OF WOLF AND MAN | By: Jere Hutchinson | | Category: Short Story - Horror Bookmark and Share



Your eyes flutter open as the sun peaks over the mountains to the east. The stinging in your eyes, a combination of the new day’s sun and the cold dryness of the wind, forces them closed again. You crawl around blindly, searching for something, anything to tell you where you are. The cold snow covering your palms and legs sends icy pain wracking through your body, matched only by the aching in your head. Must have been a wild night you think to yourself as you stumble across something warm, something familiar. In a sudden shock, you slam open your eyes to find that your hands have found their way to the breasts of a corpse. Legions and gashes cover the frozen cadaver. Slashes across her belly let loose the stench of her ripe organs to the morning air. You reel back in terror at the site of her face, torn asunder by claws of an animal. But what animal could tear a human limb from limb like this? You turn your head away from the mess, vomiting violently from the elegant mix of alcohol and the stench of death. You recall this poor wretch being the barmaid that served you last night. You remember hitting it off, going for a walk, getting affectionate, and then nothing. The rest is a blank, and how you got so deep into the woods, naked, is a mystery. Gripped with fear from your sudden amnesia, you clumsily stand and take off towards the villa, towards home.

At the edge of the road you realize your physical predicament and swiftly lurk behind a big old tree, not wanting anyone to see you totally in the nude, and covered with blood! You had not realized it before, there was too much to take in at once. Checking frantically, you do not see any cuts or scraps, so it must not be your blood. Your sudden relief is dashed as you put two and two together. If it isn’t your blood, it must be…… hers! Before you have time to contemplate what’s happened further the sound of footsteps approaching can be heard. Calming yourself, you peer down the road to see a lone soldier heading past you, towards the town. Instinctively you leap onto the soldier and take him to the ground, driving his head into a near-by rock and killing him. After dragging the body behind a snow bank and taking his uniform and weapon you head towards home, leaving the horror of last night, whatever it was, behind you.

Hugging the uniform tight to your freezing body, you unlock the door and enter your cramped home. You enter the washroom and draw a bath, you need to get that blood out and warm up. Just as you shed your clothes comes a knock at the door. You done a robe and address the visitor. It is the owner of the tavern. He asks you where the waitress you were with last night was. You tell him you took a walk and escorted her home, you haven’t heard from her yet. You lie. The fat barkeep buys the story and leaves. You wipe the sweat forming on your brow and continue your bath. While you soak in your date’s blood, you struggle with the events that transpired last night, but you just can’t remember anything more.

You can, however, remember what you did this morning, murdering a garrison soldier is a very serious crime. Your mind reels over what you did. You’ve never been violent before but this morning it just seemed like the right thing to do. You didn’t even acknowledge the consequences, you just killed him. Looking at your hands you realize something is happening to you, something big. In order to find out what’s wrong with you, you decide to recall what happened to you yesterday. What was strange? You remember waking up, going to lunch with your fiancee and her mother, your meeting with the green police, and helping that intoxicating gypsy woman with her carriage, and then your affair with the barmaid. You recall the gypsy reading your fortune but everything was a little cloudy, like you were in a dream. You decide to search for the beautiful young woman at the caravan parked just outside the villa, near the mountains.

After a short walk you arrive at the camp and feel an unfamiliar sense of calm and kindness in the air. The gypsies greet you happily as though you were one of their own and direct you to the fortune teller’s hut. As you enter the dimly lit shack you notice a variety of hanging jewels and prisms, littered elegantly among skinned furs of rabbits, foxes, and wolves. A simple wooden chair hides behind a finely crafted 16th century bureau sporting a bland wool tablecloth. Perched atop sits a wondrous crystal ball, which seems to attract every facet of light and direct it to meet your eyes. A strong incense hangs in the air and works it’s way into your nostrils. It’s compelling scent forces you to inhale deeply and close your eyes, savoring it’s thick aroma. When you re-open your eyes, you are sitting and facing the gypsy woman, her eyes sparkling with the crystal ball’s divine light. She speaks softly and you hear her words but they have no real meaning, you are too focused on her deep eyes, drawing you towards her. She places her hand over yours and you recall the scratch she gave you yesterday when you met. She explains that when she met you she was taken aback, she knew you were her soul-mate. By scratching you, she explains, she has given you the only gift she could, the gift of the wild. You barely understand as your head spins from her resonating voice, lulling you into a deep sleep. You smile knowingly while she continues to explain your situation. She tells you, you have become one with her, she has made you a lupine, what humans call a werewolf. You smile again, thankful for the gift that you have been given and dose off into a wonderfully relaxing dream focusing solely on her sparkling eyes.

You awake to find that you are at home, in bed. You shake you head wildly to revive your dulled senses from their fantastical sleep. Searching randomly around your home for the gypsy woman, you recall what her last words were before she left; “Meet me in the forest before the full moon rises.” You bolt out the door and head towards the woods. Looking to the sky you realize it’s too late and instinctively you run down an empty ally. Stopping to catch your breath, you feel an immense pain surging through your body. You begin to feel muddled as your senses enhance. The pain grows worse, like a million tiny needles piercing upwards through your skin; billions of hairs sprouting from your body. Your skin tightens as your body grows inside you strengthening your muscles to inhuman proportions. Your knees crack and reverse as you fall to all fours. Claws extended, teeth bearing; you howl to the night.

You feel a warm towel wrapped around your arm and a gentle kiss upon your brow as you slowly open your eyes to find you’re lying in bed, your fiancee, Genevieve, hovers like an angel above you. She smiles and explains her relief. She found you this morning, naked outside her door with this gunshot wound on your arm. She decided it must have been the green police who threw you here after an interrogation. She warned you about dealing with those nazis. You recall your conversation with the gypsy woman, and her warning. You shudder to think of who you killed this time, followed that innocent waitress the night before. You steal some clothes and sneak out of the house, heading home. You decide to make sure no one else falls prey to your gaping claws, you’ll end your life.

You sit in your home for hours, trying to come to terms with what has transpired over the past three days, trying to think of another way. But there is no other way. As you watch your last sunset from the window, you hum a gentle song your father sung to you when you were young, while you went to sleep. This is your last sleep so it seems fitting, comfortable. The sun completes its retreat behind those mountains to the east and you bring the gun to your head. Before you have a chance to fire, your fiancee unlocks the door and enters unexpectedly. She steals the gun away from you as you begin to feel the needle-like hairs pierce past your skin. You scream for her to leave, to run and don’t look back but she just bursts into tears and reaches out for you. The pain overwhelms you as your body once again enlarges and the hair covers your body. Your fiancee screams in terror at the unholy sight and heads for the bedroom, locking it. Your knees snap back and you fall once again to your canine posture, sniffing the air for your prey tonight.

Catching a scent, you turn towards the bedroom and hear sobbing behind the door. Knocking it over with your immense strength, you sight the prey and bring your teeth to bear on her delicious legs. She screams in both terror and uncontrollable pain as her tendons and muscles are torn from her legs by the beast. You devour her legs and work your way to her torso were you rip open her stomach and see the most shocking sight. For the briefest of moments your mind becomes human once again, jolted by the sight of a bloody fetus, your unborn child, dead inside the body of the woman you were to marry. As your fiancee passes out from loss of blood, you turn tail and leave the poor woman, your gift to her, and the end of your human life. Relying on your enhanced senses, you work your way to the forest where you first transformed. Everything is clear now, you hear the wind, see the trees, and taste the blood so much clearer now. Ahead you can see your pack, your mate, and your new life waiting for you. With your nose to the wind you wander, going where you please, loved ones beside you, you are one with the night.
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