Shifting his weight from one foot to the other, Hank cradled his left arm tight to his chest as he stood in front of the glass window admittance counter of Brantford General, behind which a stressed out attendant was finishing up paperwork from the previous patient. The man before him had been rushed directly into a treatment room, heart attack he presumed. She appeared to be ignoring him. After several minutes he wrapped with more force than he intended on the window. Annoyed, the woman showed him her opened palm. A feral sneer twisted his face as he rolled up his sleeve to show her the swollen reddened infection that covered his entire forearm, several puncture marks oozing puss and blood. He hoped that she couldn’t hear the involuntary growl that gurgled from his throat. With the last of his reserved strength he took a slow calming breath. Finally she placed the paper work into a folder and opened the slider.
“Sorry for the wait,” she said. “Let’s face it; the hospital always gets a little crazy when the moon is full.” She chortled in an attempt to ease his agitation but he wasn’t laughing. He knew all too well about the power of the full moon and tonight the Super Moon was rising, the first in seventy years. His pulsating arm stung and itched. The stench from the herbed salve that Tonda, the medicine woman on the reserve, had prepared wafted through the enclosure and the woman wrinkled her nose pulling back to distance herself from the odor.
“Your health card please,” she said. He handed her his Indian status card by mistake. She shook her head no and Hank fumbled through his wallet, his hand shaking; his teeth chattering and his jaw forced forward in unnatural position before laying down his OHIP card.
He remembered Tonda’s words, ‘keep your temper under control. If you can fight the poison through the first full moon after the wolf’s bite, you’ll be immune to transformation.” He fought hard against the rage that was building. His skin felt as though millions of needles were piercing his flesh; his ears peaked hearing the cacophony of suffering noises from the crowded and chaotic emergency department, all the while, the echo of Tonda’s chant droned in his head, an incessant offering to the ancestors in hope of appeasing the evil lycan spirits that threatened to alter Hank forever at midnight.