It was a beautiful summer evening. There was not a single cloud on the sky. People were in their dwellings, relaxing after another long day of work.
There was a young girl sitting on the roof. She had skin so pale that someone would say it is white. Like the feathers of a dove. It was contrasting with hair as black as the night, and as soft as the sky.
Her name was Elizabeth. She was watching stars, dreaming of this all her life - of a bright place where wishes come true.
She looked on her hands. Long dark and hard claws on her fingertips scared her. It has not been like this before. They were not there all the time. Just for the last few days.
“Every time the rain comes down
Close my eyes and listen...“
The music was coming from her neighbour’s window. She has always loved it. She softly sang together with the melody. Tears started to flow from her bright green eyes. They fell onto her hands. Onto scar that have not healed yet, onto cause of her sorrow. It did not hurt. However, the girl knew that it is the reason why it is all happening to her.
She was coming home from school walking down the road along the forest. She was lost in her own thoughts when loud shout grabbed her attention. “What’s happening?” she thought. The voice sounded very young. Something was wrong. She did not like her peers and she was keeping her distance from them. They hate the way she looked. They called her ‘a demon’ or ‘a witch’. She quickened her pace. She saw a group a children running around something and yelling. Elizabeth wanted to see what the scoundrels found, so she ran closer to get a better view. She something she thought she’d never see.
There was a little grey wolf cub cowering at their feet. It was growling in vain effort to defend against humans. They were hitting sticks and stones. Elizabeth stared in shock for a moment, stunned by the sheer cruelty of her own kind. Then she realized what was happening and people suddenly seemed to be more disgusting creatures than usual. “Idiots!” she cried. “Get outta here! Now!”
The children were starring back at her until she grabbed one of the rocks, which first flew on the powerless wolf cub and threw it back on them. Some of them stepped back and ran away. Others looked at each other. Then they glanced over at the girl standing in front of the confused, yet still snarling wolf. “Witch!” they called before they ran away too.
The girl was watching them until they vanished from sight. Then she turned back where the wolf cub was lying. She didn’t hope it will still be there. It was. And it was growling.
Elizabeth made a big mistake then. In her naivety she stretched her hand towards the wolf, believing she can calm him down. “Don’t worry. They’re gone now. I’m not gonna hurt you.”
The wolf, however, did something she did not expect. It charged on her and bit her hand. Pain and something more ran through her body. It was strange. She was afraid the wolf will never let her go. She gazed the animal right in the eyes. Suddenly it released her and ran away.
Shocked Elizabeth just sat there. Her hand was covered in blood.
It started to rain...
“Feel the touch of tears that fall
They won't fall forever.”
She stood up. She carefully climbed down by ladder for ivy. She crawled under the windows, her senses sharp. Since the wolf bit her, her hearing fairly improved and her sense of smell got much better too. The wolf… She remembered that her only friend wasn’t there that day. She thanked God for it. She was sure he’s not like the others. Jimmy was the only one who understood her.
She sneaked out of the land of her adoptive parents and made her way to the forest. Just like a wolf...
“And then he got up and said: ‘Like it wasn’t enough to see him look like a pink rabbit!’”
They both started to laugh. They were sitting on the meadow under the starry skies. And they were laughing.
Elizabeth was happy. It wasn’t like that all the time. However, whenever she was with Jimmy, everything felt easier and brighter. She could imagine that it could stay like this forever.
“Yes, Star?” he looked at her.
‘Star.’ She liked that vocative. “You’ll be here with me forever?” she glimpsed at him.
Boy paused. Then he smiled and pulled stray hair from her face. “Of course I’ll be there for you and I’ll never let someone hurt you.”
The girl cuddled up in his embrace. Jimmy stroked her. Elizabeth looked at him. She never felt so close to anybody. They pulled closer and closer, drowning in each other’s eyes, with only millimetres between them. But when their lips met, something happened.
Elizabeth growled like a wild animal. She broke their kiss.
Shocked and confused Jim didn’t know what to do. The girl was shapeshifting into a predator right before his eyes. Her irises changed their colour to yellow, her teeth got longer and sharper. Her nails changed into big black claws. Her body covered with black fur.
Then, she glanced on the little person lying in front of her. She snarled and moved in on him, wanting to satiate her enormous hunger for blood and meat. She raised her hand (or paw) to kill her prey with one precise hit.
“Star, please! I don’t know what’s happening, but please stop!” the boy said while trying to pull himself away from her.
The beast heard a familiar voice and stopped. The look of fear appeared on her face. She looked around. She seemed not to know where she is. And while shock replaced the anger, her animal part was disappearing. The fur vanished. Eyes were green again and teeth human. Only claws remained.
She slid down.
Frightened, the boy didn’t move for a while and then he ran to the girl and embraced her. He didn’t know what happened and he didn’t care. He wanted to help Elizabeth at least a bit, although he didn’t know how.
The girl started to cry.
She growled smelling the other creature. It had to be here some hours ago. She was following it, using the trace it left on the ground and even in the air. Her paws kept the movement quiet as the hunter prowled through the forest. The trees were her friends for more than three winters now.
For three winters she walked through the land alone. What was before that she didn’t remember. If she ever had parents, brothers and sisters, a pack…
She kept running. Suddenly, something caught her attention. Something that was more interesting then the wolf who’s trail she was following. She raised her head and her ears perked up. She sniffed the air.
She realized that she is on the edge of the forest. Too close to dwellings of the twoleggers.
There was one of them playing in the meadows. Young and hairless. There was a husky pup jumping in the grass around him. The twolegger reminded her of someone, but she didn’t know of whom. He felt like an old friend to her…
“Star!” the man called.
The she-wolf cowered. That voice sounded familiar to her. She did not understand it. For a while, she was thinking of getting up and going to play with the hairless one and the pup. Then she realized there is no reason to trust the man.
“Star, come on, we’re going home. It’s about to rain.”
The pup ran up to it’s master, got into his arms and started to lick his cheeks happily. The man smiled. Then he stopped and looked towards the forest sadly. He sighed and then went away.
The she-wolf was lying for a while, then she fled into the shelter of trees. She never return.
And first raindrops started to fall.
“Hear it in the rain… the rain.”