The full moon was always watching.
Lauren swore to herself she had only left the shed for half a minute. Forty seconds tops. She had avoided her gaze from the moon and even pulled up the hood on her jacket to avoid the moonlight.
But the moon knew. It always did. The burning inside her abdomen made that clear.
"Fuck!" Lauren shouted, her arms folded over her stomach. Eyes wincing shut from the pain, the woman put her shoulder to the shed door and forced the shed door closed; sealing herself away from the moon's eye. Her body was pins and needles, her nerves stabbing hot fiery knives into her muscles. "Shit! No, no no!"
It hadn't happened in so long. She had avoided the moon; prided herself on doing so. It had been so long since she had felt what she was feeling now. Yet, no matter how long it ever was in-between, to Lauren the feeling was always unmistakable.
Breathing through her clenched teeth, Lauren took a step forward. Immediately her knee buckled, sending the woman tumbling to the floor of the shed in pain. Her hands wouldn't obey her, wouldn't leave her abdomen; wouldn't brace her fall. All she could do was turn her head quickly so it was her cheek that met the concrete.
Lauren let her body lay in place for the moment. The pain from the impact was lost in the burning pain that was flaring throughout. She felt solace in the feel of cold of the concrete felt good against her fevered skin. It got me, she lamented. It tricked me.
Then came the voice. "A-are you okay?" Feminine. Young. Scared. "Were you- were you shot?"
How could she have forgotten so quickly? Damn moon. The girl. The reason she had left the safety of the shed; exposed herself to the moon. Lauren had brought her back with her, away from the men. Tried to save her from their guns and their lust. Now, the girl was here with her savior...who held within a greater danger.
Panic set into Lauren's brain. Need to act. "Quickly."
"Quickly w-what? Are you o-okay?" the girl asked.
Lauren, summoned her arms to push her up to her knees; her muscles screaming with objection. She forced her eyes open to look at the girl in front of her. Hadn't had time to see the girl much outside. Mid to late teens, it looked. Short, brown hair. Disheveled. Blue tank top with one strap ripped. Animals. White capri pants stained with grass and dirt. Wide eyes full of fright from the attackers. Fright from the unknown that Lauren was to her.
"The lat-," Lauren stumbled amidst a breath. She paused, inhaled, and gathered herself. "The latch. A few feet to your left," she continued.
The girl looked over to the metal rung in the floor, jutting forth from a metallic, rectangular shape amidst the concrete floor. Her gaze then turned back to Lauren. "A door?"
"Yes, a door," Lauren said, slowly moving back to her wary feet. A long-forgotten tingle was building in her chest, beneath her skin. She ignored it. "Open it, and get in. The men will never find you, I promise."
The men. They're still out there. They'll be looking.
The girl stared blankly, as if she were afraid to move. Scared. Naturally. Lauren felt her left hand forming into a fist. The feeling in her chest was getting stronger. No time. "Quickly!"
Within a second, a jolt of pain shot through her abdomen and the woman doubled over, stumbling against the shed's aged brick wall. The girl tried to rush over to help, but Lauren pushed her away with an audible growl. "Please," the woman pleaded through rapid breaths. "Get in there. I'll be fine."
No I won't.
After a second's hesitation, the girl ran for the latch on the floor and began to work the door open. Lauren let herself breathe for a count to try to dull the pain, which was getting worse by the second. The tingling had grown into a new warmth upon her chest.
Slowly, Lauren let her right shoulder lean up against the shed wall and peeled a clump of her sweat-soaked dirty blonde from her forehead. While the girl was distracted with the door, Lauren, facing away, reluctantly moved her hand to the zipper on her grey hoodie and pulled it down halfway to reveal a dark green v-neck t-shirt, stained with perspiration from her neck down to her stomach. The woman brought her hands to the damp collar and, with a deep breath, pulled the fabric away from her skin and peered down.
A tuft of dark, black hair was jutting out from between her breasts. Fur. There was no denying it now. Lauren shut her eyes, which forced out a couple of tears that rolled down her cheek. The tingling feeling that had been the first sprout of fur was spreading across her body. The change was coming. Now.
"Coming?" came the girl's voice. Lauren snapped her eyes open in confusion. "Are you coming?" the girl repeated, her voice still rife with a tone of fear.
Lauren let her shirt fall back to her chest, zipped up the hoodie to hide the stains, then turned towards the girl, who stood with both arms holding open the metallic door. Lauren felt her own body quaking; shivering and awaiting the moment when humanity would be lost. The girl stood, scared but unaware, on the interior ladder; the one that Lauren knew lead a short distance down to a shelter.
Lauren shook her head. "Close it. Lock it. Don't come out 'til morning." Another hesitation. Lauren forced a toothless smile, just in case any other features had taken shape. "Trust me." The girl didn't notice it, but the voice had taken a slightly deeper and raspier tone.
The girl slowly let the door closed the metallic door until it snapped closed.
Lauren could hold it no more. The change immediately took hold over her, forcing Lauren to her hands and knees as her brain could no longer balance her on her own two feet. Pain wasted no time spreading throughout her body like a flame igniting gasoline. Her throbbing muscles began to violently spasm underneath her skin and she could feel patches of fur continuing to grow beneath her clothing.
She wanted to scream, oh how she wanted to. Screaming had helped in the past-the long past. It had been so long. But she couldn't - the girl couldn't think something was wrong and come out. She had to keep the girl safe. Safe from the men. Safe from her.
Another jolt of pain coursing through her system, Lauren whipped her head into the air before bringing it down to cradle in the palms of her hands, which had thick, black claws slowly extending from her fingernails. The woman rocked back and forth as her spinal column began to poke against the skin of her back, before violently shifting downward as a pointed tail burst out the rear of her jeans. Bones cracked audibly as Lauren felt her skeletal structure begin to change her body. Her fingers clenched harder at her head; the deadly points of her claws digging into her head's flesh; drawing fresh, boiling blood.
Sharp canines clenched against each other in her mouth as Lauren flailed her torso up and away from its fetal position, arching her back and whipping her arms to her sides with a burst of pain from her muscles. Her musculature began to bulge as her mass swelled to increase her growing form. Lauren's clothes stretched tight; her breathing was heavy and shallow. The clothing was strangling her.
Fumbling with the zipper of her cloth hoodie with her clawed hands, Lauren pulled it down and ripped her arms from the jacket and threw it to the ground, following by quickly kicking off her boots. She then moved to her jeans, grasping onto the front buttons, desperately trying to undo them as the denim began to tear underneath the strain of her growing form. It was no use.
The warm feeling that had spread through her was continuing to assert its influence and was injecting her brain with new emotions-raw emotions. A primal feeling. Her human higher functions were become less fluid, less clear - less important. Anger, fear, and hunger began to build. Thoughts of the girl in hiding and the men outside became blurred and the urge for freedom took its place. The animal was ready to burst.
The new instincts began to flare as Lauren took began to claw away at her shirt, assisting in freeing herself from the clothing as the fabric began to burst from her now massive torso. Lauren rose to her feet with a burst of adrenaline and allowed her jeans to rip under her own transformation, leaving tatters hanging from her powerful hips and a now-long black tail lashing wildly. She could feel her bra bursting at the seams against her swelling breasts, before the material finally gave way and snapped, freeing her new form from the last of her human containment.
Standing tall, what was left of Lauren closed her eyes once more as her face pushed out into a prominent snout, her sharp canines hanging forth ready to snap into flesh. Once they opened again, there was only yellow. Only the werewolf.
A new scent filled the air. Human. Male. Three of them. Ears picked up footsteps. They were close. She was hungry.
There would be a hunt.