There were long shadows across the lawn of the massive garden. I chased wild rabbits as a child playing here. It had memories locked in the pools and stones, decourations that scattered the landscape for centuries. The wealthy Amber family were obsessed with statues.
These statues recorded memories, and absorbed emotions. It felt so haunted, with their shadows criss-crossing and their castle looming like a big giant skull. Tall poplars made it feel colder in the stately garden.
I am the daughter of people who've been working for the Amber family for years. My grandfather was a butler. My mother is the secretary. Father is a driver. My brothers are guards. My little sister Bev is a trainee fashion designer, who Lady Amber is fond of.
The Ambers are a wealthy beta family of werewolves. I come from a lineage of gamma werewolves.
The betas treat the rest of us like their servants, nothing else. We're nothing to them. They want us to obey them and work hard. Yet the betas are afraid of the alphas, obviously, and second in command to the alphas and subordinates. The alphas are not nice werewolves and I find them scary.
As I chased a white ghosty looking rabbit in circles, I felt my heart tighten and I was in pain. I had to stop. I can't run anymore, since I was treated for cancer two years ago.
"You're not giving up now, Emily!" said Max, who was timing me. He let the rabbit go.
"I give up," I panted, clutching my chest. I sat on the grass. It was so hot and my mouth tasted of blood.
"Someone help!" Max shouted on his phone.
Next, people came running into the garden and lifted me on my feet. I was ushered onto a wheelchair, pushed along the garden path into the back of an ambulance. The Amber family had their own private ambulance and their own hospital. This is where I went. I was treated there for cancer.
I was rushed there with Max and mummy inside, looking worried.
I was sent into the emergency room, examined and had my blood tested.
"She's losing blood," a nurse told Max and mummy.
I could see their faces pull in distress.
The cancer ravaged me internally so that I was always hemorrhaging with the slightest bit of exercise. Blood dripped from my mouth and nose. It was always little problems one after another. A mere cold virus sent me into hospital for bleeding and twisting my lungs and heart a few months ago.
Werewolves suffer cancer just as anybody except the heart donation they gave me was from a dog, not a human. The Amber hospital provided it for me two years ago. Such a thing would be dangerous for regular humans, and not many tried on other werewolves.
I went into shock that first night in hospital. Max and mummy waited in the relative's room and the nurse gave them updates. "Her human side is rejecting the dog's heart," the nurse told them.
I was operated on during the rest of the night.
By morning I was recovering in a small room with flowers and pink curtains. All I had was a machine beeping to keep me company. Max and mummy left hours ago when I was asleep.
Nurse came into the room with a clipboard, plastic smiles and a white uniform. She gave me a food menu and a strong pill. Another nurse in a red uniform took a sample of my blood. Another in green came in a few times to check my blood pressure and IV. The needles in my arms stung if I looked closely at it.
It's been ages since being in hospital. I need to tell you why.
The doctors have been experimenting on me and others. They replaced the dog heart with a synthetic heart, they call it SI, working as the organ itself, pumping blood efficiently. My body didn't reject it and they're watching me round the clock. Sometimes they wheel me outside. During a full moon, I am either stuck in my hospital bedroom or allowed to roam the small corridor outside. I'm like an animal that is lonely because I howl for my family and for Max.
They come to visit once a week. Doctors orders.
It's not just the synthetic heart that they've given me but a new level of being as a wolf. Since I've had this synthetic heart, my wolf side is physically different. I used to be shaggy with grey and black striped fur with yellow eyes. Now half of my body is luminous and my eyes are red. I've noticed that my human hair is slightly darker and my skin tone is off colour. The human side of me looks like death warmed up.
"Hello darling," Mummy said bringing me biscuits and flowers. I've been here for three weeks.
"Where is Max?" I asked.
"Oh, well, your boyfriend is quite busy this morning so I came without him."
Oh I bet he's moved on.
"How is the heart?" she asked me.
"You know about it?"
"Yes," mummy answered. "I wanted them to give you a special new one that is a machine."
"So you're involved in making me a test subject?" I asked feeling so betrayed. She could've asked my permission. I am eighteen. I didn't want to see her ever again. How dare she!
"No, I didn't. It was Lady Amber."
"It's for the best."
"You never asked me!"
"Your opinion doesn't matter, your life is important to us."
So you see. A girl raised in a gamma werewolf family is exposed to forces outside of her control. I've written to others and want to bring to attention that gamma girls are like slaves and toys to mess around with. We're living sentient beings. We're people. We're not monsters. We have some wolf DNA. That's no way to treat us like dirt.
((The Fenrir's Daughters fiction stories belong to author Rayne))
All rights reserved.
Copyright © 2016 Rayne Herbert.