Hunger Pains

[a very short story]

Chapter One

She hadn’t always been this way—trapped in a dark state of gracelessness. But she had been as she was now, for so long, it no longer mattered who or what she had been, before her descent into hell and it’s further nether regions.

Her mind meandered, as she drove away from the big city, into the unicorporated zone of the surrounding countryside; as the late afternoon waned closer to the falling of dusk.

Once upon a time, she had been a mere woman, weighed down by nothing more than the detritus of a fairly ordinary life. She’d had an apartment, not far from the campus of the college she’d attended. A place her mother had helped her furnish and decorate; replete with myriad kitchen appliances and gadgets, a big screen television, stereo system and a laptop computer.

Her father, had gifted her with a well made Audi, to take her back and forth to the campus and run errands in and around the city.

So proud, both her parents had been of their only daughter, that planned to be a veternarian, some fine day in the future.

She’d had well made clothes, jewelry, and a steady, if bland, boyfriend. Until she’d taken the summer job working for a local animal shelter, after her second year of college ended.

Refocusing, she adjusted the rear view mirror, to better see the reflection of the sun the moment, it slipped and whispered below the horizon and dusk became a fact; not a just a thought in her mind, behind the wheel of the beat up Jeep, she drove.

Her stomach, whined then growled ferociously, causing her to take one hand from the steering wheel, to rub at her gut, in an effort to comfort it’s demands. To no avail, the hunger pains twisting her insides, bent her almost double, her chin slamming into the hand, still hanging onto the steering wheel, at the twelve o’clock position.

Go away! Go away! Go away! She screamed in her head,
at the monster, roaring to be fed, in her cramp riddled
abdominal area.

The repeated chant, in her head, seemed to do the trick, for the moment. The pain and the racket in her stomach, subsided; backed off a bit to a tolerable level, once more.

Her mind returned to it’s errant backwards wandering as it always did, when she was headed into the country side, again. Nothing had been the same, after her new boss had sent her out to retrieve a resident stray, supposedly attacking the neighborhood cats and dogs, at whim and will. Concerned mothers were frightened one of their children would be next, and several had called in to plead for assistance.

When she’d arrived, she’d found the homeless animal alledgedly running amok and amuck amongst them, to be a pathetic, slat ribbed creature, with an uncanny resemblence to a jackal, instead of a dog.

Lying upon the concrete sidewalk, it barely looked able to support it’s body weight, no matter how minimal. Much less, score a winning bout with another canine, even a Chihuahau.

She hadn’t the heart, to traumatize the emaciated beast any further. So, instead of reaching for the restraining pole with choke collar, she’d gone for the blanket, used for animals in shock. That had been her first and last mistake on the job.

She’d approached the animal, speaking to it, in soothing low and steady tones. It had gazed at her, an apathetic, dull look in it’s filmy brown eyes; it’s fur matted and tangled.

She squatted down, wrapped the blanket about the dog, and then her arms, about it’s lax, cover laden body.

It was then, the animal responded. It’s body grew rigid, and it’s muzzle shot out of an opening in the wrinkles of the blanket, sinking it’s teeth into her bicep up to it’s blackened gumline.

She had screamed and yelped like a dog herself, at that point. Grabbing the animal’s neck fur and skin, and jerking furiously at it, in an effort to free herself from the burning pains, shooting up and down her sothically molested arm.

Even in her pain, she noticed the dog’s eyes had transmutated in coloring, with it’s attack. They were no longer a filmy, shitbrown; but a glowing, radient gold, staring blazingly, balefully into her own. It’s eyes rolled back in it’s head, and it released her, as it died in her arms.

Shaken, she deposited the expired dog, into one of the cages, in the back of the animal shelter van. She had then cleansed and bandaged the wound on her arm, as best she could, from out of the first aide kit, in the console of the vehicle. Raggedly cursing beneath her breath, at the shooting pains pulsing up and down her savaged limb.

Back at her job, her boss had insisted she see a physician, and had given her the rest of the day off, and the following Thursday and Friday, as well. He assured her, the animal’s remains would be sent off for testing, to see if it contained rabies; but he preferred she see a physician now, and start the series of shots, to be on the safe side.

For no reason she could think of, she’d gotten into her Audi and driven straight home, instead. Back at her apartment, she’d laid down on her bed, meaning to call the doctor’s number her boss had given her, before she left, but had fallen into a deep slumber.

When she awakened, she found she’d slept the entire time she’d been given off. It was Monday morning and the sun’s rays slanting across her bedroom had finally brought her around, with their brilliant cacophony of brightness.

She’d felt extremely hungry and after rising from the bed, padded to her kitchen, in search of food. She’d been a staunch vegetarian, since junior high school; but, had found the fodder contained in her refrigerator and cabinets, bland and unpalatable.

After dressing and grabbing her wallet out of her purse, she’d left the apartment, and sprinted to the butcher shop, several blocks from her apartment. Ordinarily, she would have driven the Audi. But, this didn’t feel like an ordinary day. It had the glisten and the glam of unreality.

Entering the establishment, she’d found herself almost drooling and slavering at the steaks and roast contained behind the glass fronted counter. As her stomach growled loudily,she asked for four filet mignons and watched the butcher wrap the ruby fleshed meat, in fascination.

It was a wasted effort on his part. After she’d paid him, she tore the white paper off, and devoured all four of thesteaks raw, to the man’s shocked and sick faced surprise.

That had been the first of many odd things, she’d done and found herself doing…But, not the last, not by a longshot…

At that moment, the sun exhaled it’s last breath and slipped below the horizon, signaling the end of the day. Dusk feel as heavily as dew upon the countryside. Finding herself, on a stretch of road, heavily wooded and tangled with thickets on either side of it, she pulled the jeep to the shoulder, and switched off the ignition.

She was panting with pain, her stomach growling and roaring, once more, as she watched the full moon, gain the horizon and begin it’s ascent into the heavens from the driver’s seat.

Then she opened the door, slid off the naugahyde seat, walked around the vehicle, entered the woods, and disappeared into the thickets, her arms, wrapped protectively around her aching abdomen.

She kept to the velveted and dark verted shadows, of the tree crown lines, and the tangled thickets, at the base of their trunks, of the east Texas countryside.

Moving like a crippled wraith, threading her way in and around one hanging grapevine after another. Scratches ripped across the skin of her unprotected face and arms, as low hanging branches seemingly reached out for her, whipping to and fro, as she crashed through the underbrush in the bright light of the full moon. The wavering shadow she threw, resembled none so much, as a stooped, agestruck hag.

Nothing, neither scratches, nor the abysmal pain in her grip wracked gut, detered her singleminded progress through the Sabine River bottoms. She left the thickets, to cross a gladed meadow struck to a liquidic ocean of silver, in the glare of the moonlight; to enter a clustered copse of weeping willows, at the water’s edge.

Entering the stand of willows, she was ripped and torn asunder, by a different kind of pain, than that
eating away at her flipping and twisting empty stomach. Every joint in her body, was consumed and set a-fire. Toes; ankles; knees; hips; elbows and fingers, becoming flashpoints of singe ridden agony.

Once more, her mind begged, demanded, implored,
screamed-Go away! Go away! Just…Go…Awayyyyy…
But this milestone marker of acute pain, was but a preface, of further physical agonization, to dawn and bloom within her physical being, shortly.

Therefore, as quickly as her ember riddled joints would allow, she divested herself of her cotton tee-shirt, jeans, hiking boots, socks and undergarments.

None to soon; for as the last scrap of clothing, a black satin bra, landed a-top the jumbled pile of material, an ear splitting scream tore from her very core. Ripping upwards and outwards, with lungshattering ferocity; tearing from the pain frozen rictus of her wide open mouth, like a phonic hurricane.

She was slammed backwards, with the force
of this fresh, unmitigated physical angst,
against the wide girth of an ancient willow,
as though struck by unseen lightning.

The tender, naked flesh of her back, ground and torn against the rough bark of the tree. A topical pain, her brain largely ignored, as her spine arched convulsively, almost simultaneously, away from the tree; her arms and legs rigid as wooden planks; her hands, clenched in tight fists; as another lighting wave of soul searing pain consumed her, again.

Her brain, couldn’t resist, weakly thinking to itself, beyond the curtain of hysterically
rising pain, lightning always strikes twice…

This newest physical issue, made her feel as though she were strapped helplessly, to a medieval rack.
Her bones, muscles, tendons and veins, pulled and elongated like warm saltwater taffy, to the veritable
ripping and tearing point.

Always, she was certain, this time, the next episode; would literally cause her to physically implode and explode.

Rip her into shreds of nothingness, as the transmorgriphication began…

With each event, she fervently prayed it would be so…That she would die from the very birthing
process of the becoming… The becoming of something more, than she’d ever wished, much less wanted or needed to be…

However, this last sane moment and philosophical thought, left her brain like a buckshot scattered dove; as she screamed anew, her head thrashing back and forth in the moonlight. Her long hair, whipping like live serpents, about her face and shoulders.

There in the merciless, cold platinum, stage light glare of the moon, she became something hideously wonderous and fearful to behold. She shapeshifted
from one thing, into another, seemingly altogether.

Her face pulled like silly putty, from her nose, into a sothic snout, her once beautifully sensuous mouth, transforming into a wide slash of razor sharp, caninic teeth. Her nude body became animated, rattled and shook with convulsions. Her skin grew mottled and retexturalized; as her spine lengthened; and her limbs changed form and function, and she fell to the musty loam, on all fours.

She was no longer singularily bi-pedic; but equally and as skillfully, quadro-pedically inclined, as well.

For she was no longer a mere woman, human.
Instead, she was a black furred, hunger riddled
and driven, nocturnal predator.

Helpless, unable to stop itself, even if it wanted to, from the mindless feeding frenzy it was about to comitt. For she had transmorgriphed, like it or not,
into a folkloric lycanthrope. A truely lunar tide ripped child of the moon, a werewolf.

She sat back on her well muscled haunches, an unwilling carnivore; turned her sothic face to the starshot heavens of the east Texas night, and howled her unmitigated misery to the full moon; as scaldingly bitter, hot tears streamed down her black furred sothic cheeks.

This remorse riddled phase passed quickly, as once more her body betrayed her. Waves of nausea rolled through her abdomen, as the smells and sounds of the night, multiplied to the ninth degree, in her sothic state, crashed into her olafactorial and aurical senses with an echoing, resonating bang.

She retched and gagged, shaking her head simultaneously, as the song of the east Texas crickets, roared, ripped, and sliced through her head like a freight train.

Then, the whistle of a real train in the near distance, smashed through and around the bones of her new caninic cranium. This fresh, hellish cacophony, literally blasted her, off her feet.

Where she lay panting, heavily, until the metal behomoth of the night had passed and faded aurically,
into the far distance.

She also continued to retch, as the scent of the ground, overpowered her sense of smell. In this state, dirt smelled like death, to her; smelled of mouldering bodies, both human and inhuman; dead roses, wilting on myriad graves; excrement, excrement, everywhere.

This phase also passed, as she adjusted to her new state of being. When she thought about it, she could tune down, as one would the volume on a radio, the sounds; and she could filter the more overwhelming smells, down to a dull roar, at the back of her sinuses.

Once she was able to do this, it was then, the good smells, wafted more heavily in her head. The scent of grass kissed by the liquidic diamonds of dew; the withy, woody scent of tree bark; the perfume, of individual flowers; the coppery smell of blood, pumping through the iron tanged scent of meat…

Her stomach, growled mightily, and she rolled to her feet. Raising her muzzle, she delicately sniffed the night laden air. Slowly turning her head, from side to side, sniffing in all directions.

Halting this first ritual of procurement, when her muzzle pointed towards the eastern horizon. She dropped her muzzle, her eyes staring intently, towards the east, a low whine, working it’s way up her long throat.

Fresh tears, spilled from the lower lids, of her night visioned orbiters. In this monsterization of her body, she no longer saw in full color-only in shades of black, pewter to grey, and white. Remorse overcame her momentarily, and a growl just on the edge of sounding like a human sob, rose from her soul. What was left of it, when she was in this lycanthropic state.

Then, she snaked out her newly elongated tongue,
and licked the dripping tears, from her muzzle.
Shrugged her powerful, well muscled shoulders,
and set off, padding fast and lithe, on all fours,
in an easterly direction.


Chapter Two

Even in her newly shifted wolfinic shape, human thoughts still ran through her sothically inclined cranium. As the need to feed, overcame, overwhelmed and overan her, like a Mack dump truck, turning a skunk, caught in it’s blinding headlamps to roadkill-
very human thoughts, drifted in the closed closets of her higher self, long after her transmorgriphication.

She hated herself, for that which she was about to commit…And at the same time, she couldn’t wait for the chase that was about to begin. A game as old as time…the procurement of meat on the plate to survive.
She might not remember her name, after she’d been bitten and undergone her first transformation, but she could remember wanting to heal not harm animals.

What was her dratted name? Since that time, when she’d been forced to deal with normal humans, when asked her name, she’d always drawn a blank. Thrown out the first name that came to mind. Sometimes she was Sue, Jane, or Mary; simple names, that didn’t require to much concentration to roll off her tongue. She’d lived her life, since the change, living on the fringes of society. Traveling from homeless shelter to homeless shelter; always able to beg just enough money, to keep the old jeep on the road, heading towards the next location, on the Texas map.

She’d found she no longer required the consumption of what other humans considered edibles. She could live from one full moon witnessed feeding to the next, on nothing but water.

As she padded east, the smell of warm flesh with blood coursing through it’s veins, began to beat a copper and iron tempo through her own twisted veins.

She knew she was nearing her target. The location of her kill zone. And the end, to the hunger pains wracking her body.

Leaving the tangled brush and thickets of the Sabine River bottoms, she headed up and topped a small rise, in the night mantled and lunar ridden landscape.

Her pupils dilated in excitement, as she looked down upon a herd of sleek and well muscled Quarter horses.
An entire river of animals, in differing shades of drying blood, rust to sorrel.

She licked her lips, in anticipation of ending her hunger. Then loped downwind, off the hill, back into the thickets, to come up around and behind the unsuspecting herd.

A human thought, some snatch of verse, she’d memorized before the change, kept wafting through her head-something wicked, this way comes…Something wicked this way comes…Something wicked this way comes…Tears coursed down and over her sothic cheekbones.

Reaching the position she wanted, downwind, behind the herd, she halted momentarily to gather her strength for the physically grueling drive she was about to take her body on. Frequently, after feeding and shifting down and back into her human self, she would find she was covered with bruises and myriad scratches, from running through underbrush and being kicked at by her prey.

After the first few changes, she found she preferred horsemeat to that of steers. Even the fat bulked, stocky Herefords, were no taste match for horsemeat in her book. It was to easy to kill them. No matter their superior size and strength, they were still bovinic, easily victimized. She preferred a victim that would give her a run for her money. Possibly hurt or maim her, in the process. For she hated what she now did, worse than a junked up, out of date, old whore, walking the streets. And hoped beyond hope, maybe her next victim would take her down. Nothing fought her harder or longer, than a stallion attepting to protect his herd. Yet, to date, she’d always won the match, to her dismay.

It was easy to pick out the stallion, the protector of any given horse herd, the head honcho, so to speak. They always, drifted just a bit off from the herd, to one side or the other. Content to allow the lead mares, to lead the other females and their foals, in one direction or another, across a field as they grazed.

From this outer circle vantage point, running at the edge of the herd, the stallion could better see what might be coming upon the herd. If caught in the middle of the herd, he would first have to make it through a sea of surprised females and foals, fillies and colts, to head off whatever danger might creep upon them, as they fed.

This stallion, was no different than any other she’d encountered. Keeping to the right of his herd of grazing and gently snoozing while standing, mares and babies, he’d sired.

She might not be able to control her need to feed, but she’d never killed a female or baby, of either species-bovinically or equinically inclined. At least, she could hold her head up about that, in the guilt riddled days following every kill, she had to make, to survive.

She lay down upon her belly, and slithered from the underbrush, low to the ground; using the tall blades of grass, as she came out into the open, for as much cover as possible. It was impervious, she get as close to the herd as possible, before being detected. Otherwise, even in her supersensitized and sized state, she could find herself, going hungry, as the herd spotted her, and ran across the fields, towards the protection of the barns and stables of the humans, that owned them.

She never made kills, in the precense of,or near, humans. Something about the very human thought, of being severly embarrassed at being caught, this out of control.

She almost reached her objective, the outer skirts of the herd, when the stallion pricked his ears and turned his head in her direction. A single snort of alert from his flared nostrils sent the herd quickly moving away from her. And the stallion, galloping around and behind the mares, to make a formidable space between himself, them and the precense of wolfscent, he’d detected on the wind, as it shifted, momentarily, just a bit.

Her eyes gleamed as the dance of the chase began. She pretended to ignore the stallion, loped off to his left, as though to follow the streaming herd moving to the other end of the valley. Always method to her madness to pretend interest in the mares and foals, at first. For this would cause the stallion, to continually work to keep himself between her and his brood of females. Keeping him constantly galloping, in an effort to slow him, tire him out for the big chase.
When he would break away from the herd, in an effort to get this predator, her, to follow him. His very maleness and hardwired need to protect his weaker mares, proving to be his undoing; as he fell neatly into the slot she wished him take. Alone, just he and the wolfen, running a race to the death. A death she would extract from him, with great guilt, in her uncontrollable need to feed; to replenish herself for the next month; but take him down she would, guilt riddled or not. She was helpless to otherwise.

Once, she’d missed a kill during her transmorgripication phase. The two months, she’d gone without eating, living on nothing but water, had almost killed her. When she had shapeshifted again, she’d been reduced to hunting small prey, in her weakened state; rabbits, field rats, moles and the like, that evening. She’d never missed a kill night, after that, again…

True to form, the stallion began to edge further and further, from the herd. He was a gigantic beast, tall even for a Quarter horse, at roughly twenty-one hands, near as she could approximate in her caninic state of mind.

As one, fluidically, as he turned, so did she…She became his other shadow, running along in the wake of his own. Drawing closer and closer to the powerful rump and the driving, hard hooves of the stallion’s back legs. Her focus, to draw beside the broad span of his withers, and with a burst of sothic adrenalin, spring onto the hapless beast at that point. To encase the thick swirl of bunched muscle there, to sink her sothically long fangs to the gumline in the tender flesh of horse, in it’s prime.

That had been her original intent, initially. But as she drew abreast of the racing stallion’s withers, the gigantic beast, twisted in mid-stride, seemingly. The next moment, she saw a flash of silver, as the moon reflected off the animal’s iron-shod hooves; and then blinding pain, as those hooves connected with her right side.

Peered maybe somewhere in the Quaterhorse stud’s peerless lineage, was a throw back to a mustang or a bucking bronco.

With the impact, she was thrown willy-nilly, through the air, end over end, to land with a hard thudding sound and a soft whoomph, as the air left her lungs, with a rush.

She shook her head, inhaled painfully, and tried to gain her feet, agony radiating in waves from her right side, several ribs broken, from the feel of it; as the stallion turned and galloped full tilt back towards her, like a knightless charger.

It was then, for one split second, she caught a whiff of something on the air. Something, that almost wafted of salvation…She had no time to register what the scent was, as the angry stallion was upon her, rearing up and displaying the underside of his bone crunching
hooves and whinnying in a pitiless, earsplitting voice at her.

She rolled sideways, painfully gained her feet and retreated, backing away from the fear angered and driven beast. Knowing to take the upper hand back, or even just to survive, she had to put some distance, between him and her.

The pissed off stallion sensing a vantage point, came onwards at her. Continually snorting, whinnying, rearing up and stomping his skull splitting hooves, feet from her retreating figure, in the field, backing towards the shadowed line of the thickets.

At the same time, she realized she would be dining on rodents, once more; she saw the blaze, come over the gently rolling rise, of a far hill across the pasture.

Several thoughts, went through her pain wracked brain, one right after the other, in lightning quick motion.

First, she had to get around this angered and rightly so, equinic monster; and then, there…Yes, there, she saw salvation; freedom from this predatorial plight, she’d never wanted or asked for in the first place.

She growled low and fierce at the stallion, still prancing, rearing and thudding his hooves, practically in her muzzled face; then leapt forwards, straight at him, as though to attack.

To the horse’s surprise, she simply sprang over him and ran past him, towards the blazing hills on the eastern side of the shallow valley. His last view of his once feared tormentor, was her silouhette, outlined against the flames, licking away at the thickets and the field, nonprejudicially.

Then he turned his attention back to his herd, to round them up and rout them away, from this newly birthed danger, a Texas wildfire.

The werewolfen nee woman, continued her run, towards not away from the flames. Sensing in the oncoming conflagaration, her freedom from this rootless existence of living off the very things and beings, she had once so loved to heal.

As she drew closer, the outward wall of heat enveloped her, like a comforting mantle. She didn’t hesitate, even then. In fact, with her last step, she literally sprang into the open arms of the flesh eating, pitiless blaze.

In a fraction of a second, she was afire. She was the dancing fire, within the fire. The shock to her system, sent her into shapeshifting backwards, from her carnivorous form, to her human one. With her last thought, as either figure, she remembered her name, as she screamed, “Avery! Avery! My name is Avery!”

The End


Hunger Pains


Joined November 2008

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