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Poetry/Short Stories


By: lazywolf

Every Friday this summer I'd taken hikes deep into the Rockies to meditate properly and forget the noisy stress of the world, and this Friday was no different. With work and college, I was pretty busy most of the week, and on my precious day off I'd go to one of my favorite places: the forest.

Having wound through the various trees on the dusty path for an hour or two while lost in thought, I decided to toss down my camelbak and sit up against the branchless base of a nearby pine and take a quick break. I closed my eyes as a soft breeze played through my hair and made the green branches around me sway softly in the patched shade. I loved it up here-so peaceful!

I must have dozed off and lost track of time, because when my eyes fluttered open again, I noticed that the once straight beams of light that filtered through the trees had become longer and slanted as they do in that magical way when the sun is setting. Jumping up, I dusted myself off already starting to jog as I snatched up my pack. At the fork in the trail, I chose the more overgrown path that went deeper into the woods without breaking stride. I'd normally take the route more traveled by, but I was in a hurry to write my paper and this path got me much closer to my house than the meandering route I'd taken coming up.

I'd gone almost a mile when out of the corner of my eye I caught a glimpse of something furry crouching in the undergrowth just off the side of the path. There had been something in the news recently about an increase of wolves or something in the area, and more curios than startled I decided to check it out having never seen one up close. I skidded to a stop, re-traced my steps, and pushed aside the branches to do a quick double take, and that's when it happened. I had only time to inhale sharply when a grayish blur exploded upon me! Embraced in a strong grip, I was knocked clear across the path in a backflip to land in the brush on the opposite side. While still in the air, something that felt like thick needles punctured my neck. Just as suddenly as it all started, the blur was gone, leaving me dazed but unhurt where I fell. I got shakily to my feet, and looked around, confused as to what had just happened.

Story continued below


“I suppose you'll want to know why I just did that,” said a deep, almost inhuman voice directly behind me. I whirled around, then simply stared, mouth falling agape on its own accord, as I tried to take in what my eyes were seeing. Undecided on whether I should be terrified for my life or just continue stare at him with an expression of shock and amazement like I was, I lost my balance and sat down hard.

Crouched no more than 10 feet away was what looked like a huge, muscular human body covered in thick gray fur--a giant canine head on top, a bushy wolf's tail behind, and where the hands and feet should have been were huge paws tipped with deadly looking claws. I guess that confirmed the wolf story!

He simply looked at me for a few moments, his intelligent, golden eyes expressionless, and then spoke again in a serious tone. “It's been a long time since regular humans have seen one of us here,” he said. Although he did pull it off, it was apparent his mouth was not built for human words.

“Who... Wha... How did you...?” I muttered, then swallowed, unable to form a coherent sentence.

“There isn't much time, he said. “I've got to get you to a safe place.”

I ran my hand distractedly across my neck and gasped when my fingers felt the two identical almost bloodless puncture wounds. I continued to stare, afraid to take my eyes of him. If I left now at full speed, could I outrun him? It seemed unlikely with the way he'd attacked me earlier, and if he'd wanted to kill me he could have done so easily by now. It was about then I started feeling weak and shaky, most likely from shock of the experience, or so I guessed. Something hot and strange was pulling inside me from beneath the surface, pulsing through my veins and sapping all my strength. I felt the blood rush to my head as I began to black out. In this condition especially, there really wasn't anything I could do.

“Looks like it's already started-time to get you out of here.”

What was that supposed to mean? I must have fallen over at that point, because the last thing I remember was looking up sideways from the ground as the--werewolf I'll call him for lack of a better description--walked slowly towards me on all fours, crouched low as if waiting for something to happen, and that's when the darkness enveloped me.


I woke up slowly, reluctant to forget the vivid dream I'd just had. It had felt so real! I reached around to find my alarm clock, thinking that must have been the cause of my waking, but instead of touching the expected plastic, my hand brushed against some kind of cold, rocky surface. How in the...? I eased my eyes open to see that I wasn't in my bed, but had instead been laying in a pile of soft pine boughs in some type of cave. My entire body felt sore and tired, like I'd just been swimming in cold water the whole night, and for some reason my clothes felt surprisingly tight as well. As I looked around, I could make out the setting sun's light through the trees from the craggy opening, and someone sitting towards the entrance with their back against the wall. As my eyes adjusted, I saw that it was a man in his thirties wearing only gym shorts and a t-shirt looking as though he'd probably gotten dressed hastily. I immediately noticed about him an air of calm and control.

“Where am I?” I demanded at the stranger, half yelling but still loopy from sleep. He answered without moving, as though he'd already known I was awake.

“Don't you remember anything from last night?” Something about his voice was familiar

“What do you mean? I've never seen you before in my life!”

“Oh, but you have. You just don't... recognize me.”

Then I remembered why the voice was so familiar.

“Wait! You're the-the...”

“Werewolf?” he cut in. “That's right. But I'm not the only werewolf in this cave.”

I turned quickly around at that expecting so see someone else in the dark, but only the back wall met my gaze.

“I don't understand,” I said in confusion, turning back to him.

He swiveled his head around slowly to meet my gaze, then gestured with a quick nod towards my neck.

“Yeah, but what does that have to do with...” and then the realization of what he was really saying hit me full force.

“Does that mean...?” I gulped.

“That's right,” he replied. “You're a werewolf now.”

Avoiding all attempts of diplomacy, my mouth fell open on its own accord once again.

“I know-it's probably a little hard to believe," he said in a matter-of-fact, almost tired voice. "I remember when I found out for the first time, too. Didn't quite know what to think; didn't know how to tell my family. But that's the thing! You can't tell anyone; that would be just as dangerous for you now as it is for the rest of us.”

“But, what did I do? Why did you bite me?”

He searched my eyes carefully before answering.“I was careless to let you see me, but I thought the reason would be pretty obvious. Our true identity has to be protected. There are few enough of us as it is without people trying to hunt us. It's far worse then identity theft when regular humans see us in our true form, so when they do we have to either change them, or kill them. You're just lucky I chose the first option.”

My head began to spin with all these new revelations, and feeling weaker than ever, I collapsed once again onto the makeshift bed.

“Your body's still weak; while you were out for the last 24 hours your cells were completely re-structured to allow for transformation. Some people don't even survive the process; it takes a lot out of you.”

Hence the reason for my exhaustion.

“Here, eat this,” he continued as he tore a chunk of meat from a recently killed deer with his bare hands and tossed it over to me. “You'll feel a lot better.” Sure enough, despite the fact that it was raw the deer did look very appetizing, so I caught it in one hand and began to eat. My teeth cut through the rough flesh with ease, and as I ate my strength began to return.

“So, it wasn't a dream after all,” I said to myself in unbelief. To him I said, “So, I get that werewolves are real, and though it blows my mind, that now I am one. But, where do we go from here? I have to get back to my family and work and school-I'm sure they're wondering where I am by now; they might even come looking for me.”

“You'll have to stay here, at least until I can teach you how things work. Any sooner and you could loose control of yourself and hurt people. Follow me,” he said as he got fluidly to his feet and moved gracefully into the now dark forest. I propped myself up on my elbows to test my strength, and was surprised to find that not only was it recovered, but that I was much stronger than normal and could move just as fluidly as he had! I crossed the cave to the entrance in a few quick strides, catching quickly up with him in the silent darkness.

“What are we going to do?” I asked nervously while continuing to follow him through the trees. The full moon cast an eerie blue glow over everything. “Do werewolves, I mean, do we change during the full moon or something like that?”

“You're going to learn how to change forms, and no, not everything you've heard about werewolves is true. People have it partially right, about silver being harmful and that being bitten causes you to become one if you survive-as you've just found out-but most of the rest of it is just superstition." He continued, explaining the finer points of shifting as we went. “Basically, just picture yourself as a werewolf, and concentrate on it. Will yourself to morph. It's really pretty straightforward, but is sometimes difficult at first,” he said, pausing as we arrived in a small, grassy clearing. “I'll go first to give you an idea of what to expect.” With that, he took off the shorts and shirt he'd been wearing, and closed his eyes.

I watched in awe as his body fluidly re-arranged itself in a matter of seconds into the amazing shape from last night. I'd never expected to see something so beautiful, so natural. As he said earlier, people didn't really understand true lycanthropes, least of all Hollywood and its ridiculous movies.

“No let's see how you do,” he said in the same, deep voice from last night. “You might want to strip down first so your clothes don't tear to ribbons,” he advised.

I got undressed, feeling a little nervous, and was shocked yet again as I felt that my once average-sized muscles were now rock-solid and toned; no wonder my clothes had been so tight when I woke up! I tossed my clothes in a pile, and focused on willing myself to change like he'd explained. It started slowly at first, with black fur growing out evenly out across my skin, then picked up speed as my arms and legs began to stretch and change, claws appearing on my hands and feet as a bushy tail shot out my back. My nose extended out into a muzzle making room for the larger, longer teeth that were pushing their way in and my ears moved up to the top of my head while sharpening into points. Suddenly, I was plunged into a world of information like never before as the new senses kicked in. Every sound, smell, and movement around me basically jumped out and bit my face off! It was almost hard to control the new, wolfish instincts welling up in my mind, but after concentrating I was able to keep it under control. Lastly, my eyes turned a shade of gold. I was a werewolf!

“Good Job!" he said, a wolfy grin on his face. "Looks like you managed to shift without any problems! It'll get easier, even second nature with experience. I've only ever seen two other first shifts, but they tell me some have a hard time when the instincts kick in. You did well.” It hadn't been as smooth as his transformation and had taken a while longer, but the new sense of confidence was almost overpowering-I could do anything!I let out a long, joyful howl of pure exhilaration, and heard his howl join mine creating an eerie, harmonic song that echoed through the trees and into the distance.

“This is amazing!” I exclaimed in a voice still my own but much deeper. “I feel incredible, like I could just run flat out forever!”
"We will," he said, still grinning. "But first, you'll notice that when in true werewolf form, we have ways of communicating with other werewolves, of knowing where each other are.” He was right! I hadn't noticed it with my excitement of everything else going on, but I was aware of his presence and exactly how far away he was--even with my eyes closed! I could also feel other werewolves in the distance, though they must have been hundreds of miles away. “You'll feel me stronger than anyone else since I was the one who bit you, and-” <-we can also communicate through telepathy and share memories if we choose.> Wow! He'd said that last part in my mind!
<Like this?> I ventured.
<You've got it!> he replied. <Now...catch me if you can!>

And with that, he took off in a blur. I'd never seen anything move so fast! With a bark of glee, I ran at full speed after him, the trees doing what the stars did when they made the jump to light speed in Star Wars. <Yeeeehaaaaw!> I yelled in my head to everyone in particular, howling again as I did. I ran at first just for the pure exhilaration of how fast I was able to go! I could feel all my cares blowing away in the wind behind me, like they were never there. <You'll never catch me!> sang his voice in my head. Impossibly, I forced myself to go even faster, and soon spotted his tail blown out behind him, doing crazy acrobatics while following his body around, under, and between the trees. I got close and closer, then finally sprung out in a crazy jump and tackled him to the ground. We smashed into trees and rocks, bouncing around and laughing like crazy in our minds as we went. I was indestructible! We both came to a stop, all sprawled out laughing on the ground while panting heavily.

<That was the most fun I've ever had in my life!> I said exstatically.
<You're picking this up pretty quick!,> his mindspeak unaffected by the deep breathing. <While were resting, I'll show you my story, the story of how I became a werewolf...>

A wispy image formed in my mind's eye, almost like a movie though a little more vague, that included subtle emotions I could actually feel as they happened. I saw from his perspective that his parents were both werewolves, but that he wasn't born that way. When he got to be old enough, they told him who they really were and gave him the choice of whether he wanted to be bitten or not. He accepted, and had since grown up and lived a double life as both a father that owned a small business, and a werewolf. I saw that he'd met several werewolves in his day and had even spent time with some, but there there weren't very many in all, just a bunch of packs scattered throughout the world.

A bewildered <Wow.> was all I could manage.
<So what's your story?> he asked. <Focus on the memory you want me to see, and then "aim" it at my presence. That's all you have to do.> I tried to think of how to tell my story and a few memories of where I grew up came to mind. I shot those over to him, and waited. <Okay, good. Keep going; what happened after that?> I thought about my family, my high school, my current college, and shot those over in quick succession. <Whoa! Slow down a bit! One at a time. You can also group them together into one long story like I did if you want...> After that crazy game of tag and exchanging our life stories, I felt much more at ease-like he was more of a brother now instead of some werewolf that had happened to bite me.
<So, I can live on my own and have a normal life just as long as I keep our true identity safe, then. I can do this!>
<Exactly! I think you have enough control to go back now. But you still haven't felt anything yet--let's go hunting!>


Even after all these years, that day still felt like yesterday. We stayed in contact, and over time have become great friends. When I'd gotten back I was able to explain to my family, boss, and college professor that I'd simply hiked too long that day, and once it got dark had decided to spend the night in the mountains. Being so tired like I was, I'd slept the whole day, and had later tried to make my way home in the dark again, only to get lost and eventually wander into a campground--and that's where the forest ranger had found me. Of course I'd never gotten lost, but had had to come up with some sort of story to explain where I'd been, and besides-it was partially true, about me having spent the night anyway.

I'd since graduated college specializing in regenerative medicine, gotten married, and had a family, all the while keeping my true identity safe. Safe, that is, until my youngest son was born a werewolf...