Horror and Thriller Fiction posted April 6, 2014


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A lycanthropic love story...sort of.

The Becoming

by Dean Kuch

The Werewolf Contest Winner 

The author has placed a warning on this post for violence.






























The Becoming


I think we all have to fight the werewolf within us somehow.”

William Kempe

The Becoming opening scene photo werewolf-castle_zps7802e325.jpg

 

The strong house behind the tumbling stockade was worn and weather beaten from decades of rain and battering winds. Deep within the crumbling shell, lamenting wails shattered the otherwise quiet expanse of Castle Klein's great halls. Slivers of effulgent moonlight filtered in, worming its way between the cracks and crevices of the shell keep, eventually finding its way into the house. A lone figure stood in the midst of the rubble and ruin. Hunched slightly, an appearance more than a bit disheveled, his human frame was wracked with contortions of pain and misery. A crackling noise, much like twigs popping in a fire, rippled from seemingly everywhere in its anatomy. Coarse, wiry hair sprouted forth from every pore.

Dropping to its knees, the beast howled in agony.

The Becoming was fully upon it.

The body metamorphosed into something completely inhuman in a matter of minutes. A creature more powerful than six grown men, its hearing now heightened and fine-tuned to fierce proportions. Its eyesight now so astute, it could discern the tiniest of movement in complete darkness. It was the next of its keen senses; however— the olfactory ones — which had the creature on edge now. The thick coarse hairs across the beast's broad back bristled with anticipation.

It detected the sweet scent of blood — human blood.

 

 

~~

 

It wasn't until Pearse McCreary heard the howling that he ultimately regretted choosing the road he had. Ten villagers mutilated in the past eight months — two very recently — weren't enough to dissuade him from digging up young Sybil Mallery's recently interned remains. Good money could be fetched from such a perfect specimen. Well, other than being dead and seventy-two hours buried she was flawless. She more than suited the requirement for spare body parts he was selling her for. The need to skirt the prying eyes of constables in the village proper prompted him to take the longer path through the moors. The craggy trail wound around the low-lying hills to Ellesmere, the next village over and his current destination. Unfortunately, it also led its travelers directly past the ruins of Klein Castle.

 


The Becoming scene two photo nti_kla_1257213_slide-001_zps0b6f3a47.jpg

 

He recalled hearing lead constable Davies going over some of the gory details of the most-recent murder with one of his subordinates while he lunched at Bailey's pub last week.

“Aye, ripped his bloody head clean off, he did, then ate most of what remained. Damnedest thing...”

That had been murder number ten, and common belief among most of the villagers in Parkmoor was that the fiend was just getting started. He showed no signs of stopping — not unless he was caught.

Pearse tried in vain to suppress the icy fingers of fear now crawling up his spine. He gave his old mule a quick whip of the reins, causing the cart to lurch forward. However, Sessach, his mule, stopped once again before they'd gone more than a few feet.

“C'mon, ye lazy mongrel, 'fore I kick ya' in yer arse. Gidda'yup!” The baleful wailing he'd heard just moments before began again, only much closer this time. Sessach reared slightly, her large brown eyes rolling back into her skull to reveal mostly whites. She swayed back and forth, but refused to go forward. It was obvious to Pearse now; his trusty pack mule was terrified.

“ Sessie, we can stay here no longer. We have ta'...”

 

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~~

 

It was then that Pearse saw the eyes. Two dark amber orbs — as fiery as the most supple of rubies — shimmered from glints of moonbeam that managed to break through the fog.

Something circled the cart on all fours now, like a dog — something large and covered with dense hair— only quicker, and with far more stealth than Pearse had ever known any mutt to possess. The silvery light from the moon cast elongated shadows across the rocky strewn roadway, making it hard for him to see just what it was exactly he was up against. He could see the mangy beast's eyes, however. Those he saw all too well.

“Hiyah!” Another brisk snap of the bridle reins sparked the frightened mule to life, propelling the cart ahead at a vigorous pace.

“Thas' it, lassie, now ya got the idea!” he bellowed. It was more from the excitement of being shed of the thing behind them than any hopes of delivering his cargo as before. The ass mowed blindly ahead, galloping as fast as Pearse ever saw his stubborn friend run. The cart veered sharply right, off the main roadway, then up to the narrower path that led up the slight slope to the ruins of Klein Castle. High rocky walls flanked both sides of the access road, and the swath of dirt was littered with debris from fallen rocks and trees.

Low, guttural growls resonated along the narrow passageway, echoing off the craggy face.

The thing was on their heels, and it was closing fast.


 

 photo AWerewolf_zps96ce88d6.jpg
 

Pearse halted the cart just inside the courtyard of Klein Castle. Climbing down, he quickly retrieved the blunderbuss from a leather pouch he kept by the seat. The moon was high now, directly overhead. It's silvery light radiated against the roiling mist streaming off the moors, created a pallid glow over the more shadowy nooks and crannies of the spans. He drew the tarp back to inspect the illegal cargo concealed beneath. His thumping heart nearly leapt from his chest.

The corpse of Sybil Mallery was gone.

“Pog ma hole! We must've lost her during all that blasted bouncin' around on the road, aye, Sessie? All that fine arse, jes'goin' to waste in more ways 'n one. Prob'ly the only thing that saved our own arses, my old friend. It gave that doggie somethin' to munch on, and us time to make our escape. Pity, though...”

A form broke through the fog then, trailing wispy tendrils of mist along with it. Pearse felt his bladder threaten to let loose as the monster was close enough now to make out specific details in the moonlight.

A visceral howl sliced through radiant mists from the bastion tower behind the strong house. Pearse winced as he turned, spotting two piercing red pin points from the tower's ledge. He raised the blunderbuss and fired at them. A plume of white smoke billowed from the funnel-like muzzle; the moist air immediately tinged with the acrid scent of gunpowder.

“Hello, Mr. McCreary.” The voice behind him was soft, yet menacing. Ice water quickly replaced the blood coursing through Pearse's veins, and the fine hairs on the nape of his neck tingled with apprehension. Turning, he came face to face with the reanimated form of Sybil Mallery.

Whu...this ain't natural. It jes' can'na' be!”

Sybil smiled, exposing her long canines in the process.

“Oh, I'm very real, Mr. McCreary; I assure you. I'm as real as your sturdy friend here.” She stroked the flank of the terrified mule, now too exhausted to offer much in the way in protest. Sessach whinnied only once as Sybil raked long talons across her throat. Pearse McCreary's trusted friend fell, her life blood pumping in rhythmic spurts into the rocky soil.

In what sounded more like choking than a whisper, Pearse dropped down on all fours. “Oh, my sweet Sessie...”

“She does taste rather sweet,” murmured another voice then, much deeper and more throaty. It radiated from just behind his mutilated mule. Pearse gasp in horror as two malformed entities lifted their blood-caked faces from Sessach's decimated carcass.

“Nuh...no, you — you ain't real.”

My dear Mr. McCreary, I can't thank you enough for rescuing my beloved Sybil from her earthen prison. Why, I was just on my way to do that very thing... until I caught her scent wafting up the hill. How convenient you've made things for the both of us.” The man-beast leered at him while it picked remnants of Sessach's flesh from it's teeth with a razor-sharp nail.

“What in Sucellus's awful name are ye?”

The vile creature sneered once more, bearing fangs far larger and more formidable than his female counterparts.

“My name is Basil Rothschilde, and I have roamed these hills for over a century. It was only recently that I met my companion, Sybil here, and decided to take her as my mate. Wolves are pack animals, you know. A lone wolf leads a terribly lonely existence. One night she came to me in secrecy, as she had many nights prior, but never when my powers were peaking at full moon. Much like this fine evening.”

The Sybil-thing continued to feed on the remnants of Sessie, as Basil motioned toward her with a sweeping arch of his elongated hand. She seemed completely oblivious to anything save the fresh, bloody meat of the feast before her.

Basil resumed his tale, though his words were becoming more guttural and harder to comprehend, as his countenance continued its metamorphosis.

“She knew what I was — what I'd... become — I told her. I had to; I had no choice, if I wanted to make her one of my ilk. She accepted my gift readily, and the authorities in the village simply labeled her as victim number nine. They buried her nigh on a week ago, but her body could not decompose. I'd made several attempts at getting her out, but all were thwarted by numerous vigilante posses roaming the hills of late. But — not tonight.”

Pearse could only stand and gape in pure terror as the creature before him began to shudder and convulse violently. However, despite the horrendous transformation the body was undergoing, it's voice remained calm and terrifyingly steady.

“I — oh, excuse me, my darling— we are lycanthropes, Mr. McCreary. Mortals know us by a more common moniker. Werewolves...”

Pearse's water did let loose then, running down his legs in rivulets, saturating the ground beneath his quivering feet.

The beast now standing before him lunged...

 

~~
 

After the both of them had finished feasting on the cadavers of the grave robber and the mule, they copulated beneath the vibrant luster of moon beams bathing their bushy bodies. Their cadenced howling of ecstasy echoed out across the misty moors, eventually drifting down to the well-lit village of Parkmoor, and it's cowering citizens below.

 


 

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~Finis~


Writing Prompt
There is a castle that's crumbling with age. In it lives man, all alone. The man is a werewolf. Someone comes. What happens?

The Werewolf
Contest Winner

Recognized


Glossary of Terms

Sessach - Sessach in Celtic means "sturdy, strong, steadfast". The noun is 'sessacht' or 'sessmacht'. The idea is someone who stands his ground and is not easily intimidated.

Blunderbuss- The blunderbuss could be considered an early shotgun, and served in similar roles. While various old accounts often list the blunderbuss as being loaded with various scrap iron, rocks, or wood, this would result in damage to the bore of the gun; it was typically loaded with a number of lead balls smaller than the bore diameter. Barrels were made of steel or brass.

Sucellos, a Celtic mythological god, is known as the 'good striker'. He is usually portrayed as a middle-aged bearded man, with a long-handled handled, or perhaps a beer barrel suspended from a pole.

I sincerely hope you've enjoyed your reading experience in reading The Becoming

Thanks so much for reading!
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