I could feel the pulse of the moon on my skin, pulling at the inner beast, so terrible and yet now so appealing. The power, the feeling of being whole ran through my veins before I threw my head up, let a howl run through the air. It was echoed from below me, down lower than my rock...my throne. As I felt the change overtake me, I strode towards the edge and peered down at my immense pack and called to them once more.
I felt the moon gleaming on my white, scarred fur and I felt impatient. It was Halloween, the time of our hunt and so I called to the betas as they were the strongest of the hundred or so beasts below me and ordering them to my side and to attend me while we hunted.
As I waited for them to join me, I remembered the Halloween night that had led to my new life that I had at first hated but now would never be without.
My knees trembled as I was dragged along by my hair. I could feel the tears washing down my cheeks, my knees scraped as the odd, wolf-like creatures just dragged me on despite my whimpers of protest. Above me, the Halloween moon shone on my struggles and illustrated the creatures above me as they growled down at me. How had I not known that when the moon was full, on Halloween, beasts walked the earth?
I was torn from the pained, distracting thoughts by a sudden jolt which tore both my palms open, splitting them open until I could feel the blood washing to my palms. My gasp of pain was ignored by those hideous, aggressive beasts. I could feel their grips tightening on my hair, the greasy fur making my head itch as they began to growl and snarl at each other.
There were two of them, one grey-furred, skinny and tall, covered in scars with sickly yellow eyes which had first entranced me and later scared me more than the black-furred, grey-eyed, muscular creature that was shorter than me, but so much stronger. I couldn't understand their litany of growls, but I knew, whatever it was they were saying was about me and the way I was carrying on.
I was thinking, running through all the advice I'd ever been given about when attacked and it was then that I hit upon a plan. I gave a single whimper before falling limp, hanging in their grasp even though the hold on my hair in two positions was painful and beyond punishing. Every movement had me cringing internally, even as I fought the pain.
When I was limp for what must have been two or three dozen immense strides, the beasts slowed and their hold on my hair lessened, as though they were testing me and my 'unconsciousness'. When I stayed limp, though I carried on breathing and tried the hardest to keep my breathing controlled, they dropped me completely.
My head thumped off the ground, pain and fear making my stomach lurch and bile rise into my throat. I didn't want to give away my plan too quick, instead staying still, even when I was lifted up onto the shoulder of one of the beasts. They were careful, not even nicking my skin with one of their viciously clawed hands.
I felt hands grasp at my thighs, holding me captive and close - so close to the nasty teeth which I could almost imagine and already felt snapping into my body. I stayed still until they began to pick up their pace again, and once they hit their 'stride', I began to struggle, know that was when I could get free.
My feet kicked, flailing in the air as I punched roughly where I believed the kidneys to be. A lucky kick meant that my booted foot thumped into the nose of the beast, a yelp echoing before I was dropped to the floor. I was able to stop my face from smacking into the face by some miracle, scrambling forwards on all fours until I was able to get up onto my feet and run properly.
I knew I had no chance of outpacing the hideous beasts, with their long arms and longer legs, but I had to try. I couldn't surrender myself over to the ignoble death of being their next meal and I had absolutely no doubt that that was what was going to be my fate. They howled, once, briefly before I could hear them after me.
I was cursing as I ran. No trees, nothing for me to escape up and hide until the moon came down. Only pebbles and hard, glass-like rock covered the ground - my blood smearing it occasionally from my grazed palms and torn legs.
I didn't even feel breath on the back of my neck before I was sent flying in a tackle that would make any rugby player proud. Teeth seized my calf, worrying at it until I felt and heard the grating against my bone.
I threw up then. The pain was so bright, so sudden and overpowering that I collapsed, passed out properly this time. While I was unconscious, my mind felt as though it were being rifled through by some immense creature, something bigger, badder and more evolved than anything I had ever heard or read about.
Once my mind had been violated, my dreams raped, I dreamed of running with others at my side. As I looked, instead of ugliness, I saw a rough, wild beauty. Instead of terror, I was inspired to protect them even as I realized that they were protecting me, cradling me within their group and keeping me safe.
Running while unconscious had me confused. I looked at my arm, still asleep, and found it covered in ivory white fur. My hand was tipped with vicious claws which I used like a scythe in front of me, splitting through the air without a problem. I enjoyed the freedom and strength while asleep but soon a throbbing began to build in my calf and everything turned red.
When I woke up, it was my hearing that switched on first, so acute that it was almost painful. Voices were the first thing I heard, and I listened with my eyes closed, heart-rate now easily controlled.
"You stupid pup! You know that the Queen will have our tails for this, don't you? We aren't meant to bite our meals until the feast!" I almost cringed at the anger which filled that first growling, rough voice, but it was the second that gave me pause.
"She won't know if we feed now, will she? Besides, she's old. We need a new Wolf Queen soon. So why not this one? You know as well as I do that she'd be absolutely perfect. Look at her - she'll shift and keep us strong. Even the bite is healing. Besides, I'm not a pup! I'm only twenty years younger than you!" The voice was filled with guilt, shame and anger.
He had to argue, it seemed to her, but soon the shadows which had shielded me receded and I felt something burning. I screamed, my eyes opening so fast that I could have sworn I felt capillaries pop. My body felt like it was crawling, and as I scrambled to sit up, my skin looked like ants were trapped below the skin.
I screamed again and again as my body burnt, scalding hot until I split open, my mind filled with vicious of bloody carcasses and then...freedom. I was immense, taller but more feminine than the bigger creature and yet, a snarl rumbled my chest as I felt a nagging at my mind.
Females weren't meant to share territory and yet I could feel one. My nose and instincts pulled me forwards, made me speed up as I began to run, not on two legs but on all fours. I left the two males behind me, my eyes fixed on the brown and grey 'female' I could see ahead of me, my nose dragging me on as long-dead instincts awakened.
I leaped onto the elder wolf, one arm locked around her throat as I began to savage the shoulder so close to my muzzle. My white coat was stained rusty red when I let go, using my powerful leg muscles to spring free. I was faced by the pained visage of a wolf who knew she was beaten but was prepared to go down fighting.
We battled on for the length of the entire moon, savaging each other until they both dripped red on the ground but the elder wolf submitted to me eventually. Triumphant howls echoed out around me as I lifted my nose before singing out myself, already forgetting the rigors of my human life and the problems I had faced.