Vinay dialed Anita’s number.
“Hello,” a female voice spoke.
“Hi Anita, Vinay here,” he replied.
“Oh hi Vinay. So where are we meeting tonight.”
“How about that lake by the forest where we had our first date?”
“Yes okay. But be careful. There are dangerous creatures that prowl the forest during night. I have even heard tales of a werewolf,” said Anita.
“Haha, do you believe in all these fairy tales,” laughed Vinay. “I am an engineer madam, and I am completely against these superstitious beliefs. You know that, right?”
“Yes dear, I know. But still, there are wolves to take care of. Do not come by the usual path. Take the alternative route. It’s better to avoid the forest after sunset,” persisted Anita.
“Do not worry about me, dear. I will be safe. By the way, I have something special to present to you. Don’t be late. Bye,” he hung up smiling at the thought of the ring that he was about to present her.
Vinay and Anita had been dating for 2 years and Vinay had decided that the time had come to pop the question.
‘Will you marry me, Anita’
‘Yes, I will’- he imagined her happy face beaming with joy.
Vinay pocketed the ring he had bought for her and allowed himself the luxury of a few happy thoughts as he imagined the ring slipping into Anita’s slender finger.
As the evening came to a close, Vinay set out for his date with his ladylove. Today, he would be meeting her after an entire one week. Even the thought of a stray wolf did little to suppress his unbridled enthusiasm. Vinay trotted along by the woods, heading towards the lake where he imagined himself spending some happy hours with his girlfriend.
It was getting dark. The forest was unusually quiet today. Even the usually-chirping birds appeared silent. Everything was still except the occasional rustle of dry leaves as he stepped on them. And then he heard a howl. It was definitely a wolf and seemed to be somewhere in the vicinity. Vinay quickened his pace. After all, he was seeking a date with Anita. He had no intention of saying hello to an untamed wolf at this hour of the day.
Vinay continued his brisk pace. He looked at the watch. It was ten minutes past seven. He was already late. He had promised to meet her sharp at seven. She won’t be too pleased if he turned up late again. He doubled his pace and began to jog towards the direction of the lake. There was a gush of wind and cloud drifted apart revealing the refulgent moon. Vinay looked up at the sky bathed in silver. And then it happened. There was a loud growl and something heavy and hairy pounced over him. The wolf dug its teeth into his legs and then ran away in the opposite direction. Vinay caught a fleeting glimpse of the animal. It was a grey wolf and had an ugly scar across its left eye.
Vinay pulled himself up. There were teeth marks around his ankle where the wolf had bitten him. Thankfully, he didn’t sustain heavy injuries and found, to his relief that he could walk without much difficulty. Cursing the wolf for gnawing at his flesh, he resumed his journey….
There she was, standing serenely in a pink floral dress. A smile broke across her face as she caught sight of Vinay.
“What happened? Why are you limping,” she asked.
“Nothing. I just fell down on my way,” he dismissed.
“So, what’s the special thing you wish to present to me,” said Anita with a coquettish smile.
“This,” he said as he fished out the ring from the pocket of his jeans and presented to her. And then the moon peeped out again. Its silvery ray fell on Vinay’s face and he felt a jerk in his navel. Hair grew all over his body and sharp, pointed fangs popped out of his jaws. His nails were turning into claws as he realized, to his utmost horror, that he was turning into a wolf. And then he looked up. His blood froze. A grey wolf was standing on the same spot where Anita was standing a minute before. It was smiling wickedly and had an ugly scar cut across its left eye……
I turned the final page and shut the book down. I looked out of the window. The full moon emerged out of the clouds as I transformed into a wolf…..