The Wolf Within

Submitted into Contest #205 in response to: Make your protagonist go through a rite of passage.... view prompt


Urban Fantasy Coming of Age Fiction

The Wolf Within

 I can feel the raw energy rising inside me. It’s as if the moon is feeding me, charging me. It's powerful, relentless, addictive. I will change at midnight, and Father says I will have an uncontrollable urge to feed. That’s what we do. We feed on the weak, the vulnerable.

  My mum and dad couldn’t have children of their own. They adopted me after my natural parents both died in a car accident not long after I was born. At least, that’s what I have been told. I was only a few weeks old, so I have no memory of them.

  Father has been visiting me in my dreams every year on my birthday since I was thirteen years old. I will turn eighteen at midnight and he has been preparing me for my rite of passage. I can feel his presence now, as if he is near me, watching me, stalking me. For this was his destiny too, and the destiny of our ancestors.

  Father calls it our destiny. I call it a curse. I have always tried to be a good person. I once saw a quote somewhere which made sense to me; ‘All people can’t be good because if all people were good, none of us would be good.’ If this is the case; it stands to reason that all people can’t be bad. Why do all werewolves have to be bad?

  Father has been preparing me, but I have been making preparations of my own. I’m a good person. Why can’t I be a good werewolf? It’s almost midnight, the energy is surging within me. I have never felt so strong. I’m determined to control this curse. Surely, my own actions can control my destiny.

  I can feel Father's presence, but he can’t visit me until after midnight, and not until I sleep. Father told me all of my senses will improve. I will have incredible strength and speed. He says the first time we change is an important rite of passage. I must kill and eat before the sun rises or I will not fulfil my destiny. I will remain a mere mortal.

  The parents who raised me are mere mortals, as Father calls them. They are good people, great people, in fact. They have raised me well and infused me with good values, strength of character, and resilience. Values which will help me with my plans. I have been making my own preparations for this night. I am determined to forsake Father and forsake my destiny. Mum and dad think I am camping with friends. I am camping, but I couldn’t possibly put my friends at risk. I am camping alone, far from home. A lone wolf, if you like. I have been here for two days now. I have used this time to prepare a thick titanium chain in the forest. I have coated it in silver-coated paint.

 Father told me not to believe all the myths surrounding werewolves. Most of them are nonsense. Silver does not kill us, not on its own. A silver bullet can kill us, just like any other bullet. Silver does reduce our super senses, however; It should be avoided. He has given me so much information to prepare me for my rite of passage. One particular nugget of information really got me thinking. When Father told me about the importance of my first kill, the significance of my first kill. I wonder, has he unwittingly given me a means of escaping? A means to control my own destiny. It's almost time.

   I found a strong oak tree this morning, which is significant in more than one way. Another quote I read said; ‘Storms make oat trees grow, despite their roots.’ My roots are bad. I’m determined to grow out of them, beyond them. .It’s in an isolated part of the forest. I’m almost ready. My only concern today was a camping party I encountered earlier. It was a group of three teenage boys, a little younger than me. I didn’t engage with them; I kept a distance while watching from afar. They were boisterous, but seemed harmless enough. I watched them, stalked them, as they trekked through the forest. They set up camp about a mile from here. It was to be expected that I would encounter hikers in the forest. I’m still isolated here by the oak tree.

  Maybe if I can’t make my first kill, I can control my fate. It’s midnight. I have been stuffing my face with food all day, thinking it might help control the hunger when it comes. I’m trying to avoid looking at the moon, but I can’t control myself. I am drawn towards it; I feel its power, its overpowering force. It feels like the moon is watching me, beckoning me. Father told me the changing will be smooth. I’ll barely notice it happening. It’s nothing like the silly Hollywood movies. I can expect a good experience. I wrap the chain tightly around me and the oak tree. I lock it tight with two heavy extra strong locks.

   I feel so strong now. I test the chains, not a budge on them. They’re unbreakable. The chains keep me grounded, but they can’t control my senses. I can hear every sound; I can hear the soft steps of a deer and her fawn no less than a hundred yards from me. A lonely, hungry wolf is watching me from the distance, its head bowed in submission. I can hear his heart beating vigorously. Terrified, it runs away deep into the forest. I can smell a campfire burning from about a mile away. I suddenly feel ravenously hungry. I test the chains again, violently this time. I have an uncontrollable urge to escape, to break myself free. I pull at the chains again, nothing; they are strong. The uncontrollable urge to escape the chains is overpowering me. I urge myself to stay strong if I want to break free from my destiny, my curse. The urge to feed feels unbearable.

  The smell of the campfire has waned. Maybe the silver is working, maybe my super senses have waned. That’s what my human form is telling me. The wolf within is telling me the campfire has burnt out. The campers have probably gone to sleep. They are vulnerable now. Easy prey.

  It’s difficult to move with my own chains entrapping me. I wonder if I have started to change and look at my hands; they are normal, mere mortal hands, except they are stronger. Nothing seems to be changing, at least physically. I have a horrendous headache now. I twist and turn violently, testing the chains, testing the oak tree. My mind is racing, I’m raging with the hunger inside me, it’s relentless. It feels like I’m being torn apart from the inside.

  I suddenly have an uncontrollable urge to sleep. Is the silver working? Can the values my parents thought me overpower the urges engulfing me from within? Why didn’t the wolf attack me while I was so helpless? Does the wolf know something I don’t know? Why is my mind telling me the three campers are likely to be in one tent and it’s important to take out the blonde-haired one first, he’s the strongest, he can handle himself in a crisis?

  I can hear that wolf howling in the distance now. He’s howling at the moon, he’s sending a message, a warning to his clan. ‘Danger! Stay alert, stay away.’ I don’t know how I know this. My eyes are so heavy. I violently test the chains again. I pull at them vigorously. They feel unbreakable. I can still feel the moon charging me, feeding me strength and at the same time; I need to sleep. I sense that Father is close. He’s watching, waiting. I wonder if I really need to sleep; or is this the change happening?

  “You cannot put a leash on a wolf. You cannot control your destiny. If you live amongst wolves, you have to act like a wolf.” That’s all I remember Father saying to me in my dreams.

   My mortal self was weak. I failed. I can remember the blood-curdling screams. The taste of blood. It was invigorating, addictive, delicious. My mortal self was not strong enough. I have fulfilled my true destiny; I eat well last night. I will sleep easy today for the full moon rises again this evening. When I wake, the hunger will be unbearable. I will feed again. That’s what I do. I feed on the weak, the vulnerable. It’s our destiny.

July 07, 2023 23:02

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