sabato 11 marzo 2017

Monstrous appearances

Monstrous Appearances

Alana shot back on her heels, crawling back to the wall as far as she could. “What… What are you?” she demanded.
The man—or thing—she asked couldn’t respond. He just growled and slowly approached her, his muscles rippling under his dark brown fur.
Hannibal stepped toward the monster. “Will,” he said. “Will Graham. I know who you are.”
The monster turned to him and snarled. It seemed… hurt?
“Calm yourself, Will. I understand you.”
The wolf-thing started to growl, then drew back in small cries.
“Hannibal? What is this thing?” Alana demanded.
“Hush,” Hannibal said. “Give him his own time to come around.”
The monster staggered back. It crowed a howl at no one in particular, throwing its head back to scream, then looked back to the two humans in its sight. It ignored Hannibal, but snarled at the sight of Alana.
“Please, Will, calm down,” Hannibal said from the sidelines.
“Will,” the monster groaned. It was barely a word, but Hannibal understood it. He’d been waiting for a word like that.
“Yes, Will,” he said. “Calm down. Calm yourself for us. You don’t want to hurt Alana, do you?”
With that, the monster shrank back. It looked back and forth between them, clearly unsure how to proceed.
“You… You’re Will, aren’t you?” Alana ventured.
The monster whined a little and pushed itself back against the far wall.
“Will Graham?” Alana asked. She stepped toward the monster.
“Alana!” Hannibal snapped. “Be careful!”
She shook her head. “He just doesn’t know who he is,” she said. “I’ll remind him…”
The monster roared as she approached him, but didn’t make any moves to flee. 

Its furry legs and arms remained braced against the wall.
 “Will?” Alana pressed. She moved still closer to the monster. “You’re Will?” She was close enough now to almost touch the creature.
It howled a genuine howl, like she’d touched it to its very core.
“Careful, Alana,” Hannibal urged. “It might be Will, but it’s still…”
“I don’t care,” Alana snapped. “Will! Will Graham! Are you in there?”
Against all odds, the monster relaxed and reached its head toward Alana.
She stifled her fear and reached out to pet the monster’s head.
It cooed appreciatively, and in the sensation of touch, it began to warp. Understandably, Alana staggered back, and reality seemed to shift around the monster she’d touched. She—and Hannibal—couldn’t describe what happened in human terms, but after the dark gust of wind, the creature before her became a man. And that man… She knew that man. It was…
“Will Graham,” she muttered.
“Where am I?” Will asked. He was naked and confused. Seeing Alana looking down at him, he rapidly covered his crotch with his hands.
“Will?” she ventured.
“Where… How did I get here?” Will asked.
“That’s not important,” Hannibal intoned. “What’s important is that you’re here with us now, and that you’re not going anywhere. Isn’t that right, dear Will? You’ll stay with us?”
Will was confused—and even scared, maybe terrified—but he knew he was safe with Hannibal, and especially with Alana. “Can someone… get me some clothes?” he asked. He was still childishly holding his hands over his crotch.
“Shit,” Alana muttered. “Of course. Hannibal, can you get him some pants?”
Hannibal chuckled. “I can. But I doubt you mind so much, do you, Alana?”
Alana scowled at him. “He’s in trouble. How can you ask that? He was just a… A thing. Find him some clothes, Hannibal. Forget your old rivalries.” She paused, searching Hannibal’s face. He seemed almost… Unsure? Which was unlike him, to say the least. “Hannibal,” she said. “You know I’m with you. I just want to see him taken care of. I’m yours.”
Hannibal smiled. “Very well, then,” he said. “I’ll take care of him. Will?”
Will shook his head hard. “What’s going on?”
“You were lost,” Hannibal said. “But I think we can help you be found. Would you like that?”
“Lost?” Will wondered. “Well… If Alana’s with you, then…”
“I’m with him,” Alana said.
“Yes,” Hannibal added. “She’s with me. So what do you say, dear Will? Will you let us take care of you?”
“How… Why… What am I?”
“It’s not important,” Hannibal said. “What’s important is that you’re in our care.”
“Your care…” Will trailed off. “Alana’s in your care, isn’t she? Then I’m on your side. I’m on Alana’s side.”
“Good,” Hannibal replied. “That means we can get started.”
“Started with what?” Will asked.
“Your training,” Hannibal said with a grin. “As soon as you change again.”
“Hannibal, isn’t this a little much?” Alana asked.
Hannibal scoffed. “He is what he is, Alana. The only thing we can do is guide him along his path.”
Alana sighed, but didn’t resist.
“So Will… The next time you change, I’ll be here.”
“There’ll be a next time?”
“Oh, yes,” Hannibal said. “A next time, and many times after that. So… Don’t you want to do it in an orderly manner?”
“I guess I do,” Will said. “But…”
“But?” Hannibal asked.
“Can you find me some clothes?”
Hannibal laughed. “Of course, But you’ll only tear through them later.”
Will didn’t seem to care. He still had both hands pressed to his crotch. He didn’t care about Hannibal’s eyes, but there was Alana. He cared very much about what Alana thought about him. Still, she’d seen him as a monster, so what could she care about seeing him as a naked human? He sighed and let go.
Alana wasn’t as sure as he was. She blushed and turned away. “Hannibal?” she asked.
“Yes, dearest?”
“Take care of him, alright?”
“Of course,” Hannibal said. “I wouldn’t dream of anything else.”
“Thanks.” She began to walk away, then paused and looked back to Will. “I liked him once. Maybe loved him. But that was before you.””
Hannibal smiled at her. “Oh, I’m aware. But that was a long time ago, wasn’t it? Before his incarceration, and before… This.”
“Whatever this is,” she muttered.
“He’s changed. It’s some kind of wonderful, isn’t it?”
“I don’t think so,” she said, turned, and walked away.
Hannibal didn’t say a word in her absence. The silence said everything that needed to be said.
For his own part, Will didn’t have a word to share.
He just wanted some clothes.