Sniff Test

“As you can imagine this arrangement is best kept between us,” Professor Woodman said. Lupe Villalobos stood in an empty class room in front of the seated, round man in a tweed suit. He pushed up his green horn-rimmed glasses, and smiled awkwardly at Lupe. “It would benefit my lessons if I’m able to use you as a sort of,…” his hands waved in the air while he struggled with the right word. “…visual-aid. I understand you may not want to reveal that side of you to your classmates,” he gave a weak, obligatory nod. “But, I could use your help illustrating differences between Unique and Zero werewolves.” Lupe’s eyes widened. The extra fluorescent light made them sparkle like emeralds.

“There’s another werewolf here?” She felt a tickling at the back of her neck; the tiny red hairs bristled up from her tan skin. The man nodded causing his neatly combed dark bangs to dip to his forehead. He used his hand to push it back up as a reflex.

“Ms. Knight teaches Balance, but I doubt they put you in her class,” he shrugged with a high-pitched chuckle. “I don’t have to tell you about werewolves, right?” Lupe breathed a sigh of relief and nodded.

“Once you show your feral side, that can be the extent of it. I have various demonstrations in mind,” Mr. Woodman paused. He opened the top drawer of his desk and pulled out a palm-sized, jingling, black leather sack. The sharp sound of the silver clinking together was enough to ring in Lupe’s ears. She took a step back.

“Oh, sorry,” he apologized in a hurry. He carefully put the sack down and closed the drawer again. “I didn’t know you were that sensitive to silver.” Lupe forced a smile and shrugged.

“I didn’t either, there wasn’t much silver on my Earth.”

“Well, that’s what I was going to explain anyway. Once you demonstrate to the class how you turn, that’s already your earned ‘A’. There are other demos that I’d like to pair with lessons about different Unique aspects, but the choice is yours for each one.” He knocked on the dark-wood desk. “We obviously won’t do the silver one. If you agree, you’ll have to change next week at the latest. And if you like, I’ll let you use the classroom privately to show your friends before you show the class.” Mr. Woodman smiled at Lupe and pushed his glasses up again. Lupe giggled to herself when she saw them start to move down again the moment his finger stopped helping.

“Wow thanks, Mr. Woodman. I’m definitely interested in the grade, but my friends already know,” Lupe shrugged.

“Jerome what’s the-oh.” A female voice came from the open doorway. Lupe turned to see a short athletic woman with pink hair standing at the door. A sharp, heavy scent brushed Lupe’s nose. She grimaced at the woman and stepped back while trying to contain a growl in her throat. The woman smirked and stood up straighter.

“Something bothering you, pup?” Though she was not any taller than Lupe’s 5’5″, she somehow managed to look down on the tall girl. Lupe clenched her fists and fought back rushing adrenaline. Professor Woodman jumped out of his seat and rushed to close the door the second he saw the woman. However, she planted her foot to keep the door open. The rotund man’s weight was no match for the strength in a werewolf’s leg. Lupe bared her teeth at the woman with a forced smile.

“Not at all, Zero,” Lupe spoke through gritted teeth. She turned to Mr. Woodman, still leaning against the door. “I’m in, we’ll sort the details later.” Lupe gripped the straps of her grey canvas backpack and walked toward the door. Her knuckles grew whiter as she approached the woman.

“I already forgot why I was here,” Ms. Knight shrugged then cleared the door before Lupe reached it. Lupe visibly relaxed when the woman disappeared down the hall. Color filled her knuckles again.

“She likes you,” Mr. Woodman chuckled and patted Lupe on the back.