"What is it?" I prompted Alois, both apprehension and fear fluttering in my chest. I hugged myself tightly, bouncing slightly to keep warm in the darkness of the underground room. His cold gaze rested upon me, and the blonde man was acting strangely different than he had just moments before. "I am not joking, Herr!"
"What is the matter?" Alois took a step toward me, but I also stepped back. It continued that way until my back was against the concrete wall. I looked around desperately, searching for any means of escape that would allow me to flee this prison. There was no option, no way to leave.
"Get away from me," I hissed through clenched teeth, crouching a little lower. What a sigh I must have been - a woman of nineteen years trying to oppose a strong man with the light of Hell in his eyes. What a sad threat I must have been! "I mean it!"
Alois finally stopped moving closer when he was a mere foot away from me. "I understood that you wanted to know how to live through the war." A frown spread across his beautiful face. "Was that not your intention?"
"It was," I responded, my voice growing higher and higher by the second, plagued by fear. "You are frightening me, so do please cease this!"
"You do not understand." Alois shook his head, still staring at me. "I have a feeling, though, that you soon will."
My mouth went agape. I assumed my jaw was going to fall off of my skull. In that same instant, Alois's icy blue eyes changed into a fiery, bloody color. He doubled over, falling to his knees and looking somewhat in pain.
"There is only one way to survive a war like this." Alois looked into my eyes, now the opposite color of his. "I will show you how."
I took the chance to head for the stairs, if I was able to find them. As soon as I grabbed onto the cool, slick railing of the wooden stairs, my leg was pulled on firmly. The railing slipped through my hands, and I clawed at the air, trying to stay up, but to no avail.
The floor was extremely hard. I felt my back for sore areas, wincing every now and then. When the moonlight finally shone in a round circle into the cellar, the breath caught in my throat. Everything looked dazzling under the full moon's light. Where was Alois?
I heard a soft snarl in the cellar. My blue eyes flew open wide, looking from the full moon back to the ground. A dog - a huge dog - stood in front of me, the fur along its arched spine standing on end.
There was only one explanation. "A-Alois?" I stammered, sliding back up against the wall. The gleaming white teeth of this monster proved that it was my friend, though he probably had no recollection of who he was.
I had listened to tales of wolves back in Germany. They were often portrayed as evil, messengers of death. Would that be true for Alois, as well? The sharp, metallic scent of blood filled my nostrils, and I almost gagged. I moved to cover my mouth just in case, but I found that I could not move my arm.
Alois's fangs bit deeply into it, releasing the scarlet fluid that I had just smelled. I instantly felt faint and dizzy, somewhat numb to the pain. In an instant, I was on my side, breathing hard. There has to be a way out! I screamed within my own mind, brain pulsing rapidly and heart pounding as if it was going to burst.
I took a chance and stood up, but Alois clamped his jaws down on my leg, tearing my skirt as well as my skin. A yowl escaped my throat as the blood gushed down my leg. Unbalanced, I fell once again to the floor, out of breath.
Alois took the chance and leapt onto me, placing two of his huge paws on my back. I screamed as I felt the werewolf's hot breath so close to my neck. Were they like vampires? Would Alois bite my neck?
His fangs sunk deeply into my left shoulder, causing me to thrash around and scream even louder than before. Quick as it happened, Alois retreated back toward the window, red eyes glinting in the moonlight.I pushed myself weakly to my hands and knees. The stench of blood was overwhelming, and I felt as if I was going to be sick.
"What is wrong with you?" I demanded weakly, glaring over at the huge monster wolf.
"It is merely custom," the wolf growled in reply. I was surprised I could even understand him. "When a werewolf bites, one does not always turn into a wolf. Sometimes, we just bite to bite." His red eyes lit up even brighter. "It is different for you, though. You would be a fine addition to the ranks."
Appalled by the idea, I stood up, glaring at what was once Alois. How dare he do this to a woman! "You are very cruel and sick," I seethed, turning my head toward the stairs, which I could finally see as the moon grew brighter and brighter. "Thank you for your hospitality, but I am afraid it is my time to go."
"Where will you go?"
I froze in mid-step, only part of the way up the stairs. My grip on the railing loosened. I knew nothing about America, and I spoke very little English. How would I get around?
"I will head back to where I came," I decided, sure of myself. The blood began to seep through my clothing; I could feel it. It really did not matter to me anymore. "I will go back to Germany, where I belong."
"I never meant to cause harm to you, Fraulein," the wolf snarled, dark lips pulling back into what appeared to be a smile. It disgusted me, the very sight of it. "I wanted to protect you, to make it harder for you to die if you did get caught in a battle one day." Alois crouched lower to the cold floor, eyes never leaving mine. "If you are indeed trying to make an enemy of me, you have found one."
"You have also found one in me," I responded coldly, facing the stairs. Weeks of friendship had been crushed by one fell swoop. Alois had taken my humanity, but I had taken away his only friend.
"What about the blood? You can't leave looking like that."
"I will get some things of yours," I answered sharply, turning to look at him once more. Fire was most likely in my eyes also. "That is a mere fraction of the retribution you owe to me for turning me into a monster!"
Alois snarled, jumping to his feet once more. His dark tail rose in dominance, and I quickly mustered what strength I could to push up the stairs.
I ignored the pain in my leg and shoulder as I gathered up some things I might have needed, including clothes, mainly. I would find food elsewhere. Alois stood at the stairs - still in monster form - and watched me.
He did not wait for even a second after I was done. "Now," he snarled, "get off of my territory."
I could not have been quicker or more enthusiastic to oblige.