I felt good on my walk home and I took my time thinking about Eva. As the sun began to set, I had a strange feeling in my stomach and stopped to sit for a moment and gather my breath. As I walked on I left the village and came into the area where the farms were, closer to our home. Suddenly I wretched and vomited and I felt very disorientated. My skin began to burn and itch violently and blisters appeared on my arms and hands. The first thing that came to mind was that I must have somehow gotten into some poison ivy. My head ached and my eyes felt as if they were being pulled from my skull. The itching was so intense that I scratched and clawed at the blisters breaking them and causing them to bleed. I retreated to an abandoned barn near the road and lay in some hay still wretching and burning as if I were on fire. This was the worst agony I had ever experienced in my twenty-four years of life. My heart raced and my skin burned and blistered while my stomach heaved violently. Eventually I lost consciousness.
When I awoke, I was a sweaty vomitous mess and there was a man. A middle-aged man who sat on the bed of hay next to me. I recognized him. He was the village miller. My father sold his wheat and corn to him.
I could hardly speak. “Quiet”, he said to me in a soft voice. “You’ve been very sick.”
“You’re Lorin Clarke’s son,” he said. ” Which one are you?”
“I’m Evan,” I said. My voice sounded gravely and dry.
“Evan Clarke, I am ashamed to tell you,” he said. “You are now and forever more a Werewolf.”
Without moving my head, I strained my eyes in his direction but I said nothing.
“I am your creator,” he said. I’m sorry I have made this terror and tribulation on your life.”
“How? I started.
“Shhhh. I am your mentor,” he said. ” I will help you until you can be on your own.”
“You’re a crazy old man,” I said, realizing I had disrespected an elder. “I mean, what are you talking about?”
“In a while you will sleep again and you will dream. You will see what you did last night and you will see me there with you. I’ve been with you all night,” he said. “It is called the ‘day after dream'”.
“You remember the bite I gave you on the neck?” he said. “On the path, and I slipped and fell? It should have been your death but when a bite is received and the victim is not killed it forever more makes him a Werewolf.”
He went on to tell me that the I had my first change and it is always the most difficult. The next time he said would not be so bad. If it was even half as bad I wanted to die now. Deep in my mind though I still thought he was a crazy old man.
In the 1820s people did believe in Werewolves but it was thought that most were in Germany. So this is how it is I thought. This is how one feels when one is bitten by a Werewolf. My brain was trying to again normalize that which is not normal. Still somehow I could not resist the desire to think of his words as truthful. I would be like if in today’s world you won a million dollars in the lottery, it would seem unreal but somehow you needed to train your mind to accept it.
Soon I fell asleep and I had the most vivid dream of my life. I was with my mentor and I knew who he was. We hunted and he found a large deer and killed it. He drank from a vein in its neck and then he offered it to me and I drank also. It was like crimson life being poured into my throat. I could feel it strengthen me. Then I saw him. He was tall, maybe seven feet or more. He was a viscous wolf-man standing on his hinds, chin dripping with the blood of the deer. And I saw my hands, no longer hands but paws covered with fur and bedecked with long severe claws. I awoke screaming and again he quieted me.