114 comments

Oct 31, 2020

Fantasy Suspense

“If this goes south, I need you to promise me something.”

“Anything.”

“Don’t leave until you know the whole story.”

Her last words ring in my ears and swirl around my head. They always land on the same two words. Don’t leave. The bed feels stiff under my body and the blanket presses down on me like a twenty ton weight. The room has a faint glow from the dawn’s light slipping through the window. A numbing wave of acceptance rolls through my body.

I roll out of bed and peer out the window. It’s barely six o’clock, but there are two boys playing basketball across the street. The ball occasionally hits their garage with a loud bang. I turn away with a sigh. Rubbing a hand over my face, I walk to the closet and pull out a t-shirt and jeans. The stairs creak with every step I take.

In the kitchen, I pour milk into my cereal and sit to enjoy my measly breakfast. My spoon clinks against the bowl, and the sound reverberates throughout the room. The boys’ father has joined them now. It’s half past six. He looks exhausted. I imagine he works long days so he can provide for his children, but still wants to enjoy every second he can with them. It’s admirable. I rinse out my bowl and put it in the dishwasher. All that’s left to do is wait, so I do, by watching them play together.

The moving truck pulls into my driveway, carrying everything I left at my previous house. I unlock the front door and cross from my porch to my driveway in a few short strides. My eldest brother jumps out of the driver’s seat.

“Isak.” He puts a hand on my shoulder and gives a comforting squeeze.

“Graham.” I pull him in for a hug and cling to him like he’s a lifeline. “Thanks for doing this for me.”

He pulls away and gives me a sad smile. “I could hardly let you do this alone, could I?”

“Still-”

He claps my shoulder. “Come on, let’s get all this stuff in there.”

I nod, and we get to work. There are boxes upon boxes, not to mention the furniture. The pounding of the basketball stops. My brother and I turn. The tired, but happy, man is approaching with his sons lagging behind.

“Hello, there.” He smiles and offers his hand. “I’m James Butter and these are my sons, Chase and Zane.”

I shake his hand and my brother follows suit. “Isak Peters.”

“Graham Peters.”

“Are you both moving here?”

“Just me.” I pat my brother’s back. “He’s just the sorry fella who got roped into helping.”

We all share a laugh then James gestures to himself and his boys. “We’d be happy to help, if you’d like a hand.”

I pause. My brother shrugs and begins grabbing a box. I release the breath I’m holding. “That would be great. Thank you.”

We begin unloading the truck with me directing where everything should go. It’s twelve o’clock when we finish. I thank James and his sons and they go back to their home for lunch. Graham and I get started on some sandwiches for ourselves. There’s a companionable silence as we start eating.

“You want any help unpacking?” He glances up at me, taking a bite.

“No.” I glare at my sandwich. “I’ve got it.”

“Are we ever going to talk about it?”

“Graham,” I sigh, and put my sandwich down. “I can’t.”

He pauses. His glance falls on me, my sandwich, his sandwich, and back again. He puts his sandwich down too. “I think you need to.”

“One day I woke up to my wife, the next day I woke up alone.” My voice threatens to tremble. “That’s all there is to it.”

“Isak, we both know that’s not true.”

“You’re right, that’s not the part that hurts the most.”

He stays silent and looks at me expectantly.

“I left.”

“You couldn’t possibly have stayed. Not after what happened.”

“I didn’t know the full story, but I left anyway.” I push myself away from the table. “Let’s get started then.”

He ignores the fact I just said I don’t want any help, and we start unpacking. Occasionally we run into something that reminds me of her, but my brother helps me keep going. It’s nine o’clock when he leaves. We share another hug, both enveloping the other. Then he’s gone, and I go upstairs to bed.

*   *   *

She looked at me, eyes burning silver. Then her body convulsed, and unsettling cracks and pops exploded from her like fireworks. Fur sprouted, claws erupted from her hands, her face elongated, and her teeth grew into spikes. She looked at me like I was a rabbit.

“Clara, honey, are you in there?”

Her ears twitched.

“It’s okay. It’s me. Isak.”

Her head tilted and her body lowered.

“Clara?”

She pounced. Before I even had the chance to move, I felt a searing pain in my shoulder. I screamed in agony. Then there was a gunshot.

*   *   *

I wake up with a gasp. Instinctively, I reach out across the bed for her. There’s nothing there, of course, just the cold sheet and unused pillow. It’s eight o'clock. I peer out the window, and the only excitement is the children leaving for school and their parents leaving for work. The boys across the street get in their dad’s car and their mother waves them off from the porch.

I go to the closet and grab a t-shirt and jeans, then go to the kitchen to fix some cereal. That’s when I realize what day it is. Halloween. The full moon. They landed on the same day this year. I put on some tea in the hopes that it will calm my nerves. Going out to sit on the porch, I take my first sip. The gagging occurs immediately. Tea was always her thing, and the blandness of it never mixed with my idea of a good drink.

A delivery woman walks up and hands me a small box. I look up in surprise but she just smiles and shrugs. Nodding to her, I accept the box, and she walks away to finish her deliveries. I set aside my half-drunk, ice-cold tea and take the box inside. It contains a vial of a murky, thick, dark grey mixture and a note. Just in case.

I grab a giant bowl and fill it to the brim with candy. Once it’s safely on the porch I go to the basement. There’s plenty of time until the sun goes down, but I check all ten locks on the door three times. The door is fortified by furniture to make it as hard as possible to get out. I take a deep breath, then down the vial in one gulp. The chains on the other side of the room are locked onto my arms and legs.

It’s eight o’clock. I can feel the moon rising without having to see it come up. My body convulses. It feels like every muscle is being ripped open. My blood crackles while fur sprouts from my skin. My fingers ache as claws force themselves out. I scrunch my face in pain as the bones adjust themselves.

I look around at my surroundings and huff in displeasure. I move to step forward but my paw catches. Tugging harder, and growling in frustration, I pull the chains loose. They clang and rattle against the ground. The furniture breaks easily from a few sharp swipes and the swinging chains. Now, the door. The furious scratching makes wood chips fly into the air. My ear twitches. I stop.

“Mr. Peters!” A shrill voice calls throughout the house. "You left this cup outside and your door was unlocked! Mr. Peters, are you here?”

I whine and begin scratching at the door again. Slower, and much more deliberate this time. It works. The footsteps grow nearer.

“Mr. Peters?” Closer still.

Almost there.

“Mr. Peters?”

I break through. His eyes widen in shock. The cup falls from his hand and shatters on the floor. He turns to run but slips on remnants of the tea. His head and knee bang into the stairs. I lunge but he kicks out. His foot strikes my jaw. I stumble back and close my eyes while I shake my head. He’s up the steps by the time I refocus. Leaping up the steps, I land at the top but slip on the laminated wood. He’s already out the door and on the lawn. I charge after him. The chains slow me down and beat into every piece of wood, brick, cement, and grass. I cut him off on his driveway. My growl rumbles through the night. Something in me hesitates. He’s panting, crying, and pleading with me. I make my decision in a split second. I pounce.

*   *   *

Her body shifted and I held her while her life drained away. Tears streamed down my face from pain and misery. The man comes over. He looks horrified at what he’s done.

“I thought there was a wolf!”

I had to think on my feet. “There was. You missed and it ran off.”

“I’m so, I’m so sorry. What do I do? What did I do?”

“You need to get out of here!”

“But-”

“Run!”

At the funeral everyone asked me how something like this happens. Was she murdered? What kind of person shoots someone kind like her? Am I going to be okay? I didn’t tell any of them the truth. No one would believe my wife was a werewolf. No one would believe she was testing a potion that would help her keep her mind. No one would understand why I told her killer to run. How could I possibly explain what my life was with her? Or what my life was now?

*   *   *

I wake up. It’s eleven o’clock. I peer out the window and watch the funeral procession go by. Chase died in a freak accident, and the body couldn’t be recovered. I put on my best suit and go outside. There’s wailing like I’ve never heard. His mother kneels on the ground, silent tears streaming down her face. I walk up to James.

“I’m so sorry.”

“Thank you.”

“I know it’s not the same, but I lost my wife. Just before we moved here.”

He says nothing in response.

“She chose this house and I have to live in it everyday.” We look at each other with a new sense of bonding. “You’re always welcome, if you ever need to talk.”

“Thank you, Isak.” We shake hands.

 I go back home and walk downstairs. All the way to the basement. The boy is lashing out as his new senses develop. He slashes at every flicker of the light and gags profusely at every new smell. I stand at the door. He growls and lunges, eyes burning sliver.

*   *   *

His parents sob, kiss their son, and thank me profusely when I bring him home a year later. They think it’s a miracle. Chase knows to come to my house every full moon, and his parents trust me enough to accept this arrangement. The potion is perfected now, so we keep our minds when we change. It’s nice to no longer be alone, and I finally understand the whole story.

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114 comments

Randy H
16:28 Oct 31, 2020

Nice job. It's a full, blue moon tonight. Something to look forward to.

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Anna Elizabeth
18:34 Oct 31, 2020

Thank you! Full moons on Halloween are the best!

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B. W.
03:44 Nov 18, 2020

hey

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Anna Elizabeth
05:11 Nov 18, 2020

Hi.

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B. W.
05:19 Nov 18, 2020

how are ya?

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Anna Elizabeth
05:34 Nov 18, 2020

I'm good, how are you?

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B. W.
05:39 Nov 18, 2020

eh, decent

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John Del rio
23:57 Dec 15, 2020

Dang Anna! A great Were Wolf tale. The change scenes make me think of the transformation in An American Were Wolf in London. Though this had a happier ending. I enjoy your work immensely i will read the rest of your work. I hope you keep gifting us with stories as good as this

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Anna Elizabeth
01:04 Dec 16, 2020

Thank you so much!

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20:10 Dec 12, 2020

What would happen in a werewolf romance? This. Great work! This story is so relatable, despite being a weird fantasy story. :) could ever happen in real life, yet I feel like it happened to me.

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Anna Elizabeth
20:48 Dec 12, 2020

Thank you! I really wanted this story to be relatable and intimate, so I’m really glad that I got that across!!

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𝙄 𝙡𝙤𝙫𝙚𝙙 𝙩𝙝𝙞𝙨 𝙨𝙩𝙤𝙧𝙮. 𝘽𝙪𝙩 𝙞 𝙟𝙪𝙨𝙩 𝙡𝙤𝙫𝙚 𝙖𝙣𝙮𝙩𝙝𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙛𝙧𝙤𝙢 𝙩𝙝𝙞𝙨 𝙜𝙚𝙣𝙧𝙚. 𝙒𝙚𝙧𝙚𝙬𝙤𝙡𝙫𝙚𝙨 𝙖𝙣𝙙 𝙫𝙖𝙢𝙥𝙞𝙧𝙚𝙨 𝙇𝙤𝙡. 𝙤𝙩 𝙬𝙖𝙨 𝙫𝙚𝙧𝙮 𝙬𝙚𝙡𝙡 𝙬𝙧𝙞𝙩𝙩𝙚𝙣 𝙖𝙣𝙙 𝙠𝙚𝙥𝙩 𝙢𝙚 𝙞𝙣𝙩𝙧𝙞𝙜𝙪𝙚𝙙 𝙖𝙩 𝙚𝙫𝙚𝙧𝙮 𝙨𝙩𝙚𝙥.𝙄 𝙩𝙝𝙤𝙪𝙧𝙤𝙪𝙜𝙝𝙡𝙮 𝙚𝙣𝙟𝙤𝙮𝙚𝙙 𝙧𝙚𝙖𝙙𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙩𝙝𝙞𝙨.

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Anna Elizabeth
02:02 Dec 06, 2020

Thank you so much!

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You're very welcome.

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19:28 Nov 27, 2020

I really enjoyed reading this, its nicely written!

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Anna Elizabeth
22:27 Nov 27, 2020

Thank you so much!

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Olivia June
02:18 Nov 19, 2020

Hi! I love your story! I really liked the names of the characters and the background of the plot. that was brought up throughout it.

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Anna Elizabeth
02:27 Nov 19, 2020

Thank you!

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Hibah Youssef
22:26 Nov 16, 2020

Love the emotions in this story. It was really interesting. Keep writing!!!!

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Anna Elizabeth
23:27 Nov 16, 2020

Thank you so much!

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B. W.
05:12 Nov 15, 2020

hey

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Anna Elizabeth
05:17 Nov 15, 2020

Hi.

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B. W.
05:17 Nov 15, 2020

how are ya?

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Anna Elizabeth
05:18 Nov 15, 2020

I'm good. How are you?

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B. W.
05:23 Nov 15, 2020

I guess im good, the prompts to me arent that good but they are still a bit interesting so I'm trying to come up with something

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Anna Elizabeth
05:24 Nov 15, 2020

Yeah, that's how I'm feeling about the prompts too.

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04:43 Nov 10, 2020

Omg omg omg this creeped me out.. Anything with people turning into werewolves freaks me outtt, anything horror-ish BUT! I read it anyways! I just love how you wrote this, it was super scary and it was almost like a movie! I loved the tense emotions in this story and how you didn't tell the backstory right away. It was really interesting! I was freaked out and I am probably gonna have nightmares or something later but this was awesome! Keep writing Eliza! Ps. Thank you for liking my story!

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Anna Elizabeth
04:57 Nov 10, 2020

Thank you so much! I'm glad you liked it but I hope you don't have nightmares!

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06:01 Nov 10, 2020

Of course! And most of the time I don't remember my dreams so its okay😂

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Tessa Takzikab
02:19 Nov 10, 2020

Nice story! I like the way you portrayed werewolves. I've never seen the werewolf-ness transfer like with vampires before. There is one small problem. You mention that Isak checks all ten of his locks and barricades the door, and yet Chase just marches in with the teacup. Either Chase is lying about how he got in or Isak is very absentminded and mistook each open lock as closed and forgot the furniture but thought he put it there. I'm also curious to know who it was that sent the potion, but I like the way you did that. Great work!

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Anna Elizabeth
02:24 Nov 10, 2020

Thank you! Chase enters the unlocked front door, the barricaded door was the basement door that Isak breaks through after busting the furniture. Chase enters the house and goes down to the basement because he hears the wolf whining.

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Tessa Takzikab
02:27 Nov 10, 2020

Oh! that makes sense. So Isak is a bit absentminded, but he is a bit preoccupied, so it makes sense. Thanks for explaining that!

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Anna Elizabeth
02:34 Nov 10, 2020

Exactly! Thanks for reading and commenting!

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Regina Perry
20:58 Nov 09, 2020

This comes full circle nicely. Like a full moon! You may not have intended it this way (or maybe you have), but there's a nice amount of symbolism here. Isak watching the family, which is whole in direct contrast to his own, broken family. The whole family getting broken and then restored to being whole again, like the moon. The one thing that bothers me about it is that Isak seems to be at least partially in control of himself when he attacks Chace, and he later thinks that it's nice not to be alone. This makes it sound like he planned th...

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Anna Elizabeth
21:08 Nov 09, 2020

Thank you for noticing that! He is semi in control because the potion only semi works until they get the perfected version. Like what happened to his wife, he didn't want to kill but the animal instinct still overcame him so he turned Chase just like his wife turned him.

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Regina Perry
21:11 Nov 09, 2020

I figured it had to be something like that, considering that the potion wasn't finished being tested.

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Jeni Conrad
20:41 Nov 09, 2020

I loved your descriptions. I also like how this ended happily. I wasn't sure that was going to happen, haha. Good job!

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Anna Elizabeth
21:08 Nov 09, 2020

Thank you!

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B. W.
19:24 Nov 09, 2020

alright, this is where we'll talk about it on the new thread now I guess. what should we try to do first for Reboot?

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Anna Elizabeth
19:31 Nov 09, 2020

Who made Reboot? And why?

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B. W.
19:32 Nov 09, 2020

Well i dont have any names for them but basically two other aliens made reboot, I was thinking that maybe he wasn't doing what they were wanting him to do so they were going to try and destroy him

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Anna Elizabeth
20:03 Nov 09, 2020

That’s a great start! What was he doing vs what they wanted him to do?

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B. W.
20:21 Nov 09, 2020

They were probably wanting to use him for evil things, maybe like destroy some things or something, but he was just being nice and stuff and disagreeing with doing the things, so they were gonna destroy him.

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Anna Elizabeth
20:35 Nov 09, 2020

So how was Axel able to rescue him?

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Lydi B
19:22 Nov 08, 2020

Well done with the time shifts. The only confusing bit was when the wife had been shot. It made sense when I realized it was a neighbor or something. It was also touching how Isak's brother was so supportive. I'm guessing he doesn't know the secret. Anyway, would love to hear your thoughts on one of my stories if any of the topics interest you. Keep up the writing.

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Anna Elizabeth
01:11 Nov 09, 2020

Thank you! And, yes, the brother doesn't know.

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B. W.
07:46 Nov 08, 2020

This was a good story that you did and while I haven't read your other stories I know they are great as well. I'll give this a 10/10, these are all EXTREMELY better than my stories :/ i hope you continue to write.

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Anna Elizabeth
07:57 Nov 08, 2020

Thank you! I hope you continue to write too! And I want you to know that my comments on your story were meant to be helpful, I'm sorry if they came off wrong. I value how I present myself via words, probably too much, but I didn't mean to force that on you!

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B. W.
08:10 Nov 08, 2020

Eh, everyone here and probably everyone just in general is just way better than me. Those all kind of came off wrong in a way. I've been writing since way back in elementary school (which was like a long time ago, I'm not like a 12 year old or something younger like that :/) but I've still been really terrible through the years of that. I've been using Grammarly and all that other stuff for most of my stories, but even after all that and some of the other things, they all still suck. My first story on here and in general were probably the wo...

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Anna Elizabeth
08:21 Nov 08, 2020

Awwww don’t say that! You’re very creative, and it’s clear you have a passion for writing. Everyone has room for technical improvement, but not everyone can think up compelling stories!! Just keep trying and you’ll improve, and I’m always happy to help in any way I can!

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B. W.
08:31 Nov 08, 2020

I don't see how though. Everyone says stuff like me being really creative and stuff, but I just don't see how. I never even thought that i'd have some friends on here and or that anyone would pay attention to me or my stories. Though if ya wanna help, I did end up making a new story today which is kind of related to the previous one a bit. You could leave Critique or whatever on "Otherworldly Repairs" if you want.

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Anna Elizabeth
08:42 Nov 08, 2020

I will!

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Pranav K
11:20 Nov 06, 2020

Well done, Eliza. I really liked it. Writing in two timelines, explaining how he came upon his wife's secret, the aftermath, realizing his condition and why he had to move to a new place, adjusting to a new life without his love, and the hesitation before pouncing on the kid, everything was executed very well. I just had one question. Who sent him the vial? It's clear it didn't work and that he must have had a supply to perfect the formula, but I didn't understand who was his benefactor. Did you intentionally leave it out or am I thinking...

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Anna Elizabeth
17:15 Nov 06, 2020

Thank you! I did intentionally leave it out, but in my head it was a character from another one of my stories.

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Sjan Evardsson
14:06 Nov 05, 2020

Well done! I liked that the narrator tells the story from both sides: as prey and then predator. Stay safe and keep writing!

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Anna Elizabeth
17:36 Nov 05, 2020

Thank you!

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Ooof... I sorta confused me, but nice!

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Anna Elizabeth
17:36 Nov 05, 2020

What confused you?

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About who was a were, who wasn't. but only in the beginning ;)

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Grace Larson
23:18 Nov 03, 2020

Awesome story! I love the switching back and forth of the story about his wife and his own experience:)

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Anna Elizabeth
23:26 Nov 03, 2020

Thank you!

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