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“Wolfie Baby”

Jessica Cargill

Jack sniffed curiously at the air and nearly dropped her books on her toe. Cursing, she stopped just in time before a teacher came around the corridor. These senses were really starting to mess her up brutally.

After all, Jack, being a werewolf in training, had just gotten her shape changing ability exactly 13 days before. The teacher eyed her suspiciously but continued on down the hall. It was last period, after all, she was done with her assignments, and the noise that had invaded the class had been too much for her newly sensitive ears. She leant back against the wall and slid down it with a sigh. Digging in her pocket she brought up three pennies, a bit of feather, and an old purple tootsie pop.

The next day, a Saturday and full moon would be her first. The only superstition about werewolves was that they did have more power at the full moon, because they worshipped a moon goddess. They didn’t look like half-human monsters, just like wolves. And they never would practice sacrifice, or any such nonsense as that. The full moon would also be old Hallows Eve. The mythical folk tales about it never did come out right.

She was startled as the bell rang too loudly in her ears and she yelped, spinning around and half-looking for someone attacking her. With a sigh of relief she shouldered her bag and hurried to the double doors and into the daylight. The change from the gloom inside had her blinking helplessly.

With a large wolfish grin she set for home.

The next night she was at home with her family, all of them looking very nervous. It was like she was going to the prom or something, was how the atmosphere felt. His parents weren’t in a cult, and they weren’t Satanists like the tabloids would have you believe. No, they simply could change into wolves with a stray thought. It was a very strange life she had held. Occasionally the more churchgoing kids at school would start making almost medireview prayers around her, but it hadn’t bothered her much. Jack was a very resilient girl. It wasn’t like she was even hairy, or anything. In fact, she was very beautiful. But the time the stray dog had wandered in and she had talked to it had ruined her chances of ever being normal.

But who ever said normal was good never knew Jack. The moon was high above the sky, and she seemed almost in possession of giddy caffeine high off the gamut of sights and sounds that swirled around her. Her mother cleared her throat and looked around. They seemed less at ease with this than Jack was.

“The ritual isn’t all that hard, really. All you have to do is close your eyes and imagine yourself bathed in silver moonlight . . .” her mother’s voice faded away as she did so, and felt herself shifting-

The girl who sat next to her in Algebra was blonde, pretty, and vapid. Jack had always envied her, but she knew now that she had something that the girl would never have. With a wolfish grin, she finished the last few problems and closed her book.