I inhaled deeply and looked up at the starlit night.
I was running away from home.
The deep sky, the shivering wind, the vast, empty forest welcomed me as if I was one of them. Well, I really was one of them.
Hi, I am Iris, the daughter of the leader of the most influential werewolf clan in the city. The forests are our home during the nights. All nights are dangerous for the common humans, because we tend to turn occasionally into werewolves, although it is mostly at our own will. But we have to tuck ourselves away from sight into the deep woods during every full moon night. The transformations those times are the worst.
You know that people are converted to werewolves after they are bitten by one, right? Well, some crazy elder said that our population had to survive and flourish, and unfortunately, he has a good brain. He tinkered for three whole weeks in his lab, studying us werewolves, and managed to create a species which could reproduce its own kind. The baby produced, many say, was highly savage, hungry for blood and chasing after tender flesh- be it human or animal or werewolf. None felt pity for it. None decided to embrace it. None saw it as anything but a potential weapon for world dominance.
So here we are- at the peak of our power, producing more werewolves by biting and also breeding. I really find it disgusting and horrible that most of the clans feel that our kind have to be on the top position.
“Iris darling,” my father had approached me one day. “The full moon is about to come up very soon. Are you feeling alright?”
I nodded. “Happy and healthy as always, dad.”
My dad smiled weakly and hesitantly. Something was off. “Well,” he continued, “You happen to turn eighteen on that very night. Do you know that?”
I nodded again. I had become cautious, although I myself didn’t know the reason. He was acting strange. I know he had always been a little distant with me, but today was eerie. Anyway, eerie and werewolf don’t usually go together for you humans, huh?
He offered me his hand. “Come with me. I am going to give you your birthday gift a bit early.”
I reluctantly took it. “What is it, dad?” I asked. He winked at me. “Surprises are not supposed to be revealed.”
He led me into a huge hall- the crazy elder’s laboratory. The moment I entered, tranquilizer darts flew in my direction. As I dropped to the floor, dad peered at me.
“I haven’t told you something since you were born,” he sneered at me. “You were never my daughter. You were the first experiment for our expansion. I thank you.”
I passed out.
My eyes fluttered open to a chaotic kind of silence. I felt stiff. I was not able to move. I looked around.
I was… enclosed in a small metal shell. Outside, I could see scientists... eager, leering scientists who would not care about whether I were alive or dead. Tubes were attached to my body. I suddenly felt the presence of power and rage surging through me. I could overhear dad talking to the elder.
“When will she be ready?” he was asking. The elder’s smug voice wafted to me. “She is ready. The strength in her has been harnessed. She can be our living weapon now. Tell her when she wakes up that she should consider herself fortunate for being chosen in our second experiment.”
The blood in me boiled. They were using me. I smashed out of the container, wrenched the tubes out of my body and made straight for my dad. I grabbed him by the collar.
“You dare…” I growled, as my werewolf form manifested in me.
The true monster in me had awoken. The savage beast I was meant to be from the start, from day I had been created- I truly became one with it.
Now, I was running away from civilization. The blood pounded in my ears as the horrid scene I had created floated into my mind.
I had nearly killed. The marks of my vicious claws were etched into his being forever.
My feet weren’t stopping, even though they were sore. I had transformed back into a human, but that didn’t make me any less dangerous. I had to be careful around others now. The beast had become dormant for now. I guessed it would rise again at the sight of civilization.
I made for a clearing in the forest which wasn’t very well-known by the clans. I set up camp, and started thinking.
Would they forget about me? Probably not. If I would have stayed, I would have been valued as an asset by the clan leaders and elders, but what about the common people? Their lives would have been at stake. I had made a good decision.
My mind wandered. Memories swam back to me. Now I understood why others had always looked warily at me. I had always been hidden, yet rumors flew around about me. Whisperings. Accusations.
I bowed my head low. Rage or not, I had hurt a living being. I ought not to have behaved that way. Would society ever forgive me? Coming to think of it, some of the common werewolves might seek me out to kill me.
I stood up again with determination. I was not going to run away. If I had to flee, I would only after making amends. I had to convince them to stay away from me so that I would be harmless and reach a truce.
I walked back to my city, where the werewolf community secretly lived.
As I entered the Hall of the Council where a meeting was going on, heads spun around to stare rudely at me. I cowered in fear. It is going to be fine, I told myself. It was only a matter of time. My dad was sitting at the head of the table, and he glowered at me.
“I see our weapon has returned.”
I shut my eyes and repeated in my mind, I am not a monster.
“Take a seat, Iris,” he ordered. I obeyed.
I am not a monster.
“Sir,” one of the elders said, “Shall we move her to the laboratory immediately? She might be unstable.”
I am not a monster.
“We ought not to. She must be provided mental care now. An unstable mind is best controlled by a psychiatrist, rather than lab experimentation,” dad commanded.
I am not a monster.
One of the vast number of commoners present there shouted out, “How would you guarantee our safety from… that thing? It cannot be considered alive either! Do not give it the facility of medical care!” Several noises hummed in approval.
Something in me snapped.
They turned me into a monster.
My pupils turned into horrifying slits, fur grew on my body, claws appeared dangerously on my fingers. The lonely moon cast its enchanting glow on something hideous and gruesome. The monster in me had returned. It had leapt out, and I was not going to stop it.
They were really keen on turning me into a beast, weren’t they? A beast full of vengeance and a thirst for blood- that’s what they saw me as. They weren’t even willing to listen.
Well, their efforts had paid off.