Storynory presents Katie and the werewolf.
Dedicated to Evangeline, who supports Storynory on Patreon.
Hello, this is Natasha, and I'm here with another story about Katie. Katie is an ordinary schoolgirl, but there is one thing that is a bit different about her, she's a witch and can do magic spells. Most people aren't supposed to know that, but it's almost an open secret these days.
As you may know, Katie lives with her mum. Her dad, who is a professor at the university, lives separately. Katie usually cycles over to her dad's place at least once a week. One Friday evening, she reached the end of her street on her bike when a text pinged on her phone:
"Sorry, Katie. A problem has come up. I can't see you this evening. Let's catch up on a video call soon. Love Dad X."
"Mmm," thought Katie, "that's unusual. Normally Dad is keen to see me, rain or shine."
She turned her bike around and returned home to eat supper with her mum. At about 9 pm, her phone sounded out again. It was her dad, this time with a video call. He was not looking his usual self.
"Are you growing a beard?" asked Katie, laughing. She thought that he was using an app to make himself look extra hairy on the video call.
"Seems like I am," replied her dad gloomily. "I don't like beards, but as soon as I shave it off, it grows back again in minutes. And look at this!"
He held up his hand - only, it was more like a paw. It was all hairy with long dark nails growing out of the ends of his fingers.
"That's so funny!" Katie giggled. "How do you do that?"
"It isn't funny if you are me," said her dad crossly. "I'm not kidding around. Hairs are sprouting all over my body."
Katie peered into the screen of her phone. It was hard to see his expression because so much hair was hiding his face. But his grey eyes were looking full of anguish. Yes, he wasn't joking. He was turning into, well, she didn't want to say. But her dad got there first.
"If I didn't know better, I'd say I was turning into a werewolf," he said gloomily.
"Oh, don't be silly, Dad, there are no such things, well not these days." But in her heart, Katie was not convinced by her own words because her dad was looking somewhat wolfy.
"Katie, do you know a spell to solve this?" he pleaded.
"I'd better ask Mum because I'm not qualified to treat people with medical conditions."
"Is turning into a werewolf a medical condition? If it is, I'll go and see a doctor! But don't mention it to Mum. You know how she is. She'll think it's my fault that I'm a wolf, and she'll say all sorts of things that I don't want to hear right now."
"If you want my advice, as a witch, get some rest and see if it's better in the morning. Ninety-nine times out of a hundred spells wear off by themselves, and the best thing you can do is nothing."
"I hope you are right because Bianca will not be too happy about what's happening to me." Bianca was his girlfriend. "She suspects that your mum puts spells on me out of spite."
"Oh, come on, you know she's not vindictive like that."
"I do, I do. But tell that to Bianca."
After the video call, she went into her mother's spell room and searched the magical encyclopedia for a cure for being a werewolf. To her surprise, she could not find one.
She had a hard time falling asleep that night. She kept wondering if she should ask her mum's advice, even though Dad had told her not to.
At about six o'clock the following morning, Katie was not sure if she was dreaming - having a nightmare, even. She could hear a kind of howling noise, like
Her cat, Solomon, jumped off the bed and hid under the table. Usually, very little could spook Solomon, but the eerie howl had got under his fur. There it was again!
Katie rubbed her eyes, pulled back the curtain, and looked out of the window. It was worse than a nightmare. A hairy, dogged-looking man was kneeling in the garden, lifting his head to the sky and howling his head off. Katie opened the window and called out in a semi hushed voice:
"Dad, can't you be quiet? You'll wake the neighbours, and they'll ask no end of questions.
From under the table, Solomon added: "You mean like,' What was that werewolf doing in your garden?'"
"Yes, that sort of enquiry", agreed Katie. And then, calling out of the window, she said: "Dad, you're embarrassing!" Her father replied by pointing to the door. Katie grabbed her dressing gown and tip-toed downstairs to let him in. They sat at the Kitchen table, and her dad tried to hold a mug of tea with two hairy paws. "I'm sorry," he said gruffly. "I tried to call up to you, but instead of your name, a howl came out of my mouth."
"Why didn't you phone or text me?"
"You try using a touch-screen with these claws," he replied crossly.
"Okay, well, tell me what happened," said Katie.
"After I spoke to you last night, I got shaved again and looked almost decent. Bianca came home and didn't notice anything more than a bit of evening shadow on my face. But in the middle of the night, I woke up, itching as I had never itched before with a sense that I was transforming into some kind of nightmarish creature. I had to get out of the house before Bianca woke up and saw me. I'd have scared the life out of her."
"Good idea," said Katie. "So you ended up here."
"Where else could I go?"
"Oh, Dad!" exclaimed Katie. "I'm so sorry this has happened to you. It's truly awful. I'll have to tell Mum."
"Noooooo!" said her dad reaching out to grab her hand but realising that he couldn't hold her with his paw. "Don't tell your mother, whatever you do!" he begged.
Katie shook her head: "But, she'll be down soon. She'll be furious if she sees a wolf sitting at the kitchen table. "
"Perhaps I could hide in your garden shed." suggested her dad. "Like you said last night, these things usually wear off by themselves. I'll have to wait for that to happen. "
"Well, okay," said Katie. She took the shed key down from the wall and ushered her dad into the back garden. He curled up in the shed on top of some cushions for the garden chairs. "Can I bring you something to eat?" Katie asked. "I'm afraid we don't have any dog biscuits," and she put her hand over her mouth to hide her snigger. "I'm sorry, I couldn't help myself. You look so strange. I do hope you get better soon."
"So do I," said her dad, with a sound like a whimper.
Katie spent the day at school worrying about how her dad was coping with being a werewolf. She knew how he hated doing nothing, and hoped he could stay put. If he went for a walk in broad daylight, people were bound to see him. They would think that Frankenstein's monster was on the loose!
On her way back home that evening, she heard a helicopter circling incessantly in the sky. She wondered if the police were searching for a missing person. It wasn't the only sound. The nearer she got to home, the more dogs were barking. It was as if every dog in the district had heard the postman at the same time. On the next street to hers, the barking and yapping were louder than ever. The police had taped off her road, and an officer stopped her walking to her house.
"Sorry, Miss, we've had reports of a dangerous animal prowling around."
"What sort of animal?"
"Reports vary, but the general view seems to be that it is a wolf."
"Oh, dear," said Katie. "I live here. How can I get home?"
"We'll drive you up the road," said the officer. "It will be safer for you that way."
And so Katie had a lift in a police car for the 100 meters to her front door. She saw police dog handlers on her street, with fierce-looking alsatians, as well as zoo keepers clutching rifles that she hoped were armed with tranquilliser darts and not real bullets. "Oh...." she thought anxiously, "I do so hope that dad isn't bitten by a dog or shot by a zookeeper before I can tell Mum what's happened."
After the police dropped her off, she ran into the house and rushed upstairs to find her mother in her spell room.
"Mum, Mum," she cried, "I'm sorry to interrupt your magic, but it's urgent. Dad's turned into a werewolf, the police are hunting him, and it's all like the worst nightmare!"
"A werewolf?" said her mum, surprised but not quite as surprised as you might imagine. "Silly man. I thought this would happen one day."
"Err, why on earth do you think that?"
"Well, you see, long ago, when we got married, I gave him a magical ring. It belonged to your great, great grandfather. You know how your dad loves that sort of thing. I made him promise never to use it in any of the weird and wonderful experiments that he does in his lab at the university. He promised, saying, "cross my heart and hope to die." I told him that wasn't good enough because I couldn't make him die if he broke his promise. "All right," he said, "If I break my promise, you can turn me into a werewolf." I did not have to do any spell at all. Magical rings are very susceptible to that kind of undertaking. Now it seems he's broken his promise after all these years. I'm surprised he kept it as long as he did. Silly man!"
"But Mum! We can't let them shoot Dad because he looks like a wolf!"
"No, I suppose we can't," said her mum casually. "I'll see what I can do. Pull down volume "L" of the Magical Encyclopedia. There's bound to be a few spells for curing Lycanthropy."
"What's that?" asked Katie.
"It's what your dear father is suffering. It is the state of being a werewolf." And Katie realised that she hadn't found the cure by herself because she had been searching under "W" for "Werewolf."
Katie waited anxiously while her mother read the spell and prepared all the ingredients. She used her magical ring to communicate with the one she had given to Katie's dad. At least Katie understood why her dad hadn't asked for Mum's help. He didn't want to admit that he had broken his promise not to experiment with the magical ring.
Fortunately, Dad evaded the zookeepers and dogs by climbing up high in the branches of a tall tree in a neighbour's garden. When he came down in man-form, he borrowed Katie's bike and peddled home, extremely exhausted. After a long sleep, he called Katie by video and said:
"As you can see, I'm no longer lupine." Katie guessed that "lupine" means "like a wolf."
"I hope you don't mind," said Katie, "I had to tell Mum. I was fearful that they might shoot you or something!"
"You did the right thing," agreed her dad. "Your mum's bark is worse than her bite.
"But your wolf howl is off the planet!" replied Katie.
"Ok, one last time! - AWWWWWW!"
And that was the story of Katie and the werewolf written by Bertie and read by me, Natasha, for Storynory.com.
We are delighted to dedicate this story to Evangeline, who is six years old and lives in Pennsylvania. Her family kindly supports Storynory on Patreon.
Her mum, Jessica, tells us:
We love everything you write, but Eva's favourites are Katie the Witch, Wicked Uncle, Lapis, and Bertie. We would be lost without Storynory, and we listen almost daily, over and over! Thank you so much for doing this project. It has been a godsend, especially during the pandemic!
Thank you so much, Evangeline and Jessica, for your kind words and for supporting us on Patreon.