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I am Not Myself
He hadn't meant to grab her like that, or shake her so severely. Why had he gotten so angry? So ferocious? His mind raced as he slowly trudged through last Autumn's loam. It was cold and lonely, but he needed the walk to grasp what had just happened.
“What is this!?” he growled, glaring at his wife from across their table. Concerned, she looked over at his dish. “I-it's your dinner dear.” The obvious words fed Reiner's rage, he shook to control it. “I can clearly see zat!...mein herz.” His German accent came through more clearly as he lost control. He jumped up, knocking his chair over and slamming his fists onto the oak wood. Lenore jumped with a small squeak, not knowing what had made him so mad. He was usually such a sweet man! Like a rabid animal Reiner launched himself at her, grabbing the back of her head by her silky hair.
“R-Reiner please! W-what did I do?” She gasped desperately, tears beginning to flow. He pulled her up and flung her around so they were face to face.
“I gave you ein simple request! Look! Look!” he hollered, pushing her face towards his plate. “Ist zat rare!?” Her tears fell upon the piece of bloody beef. What was she to say? It looked as edible as a rare piece of meat could be; she bit her lip to stop it from quivering.
“I-I tried...liebe.” She tried soothing his anger towards her by using his native tongue.
“Nein! Don't you dare! You haff no right, zat is mein right not yours! I learned zhis stupid language furr you! Don't you dare take mein into your mout! Dummkopf!” He screamed, all the while shaking her.
Reiner pinched the bridge of his nose, trying to recover his memories. What had happened next? He saw her face, twisted with terror and confusion. Her make up smeared and running, and her eyelashes, no longer perfect fans but wet black spikes stuck together by tears. And she looked beautiful...so beautiful like that. The last thing he remembered was kicking the door open as he rushed outside, leaving the weeping Lenore on the floor among chaos. Suddenly, Reiner was overcome with regret and sadness. He didn't know what had come over him, after all they've been through together. Starting to weep, he wished the moon was not so full; he deserved to be in darkness. Lenore was the love of his life; she had been kind to him when no one else was. He tirelessly learned English just to have a simple conversation with her! Last month Reiner had been out running a last minute trade with a neighbor when he was viciously attacked by a stray dog. Lenore had been at his side throughout his whole recovery, caring for him and keeping up his moral.
“What do I do!?” he begged. At the moment those words slipped his tongue a terrible pain exploded throughout his body.
“AUGH!” He collapsed, squirming on the ground. White hot pain blinding him, stiffening his muscles, clenching his jaws. This was punishment he thought, punishment for bringing terror and harm upon the angel Lenore. He deserved this, he wanted this “but please,” he inwardly begged, “do not kill me great ones! I will make it up to her, I will love her with all of my being!” He vomited from the pain, body shaking uncontrollably; he passed out into swirling nothingness.
There was still darkness around him when woke, which made him question whether he was in hell or still alive. Like a new born foal he tried to stand, shakily tumbling back over into the brown foliage. His hands discovered the rough bark of a tree, which he then carefully used to lean against. He was miserable, sweaty and covered in filth and leaves. Worst yet, he needed to head home and face Lenore. Reiner felt like he was floating in a dream the whole trek back, like he was a ghost. Yet he didn't feel alone. He thought he heard rustling behind him, but when he looked back he saw nothing. The scar he acquired from the dog attack burned mercilessly, but he didn't care, he wanted his Lenore.
The house was eerily dark as he approached, his heart raced with worry. What if she left him all alone? The door still hung loosely on the broken hinges, he winced at the memory. He shouldn't have done that. The house had been cleaned from the violent events, but Reiner could still envision the scene in his mind. His eyes burned with tears as he rounded the corner and saw Lenore. She was kneeling in prayer at their bedside, the silver light of the full moon enveloping her, giving her the appearance of a holy being. An angel Reiner thought, mesmerized by her flowing golden hair. He took a deep breath and silently stepped into the room, “Lenore I-” An unearthly growl emitted from behind him, interrupting his apology. He spun around, heart pounding and eyes wide. From the shadows a beast dissolved into view, black night still clinging to its musculature and face. Reiner's voice was lost as he stared into the pale piercing eyes, this was nothing he had seen before, “This is the devil” he thought “here to murder me and my love.” At that moment Lenore looked up and saw the beast, emitting an ear piercing scream as it leapt towards her. “Leave her be you beast!” Reiner screamed. It was as if someone was holding him back from intervening, and all he could do was watch, with eyes wide open in disbelief. “Zhis is hell! Zhis is nicht real! Nein! Please! Stop zhis!” He fell into fetal position, crying and begging to no one. The beast turned to him, maw dripping with crimson rubies as if it understood his pleas to stop. Reiner looked up at the thing, fear showing in his eyes as he immediately envisioned the beast tearing his face off. To his horror and beyond his comprehension the beast spoke to him.
“Reiner,” it said,”that meat is perfectly rare.” He shivered at the voice, it sounded like his own, but much darker...more evil. “W-was? Was did you say?”
“Can't you taste the blood Reiner? It's so rich and pure. It's so warm.” Reiner's hands shot up to his mouth, he tasted it! He could taste the blood!
“How!?” he cried, quickly sinking into insanity. The beast bared its teeth in a wicked “grin”, meat clinging to its canines. “At this moment you do not exist. The weak, human pushover Reiner is dormant.” Reiner didn't understand. He was here! Right here staring at the beast.
“Lenore did not see you before she died, Reiner was not there. I was there. Personally I prefer this side of you to your pathetic human side. You are only the human conscious inside me, I do not listen to you, but you are there.” It said almost carelessly.
Realization of the horror slowly sunk in, he didn't want to believe it. He had always been an intelligent sensible man, but he would not accept the proof in front of him.
“I am you Reiner. Well, a better version of you,” It sneered, ”Every month you will become powerful and get everything you've ever wanted!” Reiner was blinded by his own tears as he screamed. “I did not vant this! You Hollenhund!” The beast stood up, fur bristling and eyes wide and sinister, disbelief in its voice. “Of course you did Reiner! You may not realize it, but deep down you wanted it.” Silently and sorrowfully Reiner shook his head. “You are a werewolf now Reiner, and we will do terrible things.”