by Hailie Andersen
The wind was brushing on my face. I was running as fast as I could, exhilarated by the empowering freshness of the air coursing through my lungs. The oxygen it contained was energizing me. I loved this forest, its feel, its sounds, its tastes. There was no other place like it. I was addicted to it. I could feel the warmth emanating from the sunbathed earth under my feet. The contrast between the cool air flowing against my skin and the warmth of the soil against my bare feet felt exacerbating. I was elated, caught under the spell of the moment.
I was so close to transformation that my eyes could already see in the dark. Lupine eyes are powered by moonlight. I could identify everything around me, yet nothing looked the same. My surroundings were cast in black and white. There was no blur, just a total absence of colors. The shapes were profoundly neat. It all appeared so clearly to me, effortlessly. I did not have to focus, nor squint to adjust. I was coming to me naturally. I could discern it all, as if I were standing in broad daylight, except I was not. The world around me was dressed up in a brand new gown adorned by lights of stars, and the headstrong scent of nature. I was standing in a space made up of shades of grey – rich and bright, brought to life by the moonshine.
The changes did not just affect my perception. There was this tingling feeling all over me. It was within me too. Tiny specks of unknown matter were popping on my skin with a prick, rushing there in waves – some cold as ice, and others hot as fire. I could sense their force in my flesh and bones. I could feel it all sparkling, waking in my body matter. My mind was spinning as a side effect. I was high and running faster. My tribe’s magic was coursing through my veins.
I was entering their world. My world. Our world. Inside and out.