After I had accepted the shock, because there’s no way to possibly overcome this, I was looking around again. I could smell water. Wait, I could smell water !?
I walked on all fours, just to find myself at the shore of a lake. I knew once I got to the water, I would see the full extent of my transformation. Did I want that? Could I handle that? In my time as a human, I thought, I would have had a nap at such a moment. This did not seem to to be a good solution, so I slowly approached the clear water. I closed my eyes, as if that could have embellished the moment and bent forward. When I opened them, I was astonished. A majestic sight, I wanted to pinch myself to check if I was dreaming. You know, you cannot pinch with paws though. I looked at myself from all sides, animalistic, big and strong was my appearance. Did I become strong? Who am I?
That night, which meant the end of my miserable life as a human being, I became literally an animal. The animal! A wolf. My fur was white and radiant, radiant like my bright green eyes. I sat back again while looking at my paws, which were really huge. ‚Not bad,‘ I thought.
Days after my transformation, I was still occupied with all the stimuli I now perceived. I slept and I hunted. Unfortunately, it was only small bunnies and squirrels I caught. That my sympathy had disappeared made it easier. Yet I was still a fan of a quick death for my victims. My political views didn’t change it seems, I was still totally against torture. You could think a man who suddenly becomes a wolf would be grieved for his loved ones, miss his life? Yeah, I guess you could, but not in my case. I felt blessed. Had stripped my old life away after seeing myself, this faboulus being, in the reflection of the lake.
I loved being a wolf, damn it!
Suddenly I had unimagined strength, I was fast, I was beautiful. Whoever had made me what I was now earned my eternal gratefulness. See, they could have turned me into something like a worm as well, right?
On my daily raid through the woods, I was searching for other wolves but I didn’t find any. Would I be able to socialize as a wolf, even though I was such a failure doing that as a human? At least, I would give it a try. What am I exactly? A real wolf? I wonder if there were others like me. Losers, who found a pathetic death, just to come back as something new, something beautiful. Night set in with a full moon. As I was laying there, my mind wandered to all the stories about werewolves. In my case, I wondered, would I transform into a human, for just one night?
With this thought, I fell asleep.
Everything I saw was upside-down and I was trying to figure out where I was, it seemed that the sky above me, was in flames. A fire was burning big and bright, the heat, almost painful, entered me completely. I heard voices but as I was so exhausted, I closed my eyes again as I was listening:
“Guys, what are we doing with him? I mean, we could just let him die. I bet there’s no one who’d miss him anyways.” I heard a deep voice speaking, the base resonating with it sounded drastic but gentle at the same time.
“I watched him, this fool, as he was walking straight into the bog, not knowing what’s going on.”
Another voice interfered. The third voice, was just hearable crackling.
“The boss will not agree with that. We should not have saved him. That’s done it!”
I wasn’t sure what I should do but I was too weak to escape. I wished I could see something, and while I was blinking, looking straight into the red flames, all of a sudden, a grimace appeared directly over me. It was the deep voice: “Hey dude, are you awake?”
“Am I dead? Am I in hell?” I asked.
“No, little friend, but almost.” He replied.
His face was black, shaped like a skull, with no eyes at all.
I didn’t dare move, but then I felt something that was pulling me up. An invisible drive, with all its power forcing me to sit up. The figure next to me smiled, pleased. As I was looking around, I noticed that I was deep in the woods. He followed each of my movements, just like a freeze-frame in front of my eyes. His skull seemed to float, his body just dark smoke. A rattling cough crept over me and I wasn’t sure if I would be able to ever breathe again. It felt like something was manifesting in my lungs.
“Speak up boy, how would you prefer to die?” Said the skull, floating by my side.
I hesitated as I was truly thinking about this question. Then I said: “How about, not at all?”
A deep grunt escaped the figure that was floating by my side.
“Listen up, we didn’t save you, to save your life.” He said, like it was the most logical thing ever.
“That doesn’t make any sense, you know?” I said.
In a short second of silence, during which I was thinking about how I’d rather die, I noticed that the skull had left my side. Suddenly, the fire went off. There I sat, in complete darkness. Minutes passed and I felt how my throat corded up again. Blood ran out of my nose and my mouth, my body was completely covered in the black mass I had drowned in. Abruptly, there was green fog rising from the ground, also, an earsplitting sound pierced me to the marrow of my bones, like thunder that didn’t want to stop. I was torn backwards and laid on my back when all of a sudden all three skulls floated right over my face. Closely.
“Let us play a game, please, please, can we? We could give him one last chance to live on.” Said one of the skulls. If they would have had eyes, I’m sure, the two others would have rolled theirs. “Fine, Ned. As you wish. Let’s play but you have to explain the rules to him.” Said the deep voice.
“Stop, stop, hold on!” I said and raised my hand, just to realize how painful that was to me. After another attack of coughing and even more dark, red blood, that came out of my nose, I said: “Who the heck are you, actually? What kind of game are you talking about? And seriously, your name is Ned? That’s hilarious!” I was laughing, until that cough took over again. I wasn’t sure if it was the right time to be sarcastic, anyways.
The shrill voice, the skull to my left spoke: “Yes, I am Ned. These guys are Tony and Karl. Do you think that’s funny, you bastard?”
“Ned, calm down. Allow that little joke to the boy. It’s going to be his last one anyways.” Said the skull in the middle. “See, we are bog-ghosts. Unfortunately, humans aren’t writing novels about us. That’s a shame because we’re quite cool, you know. The game we are to play, could save you from exitus or not. Whether you play or not, you will die anyways. Does that sound fair?”
“Ghosts, oh wow, I see. How I really couldn’t have figured that out earlier.” I replied, with the tiny bit of sarcasm that was left. “Why did you fish me out of the bog, then?”
“Oh boy! You’re asking way to many questions. You’re starting to piss me off, man.” Said the skull to my right, with a fining gesture.
“Listen” Said the deep voice: “We are in duty for the bog, we’ve to make sure that everything is fine there. Dead bodys aren’t a part of “everything is fine”, you know. If you die, you’ve to die somewhere else, you know. Long story short, here are the rules:
You get just one chance, to live on at all. We are going to perform magic, that will rather transform you into something new, something viable, or kill you. What’s going to happen, its not predictable at all. If you don’t transform, your death will be slow and painful. Pure agony. In no case can you become human again. That’s impossible. Here are your choices:
a) A quick, painless death. Right here, right now. Redemption.
b) You are in, we gamble. Your transformation is the jackpot, painful death is the alternative.
So buddy, are you in?”
All three were waiting for my response. My whole life I’ve been a coward but, was I ready to take a chance now?
“So, what are you waiting for, you rusty ghost-fellas, for the ghost-busters to come and catch you?”