tagged Fantasy Shapechangers Emergent

Hunting Season

That little kerfuffle last summer? Yes, I had my part in that. I was a bit down on my luck and squatting in an old house down towards the river, and one night I wake up to yelling and banging - sounded like someone was trying to take down the door, which made no sense since it was not locked.

So I take the big flashlight and check, and find some girl leaning against the door from the inside, holding up the handle trying to keep folks outside from getting in. She looked at me, eyes wide like anything and glowing, close to a panic, and when a racket started up in one of the rooms, I didn’t blame her. Sounded like quite a few, so if half circled through a window…

“Move aside a bit.”

“They want me dead.”

“I noticed. Move aside, and get ready to follow me that way.” I pointed to the back of the house, and she nodded. I wedged one of my hair sticks under the door - it was the closest to a wedge I had on hand, see? It bought us a bit of a head-start.

She could have outrun little old me, no problem, but she followed me, poor little thing. That house was a really old one, with a root cellar with a heavy trapdoor, and it seemed like the safest place to me.

“There’s no way out!”

“Stay calm. We’ll just wait them out.” It wasn’t all that easy. We had to both hang from the ring on the trapdoor, but the weight of the three of us was too much. Folks from the mob gave us a break sometimes, when they needed it, but we had to pay attention.

“We’ll die here. We can’t wait them out forever.”

“Werewolf, right?”

She nodded.

“Not from here, eh?”

To that she shook her head.

“We don’t have to.” Just then another attack on the door distracted us. I’m glad gravity was on our side, really.

After a long while we could not hear anything going on outside any more, but then, as I said, the door was thick and heavy.

“I’ve been running and hiding for days; they just won’t give up.”

“And what day is it now?”

“Tuesday.” No idea, the little pup.

“No, in moon-phase.”

“Waning, half moon.” After a moment she added, “Only just past.”

“Thought so. See, werewolf hunting season is only half of the month, half-moon to half-moon.” She didn’t look like she got my point, so I said, “Between waning half and waxing half, you are a person, even here.”

“But not yesterday? That’s crazy.”

“Yep. But useful, right now.”

We waited a bit longer, just to be sure. But we did get away without a problem. I just had to find a different place to stay.

Based on the prompt "Waning Moon" by Eliza Gebow, combined with the prompts "eccentric" and "deadline" from origfic_bingo