There is a creature living within me. A beast. A frightening animal. I feel it tearing at the inside of me, clawing my heart, ripping my soul. It is caged, but barely under control. I fear it. Try to keep it restrained. I must keep the upper hand. It must not run free. Ever. I am a werewolf…human form on the outside; wild and untamed creature within. I fight constantly to keep the being inside from transforming me. I do not want to be that ancient animal…a beast that strikes terror in the heart of those it encounters. The creature is all raw craving. Desire. Longing. It howls at the moon while I steadfastly stifle its voice. It runs and cavorts while I walk calmly, purposefully. It sniffs the air that I try not to breathe. It paces in its cage, snapping at the bars. I check the locks on the gate. It growls and bites in its efforts to obtain freedom. I sigh quietly, ignoring the sharp teeth that wound me, placing my fingers in my ears so I cannot hear the low rumble it continually emits as it threatens to tear me to pieces. I must keep it hidden at all costs. I must not let it escape. Its urges must be controlled. I am unacceptable enough in my human form. Oh, God…how much more deplorable would I be as a werewolf? The werewolf is unfiltered want. It is ready to hunt and prowl. It does not deny itself. Is it any wonder I keep it completely and totally squelched? Bad animal! It has needs and isn’t afraid to express them…or take what it requires. Ah, there, I have said it…ugly words. Requires. Wants. It has…needs. Need. It is…need. Need is the creature that claws at my chest, nips at my heart, howls in the darkness, paces within me desiring to be free. Desiring to ask and to find and to take what is necessary for life. Need is the wolf. The werewolf. Need is the animal that must be contained, tamped down, kept under lock and key. Need is the unacceptable. I. Must. Not. Need. I. Must. Not. The needs have been there for a very, very long time. A need for love. For touch. For connection. For companionship. For acceptance. For joy. For partnership. For happiness. For security. Safety. Nurturing. Caring. Sharing. But they must all be denied…these unacceptable needs. They must not be allowed to spring forth from my heart because they would transform me into a werewolf. I know it’s true. I am a pit of need. An ocean of want. Essential requirements have not…and will not…be met. That is my lot in life. Because I am not acceptable. I am difficult to love. I am alone. And the burden of me and all that entails is far too heavy for another to bear. My needs are too much. I am too much. I must do without. So I must keep the ravenous animal caged. Those raging needs. Those intense desires. Those deep wants. Everything I long for must be kept safely hidden away inside. Unfulfilled. The werewolf must not be set free. Someone could be hurt. Badly. And I would be horribly tormented if another person was wounded because of me. Because I yearn and long for and crave. Because I have this voracious beast inside of me that is hungry, always hungry, and who pants and howls in my heart with unending neediness.