Don’t Run


 

"There are no wild animals until Man makes them so." – Mark Twain

 

 

 

It’s hard to think straight. My head still hurts, but it hurts less now – and I’m not sure that’s a good thing. I didn’t see it happen, but I sure as hell felt it. I hate to think what would’ve happened if it was a head-on collision.

 

Now I’m cracking puns. I must be sick. I’m lucky one of us didn’t crack my skull, and it sure as hell took a serious impact. Right now, it’s just hard to focus. Sure, it’s dark, but I can make everything out better (even with the after-images). Maybe the moon’s out. Hell, there’s not much to make out here anyway; Clancy was never that big on furniture. I guess I can see why.

It would be a start if the chair was upright, but right now, since I can move a little, I’ll take what luxury I can. And working this kind of manoeuvre’s tough, since I’m still tied to the chair, still with my arms behind my back. The weight of me in the chair is crushing my right arm.

Clancy tied my arms behind my back. Don’t run. It’s worse when you run, he said.

Fucking stupid liar.

So now I’ve managed to work myself around until I can face the window. The right-hand window looks intact, and the left-hand one is pretty much gone, apart from an array of uneven shards at the top and bottom. I thought I heard one of them fall earlier. Too much wind whistling through, maybe.

Unsurprisingly, the broken window lets in the cold night air, which should have given me goose bumps. I get those easily enough when I’m fully dressed, but not now. If anything, I’m starting to feel a little warm now. Maybe I’m not thinking straight, but that’s understandable. My head’s still throbbing like crazy. The skin under my hairline stung before, and now it’s graduated to a dull ache in my head. The side of my nose and a few teeth feel sore from the impact. My wrists and ankles are raw from trying to free myself. My bare ass is itchy from the seat cushion. The cut in my shoulder just itches. And both arms hurt: one from the landing and one from where his jaws clamped onto me.

Clancy’s never been what you would call a superman. Sure, he’s got a 30” waist and a 36” chest, but that just says ‘athletic strength.’ Even when he told me how much stronger he was and why, I didn’t believe him. The logical progression was to see for myself. And after two bottles of Wray & Nephew, I said: “The hell with it.” I was going to try for myself.

He asked me if I was joking.

I told him I didn’t think I was.

So he outlined it, nice and easy so that I wouldn’t balk at the idea. Why we both had to be naked (and it’s obvious why he had to be). Why I needed the bloody cuts on my arm. And why I had to be tied down. I argued that part. He said when he Changed, it was harder to suppress his instincts – so long as I didn’t run, he wouldn’t chase. That and the fact that I needed to see the process to accept it.

 

Clancy took a penknife out of his pocket and made two cuts across my left arm with it. He told me to wait a minute and went to the bathroom for a while. A while later, he came back naked, with his dick swinging like a pendulum. For some reason, he had a nervous look on his face. He backed up to the other side of the room asking me if I was ready. When I said I was, he simply got on his hands and knees and faced me, watchful, waiting. I watched back, listlessly.

 

The first crack I heard, I thought it was just his knuckles. With the second one, I saw his spine lifting through the flesh in his back. More of those cracks and pops came, unhurried, as his feet stretched and his spine lengthened. He kept his eyes fixed on me with difficulty; each contortion made him flinch or wince. Gasps and groans gave way to deeper tones of snarls and growls; more so when the muzzle grew out of his face. Ears morphing into those like a German Shepherd’s. Hair crawled from his skin until he had the full lupine look: large, shaggy.

 

Predatory.

 

Just hearing the Change, let alone seeing it, had made the skin on my sack tighten. When he padded over, muzzle wrinkling back in a silent snarl, that’s when my bladder let go. The twitching nose freaked me out more than the bared fangs, because it looked like the behaviour of a wild animal. No more Clancy. Yep, Clancy had left the building, alright. I screwed my eyes shut like someone watching their first horror film.

 

I felt the tongue, hot and wet, trail over the cut behind my bicep. I already felt like running. But all I could do was cringe.

 

The growl vibrated in the air, deep and loud. I bit my lip, willing myself to remain calm. “Clancy?”

 

I wanted to think that I could reach him, that this… animal was actually Clancy. I wanted to think that my voice was low and steady, but I know it wasn’t. The growling only got louder.

 

Jaws clamped on my arm and tugged, fangs tearing into the skin. I felt him tug at me, pulling the chair forward onto its two front legs. I gasped.

 

And that’s when he worried my arm back and forth like a chew toy before swinging me, chair and all, into the wall behind him. I felt my scalp arc across part of the wall, the chair upending in mid-flight, coming to land heavily on my right arm and shoulder. I growled myself, gritting my teeth on impact. No yelling, no screaming. I had to hold it in… so that Clancy could hold it in.

 

I felt him land behind me, a tha-dumpf of paws landing with agility and weight. I opened my eyes and could see the hunkered, bristling shadow cast on the wall from behind. The growling drew nearer to the back of my arm. And with the multitude of injuries I was collecting, fear began to dissolve in a rising tide of anger. Eye-watering fury. No matter what form he’d taken, he’d just gotten on my last nerve. My fists clenched behind my back.

 

“Clancy!”

 

The growling cut short in a snarl.

 

If I’d gotten free, I might have taken a swing at him. And then where would I be? He might have torn my arm off in return. I’m pretty sure he wouldn’t have stopped until I was Rorschached all over the walls.

 

A scuffle of paws, a thump in the middle of the room, and then the harsh report of breaking glass. Minutes of lying in silent discomfort convinced me that I could try and get out without him mauling me again. What did I do? I… wept. Tears ran over my face: impotent and tickling tears.

 

Fucking. Useless. Tears. The more I think about it, the more there are. I can’t even wipe them away.

 

It must have been an hour at least, and all I managed to do was turn the fucking chair around to the window. That’s been hell on both arms. It’s been hell on the spine as well. There’ve been several flares of agony from my back in trying to turn this chair around. I’d hate to think I’d permanently damaged something, but I can’t rule it out.

 

That just brings the tears back.

 

All of this had better work. Because if it doesn’t, I’ll fucking kill him. 

 

 

 

END

 

 

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Photography by Josie Macdonald Photography © 2019 and Ronya Galka Photography © 2019. Used with permission