“It’s not my fault,” Jim said, as he stared down at the bloody corpse lying at his feet. “I didn’t ask for this curse.”
The beast had bitten him on the last full moon, while he was locking up the store. He hadn’t seen it coming out of the shadows. He didn’t hear its growl. All he felt were its teeth as it took a chunk out of his thigh. He only caught a glimpse of its teeth as he lay on the pavement screaming and bleeding. Its bloody mouth grinned at him and then ran off, swallowed up by the dark shadows of the tall buildings surrounding him. His screams had attracted the attention of some gang-bangers who then robbed him of the little money in his wallet, but also of his clothes. One of them had taken pity on him and called emergency services. The ambulance arrived twenty minutes later. The blood loss had been pretty severe and he lost consciousness as they loaded him into the ambulance.
The city centre was never a safe bet at night, but his parents had opened the store there twenty years before and they wouldn’t move out of the city or let him sell the store. Once they were gone, he’d sell up and move some place safer. The city was home to all sorts of weirdoes, including him now. At the time of the attack, he hadn’t realised that he would turn into a monster. He’d just thought it was a normal animal bite from a big dog. Okay! A really bad dog bite from a really big dog. After they’d stitched him up, he’d gotten a tetanus shot at the hospital and the doctor said he would be fine. It would only leave a nasty scar. That was all. If only the doctor had been right.
He’d seen enough movies to recognise the symptoms. The bite healed within a few days. His eye sight and hearing improved, and his hair was a lot thicker. In fact, he now had hair in all sorts of strange places he hadn’t had hair before. Only his beer gut remained, which was depressing. Why did he have to be a fat werewolf?
It was his first full moon and his body fluctuated between that of a man and that of a beast. Every time the moon disappeared behind a cloud he’d change back into his human form and when it reappeared he changed into an overweight wolf. The change was excruciatingly painful. His skin and every muscle in his body was ripped apart and then put back together again in a matter of seconds. His screams became a howl as the moon showed itself again.
The corpse was fresh and tasty as he took another bite. His ears pricked as a can was kicked a few blocks away. Metal scrapped on cement. Someone or something was approaching. He growled. Blood dripped from his fangs. His growl turned into a pain filled moan as the moon played peek-a-boo with another cloud. The taste of blood made him gag. He still held what was left of the woman’s arm in his bloody hand. Her greyish-blond hair was matted with blood and what was left of her face had been sliced and diced. There was something familiar about her. She resembled that stuck up cow that always came into the store and stared at him while he packed her groceries. Her stare always made him feel like a criminal. It was as though she expected him to steal some of her groceries while he packed them. The corpse was even wearing that ugly floral print dress the old cow had worn to the store this morning.
“Shit,” he groaned and dropped her arm as though it were about to bite him back.
The can was kicked again. He tried to gather what was left of his pants around him. He didn’t look like a fearsome wolf in that moment. He looked like a fat, bloody, half-dressed freak. His heart pounded as he waited for someone to come around the corner. He heard footsteps on the pavement coming closer. The sound of the can being kicked once more reverberated around his brain. His heart pounded. His mouth was dry. The taste of blood wasn’t helping. Wiping his blood covered hands on his pants; he tried to remember how he’d gotten there and how he’d killed the woman. The memories slowly started to come together. With each fresh memory, his stomach turned.
Why did she have to come back to the store as he was closing up and the moon was rising? Why couldn’t she have waited until the morning to complain? Most importantly, why did she have to be such a bitch? She’d pushed him with those pointy, pink nails and the wolf in him had reacted. His anger had triggered the change a little earlier than anticipated. He’d had precautionary measures all set up in his parents basement. And the stupid woman had interfered with his carefully laid plans. Before he’d known what was happening he’d ripped her arm off. The arterial spray had painted him and the walls with blood. She’d asked for it. It wasn’t his fault. He hadn’t wanted to kill her. If she’d just been less aggressive, she would probably still be alive. She provoked him. It was her own fault.
The full moon emerged once more from behind that annoying cloud and his bones broke, his hair grew into fur, his fingernails became claws, his jaw dislocated, and his teeth became fangs. His screams turned into a howl. Sniffing the air, he smelt blood, urine, sweat, alcohol, and petrol fumes. The city centre was quiet at night. Only killers, drug addicts, and gang-bangers stalked these streets. Tonight he was the most dangerous one.
He snarled as the footsteps came closer. An empty coke can rolled around the corner towards him. A hooded figure stood on the corner. The heckles on his neck rose. Its shadow looked long and skinny under the lamp light. Jim’s growl turned into a moan as the moon disappeared behind another cloud bank. A shot rang out. Jim felt a burning sensation in his chest. He couldn’t breathe.
“Ah shit!” The shadowy figure said, as it stood over him. “Wrong werewolf. Sorry.”
The gun barrel felt warm against his forehead.
“I missed your heart, sorry about that. The silver bullet in your chest will kill you, but it’ll take all night,” The figure said. “I can end it quickly, if you’d like?” He tapped the barrel on Jim’s forehead a couple times.
“I don’t want to die,” Jim croaked.
“I’m sorry, but there’s no choice on that score. You can only choose to die fast or slow. It’s up to you.”
He wanted to cry, but it hurt too much. This wasn’t how it was supposed to end. He was supposed to be the hunter, the killer. He was supposed to be the one they all feared. It wasn’t right.
“So, what’s it gonna be?” The figure asked. “I don’t mean to rush you, but I’ve got another Werewolf to find before sunrise.”
Jim managed to nod. His mouth was parched. He desperately wanted a drink of water, but the figure pulled the trigger before he could ask for some.
“Right! Next.” The figure removed the empty cartridges from the revolver and loaded more silver bullets. The other wolf would probably be more of a challenge than the fat one, but he liked a challenge.
A wolf howled a few blocks away.
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