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The only thing I remember in those times is the sound of the subway. It's terrifying, unnatural to my lupine ears, and I'm scared of it. The whole ground shakes, and trust me, if anyone were ever so brave to come near me when I was shifted, I would like like a toy poodle being chased by a toddler.

The scarce group of us abominable canines are almost always like pitbulls. Sometimes, we attack for no reason. It's not very common. We just shift to satisfy that omnipresent and hungering urge to be, to be something that we've shoved in the broom closet of our souls.

My name is Candie, but barely anyone calls me that. I don't interact with humans very much. Ever since I ran away 6 months ago, I've just stuck to mostly-solitary-nomad-of-city as my job. I don't have any money, just rare findings of five-dollar bills and a few hundred collected over the years of people who felt bad for me. I really think it was my slightly intimidating nature, that scared the money out of their pockets and fell to the ground, to be picked up by a mangy, red and white haired teenage girl.

I sleep in different places every night. Sometimes it's the lonely lawn in the park, where I wake up in scratchy grass covered in dew. Other times it's under the overhang of a building. I prefer the park, though, I never quite know what's going to happen to me.

I don't like conversing with other people, unless it's Kyle. We both agree that I talk more often than him, even though barely a few mumbled words are exchanged between us. Kyle's what most people would call mysterious, with Terracotta eyes that showed just a hint of interest in life. His honey-brown hair is the same every day, almost covering his eyes in a way that it always looks like he's looking away.

I sit in the alley as I usually do, hugging my knees and looking around, aware at every moment. My foot rests on a plastic grocery bag, the one I keep my very few belongings in. There's always an extra pair of clothes in there, stolen from stores, even though I hated being a thief, varying from purposefully-torn pants and a cropped t-shirt, to dresses and skirts much too fancy for a girl that lives on the streets. Then, there's money, usually around twenty bucks that I need for food and for buying things I need, like vanilla Chapstick or more hair dye. That's the reason that I live mostly off protein bars and free samples. I feel it's the only thing that distinguishes me from the other people on the street. Sure, it's a little intimidating if you were just an innocent tourist walking by, but in a city like this, with its muted tones of grays and browns, sometimes it's hard to find a little color. The one thing that's always there whatever my budget is, is my house key. It's the one I used before I ran away, pink with hearts and peace signs, something any twelve-year-old girl would love. Any human one, that is.

The bag rustles from the dead, hot air that flows through the alley. It smells like trash, and well, heat. I people watch as I sit, the setting sun making silhouettes of the many passersby. The sun always takes a long time to set in the city, I don't know why, but Kyle says he thinks it has something to do with the fact that we're so far away from real nature, from what we need to survive.

The sun sets, and the amount of pedestrians increases. Mostly it's a bunch of high-class adults walking to fancy restaurants, and businessmen briskly walking to catch their bus.
This time is when the city gets interesting, things happen that never happen during the day. Sometimes, the wolves are out. Sometimes, one of those wolves is me. I don't know what we do, just I wake up, curled up on the disgusting concrete, naked, cold, and confused, with pictures flashing through my mind. Pictures of people, some terrified, some unaware. Once there was the blurry image of a puddle, rainbow and oily, with the reflection of a canine creature. But the one thing I can remember clearly is blue. Dogs can't see blue, so why can I? And I remembered lyrics from a song I once heard. You're nice and blue.

As I'm still sitting here, pondering my thoughts, I hear footsteps down the alley. I look up, and smile. Kyle sits down next to me, and we don't talk for at least five minutes. Finally, he breaks the ice.

"Tonight's your night."

I looked at the hazy sky. The moon was near full. We got three nights a month. Three nights of danger, of turmoil. I nodded, and another few minutes went by.

"You don't talk much." I said. More waiting.

We sat there, the night grew stronger and the cacophony of the city continued.

Soon, it was late enough to be dangerous to me. Kyle looked at me, suddenly looking fearful.
"I'm gonna go, Candie," he said. I could feel it in my bones, a longing.

I nodded, mouthing, "Okay". By this time in a shift, I was illiterate. I tried to say goodbye to him, but nothing came out. I took my bag and shoved it behind a dumpster, knuckles scraped by the hard drywall.

I began to race deeper into the alley. Sweat started to bead up on my skin, as my heart threatened to break out of my chest. I could see now, could see everything as if it were noon. The moon was the only thing that made that a lie. Then I felt the tearing of flesh, and I blacked out.

And again, I gazed at the blue eyes. Blue lupine eyes on the side of a building. But there were also human eyes. And I saw a vaguely red wolf. A beastly, stereotypical Halloween werewolf. But it was me, and then I tasted red. Something I had never tasted before, but I was terrified. And I remembered love. I missed what I was supposed to learn, but all I learned was I was missing you.

Once I woke, the blue was still fresh in my head. I crawled into a corner, luckily it was still dark. Words flowed through my head, If you look out and see a trace of dark red that used to be my face. Tail curled between my legs, ("I have a tail!" I realized) I knew I had to go home. My parents only stopped looking for me because they thought I was dead, a wolf attack. But I had always been lurking in the shadows of their city. ("My tail" I thought)

"This is what I am," I said, "I need to go home.

An hour later, I had succeeded in stalking through the city street, until I found the alley I left the previous night. I put on my clothes, and found myself waiting at the nearest bus stop.
There were all different kinds of people on the bus, so I almost blended in, even having a rusty shaded tail. Some people stared, others smiled. Finally, at the last stop, I got off, and walked, perhaps for hours, but it could have only been minutes.

The weather was much better here, nor was the ground dirty and hard. It smelled like rain, my favorite smell, and soggy dead leaves felt better under my feet than concrete. The people I walked by didn't give me cold stares. They smiled at me, and then, after they saw my face, they saw who I was and dropped whatever they were doing, whether they were raking their garden, or hanging up their laundry to dry.

When I got to my door, I pressed the doorbell. My mother and father ran out, and that's when I stared into the eyes I used to see every day: Their eyes.



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KkatKreationzThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
today at 8:43 am:
this was absolutley beautiful! I loved it! I'm now adding it to my favorites!
 
Erinwolf1997 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
today at 12:20 pm :
thank you very much! I'm glad you liked it :)
 
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