CHAPTER SEVENTEEN

THE CREATURE HAD MADE ITS WAY FAR DOWN THE HALLWAY AND INTO ONE OF THE THREE LARGE STORAGE UNITS IN THE REAR OF THE STORE. IT HAD STAUNCHED THE FLOW OF BLOOD WITH ITS LARGE PAW BUT COLLAPSED AGAINST A LARGE CRATE ONCE IT WAS SURE IT WAS ALONE.

It noticed its blood pool around it and realized the only way to save its life was to concentrate.   To transform before it bled out.

It concentrated, trying to find the human center of its brain – trying to force it forward and once again take full control of this feral form.

Through memories.   Through thoughts.   Down through regrets and fear and understanding.   All the way through to its – to his – motor skills.

His bones started to move rapidly, painfully.   Within moments, they broke and reset and broke and reset again as his body tried to fully reclaim its original human form – from the hair on his head down to his core genetic structure.

He fell and howled and writhed and screamed and bucked. Until the Creature was gone…

… and the twenty-six-year-old Rurik Tyler from Omsk, Russia by way of Brooklyn sat naked and shivering on the floor.

He smiled weakly at the sight of the bullet that had been expelled from his body during the transformation.  Finally, something had gone right for him this evening.

But then he remembered the last time he had seen his beloved Anya in the park.

He quietly wept until he passed out in the darkness.