris. This particular part of the forest was especially dense, so I was glad someone was there with me to help guide me out. If there was anything to make my life any worse than it already was, it would be to get lost in this forest, even though it is a small one. “You would do well to remember where this place is. You’ll want to come back here for the next full moon, that way you don’t hurt anyone,” Chris said holding a branch back for me to walk through. “Oh, and you’re any better?” I questioned, just to give him a hard time. Chris raised his eyebrows, “I transformed here too, Halle.” I snickered, “That sounds inappropriate,” I said under my breath. Chris gave me a knowing smile, “You have a dirty mind.” “No, I just had the guts to say what you were thinking,” I teased. “Yeah,” Chris said in a sarcastic tone. There was a moment of awkward silence between us. I searched my mind for something to say to him, but couldn’t find anything logical. I hoped that he had something to say, but I had a feeling he had the same problem I did. I spotted the familiar dirt path in front of me, the one I used to get to the party last night, and was relieved at the familiar sight. Even though my eyes were cured, I still had myself trained to look down and watch my every step carefully, which I was sure I’d get over eventually. “How did you find me?” I paused thinking of a way to reword that, “I mean, how did you know I was a werewolf, how did you find me? Do werewolves have some sort of top secret lab place or something that tracks down all werewolves?” Christopher laughed, “Nope, nothing too fancy or high tech. Word of mouth usually spreads when something so out of the ordinary occurs. You know, Wolf Point has a… uh, history with werewolves, hence why it’s called ‘Wolf Point’.” “I didn’t know that, I’ve never heard any stories or anything,” I said honestly. “Yep, the very first werewolf to ever come to be lived right here—I forget his name, it was some Indian name, I could never pronounce it properly. You can search the story online for him later. But, anyways, to answer your question, about 98 percent of the time the victim goes to the hospital, and us werewolves have connections with the hospitals to look for those diagnosed with, uh, Hyperglyocious.” “So the hospitals knew I was a werewolf then?” Chris smiled, “Nope, they don’t, actually humans are so stupid it almost makes you ashamed to call yourself one, to them Hyperglyocious is a name for a flu—just like they told you—and you get over it eventually. But we have then keeping the records for us, we call in every month to check and see if anyone has the flu, and if they do then we head on over to them.” “That is slightly creepy and stalker-ish.” “But, it’s better than transforming alone, like I said earlier, waking up lost, alone, and confused. Anyways, a friend of mine works at the Trinity Hospital here—” “By friend you mean werewolf or actual friend?” “I mean werewolf, David Lawrence is his name. He informed me about you, and that’s how the information got to me. If that answers your question.” “Yeah, it does, mostly.” It was more like Christopher was telling me a well put together fictional story rather than fact. I was still waiting for him to shout, “The End!” but somehow I knew this would not happen. I almost pushed last night from my mind completely, and it wasn’t even reality at all. I replaced the real story with “I’m just walking in the middle of the woods with a great story teller”. If anything else it would keep me sane. By now we were nearly half way up the street, and I didn’tice Christopher looking slightly more shifty than he was when we were back in the forest. He peeked around each corner before we walked by, and he kept checking behind himself. At first I thought he was looking at me, but then I realized his gaze went beyond me, but I still didn’t know what he was looking for. We turned the corner onto the street we both lived on. I could see the edge of my property from here. It was so great to be able to see the glorious orange leaved trees again in full color. I loved how the leaves changed colors in autumn, it has always been my favorite season just for that reason. “Where are you going?” I turned around to see Christopher already halfway up a driveway. Looking closer I realized it was his driveway, his property, and his house. I didn’t recognize it at first. It was a very large building, almost larger than my own house, the house its self was an off white color, and the trim was a hunter green color. “Halle?” Chris questioned. “Uh, yeah,” I responded, “why are we going to your house again?” I folded my arms in front of myself. I wasn’t exactly comfortable with the idea of going to his house alone with him. After all, we just met a few days ago. I barely knew anything about him. He could still be some sort of pedophile for all I knew. “To get cleaned up.” Chris took a step towards me, “Halle, look at it this way, if we go anywhere else it definitely will raise questions. No offense, but you look like you’ve killed someone in the forest, and I’m sure I look about the same,” he said glancing down at himself. I stood my ground, I really didn’t feel safe going into a house all alone with a boy who claims him and I are werewolves, it just doesn’t make any sense. He was too nice. “Halle, I’m not going to harm you. You don’t have to worry about that. My only focus right now is that you and I look half-way decent. I give you my word.” “I-I was just worried about you, I mean, I know karate.” Chris broke out laughing, “Uh-huh.” I started walking towards the house with Chris feeling slightly better after him giving me his word. My guard was still up though; he wasn’t to be trusted yet. The yard was covered with orange leaves, which crunched under my feet as I walked on them. There weren’t too many of them, just enough to cover the ground. The place wasn’t exactly what I’d call well tended, but it wasn’t exactly abandoned looking either. It is just untended enough that it is still easy on the eyes. We reached the front door and Chris opened it right away stepping aside for me to enter first. “You don’t lock your door?” I questioned thinking it was odd. “Not really,” Chris said leaning on the door, which I thought was an odd position. I scratched my head and stepped into the house just far enough to allow Chris into the house as well. The floor was made up of a light hardwood, and the walls were white. It really looked like a bright house, somewhere everyone would want to live. Chris stepped around me, took off his jacket, and threw it onto the couch. “Make yourself at home,” Chris said opening his arms wide. “There are two bathrooms, three bedrooms, a living room, a study, a kitchen, and—” Chris gave a mischievous grin, “—a game room. How’s that for a tour?” I couldn’t help laughing, “Sounds like you’ve made yourself at home here.” I could tell he just moved in, everything was pretty plain and there were boxes lying around everywhere. The walls were pretty plain, all except for a single portrait hanging on the wall; I assumed it was because he didn’t unpack everything yet. “I’m going to take a shower in upstairs bathroom; you can take dibs on downstairs bathroom.” He stared at me for a moment. “Which would be where?” I knew I must have looked like a lost puppy. “Which would be straight this way; the last door before the staircase.” Christopher pointed down a hall which was exactly across from the front door, then he walked down the hall himself, but stopped in front of the staircase. “Feel free to poke around; I don’t have anything to hide.” Chris continued up the staircase. I would take advantage of that… later. For now I would take Christopher’s advice and get myself cleaned up, either way, I still didn’t trust him completely and I wanted to get in and out of the shower before he could even have a second thought. So, I opened the door slowly, to find a blue themed bathroom, and then I closed the door behind myself being sure to lock it. I even pulled on it to make sure the lock worked properly. Taking a quick glance around the room, I quickly disrobed, looking at myself in the mirror I saw what Christopher meant, I was a mess. I had a streak of blood down my face, but there were no visible scratches, my arms looked similar. I had a huge, deep scratch on my stomach and a couple of other scratches on my back. My face and body was full of dirt and my hair was full of leaves, I barely recognized myself. I looked as tired as I felt. My eyes were a grey blue, and I didn’t remember them being that way before, then again, this was the first time I actually looked at myself in full color in weeks.