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The Wereleopard

October 10, 2013
Black Leopard

Black Leopard (Photo credit: Martin_Heigan)

I was one of lucky survivors of the terrorist attack on the Wal-Mart in Cortland, New York, or so I thought at the time. The bullet merely grazed my arm, but as I learned later that was enough to forever alter my life. The authorities were baffled by the attack. None of the shooters were captured alive, they all blew themselves to smithereens. No known group came forward to claim responsibility. The only thing that could be determined was that fact the Jets were training in Cortland was the trigger for the assault. One disturbing thing was discovered, the bullets had been coated in fresh human blood just before they were used. Exhaustive tests proved it free of contamination, viruses, and germs (all known agents that is). Where it came from and why they used it remained a mystery.

I was moody and irritable afterwards. My doctor told me it was a reaction to the trauma I had experienced. She was wrong. Three weeks later when the moon became full I learned the horrible truth and realised that the dead were the lucky ones. The light fell on me and I Changed. Screaming with pain I felt my bones, muscles, and flesh melt and shift. When it was finished, agonizingly long minutes later, I was no longer human. I was sleek and strong, a giant black cat, a wereleopard. My intelligence remained, but my emotions were faint and dim. Darker impulse ruled me now. I was filled by a raging hunger. I was driven to seek my prey. I burst through the door of my trailer with a scream of rage. Concerned neighbors had gathered outside their dwellings. I scented tender flesh. I circled to the right. Mouth watering I stalked my unsuspecting quarry. I crept up closer behind them and pounced. I recognized the face of my neighbors’ eight year old granddaughter as I sprang at her. I didn’t care. My Hunger was too strong. Powerful canines bite down on her spine. She screamed in pain and terror. Hot blood filled my mouth. Ravenously I gulped it down. Her struggles grew faint. I was dimly aware of people screaming at me and hitting me with a variety of objects. I gathered my prize and leapt away into the cover of the nearby forest as a hot spurt of fire scorched my side where one of the bystanders fired his handgun at me. I crouched in the darkness, feeding on my kill. Hot rage filled my mind. Humans had dared to hurt me, they would pay.

One by one I began to stalk and kill them. They brought in dogs and hunters to no avail. They thought of me as a stupid animal. They didn’t realise that my mind was as keen and sharp as theirs. The dogs I slaughtered and the Hunters became the Hunted. My reign of terror lasted for weeks. Day or night, I was too swift for them. I struck without mercy. I killed hundreds, young, old, or in between, it made no difference to me. I gloried in the scents of Blood and Death, and the taste of fresh Human flesh. The only one I spared was my mother. Some faint remanent of Human emotion moved me when I saw her face. My sharp claws were sheathed when I struck her down to lie in a crumpled heap on the floor of her apartment. They were forced to evacuate the entire town and bring in the Army before they could bring me to bay. Cornered I snarled and attacked them. Machine guns blazed and bullets shredded my flesh. Wounded I fell to the ground. They continued to shoot. A special unit carrying flame throwers came forward. My skin scorched as the flames seared me. I burned. I felt a dim sense of relief as everything began to fade, at last my ordeal would be over.
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In response to the “Are You Evil Enough For The October What If Writing Challenge?” Emily

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