Challenged by a friend(s) to do this one:
You’ve been chasing a lead on someone who could cure you of your current affliction, however, instead, you find yourself transported to Paris of the 1700s. With nothing but the clothes on your back and the bag you carry, time is ticking as the moon becomes fuller and sinister by the day. In the midst of your worries and fears, a stranger approaches you with a proposition to help you with the devil that lies within you…
Team Vampyre? Team Zombie? Team Werewolf?
Who is the lucky husband(s) to help or worsen your situation?
How do you cope in a society known to burn anyone for suspicious appearances?
“Uhhh.. Ngh!” My head throbbed as I gradually rolled to my side, everything, screamed in agony like it had been through hell. I felt stones stabbing into my ribs as I felt around in the darkness for my weapon, after grappling with a few sharp rocks from the pavement I felt the familiar bite of metal beneath my fingertips. I gripped the Glock and opened my eyes.
Why were the streets so dark? I questioned as I propped myself up and looked down the alleyway that I had run into to follow Mitsuhide…
Damn him, damn him to the realms of Hades. I coughed and found the familiar flavor of copper dancing against my tongue, a shiver of excitement ran through me as I felt the wolf inside me writhe in happiness at the taste of blood. “Not tonight, satan,” I spat the words as I forced myself to my feet and stumbled forward.
Leaning against the side of the building before me, I secured the gun to its holster and looked again towards the streets. He shouldn’t have gotten far, I can’t let him escape again, I thought as I used the brick wall to assist me. My gait unsteady as I chided myself, I couldn’t believe I miscalculated going into the alley after him, I was too hasty and stupid and–
My internal monologue coming to a pause, I stopped at the exit of the alley and noticed the electric street lights were gone, in its stead were lamps with flames. Shallow wisps of light that looked more like ghostly lanterns lit the night of Paris, as a horse-drawn carriage rumbled by at a brisk pace. I rubbed my eyes and then massaged my temples, whatever Mitsuhide had managed to have me inhale, it was genuinely messing with my psyche.
Returning my gaze back out to the streets, I noticed a drunk couple dancing around in what looked to be a renaissance fair attire. I frowned, I don’t recall there being a fair of some sort tonight, especially in these late hours… I cautiously stepped onto the path and grimaced as pain ricocheted up my spine.
What the hell did Mitsuhide throw between us? My anger stirring as I felt my muscles ache and bones crack under my languid pace. I felt like hell. Lost in my anger and need to control the unease in my body, I trodded down the street and moved between the random groups of people that filled the footpath.
My head was pounding as I tried to collect my thoughts, I had followed that man…
“Gyuh!” I grimaced as I heard the howl of the beast within me reacting to the throngs of people as the moon watched us. I pressed a hand to my chest, time was running out, and the changes in my body were moving quickly. “Mitsuhide…” I snarled his name as I began to jog, following the somewhat familiar scenery and dodging the random drunks on the road…
Why were so many people out? I questioned as I tried to keep focus, a faint whiff of a familiar scent catching in the air as I acknowledged that some of the powers of the wolf inside me were of some use. Yet, as I followed the faint essence, I could also smell something else in the stagnant air, sweat, sex, and smoke…
I was far from the red light district, unless… The wolf had taken over and brought me to it. I stopped jogging and shook my head, it couldn’t have happened, it had only been mere minutes when I fell unconscious from whatever that bastard had done.
The foul memory of Mitsuhide laughing at me as I cornered him, brandishing my gun and holding him at gunpoint. His cold smile, laced my thoughts as it never faltered as I threatened him. I should have thought out my plan more wisely, I shouldn’t have been so rash.
I found myself walking as the memory of Mitsuhide tossing something between us floated back to the surface, the swirl of purple fumes engulfing us both as I fired a round into the mist. The heady smell of herbs, spice, and chemicals washing over me as I felt like Alice falling into Wonderland, and the faint smell of cinnamon enrapturing me.
“Enough,” I commanded myself, pulling my own mind out from its reverie. If the gas impacted me that much, then it should have the same effects on that bastard, he couldn’t have gotten far… I bounded the corner with determination as I caught another whiff of his scent, and froze.
“What..?” Hundreds of people crowded the central area of Paris, dancing, jeering, and laughing in the street as a carnival of sorts overtook what was supposed to be a quiet night. I took a step back as a shiver of dread took my heart hostage, the need to pursue Mitsuhide disappeared as I felt the clawing of the wolf come back in full force. I needed to get away from here. Now.
The intoxicating smells of hormones, food, and intimate interactions filled my senses and excited the beast, feeding its hunger to hunt. This wasn’t good.
“Escape,” I commanded my human mind as I felt my pulse skyrocket as the smell of blood reached my nostrils, no doubt there were people here having more than just a merry good time. Gritting my teeth, I felt the familiar edges of canines pressing against my lower lip, a feral growl escaping my throat as the hunger to kill forced its way into my thoughts.
“No!” I yelled as I felt the wolf inside bellow, my human side fighting against the need to change and let go. “I will not become a monster–!” I lashed out as I felt my spine crack and start to curve like a cat, my hands shook violently as I felt the bones in them contort at the impending need to feast.
Pain threaded its way into my chest as I felt myself reeling backward, the howling getting louder in my ears as I slammed into something behind me.
“My lady, are you alright?”
Strong arms circled around my waist as I felt another wave of both nausea and agony sweep over my body. Leaning my head back I looked into the face of the man who caught me, feeling the instant need to sink my jaws into his throat. I bit down the urge to scream at him as I wrenched myself out of his hold and pushed him harshly as I ran as far away as I could from everyone and everything, but there was no guarantee of safety.
The monster inside was winning, a howl escaped my throat as I found myself running into an abandoned building and shutting the door, as another torrent of pain slammed against me.
I wasn’t a full werewolf yet, I wouldn’t become a full-fledged one until the full moon, but the change was coming on strong, and the animal inside wanted everything that was human to submit to it. Bile rose up to my lips, my bones cracking and twisting under the light of the moon as I found myself at a dead-end and dropped to my knees.
Such a fool. I curled into a ball as I went over my idiotic choices tonight in following the leads to capture Mitsuhide. A yelped into the darkness as I felt the fangs in my mouth extend and my jaw began to contort and elongate, the beast was trying to force a half-mutation on me and it was winning. I should have stayed at the cottage, I should have chained myself in the basement and drank the wolfsbane concoction again but I had thought because the moon wasn’t at it’s darkest peak that I would be fine.
I was a fool. Now, as I lay there as my body viciously began to mutate into a half-wolf form, I felt the tears of humanity slip down my cheeks. I would kill again. I would kill someone again, and I was an idiot for believing I could find a way to stop this curse. Reaching for my gun with an unsteady grip, I clasped my hand around the smooth metal and pulled it free from it’s home.
“Only ten days left…” the words echoed in my ears as I remembered Mitsuhide’s sickening voice in my mind. “When that time comes, you will come to me and know true suffering…”
Another sickening pop came from my lower legs as I brought the gun closer to my chest, I threw my head back and screeched as the wolf in me bellowed, “I won’t become a monster… I won’t…”
“Poor thing…” I felt a gentle stroke the back of my head, the calm voice whispered into my ear as I saw a pair of golden irises looked down upon me, “let me help you.”
I let out a snarl as I tightened my hand around the gun and forcefully kicked away from the man.
“Drink this,” his voice was calm as he kneeled next to me, “it’ll be okay.” The wolf inside me bared its fangs as his hand drew near and lashed out, but the man took hold of my muzzle with ease, carefully dodging my teeth and poured something down my open jaws.
The cool liquid turned into a conflagration in my belly as he released me and I felt my entire being become consumed with a fierce heat. A human scream came out from my throat as I felt my body twist and convulse as the wolf in me howled in anger as I felt my body start to return to normal. My back arching like a bow as the fierce fire within me began to subside and I fell to my side like a helpless ragdoll, shaking and quivering from what had just occurred.
I felt my heartbeat quicken as the soft footsteps of the unknown intruder came close from behind me, and I felt his hands slip beneath my body and lift me against his chest. I couldn’t move. The exhaustion of fighting myself had drained my lasting outlets of energy, and the lack of sleep over the past days were catching up to me.
I felt a tender caress against my cheek as I found myself looking up at the man, his features lighted only by the faint glow of the moonlight that streamed in from the broken roof of the building. Fear must have flickered in my eyes as he gave me a sad smile, it was the man I had accidentally fallen against earlier when I was running away.
Alarm bells going off in my head, I commanded my body to move, but it refused to do my bidding as I stared up at the intruder. My thoughts screaming out loud as I couldn’t open my mouth to speak, what had he done to me? Who was he? Why?
A flicker of amusement could be seen in his eyes as he a strand of loose hair away from my face, ” you have every right to be afraid, mon cher… But tonight, I am not your enemy… As it would be a disservice as a gentleman to leave a lady in such a state of misfortune, in a territory of vampires.”
“Especially a werewolf.”
Vampires. His words sank into the cold depths of my belly as he began to walk towards the doors I had pathetically bolted down during my panic. With a simple tilt of his head, I watched all the pieces of wood and metal bars that I had propped against it fly off to the side and the doors swung open with a groan. “Rest easy little wolf, no harm will come to you as long as I am with you.”
His words echoed in my head as I struggled to stay awake but exhaustion was catching up to me, and in my mind all I wanted to do was sleep. Sleep and believe my nightmares would be over, and I wouldn’t become a killing machine hellbent on devouring people. If only sleep could erase the damage done to me, if only… if only…
My thoughts slowly began to drown in the shadows that crept into my vision as reality departed into an endless field of darkness.
Twenty days ago, I had been an ordinary mystery writer taking reprieve in the cabins of South Dakota tending to my work and creating a story. I should have found it strange when Akechi Mitsuhide had appeared at the cabin out of the blue, stating that Alex, my editor, had requested that he go out to check on me.
While it was understandable for my editor to check in on me every now and then, I should have listened to my instincts when I found it odd that Mitsuhide, who wasn’t even Alex’s assistant, had come in his place. At the time, I had seen no harm and invited him in despite the inkling of wariness that held me…
I recall how I had stepped away from him to look at the emails that came in through my computer, having managed to send a quick email to Alex, thanking him for sending Mitsuhide to check on me but it wasn’t necessary. However, as I opened Alex’s email, alarm bells went off as he relayed he had never asked Mitsuhide to visit me and that he would never tell anyone about my secret location either.
“How troublesome,” were the words that Mitsuhide had whispered into my ear as he read the email over my shoulder and sighed as he violently tossed me to the side. A sinister look upon his mug as he glared down at me with an expression that sent fear into my core.
I could faintly remember the smell of blood in the air as Mitsuhide leaned down to look at me, his muzzle covered in scarlet as I remembered his eyes gleamed with humor at my pain. His teeth stained with my life, I heard his speak those cursed words… “tonight ends your human existence, the bride of the moon.”