Click. Click. Click. She rapped her nails on the table, sounding like a small dog walking across a tile floor. This analogy wasn’t entirely incorrect, though the words were not small nor dog (in the man’s best friend sense anyway). Lenore sighed and with a loud huff, rested her head in her other hand and continued her clicking on her kitchen table. What to do, what to do. The rain echoed her rhythm on the table, a slow and heavy sort of rain. The type that soaks you the minute you walk out the door with fat, heavy drops.
She couldn’t go for a run. Her girlfriend hated the way she smelled when she went for a run in the rain. Her girlfriend was a cat person, being a witch and all, but of course she fell for the werewolf. Go figure. Ana would shoo Lenore out of the house some nights until she dried out and this rain didn’t seem to want to stop. So that was out of the question. What was a bored werewolf to do?
Ana was out. She was out often. Lenore didn’t have to ask where she went anyway. She always came back smelling like spice and sweat. Ana said it was her coven. She never smelt like sex or lust so, Lenore didn’t pry much more into it. No reason. You can’t really hide cheating from a werewolf. People joke about people stinking of guilt and other women, which isn’t exactly incorrect, but Lenore doubted they could actually smell it like her.
With a groan of the chair, Lenore rose her massive frame and decided to see what mischief she could get into in her own house. Why not explore Ana’s study? Maybe she could set up a nice surprise for her or get some ideas for the soon coming holidays. Whatever Lenore could get into in the study was infinitely more interesting than watching water falling from the sky.
The stairs creaked as she climbed them, protesting their years of continued use. It was an old house. Old houses complain like old people. They ache and they creak. Lenore’s grandmother often compared herself to this very house before she passed. Living in the same place for that long, the house becomes a part of you, an extension of you. The house breathes and sounds like its owner… Lenore shuddered thinking of the house as a living being, something old and foreboding… But she quickly pushed the idea aside.
The upstairs was small. Simple. Three bedrooms, one converted to Ana’s study, one Ana and her own and the other a guest room. A small half bathroom with a standing shower made up the remainder of the upstairs. The house wasn’t large, but for two people, it was enough. Ana got by with her flower shop over in the city. Lenore worked as a bouncer at a nightclub. A pretty stereotypical profession for a werewolf but, it fit. Lenore wasn’t exactly a people person and her large size intimidated more than enough people. Plus, it was a mundane bar, no worries about prying other werewolves apart as they fought over who knows what. Werewolves tended to be….temperamental to put it lightly.
Lenore gently knocked on the door to Ana’s study. Ana was out but Lenore did it out of habit and half out of concern that if she didn’t the wreath on the door would curse her. Her girlfriend wasn’t that type of witch, but rather safe than sorry. She may be rather impervious to knife wounds, being punched, and other physical attacks but the spiritual? Not so much. Lenora ran her hand over the wreath of dried plants and herbs, remembering at one time Ana had described to her every plant and its purpose on the wreath. She had forgotten of course, never seeing a use for them when she was the house’s built in self-defense system.
She opened the door, listening to it creak and groan and thinking of her grandmother once again. A small sigh escaped her lips. It had been years since she had passed, but living in her old house kept her memory alive Maybe too alive sometimes for Lenore. She often thought of selling the place and moving somewhere out West with Ana. She and Ana had even fought over it. In the end, Ana’s sense always won over Lenore’s wanderlust. Maybe eventually Lenore would find a pack and a sense of belonging in this town. Maybe not. She had Ana and that was enough for her at the moment.
Ana’s study had a faint glow to it. On her desk sat a small terrarium with some sort of glowing fungus. Another thing Ana had told her about that she forgot over time. The dull green glow have the room an eerie appeal, coaxing Lenore’s curiosity out more. She had explored the books in the room before, questioned about this or that, but never dug deeper. Tonight, on this dreary, damp night, Lenore was going to explore Ana’s study. It was a challenge that made Lenore’s hair stand on end. She was excited and she could feel it tingling across her body.
First she looked through the book shelf, her nose guiding her across the dusty old tomes. There was nothing exceptional or new. Books on different plants, herbs, spell books, books passed down from Ana’s own grandmother and mother. Some books in languages that Lenore nor Ana could read, but she still kept them. For witches, books are everything. It contains everything they need, knowledge of hundreds of years passed down. Werewolves had stuck to oral history for the most part and even that was shaky and up to the teller to edit as they see fit.
The books were a bust. Lenore moved to the desk, sniffing and poking around Ana’s papers. She rustled and shuffled them about, accidentally tipping over a vial. The top popped off and Lenore scrambled to collect the contents back in but, there was nothing. Probably a charm of some sort Ana was working on. The bottle was freezing, as if it had been dipped in ice. It was cold enough to send pinprick of pain through her hand. In the glow of the room, the glass reflected small symbols lovingly and delicately etched on the surface. It was beautiful. Lenore ran her thumb over the carvings, inspecting them in the dull light. Lowlight vision, one of the many werewolf perks. Of course, not so much when you caught the people banging in the barely lit bathrooms of the clubs. Why anyone would fuck in the shit covered walls of that place was beyond her.
She continued her search, moving to sit in Ana’s chair. The chair protested, the arms pressing against her in an uncomfortable fashion. This chair was not meant to hold her bulk, it was definitely meant for someone half Lenore’s size, like its owner. She dug through the cabinets, ruffled through the papers. Nothing. There was nothing new or exciting to be found. She’d have to find another way to pass her time.
Lenore turned her attention to the glowing green fungus on the desk. If only she could remember its name. A loud bang startled Lenore from her pondering as the door to the room flew open. Lenore shook her head, giving a rough chuckle. Draft. Simple as that. She rose from Ana’s chair, tapping on the glass of the glowing mushroom’s container. She’d have to ask Ana about this later. Maybe should could help Ana out with some of the basics of her craft. It would kill time and give her something to do when it was rainy and she didn’t want to deal with Ana complaining about wet dog smell.
The hallway was dark. She could have sworn she left the light on. She reached for the switch. Click…. Nothing. Click. Click. Still nothing. A busted bulb? Lenore growled in annoyance, going back down to the tall pantry where they kept all the batteries, lightbulbs, and other household odds and ends. It wouldn’t open. She pulled harder. Still nothing. Lenore dragged her hand down her face and shook her head.
“You’ve got to be fucking kidding me.” She growled, pulling hard enough on the cabinet that it would have fallen over in any ordinary circumstance. It still didn’t budge.
“Fine. Be that way.” She kicked the bottom of the pantry and went back to the kitchen table, glowering outside the window. That’s when she saw it. A small flicker in the glass of the door. It looked like a face, or something. An intruder? Lenore spun in her seat, staring into the emptiness of the room. That’s when she noticed it. It wasn’t a person though.
Standing in the living room wasn’t a person. At least, she didn’t think so. Its body was hazy, dark. There was no clear outline. The air around it looked like it was warping, like someone sees on extremely hot summer days. And yet, the room was losing every bit of warmth. Lenore could see her breath and even that seemed to be being pulled towards the creature that seemed like a human shaped black hole.
Click. Click. Click.
It clicked as it moved. Not the click of old joints. Or even the click of small dog nails on the floor. The clicking was something heavy. Something sharp.
Lenore was frozen. What was this thing? It radiated something otherworldly. It felt ancient. It did not belong here. Lenore’s heart was in her throat. She couldn’t breathe. It was pulling everything of her towards it as it approached. It felt like her very essence was being pulled from her body. Her air was being pulled from her lungs. She couldn’t move.
Click. Click. Click.
It reached out. Not hands. Claws. They touched her cheek, feeling like dry ice and burning just the same. She didn’t know how much longer she could take it. Then she heard it. The car door slamming shut. The faint jingle of keys. Soon, soon she knew she would be safe. The creature, the shadow, whatever it was, seemed to know this. It moved from Lenore, sinking low to the floor, leaving dark spots on the floor and rug. Cold burns. Even as it streaked its way back upstairs, towards the study it made that same noise.
Click. Click. Click.
Click. The gentle click of the lock as Ana unlocked the door. She would have a lot of explaining to do when Ana opened that door. Ana would have a lot of explaining to do as well.
However, before Ana opened the door, all Lenore could focus on was the smell of an all too familiar spice lingering in the still frigid air.
Hey! My name is Lucian and I am the owner/creator of GenderTerror. I am a non-binary queer person who lives in South NJ. While I have posted a few fiction pieces on the site, this is my first one with really developed characters in approximately 10 years. I am most active on Twitter!
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