Once upon a time... Well, six years ago to be precise.
"Where's your sister? Her dinner's getting cold."
"So?" Marcus impudently replied to his mum.
"So, go and get her, you cheeky sod!"
Marcus sighed and left the table, shouting to his sister as he climbed halfway up the stairs. "Hey! 'Scustabell! Dinner's ready."
There was no answer.
"Fine. I'll eat yours" and he returned to the kitchen table.
"Didn't I just say go and get her?" his mum asked through pursed lips as she stirred the gravy.
"Oh, OK" he sighed, and this time went all the way upstairs and barged in his little sister's room. A quick glance about was all he needed. "She's not here, mum" he yelled.
His mum's voice floated up from downstairs, "Go and find her, will you. What if she changes without us? You know what a shock it'll be. Remember the 'Cousin Nathanial Debacle'?"
Marcus growled quietly at the back of his throat before bounding downstairs and out the front door, following his nose. "Won't be long" he shouted. "I think she's gone to grandma's."
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'Scustabell, a.k.a. Rebecca exited the woods, wriggled through the flimsy fence and made her way up the back garden to her grandma's house. The rear security light came on as she neared the patio, the dark, cloudy autumn evening lit only by its yellow glow. She found the back door key under its stone and unlocked the door just as the moon came out from behind a looming cummulo nimbus cloud.
"Hello, grandma! It's only me" she called out.
A rustling of fabric and the sound of a twanging bed spring preceded her grandma's reply. "Oh. Hello, dear. Just a minute..." More rustling and shuffling occurred before grandma spoke again. "Does your mum know you're here?"
Rebecca poked her head around the bed room door. "Dunno" she answered, before taking in the darkened room. "Why are you in bed?"
"I'm not feeling very well, dear. You'd better not come in. You don't want to catch your granny's nasty old cold."
Rebecca hesitated only for a moment before pushing into the room. "I drink orange juice every day. I won't get a cold" she declared with the fearless knowledge of youth.
"Even so, better not come any closer. Besides, I'm feeling a bit tired. It's probably best that you pop off home. Come and see your old granny tomorrow, eh?"
"But I want to see you now" she practically whined. "Mum's making horrid ol' lamb chops and cauliflower cheese for dinner so the house smells of farts."
"I do wish you wouldn't use that word" her grandma sighed. "It's not very becoming for a young lady of your age."
"I'm nearly a grown up!" Rebecca announced. "I'll be thirteen next year. Anyway, everyone says fart" she added. "Can I have a chocolate?"
Her grandma kept a box of Black Magic in a drawer in the living room, for those occasions when unnexpected guests dropped by. They were also handy for keeping certain granddaughters quiet. "I suppose so" she said. "Just one, mind. You don't want to spoil your dinner."
Rebecca trotted out of her grandma's bedroom and into the living room, where she homed in on the chocolates with unnerring accuracy. She stuffed one in her mouth immediately, hastily chewing it up and swallowing before returning to her grandma's room, closing the lid on the way.
Re-entering the bedroom, she made an obvious point of opening the box and choosing a chocolate as if for the first time. "Do you want one first, grandma?" she asked, leaning in suddenly, proffering the open box. About a foot from the bed she froze, holding the box of Black Magic under her grandma's nose. " - " she said.
Grandma shrunk back, pulling the covers up around her face, but she knew she was too late by the look of curious horror plastered over her granddaughter's face. "Oh, dear..." she muttered to herself.
"What's wrong with your nose?" Rebecca breathed with shameless curiousity.
"Well, dear, your poor old grandma fell over an-" She didn't get to finish her desperate explanation as Rebecca had stepped back towards the light switch and turned it on.
"There" she said as the room was bathed in light. "Now I can see you bettaaaaaaeeeeiiiiiiiii!" The box of chocolates hit the floor, scattering Amaretto Crunches and Mocha Truffles over the carpet and under the bed. Rebecca stood motionless near the door, barely breathing as she stared at her 'grandma'. The old woman's face was more pointy than it had any right to be and appeared to be covered in fine red hair. Except for her nose, which was slowly turning black and shiny.
Grandma gave a nervous smile but couldn't really carry it off due to her lengthening jaw and blackening gums. Not to mention her sharpening teeth, which she gritted as she attempted to, unsuccessfully, halt the transformation. She reached out to Rebecca with a paw-like hand, caught sight of it, and hastily brought it back under the quilt. Instead, she looked beseechingly at her granddaughter with amber, whiteless eyes. She knew it was pointless trying to say anything as her vocal chords, mouth and tongue were no longer set up for the intricacies of human speech.
"Grandma?" Rebecca whispered and made as if to approach the bed.
Before she could, though, the bedroom door burst open, slamming her into the wall with such force as to almost knock her out. She slowly raised her head, tasting blood from her split lip. She wished she hadn't.
There, growling and snarling in the doorway, was a huge, rangy, almost emaciated looking, grey wolf. It faced her grandma, until it's nose twitched and it turned it's massive head towards Rebecca, drooling at the smell of her blood.
to be continued...