I walked down the inky black street. The rain bounced off my umbrella harmlessly. Here I was. My life was wasting away before my eyes. I sighed, but only the rain heard. The streets were empty at this time of night, as all the smart people went to bed. I walked briskly, my boots echoing on the cobbled path. The rain started to come down harder, soon it was difficult to see from under my hoodie. But not for me. I live for these hopeless days. I was soaked to the bone, but not like I noticed. I had one mission, find him and stop him once and for all.
I continued down the streets. The rain pittered and patterned on the rooftops, in rhythm with my steps. Pit, pat, step, step. Pit, pat, step, step. I turned down an alleyway, and the rain seemed to calm down a smidgen. I collapsed my umbrella and walked down to the far end of the dark clammy alley. I looked like a harmless hooded figure, not at all suspicious, right?
He should be here, I thought. A small fog started to roll in, as if on cue, showing that I was right on time. I clung to the shadows, just wishing for this to be over. Could I resist? Would I remain strong?
“Ah, Zyla, good to see you again. Is it a full moon already? Has it already been a month?”
I mumbled something under my breath. I looked up to see the moon’s face through the rain looking down on me, as if mocking me.
“Oh come now, no ‘I’m glad to be here as well, Master X’? Are your spirits down today, Zyla?”
I cleared my throat.
“Yes, uh Master X, they are a bit down today.”
“Ah, well, we all have those days. Ready to get to work now?”
I mumbled a small ‘yes’.
“Good, good, you know what to do. Take off your hoodie and come over here.”
I sighed and stepped toward the misty outline in the fog. I took off my warm but soaked hoodie and laid it on the steps in the shadows. The mist seemed to be glowing, like usual, but its light wasn’t friendly. It was more like those searchlights on dark nights, looking for something more from you. I walked toward the figure in the mist, a bit reluctantly.
Being a part wolf girl was hard at times, it seemed that one person always seemed to want you for your power. Only Master X, as he liked to be called, knew that I was a wolf girl. My ears flicked slightly, listening to the other small sounds in the alleyway. My tail was hidden in my jeans which was rather uncomfortable, but necessary. My face looked normal for the most part, except one scar under my chin if you looked hard enough. I dressed in hoodies to conceal my wolf ears, but people still gawked over how different my senses were. I had eyes like a hawk (or should I say wolf), and I had a good sniffer too. It felt really weird to be the only one in school with those traits. Oh and I had yellowish eyes too. I was the literal definition of Lone Wolf.
I walked right into the mist, ignoring the natural instincts that flooded my mind, all screaming RUN!
I let the whispers flood my mind, I was nearly immune to them after several months of this. There was Master X’s smoky form in the middle of the fog. I gently took my tail out of my jeans and spread my arms open. I felt the power tingle through me, just as it had done so many times before.
“Ready, Zyla? It won’t hurt, I promise,” Master X had said.
“But I’m still scared.”
“Well, everyone feels scared sometimes. Here, take this vial. It’s filled with magical nectar, in case anything goes wrong.”
He handed me a vial of weird yellowish liquid.
“But will I ever be normal again? Will I be different?”
“Too many questions, Zyla. Just trust me. Extend your arms like this.” He gave me a demo in his smoky form. I copied him.
“Good, now keep your chin up, there’s nothing to be afraid of. And whatever you do, be still.” I lifted my amber eyes to look at him.
“Now that’s my Zyla. Here we go. Take a deep breath in and hold it.” I did as he instructed. I held my breath and started to count. I got to 5 before he quite literally slammed the breath out of me. I feel over, wheezing, trying to get more oxygen. Tears formed in my eyes. He betrayed me, was my first thought.
I looked up from the cold cobblestones. His copper eyes gleamed and looked down at me.
“I thought I told you to be still, Zyla.”
“But you said there wasn't anything to be scared of. You were wrong. I’m scared of you.”
He seemed to chuckle and sigh at the same time.
“I told you to trust me. You must remain standing in order for it to work.”
“O-okay,” I said weakly.
I stood up and spread my arms, holding my breath again. On the count of five, he slammed into me again. I saw my breath rise out of me like a puff of smoke. The next thing I knew, I was floating, and my arms were transparent.
“W-what is happening?” I stuttered.
“Ah, well, you are now a ghost, Zyla. That also means that you are my servant.”
I came back to the present, when his mist swirled around me.
“Ready as I’ll ever be,” I muttered.
“Very well. You know what to do.”
I spread my arms, held my breath, the same old same old. I counted to 5, my breath left me, and I turned into a ghost.
“So who do you seek tonight, Master X?”
“Well, tonight will be quite interesting...I need Lizzy.”
I stopped floating.
“You can’t mean my Lizzy, right?”
“Yes, I do.”
“You can’t take someone else? Take me instead, please, I beg you.”
“Nope, no can do, it’s Lizzy or trapped in your wolf-girl form forever. And we both know how much you hate that. Don’t these spirit trips free you? Don’t they set you free, show your true colors?”
“Well, usually, but...I’d rather be imprisoned in that thing than feel guilty for the rest of my life.”
“Is that your final answer? Do you know what you are giving up, Zyla?”
He waited patiently, the one thing I kinda liked about him.
“Yes, that’s my final answer,” I decided.
“Okay then. You say so.”
And like that, I was back in my wolf-girl form. I felt like my insides were glued to my outer, and my spirits were restless, wanting to escape and be free. I looked up to Master X’s smoky form. The mist started to fade away, revealing his true form for the first time.
He had three heads and a dark long body, like that of a dog. I recognized him from the legends, it was Cerebus.
“Y-you?” I stuttered.
“That’s right, Zyla,” he growled at me. “And do you know what the punishment for not serving me is?”
“Uh, no, but I’m scared to ask…”
“Death, that’s what.” His 3 pairs of eyes glowed a dark mysterious red, almost orange, and his tail was on fire. His faces all showed different things. The one on the left was a sly smile, like a villain. The one on the right was a mad face, like the hulk would make. The one in the middle was stuck in a scowl, like he couldn’t wait to tear me to pieces.
Before my brain could contemplate all this, he leapt on top of me, pushing me hard to the ground. My breath left me, but I didn’t turn into a ghost. 6 fiery eyes looked at me, which was kinda creepy to be honest. The middle one started to drool, as if anticipating a nice meal. I gulped, and despite my struggles, Weakness overwhelmed me.