Carrie Ann Miller was late again. For her whole life she had always been a late person. As a baby she had been late to walk, late to talk, even late to start school. The only thing about her that wasn’t late were her growth spurts. Carrie was a big girl. Her body had grown rapidly, but it seemed to never mature. By the time she had started third grade she was the biggest girl in the class. Despite her size though, she was always picked last at sports, her arms and legs a jungle of confusion. She was never popular, always being too tall or too gangly and was the point of many cruel jokes by her classmates. She had been the last girl in her grade to wear a bra, and now she was the last girl in her class who hadn’t had a period yet. Some of her friends were dating and even having SEX! But not Carrie, she just wanted to be like everyone else. Something was wrong with her. She knew the truth.
Carrie had even made her Mom take her to her doctor, but he had been no help. Telling her things like she was simply a late bloomer and she had nothing to worry about. Plenty of girls like her came of age late. He even said she shouldn’t be in such a hurry to grow up. Well he wasn’t the one being teased in high school, she was.
Despite all this, all Carrie was thinking about was that she was late again. Today of all days, her 16th birthday. Carrie clutched her books tighter as she ran around the corner, her house finally in sight. Her parents had been planning a surprise party, which one of her classmates had let slip, and she was late in getting home. That had probably been why her parents had said they were going to celebrate her birthday tomorrow, to throw her off their plans. Like her Dad would really have to fly out of town on his little girl’s Sweet Sixteen. Carrie’s long brown hair flew behind her as she clutched her books tight to her school uniform, her pleated skirt bustling in the breeze. Carrie bounded up the stairs two at a time into her house and burst through the door.
She immediately wondered if she was so late that she had missed the party entirely. The house was empty, though it seems her Mom had forgot to lock the front door again. She wandered from room to room, each time expecting someone to jump out and yell surprise. But as she opened the door to the last room, her bedroom, she felt a sinking feeling in her stomach. There, on her desk lay a note from her mother, an emergency at the hospital, and she had been called in. There had been more on the note, promises to make it up tomorrow at her big party, but Carrie only glanced at it.
Crestfallen, Carrie slumped down on her bed, and dropped her books on the floor. Carrie stayed in the silent room for what seemed like hours, small tears falling from her cheeks. Why was she so cursed? Why could she never be right? Today, her very own sweet sixteen, not yet a woman, not still a girl. And she was all alone.
As dusk began to fall, Carrie’s room slowly filled with the night. The fullness of the moon bathed her room in a soft light. Part of her was still sad about her parents not being here, another part angry at believing the joke her school mate had played on her. As she stood up to go to the bathroom, she noticed an odd stain on her sheets. Dark red, spread directly under where she was sitting. Immediately she checked her panties, finding the tell tale signs that womanhood had finally come.
As she stood looking at the stain, an odd feeling crept into her stomach. Must be cramps, though strange as it was to feel that now. The feeling slowly tightened on her midsection, causing her to double over in pain. Grabbing one of the corners of her four poster bed, she hung on with one arm, the other clutching her stomach. Carrie stumbled to her bathroom, feeling nauseous and wincing in pain. As she lurched into her bathroom she fell to the floor, curling up like an infant.
The pain, once confined to her stomach had spread, into her arms and legs, her head felt like it was being split apart. She tried to cry out in pain, but only a sharp barking cough came out, flecked with spit, bile, and blood. Carrie pulled her hands to her face, trying to soothe what felt like cracked flesh, and that’s when she first saw the Change.
Her hands, though always big for her age, had lengthened, turning dark and sinewy. The nails, once painted red, had turned hard and thick, ending in dark yellow points. Her long brown hair seemed everywhere she looked. Panicking, Carrie reached for the lip of the sink, trying to pull herself up, to see what was happening to her in the mirror. As she pulled herself into a crouch, she heard the tearing of clothes and saw her legs. Her plaid skirt hung in tattered around her waist, socks and shoes spilt off her feet. Long, course brown hair covered her legs, which had grown thick with muscle. She could feel the popping and stretching of the tendons as her bones reknitted themselves, her knees reversing like that of some giant dog.
Crying out in pain and terror,Carrie pushed herself up and clutched the mirror. What she saw in the reflection she didn’t even recognize. Her face was no longer her own, ending in a long fanged snout, her brown hair covering her face and chest, visible through the tattered remains of her shirt and undergarments. Long ears poked from beneath the fur, as sensations she wasn’t aware of a moment ago came flooding to her. The smells of the house and from down the street, the sounds of dogs and other animals from blocks away, all as clear as if they were in the room with her. There was another sensation Carrie felt, one she instinctively knew to follow. The hunger. The hunger for blood.
She let out a long howl, piercing the quiet neighborhood. Carrie bounded from the mirror to the bedroom window and gazed up to the moon, it’s shine seemingly brighter. Sniffing the air, Carrie Ann Miller knew one thing. She was late. She was late for dinner.