A Tracy Secret II: Learning Curve
Authors Note: This is a sequel to A Tracy Secret and takes place one month after the events of that story.
Alan Tracy sat in a quiet, thoughtful manner on one of the quieter beaches of his island home. The gentle wind blowing across the island from the Pacific Ocean ruffled his blond hair as he looked thoughtfully out to sea. The sun was low in sky as evening was coming, casting deep shadows and it was tonight that he was concerned about.
Tonight was the first night of the full moon, the second since the werewolf part of him had become active after his fifteenth birthday. Tonight he would once again transform from a human into a giant humanoid version of a wolf, and while he liked transforming like his father and brothers he knew he needed to learn control. Just like they had learned control, how to only transform when they wanted to, not whenever the full moon appeared. I hope control is not too difficult to learn, he thought knowing that the learning curve would start soon.
The sound of someone softly walking through the sand caught his superior to normal hearing but he didn't sense another werewolf. So whoever was approaching couldn't be one of his immediate family. After a moment whoever it was came to a stop and Alan looked over and smiled when he saw that it was Tin-Tin.
"Hi Tin-Tin," he said.
"Hi Alan," Tin-Tin replied sitting down on the sand beside him. "You seemed to be pretty intent looking out to sea there. Anything wrong?"
"No nothing wrong," Alan answered. "I was just thinking about tonight."
"You're worrying about the fact that you're going to transform again," Tin-Tin asked wondering if that was what was bothering Alan. Though he seemed to be well adjusted to the fact that he was a werewolf. Every part of her told her that Alan was perfectly at ease with that reality and even that he seemed to actually enjoy it. So why would the prospect of transforming again bother him?
"No," Alan replied with a smile. "That's not what worries me. I'm thinking about what Dad will be endeavouring to teach me how to do tonight and for the next two nights."
"And what is that?"
"Something every werewolf has to learn after the first transformation cycle has passed as mine has," Alan answered. "Control how to stop ourselves from transforming unless we consciously choose to do so and how to change back when we want to. At present I change into my werewolf form the moment the full moon rises and remain in that form until it goes down. That can't continue."
"That is true," Tin-Tin agreed. "You're worried about how it will go tonight."
"Precisely," Alan replied. "Something tells me that learning to control the transformation is going to be much more difficult than it sounds."
"That is probably true. But it's also probably easier than you think. However hard it is Alan I'm sure that you will master it."
"How can you be sure Tin-Tin?"
"Because I know you," Tin-Tin replied with a smile. "You can do anything that you put your mind to Alan." Alan looked at Tin-Tin and returned the smile and gently took her hand in his own.
"Thanks Tin-Tin I needed that."
"You're welcome," Tin-Tin replied squeezing Alan's hand, Alan returned the affectionate gesture and Tin-Tin was – not for the first time – conscious of how strong his grip was. And the fact that like all werewolves Alan was much stronger than her, having easily twice the strength a normal human his size and build would have.
"Were you looking for me for something Tin-Tin," Alan asked breaking the few moments of comfortable silence that had descended between them.
"Yes I was sent to find you," Tin-Tin replied. "Mom said that dinner will be ready in about fifteen minutes so I was to find you and bring you back to the villa. I had a feeling you would be out here on the beach somewhere."
A grin appeared on her face as she saw Alan's blue eyes practically light up at the mention that food was almost ready. It was such a typical reaction, especially for a Tracy. One of the many things that were subtly different in werewolves to normal humans was their metabolism; they got hungry more quickly than a normal people – like herself – did.
"Then we had better go back to the villa then," Alan said releasing Tin-Tin's hand and standing up before holding out his hand to help her up.
"Yes we should," Tin-Tin agreed accepting the offered hand and allowing Alan to help her back up onto her feet. Alan smiled and formed his right arm into a loop into which Tin-Tin slid he arm into, and then they began walking heading back to the villa.
A Few Hours Later
Alan looked up from his computer screen when he abruptly felt a familiar tingling in his head and a faint buzzing in his right ear which faced the door. After a moment he faintly heard the sound of footsteps coming to a stop outside his room, a second before someone knocked for admittance.
"Come in," he called. The door opened and his father poked his head in.
"It's sunset Alan. The full moon will be up in just over half an hours time," Jeff said walking up to his youngest son. "Are you ready?"
"As ready as I can be Dad," Alan admitted saving what he had been doing and closing down the computer before turning to look at his father.
"It's not as hard as you think," Jeff said reassuringly. "It will probably take one or two days for you to get it, it always does, but its relatively easy to control. Just learning to ignore the instinct that's screaming at you to transform is the hard bit. As it is you'll always get partial change."
"Partial change what do you mean by that Dad?"
"Just when you go to bed some aspects of the werewolf show just before you go to sleep and stay there for awhile," Jeff replied.
"It varies with individuals," Jeff explained. "Generally eyes change colour, your hair turns into fur and you get a little bit of fur down your spine. What happens after that varies with the individual but it's never anywhere near a full transformation."
"And it only happens on full moon nights," Alan questioned wanting to be sure he understood.
"Yes. The change only really shows when you're about to go to sleep and you relax," Jeff answered. "Though it can show with strong emotions as well especially with anger. Though when the wolf shows with emotions it usually just in the eyes and your voice gets a bit deeper."
Alan nodded in understanding. It made sense that the werewolf part of them would show visibly from time-to-time in certain situations. Especially during the period of the full moon as it was very close to surface so to speak. Out of the corner of his eye he saw the light through his bedroom window change, get darker as the sun sunk below the horizon. Almost immediately he felt the sensation he had first experienced a month before. A strange warmth deep inside him, at the very core of his being along with a strange but not unpleasant tingle of anticipation that spread outwards from that ever so slowly increasing warmth deep inside.
"Alan," Jeff asked seeing Alan stiffen slightly, even as he felt the familiar sensation himself but put it out of his mind.
"It's nothing Dad," Alan replied. "Just this feeling is a bit distracting."
"I know it can be but that can be your first lesson," Jeff answered. "How to ignore the feeling. You won't get rid of it entirely so don't even try."
"How? How do I do that Dad?" Alan asked. Jeff thought for a moment, trying to remember how he had taught Alan's brothers how to ignore the feeling of the approaching full moon.
"Close your eyes Alan," he said at last. "Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths but don't open your eyes again."
Alan raised an eyebrow but closed his eyes and took a series of very deep, calming breaths. Seeing his youngest son following his instructions Jeff smiled slightly.
"Keep taking deep breaths. In your mind picture the feeling, tell me what you see."
Alan kept his eyes tightly closed and continued taking deep breaths, all the while focusing slightly on the feeling inside him. Slowly deep within the recesses of his mind a picture began to form. A picture of a small amber sphere – like a small star. It pulsed softly, giving off waves of light.
"I see a sphere," he said softly his voice seemingly far away, almost like the world didn't exist anymore. "Like a small star amber in colour, it's pulsing softly giving off waves of light."
"Now imagine a barrier appearing around the sphere," his father's voice answered like his own seeming to come from very far away. "Containing the waves, focus on building the barrier."
Focusing on the sphere he saw in his mind Alan imagined a second sphere, transparent and larger appearing around the amber one. Slowly he built it encasing the small amber star in a larger mantle of transparent material; the waves of light hit the outer sphere and shattered, refracting back in upon themselves.
"I think I've done it," he said softly.
"Good. Now push the image away, push it right to the back of your mind." Alan was faintly aware of himself nodding, though like when he spoke or heard it seemed light years away. Slowly he pushed the image away, making it recede into the mental darkness, becoming a distant point of light.
"Good now open your eyes and breathe normally," his father's voice instructed.
Alan opened his eyes and reality burst back in on him with breathtaking suddenness that momentarily stole the breath from his lungs. But something was different now; the feeling was still there but muted, distant, easy to ignore. He looked up to see Jeff smiling warmly, proudly at him.
"See that wasn't so hard was it," Jeff said as he waited for Alan to get his breath back.
"No it wasn't," Alan replied at last. "But I am guessing that it won't be so easy blocking the transformation from happening." Jeff just smiled.
"You'll see," he replied. "Now then we better head out there isn't long now until the moon rises."
Alan nodded and stood up; he couldn't help but be nervous considering what was coming. What he was going to be learning on how to control the part of him that had only so recently awoken. Though he knew Tin-Tin and his father were right, he would be able to learn to control his transformation.
In fact he guessed it was a must skill to learn for his kind in the modern world. In today's world they couldn't all live in remote areas or have out of the way places to go when the full moon appeared and they felt the instinct to transform from fit-looking humans into eight foot tall nine hundred odd pound anthropomorphic wolves. He couldn't help but wonder how werewolves who lived in cities and other built up urban areas managed, given that even after learning control they still had to transform from time to time. Maybe they go on holidays when the three month mark comes around, he thought, or get in cars and drive to quiet areas outside of town where they can transform without potentially frightening anyone. If I ever meet another werewolf who lives in a town or city I will have to ask, just for curiosity sake.
"Lead on then Dad," he said at last. Jeff smiled again and nodded, then led the way out of the room. Alan followed him, ignoring – to the best of his abilities – the butterflies of nerves fluttering around in his stomach. Tonight was certainly going to be interesting.