A mini gift story I wrote for the wonderfully talented liminalbean ( https://www.deviantart.com/liminalbean ) based on their amazing “Full Moon Fascination” artwork here: https://www.deviantart.com/liminalbean/art/Full-Moon-Fascination-725874913
I can feel it in my blood first. Early in the morning. When I’m just sitting there. I know what day of the month it is but life intrudes and I lose track of it for just a while. A respite from what’s coming.
Until it hits and everything becomes more. My blood rushes through my body and it’s like I’ve just downed ten shots of espresso. I get jittery and have to hold my hands in my lap and breathe. Focus on my breathing. Focus. Breathe and focus.
I lie and tell everyone I have ADHD and some days are worse than others. I get distracted by everything. Everything’s brighter, louder, smellier and I can’t focus on any one thing without a huge effort and I just want to lock myself away until it all goes quiet and dark and I lose myself in it.
Instead, I focus on my breathing while my heart hammers in my chest and my body heats up. I take off (did you watch the-) my jacket, hang (whirrrrrr, click, whiiirrrrr click, whirrrrrr click) it on the back of (no, listen, this is my client and-) my chair (god dammit I shouldn’t have eaten those-) and focus (oh my gawd! When are you due I can’t believe-) on my (we have to fire her, have you seen her numbers) spreadsheet.
I’m sweating in my blouse so I make a mental note to find something that breathes better tomorrow.
Time doesn’t pass so quickly when you have to force yourself to pay attention to everything you do. Worse, I realize something. I’m excited about tonight. And anxious. For the first time. I should’ve called in sick but I would’ve wasted the time at home, pacing. And waiting. And losing myself inside my own mind.
It’s time. I grab my purse and jacket, hold my breath twenty feet away from the bathroom and smile at the poor lady who’s about to get fired. But, she doesn’t know yet and I don’t know her very well so what does it matter?
The moon is out and I look for her. Pale blue sky of early evening and her ghost is low and faded, just above the horizon. Yet I shiver and feel her touch along my back. Whispering of what’s to come. Blood singing in my ears.
I want to run home. I want nothing more than to kick off my shoes and just run as fast as I can without stopping. My body itches for the pure physical exertion. I could do it. Even as I am now.
My hands shake trying to insert the key into my old car, scratching more lines into the metal around the keyhole. I growl and then take a deep breath. And breathe out. And in. Opening my door. Driving home. I catch myself looking for the moon while I drive. Watching her follow me. Pulling at me. Pulling the wolf from within until she’s at the surface. My hackles rise and I’m sweating in my seat. Squirming.
Home. Finally home. I drop my keys and purse on the floor by the door, locking the deadbolt behind me. Kicking off my heels and pulling my jacket off, arms back so it slips to the floor.
To my bedroom. Sweat slides down my back, between aching shoulder blades. The heat is always the start of it. Always when I know it’s about to happen. I open the curtains and she’s there, watching me so I go to my tiptoes and reach my head up to her. A silent prayer that I’ll be able to contain it again this night. My blouse and curtains sway in an errant breeze.
The giant mirror covering my closet shows who I am. An attractive, slim woman in business attire. But it’s only part of me now.
I kneel before the mirror. I’d hidden myself away before. Unsure of who I would become and what I’d be but I’ve begun to trust her. Tonight – tonight I watch. For the first time. It’s difficult to remember everything clearly after I’ve changed. Like waking up after a drunken binge. I want to see and remember.
Pain is next. A dull ache throughout my body as if I had a fever. It’s close. Very close. I take my earrings off first, feeling the soft little hairs already there. Little hidden changes I’ll look for next time.
And then my silk blouse. Watching, eyes darting to the silvery blue moon in the mirror. One button at a time until it’s just my lace bra and lean stomach. God, the cool night air feels amazing. I breathe in sharply, lips trembling while my fingers fumble with my bra. A hand on the mirror, the other rubbing my ear between my fingers. The little hairs feel sleek and the ridges are going away. I pull my black hair out of the way, giving them room to grow.
My eyes are glowing. They suffuse with pale flaxen cracks until my beautiful golden eyes stare back at me. My hand is sliding on the mirror. I try to hold myself up with both of them but the skin along my palm distends into smooth, leathery padding and I lose my grip.
I slide slowly to my hands and knees and then stretch my legs back on all fours in front of the mirror. I knead the carpet with my toes, digging and pushing and rubbing the soles against the ground. My toes stop and I know my claws have come in, slicing through my cheap nylon pantyhose like fangs through a deer’s neck.
I shake my head, pushing away the image. Sweat slides down my chest to the tips of my nipples, the salt stinging briefly. The cool air ruffles the short line of fur along my belly.
Sitting up, I unzip myself at the side and toss my skirt onto the little pile of clothes. My back hurts more than the rest of me now.
Every time. I’d thought that, after the first time, my tailbone would be forever unfused but it heals when I wake in the morning. And breaks again when I change. I hold my knees to my bare chest in anticipation and then growl when it happens, jerking just a little bit. I hate that part the most but it’s gone quickly and, I have to be honest. I love my tail. It’s thick and full and alien in its presence and I hold it when it’s grown. My own security blanket as the wolf takes over. But, for now, the new bones and muscles crowd my back and it hurts.
And that’s not all that feels full. I taste blood and spit and my tongue seems to squirm in my mouth before I let it out. Lapping at the sweat on my cheeks and my nose. I can already feel my nose going cold. My fangs come next, drilling through my gums. Creaking. Pressing against the others. Sometimes my muzzle comes shortly after. Other times, it takes a while and that hurts more than my tail.
So, I hurry. I spread my feet out before me. I massage the balls of them while the padding grows, digging the tips of my fingers in. Squeezing the dense skin. My pinky toes shift and move, pulling back into the pantyhose to form my dewclaws. Both feet are extending, pushing out of the torn fabric, bones and joints popping into wide, padded paws.
I place a clawed fingertip on the top of my foot and trace a line up, slicing through my pantyhose. Pale skin shines in the moonlight beneath patches of black hair. My claws continue up my bare thigh and I shiver until I hook them into my panties. I lean back, feeling my newly hardened core tighten.
Slowly, luxuriously, I slide my panties off, enjoying the contrasting feel of the silk against skin and fur. My thumbs are receding from my lengthening hands.
Making it easier for me to go on all fours.
And so I do, stretching my back and legs with a groan while shaking my hips side-to-side. My tail is a bump but it’s trying to claw its way forth. I can feel when it suddenly attaches to the nerves along my spines and now it’s pinching and pulling and gathering skin around it.
Spreading my legs allows more cool air to caress my body. Ruffling my fur and the heat between my legs. My shoulder blades bulge and I lower myself before pushing forward, spine cracking to contain my widening chest.
I watch myself, twisting to see my tail – a waving stub- and the curve of my hips. Little pinpricks bloom across my ass and the skin pulls tight. Or appears to but, instead, expands to contain the power building within. I push my long feet back, one at a time, legs shaking. They grew dense until they’re buzzing with barely restrained energy. Strong enough to chase down prey for miles.
Finally, my jaw snaps and I whine while it elongates, pulling my teeth with it. My canines are powerful and over an inch long and soon joined by other sharp teeth. My golden eyes light up on my face as obsidian fur begins to cover my little muzzle. Further and further until my cheeks and lips and nose are wide and I can close my mouth without feeling like I’m drowning in my tongue’s length.
My back arches, spine popping like firecrackers in the night, torn apart by expanding muscles. Behind me, my tail lashes the air angrily. I hate the pain. It’s- it’s starting to be hard to focus again.
Breathe. F- focus. Brrrrreea-oooooowwllll!
I’m- still- still me. I pray to moon. Silver moon. Bright and pretty and sharp. I pray. And stay. I stay here. The fog. Dark and dense, trying to consume me but I fight, snarling at the black wolf in front of me. She snarls back, louder. Challenging me. Huge and deadly and threatening. I’m stronger. I am stronger. I am stronger.
And it passes. It passes but I’m never always in control. I’m two layers back, telling someone to tell someone else how to drive. So I tell them to tell the other one to stand.
My ebony fur absorbs the moonlight and my breathing sounds far too loud in my long ears. She knows a path. I. I know a path. To run. To run until I’m exhausted and panting and screaming my howl into the cold night air.
I am a shadow in the night under the watchful eye of my goddess.