Dumpster Diving for Werewolves

Tatiana Lang guessed the predawn temperature was in the forties. It would warm into the sixties later, but right now, laying naked behind a dumpster and splattered with crusted blood, it was downright cold. That was the downside of being a werewolf: when the moon set her dense fur vanished and she was left with only her skin to protect her from the elements. At least she’d found the relative shelter of the dumpster before she returned to human form.

She’d raised to one knee when the sound of an approaching car made her freeze. Chances were slim the car would stop at this hour, but even if it did, most likely someone would toss in their trash and leave.
Tati crouched against the sticky, stinking, greasy metal container and waited for the car to pass.

It stopped.

Well, nuts.

A car doored opened and Tati heard someone get out.

Toss your trash and leave, she thought.

“Ms. Lang, please come out,” a woman said.

What the—

Tati looked down at the dried blood on her hands and chest. How in blazes did she know?

She turned her head and glanced at the dark line of trees twenty yards away. She could make a break for it. Why hadn’t she stayed in the trees to transform?

“Here,” the woman said, and a pair of sweat pants and a t-shirt landed three feet away.

Tati’s thoughts raced. How could anyone know she was here and that she needed clothes?

“His name was Angel Velazquez. That’s his blood on your chest. The authorities will find his body very soon, so If I were you I’d get in the car.”

Tati stood up. The first rays of dawn flashed on the windshield of a soccer mom-style minivan with dark-tinted windows. Standing beside the van was a slender woman in a tan jacket with an Advent Industrial logo.


“Bloody hell,” Tati said, shaking her head. “Am I late for work?”


It’s a Curse or Something

“I don’t pretend to know what causes the werewolf thing. Gallard’s people say it’s a pathogen that enters the victim’s bloodstream and mutates protein structures. The Book of Lycaon says an old Greek king was cursed by Zeus to turn into a wolf. The fundamentalists say it’s demon possession. Maybe it’s all three, or none of them. All I know, Omar, is that when that God-forsaken full moon rises, I become something unholy and murderous.”

12-Step for Werewolves

Tati drained the last of her beer. She watched through the window as a local loaded equipment into the bed of a pickup truck.

“These are good folks, Omar. I’d hate to kill any of them.”

Omar leaned close. “The full moon isn’t for three days. Let’s get back to the ranch. There’s a valley miles from town with deer, elk, and antelope. I’ve hunted there for years as a wolf. You don’t have to kill anyone.”

Tati shook her head. “What is this, a twelve-step program for werewolves?”

Omar chuckled. “Now there’s an idea. A twelve-step for recovering werewolves. It’s almost too bad there aren’t more of us.”

Preacher Wolf

“How’d you get to be a werewolf preacher? That’s just wrong on so many levels.”

Omar laughed and grabbed a burrito from the bag. “It’s not, really. I was pretty well lost. I had a bad coke habit, lost my job and my family. I was living in a car I’d stolen. Somebody found me and thought I was worth saving. This guy got me into rehab. It didn’t take the first two times, but eventually something got through. I’d been sober for six weeks when I was attacked on a camping trip. This wolf creature slashed my guts open. I could SEE my intestines hanging out. By the next day my wounds had healed. That’s about sixteen kinds of not right.”

Tati didn’t speak. What happened to Omar had happened to her half a world away–the wolf attack, anyway. At last she said, “And the preaching?”

Omar swallowed a mouthful of burrito. “Somebody took me out of the gutter. My life wasn’t worth saving but he did it anyway. I wondered what kind of person would do that. I wanted to let other people know they were worth saving too.”

“It was Gallard, wasn’t it? Gallard saved you.”

Omar nodded. “Well, Gallard got me out of the gutter. The saving came from somewhere else.”

“But you’re a werewolf. How do you square that with God? I thought there was the whole ‘Thou shalt not murder’ thing.”

Omar laughed. “It ain’t easy. God gives me grace and Gallard lets me use his hunting preserve on the full moons.”