Being a werewolf sucks.
I've never been one to complain, but it's a pretty raw deal and if anyone knows how to get off this ride I'd be glad to hear it.
The suckage started right after I escaped the clutches of pervy Ian and his idiot sidekick Benny. I was exhausted, there was a healing bite wound on my shoulder, and my hands were burned raw and bloody from holding on to that silver-threaded rope. All I wanted to do was clean up with a nice hot shower, go to sleep, and wake up to discover that it had all been a dream.
Simon greeted me at the door. Gave me one look, hissed, and took off running into the night. I haven't seen him since. Stupid cat, I guess he thought I was going to eat him. A dog wouldn't have abandoned me in my greatest time of need.
Next morning comes around, and wouldn't you know, I can still go fuzzy. Seems weird, being able to change whenever I want like that. I thought it would be controlled by the moon or nightfall. I figured taking a few days off wouldn't be such a bad idea, and I could even use that time to figure out what I was dealing with.
I stopped by the video store to say hi to my boss Mary and pick up a few movies. I had a story all made up about the bandages on my hands. Ironing accident, I explained in graphic detail. By the time I was done she was more than happy to let me have some time off to recover. I took research material with me.
Horror movies aren't my kind of thing. I prefer comedy, and that doesn't usually have werewolves in it. Still, if so many of these scary movies have been made, isn't it possible that somebody out there may have used a little personal experience for inspiration?
I started with one I'd heard a lot about, An American Werewolf in London. It was pretty gory, but after taking a quick peek at Ian's smoking corpse I think I can survive anything. The end result of the werewolf transformation walked on all fours and looked like a giant mutant hamster with rabies. I could not be more relieved that they had gotten that part wrong. Next.
The Wolf Man is supposed to be the classic all others are measured against, so maybe there would be answers there. Silver- check. Moon- unsure. Gypsy curse- sounds like as good an explanation as any. This one got the two-legged stance right, but the title should have been The Ape Man. Next.
After a while they all blurred together in a mess of ugly costumes and cheesy CGI effects. I was an idiot to think that I would get any valuable information from this garbage. In the end nothing could replace personal experimentation.
I tested my shifting abilities. How fast, what parts I could do and still leave the rest the same. It doesn't hurt like I worried it would and it's remarkably flexible too. I can do something simple, like turn my eyes from brown to yellow, or something disturbing like a full wolf head transformation. If I was still into that kind of thing, I'd be pretty excited about the possibilities this offered for Halloween costumes.
I tried going out and seeing just how sensitive my sense of smell had become. An incredible sense of smell might be great if you're an animal, but less so if you're trying to live the human life. Everything stinks. The pollution put off by cars, the steaming load someone's dog just dropped that they can't be bothered to pick up, dumpsters- it's like everything is conspiring to assault my nose the moment I set foot out of the house.
The worst part, though, is the people. Everyone it turns out has their own rich cloud of BO surrounding them. Get in a closed-in group- on an elevator, for example- and prepare to be gagging by the time the doors open again. It's not easy to tune out since every person's smell is so different. Stay around the same person for a while and yeah, you can get used to it, but then the next person comes along and they have a whole new stench.
I have a feeling I'd make a killing going into a career as a developer of new, improved brands of deodorant.
The changes in my sense of taste actually disturb me more. Most things taste different now, kind of dull, like something's missing. I took a bite of an apple, and it was as if all the sweetness had been sucked out of it. I thought maybe I was imagining things, so I kept trying different foods. Vegetables are bitter or taste like grass, spicy things hurt my mouth more than they ever did before, and candies and chocolates make me sick to my stomach. How am I supposed to medicate this stress with comfort food?
Unfortunately, it seems werewolves may have a different definition of comfort food. The only thing that didn't taste bland or nasty was meat. Thank goodness I never had any interest in being a vegetarian. Meat actually tastes really different, but in a good way. The first time I tried some after surviving my ordeal it woke something up deep inside of me that was unexpected and frightening. It wanted more.
Hamburgers and hot dogs are no good. My picky wolfy tongue can detect all the chemicals and hormones and who knows what else went into making them. Steak was better, but medium well didn't quite taste right any more. Rare felt closer to what I wanted, but it still wasn't good enough. I'm ashamed to admit it, but I forced myself to eat raw meat in order to silence the hungry beastie inside that was driving me crazy.
I cut it up and ate in the usual, human way. The thought of tearing into a big hunk of flesh with those teeth left me feeling a bit queasy. I hope that I don't come to regret this. Can werewolves get food poisoning?
It's only been a few days, but I feel that I've gotten the hang of at least the basic parts. I can do a full body shift in under a minute and track a person by scent in my human form if their trail is less than an hour old. I haven't gotten up the courage to go out of the house as a werewolf yet, but I'm guessing my sense of smell will be even more powerful then. Perhaps this won't be so bad after all.
Then again, it could get a lot worse.
The inner beastie growls for more meat every day. I've never been this hungry before, and now even the raw steak is less satisfying. I don't want to think about it, but I know where this is going. The hunger seems to grow stronger with each day the full moon draws nearer.
I have to take control before then. She needs some kind of mental muzzle, a way to acknowledge that I, the human side of the equation, am in control and to be respected. She is nothing more than a parasite.
Now I remember why my search for a pet ended with me getting Simon. I've never been any good at training dogs.