There was a strong wind that struck my face with a shocking sting. Snow continued to blow wildly about, freezing my bare skin and I realized that I was once again a human, now lying in the frozen powder without any protection. The shirt that I had previously been wearing was once more too large to properly fit me and sagged from my small-framed body. The mere shorts that I had worn to prevent from tearing jeans now left my legs vulnerable to the cold, forcing me to sit up and curl into a small ball to keep my body temperature up. What a perfect night for a full moon.
There was a strange warmth that was spread across my face along with an awful taste in my mouth that caused me to bring my hands up. Just then, I realized that my fingernails, teeth, and mouth were still covered in Mr. Gifford’s blood that I had longed for earlier. I gagged in disgust as I shoved a handful of snow in my mouth to rinse out the red fluid, still remembering the tear across the face that I had given him. There was a dreadful guilt that lingered in my soul, giving me a terrible ache.
The light that had radiated over me now ceased as it returned to its prison in a small charm that fell beside me. I gave it a questioning look before glancing up to Isaac. “Wha-?”
“You turned into a werewolf and attacked us. We just-” he began to reply before I broke in.
“Yes,” I began slowly, surprised with the girlish voice that came from my throat rather than the rough growls of a wolf. “I know that…” Embarrassed with my deathly secret, I looked down and gasped when I found the blood streaks on my shirt. There were small, circular holes that began at each puncture that reminded me of the battle. “You shot me!” I murmured, a bit in shock.
“Um…I didn’t know it was-”
“And you shot my car!” Mr. Gifford yelled out, a little angered.
“Hey, I needed fire for the charm! Noelle would’ve eaten you if-” I did not catch the rest of what Isaac said as my mind became overtaken with thoughts as it usually does when people are talking about me or when I am alone. Eaten…I would have eaten him. Why is this? Why can’t I stop this? Why did this have to happen to me? I could have eaten somebody. Somebody could have been hurt. I do not want to hurt anybody. Stop! Stop thinking! Just calm down. Just calm down… I shook my head as if it would help to rid my mind of the thoughts and shuddered from the immense cold. “It’s freezing out here without any fur,” I said aloud.
“Well, we have a nice fire going over at my car,” Mr. Gifford stated sarcastically.
“Hey, I’m sorry! I needed to do it, or we-” Isaac whined.
“Why didn’t you just use the cigarette lighter?”
There was no reply as Isaac thought over his actions. “Um… Because?”
I had the strong urge to move over to the burning SUV, but did not move from my place. I generally do not like to make decisions when others are around. “What is with this amulet?” I asked, suddenly remembering the gem that was beside me. I picked it up in my hands and began to scrutinize it intently.
“Carry that with you. We don’t need you going all feral again.”
Just then, wolf-like memories began to return to me with disturbing images of blood and death. I found myself transforming under the moonlight and taking off without any control at all. I gasped and stared up into his eyes with a frown. “You mean it’s temporary?”
“Sorry. Maybe if we knew a more powerful mage, he could help. But for now-”
Just then, the weather around the three of us began to twirl into a cyclone that surrounded us in the center. I was bewildered as I shot my dark eyes to the sky and found a human’s silhouette glowing near the top of the cyclone. Who was that? I had trouble making out the person as he lowered himself closer and closer to the ground. It was very difficult to recognize faces without my glasses and I squinted, hoping Isaac and Mr. Gifford wouldn’t notice. I already had enough to be embarrassed about. I was barely wearing any clothes!
“You called?” the person asked, allowing me to recognize the voice to be that of Matt’s.
I turned my head and found Mr. Gifford with an impatient look about his face. He seemed agitated as he nervously looked about. Isaac was also staring up at Matt who continued to hover down at a very slow pace. Can he not fly any faster? I wondered, my sarcasm seeping into my thoughts.
“Here!” I heard from my left as Mr. Gifford tossed me a thick coat. I couldn’t help but smile from his kindness as I quickly began to wrap myself with my new covering, fumbling with the little control that remained in my muscles from the cold. “Fur!? Where did you get this?” I asked him.
He gave a shrug with a slight grin that showed that he wasn’t telling us everything that he knew before rubbing his own arms. My feeling of embarrassment was then replaced with a deep dread of guilt as I began to warm under my new coat, leaving Mr. Gifford and Isaac to suffer in the cold. Why didn’t he get himself a coat wherever he got this one from? Maybe he only had one…
I hadn’t realized that Matt was now touching the ground with his feet and blasting the snow from the ground, leaving a clear circle of pavement.
“Hi Matt. What’s up?” I heard from Mr. Gifford.
“Yep. Hey, Noelle.” I heard from Mr. Gifford.
“Huh?” I replied groggily, glancing up to him. Everything is fine. Nobody was harmed. Nobody is hurt. You are all right. Everything is all right. My thoughts began to return to my mind as I felt the control return to my muscles and the breath return to my lungs. I gave a weak smile before collapsing into the snow.