Gypsies and Shapeshifters

This is a Story About a Curse Start:

It was the hottest month on record, the weatherman had said this morning on the radio as the boy slurped at his Golden Grahams. Lola sat next to him, resting the side of her face on the formica table and gazed out the open window, its curtains hanging stagnantly.

He licked his lips as he waited for the light to change, and jingled the coins in his pocket. Someone was tapping the end of an umbrella on the concrete somewhere behind him, a staccato, unanswered prayer for rain.

The boy had chosen his target: the old, wirely-haired woman next to him whose open bag dangled from her shoulder. He rehearsed the actions in his head; match her stride as she crossed. reach in and get out–split-second, unnoticed, just like his brother had taught him.

Finally, the walk light illuminated, and the sea of people began to move across the street, jostling past the woman as she stepped off the curb. He walked slowly behind her, wiping the sweat from his forehead away with the back of his hand. She hobbled across the intersection, body swaying back and for with each laboring step. He sped up when they reached the middle of the street, moved to pass the old woman and slipped his hand into her bag between paces, grabbing a long, slim pocketbook.

In and out, he thought smiling to himself. As he went to withdraw his hand he felt steel fingers close around his arm. Shocked, he almost tripped over his own feet as the old woman turned to look at him, her dark, paper skin rift with sags and folds, her mouth puckered into a tight not, the slivers of her clear, blue eyes like deep pools of icy water, making gooseflesh out of his neck and arms.

Her grip on his arm ached, forcing his fingers to loosen from around the wallet. He tried to pull away, but still she held on, still she stared, her mouth forming breathy words he didn’t recognize. And suddenly she let him go, and he ran all the way home, only to look back once at the woman standing in the street, still muttering.

It’s no secret I’m in love with the literary werewolf and shapeshifter in general. Blame the fairytale fetish. (I wonder what juicy sorts of psychoanalysis can be gleaned from these preoccupations.) Anyway, I stumbled upon some lovely, lupine things, and here are some:

Fairytale Ending by Rebecca Murphy
Queen of the Night by Marjorie Miller

Tyr and Fenrir, John Bauer
Girl with Wolf II, by Jessica Silversaga

Wolf Mythology via UPitt:

http://www.pitt.edu/~dash/werewolf.html


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