Chapter 8

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Kasia woke up with a foul taste in her mouth. She was nestled in a bed of blankets, with the room having restored itself to its regular state. Her head was pounding, but she got up nonetheless, noticing for the first time that she was human again, and naked. She uncomfortably touched her bracelet for reassurance, the only thing still firmly attached to her body, before she quickly scrambled for one of the blankets to cover herself, just to realise that there was no way anyone could see her. She was alone, grimy and disturbed by the images that haunted her memory. A look outside the window showed that the sun had just gone down, but she had no recollection of time or how much of it had passed since she had last been human. She was yearning for a shower and new clothes to scrub off the remains of her wolf-self.

"I wish ..." Her voice sounded off, cracked from not having used it for a while.

Of course the room swiftly provided everything necessary for her. It only took the blink of an eye, as if her brain didn't want to see the actual magic happen. She turned on the faucet with shaky hands. She had always been a bathtub kind of girl, but now she cherished the cold water running down her tired body.

"How ..." She muttered to herself, but knew that it was the wrong question to ask. She was well aware that she had turned into an animal because of the Velcry's fail safe curse, but knowing that something might happen and actually experiencing it were two very different things. Her limbs all seemed normal again, yet she couldn't stop rubbing her skin to make sure there was no trace of fur left. The longer she remained under the water, the more the memories of her time as a wolf started to become hazy, just like you would forget the details of a dream after waking up. But she could still remember those primal urges that had taken over and made her lose control of her sense of self. First she had run, run like there was no end to the world, but then a breeze carrying a peculiar scent had caught her attention. The hunt had begun, but she was glad that that was where her memories ended. The slightly red and brown taint to the water was all she needed to know what happened afterwards. She had been the wolf, but the wolf had also been a creature of its own. It scared her to think what might have happened if Findlay and Georgie had stayed with her.

The thought of her two hosts hastily made her get out of the shower after all. She chose a comfortable pair of pants and an oversized sweater, staying away from anything that might restrain her body or her movements. Her hair was dripping on her clothes when she tried the door. It was still locked, so she tentatively knocked.

There was rummaging on the other side. "Kasia?", a small voice asked. Her super-hearing had reverted back to its regular state along with her shape.

Still, her heart leapt in relief. She doubted that busting the door open would have been an option, if there hadn't been anyone there waiting for her. "Findlay? Can you please let me out?"

The door swung open without hesitation, exposing a tired Finn with dark circles under his eyes. He scanned her frantically before he enveloped her in a tight hug. "You're really you."

"I am really me." Kasia searched the hallway for Georgie, but couldn't see her anywhere. "Where's ..."

"How do you feel?" Findlay interrupted before she could ask her question.

"A bit nauseous, but generally okay."

"Are you sure? Because it's okay if you're not ... " A shadow had crossed Findlay's face and he could no longer meet her gaze.

"Findlay, where is Georgie?" There was sadness in his eyes, something wasn't right at all, but he didn't utter a single word.

"Please, just tell me what's going on."

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