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Full Moon Rising (standard:horror, 670 words)
Author: SareAdded: Oct 29 2001Views/Reads: 2813/0Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
Written on a dare and published here as a challenge...

Once upon a time, there was a girl who lived in a castle.  She wasnít a
princess, or a queen, or a beautiful maid.  She was just a girl who 
lived in a castle because thatís where home was.  She lived in only a 
small part of the castle, a few rooms in the East wing that were in 
relatively good shape. 

The castle sat at the end of a long, winding road, that led up from the
village in the valley.  It was called Hilltop, because the original 
owners hadnít any imaginations.  Though perhaps they had, because it 
was certainly a joke of a hill.  It was a hill by association: in 
comparison to the valley village. 

The girl had impossibly white skin, long silvery hair, and large,
grayish eyes reminiscent of the ocean after a storm. 

Her name was Claire, and she was fairly young.  Young enough to still be
called a girl (for this was before there was talk of feminism), but old 
enough to be living in this castle on her own.  Why was she living in 
the East wing of this dilapidated castle, you ask?  I havenít the 
faintest idea.  She liked it, I suppose.  It was quiet and peaceful, 
and so long as one didnít mind a few furry friends to share the 
nighttime, there were very few drawbacks.  Claire didnít mind those 
furry friends at all. 

The castle had been deserted when she came to it, and mostly falling
apart.  It was still falling apart, of course, more so every spring, 
when the snow and ice fell in sheets as they melted from the roof, 
taking more and more of that roof with them.  The beautiful stonework 
in the front parlour was cracked, the intricate wooden moldings were 
rotted.  The ivy that had once graced the marble columns now threatened 
to swallow the whole castle. 

There was a horse in the old barn.  Claire had had to repair some of it
in order to house her horse there, but she had climbed gamely up onto 
the roof, wielded her hammer gracefully, and managed with only a few 
lost wits and bruised thumbs.  Now her horse, Ophelia, was happy and 
cozy in her new home. 

One dark and stormy night near the end of October, Claire headed out to
the barn, her dark woolen cloak pulled tightly around her, covering her 
head.  Ophelia reared at the sight of her, frightened as she always was 
when Claire appeared to be different in some way.  After soothing her 
beloved horse, Claire got out the bridle and saddle.  Minutes later the 
two rode off into the night. 

As they rode down the long, winding road, past the village and through
the valley beyond, heading straight west although the road didnít 
follow, crashing through the underbrush and dodging the sudden hail, 
Claire threw off her hood and looked through the trees at the moon.  
Halting the horse with startling suddenness, she leapt from the saddle 
and sent Ophelia racing away with a quick slash at her flank. 

Throwing off her cloak to reveal the bare white skin beneath it,
impossibly pale in the feeble moonlight, Claire stood unflinching in 
the pounding rain, until that rain finally ceased to fall.  To Ophelia, 
watching from a safe distance and seeing with her unique equine 
perception, it appeared that her mistress disappeared, only to reappear 
a moment later, fur shining silver in the moonlight, teeth bared and 
eyes gleaming.  The clouds that had brought the rain quickly 
dissipated, leaving only the brightness of the full moon, shining on 
this magnificent creature, neither woman nor beast, with tail and head 
held high, eyes searching, nose twitching, until with a snarl she 
raised her head to face the moon, and opened her mouth, howling. 

The wolf's howl brings a chill to your bones, a shiver along your spine.
Your head turns, but too late, and you close your eyes against the 
sight of the silver fur, luminous in the moonlight, hurtling towards 


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