The Workshop prompt for this week from Sleep Is For The Weak was a challenging one, which resulted in me getting rained on just to take a photo, but I actually quite enjoyed it
We had to be observant and see what words jumped out at us as we went along our days. In the end the word that inspired me and gave me the idea for my piece was a sign I walk past pretty much every day – just a brown road sign on a brick wall at a horrible junction for a quirky little Story-telling Centre which lives in the beautiful building that used to be the town library. I have refused to go in there ever since the library moved purely because it was one of my favourite childhood places and they dared to change it. Silly, yes. But I just know it won’t smell right and the shelves of books won’t be there and they might have repainted or changed the carpet or…or…something. I miss that old library, the new one just isn’t the same
Anyway, I have majorly digressed, sorry. Here is my word, and my writing. (When you’ve finished click on the Writing Workshop badge at the bottom and hop over and read some of the other brilliant entries out there):
Testing The Waters - A Tale of Lyall and Tahni, by Carole Holland (if you didn’t see my last Workshop entry and have no idea who Lyall and Tahni are, nip over here and read the summary – it’ll all make more sense then!)
R.E. had been horrible ever since I broke Sean’s arm at the disco. He still sat next to me but spent the entire time trying to be as far away as the desk allowed, making me feel like I was diseased or something.
I had tried talking to him, apologising (again and again), because it had been an accident after all. But he wouldn’t have any of it making the whole thing awkward and tense.
Today’s lesson had been a bit of respite though, we were listening to different members of the class read out their versions of legends and myths meaning I had a great excuse to not try and talk to Sean and the silence was normal, rather than tense.
Miss Fairhurst called Lyall to the front. “Come on, Mr Hargreaves, let’s hear what you’ve got for us.”
You could tell by her voice that she was fully expecting him to not have anything prepared. He very rarely remembered to do his homework.
We were all quite surprised when he sauntered out and leaned against the whiteboard, though I did notice he wasn’t clutching his book or any notes at all. Here we go, I thought, cue the cocky excuse.
Lyall cleared his throat.
“I looked into a local legend for this week’s homework. It’s about werewolves.” He paused and looked straight at me, with an odd, calculating expression. “They are responsible for many different things in this area and a lot of older generations are still convinced that they exist.”
Someone sniggered and Miss Fairhurst scowled at them. “Quiet. Carry on, Lyall. I haven’t heard about these legends.”
He shifted, crossing his legs and staring out of the window as he talked. His eyes were catching the light weirdly again and had a golden tinge to the green.
“The werewolves weren’t like the ones you see in all the horror movies, they looked just like normal people until they changed, and then they looked just like normal wolves. They weren’t evil or massively huge or anything like that, just wolves that could run fast and hunt and hear small noises and smell the faintest of smells.
There were several packs around the area and they did their best to live peacefully. They kept to their own kind as much as they could but mingled when they had to – for work and schooling for example. Everything was fine until two packs clashed over territory and a vicious battle broke out. Many humans saw the werewolves transforming and fighting to the death as wolves. This resulted in many wolf hunts and the werewolves are supposed to have left the area to find safer homes.
It was rumoured however that one pack remained in town and claimed the entire area as their own. They took great care to hide themselves and blend in with the human community, hoping that eventually the werewolves would be forgotten and passed off as legend and they could live in peace again.”
When he finished, Lyall looked slightly embarrassed and stood up properly. Miss Fairhurst prompted us all into clapping before asking if anyone had any questions.
“So could you not tell if someone was a werewolf at all then? If they were looking human at the time?” Someone at the back piped up.
Lyall swallowed and looked at me again. “Only if you knew what you were looking for.” He shrugged and glanced at the girl who had asked the question. “I think their eyes were a bit wolfy or something and they could move a bit faster and quieter than normal people. And they were stronger than they looked. Nothing they couldn’t hide though, apart from their eyes.”
“What crap.” That was Sean. He was sat back in his chair scowling and chewing the end of his biro. He clearly hadn’t noticed it was leaking and he now had ink all over his face.
“Sean! I will not have language like that in my classroom. At least Lyall did his homework which is more than can be said for you.” Miss Fairhurst was not happy. Swearing was one of her pet hates – and crap was firmly under her definition of swearing.
“He just made it up as he went along. No werewolves would be that rubbish if they were real.”
Lyall suddenly looked smug. “Being secretly fast, sneaky and strong isn’t rubbish.” He smirked more at me than at Sean. “I bet werewolves could break people’s arms without even trying, even if they were small.”
Sean flushed. “Small people can be violent. They just need to know what angle to snap at that’s all.” He glared at me.
“Yeah. I’m sure that’s what all boys say when a girl breaks their arm without even trying.” Lyall looked positively evil all of a sudden and his eyes were definitely a bit golden in the afternoon sunshine.
“Lyall, that was an accident and you know it.” Miss Fairhurst warned, trying to stop the argument before it got properly started.
“Course it was. Tahni’s hardly werewolf material is she?” He winked at me and grinned, clearly expecting some kind of reaction.
I frowned and hoped I wasn’t blushing too badly. I so wished I had never gone to that stupid stupid disco.
Obviously not getting the response he wanted, Lyall’s grin wavered to a look of concern and then dissolved into a scowl as he went back to his seat.
“Right,” said Miss Fairhurst, clapping her hands together. “Who’s next?”