The Scar – Part 1 of 7

This is the first part of a series of short stories I plan to do. Unlike previous series, only one part of the series will be posted each week (probably Tuesday). I’ll then also have an unrelated story posted every Thursday or Friday. I hope you enjoy this piece!

The event had been all over the news for about a week after it had happened. Around a dozen teenagers were hanging out at a bonfire after the high school football game, when either a large wolf or a raging lunatic had attacked them, killing a couple and wounding many more. Only the father of one of the victims, armed with a shotgun, had managed to bay the menace, before police arrived to finish it off.

One by one, the victims returned to school, and the excitement about the attack died down. Kevin was one of the first students to return, and thus took the burden of explaining to the curious what had happened in the attack. He himself had been bitten on the shoulder, a wound which, despite what the doctor had said, did not seem to be healing as it should.

This worried him, but not quite as much as the conflicting reports on the identity of the attacker. He remembered a wolf, and was at a loss to see how the doctors and police figured a man could have inflicted the wound on his shoulder.

“Hey!” said one girl during chemistry class a week after the attack. “I heard you two were in the attack the other day.”

“Yeah,” replied Stephen, Kevin’s friend and lab partner. “It was intense.”

“Are you guys okay? I mean, that lunatic killed some people.”

“I never saw any lunatics,” said Kevin as he balanced out a chemical against the lead weights.

“But the news said -”

“Man, it was a wolf,” interrupted Stephen. “No man, no matter how crazy, could do that much damage with his bare hands.”

The girl pursed her lips, and did not respond. She turned away, to her own project. Kevin glanced up at his friend, who was looking at him worriedly.

“How’s your shoulder?” Stephen asked more quietly.

“I don’t know. I mean, it’s better, but it’s still all red and stuff.”

“Have you talked to a doctor about it?”

“No, man. It’ll probably heal on its own anyway.”

But it didn’t. Even after three weeks – a full month since the attack – the scar still didn’t look any better. The rest of the school returned to the normal tedium of the school year, but Kevin’s mind remained on the event, curious as to what in the world was with his scar. How the witnesses could profess a wolf attacked, and the police assert it was a man.

It was to these thoughts his mind wandered one night after finishing his math homework, and mentally reminding himself to get more lead for his pencil, while he watched the red sun sink into the horizon below the white suburban buildings, and black night swallowed the sky. Some time later, he looked up to see the full moon, emerging from thin clouds.

Immediately, pain erupted in his shoulder and spread through his entire body like a shock of electricity. He collapsed to the ground, writhing in agony, the greatest pain in his face and his back. Every single pore seemed on fire. The pain was blinding, and it was with relief he accepted the blackness it offered him.

What followed was perhaps one of the most vivid, yet strangest dreams he had ever experienced. He found himself in his room, but it was small. It wasn’t right. And a great hunger growled in his stomach. He punched through the window, climbing out onto the roof, before leaping down into the yard. The road before him was well-lit, but there was nothing there that might satiate his hunger. He crossed the street and passed through the yards on the other side.

A dog barked. He turned his head, to see its yellow form appear in the moonlight near him. It paused when it saw him, trying to slink away. But Kevin didn’t let it, rather leaping at it, taking it in his hands and ripping at it, biting it, until it fell to the ground, blood seeping onto the dark grass. Stupid dog.

After a few mouthfuls, he departed, making his way through the suburbs, out toward the city. He didn’t meet many people, or animals along the way. A few cars passed, but he didn’t pursue, uninterested by the strange, mechanical things dominating the streets.

He came upon a street corner that was the parking lot to a convenience store. He grinned when he also saw several people walking to and from the store. They might fill him up. A man approached him, curious.

“Goodness. That’s a big dog.”

He didn’t get much farther, as Kevin immediately leapt on him, sinking his teeth and claws into the man. Somewhere nearby, several people screamed. He would have continued to feast on the man beneath him, but a gun was fired.

“Eat lead, monster!” someone shouted.

More gunshots. Kevin turned tail and ran, already feeling pain in his right shoulder, opposite his wolf-scar, which no longer itched for some reason. As he ran, he became aware of strange lights, and that he was being followed. It must be the police. He ran faster. Away from the lights, into a dark part of the city. Walked past a trailer park, attacked a couple more people, before their relatives chased him away with their guns. Hit him in the other shoulder.

He found an old, dilapidated building, and wandered inside. He curled up, licking his wound, whimpering at the pain from the lead bullet, before finally resting his head on the ground.

And then Kevin woke up. Red light filled the room, and he blinked as he looked around him. His heart stopped for a moment, when he realized he was in some old, abandoned factory. A bullet lay on the ground beside him, and blood dripped from his unscarred shoulder. And then, more disturbingly, he discovered the reason the ground was so cold was because his bare skin was contacting it. He was naked. In a single moment, the terrible epiphany that it hadn’t all been a dream was thrust upon him.

Furthermore, the reason for the disparity between the witness and police reports suddenly dawned on him. The entire night, he had had the strangest suspicion that he had become lupine. But now it all made sense. The wolf, the full moon, the scar from the bite, the dream. He was a werewolf.

And then he curled up and wept.

Part 2 here.

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