I don’t remember the night Rachelle died. I don’t remember much of anything. But I still hear her scream, a distant echo in the back of my mind. And the taste of blood, thick and warm.
She wasn’t the first. I don’t remember the first. My own agony clouded my mind the night I changed from an average man to a ravenous beast. Too many suffered at my hand after that. I don’t remember how many.
Rachelle knew. It was the first thing I told her when we met. How else was I supposed to explain why I was curled up in her chicken coop half dressed and gnawing on feathered flesh? I don’t know why she helped me. Now I wish she hadn’t.
I was stupid for letting myself fall for her, and I knew it. I did my best to stay away, but the full moon always found me back at her house, asleep on her doorstep, covered in blood from my last kill. The beast within fell for her, too.
I swore I’d never hurt her, and she believed me. Why did she believe me? She saw the beast, saw what it could do, and she still begged me to stay with her. So I stayed.
The beast is cunning, but not wise. Another man wanted Rachelle, and it took all my willpower to keep my jealousy in check. Rachelle was faithful. She loved me alone. I knew that. The beast didn’t.
When I saw him kiss her, I tried to forget. She pushed him away, rejecting him openly. She hated him as I did. There was no need for vengeance.
But the beast only saw betrayal, and the next full moon saw my rival dead, ripped to shreds, and my beautiful Rachelle’s heart torn from her chest.
I awoke afterward not knowing what I did, with a sense of dread overtaking me. Memories came to me in bits until I pieced together enough to know my wrongdoing. It took me almost a month to find my way to where I could turn myself in.
Now I’m sitting in this cell with a small opening above me where I can see the darkening sky. I think of all the suffering I’ve caused in my life. I tell myself I’m finally where I belong.
They say I’m to die tomorrow. I long for the dawn and the men who will lead me to my fate. One of them knows my true nature, and he’s promised to use silver to make sure death truly comes to me.
The sun is gone. I start to close my eyes, but it’s too bright in my cell for me to sleep. I gaze through the small opening and see the moon. The full moon.
Tomorrow will come too late.