But I don't let go. I stay in my crouch position and taste her like a new fruit, with caution. When she tries to get me to the ground I'm up and over near the gate. Crouching again, both my hands and feet pressed into the dirt, looking at her.
'What's wrong? Weren'tchyou enjoying that?'
And I was. And I'm enjoying this too. I say nothing, move a bit closer to her. Try to will my body into that of a dog. Remember, I've still only done it during a full moon, and then it was like automatic. I had no control. Coralee smiles at me and I push blood into my muscles, my extremities. Imagine it like lava, hot and determined.
'Ok,' says Coralee, 'so ye feel like a fight. I'm up to that,' and she changes just like that. I'm not scared. I'm amazed, fascinated. It's like her body turns inside out. She becomes sinewy, all red raw flesh and white teeth. Then hairy, and she falls down onto all fours and snarls.
And the snarl's like a piece of string. It pulls me inside out, lets the beast out of its cage. I want to yell with joy, I've done it I'VE DONE IT, but instead I'm growling with her, at her. We pace round each other, try to smell the other's fear, what the next movement is going to be. Never do we lose eye contact.