Madden Elizabeth Thomson popped her left elbow back into place with a sickening crack, and then took a quick assessment of the rest of her injuries. All in all, not a bad night. Madden couldn’t find any blood, and only two major bruises, one blooming red-purple along her right thigh, and another growing across the right side of her chest, both would be easily covered with her day to day clothes. She could only guess that she’d run into something on her right side, but the room was completely empty except for the rough, handmade robe that was pooled in the corner near the door. She grabbed up the rope quickly, wrapping it tightly around herself despite the bruises. She tried not to think about the angle and force she would have had to hit the wall to create those bruises while she made her way to the locked door.
The first part of the lock had small, nimble latches that could only be undone by quick small hands. Once she got through that, it was a thumbprint reader that only recognized a few different prints, primarily hers or her father’s. The reader gave a small beep before releasing the lock, letting the door swing open into the little hallway. The door across the hall, her father’s changing room, was already open, so Madden headed up to her bedroom and tried to relax in the hour or so before she had to start getting ready for her day.
Madden hated when the full moon fell on a Sunday night because Monday mornings felt like hell under the best of circumstances. She checked herself in the mirror that hung on her closet door and was happy to see that her face was actually clear this time. She hated to come up with stories to explain away cuts and bruises on her face. She was never afraid anyone would guess the truth. No, no one ever associated cute, five foot nothing, curly haired twenty something girls of being werewolves. What was much more likely to come to people’s minds were questions of Madden’s safety at home with her single father, especially since no one knew much about what had happened to Mrs. Thomson when Madden was only three years old.
The truth was that Mrs. Thomson, who believed she had come to grips with her husband being a werewolf always kind of felt the wear and tear of the monthly transformations. And when her daughter lost the genetic lottery and came out a werewolf too—well, it was just a matter of time from there. She made it exactly forty months before locking both of them in the changing rooms to turn, and disappearing into the night, long gone before her husband was capable of going after her in any capacity. When he finally got back to normal, there was no trace of where she had gone.
The story of a wife leaving in the middle of the night wasn’t too hard to believe, especially since Mrs. Thomson had always been a bit standoffish with her neighbors, which made her very few friends in the community—but when you took the few details story of her leaving, coupled with a twelve-year-old girl with a large bruise on her face…
Madden had met with child protective services a couple of times. Luckily, the excuses were well practiced and the clear love between Madden and her father kept them out of hot water until she passed eighteen. Now—she was a twenty-one-year-old college senior. No one could call CPS on her anymore, but it didn’t stop worried looks and pamphlets handed to her “just in case” when a bruise bloomed across her face. She tried very hard to take it as a sign of love and care and to not get frustrated with people assuming she couldn’t take care of herself.
“Mads! If you’re going to want a ride to campus this morning, I’m rolling out in fifteen!” Her father shouted through the walls. He at least sounded like he had it all together this morning—then again, he did have an extra twenty years of practice on her…maybe she’d figure it out by the time she was forty-five too.
“I’m coming!” She shouted back, letting the robe fall from her shoulders and picking out an outfit that would hide the bruise and not aggravate her sore ribs too much. Full Moon down, only Monday to go.