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Waking the Werewolf.
Light broke through my window and I got up and prepared myself for another hectic day at alternative school. They say that the darkest hour is just before dawn, but my darkest hours were always midday. Why?
The second I stepped off of the bus into the school courtyard, I could sense danger in the air. It was a foggy, cold morning. The hair on my skin stood up as I walked by a group of five boys wearing dark denim jackets.
These boys ranged from sixteen to eighteen and each already had large criminal records so early in their lives. They were tall, strong, narrow-minded, spiteful, cold, & sadistic. Each had for the past few years beaten me up, taunted me, and made my life miserable because of my physical and mental irregularities and quirks.
I had always had an explosive temper, but it hadn’t been fully realized until my freshman year in high school when I jumped a kid for dumping his lunch tray on me.
After that day, I had problems with my temperament and anger management. So eventually, they sent me to the alternative school for juvenile delinquents. Inevitably, that kid I attacked in my first year somehow followed me to the alternative school. There, he formed his gang with other miscreants. They always took pleasure in seeing me in pain. Today would be no different.
As I passed by them, one of them spit on me. I turned around, sweat starting to form on my forehead. It was Ryan, the pack leader and my archrival.
“Hey, hairy Asian kid, did you remember to brush your legs this morning?”, he mocked. I could stand the insults. They didn’t matter to me.
The group let out a roar of laughter. Then, as I tried to walk away to avoid them, someone landed a punch square on the back of my head. The force of the blow knocked me down & I fell down the tall cement staircase, tumbling, spinning, and helpless. As I landed, my nose started bleeding. I heard them walk away laughing, proud of themselves.
A hand reached out and helped me up. It was Elizabeth, my girlfriend.
“Are you okay?”, she asked.
“I'm fine,” I replied, thankful she was there. Her mere presence made me feel better.
“I saw what they did to you,” she said, examining my cuts and bruises.
“It’s okay now that you’re here,” I said, smiling at her. She smiled back, then frowned.
“You can’t keep letting them do this to you,” she said.
“I know,” I replied.
“Maybe you should talk it out with them,” she suggested.
“There’s not much left to be said,” I said, rubbing the huge bump on the back of my head. We walked to the bathroom and cleaned my bloody nose.
It was hard to believe that about a year ago, Elizabeth was dating Ryan. I found her lying upon the ground, unconscious. She had been senselessly beat by Ryan several times. I helped her recover and gain the strength to leave him. When she left, he became even more enraged. This didn't quite exactly ease up the beatings he and his gang gave me. But I didn't care. Elizabeth was worth every punch I had ever taken for her. She was the prettiest, smartest, and nicest girl I had ever met.
She wasn’t perfect though. Her family was poor, so she used to sell herself on the street to make money. She was arrested and brought to rehab, and then they sent her here. Since then, she’s been trying to forget her past life. A healing soul should not be subject to the same horrors it is trying to escape from. I will never be able to forgive myself for allowing it to happen to Elizabeth. It wasn't her fight.
Walking out of class and passing the bathroom on my way to my locker, I heard begging and screaming coming from the boys' bathroom. Raw fear made my head throb & I could feel my stomach churn. I kicked the door open & saw a group of dark denim jackets surrounding something in the corner.
A few feet away laid Elizabeth’s shirt. I immediately realized what was happening. This was the final straw. Now they had really thrown the lighter on the gasoline of my anger. It instantly ignited. The enormous fire consumed me. Ate me alive. Enveloped me in its wave of agonizing misery and demonic anger. I felt my forehead throbbing harder and my fists clenched. I gathered my strength and leapt at the tallest dark jacket, but as fate would have it, I tripped on my shoelaces and fell. They turned around and looked at me. Ryan caught me by my throat and threw me on the ground. They laughed and enjoyed my pain. Tasted it. Fed it.
Scared that a teacher would hear, they made sure I would stay silent and unable to get up. Before I had the chance to try, they each kicked and stomped on me multiple times. Above the sound of their feet hitting me, I could hear them taunt me.
“What a loser, he fell”, a first voice said.
“We hope you don’t mind, we had some fun with your girlfriend here,” a second voice teased.
“Too much fun,” I heard one of the taller dark jackets add.
When they were sure that I was thoroughly beat up, they walked away, leaving Elizabeth and me in the bathroom alone. Laying there, profusely bleeding & also suffering the cries of my innocent girlfriend, I felt something inside me snap. The flames died. It was like I was a new being that rose out of the ashes. Then I remembered my girlfriend and stood up for her sake, to show her I was alright. I tried to stand up, but I stumbled and had to lean on the wall to support myself.
“How bad did they hurt you?”, I asked her. She was still crying.
“I-I’m fine. A-are you?”, she said between sobs.
“Doesn’t look like it. I-I’ll be fine. What exactly did they do to you?”, I asked, my anger starting to boil again. She didn’t reply. I stood there looking at her for a couple minutes and it became too gruesomely obvious what perverted things they had done to her. The animals. She had had enough of what happened to her today for the past few years. I sat down next to her & kissed her cheek once to comfort her.
“I will get revenge on them for what they did to you,“ I whispered in her ear.
“Don’t,” she said in good nature.
“I’m walking you home. Now,” I said. We stood up together and went out the bathroom. School wasn’t over yet, but no one tried to stop us or say anything as we passed them and exited the building. I had stopped bleeding, but I was too sore to walk. Still, I let Elizabeth lean on me because she needed more support than I did. The entire way to her house, neither of us said anything.
I walked home alone and spent the rest of the day in guilt over what had happened to Elizabeth. I punched the wall, kicked things, and yelled out in anger. I was the one to blame. I was frustrated. At myself and at the world, but at the same time, I hated those five dark denim jackets with every passion of my soul.
That night, I couldn’t sleep. Images of my girlfriend in pain and of the anger I felt burned through my mind. I gave up on sleep and went outside for fresh air. It was a cool Fall night. The full moon was out, but there were no stars or clouds. I couldn’t stop looking at the moon. Some supernatural force wouldn’t release my eyes from its gaze.
The longer I stood there staring at the moon, the more I began to think about today. They had crossed the line, if there ever was one. A thousand times the image of Elizabeth sitting in the corner abused, half naked, and crying ran through my mind. And each & every time, I could feel myself rekindling the flames of hatred. The fire from this afternoon was back and it was ten times stronger. I could feel every ember. The inferno invaded my very soul.
They had no right to do that to her. She was defenseless and weak. I could’ve saved her. But I didn’t. I was too late. They had taken her and used her to satisfy their sick fantasies. Why? Why can’t they just leave us alone? Why did they have to make my life so miserable?
The firestorm that was consuming my very being left my head and attacked my physical body. But it did everything except weaken me. I felt my cuts, bruises, and sores disappear. My muscles contracted, my jaw clenched, and my eyes twitched. New, raw strength surged through my veins. Then I snarled a howl at the moon that shivered my own soul. I wanted to rip them apart. I wanted to chew on their bones. I wanted to relentlessly pursue justice for every wrong that they had ever done me. Tonight, things would change. Tonight, I would take things into my own hands. My mind narrowed and focused on one thing: seek and destroy the source of the immense hatred.
That’s when I noticed that I was briskly running through the woods behind my house, instinct leading me on. I was furiously racing towards a target. Subconsciously, I knew exactly where it was. I let my instincts take over and let it lead me deeper into the black abyss of the woods.
I was king of the lifeless forest. All four of my legs effortlessly glided and leapt along elegantly against the soft forest floor. I was no longer running; it was as if I were flying through the forest now. The cool air whipped along the contours of my face and I could smell the fresh, clear scent of the dead woods in my nostrils. My vision was unnaturally sharp. So sharp that I saw every tree coming a mile away and knew when to evade it.
It was an epic thrill. I had never felt so powerful in my life. The trees accelerated by like motionless phantoms of the night. I crossed deep dark rivers, leapt across enormous fallen trees, and even scaled tall, precipitous mountains. The bright yellow moon, sitting low in the night landscape, kept a close watch upon me & illuminated my way.
The forest cleared and I came upon a cliff. From far away I could see a small trailer park neighboring the woods. Five boys wearing dark denim jackets sat around a fire, cracking jokes and laughing. Even at my distance, I could hear everything they said.
“Man, we got that loser good today”, one of them laughed.
“Yeah, did you see the look on his face when he saw us around his girlfriend in that bathroom?”, someone else replied.
“Then he got mad and tripped on his own shoelaces!”, a third voice said. The crowd burst into laughter again. I could hear myself growl quietly as I listened on. It would be Ryan’s voice that would throw me off the edge.
“His girlfriend’s such a- !”- I snapped. Before I could hear that last word, I was darting down the cliff, fangs fully drawn. There was a mysterious new primal drive in me to attack. I knew they deserved this bloody fate not only by their words, but by the resonating, persistent hate now carved into my very being that thirsted for justice, retribution, and vengeance.
The hate still burned brightly, but it was untamed now. It was harder to control, feral, & inexorable. All of these new senses and fourth dimensional emotions only magnified my abhorrence. It was too much to bear. I rushed down the cliff at a speed not even I could comprehend. While I was in my mad dash, my eyes drifted up towards the moon. It was the color of my girlfriend’s eyes when she was crying. Mystic grey. My mind suddenly fell down a dark void & I knew only the hate inside me.
My loud, piercing howl shattered the night & their bloodcurdling screams echoed my rage with the sheer terror gripping at their hearts with icy fingers. I lost all traces of any humanity left in me. The demonic beast in me had finally been released from its chains, bloodlust in its soul. What sweet, sweet revenge.