Once everyone got over the shock of what had just happened, they all breathed a sigh of relief that they no longer had to hide what they truly were. Shana now knew and the boat was under a spell of illusion should any plane or satellite pick up any images.
The boys, immediately reacting to that realization, suddenly resumed their rough play but now in their true forms with Rabishu and Hooligan taking their wraith and ethereal forms respectively whenever one of the other boys tried to grasp a hold of them. Of course, Marcus had the advantage of vampire speed but Rabishu and Hooligan were nearly as fast. Luke, Wade, and Mike shifted into were-forms, revealing that they were a small pack of wild dog were-creatures, but though they were faster than human, they weren’t as fast as the other three. But what they lacked in speed, they made up for in viciousness.
The adults from Land’s End retained their human forms for the time being, so Shana didn’t know if they were all wild dogs or other types of were-creatures. Then she remembered Jarrel letting slip that he was a were-porcupine when she suddenly saw him shift into his form after hearing him ask his brother, Jonathan if it were okay to do so. He didn’t play rough with the other children but he did run around like a coach on the sidelines, shouting for them to be careful and not to hurt one another in worried and sometimes panicked tones when he felt the play becoming a bit too rough. And Shana had to agree with his concern as she gasped herself a few times when claws and teeth were being used. But apparently none of the adults were concerned, nor the boys themselves.
Shana’s attention was drawn to the man from Land’s End who had been wearing the long cloak with the deep hood, making it impossible to see his face when she heard a woman gently convincing him to remove the cloak. “It’s okay, Samuel. We’re safe here and no one is going to judge you. You can’t live under a cloak all your life. I’ll shift into my form too so that you feel more comfortable. Alright?”
The Pastor sighed but nodded and at least pulled his hood down, causing Shana to gasp when she saw that he looked like an earthworm with human features added on, and when Martha coaxed him out of his cloak altogether, she could see he had a long slim body with tiny arms and hands, and tiny legs and feet, though they appeared to support his weight. When he moved, he appeared to be extremely flexible as if he didn’t have a spine, or at least an extremely flexible one because he wasn’t completely flopping over.
For a moment Samuel’s eyes met Shana’s and seeing the shock on her face, he quickly turned his head away in shame.
Shana realizing that her reaction had caused him to feel ashamed went over to him with a smile on her face and she apologized, taking one of his tiny hands in her own. “I’m sorry for my reaction. I didn’t mean to make you feel uncomfortable. This is all new to me, so I admit I was shocked at your appearance because, well… I’ve never seen people in anything but human-form and yours surprised me more than the others because when I think of were-creature, I think mammal for some reason. Due to the stories about werewolves, I suppose. I didn’t realize that it could cover other species. Are you a were-worm?”
Sam answered though he kept his head down. “No, I’m not a were-creature at all. Something happened to me where I spontaneously changed into this just before Aberly turned the others. It’s God’s punishment for my self-righteousness.”
Belial overhearing came over and spoke, “I doubt God had anything to do with this. When Hooligan, Shayde, and myself were on a bus being relocated from Avery after the gas explosion, a woman sitting in front us spontaneously shifted into an anthropomorphic form; not a worm but a shrew.
Belial’s eyes suddenly went to Hooligan, as he remembered how he had giggled when Shayde had asked his father if he had changed the woman and Belial had said, no.