The Cursed

She was breathing deeply now as her bones started to crack and she couldn’t help but think this could have all been avoided, somehow, if she wasn’t a lustful creature eager for the fuck.

Cal loved her softly and with tender hands, cradling her breast in his large bed as they watched horror movies and she moaned. Her back would arch and would invite the pleasure that always made her bounce a little higher, her copper mane elegantly tossed in the moment. She was bored and in want of adventure, touring the ashy back alleys that smelled of rotted meat and sour milk, vomit and spilled urine. She longed for dirty needles and the thrill of driving while she could hardly see through blurred intoxication. Prostitutes with rich red lips and torn thigh high stockings, held up with safety pins. The pimps screaming their product advertisements to the gentlemen clientel who drove slow enough, you knew they were looking for tight place for their dick to fit. The tame touches of Cal were none of these temptations.

She left him after that final good-bye in the embrace of shortened sighs. She loved him, yes she did love him like she had never loved any man who ran fingers through her tangled mass of red hair, pulling slightly, but not enough to hurt. The first time she slapped him during their love-making he threw her off, but she jumped back like a ravenous beast determined to dominate. Perhaps the wild creature was always lurking in her shadows, just beneath the surface, the first
layer of epidermis. Cal knew it, she thought, that’s why he tried so persistently to subdue and assure her of safety, but he knew that she didn’t want that. He must have known. So she left. She wrote a note while he slept that expressed her regret at the mode of this dismissal and explained that a face to face good-bye would be too difficult. She took her leave and disappeared into that powdery night.

Something answered her then and there, the instant, it seemed, when her heels clicked down on to the path for lost souls. She was invited in the half-moon light by a man who loomed handsome and cringeworthy. She took the proposition to follow him into maelstrom and the steps of hell paved with all her restless dreams. In a warehouse club with androgynous patrons, suckling each other in a sinister way, they drank real absinthe. Lit the match and sugar, let it fall in the poison, gulp it down. The first desperate kiss was a horror show of mutilation and massacre. They enacted the seven deadly sins upon each other: lusting for the flesh, glutting themselves on feasts of orgy, pridefully denying their enjoyment, greedily satisfying their pleasure crusade, exacting wrath of the fury with violent thrusts and turns, coveting each other’s orgasms, and slothfully wallowing in passion spent. She did not know who he was, the being that ripped her flesh like tissue paper and raped her body with anger and desire, but she allowed him to violate her, with a green cloud of fairies thick in the air, she surrendered.

There was no love. Only torment and abandon. Only fierce threats of unparalleled mayhem and disaster. She was succumbing quickly to the world of drugs and sin, no longer looking in the mirror at her terrorized face. Those lips of hers were spilt at the seams and her eyes black and yellow. Bruises in the shape of finger marks held definition around her throat, and the moon was not yet full. Sleep was a taunting deception, a fickle whore with no sense of accountability. It teased her. When she found herself at its door, almost completely engulfed, the madness began. There were bodies everywhere, disemboweled, missing faces and limbs, throats torn out, blood drained. Demons with yellow eyes feasted on their organs and hissed her name ‘Delilah‘. She woke up screaming every time.

The moon was a swollen belly, he began to change. He inhaled more drugs and fed her as many different varieties as he could find. Delilah would cry every time she heard his heavy motorcycle boots on the stairs. The small room they slept in had a dirty futon mattress on the floor with a single lamp and cupboard bathroom. They went to the warehouse clubs every night, dining on liquor and some kind of rare meat. He would dance to saturated drum and bass beats and lick the face of a fresh girl. She should have noticed what was happening, but she didn’t.

On the night of the pregnant moon, she felt particularly feverish, so much so that when he came home and touched her she didn’t even flinch. He smiled, a rare thing, and said under hot breath, “Tonight baby, you look beautiful tonight. I’m going out, you have to stay in.” She turned over, laying on her stomach and moaned. “Why . . .” But he was gone, a spectre dissolving into foggy themes of blood shed and injection sites. The window of their flat was small but when she looked up that bright orb seared her flesh and she began screaming. Her hands began to stretch into something like grotesque paws, she fell to her knees gasping for air as she felt the skin and tissue tearing and rehealing into an animal form and her body coated itself with dense red fur. Delilah’s snout protruded and her ears pricked; she was a very large, very beautiful and terrifying wolf. She broke down the apartment door and her night of unbridled chaos began.

The man was sitting by a garbage can holding himself close, trying to keep out the desperate cold that was seeping in through the torn overcoat. Something in the night made his hair stand on end and sent a sharp shiver through his bones, it was not the chill air. He smelled her before he saw her. That deep animal musk of wild unnatural desire and woman’s floral perfume, her scent was intoxicating and absolutely frightening. Like smelling a match and gasoline together, you know the fire will burn everything. He attempted to stand but she was in front of him before he’d even moved an inch. Her ivory teeth gleaming sharp in the moonlight, glistening with hungry saliva. She ripped out his throat as he opened it to scream and the blood fell hot on her muzzle. She buried her face in his belly and began to consume the meat of her first kill, swallowing the smaller organs whole, gnawing on the ribcage, tearing the meat off in strips. When there was nothing much left of him she gave a grim howl, the howl none of god’s creature could raise, its mournful treachery was an octave of annihilation. She bounded out for more blood.

Delilah woke up naked in the grass. Her face was caked in dried blood and a half eaten mongrel lay nestled beside her. Confused and scared shitless, she leapt up and began running towards what she imagined was the apartment. Lucky for her they lived in a decrepit neighborhood where a naked woman sprinting at dawn did not catch much attention. She darted up the stairs to their flat and was surprised to see a fresh door in place of the one she somehow remembered tearing down. Turning the handle cautiously while covering her breast with her other hand, she stepped into the dim room. He spun harshly and grabbed her. At first she thought he was going to rip her own throat out with those still sharp-looking teeth but instead he smiled exuberantly. “How was your first night?”
“Wha . .what?” she stammered.
“Any hot kills?”
“Whats . . .going on . .?” she was starting to cry now remembering the man in the alley and several others she’d butchered under the light of the full moon.
“You are like me now. A wolf. A killer.”
“I’m not a killer!” she screamed violently and pushed him off with more force than she knew possible. He flew across the room and his eyes caught a yellow gleam, the black hair falling dangerously in his face. “What is this? How could you do this to me?!”
“Shut up bitch and be grateful I don’t rip your fucking throat out for that little stunt.”
“Tell me what the fuck is happening, what the fuck is this shit Adrian!”
“I didn’t know if you’d actually been infected,” he said with a simmering voice, anger still radiating through the syllables.
“Infected?”
“I knew last night when you looked sick that there was a good chance it had taken, and that you’d become one.”
“One what?” she almost whispered.
“What the fuck do you think?” he spat at her. “Clearly you’re too fucking dumb to understand the gift you now have and the power that comes with it.”
“You’ve turned me into a fucking monster!” she grabbed a dress from the floor and ran out the door.

Delilah sped through the broken glass and hypodermic needles littering the streets of unwanted lovers, and she didn’t care. She thought of Cal and his soft warm hands. Regret. She had thought that was only a word for people with weak souls, but here she was thinking about the impulsive mistake she’d made, wondering how this lunacy had happened. She realized half way through trying to puzzle it out that it must have been their carnal lust, the biting and blood-letting that spread his infection to her body. She looked down at her slender form and felt a solid ache for mundane. This was a sentence, a curse, a lifelong stigma, and she realized she couldn’t even think the word for herself without wincing: werewolf. She was a killer, a predator, an evil fucking bitch. Her normal life, or any hope that she might have had of one day having a normal life was now shattered, like the beer bottles she walked through, shiny amber fragments glittering as the tear drops of her demolished existence. He had done it. He had known what he was when he brought her that night to his sex den. Had he smelled the anxious weakness of a girl still in love but searching for something surreal? He must have, because he picked her out of nothing and led her to this. She hadn’t noticed that she had begun to run hard towards a particular destination. When the door opened he seemed unphased by her appearance and simply opened his arms.

Cal was silent after she told him of the painful life she’d been living, the dreary delinquent warehouse with its drugs and fiend music, Adrian and his wretched curse, her bitter change, the events that followed and the brutal aftermath of learning her future. “I don’t think he’ll come after me,” she ended.
“I’ll kill him,” Cal stated gently.
“I don’t think you can kill him.”
“I can fucking find a way to kill him.”
“Don’t kill him.”
“Why the fuck not?!”
“Because I may need him one day.”
“What the fuck for?”
“To tell me about what I am now.” Cal held his breath, rage filling
his usually placid face.
“We’ll get through this,” he said.
“I can’t ask you to be involved anymore.”
“What?”
“I’m dangerous. I couldn’t live or let myself live if I knew I was responsible for something awful happening to you.”
“You’re not alone D, I’m here and I’m not leaving. Nothing you can say will make me leave you. I don’t care what you are, I don’t care about the mistakes you didn’t know you were making. I will help you and I will keep you safe.” He looked at her with deathly serious and merciful eyes. She fell into his arms and was soothed. Maybe there could be life after this curse after all. If Cal wasn’t going to give up on her, she couldn’t let him down by giving up on herself. Suddenly a frigid breeze swept through the room and she all at once felt his presence, his ever watchful presence: Adrian, that leering face, those yellow eyes. She wouldn’t kill him . . . unless she had to.

By Emily Smith-Miller

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