By Amber Ramirez
Every bone in my body was tingling with joy under the full moon, being in wolf form felt so different….so free. The faint scent of tree bark and fresh winter air overwhelmed my wet wolfish nose with a pleasure I could only feel in a dream. When I’m in wolf form, there are no boundaries or walls to contain me; it’s just me and the open wild. Daniel never did mention what an amazing experience it would be to become a wolf. Soggy grass beneath my four paws. Dirt grazing under my belly from kicking so hard was a comfort. Tonight Mother Nature is welcoming with her damp earth, blessing us with a soft snow. Nothing feels better right now than just running….running from everyone, running from everything……even life. As if the sweet taste of freedom demands to be felt. The snow…. Why is the snow stained red? Snow is white, not red. Red is the color of blood, or sometimes roses. Snow is white. So why is it red in here? That taste in my mouth, I don’t like it. Daniel make it go away…..pleas? Daniel please help me. Daniel……Daniel!
Sunlight crept into the room letting me know that it was time to wake up. Immediately my head felt swollen, with an unbearable throbbing pain. Sounds were echoing through my heightened sense of hearing, a dog barking a few blocks away, some cars driving by. It took me all but two seconds to realize that I wasn’t home or that I didn’t have any clothes on. I was in Daniels apartment, but no Daniel. Slowly lifting myself up with the sheets covering myself, I scanned the room, until I found him on the couch fast asleep. Not wanting to wake him, I grabbed the bathrobe next to the bed. Walking into the bathroom to freshen up I caught a glimpse of my reflection. Clearly the mirror wasn’t working, because the person I saw couldn’t have been me. The bathroom door creaked open and I realized that I must have woken him up.
“Gracie, your more than welcome to use the shower and get cleaned up, while I fix you some breakfast, than we need to talk” Daniel said in a grim tone. I didn’t even realize what a mess I was with all the dirt and grime caked on my face. Without saying a word in response I nodded closing the door behind him. Water so hot it created a blanket of steam around my naked body. Once I started washing off my body that’s when the stained blood began to drip into the shower drain. Gingerly stepping out of the shower I glanced at the mirror once more. Immediately the first thought that came to mind was, you murderer. What will your father…a pasture say to this? Another voice came just as quickly. It’s not your fault…it’s in your nature. You have no control. Salty tears streamed down my eyes. Stepping out of the bathroom, the scent of pancakes filled my nostrils. Daniel was already sitting down waiting for me.
“Did I…really kill someone?” I choked. It proved harder to say than I anticipated. Daniel looked down into his lap, and lifting his head slightly up he nodded a difficult yes. Fear struck, the only thing I did was put my hand over my mouth in disbelief. With weak knees, and a heavy pain in my chest I collapsed into the chair. There was no way this was real.
“April covered for you and told your parents that you went over to her house, so everyone thinks you’re with her, and when I found you this morning. God Gracie you looked horrible. There was nothing I could really do except get you out of there.” Daniel mumbled. “Why would you go out by yourself like that? I was so worried” He said raising his voice.
“I don’t know what to say, other than I feel horrible” I answered.
“Well, as long as your safe, we can get through this together” Daniel said and reached for me, taking me into his warm embrace that always gave me a feeling of safety. There was nothing I could do now, but accept what is and be grateful that it wasn’t anyone close I suppose.