Freya typed. And typed. And typed. Well into the night she wrote, hardly noticing the moonlight filtering through the window as it rose…
Clicking away on the library’s computer, Freya excited ordered the new Weresim In Bridgeport book. It was the latest addition to her absolute favourite series of books, even though her mother disapproved of their content. A little too grown up she thought, a little too advanced for her young daughter, despite Freya’s gift for literature. Well, that and her theory that reading fantasy novels was doing nothing to help Freya’s rather overactive imagination…As she eagerly typed in her payment account details, Freya suddenly became aware of an adult figure standing behind her, looking over her shoulder. Turning, her heart sank as she came face to face with Mr. Geoffrey, her teacher at school.
The teacher she owed five pieces of homework to. The teacher she’d made a ‘promise’ to to put down the books and start learning.
‘I commend you for your love of literature young lady, but until you expand your horizons and actually pay me some attention in class, they won’t get you far!’ He’d said earlier that day as Freya had left for class. ‘I want at least one piece of homework from you on my desk by tomorrow morning, or I’ll have to put you on report!’
‘Freya Louise Rivers!’ She’d known the strict tone was coming, but Freya jumped anyway. Something about her old teacher just gave her a deep sense of fear, right in the pit of her stomach. ‘What have I told you about the importance of schoolwork? And here I find you ordering more novels! I’ll bet you haven’t done a single page of your homework, have you?’
‘Yes sir, I have!’ Freya lied instantly.
‘Oh really? Which part?’
Freya’s mind went blank. She had no clear idea of what they’d done at school just hours ago that day, let alone what was in her pile of backdated homework!
‘I thought so. Look, Freya, you’re a bright girl and I don’t want to see your obvious talents go to waste. I can’t officially tell you off right now as we’re out of school hours, but please, listen to my advice… Go home, do some homework. You’ll thank me in the long run!’
Knowing she was rumbled, Freya nodded meekly and turned to leave the library, pulling her warm winter coat around her as the cold air bit into her. It only took five paces through the deep snow before she’d forgotten all about her homework. Time for something far more important – this library needed a snowman!
Freya had amassed a fair pile of snow by the time she heard someone else leave the library. She paid them no attention – why would she? This would take as much concentration as she possibly had to give, which admittedly in Freya’s case wasn’t too much at the best of times. The snow pile glistened as the full moon shone overhead, glinting tantalisingly from behind the clouds before bursting out into full view.
Freya could hardly believe her eyes as Mr. Geoffrey was swathed in a bright orange light, his thinning grey hair shooting out into thick, shaggy curls, his ears growing and sharpening into a point, his teeth… Oh, his teeth…
Transformation complete, Freya realised she was stood staring at… What as this monster? It was no longer her teacher, that was for certain! Snapping her mouth shut, Freya turned to run as Mr. WereGeoffrey howled up at the moon, his fangs shining in the reflected moonlight…
* * *
‘You won’t believe what she’s come up with this time,’ Lily muttered to Bianca as her friend walked up to the twins at the playground. It was a snow day; even more snow had fallen overnight, so it hadn’t mattered that Freya hadn’t done a single page of her long overdue school work.
‘Oh, gnomes! Let me guess – zombie fairies? Flamingo invasion? She’s won a trip to Grilled Cheese Land!’ Bianca rolled her eyes in exasperation just as she’d seen her mother do when things just got to be too much. She was sick and tired of Freya and her ‘games’, of bailing her out when Mrs. Duckworth, a supposed ‘wicked, wicked witch!‘ demanded to know why the young tearaway was stood in her flowers peering through her window, or, worse, when Freya had talked her friends into breaking into the supermarket after hours as she was adamant the manager was actually selling rats instead of chicken.
Bianca still cursed herself for going along with that one.
‘Oi Bianca! What are you trying to say about me, huh?!’ Freya crowed from her rocking seahorse. She couldn’t keep the grin off her face; it was permanently plastered to her face whenever she had an ‘escapade’, when all eyes were on her.
Lily rolled her eyes back at Bianca, an expression she’d picked up from her blonde friend. ‘She says Mr. Geoffrey is a werewolf.’
‘Er, Lily! There’s no “says” about it – he IS a werewolf!’
‘Freya, you liar! No he isn’t! Don’t say stuff like that just because he’s getting at you to do your homework!’
‘I’m not saying it because of that! I’m saying it because it’s TRUE! He is a werewolf, trust me!’
‘No he isn’t!’ Chantrelle came running up to her friends. Well, her friends and Freya.
‘You haven’t heard any of my story Chan, so bog off!’
‘Shut up Freya!’ Chantrelle glared at her friend’s twin. Both she and Bianca were getting a bit fed up with this…
Bianca’s face suddenly grew mischievous. ‘Y’know Lily, I think Finlay’s right about your sister…’
‘What’s that idiot been saying about me?!’ Freya leapt off her seahorse enraged. Oh, how she hated that boy. He could always see right through her…
Lily gave her twin a sideways look, her face flushing hot despite the freezing temperatures. ‘He, erm, he says you make stuff up because… Because you don’t like that we share everything. Even attention…’
‘He says I’m an attention seeker?!’
‘You are,’ Chantrelle and Bianca chimed in.
‘Right.’ Freya drew herself up to her full height. ‘Right! If you don’t believe me, I’ll just go investigate this myself. I don’t need you lot!’ Oh, how she prayed they wouldn’t pick up on her fear. Oh, how she really, really didn’t want to investigate this one by herself…
* * *
‘For gnomes’ sake Lily, why did you make us come too?’ Bianca grumbled, her breath clouding in front of her face.
‘Because she’s my sister,’ Lily protested. Just as sick and tired of running around after her twin as her friends, Lily had, in the past, also been struck with a sense of doing the right thing, of not letting her sister run around town by herself at night. A rapidly-waning sense of wanting to help her…
Chantrelle peered out from behind a taller bit of the hedge she was hiding behind, reluctant to let her teacher see her spying on him. ‘Yep, that’s him. Mr. Geoffrey the Sim. Doesn’t look very hairy to me!’
‘If we just wait a bit…’
‘It’ll be worth it! He’s a werewolf, I’m telling you!’
It was always coming. Lily snapped at Freya.
‘No he is NOT a werewolf Freya! It’s just another one of… of… your delusions!’ Lily spat out the long word triumphantly; it was one Finlay had heard when Dylan and Louise had been talking to his parents. ‘Everyone knows your mind’s just gone warped!’
Freya was stunned. ‘…Lily?’
‘It’s true, Freya! I don’t want to try and be friends with you any more cause you just get us into trouble! What if Mr. Geoffrey comes out now and hears us calling him werewolf, huh? He’d go mad, call the head teacher, who’d call our parents and Bianca’s parents and Chantrelle’s and then we’d all get detention, all because you like werewolves in your books! I don’t like you any more Freya!’
‘It’s true!’ Bianca taunted Freya, her hot-headedness getting the better of her. ‘We’re sick and tired of you! We just want to have fun, not run around after you all the time! My Mum said I’ll get grounded until spring time if I get another detention, and it’s not fair because I only get them because of you! I hate you Freya Rivers!’
Hate. Hate. Hate. The word echoed…
Freya stood stunned as all three of the other girls turned and ran away, leaving her stood there in front of her teacher’s house all by herself.
She really had gone too far this time. Far too far…
Weeping uncontrollably, Freya began to trudge off down the road as the weight of loneliness began to settle on her young shoulders. Oh, what was the point. Nothing she ever did was right, was it? As her mind raced trying to work out where it all went wrong, it never crossed the young girl’s mind that all she’d needed to do in the first place was be herself rather than create her nonsensical fantasy world…
Just after Freya turned off the street, a snuffling, snarling sound came from down the driveway as a peculiar creature investigated the source of what it had thought was a child’s crying. Just two more minutes, and the young girl would have been vindicated…