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John knew the risks that he faced, or at least thought he did. He was in a prison at the foot of the Black Hills. He had been put in jail for killing the son of a respected Merchant. No one seemed to care that the man was a bully and terrorized the town. John was working at his stall, when the man came into the market. He looked at the wares offered, as he walked along. He would stop at this stall or that, just because he wanted to cause trouble. Hi happened to pick on John's neighbor on this day. She was a young woman that made candles and sold them to take care of her two brothers and sisters. Her parents had disappeared several years ago, and it was rumored that they had displeased a Lord. Such people had a habit of disappearing. No one dared ask questions. The Merchant's son and several of his friends happened along and spied the girl. John didn't know why they picked out this person from all of the other vendors in the market. Perhaps it was because bullies always pick on the weakest. Who Knew? They picked up candles and swore that they stunk and threw them on the ground, where they ground them under their feet. There was no call for this. John knew that if this kept up, that she would have nothing left to sell to pay for food for her family. He stepped in. The bullies resented his intrusion and the man challenged him. John was given a sword by one of the other bullies, so it would look like a fair fight. They could not know that John was a veteran of many a fight and could take of himself.
The aftermath of the fight, was that John had to kill the bully. He would not give up and kept coming at him. John was given no choice. As he stood over the fallen man, he was struck in the head from behind and knocked unconscious. When he awakened, he was in the prison. He was kept in a cell and only given bread and water for days. Once a week, the prisoners were allowed to bath in the river, so they wouldn't stink so bad. John decided, after the second time that he could escape that way. He learned that the Merchant had bribed a prisoner to kill him and he knew that if he couldn't get away, that he would be killed. He made what plans he could.
The next day, as he washed, he edged farther and farther into the river. He was not closely guarded, because no one ever tried to escape that way. The river went farther into the hills and it was rumored that no prisoner had ever returned alive from the hills. Several search parties had been sent out and all they had ever found was a badly mangled remains of what had once been a human. Even knowing this, John had to take the chance. There was no chance otherwise. He dived into the water and felt the current take him. Several of the guards tried halfheartedly to shoot him with their crossbows, but he was too far out. He was ripped downstream at a break neck speed and it was all he could do to stay alive. After what seemed like a lifetime, the river slowed and John was able to make his way to the bank and crawl out.
He lay there for a while, trying to catch his breath. He had to get up and move. He was afraid the prison would mount a search to try and find him, although he doubted that they would take the chance. They would probably just let what ever had killed the others take care of him. He moved farther into the mountains and tried to find a place where he could be safe for the night. He found a dense thicket and wiggled into the middle of it. The thorns tore his skin and he scraped his knees and arms while crawling in. He lay down and prepared to sleep for the night. Some time during the night, he was awakened by an animal huffing and sniffing around the outside of the thicket. He was scared, but doubted that it could get at him. At daybreak, he crawled back out and looked around. There he saw tracks that made him quiver. The tracks were three padded feet with long claws. The claw marks were clearly visible. He decided that he had to find a weapon. He searched and found a stick that was about four feet long and as he tested it, he found that it was quite strong. It was the best that he could do, as he had no knife or other tool to fashion any other weapon.
He found that he was hungry and searched for something to eat. Near the thicket was a patch of briars and he could see berries on them. He gathered them and ate what he needed. He didn't eat all he wanted as he felt that he should save some for later. John made his way to the stream and came to a clearing. He looked around and seeing nothing, he knelt down to get a drink of water. He sensed more than heard something behind him and tried to turn to see what it was. He only caught a brief glimpse of a grayish/brown flash and he was bowled over. As his face was mashed into the ground he felt a strong burning down his back.
Paws bore down on his back as teeth bit him on the neck and shoulder. John never had a chance. He had been too suprised and the attack was too quick. As he felt the teeth close over his throat, he believed himself dead. He slipped into the dark. John came back into the world rather rudely. His whole body was on fire. He tried to gather himself , but had no strength. He managed to get his hands under him, but could not get any farther up. Things just wouldn't work right. He turned his head to look around and saw something out of his childhood nightmares. His father had told him stories of human wolves that lived in the hills, but as he grew up, he believed in them less and less. Across the clearing from him stood the creature that he had dreaded. It stood upright, but was clearly not human. Long pointed ears on top of a head with a snout, bristling with teeth and ending in a black nose. The chest of the creature had six sets of teats and this led down to distinctly animal legs. They were crooked and looked as if the creature was on tip toes, except for the large claws thaw graced the feet. The same ivory claws were on the long fingered hands and the whole creature was covered head to tail in gray/brown fur. John tried once more to get away, but couldn't move.
The creature just sat and watched as if waiting for something. John wondered why it hadn't finished him. He dimly remembered the stories of old and was suddenly scared. It was rumored that if attacked by a bitch in heat, a man would become the mate she wanted. John looked back at himself and saw what he feared. Everywhere the creature had bitten of clawed him, there was black hair growing. It became thicker as he watched. He was horrified. There was nothing that he could do. He had no strength and the creature watched him closely. He felt burning in his fingertips and saw his nails extend out into ivory claws. Hair was covering his body as he watched and other things started to shift. His legs ached and changed. The knees popped and reversed them selves as his feet got longer and the now familiar claws grew on his toes. A pain in his back caused him to look back. At the edge of his sight was a tail that he found he could move. John could only observe what was happening and hope not to die. The last thing to change was his head. A pressure became greater and his face pushed out. Sharp pains in his jaw signaled the growth of the fangs in his extending jaws. Sight got blurry and colors faded , and as his nose changed, smells exploded into his brain. His mind expanded into new and darker paths and a strength like he had never known flowed into his new body. He became aware of a scent that played at his nose and he turned in that direction. John the human saw the bitch waiting across the clearing and started in that direction, quite against his will. The smell was driving him toward the source that he realized was coming from the female. John the human was horrified at the thoughts that were even now filtering through his mind. He could no longer control the body in which he now found himself. As he approached the female, she turned her back to him and presented herself to him. Even as he fought for control he felt his penis drop from his now furry sheath and he mounted the bitch. As he hit home, pleasure unlike anything he had ever felt drove the last remains of humanity from him. There was left the devastating cunning of a one time human, now in the body of , and with the instincts of a killer. With no regrets, the wolf dismounted and followed its new mate to its den.
Once Bitten copyright 1997 by Tekwolf.
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