Chapter 3Mature

Sandra (6): The Proof of Werewolves

On Saturday Roger turned up at ten o’clock in the morning. Sandra picked up a coat and a pair of shoes and led him to the back garden. She donned her coat and shoes in the hall before stepping outside into the cool October day. She had mixed feelings about her parents being out this morning: on one hand she rather wanted to avoid questions about what she and Roger were doing in the boring old garden together, whilst on the other if Roger did turn into a wolf and became a dangerous animal, she would be home alone. The latter point was somewhat less reasonable, however, since Roger was a sensible guy who would surely tell her about any risks beforehand. She trusted him and also relied on the fact that she was his best friend as well as he hers and so would hate the prospect of endangering her.

Sandra noticed, as Roger frowned thoughtfully at the garden, looking for a space in which to change without wrecking a flower bed, that he wasn’t wearing many layers: just a T-shirt and a pair of faded jeans.

Roger settled on the square of grass at the back of the garden.

“D’you want to make yourself a hot drink?” he called to her, since she had remained standing near the back door. “I don’t think you’d want to watch.”

“Oh, okay,” Sandra called back. She turned and re-entered her house, heading for the kitchen. She couldn’t deny that she was curious but she hated to watch anything gory or vaguely stomach-turning and so trusted that Roger only had her best interests at heart.

When she came back to the garden with a mug of hot orange squash in her hands, she was faced with a beautiful wolf, sitting on its haunches, with silver-streaked black fur and the most soulful chocolate brown eyes that she had ever seen. It didn’t seem to matter that in human form Roger had green eyes and dark brown hair, and indeed she remembered that in her Wolf Dream Rhyley’s eyes had been amber and his fur grey while in human form his eyes were blue and his hair reddish brown. Could it really be true that Rhyley was capable of becoming a gorgeous creature like the one in front of her at this moment? Could it even be true that this was Roger and not some wolf he had somehow managed to borrow from a zoo as part of an elaborate if horrible and unfunny practical joke? But even as she thought it she knew which idea was more insane - <i>no<I> zoo would give a wolf to an 18 year old boy, and certainly not without any sort of leash. Also, Roger’s biggest practical joke to date had been an April Fool’s Day where he had pretended to have no clue of who Sandra was or why his mum had driven him to her house that morning - a joke that head only confused Sandra until he had explained.

Looking at Roger the wolf was beginning to affect Sandra with a desire to run her fingers through that lovely thick fur of his. Surely Roger in wolf form was nothing more than a big dog, as friendly and as safe as the domesticated kind?

“Can I come closer?” she called bravely.

Roger nodded and he seemed to be smiling. Sandra put her drink down on the table standing on the small patio in front of the back door and moved towards her lupine best friend.

Roger stayed still, waiting patiently for Sandra to reach him.

Sandra drew close and found her body putting her in a sitting position in front of him. He was a tall wolf; even with her back straight the crown of Sandra’s head was only level with his snout.

“This is amazing,” she whispered, reaching out and touching his slightly coarse fur.

Roger the wolf nodded.

The point now proved, Sandra ought to have gotten up to return indoors so Roger could change back. But he was just so breath-taking in wolf form that she could have sat there with him until sunset. She gently put her arms around him, her fingers immersing themselves in his coat. Roger licked her forehead and she chuckled.

Sandra held him for a few minutes, burying her head in his front, before letting go and rising to her feet.

“Meet me back inside,” she said.

Roger nodded.

On the way to the house, Sandra collected her squash. She stood inside with her back to the French windows while she drank it.

“Hey,” Roger said a few minutes later, standing on the other side.

Sandra turned to look at him. She had one word for his ability to change into a wolf and back, a word from her childhood: a word that evoked excitement and encapsulated mystery and the unexplained. Magic.

Sandra’s words to Roger were “Wow. Just ... wow.”

“It’s pretty incredible, isn’t it?” he said, waiting as she locked the door and then following her to the porch where they both took off their shoes and Sandra hung up her coat.

“Yeah, it is.”

They made their way up to her bedroom where she sat on her bed and Roger in the chair in front of her desk.

Sandra wondered, “How long have you been able to shift?”

“Since I was 13. The ability generally coincides with when a guy’s voice breaks and a girl’s first menstrual cycle starts.”

“You mean... a girl can be a werewolf too?”

“If one of her parents was, yeah.”

“Wow... So I could have been one.”

“Yeah,” Roger said, smiling. “You could have.”

“Can you... turn people?” Sandra asked.

Roger shook his head.

“It’s in the blood, unfortunately. ... If you had a blood transfusion you’d become one.”

Sandra nodded.

“I see.”

“Though that means I can never give blood or donate my organs,” Roger said ruefully. “It’s a shame because I think those are really admirable things to do. I’ve often thought that maybe there should be some werewolf-only private hospitals which we would be able to donate blood and our organs to.”

“Maybe,” Sandra said thoughtfully. “But ... it would mean turning away other patients, wouldn’t it?”

“Yes, that’s true.”

There was a lapse in the conversation and then Roger asked “Do you think that you’ll forgive Rhyley? I mean, I don’t blame you if you don’t - he was an utter jerk to you - but I’ve heard it can be tough when soulmates decide to hate each other.”

Sandra sighed.

“I’m so scared he won’t adapt for me, Roger. I’m not giving up being chaste for him.”

“No, and you shouldn’t have to. I can take you away from him... but he’d have to do something awful first.”

Sandra winced.

“But no one’s forcing you to do anything right now,” Roger said reassuringly. “Shall we play Scrabble?” Scrabble was the favourite board game of both of them, and ever since Roger had started coming round Sandra’s house in Year 7 they had kept a tally of how many games they each had won.

Sandra smiled.

“Yeah, I’d like that.”

She went to her cupboard and carefully extracted the Scrabble box. She cleared the desk and they started setting up. Sandra fetched a chair from downstairs so that she had somewhere to sit as well.

She was so grateful that she had Roger, she reflected. It was so lucky that he was a werewolf like Rhyley and so understood what was going on. She knew that he would be there for her whenever she needed him and whatever for. She had always thought that he was a rare gem, but now, in these unlikely and somewhat disconcerting circumstances, he was a solid rock epitomising everything that had been good in her life up until Monday when she had discovered the world’s supernatural side. On the rock theme, perhaps that rock was a diamond... Beautiful and difficult to break.

~

The End

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