Every time Secret sneezed, she changed into a wolf. Tangled and grey across the floor she would lie panting. And then, after a few minutes, she lost her fuzz and her ears shrank and her eyes lost their yellow madness. The last thing to change was her teeth. She’d pull up her lip and angle her head in the mirror, admire her stupendous canines, and make vampire faces.

Secret: named for the way her mother announced her pregnancy. It’s a secret, don’t tell your daddy.

The wolf thing had been happening her whole life. As a child, she would deliberately lie face down in fields and huff the pollen, causing her to spasmodically burst back and forth between cub and child, cub and child.

The feeling started as a thrill in the corners of the nostrils. Something soft that tingled. And down it warmed her breast bones and coiled in her stomach until back up it whooshed and out came the sneeze. Bang! Four paws and a plump tail.

Secret spent a lot of time in the bathroom when she was at work. Quietly snorting bumps of pepper off her fingertip. A scrabbling of claws against the porcelain.

The change never lasted long. And the rush it gave her was brief and electrifying. At night, Secret tried to sneeze more than she did in the day, hoping somehow to draw down the moon and in turn become stuck in her lupine state. Her bedsheets were a mess of cumin and crushed coriander, pigweed, and salt grass.

The man didn’t know any of this as he spread her open.

Secret, aware that her normal sneeze stimulants weren’t working as they used to, had decided to try another method.

He had followed her home that evening and she decided to let him in.

In her spicy sheets, gritty with juniper stalks, he pulled off her clothes and the moon inched closer to glow her with borrowed sunlight.

Mmm, she whined.

The man was pleased and his teeth were naked in the gloom. He hefted and pushed, humped, and held her.

The itch in her swelled. Secret flooded with wild. She howled.

The wolf burst onto the mattress, throwing the man off with the force of its happening.

In the dark, he screamed and crawled under the bed. Secret shook her shaggy head back and forth, enjoying the weight of her fresh jaw. Minutes passed. Her body unchanged, fur igniting with starlight. She sniffed the air; salt, fleshy, and heat. There was a cry from beneath the bed.

Secret descended.