The Gift Ch. 03

The infection spreads through the castle and the princess confronts the king and queen.
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The two werewolves approached the kitchen slowly, cautiously, dropping to all fours with long ears at attention.  The smaller wolf glanced at the larger until given a nod.  She leapt, crashing through the kitchen door to the sounds of screams.  The women inside all backed into a corner with Matilda holding a shaking spoon before her.

Ignoring the old woman, Beatrice snapped and clawed as one girl tried to run.  The stricken girl screamed, spun and slammed to the ground, holding her dangling arm.  She lay there, panting and trembling and groaning in pain.

Satisfied that everyone else was cowering, the young she wolf grabbed one of the maids, paw around her throat.  She slashed down the girl’s tunic and then pulled her down to the ground.  Slowly, she turned, lowering her ass to the girl’s face with her thighs spread.  The girl turned her face and then bucked, mouth open when Beatrice licked between her thighs.

“Oh god!” The girl with the broken arm screamed.  She raised her head in a silent howl as her canine teeth lengthened and fur grew along her jaw lines.  Sharp claws pierced the fingertips of her broken arm and the arm itself trembled, healing with a loud popping noise.  Fur pushed through the tears in the fabric and she grunted, lifting her dress with her undamaged arm.  Her tongue lolled from her mouth and she panted while rubbing her bare clit in front of the terrified onlookers.  Fur sprouted around her fingers, growing in a tuft to cover her sex.  Her bodice bulged, the fabric snapping as her breasts grew.  “The heat!  Oh god!  Fuck!  The heat!”

With a throaty growl, the changing girl stood, catching herself on a table as her feet popped and grew.  She reached for a girl and then growled as the girl pushed away.  All the woman parted around the poor lone girl and the changing she wolf laughed, snatching her away.  She held her, kissing her roughly while rubbing herself against the other girl’s leg. 

“Please!” the girl gasped between breaths.  Light black fur grew along the tips of her round ears.  More hairs sprouted down her jaw and along her bare shoulders, thickening into a small mane at the back of her neck. The shewolf with the slashed arm pushed the girl down, forcing her to kneel between her legs. “Please, god, please no!  Please, I- I don’t-  I- I-” 

As if in a daze, the kneeling girl reached arms around the wolf girl’s thighs.  She moaned with cracking jaws and licked at the other girl’s swelling pussy lips.

On the ground the serving girl was wrapping her arms around Beatrice’s furry ass.  She dug fingers into the girl’s hips and pulled at her tail as her own body began to change.  Small teats formed and a slim body quickly turning to hardened muscle.

Agnes huffed, pleased with her little lover.  She sniffed the air and padded silently down the corridor, hunting for new prey.  She could hear frantic nobles yelling and sobbing further into the castle.  They smelled of fear and panic and she bared her teeth in a mockery of a smile.  Following their scent, she found large, ornate doors with a single guardsman posted in front.

She paused, crouching.  Tensing powerful leg muscles.  The man glanced away briefly and the large she wolf pounced.  They crashed to the ground, sparks flying while they slid. She snapped at his face and slashed him, her claws nearly catching in his armor before parting the thin metal.  He yelled and the smell of blood filled the air.

“Is- is everything okay out there?” A quivering voice asked.  

The shewolf stood over the guard.  He reached for his sword and then jerked, his body spasming.  He tried to speak but drool escaped his lips and his jaw cracked.  Long, sharp fangs tore through his gums.  She sniffed at him and felt the ache deep within, still unfilled.  For a moment she considered taking him but she knew it wasn’t the time.

Instead, she pushed the door and was surprised to find it unlocked and unbarred.  She stepped into the room as the soldier behind her rolled to his hands and knees, straining against the changes coursing through him.

Screams filled the chamber.  Lords and ladies pushed to the back of the room in a panic, trampling each other in their rush.  She glanced casually about the room.  Lazily strolling in with her proud tail up behind her.  Nothing could stop her and she would find a mate here.

In the corner of the room, a young man was sliding his way to an ornate set of armor.  His hand barely trembled as he reached for the sword in the armor’s scabbard. 


She ran on all fours, tail streaming until she slammed into the young man, rolling with him.  They landed in a pile and he cursed her while she ripped the clothes from his body.

A few more courageous nobles made a break for the door but a large black male werewolf stepped into the room, growling.  A few fragments of armor clung to his large frame.  He sniffed and then grabbed a cowering young noblewoman in a perfect white dress.

“No!” the woman’s husband yelled.  The foolish man stepped forward but crumpled to the ground at a casual swipe from the werewolf.  

The noblewoman screamed as the werewolf licked her from her breasts to her cheek.  She turned her face and he grabbed her, turning her back.  He lifted her for a kiss, forcing his tongue inside her mouth while his claws dug into her ass.  Finally, he released her and she fell to her knees.

“E- Emma-” the woman’s husband gasped.  He reached for her with a trembling arm and then gasped, pulling himself into a tight ball.  The back of his trousers bulged and a tail slid from the band.  The man grabbed his face and screamed, pulling at his pants until he was bare.  His heavily veined cock throbbed above his body and it began to redden.  The man stood, hunched and then stood again, scenting the air.  He stalked to the back of the room.  A larger, older woman shoved a petite young girl forward and the man grabbed her, nipping at her neck and breast until a chair crashed into his face.  He roared, dropping the girl.  Blood dripped from his mouth and it cracked, forming into the start of a muzzle. 

“You fucker!” the changing man screamed, lunging at slashing at the man who hit him.  He scored several hits and then roared, howling while muscles bulged and his knot formed, thick at the base of his cock.  He stood, licking black lips on a shortened muzzle while he stalked over to a new woman.  An older, attractive heiress found herself alone in the shift crowd.  She tried to step back but her foot caught the edge of her dress and she fell backwards, catching herself with her hands.  She began to wail as the half changed beast loomed before her.  

The new werewolf grabbed the older woman’s hair forcing her mouth to the tip of his red cock.  He growled and pushed and her jaw opened.  She gagged as he forced his manhood inside her mouth.  Moaning with bestial lust, he thrust, his growing tail swinging with each movement.  The woman’s protestations slowly ceased and she leaned forward on her knees as her ears grew to tips and her canine teeth began to lengthen.  Silver fur sprouted up from her cleavage and her bodice tightened against her chest, straining to contain her growing breasts..

With the distractions, a man in the crowd took his chance, running to his fallen wife.  “Alice!  Alice, are you hurt?!”

“It- it hurts,” the petite girl said, a hand to her neck.  A line of blood flowed from underneath.  The girl bit her lip and moaned.

“Oh my poor wife,” the man said, cradling her in his lap.  “We’ll get out of this.  The king is summoning the witches.  They’ll be able to-”

“It hurts so much,” the woman gasped.  She ran her hands through her hair, pulling at the ends.  A small ring of hair lined the bite marks in her neck.  “The heat, Peter, the heat and the ache and, oh god!”

“Oh darling,” the man cried.  “We’ll be safe.  They’ll save us, you’ll see.  They’ll save us.”

Alice moaned and rolled, lifting her head in her husband’s lap.  She sniffed his crotch and whined, opening her mouth to let her long, wide tongue out.  “You smell so good, Peter. So fucking good.  God.  God, yes, the heat.”

The man’s wife grabbed his stomach and leg.  She licked his crotch with small, whining moans, running her tongue over the small bulge in his trousers.  She pulled at his belt, her lust fogged brain confused.  The man’s wife gently bit at his cock and she moaned again, her voice far lower now.  “Heat.  Need.  Peter.  Mount.  Mount me.  Bitch.  I’m.  Your bitch.  Mount me.”

Seams burst on the young noblewoman’s dress, exposing her bare body.  Hard lines of muscles outlined her arms and legs and thick fur traced her spine.  She pulled at her husband’s pants again and he yelled as they tore in her powerful grasp.  She moved, straddling him, pressing a swollen breast into his mouth.  Her hips flexed against his bare, flaccid cock.  She held him in place, rocking her swollen, wet sex back and forth until he hardened.  With a happy growl, she pressed down and he slipped inside.  They kissed and he hissed through clenched teeth, gripping her ass.  Slowly, the base of his cock swelled as skin grew up to cover it in the start of his new sheath.

Agnes held the young man on the ground, her paws on his hands and her thighs around his hips.  He was naked before her and struggling uselessly.  She smiled her crooked, toothy smile and licked his face.  Carefully, slowly, while keeping eye contact with him, she leaned over and bit his arm until she tasted blood.  She released him and he sat up, pushing himself backwards.

She lazily turned away from him, dropping to all fours.  Glancing back at him, she lowered her heavy chest, her nipples brushing the cold floor.  With her golden eyes still locked on his, she raised her hips and spread her thighs.  The engorged black lips of her pussy, opened slightly to show pink within.  She watched him.

“You sick, filthy animal,” the man said.  He held his arm with his other hand and stood.  Blood poured from his wound for a moment but Agnes smiled again when it stopped.  She lay her forehead down on the floor and slowly began to wave her hips back and forth.  “I’ll be damned if I rut with a creature like you.  I’ll kill myself first.”

The man looked for a weapon from where he stood but his eyes kept straying to the she wolf before him.  He cleared his throat with a heavy growl and his lips pulled back.  His cock began to swell and he pushed at it while looking away.  Despite his thoughts, it continued to grow until completely erect.  He glanced back at her and now, without realizing, his hand was pumping his own cock.  Pulling at it.  Tugging at it.  It began to grow again.  His hand bulged to contain it and he growled once more.  The rounded head of his cock pulled flat against his thickness and slowly lengthened to a point.  

The curly, untrimmed pubic hair around his manhood thickened and a dark line of brown hairs grew up to his belly button.  The man lifted his chin, sniffing the air.  The growing hair surrounded his belly button and continued up into his chest hair.  The hairs twined together until his bare chest was covered behind a heavy coat of fur. 

“Rutting.  With a god damned animal,” he growled, watching Agnes’ ass.  Muscles bulged in his forearms.  Claws pierced his finger tips, digging into the darkening pads of his palms.  “Rutting and fucking.  Mounting her.  Mounting my bitch. Rutting.  Breeding and fucking.”

With another growl, the man stepped forward.  The base of his cock began to swell and the entire length of his manhood darkened to deep, glossy red.  He moaned as he gripped the knot forming at the base of his changing manhood.  He squeezed it and rubbed it and snarled at the heat pouring into his body.  His hips cracked to free his tailbone and it pushed against his skin.  Blood rushed to his cock and his knot swelled.  He was panting now, his tongue drooling as it hung from his mouth from blackened lips.

She looked back at her mate to see him standing behind her.  Her own wetness and heat was a pain that felt like it could never be quenched.  She bowed further, pushing her ass against him and he dropped to all fours above her.  Patches of his bare skin slid against her fur as he began to mindlessly thrust against her.  The tip of his dick pressed against her thighs and ass before finally slipping into her velvety black pussy lips.  She growled as he pushed into her.  He was huge, larger than Ralf and incredibly long.

“Rutting.  Mate.  Breeding,” the man gasped, his mind lost in the lust and freezy.  Words became impossible when his muzzle began to form.  He bit her shoulder at the pain of it all and she shuddered, pushing back harder.  

Beyond the two new lovers, people were screaming and howling.  

A half changed man was throat fucking his wife, forcing his cock down her throat again and again while she scratched and fought with him.  He laughed and howled until she began to beg him to mount her aching wet pussy.  To change her more.  To make her his bitch.

Beside those two, a young man was backing away from his infected fiancee.  She reached for him.

“Please! Please don’t-” She groaned, hiding her hand in her armpit.  He stopped backing up when he hit the wall and she kept coming.  Her hand twitched and popped while it changed.  She reached for him, pulling him into a hug while he tried to push away.  “Please, it’s okay, I’m not-  I’m-  Oh.  I’m not- Oh god.  I’m-  I’m so hot.  God it feels so good.  You’ll- you’ll see.  You’ll see.  It feels so good.  So fucking good.  So. Fucking. Good.”

The woman kissed her fiance, her clawed hand scratching down his back as he screamed in her mouth.  She grabbed his head and pulled him down beneath her, hiking her dress up to straddle his face.  Her lips turned black and her ears lengthened while she rocked her hips against his mouth.

“Fuck,” she growled, rocking back and forth.  She grabbed her breast and pushed, forcing her clit against her fiance’s nose.  With a sudden, happy yip, she came, spraying the man’s face and chest with her juices.  She leaned forward, panting and then moaning loudly when her fiance opened his mouth to her.    She whined over and over, her voice dropping with each word.  “Yes, yes, yes, yes!”

Beneath her, her fiance’s pants bulged, the red tip of his cock sliding past the waist of his pants.  He gripped her hips with strong hands and pushed, forcing her down towards his cock.  His fiancee snarled and reared back to swipe at him with a clawed hand but he growled, twisting, grabbing the mane on the back of her neck and forcing her down to the ground.

“Yes!  Like that!  Fuck me!  Fuck me like a bitch!” She screamed, reveling in the raw animalistic strength and passion.  Her ass and hips swelled and he forced himself on her, parting her engorged pussy with the tip of his red cock.   Drool dripped to her furred back with each grunting thrust.

As the changes continued, a brave cornered young man shielded his older sister from the beasts around him.  A large blond male werewolf stepped away from the bitch he’d mounted and she snapped at him before bucking from a sudden orgasm.  The male walked toward the young man, eyeing the girl he was hiding.

“No!” the man cried out, pushing his sister.  He pointed to an armoire, knowing it was useless but without any other ideas of how to protect her.  She ran, slamming the door behind her and the werewolf gave chase. The girl’s brother turned to stand in front but the werewolf simply reached out a huge, clawed fist to bat him aside.  The man slid to the wall and the werewolf continued to stalk to the girl until his mate came behind him, pressing her furred breasts to his back and reaching to grab his knot.

The girl’s brother watched, sickened as the two suddenly mated in front of him, unconcerned with him or the danger he might present.  Wincing, he stood and crawled to the armoire where his sister hid.  He knelt in front of it, knocking on the door quietly.

“We can try the windows,” he whispered.  The werewolves were distracted with each other.  He glanced back at them for a moment.  Watching them mate like beasts.  People he’d known his entire life.  Gentle people he’d grown up with.  People that would be embarrassed to sneeze in front of others.  Changed and mating like dogs.  He licked his lips, watching them still.  In public like that.  Rutting.  Forcing themselves on each other.  Pounding into each other.  Giving into carnal desires.  Losing themselves in it.  He’d never seen a naked woman before but now, he’d seen that and more.  Watched them grow.  Watched their soaking wet pussies change and swell and fold like a dog’s sex.  Wet and slick and hot.

“Just open the door, Rose,” he groaned, pressing at his bulging pants.  A female werewolf was mounting a male barely ten feet away.  He could smell her.  His nostrils flared and darkened.  He could almost taste her.  He growled and clawed at the door before looking back.  His pants pulled painfully tight against him and his thumb flicked against the soft, red, sensitive tip sliding forth.  “Open the damn door, Rose.”

“N-no!” the man’s sister yelled quietly.  “I’m- I’m- not coming out until you go away.”

“Rose,” the man growled, licking his lips.  His teeth felt sharp and they itched in his jaw.  He undid his pants to relieve the pressure.  A line of skin was growing from the base of his furred sheath.  It grew up his belly, pulling his manhood against his stomach.    He clawed at the door and his blackened nails cut deep furrows in the thick wood.  “Rose, I can smell your sex in there.  Open the door, Rose.  Let me- let me take you before they do.  I’m so hard.  I’ll show you, Rose.  I’ll- argh!  Open the damn door, you fucking bitch!”

The girl’s brother slammed on the door and it splintered under his powerful strikes.  Muscles bulged beneath spreading fur on his back and arms.  He growled and reached in, pulling his sister from her hiding spot.  She screamed and tried to crawl away from him before he fell on top of her.  The young man tore his sister’s dress to expose her thin, pale back.  Her moaned and licked her skin, nipping at her without drawing blood.

“No, don’t!” Rose screamed, struggling beneath him.  “You’re still you, Walter!  Remember!  Remember me !’m- I’m your sister, Rose!  Please!”

“My mate. You’re my mate,” the man growled.  He thrust against her, his cock prodding her dress.  It slid up against her as he moved, exposing her underclothes.  The throbbing head of his dick pressed against her pussy but the white silk small clothes prevented him from entering her. His teeth found her shoulder and he bit deep, growling against her skin while he thrust.

She could feel the fur growing on his belly – felt it on her back and hated how it made her shiver and want to moan.  Hated how it sent shocks of pure electricity between her thighs.  Hated how good the pain of his fangs felt.  Hated how he couldn’t enter her.  How her mate wasn’t filling her properly.  How his thick cock kept teasing her over and over without taking her.  Hated the way he wasn’t grabbing and twisting and pulling at the teats forming on her belly.  

Rose roared, sharp fangs bared in her still human mouth.  She reached under herself, arm dragging against milk-tipped teats.  She grabbed her small clothes and tore, spreading her scent to her brother.  He howled triumphantly above her when his red wolf’s cock pierced her tight, pink lips.  She slammed back against him, grunting and growling, turning her head to lick at her brother’s mouth in an awkward kiss as the fur growing on her back tangled with the fur along his belly.  She dreamed of the pups he’d give her.  Her belly full of babies, sucking on her teats-

The girl’s first orgasm forced her to her stomach.  Her quivering tight pussy milked her brother’s thick cock and he bit deeper into her shoulder, grunting and sweating to contain his own release.  His sister’s pussy opened to him and his knot widened her further, slipping inside just as her lips darkened and began to re-form.  Her brother clawed her back again and raise his lengthening muzzle in a long, loud howl as hot jets of cum filled her.

Around them, the wolves were standing. Sated for the moment.  The brother stood and the sister turned, lapping at his cock.  Cleaning him before standing next to him.  Fur was slowly spreading along her stomach, tickling her small teats and making her twist her thighs with renewed need.

Agnes stood in front to gather their attention.  They followed her when she ran and they filled the hall and castle, spreading out to find more people.  A small group of them arrived at the front gate and Agnes approached while her small pack dealt with the guards.  Her mate helped her when she struggled with the enormous bar blocking the gate until, finally, they lifted it free.

Queen Margaret paced the throne room with her king.  Eight of their guards, the elite of their small army, stood at attention along the hall.  They drew their swords and formed a ring around the royal couple at the first heavy strike against the chamber doors.

“Where are they?!”  the queen screamed.  “Why aren’t they here to protect-”

Light dimmed in the center of the room.  Darkness seemed attracted to it, pulling from the corners of the room until it formed a large, oval void.  The center of the oval twisted and an old, hunched woman stepped out.

“You!”  The queen raged.  “This is all your fault!  You cursed her!”

The old woman laughed and flipped her free hand.  “No, I saved her.  And the others won’t be coming to save you.  For you see-”

With a loud ‘crack!’ the heavy door to the chamber exploded in wooden shards.  A tall, powerful blonde werewolf stepped into the room, ducking her head through the door.  A horde of werewolves stood behind her.

“You see,” the old woman continued.  “Your daughter has breached the castle.  They hold no dominion over her.  Not any longer.”

The werewolf paused and growled.  Her claws sunk into the solid stone next to her and she anchored herself.  Her body trembled and shrunk, thick blonde fur receding back into her skin.  Bones creaked and cracked and groaned until her muzzle began to resemble the princess’s beautiful face.  

Princess Isabella stood naked before her parents.  A pitch black male werewolf came up behind her and to her side.  An honor guard.  Her mate.  She ran her fingers through the fur on his stomach he chuffed at her in return.

She was taller, leaner and far stronger than she’d been  Her heavy breasts hung perfect and full on a wide, fit body.  The black werewolf placed a momentary possessive paw on her breast before stepping back.

“Princess,” the old woman said with a small bow.

“Isabella!” Queen Margaret exclaimed.  She rushed forward but stopped behind her guard.  “Move!”

“No, highness,” the commander said.

Princess Isabella smiled, showing small, sharp fangs.  “They have the right of it, mother.”

“Would you kill us, then?” the king asked.

“No, father,” the princess answered.  “No, I wouldn’t kill you.  But, you aren’t wolves.  You could never be a proper wolf.  You bartered away our kingdom blindly and, in the end, tried to sell me off to a foreign prince to buy a few more years of peace. Both of you.  You aren’t fit for ruling and you aren’t fit to join me.”

The princess turned to the old woman.  “Grandmother?  Would you, please? One more favor?”

The old woman smiled. “No favor this.  Pure pleasure.”

Power filled the air.  The wolves growled uneasily behind Isabella but settled at her signal.  The king and queen hugged each other, unsure of what was happening.  The royal couple begin to sweat profusely while their guard glanced nervously at each other.

“What do you intend?” the king asked.  He hooked a finger beneath his collar, pulling at it to allow air inside.  His cheeks began to swell, slowly, and his jaw pushed forward. 

“John!” the queen exclaimed, falling to her hands and knees.  She rolled to her back and kicked, pulling at her purple and gold dress.  It bulged over her swelling stomach and she tore at it frantically until the growth of her body simply tore the overly tight dress down the side.  Her white under clothes were stained with sweat and they too strained under her growth.  Her sagging breasts pressed against the fabric and the buttons popped, exposing her chest.  The breasts sagged no more as the skin tightened and they became bloated, larger and larger until they were full and heavy on her body.  Her large, dark nipples elongated, doubling and tripling in length until the dangled from her chest.  “What are you doing to reeeeeeee!”

The queen clasped hands to her mouth at the loud squeal that escaped.  Her large belly was full and rounded.  Light patches of short white and brown hair was sprouting from her back and sides.  Her ears grew longer until they flopped over and she rolled awkwardly to her distended belly. 

With wide, horrified eyes, the king watched the changes unfold.  His face continued to lengthen and his nose pulled flat and round on his swollen cheeks.  He fell to knees, yanking at his robe as his own body changed.

A sword clanged to the ground in front of him.  The commander of the guards twirled in place, slapping at his arm, chest and neck.  Small black holes opened along his neck and shoulders.  Long, black wet feathers slid from the holes in his skin.  He danced around, plucking at one and screaming at the pain of it.  More grew forth, faster and faster and he began to remove his armor and clothes, throwing them aside as he frantically stripped.  

“I can’t stop it!” He cried out.  He pulled and plucked at his feathers until the pain grew too much.  The man’s mouth bulged forward, the skin hardening into a glossy beak that clacked loudly while he spoke.  Pure, inky blackness flooded the man’s eyes and he flapped his arms to steady himself on unsteady feet.  “I can’t-  I caaaaaawww!  Caaaaw!”

The men around their commander yelled in revulsion and scattered.  Princess Isabella watched them with amusement, noting how easily they broke.  More of her wolves stepped into the room, cutting off the soldier’s retreat.  And yet, there was no need as, one by one, they fell to the ground, screams turning to the loud cries of the ravens they were becoming.

One soldier crawled to Isabella.  The long, wet feathers lining his arms dragging on the flagstones.  He reached for the princess’s leg but stopped at a growl from the black werewolf by her side.  Naked but for his tattered hose and linen leggings, he begged incoherently for her to help him.  A massive lump formed on the soldier’s lower back.  He reached for it and his huge wings stirred the air.  The man paused, tilting his head to look at the glossy feathers drying on his body.  He looked back up at the princess with his strange, black eyes and blinked.

With a single, graceful movement, the man lifted both arms.  Thick, ropy muscles bulged beneath the feathers coating his back.  He flapped his wings and Isabella turned her face away from the powerful gust of wind he caused.  The soldier lifted into the air and then settled on his feet before Isabella.  He cocked his head again and then tilted his wings before sketching an awkward bow.  Around the room, the other raven men bowed before her, some toppling forward when their toes began to lengthen and change.

The young princess strode forward towards her parents.  Her father sat against his throne.  His eyes were unfocused, set deep within his snout.  He picked at two fused fingers on his right hand, mindlessly trying to separate them over and over.  They shortened while he plucked at them and he grunted when a third finger merged.  His nails grew thick and strong and he held it up to his daughter.

“Reeee?”  the old man grunted.  He began to fall but Isabella caught him and gently laid him on his side.  His wife, the queen, stood on four short legs nearby.  She walked to her husband and thrust her nose at him, sniffing and grunting while the old man’s belly expanded.

“What will you do now?” the old witch asked behind the princess.

Werewolves flooded the room, snapping and growling at the changed royal guard.  The former guardsmen ignored the wolves.  On silent black wings that seemed to drink of the light, they flew to higher ground to observe and wait for the princess’s orders.

“The neighboring kingdom was so kind to send their son to wed me,” the princess mused.  She turned and sat on the throne, pushing her father gently with her foot when he nosed too close to her.  Her mate climbed the steps to stand beside the throne.  “They were eager to gain a foothold in my father’s kingdom.  I’d say that, come night, it’s time to return the favor.”

The old woman nodded several times.  “Your godmothers will intervene.  Not directly against you, no, they cannot.  But they will try to stop you.”

“Well,” the princess said.  She smiled, showing her teeth.  Her sharp little canines were lengthening as fur began to sprout along her body.  “Then I shall make good use of the gifts they bestowed upon me on my birth.”

She stood, still changing.  Her jaw cracked and she snarled.  “All of them.”

Howls filled the chamber.  Distant pack members, some in the middle of their first transformation, tentatively picked up the cry until it filled the city.

Three women sat in a semi-circle before a roaring fire, staring into the flames. The youngest of them wept silently.  The air shimmered and wavered above the logs as if the intense heat was tearing a hole in the fabric of reality itself.  

“We must ask his help,” the oldest of them said.

A log split, shifting on the pile and spitting tiny embers.  For a moment, the image of a mountain was visible above the fire.  It was snow-capped and alone, far taller than the surrounding peaks.  A gigantic cave opened near the summit and it glowed with a soft light.  The image faded as quickly as it appeared.

“The cost is too high,” the middle woman croaked.  She reached for a nearby cup with trembling fingers.  “We cannot.”

“I’ll-” the youngest spoke.  She sniffed and wiped tears from the corner of her eyes.  “I’ll speak to him.”

The oldest woman nodded.  “Gods be with ye.  I’m sorry.”

A low, moaning wind twisted and flattened the fire until it licked the rocks surrounding it.  The two old women sat alone, watching it in silence as the full moon rose overhead.

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