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Since I went the attic way.. August 1, 2006

Posted by K in Fiction, From The Attic.
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The Werewolf

 

I couldn’t believe it. I definitely couldn’t believe it. For the fourth time that week, I heard a werewolf’s howl!!

My hand was shaking slightly when I groped for the phone beside my bed. I dialed a number and waited.

“Hello?” yawned out a sleepy voice.

I gripped the telephone receiver so hard that my knuckles turned white.

“Lee? Its back!” I whispered.

Immediately Lee’s voice became alert. “Are you kidding? Don’t tell me that you’re actually hearing it now!

I looked out of the cabin window and saw the full moon. I could distinctly hear the cries of the werewolf, never mind the cries of night animals! I considered myself an ‘animalologist’. I knew the cries of a wolf and these weren’t it.

“ You just come down to my cabin and hear it yourself!” I said to Lee.

“ You know that’s not possible. We aren’t allowed to leave our cabins at night.” Came Lee’s voice.

She was right. We had been put in charge of 10 children each, in the yearly summer camp, and our duty was to see that they were kept safe, occupied and happy, in that order. We weren’t allowed to leave our cabins at night unless we put someone else in-charge to look after the sleeping beauties.

“Oh right!” I sighed. “Well, we’ll think of something tomorrow.”

Lee agreed and hung up. I hung up, too, and tried to get some sleep. It was impossible. Although, by now, the howls had subsided, I could not help worrying about the werewolf, or if there WAS one. I looked outside the window again and saw that the moon had gone behind a cloud. I wondered if that was the reason for the howls stopping.

I sighed. When this summer camp had started I was in the highest of spirits. I loved camping and I loved organising stuff. Now, however, I couldn’t even feel a shadow of that old enthusiasm. Those howls were driving me crazy!!

I didn’t mention it to my batch of kids; they were too nice (for kids!) to be frightened by anything, and especially a big, bad, scary werewolf! Ishita, Savitri, Sanya, Jyoti, Manita, Anuja, Shreya, Nidhi, Leela and Karishma would most certainly have had lost their night’s sleep if they had heard the howls!

I shook my head. I had to try and think positively. I had a phone in the cabin at least! We considered it a great privilege to be allowed phones in the cabin. Personally though, I think that the camp coordinators gave us the phones because were pretty inexperienced. Besides, we were 12. Trouble strikes an amazing number of 12 year olds! They probably knew that we’d have to consult our fellow in-charges frequently enough, to aright things that went constantly wrong!

Half an hour later, I finally fell asleep.

 

The next morning, hearing the bugle, I jumped out of bed. The girls in my lot were known as the Horses. One of them (Sanya) came up to me and said, “ Falabella, what are we going to do today?”

Falabella? I thought. Who’s Falabella? An instant later I remembered. As our group was known as the Horses, each of us had to chose the name of any breed of horse, and that name would be ours till the end of the camp. I had chosen Falabella. I also remembered that Sanya’s ‘name’ was Hackney. I gave her the ‘to-do’ list for that day, remembering to use her camp name.

The day passed pleasantly, with no sighting of any werewolf (thank god!).

That night, Lee camped by my cabin with her group. We had decided to listen for the werewolf that night. Together.

Midnight came. I waited apprehensively for the howls. I wondered what the reaction would be like if word got around that a werewolf had been heard howling near a children’s summer camp area. Our yearly camping site would become Werewolf Site. Our camp would be dissolved. My thoughts weren’t pleasant. Neither was the wait.

Finally, though, I heard a rustling sound, and the door of my cabin opened.

I froze. Silhouetted against the moonlight was a grotesque shape- a half man-half wolf.

I couldn’t even scream, my voice wouldn’t come out. Seconds seemed like years, and after a decade, it seemed, the door closed, and I could hear soft footsteps heading out of the camping area.

I let out the breath I was holding, and pulled myself together. Taking a torch, I slipped outside to see if I could follow it. It would be pretty easy to spot the big footprints, and I would just go where they led me, I decided. I went into Lee’s tent and woke her up. Quietly I explained everything and she grabbed a torch and followed me.

I tried to find the footprints, but they had disappeared. Lee wouldn’t believe me when I said that the werewolf had come into my cabin. She said that I must have imagined it all and went back to bed.

Imagine it all? I heard the howls! It wasn’t like a mirage. The werewolf I saw, was real, too! I knew it was!

I trudged back to my cabin, but sleep eluded me. Just as I was about to force my eyelids shut, I heard the howls! They were different, this time. They were more intense, more chilling, more continuous. But this time, I had a point to prove.

I took my torch, again, and dressed quietly. I slipped out and went in the general direction of the howls. In the middle of the woods, I stopped short.

Somebody was following me.

I heard a twig crack, again, behind me.

I turned to face my shadower, fearfully. Slowly, out of the trees, stepped a calm looking person- Sanya!

Before I could say anything, she took my arm and walked with me towards the mountains. Her face looked so calm, so much at peace…

“What are you doing here?” I finally managed to ask, snapping out of my trance.

“You’ve been hearing her, haven’t you?” asked Sanya. I realised she was talking about the werewolf. I also realised that she knew something about it.

“She’s my cousin. She was born a werewolf. She stays here, as the members of her family did not want her. They were cruel to her, even though they knew about the curse. She could have killed them, but she did not. She went away and chose this place to live her unusual life. According to the family curse, for every person who hears her howls, her miserable life gets prolonged by a year. You heard her, and you saw her, but you wont die like the others who have heard her. You will live because you had the courage to find out for yourself what was going on,” said Sanya, still looking serene. “ I’m her only friend and advisor, but I’m not like her. I am human. You need not be afraid of me.”

She took my hand again, and resumed our walk towards the cliffs. She told me that she had asked her cousin not to come to the camp, but she hadn’t listened.

Full moons were painful, for it was then that the change occurred. I glanced up; it was full moon tonight.

I found all this hard to believe, hard to digest. Sanya, the little, friendly ‘Hackney’ of my group was a werewolf’s relative? A werewolf who killed?!

Sanya stopped, suddenly, in front of a bush. She parted the branches and pointed. Up there on the huge cliff, right on the edge, marked against the moon was the werewolf! It was howling for all it was worth, and I saw it happen right before my eyes. It changed! Soon the half-man-half-wolf became a full wolf.

The branches snapped shut and Sanya was guiding me back to the camp. “You’re the first human being to see that, after me. And that’s how it should remain.” Sanya remarked.

Was that a warning or a threat?

I looked back.

The wolf was sitting on the cliff, still howling. Suddenly, in one gigantic leap, it was beside us. Sanya let go of me, and asked, “Is it time?”

The wolf howled in reply.

She walked up to it and wound her arms around its neck. “There is one part of the legend that I did not tell you. One day, it was said, that she can hunt no more, and then she’ll return with her friend to the End Place. Today is that day.” Said Sanya. “You wont tell this to anybody, will you? It’ll only mean that I’ll have to be born as a werewolf next life.”

I shook my head.

“Nobody will miss me at camp. They’ll not remember a thing. It will be as if I was never there, so you need not worry,” she said, even more calmly.

She smiled and waved at me. The werewolf too seemed to be grinning.

Slowly, slowly they began to fade away. They were reduced to dust.

A gust of wind picked them up and scattered them among the trees.

As I walked back to camp, dazed, mystified and astonished, I heard what sounded like a distant howl. I also heard Sanya’s voice, saying goodbye to me.

I looked up. Yes, the moon was out, the full moon.

*************************************************************

 

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Comments»

1. diana - August 1, 2006

hey when did you write that? its nice u could expand on it and make it into a real proper short story if u worked on it a bit more i think

2. sporadicblogger - August 2, 2006

mebe,lol

3. sporadicblogger - August 2, 2006

mebe,lol
wrote it in class 7


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