Answers: A Time in the Woods.Mature


"Who were those men, Kyle?"


"My family. My real family."


"But those fangs. Those....powers? Kyle, I don't think they're your family! I don't even think they're human!"


"They're not."


"Kyle....? What are you talking about?"


"I'm not human Tracy. I'm not who you think I am. I'm a....."


It was four months ago. The beginning of winter. The winter I left Tracy. The winter I spent in the wilderness, trying to fight off my murderous instincts. Trying to fight off the presence of the second hole that bore into my left hand. The Lunio. I remember telling him I had to go. I remember him asking me why. I remember telling him who I was, and how it was dangerous for him to be near me right now. I remember telling him goodbye, and disappearing into the wind a month later.


I was forced to remember that dreadful time before I returned to him. How I had to fight off the urges to slaughter and tear apart the hibernating bears of the forest. How I tried to freeze myself to death in the lake, but couldn't even get past drowning. I had to remember the end of winter, when I woke up amongst a mother bear and her two cubs. How I'd ripped open her heart with my teeth and massacred her offspring once she was dead. How after I felt my eyes burn and overflow with blood. How I'd grown foot-long fangs, claws, and fur, and terrorized the inhabitants. I remembered screaming in the night as the second hole burned itself further into my flesh, driving me further into madness.


But I remembered one thing by will. I remembered washing the blood off my skin, and finding my reflection in the amber-glutted river. My eyes glowing gold peering through hair was tousled beyond repair, and had begun to cover most of my body. Blood was trickling off my naked body. I had transformed into the monster I'd been fighting off since birth. The half of my blood that'd taken over me.


Suddenly, memories began to overflow in my mind. They came so fast, my head began to pulse in pain. I held my head, screaming and squirming on the shore. The memories persisted. Memories of Tracy. Memories of happiness. Memories of humanity.


I began to remember my human life all over again. How my mother died while giving birth to me. How my father had been murdered by my mother's family years after I was born. I remember living alone at fourteen. I remembered high school, taking tests, studying, and trying to be normal. I remember the intense nightmares I had at night. The night a group of people who looked like humans, transformed into monsters and attacked my father. I remember how they spoke to me, saying that one day, now that my human attachment was gone, I'd return to them.


I remember taking to some of my newfound abilities nicely. I remembered getting in and out of pharmacies and clothes stores without anyone seeing me, only noticing the slight breeze I caused. I remember learning a task that was conducive to a human boy my age. I remembered learning to shave. And remembering finding something not conducive to humanity. The third and final hole in my hand, Ullio.


I remembered it all. All the way up to returning home and following Tracy's scent to the bus stop he was always at after school. At that moment, I began to remember how much I'd missed him, and the times we spent together. I remembered the first day I met him in school, how innocent and gentle he was. How I felt every time he was around. I remember finally gathering up the courage to ask him out, and him saying yes. I remembered our first kiss in the park on Fern street. I remember telling him how much I loved him. But I also remembered how hideous I looked. My fangs and claws hadn't gone all the way down yet. It wasn't a couple days after seeing Tracy, that I was able to revert them back to their "original" size.


I now remembered returning to him. Kissing him. Touching him. Making love to him. I remembered how he felt. He wanted to go down this road with me, but I remembered how he couldn't. I remember telling him everything, and his concerned face, free of judgment and prejudice.


"What exactly do Ullio and Lunio represent?" He asked.


"My transformation." I responded.


"What is the other one called?"




"Where did the names come from?" He sounded so interested. I was kinda surprised he wasn't shocked at all.


"They say that centuries ago, there lived three brother gods named Ullio, Lunio, and Munio. Ullio was peaceful and giving while Lunio was full of deceit and bloodthirst. And Munio was always the abstaining mediator when it came to his brothers' disagreements. When my kind began to come about, there was passionate debate over who would watch over them. So Munio had the idea that it'd be their decision. When we're born, we'll be born with the mark of Munio, to help us decide. When the time came where we became murderous beyond our limit, the Lunio mark would burn into our hands, scarring us with the memory. It's only when one of us had a reason to become peaceful, a way back to sanity, is when we'll get the Ullio mark. Not many of us have the mark of Ullio. It's also been said that the first time the Ullio was seen, it was on a mark of one of our kind who'd fallen in love with a human."


Tracy looked pained. His eyes were now stuck on the horizon. "Can you get rid of them?"


"No." I felt bad. I'd wanted to tell them I could. That there was a way for me to be human. A way for us to be together.


"My boyfriend is a Lyccan," he laughed.


"Half-Lyccan," I corrected him, "My father's human, remember?"


He didn't respond. Just began to push his legs back and forth on the swing. We'd left awhile after his demanding to know where I'd gone. We went to the park where we had our first kiss. I looked around at the green grass. It'd been painted blue with the sun's setting. I watched Tracy swing. It reminded me of all the times we'd spend having swing contests,giggling like little kids. I gave a bitter smile, wishing for the good'ol days. Then his voice sounded, distracting me from my reverie.


"So, are Lyccans like werewolves?" He'd stopped swinging and was staring at me.


"Kinda, but not. Lyccans aren't born human. They're born as the monsters they are. Human characteristics are learned. It's an ability taught at a young age. I never learned. Since I'm half human, I was born looking like one. I'm probably the first to have my instincts take over me."


Tracy turned his swing and stepped over to me. He took my hand. "So, you are human then, aren't you?"


"I have skin. I have hair growing out of my head. I get zits when I don't wash my face. I'm hot in the summer and cold in the winter and I when I have to pee I prefer to use a toilet. I have everything that makes a human a human, but I'm not."


"So, you are human then, aren't you?" He repeated, his eyes still on me.


"No, I'm not human, Tracy." I pleaded with him. Part of me was hoping that he'd get scared and run away, but instead he took my hand.


"You're half human, Kyle. Like you said, your dad was a human. You were a human when you were born. You were human when you met me. You were human when you said you loved me. You're human right here."


I gave his hand a slight squeeze. "But I'm half Lyccan."


"So what? You can move faster than a NASCAR truck and scale buildings in seconds." He sounded so carefree. It was getting annoying.


"Don't forget that I can smash your skull with one hand," I interrupted.


He breathed a laugh. "And smash my skull with one hand."


He brought my hand to his chest. "You can also have my heart beat twice as fast with one touch."


He moved it up to his lips. "And take away the pains of my day with a single kiss."


He brought it up further to his forehead. "And take my breath away with a single look."


My worries began to leave me as he kissed me as the sun went down, and the street lights dotted the street. As our lips parted, he pressed his forehead on mine, holding my hand tightly.


"I'm scared, Kyle. I'm scared to death. But I'll do this with you. I don't know what I can do, but I won't leave your side."


"But you don't understand..." I started.


"Shh....I understand that you love me, and that you wanna spend your life with me. That's enough for me to know."


I began to cry. He really didn't understand. He was in danger as long as he was with me. Soon my family would come for me now that my transformation was almost complete. My new human attachment was Tracy, and I couldn't have him taken away from me. Not again.


The End

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