By the Light of the Moon
“It’s alright Claude, it’s just the wind,” Larry Talbot told his son. Larry was your typical heartthrob. He dressed like Carey Grant and looked like Marlon Brando. Claude was eight going on forty and scared of everything. That was part of the reason Larry brought him out to the woods. He wanted to expand his son’s horizons.
“That sure didn’t sound like no wind, I ever heard of,” Evelyn Ankers said. She was gorgeous, a perfect blonde bombshell, but the only reason she was there in the cabin was to gain notoriety. She had been invited for the weekend, free of charge, if she would only tell her famous Hollywood friends about how wonderful it was up here.
“Max,” Gwen prompted her husband. “Max, would you go out and check on that? Our guests want be comfortable here after all.”
“Of course, mother,” Max responded. Max was an old man with only one leg. His hair was long, stringy, and gray, and his clothes were tattered and torn. He was one of those old men who called their wives mother as a term of endearment.
Max waddled out of the door, rifle in hand, and winked at his guests before closing the door.
“You see Claude? Nothing to worry about!” Larry said.
He got up and walked over to the window, excited to see what the one legged older mountain man could do with that rifle. He cupped his hands around his eyes to cut the glare and pressed his face to the window.
“What do you see out there, Larry?” Evelyn asked. She held her hands prim in her lap, but there was an eager look to her eyes as she stared at Larry.
“Why, it’s just darkness and snow!” Larry turned and winked at Evelyn before turning to his son. “You see Claude? It was just the wind after all!”
Just then the window exploded inward, glass flying into the room. Larry instinctually covered his head as a huge wolf snapped at him, it’s teeth tearing a mouthful from his shoulder.
Larry screamed and twisted. He lashed out with his fist, landing a roundhouse blow to the Wolf’s snout. The snarling beast disappeared out of the window and Larry collapsed onto the ground.
“Everyone get away from the window!” Larry cried, but a moment later a rifle blast echoed through the night.
Claude and Evelyn sat in shock as Larry crawled over to them.
“That must have been Max, shooting the beast. I think we’re safe now, let’s just stay away from the window,” Larry said.
“Dada, I’m scared!” Claude cried.
“Oh my god, are you ok?” Evelyn asked. She hugged him, and held his head to her shoulder. Larry let her.
“I’m alright, it’s just a scratch! Nothing a bandage wouldn’t fix!” Larry said, projecting masculinity.
“You were bit, weren’t you?” Gwen asked. Her thick Romani accent commanded attention.
“Well, yeah. Yeah he did,” Larry responded. A brief moment of panic touched his words, before he caught it and stabilized.
“Then you are beyond help,” Gwen said.
“Dad?” Claude’s voice was small.
“Now you wait just a minute! What do you mean scaring my kid like that?” Larry scolded.
“Even a man who is pure at heart and says his prayers by night. May become a wolf when the wolf bane blooms and the autumn moon is bright,” Gwen said.
“Now, what in blazes is that supposed to mean?” Larry said. He stood and loomed over Gwen.
“You were bitten by a werewolf Mr. Talbot, and tonight is a full moon,” Gwen said. She held up a bundle of herbs in Larry’s face. He twisted away crying out.
“Uhhh! Those smell terrible! What is that?” Larry cried.
“It is too late for all of you,” Gwen said and threw the bundle out of the window. “You should not have come.”
“Now wait just a minute,” Evelyn cried. “a Werewolf? Why, there’s no such thing!”
“Claude!” Larry cried. He was hunched over, holding his stomach.
“Larry are you alright?” Evelyn asked. She didn’t notice the click of the kitchen door, nor the thwack of the dead lock as it slid into place, as Gwen disappeared.
“Get Claude out of here!” Larry cried and fell to all fours. His fingernails began to grow into sharp points, and he howled in pain as his mouth elongated and new teeth pushed through his gums.
“Dada?” Claude cried.
“Larry?” Evelyn asked, hugging Claude to her.
“It’s too late!” Larry’s voice was more of a growl than speech.
He turned and looked out the window. There above the trees was the moon. Full, bright, and yellow. In the distance a wolf bayed and Larry responded.
He felt joints pop into place, and his tongue flicked out of his snout and licked his chops. He hadn’t eaten in quite some time and there were two morsels right in front of him.
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