[ An atmospheric short piece about the somewhat turbulent relationship with a werewolf and the moon.. some slightly suggestive content – so you have been warned. ]
He breathed in and relaxed.
Once again he tried to settle his mind.
The smoke from the dragonsblood incense was spicy, thick, and trailed around him in playful curls in the flickering lights of the candles at his altar. It reflected off the crystals, dancing in the dark making the shadows parade around him like silent watchers.
And yet as familiar, calm, and serene the altar was before him – he still found himself unsettled and unable to take pleasure in the ritual. In fact, he felt like he couldn’t even feel comfortable in his own skin anymore.
He tried to push the frustration down. His hand jingled one of the cool metal meditation balls. Slowly he circled them in his palm listening to the chiming noise as each ball gently rubbed against the other. For a moment he thought he was finally unwinding until a small jolt and twitch from a nerve made the balls tumble out of his grip.
He cursed loudly, frustration bubbling to the surface and cracking the false look of contentment off of his face.
He used to find such comfort in these small things.
He used to think he could hear the universe whisper in his mind.
Maybe that was all a lie and the devastating truth remained that all he had believed and perhaps all he was himself was just a bitter lie as well.
It had now been four hours of trying desperately to meditate in his dark ritual chamber while the full moon had reached it’s peak somewhere far above him. Four hours spent in vain trying to get his body settled. His mind was fleeting with careless inane thoughts that he simply couldn’t let go of. He felt like a prisoner of his own flesh.
He got up with a groan, his bare chest reflecting in the shafts of light trailing in the window. It accented off the tattoos staining his skin. His fists clenched repeatedly as peered out the window into the silent streets below.
Somewhere in the distance he saw the occasional youth slip in and out of local all night taverns and clubs. He longed for those days. He wished nothing else then to be out in this type of twilight, dancing among the ruckus of the streets. To be running the streets wild and uncaring. He longed to be free again.
“Damnit, this used to be easy.” A deep grumble relented into a sigh. Long hair was pushed behind his shoulder again.
His bloodshot eyes seemed to ache so much more lately. He seemed so much weaker then he used to in his prime. He knew what it was. He was dying. His mortality was evident.
He had hoped this ritual would bring him some sort of inner peace or reconnection with aspects of his life before. But it did nothing but antagonize old wounds. He felt pathetic for even trying. His eyes grazed across the altar before he turned his eyes away. Growling low in his throat he cursed himself for not letting the past go. For not just leaving all of this tucked away in storage like he had been told to.
Pleading eyes rose to the silver orb of the moon tracing by a few wispy dark clouds.
He couldn’t bear to keep its gaze long. It hurt too much, so he looked down from the brilliant moon and the failure it represented and instead pressed a hand against the cool glass of the window pane. His arm rested against the oaken frame and he relaxed his weight against it.
He never realized just how hollow his chest would be; how desperate he would feel. No one told him that he couldn’t just leave it all behind completely. He still felt it and knew it. Longed to dive head first into it.
They lied, they never said he would feel this way. They never said that in removing the curse from his soul, it would feel like they simply ripped it out completely.
There was never any going back. Not completely. There was no ‘cure’ for that.
He turned suddenly, so quick that he felt dizzy. He faltered a moment while his head spun and his eyes adjusted.
“Whose there?” His voice was a growl, a snarl.
“Lawrence. You go by Moonshadow.” It was no longer a question but a statement. A voice so serpentine and sensual. Soft and feminine. It managed to ease his temper, but not his wariness. He felt his ears physically come to attention, as if trying to train in on her voice and it alone.
“That is me.”
There was enough silence in that pause that he could take a moment and think. His mind kept trailing to the many enemies a person could have in a large city and never know. How many locks had he installed on the main door to his apartment? Were they enough? Paranoia was one thing – but to someone like him it was an unfortunate necessity.
“I think you need to leave…” He replied with a voice like gravel as he scanned every shadow. A few years ago he would have been able to spot them, even in the darkness of his chambers. His eyes would have had the instinct to know where to look. Yet he was weaker now, vulnerable and much easier to kill.
Every flicker of light from the candles revealed nothing to him now. His eyes then went to the doorway. It had appeared shut still, but he knew better. She must have slipped in while he was distracted. He must have forgotten to flip the deadbolts. Maybe he was just too careless… maybe it was time for him to die.
“I did not break in.” She said firmly and with a calm cool tone that startled him.
“How did you…”
“…know what you were thinking?” Suddenly the lights from the candles seemed to flare up and her form was suddenly illuminated. She was beautiful, serene, dressed in white sheer material that did nothing to hide such amazing curves and form underneath. Instead it simply accented it with an opalescent shimmer. Hanging at either side of ethereal face was long silken hair of pure white which traced down nearly to her ankles.
There was something unsettling and familiar about her that he couldn’t place. Something which made him quiver inside. He knew her, even if he had never seen her before in his life he had known her. So deeply and intimately that his breath was taken away.
Catching his eyes; cradled in the center of her forehead was a brilliantly glimmering opal. Seemingly to be facetted in a hundred different ways to catch every glimmer of light in the room and reflect it back exactly in the most precious way.
Words escaped him. His knees felt weak. She was glorious.
“Moonshadow.” She whispered his name which made his chest quiver. “I have watched you tonight. I have seen your frustration grow as you have tried, over and over to feel the connections you used to. You did not realize that was part of the price did you? Did they fail to tell you that part?”
His grip faltered, he lowered to his knees as if every ounce of his strength had pulled from him. His eyes sought freedom from the brilliant light which she provided. He felt now ashamed and terrified.
If this mortality was going to kill him, he wished it would hurry up and do so. Anything then to face this guilt and shame. He imagined himself crumbling inward and swallowing himself up to avoid her questioning gaze.
Lawrence used to pride himself on never cowering to anyone. Pride in being strong and secure in his dominant position. There was a time he felt untouchable. But in the presence of her, he was powerless. A submissive to any aching desire she made.
His body shivered and he lowered his head even further – desperate to get some control on what was happening in this room. He stared instead at the utter perfection of her feet. He watched as they grew closer. Each delicate beautiful step.
He stumbled over his thoughts, trying to find something coherent to say. Trying to form some sort of explanation as to what he did. Why he thought he needed to throw this part of his life away. But he could find nothing. Nothing but fear, manipulation, and lies. How had he allowed himself to become this weak? This… pathetic.
“Look at me.” It was no request. His eyes snapped to hers as if he had no more control of his own sensibilities.
She lowered while watching him with the barest of smiles. She smelled of rain.
“You are Moonshadow. You are blessed. And cursed. It is what you are – and will always be. For a while, you hid it yes. You wished it all away… and this didn’t make you happy. You still crave, desire, and want. Only now they have stolen your power in order to break you. They did not cure you. They simply caged you.”
And she leaned in, she kissed his lips with such blinding passion that he thought he would go mad. And yet he found himself completely still and bound. As if his hands were tied behind his back and his knees were glued to the floor.
All he wanted was to press up and deepen the kiss, to take her, to hold her. To do anything but let her leave him. It was as if the kiss lingered just on the edges of his senses as her words still echoed in his mind. He struggled to free his arms and pull her down to him.
Passion was growing in him indeed. He had never felt so aroused and wanting. So punished with craving for her. His voice let out a pained whine as he fought against the invisible bindings. She stroked his cheek and his straining throat. Her kiss was like ambrosia, her touch like wild fire.
And then she torturously pulled away.
“You will always be connected with me. You will always love me, hate me, desire me and wish to destroy me at the same time. You have been free of me and still have not found peace, so you called to me. You can never have one without the other, for you have beckoned to the moon and I have heard you. You have called me down and I have come. You have knelt before me – and you are mine.”
He shuddered and growled while the invisible bindings seemed to release him. He tried to grasp her and pull her obsessively into his arms, but she was gone.
The shadows seemed clearer now while he glanced around the darkened room. There were no signs of her except for delicate footprints on the floor that glistened with midnight dew.
By all appearances he had never left his place from where he sat. In his hand he still clutched the meditation balls.
He let them tumble from his fingers to save him from the silence from the room. They chimed in mocking jingles on the floor.
Moonshadow. He was Moonshadow. Lawrence was a human name, a word he used in the world of man and not the wild magick of who he was. His heart pounded as if ready to tear from his chest. His eyes were wet. His hungers woken, ebbing at him. He felt free, and he had not felt like this since they had strapped him to the table and did the ‘procedure’ to remove the lycanthropy from his very soul.
Now he knew why they were so willing to help him. He understood why they were doing him such a favour. They were merely domesticating him.
This new procedure offered by the human occultists had promised results. It had promised him a normal life where he could blend in and be hidden. An answer for the monstrous curse that he carried as a burden.
Curse. It was no curse… it made him alive. It was who he was, who he always was. And she was his goddess. She was the moon.
Moonshadow shuddered in his cold sweat while he slowly urged his muscles to work again. He stumbled to the window. He gazed out and he saw her… full and bright glowing and beckoning him. Always out of his reach. His eyes closed and the image of her caressed him.
He wanted her. He always wanted her.
He shook, pulled his head back, and howled. All the connections and power of ritual flowed into his blood again. For the first time in many nights he felt the curse – and blessing a part of him again just as his skin started to turn. His muscles grew, and loosened while his joints and bones extended. His face contorted while his features grew and his teeth lengthened.
It was a pleasurable pain while his skin stretched around the morphing bones along his chest and ribs. He could hear them moving, adjusting, cracking into place.
As if welcoming in an old friend he howled even louder then before. One can try to escape who they are, but it’s only ever lying to themselves. Eventually, no matter where you hide or how much you lie to yourself – it will always come rushing back in.
He was hers and would always be hers. He was her priest, her slave, her lover. From somewhere far beyond sanity and senses, a hand stroked the side of his thick furred cheek and he felt at peace.