I had to stop writing again, momentarily. My heart was pounding and I got the vapours, but I shall continue...
* * *
It was as if a nightmare was unfolding in front of my eyes.
In a split second, Geroux had shed is clothing, although he did not shed it as much as he seemingly burst out of it.
He transformed from the handsome blonde-haired man I had come to know, into a black and grey-haired, furry four-legged beast. He let out a painful-sounding, bellowing howl. Long, pointy teeth grew out of his mouth, which protruded out from his face. It was a monstrous sight - he even had a tail.
But there was something eerily familiar about this visual. Of course, I had never witnessed someone turning into an animal before my very eyes, yet I could not quite place how I knew this creature.
Then I remembered. The book. That leather-bound cryptic, foreign-language book that I somehow could read when under the influence of Geroux's blood, had an artists' image of this very creature. Although, the one in the book had different patterning on its fur, this was the very same beast.
It was termed a Lycanthrope, but common parlance (common in which circles, I am unsure) named it a Werewolf.
So this was Geroux's secret. The painful screaming during those first few nights, the medicine, the curse...
Everything began to make sense in these moments. Unfortunately, I had no time to contemplate this discovery, as three werewolves jumped forth into the clearing, surrounding Geroux. One was entirely black from snout to tail, another was grey with black streaks through its fur and the leader was pure white, with a dark grey streak between his eyes.
The leader wolf looked away from Geroux to me - and that's when I remembered to run.
Running was never a strong point for me. My family failed to excel in any athletic pursuits. Not that it would have mattered, for these dog-beasts were faster than a spooked horse.
I had taken maybe ten steps before the wolf pounced on me, knocking me to the ground. Instinctively, I turned over to fend it off. My attempts were all in vain, the wolf had me pinned.
I saw Geroux try to run over to me but he was being circled by the other two wolves.
The wolf that stood over me was a ferocious, snarling beast of a thing. He tilted down to inhale my scent deeply and began salivating so uncontrollably that drool leaked from its open mouth and squelched onto my dress.
The lips of the wolf receded, exposing its teeth. Its long, wet tongue ran over its lips, as if preparing to eat.
What followed only took seconds, but felt like hours.
I could hear a deep, guttural growl from Geroux, as if sending a warning to the beast. It did not heed the warning, I'm not even sure if it heard the growl from Geroux - it was locked onto me. Its cold, dark eyes stared into mine.
I knew what was coming.
The wolf leant in to bite me, but somehow Geroux had darted away from the others and grabbed onto the leader wolf's tail with his teeth, pulling the beast away from me, but not far enough.
The beast managed to sink its teeth into my left thigh. It was the single most sickening sensation I have ever felt - one I do not wish to replicate in words.
I screamed at a deafening volume I had once not thought possible. The pain was so immediately intense I felt I might pass out, but I had no such luck.
Geroux, in his animalistic form, was being taunted by the other wolves. Blood had soaked through my dress. Lots of it. Things looked grim for Geroux. They looked even grimmer for me.
I laid my head back onto the ground and was greeted again by the star scape above. Only minutes before had I noticed how beautiful they were, how beautiful the night was. That Geroux and I had a possibility at starting something real. So much changed in such a tremendously short period of time. "Unfair" did not even begin to describe it.
The sounds coming from the beasts were a mixture of snarls, barks, bites and scratches. I could not bear to look. Suddenly, a sharp yelp came from the fight and I was forced to look and see which wolf had been attacked. Geroux had his long, sharp teeth wrapped around the leader wolf's throat, but it managed to kick free and ran. The other two wolves followed suit.
Geroux chased after them.
I laid my head back down on the ground and felt my eyelids growing heavier, as the pool of blood surrounding my leg increased.
The next thing I remember was Geroux, now human again, albeit completely naked, picking me up and carrying me all the way home.
He was extremely distraught and apologetic. He kept saying my name over and over again, hoping to elicit a sign of life, but I was too weak to respond. I just squeezed my hand on his shoulder. He mentioned "It was a mistake" and "I knew we shouldn't have walked home, I knew they would be out there."
When we got home, he lay me down on the bed. Next thing I knew he had cut my dress at the site of my wound and bandaged it firmly. The pain had subsided somewhat, a merciful relief.
I heard the ornaments speaking in worried, hushed tones. Geroux reassured them that right now, what I needed most was rest.
As I was drifting off to sleep, the last thing I remember Geroux saying was, "I'm so sorry, Belle. I never wanted this for you. I have failed you."
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The Secret Diary of Belle (Grimmoire Series)Mystery / Thriller
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