Aida was awakened by the gamey scent of wet dog fur amalgamated with mildew, blood and rancid breath. Instinctively, she reached for her husband’s side of the bed to find it empty and soaked with sweat. She rose to sitting and once her eyes adjusted to the darkness, her hands flew to her mouth in order to stifle a scream. There was a figure crouched in the corner of the bedroom, half hidden in the black slashes of shadow. It was moulting from translucent skin and changing in the process into a thing that resembled no man or beast, like the stuff and nonsense creatures of fish wife tales, only it hadn’t occurred at the fall of dusk or when the full moon was at its apex. No, this transformation began at the hour of the wolf, when the stars faded into pitch and the sounds of nature were lulled into unnatural silence.
At first, Aida feared this changeling had devoured her husband but as it turned to look at her she noticed that its eyes belonged to Benjamin, the man she had loved before she knew what the word meant. It was those very same eyes that studied her now, and she thought she detected the creature’s internal struggle, being torn between a deep-rooted love and overpowering hunger as if it was trying to puzzle out how to satiate its appetite without breaking its own heart.