He dreaded the night. He dreaded the rise of the moon and the change that would overcome him. Sitting on the bare mattress in the damp room, Andrew sighed and ran his fingers over the tight, pink, scarred flesh below his knee.
A dog bite, they had told him. A vicious man-killer that had been blamed for several mangled animals and the deaths of at least two people. But through the haziness of his pain-filled memory he recalled a massive beast, much too massive to be a normal dog. He remembered its teeth, razor sharp as it sliced through his flesh and muscle. He also remembered the fear, icy as it rushed through his veins and paralyzed him. It was fear like he’d never felt before. After all, the thing had tried to take his leg off!
He recalled little else other than the pain. It was hot and slammed into his body like a tidal wave, easing the fear only because the pain was much much worse. Teeth ripped into his flesh like it was water and Andrew was helpless to stop them. Eventually he felt the teeth leave his body but his brain was far too concerned with pain and fear to realize what that might mean. Later, he knew that something had driven the creature off. He knew because the cops could tell him that much. He knew that someone had called for an ambulance because he’d been in no fit state to do it himself. And he knew that the doctors had thought he would die.
After he’d reached the hospital he’d spent the next two weeks with a high fever, thrashing in his bed as delirium took him. The fear never left him that whole time.
He dreamed of bone shifting under his skin and of thick, coarse hair sprouting where there had been none. He dreamed of the teeth that had pieced his own flesh, but this time they were his, filling his mouth. He dreamed of death and blood, and of screams and the tearing of flesh under him. Great claws like knives took his prey apart. In his dreams he howled.
Finally the fever had broken and he woke to find a pleasant looking lady-doctor leaning over him. She was very pretty if he did say so himself. He wondered if she was single. She wasn’t, but she was very nice and took good care of him.
It was another week before they let him go home, telling him that what he’d thought he’d seen was just one of his nightmares. They suggested he go see a trauma therapist. The said the devil-dog was dead, just a regular dog who had gone insane with a taste for blood. Part of him wanted to believe them, part of him knew the truth. He didn’t go see the therapist.
So here he sat in his basement feeling sorry for himself and hoping, rather than believing, that he was delusional. He let himself sink into the bed as he stared blankly up at the ceiling.
He knew that he wasn’t delusional the moment he felt the moon rise. The fear that had been hiding under the surface was back and his mind began to panic. He didn’t want to be a killer but he doubted that he had any choice now.
His body stiffened and then shook and his bones began to move under his skin just as they had in his fever dreams. It hurt. It burned. White hot pain clouded his vision and hit him like a wall. He couldn’t breathe through it and it overtook him. He tried to remain silent but there was nothing for it, he had no control anymore. He screamed but what his ears heard didn’t sound like a scream. Not a scream but a howl, a blood curdling howl escaped him as his body changed against his will. His dreams hadn’t been dreaming, they’d been blood memories from the creature who had bitten him. A werewolf. Hair, teeth, claws, snout, they all grew as he became something less and less human. Then as suddenly as the pain had started, it stopped.
Andrew stood, on four legs now instead of two. He flexed his muscles and he felt strong. However, Andrew wasn’t in control now, the wolf was, the wolf in his head. And his wolf wanted some action, it wanted to kill. He let out a howl and leapt up the stairs wondering what that pretty lady-doctor was doing tonight.