And now for a quick discussion…
I do not believe in the supernatural.
They talk to her at night
Shall she try to fight
What whispers in the night?
I cannot bear the sight.
She cannot know what’s right.
She doesn’t know to light
The candles in the night
And so she is in sight
Of the whispers in the night.
I believe in the supernatural.
▒ ▒ ▒
“Are you crazy?!”
Rip and I were currently standing in Allie Johnson’s part of the neighborhood. Unfortunately, the streetlights in our area sucked, so it was nearly completely dark. Oh, and did I mention it was nearly midnight? Well, it was nearly midnight.
“So we’re going to hide,” he whispered.
“It’s so dark you could basically hide anywhere.”
Well, it wasn’t as dark as it could’ve been. It was a full moon tonight. The best kind of moon. And no, I don’t believe in the whole superstition about full moons and weird monsters. Werewolves and vampires don’t even exist.
“Hide in a bush,” Rip whispered suddenly, “I think I hear something. Something not right.”
So I hid in the nearest bush to where I was standing. In front of a big house with lights on upstairs.
I waited. I even closed my eyes. Something told me it was safer to stay in the dark than turn any lights on.
And then I heard heavy breathing.
Close to my face. I could feel it.
What was that?
I turned my head, heart pounding, terrified.
But it was only Rip, who had somehow managed to climb into the bush without making much noise.
“We’ve got to get out of here,” he whispered, “It doesn’t feel too good.”
Suddenly, I heard a wild, screaming howl. Like a wolf’s, but somehow not so wolfish. Primal, but still slightly new. And very, very savage.
My blood pressure hiked. I hoped I wasn’t going to get a heart attack.
Rip appeared to be just as terrified as I was.
My mind was exploring every possibility that it could think up, most of them terrifying. What if some sort of savage creature was about to kill us? Could it smell us? What in the world was happening?
Suddenly, I heard a massive screech as a car swerved to avoid…something. Explosive howling soon followed. I heard a wild scream.
“RUN!” Rip yelled, and pushed me out of the bush.
I needed no motivation. Without waiting or looking around, I leapt up and ran for my life.
There was just one problem. I had literally no idea where we were going.
Desperate, I decided. I would just have to risk having my phone light on.
So I turned on the phone flashlight.
Big mistake. As soon as I did, I heard a growl.
“Nope!” I shouted, not really thinking, and took off. At least I could see now.
“AVRIL!” Rip yelled, “TURN YOUR LIGHT OFF!”
I didn’t listen. I just kept running. I have no doubt that the creature followed me. That is, until we got to the tree line, after which I noticed something running into the forest.
And then, about five minutes later, I heard a howl. Much farther away this time.
I hoped that we were safe.
▒ ▒ ▒
I had never felt quite as much like a monster as I did when I transformed back.
They’d been so scared of me. But then, how can one not be scared when a ten-foot-tall creature starts running after you? I wasn’t surprised. But I felt horrible. I shouldn’t have chased after them. If only I could talk when I was in my werewolf form, instead of just growling.
I’d been a werewolf forever. Ever since I was born. Some say there’s a curse in my family—every thirteenth Wayworde conceived by rape would become a werewolf. I had no doubt believing it was true. My family was known evil. I was a monster in more ways than one. There are so many curses on my family that they’re hard to count. The werewolf one was supposedly set by an old village woman whose daughter was violently raped by one of my idiotic ancestors. Probably John Wayworde, the crazy one who started the whole family thing about being crazy.
As for my father, he knew that I was a werewolf. He wasn’t proud of it. Neither was I. My dad had never told another soul about it, probably the one thing that I’m truly thankful for when it comes to things he’s done. It was his own fault, though, if all the curses are real.
Almost all the other werewolves in the Wayworde family had died young, painful deaths. Stabbings. Burning at the stake. The kind of things you hear about in all those old stories that you don’t think happen now. Not so. According to Father, his older brother, Walter Wayworde, the original heir of the family, had been burned at the stake for dismembering the Baker family’s old goat alive when he was only about seventeen. With his own bare hands. After that, Father, the second son, had inherited the family property. And then we moved to America, while my older brother got the house when he turned eighteen in July. But Walter wasn’t even a werewolf. He was just a regular old disaster. I was a real-life monster, pure and simple. I couldn’t imagine what might’ve happened to me if the other people in the village had found out about me being a werewolf. Whatever they did, it was certain that I would not have made it to America.
Guilt racked me as I went about the few days after I returned to human form. Why had I chased those people? Especially the girl. I was nearly certain that she was the same girl who I’d ripped those people off of. The stranglers, who had been holding her to the ground. It wasn’t even a question for me to help her. I knew abuse very well, and strangling was past even Father’s limits. Yes, he was physically capable of doing it, but he wasn’t about to kill his potential heir. You know, if my older brother died. He almost did once, but then stopped and just took out the whip again. Better one more scar than death.
Avril. That was what the boy had called her. The name was familiar. I thought I remembered those people calling the girl by the same name. Yes. She was the same person. Terrible! Monstrous. I had chased the same girl whose life I had saved. While that hadn’t been my intention, I still felt like a monster. I was trying to make sure she and her companion were all right. It didn’t seem right that those kids were hanging around and hiding late at night. What had they been trying to do? Were they waiting for someone?
I continued to put myself down. Every moment I thought about it, I felt a pang of wild anger. I just wanted to tell her that it was all okay, that I wasn’t trying to kill her, that I wasn’t trying to abuse her. Talk to her once, just speak to her, say who I was, and be done with it. Go away. Maybe back to England, even though I wasn’t very willing to go back, back to people who despised every atom in my body, while here, nobody really seemed to care.
That realization stunned me. I wanted to talk to her. I’d never felt that way about anyone before. It was always avoid and run. Or, if I had to, stand up for something, and then never say anything again. Never speak to them again. But something about Avril was different. I had a very strange feeling that she was out there that night to look for me. Why? What did she want out of me? Did she just want to get a good look at me? Did she just want to thank me? Did she just want to talk for a little bit? Start talking more often? Or—God forbid—be friends or even more than that? I’ll be very open and honest—while my body may have been ready to be more than friends, I didn’t know if my brain was. Or perhaps the primal parts of me were, but not me.
But there was something else I saw in her, too. It wasn’t my own attraction to her—I didn’t feel much or any. She seemed to be genuinely curious and genuinely nice like nobody else I had ever even seen. I couldn’t say that I had met her—all I had done was to see her. I hadn’t even heard her voice.
So I made up my mind. I would try to find her. I would talk to her. And I would find out what she wanted from me.
But first, I had to understand the cryptic mess that was American History.
Edited by: Jeoffrey Henry