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The Avenue

I turned the corner of Aztec Street with the usual anticipation that I could never comprehend. All that was on this barren strip of pavement was a fire hydrant, a group of mountains in the distance, and the scorching desert that we Nevadans call home.

My anticipation was the kind of anxiousness that occurs when you walk up to the dilapidated house on 49th, that everyone says is haunted, on a dark Halloween night. But this was not 49th, and the day was far from dark and frightening, so I could never understand my reaction.

Once in a while, when I turned that dreaded corner, I would pause and try to fight off this strange misplaced feeling. But every time I would do this, my anticipation would rise to incredible heights the next time I ventured down this road.

I looked up realizing I had been watching my feet for the past 70 seconds. I was about halfway down the stretch of badly paved road. I paused for a moment, and looked up at the reddish purple mountains, and for the first time I realized it was getting close to dark.

I had always been home when the moon came up. I started walking again; I had to be there in 25 minutes or I would be late. My feet stopped. I tried to move them, but they wouldn’t budge.

“What if I stay past dark?” I thought to myself. “Maybe it will go away.” The thought certainly pleased me, and no shadow of doubt could be found from the beautiful golden rays of my plan.

I sat down on the side of the road, a new found hope pulsing through my veins. A hope that was almost powerful enough to beat down my fear completely. As I sat on the side of the deserted road, I looked again to the mountains on my right that I have been using as my clock, and the sun’s rays were slowly dieing behind them.

“Tonight we are going to experience a blue moon,” the words of my teacher echoed in my head as the multi-colored painting of a sky grew darker.

“What a great place to “experience” this,” I said aloud, trying to break the deafening silence of the road, realizing I must have exclaimed my proclamation louder than I had thought, as a flock of birds fled from their assumed safe bush. I glanced back at the mountains, following the birds’ path across the sky, and guessed that the moon would rise in a matter of minutes. I shivered, almost forgetting how cold Nevadan nights can be.

Suddenly, a feeling other than the anticipation nagged at my thoughts. “You have to get home quickly, you need to run!” it told me, but I fought this new emotion off by admiring the beautiful sights of the Nevadan terrain. I just had to carry out the task at hand.

As the sun finally died behind the mountains, my urge to run struck me like a thousand pound pendulum. My hands and face started to sweat and grew clammy. “NO!” I screamed though no one could here, “I have to stay,” I continued as if the urge that consumed me was a man pulling me away from a sick loved one, “I need it to go away!” I wrapped my arms around my legs as if they would listen to the hunger of the urge and deceive me.

I could see the edge of the moon as it slowly came into view. Every inch that the moon moved created the feeling that my anticipation was lifting, like a bucket of water with a hole in it, but at the same time my new urge grew twice as fast.

I had to stay, but I needed to go. Tears emerged from my eyes as my nails sank into the sides of my legs, breaking the skin. I couldn’t stay much longer, the urge was becoming much too intense. The moon was almost up. My accustomed anticipation was almost non-existent but the urge to run was stronger than I ever thought possible. It took every ounce of will that I obtained to keep me on the rapidly cooling street.

As the full silver disc finally rose almost completely into view I couldn’t take it anymore. The voice of the urge had broken the barrier of my mental defenses and, in a split second, the urge was my thoughts. I had to run, I had to get inside, I had to get home.

But as I sprung to my feet to obey the urge, it was no where to be found. No more anticipation, no more urge to run, just complete and utter silence. But this silence was not long lived, for as I glanced up to the moon, I heard the cries of a nearby pack of wolves, and as I looked down at my now hairy, clawed, hands, I understood my desire to run. As I finished my transformation I let out a howl to the full moon, like the one I had heard before. I would be with my fellow beasts soon.



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