I could feel my skin beginning to crawl as I waited in the drive thru. Drumming my fingers on the steering wheel, I could have kicked myself for letting myself get this hungry.
The day before I disappear for three days always seems to be filled with errands to run. No matter how diligent I am about staying caught up, there’s something I’ve left until the last minute and it ends up taking longer than it should.
Today, it was a trip to the post office and the bank. Mundane little things that wouldn’t have taken an hour between them any other time of the month but conspired together to take up my entire afternoon.
Instead of the late lunch I’d planned, I ended up in the drive-thru, waiting for the burger and fries that would tide me over until I made it out to the cabin.
Acres of empty space and elk to hunt would wash the rush hour traffic out of my soul for a few days and I’d come back human.
Until then, though, I was sitting in the world’s slowest drive through. Feeling the sun sinking over the horizon, teasing at dusk and sunset. The white moon taunts me from the sky, making my skin prickle with anticipation.
Finally, I make it to the window.
The girl with the headset is young and pretty. When she opens her mouth, I can tell that’s all she really has going for her.
“That’ll be fifteen seventy-five,” she chirps, holding her hand out.
“No it won’t,” I tell her.
“What? Oh! Right. Eight fifty,” she says, handing me a bag.
I hand her the card and sniff the bag. Something doesn’t smell right.
Absently reaching for the card, I open the bag with my food with one and and see my burger and a box for a pastry.
“Um, this isn’t what I ordered?” I hand the girl the box that says ‘pie’ in a funny script.
“Of course it is,” she smiles.
The sugary smell of pie permeates the bag, making me wrinkle my nose. “No, it’s really not. I ordered a burger and fries.”
“I gave you a burger and a pie,” she says, her pleasant face devoid of understanding.
“I ordered fries,” I tell her.
“Oh, but don’t you like pie? It’s one of our best menu items.”
I rub my hand across my face, half-expecting to feel hair sprouting. My stomach is prodding the back of my spine, reminding me that I haven’t eaten all day.
“I’m sure it’s delicious but all I wanted was the burger and fries.”
“So you actually want the fries?” She asks, her smile finally gone. “Everybody else has wanted the pies.”
“You’re really pretty,” I say, feeling my voice getting lower.
“Thank you,” she beams.
“You’re, what, fifteen? Sixteen?” I’m trying to convince myself that she’s not worth it. I have a rule against harming kids which basically boils down to ‘Don’t’.
“Nope, I’m nineteen.”
I can feel my eyes change, the hair start to grow on my arms. “Is that so,” I say, my mouth widening until my teeth start to show. “All grown up.”
“Yep,” she says, handing me back the pie.
Snarling, I grab her arm and pull her forward. The indignant look on her face changes to fear as I take hold of her pretty neck and pull her into the truck.
She’s skinnier than I’d like with about as much actual meat as a chicken nugget but she smells better than the charred flesh in the take out bag.
I’m out of the drive thru before anybody can react, the girl in the seat next to me passed out in terror.
Weak, I think, shaking my head.
I promise myself to only have a snack.
Because she is pretty.
And if she survives tonight, she can join me for the next full moon.