The moon beckons me, calling out, “Jade…Jade, come and play.”
I ignore the urges tearing at my stomach, pushing against my teeth, and I resist the desire to feed. It’s been years since I’ve fed on human flesh and months since I’ve shifted. I may be able to resist the hunt, but there is no way my body can endure so long without changing. I’m way overdue.
So I make my way deep into the woods, far from humanity, to let loose.
I don’t want to ruin my dress, so I slip out of it and strip down to nothing.
There is an area where the trees open up and allow the moonlight to cascade through like a spotlight on center stage. This is where I go.
Once the light hits me I feel my skin quiver. As my bones shift and snap into their new form, I fall into hysterics, writhing and screaming until the sound becomes a howl. The pain ripping through my body feels so good.
In no time at all I am on all fours, covered in fur, and ready to run.
And I do.
I run until my lungs burn and my breath is caught up in my throat.
And then I stop.
I stop because I smell him.
It’s not the smell of a man that makes me wish I’d not shifted tonight. It’s the smell of that particular man.
As he steps through the trees and stumbles down the path, the scent of fresh blood grabs my throat and tightens it like a noose.
And I’m hungry.