Ever since the Giant Pike Accident, he keeps his mouth shut when swimming. Alone in the night, lips twitching, he can still feel the fish flap deep inside. Searching.
He’d heard the stories about changelings. He was certain that the man next door was one. How else could you explain the wolf tracks that could be seen in wet mud or snow leading up to the yard? As a little boy the thought bred fear in him. If he had to walk past the house he would often cross the street and then cross back. Or he would run like all the banshees of hell were chasing him past the house and then out of breath he would slow down to a fast walk glancing back over his shoulder nervously
As he got older the fear turned into a tingly kind of intrigue. He would watch from his window late at night trying to get a glimpse of the man/wolf emerging from the house. The large tree outside his window, and the bushes in front of the back door blocked his view. He thought he almost saw something several times but he couldn’t be sure.
Finally, one fateful moonless night he decided to sit near the trees and watch. He waited for hours, the night cold as it was late November. Silently the door opened and for a moment Mr. O’Malley could be seen. In an instant he was gone and a large grey wolf slipped out of the door. Denny gasped to see it. The wolf’s head shot up at the sound and headed in Denny’s direction. He ran through the wood. He could hear the wolf coming quickly behind him. His foot slipped and he began to fall at first into nothingness and then with a splash he fell into Jackolear Lake. His mouth wide open in a scream. Denny gasped and water filled his throat and lungs. Suddenly he found himself turned into a giant pike.