The Wolf of Wanting


by Geran de Klerk

It was a cold evening on that unforgettable Halloween. The full moon shone over the cozy neighborhood as treats were exchanged without a care in the world. There were rarely any scares here, as the community enjoyed the spirit of greeting friends and family as they explored the many houses on the street. Perhaps it was inevitable that someone would break that peaceful cycle.

One boy found the candy to be secondary to the true spirit of Halloween. He saw the holiday as a time of fright and fear, watching scary movies every night in the week leading up to that fateful day. He was just now old enough to choose his own costume, and instead of dressing up like a knight or a superhero, he chose to make a new costume that no one in the neighborhood had ever dared to try: a werewolf.

He made the teeth out of cardboard, the hairs out of straws, and the suit out of cloth. He worked tirelessly to glue and paint the pieces of his outfit so that it would be the scariest outfit anyone had ever seen in that town. The boy chuckled as he envisioned the fear on people’s faces, emulating the scary movies as he savored every ounce of terror he planned to instill in everyone on that night.

The night came along and the trickless treating went as usual. Friends talked among themselves as they walked from door to door, receiving sweets and rejoicing in this time they spent together. However, there were rumors of something devious that was afoot. Some people had their flesh torn asunder, while others fled for their lives with sweat pouring down their awestruck faces. No one could quite understand what was going on until they saw it for themselves. Once they did, their lives would never be the same.

The boy’s journey started off innocently enough. He brought his candy bucket and came up to doors, knocking on them and wanting some treats. He got a few frights, but nothing more than that. Each scream and each jump made him happier and happier. Eventually, he found scaring his friends and neighbors to be more fun than collecting candy. So, he dropped his candy bucket and began to bring some tricks to this peaceful halloween. He knocked on doors and jumped out at those who came to greet them, sending them back indoors as the young boy cackled in laughter. Other trick-or-treaters would be sent running for the hills after he bared his cardboard fangs. He was reveling in the halloween spirit, becoming the scary monster he always wanted to be.

It was at this moment when the boy dropped the act and began to take a look at himself. He inspected his hands first and saw that his nails were growing to be long and sharp, resembling claws. His nose began to protrude outward, enhancing his sense of smell and allowing him to catch even the slightest hint of candy aromas. His legs were becoming strange, bending backwards and making it uncomfortable to stand up straight. But looking down at his teeth revealed what he began to fear. They were long, sharp, and vicious, like they were prepared to tear into the meat of his prey. His jaw had a clamp far stronger than he remembered, letting him bite into trees with ease. And after noticing these things, his vision began to give out, blurring before he couldn’t see a thing.

Then, he heard a howl. And his soul was forever lost within the beast born that night.

Ever since then, no one dared to open their doors at night. Halloween was abolished as a tradition. Whenever any young child’s curiosity got out of hand, their parents always brought attention to the figure that haunted the quiet neighborhood since the final halloween. Its name was… the Wolf of Wanting.