She waited at the edge of her beloved pond, mud squelching beneath her cold toes. The wind blew angrily against her, a warning perhaps that she ought not be there. The wind was wrong of course, this is exactly where she had to be. She yearned to see what this night brought. Her heart thundered in excitement, in knowing that she was so close. Yet, for all that she waited and craved what was coming, she feared the change. For this night would bring an end to who she was, to her life lived so far, to the innocence that she would have to shed. Tonight was an end to this chapter of her life, the long wait.
For decades she had come each night to stand here, in her very own spot hidden away where no one else came. She had come in the bitter cold of the winter, the fresh dew of the spring, the scorching heat of the summer, and the sickly decay that came each fall.
The first night, so very long ago, she heard the call and ran as fast as her youthful chubby little legs could take her. She hadn't known where she was running to, only that if felt was if her heart would burst if she didn't get there. She had pushed aside thick branches that cut at her limbs and trampled roughly through the brambles on the forest floor that threatened to trip her up. She had found herself here, for the first time. It was a pond, the ugliest little pond she had ever seen. Surrounded by thick mud, she could not get to it except to trudge slowly through ground that wanted to swallow her up. The stench almost had her fleeing in fright that first night. But she couldn’t leave. It wouldn’t let her leave. It spoke to her softly, kindly, promising what she needed, what she had been born for. So she had stood there and waited with longing for what would come.
It was almost rote now, the waiting, and yet, she never could resist the pull. Every night, wherever she was, she heard the call and felt the longing. She came, no matter what it cost her.
That first night this world saw fit to bestow a vision upon her, seen from the surface her beloved pond. It was a young babe held lovingly in his mother’s arm. She felt connected to the newborn child, bound to him as if they were destined to meet.
The next night she came again. She saw him as he crawled around in the garden laughing at bugs that he poked with his tiny little hands. Each night, the boy was older, stronger, smarter. She was allowed to watch through her window, little snippets of his life as he went to school, learned to ride a bike, kissed a girl. She was allowed but moments; as the vision faded into the night, and her longing ceased, her mind became hers again. To wait for another day, for another vision, to wait for her destiny to come to her.
Tonight, the night would end differently. It was now a man that she watched each night, and man that she longed to hold in her arms. She felt it in the blood buzzing through her veins, in the hairs standing on edge on the back of her neck. She stood knee deep in the pond, bathed in the light of the full moon above her and in the reflection of the moon on the water. She was more alive in this moment that she had been for years past. She waited this one last time for the once sweet boy, the one that had grown to be a strong, capable man. She waited for him in the reflection of the pond. She waited for the end of her innocence that she knew laid at the end of this night.
She gave thanks to the moon above for allowing her to know this man, to see him, witness his greatest triumphs and hours of need. She had been given a gift to know this man that would come to her. They were bound, and he would become hers tonight. She hadn’t even waited for the call this time, so sure was she that tonight was the night. The night that he’d see her for the first time, that his fate would join with her fate.
She waited, heart hammering, breaths coming quickly, excitement creating a tingly sensation across her skin. She waited as the wind warned her to leave, tried to push her back. She stood stubbornly still even as the pond chilled her right through. She waited.
Almost, she heard the promised whisper. He’s coming.
The vision that danced on the pond’s surface came slowly into focus. He was strong, with muscles that spoke of hard work. He was kind, with eyes that crinkled when he laughed. He was…surprised, as he saw her.
He checked furtively behind him. He looked at her again, and back behind him once more. He searched for what he could not find. Once more he looked at her, squinted in disbelief even as he took a cautious step forward. He reached out a hand. She reached out her hand. Just as she should have touched water, her hand went through and grasped his. With a firm grip, she pulled herself through.
He screamed; his face contorted as his destiny manifested itself. She dangled from his arm as he he futilely tried to shake his hand free. She latched on to his opposite shoulder with her other arm, talons piercing into him, as she braced her short stubby legs against his waist. He kicked and twisted and screamed, trying to get her off him.
His voice was so beautiful to her ears. For too long had she yearned to hear his voice, to feel his touch, to taste of him. He screamed again as shudders of joy rippled through her body.
In his mad flailing, he tripped backwards to the ground. Her thick muzzle opened in a nasty grin. Her tongue flicked out and traced his stubbled chin, his luscious lips, his tender neckline.
His screams had quietened to whimpers. “Please, no. Someone will come, they’ll see you.” A tear leaked down his face. You’re not real, you can’t be real.”
She enjoyed this. She could feel the fear coming off him, she breathed it in deeply, savoring it. She rose forward, nibbled on his earlobe, blood trailing from her mouth as she licked her way back down his face.
The pain had him struggling once more to get away. It drove her want, her need, painfully high. It filled her, overcoming her desire to take it slow. She would never be the same again after this, she could never go back. She had to have it. It overrode all else. Her teeth plunged deeply into this throat, as her talons ripped further into perfect skin. She tasted, she drank, she became.
Having drained the man to a husk, she rose, howling in her own pain as she changed. Her legs lengthened, her talons shrunk, lips formed around her now dull teeth. She tested her new body, moving it slowly at first as she learned its limits.
Not bad. I’ve had worse.
Her long wait was done, the anticipation was over. She had joined with the one destined for her. She had become. Any vestige of her former self was gone, but for the dark memories she would treasure forever after. Just as she treasured the life before that and the life before that. She was new here, new and innocent again. She left her world under a full moon, entered into this world under a new moon. Auspicious that. A new life and new beginning. She wasn’t the only one of her kind here. She would find the others. Soon, so very soon, this world would only have them in it. Then a window would open to a new world, and she would feel the call again.