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Hunter's Moon
(© Biswapriya Purkayastha)

This contribution is part of a series:-
1. Baying At The Moon (11-Jun-2010)
A full moon night, a boy, a monster...and a lynch mob on the loose.
2. Dark Of The Moon (3-Sep-2010)
When the moon calls, fighting the monster within is futile, and can be yourself.
3. Ill Met By Moonlight (11-Oct-2010)
Some monsters are much, much worse than others who stalk the night and merely want to kill you.This is part 3 of the series of stories which began with Baying At The Moon and continued with Dark Of The Moon.
4. Hunter's Moon (31-Oct-2010)
The Woman and the Boy face danger from a different source, one which may be the most lethal of all.
5. The Darkness Before The Dawn (25-May-2011)
The Boy, alone in the streets of the town, gets into trouble. This is Part Five of the Werewolf Series.
6. Descent Into The Dark (14-Jul-2011)
In a desperate attempt to halt the Change that the full moon brings upon them, the Woman and the Boy climb down into the bowels of the earth, and into a greater danger. This is Part 6 of the Werewolf Series.

Page 1

"Forty eight...forty nine...fifty."

He counted off the curls, sweat streaming down his face and trickling down his neck, biceps screaming against the dumbbells in his hands. But the pain was good. The pain felt wonderful, defining his muscles as it settled, like a slow-burning fire.

In the shower afterwards he studied the soap sluicing off his body and down the drain, washing the dirt away. The endorphins were still buzzing through him, and he felt good, much better than he had felt in a long time. The workout schedule he’d begun after recovering from his injury had worked virtual miracles.

The time he had been injured had been bad. Almost unable to move, stifling his cries of pain, he had had to wait for it to heal in the privacy of his own flat. So close to the Change, he could not risk discovery. So, after the initial hospitalisation, he’d discharged himself, against medical advice. He had to heal on his own.

And, after all the pain and suffering, after all the energy he had expended in healing, he had.

He still dreamt of the crash, several times a week, replaying it in slow motion, knowing what was coming but powerless to prevent it. He had been driving home that night, actually turning into his tree-lined home street, looking forward to some well-earned rest after a rough day at work. The other car had come screaming along towards him along the wrong side of the street, at twice the speed limit, music blasting from the speakers. He’d had no time to react as it crashed into his car, caving in the side like cardboard, crushing him between the engine and the seat, the other car’s teenage driver catapulting through the windscreen to finish draped across his bonnet.

By rights, he should have died then. Trapped in the wreckage, unable to feel anything below his chest, he had stared numbly at the mangled corpse hanging lopsided on his car’s hood, its head dangling limply on a broken neck. He’d waited for death, hoping for the end to come, before the pain kicked in. Certainly, the pain would come before any rescuers did; the crash hadn’t even brought any onlookers away from their evening TV shows.

In the end he’d summoned up the willpower to Change. It was not the time of the month, and he hadn’t been able to stay Changed for long. But it had been enough to heal the worst of his injuries, to knit together shattered bone and shredded muscle, to restore order to the ripped coils of intestine and ruptured peritoneal cavity. He had sat inside the car, growling softly, his head thrown back, eyes slits of agony as he healed, trying desperately to stay conscious through the process. And by the time the first meat had shown, with their urgent voices and their stabbing flashlights, he’d Changed back, slipping into a body which, while still desperately hurt, was no longer mortally damaged. And the pain had begun washing over him in waves as the people had approached, talking excitedly.

He recalled how one of them had seen him moving. "My god, one’s alive!" the man had exclaimed, almost sounding disappointed. "One of them’s alive!"

It had been lucky for the teenager, he’d thought many times while lying in bed crying with the pain, that he’d died in the crash. Otherwise he’d have tracked the drug-addled little bastard down and made him pay. He would have made the hophead suffer. A pity he wouldn’t have that pleasure, but at least he was alive, and the hophead wasn’t.

He studied his face in the mirror over the sink. He still looked good. It wasn’t a boast. As a matter of fact, he looked great, better than he had for a long time, now that the fat was falling away from his features, leaving them chiselled, the skin and muscles moulded over his narrow elegant skull. He could pass for ten years younger than his age.

Tomorrow, he would take the holiday he’d promised himself. He would take himself away from this city, where he felt trapped in a concrete warren, and go to the hills. He would spend the Change there, amongst the pine forests and the little villages, and perhaps he could work off some of his surplus energy.

He grinned, happily, his teeth shining in the mirror, looking forward to the hunt.

[ Continue to page 2 ]

Genre:General Horror
Type:Short story
Rating:7.38 / 10
Rated By:24 users
Comments: 1 user
Total Hits:9542

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