"The way to love anything is to realize that it may be lost."

~ Gilbert K. Chesterton ~

This tragic nightmare comes often. His back is pressed upon a bed of crunchy leaves, a blood-colored moon breathing out cold air as it dangles against a black sky. An aroma of fresh rain hangs in the air. But the only kind of fluid anywhere around him is the blood that is starting to form in pools under the bodies. The air is cold on his skin, his whole body aching with a pain that feels as if he is being stabbed by a thousand blades forged into flames. The winds howl around him, and he expects that there is a monstrosity in the woods that is going to come and tear him to pieces. The trees and bushes rustle wildly, but he cannot get up from his bed. He seems to be forced to stay there, although he is not enchanted by such a power to stay down like the dog he is.

From out of the plants that were just shaking with a wild passion emerges a figure that is revealed to be an enchanting young woman. She is the fairest girl that he has ever seen, her features being absolutely perfect in his eyes. The dark hair that flows down her shoulders compliments her eyes, which are a wondrous, bright blue. She seems to have taken the color of the seas and painted her vision the wavy, calming color. She walks in a graceful manner that resembles floating toward him, the long sleeves of her white dress flowing down to the blood soaked ground. She offers her pale hand, the moonlight reflecting off and forcing a radiant glow onto her outstretched fingers. He suddenly feels his arm moving toward hers, and their fingers intertwine with one another. She pulls him up slowly, and for some unbeknownst reason, wraps her arms around him. He does the same in return after a brief period of shock and confusion.

It is at this moment that everything turns from a sweet paradise into a nightmarish hell. Her hair blows in the night air and brushes across his face. Her aroma is so sweet. Her skin is as soft as the skin of an infant child. Her entire body is just perfect. His fingers start to clench in a lustful manner as a feeling wraps its fingers around his soul. He holds back, trying to allow himself time to only enjoy this embrace. But the hunger is becoming far too strong. He licks his teeth silently, knowing that he is not in control of himself now. He wants to keep this monstrosity inside of himself, but it is inevitable. The cross that he uses to hold back the demon is broken into a million pieces, and the changing begins.

He pushes her away, falling to his knees, holding his head between screaming fingers. The pain seared through his veins like a virus through an already sick bloodstream and he screams in pain. He bites his tongue to stop the horrible noises he is making but only ends up screaming again when he feels the fangs pierce his tongue. He ignores the blood, as his bones begin to expand and get harder and stronger than before. His clothes begin to rip and tear as his muscles expand on his chest, shoulders, arms, and legs, leaving him in only a very torn up pair of what used to be jeans. The tufts of fur come next, growing to a long length in only a matter of seconds. His eyes have even become a sickly yellow, his pupils dilated to a pin's point. Finally, his screams and moans of pain and agony are replaced by a deep, throaty growl that sends the woman into hysterics. She runs when the howling comes, hoping for an escape from this monster. But time has run out. The beast has been unleashed.

They run through trees. The woman, somehow, is outrunning this monstrous creature thought to be a legend. He does not give in though. His wolf-like instincts force him to go on. He wants - no, needs - this girl under his control, no matter what use he has for her, whether it be for food or for any other potential use. His teeth are barred in a threatening fashion, growls and yelps slipping from his throat, each sound being full of murder. The trees seem to be never ending, but the girl is not making any mistakes at all. She seems to know this place far better than he does. After another minute or so of chasing the beautiful woman, a branch catches upon his foot, and the wolf-like monster tumbles into a tree that knocks him senseless. The world is blurry for a moment, and the last thing he sees is the woman disappearing, just like everything else that he has ever loved.

The dream, or nightmare, ends when he is awakened in the same form he was just stuck in within the dream. His dark hair covers every inch of his massive, muscled body, and his only clothing is the jeans (or what is left of them) from his dream. The wolf had been awakened by the sound of their howls. He hates the dream, but he has no time to think on it. It is early dawn, and the pack of creatures much like him will soon be treading down this path, searching for something that they can feed themselves with. He growls in frustration when he hears them getting closer, and heads off into the trees that will hide him from the view of these creatures. Only a few moments later, about five of the massive wolves come, sniffing into the air as they search for the familiar stench of a doe or a rabbit. Suddenly, all five of them seem to go rabid at some sort of stench that could be their game and head off in another direction.

He has not eaten in five days, because he is always being outrun and beaten by these natural born killers. In fact, just the other day, a massive one of these things had lunged on him and bitten him up. He fought back, but to no avail, being much smaller compared to this hulking beast, he was wounded and forced to retreat. Just like the underdog, the other creatures are forced to stay inside of the body of a wolf of the night throughout each day and each night. Just unlike him, they rely upon one another to survive, sharing foods and hunting in packs. They are tremendous kings in a small world: huge, fearful creatures pinched by pure animalistic instinct. But one thing sets him apart from them, and it is the fact that he still has his soul intact. He can still think like a human being can, and make smart decisions based upon the situation he is in. He is really just a boy stuck in a wolf's body.

After staying in the shade of the trees for a bit longer, he slowly creeps out and sees a tiny rabbit. The fur is grey, and the stench of the creature just forces him to lunge at it. The poor creature tries to get away, but his claws find their mark, right on the head. He assures it is dead, and takes it into the trees as he makes his way toward the cave he calls home. It is hidden deep within the trees, ensuring that none of the other wolves can find him. They never venture past the south side of the lake, which is where he resides. He has never actually had an encounter with one of the creatures at his cave before. He is almost convinced that something keeps them at bay, such as a spirit or an angel, but he knows it is incorrect. They have access to freshwater. They have no other reason to explore this side of the woods.

When he arrives, he immediately throws the food in front of him and digs his teeth into the fattiest part. Minutes later, the bones are clean of any meat and flesh that may have been on the skeleton. He disposes of it and the fur in a hole that he digs with relative ease. It is not much of a meal, and he craves more, feeling a horrible aching pain in the pit of his stomach. Instead of going out to hunt again, he decides to sleep, having searched for food the whole night before. He lies in a deeper area of the cave that shields the rays of sunlight from the sun from his eyes. Soon enough, the werewolf is sleeping peacefully.

He awakens much later than he had anticipated. The sun is high in the sky, but night will fall upon these grounds soon. At this time, the others will have already done their hunting, giving him the chance to go out and search for his meals for the next few days. He rises from his spot and steps out into the air, standing as tall as he can on both of his legs. He glances around, trying to choose a spot to head to where his prey is lurking. He decides to head to the lake. It seems likely that something is around there. Plus his throat is dry as a bone. He gets on all fours and shoots of into the trees, going faster and faster as each second passes.

When he arrives at the lake, he immediately heads to the closest edge of the freshwater formation. The orange sun reflects off the typically blue hue, swarms of fish swimming in random patterns. He waits for his moment before breaking the surface with his entire head, his jaws gnashing into something with a scaly outside but a soft center. He does not know what type of fish it is, but it does not matter to him. After tearing the meat off of the fish, he disposes of the skeleton and begins to drink out of the lake. He keeps drinking the water until he can take no more, and he is still feeling unsatisfied with the fish. He is about to go in for another, but is stopped when he hears a sound he has not heard for years resonate through the air.

It is a dialect saying something. But is it really possible? English? It is, and that can only mean one thing: Humans. Humans are a rare delicacy for him, and the sounds that their lips formed sent chills down his spine. He hides in light but tall grass and watches from across the lake. Four teenage boys suddenly come from out of the trees. He is unable to make out any specific details in their faces or on their clothing from his point of view, but he can make out their body types with ease. Two seem strong in their build, sporting broad shoulders and standing tall. They are going to be the most difficult to catch and destroy. Not that they should be too big of a challenge, though. The other wolves take him down with ease, but humans are no match for any kind of werewolf, no matter their place on the branches of the society tree. The third seems a few inches shorter and average in his overall look. He almost begs for this one to fall into his fingers. He is perfect. The last is the most unappealing when it comes to meals. He is shorter than the other three and extremely thin, making him look almost scrawny and weak.

For the next two hours, as the moon began to rise and darkness found a place to inhabit, the werewolf watched the five as they sat about the lake, and the wolf assumes that they are probably camping or something. He missed partaking in such an event. He tried listening in on their conversation, but he was unable to make anything out, only hearing muddle airwaves. But there was another temptation coming from them, being constantly teased by their stench. Red blood in his mouth just seemed so good right now, and their stench reeked of living prey. They were just begging him to come and murder them. He cannot make a sudden appearance to go down into history books, but time is running out. The moon is going take hold of the orange sky soon and force darkness over this land. He must act soon, as the others might come out to play too.

As if there is something watching over the wolf, one of the stupid boys begins to walk off, saying something about "having a smoke". It is the one he'd has his eyes on the minute he saw him. This excites him, his blood swimming fast as his heart pumps it through. He moved slowly backward and into the trees, searching for the trail that was created by the trees. When he was finally out of his companions' view, the wolf moved in. He stalked quietly as t, let his satisfaction sink in, and then took another huff. The wolf, now finally just behind his prey, stood to his full height, towering high above this ridiculous excuse of a human. The smoke dwindled upward, entering his nostrils. Despite the displeasing idea of tar sticking to his lungs, the wolf loved the scent of the smoke. It was a sick satisfaction.

When the boy turned around, he was greeted by his massive form. He tried yelling out, but was met with a claw to the face. He hit the ground before either of them knew it was happening, bashing his head off of a nearby moss covered log. He groaned in pain, huffing and puffing for breath as he tried to scramble away. But the wolf did not let him make an escape. The boy was just getting to his feet when the wolf's hands grabbed the boy's shirt by the collar before sending him flying into a tree hardened from age. The boy's shirt had been torn off, his back suffering a bloody reckoning from a thousand and two splinters. Blood dripped from the scratches on his back, sending the wolf's bloodlust into hysterics. Weak and defeated, the teenager did not move from his spot as he watched his victor approach.

All that came next was the sound of a snapping neck and a wolf savoring his meat from the boy's stomach Soon enough, he was dragging away the body into the trees, the stomach completely hollowed out by the wolf. Said creature was content with himself, finally feeling that he was not going to die of hunger any longer. All that he needed now were the other three within his pinching fingers. It seems logical that they would last him a few days.

But plans always change. When he heard the howling suddenly come, his spine was cursed with coldness, sending shivers all the way down his back. His ears flicked, listening intently. Had it been a sound from monsters of a higher standing? It had to be. He darted off into the trees, his memory retracing him back to the lake. Upon arrival, he was already too late. The boys had been found.

He watched the battle from the opposite side of the lake. One of the "stronger" looking boys was lying dead, four massive arcs from the other wolves' nails painting his shirt a chilling crimson. The boys were not going down without a fight, though. The other was holding a shotgun, which he had quite possibly obtained illegally or stolen. It must have been, because one of the werewolves went down almost instantly, a red mist spraying from where its brain had been. The barrel of the gun pointed toward the other two now, who were ready to attack but aware of the dangerous lead.

But where was the scrawny kid? The werewolf's heart jolts when this thought enters his head, but why? He is not a priority to focus on now. What mattered was getting their tender meat off of their bones. The wolf charged forward, making his debut appearance to the boy with the gun. The shotgun fired, missing the oncoming wolf of humanity and hitting another straight through the head. Brains and skull splattered all over. He did not have enough time to reload the gun when he came down upon him. His mouth went for the boy's throat, tearing at his neck with his sharp fangs, and eventually succeeded in killing his prey. As the thick blood travelled down his throat and into his stomach, he knew his business was not done. Where was his snack-to-be, the little guy?

An angry cry dripping with profanity came from a few feet away, and the wolf's attention shot in said direction. One last wolf, who he had not known was there, was standing over the smallest boy, who was trying to crawl away with all of his strength. But success crawled away much faster than he did. The hunter dug its claws into the weak boy's back, tearing away his shirt and ripping his flesh with a tearing sound. He screamed out loud in absolute agony as blood and flesh flew into the air. Just as the drops of organic material split off from the boy, something unusual happened.

A dark nostalgia whipped around his mind, sending him back in time to only a few days before. He was in the exact same position; crawling for dear life, not wanting to be hurt any longer. But the attacking wolves never gave in to his longing. They beat him and clawed him and kicked him until he lay there on the grass, weak and broken. Somehow he'd managed to survive the fight, his animalistic characteristics assisting him in keeping his heart kicking. All of his wounds were minor, his cuts having sealed up in only one night. Being the underdog really takes its toll on a person, especially when your human emotions and empathy are still intact. Once again, the empathy took a hold of the reigns of his heart and forced him into action.

He tackled the wolf who was ready to maul the boy, teeth digging far into his throat. It was the common killer, one that the wolf's victim had not seen coming. He felt the wolf moving beneath his teeth for a few seconds before all was still. The wolf died almost instantly, the sharp mandibles of his killer being the last thing he'd ever felt. His satisfaction was painted on his face through blood and proud eyes, which soon laid themselves on the boy.

"N-no," he stuttered out weakly. The wolf turned the rest of his body sharply. The boy's eyes rolled into the back of his head, sending himself into a dreamland of unconsciousness. Panic struck. He could very well be dying. The wolf knew this and knew action had to be taken. He took his thin body and flung it over his shoulder. He dragged the body that was soon to be his next meal behind him as he headed back to the cave, where he would attempt to heal the teenage boy. But how can he do so without the proper materials?

Wait... Was that why he was taking the boy back to the cave? Was he really going to attempt to heal up his wounds? Even if that was the reason, how would the human react to such treatment? He would probably attempt to run but end up being torn into a bloody pulp by the others. But this was an act of human compassion. He was still just a boy trapped within a body of destruction. He would need to communicate with the boy somehow, letting him know he was a friend and not one to be his undoing.

Perhaps that is all that he had longed for. He had been longing for some sort of form of companionship. It has been years since he had a person to call his friend. There was not even such a thing as an acquaintance in this world. Maybe he just wanted someone to be there with him. He had attempted to befriend the other creatures of his kind but failed to no avail. Just like the few days beforehand, he had been bitten and clawed and scratched and tattered by the entire group of them. Another thought came into his mind. Maybe it was not the fact that he wanted an acquaintance at all. Perhaps it was because this boy was just like him: weak, small, the underdog. Well, he was really just assuming all of these qualities due to said boy's attitude and physical stature. Shorter than the rest, but there's a rough demand, an edginess, in the boy. He showed no fear in the face of those monsters. He tried fighting back, only to be on the receiving end of some razor-like claws that gave some nasty gashes. Even the wolf showed no fear in attacking the monster to save the boy, since he felt that he was just watching a replay of the events from days ago unfold before his eyes. That was it. It was the quality that they both shared. They were dauntless.

The walk had seemed so short due to the wolf being in such deep thought about the boy and himself. The moon shined brightly in the sky and a bit of thin fog wavered above the ground an inch or two. The entire mood was ethereal, but the feeling was comforting and calming to the wolf. It was nights like these that the werewolf was completely at peace. Of course, all of them loved it, as the howling from the others could be heard from a distance away. With their current mood, none of them would come looking for food at all. This was a night that they were going to enjoy.

He placed the boy's weak body near where he had been resting earlier, deep within the cave, laying him on his stomach as to not cause any further pain or irritation to the wounds on his back. After doing so, he placed the dead body of the taller boy on the side of the cave, covering it with branches and dried leaves. The wolf only hoped that the boy would not awaken to find his dead, mangled friend. Now all that mattered was trying to find a way to talk with the boy and to tell him that he was not going to bring him any harm.

This was tough. He could not play the words of English off of his tongue, but he could recognize it. His mind played through the various ways of communication that he had known. He had never learned any sort of sign language, and the possibility that this boy would understand it was slim nonetheless. Forget that idea. The idea of touch would never work. Verbal communication was out of the question. The growls and other ghastly sounds that he made would only send fear into the boy's heart. What else was there? He was about to give up when one final idea came to him: writing. He remembered each letter in the English language and knew how to form out simple sentences. Still, he did not have any sort of writing utensil or anything to write on to begin with. The final form of communication he could think of was even useless! His fingernails dug deep into the moist dirt around him. This was a cause lost long ago.

With frustration weighing in on him, the wolf headed into the cave to find a comfortable place for him to sleep. But vitality penetrated his head. He was supposed to somehow fix this boy's wounds. He did not have any sort of material suitable for such medical attention, with the nasty gashes and blood oozing out all over his body. His mind started to race, but stopped when he remembered the campsite that the four had set up earlier. They had bags that could possibly have some sort of first aid kit inside. It was a shot in the dark, but he set out to get there as fast as he could, hoping to return as soon as possible to gain a bit of sleep.

He arrived at the site of the bloody battle that had just taken place rather quickly. The stench of meat and rotting bodies led him there with ease. Their little campsite was nowhere near being set up at all. They seemed to have just dropped all of their materials and procrastinated with settling in at all. The wolf was a bit annoyed with this. Humans constantly push everything out of their lives until it needs to be done. He did not think too hard on the matter, though. He needed to find what he had come here for because he wanted this lazy human back at his home to live.

He tore open a black bag with numerous pockets. He tore through random articles of clothing only to reach the bottom to find nothing at all. Tossing the bag away, he turned his attention to another, which was smaller, but seemed to be crammed with all of sorts of things based on the shape of the bag. He was surprised to find something that looked like a vaguely familiar weapon, but gave it no other attention. Digging deeper through more clothes and useless objects, he found a small, red, rectangular-shaped bag with a white cross on it. This was exactly what he had been looking for.

The journey back to the cave was uneventful as usual, but the wolf had felt exhausted from the events of the day. He considered trying to heal the boy when he entered the cave, but sleep was what he had needed. The fighting he had done earlier along with the waiting game of hunting had taken a lot of energy out of his body. Plus, he tended to get tired after a massive meal. He entered the cave, and went to check on the boy to assure that he had not tried to leave. Luckily, he had not moved from the position that the wolf had placed him in earlier, let alone tried to escape from the cave. Finding a comfortable place to sleep for the night, the wolf laid on his back and fell asleep merely minutes later.

As the sun rose in the sky, the werewolf awoke and rose almost immediately. His eyes did not feel heavy and sleep-ridden; assuring that he was ready for whatever awaited him that day. As he neared the cave exit, he glanced at the boy, who still had not moved. Somehow, this panicked the wolf, and he immediately went to go and check his pulse. Placing two long fingers upon his neck, he moved his fingers around, trying to find the steady beat. There was nothing there for a moment, but then it came. Boom. A second or two later came another. It was faint and seemed excruciatingly slow for a heartbeat, but it was still a pulse, a sign of life flowing through his body. He felt a sudden wave of relief smash into him. He was alive. Not well, but definitely alive. Still, the wolf could not help but wonder when he would awaken so that he could fix his wounds.

He decided to have a bit of food while he waited for the boy to awaken. Going into the deeper end of the cave, he located the body that he had taken earlier. The stench of the rotting body was starting to become overwhelming anyhow. Plus, he did not need the boy to find the body of his friend all mangled and bloodied up. That would just make earning the boy's trust much more difficult than it already would be for the monster.

He dragged the body out into the early daylight and observed his meal. He was still particularly filled with the body from the night before, so this would only be a snack of sorts. But from which part would it come from? His arms did not give off an appetizing aura one bit. Now that he actually looked at what he had dragged back to his home, he was extremely disappointed. In his disappointment and anger, he stomped on the boy's knee cap, a sharp cracking sound piercing the air. He pulled on the boy's foot, twisting it in unnatural angles until the flesh and meat tore off with a fierce shredding noise. He dug his teeth into the meaty part of the leg and felt a rush of iron blood pour into his mouth. The taste was absolutely amazing, the blood sizzling on the tip of his tongue, the chunks of meat tasting so savory and wonderful. He just loved the taste of human bodies.

He continued to dig into his savory meal as thoughts raced through his head. The boy in the cave needed to escape, there was no doubting it. He had a family to return to. A mother, a father, maybe even a brother and a sister. Perhaps he even had a pet of some sort, a cat. The idea of something extremely eccentric, such as a chameleon or tarantula, even crossed the wolf's mind. He remembered the days in which he had a family, a mother and a brother. He had never met the man who he would call his father, and he did not really care to. His mother and brother had been amazing people to him. It was so strange that he was now murdering human beings when he, himself, is-

Wait a second. He is a human being.

That thought suddenly sent a bug of some sort into his stomach. He dropped the now half-eaten lower leg of the boy. He was a human being trapped within this body of a nightmarish creature. How could it not have occurred to him before that he was practically partaking in cannibalism?! He clenched his stomach when he felt something rise up in his throat, and bent over low to the ground as he vomited. Chunks of human meat and blood spewed forth as the sickening thoughts ran through his mind: Cannibalism, intestines, crimson, and flesh. Even after his stomach was completely empty of the contents that lay in front of him in a steaming pile, he gagged and choked at simply the thought of eating a fellow human being.

After some time, around five to ten minutes, he managed to recover from the entire experience. He stood up, knees feeling weak, his whole entire body shaking out of disgust and sickness. The werewolf was about to head out to find something more realistic to eat, such as another rabbit or some unidentifiable fish, when he heard a yell from behind him. He turned around quickly. The boy must be awake. He dragged the body of the human by the one leg that was left and his him under a surprisingly large brush, tossing in what was going to be his food for the morning before he vomited it all on the ground soon after. He headed into the cave quietly, hunched over, on all fours. He walked quietly, one giant claw ahead of another at the pace of a turtle. He approached the rock in which the boy had been laying, and his short, labored gasps for air were quite noticeable. He made a low growling sound, and the boy's gasping noises as he tried to listen for whatever had made the sound.

The werewolf made his appearance to the boy only seconds later, who had his back leaning up against the wall, and the boy immediately began to yell out of fright and shock. He threw out venomous phrases that only forced the monstrosity onward, the immature words causing his lips to twitch into an upward shape a bit. He shoved his face close to his, drawing out a yelp from the teenager. Now nose to nose, he clenched his teeth, showing off his fangs as he made a threatening growling sound.

The boy whimpered with tears in his eyes, trying not to look into the werewolf's pale, yellow eyes. "P-Please don't-" The werewolf turned away, obviously having had enough fun with striking fear into the teen. He stalked to where he had kept the objects he had recovered from the boy's campsite and grabbed up the red pack. He could feel the boy's eyes glued to him with fear and curiosity as he approached with the object. When his eyes were drawn down to the familiar object in the werewolf's clawed hand, they seemed to pop out of his head in recognition. The wolf motioned for the boy to turn around by spinning his finger around, but the teenager was completely confused. He did it again, this time giving a menacing scowl with fangs fully exposed. He immediately turned around with a look of fear upon his face. Now he could finally observe the bloody wounds much more closely.

They were not as bad as the situation had made them seem. Not very deep at all, but the skin is still stripped from his back in four arching strokes that are caked in dried blood. The wolf is still surprised by the fact that the attacker had not dug so deep into the boy's skin. He does not think too hard on it, though, knowing that he needs to clean these wounds and then wrap them in some sort of gauze or bandage. He tears open the first aid kit, finding a roll of gauze about three inches round in diameter. However, the actual gauze itself is not made of a thick material and is very thin. He hopes that the length of the gauze is actually enough to cover up all four gashes, if not most of it. Inside of the pack is also a very small bottle of peroxide, along with a small rag that he finds difficult to hold onto with his massive hands. The memory of this alcohol makes him cringe. It prevents any infection, cleaning out the wound, but the recipient is usually given a terrible stinging feeling. Not giving any warning, he untwists the cap, splatters the rag in the wretched alcohol, and presses it against the boy's back. The boy gasps at the initial shock and pain as the alcohol does its work on the wounds. The boy turns his gaze to the wolf, with tears welling up in his eyes. The two share a look for a moment before the boy speaks up.

"Th-Thank y-you," he says in a shaky tone. The werewolf gives a small nod that the boy does not see and then turns to grab the gauze. The wolf grabs the boy by his forearm and forces him to his feet, although the sudden movement forces the stinging sensation to return on the boy's back. The wolf turns the boy around again so that he can wrap up the wounds. He forces the boy to raise his arms as the wolf wraps the gauze his back and chest in an attempt to keep the thin material around his bloody cuts. By the time this is over, the teenager looks like a half-naked mummy. But the appearance is far more suitable than wearing a sheet on one's head and haunting your family for fun.

The wolf meets the boy's gaze and, after a moment of silence, gives a nod of assurance; they understand one another now. He is surprised that the boy is managing to keep his composure so well. He has encountered few beings of the human flesh and all of them have run off, screaming at the top of their lungs. The only way to silence them, unfortunately, was to make them his next meal. The wolf, now feeling a bit of angst fill up his heart, backs away, his work on the boy finished. It's a messy job, but it will have to do for the time being.

"Pants…"

The statement confuses the wolf. "You- you're wearing pants. Are you… Do you understand me?" the boy asks, exhaustion filling his tone as he sits with his back leaning against the cave wall. The werewolf nods again. "My name is Bryce." A just, peaceful silence falls upon the two as they sit, staring at one another as they study each other. The werewolf sees that Bryce is without any sort of shoes or socks, and the only clothing he has is the pair of dark brown shorts he is wearing, which are torn and dirtied from the attack the night before. His body looks weak and abused from his attack. His eyes look tired and distant, but a hint of revenge is sparking in them. Perhaps he wants to get back at the wolf that had attacked him last night. But the werewolf knows that this short, weak-looking boy is nowhere near any condition to take on a full grown, monstrous, blood-lusting werewolf.

A strange, rumbling sound comes from the boy's direction. He clutches his stomach. The werewolf realizes that he has positively nothing to give to him for food. Unless Bryce was a cannibal, the wolf would have to find something. Immediately the fish from the lake come to mind. It would have to do. It was the only food source that could be acquired easily that the boy could actually eat. Rabbits and squirrels were not a common food source for human beings. Without giving any warning, the werewolf held up a huge, clawed finger, which signaled Bryce to stay exactly where he was. Running out of the shelter, he sped out of the entrance and tore through the trees as he made his way to the lake. He felt a sharp tree branch cut open his shoulder, but he did not care. He had to get food for Bryce. He can't- wait.

Why was he doing this? He was a werewolf! A creature that- no, he was human. He had a human conscience, human emotions. He was a boy trapped in the body of a monster. He was trapped in the travesty of transformation. Whenever the curse had been put upon him, he was stuck in this form until who knows how long. He had been in this form for so many years that he had never really put a finger on these thoughts. Would he ever go back to being human? This mentality was very human indeed, but his physique? Towering at eight feet tall when he stands on two legs upright is not a common feature for any sort of human. Sure, people are broad-shouldered with a muscular chest and huge arms, but not to this extent. And that just makes the other wolves far an even more terrifying danger.

These thoughts bring out his sick, twisted anger once more. He breaks through the trees into the clearing near the lake and charges faster toward it. Instead of slowing down near the edge and clawing at a fish from the shore, he dives in, claws extended and ready for a kill. His body pierces the water cleanly and he opens his jaw wide. He clamps down when a large fish randomly flutters in front of him and a veil of red paints the water around his face. He swipes swiftly with his claws at a fish with strange looking whiskers of sorts and misses. But, when he attempts to do it a second time, he feels the blades on his hand find a mark, a sense of satisfaction shooting through his veins. He is surprised by how quickly he had managed to get the food for Bryce. He expected it to be far more difficult for him, but his rage and quick-wittedness kicked in just when he needed them to.

He heads back to the cave, and Bryce has not moved from his spot. He did understand what he'd meant. Good. The wolf really didn't need the boy walking around and finding the torn and mangled body of his friend. He throws the fish in front of him, not realizing that Bryce cannot actually eat the fish raw and with the scales still intact. Luckily, Bryce spots the bag the wolf had retrieved from his campsite and grabs it up, searching through it until he pulls out a small package of matches.

"We can start a fire up with these if we can get some firewood," Bryce says. The werewolf nods in agreement. He heads out to a patch of trees and gathers dried branches that seem to be a decent enough size. He even finds some dried up leaves which will catch fire with relative ease. After arranging the sticks and bloodless chlorophyll filters in a spot in the dirt, the wolf clears the shiny scales from the fish while Bryce attempts to create a fire with the matches. Soon enough, a small flame is slowly growing bigger and bigger and a contraption has been created to cook the fish over the open flame once it has grown big enough. The setup is very simple; the fish is speared with a long branch, being held up over the flames by two sticks on each side bundled together by a thick rope from the bag.

After eating their meal in silence, which the wolf thoroughly enjoyed, having not had fully cooked food in many years, the two retained their places for sleeping that they had taken the night before. Bryce leaned up against the rock in a sitting position as he slept. The wolf was curled up deeper in the cave, fully awake and staring intently at the boy. His yellow eyes tried to break the tough exterior of his mind and personality. He seemed to be so full of life in what he said, aside from when he had been terrified in the face of danger and a werewolf. Even though he was wounded and still healing, he walked in a stoic manner, with an aura of absolute confidence surrounding every part of his body. It was strange, honestly. If the werewolf were in this boy's situation, he would be absolutely terrified and traumatized. Well, he had been in the situation once, but with any sort of guiding force or companion? This was a foreign feeling, but the werewolf liked it.

He let himself wander in these thoughts as he drifted off to sleep. The same dream from many nights before came again; the girl, the blood, the chase, the fight, the emotions, the lust, it was all there again. There was no difference. Yet, it woke him up each night and he would feel a morose veil fall down upon his soul and heart. He almost felt as if he could cry, his throat feeling thick, choked up by the smoke of a land where he can be loved. But he did not wake from the dream on this night. He slept through it, as if fighting off some sort of cancerous disease that would take his life away if he did not put his defenses up against it.

But when he did wake up, he opened his eyes due to the sound of a threatening, evil growl. He opened his eyes with a flickering vitality, only to find two deep bronze orbs staring back into his. A snarl escaped his throat once he realized that this was another creature of the night. He lunged at his intruder, claws digging into his opponent's shoulders as the two monsters rolled out of the cave and into the moonlight. The opposing wolf kicked the other off of him, sending him flying onto his back. The wolf recovered, and immediately looked around. Where was Bryce at?!

He didn't have time to take another look around. The attacker, who was at least another foot taller or so and adorned a coat of thick, white fur dove at him. He stepped to the side, leaving his attacker to fall on his face first. He lifted his massive foot into the air and stomped down on his opponent's neck, and a howl of misery came from the receiving end. A clawed hand wrapped itself around the werewolf's ankle and threw him with brute force against a massive tree. The impact knocked the wind out of him and the trunk of the tree was scarred with a split straight down the middle. The white-coated werewolf dove at him again, and he was pressed even further against the split. Splinters entered his back due to the crack in the wood, one large piece of the trunk slashing his elbow and drawing blood. The white wolf slashed at the underdog's face, giving the occasional punch, before tossing him toward where Bryce and he had made the fire.

He felt blood dripping out of his mouth and oozing down his temple. His eyes felt heavy and tired, and he just wanted the pain in his body to end. The white form of the monster appeared above him, ready to take the kill, his foot prepare to come down upon his battered, bloody skull. But just as the foot came down, the wolf on the dirt rolled quickly, and sent his clawed hand directly toward his opponent's throat. The hand digs in deep, and a gaping hole remains where his neck one was. There is a silence as the wolf makes some horrific gurgling noises and then falls off of the human-wolf's arm, sliding off and landing with a nasty thud. The werewolf, now victorious, wipes the blood dripping from his mouth and flips his head in multiple directions, trying to find Bryce. He is not given the sight of his friend, but the sight of prints in the mud gives a clue. This wolf that now lay dead was not the only one here. There were others, and his fair assumption was that Bryce had been kidnapped.

He kicks off and follows the tracks. The trees, once again, trigger up his mind and thought process. He used to be the one constantly being ripped apart, wounded, and beaten to nearly death. But how has it been that he has become the hunter? When did he become the predator hunting another being that was just as equally powerful? And how had he ended up victorious? But he knew the reason: it was the feelings that drove him. Rage played a harp on his heart unlike any other. The feeling of flames and anger rose up and gave him the strength he needed to kill. Instinct, which is not really a feeling, played an important role. The brutality that his wolf-like form had given him has been with him ever since he had been stuck in this form. But he never had a thing to fight for until today, until Bryce made an appearance. Perhaps that was the other emotion that drove him; the feeling of friendship. He felt the need to protect the boy, even though the two have only been with one another for two days. Well, really, one, considering a night does not really count as a twenty four hour period. Still, he felt that he could not let the human die, which was what pushed him through the rosebushes and massive trees as he followed the trail and the stench of the nasty dogs that had taken his friend.

He followed the muddy tracks into a deeper part of the trees that he was unfamiliar with. He was a complete stranger to this part of the trees. He had never ventured out here. This must be the road leading to their home. He couldn't help but wonder if they had created some sort of structure or if they had simply taken shelter in a cave of sorts like he had been doing. Stupid, rabid idiots... What could they possibly want with that teenage boy? He is ridiculously small and - not only is he practically defenseless - there is nothing on him to eat aside from bone marrow. The werewolf began to tread even faster, feeling the clocks tick faster and faster. His claws dug deep into the mud as he sped on, his soul burning brightly with a flame of absolute rage and desire for crimson on his hands. There was no way that he would let those monsters take Bryce away from him.

As he drew closer, there is an undeniable feeling of lust in the air, the musty scent of animal growing stronger and thicker. He was getting closer. His entire body felt on edge, ready to pounce at any moment, but he had complete control over himself. There were times for insanity and a time for stealth, and now was a time for both. He crept quietly, allowing the overwhelming scent to lead him toward the place where the mutts resided. The word repeated itself in his head again and again. It seemed as if this was a means of making himself stronger. They're weak, repetitive creatures that only live to kill and never kill to live. They are brainless, almost dumb. What they make up for in brawn he makes up for in brain.

The wolf stopped just at the edge of the trees, the sounds of the monsters finally becoming audible. The howling sounded so lively now that he was so close to it. He almost wanted to join in on the fun himself, but he knew he could not. What were they doing? Taking on an unusual animal-like practice? He did not care. He just needed to find who he had come for. If the stench of the creatures wasn't so strong, he would easily be able to track his friend down just by using his scent. But every smell had mingled into some sort nausea-inducing stench that just made him sick to his stomach. He looked closely at the monsters in the dark, highlighted only by silver moonlight. They were all surrounding... something. He was unable to tell what it was, as they were all hunched close to the ground. But one does not need eyes to hear. When he heard the scream, he knew it was time. It was Bryce.

The scream had triggered something that sent the werewolf off into a sort of rage, and the night was suddenly over when he awoke the next morning. He had no memory of the night before. All he knew was that his body ached at every joint and part while the taste of blood resided on his tongue. He feels cuts on his body, stinging against the moist air, open to exposure and poison. He sat up slowly, being greeted by the bloodshed all over the place. Crimson droplets are splattered all about the once green grass. The bodies of the monsters are either torn into unrecognizable forms or are missing various limbs. He does not need to have any sort of memory to know that the bloodshed was caused by his bloody claws. But he had murdered these vile creatures. Where was Bryce at? His answer came to him when he attempted to stand himself up, his hand drowning in something warm and thick. The werewolf glanced toward his hand, and his eyes were greeted by the sight he wished would never have come.

Bryce is laying there, his stomach torn open; his entrails are littered on the ground around him, blood covering every inch of his body. The boy who he'd sworn to protect, who he'd sworn to himself would escape this place alive, lies in a bloodied mess of intestines and raw meat. But... how?! He'd gone off once he'd heard him scream, murdering every monster that was in his way! He'd torn everything apart, kept every creature at bay, and then…

The realization hits him like a train: he was the monstrosity that tore Bryce apart, eating away at his insides. This blood on his claws belongs to the human boy. Tears fill his eyes. The feeling emerges and he knows he wants to let it all out. He wants to cut himself open and let all of himself bleed out, but he does not. He knows that he cannot lose that part of himself.

That night, the werewolf buried the boy near his cave. The moon shone brightly in the sky as he stared at the site of his friend's grave, his entire body feeling numb. He just sat like this for the longest time, thoughts spinning in his mind. Despite all of the humanity he had tried to keep within his soul and heart, he was, in the end, just a monstrosity, an outcast. No one would ever love him. He would continue to live his life as a creature of the night without a single friend, without a single word to be spoken to him ever again. He used to be human. But, at the same time, he still retained that part of himself. He was human, trapped within the body of a werewolf, a monster that was given this life for a reason. It is a lesson: even in the end, everything is a monster. We are all given a monster to hide within ourselves, and our challenge in life is to keep it caged.

After the rain began to fall, the werewolf headed into the cave and lay down in his favorite place where Bryce had once lay. He leaned upon the rock, his heart feeling a bit comforted by the sounds of the water hitting the caves roof. His thoughts and hopes of living the good life one day sent him to sleep like they did every night, and he entered the ever so familiar dream once again…

"Hey moon, please forget to fall down / Hey moon, don't you go down"

~ "Northern Downpour" - Panic! At The Disco ~