Tag Archives: werewolves

Man at the Wheel (revision)

Just a second ago, James had been driving and talking and smiling like normal. Now, he was acting weird. Like some sort of seizure. First, he started to cough and make weird growling noises in his throat. Sasha could tell James was trying to hold on tight to the wheel, but he was twitching involuntarily, too. Like pincher bugs were crawling all over his insides. He was also growing hair. Visibly growing hair on his arms and face. That was a little weird. Okay, it was really weird. Sasha’s hand reached for the car door, though she wasn’t quite sure what to do with it, since they were traveling on the freeway at 60 or 70 miles an hour.

“James? Are you okay?”

Come to think of it, he’d been acting weird since he’d been bitten by that dog the other week. The doctor checked it out, but… well, it wasn’t infected… but… he’d been acting weird, that’s all. Did he really have rabies? He got a shot, so it shouldn’t be that, but then Sasha didn’t know much about rabies except from what she heard from James, which was mostly a lot of reassurance that he probably didn’t have it. She reached for the wheel; James snapped at her hand and growled at her. When did his teeth get so sharp? They looked like fangs!

Out of the corner of her eye, Sasha could see they were headed for the divider.

“Watch out!”

The car went straight up and flipped around so they were looking at oncoming traffic. This would have been bad enough, except James hadn’t taken his foot off the pedal. The clipped a car that was swerving out of the way and careened into a truck. Sasha thought her leg might be crushed from the first impact, but the second had stopped the car dead. She could hear the horns and metal and glass twisting and grating and cracking against itself. She was about to cry out in pain until she heard a high-pitched whine at her side. It wasn’t car noises. Or a siren. It was James, or what could have been James. Sitting in the driver’s seat was some kind of hairy man-thing, its nose stretching out to a snout, fingers curling to claws before her eyes. The creature howled, the pained, tragic howl of a dog. Or a wolf.

“…James?”

She reached her hand toward the creature’s suffering face. What used to be James snapped at her fingers but couldn’t lean in close enough to bite at them. Sasha winced, drawing her hands in close to her body. She looked out of the corner of her eye and then turned her entire head, shamelessly watching the creature, half its torso crushed within the mechanical labyrinth. Blood oozed from its quivering maw. Sasha breathed through her teeth. Her shin bone was probably in pieces and she felt like throwing up. Her leg was also pinned into the car. A part of Sasha felt relieved that this creature could not reach her from where it was pinned, but another part ached for its pain. It was dying—James was dying—and while she was deathly afraid of him, it was miserable to watch the man she loved. In this condition. Struggling against his death. Rather than angry, he just looked immensely tired.

James had a similar look when he’d get back from work. He was always on call at the hospital, making life-or-death decisions, often working eighty-hour weeks. It’s a wonder he even came into her life, he always seemed so busy with work. But then, they met right outside the hospital, after he was exhausted from working all night. He was always so simple and passionate. Now, he was a wolf and dying. Life isn’t really fair that way.

James closed his jaundiced eyes, perhaps for the last time. Sasha exhaled, finally paying attention to her leg. Maybe the whole thing was crushed. Sasha could hear a siren. She wondered what they would think, her and a large wolfman at the wheel, but then she saw last of the hairs receding into James’s skin.

Seeing his real face again, peaceful and lifeless, broke her. Sasha curled over, clutching herself. She bit her tongue. She cried and screamed and cursed everyone and everything. She alone would know about his affliction. She alone knew why James had to die.

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Filed under Flash Fiction

Man Behind the Wheel

Trembling violently, Sasha reached for the car door. Her boyfriend, who had previously been driving and talking and smiling, was now behaving erratically. For one, he was starting to cough and bark and make weird growling noises. Sasha could tell he was trying to hold on tight to the wheel, but he was also jerking around like pincher bugs were trying to crawl out of his insides. He was also growing hair at an alarming rate. Okay, that was a little weird. That was really weird.

 

“James? Are you okay?”

 

Though she was grasping the car door, she wasn’t quite sure what to do with it. They were on the freeway, going 60, 70 miles an hour. If she tried to get out, she’d be dead. But she also didn’t want to get into an accident. Come to think of it, he’d been acting weird since he’d gotten bitten by that dog. The doctor checked it out, but… well, it wasn’t infected, but… he’d been acting weird. Now he was going to vomit, pass out, and wreck the car. Sasha reached for the real and he snapped at her hand. She pulled it away. When did his teeth get so sharp?

 

“Watch out!” Sasha cried.

 

But too late. They clipped the truck in front of them and went careening out into the other lanes. Sasha felt like time had slowed they went smashing into another car and the driver side was completely flattened. Sasha thought her leg might be crushed from the first impact. She could hear the horns and metal and glass twisting and grating and cracking against one another. Just as soon as the noises stopped, she herself was about to cry out in pain until she heard a loud squeal to her side. It was James, or what could have been James. To her left was some kind of hairy creature, nose turning to snout, fingers turning to claws before her eyes. The creature howled, a pained, tragic howl.

 

“…James?”

 

Then, Sasha did the stupidest thing in her life. She reached out to comfort the creature. She reached out her hand toward its face and it snapped but couldn’t lean in close enough to clip her fingers. A second time now, she drew her hand away, watching the lupine creature, half its torso crushed within the mechanical labyrinth. Blood oozed from its maw. Sasha breathed through her teeth, her shin probably shattered apart. Her leg was also pinned into the car. But she would live. James, or what used to be James, would probably not survive. A part of Sasha felt relieved that this creature could not reach her from where it was pinned, but another part ached for its pain. It was dying, James was dying, and while she was deathly afraid of him, it was also a pitiful vision. His labored breaths matched her own. Rather than angry, the beast just looked immensely tired.

 

She imagined James would be tired, too. He was always working hard at the hospital, making life-or-death decisions, often working eight-hour weeks. It’s a wonder he even came into her life, he always seemed so busy with work. She’d rarely seen him but he was always such a simple, passionate man. Now, he was a wolf and dying. Life can be cruel and unfair. James closed his jaundiced eyes, perhaps for the last time. Sasha exhaled, finally paying attention to her leg. It had part of the car smashed into it and she could not move. Maybe the whole thing was crushed. Sasha could hear a siren. She wondered what they would think, her and a large wolfman, but then she looked and the last of the hairs were receding into James’s skin. Nobody would ever truly know of his condition. Nobody would ever know why James had to die.

 

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Filed under Flash Fiction, Session XX

We were Werewolves

We headed home. And although one thought raced through our minds, we barely spoke. “We were werewolves,” the air seemed to say, quivering as it did. “We were motherfucking werewolves.” We’d only been gone three nights, but somehow the town’s population seemed much smaller than it was.
Time went on and we saw less and less of Roger and Fish, until eventually they became just two more meatbags waiting for death. It happens sometimes. Werewolves just quit being werewolves like part-timers in department stores that don’t give two-weeks’ notice before leaving. I heard that Fish got married, had four kids, and is now working at a company that makes bathtoys for children.
Roger, who would always snack on squirrels and rabbits, saying “Dog can’t live off man alone!” now works at a pet store selling pet food. Some of the gerbils go missing sometimes but I have a hard time believing he’s eating them.
Darwin stayed a werewolf. He terrorized the county with me, and although it was deeply disturbing, he continued his habit of gutting his victims and hanging up the remains. Last week, he was on an almost-empty train and got hungry. Just ahead of him, two men were sleeping. Darwin, who had always done his best to make sure his victims didn’t die until he let them, didn’t see that the other
passenger had a silver-cast knife. He was stabbed in the throat. He died almost instantly.
Although I hadn’t seen him in more than ten years, I know I’ll miss getting high and listening to “Teenage Wasteland” while eating campers and howling  at the moon.
I don’t know anyone who has friends like we did when we were werewolves. Does anyone?

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Filed under FEATHERTON II, Flash Fiction