February 11, 2004
All right, I know Iíve already written todayís entry, but the strangest thing happened, and I want to get it down while itís still fresh in my mind. It may be important later on, to remember.
I was out running around Lake Johnson. I donít believe Iíve described it before; itís an artificial lake, about two miles around, with lots of inlets into the land. Itís a good run for losing yourself.
I left the dorm around three oíclock, and set off. It was pleasant, brisk and dark, the very deepest hour of night. The running-path was paved, with trees on either side, and I was just hitting my stride, and coming to the top of a steep hill, when I saw a dark figure standing motionless at the bottom.
He (it looked like a he, anyway) stared up at me through the darkness. I saw the dark outline of his face, and could feel his gaze. He stood quite still, and stared.
People of all sorts make me nervous, as you know, diary, so I stopped running too.
We eyed each other, I looking down the hill and he looking up.
"Hey, dude, come here," he said, in a clear, honest voice. He didnít sound like he meant any harm.
But, feeling insecure with my manhood, and therefore that I had to defy him, I said, "You come up here."
"No, come down here, dude. I wonít hurt you."
I cautiously descended, and faced the figure from about ten feet away.
The forest path was dark; there was no light except the moon.
"Dude, you want to be a werewolf?"
He approached me, and I got a better look at him. He wore a capless visor, and his bowl-cut hair poked out from beneath it. He was pretty good-looking, and dressed well. He looked as though he might be in a frat.
"Do you want to be a werewolf," he repeated.
"Are you a werewolf?"
"Howíd you get to be one?"
"I got bit."
On instinct, I glanced up at the moon. There was the tiniest toenail-sliver of black remaining.
(Oh my God, maybe itís just placebo, but Iím sitting in my dorm room an hour later, writing these words, and Iím starting to feel rather odd.)
"What are you doing walking around at three in the morning?" I asked.
"I like to be in the woods when it happens," he explained. "Full moonís not till sunrise, but I like to chill in the woods, and feel it coming." He paused. "Ever trip acid, man? Itís like that. You go up slowly, and then you peak, and it takes a long time to come down."
"Three days. The best days of my life."
I am credulous by nature, and found myself believing him.
"What do you do when youíre a wolf?"
He replied, "At first, itís so great, I just like to be alone, and think. Itís different, I canít describe it. Then Iíll go in those woods" Ė he pointed away from the path, into the thick forest Ė "and take down a deer, if Iím lucky. Then Iíll go meet the pack. Dude, sex when youíre a wolf is so much better."
Never having had sex even as a human, let alone as a wolf, I just said, "I could see that."
He stared at me, wild-eyed and eager. "So do you want to? Itíll be the best decision youíll ever make."
I thought a moment. Well, no. I didnít think; I just told myself I was thinking. My mind was already made up.
"Hell yeah, dude."
He strode up to me, grasped my forearm, lifted it, and bit down hard.
It hurt, but I didnít cry out.
He let go my arm. Then he looked into my eyes and smiled.
"So thatís it?" I asked. "Iím a werewolf?"
"Youíre a werewolf, dude."
I wiped the spit off my forearm.
Then I extended my hand, for him to slap.
"Well, thanks, dude. It was nice to meet you. What was your name?"
"Youíre leaving?" he asked, incredulous.
"Dude, I got a probability test at eight oíclock."
He stared at me in disbelief. "Youíre not gonna be taking that test."
"Yes, I am," I said. "I have to. Itís like thirty percentĖ"
"Dude, I donít think you understand."
"Look, I gotta go study," I said. "Iíll see you around, Iím sure."
He eyed me over.
"All right," he said ruefully. "Iíll be in these woods." Then he laughed slightly. "Good luck, dude."
I turned, and jogged back in the direction Iíd come from. It hadnít been much of a run.
As I ran down the concrete path, through the dark trees, I thought, of course, of my future as a werewolf. It seemed, then, like Ė well, like having a girlfriend. Oh, cool, I thought, Iíve acquired an interesting possession that I didnít have before.
Anyway, Iím in my dorm room, itís four oíclock now, and Iíve got to get to studying. But I do feel funny. I feel damn funny. Clear-headed, objective, strangely without fear. Wolfish.
Itís five hours later, Iím in class now, I just finished my exam, and my Chinese professor is glaring at me. Iím writing these words on a plain sheet of notebook paper.
But that was the easiest test Iíve ever taken, my mind is like a scalpel, and oh, heís gotten up, heís walking towards me, Iíve got to Ė
February 14, 2004
Oh, I want to write. I want to get it all down, while I still understand.
The last three days were the happiest of my life. Hands down. That guy wasnít lying.
First let me say, while itís still clear in my mind, that happiness is in the moment. Happiness is always there. I donít know why I never understood it before.
Where to begin. At the beginning, I suppose. I was in class, and the Chinese professor strode up to my desk and whispered with hostility, "What are you writing?"
I grabbed my test-paper from the corner of my desk, handed it to him, and said, "Iím done."
"What are you writing?"
He snatched up the sheet of paper, on which was written the above entry. He read it, and stood there, puzzled.
"You cannot have other papers out."
I said nothing.
He added with a friendly smile, "Give me one reason why I should not give you a zero."
"I wasnít cheating."
He hesitated. "All right. Do not do this again."
He set the journal entry back on my desk, and I slid it into my binder and crammed that in my bookbag. I strapped it on and hurried out of class, into the fluoresently-lit stone hallway.
I had never felt so good. I was unafraid of anything. It was so unaccountable to pass people in the hallway, and not care about their opinions. One good-looking girl, as she passed, gave me a once-over and smiled
But I ignored her. I knew I had to find a bathroom.
I located one, down the hall a ways, opened the door, and stepped in.
There was a sink, a mirror, a urinal, and one stall. I stepped into this stall, locked the door, and stripped.
I sat on the toilet. I felt a profound happiness.
(Transforming into a werewolf, by the way, has nothing to do with seeing the full moon. The change simply comes when the moon-cycle reaches its zenith.)
As I sat there, naked, on the toilet, the change began.
Now donít believe the lies, that transformation is a painful process. The shrinking, in particular, is very much a pleasure. It was as if all my life I had been carrying, on my shoulders, a pole with a heavy bag of sand attached to either end. And now someone had slit these bags open, and the sand, the weight, was pouring out. All the cumbersome bulk of my human body was melting away.
Fur was growing; it felt like my whole skin was falling asleep. There was a painless stabbing sensation in my fingers and toes; I looked, and watched my claws grow. My ears elongated, and my head narrowed.
I did not feel that I was changing to a new form, but rather entering, almost re-entering, my natural state.
About a minute after locking the stall door, I pushed the latch open with my snout, prowled over to the sink, and placed my forelegs upon it. Pulling myself up, I looked in the mirror, and saw before me a full-grown wolf.
I stayed in the bathroom some minutes, acquainting myself with my new body. I felt delightfully free and natural. On four legs, one feels more balanced and in control, and closer to the Earth.
Then, leaving my bookbag, I walked to the bathroom door, drew it open with my jaws, and slid through.
I was prowling down the hall, and soon a young woman approached me. She did a double-take, then screamed. "Ahhh! A wolf! A wolf!"
My sense of self-preservation was wonderfully sharp; and I scampered down the hall and towards the stairs. I leapt down ten steps in one jump, pushed the building-door to with my paws, and stepped outside.
I emerged into the courtyard, outside the library. It was a clear, open, grassy space, maybe fifty yards square. Scores of people were walking in the early morning sun.
Though Iíd seen this courtyard many times, and never been bothered, it now inspired a feeling of repulsion. The origin of this repulsion was man. Man was everywhere; his buildings and stone staircases, his designer shirts and high heels and perfumes, and all the rest of it.
Indeed, I may say that during all my time as wolf, the only thing I encountered which seemed to me to be evil, was man.
I advanced cautiously into the courtyard.
People saw me. Screams began to ring out.
I gallopped, front legs to hind legs, through the courtyard and across the sunlit campus. I dashed along the brick walkways, past tall, hideous stone buildings, wishing only to get away.
Nobody opposed me; when students saw me, they screamed and leapt out of my path.
Eventually I reached the edge of campus.
Across the busy street was the evergreen forest, and Lake Johnson.
I waited for a gap between the loathsome, artificial not-animals which moved with wicked quickness, darted across the four-lane road and into the forest, and was free.
I first put some distance between myself and the signs of man. I wished to air out my soul, as one would air out a room to rid it of a disgusting smell.
A mile into the woods, I stopped. I scratched my ear with my paw, then lay on my back and rolled around on the pine needles of the forest floor.
Morning was just reaching its bloom.
I lay, content, on the pine needles, and smelled the world, as I had never smelled before. And, not far off, my nostrils caught the scent of deer.
No pleasure can compare with hunting. I had never hunted as a human, but as a wolf, the knowledge that prey was nearby filled me with a lovely anticipation, such as I had never known.
I crept through the woods, towards the smell. I took care not to tread on any loose branches, which might snap and betray me.
After about a half-mile I came upon a small clearing, and there saw a buck, rubbing its antlers against a tree trunk.
My heart awash with glee, I sprang from the underbrush and charged.
The buck turned its antlered head towards me, met my eyes, and made to dart away. But I pounced, and caught my claws on its rump.
The buck thrashed its body desperately, trying shake me off. But I held on and climbed up onto its back. It twisted and contorted, but within a second I had reached its head and torn out its throat.
It collapsed to the ground. I leapt off and watched it die
The pleasure I had derived from killing this buck, I should make clear, was not sadistic. I didnít care whether it had suffered or not. Rather, source of my joy, deeper than any I had ever experienced, wasÖ
No. I cannot put it into words. To catch prey, which wishes to escape, to catch it despite its best efforts, and steal its life away, is pleasurable and good, as making love is. I can explain it no better.
I ate my fill of the corpse.
When I finished, I lazed in the sun, happy, on the soft forest floor, caring nothing for anything.
The happiness of a wolf is very different from the happiness of man. A man usually requires some external turn of events for his happiness: he is in love, say, or is playing basketball, or has won the lottery. His happiness requires a cause.
But a wolfís happiness is not like that at all. His happiness is constant. A wolf is happy, profoundly, peacefully happy, only to be alive. A wolfís life is, so long as he is not in pain, an unbroken stream of joy.
As a wolf, one understands that it is foolish to be otherwise than happy. As a human, for some reason, one does not understand this.
I spent three days in heaven.
I roamed the forest, hunting, in the company of the local pack or alone; I mated for hours with a feisty, strong-spirited bitch; I slept a good deal, and dreamt vivid dreams I will not attempt to describe.
And never did I allow myself to dwell on the fact that I should soon be a man again: for the simple reason that such a thought would produce misery, and I disliked misery.
As the sunrise of the third day drew near, and the moon was almost on the wane, I was lazing, at ease, with the forest pack, when the thought struck me that perhaps a certain bitch, whom I thought very attractive, did not like me.
With this thought came the knowledge that such thoughts could intrude in the first place, and the whole blissful construction came crashing down. I knew, then, that I would soon return to manhood.
I mustered a sad howl, which my comrades answered Ė they seemed to understand my situation, and, indeed, were by no means stupid Ė and slunk away.
I hid myself in a deserted part of the forest, near the jogging trail, and waited.
Presently the transformation came.
This change was unpleasant. Physically, my sleek body ballooned out into its old, cumbersome form, and I felt a palatable, confining sense of pressure. When my claws retracted, and my paws swelled out into hands again, I felt I was being robbed.
Mentally, the return to normality was more gradual. I still harbor some of the wolf-spirit, even now; but it is fading. I am beginning to worry again.
What am I worried about? Well, what does it matter? All worries are the same.
Less than a minute after the change began, I was a young man again, crouched naked in the forest.
I emerged cautiously from the trees, and sprinted across the street, stark naked, to my dorm.
I hurriedly unlocked the dorm door, raced up the stairs to my room, and entered.
My roommate was asleep. I tossed on some clothes, and for a little while felt awful, defeated, and hopeless. Then it came to me that I might as well salvage what I could of the experience, and write it down.
February 16, 2004
Itís all gone. I could die.
I hate life. Reality is unbearable, now that I know how marvelous it can be. I go to my classes, and do my work; and I worry about what people think of me, and so am unhappy.
And the tantalizing part is, I know Paradise is here, before me, in this moment. But for some reason I cannot reach out and seize it
I am living for the next full moon. And let me add this: if I thought it would never come, and I would never be a wolf again, I would kill myself and have done with it.
I envy heroin addicts. At least they can buy heroin. My drug is only available three days a month.
I havenít seen that guy again, the guy who gave me this gift. To hell with him, anyway; it was not a gift at all, but a curse. Before werewolfdom, I could least I could pretend I was happy. Now I know, by comparison, that I am miserable.
P.S. I got an A on my probability test. I couldnít care less.
P.P.S. I stopped by the campus Lost and Found and picked up my bookbag. I also checked the campus newspaper, and read a feature story about a wolf running wild on campus. Weíre the Wolfpack, and the police are assuming it was just a prank. I was happy for a little while, reliving the memory.
Oh, to die, never to have been born.
February 22, 2004
Today I met the guy who bit me. I saw outside the library, in the courtyard.
(I canít go anywhere on campus now, without feeling contempt and revulsion for all the works of man. I spend a lot of time in the woods, just strolling around, or throwing rocks at birds.)
So I saw him Ė I had been hoping to meet him ever since my return to manhood Ė and hurried over. "Hey!"
He was wearing the same visor. He looked at me, and his face lit up. "Hey, dude! Howís it going?"
"Dude, how do you stand it?"
"You didnít like it?"
"I loved it, dude. I mean how do you stand it when youíre not a wolf?"
He looked at me in pity.
"Well, lifeís not so bad."
"Itís awful. All these buildings, all the stuff men build, all the fear. All I want to do is run free in the woods."
"I donít know, dude. Maybe you need counseling or something."
"Hey." I looked him in the eye. "Is there any way to be a wolf all the time?"
He shook his head and said, affectedly sympathetic, "Naw, dude, itís just during a full moon."
My last hope was dashed. I turned without a word, sped-walked back to my dorm, tramped up to my room, and cried.
February 27, 2004
Itís Friday evening. I was returning to the dorm after my last class, alone as usual, planning on another solitary, socially-pathetic night, and a crowd of happy guys and girls were gathered outside the dorm door. They were smoking cigarettes and laughing.
I passed by, looking straight ahead of me.
One guy said, "Whatís up, bitch."
I turned and faced them. "Hey, Iím a werewolf."
They all burst out laughing.
"Ooh, a werewolf!" the guy said. "Oh, donít bite me!" He looked up and searched the sky for the moon, which I knew, without looking, was not even half-full. "Oh," he said, turning to the crowd, "good thing itís not a full moon!"
"I wish it was."
"You are the biggest loser I have ever seen," laughed one of the girls.
I unlocked the door of the dorm, the taunts of the crowd still ringing out behind me, and climbed the stairs to my room. My roommate was gone Ė he always had plans Friday night, he had loads of friends Ė and I lay down in bed.
I wished the moon had been full. Iíd have torn all their throats out, one after another.
"It ends there. The diary ends there."
The bailiff set the stapled transcript down on the shiny wood table.
He was in a courtroom, with dull green walls and mahogany seats, desks and railings. There was a judge overseeing, and twelve people sitting in the jury box, who had listened, spellbound, to the reading of the accusedís diary.
This same accused was sitting, handcuffed, in a wooden chair at the front of the courtroom. He was a tall, brown-haired, unhappy-looking young man.
The prosecutor rose, and began his closing remarks:
"So you can see, ladies and gentlemen of the grand jury, that the crime was premeditated. The accused waited till the moon was full, in accordance with his fantasy" Ė he turned a look of disgust on the young man Ė "then somehow learned that the two victims, who had insulted him, were going for a walk around Lake Johnson. He crouched in the underbrush with a knife, and when they passed by, he killed them. Then" Ė the prosecutor paused briefly, overcome with revulsion and tears, and one of the grand jurors began to weep audibly Ė "then, he ate their bodies, leaving only their bones and heads for burial."
The grand jury glared in hot hatred at the accused young man.
The young manís manner, during this speech, had visibly changed. When the prosecutor began speaking, the young manís face had been careworn, heavy and miserable. But now, he seemed indifferent, even bored. He did not look at all concerned about the fact that he would soon be charged with capital murder and cannibalism.
"If I killed Ďem," the young man replied languidly, "then whyíd their corpses have wolf-tooth marks on Ďem?"
"Silence!" ordered the judge.
"No doubt," replied the prosecutor, "you found a jagged-toothed knife at some sporting goods store. You hid it in the woods after you killed them."
The prosecutor resumed addressing the grand jury:
"Ladies and gentlemen. Witnesses have identified this young man as the same who was insulted by the two victims, a week before they were murdered. This young man was discovered hiding, naked, in the nearby woods, just minutes after their bodies were found. There was human blood on his lips and teeth, blood which tests have shown to be of the same types as those of victims. ThisÖthis thing" Ė and he jabbed his finger at the young man Ė "is the worst creature I have ever seen. Ladies and gentlemen, you must find grounds to charge thisÖ" Ė the prosecutor paused Ė "this individual with murder."
The jury sat still for a moment. Then they stood, and filed out of the room.
The young man sat, utterly at ease, at the front of the courtroom. He no longer looked bored. Instead, he looked happy. He was smiling.
Some two minutes later, the jury returned.
"Has the grand jury reached a decision?" asked the judge.
The forewoman said, "Yes.
"We find reasonable evidence that the defendant, Mr. Jeremy Francis, did indeed murder, with premeditated intent, Miss Skyla McGriff and Mr. Brett Waters. We find, furthermore, that there is grounds to conclude that he ate the two victims. Therefore, on this Ninth of June, Two Thousand and Four, we the people of the State of North Carolina charge Mr. Francis with murder in the first degree, and with cannibalism."
The courtroom, packed with friends and families of the victims, erupted in cheers.
When the applause quieted, the judge turned two cold eyes on the defendant, and said:
"Young man, you are the worst, the most despicable criminal I have ever encountered, in twenty years of judging. How can youÖhow can you smile? Youíre right," the judge said to the prosecutor, "I canít call him a person. Take this thing away."
The young man, smiling, was led in handcuffs out of the courtroom.
Outside, a huge crowd was assembled. The Wolfpack Murders had made headlines across the country, shocking and fascinating the nation. Cameras flashed.
The police car, which would transport the accused to prison, was parked forty yards away from the courthouse. The police had to clear a path through the thick crowd. The prisoner did not help matters; upon leaving the courtroom, he let his body go limp, and lay facedown on the ground.
He was a tall young man, and, with difficulty, two policemen picked him up by his arms, and began to drag him towards the car.
In the blue sky, barely visible behind a wispy cloud, shone a full moon.