A story I've been working on about werewolves in the modern era. Hope you like it! (WIP)
|Chapter 1 - First Contact
The distant lights of her city taunted Alice. She tried to push her hands through the snow, but she could barely feel them. She tried to stand, but knew there was no point. Her leg was broken. She was just happy she was too numb to feel it. She got onto her good knee and coughed. She looked down to confirm the pain in her throat: yep. More blood.
"It's beautiful, isn't it? Artistic, even. That massive assortment of lights and sound, rivalling the silent darkness of the forest." Alice let her weight hit the ground. Her beautiful blonde hair was now matted, wet and white with snow, splatterd red with her own blood. She couldn't make it far enough. She knew she was dead.
"What the fuck do you want with me?" She sobbed, forcing herself to lay on her side. She couldn't see whoever her tormentor was. It was dark, and without her glasses she could barely make out the shape of her face on top of her blurry body. The figure stood still and silent for a moment.
"Am I gonna get an answer before I freeze to death?" Alice screamed.
Silence wrapped around her. The trees were silent. Motionless. Alice felt the cold biting of the wind on her exposed arms and face. Her clothes were covered in snow. She could barely feel her body.
She breathed sharp breaths as she struggled to find the air to speak with, her arm falling out from under her. The light of the stars pierced the canopy of the trees, and their twinkle was the last thing she saw before she took her last breath, and the light drained from her eyes. She could hear the footsteps of the mystery woman crunch against the snow.
Alice shot out of her bed. Her breathing was ragged, and she was drenched in sweat. For a moment, her mind was blank. She couldn't think of anything to do or say. She shakily looked down at herself. She found herself too shocked to scream. Her clothes were still torn and blood-splattered. But her wounds had all healed somehow.
"No no no no no. This doesn't make any fucking sense." Alice's feet slammed against the ground next to her bed. The sound echoed in her head. She could barely stand. "I'm dead. I'm dead. That's the only explanation. I've died and I guess I was too shitty to go to heaven so I'm a ghost or some shit. Oh my fucking god this is not happening this is not happening this is not happening.."
She fell onto her knees and crawled to the window. It was morning, and the sun's light reflecting off the snow nearly blinded her with its vibrancy. "Agh! What the hell?" Alice squinted, holding her hand in front of her face. Every time she lowered it, her eyes surged with a hot pain. "What gives? Ghosts burn in sunlight or some shit?"
Alice suddenly stopped, dropped the blinds, and turned. Her nose sniffed the air as she shakily stood up, walking across her room.
"Is that... Vulcan?"
Alice's eyes widened. She slowly opened her door and headed downstairs. She rounded the landing and crouched down, peering into the kitchen and covering her nose. From her position she saw the family dog, Vulcan, chowing down on his breakfast as her father, Clarke, prepared breakfast. As Alice watched the scene, she silently gagged and moved her shirt up over her nose to inhibit the stench from reaching her nose.
"How is he cooking near that? God, what did Vulcan get into?"
Alice slowly came down the steps.
"Dad, didn't you say you were gonna clean Vulcan yesterday? He smells like a dead skunk!"
Vulcan perked his ears up, hearing his own name. Vulcan was a large German shepherd with a brindle on his coat that was unusually bright, almost fiery red. Thus, they had decided to name him Vulcan, after the Roman god of forge and fire.
Clarke smiled and put down the pan he was working with, turning to Alice, "Yeah, well I didn't quite get to- Oh my God, Alice! What happened to your clothes? Are you okay?" Clarke hurried around the counter towards Alice, softly grabbing her shoulders and arms, inspecting her for any damage.
"I'm fine Dad, cut it out!" Alice groaned, taking a few steps back.
"You don't look fine! You look hurt and bloody! What happened?"
Alice sighed. "I don't know. I had this weird dream, or I think it was a dream, and I died, then I woke up like this, and I thought I was dead or a ghost or something, and I-"
"Alice, you're not a ghost, you're a person. And clearly it was not a dream! I just - whoa. Alice, sweetie, are you wearing contacts?"
Alice was already ghost white, but her face dropped. Her eyes fell to Vulcan, who was staring up inquisitively at the two bickering in front of him. She heard her heart beat as she read his name tag, vaccine shot tag, and contact information tag. She read them easily. From a few feet away, standing upright, without her glasses. She felt her left foot slam onto the ground behind her, catching herself as she almost fainted. Her dad wrapped his arms around her and sat her down on a nearby chair.
"Okay, just stay right there, we're gonna figure this out." Alice stared straight ahead, paralyzed with shock as she heard the doorbell ring obnoxiously. "Of course..." Clarke muttered as he stood and turned. Instead of bolting to the door like he usually did, Vulcan slowly walked up to Alice and sat next to her. She reached a hand out to scratch his ears while Clarke opened the door.
Alice looked past her dad and saw the body of a boy, or a man? She couldn't tell. He could be anywhere from seventeen to twenty-two. The second the door opened he scrunched his nose and recoiled as if he was suddenly wading through sewer water. He coughed and hit his chest, wiping tears from his eyes. Alice noticed immediately that his eyes were two different colors; a bright brown, almost orange, and a deep, deep gray.
"Hello, sir, is Alexander here?"
"What? No, no Alexander lives here, you have the wrong house." Clarke closed the door, and as it swung closed, Alice and the boy made brief eye contact. In the instant their eyes met each other, she felt her heart jolt, and pump with renewed vigor, as if she was facing off with a lion. For a reason Alice couldn't explain, she stood up and walked to the bathroom.
"Sweetie? Sweetie?! Are you going to vomit?"
"No, dad, I'm... fine." Alice breathed sharply as she stared at her own reflection. She saw every part of herself clearly. The strings of fabric where her clothes were torn, the messy strands of hair sticking out from her bed head. But most importantly, she saw her own, naked eyes staring back at her. Where once there had been two hazel eyes, there was now a bright brown, almost orange, and a deep, deep gray.
Chapter 2 - Second Skin
Alice had been examined by every professional in the city. Somehow, she was deemed perfectly normal. But none of them could explain the spontaneous recovery from her injuries, or the novel heterochromia. But those were somehow the least questionable changes. When before Alice had barely passed her vision exams to get her driver's license, she now saw better than 20/15. And a significant portion of her body fat had been replaced with muscle, making her extremely toned, as if she had been training for years.
Alice wasn't content. She should have been happy. She lost a lot of excess weight, she could see, and she had a new little quirk as a conversation topic. But she was terrified.
"This like this don't just happen, Steele. This isn't a movie where I'm about to meet the love of my life and my mortal nemesis, this is real life!" Alice said in a hushed voice.
Steele and Alice had known each other since they could talk. They were next door neighbors, and had been friends long before the emerging cliques of middle and high school could separate them.
"I think what you mean to say is that it's real AWESOME! You could be on the boys' wrestling team and win nationals!" Whereas Alice was wrecked by her transformation, Steele was ecstatic.
"Steele, this is a freak transformation. The government is gonna come hunt me and put me in a lab and study my cells or something." Alice brushed her hair out of her face, trying to calm herself down. In the past few days she had experienced multiple panic attacks as people complimented her on her weight loss and talked to her about her eyes.
"I went from being invisible to being talk of the town overnight. I just want to go home." Alice groaned, letting her face slam into her arm on the table.
"Well, I personally think you should test out your super powers. See how much you can lift! See how far away you can see!" Steele beamed, still riding the high of Alice's change.
Before Alice could temper Steele's excitement, her head shot up. She smelled him. She instinctively stood up and spun around, her nose sniffing the air.
"Uhhh, you okay there, Fido?" Steele said, jokingly at first. "Alice? Hello? Earth to Alice?"
After a few moments, Alice turned again and saw him. The boy that had knocked on her door the morning of her change. He was walking towards her. Alice was too shocked at their first meeting to take in many details, but she recognized his eyes, and somehow, his scent. It was overpowering. She hadn't recognized it before, but this time, it was if it was burnt into her nostrils permanently.
He was a lean-looking boy, about seventeen, like Alice. He had short, thick black hair that he swept to the left side of his face, and a strong jaw. He was smiling charismatically with perfect teeth.
"You! Who the hell are you?" Alice whisper-screamed in a hushed tone, grabbing him by his jacket and sitting him down forcefully.
"Whoa, at least buy me dinner first!" He chuckled, readjusting his clothes. "Hey, my name's Dameon. I'm a transfer here. Nice to meet you."
Alice was wracked with a desperate anger. "Cut the bullshit! Your eyes are the same as mine, and you just so happened to show up at my house the day mine changed, so tell me who the fuck you are before I beat it out of you!"
Steele sat in silence, her mouth wide open with a smile plastered on it.
Dameon gave a soft smile and turned to Steele, "I really don't know if I should say anything in front of-" "She wants to know just as much as I do. So tell me."
Dameon sighed. "Okay. You aren't going to believe me, though." Alice looked at him expectantly. "You're- well, see, the issue is- I can't really just say this because it isn't the kind of thing that you just say, and-"
"Ah ah ah." Alice interjected. "Shut up." Dameon's open mouth closed. "Now. Tell me what kind of drugs you managed to slip into something I drank to make all this happen."
Dameon looked down. "Look, like I said, you won't believe me if I say it, so it'd be easier to just take you somewhere where I could show y-AH!"
This time Alice delivered on her promise, and dead-armed Dameon. The force shunted him into the table and cracked it on his impact. Dameon looked up. His shy smile was replaced with angry eyes.
"Do NOT do that ever again." He stood up and pointed at Steele, "And for reference? If she hit you that hard? You'd be dead." He turned back to Alice. "Control your strength or you'll make too many mistakes you won't be able to fix." He turned to leave but Alice grabbed his collar and pulled him back.
When he spun around in the chair to face her, his fury had amplified. His shoulders were slowly moving up and down, and he was breathing heavily. He was visibly trying to keep his anger inside. "Stop. Touching me. Now."
Alice smirked, enjoying the use of her new "powers". She wound her hand back for a nice finishing slap, but Dameon somehow caught her wrist and plastered it to the table. Alice grunted as she looked between Dameon and her pinned wrist. She couldn't get loose from his grip.
Steele gasped. "Ohhhhh he has powers too!" She exclaimed giddily, clapping her hands together silently.
"Let go of me!" Alice groaned. They were starting to attract nearby attention.
"Look. I promise I will tell you later. But I can't right now. Here's my number, contact me before the 24th. That's in three days." Dameon stood up and left, readjusting his clothes.
Alice and Steele watched him disappear into the nearby crowd. Alice turned to Steele, who was paralyzed with excitement and intrigue. "Let's go to the weight room."
Steele's eyes widened and she shot out of her chair, grabbing her backpack and sprinting away. Alice blushed, slowly getting her things and following at an appropriate pace.
When the two girls got into the room, Alice was temporarily incapacitated by the stench alone. The boys in there working out were sweating through their clothes, and Alice smelled it a mile away. "I feel like I need a haz-mat suit in here..." she whispered to Alice, finding a corner of the room that was least occupied.
"Okay, so how do I do this? I just grab the bar and stand up?" Alice asked while bending over to grab the bar. Steele nodded, "I think so. But just remember to lift with your legs and not your- uhhhh... back."
Alice looked confused and dropped the weight. "I don't think I did it right. That was too easy, how much weight?" Steele gulped. "Uhm. Thr- Three hundred pounds."
Alice's eyes widened as she looked down. "No, that can't be right! Hey, excuse me!" Alice flagged down one of the boys in the room. "How much weight is on this bar?" He bent over and inspected the plates, "Hmmm, 'bout three hundred plus bar. Why?" Alice went pale.
"Hey, are you alright?" He asked, placing a hand on her shoulder. "Y-yeah, I just... can you lift it for me?" She asked in a monotone, feeling hollow. "Me? Hah, no way I can lift that much. Maybe I can get-" "No, I can get it then. Thanks." "Hey, you really shouldn't lift that much. For a girl of your size, you could seriously hurt yourself."
Alice walked to the bar without a word, bent over, grabbed it in the middle with one hand, and stood up straight. She then turned around. "Ouch." She said sarcastically before dropping it onto the ground. The boy's face went completely white and his eyes widened. "H-how did you... are those fake plates?"
He rushed over to the bar and tried to pick it up to no avail. Alice shrugged, "Maybe your technique is off. Hey, out of curiosity, who's the strongest guy in here?"
When Alice and Steele had located the boy everyone had admitted was the strongest, she shook his hand. "Hi there! Want to have a competition?" He looked down at her. He was at least 6'2'', while Alice stood in at about 5'6''. He had copious amounts of muscle on his arms, legs, and chest, and definitely seemed the biggest in the room.
"What kind of competition?" He asked, returning the handshake. "Just a friendly weightlifting competition! See who can pick up more heavy stuff." She gave a confident smile. "Hah, alright, no problem. My name's Jake." "Hi Jake, I'm Alice!" "Alright, Alice. Where do you want to start?" Alice smiled up at him. She was beginning to see the bright side.
The crowd cheered with fervor as Alice once again bested Jake's (and the school's) records. She squatted 750 pounds plus Steele sitting on her shoulders, while Jake was struggling to lift 550.
"No hard feelings, Jake! This was fun!" Jake panted, red in the face, but smiling. "Yeah, it was- oh my God, yeah it was uh... sure was something! You should come in here more often! We need motivation like you!" He said, shaking Alice's hand once more. Alice just smiled, shook his hand, and left. Maybe this wasn't so bad after all.
"Maybe I should join the wrestling team," Alice laughed as the door closed behind her. "Ooh, or maybe do movies! This'd be great for action movies!" Alice's panic slowly faded away, and began to replace itself with confidence and excitement. "At least I don't have to wear those damn glasses anymore!"
As she was walking, Alice pulled up her phone to talk to Dameon. Looking down at the screen, she felt something was off, and her head shot to the right before ducking down to avoid the flying water bottle. "Whoa! This just keeps getting better!" Alice thought to herself with a smile as the people responsible for the errant UFO looked stunned at her easy dodge.
Just after Alice finished putting Dameon's number in, she looked up and saw one of her least favorite people in the world, Jennifer Stenson. Jennifer had almost never talked to Alice, but she was ruthlessly mean to Steele, and so Alice hated her. When Alice saw her, she felt a change. Her heart began pumping rapidly, and her muscles felt tense. Her jaw ached, and her fingers inflamed with pain. The whole time she was staring at Jennifer, and she was mad. Alice had never been this mad before, and it was only getting worse. She felt like she could take on the world, like she was getting even bigger and stronger.
Just as Alice began to walk up to Jennifer, she felt the tug of her own clothes as Dameon pulled her to the side. "Hey hey hey! Calm down, calm down, calm down! Shhhhh." He put his finger to his lips. "Don't say anything, don't open your mouth. Your teeth are huge."
"Hey, asshole, your teeth are huge!" "What? No, not like that! Just, shh! Calm down or things are going to get ugly." Alice shoved Dameon into the wall, "Get off of me, weirdo!" Dameon groaned, "Ingris ensio lupis da varmeer so da aqua." As he finished the phrase, he doubled over and held his head, nearly falling down.
Suddenly, Alice's anger faded. Her world-ending confidence shrank, and her muscles stopped tensing, and all of the ache in her body went away. "What the fuck did you just do?!" She whispered, pushing Dameon against the wall. "I stopped you from killing someone in this hallway. I'm glad you're enjoying your new powers, but you need to learn how to use them or you will kill people, Alice."
Alice looked at Dameon's eyes, and tried to read them. She felt something as she stared into them. A connection with him somehow. Something very deep that she couldn't decipher. But she didn't sense that he was overreacting or lying to her. "We need to talk. Now. Class can wait." Alice said, letting go of Dameon. "Let's go to the courtyard." She whispered before turning around, making sure not to look at Jennifer.
"Does she have to be here? I could get in a lot of trouble for saying this in front of her." Dameon said, motioning to Steele. Alice nodded, "She knows what I know. Take it or leave it." Dameon groaned, "You know, you may think you're in a position to argue, but if I don't help you, you'll just kill people, including her." Alice shrugged.
"Fine. But we're going to go over some shit later to ensure you don't spill," Dameon pointed at Steele, who smiled and nodded. She was leaning forward with her elbows on the table, her eyes darting between the two in front of her. Dameon let out a long, hearty sigh. "Alice." He turned to her, his hands folded across his chest. "You have to promise me that you'll believe what I tell you, because it's going to sound fucking nuts, okay?" Alice nodded.
"You're a werewolf."
"I don't believe you."
"Oh come on!"
"That's fucking nuts!"
"You JUST promised you'd believe me!" Dameon groaned.
"I didn't think you'd accuse me of being a fucking fairytale creature from the middle ages!" Dameon raised a hand, "Middle ages is actually quite a bit off, so-" "No, shut up! I'm not a fucking furry thing that eats people on a full moon!"
Dameon smiled, "Yes! You don't have to be! I can help you control it!" Alice shook her head, "Help me control what? I'm NOT a werewolf!" Dameon hissed, "Keep your voice down! Yes you are! I know because I can smell it on you, I can see it in your eyes, and most importantly, I'm the one that woke you up!"
Steele raised her hand silently. Dameon looked at her with a flustered expression, "yes, Steele?" "What do you mean you woke her up?" Dameon let out another groan.
"Werewolves in common folklore are mindless creatures with no conscious. That's part of the curse we have. I could explain more if you would let me lead you to a place where I can introduce you to all of the history, our powers, everything." Alice was staring at the table, pale.
"You're not kidding, huh? I really am... I'm a werewolf." Dameon sat down slowly. "Yes. It's a curse. A bonafide, pre-historic, magical curse. But it can be turned into a blessing if you can control it. I can help you control it." Alice looked at him. "Why me?"
Dameon's shoulders sank. "I... I don't know. It's not like other blood curses. It doesn't manifest in every family member of every affected lineage. It's random, or if it isn't, no one's been able to determine the pattern. She probably has it, as a matter of fact." He pointed to Steele. "But its manifestation is exceedingly rare. Well, it's supposed to be. Human population nowadays has proportionally increased our numbers as well."
"S-so, answer her. What do you mean you woke me up? Like you made me a werewolf? You activated the curse in me?"
Dameon raised his hands defensively, "No no no no. I wouldn't do that to anybody. "There are more extensive records available, but, to summarize, the original curse was placed on man by... someone for... some reason. There's a lot of dispute over it, which we can get into later. A curse to reduce man from the intellectual mastermind of the animal kingdom to a snarling, mindless, cannibalistic, blood-hungry beast. For hundreds of years, werewolves were hunted, isolated, and killed for their transgressions."
"When do you get to the part where this can somehow be a blessing?" Alice asked with wide eyes. Dameon gave her a pleading look. "That was back when towns were sporadic, and populations were lower. Werewolves were few and far between. The curse was meant to isolate the afflicted until their death. But one day, something miraculous happened. Two werewolves met each other in their human forms. When they locked eyes, they changed. They stopped transforming at night. The moon still called to them, but they could resist. Especially if they were together. They learned to control it together. That's when werewolves learned how to resist their curse. Through community."
Steele interjected again, "So Alice won't kill me on the next full moon now?"
Dameon chuckled, "Well, that's up to Alice. But, only if she chooses to. I woke her up from the unconscious curse before she transformed involuntarily." Alice smiled, "Well then! Thanks, we'll be on our way!" She stood up, but this time Dameon sat her down.
"Wait. Just because the moon doesn't control you as much does not mean you're in full control of your powers. You almost turned in the hallway and I can guarantee it will happen again. Especially if you're a... Well..."
"What?" Steele asked giddily.
"I can't delve into that in front of you. I've said too much already. I'll need to bring Alice to the pack sometime to give her the full run-down. If she goes off on her own... who knows what could happen. This is just the bare-bones minimum to fill you in."
"So, how exactly is superhuman strength and durability a curse?" Steele prodded, prompting another Dameon sigh. "The form of the wolf is too powerful for a human body to possess. If a normal human was given the form of the wolf, they would... probably explode in a burst of magical energy and die immediately. Werewolves must be given an upgrade to allow their bodies to house the curse. Not to mention the weaknesses we gain in exchange. But remember, I gave you the abridged version. It's not a simple staring contest that breaks this curse."
Steele tapped her chin. "Do you think I could get access to those records you have? I would love to learn everything about-" "No! You have learned so much already I'm tempted to wipe your brain of any of this ever happening." Steele frowned, "No! Don't do that!" "I could kill you instead." "Double no! Whatever, I have bigger questions. I mean, magic is real? Like, what?! Like classic wand-waving magic?"
"No. It's much more complex and.. painful than that. I actually almost passed out with the incantation I used on Alice in the hall. True magicians are one in a million. Most simply learn a few spells and- I can't say this to you."
"One in a million? So there are over 700 true magicians?" "What? No, I- You know, we can always revisit the 'killing you' idea." Steele scoffed, "Alice, are you gonna let him talk to me like that? Alice? Alice!"
Alice didn't know what to do. She felt like her brain had just turned to liquid. She went from having cool superpowers to having a blood curse. "This is too much for a Monday." Alice murmured before her world went black.