They say 'you don't know what you have until it's gone.' Well, in most cases that's true. However, in some most unfortunate ones, it's the complete opposite. You truly do not know what you're missing it comes time for it to show itself, but then it doesn't. Now I'm not talking about some kind of cube that gives you magical powers...or puberty. No, I'm talking about lycanthropy, more commonly referred to as a werewolf. You see, I am part of a clan of lycanthropes, the largest actually, as well as the most well hidden. The Bertolf family. We are recognized as a clan for two reasons. The first being that we are all related by blood, and the second, is that our strand of lycanthropy cannot be passed on through our bite, or our blood. It is a part of us, only we can pass it to our children.
Every child undergoes their first change on the night of their fifteenth birthday. Usually it is celebrated as the child's passing into adulthood. But, within this tradition is a test. A test for the 'skinwalkers', werewolf children who go through their fifteenth year with no change, The skinwalkers have all the strength and instincts of a wolf, but no fur. Because they cannot change, they grow more feral, more animalistic. They begin to grow small claws and sharper teeth, but eventually they go mad, therefore they are pitied. They are weaker in the packs mind. Skinwalkers are incredibly rare, so rare in fact that in the last five generations of the pack, there have only two. The first died a hundred years ago, but now my brother, Aryn Bertolf, is blessed with this curse. I am Lyall Bertolf, twin sister to the skin walker, and this is mine and my brother's story.
Highschool, as if life couldn't get any more worse. The twins sophomore year starts today. But this was their first day at Aiden's School for the Metaphysically Inclined. Augustus Aiden, leader of the secretive "Council" gathered all of the leaders of the surrounding clans and packs to organize such an event. Education was of the utmost importance to the man, and he wasn't going to let the more "gifted" species of this planet suffer for being different. Aiden had set up the school merely five years ago and has the largest community of various magickal creatures. Centaurs, Satyrs, Witches, Nosforatu, Lycanthropes, and Faye alike all came to this school to learn what was needed to survive in the present day scientific world that left no more room for the magickal beings. However, to be allowed into the school, the children's magickal characteristics have to have 'surfaced.' This brings us to the day, that for the twins, life as they knew it, changed forever.
In a field find a group of younglings, ranging from toddlers to teenagers, rough-housed and were having fun and general, except for two. A boy and a girl, both possessing brown hair, bright green eyes, average figures, and matching expressions, sat together, seperate from the others. The two could easily be recognized as twins. Their names were Aryn and Lyall, children of the Pack's leader. They were never apart from one another and they wouldn't have had it any other way.
The twins looked around and saw their fellow pack mates wrestling and playing. Turning to each other, they grinned. "Can you believe it?" asked Aryn, "It's finally our time. Tonight…we're adults."
Continuing to grin, Lyall responded, "We'll finally be a part of the clan." Eerily in unison, their grins became mischievous as they spoke at the same time, "One more prank before we'll get in real trouble for it?" They both laughed and responded to their simultaneous question, "You read my mind, dear twin."
Shivering suddenly, Aryn and Lyall's mother, Kathrine talking with their father, Marrok in their living room, their children were up to something. They had been too quiet all day and too well behaved. Staring blankly, Marrok only asked, "They're about to play a prank…aren't they?"
"Yes, I have a feeling this is going to be worse than the luncheon incident." Kathrine replied worriedly.
Marroks eyes widened. "Damnit! We have to go find them before they do something similar and on their birthday, no less." Kathrine and Marrok both stood up and began to leave. "I'm still wondering how they managed to set an entire kitchen on fire with only mustard and vinegar."
"Well, dear, Aryn and Lyall are very bright children. Aryn does spend a lot of the time in the library and Lyall can and has convinced him to go along with anything she wants…" pinching the bridge of his nose, Marrok finished their conversation.
"Come on, we have to find them now. Why did Lyall have to be that mischievous?"
Meanwhile, the twins were just beginning to put their plans in motion. "Okay, Lyall, if we're gonna get this just right, we are going to need gun powder," "
We've got a barrel of it." interrupted Lyall with a grin.
"Ho-never mind, I don't wanna know. We need Sodium, equal parts Aluminum and Titanium, and Barium…at least a half pound of each." Aryn replied, looking expectantly at Lyall.
"I know the metal-smith, not a problem, except for maybe the Sodium, because it's explosive."
Continuing his list, "We'll also need flash powder and a casing for the entire thing, preferably rocket-shaped." grinned Aryn.
"And that is a snag in our plans. I have the casing, that's no trouble at all, but how will we get flash powder?" questioned Lyall.
"You have aluminum powder, the smaller the particle size, the better? We'll also need Potassium perchlorate. We can get that from the Magick stocked shelf."
Grinning at each other, the twins ran off to get the supplies. An hour later, Aryn and Lyall had everything that they needed. Laying them out, Aryn opened up the container, filled it with gun and flash powder, and then began to arrange the metals in a pattern. Lyall just sat by watching her brother work, smiling. He was always the smarter one of the two. In ten minutes Aryn was wrapping everything up in wax paper, closing the casing and sealing it.
Looking up, "You ready for this, sis?" asked Aryn. Her grin was the only answer he needed. Continuing with a smirk, "Would you do the honors?" Standing up, Lyall walked over, and using her claws and a piece of flint, she snapped and lit the fuse. Taking Aryn's hand, they both ran for cover as two minutes later the rocket launched. Thirty seconds later, the words "Aryn and Lyall were here. XP" five seconds after a large boom sounded throughout the village.
As the twins began laughing and turned to run, they felt fear as a clawed hand clamped onto each of their shoulders. Looking up into the eyes of their father, the pack leader, Marrok, they gulped.
They knew this was going to happen but this was always the cost of a good prank; the reprimand of their father and mother. "What the hell were you two thinking? What's wrong with you two? Burning the kitchens isn't enough for you, now you want to try to burn the whole village?" The twins' father paced angrily in front of them as they sat at the kitchen table in their home. They were used to the whole spiel after hearing it time and time again, though they were nervous when their father was mad.
Marrok Bertolf was not a man to be reckoned with. Anger aside, it was easy to tell that one did not want to mess with this man. Standing at his full height he stood at six foot five inches. Dires were exceptionally larger than the average human being and the average werewolf due to the size of their wolf. The twins did not take after their father in looks though, they took after their mother who shared their dark chestnut hair and evergreen eyes and slender body build. Marrok, on the other hand, had black and grey hair that came with age and crystal blue eyes.
"Lyall, explain yourself." The fuming man stopped in front of his daughter. Lyall always did the right thing by her father, but her loyalty always laid with her brother no matter what.
"It was my idea. Tonight is the night of our change and we had wanted to do something special anyways. I just thought 'Why not go out with a bang?'" Aryn sat beside her, trying to hold back a chuckle at how much of a bang it really had been. "I convinced Aryn to help me gather everything that was needed and to build the firework."
"It wasn't that hard actually. All you needed was-" Aryn piped in but was cut off by his mother, Katherine.
"Aryn, enough. This is serious. This is not the time to show off on what you did. Listen to me, both of you." The twins turned their attentions to the beautiful woman standing in front of them. "Both of you are fifteen today, you are adults in the eyes of the Alpha and the rest of the packs. You cannot do these things anymore. It's time for the two of you to put away these childish things and leave them behind you. Things are expected of you now, especially you Aryn if you want to follow in your father's footsteps." Aryn slouched and rolled his eyes at the aspect of becoming Alpha. Not that his father would ever allow it, even if he was dead. "Both of you must lead by example. Remember that." The twins mimicked one another in crossing their arms across their chest. It was dad's turn now.
A heavy sign came from Marrok. "I don't know what to do with the two of you. We've tried grounding you but you sneak out and TP Kristopher's house. We take away your computers and cell phones and you hack into my computer and rearrange my files and folders and rename them after food products in Japan. We take away your doors and you set the kitchens on fire!"
"Hey, that one was an accident!" Aryn jumped up but was forced back down by his father's glare.
Marrok sighed again. He took a seat and rubbed his temples. Fear of the next retaliation prank had set upon him, triggering a headache. "I want you two to go upstairs and think about what you have done and you are to stay up there until it's time for the change. In the mean time, your mother and I will think about what your punishment should be this time." He said calmly, anger vanished. The twins nodded and started up the stairs. "Separate rooms!" Their mother shouted up the stairs and stood there to make sure they did so.
Once in their prospected rooms, Lyall looked around at her and her brother's room. They insisted that they share a room ever since they were little. It was painted a deep royal blue with gold and brown accents. The only furniture visible was the bean bags on the ground, their desk, two off-white cloth hammocks, one over the other in the corner, and two wardrobes. She grabbed her MP3 player and laid down on the lowest one, hers, and thought about what was coming that night. 'Would it hurt?' She wondered. Several various scenes from werewolf movies played in her head as she listened to her music.
In the other room Aryn sat around for a bit, thinking about the prank. This was one of the few that he actually enjoyed doing, much like the mustard incident. Except this time things worked out. He twiddled his thumbs for was seemed like half an hour before he grew bored and went to the window. Sliding it open he slipped out, holding onto the ledge and reached out to their bedroom window which was about three and a half feet away. Perfectly positioned for his long, lanky arms; Aryn swung himself over from one window to the next without thinking twice.
A knock on the window spooked Lyall out from her staring contest with the underside of the top hammock, only to see her brother waiting for her as he clung the ledge. Both smiled at one another as she left her spot to let him in.
Climbing into their shared bedroom smoothly, as he'd done so many times before, Aryn smiled. "That was our best prank yet."
Lyall showed her slightly elongated canines in a smile and finishing with a laugh, Lyall replied, "Of course it was, we actually finished it." Continuing to smile at each other, the twins laid on the floor next to each other and soon drifted off to sleep.
Waking up to someone knocking on their door, Aryn and Lyall both got up and answered it to find their mother looking at them expectantly.
"Come on, the sun sets in thirty minutes and we have to prepare you for the change." was the only thing Katherine said before she walked away expecting the her children to follow. Grasping one another's hand, they followed after the woman who birthed them.
Looking down at his only offspring, Marrok began to let them know what they would experience during their first change.
"Now, at first you'll feel…strange is the best word, like something is happening that has some deep, important meaning to nature itself. After that, be prepared for an excruciating amount of pain. The first change will provide you with an otherworldly pain like no other. You may even black-out from how painful it will be. But don't worry, after the first change, you won't feel any pain from switching between forms. After you assume your hybrid form, you might experience a rage, but you will definitely have trouble adjusting to your new body. Don't worry, as with the pain, that will go away. Now, you can experience the change together…or in separate rooms. Decide."
Not even taking a moment to think about it, the twins immediately responded with "together."
"Very well." was the only reply Marrok gave. "Prepare yourselves, you're becoming official adults."
Soon after, like their father had said, they began to feel strange. Their parents watched as Aryn and Lyall began the first change. Lyall, they watched proudly. The young female wolf didn't show any sort of pain as her hair began to change to a deep gray and her eyes became amber. "This isn't so bad. It doesn't hurt all that much." She thought. Soon her body began to grow taller as her spine extended and a tail grew. Fingernails lengthening and sharpening into claws, and teeth growing and sharpening as well, Lyall soon began to whimper. "This, is starting to hurt" She began thinking, but then she couldn't take it anymore, it was too much. She was unable to contain the howl of pain that escaped her as her face lengthened into a muzzle and her legs broke and reversed direction. Soon the once proud girl was crying painful tears as fur began to grow rapidly from every inch of her. Her last conscious thought went to her brother whom she hadn't heard once, "Is Aryn okay?" Lyall curled into a ball, trying to ease the pain before she had finished her change.
His only thought was to not scream while Lyall was still awake, so that she wouldn't be worried about him. Almost immediately after Lyall passed out, a shriek of immense pain escaped Aryn's mouth. Snapping their heads to their son, Marrok and Katherine began to worry. Aryn, instead of changing normally, like every Bertolf family member, was writhing on the ground crying out. They looked on as their only male child, the one meant to become Alpha after Marrok was finished, went through more pain than they could imagine.
His deep-brown hair, instead of changing to a deep gray as his sister's had, began to get lighter and gained silver high-lights. He screamed and screamed until no sound came out. He felt everything as his muscles tore and healed, only to tear again. He felt his claws growing, and piercing his palms as he clenched his fists from the pain. His teeth sharpening while his canines alone lengthened like a dog's. Blood ran down his hands and onto the ground as he fell to his knees trying not to pass out. They watched as Aryn finally passed out from the pain next to his twin sister, seeking comfort, as his ears became slightly pointed and tears continued to stream down his face .Crying before he too passed out, Aryn's thought were for his twin as well, "I need you, Lyall, please be okay." And his vision faded to black as well. Katherine grew wide-eyed, realizing what was happening to Aryn, while Marrok only seemed to gain a disappointed look about him. Both of them experiencing a form of horror, for completely different reasons. To their mother, she was terrified at how much pain her children had been through and how terrifying it had been to watch Aryn. To their father Aryn wasn't a normal werewolf as they had expected, he had proved himself a disgrace among the Bertolf clan. He was a Skinwalker.