It crouched in the snow. Quiet. Breath curling in the frosty morning air, dissipating.

It moved, leaving heavy prints in the freshly laid snow, weaving between tall pine trees where it's brethren hid, through the pale stone ruins that jutted out of the ground as if they were trying to escape. It sniffed the air, the scents drifting above.








Woman. A woman.

It moved slower, growing smaller. Fur turned to skin, yellow eyes turning grey. The thing-now-girl pulled her red cloak tightly around skinny shoulders and a slender frame, careful to rip her clothes with the still-present claws. Claws she sheathed in her fingers, now hidden.

She dipped her little fingers in the blood of a doe that lay dead and half-eaten, smearing it across her pale face. Blood that made the insatiable hunger all the worse. Hunger that would be satisfied once she had her prey. Brought it back to the pack. She tangled her auburn hair, and gained a scared look in her eyes, willing warm, salty tears to well in her eyes and slide down her cheeks, making tracks through the blood.

The woman fell for it. Fell into the trap. Embraced the sobbing girl, soothed her, and led her to the travelling caravan. And the pack followed, silent as the falling snow, darting from tree to rock to ground, fast and virtually invisible,

Once she was in the camp, protected from the burning silver nitrate fumes by both her human guise and her cloak, she waited until they all slept. And tossed those torches into the snow, extinguishing them and getting rid of the fumes.

It howled a long note as it's fur grew back, it's form lengthened and hunched, and it's claws emerged. The whole pack leapt upon the sleeping humans, feasting upon the warm, sweet blood, sucking the marrow from the bones and gorging themselves on flesh. A fine meal.

The pack then dragged a body to their Alpha as a sign of respect and submission. Finally, the balverines raced each other upon long, muscled legs, back to their cosy cave to sleep off their filling meal.

A successful hunt.