by Bryan Derksen
©1996 Bryan Derksen
Delores counted herself extremely lucky. Life had handed her luxury on a silver platter; when her grandmother passed away, she inherited a huge house in the country and enough money to maintain it well for life. There was really no need for her to work beyond managing the family fortune. She did that quite well, and expected to pass an even larger estate to her own children one day.
But in the meantime, she and Daryl were young and there was time to raise a family later. They were still on an extended honeymoon, as she explained it; in a few years she expected it to get tedious and they would move into a more mature phase of their marriage. Until then they would relax and have fun, with nothing to tie them down.
Tonight they would be going to the McAllisters renowned annual Halloween party. They would be attending for the first time this year, and Delores was looking forward to it; shed heard it was a classy yet fun affair. Unfortunately, she had put off renting a costume until it was too late. Fortunately, the attic was well-stocked with trunks of old, fine clothing her grandmother had owned. Some of it dated back to the turn of the century, real museum pieces, and would make excellent costumes.
Delores grandmother had been one of those who had seemed likely to live forever; at age one hundred and one, shed already outlived Delores own parents and seemed to be still going strong. Though Delores had never known her very well, it still came as quite a shock when she simply died one night in her sleep. The shock was due to both her seeming immortality, and to inheriting a large estate just when she was getting ready to have to work for a living. Shed already been engaged to Daryl when it happened, and he was almost as surprised
Daryl had already located and put on an old-fashioned suit that looked straight out of some British court, and was strutting stiffly about getting into character. Delores was more indecisive, having dressed up in a fine billowy silk gown that matched Daryls era but not liking it. Its this corset thing, she complained, and these frilly petticoat-things and stuff. Its all so uncomfortable and impractical.
Come now, my deah, Daryl said in his best aristocratic tone, It is the attire of a propah lady. Though it wasnt a terribly good imitation, Delores grinned anyways.
Ah, I guess Im still upset we had to resort to playing dress-up with this stuff, she admitted as she selected faux jewelry to match the aristocratic clothes. Actually, some of the stuff up here looked quite nice and expensive; as she fastened a necklace featuring a big emerald around her neck and checked herself approvingly in the full-length mirror, she even wondered if some of it was real. I just wish I could go to the party as a werewolf, not some standard fairy princess.
You and your were- Daryl began, but was cut off by Delores startled scream. He did a double-take, and emitted a yelp of his own. How did you do that!? he asked in astonishment.
Delores, still dressed in antique finery, was staring at her hands in horror. Their backs were covered in dark brown fur, the palms had leathery pads, and thick black claws emerged from her fingertips. She looked up at the mirror, and clapped those hands to her face; It had a short muzzle with fangs and a wet black nose, erect pointed ears, and yet more thick fur. She looked like a werewolf all rightas good as if the suit had been done by a major Hollywood studio. Better, even. It looked totally real, and Daryl had no idea where she got it or how shed put it on so quickly.
It Its real, Delores murmured in a deep, growling, panic-tinged voice as she pinched and prodded at her face.
Uh, Daryls grin of amazement faded slightly, knowing that she must be joking but also noting that the emotion in her voice sounded genuine. Delores? Are you serious?
Yes! Ohgod, help me get it off! The tone convinced him; whatever might be really happening, Delores was terrified. She grabbed the fur on her cheeks and neck, tugging it hard. Ow! Help!
Daryl rushed over and tried to take her hands. DontIll helpDelores, I Daryl ran his fingers through the fur on the back of her neck and head, looking for a zipper or other fastening. Instead he found only warm unbroken skin. He slid his hands down the back of her dress, looking for where the fur ended. It didnt. I
Daryl, what She coughed and tried to clear her throat, but her voice remained guttural what is it?
Is this a costume? Daryl demanded, sounding a little alarmed himself now.
No! It just happened!
Okay, lets just stay calm here Daryl tried to slow his breathing and collect his thoughts. Lets work this out.
Delores was only half listening; she was staring at herself in the full-length mirror shed been trying clothing in front of moments earlier. She felt a weird sort of dissociation, as if she were looking at someone else; a Victorian wolf-woman. But it was her, she could see herself in those dark canine eyes. She felt a sudden powerful need to get the clothing off, both to see what was underneath and because it was suddenly so damn uncomfortable. Even moreso than before, when it had at least been bearable.
She began fumbling with the laces and buttons, her hands feeling clumsy and unfamiliar and the claws getting in the way worse than her nails had when shed tried growing them long last year. Daryl tried to help, but she shoved his hands away with a snarl that surprised both of them; she was having enough difficulty on her own, and didnt want him getting in the way. Sorry, she apologized immediately.
Sokay, Daryl replied, but stepped well back. He was feeling rather unnerved by all this.
She managed to undo the dress down the front, and pulled it open. She gasped. There was more fur, the thickest yet, but her physique had also changed. She looked much more muscular and athletic, thick-bodied though still identifiably feminine. The corset had burst, but not catastrophically. Even more urgently now, she wriggled and shrugged out of the rest of her clothing, this time letting Daryl help her pull it over her head. They stood and stared, Daryl at Delores and Delores at the mirror.
It was no costume, that was certain now. Delores legs would have had a hard time fitting into it. Though her overall leg length hadnt changed, the proportions had; her feet were almost 18 inches long, while the rest of her leg had shortened somewhat. She stood balanced on the balls of her large feet with her heels raised and her knees slightly bent, and was quite comfortable that way. But most conclusively, for Delores at least, was the tail: She could feel her grip when she held it, and there was no way a costume could do that. In fact, her entire skin felt too real from the inside; it was clear to her that the only things she was wearing were her watch and necklace.
Daryl and Delores sat silently in the den, not knowing exactly what to do. After Daryl helped Delores down from the attic, she put on a loose shirt and Daryl gave her a pair of boxer shorts; she put them on backwards, slipping her tail through the fly. Then they sat down to try to think of something to do next.
Should we, uh, call 911? Daryl suggested tentatively.
Delores snorted. Im not sick, Im transformed. What could they do? Despite her low, inhuman growl Daryl could tell that her brusqueness was a cover for fear.
Good point. But weve got to find someone to help us out here, perhaps if we look in the yellow pages
Delores shook her head emphatically. No, I dont want anyone seeing me like this. Not until I can be human again, at least!
Daryl squeezed her pawlike hand reassuringly. Dont worry, honey. Lets just think about this some more first, then. Uh you havent been bitten by wolves recently, Im sure wed have noticed that. Has there ever been a history of this sort of thing in your family?
You mean lycanthropy? No. But the moon was full last night, wasnt it? Delores perked up. Perhaps its just ordinary lycanthropy! Thank God! She seemed genuinely relieved.
You you think youre really a werewolf then? Daryl asked uncertainly. Hed never had any reason to think his wife was a werewolf before, and he was fairly sure he would have noticed something like that. Delores obviously hadnt either, until now at least.
Well, just look at me! And then theres the moon, and its Halloween for Gods sake! That has to be it, right?
Okay, Daryl said, still dubious. I suppose that might be it. But why is that such a relief?
It means I just have to wait for sunrise, or moonset maybe, and Ill be human again! She laughed. Oh Daryl, I was so worried!
Daryl smiled weakly. Shed occasionally mentioned liking werewolves in the past, and of course shed wanted to go to the party disguised as one, so perhaps this really wasnt so bad. Youre sure youll change back, though?
Definitely. Werewolves always change back. Whew! Delores relief was palpable, and her mood was suddenly buoyant. Its amazingI was so worried I might be stuck like this, but one night is okay. One night is great! Ive always wanted to try something like this, if I could.
Youre feeling all right, then?
All right? I feel fantastic! I want to enjoy this, I dont know how long it will last. Delores got up and stretched, testing her muscles and rubbing her skin.
So do you want to go to the McAllisters? Daryl grinned at that thought; it was exactly what shed wished for just moments before this had happened. Then his grin faded slightly. I wonder
No way, Delores interrupted, and pulled Daryl to his feet. Im not wasting this on a stupid ball. Then, dispensing with further explanation, she kissed him firmly on the lips.
Daryl just stood there, stunned. Delores had caught him completely by surprise, and her muzzle wasnt well suited for kissing either. She quickly realized this and broke off with a laugh, then hugged him instead. Daryl hesitantly hugged her back, still a little confused but regaining a little responsiveness. Delores, uh, he began to object.
Shhh, Delores whispered in his ear, I really want to try this out, if you dont mind?
Uhhh, Daryl responded uncertainly, then shivered as Delores gave his earlobe a light lick. He ran his hands up her back, rubbing her skin through the fur with his fingertips, and realized that he was quite curious himself. Okay, he replied, a slightly goofy mood coming over him. It was a guaranteed one- night stand, right?
Delores woke late the next morning, snuggled against Daryls side, slightly hung over but still feeling good. Last night had been incredibly fun; shed never felt so free in her life. She had worn poor Daryl out trying to keep up with her wild night, and it hadnt just been the sex, either. Shed discovered other joys of having a werewolfs body: Running at night dressed only in her fur, the incredible richness of smell and taste, the incredible eroticism of a good lower back rub, the sheer heart-swelling feeling of howling for no reason at all. It was fortunate that their neighbors lived some distance away, or somebody would surely have called the police. Its almost a pity its over, she thought, though she still didnt want to be trapped this way. Delores sighed and opened her eyes.
Daryl was abruptly awakened by her scream. What! What is it? He cried as he jumped to his feet, and then he saw the cause; Delores hadnt turned back, and the sunlight streaming through the window indicated it was nearly noon already. He saw that the fear was back in her eyes, even worse than before.
Im still a werewolf! she screamed. It didnt wear off!
Daryl winced and tried to calm her down. He silently cursed himself for getting as distracted as he had last night; hed known her conclusion had been too quick and too good to be true, and should have thought about it longer.
With her initial panic finally back under control, Delores sat on the edge of the bed and Daryl sat next to her. Oh Daryl, she sobbed, now what do I do? I wish Id had a little self-control!
That reminded Daryl of the idea that had occurred to him moments before hed become somewhat distracted. Delores? What if you arent actually a werewolf?
What else could I be? she demanded. Just look at me! Im going to be this way forever!
Shh, shh, its okay. No, I didnt mean physically. I mean how you became this way.
What do you mean?
Well, you remember what happened just before you changed? We were up in the attic digging through the crates of your grandmothers old stuff. And then you said I wish I was a werewolf, and a second later you were. Could you have found, I dont know, some sort of magic artifact that grants wishes?
Delores thought back, trying hard to remember. Then her lupine face lit up; The necklace! Id just put it on! She leapt to her feet and ran out of the room, Daryl only catching up with her after she had reached the attic and squatted down to start digging through the pile of clothing she had discarded earlier. Her tail wagged hopefully as she rummaged, then after a moment she cried out in triumph and held up the necklace with the emerald setting. I wish I was human again! she spoke quickly. Nothing happened.
Here, let me try, Daryl said and took the necklace. I wish Delores was human again! Again, nothing happened. Daryl examined the necklace closely for a moment. Maybe it only grants one wish, he speculated.
Oh no! Delores moaned.
Wait, just stay calm for a moment. Lets try to think. Daryl rubbed his eyes and thought back. Your exact words what were the exact words of your wish?
Umm I wish I wish that Delores mumbled, unable to recall.
I think it was I wish I could go to the party as a werewolf. Yes, the party was definitely involved. Oh, no Daryl stopped in sudden realization.
What!? Delores demanded at last.
You havent gone to the party yet. That means the wish is unfulfilled. In order to grant your wish, youre going to have to stay as a werewolf until you do!
Delores and Daryl looked at each other for a second, then simultaneously rushed downstairs for the phone. Delores reached it first, but had trouble pushing the buttons with her claws and passed it to Daryl. He dialled.
Hello, Steve? Its Daryl Yeah, sorry we didnt make it to the party, something unexpected came up. Im wondering, though, is it still running..? Oh. Okay Yeah, well definitely make it next year Sorry Bye.
Daryl hung up, defeated. Its over, he said slowly. And the next Halloween party is next Halloween.
You mean Im stuck like this for an entire year?
Daryl nodded. I think so.
Oh. Delores remained silent for a long time, thinking. She was stuck, it seemed, for a long time. But it wasnt permanent. I guess I guess Ill be going to the party as a werewolf next time, she said at last. I think I can make it. Ill just have to adapt, keep out of sight until then
Daryl hugged her tightly. We can make it, he told her, and she nuzzled his neck gratefully. He scratched her lightly on her back, and Delores grinned as her tail curled slightly. Ill probably want to be human again by next Halloween, she thought to herself. But the McAllisters put on their party every year, as long as I can still change back I guess theres no particular rush