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Vicious Hunger This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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A smell reached my nostrils, causing my body to go rigid and my mind to buzz. I sniffed. The luscious scent muddled my mind until no rational thought remained. My mouth curved into a vicious smile. I felt like a child in a candy shop. The smells came from all ­directions, invading all comprehensible thoughts until they blended into a single feeling: hunger.

My eyes shot open. For a moment the colors blurred, taking no shape, like a collage made by unfocused cameras. Then suddenly, the image lifted. The delights became apparent. I was standing in a large white room; hay covered the floor. At the far end was a large tinted window. A plump white bull was standing directly in front of me. It had its eyes trained on me, but all I noticed was the scent of fresh meat, then blood. My throat burned with hunger and thirst, and my stomach churned in ­anticipation.

A phrase came to mind. My father had used it. Vicious hunger. He hadn’t known much about it, but he had known that it almost always worked to break the victim. Already, I felt the hairs tightening on my back. I was changing, but nothing mattered except the sight of that cow. The fur was thickening on my back. My canines extended. I cracked my neck. Somewhere inside of me, my real self panicked, fighting against the living drug in front of me. But I resisted, believing that the burn in my throat wasn’t deceiving me. When I wanted meat, I wanted meat. And when I wanted meat, nothing got in my way.

Until now.

My first reaction was to spring, and I did. Then I was snapped back to the floor. The chains on my ankles cut into my flesh. I let out a snarl, rebelled against the metal links that held me to the floor. I realized now why it was a form of torture.

Yet I continued struggling against the chains. Something told me that if I didn’t get to that meat, I would die.

The cow just stared. It killed me knowing that it could just step one yard forward and it would be in my grasp. The thought drove me crazy, and finally, I felt myself go over the edge.

I snapped.

I let out a vicious scream, tearing and clawing at the air. Adrenaline ran through my veins, and I found that I couldn’t feel the cuts on my ankles or the blood running down my legs. My heart pumped blood like a disco drumbeat. My brain was letting my muscles do all the work. I leaped, reaching for the temptation invading my nostrils, and heard a chain snap.

Just like that, I had broken free. I almost celebrated.

But I didn’t.

In one quick movement, I lunged, leaving the impossibly broken, bloody chains on the ground behind me. I landed on my dinner, which crashed to the ground. ­Before it could defend itself, I cut off its airflow, wrapping my arms around its thick neck, then waited until it stopped struggling.

Then I sunk my canines into the cow’s flesh.

All that was left when I finished was a hoof.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.





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