"Kale." a beautiful voice chimed.
"Jay. . ."
"We still on for the beach today?" he seemed extremely cheerful and hopeful.
"Yeah." her voice was indifferent. "I have to go."
"I love you, Kale." he said hurriedly.
She nodded, but then realized he couldn't see her. "Yeah. Me too. Bye." she hung up the phone.
She heard the turn of a key in the door and rushed upstairs, pulled on a pair of bedraggled pajama pants and throwing on a long t-shirt. Then she bounded down the stairs, two at a time, like she had just woken up, taking extra care to yawn a long symphony. Then she turned into the kitchen and stared at her parents, her father sitting at the table, drinking black coffee and reading the newspaper. Her mother was leaning against the kitchen counter, sipping something that looked like blood to Kale, but from the smell she knew it was heated Kool-Aid, her mom's favorite beverage and a disgusting concoction to Kale and her father.
"Hey, Dear!" her mother said, and a bit of warm red sloshed over the chipped mug, tempting, tantalizing Kale into an internal frenzy. Her claws started to sprout, and she stuffed them being her back hurriedly.
"Hi, Mom. Dad. Look, I was thinking I'd go out to the beach today. . .with, well, he's kinda my boyfriend. We we've been hanging out, and you guys haven't really been home lately. . ."
"Oh, no, sure, fine! Go, right ahead, Muffin!" her father boomed, a little over joyously. "We have to go to Spain tonight, so be sure to take your key with you."
"But. . .didn't you just get home?" she asked, losing a little of her spirited elation.
"Yes." her mother laughed. "Yes, we did. That's the funniest things. We had just pulled our bags into the den when Wilkins called us. The proprietor of our business in Spain has went missing. He wants us to fill in until he can appoint another owner."
"Oh." Kale said simply. "Well, I better go get ready. See you. . .when you get back." she planted quick kisses on her parents' cheeks, and turned to go back to her room.
Rushing upstairs, she entered the bathroom and turned the hot water all the way up. She let it run as she got out a thick, long white towel and a white rag. Then she went into her bedroom to survey the damage again. Two of her pillows were mutilated, and it was obvious by the excess of feathers that she had went overboard.
Kale went back to the bathroom, and seeing the tub almost overflown, she hurried to turn the knob in reverse, slowing the water flow. She slipped effortlessly and graciously into the scalding water. She sunk low, loving the burn of the temperature. After she had washed, she emptied the tub, watching without actually watching, the water go down the drain. Then she refilled the tub with more scalding water.
She took the water into her mouth and let it drip out. Even though it was as torrid as fresh blood, it was flavorless, colorless. . .bloodless. She sat back up hunched herself into a sitting position, resting her head on her knees. She lapped the water off of her knees apathetically. Then she ran her teeth slowly along her tender skin.
Kale grew her teeth and plunged them into her leg, savoring the blood as it trickled out. She drank for as long as she could handle, blood droplets splattering on the sides of the tub, then softly whimpered as she removed her teeth from the wound and laid her head back on her knees. She cried, thinking to herself, Who am I now? I have no clue what I am anymore.Then she pulled herself out of the bath, and towel dried herself in a haste, sobbing even more as the white towel was drenched with blood. She walked uneasily to her room and sat on the bed, her towel cloaking her.
Eventually Kale got up enough energy to stop crying and get dressed. She jumped into some camouflaged boy shorts and a tight black t-shirt with her favorite band's name in gold lettering. Then she dried her hair and spun it into bouncy ringlets around her face, neck, and shoulders. She applied a little makeup, making sure it was waterproof, she didn't want her crying to make her a raccoon.
By the time Kale had made it to the beach, Jay was already looking distressed, obviously debating whether to yell at her or not. She flounced up to him. "Sorry, had to get dressed."
Jay gave a petulant toss of the head. "Why do you insist on being so human, Kale? I can understand a little, I mean, I did dye my hair, but. . ." he trailed off."It's because I'm a girl. It's a girl's sacred birth right to dress up."
Jay moved his hand to her face and ran a soft hand down her cheek, smiling. "I don't want you to hate me, Kale, dear. I thought you'd want this."
She bit her lip, angry but not showing it, as Jay's touch calmed her down. "I don't want to be a monster. I don't want to kill people."
"And you. . .you said you were a vegetarian, too. How can you be when you have this creature unleashed in you?"
"It takes practice, Kale, and I'm sure it will be hard for you, seeing as you've had more than one square meal." he moved closer to her and kissed her head. "But you can do it."
"I did a rather. . .peculiar thing today. I fed off myself.""Ah, you have already started your transition. After a few months, you won't even need your own blood to sustain yourself. You'll be cured. Aside from the monthly hairiness, of course. And even more, if you'd like. You can change as you will, but you can't stay human on full moon, I'm sure you know that." she nodded, surprised. Then she threw her arms around his neck and jumped into his arms.
"And you'll stay with me? And help me through this?"
"As long as you want me here."
"I do. Always." she leaped down and kissed him affectionately. Then the young couple started to change, and ran the long stretch of sand, tackling and playfully pawing each other as they bounded into the forest behind the beach.