Hokay. Here's the interludes, each one entitled "The Dark Side". Some work better than others, since they weren't exactly planned.
The Dark Side - Part the Second - August 27th, 2012
It had been a long journey. A journey that had begun so far across the country. Some days, she thought it would never end. Some days, she did not even know where she was going.
Her quest had brought her in the waning days of August to the state of Vermont. Not a bad place, for what she was looking for. It still had plenty of mountains, plenty of trees. The population was low. Someone could hide here for some time. But she had come this far, and was not about to turn around just yet. What was a little difficulty but just a challenge she had to try harder to beat?
She had been in-state for several days, staying at whatever small motels she could find. She did not need much in the way of accomodations, although she had a knack for finding places even Norman Bates would not rent out. Still, all she needed was a roof over her head. These days, a bed was a luxury, and one with sheets, clean or not, was astounding.
The latest find was at least on the high end of the spectrum. She liked to find places in the middle of nowhere, it made her feel safe, to stay secluded from people. But they did have a tendency to fall into disrepair.
She pushed against the door to her room and was pleased to find that the lock at least worked. There was one place on the outskitrs of Des Moines where things had not gone well because of a busted lock.
The girl tossed her bags on the bed and gave the rest of the room a quick inspection. Everything seemed in working order, even though the faucets in the bathroom believed water should be brown and chunky for a few minutes before the streams cleared.
For now, she had things to attend to, and very little time to tend to them. She glanced at the calendar and bit her lip. At least she had a few days yet to get things ready.
She closed the door and locked it, driving off in search of her prey. She traveled to the small hamlet of Kraftsbury. She parked her bike and wandered around town, getting the lay of the land. She pulled a phone out of her purple leather jacket and glanced frequently at some maps she had downloaded.
When she was on the hunt, she had become quite good at finding all the little places in a town to hide, and even better which streets to take and run away.
She then proceeded to walk the maze of streets, finding herself drawn further into rees than buildings, as they seemed to swap places. Where once there were homes dotting every inch of the streets, now there were trees, hiding the homes behind them, if there even was a house on any particular block at all.
After an hour of walking, she found a trailer on a lot, joined by a couple parked cars. She stepped into view just as her prey exited the doorway nearest her. If the home wasn't 100 feet back from the road, she might have been spotted right then and there. She took several cautious steps backwards and used the trees to obscure any view of her.
She continued to watch as her prey left the yard and walked away. For a moment, she feared he might turn in her direction, but she lucked out, and his gaze never even took her in.
Keeping her distance, she followed him all the way back to town, and almost all the way back to where she had left her motorcycle.
Once she saw him settle down, she made her way back to her bike, and used the backroads to drive out of town. She turned around after a mile, and came back, heading right for the park where the kid she had been following had picked a bench to sit down on.
She hoped her entrance would have an affect, but she had never suspected just how much of one it might have. She skidded to a stop in front of the kid, startling him out of whatever clouds his thoughts were lost in.
This meeting was little more than an introduction to the boy. She wanted to see what would happen when she made her presence known. So the girl kept the meeting simple, and just asked for some directions from Colin.
But every thing was not going quite as she had planned. She had to force back a blush at how he was staring at her. It had been a long time since anyone had looked at her that way, despite how young she was. She had been so focused on her quest, it was almost foreign to her.
Still, she kept her cool, and toyed with the kid just a little more before driving off. She was not well practiced in her flirting skills, but she didn't think the kid would notice, and even if she was rusty, they would work well enough on him.
She forced thoughts of Colin from her mind, and drove straight past the pizza place he had directed her towards. She came upon another road further down, and doubled back from where she had come, skipping downtown Krafstbury once more thanks to the numerous back roads, and returned to her motel room.
Back in the safety and quiet of her room, she let her mind drift back to Colin. He was still an innocent, but he was important to her plans. She wanted to keep her thoughts distant, but it was hard. She may have been 18, but in many ways, she was still a kid herself. Far from innocent, but still young, and there was something about the boy...
Part of her revelled in the flirting, having not done so with anyone for so long. She had to keep herself focused though. She had important things to do, and could afford to let her thoughts wander.
There were werewolves to hunt.
The Dark Side - Part the Third - August 31st, 2012
Two full moons in a single month is uncommon, but not as rare as many people believe. We all know the saying about once in a blue moon, but if we just took the time to look at a calendar, or think about it, we would see that they happen at least once a year, and oftentimes more.
Still, it is a significant event, if not as magical as some people may believe.
For others, it was even more important than anyone would suspect. For those people, the moon was the whole of their lives. For them, they were slaves to the moon.
Some took their slavery and made it a reality, by chaining themselves up somewhere, to protect others. It did not always work. On those nights, there were consequences that would have to be dealt with in the morning.
Other people took a different route, and rather than be slaves, chained to a wall somewhere, used the moon to set themselves free. Free from their ties to mankind, to their grip on humanity. They would bond with their animalistic sides, and let them run wild until the moon was gone.
The night of a blue moon had no more power over a wolf than any other, but to some it was a special event. To those that like to kill, to roam. It meant twice the chance in one month. Twice the chances to run free. Twice the chances to draw blood. To some werewolves, a blue moon was like Mardi Gras.
After having a fun time with a light meal of some campers at the start of the month, the time had come again, and it felt all the sooner thanks to being in the same month.
There was often a temptation to go into a city and transform, wreaking havoc all around a populated area, but even a wolf knew that was dangerous. Too dangerous.
A wolf was smart, a wolf was cunning, and while it might indeed be fun to be a whirlwind of chaos and teeth amidst a populated area, the risk of one bullet taking a wolf down was too great.
In the fores, they had the element of surprise, even if they should be quite expected. In a city, there were just too many people to deal with, and very little chances for escape.
So as much as it may be a true joy to set the wolf free amongst mankind...mankind would have other things to say about the matter, and mankind had an annoying tendency to get its way.
At least here, back in Vermont, there were plenty of places to find something tasty that did not have much risk. Like the campers. Such a tasy couple. There was hope to find more like that tonight, and if not, there were still two nights left to play.
After the preperations had been made, the wolf left their room, and walked out into the cool air. It still had the humidity of a New England summer making it heavy and thick, but fall was coming, making the temperature drop more and more each night.
A perfect night for a hunt.
The wolf sniffed at the air, taking many sharp, short breaths, the animalistic side already beginning to come out as the sun disappeared. A howl escaped the wolf's lips before it could be stopped. The change was near.
The howl could be heard in the nearby town, but the wolf cared not for that, it just wanted to run.
Making haste, the wolf took off at a run from their door, and made the way for the woods. It was fortunate that they had chosen a place so close to the woods. Time was short, and changing in the open might draw too much attention.
The wolf crashed through the underbrush, ignoring it, and not caring about the branches scratching at their skin and face. They did not even raise their hands to protect their face.
When the wolf switched from running on two feet to running on four, they could not have even said. The line between human and wolf became ever more blurry with each change. A thought of what would happen if the line became so blurred that the wolf never went away, but such thoughts were the thoughts of man. Thoughts that disappeared in the pure instinct of a wolf.
The wolf was not all instinct and animalistic urges. Some of the person remained, some control could be exerted, but it was always a struggle, under the best of cirumstances. But they were always more wolf than man, and on the second night of the full moon, the true night of the fullest moon, the wolf was in charge. Wolves could be very difficult to negotiate with, indeed.
And not everyone wanted control. They wanted to be one with the wolf, let the wolf run free. Let the wolf kill.
Killing was the hardest part to stop. The urge to kill was strong within those who were slaves to the moon. It was their primary urge, the one thing they wanted most after being caged up all month long. When the wolf smelled something to eat, it wanted to eat, and pulling at those reigns was all but impossible.
All but. Though it could be done, if the wolf wanted to stop bad enough.
Unfortunately for anyone getting in one last camping trip in those woods on this particular Labor Day Weekend...this wolf had no such desire.
The Dark Side - Part the Fourth - September 29th, 2012
This was cutting things too close.
The moon was high, and the sun was down. The change was near.
The exact time of when a change came was never clear.
It always happened after the sun was down, but what the precise trigger was, no one had ever found out.
All a wolf knew was that if the sun was down, and they could see the moon, time was short.
Sometimes, the change would come right after the sun was below the horizon, regardless of if the full mon had risen yet. As long as the day was right, the change would come.
Other times, it could be almost midnight before anything happened. These nights were rare, as the wolf liked to claw itself free, tear through its prison of humanity and release itself upon the world as soon as possible.
Most of the times, that is what happened, so long as the moon was in the sky. Clouds did not stop the change, nor did trees, or rooves, or caves. The wolf knew. The moon called to its children, and its children answered with howls of greeting.
Some wolves found that if they remained calm the wolf could be kept inside for brief periods of the full moon, even meditation seemed to help. But the rage of the wolf could not be kept back by mere thoughts alone. The call of the moon was too strong.
It did not take more than the first few changes for a wolf to become very cautious of what the time was every night of the full moon. But even the best of people can get caught up in life. No matter the precautions, no matter the preperation, we all make mistakes at one time or another.
The wolf had made a grievous error by coming into the city that night. Time had gotten the best of it, and the darkness had come earlier than expected.
It was the worst nightmare for some wolves, to be caught out in the open. The dangers were plentiful. This wolf still revelled in the thoughts of tearing up a city, consequences be damned. If this was to be its last night alive, it would be a bloody glorious way to go.
But even the lupine instincts could be overtaken before the change came, and the human pulled itself back to reality and dragged the wolf along with it, taking them both away from the center of the city, from the center of so many helpless, tasty victims.
The wolf wanted out, it was so strong, it saw the moon, let it come out! it cried inside. At that moment, if the two halves could be torn asunder, leaving human and wolf separated at last, it would have happened as desires drove at cross purposes.
The human instinct for survival won out, finding some common ground deep within the increasing parts of its brain that were becoming like the wolf. It wanted blood, but it would want blood next month as well. So it remained calm, remained chained.
The instant the wolf saw it was surrounded by trees as they escaped the city, it began to claw its way free again. There was no more risk of people, it was time. Long past time.
The host remained focused, trying every trick it had learned to keep the wolf silent, but they were running out quicker and quicker with every passing month. It was like an addicition, the more they were used, the less effective they were. And there was no way to meditate more that would stop the wolf.
It was a miracle that the wolf made it back to its home while it was still human. A miracle to the person, but a curse to the wolf. They were home, they were safe, now let me free!
They could see the door, and knew that just beyond it they could find some chains to lock themselves up and -
The wolf would not allow to be chained up again. Not when it was so close to freedom. All it had to do was escape this one prison, and it would be able to run free tonight
It would not allow itself to have come so far, and be so close, only to be chained up once more, trading one prison for another.
The wolf fell to the ground, and the changes tore its body apart. The human felt pain, the wolf felt pleasure, as they traded places within the prison of their body.
The wolf howled out, greeting mother moon, after such a long time, too long, it wanted to feed so bad.
Much to the surprise of the wolf, in as much as a wolf can feel surprise, or understand it, there was another cry off in the woods.
There was another wolf. And not just any wolf. This wolf was like itself.
And it was a wolf they knew.
Aaand next time we post words, we pick up there with chapter four.