• Please read prologue the first

    Chapter One

    I slammed my locker door. How could I forget to bring my paper? I had slaved over it, poured my heart into it, and I didn’t even remember to bring it.
    “Okay, what’s wrong?” My best friend Shirley demanded. Shirley was sporting a bright pink top with a matching skirt and a purple sweater. “You’ve been slamming things around all day.”
    “Just everything. Nothing seems to be going the way I’ve planned it lately.” I turned my eyes to the floor because I was afraid if she saw them, she would know I wasn’t telling her the whole truth. Shirley always had a way of knowing when something was bothering me or I wasn’t telling her something. Which was almost always, so I tried to conceal my emotions better than I used to. For her sake more than my own. There was no way I wanted to drag her into this mess with me.
    “Don’t worry. Everybody has a bad day every once in a while. Even people as gorgeous as you. Maybe if you would wear some clothing a little brighter, you would feel a little brighter.” She was always trying to get me to dress like her. The thing is, Shirley and I are nothing alike. We’re about as different as a shoe and a plant. People always found it weird that we could be best friends. While Shirley was about as girly as it gets with all her pink and purple and high heels, miniskirts, and clothes that scream preppy cheerleader, my clothes could easily be pushed into the gothic category. Today I was sporting black combat boots that come to my knee, fishnet stockings and arm warmers, a black tank with half a red corset over it, and a frilly black and red skirt with a black lace lining that almost made it to my knees.
    “I’ve told you before, I can’t wear that stuff. It’s just not me. You wear it because it’s you. It’s who you are. Well, this,” I gestured to my wardrobe, “is me, and you’re just going to have to get used to it because I’m not changing for you or anyone else.” I didn’t know these words were a lie when I said them.
    “Yea, yea, yea. What you really need is a boyfriend. Someone sexy and daring who doesn’t mind your… darkness.” Shirley flashed her super white smile at me, and I cringed internally. It always went the same way. Was almost a routine for her. First, she’s comment on my wardrobe, try unsuccessfully to turn me into a Shirley clone, then, she’d comment on my relationshipless social life and how I needed a good boy yada yada yada. I didn’t need this right now. My mood was considerably worse than I had let on, and I didn’t feel like going through this same conversation right now.
    “Shirley, just stop. We’re going to be late for class.”
    She smirked a little. “That’s not going to work during lunch, Addison. If you don’t want to talk about your need for a boyfriend right now, just say so.”
    “Okay, fine. I don’t want to talk about it. I’ll see you at lunch. There’s something I’ve got to do real quick.”
    “Sure. I want to catch up with Conner anyway.” Conner was her cutesy jock boyfriend.
    I nodded and headed to the door, pushing my way through the crowded high school hallways. As I walked passed many snogging couples, I shifted my gaze to my hands. Doing that in public is an obvious personality flaw. The only possible reason for doing so would be attention seeking, or the obvious show off trying to prove their worth with the fact they have a partner. Well, of course there is peer pressure. Their class mates and partners telling or implying that not doing so would be uncool. The mind of a young adult seems to be influenced far too easily. I received many stares that obviously said “weirdo” or “freak” as I passed the rulers of the peer pressurers on my journey to the door.
    I remembered what my brother used to tell me, “Trying to make yourself feel better by pulling others into your crap is about as low as it gets.” I could almost hear his voice as I imagined his kind face speaking these words to me. Justin was always full of opinions. Tears sprang to my eyes with the thought of my brother. I reached the doors at this moment and flung them open so the May sun could strike my face.
    A gentle breeze lifted my long black hair off my back. There wasn’t a soul in sight. The main reason for my choosing the back door. Hardly anyone ever came back here besides me. I found the little path I had worn the past few months which led me deep into the wooded area behind the school. Thankfully, I lived in a rural area. There was plenty of space to move about and just about all the privacy you could stand. I made my way to the clearing which had become a favorite spot of mine and sat on the bed of leaves still here from last fall. They had all but turned to mush now, but I didn’t mind.
    It was a good thing I had made it out of the school when I did because I could feel the strange sensations I often felt when my emotions ran too wild. I tried to will myself not to change, yet I knew it was useless. I watched as my hand changed shape. It became more rounded, and I waited for it to sprout short little hairs. Only a few seconds had passed when I found myself looking at a perfectly shaped grey paw. I knew the rest of my body had changed to match it, and anyone passing by would not see a girl at all, but a grey wolf in her stead.