After Justin’s attack, Belinda was weak and pale for days. The hospital said that she’d lost a lot of blood from the wound, which had the appearance of an animal bite. They asked a lot of questions, but Belinda just kept shaking her head and repeating, “I don’t know, I don’t know.” So they stitched it up and gave her a bottle of pills to prevent infection.
Belinda refused to take the pills, however. I couldn’t get her to eat or drink anything besides water for the next several weeks. “Please, eat something,” I begged. “You’re losing too much weight.” She responded by shoving me out of her room and slamming the door.
I became frantic, certain that she’d contracted rabies or some other dreadful disease that had sapped away her appetite and flattened her bubbly personality. I sought out Justin, so that I could demand him to tell me what he had done to Belinda, but no one in town had ever heard of a young man by that name. It was as though he didn’t exist. At last, I appealed to Clara the Genie, desperate for any explanation, physical or supernatural, for what had happened to my best friend.
Clara looked puzzled. “The pills the hospital gave her should have prevented any effects.”
“She refused to take the pills,” I said.
Clara’s expression was grim. “Then it may be too late. The infection has already begun to take hold.”
“What infection?” I asked, grabbing Clara’s arm. “Will she be okay? Can you cure it?”
“I will try,” said Clara. “Bring her to me on the night of the full moon.”
Easier said than done. A few nights later, I helped Belinda to dress, then led her out of the house. She paused, lifting her face toward the velvety black sky, where the moon sat like a round, glowing pearl.
“Hurry,” I said, taking her hand. “We need to go see Clara.” But Belinda yanked her hand away and snarled – actually snarled at me, like a threatened animal. I held up my hands and backed away. “Okay, I won’t touch you. Just follow me, okay?”
To my relief, she shuffled along behind me as I led her to Clara’s house. Barbie the Fairy met us just outside. Her eyes widened in shock when she saw Belinda. “She’s transforming,” she said. “This is not good.”
Just then, Belinda snarled again, and lunged toward the fairy, swiping at her with clawed hands. Barbie shrieked and dodged away, then conjured up a rolled newspaper. “Bad wolfie!” she scolded, beating Belinda over the head with it. “You do not attack fairies!”
As Belinda cowered, Barbie threw a handful of pixie dust in her face. “Take that!” she said gleefully. “And that! And that!” Belinda staggered backwards, but all the pixie dust did was make her sneeze. She lunged again, but the fairy had disappeared into a tiny ball of light.
Belinda whipped her head in my direction. She was my very best friend, Leon, and all the family I had in the world. But when I saw the monstrous beast that stood before me in the moonlight, I screamed. This was not Belinda. This was…I don’t know what it was. My heart pounding in my throat, I turned and raced for the door of Clara’s house, then slipped inside and ducked behind the sofa. The door flew open, and Belinda – or the creature that used to be Belinda, followed me inside. For a moment, she just stood there, sniffing the air, then she lifted her chin and let out a howl that made every hair on my body stand on end.
Suddenly, there stood Clara the Genie, her eyes flashing. “I do not allow werewolves in this house!” she said. She clapped her hands together one time, and a purplish mist began to rise and swirl around Belinda. When the air had cleared, Belinda was gone.
I stood, my knees still trembling. “What did you do to her?” I asked.
“I bound her to your home,” said Clara. “She will be unable to leave until the full moon has ended.”
“But…you can cure her, right?” I asked. “You can make her back into a normal person again, can’t you?”
Clara gave me a sad look. “Even the power of a thousand-year old genie cannot break the curse of a werewolf,” she said. “There is only one thing that can do that.”
“What one thing?” I asked.
“Love,” said Clara.
That is the only thing she would tell me, Leon. Apparently, there are no special instructions, no pills, no herbs, and no pixie dust that can make Belinda be just Belinda again. All I can do is continue to love and care for her, then lock her in the basement before the moon rises in the sky. It has been three months now, and the curse has not broken. I wish there were some more effective cure.