I can smell the wild garlic, the mown grass, the scent of a late summer. Mile after mile seems effortless as I run in the light of the full moon. Running is freedom, running is life, running because, not for, not to.
At least usually. Tonight I can hear them following. Sometimes they gain, mostly they drop behind. But never far enough. Tonight I’m running for, not because. And I’m not sure where to.
A cloud passes across the moon. I break out into the open, hoping for cover while it is darker. Sheep scatter. Bleating loud, they might as well be a siren call to my pursuers.
I hear the shouts behind. They’re forming into a pack. Getting clever. Soon one or two will try to outflank me. Then I’m done for.
I smell it before I hear it or see or hear it. A music festival. God knows why. It’s in the middle of nowhere. Still, a God send for me. Lights, people, smells, noise. And only about a mile away. I redouble my speed and head for the horizon.
Too late I realise that staring at the lights has ruined my might vision. I run flat out into a barbed wire fence. I land heavily, grunt. Cut and bruised. Blood trickles. Not good. I get back up and running, ignoring the pain, but I’ve given them another chance to catch up and now I’m leaving a trail.
Suddenly I’m there. I slink through the crowds. They’re concentrating on the stage, ignore me. I find a quiet spot. Hide behind a kebab van. Drooling with hunger, panting from the exertion and yes, I admit, shivering with fear.
I listen carefully, but there’s no sign of them following me. It’s not likely. Not into this noise, light, smells and number of people. They’ll wait until everyone’s gone. If I play my cards right I can follow the crowds back into the nearest town.
I eat, then change.
So the cycle starts again. I’ll be with people until they find out, then with wolves again until they smell me out.
A werewolf is never welcome anywhere. Not for long anyway.
Author’s note. The Y Not? Festival took place in Pike Hall, Derbyshire, on the same weekend as the blue moon on 31 July 2015. Which got me thinking… I took one liberty with this story, I’m pretty sure there are no wolves in the Peak District. Werewolves however; well, who knows?
(c) Story Chris Johnson 2015
(C) Picture Chris Johnson 2018