The Werecat and the Stranger by Charles Robertson word count: 382 #weeklywritingcontest @danielandangel

As the New Moon lurked unseen above, Allison grew wearied and cold. She had left in only her short jeans, brassiere, and socks; in the midst of changing into her pyjamas for the night, as dusk approached, the outside seemed to call to her. It was a call even the strongest of wills would not reject, and she went forth to it without hesitation. Now, alone in an unlit wooded area of The Town, she continued through the pitch black maze of trees, somehow knowing which direction she was meant to go. Under branch, over root, through boggy mud, and around bushes she would stride, even as she grew weaker, and heat and light became a distant memory. Then she found it, a recently dug patch of dirt covering something. 饾槏饾槹饾槹饾槬, a voice within her whispered. As she used her hands---which seemed more like balding paws with opposable thumbs---she felt a hand, not of hers, but a rotten cadaver's! She screamed and pounced back. In covering her mouth, she only now realised she was growing whiskers, how feline-esque her hands had become, and the tail stroking against her back. She screamed again in horror, as if it would awake her from some nightmare. 'Your kind always come to these bodies,' an unknown man's voice said. 'Something about them, they don't rot right and it attracts all the skin-changers when they're ... changing. I wait for them.' Allison was too weak to run, but could mutter some words, 'did ... you ...' '... kill them?' The man finished for her. 'Nope, found them right here, one's head smashed in till it looked like bolognese.' Allison could feel her entire body engulfed with fur, whiskers now extending wider than her face, and the tail had doubled in size. She began to suddenly feel heat again, but was not welcoming to it as she endured what one might in a brazen bull; her body twisted in sickening convulsions, too queer in pattern for any man to describe clearly. She was once again screaming---though no longer in fear, it was agony. 'I'm sorry, I truly am,' the stranger stammered, as much from fear as deep sympathy. He took aim with his shotgun at the wailing, feline-woman monstrousity, and fired. And he fired again, to be certain.

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