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.”

Living the Nightmare

“This isn’t something you ‘come to terms with’. That makes it sound like a negotiation. No, one day you’re a normal person with a normal life and the next you’re an inhuman monster stalking the helpless under a full moon. The smell of blood is the smell of madness–and release.”

Tati cut a thick piece of the rare, juicy steak.

“You know what’s funny? Before I became a werewolf I was a vegan. Ain’t that a kick.”

The Wolf Seeks Peace

“You and I have seen the face of abject horror in our victims, the look when the wolf is at their throat and there’s no escape. They soil themselves or attempt to flee from what lies before them. It’s absolute gibbering helplessness.

“But there was one–a girl by a lake in Ontario four summers ago–she welcomed me in utter, loving fearlessness. It wasn’t resignation or some weary longing for the release of death. Death, even in the brutal, tearing jaws of the wolf, held no terror for her. She welcomed what came after, the life after the death. From that time I’ve sought that peace.”

Preaching Morals to A Werewolf

Tati snorted. “Don’t preach to me, Omar. I’m cursed. I’m a werewolf, a creature of the night and all that. Your human morals don’t apply to me. “

The preacher shook his head. “You don’t get off that easy, girl. You’re as human as I am. The difference is you have the wolf pathogen in your blood. When the bloodlust comes on you at the full moon, you’re not making choices, the wolf is.”

He pulled back his shirt collar to reveal a livid scar. “And for the record, you’re not the only werewolf around here.”

Transformed

Tati gave a feral growl as the full moon broke over the horizon. Her mouth and nose stretched to the form of a muzzle and canine fangs erupted from her jaw. As her back elongated she dropped to all fours. The excruciating pain of the transformation shuddered through her and whatever human consciousness remained faded before the all-consuming wolf awareness. She gave a violent tail-to-snout shake, sat back on her haunches and howled at the silver moon.

Death of an Angel

Detective Eddie Pope has seen his share of corpses, but he wondered if he’d ever seen quite so much blood. The body lay twisted at an odd angle against the convenience store dumpster. He leaned over the body to get a look at what was left of the face.

“Nuts,” he said to his partner. “This might be been Angel Velazquez. I’m fairly sure, but the body’s torn up pretty bad. He was a meth head, but he gave us the dirt that helped put away those Sinaloa hitters.”

Deputy Detective Sheryl Rosas leaned in to get a look. “You think the cartel got some payback?”

Pope shook his head. He pointed to the bloody paw prints leading down the alley. “I think our confidential informant was eaten by a wolf.”

The Search

Gallard took in the apartment. The reek of urine and frying fish permeated the graffiti-stained hallways of the building, but the girl’s apartment was clean and trim. High quality bio-locks secured the door and windows. No one could come in that she didn’t want in. A neat stack of books lay on the table: molecular biology, genetics, and…European folktales and legends. He opened the last to a bookmarked page, knowing what he’d find–the story of the werewolf.

Interpol

“When Tatiana Lang was in Romania five years ago she and her sister were attacked at a campground. The sister died. Local police said it was a dog or maybe a wolf. Ms. Lang was torn up pretty bad, but left the hospital a day later. Get with INTERPOL and see who released her. And see if there were other attacks.”

Slacker

“Do you think this life is something I chose? Some moron in Romania didn’t quite rip my throat out. If he had, I’d be dead and the eighty-some other people I’ve killed would be alive. He left me alive because he couldn’t finish the job. And because of him, every full moon I become the beast.”
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