Ever played the game Werewolf? If not, then let me summarize for you. There are two groups of players- the innocents (civilians) and the werewolves. Sometimes there is just one werewolf, others the werewolves get turned from humans. Either way, each night the werewolves agree to attack one innocent. In turn, the innocent and the werewolves then vote to kill someone by day. If there are no more innocents, then the werewolves win. If there are no more werewolves, then the innocents win. Simple, right? Now put that into real life.


2. Prologue Part 1

Violent tremors rocked through his body, like earthquakes rippling beneath his very own skin, trembling down his muscles before driving back down in the longest, most twisted and painful route possible. It was like thousands and thousands of daggers driving into his skin, prickling down his arms and legs, running up his spine, before melting into liquid pain. He cried out in agony, cold and suffering, his hands going to his head, staggering back, once more forced into the moonlight.

The sky was clear on an otherwise perfect evening. Trees rustled quietly either side of him, breaking into a clearing just behind him as a small hill rose up. The emerald shades of summer were clearly visible on the cloudless night, dimly reflecting the moon above.

Cold wind battered his sides, slipping through even the slightest of tears in his shirt, biting into his skin. The summer night was warm, and yet the wind that accompanied it was cold, bitter and trying. The man regained his balance, if only for a moment, before the change took hold of him by both shoulders, and his cries reached a new frequency of terror.

From his shoes, his heels emerged, and the sound of tearing fabric reached the ears of all who dared listen. From the toes of his shoes long, black claws came, shredding the flimsy material. The rest of the shoes came off as the bones in his foot warped into new, interesting shapes. They kept changing, before settling, realigning themselves like the feet of a canine. The rest of his bones lengthened, shortened, warping into the new lengths they needed to be, changing swiftly from human bones to those of a beast's.

His cries never ceased as his nose and mouth began to elongate. He kept moaning to himself, still producing sound through his new set of jaws. His cries became whimpers, tortured howls and growls. His ears changed on his head, his senses sharpening as the whole works inside his head and brain shifted, rearranging itself to fit their own needs.

His back arched as his spine lengthened, making the same noise as that of a train over tracks, clicking into place once it had finished. His ribs pushed out through his chest, puncturing the old skin as new, fur-covered hide took its place, stretching over his new ribs, his stronger muscles, his muzzle and all. His clothes, now shredded, hung in tatters on his larger frame.

After a few minutes, his cries were replaced by a long howl. It rose from his belly, rising up through his throat, calling out into the night, slicing through the warm air and climbing up through the sky. In their beds, humans shivered, retreating further into their covers, terrified of what the night would bring. What had replaced the feeble figure of the man was a beast of nightmares, a creature who's only purpose was to survive. It would do anything to live, to breath and see the world. It would do anything to wrench control from its own day-time form. Its hands, still vaguely resembling those of a human, clenched, sharp points of the claws digging into the grey palms, and a trickle of blood leaked out, dampening the short fur before dripping to the ground. It turned its head from side to side, sniffing the air.

It's eyes were a cold, icy-blue, filled with sudden fear. After a few more seconds, they slowly faded into a deep yellow-ochre, pupils dark, iris splashed with deep brown. They reflected the moonlight like nothing else, pin-pricks in the blanket of black, searching through the heavy darkness, hunger showing plainly within its head.

It was very, very hungry.

With only a moments hesitation, the werewolf took off through the trees, large paws thundering along the ground, spreading a subdued cloud of dust into the air. The earth was dry, cracking slightly beneath its heavy weight. The grass that formed a green carpet beneath its feet shivered in the wind, as though it was scared for what the beast could- or would -do to it, had it been a human.

After a while, the trees began to thin either side of it, giving way to more bushes, a faint path, and eventually a road. The old tar mac had already lost its white lines, tufts of grass pushing up between every single little crack. A rusting red car sat, squat, on one side of the road, doors torn off and long gouges in the metal. The werewolf slowed to a walk. It was not entirely bipedal or quadrupled, instead preferring to move in a mix of both, running on four legs for speed, lumbering on two when it wanted to be a little more careful. It took one step onto the concrete, lowering its muzzle to smell the road. A second passed, and the werewolf looked up once more, its head angled toward the distant silhouette of houses, the thrill of a hunt rising up within it.



She had heard the howl- loud and clear. Even through her shut window, with the double-glazed glass attempting to shut out all outside noise. It did a rather good job, until something like that started crying out to the world. She was warm within her bed, snuggled down in the bedclothes, wrapped within a mass of duvets, sheets and blankets. She shivered all the same, the spine-tingling, blood-chilling howl that climbed into the sky and then fell back into the world again. She curled up into a small ball, whispering quietly to herself. It would all end soon. She was the only one left, apart from him. He was the werewolf, she knew it. He was coming for her, and there was nothing she could do about it. The Seer and Wolf Hunter had failed. All three of them failing to identify his true identity.

Questions rose within her mind, plucked like flowers from a bush, selected for their vibrant colour and curious ideas. Did he actually know he was the werewolf? During the course of the last four months, since they came here, he'd been getting increasingly paranoid, increasingly separated and quiet. Did he know what he was doing? Did he well and truly know what was happening?

She didn't know, but part of her hoped he didn't. Waking up one morning and realizing you were a monster can't have been nice. She almost pitied him. Almost.

Questions like these ran circles within her head, running around her in a dome, following her and chasing her around, until she heard something outside. She froze right there, paralysed with sheer terror, trembling in fear and confusion. Outside, something heavy shifted the gravel on the driveway. Something ran a long, curved claw along the paintwork of the car. It didn't work. None of the cars did. They just sat there, with no real purpose, rusting away slowly.

The footsteps stopped at the door, the long claws clicking on the flagstones right outside it. Then, something knocked. She almost smiled. At least it had manners. With a reluctance, she slipped from her bed, still fully clothed, picking up the large cricket bat in her long-fingered, slender hands.

Within seconds, a loud splintering noise reached her ears. She winced as she heard her front door slowly being reduced to kindling. After little more than a minute, everything was silent once more. Beneath her feet she heard the snarling breath of the beast below her. She heard it sniff the air before it began to move again. Its claws clicked along the bare wood of her stairs. Every single passing moment was excruciating, every little sound that was made by the creature below seemed magnified tenfold, echoing in her home, leaping from wall to wall.

She let out a shaky breath, suddenly aware of how terrified she was. Adjusting her grip slightly, she moved toward the wall beside her door, leaning against it, and poising to attack. She probably wouldn't be able to do anything, but she could try, at least. There was no point running. There was no way of escaping anything. A silent tear fell from her watering eyes, as the shock of it all started to hit her body, but not yet her mind. The sound of the creature's rasping breath could be heard as it padded down the hallway outside, pausing occasionally, before it came to a halt, right outside the door. It stayed there for a while, not making a single noise. She took in another, ragged breath, putting one hand to her mouth. She felt as though her very breathing was making to much noise. To her sensitive ears, she felt like her breath was the only thing the creature could hear. The dull thud of her heart in her chest and the pounding of blood in her ears was the only thing to remind her that she was, in fact still alive.

She slipped back into total awareness as the werewolf scraped a single claw against the door. She imagined the paint curling as it was torn from the wood. There was no doubt that it was merely testing, checking to see if the door really was made of mere wood. After a few more moments silence, it started working on this door. It gave way even faster than before, and she had to scramble out of the way to avoid being impaled with inch-long splinters.

At first she couldn't see it. It was shrouded in the shadows, as they blanketed it in a dark cloak almost matching its fur. She readied her bat, preparing to swing as soon as the werewolf started moving toward her. And it didn't take long.

She didn't have much time to react. The wolf leaped for her without so much as a snarl. It hurtled toward her, paws outstretched, teeth bared, ready to bite. It probably didn't expect the blow that hit it square on the muzzle. A surprised whimper emerged from the creature as it veered off course, instead crashing into the bed, shaking its head as it regained its bearings.

She took a deep breath, glancing at the bat. Even without a second swing, she could tell it wasn't going to take the force she needed to give it to hit the werewolf. Although, what use would hitting it do? The most she would achieve would be to knock it out. That wouldn't be for long, and it wouldn't be a permanent solution either. In fact, there was no permanent solution. This was how the game was meant to be played and they'd learned the hard way that they didn't want them to cheat. She braced herself as the werewolf stood up again, saliva dripping from its draws, eyes flashing with anger. It still felt good to hit the darned creature in the face. Even if it was all for nothing.

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