How to be a Werewolf
Pages 1 through 13 inclusive. Total pages: 13
The young lady behind the counter holds out a customer's change and wishes them a nice day. She closes the cash drawer with a thunk and begins to greet the next in line. With a blank expression, Malaya lets out a weary "oh." A cantankerous customer is standing at the counter, pushing his cup at her and telling her she made his coffee wrong, as usual. She apologizes and then stoically waits as he lists his requirements for his order. She turns and starts remaking the man's drink, while the other woman behind the counter, Charlene, comments on his bad attitude. Malaya replies that he's been doing this for three years. Malaya completes the customer's order, telling Charlene she makes the drink the same way as before, and he's fine with it the second time. Charlene tell her she'd tell the guy to go to hell, but it's her shop. A tall young man enters the coffee shop just as the grumpy old man is tasting his coffee. The old man decides it's adequate as the young man looks on. He approaches the service counter when Malaya calls out "Next". While he contemplates his order, he seems to notice something and starts sniffing rapidly around the counter area, and Malaya, creeping her out. Leaning away from the young man, Mal mumbles under her breath that she is officially weirded out while she tries to call the young man's attention to his behavior. Finally noticing how he's acting, he tries to cover by asking what they're baking in the back. Mal tells him scones. Clearly embarrassed, he finally orders a latte, wearing an abashed grin. Going through the steps of getting his order, Malaya asks for his name to write on the cup, and he tells her Elias, but Eli is fine. She quickly finishes his simple order and places it up on the counter. She watches him leave with a bemused look on her face. Charlene remarks that the full moon is bringing the weirdos out early. Malaya answers that maybe he just fucking loves scones.
Back at her home, Malaya heads downstairs after changing out of her work clothes. Her mother tells her that her brother is out working on a group project. She asks if Malaya is going to be okay home alone, concerned about leaving her alone during the full moon. Her father tells her that the event they will be attending will run late but not too late. He says he'll cover the café the next day to make it easier for her. She tells her mother she hopes she wins the award. Her mother laughingly tells her she's the only evolutionary biologist they have right now, so hopefully there is no other choice. Her father tells her to stay safe and call if she needs to, or call her brother. She watches them leave and drive down the long driveway, locking the door once they're out of sight.
Once Malaya's parents are out of sight, Elias approaches the end of the driveway. Looking thoughtfully up at the moon, Elias gives himself a pep talk, telling himself that he must speak to Malaya before he leaves town, no matter how weird their first encounter had been, and expressing the hope that she won't tear his face right off his face. In the mean time, Malaya has spotted him, and she is keeping an eye on him from a window. He knocks at her front door, apologizing to her for being a total creeper. Without opening the door, she yells at him to go away, angrily shouting she doesn't know how he found her but he needs to leave. He continues to apologize and tells her he came to warn her that there's some weird stuff going on in her town lately. He continues talking, telling her that despite her amazing camouflage, he was still able to track her, and he's worried others might too. She tells him she has no idea what he's talking about and asks why she's in danger.
From the edge of the woods, something rustles in the underbrush. A figure with glowing eyes is watching the house from cover.
Elias explains that some people had been killed lately, and he thinks there might be a pack on the move, trying and failing to turn new wolves. Her response tells him they are not on the same page. Elias tells her that they have something in common and begins removing his coat. She starts a threat to call the cops, but she peters out when she sees his glowing eyes and the changes to his face and hands. Scratching at a sideburn, he guesses that she's having a night in because she's got hair in places where there was no hair before… Partially transformed herself, Malaya throws open the door and rushes outside, moving impossibly fast.
At the edge of the woods, a partially transformed werewolf with glowing eyes continues watching the house from cover. When she sees Malaya, something about her frightens the watcher, causing her to turn and dash into the woods.
After giving Eli a quick and thorough once over, Malaya accusingly states that there's a full moon, yet he looked human earlier. He answers that it's difficult, but he's had his whole life to learn control. Elias quizzes her about her involuntary transformation. and with a shrug, she replies that it's been this way since she was a child. Eli says there was no record of a pack living in the area, which is why he was surprised by her scent in the café. Eli is bewildered by her being on her own with only humans for support for so long, and that she'd never met another werewolf. Her response is that she has her family and that's enough. Elias offers to help her learn how to be a werewolf, and while still mistrustful of him and how he found her, she reluctantly accepts his offer and agrees to meet with him the following day. Stepping off the front porch, Elias tells her he'll get out of her hair now … and her extra hair. She snarls at him that he's not funny. While he has changed back to fully human, she is stuck.
Heading off to the kitchen, Malaya engages in a short soliloquy chastising herself for jumping at the opportunity to continue talking to the strange sniffing guy, just because she'd never met another werewolf. She grumbles to the refrigerator that normal people don't follow your scent to your house… Saying screw it, she marches off to bed, pulling the covers over her head and shutting out the world. Outside her window, a wolf howl echoes through the surrounding woods … and Malaya's eyes start glowing.