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    Tsukihana
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Nobody But You - Prologue. Prologue

“He went over there, y’all. Don’t let him get away!”

Etienne could hear the pounding of feet on packed dirt closing the distance behind him. Glaring waves of sweltering summer sun beat down from overhead, and the suffocating soup that served for Louisiana’s air was thick against his skin, but Etienne barely noticed. The wolf was in charge and everything else became secondary to his primal senses. Dust skidded out in a cloud behind him as his body banked a hard left, ducking in between the fading boards of a pair of shotgun houses. With barely a three foot gap between the two houses, he attuned himself with his route of escape, taking in every minute detail. Just beyond the houses a sugar cane field beckoned, a sea of towering stalks promising sanctuary from his pursuers. The smell of dusty peeling paint and the hum of window units faded into the background as his bare feet dug into the dirt and stunted grass. His Mama was gonna be some mad that he’d lost yet another pair of shoes and that he’d got into it with the other kids again but he couldn’t help it. His sensitive ears heard the boys getting closer, a small stampede of feet gaining ground. Etienne threw himself into the field, cane leaves scraping his skin like razors, but the pain was secondary to self preservation.

“He went in the cane! Get him!” The ringleaders voice echoed up from between the houses behind him, but hesitation overtook the others slowing their steps behind him.

“I ain’t going in no cane, James, my Mama’ll whoop my ass.” One boy said with certainty, triggering a chorus of agreement from the rest.

“Well I’m gonna get him. Y’all just be big babies then.” James’ voice was full of bravado and anger, refusing to back down, Etienne could hear his footsteps following his path towards the cane.

No helping it now, Mama. I’m sorry. Pulling his shirt over his head and regrettably shucking off his new pair of Walmart shorts to join it on the rows of dirt, Etienne let the full change come over his slight frame. Black fur sprouted from his skin as he dropped to all fours still running for all he was worth as paws like saucers transformed his hands and feet. Wolf ears swiveling up from his skull, and he could hear James entering the cane field, but he’d never ever be able to find him now. A long tail, tufted in blue-green fur, acted like a rudder, steering him away from his pursuers and deeper into the razor edged leaves, powerless against the protective coat of his fur.

“Etienne! Etienne Leblanc! I’m gonna get you, just you wait! Just wait til’ I see you next time!!” James’ angry shouts faded behind him as he ran further and further. The boy had put up a good show for his friend’s benefit, but soon he’d have no choice but to leave the field before he really did become lost. At a tender seven years old, this wasn’t his first or last encounter with the boys. James had got in his face after his sister Emalie had offered him an ice cream bar while playing at the park, calling him a weird eyed freak and kicking him in the shin. Etienne spit in his face and told him he smelled like cow ass and to leave him alone. His shoes had been shed somewhere on the run as the pack of boys had ganged up on him. But Etienne was loups garou, and even though it was a secret, he had his young pride to uphold. Waiting for dark to set in, Etienne trekked the mile down the road to his house. A small paw timidly scratched at the back door and he waited, ears bent low, as he heard his mother’s footsteps coming to the door. He was in for another good dressing down.

Copyright © 2019 Tsukihana; All Rights Reserved.
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Unusual start for a werewolf story only in the event of 'the change' being at least partially under the control of the victim. The area of the country certainly agrees with the mythology of werewolves. I am not much of a fan of mythology, but I will be reading this story just to see how the author works out the details.

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