After a long, tiring journey Mark had finally reached his destination, the house he had grown up in. He walked down that all too familiar little path between the garden and his neighbours wall, in the dark, dreary night. Each step was filled with dread the closer he got to the front door.
It was never easy for someone to return home after dropping out of university. In Mark’s case however it was made worse by the fact that he was a Werewolf!
Mark had been bitten by a Werewolf when he was just 11 years old. It happened when he and his little brother Frank were out playing in the woods.
The two brothers were very different people. Frank was somewhat shy and suffered from anxiety, whilst Mark had always been more laid back and easy going. Mark had more friends, and was very popular at school, whilst Frank was regularly bullied. Mark was also a good few years older than Frank. Mark was 22, whilst Frank was only 16.
However one thing that Mark and Frank had in common was their desire to get out of Hallet. Both of them much like Carla viewed the town with disdain. Though they didn’t know it in quite as much detail as she did, they always felt the people of Hallet were by and large cruel. The way they celebrated killings, granted only ever the killing of Demons, but still Mark found it to be in poor taste. Similarly he also felt that the people in general had an air of superiority about them due to their knowledge of the occult.
The Werewolf that bit Mark had been a member of a cult of Werewolf raiders. They belonged to the Lycanthropus Extremus breed of Werewolf. They could morph into their wolf form at any time, unlike the standard breed who could only change on the night of the full moon and the other nights on the week of the moon.
Whilst Lycanthropus Extremus’s could change whenever they wanted, they couldn’t spend too long in their wolf form. If they did then the wolf would take over and they would revert to being nothing more than a savage animal for several hours before turning back. The longer these wolves lived then the harder it was to remain in their human form, and eventually after a certain age they would just revert into nothing but savage Wolf like Demons.
The longest one of these Wolves lived for as a human was up to 65 years. This particular group of bandits knew nothing about Hallet. They believed it to be just another hick town that they could loot. They got a nasty surprise when most of their party were slaughtered before they could even enter the town by its protectors.
One of the Wolf’s however managed to escape, and whilst wandering the woods it came across Mark and Frank. The monster attacked Frank, more out of fear than anything else. Mark got in its way to protect his little brother and was subsequently infected. Before it could kill Mark however, the town’s protectors arrived, having tracked it.
A shoot out occurred where the monster met its end swiftly. During the fighting, Mark and Frank managed to slip away unnoticed.
As soon as they got home, Mark’s parents were horrified to hear that he had been infected. Sadly they viewed Werewolves as being every bit as much monsters as Vampires.
Mark’s own father, Peter actually contemplated murdering him to spare his soul from being damned. Mark’s mother Amanda felt the same way. They both loved their son, but neither could bare the prospect of him living out his life as a monster. Frank however begged them not to. He even got in the way at one point when Peter aimed a gun at him.
Though Mark tried to convince Peter he had no darker urges since his infection, Peter had trouble believing that this was not some Demonic trick. Nevertheless when Peter pointed his gun, loaded with silver bullets (which everyone in Hallet had, along with a wooden stake, holy water and various Demon repellents). He ultimately found he could not do it. Even if it this Demon wasn’t his son, it looked too much like him. Whilst he didn’t kill Mark, Peter would take Mark out of school for a few weeks and prevented him from leaving his house until he found out all he could about Werewolves.
Naturally this drew the suspicions of many of the townsfolk, but Peter simply said to them that his son was ill.
Peter discovered that the Lycanthropus Extremus breed unlike standard Werewolves did not have to change into the wolf on the night of the full moon. They could go years without changing. However he also found out that they would in the later years of their life be forced to change into the wolf anyway.
Peter told his son that he could have a quality of life for some time, but that as soon as he felt his humanity slip away he would have to kill himself. It was the worst thing a father could tell his son, but Peter did not want to be responsible for the death’s of anyone his son would kill when the wolf took him over.
Knowing that he would live a shorter live than that of anyone around him encouraged Mark to live his life to the fullest. He threw himself into his studies more and became a model student at school.
Whilst he remained close with his brother, sadly his relationship with his parents was never the same. They were always terrified that he might loose control and turn into the Wolf. Particularly when he would go out drinking with his friends.
After he graduated high school, Mark got an offer to study at the University of Pennslyvania. Both he and his parents were relieved in some ways. Whilst his parents didn’t like Mark being so far away in case he turned into the wolf. At the same time they obviously didn’t want him to remain in Hallet, a place where if it was discovered what he really was then he would be killed as would the rest of his family. Harbouring a Paranormal was punishable by death in Hallet.
Unfortunately Mark’s time at Uni didn’t last long. Finally free from the shackles of Hallet, Mark got a little too out of control, and partied hard, but studied and worked very little.
Whilst he had always been a fun and sociable person even in Hallet, there was always still the fear of being found out hanging over his head. On the outside world however, he felt he could relax more. Though even then he was still always terrified of hurting other people if his wolf side was released.
He flunked out of University after barely 6 months and with no other prospects he was forced to return home to Hallet.
His parents were absolutely devastated, but still Mark somewhat naively hoped that they would welcome him back.
When Peter opened the door, it was with a scowl to Mark. He knew he couldn’t hide his anger or disappointment so he didn’t even try.
Amanda felt the same way. Fortunately at least one member of the family was happy to see him, Frank. Frank had missed his brother dearly so much that he didn’t even care why he he was back.
Whilst Frank tried to make his brother feel welcome, Peter and Amanda quickly began to berate Mark.
Peter said harshly to his son “what were you expecting Mark? Congratulations for failing? For throwing a golden opportunity away because you were too immature and lazy to commit? What are you going to do now eh? Sweep the streets!”
Mark was a little thrown back. He already felt as low as he possibly could, but he had hoped that his family might help him get back on his feet.
Instead they were just angry with him. Amanda at one point screamed that Mark was putting them all in danger by being here.
Mark spoke back to his parents. “You just didn’t want to have to deal with your freak son. That’s why you’re so upset I’m back isn’t it”
His parents went quiet for a few moments, but ultimately they didn’t deny it. Peter said firmly to his son. “Well what if we did? Is it so wrong to not want to have worry about being executed for harbouring a Demon? Is it wrong to not have to worry about you losing control whilst we’re all sleeping? Don’t act like we haven’t been supportive of you getting out of this place. Just don’t expect us to treat you like something you’re not…. Human!”
Mark didn’t know what else to say. He knew deep down it was true. His very presence was putting all of his family in danger. Still he couldn’t help being what he was. He had only been cursed in the first place in order to protect his brother. Something his parents had never bothered to acknowledge. Rather than fight with them any longer Mark just went upstairs to his room.
He knew deep down that he was to blame for being back here. Whilst his parents behaviour had been shameful, ultimately the reason he was back in this godforsaken place was because he simply hadn’t tried hard enough.
As he lay down to go to sleep that night he laughed to himself. He had only been back in Hallet for two nights and he already felt worse than he had in weeks. Hallet was still the “charming” place it had always been he thought to himself. Sadly in more ways than one he was right.