It was 1915. I was a conscript soldier, sent out to fight and – they thought – die in the trenches with hundreds of other young men that wanted nothing to do with the war. It was the spring. We were based in Ypres; I can’t remember if they were expecting the attack on Ypres or not. All I know is we were gun-fodder and were there to protect it so we didn’t lose it to the German forces.
I’d been restless all day. Living in the dugouts and patrolling the trenches left little time to track the progress of the moon. But I could feel it was near. Someone would say something that annoyed me and my hands would twitch, or I’d feel something in the pit of my stomach that said tonight I’d taste their blood if I wanted to. But that was the sort of thing that went on a couple days before the change. So I was never too sure when it would happen. I usually managed to hide out somewhere for a couple days until it was gone.
But this moon was different. This one took me by surprise. I suppose I must have had other things on my mind that day. In the evening, just as the sun was setting and scorching the horizon, we were told we all had to go over in the night as a surprise attack. I prepared thoughtlessly, same as all the others, thinking nothing of the trembles that shook me. I’d only been in the trenches a couple months and I was already terrified of everything they had to throw at me. Anyway, I was one of the first to go over and as I ran across No Man’s Land, doing my best not to get shot, purely so I wouldn’t give myself away, I felt my hands twitching. I couldn’t turn back; I’d be shot as a deserter and they would find out when I didn’t die. I couldn’t stay, though, because I’d dropped my rifle, unable to keep hold of it any longer. I was changing in the middle of No Man’s Land and there wasn’t a thing I could do about it.
I dropped down into the mud, screaming as my bones all began to break. Another private rushed over to me, thinking I’d been shot. I tried to get him to go away, telling him to get on with his job, but he wouldn’t fucking move. My form changed, my uniform ripped to pieces and all weapons near enough useless on me. The private was, needless to say, scared shitless of the thing that now stood before him. I didn’t know what to do. Did I carry on with my job regardless? Did I become their weapon? It wasn’t like I could stay where I was; no one was going to miss a giant white wolf in all that smoke. I practically glowed in the dark.
So I did what a good soldier was supposed to do: I carried on. I did my job. I collapsed on the edge of No Man’s Land when it was all over and done with, waiting for the morning to come, when it might be safe to change back. Of course, I had no such luck. Once I had changed back, it took them less than an hour to find me lying there in the dirt. They dragged me down into the dugout – people who had come to be my friends – and pinned me to the floor, demanding to know what kind of a freak I was. They called me names, not much I hadn’t already heard from other unfortunate people who discovered me, kicked me, punched me, threatened to kill me several times. I curled up and took their abuse, praying that it might be over soon.
They weren’t done, though. Not by a long shot.
“Reckon that’s not the only way he’s a freak?” one of them grinned, rolling me over with his foot. He pinned me on my back and I stared up at the ceiling, half numb. “What if he’s a poof?”
One of the others laughed. I didn’t know how many of them there were. But people kept passing by, so more must have seen, must have joined in. “Good point. Let’s find out,” the owner of this voice looked down at me and spat in my eye, “well then? Are you a pansy boy?”
“No,” I mumbled, wiping his spittle out of my face. A foot connected with my ribs.
“I bet he is. I bet he’s been watching us secretly and skulking off to bed with a little problem to sort out.” More laughter. I didn’t even care. I just wanted to get out of there. I’d already been found out, they could take me for shooting as a deserter. I tried to sit up. “Where you going, Nancy?” I was kicked back down.
“Let me go.” My voice was barely more than a whisper. I didn’t have the energy left to deal with them – if it weren’t for me, they would probably be lying out on No Man’s Land peppered with German bullets. They should’ve been thanking me, not kicking the shit out of me.
“Why should we? We all miss our girls, but they’re back home, and you’re here. If you’re a pansy, you’ll enjoy being used as our girl, won’t you?” another voice sneered, earning a few chuckles that were darkening with lust as they imagined using me. I pleaded with them, bargained, begged, but they still wrestled me over to the bed, bickering over who got to fuck me first. I tried to cover my head in the blanket so I could slip off into a world of my own and pretend it wasn’t happening, but whoever it was holding me down ripped it off. “What’s the matter? Don’t you want to be our girl?” he asked, pulling my head back by my hair.
“You’re a fucking freak; you should be grateful we don’t just kill you right here.”
“Please don’t,” I cried. My dignity had long since abandoned me, but any shreds of self respect or worth fell away as they used me over and over. Eventually they left me alone, all spent and emptied over me. I curled up in my blankets, listening to the fighting starting up outside all over again. In all my years of whoring, I don’t think I’d ever had an experience quite so humiliating and disgusting. I felt dirty from the inside out, and nothing was going to be ever make that night go away.
I woke with a start, in a sweat, and curled up under the covers. I felt sick. But mostly? I needed a fucking drink. I slid out of the bed quietly, taking my clothes downstairs to get dressed without disturbing him. Closing the front door quietly behind me, I walked down to the nearest shop I knew would be open still and bought myself enough booze to kill at least three mortal men. I was going to need it. After Fate’s nightmare episode earlier on, I didn’t want to be a burden, but like I said, I was having plenty of memories dragged up, and that was one of the most recent and probably the worst. I told myself that despite the amount I bought, I wouldn’t drink that much. Just enough to numb the memory and help me get back to sleep.
Yeah, that plan didn’t work out too well.