Moonlight by Eli Morgan
An anti-werewolf short story.
Anti-werewolf; a werewolf which turns human under the light of a full moon.
By Eli Morgan
Full moons are a night of vulnerability for her kind. The thick fur and corded muscle give way to that of supple flesh. Her body morphs into something all together more abhorrent, something decidedly more human. Powerful claws turn to fingers, muzzle turns to jaw. Nose, and ears become as useless as a newborn cub’s. Despite their vulnerability, others of this form have caused far more atrocities than her own species could ever dream of. Her anger and repulsion have long since given way to a quieter form of resentment. It is in fact, now, a human that she seeks.
He stands at the edge of the clearing, his checks flush from the meagre journey from the village. Four legs are far better than two, no matter how clever their deft human hands may be.
“Devan.” she calls to him.
He turns to her, baring his teeth in a way that upon their first encounter had felt threatening. Now it only melts her heart with the earnestness in which it reaches his eyes. Eyes not so unlike her own kinds. She embraces him, and his lips meet hers in an exhilaration that almost matches that of her running free throughout the forest. How she longs to have him experience it alongside her.
A tree creaks in the breeze. He pulls back from her, eyes wide as he peers into the shadows.
“I don’t know how you are so comfortable out here alone.”
With pride, she responds, “This is my home.”
He looks at her with a face stuck somewhere between puzzlement and awe.
“Lara, I have bought you something.”
Lara, a name she had offered him that is far from her own. Her name which he would not be able to hear in its entirety, let alone speak. She nods as he takes her hand and leads her out further into the clearing, deeper into the light of the moon. With almost the same apprehension Devan had of shadows between trees, she looks up at the scattering of clouds. If any one of those were to obscure the moon.
She is, at once, distracted as Devan takes to a knee before her. Such a peculiar gesture, of which humans have many. She dismisses any thoughts of playfulness upon noticing the trembling of Devan’s hands as he produces something from his pocket. A ring. She has heard of this offering. A symbolic devotion to a mate. The ring catches the moonlight.
She recoils at the same time a cloud’s shadow falls upon them both. She flees into the wood. The shock keeping Devan from seeing her true form materializing.
Devan calls into the trees, “Does the ring offend you that it is not of gold. I only chose silver as I felt it might suit your complexion. I did not mean to appear cheap or undervalue the vow I wish to make.”
It is so like men to be placing value on such arbitrary things as metal and stone. But still yet, she longs to go to him, to assure him that this simply isn't true. She would have accepted the vow should it have offered it with a handful of dirt.
Just out of sight, she paces. Her heart beating so hard, even his useless ears should surely hear it.
“My love?”, he calls.
The waver in his voice breaks her composure. Fighting every instinct, she takes a step toward him. Her paw almost silent on the bracken, it is instead her eyes that catch his attention. She can see his muscles tense as if to run from her. Unexpectedly, he holds his ground.
“I had always suspected. I’d heard the rumours, but you are nothing of what they talk about in the stories.”
Could his love really be that great that he loves her still? Or perhaps this has all been a cruel trick to gain her trust. To make her vulnerable. She takes a step back, momentarily breaking eye contact.
“I swear it, my love. I will destroy whom ever placed this curse upon you!”
She snaps back to attention. She was born, not made.
“Please, I could find a cure for this affliction.”
She leaps at him, pinning him to the forest floor. A growl growing from deep within her chest. The fear in his eyes hurting as much as his misunderstanding of her. The moon breaks from the clouds, and she is human once more. She slumps into the arms of the man she thought she had loved.
Ever so quietly she speaks, “how can you not see that it is the moonlight that betrays me. Being human is the curse.”
The moonlight continues to shift as she leaves him there. She allows her forest, her shadows, to accept her in a way that she now knows, no human ever could.