A young, disabled girl, is thrown into a world of insanity when she discovers that werewolves are, in fact, real when it turns out that someone she knows is one.
Last Tuesday, I attended my aunt’s funeral. I find her death odd, as do others, but the final report concluded it as an animal attack. I mean, it’s not too much of a stretch considering that we live in Colorado, but I’m not sure I believe it anymore. Not after what happened the day after.
I was heading home with one of my close friends, Parker, when we came to a sudden stop by an alley.
“Why are you stopping?”
“Give me a second,” he said. “I just remembered I was supposed to stop by my mom’s shop when we passed it back there.”
He jogged away before I could object, but there was no point in me speaking anyway. My wheelchair is wide, and being that his mom’s shop is an overly packed antique shop, there wouldn’t have been room for me to go in with him. So I waited.
When people brushed by me, I realized that I was in the way of those on the sidewalk, so I began to wheel myself back into the alley. Although, I didn’t get far before I thought I heard something behind me. Movement. I whipped my wheelchair around to see what it was, only to be met with a pair of eyes. Glowing red eyes. Bright as a lightning bug, terrifying as a grizzly bear. Then I saw the teeth. Sharp, elongated canines that looked like they were made by God himself to sink into the flesh of fresh prey.
“Parker!” I screamed. “Parker!”
The dark, shadowy figure disappeared into the darkness of the alley before I could distinguish any more features, but I wasn’t sticking around to find out anyway. I backed up and got the fuck out of there.
From the brief glimpse I did get, I’m sure the figure was human. The eyes and teeth, however, were not. Whatever I saw was neither human nor animal, but instead was a fusion of the two. And I can’t get its image out of my head.
The sound of Logan, my twin sister, playing her piano in the room next to mine starts up again. Both of us should probably be asleep by now as late as it is, but my mind has been in other places. Clearly.
“Hey, Logan,” I say, as I push the door open. Her fingers stop, hovering over the keys for a moment before she pulls them away from the keyboard. “Guess you can’t sleep either?”
“No.” She shakes her head, causing her long, light blonde hair to fall in her eyes before she brushes it back again. “But since you’re here, Lucas and I were talking earlier, and we’re thinking about going on a trip next weekend. Well,” she says, tilting her head, “we’re not really going very far, just to his cousin’s cabin a couple hours away in the woods. But anyway, I thought you might want to come. Lucas already invited a couple other people, too, so you can invite your friends if you want.”
Lucas, who I prefer to refer to as Luke, is Logan’s boyfriend of about a month. She’s dated a numerous amount of guys–and girls–the past couple years, but maybe this one will be different. Or maybe not. I don’t think she’s too worried about it anyway, and I don’t really blame her. Although I do actually like Luke, which is saying something considering I haven’t liked very many of her past dates.
“Hold on,” I say. “You do remember that there’s been a series of animal attacks recently?”
“I’m more than aware.”
“And yet you still want to go to a cabin, in the woods, after what...four deaths? Have you lost your mind?”
She shakes her head. “I’m going, Jules, and that’s that. It’s cool if you don’t want to, but….I have to.”
I roll my eyes. “You don’t have to go. Seriously, we could do this some other time–”
“No,” she interrupts. “We’re not cancelling it. I have to go that weekend. It’s–” She pauses, stopping herself like she was about to say too much. My eyes narrow at her as she clears her throat. “I just have to go, okay?”
I open my mouth to say something, but stop when something hits me. “Wait….where’s your calendar?”
She points at her pink and green bulletin board on the wall above her clear desk across the room. I wheel over to it. A calendar with pictures of fluffy kittens decorating it is opened to the month of November. Although I’ve already confirmed it in my mind, I search for the date of next weekend.
There’s a full moon next Friday.
I think back to what I saw in the alley, and about all the research I started doing after the incident. It didn’t take me long to start putting things together. When there were one or two deaths of supposed “animal attacks,” I assumed it was just a fluke. It was odd that they took place in town, but what else was I going to think? But three? And a fourth outside of town?
Of course, this was strange to me, but my first thought wasn’t, Werewolves are real! I’d have to be crazy to hop aboard that train. No, I tried to rationalize it, telling myself that if werewolves were real, wouldn’t someone have found proof a long time ago?
Regardless, what I saw in the alley put me in motion. There was just no way what I saw was human. Sure, it’s possible that I imagined it or was just seeing things...but it didn’t feel like it. It was after that that I found out about the intervals that the deaths were happening. Every month, the past four months, for only one day: the full moon.
Once or twice is a coincidence, but four times? That’s a pattern.
But the question right now isn’t whether or not werewolves exist, it’s whether or not I should tell Logan. I mean, after what I saw in the alley and the time of the deaths, I believe it’s possible, but will Logan? Will telling her what I think stop her from going to the cabin and putting herself in danger?
I don’t have an answer to that. But seeing that next weekend is another full moon and it’s likely someone will die, I’m willing to take the chance.
“What is it?”
I let my hand drop away from the calendar. “I need to tell you something, Logan.”
“Okay?" She's squinting at me as if I’m weirding her out when I spin back around.
Just you wait.
“Alright,” I gulp. I scratch at the peeling blue nail polish on my fingernails as I speak. “I–I guess I’m just gonna put this bluntly...I think the killings that have been happening are because of werewolves.”
Logan stares at me with a blank look on her face that I can only describe as either confusion or fear. “We–werewolves?”
"I know I sound crazy, but hear me out. Isn't it weird how people have been dying? It's happened at intervals: once a month, and only on the full moon. Plus, how they've been attacked in town. What they died from was obviously slashes and bites from an animal, yet they were in town where animals usually don't venture to."
"Wh--where are you going with this?" she asks, the same frozen expression on her face.
"It's not just that, I--I saw something the other day. I didn’t mention it because I know it sounds ridiculous, but...I was walking home with Parker when I saw someone in the alley. Or….maybe something. But either way, the person had glowing eyes. Glowing red eyes. And they didn’t look like contacts. And then there’s the teeth–the sharp, pointed canines like a dog’s. He–or she–was so close to me, Logan. Not even five feet away, and they looked right at me. I’m not sure...I’m not sure what would’ve happened if I hadn’t turned around and saw them.”
I want to keep going and find more and better reasons to convince Logan, but I stop myself before I end up rambling. I’m not sure what else I can say. I know what I say is probably the ramblings of an insane woman in Logan’s ears, but I can only hope that she hears the sincerity in the words as well.
Maybe my blatant desperation will be enough to make her stay.
Logan gulps, looking around. "Julia, that's crazy. Seriously, I think you're tired. Go take a nap or something."
"I'm not fucking tired, Logan,” I say, letting my agitation get the best of me. “I know what I saw! If anything, you’re tired. Look in the mirror. You have dark circles under your eyes and I’ve heard you up in your room in the middle of the night. What’s up with that, anyway?”
She shakes her head. “Nothing. I’ve just been busy here lately.”
I watch her for a few moments as the same icy blue eyes I see in the mirror every day flicker to the ground, not meeting mine. Something’s up. She’s been...distant lately. Pretty quiet, and we haven’t been talking as much as we used to. It seems like she only talks when she has to. Then, there’s the losing sleep thing on top of that. Part of me wonders if she’s been avoiding me. Especially the past few days. Until tonight, we’ve barely been together at all, which is unlike us. I just don’t know why.
"Anyway, my point is, I think it’s a really bad idea to go to the cabin next weekend," I say. "There's going to be a full moon, and I don't want anyone to get hurt. It's dangerous. Even if there aren’t any raging werewolves on the loose."
I bite down on my teeth, then sigh after a moment. "Fine. Fuck it. If you're going, then I'm going. But when we come back in body bags, I blame you."
With that, I wheel back into my room, going back to my laptop to do more research. My highlighters and pens are pulled back out from my drawer, and I get to work searching through the many, many web pages. Under no circumstances do I want to go to the cabin next weekend, but there’s no way in hell I’m letting Logan go without me. So it looks like I have about a week to prepare myself for what’s to come.