Werewolf Series 1 - Episode 01 - Werewolf?

The mishaps all started one Autumn evening at the start of my sophomore year at university. The leaves were browning and there were no clouds to be seen in the night sky; it was the perfect opportunity to avoid writing my term paper by going to the university park!

Lazing around never felt so great, and it was even more relaxing with my friends around. That's Jamie. He's a bright kid. His version of 'lazing around' seems to involve books, and I'm not talking about comic books with pretty pictures either. Academic books! He also enjoys fishing, although he and I both know he's no good at it.

Stars look so much better when you're watching them with a beautiful girl, don't you think? This is Hannah, who I met last winter during my Freshman year. We're pretty close and all, and I can definitely say we've got chemistry, but things between us never seem to work out. When we finally get round to being cool with each other, I always tend to do something to wind her up the wrong way. She can be pretty explosive when she wants to be.

So this night, after my sport science lectures on campus, Hannah and I decided to unwind in the park and gaze at the stars, whilst Jamie kept with the romance and went fishing for old boots at the bottom of the pond. It seemed like the perfect evening for stargazing when I left the dormitory, but something felt kind of strange when we got there. It was as if we were being watched.

"Don't the constellations look beautiful? The Great Bear looks so pretty tonight," Hannah said, and I couldn't have agreed more.
"Yeah, I rather like the Dancing Hobo constellation too." Well, I could hardly argue when I don't know the first thing about astronomy!
"(Laughing) Zach, you're so silly."

It was turning out to be a pretty sweet night, until-
Arrghwoooh!

"W-what was that?" Hannah asked me, slightly shaken up.
"It was probably just a raccoon. Don't worry about it."
"You idiot, raccoons don't howl," Hannah spat, although she did have a point.
"She's right, Zach. Raccoons are the silent menaces of today's nocturnal society. They do anything but make noise," hollered Jamie from his fishing spot, highlighting my stupidity even further.
And my reply? "Well they make noise when they knock our trash can over!" One point to Zach. Take that, brainiac!
"I can see why you took sport sciences now instead of biology," Jamie bounced back.
"Guys, stop messing around. I'm really scared," Hannah cried.

Arrghwooooh! There it went again. 

"It's probably just some harmless animal," I told her. Although judging by my knowledge of U.S. wildlife, it probably didn't reassure her.
"Please go see what it is, Zach. I don't want it coming anywhere near here!"

And as dodgy as the decision to investigate was, I just couldn't resist being the hero to a damsel in distress.

"If it's a coyote, hit it with a stick!" Hannah shouted from the grass.

Okay, a damsel with a slight brutal quality.

"Aim for between its eyes!"

Hannah had every right to be scared. It was 10pm and we didn't exactly want a wild beast invading our cozy gathering.

I didn't know what to expect. At first, I thought it was just the fraternity boys being jerks with their practical jokes. But as I edged deeper into the darkness I could tell that something was out there. Something else was watching me, and it wasn't another lost Freshman who couldn't find his way back to his dorm.

That's when I heard it: a stealthy scuttle across the grass. Whatever it was, it was lurking amongst the trees and it probably saw me as its supper.

"Hello?" I called out through the woods. I'd never heard anything howl so brashly around the campus before, but I guessed that only one thing could make such a noise.

Arrghwoooh!

"C-come out, little doggy. I h-hope you don't b-bite!"

Unfortunately for me, this beast did bite! I couldn't see what it was or where it came from, but this hairy fiend lurched at me with an impressive force. Escape wasn't much of an option, as the thing had me wrestled to the ground. I struggled and tried beating its head, but it was at that moment when the creature sank its teeth into my hand, leaving a deep bloody gash! That's when I totally blacked out..

Eventually I woke up to find my wallet gone from my back pocket, but something even weirder had happened. I felt a little bit funny when I got back onto my feet, but the uncanny thing was that my hands were perfectly spotless. No bite marks, no wounds, no anything! The beast must have know that this was one tough college boy who it shouldn't have messed with.

"Mommy!"

Okay, so I was a little bit scared. It's not surprising after being mauled by some 6-foot creature in the middle of the night! I headed back to where Hannah and Jamie were nestled, oblivious to what had really happened during that maul...

"Man, I was just attacked by some furry animal!" I informed them.
To which a caring Hannah replied, "Did you get it between the eyes like I told you to?"
"No, I - I feel a bit funny, guys."

It wasn't like me to be dramatic, but I really did feel faint!

"Oh come on, you big wimp. (Laughs) It was probably a stray dog or something."
"I'm not messing about guys. I feel really bad."
"You feel bad? In what way do you feel bad?" Jamie asked.
"Anyone's bound to feel bad after a bad encounter in the dark of the night. Zach's probably just a bit shaken up," Hannah said, trying to delve into the problem.
I replied, with an even more ambiguous description, "No, I feel really bad. My body feels tense and my stomach is sick. I bet I feel almost as bad as Eve did when Adam started taking advantage in the Garden of Eden."

Adam: Heyyy, Big Guy!
Heavenly Voice From the Sky: Good afternoon, Adam. What can I do for you?
Adam: It's a bit chilly out here. D'ya think you could turn up the temperature a little?

Heavenly Voice: Sure. You're only wearing a leaf, after all.
Eve:
(Giggling) Go on, ask for it.
Adam:
(Whispering) Okay, okay. (Loudly) And whilst you're at it, would you care to get me another beer?
Heavenly Voice: Shouldn't you two be busying yourselves? Didn't I tell you to go forth and multiply?

Adam: And whilst you're at it, how about a juicy hog roast?
Heavenly Voice: Oh, so am I your slave now?
Adam: Well we can't get busy on empty stomachs, can we?
Heavenly Voice: (Sighing) Fine. But I'm expecting a damn good civilisation from you two!

Eve: (Tittering) Okay Adam, that's enough now.
Adam: And also, how about a TV down here? I'm boring my arse off in this garden. I mean, what are we supposed to do for entertainment around here?
Heavenly Voice: (Groaning) How do you know about the television? It isn't even invented for a few more millennia!

Adam: Now that's He's occupied, it's time for me to grab a quick snack. These apples look juicy -
Eve: Adam, no!
Adam: What? It's not like they're forbidden or anything.
Eve: (Glaring) You really don't pay attention, do you?
Adam: Don't worry, He'll be proud of us when evolution is done sending us to the top of the food chain.

Heavenly Voice: ENOUGH!
Eve: Oh, now you've done it...
Heavenly Voice: NOBODY SPEAKS OF SCIENCE IN MY GARDEN!
Adam: (Gulps)

Heavenly Voice: Science has no place here! Your soul shall be banished from this garden forever!
Adam: (Whimpering) Help me... Eve...

Heavenly Voice: Ooh, arr. Is he really dead...? Uh oh...
Eve: He's not breathing!
Heavenly Voice: He wasn't supposed to die... I was just meant to banish him into pergatory for a few epochs and whatnot. Oh dear...
Eve: So now what? What about the fate of the human race?
Heavenly Voice: Listen lady, I've been slaving over creationism for the past 6 days, creating the universe. Cut me some slack!
Eve: Well I can't mate without Adam!
Heavenly Voice: What about asexual reproduction? No? Okay then, there's only one solution to this...

Heavenly Voice: Eve, meet your new spouse: Andre.

Heavenly Voice: Well, I'll leave you two love birds to it. Go forth and multiply, but if I find you two using contraception, I'll damn you both to an eternity in hell. Ciao!
Eve: (Dumbfounded) Huh-? Wait-!
Andre: Heeyyy there good-looking! You looking for some sugar, baby? (Winks)

Eve: You know, there's a whole load of unexplored garden at the back there. Maybe you'd feel more comfortable living down there?

"And that's how racial segregation began."
"No it isn't - none of that really even happened! In fact, scientific evidence proves that the Garden of Eden couldn't have ever existed-"
"Jamie, God didn't welcome science into the Holy Garden, so what makes you think that it's welcome here?"
"Guys, can we stop messing around please?" Hannah interrupted, "Zach, are you hurt or not?"
"My arm..." I grumbled.
"Did it bite you?"
"I - I think so..."
"But you look fine, Zach. Where did it bite you?"
"I - I don't know. Can we just head back to the dorms please? I seriously don't feel too good."

Hannah gave me the sympathy vote and ended the night's outing in the park. Of course, I had to be theatrical by throwing up on the way back, but my caring friends managed to get me safely tucked up in bed and ready for a good night's sleep.

Morning had broken the next day, and I woke up rather sluggishly to the October sun blazing through my dorm window.

After a long night's sleep, last evening's antics were at the back of my mind.

There were other things occupying my mind that morning, namely something different about myself that I had noticed during my daily vain gussying up in the mirror. My face was plagued by something rather unusual.

"Oh my God... a zit?!"

At the time I was more concerned about my boy-ish good looks, but aside from my teenage angst, there was something rather peculiar swarming my face.

"What the-? My beard never usually grows this fast...!"

And I was damn right. I might have started shaving when I was 13, but my facial hair had never grown this quickly overnight before!

After a quick shave of the ole whiskers, I began to realise what my sex ed. teacher from 9th grade was getting on about when she said there'd be dramatic changes to my body in my teenage years... I just didn't anticipate they'd be this sudden!

Getting attacked last night had really shaken me up. Whilst feasting on my pancakes with the guys in the canteen, I just couldn't stop thinking about what jumped out at me in the woods yesterday.

"It was probably just Professor Rindhurst stumbling home after another bender," Hannah joked, and it sure got the laughter going between Jamie and I.
I was determined to get to the bottom of things; "I don't remember Professor Rindhurst being so furry though. It was probably a wolf, but when it attacked me, it was kind of standing... upright."
"There's only one species with a truly upright posture, and that's humans. But you say this thing was hairy, right? Then I can't imagine what it would be." I thought I could rely on Jamie's smarts to solve this mystery, but he seemed pretty stumbled himself.

"If you were really bitten, then you should see a doctor quite soon. You could be infected with something like the deadly C. tetani bacterium." Jamie mustered, not that I understood him.
"Come again?" I replied.
"Tetanus, Zach. You could be infected with tetanus," he enlightened. Tetanus seemed like the least of my worries at that moment.
"But there are no marks on his hands. He can't get infected if there isn't a wound," Hannah announced.

That was another mystery; I was absolutely sure that I was bitten on the hand, but either the wound was unnoticeable or it had... healed! Or maybe the bump to my head during my fall had sent my memories skew-whiff.

"Oh God, what time is it?" enquired Hannah, rather panicky.
"It's 9:54. Why, what's going on?" I asked.
"I have a lecture in 5 minutes! It's an important lecture too, so I can't be late for it!" she said, and upped from her seat to begin a sprint out of the front door.
"Well Zach, I am off to the library. I only have one lecture this afternoon, so how about we meet at the King's Music Hall this evening?" Jamie asked.
"Sure, fine. I'll phone you after my last lecture," I answered, and with that he was off.

Sometimes when Jamie and Hannah are at lectures, I find myself hanging with the football guys quite often. Vince is at a lot of my lectures, so I only really know him through those. They're your typical all-American jocks, and they all play football for the team. It probably couldn't get any more stereotypical!

That's Eric. Jocks might be extremely popular and sporty, but they sometimes miss out on the wit and intelligence that the other kids get by with. He nearly had to redo his Freshman year after failing his final paper by 1 per cent, but the Dean made an exception with Eric being the starting quarterback for the football team.

"So Hall, are you still hanging around that geek and the blonde chick now?" Eric asked.
"Yes. They're my friends."
"Why don't you ditch the losers and come join the team for a party with the cheerleaders tonight?" he said. Popularity was like oxygen to him.
"There'll be hotdogs and beef burgers and some really fit chicks. It's a no brainer, mate!" Vince interjected, with his immaculate tact...
Eric was keen to offer me an ultimatum, however. "I don't want to be hanging round you when you're sticking with those nobodies."
"I can't just ditch 'em, Eric."

"Listen, the coach wants to give the team a good name, dude, and hanging around with unpopular kids ain't gonna make the team players look good, eh?" Eric said, and he had put me in a compromising position. Being a sub on the team bench, I don't play that often for the Academie football team. But the team still prides itself for all its members being popular jocks, and I needed to be part of some college team for my semester assignment.

"We're meeting at 5 in the park. You'd better be there and make yourself known, Zach."

That's when it hit me. I was supposed to be meeting Hannah and Jamie at King's Music Hall this evening! But I couldn't just back out of a football team gathering... They'd probably throw me off the team! Talk about dilemmas!

Fast forward several hours and it's decision-time. I really had to make my mind up quickly in this predicament. It was a hard choice to make, and it took all my cunning to think of the best solution to...

Hotdogs or beef burgers? Well, I couldn't have both; I have an athletic, cute-guy figure to maintain.

Right, so I made a selfish decision, choosing to scrounge whatever was left of my popularity prospects over my lifelong friend and a girl who wanted me as bad as anything.

"Looks like you made a wise decision, Zach." The wise decision would have been to take up basketball in the seventh grade, instead of being drawn into the glamorous score-with-the-football-score-with-the-ladies fantasy of one day being the starting quarterback for a college team. I should never have gotten caught up in this popularity game.

"Yeah, I decided to skip my sports psychology lecture so I could party on down for that little bit longer," I lied, through my two-faced mouth, with the words leaving through my gritted, professionally-whitened teeth. I seemed almost as desperate to fit in as toothbrush companies are in trying to expand their range of products. And that is pretty much the definition of desperate...

Man: (Sighing) Oh darling, don't you just sometimes wish that wash-time could be a bit more fulfilling?
Woman: Wash-time doesn't have to just be about brushing your teeth, honey. You can achieve a lot more with one of Calgate's new toothbrushes!

Voiceover: That's right! Why settle for a toothbrush that only lets you brush your teeth, when you can scrub your tongue clean with the new range of Calgate toothbrushes? The extra abrasive surface on the back of your toothbrush will make sure every corner of your mouth is as clean as a whistle!

Voiceover: But why stop there, when you can brush between your teeth and beneath your actual gums with the new Calgate Uber-Flex? With a super-flexible head that doesn't look any more flexible than a normal toothbrush - but we're telling you that it is - you're sure to clean those bacteria away!

Unqualified expert: Did you know that 99.9% of your body's deadliest bacteria is actually on your tonsils? (No clinical evidence available.) That's why the Calgate Uber-Stretch can brush and clean up to half the surface area of your tonsils. (Whispers to side) Can I have my payment now?

Voiceover: But why just settle for cleaning your teeth, tongue and tonsils, when you can use the new Calgate Five-in-One to clean your oesophagus?

Man: (Gasps) Wow, your oesophagus too?

Random Hooker: But don't brushing yer tongue make ya retch?
Voiceover: I bet your tongue could use a good scrub after a Friday night's business, eh young lady?

Jamie: Now that is just ridiculous. I mean, this is when a toothbrush stops being a toothbrush.
Zach: Yeah, especially when chewing gum does the job just as well.

The realisation finally dawned on me; I'd made a big mistake, ditching my friends over my popularity.

"The coach will be proud of you for finally mixing in. Glad to see you here mate," Vince informed me.
"Yeah... I just couldn't miss out on another bopping party... This is real lively..." I lied.
"Come check out some of the hot tottie, Zach. I'd certainly do some of these cheerleaders all night. Boo yeah!" The Neanderthal said, with obviously no regard for females values whatsoever.
"Don't you already have a girlfriend? Jessica?" I enquired, probing his morals.
"I do, but who says I'm not allowed to look at the menu when I've already ordered, ey?" Vince replied, giving me a cheeky wink to accompany his bigoted comment.

I didn't belong at that party, and I knew it. The atmosphere there made me feel tense - even more tense than that time I was playing strip poker with the guys.

Eric: It's your turn, Zach.

Zach: Go fish.
Kirsten: (Laughs nervously) Jeez...
Eric: I swear to God, play properly Zach.
Zach: (Laughs) I'm just messing.

Zach: You know, I bet you two girls will look much more appealing after a couple more rounds.
Sarah: (Gasps) Pardon?
Zach: Well, no offense, but your dress sense is pretty - bleurgh!
Eric: Zach, just play. Please.
Zach: Hey, has anybody got any queens? See, I really need one to complete this royal flush of mine.

Eric: Do you even know how to play poker?
Zach: Sure I do. I'm trying to get a row of cards adding up to 21, right?
Eric: (Sighing) Please remind me never to invite you to play poker again...
Zach: Oh, come on, don't be like that. Look, I'll take my go. Oh dear, a 10. I don't want that.
Sarah: You're meant to be making a bet, not turning over the cards!

Zach: Oh right. Well if this luck continues, I suppose I might as well just take off my underwear in advance, eh? (Laughs nervously)
Eric: We're not even playing strip poker! You just turned up at the table in your underwear, for God's sakes!
Zach: Hey, has anyone else wondered why they make these poker chips in different colours? Why don't they just make them all red...?
Kirsten: Is your friend usually this dense, Eric?
Eric: Just leave the table, Zach. Please, just leave the damn table.
Zach: Wait wait wait, hold on. I really don't mean to alarm anybody, but...

Zach: Has anyone else noticed that this building doesn't have a roof?
(Silence)
Zach: (Awkwardly) Okay... If anybody wants me, I'll be in the restroom completing my royal flush. (Gets up casually) Excuse me, ladies...

I couldn't stay any longer, and telling Eric that should have been easy, but my attempt to back out of the commitment to the football team turned out pretty sheepish.

"Baaahhhh!"
"Excuse me?"

I cleared my throat and gave it a second shot, "Eric, listen mate. I'm grateful you invited me to the party and everything, but I don't think I can stay for much longer-"
"Don't go duping out on us now. Reputations, Zachy boy!"
"Is reputation the only thing you think about?" I spat bitterly, choosing to ignore his condescending nickname.
"See, massive reputations are the biggest attractions to people. I've been the starting quarterback for six months now, and already my reputation has an extra wide girth and comes with a 'caution: so big it may spontaneously explode in your face' sign. Whereas yours, my nerdy friend, is so small that even ants have to tread carefully around it. Wafting about my huge reputation can make anyone want to get in my pants."

Our balding, 37-year-old male coach included?

"Besides, aren't you missing lectures for this?" Eric enquired.

Missing lectures usually wouldn't contravene my own shallow morals, but lying about missing lectures just to sound 'cool' certainly did.

"Yeah, but that hardly matters. I miss lectures all the time-" I fibbed, trying to get out of any commitment, but I was just digging myself a very deep, 'cool' hole.
"So just chill out and stop stressing. What's the problem? I'm saving you from becoming a geek. Or have you got to get back before your eBay bid on pocket protectors ends? You wouldn't want bad feedback for a delayed payment now, would you?" And with an egotistical snigger at his own lame joke, he gave me a rejecting look and walked away.

I loitered about the park for another hour, giving fake smiles and bogus high-fives, before darkness fell and marked the beginning of the real partying. That is, if you can ever call popularity and superficial interactions 'real'. Nevertheless, it was my cue to slither away unnoticed.

I had abandoned the friends who meant most to me, and I had a responsibility to make up for it. Sure, they'd still be at the King's Music Hall for me to meet them, but I was prevented from doing so by another event that took place that night. What was about to occur would mark the start of a hairy, life-changing journey...

The night sky was clear and the air was cool. With the moon glowing down through the darkness, I didn't feel alone, despite being in nobody's company. I couldn't supress the warm beckoning of the full moon any longer. It was calling out to me.

That's when the transformation began.

Pain sheared throughout my body and aching muscles spasmed frantically. My back began to hunch over and my spine felt as if it were ripping itself out of my body. The pigmentation of my skin darkened, and my nails grew sharp and discoloured. The experience was curious and perplexing, yet hugely perturbing. But I was in no mind to question what was going on.

A raging hunger had engulfed me...

Minutes passed, yet it was what felt like hours of torment. I looked like an entirely different being, yet I felt strangely normal. Besides the carniverous, murdering hunger in my stomach, of course.

And in my moments of excitement, I had forgotten all about Jamie and Hannah.

"What is he playing at?" Jamie asked.
"Give him a call and ask where he is. If he said he'd meet us here, then I trust his word," said Hannah.
"I bet he's forgotten to come. I'll buzz him now."

"I - I can't make it. I'm really sorry Jamie, but something more important has come up." What was I supposed to say; 'sorry Jamie but my face has erupted in fur and I have an incredible urge to sniff people's butts'?
"What's more important than our weekly King's Hall gathering?" Jamie retorted, eager to make me feel even guiltier. But he didn't have a clue about how bad my situation was. "You promised both of us that you'd turn up. Honestly, you can be a real jerk sometimes, Zachary Hall."

And when Jamie calls me by my full name is when I know he's really cheesed off.

"You can't go around abusing our trust and reliance in you, Zach! This is a three-way friendship, not a one-way social exchange where you give and take as you please!" Jamie hollered over the phone.
I replied, "Oh come on, Jamie. It's not as if this is as bad as that incident last month when you invited me over to have a meal."

Zach: Hey guys, I'm sorry I'm a tad late. I had trouble being let into the halls -

Jamie: Why the devil are you late, Zachary? You appreciate our new policy on no-gooders who are late for supper, don't you?
Zach: What the-?
Hannah: Your late arrival is rather unorthodox. But this isn't the first instance, is it Zachary? (To Jamie) Oh do be an angel and pass me the butter, dear James.

Zach: What's going on, guys?
Hannah: An atrocity in dining etiquette is what's going on, Zachary.
Zach: I don't understand.
Hannah: We have this delectable meal prepared for this occasion, and you aren't even here on time to eat it. Typical!
Jamie: The meal is so expensive it even comes with its own sparkle! Observe the sparkle, Zachary!

Jamie: This society can no longer put up with your lack of punctuality, dear Zachary.
Hannah: I agree.
Jamie: Therefore we have decided to terminate your membership with this friendship circle, starting now. You may take your roast bass and caviar meal, but you may not eat it in our company. Good day to you, sir.

Zach: Guys, why are you behaving like this? What's gotten into you?

Hannah: (Walking into the room) Hiya Zach, sorry we're late -
Jamie: Whoa, who the 'eck are these guys?
Hannah: Zach? What's happened to my room? Who are these people?

Zach: I don't know, but I think we should leave.
Jamie: (Whispering) Let's back out of the room, slowly... and hope that this all goes away...

"Maybe you should re-assess our friendship and then decide what's more important to you," Jamie cried, terminating the conversation by hanging up on me.

I really wanted to explain everything to Jamie, but I knew he'd just freak out. This was going to have to be another one of those things that eventually sorts itself out.

"I'm going outside to get some fresh air. I'll be back soon."
"OK. You know Jamie, perhaps he does have a genuine reason why he can't make it tonight."
"I bet he went along to that football party I overhead Eric talking about at the dorms. That wouldn't surprise me. It would certainly quench his thirst for popularity, that's for sure," Jamie spat.
"Now that's not true. Do you think he'd still hang around with us if he was that shallow?" questioned Hannah.

And with that, Jamie left the building, naive of my presence outside.

"I just know he's at that party, but why am I so disappointed in him? It's usually Hannah who does all the falling out," Jamie muttered to himself, his words falling on concealed ears.

He let out only a whisper, yet I heard every word. Even so, I was helpless to sort the situation out.

I was angry at the injustice. I abandoned the party in favour of my real friends, but my loyalties went ignored. That, and my boy-ish good looks were transformed within minutes to give me a face resembling a cat's ass and a body of a yeti.

Getting back to my dormitory was a tough task whilst remaining unnoticed, but I succeeded, only to return and gaze at the horrific monster looking back at me in the mirror. Last night's events amongst the trees were still a blur, but one thing was clear: I had become the very monster that sank its teeth into my flesh.

"What have I become...?"

I had become a creature of the night. A werewolf.