Would appreciate some feedback on this transformation scene I have written.
Thanks in advance for your time.
Aside from a constantly rumbling stomach, a shorter temper, and a surlier personality, blackout passed without event. Maya would have been grateful if she hadn’t been so hungry. All they had left was a few packets of freeze-dried cheese, long sticks of butter and a few calorie-dense granola bars.
Unlike Bryan, Alice and James, all of whom had genes that transcended humanity, Maya was not only human, but an animal, and malnutrition affected her more than the others.
She couldn’t help but notice that Bryan and Alice seemed closer after the bear incident. He had stopped flirting with Maya as much as he had done before and while he didn’t exactly flirt with Alice – she was too unapproachable – he looked at her a lot more and seemed to always find a way to walk directly beside her.
And so they walked on, trekking another two hundred, three hundred miles, sometimes moving north, but always moving west, towards Yukon. There was no sign of the Dreadweres – not a hint, not a howl, not a whisper. Behind her, Maya could hear – or thought she could hear – Bryan and Alice whisper about her leadership, or lack thereof. The only bright spot, if she could call it that, was that with each passing day, the moon grew, bringing back some of potency to her muscles that exertion and lack of food had taken.
One night, when the sun’s weak light filtered through the tent she shared with Alice, Maya couldn’t sleep. The emptiness in her tummy became a black monster that tugged and pulled at her insides. Maya gave up trying and walked outside. She knew, without seeing it, that the moon was full, and it filled her with a feverish energy. Her body tingled, her senses were acute, the black monster inside her tummy became tiny pebbles that chased each other in round weaving circles.
She had to find some food.
She walked on, unhesitant, unafraid, knowing not where she went, but knowing only what she needed. It wasn’t long before she came upon a glistening pool of silver water from which two white Arctic hares drank hungrily.
Without much though, much effort, Maya transformed. Instantly, she was bigger, stronger, more powerful. She felt warm – her thick brown wolf coat protected her much better than the fleece and woolens she had layered on. It was silent, so far up north, but her senses were sharper. There were movements and sounds in the vegetation that she hadn’t heard before. And there was something else – hunger – sharp like a steel knife running through her insides.
Silently, she approached the hares from behind, zeroing in on the one closest to her. She lunged forward. Maya had never hunted before, but the hare didn’t stand a chance.
Jagged white teeth pierced the hare’s back, breaking it. Instinct told Maya to loosen her grip, grab the neck instead. And now she held it, twisting helplessly in her mouth, letting out little yelps of pain and fear, before it stopped moving, and fell silent.
Ravenous, Maya dropped it to the ground and devoured it, ripping apart the white fur. The fresh meat was more succulent than the finest steak, the red blood sweeter than any glass of wine. Maya didn’t stop, she inhaled the liver, the kidney, the heart. It was over all too fast.
She felt better. She felt proud. Her first kill.
She turned to moon, invisible in the sky, and howled at it.
And from behind the sun’s ghostly twilight, the moon sang back.
Invincible, Maya looked around. She would hunt down the second hare. For her team. She should find food for them. She would be their savior.
The hare’s musty smell was fresh on the ground and Maya tracked it down easily. It was hiding in a clump of greyish white lichen and its nose twitched as Maya approached, before it made a running break for freedom. Maya clawed at it, killed it, entranced that her paws were also lethal weapons. It hung limply from her mouth, like a white furry washcloth, stained with cherry red blood from where Maya had punctured it.
She gamboled triumphantly back to the campsite, into the clearing, eager to hear sounds of praise. No one had tasted meat for weeks. Fresh rabbit. What a treat. She felt playful, almost jaunty.
They were all out of their tents wondering where Maya had gone. As they saw her approach, Alice blanched, and her hand reached out to the tent pole for support. Bryan protectively moved towards her. Only James watched Maya with interest, a bright gleam in his eyes. He was the only one who recognized her.
Maya almost laughed at their response. Didn’t they know it was her?
As she walked closer, recognition dawned in Alice and Bryan’s eyes. Maya transformed back into herself. She was hit by a chill blast of air as she stood naked, barefoot, in the snow. She shivered. Gosh it was cold without clothes.
Well, at least they could thank her now.
But they didn’t.
They just stared at her, eyes frozen with shock and horror as she stood there, stark naked, little drops of blood at her mouth and a dead hare at her feet.