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Drama Thriller Horror

It’s the crack of dawn in the suburbs when Marcus comes to the door, knocking with the edge of his gun on the door. The sky’s red, and gold, with a tiny hint of blue, just like his huffing, clearly cold face. He shuffles his feet on the welcome mat, jumping from one foot to another as he peers through the window. 

“Hello!” Marcus screams, as loud as an asthmatic smoker could. “Anyone home? I’m the new neighbor!” His voice is gruff and low.

Silence. Curtains ruffle in the window, with a nose and a glaring pair of eyes disappearing from sight.

“Helllooo?”

Silence. Then a “click”, like something from a lock.

He puts his gun in his back pocket, and purses his lips as he waits, preparing his “good neighbor” smile in the meanwhile.

“I’m definitely going to need that smile” he thinks to himself.

************************************************************************

Marcus has had to practice that smile since he was six years old.

He was on the playground that day, running after a group of his classmates, asking if he could join in their game of tag. 

One of them--a small, blonde haired little boy, with eyes as big as the moon--turns around. He looks at 

Marcus, squinting and analyzing him, in that peculiar little way that only kids can do. Finally, after a few minutes, he sneers and pushes Marcus to the ground.

Marcus freezes. He’s unsure of what just happened, what to do, what to say. The only thing he knows is that his hands are growing hair at every second, his vision more tunneled,  his ears  becoming more pointed. “It hurts so much! He thinks to himself. Maybe if I cover my ears, it’ll hurt less.”

It’s then he sees the boy, pale and staring at him with a look of pure fright. That fright only grows more and more as Marcus, growling with red hot anger, pounces on the boy, beating and biting him until a teacher pulls him off. 

It’s then, and only then, that Marcus begins to cry. Not because he was afraid of what his parents would do (although it certainly played a part), but because he could feel the shame beginning to overwhelm him.”

*****************************************************************************

Click. Clack. Click.

The door opens, to reveal a young man, his eyes red and bleary, with a ring of smoke around him. “Can I help you?” he says, one eyebrow raised pointedly at the edge of the gun on the porch. 

Marcus just shakes his head and smiles. “Nah. Just wanted to introduce myself.” He takes out his hand, as though to shake hands with the neighbor. 

The man stares at Marcus, scanning him from head to toe. He leans forward, and his hand draws back and forth, as though he can’t decide whether or not to shake hands.

Marcus clears his throat. “Name’s Marcus. I just moved here yesterday--all the way from Yellowstone, to the house right across the street! I just wanted to introduce myself to the neighbors.”

The man’s face softens, forming a half-smile at the bottom as he checks out Marcus from head to toe. “Oh”, he says, quietly and strained. “I’m Jonah. Would you like to come inside? It’s awfully cold out today.”

“Sure!

“Just leave the gun in your pocket, and put the safety on. I don’t want it accidentally going off in the house-not unless it kills one of those werewolves that’s always wondering about.”

Marcus stops dead in his tracks, color disappearing from his face. His lips form words, but he cannot speak them, due to the shock of what he just heard. 

Jonah turns around at the sudden silence. He surveys Marcus with a confused, shocked face, as he prys open the door handle. 

“What?”, Jonah says, quite petulantly, “I was just joking. Do you want to come inside or not?”

Marcus stops for a minute, his mind pacing back and forth between standing his ground where he stood, and escaping the cold on the inside. After a good solid minute, he finds himself walking closer and closer to Jonah at the door, the warmth of the inside enveloping him.

*************************************************************************************

Marcus was about thirteen years old that day--he’d just had his birthday the day before. He’d been playing video games--Super Mario Brothers, if he remembered correctly--on the new Nintendo system, and his mother was standing behind him screaming.

“Marcus! MARCUS!”. Her eyes were gleaming and sharp, her face as red as a tomato. “I need to talk to you NOW.”

His eyes remained glued on the television. “One minute, Mom.

TURN OFF THE VIDEO GAME NOW.

One sec, Mom, I gotta beat this level.

You turn off that video game right now, or so help me God.” Her voice, usually shrill, had reached the ceiling by this point.

Marcus sighed, as he switched off the Nintendo system. “What, Mom.” His voice was petulant, and dramatic.

“Were you skipping school again?”

Marcus could feel the anger and indignation rising up in his breast. How dare she find out the truth? 

“No.

“I just got another report from the principal. You’ve been skipping school again.

No, I haven’t, Mom. 

Yes, you have, Marcus. Don’t lie to me. This is the fourth time--the next time, they’ll have our asses in court for truancy. Do you want me to end up in jail?

It would do a hell of a lot of good for society.”

The color from his mother’s face drains. She glares at him, steely-eyed, like a flint rock. 

“How dare you. No more video games. You’re turning this off, and you’re going to your room. No games, no TV, no going out for a month. Do you understand?”

The heat in his body overwhelms him. He grins, ready to pounce, maybe even kill her. Her neck would taste good, he thinks to himself. So would the crunch of the bones, the sound of her screams. It would serve her right, for everything she’s done right now. 

He begins to lunge, his knees buckling for the run. His hands reach out in front of him, ready to strangle the life out of her.

But then, he stops.

Her face is frozen, into a female version of that painting with the scream (minus the hands). She’s panting in and out, in and out, looking at him as though he were a madman swinging an ax.

This is wrong, he thinks to himself. So, so wrong.

*************************************************************************************

It was light in Jonah’s kitchen, with the kind of musty smell that came with old, cluttered kitchens. Coffee mugs littered the countertop, next to a burnt out stove, and fridge full of reminders on magnets. A marijuana joint lay burning on an ashtray somewhere, adding a sickly sweet smell to the must and the clutter.

Jonah immediately turns to an old kettle, and begins to fill it up with water. Turning back to Marcus, he asks “You want some coffee? Or do werewolves only take tea?”

Marcus’ face begins to twitch. “I’ll have some coffee. Do you have any Bailey’s you can put in it?”

Jonah begins to smile. “Good man! I could use some Irish coffee too. There’s some Bailey’s in the living room, if you don’t mind getting it. Sugar? Milk?

Sure, I’ll get it. No sugar, no milk.

Sure thing.”

Marcus slowly shifts himself to what seems to be the living room, and immediately starts feeling for his gun. 

The room’s littered with posters--some with wolves devouring children, others with simply a pair of vigilante soldiers with wolf skins. Some even have a wolf eating a pinup girl for an appetizer. All of them smeared with “BEWARE THE WEREWOLF.”

Marcus can feel his heart racing. Slowly, he turns to a bookshelf, peering at the titles. Some of them were studies. Others are fiction and folklore. All contained advice on how to get rid of a clear problem--the werewolf.

Slowly, he backs off, gripping the bottle ever so tightly, his eyes not letting go of the posters. “Hey 

Jonah!” he yells. “What the fuck is this?”

Jonah comes slowly out of the kitchen, holding a bubbling cup of coffee in his hands. “What’s what?” he asks.

“All these posters, and shit. What are they?”

Jonah breathes a sigh of relief, as he looks around the room. “Oh, these?” he says. “Those are just some posters I bought for the house. Why does it matter? You’re not a werewolf, or something--are you?”

Jonah peers quizzically at Marcus, who has now gone completely silent with rage. “Huh”, he finally says after a few minutes, “I didn’t recognize you as being one of them, but--”

“One of who, Jonah?” Marcus said, his voice as steely as his mother’s used to get.

“You know--one of them.

A werewolf?

Well, yeah. What else would it be?

I dunno, anything else?

Oh come on, Marcus. Don’t bullshit me. I’ve seen you howl at the moon, when you first moved in. I’ve seen your fangs, and your ears getting pointy--hell, I’ve even seen you grow fur. Shit, you’re growing fur and fangs right now!”

Marcus turns down, and looks at himself. His arms were covered in fur, and he could feel himself panting like a wet dog. 

“Oh come on, Marcus”, he tells himself. Not now. Remember what Mom told you to do when you get like this. Breathe in, breathe out. Good, right through your nose. Good. Goood.”

Slowly, the fur on his hands start to disappear, as cool air comes in and out through his nose. Slowly, his ears begin to shrink, and slowly, his vision becomes wider and wider. Slowly, he looks up at Jonah, disgusted and calm.

“You’re right,” he says, enunciating  every word. “I am a werewolf. But I am a werewolf with dignity and grace. I am not the animal that this--your--propaganda makes me out to be. Trust me, I could be that animal if I wanted to--and I’d love to be one right now--but I won’t. It would be stooping to your level.”

Jonah squares up to Marcus, aligning himself chest to chest. Between clenched teeth, he sputters and spits. “What do you mean, stooping to my level?”

Instantly, Marcus could feel his ears becoming more pointed, and the hair growing on his clenched arms. He begins huffing and puffing, ready to blow Jonah and his house down. He growls, and in a hoarse voice, manages to bark:

“I meant exactly what I said. Stooping to your level. Don’t tempt me anymore. I’m VERY close to killing you.”

Jonah glares him straight in the eye, unblinking and unwavering.He spits on the ground, close to Marcus’ feet. “Kill me,” he says. “I dare you to.”

Marcus lunges at Jonah, pummeling him to the ground. Biting, scratching, transforming into a tangled circle of howls and war cries from both ends. Blood pours all over the floor, and onto the wall, and the snapping of bones permeates the air. 

Somehow, during the fight, Marcus finds himself holding his gun. Somehow, he finds himself, loading, shaking as he holds Jonah down, and presses the gun to his head. Somehow, he flinches and turns away as he pulls the trigger, not wanting to see what he had done.

Marcus is still shaking when he wakes up from the red-hot stuper. He’s still shaking as he looks down at Jonah’s lifeless, bloody body, and drops his gun. He’s still shaking as he retreats into a back corner, never once taking his eyes off the body.

It’s then, and only then, that he begins to look at his bloody hands, and cry to himself. “What have I done? Animal, animal, animal!” 

October 29, 2020 01:26

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12 comments

Maya Zauberman
00:16 Nov 06, 2020

Thank you!

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Xander Dmer
20:56 Feb 08, 2021

Why are there DOWNVOTERS????? I mean think to yourself. . . What is downvoting someone doing??? Lowering peoples Karma Points ( Not Nice! ) Positive Energy NOT negative :D :D :D XD XD

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23:24 May 30, 2022

huh im so confused LOL pls explain XD

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09:14 Nov 10, 2020

Liked the content

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Maya Zauberman
18:18 Nov 19, 2020

Thank you!

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I. F.
01:36 Nov 05, 2020

Great job with this one! In that first sentence you use the word door twice, I’d suggest avoiding using the same word in one sentence (I realize I just did it myself 😂). There are a few sentences I thought were a little awkward, and sometimes it was unclear who was being referred to, but overall this is a strong piece. Marcus is a really engaging character!

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Maya Zauberman
02:56 Nov 05, 2020

Thank you! I’ll make sure to edit these mistakes out!

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Retee Satish
01:40 Jun 17, 2021

This story was amazing!

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Atenaga Monday
07:24 May 14, 2021

Plz I need your help with my book can we talk mdatenaga@gmail.com

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Izzie P.
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09:13 Nov 10, 2020

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