Sunday, January 13, 2013

Woods Random Legacy: Chapter 17 - The Other Side of the Story

It was the night of the full moon.  Lane Woods had been preparing for this moment for most of his life, his explorations, research and effort all boiling down to a vial of amber liquid to be drunk on this night.  He'd expected to be more nervous than he was; in fact, he had been, up until he woke up from the after-school nap he'd taken in preparation for the night.  A curious sense of calm had come over him then, banishing the butterflies from his stomach.  He tapped out a quick text to Locke, grabbed the potion vial, and snuck out of the house towards Stoney Falls.  Gobias Koffi had died a few days ago, so that was one person not to worry about interfering, but Lane was on his guard for anyone else - especially VJ - who might try to stop him.

He made it to the meeting spot without incident, and found his boyfriend waiting there.  Luckily, Locke had managed to get the night off work.
Neither of them were sure what to expect, so Locke waited a few yards away as Lane undid the stopper on the bottle and downed the liquid in a single gulp.  It went down his throat like liquid fire, the burning sensation lingering in his mouth and throat for what felt like an eternity - but which was likely only a moment or two - after the sensation in the pit of his stomach had forced him to a crouching position.
Lane heard Locke gasp, his eyes screwed tight against the pain.  Any further words from Locke were drowned out by the roaring that filled Lane's ears, as loud as if he was standing next to a torrential waterfall.  The pain spread to his back, then raced down his limbs, forcing him up into a standing position as the bones and muscles shifted and transformed.
The pain flowed through his fingers and toes before releasing him and he leaned forward, gasping for breath.  He felt different - not just the stance, but the associated physical power and energy.  He could feel his new claws digging into the palms of his hands where he'd balled them into fists, and unclenched them before he cut himself.  He could feel the wolf, the wildness inside of him, but he could also keep it at bay, as VJ had claimed he would be able to with a proper brew.  Slowly, almost afraid of what he'd see, he opened his eyes.
The world was nearly as bright as day, every detail apparent to his new eyes.  His other sharpened senses began to emerge: the contours of the ground under his feet, the sharp sounds all around him, and the smells.  The smells were incredible, even if he couldn't say what any of them were.  Rich and bland smells alike, it was almost like tasting a meal.  If smell was taste, that is.  One scent in particular bothered him though, and he looked around for its source.  Something sharp, unpleasant.  Fear.

He whirled around, suddenly remembering that he hadn't come alone.  Locke stood by the edge of the lake, watching warily, clearly poised to run.  Not that it would do him any good, as even a new werewolf could run down any human.  Lane shook his head - where did that thought come from? - and approached Locke slowly, hands held out in what he hoped was a non-threatening manner.
Locke: "That', then?"
Lane: "It's me."
Lane's eyes widened as he heard the changes in his voice.  His new voice was deeper and rougher, with a growl on the edge of every word.
Locke: "You sound different."
Lane: "Yeah, I know.  I didn't think about that before, but it's kind of obvious.  Part of the transformation involves the larynx changing shape, closer to that of a canine than a human.  I can't believe I didn't consider it during my research-"
Locke interrupted his explanation with a burst of nervous laughter.
Lane: "...what?"
Locke: "Okay, it's definitely you.  No need to say more."

Lane could still smell the fear, but it was less than before.  Locke seemed to be dealing, at least, which was good.  Lane stepped forward and took his hand.  Locke didn't flinch or pull away, which was another good sign.  This would work.
Locke: "Are you okay?  I was worried during the transformation, you were kind of screaming, but with your mouth shut.  It sounded horrible."
Lane: "It felt horrible, but I expected that.  I didn't realize I was making any noise, I was kind of distracted.  Sorry if I scared you."
Locke: "So is it worth it then?"
Lane: "Definitely.  It's just incredible.  The senses alone are blowing my mind, and I haven't even seen what kind of abilities I'm capable of.  I have to get used to all this hair though, it kind of all just sprouted out."
Locke nodded sympathetically.
Locke: "Yeah, hopefully it doesn't all fall out when you change back."
Lane: "Damn.  I hadn't even thought of that."
Locke: "Just try not to transform near my guitar, alright?  Just in case.  I don't think the boss would like it if I showed up to work with werewolf hair all in my stuff."
Lane: "Speaking of work, it's getting pretty late, and you said you were going to go in tomorrow morning to finalize that transfer."
Locke: "Yeah, I should really be getting a few hours of sleep, at least.  I'll see you tomorrow, yeah?"
Lane: "Definitely.  Meet me at my place at three, unless you hear from me."
Locke nodded and pulled Lane close in a tight hug, leaning close to whisper quietly in his ear.
Locke: "Be safe, okay?"
Lane pulled away and grinned, pulling his lips back to reveal his teeth in what he hoped was a impish expression - he really needed to find a mirror.
Lane: "Will do.  See you."

With that, he turned and ran off into the night.  At first, he ran on two legs, but something kept tugging at him to use his arms as well.  Even though he wasn't sure how it would work on an intellectual level, he gave in to that instinct, grinning with delight as his body somehow already knew how to race on all fours.  He caught a scent - something sweet, perhaps slightly citrusy - and changed direction, passing through the underbrush with little effort.  Following the scent, he emerged into a small clearing, where he saw an odd little house.  That was where the scent was coming from.  He looked at it strangely for a moment, then shrugged and glanced around, immediately slinking back into the shadows as he recognized where he was.
This was the gypsy caravan, where his father worked.  Had he really come so far in so short a time?  How long had he been running, anyway?  His sense of time had weakened, he couldn't tell if he'd been running for minutes or for hours.  He felt slightly drunk, a sensation he'd only experienced twice in his life - at prom, and on another night when Locke "borrowed" a bottle of nectar from his parents' cabinet - which was likely a side-effect of the transformation.  Shaking his head to help clear it, he stepped back into the bushes, running off in a new direction.  He wanted to stay clear of anyone he knew.  While he likely looked very different in werewolf form, it still wouldn't do to be recognized.  Unfortunately, he got turned around at one point and ended up having to cross the road, dodging the taxis that were bringing home the last of the late-night revelers.
Horns blared as he wove through traffic, getting far into the bushes on the far side of the road before stopping to reflect upon how dangerous that was.  Clearly the transformation was more like being drunk than he'd expected.  He had to be more careful.

Some time later - he wasn't sure how long - the moon slipped below the horizon as the new day dawned.  Lane felt the transformation reversing, and while it hurt less than it had the previous night, it was still uncomfortable.  He gritted his teeth to avoid making any noise to call attention to himself, then straightened up and stepped out of his hiding spot once he was sure he was human.  His memories of the night before were slipping away into a fog, and he fought to keep them in his mind.  Amnesia was associated with lycanthropy, but it wasn't mandatory.
Satisfied that he would retain at least some of his memories, he looked around.  He knew where he was, right by the gym.  He was lucky that most people were taking the day off from their workouts because of Spooky Day.  Now that he'd changed back, though, he had one more thing to do before he could meet Locke.  He had to talk to his parents.

He knew that Faye would be taking James to the festival that morning, so it was the perfect time for him to talk to his parents without having to worry about them.
He watched them leave from his hiding spot in the bushes, then darted into the house once they were around the corner.
Eliza: "Lane!  Where were you last night?  You owe us an expla-"
Eliza's scolding was cut short as she noticed his eyes, and she regarded him silently for a long moment.  Lane wasn't sure what to say, so he stayed quiet, and eventually she spoke again.
Eliza: "What on earth happened to your eyes?  You need to explain.  Now."
Lane: "I will, Dad should probably be here too."

A short while and a long explanation later - mostly the fault of Greg's many interruptions - the three of them sat on the sofa.  The eyes of both parents were on their child, and Lane glanced from one to the other, waiting to hear what they had to say.
Eliza spoke first.
Eliza: "Have you thought about where you're going to live?  What you're going to do?  How will you support yourself?"
Lane: "I've thought about it a lot.  Locke and I already have a lease, up near Moonlight Falls.  He's already moved most of his stuff in.  And I have a job set up too, in journalism, so I won't even have to go in to the office as long as a keep on top of my work."
Eliza looked like she had more to say about that, but Greg interrupted her.
Greg: "Hey, I just thought of something!  Can you smell what we had for breakfast?  I brought the garbage right through this room!"
Lane and Eliza both stared at Greg, uncertain how to respond to that.  Greg solved the dilemma by continuing on his own.
Greg: "It's like a game!  I bet you $10 you can't tell me what I ate."
Eliza: "It's not a game, this is serious!  I'm still not sure that he'll be able to get a house."
Lane: "You ate pancakes for breakfast, Dad."
Greg: "Holy fairy turds!  You can really smell the garbage?"
Lane: "No, I know because you dribbled syrup on your jacket, there."
Greg: "Nyeh!  You little cheater, you!"
Eliza: "Is anybody in this room listening to me?"
Lane tuned out his parents, who'd begun to argue amongst themselves.  Admittedly, this was one of the better outcomes that he'd imagined.  His mother wasn't so much concerned that he was a werewolf as that he hadn't adequately planned for his life, which wasn't true even if he was having difficulty convincing her of that.  And his father was just being Greg, which was no surprise to anyone.  Lane stole a glance at his watch.  It was 1 o'clock, only two more hours of this until he could make his escape, and love his family from a distance.  Which he was coming to realize was really the best place, with these people.

Two hours later his parents had argued themselves out and he was packed and ready to go.  He'd procured a pair of shades and put them on, striking a pose in the dining room just as the doorbell rang.
Lane: "Ah, that'll be my ride.  Can you get the door, Mom?"
Locke came in, bearing flowers.
Locke: "How are you feeling?"
Lane: "Great.  Things around here went better than I expected, too."
Locke: "That's good.  And last night?"
Lane: "Yeah, well, that's kind of fuzzy.  But I think I remember most of it."
Locke: "That's good.  So they know where we're going, and all?"
Lane: "I gave them our address and phone number, so they know where to find us."
Lane said goodbye first to his parents, and then his siblings as they arrived back from the festival.  Faye seemed confused, and Lane regretted having to leave before he could explain things properly to her, but he had a train to catch.  James took it in stride, exacting a promise from his older brother to describe in detail exactly how the transformation felt.  Sometimes Lane worried about that kid, he was a bit strange.  How much of it could be put down to his intellect alone?

~ * ~

You didn't really think I'd leave you hanging there, did you?  Pretty long update as well, I had to write it in two goes, which is part of why it took me so long to get it out.  Hopefully I've done Lane's exit justice.  His sim isn't actually moving out of the neighborhood, as I'm far too attached to him to let him go like that.  But the story is that he's moving to Moonlight Falls, at least for now.

Lane aged up gorgeously(though he does make one ugly-ass werewolf).  It almost makes me wish he was the heir, but he'd make a terrible emperor of evil.  He'd overthink it so hard, his minions wouldn't know what to do with him.  They'd probably just lock him in a closet somewhere and run the mob themselves.  Locke whipped out those flowers autonomously, it was so sweet!  I really like those guys, it's making me all sad that they're leaving the story, even though this happened almost two weeks ago in my actual game.

Yeah, Greg got old.  I was supposed to address it in the last chapter, but I couldn't find a way to work it into the e-mails.  Next chapter will talk about it, I promise!


  1. Yay, thanks for showing us Lane's transformation! I really love him and Locke, thy are a fun couple.
    LOL, I loved Locke's concern about getting hair in his guitar.

    1. That's the reason why I'm always torn between photographing with hideheadlineeffects on or off! 95% of the time you get thought/chat bubbles that make no sense, but then 5% of the time they're just perfect for you to base something off of.

  2. Wow, amazingly detailed. Almost like you've transformed into a werewolf yourself... 0_o

    Loved this, and I'm quite attached to Lane too! He isn't even my sim haha! I hope he 'visits home' sometime :)

    1. Thanks! I write these chapters by reading the outline I write as I play(major events and notes of details that are good for the story, arranged into rough chapters), choosing choosing all the pictures I have that illustrate it, putting them into the blogger window, and then typing all the text later. I had three of just the transformation, so it kind of merited a detailed explanation! I just let my imagination run away with me, not a werewolf myself. Though I can't help but suspect that I stole the idea of a horribly painful transformation to a supernatural form from some other story, book, movie, etc.

      Don't worry, he'll turn up again. In fact, I have him in one of the chapters I've played and outlined, but haven't yet typed.

  3. I loved the description of Lane's transformation and I thought his parents' reactions were great.

    1. Thanks! I played this chapter a while ago(and didn't outline with very many details), so going back and looking at the screenshots allowed me to let my imagination run wild a bit as to what was happening. I just love that, when I sat them down on the sofa and told them to chat, Eliza started ranting about houses, and Greg just rambled on about garbage. Classic Greg.