“Wolf” Part I

This entry is part 1 of 6 in the series Wolf

It’s on me again, a blossoming pain.  Its petals spread and I forget what it means to be wholly human — as if I ever knew.

But, the world has shifted again, and the chase is upon me.

Wind and, tonight, rain.  My heart is leaping with the strength, the dark euphoria of the world.  There are no bounds, only the chase.

I chose him six days ago, as always.

For me, it’s difficult in the cities, but I have become somewhat adept.

His scent is a map, plotting where he is, where he was, who he’s with, and who he’s been with; I know what he’s eaten, what he’s wearing.  And, I know he’s afraid.

He smells of flight, though he doesn’t know the source of his agitation, or recognize the urge.  How dull he seems; there are eruptions of anger from every dog for blocks, but none within the area of my presence.  Instinct buried under tens of thousands of years of civilization is trying to save his miserable life and he can’t comprehend its warnings.

I can.  I can sense it all through the chemicals of his body.

He peers from his second story window, but I wait beneath the iron stairs, in the deepest shadows of the trash-filled alley.

His scent, teeming with tension, only furthers my need.

Finally, I am unable to resist the climb up to satiation.  He nearly begs for release and reacts like some stricken animal in the wild.  I hear a door slam.

His tension and fear finally reach a screaming pitch on the edge of my nerves, and I am through his window with a crash of glass.  He’s behind a door, foolishly, not the one leading out.  It shatters and I am upon him, his fear now a fever consuming him, streaming like some heated vapor from his every pore, ebbing with the flow of his blood and the slow ceasing of his heartbeat.

So leaves the need…  As always.

Many times I’ve pondered the Kill.  It’s as if the act alone should abate the compulsion; however, after the Kill, the Feast.  After the Feast, sleep.

***

I awakened cold, as always, in my bed, on top of the sheets, fetal.

The only thing I recalled of the night and my victim was the blood, but I knew I brought him down.

Should I know remorse?  What does it mean that I don’t?  Sometimes I struggle with the imponderables, but to what end?

I glanced at the clock, its red glow bristling in the dark of pre-morn.  I still had three hours before the mundane was upon me again in all its glory.

I never had to clean up after the Kill.  Somehow, maybe during the Change, it took care of itself; still, I must care for my mundane appearance.  Even without the Gift, I’m sure I would have been a hirsuite specimen.  My father looked like a shaved bear with perpetual five-day growth from head to foot.  Even my mother had facial hair.

It’s the eyebrow plucking that I hate, but the surest way to avoid scrutiny is to blend.  At least that’s what the old ones tell me.  And they should know — that’s how they got old.

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