It was a dream come true. Yellowstone National Park! I was going there for summer vacation! I could see real wolves in real action! Never did I dream that I would meet one in the wild.
Never did I dream it would change my life forever.
There was no bite. There was no blood. Yet somehow I still became one.
And I can't control it.
The beast kills on its own free will. I can't stop it. Yet I have to do something to stop all these deaths. But what?
Maybe mine is the only solution.
I returned to camp, and my dad looked at me. "What happened, did you fall in?"
"Might as well have," I replied. "I sat down and the toilet seat was missing."
Everyone else laughed, and I retreated to my tent. For some reason, I felt awkward talking to my family with the secret that something was wrong with me. I didn't want to tell them, for I knew they would overreact, but at the same time I couldn't bring myself to tell them that their son was some sort of new freak.
The rest of the trip in Yellowstone passed by in a blur. Whenever I could, I continuously tested out my new ability to change my eye color. If I focused enough, I could even feel when my eyes changed color. It was almost like the click of a camera. There was a slight sliding motion, of sorts, behind my eyelids, and when I opened them, they were golden, as if I had some sort of natural contacts lenses.
As soon as I walked through the door of my home, I grabbed my phone off the counter and turned it on. My friends most likely missed me over the week. It turned on, but took about 10 minutes to load as all the messages came flooding in. I stared at the screen. 73 new messages in a week. I shrugged. I've had worse.
The first message, however, was sent to me just an hour before I had returned home. It was a message from my friend Riley asking if I wanted to go to laser tag. He had already given me an address to go to if I wanted to come, and the date was tonight. Eagerly, I showed my parents.
"But we just got home," my mom complained.
"So? We took a week for a family vacation, and now I want to get out with friends that I haven't seen in a week. You're always saying I don't hang out with friends a lot," I added.
She sighed. "Fine. I'll take you tonight."
Tonight was gonna be a blast!!
I walked through the doors of the laser tag place, and instantly spotted my group of friends clustered together beside the counter. I walked over to join them.
"All right, are we all going to be on the same team, or are we splitting up?" Riley was saying.
"I think we should split up," Stephanie said. "It'll be more fun that way."
"Besides, we're, like, the only ones here tonight," Julia said, and motioned around the laser tag area. She was right. There was virtually no one else here tonight.
"That's because I rented it out for tonight," Riley pointed out.
"Only because he's stinking rich," I said. Instantly heads snapped in my direction, and all the girls were on me in an instant, hugging me and saying they missed me. It's typical girl behavior, what can I say (no offense to you out there).
"I say we split up into groups," I said. "Besides, no one else is here, so it wouldn't be much fun having a full blue team."
Everyone nodded in agreement, and we were called into the briefing room. Before the cheesy movie started, however, the employee asked us, "Do you all know how to play?"
We nodded enthusiastically.
"Then knock yourselves out. Not literally, of course," he added, and let us into the room with all the suites on.
My group of friends had an odd tendency to work well together without actually speaking. We all split ourselves into even groups. I was on the red team with Julia, Riley, Melodie and Sarah. Out of the 16 people here, only about 6 of us really knew how to play well. Riley and I were one of them, and we worked pretty epicly in a team.
As we lined up in front of the door, I said to Riley, "Go left and find the blue base. I know where the green one is, so I'll make a beeline for that."
He nodded, and the door opened.
I bolted straight ahead, right, up a ramp, and looked down on the rest of my friends. I hadn't realized how fast I was; only two or three of them were actually out the door. Instead of going for the green base, I waited for a few seconds for out suits to turn on, then pegged a few people before running off. Great way to start the game, I thought.
As I ran across the second floor, I heard someone else approaching from the opposite side. Instinct kicked in, and I pivoted on my right foot behind a wall. A blue member was approaching, Anna (one of the few pros), and I waited until she had stopped moving to suddenly appear and peg her.
"No fair!" she said as her gun deactivated temporarily.
"Better luck next time." I laughed as she tried to hit me good-heartedly, but dodged around her and made my way to the green base.
This game was nothing like I had ever felt before. I could hear people approaching from behind me, beside me, and even above me, given the second floor. I was running literally all over the place; once I shot someone, by the time they turned around, I was all but gone. When there were groups of people clustered together, I shot one, waited till the all turned in that direction, then managed to get behind them and got the remainder of the group. My brain was in overdrive; I didn't even know what I was doing half the time, I just knew that I was winning, winning, winning.
I didn't remember getting hit once in that game when the buzzer was called.
We removed out suits in the armory, then went into the lobby to check out our scores. Sure enough, the red team was on top, and, just as I suspected, I was at the top of not only the red team, but out of everyone else.
"Damn, Luke!" Ateeb (he's Indian) said. "What are you, on steroids?"
"Shh!!" I put a finger to my lips. "Don't tell anyone!"
Everyone laughed, then filed in for the second game.
The laser tag marathon continued on for the next three hours, each time my team winning, and me being at the top. By the time Riley said that their time was about to expire for the night, everyone was sweating and panting, but smiling happily. What was odd was that I was barely breaking a sweat. My forehead had just broken out in a little bit of perspiration, and my legs felt like they were hooked up to a machine, ready to go, go, go and not stop.
"Are you even tired?" Anna asked me wearily.
"Lil bit," I replied.
"You're so on steroids."
"What else is new?"
The night ended, and everyone else left in their car looking like they were zombies, dead on their feet. But, truth be told, I had never felt more alive in my life.