(Content Warning: Violence, Blood, Murder, Language.)
The night came crawling in like a lost predator searching for its prey. The beast howled at the moon with blood-lust in its eyes, and for a moment, a quiet hush fell upon the lonely town of Oak Flats, West Virginia. The citizens were tame, but the animal was savagely wild and took what it wanted.
In a back alleyway behind Devil’s Bar, the scruffy homeless man didn’t see the evil claws reaching out from the darkness until it was too late. The feral beast ripped limb from limb and bathed in a warm ruby shower of blood that tasted sweeter than candy. The homeless man tried to scream as a true victim would, but with his jawbone missing, only a shrill whistle escaped his shredded neck.
The monster crunched on the man’s femur bones until it tasted the sickly-sweet ooze of bone marrow hidden within and shivered with delight. The man, now just a husk, clawed along the pavement, trying to escape, but for what purpose? He was already dead. He just didn’t know it yet. He slithered around like a slimy slug leaving behind a thick trail of blood. Why did he take that shortcut? Why?
He saw an older lady walking across the street, but she didn’t see him. He hissed and moaned for help, but she couldn’t hear him.
Please help me.
Please help me!
His final thoughts fell on Death’s ears, and at long last, the moment had come. The hulking monster slammed a mighty paw down across the man’s mangled face, and he felt… pressure, like an asphalt compactor paving the street. CRUNCH! His face was crushed with twenty tons of force, and all light faded from his soul.
The beast fluttered its belly, looked to the moon with blood dripping from its maw, and howled a fierce victory roar…
BEEP, BEEP, BEEP!!
Rieka awoke from the sudden nightmare that plagued her dreams. For once, she was glad to hear the annoying beeping of her alarm clock. It was beaten half to death but worked all the same. The dream was still wisping through her mind, and the scent of fresh blood lingered in the air.
This was a far cry from her usual dreams of owning a car. Her parents were very strict and would not allow such a foolish thing. Even if they did, the truth of the matter was much simpler—they couldn’t afford it. Not all sixteen-year old’s can have a car, they would say.
Every night Rieka’s thoughts carried her soul on a swift high-speed car chase down a city street or a country backroad. Police vehicles were hot on her trail but were no match for her extraordinary driving skills. They even set road traps along the way, only to discover they were three steps behind. Ah… the thrill of the chase was exhilarating. It called to Rieka like dark shadows waiting to gnaw on the dying light.
Rieka was so startled by the sudden change in her dreams that she didn’t notice the time. “Oh, shit!” she yelled. “I’m going to be late!”
She grabbed her backpack and exploded out of the house like a thief running away from a bank robbery. Rieka heard her mom yell, “What about breakfast?!”
They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day, especially for a young lady growing into a woman. Over the past few months, Rieka didn’t have an appetite. In fact, she didn’t eat anything until dinner. Her parent’s tossed it up to a teenager’s ever-changing hormones.
At Forest Hill High School, the day went on as usual. Rieka was late again but had grown fond of detention over the past few weeks. Mr. Stern was a stickler for rules and did not take kindly to tardiness. He would hand out pink violations to everyone he thought deserved them. On that fine day, Rieka brushed her hand through her brown hair, took a deep breath, and accepted his rosy ticket.
Detention wasn’t all that bad, at least Rieka didn’t think so. She dreamt about fleeing town in her new Dodge Viper without a care in the world. The only thing that mattered was the pedal-to-the-medal, balls-to-wall speed that lit her senses on fire. It was freedom incarnate, and she hungered for those flames.
Rieka wasn’t the only student in Mr. Stern’s detention hall. Two blonde girls, Jessica and Amy, were also sitting in Satan’s den. They were known as the Pain Sisters because they loved putting people down and watching them wallow in self-misery. God didn’t create these two twits, their fowled-mouthed, snobby-nosed parents committed that horrible sin, but even they aren’t that stupid. Their way of dealing with those kids was simple: Give them anything they wanted, and so they did. They were proud of their little monsters.
“Wake up, Rieka!” Jessica barked. “You’re such a loser!”
Amy twirled her golden locks and added, “Yeah. What makes you think you can sleep in here, and we can’t?”
Rieka came to her senses and apologized. “Oh, I’m so sorry! I must have been daydreaming about high-speed chases again. The police were on my tail but couldn’t catch me.”
Jessica rolled her blue eyes and smiled. “No problem… loser!”
“Yeah, everyone in school knows you’ll never have a car!” fired Amy. “Your family is too poor, and you stink!”
Jessica pinched her nose and mocked, “Yeah, it smells like a wet dog in here!”
The Pain Sisters looked at each other and giggled. They could tell their insults were getting to Rieka because she was visibly shaking.
“That’s enough, girls,” warned Mr. Stern. “You will mind your manners and follow the rules in this classroom!”
Suddenly the clock struck five, and the girls fled like a pack of wild hyenas laughing up a storm. Rieka grabbed her backpack, took a deep breath, and followed them out the door. The sun was setting, but there was still enough daylight for the Pain Sisters’ mockery. Rieka stood on the sidewalk by the main entrance and saw everyone leaving in their cars. She had a nagging desire to know what that freedom tasted like.
Jessica drove by Rieka in her brand-new silver Bentley and yelled, “Hey Rieka, look at my brand-new ride! Don’t look so envious. You will never have anything like this!” To add insult, Jessica spat out her window and sped away.
Amy was right behind her partner in crime in a blue Audi. She pulled up alongside the curb where Rieka was standing, balling her fists, and ranted, “Keep dreaming, Rieka! Jessica’s right. You will never, ever have anything this sweet!” She stuck out her pierced tongue, licked the steering wheel like a lollipop, and screeched away.
Rieka’s stomach was churning like someone had placed a red-hot coal inside. She scowled and ran home as fast as she could. She couldn’t believe how cruel those girls could be. She hated them. The only thing that could calm her anger was fifteen minutes of self-meditation in the comfort of her bedroom.
When Rieka arrived home, she slammed the front door, which startled her mother, who was sitting on the couch knitting what she hoped to be a sweater. “Are you alright, sweetie?”
“I’m fine, mom!” Rieka growled. “Just leave me alone, okay?”
“Hmph…” her mother huffed. “Teenagers…”
The lights were off in Rieka’s room, and the sun was completely gone. The moon was shining in the dark sky, and Rieka now had the peace she needed to calm herself. She breathed in through her nose and exhaled from her mouth. She tried to vanquish the negativity from her mind, but her chi wasn’t strong enough. Insults from everyone clouded her thoughts, and the anger was overpowering.
Look at my car! You’ll never have one!
You’re a loser!
You’re always chasing dreams that you can’t catch!!
Rieka opened her eyes and saw the moon glowing brightly through her window. She was hoping that it wasn’t but glad that it was…
I guess it’s that time of the month!
Her body trembled, and she could no longer sit up straight. Rieka lunged forward and clawed at the carpet as her spine arched upward toward Heaven, but God was not with her. She moaned and groaned as her feet and hands doubled in size, and her nails popped off to reveal sharp claws. Her skull changed into a hideous wolf structure and dark furry hair grew all over her body. Rieka’s eyes glowed hot like Hell itself was burning within, and it was. As her skeletal form made the final adjustments, the transformation was complete. Rieka was a werewolf.
Meanwhile, Jessica and Amy saw the whole thing from across the street. They were leaning against their cars, stupefied in disbelief. They weren’t finished mocking Rieka and had come over to pour some more bitterness on top of the molded waffles.
“Like… oh, my God… she’s a dog!” Jessica shuddered.
Amy nodded and shrieked, “Yeah, she’s cray-cray! What the fuck is going on here?!”
Rieka heard their annoying voices, crashed through her bedroom window, and landed on her parent’s balcony. She snarled at the girls, looked to the moon, and howled like a raging beast.
The Pain Sisters gulped and spoke in unison, “We gotta get outa here!”
They jumped into Jessica’s car and sped away as fast as they could. Amy looked in the rear-view mirror and saw Rieka hot on their trail.
The chase was on…
“What are we going to do?” Amy asked, wiping the sweat from her brow.
Jessica’s heart was racing, and the only thing she could say was, “I don’t know! Call 911, you stupid bitch!”
“Watch your mouth, Jessica!” Amy warned. “This is no time to cuss!”
“The fuck you say!” Jessica thundered.
Rieka ran on all fours, and the pavement beneath her paws crumbled like wet sand. The wind blew through her fur like sails catching the sea breeze, and she was in Heaven like a dog chasing the Wienermobile. Rieka’s tongue wagged this way and that, and she could taste the fear emanating from the car. The meal to come was going to be delicious.
Jessica raced through town, ignoring all stop lights like a frantic lunatic, but this proved a good idea because it caught the attention of the police, who quickly pursued. They fired up their sirens and gave chase. There were four squad cars in total, and as they got closer, they saw the wolf galloping along the asphalt like a raging bull.
They thought their eyes were deceiving them, but they weren’t. One officer rolled his window down, pulled out his gun, and fired wildly at the beast. The bullets bounced off the creature like stones tossed into a frozen lake.
This angered Rieka, and she slowed her pace allowing the Pain Sisters to gain some ground. The trigger-happy cop was racing side-by-side with the wolf and tried to ram it off the road. The first collision did nothing but crack his fender. Rieka dug her claws into the pavement, tucked her head, and prepared for the next strike. As the cop swerved towards her, she popped her head up just in time to send the police car crashing to the side of the road.
More sirens roared behind Rieka, and she knew what to do with those wailing morons. Two officers sped up and tried to pin her in between their cars like a bologna sandwich, but as they swerved together for the fatal impact, Rieka pounced into the air and watched the cars crash into each other. She landed on all fours and continued her chase.
The race moved further from town, and the trees dashed by like demons dancing in the night. There was one more cop hot on Rieka’s tail, and this one was different. The person in question was a female. Rieka was sure of it because no man would wear the scent of watery pears mixed with luscious raspberries. The woman was obviously more intelligent than the other cops because she lagged behind like she was studying the creature’s movements. Too bad Rieka was smarter.
The Lycan ran faster until she gained some distance and jumped into the trees. The police officer continued her pursuit but had lost sight of the creature, so she slowed down and searched every dark corner with no luck. The beast was gone. Or was it?
High above the moonlit skyline, Rieka hopped along the tree tops like a swinging monkey and kept her fiery eyes on the police car, which abruptly stopped. Out of nowhere, she dropped down on the squad car and completely destroyed the vehicle in a fiery explosion. The officer played a good game but had no chance of survival.
Rieka jumped away from the flames like a flying dragon, and as far as the witnesses were concerned, she was. Storming along the road, the wolf could taste the Pain Sisters’ scent because it still lingered in the air like rotten flesh. She ran faster. It was time to end the chase.
Jessica and Amy were miles ahead and thought they were safe. They were wrong. They kept an ever-watchful eye out for the beast, but they didn’t know that Rieka had taken a shortcut through the woods to get ahead of them and was now standing like a defiant mountain in the middle of the road.
The girls rounded a curve and saw the werewolf snarling a few feet away. The beast howled a mighty battle cry and raged forward. Amy wet her pants, and Jessica had chest pains because she knew death was waiting for her.
“What are we going to do?” Amy cried.
Jessica gripped the wheel, narrowed her eyes, and spat, “Hold on to something. We’re gonna run this fucking furball down!”
Rieka locked eyes with Jessica and plowed ahead with no fear. Her claws were thirsty, and she couldn’t wait to drink the sweet taste of girl flesh. She tensed every muscle, ducked her head low, stuck out her shoulder, and rammed the car like a runaway freight train. The car flipped through the air, and the Pain Sisters saw a wild assortment of plastic parts spinning around them. Their car came to a spinning crash near the edge of Rich Mountain.
The girls were a bloody mess but were still alive. They unbuckled their seatbelts and crawled out of the vehicle, which was a total loss. When they lifted their eyes, Rieka was waiting for them.
“Oh, please don’t kill us!” Jessica begged. “I’m so sorry for what we did to you!”
Amy’s femur bone was protruding through her skin, but despite that pain, she mumbled, “Yeah, we’re sorry…” she paused to catch her breath. “We’re sorry you’re still a fucking loser! The only difference now is that you’re a loser with a lot of hair!”
Jessica couldn’t help herself. She had to rub it in. “Ha, ha, ha… Amy’s right. You’re just a stupid, envious bitch who will never have a car or a life!”
Rieka snarled and lowered her maw to meet Jessica’s gaze. Thick wads of phlegm dripped down her razor-sharp canine teeth, and Jessica closed her eyes, praying that this was just a bad nightmare.
Jessica opened one eye just in time to see the wolf’s mighty jaws open. “Ugh… you’re breath stinks!”
Without hesitation, Rieka growled and chomped down on Jessica’s skull. CRUNCH! Her brains oozed out between the wolf’s fangs, and Amy screamed, hoping someone would save her. Rieka finished chewing Jessica’s head and then tore her body apart like a paper shredder.
Amy couldn’t stand with her leg broken, but she did manage to crawl away a few feet while the wolf finished her friend. Tears streamed down her face, and she knew there was no escape.
Rieka snapped her head at the sound of Amy’s sobs. She outreached her claws, grabbed Amy’s broken leg, and ripped it off. Blood flooded out onto the pavement, forever staining it red. The beast licked the sharp protruding bone sticking out from the femur and then stabbed it through Amy’s eye socket. Blood and puss poured out like a ruptured geyser, but Amy wasn’t dead yet.
She grabbed her broken leg and removed it from her skull. “Agh!!”
The wolf’s lips quivered as she salivated for the meal to come. Amy flopped on the road like a fish out of water. Her vision was fading fast, and she felt nothing but a deep freeze that only winter could bring.
The monster grabbed Amy’s golden locks and stabbed her claws deep within her cranium. With one mighty pull, the beast ripped Amy’s head off, spinal cord and all, and drank the gushing cerebrospinal fluid.
Rieka finished off the Pain Sisters by eating the rest of their flesh from their bones. She then rammed their car, sending it flying over the mountainside, and howled once more at the glowing moon.
Later that night…
“It’s about time you came home, young lady!” Rieka’s mother yelled. “How many times do we have to replace your window?”
Rieka, now in her human form, licked her lips and apologized. “I’m sorry, mom. Sometimes I just can’t control myself.”
“That’s okay, darling. I had the same problem when I was your age. It’ll get better in time.”
Rieka turned to leave and uttered, “Thanks, mom.”
“Where are you going now?”
“I thought I would go for a run,” Rieka replied, smiling. “The night is still young!”
Rieka transformed back into her wolf form and galloped away. It was true she didn’t have a car, but she didn’t need one to chase her dreams. Tonight’s chase proved that…
Sometimes some dreams do come true, and Rieka loved a good chase…