Lycanthropy / The FogMature

Prologue

Lola didn’t know it yet but bad things were going to happen.

Lola Thornwood was just an average girl, with average parents and an average life. But soon that was about to change.

It was three AM on Sunday morning, and the centre of Hadley was still throbbing with lights, noise and life after Saturday night’s clubbing crowds. Most people didn’t know that three in the morning was the time when demonic forces were at their strongest. They were too concerned with getting off their heads and having a good time that they’d be too hung over to remember tomorrow.

A side door to the most popular new club, Pins And Needles, was flung open and a large, broad black bouncer with a shaved head and metal earring threw a drunk girl out into the alley. She landed on the black bin liners and her flailing legs crashed against the metal bins. Vomit was flecked at the corners of her mouth and she was laughing with wild eyes, hysterical. A more sober guy in a shirt and trousers that had been worn from work and then untucked, untied and gradually messed up after each drink, followed her out, saying, “Hey, man, we’re sorry, okay? She’s not usually like this, man, I swear. God, her ma’s gonna be so pissed when she gets home like this.”

“Whatever, Al, that‘s the last time,” the bouncer said in obvious disgust. “Get her home or to a hospital, just not here.”

The door was slammed, cutting off the pounding music and flashing lights and leaving the alley surprisingly dark and quiet. There was a wisp of fog hovering over the ground and somewhere in the alley a cat yowled miserably.

“Damn, Lucy, you got us kicked out again,” he grumbled as he tried to haul the girl to her feet. There was rubbish all over her too-short dress. She leaned against him when her ankles gave way, giggling feebly and retching.

“Gross, Lucy! Cut it out!” he groaned as he propped her up and tried to make her walk. High in the sky a waxy full moon shone down but no light penetrated the alley.

Suddenly Lucy collapsed on the floor again, throwing up on her own shoes. The guy leapt back, saying, “I told you stop with the vodka already! I’m never partying with you again, Lucy.”

The hairs on the back of his neck prickled as though he was being watched. He suddenly felt uneasy. It was late, and there were all kinds of whack jobs on the streets these days.

A breeze swirled some loose empty crisp packets and they skittered with some dead leaves around his feet. It carried a noise, like an incoherent whisper that freaked him out.

“Lucy! Let’s get out of here, now,” he hissed. Another whisper, closer. He cleared his throat, letting his true colours show as his voice whimpered, “Is someone there?”

“Haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhh…..”

“I’m serious! Who the hell’s there, man? Stop messing with me,” he said, getting slightly angry at the nutter that was screwing around.

On the floor, Lucy could see past him at the figure that seemed to form itself from the mist and solidify into a person, but she couldn’t make her voice work.

“So am I.”

“What the - ?”

Adam spun around to face the stranger and found himself staring into a pair of cold electric blue eyes. The black pupils were small and tinged red. The skin was deathly pale, almost grey in the poorly lit alley, and thin as though the cheeks were hollow. The stranger was smiling, and suddenly he grabbed his upper arm. Sharp nails pierced his skin but in his shock from the pain Adam found strength to twist out of the stranger’s vice-like grip.

Lucy’s blurred vision saw Adam run into the darkness towards the road, swallowed up by the fog which seemed to have thickened, creeping across the ground in tendrils. She let out a moan and the stranger turned sharply. When her eyes made contact with his, she could see them clearly. Everything else was as distorted as before, but those cold electric eyes paralysed her. Her body filled with cold, creeping through her veins and turning her blood to ice.

Then he smiled, and Lucy screamed.

The End

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