Before Chapter 1: Vital Information

At the start of the story, the main character, Otter, has a disease only werewolves can get. (Hence its name, Werewolf Disease.) This disease, if not deadly, leaves the victim with a strong obsession for something, a major talent for something else, and too weak to stand up for a week (people called this a Weak Week.)

A Crate is a type of bed. It has…sort of wooden rafters holding up silken walls. Then a canvas lid is put on. These are normally only used in hospitals because since there is not enough room to put everyone on the floor, some people have to be put up on the walls and without walls some people might roll off their beds to their deaths. Also helps keep germs away from others. But double disgraces (people who've disgraced themselves twice, W diseased people for example – the disgraces of both being a werewolf and having the disease) also have to sleep in Crates, just for the shame.

Instead of ID cards, people had round stone tokens with their name-or if that was too long official nickname-on one side and a unique design on the other.

Werewolves could change whenever they wanted and changed into things other than wolves-basically anything a canine, a feline or a bear except a cat or dog.

Chapter 1: Healed Relief

Otter squirmed in her hospital Crate. Darkness-death-closed in on her. At least, it felt like that. It happened all the time but left no other sign of soon death. What was even more puzzling was that she seemed to be getting better, despite these miserable in-mind experiences.

Otter silently shook in a miniature seizure. These always happened after mindblacks, as she called them, and she was used to it now. She did not even cry out with the surprise, jolt and slight pain anymore, now that it was expected.

Otter had been told yesterday that her next mindblack would be the last the last and mark the end of the illness. If she survived till then. This, of course, was that last one. "I'm free," she said hoarsely to her lid. "Well next week when I can stand." And with that, she fell back in the Crate, unconscious.

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