I’m taking a flash fiction course. One of the prompts was “Transformation.” If you’ve followed my work, you know I have shifters of a couple different species. But for this prompt, I went with the classics:
Transformation Prompt: Moonlit Run
The moon roared in Anne’s ears like a white noise generator. Days ago, it was a purr, then a hum, now this disconcerting static as it hovered, full, in the evening sky.
Derek hadn’t wanted to bite her. Some people who shifted never changed back, he warned. In the modern era, it was too complicated.
“But if you really loved me, you’d want to run with me,” she’d pouted.
Two weeks ago, sprawled sated under a night sky with no moon, he’d surrendered. Drowsing, she suddenly felt fur under her fingers and the sting on her arm. Just a nip — blood trickling for only a minute — was all it took.
Now, the moon sat round as an apple while the sky darkened and the buzz drowned out everything.
“You can do it, Anne. Let go. Come run with me.” Derek whispered in her ear, before stepping back and changing himself.
She closed her eyes and breathed deeply, sinking into the clamor. She expected it to hurt. Instead it was as if she was a bud expanding into a blossom, vivid and roaring with life. She was a wolf.
The wind carried a symphonies of scents. Her ears pricked with the sounds of the forest; the night wasn’t threatening anymore. On her four legs, she could run for miles.
Run they did. Hills melted away. Roots and bushes were joyful obstacle courses. Derek had thick grey fur and wise dark eyes. They howled together, and the answering calls of his family echoed around them.
The wind whistled past them. The pines murmured to each other. The moon’s voice was a comforting hum like a monk’s chant, embodying serenity. Under her paws: earth, pine needles, logs, stones, bark, leaves. Each with its own story.
Dawn found them on a rocky hilltop, panting. Derek rolled away from her and changed. He sat beside her, scratched her head and laughed.
“I wish I had a camera. You make a gorgeous wolf.”
She huffed and grumbled at him.
“Come on, time to turn back.” He held out his hand.
She sniffed it. Already human smells – exhaust, machinery – clung to his skin. Fluorescent lights and days trapped indoors.
The moon was silent, but the woods were eloquent with a thousand songs. The sun was bright.
She wasn’t done running yet.
“You have to change back!”
She barked at him, bowing in an invitation to play, and took off. She didn’t look back.
There was an answering bark behind her. Then they were running together, again, on four legs like they were meant to be.
That’s the first draft, and I got some great feedback from my classmates so I’ll have to work on it some more. What did you think?