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The Werekyrii


by desert_gp_dragon2oo5

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Chelo, who was our Team Captain at the time, was busy stirring her cauldron. I watched her work in apprehension. "Ow!" The Chia jabbed at me with the end of her long stirring spoon. "Don't stand too close to the pot, Krell." She returned to attending the smooth, swirling mixture of red in the cauldron.

     This strange potion was the answer to my predicament.

     She struck the spoon unto the rim of the cauldron to shake a couple of drops of the potion off it. She then rinsed the spoon in water and wiped it dry. "Wait here, Krell." She left the room for a while and came back with a large, dirty piece of cloth. The witch was also carrying a small jar with a small amount of a runny grayish gunk in it. "All right... This is the last ingredient..." She opened the lid to scoop out most of the contents, "...As soon as I put this in, cover the pot tightly.... Try not to breathe in the fumes that do manage to escape, and, oh, open those windows."

     I followed her orders and let in the air from outside. Barely visible behind the twisting branches of dead trees was the late afternoon sun, soon ready to touch the horizon. Chelo set aside the near-empty jar and handed me two corners of the cloth. She clutched another corner of the cloth in one hand and the wooden spoon in the other. "Ready, Krell?"

     "Y-yes, Ms. B-Binay..."

     "Don't worry. Once you have a drink of this, you can go back to life as normal." I saw her glance at the bite scar on my left arm. "Y-yes... okay, I'm ready..." I nodded.

     Chelo gently swung the spoon and its contents over the pristine, red liquid. She then stabbed at the smooth surface and quickly withdrew the spoon from the cauldron. She dropped it and then grabbed the remaining corner of the cloth, "Now! Pull!"

     We forced the cloth down and covered the rim of the cauldron as air tried to escape from the reaction. When the bubbling noises from the potion subsided, Chelo gently turned over the cloth. Strange, peach foam had formed on it.

     She picked up the spoon from the floor and dipped it in water once more. The witch then scooped up the foam, and placed the contents in a small glass with some water already in it. She sighed with relief and then extinguished the fire under the cauldron. "And now... we wait."

     The sky behind the trees began to turn a faint orange. It was going to be the night of the full moon.

     Chelo turned to me. "Well, Krell, I can't wait to see you back at Yooyuball practice."

      For months I wasn't able to play Yooyuball with the rest of the team. Not only was I unable to play... I was depressed. My biological family had grown to be terrified of me. The team was all I had left, and I was incapable of joining them on the field.

     I had no choice. If I didn't take it, I would have been cursed for as long as I live. But with the potion, I still had a chance at life. Anyway, if it didn't work... well...

     I had nothing left to lose, anyway.

     ***

     And here's where my predicament started.

     I was headed home after a practice session. It was the night of the full moon... Yes, when you're a regular Neopet living in the Haunted Woods, you'd be crazy to be out in the night. But, well, Fanetti's a vampire, and we can't have practice without him. Chelo managed to create a potion to temporarily protect him from the sunlight, but there are always side-effects to that, so most of the time we practice at night. It's better to endure the side-effects, though... better than having our Goalkeeper spontaneously combust, anyway.

     We later got a better witch to create a potion for Fanetti's vampire problems, so he no longer has to worry as much. Too late for my own problems, though.

     I heard some rustling noises among the spiny bushes along the path I was walking... Usually, they're nothing special. I didn't pay much attention. I didn't realize that I was being followed. That's when they got me.

     I don't recall anything about the actual attack. I just somehow managed to get away from them. My shirt was ruined, and they ripped off my gloves. My sling, well... it served as a shield from some of the attacks... It's the same one I use to this day. If you look closely enough, the scratches are still there.

     Despite having my trusty old sling, I still sustained some bruises. The wounds weren't pretty at all.

     But hey, this was the Haunted Woods... My family wasn't going to freak out over it; my legs were already covered in scars just from daily events. But the disfigurations on my arm and hand were certainly something that they would notice.

     My uncle was usually the first person to greet me at the door. He was a brown Kyrii, just like I was, only with a little mustache.

     "Aye, Krell, what got you this time?" He glanced at my wound with concern. "Looks serious. Zombies? Mutant Lupes?"

     "Deranged Poogles," I quickly lied. My uncle seemed satisfied with the answer. "We'll get it cleaned up. Not to worry."

     We were a big family cramped into the same house. My parents, cousins, aunts and uncles, grandparents and grandaunts and granduncles... There's safety in numbers when you're an ordinary Neopet in the Haunted Woods. We were all very close-knit. I got into my room where, as always, a towel and a bucket of warm water waited. I kicked the door to my room close, and then retreated to my bed.

     I cleaned the wound with the towel. When I was done cleaning it on my own, my other family members did it again, and then for a third time. The wound getting infected was the least of my worries; I've been bitten by basically anything that prowls the night of the Haunted Woods. I was worried about what they would do if they found out.

     My first transformation into a Werekyrii would happen a month later. My family still had no idea what had really bitten me. I intended to keep it a secret for a longer time, so I told them I would spend the night at the Team Headquarters. My own team, however, did not know. I believed that nobody would go the headquarters that night.

     I underestimated how dangerous I would become.

     The morning after was not a pretty sight.

     They've since fixed up that old room where I first transformed, though the team doesn't use it anymore. I still visit it sometimes... One of the few things that remain in that room is a photo of one of our former players, a Nimmo named Mr. Blanco.

     Don't worry; he came back as a zombie a couple years later. They always do.

     The news quickly reached my family, and when I came home they refused to let me in. From that day on, the Team became my new family. They were willing to tend to my needs whenever I went through a transformation. It kept both me and the rest of the team safe.

     The monthly transformations however greatly weakened me, and we quickly realized that I was in no state to play Yooyuball. I had to stand at the sidelines, and I suffered more watching my pathetic replacement. Eventually, I couldn't take it anymore, and sought an end to my problem.

     That's when Chelo agreed to make the potion. It promised to cure me of my lycanthropy forever, and allow me to rejoin my biological family. It had to be taken while I was transformed, so after we finished creating the potion the team then made sure that I would be restrained when the full moon rose. They had to chain me to a stone slab, but I didn't mind the discomfort. It was either that or have another undead player.

     I don't actually recall what happened when I transformed. I never do. According to our goalie, Sir Fanetti, the entire team had to work together to force the potion down my throat. Once they did, apparently I stopped squirming and then fell asleep.

     The following day, I woke up on the floor of the room. I still had one leg restrained; apparently the team was playing it safe in case I was still dangerous. I looked at myself and realized that I still had a Werekyrii form. Daytime had already come, too.

     The team was also shocked by what happened. I was still a Werekyrii, but minus the violent tendencies. I could think for myself. We waited for days to see if anything else would happen... I didn't feel as sick as I used to, so I got to occasionally join in practice. However I couldn't have a permanent job yet, not until they were sure it was safe.

     The next full moon came and went, and nothing happened on that night either. Eventually we all concluded that I was going to be a Werekyrii forever- at least, on the outside. They then kicked out my replacement and I returned to my old game, better than ever. I didn't have exhausting transformations and, while I still have the occasional craving for raw meat, for the most part I could be myself again. No need to worry for another player returning from the dead.

     I eventually learned to use my new body to an advantage. Most players aren't accustomed to seeing a huge, furry Werekyrii on the field. They hand over the Yooyu pretty quick. I could plow through forwards and defenses with ease. It was hard for the opposing team to steal the ball from me, and my new body came with increased strength and endurance.

     And so, I learned three things. One, you could always count on your team. Two, appearances don't always matter when it comes to personality.

     Three, Chelo is a lousy witch.

The End

 
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