idol season nine | week 40 | 483 words
Wolf Ticket (Home game)
What I'd heard was, you go around the back of the old pine grove just before the full moon, and there's a guy who'll sell you a day's worth.
Nothing permanent or complicated, or even all that crazy. You buy a dose, take it somewhere secret and safe, and the next night, you use it. It lasts from one moon to the next, about all anyone can handle anyway. When it's over, you're already dreaming about the next time.
Everyone goes in thinking they'll try it just once, just to see what it's like, but then you get hooked. Nothing else comes anywhere close, and believe me, I have tried.
The first thing that happens is that all the colors change. They aren't just different, they give everything more depth—so it all looks more real. You can see into the shadows, too, see things moving that you might only have sensed before. Then you start to hear things—tiny things—you hadn't noticed, maybe even sounds from the other side of the forest. It's incredible.
Smells become more intense, and more interesting. You can almost taste the air, and by then you really want to—you want everything at once, everything now. The world is vivid and amazing, and you could practically eat it alive. The air is cooler, the earth softer, and you feel so swift and powerful that you run just for the joy of it, just to feel the spring of the dirt beneath your feet until you finally grow breathless. You move with ease and grace, so unlike how you usually feel, and with an aggressive sense of purpose that is bigger than you are.
Then a red haze rises up inside you, and that might just be the last thing you remember.
Later, you'll come back to yourself as if awakening from a long, dreamless sleep. There might be blood on your mouth, and a sick feeling in your gut. You might return home to find that a family member, a friend, a neighbor, is now missing or even dead. You'll try not to think about that too much.
You'll swear then that you will never buy the stuff again, no matter how desperately it calls to you. The whole thing is just too dangerous, the consequences much too serious.
That will not be the first time you've made that promise.
But after moons and moons have passed, the urge will come over you once more. You'll want to experience it all again, the hyperawareness and the added power, because you can never get enough of it and you never will.
You'll hate yourself for it, for all the things you know you've done. Calling them coincidence is a lie you can't even use to convince yourself.
The truth is that once in a while, everyone wants to be the wolf.
Sometimes, that even includes the sheep.