The Call of the Wolf

Prologue:

The Moon Summons the Beast Within

The moon hung high in the sky. A bright light illuminating the night and banishing the blackness above. I closed my eyes basking in the moon's gentle glow. Its powerful allure was too much to ignore. My skin itched with anticipation. The moon wasn't full. That was days away, but I could already feel the intense urge to follow my bestial instincts and allow the creature inside me to take over. I relished in the thought. The moon was my mistress, and I am her humble servant. A creature of the night. A lycanthrope, otherwise known as a werewolf. An immortal being with the power to change into a wolf-like creature.

A light breeze traveled through the warm summer air caressing my skin and ruffling my hair. I inhaled deeply, relaxing the tension in my muscles as my enhanced sense of smell took in the rich scents of the nature around me. The heavy scent of earth assaulted my senses mixing with all the smells of the woods surrounding the little clearing I had chosen to settle in. Grass, leaves, rot, wildlife, and anything and everything that you could imagine. They floated along teasing me with the promise of adventure. My ears twitched as I detected the soft pitter patter of tiny feet, and the rapidly beating hearts of the creatures hiding in the thicket around me. The sounds amplified as I focused upon each one. They could detect me just as easily as I could detect them.

Danger. A predator in their midst. My heart started to beat faster within my chest at the prospect of the hunt. My muscles flexed and tightened. I could feel myself bordering on the edge of the change, but I skillfully held it back. The timing wasn't quite right and though the temptation was strong, my body wasn't properly tuned yet. It was too soon.

I opened my eyes to survey my surroundings once more. The world I saw now was different than it had been before. It was accented in hues of gray, white, and black. This signaled how close to shifting forms I really was. Had I looked in the mirror at that precise moment, my eyes would have been glowing bright cobalt blue instead of their usual navy hue. A sure sign that my bestial nature was taking a hold of me. The wolf that resided inside its human disguise trying to get out. I felt a rush of adrenaline and my stomach churned as the beast within me tried to force me to submit. It wanted to take control and I didn't want to fight it anymore. It hurt more to resist the urge than to give in to it. I took a deep breath, centering myself and feeling my shoulders loosen. The breeze washed over me again and I knew. It was time.

A smile tugged at my lips, and I closed my eyes and simply, let go. I groaned feeling my bones cracking and shifting into place, my muscles moving along with them without resistance. My skin stretched tight conforming to its new shape. There is pain in the process, but to me, that pain was also a relief. The sweet transformation of shedding the skin and becoming my most true self. No pretense, just me giving in to my true nature and submitting to the wolf harbored within. This process lasted mere moments and all at once, the pain was gone. It was as if it had never existed. My body ached slightly from the trauma, but it was nothing I couldn't shake off. In a few minutes it would fade, and I would feel nothing but bliss. This was my true form. The real me.

I inhaled deeply again carefully cataloging each detail of the scents I detected with my new sharpened senses. My heightened senses told me more about the world around me than my eyes ever could. A map of the forest around me formed inside of my head, the scents laying it all out perfectly in line for me to see. Painting an invisible picture. One that only I could see. My ears twitched as the sounds around me amplified, some taunting me, demanding that I give chase and go investigate. The wolf was curious, but also cautious, by nature.

Leaning forward, I placed both of my hands on the ground in front of me. With little effort, I pushed my body upwards coming to stand on all fours. I let out a deep groan as I arched my back, stretching unused muscles and restless limbs as they adjusted to my new form. I always feel more comfortable in my lupine skin than behind my human facade. My claws flexed digging into the earth eager to run. The muscles in my legs twitched, eager for me to give in to that urge as well. It didn't take long for my wolf brain to kick in. In a matter of moments, I was off moving from the clearing and into the thicket as fast as my legs would carry me.