Chaney, 27

Just outside the bedroom window, there are the sounds of crickets and wind and maybe owls. Spooky-lite. Chaney clicks on the little bedside table tamp. They take a deep breath.

 

Not to be super awkward, but… I’ve never actually done this before. And if you’re not ready, I totally totally totally get it.

 

Chaney takes a deep breath.

 

I’m sorry. You’re a person and I trust that you know what you’re up for. I’m just so used to pushing people away before they can get close, you know? So convinced I’m going to fuck the entire thing up before it’s actually gotten started, so why even start?

 

But there was this moment at dinner tonight… You sucked up a strand of spaghetti and a bit of sauce landed right on your nose and you went all cross-eyed trying to see if you could get to your nose with your tongue and you weren’t even embarrassed about it, you just laughed and wiped the sauce away with your thumb and licked it clean and I didn’t know it was possible to be so cute and hot all at the same time. And I like the way you talk about books… I like that quote you shared. “Every love story is a ghost story.”

 

“Every love story is a ghost story.”

 

Something spooky anyway, I guess.

 

Chaney begins chaining themself up. 

 

Hoo boy, I have to be honest; I never actually thought I would get here. Like, ever. I’ve been like this since I was 13 and I just assumed… that was it for me. I… changed, and that meant I was going to be alone forever. I’m still afraid of that, honestly. I’m afraid we’re going to get through tonight and it won’t be something… Fuck, I don’t know. I mean, you’re a rock star. I think you can probably handle anything. But maybe you shouldn’t have to handle everything, you know what I mean? Maybe you shouldn’t have to handle me? Does that make sense? Fuck, I’m really nervous. 

 

Also, fuck, sorry, but my back has been itching like crazy all night.

 

Chaney goes to scratch their back awkwardly and the sound of chains around their wrists clinking is heard.

 

It’s funny; it doesn’t hurt as much as you think it would. The Whole Thing, I mean, not my back itching. That’s fine.

 

I mean, the… transformation. Or the chains either, actually. They're padded on the inside. I got them from, like, a sexy website, so they’re supposed to be super comfortable. 

 

When the moon goes full, it’s a little like giving blood just at first, but sort of all over your body. Just little needle pricks and I have to remember to squeeze something to keep breathing. Have to pretend that someone’s going to give me apple juice afterwards and tell me what a good person I am. 

 

And after all the little pricks, after my heart has started beating like crazy… it just sort of happens. Because it’s not really a transformation, is it? It’s just another version of me, so it only hurts as bad as being in my human skin does. Which, to be fair, does hurt sometimes. But I don’t think it hurts any worse to be a werewolf than it hurts to be a person. Being a werewolf is just getting more stuff stuck in your teeth. 

 

Ugh, sorry, I always hate to say it out loud. “Werewolf.” Does it scare you more to hear the word? I wouldn’t be bothered if it does. 

 

A particularly loud owl noise here. Chaney jumps.

 

Sorry. It scares me too. 

 

I don’t know if this is too soon to say, but… No, you know what, better not. If you’re still here in the morning… and, believe me, there’s no pressure for you to still be here in the morning. I know this is a… lot. But I really want to show you all of me, because I think you’re really wonderful and I trust you and…  I guess all that is just another way of saying what I want to tell you in the morning. 

 

Okay?

 

Cool.

 

Chaney twists in bed, going to flick off the lamp, chains rattling, but they pause and turn back.

 

At the risk of being a dork… The moonlight lost its appeal to me a long, long time ago. But walking with you at night, the way the light frames you and illuminates you… I think I could get excited about the moon again.

 

Okay.

Okay.

 

See you in the morning.

 

The lamp on the nightstand flicks off and the chains rattle as Chaney re-adjusts in bed. There is one last deep breath and then the awful sounds of bones cracking and re-arranging.

 

Finally, just a single howl.