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Fiction Urban Fantasy Horror

“There aren't enough words.”

“What do you mean?”

“Those were simple words, no more than two syllables. How can you not know what I mean?”

“Mr. Jenkins... Leonard... If you're here to play games, I have other things to do. The precinct keeps me busy as...”

“Fine. I mean the English language, as extensive as it may be, does not hold the vocabulary necessary to properly articulate the phenomena and causation of the metamorphosis which imposes itself upon my person at a specific point in the lunar calendar...”

“You seriously think you're a werewolf? What am I supposed to do with this?

“Just lock me up! In a cell. By myself.”

“Mr. Werewolf, where should we put the new arrests, then? Since we're taking orders from you, now.”

“Officer, if you put anyone in there with me, you may as well have murdered them. Just lock me up for one night. That's all I ask. In my own cell. Tonight is the full moon so you'll see I'm not making this up.”

“I have a better idea. How about I give you the name and number of a good psychiatrist. They work on a sliding scale, per your income, so you don't have to worry about not being able to afford...”

“The word is lycanthropy, officer. When someone is under the delusion of being a werewolf? I've already seen the shrinks. They didn't believe me either and tried to give me drugs. Just lock me up. One night. That's all I'm asking. You'll see I'm not crazy.

A younger officer walked up with a stack of papers they believed to be important. “Lieutenant”

Lieutenant Roman took the stack of papers and pulled out a pen from his shirt pocket. “I'm sorry. We're not a hotel. We have actual threats to society that we need to keep locked up. You should listen to your shrinks.” Lieutenant Roman left it at that and shifted his attention to the stack of papers.

Leonard stood up from his chair, in front of Lieutenant Roman's desk and stormed out of his office. He had purpose built a room in the last house he lived in, specifically for what happened to him during a full moon. It wasn't much, just iron shackles bolted to the wall and those walls were covered in soundproof foam. No one asks questions when you buy off the internet. But it would be a while before he could obtain and install such things for his new house. And the full moon was coming that night. It's not like he could call and reschedule. Leonard was so excited about being able to afford such a nice place with the promotion, and was so used to already having such things, that he completely forgot that the new house wasn't previously owned by werewolves. Few are. Since the sheriff's office wouldn't accommodate his special needs, he would have to make due.

Leonard stood on the sidewalk that separated the parking lot from the sheriff's office building and pulled a cigarette from his jacket pocket.

“You really a werewolf?” Asked the young girl, to his side. “Do werewolves get cancer?”

Her sudden presence startled Leonard and he almost dropped his cigarette. Her height was far below his line of site. He blamed his frustration for not hearing her walk up behind him. He looked down and told her, “Yes, I am. And I don't know.”

“I'm Katie.” Katie was waist height to Leonard. Her hair was long, straight and blonde, down past her shoulders, with a red bow in the middle of the back. Her daddy had put it there this morning, before she left the house.

“Mine is Leonard. You really shouldn't be around me, Katie.” Leonard was not quite six feet tall and dressed in a pair of black slacks and a white button up shirt with thin red cross stitching. He knew what happened tonight and knew better than to wear anything expensive, so these were the best he could find at the thrift store. His daddy did not put a bow in his hair.

“I know. I was listing to you talk to my daddy.”

“What? You weren't in the... Were you hiding under his desk?”

“I was. He takes me to work with him, sometimes and I hide there when he talks to wits-nis-ses” She wiped her hands on her denim skirt.

“Witnesses. That's very sneaky, Katie. You really need to go back inside and not talk to me. I'm dangerous.”

“Why?”

“Stranger danger? Just go back inside to your daddy. I'm sure he's worried about you.”

“Okay. We're friends now, right Leonard?”

“Sure, kid. Go back to your daddy and I'll see you around. Okay?”

“Okay. See you, Leonard.” She waved her little hand at him then ran back inside.

That night, the full moon rose and set. Instead of enjoying the pleasant weather and the night air, Leonard tried locking himself in his house, for all the good it did. He still got out and he did what werewolves have done for centuries, if not longer. That morning, he walked back to his house, barefoot and holding a green plastic tarp around his waist, that he found in the woods. It was all he could do to keep from causing a public disturbance. He had tried to wash off his sins from the previous night in a local creek, but trails of pink still persisted around his mouth and neck. When he finally got home and let himself in through the backdoor with the key that he kept hidden under the bird feeder, he threw up. Leonard wretched what contents were left in his stomach, took a long hot, soapy shower then collapsed on the couch for much needed sleep.

A few hours later, there came a knocking on the door. Leonard considered not answering it so he could keep sleeping. He'd just been having a pleasant dream. For Leonard, that meant any dream that didn't involve werewolves, vampires or anyone coming to an untimely death. He didn't have those often.

The knocking came again. Leonard grudgingly rolled off the couch. It occurred to him that it could be a cop, wondering about the whereabouts of some unfortunate soul, dumb enough to wander into a back alley or into the woods with the idea of taking a shortcut. Leonard had warned them, but they didn't listen.

He opened the door and saw nothing. For the moment, he thought he may have been the victim of a ding-dong-ditch and was delighted at the thought of going back to sleep. Then he looked down and found Katie. Her blond hair was braided in the back. “Good morning, Leonard” She said.

“Katie? What are you doing...?”

“I thought you might need some company so I came over to see how you were doing.”

“How did you find out where I live?” Leonard was still groggy from his nap and wondered if he was still dreaming. He rubbed his eyes to see if she'd still be there afterwards. She was.

“My daddy is Lieutenant Roman, 'member? Besides, this is a really small town. Everyone knows where you live.” Katie walked through the door and passed Leonard. He could see where she laid her bike in the middle if his front lawn. He wondered why kids don't ever use the kickstand.

“Come on in. Make yourself at home. Put your feet up. Watch some cartoons.” He said sarcastically as Katie hopped up on his couch and immediately used his cable remote to find cartoons to watch. Leonard walked over to where she sat and told her, “You really shouldn't be here.”

“Why?” She asked as she settled on a channel.

“Because you're a little girl and I'm a grown man. I could be an ax murder or something.”

“Are you?”

“No, I told you, I'm a werewolf.”

“I thought werewolves were only wolves on full moons.”

“Yes, we are, I mean most of the time, but... That's beside the point. Does your daddy, the Lieutenant, know you're here?”

“He's fine with it” Katie shrugged her shoulders, never taking her eyes off the cartoon.

“I have a hard time believing that.” Leonard happened to catch a bit of the cartoon that Katie was watching. “That's the one where he fights Mugato.”

“You've seen it?”

“Yeah, it's good. I won't give you spoilers, though. You want something to drink?”

“Sure. What do you have?”

Leonard took a moment to think about it. “I have water and... I have water. Sorry, I don't have kids. Everything else is for grownups.”

“Water is fine.”

He didn't see her again for a month. He found himself hoping she'd knock on his door, one morning out of the blue. When he went to the store, he picked up a few different juices, just in case. That's what kids drink, right? The days came and went but the knocks didn't come with them. He couldn't very well go to the Lieutenant's house and ask to play with his daughter. That's the quickest way to get shot. Not that it would matter, unless the bullet was silver. But he didn't want to make any trouble for anyone. He had plenty trouble of his own to deal with. So he just kept hoping that she'd pop in, one day. Eventually, he forgot about her. He drank the juice. It was good for him, anyway. And he went on with life as usual. Then, the next full moon came.

Leonard was eating dinner while watching a movie when there came a knock at the door. He didn't pay attention, at first. By then, he had set up surround sound in his living room and he thought it was just part of the show. When the knock came again, he paused his movie and almost hopped to the door. For a brief moment, he let himself hope that it was his little friend, Katie. When he opened the door, he found her there, standing in front of him, wearing a little polka-dot dress. Her pretty blond hair was in soft curls. Behind her stood Lieutenant Roman and three other men that he didn't recognize.

“Leonard” Said Katie “You need to invite us in.”

“Come in?”

The group of people walked in the door passed Leonard and stood around, taking up space in the kitchen and the living room. One of them sat on a kitchen counter. Another leaned into the stairs to the basement to see what could be seen. Lieutenant Roman stood in front of Leonard with his hands resting on his belt.

“What's going on?” Leonard asked, nervous.

Katie said, “It's the full moon. Do you have what you need for the night?”

“What? But...”

“Leonard” Said Lieutenant Roman “There's no way to say this, other than to say it, right out.”

“Say what? What's going on? Am I under arrest? I told you when I got here that I needed to be locked up.” Leonard became afraid. He had been around a long time and lived in a lot of towns. He had come to know about vigilante justice and what a lynch mob can do, even to a werewolf. A rope around their neck may not kill them, but they'll wish it did.

“We're vampires, Leonard” Said Lieutenant Roman.

“We've been watching you since you got here. We wanted to make sure that you were who you said you were.” said Katie.

“We haven't had a real werewolf come through here in maybe what? A hundred years, Katie?”

“At least that. We've had a few who thought they were. We made ourselves look pretty dumb, when we believed them.”

“So now what?” Leonard's voice shook. He looked for a cooking knife to grab, if he needed to. The man who took his seat on the kitchen counter, did so right beside the knife block. So much for that.

“See, Leonard. We need to make sure our source of nourishment is protected.” Lieutenant Roman boxed in the problem with his hands. “Meaning, the good humans of this town. To make sure there's always enough. You understand.”

“We know what you did last month” Said Katie. “We gave you a freebie to see if you'd make preparations for this month. Let you settle in. Gave you the benefit of a doubt.”

“Do you have what you need for tonight, Leonard?”

Leonard took a step backward and bumped into a man standing behind him.

“N-no” He swallowed. “No. I don't.” He wondered if he could escape by just running away and would they be able to catch him before he could open the door. He knew how fast vampires are.

“Oh, Leonard. That's terrible. I started to like you.” Katie said. “Why, Leonard?”

“Be-because.” He swallowed again. “L-last month. Last month was the first time in years that I was able to get out, under the light of the full moon and... be who I am.” Leonard's fears were calmed. He was able to distract them long enough. As they were talking, the full moon came out from behind a cloud and shown on the town. “Last month, I remembered how much I love being a werewolf!”

Leonard came to enjoy living in his new house, in the new town and working at the new job. When people asked what happened to the sheriff, little Katie and the other men that came to his house that night, he'd just tell them that he hadn't seen them and asked if they suspected foul play. And every month at the full moon, the town belonged to Leonard.

October 28, 2020 03:31

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2 comments

Regina Perry
17:38 Oct 28, 2020

Whoa, creepy! I love how you ended this one, Jeff. Great twist! Katie almost gave herself away when she admitted to being a spy near the beginning, but who would suspect an angelic little girl of espionage? I loved the line about how Leonard's daddy hadn't put a bow in his hair. I thought Leonard was going to commit some kind of minor crime, just enough to be locked up for one night, but I guess he didn't want that kind of thing on his record. One thing that seems to trip you up grammatically is dealing with punctuation and capitalisati...

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J.S. Johnston
00:07 Oct 29, 2020

Thanks! I love hearing how people interoperate my stuff, especially when they don't know me. Everyone needs a good mirror to keep them on track. Thanks for the tip about the dialog grammar. I'll check that out :-)

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