Your hunger wins out above reason, and you take a handful of the berries. You look at them. They are a brilliant firey red, flecked with gold. You empty your handful into your mouth, and swallow. You appear to be fine, and you continue walking.
Soon, however, you see shadows from behind the trees. At first, they appear only in the corner of your eye. They weave in and out of your vision, dancing, tentitvely moving forward, further into your vision. Suddenly, a figure appears in front of you. You recognise him at once.
He is wearing the robes that he wore everyday during your school years. They are made of a dark grey wool, and they fall below his feet, trailing along the ground as he walks. They are trimmed with silver, and he wears on his head a sort of scholary cap.
You turn, to try and walk in the opposite direction of where he is, but he is there as well. Every direction you turn, everywhere you face, he is there. You break into a run, trying to escape his gaze, but he is faster. He always was, despite his age. You try to zig zag along your trail, in and out of the trees, but to no avail. He is always there.
You collapse to the ground, exhausted and scared. His high, cold laugh echoes throughout the trees, and he takes on a new form. His robes twist, and suddenly he is above you, hovering around a meter in the air. Tendrils emerge from the arms of his robes, and from the trees. They grab you, pulling you closer towards them, towards him. You fight, struggle, scream, kick. But it is all to no avail. The pull of the tendrils is just too strong for you, and you resign yourself, desparingly, to their pull. They envelop you, twisting around your arms, slimy, cold, twisting, tightening.
Suddenly, they disappear, and you think that you are alone once more. You look up, and the figure of Kuruk stands before you. 'It is time', he says, his voice cold and cruel. He raises a hand, and places it to your temples. Your body begins to convulse, violent, jerking movements.
Then it stops. Everything stops. You realise in this moment that everything you had seen was merely a hallucination. You gasp for breath, fighting to survive, still fearful of the trick your mind had played on you. The midday sun hangs high in the crisp blue sky, and you sit for a moment.
You had not before taken the time to survey your wounds. You sit, back to a tall pine tree, and examine closely the injury on your shoulder. It is inflamed, a bright red, brighter than the berries that had brought the visions of your past to your present. The wound is deep, too. A line of scrapes and scratches surrounds it, framing what looks like the bite from an animal. You peel away your coat and the shirt that you are wearing. Your torso is scratched, but none of the wounds are deep, and they are scabbed over. You ignore these for the time being, and take a proper look at your shoulder. You had seen bites like these before, in textbooks in schoo, and you try to place what it is from.
'Not a vampire', you say to yourself. 'Their wounds are small punctures'.
'Not a gnome. They would have taken a chunk out, not just left it'.
'Not an animal. Again, the same thing with the gnome'.
A dark thought floats into your head. You knit your eyebrows together in deep thought, carefully considering. It can't be. It just can't be, you think. You sit, your head to your knees, eyes scrunched, breathing slowly. It is night before the time your head emerges from beneath your knees, and you look up at the moon.
It is, like you so dreaded it would be, two days following the full moon. It was an animal that had bitten you. It was a werewolf.