Feeling emotionally drained, no longer truly caring about dreams or her own problems, she made her way to her room. Undoing her braid, she changed into pajamas, the same style of baggy shirt, this one white with yet another logo on it, and of purple pajama bottoms. Then, as unceremoniously as the night before, she flopped into bed, her face to the ceiling. She just wanted to sleep. Maybe when she woke up, everything would be better. She looked out the window of her room, and saw the sun still hanging a few meager inches above the horizon. Closing her eyes, she tried to drift off.
She didn't know exactly how long it was that she was there, trying to will her consciousness to fade so that she could embrace the gentle oblivion of slumber, but as the light on her eyelids began to fade, she began to feel awful. The fluttering in her stomach had returned, and was growing stronger and stronger by the second. She could feel her heart starting to speed up in her chest, and her body beginning to grow uncomfortably warm. With that heating up, sweat sprang to life all over her body, making her shirt stick uncomfortably to her. Along with the quickening of her heart came a quickening of breath, and a constant feeling of being out of breath no matter how deeply she breathed in. Cracking an eye open as the pain and heat kept growing, she saw the sun had gone down quite a bit, only a sliver of light still left on the horizon.
She couldn't stand the pain anymore, or at least not just sitting still with it. She rose from bed with a soft moan, standing up. She realized her hands were shaking slightly, and her hair was sticking to her face from the sweat. Brushing it away, she headed to the bathroom, intent on getting some medicine. This was the worst she'd ever felt in her life, and it was getting even worse! As she staggered down the hallway, she had to catch herself on the wall as a sharp pain made her gasp and nearly lose her legs out from under her. Somehow, she managed to make it into the bathroom.
Her reflection looked awful. The face that looked back at her was ghostly pale, wet strands of her golden hair sticking to her forehead, and she looked more drawn than ever, skin pulled slightly tight around her jaw and cheek bones. Another gasp escaped her lips as a pain lanced through her gut, and she put both hands on the sink for support. Her heart was pounding so hard that she could actually see her chest move up and down with the pulse, and each thump of her heart seemed to be sending a worse heat through her veins. Desperate now, she opened the medicine cabinet. She was shaking so badly now- her whole body, not just her hands- that she had to try three times before she could open the bottle. The medicine was meant to cure flu symptoms, and that was the closest thing to this she could think of. Taking two of the pills dry, she replaced the bottle and staggered back to her room, practically falling onto the bed. Yet she found that she could not sit still. It wasn't just the pain and the sickness, but something more, a deep-rooted restlessness that she somehow could not shake. She found herself writhing on the bed. Why wasn't the medicine working?!
Once again she sat up, a hand to her forehead as she tried to steady her breathing. Grabbing a robe off the bed post, she rose, taking a brief moment to slip it on before stepping forward. She intended to head down the hall and out the front door, figuring that the cool, fresh air outside might help since the pain was too bad to sleep with anyways. However, she found herself stopping as she passed her window, grabbed haltingly by some intangible force. Her eyes wide, she moved her head jerked towards the window, almost as though gripped and twisted that way involuntarily. Outside, the sun had completely fallen, its last few rays seen as twilight on the horizon. It was a startlingly clear night out, the stars twinkling brightly in the cloudless sky. Yet she felt her gaze being drawn even further upward, until the moon met her eyes. It was suspended nearly out of sight of the window unless you were as close as she was, hanging perfect and full in the sky.
Suddenly, she cried out in pain, body falling against the cool glass of the window. It felt like her spine had just tried to pull itself out of her body. Panting, her eyes squeezed shut against the pain, she waited for the ache to subside. There was no relief forthcoming, as once again her spine seemed to twist within her, only this time it was accompanied by a sound that made her overheated blood freeze. Akin to the sound of a joint popping or a bone crunching back into place, it came in rapid succession from her writhing spine, and with each noise came a pain in her back like someone was stabbing her with a knife. Once again, she found her legs falling out from under her, though she caught herself on the window sill, stubbornly refusing to let this pain pull her down. Teeth gritted together, she let out a breathy, anguished moan before the pain began to dull again.
Suddenly, as she hunched over the window sill, her eyes met her shaking hands that were the only thing holding her up on wobbly legs. They were starting to feel cramped, and then pained, as though the bones were being compacted together. As it began to reach an unbearable height, the cracking and popping came back. This time, it was much more frequent, like paper being crackled. Pain beyond imagination was coursing up her arms and in her hands, and even as she watched, her fingers began to
lengthen?! Her eyes went wide, and her breathing grew quicker, not just from the influence of the full moon, but from panic. Things like this just didn't happen, they just did not! But it was undeniable, for even as she watched it could not be blamed on a trick of the eyes as it grew more and more severe. Every crack and pop was accompanied by piercing torment, and every bit of length came with a grunt, moan, or muffled cry at the back of the throat. Even as it hurt her, though, it left her in horrified fascination.
It only got worse, though. Her fingertips felt like they were having spikes jammed into them, her fingernails beginning to lengthen into claws. They dug into the wood as she tried to clench her hands together. With a cry that was equal parts horror and pain, she finally lost her grip on the window and fell to the ground. Still, for some reason she could not fathom, she struggled to her knees, refusing once more to fully give in. Even as she did, she felt the tops of her hands and forearms burning as though on fire, and when she looked down, she saw that her newly clawed hands were pushing forth white fur in isolated areas. Each hair was like a prick with a needle, and she felt her eyes beginning to well with tears.
" She whispered, as the pain in her back began to build again. "No, this isn't real
Things like this just don't happen! There's no such thing as werewolves!" She tried to convince herself against the pain and the all too real changes. Oh yes, she had figured out what this was. It wasn't difficult, for anyone who'd seen a cheesy horror movie and connected the signs. The appearance of the creature, the bite, the full moon and the changes. Kara was not stupid, but this was impossible! She had to be delusional!
Once again, she screamed in agony as her body hunched over even more, curling itself in from the pain. Her back arched, and her spine was clearly visible pressed against her skin and the fabric of the shirt. Her back was broadening now, building slender muscle, and as a consequence her shirt tore loudly down the imprint of her spine became all the more visible through the hole this growth had caused. It was accompanied by almost violent crunching noises as her muscles ballooned and her spine writhed. Fur was beginning to grow there, too, poking out of her pale flesh. She realized she was beginning to grow larger, and shrugged out of her robe as it grew progressively tighter. No delusion could possibly hurt this much.
For a moment, it seemed as though the changes had stopped, and she sat there on her knees, panting, becoming something less than human, and tears streaming silently down her face from pain and pure terror. Yet she knew it could not be done yet, no matter how much she hoped. The werewolf in the park had been so much more complete than this, and she was still mostly human and normal sized. The only thing this pause gave her was a chance to dread. Already, there was something animalistic clawing at the edge of her mind, a presence that was trying to wrench her mind from her. It was small, but she knew, somehow, that it would grow, and that she would succumb to it. Briefly, she was thankful that her mother was in the hospital this night. She might not survive her illness, but bed-ridden, there was no way she would survive what Kara was becoming.
Her mouth was a mess of pain, and the changes hit in another wave, her teeth distending slowly into the sharp teeth of a wolf in her still human face. Fur was beginning to prick up more frequently, though still sparse, starting on places like her shoulder and forearms before slowly growing outward. Before her very eyes, the long strands of blonde hair visible to her began to turn silvery white. A mixture of a pricking sensation and a painful twisting sensation on the tips of her ears alerted her to them slowly beginning to lengthen and point, traveling to the top of her head in the style of a wolf's. She couldn't help but wince at that, even amidst the other pain.
No matter how hard she tried to contain them, cries were torn from her throat with each terrible and painful change. She was forced down to all fours as her spine continued to alter. With it, her limbs began to lengthen along with her growing body, muscle building on them. Her once baggy shirt, already ripped down the back, was starting to tear at the shoulders and arms. The bottom of the legging on her pajama pants was splitting at the seams, and it wasn't just that. Her toenails lengthened and blackened into claws similar to those on her hands. Unseen, her palms and the bottoms of her feet were darkening and puffing out into pads. That was all relatively painless, at least compared to the bone-crunching torture of the rest, but that reprieve didn't last for long. Soon, her legs too felt as though they were shattering, her heels rising off the ground and growing longer as her feet became more and more paw-like by the second. As her knees, legs, and hips locked into place, there was one loud sickening crack that made her scream, and that scream terrified her more than any of the changes so far.
It was mangled, with a growling edge to it, like two voices crying out at once. One, her own feminine, soft voice expressing her agony, the other the enraged roar of a wounded animal. Then, her spine extended into a tail that grew puffy with fur even as it grew, and her pajama bottoms fell in tatters to the floor, her lower body almost completely wolf at this point. Her breathing grew more and more labored as she felt a pressure mounting on her chest, and the cry that emitted this time was almost completely muffled due to suddenly expanding ribs. At first, it was slow, but then the popping and cracking grew louder and more and more frequent, and her chest surged forward, barreling out into the extended chest of canines. Already overtaxed, her shirt fell from her body. There was nothing human there left to hide, anyways.
Again, she tried to speak, to make a final appeal to God or whatever good force out there might listen, but the only thing that emitted from her mouth were torn, growling sobs and animalistic sounds that only made her spiral into worse despair. She knew what must come next, as the tugging at her mind became more and more insistent. Already, she was not completely thinking in words, and her delicate nose was turning upwards and black in the style of a wolf. Unknown to her, her eyes, though still blue, now obviously belonged in the face of a predator and were shining softly in the reflected light of the full moon.
The final part hit her, and a whole new world of pain opened to her. It felt as though the bones in her face were breaking into splinters, hot and terrible as they pierced the inside of her face. Her teeth grew even larger as the loudest part of the change came about. It felt endless as her skull changed shape, and her muscles pulled tight over her face, causing her to grimace. Then her mouth and nose surged forward into a muzzle, dagger-like fangs ready to tear into anything they could get a hold of. Her long hair shortened as it blended into the silvery hair covering the rest of her body. And her mind became no more, blending into the seamless thoughts of a ravenous beast. Terror, horror, compassion, it all faded as the wolf took control, and Kara was no more.