*Magnify*
    May     ►
SMTWTFS
   
1
2
4
5
6
7
8
9
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
Archive RSS
SPONSORED LINKS
Printed from https://shop.writing.com/main/profile/blog/lu-man
Rated: 18+ · Book · Horror/Scary · #2284649
Adventures In Living With The Mythical
A military veteran is adopted by a werewolf and brought into his pack. Insanity ensues.

About "Life With A Werewolf"

Life with a werewolf is a dramatic blog. As such the characters in this blog are not real but maybe loosely based on real people. The situations represented are not real but maybe loosely based on real things that have happened in my life. There are a multitude of ways to view life, this is simply one of the ways I have chosen to view mine. Updated Every Friday unless I can't or don't want to.
Previous ... -1- 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 ... Next
May 18, 2024 at 10:37am
May 18, 2024 at 10:37am
#1071319
          This little adventure didn’t start with lawn gnomes lining the streets, with enchanted people dragging me out of my home kicking and screaming. It started with a near miss car accident. My poor Topaz almost ate it. I was coming to a stop at a busy intersection in a nearby town when I began to ease my foot on the break. The break felt like a sponge. I yanked on the parking brake as I watched the traffic ahead of me zip along through the intersection their greenlight bright and steady.

          I was near a Wal-Mart which was connected to a major highway. The kind of highway that people regularly go fifteen over without question and the cops don’t bother checking unless they want to write more speeding tickets that month. I felt like a baby turtle trying to get across the interstate in the middle of summer.

          The parking brake was ratcheted to its max, but it did nothing to slow me down. “Shit, shit, shit, shit,” I grumbled, as I yanked the wheel off the road, and began sliding the gear shift on my transmission down through the gears, trying to get the engine to help brake.

          Fifteen, Ten, Three miles and hour. My car rolled over the white line, the bumper easing into the divided highway, and rolled to a stop. I stared at twin semi-trucks as they approached. But thankfully they came to a soft stop for the red light which had begun shining bright for them.

          I feathered the throttle in first gear, easing it across the road towards the shoulder on the far side of the intersection, my hazards blinking. Thankfully it wasn’t a steep hill so I didn’t have to worry about it rolling backwards, but I still turned the wheels towards the side so if the car did roll, it would just roll into the ditch.

          Two thoughts ran through my mind. Neither is fit to print here. Then the third thought was of one ceramic little demon. A certain smiley pointed hat jerk hell-bent on world domination had officially made a serious attempt at murder. The game was afoot as someone once said.

          Thankfully, I had towing and rental on my car insurance. It took a couple of hours, but I got the car towed home and dropped in front of our garage. The parking brake had been disconnected. The brake hoses themselves had micro cuts. It was enough that brake fluid would weep through the hose, so a short trip into town would be fine, but the trip through would be deadly. One of those nicks had worn through just enough to bleed out. Either that, or that crazy pointed hatted psycho had a gnome waiting inside the car to cut the brake line as soon as I neared an intersection. Either could have been possible.

          The trip back to the house had been surreal. Gnomes of blue hats were on properties to the south side of our small town. Hiding in bushes, or pretending to water gardens. Each with a smile on their face. The gnomes with the red hats approached from the north and east. There was a lot more of them. Everyone of the red hatted gnomes wore a snarl and a pair of sunglasses.

          They were forming a battle ground with our eclectic home at the center. Each property seemed to be pushing in towards us in what I could only imagine was military maneuvers. It felt like we were sitting in the middle of a real-life game of Age of Empires, only this time there would be no save states or redos. Our home was the prize and combatants were gearing up to win at any cost.

          When I got home, Crash was finally awake. He hadn’t shifted into his night form yet. I’ve seen him stay werewolf days at a time when it got busy, just to avoid having to go back and forth. In his words “it starts to hurt after a while. Hurt a lot,” he told me one day when I asked why he was still more wolf than man. That was some time ago, though, with snow still on the ground and a different kind of mischief in the woods.

          That afternoon, he greeted me with a yawn, and a full coffee cup. “More investigations,” he grumbled. “Got some strange activity south of the county.”

          “Exactly opposite this house,” I said. “Convenient.”

          “Yeah,” Crash replied, then yawned and stretched. “Larry should swing by for some checks tonight.”

          “By checks you mean crapping on the front lawn again and then not paying attention to the lawn gnomes everywhere?” I was very annoyed at Larry. The only ‘assistance’ that stone dragon’s given me since we met Khied was to bomb the front yard doggie style, then leave. It wasn’t even keeping the gnomes away; it was just getting annoying dealing with his rock-hard chocolate logs everywhere.

          Crash growled for a moment, then looked out the window to the yard. “I’ve talked to him about that. He says he’s got his claws full with some other stuff. Our land is at the bottom of the list, but it’s on it. He said he’d do what he could, but it would be better to ‘either give the human to the lawn gnomes or just start smashing them.’”

          “Dragons can be jerks,” I said, looking out the window. A red hatted lawn gnome had appeared near the garage and was mooning me.

          “I’ve advised the guys,” Crash started, a half yawn escaping him that turned into a full body stretch complete with a reach to the ceiling. “I’ve already advised the guys to stay inside. I’m telling you the same thing. Don’t go out. Just lock the door and let this play out. Larry will be by eventually to end things.”

          I rolled my eyes. “So, dial 9-1-1 and wait for the cops to come by while the little ceramic murderers attempt to murder us all in our sleep?”

          “You’re at the bottom of the list, but you’re still on it,” Crash said. “I got more of this ogre thing to deal with.”

          He did explain to me what the ogre thing was. There’s not a way I can dress the story up enough to make it fit to put here. Crash’s job at times is more dangerous than others, and in this case a community was at stake. If you remember the adventure I printed a while back about Crash fighting that minotaur who’d gone crazy, that’s a Sesame Street episode compared to the Ogre thing. It’d make Clive Barker turn green.

          “Zack’s at work, Sean and Kris are both at work and I’m the only here today,” I said.

          Crash nodded. “Yeah, none of them were happy. But things should be safe until nightfall. By then everyone will be inside playing video games or something.”

          I yawned. His dang yawns were becoming contagious. “I’ll escort them home if need be, but I don’t think they’ll want me to.”

          “Might work, but you know Zack,” he said. “I’ll try to twist his arm, give him the old ‘werewolf’s orders’ and all that, but you know he hates that sort of thing.”

          He poured himself a bowl of Reese’s Puffs, and sat down. “Ah, more dog food,” I smirked.

          He grinned, “careful, or I will swap it for real dogfood and not tell you.”

          “But,” I said, “I thought it was dogfood! I mean, you’re eating it, right?”

          We went back and forth like that over his cereal while Crash fired off a few texts to the other guys. Zack was angry, but said he’d text me when he got off. Sean and Kris said they’d watch each other and to not worry, that they’d go somewhere else that night. Don’t worry. Right.

          Zack was an hour late for texting me. Sean and Kris weren’t texting me, but I wasn’t worried about them. They were more than likely staying the night at a friend’s place, I didn’t have to go searching for them, now did I? Zack was the missing one after all. The one that I hadn’t heard from yet. After the second hour I called his work, but they said his shift had left over an hour ago and that Zack had left with them. “No sign of’em sorry,” the harried shift manager told me right before hanging up.

          My heart in my throat, I went to my room and grabbed my pistol. Two full magazines, and one in the pistol. That left me with about 45 rounds. There was already more than double that of lawn gnomes in the neighborhood. But hopefully it wouldn’t come to that. No car, no way to search other than rubberized troop movers, my own two feet in other words, I slid my pistol into my holster, and headed for the door, but never made it outside.

          Two ceramic statues were on the front step, Sean and Kris. Both looked very pissed at me. “Shit,” I growled, “sorry guys, but you can’t come in.” And I slammed the door shut. Zack was out there somewhere. Crash was on the opposite side of the county. And here I was, trapped in my own home, with two friends now statues looking very pissed at me. Crash doesn’t carry a phone with him in wolf form. Many times, there’d be no where for him to hold it, his claw would go through the screen anyway, and the phone isn’t designed with werewolves in mind, so he’d either be able to listen, or talk, but not both at the same time.

          So, I called his work and left a message. “Wait for Larry”, they said. Right. Where was Zack? There was a thump at the front door. I swallowed hard and slid a chair beneath it. Another thump at the front then one at the back. A tap on the glass near my bedroom window. I was trapped inside my own house. Whichever faction had gotten to the house first, red or blue, it didn’t matter. It wanted me outside. It wanted me ceramic. It wanted me dead.

May 10, 2024 at 10:13am
May 10, 2024 at 10:13am
#1070839
          I suppose I only have myself to blame for what happened. When you’re young, it’s easy to push yourself beyond your limits. If you’re in the military in any capacity, it’s a regular requirement. They want to see you pressed to your capabilities and beyond. How much more do you actually have when your body is at that point of one hundred percent, all-in? The only way to know is to go there regularly. When you’re down range somewhere, there may come a point that you have to dig deep inside yourself and pull out things you didn’t even know existed to accomplish the mission and get yourself and everyone home. How will you know how to get to that point if you don’t practice getting there?

          But as you get older, you begin to forget your age. It may be jumping to snag something off the top shelf, climbing behind the washer like you used to do when you were a kid to grab a sock, or just jogging down the street and back like you may have done in high school. You feel okay when things start out, your body feels fine and reports no problems: until you try it. Then it goes from no issues to broke in a blink, and you’re left on the ground clutching something that didn’t hurt while your brain screams at you “Dummy! Why did you try this?!”

          Last week I felt okay. My hip was just fine. I used to run four to six miles almost daily just for fun. It was a relaxing way to get out of the house that didn’t include finding a bottle of “forget-it” juice. And yes, I was getting a little bit annoyed watching Crash and Elouise out running off on their own and while I was cooped up in the house. Crash and Elouise are jogging partners. Crash will come out of the house, and start moving his considerable weight with her by his side, and they’ll go on long, slow runs just jawing and running. The kind of thing that I used to enjoy and now miss, terribly.

          So, I was determined to join Crash one day on a run. I wasn’t going to stick around for the whole run, after all, they go eighteen miles (damn mythicals and their supercharged biological systems), but I figured, a mile and a half would be just enough. When I brought the idea up to Crash his response was to laugh then say, “no.”

          “Come on! I won’t be a third wheel, I promise. I’m not going to interrupt you and your girlfriend,” I said. I tried giving Crash big pleading, puppy dog like eyes.

          He just rolled his. He was in his human form at that moment, shorts and a tang top, ready to hit the road on their morning run. “First, the answer is still no. Second, we’re not dating. Just friends.”

          “Sure,” I said with a wink.

          Crash looked to the ceiling with a ‘Lord, Grant me strength,’ look. “Answer is still no. Guys and girls can be just-friends, you know.”

          I patted his back, “sure they can buddy.” He grumbled then stepped out the door.

          The way it played out in my brain, they would make it to the stop sign, I’d catch up, we’d have a small conversation like I used to do, as I jogged about a half a mile, then turned around and went home. It wasn’t going to be that far. Besides, I felt good! I felt as though I could have made it the whole eighteen miles with them on that day.

          So, Crash stepped out the door to join Ellouise, I waited about five or ten seconds for them to get going, then opened the door as they neared the stop sign. They jogged their usual pace and I followed, making it much farther, Crash said later, than he ever figured I would have. It was about the second stop sign before my knee, hip, and back all started singing the exact same song: “STOP! IN THE NAME OF LOVE!” By the time I hit the ground, I had made it exactly a tenth of a mile.

          The ground rushed up as a cry escaped my mouth and stumbled. My leg was limp, with pins and needles running through the parts that wasn’t screaming in pain. Nothing in the leg was responding to my commands. It was like it was dead. “Come here,” Crash growled, then picked me up and threw me over his shoulder. “And shut up, you’re making a spectacle.”

          “Ow, bless your heart, you felt left out, didn’t ya,” Ellouise said.

          “I guess,” I said watching the asphalt move beneath Crash’s feet. “I just wanted to be normal for a morning.”

          Crash set me down on the step, and looked me in the eye, patting my shoulder. “But, you’re not,” he said with as much sincerity as he could. Then he and Ellouise headed back down the road continuing their jog.

          A few hours later, the leg throbbed, but less so. The hip throbs worse. The numbness and tingling shoot down my legs, both the good and the bad one, were worse. I probably won’t feel that good again for a number of weeks. What stung more than my leg, my hip or my back was to have Crash look me in the face and say that. I’m not normal.

          After a few minutes, I hobbled inside and just laid in my bed, staring at the Tuscan countryside mural on my wall, wishing that I was on those sandy beaches somewhere. Walking. Not paying any attention or having any care for anything. Not having to be in a world where I wasn’t normal.

          It took some time for him to return and pop his human head into my room. Sweat glistened off his brow, his hair was matted on his head. My mind flashed to a simpler time, when I was sprinting up the hill with another friend of mine in the service for fun, just racing to get to the top first. Friendly insults and names were thrown out at each other as the pavement pounded beneath my feet, the wind filled my lungs and I felt alive. Instead of like the half-baked zombie I feel like regularly.

          “You feeling okay,” Crash asked, bringing me back to reality. He only got a shrug in return.

          “You got to remember; you have a new normal now. That car accident changed everything about you. You can’t run for long periods like that. You can’t do a lot of the things you used to.”

          “I guess that’s what you meant by me not being normal?” I tried to hold back the bite of bitterness I felt when I said that. I wasn’t entirely successful.

          “Heh,” he chuckled nervously, then smirked, “I just meant you were never normal. I told you I’m a werewolf, remember? We met on that college campus and you kept hanging around me anyway. Well, till you dropped out, that is. Normal people don’t do that.”

          I smiled back, “I suppose that’s true. Normal people try to finish school.”

          “You’re still a good man, Jason. Normal is over-rated.”

          I stared back at the Tuscan countryside, gritting my teeth. My hip, my leg, my back they all throbbed at once in sequence as if to amplify the point. “You know,” I said, “it wasn’t even about trying to stay up with you and Ellouise. It wasn’t about being apart of your conversation. Life for me is a constant reminder that I’m different. That I used to be better than I am now. That I’m no longer whole. Sometimes, it’s just good to have a reminder of a time when I was better.”

          Crash grabbed my foot and shook it for a moment. “You were drunk all the time, too,” he said. I rolled my eyes and he just smirked. “It’s true. You were drunk so much and you ignored Sarah so many days.”

          “If this is you trying to make me feel better, you’re doing a horrible job,” I grumbled.

          “I’m just saying. I got an earful from her and you, then. You barely drink anymore. You help out so much more now instead of just running out the door with a ‘back later’ and disappearing. One time you were gone for almost three days. Even I was searching for you.”

          I nodded. “Friend made had home-made whiskey. It was A LOT stronger than he claimed. Was better that you didn’t find me.”

          He looked away, for a moment as silence filled the room. “I’m just saying,” he said, “You weren’t ‘better’ then. You could run farther, yes. But you weren’t better.”

          “I guess,” I said. “I just wish I could do normal things. It would help me keep some of my dignity.”

          Crash gave me a sad smile. “Trust me, you have far more dignity now than when you could have made that entire run with us.”

          That evening was supposed to be my turn to cook. Crash took over, giving us some monstrosity of a concoction that he swore up
and down was Cajun. When I suggested we take some to Ellouise for testing though, he declined. Zack brought a plate into my room for me. Kris and Sean brought up my laundry, though I refused to let them help fold it. I’ll handle my own underwear, thank you.

          I had to use a cane for a total of one day. It’s still by my bed right now. A reminder that I’m not as young as I used to be. In your head you’re eternally eighteen years old. Capable of anything. But the reality is, you’re not. Your body has aged, it has a new set of limitations that even in those times that you feel the best you have to listen to. Otherwise, you’re just going to pay for it later.

          I suppose it’s not undignified to know your new limitations, to not press them in order to push some imaginary envelope. You can’t work out your way through an injury like mine. You can’t clean living your way back to being eighteen. This is what they truly mean when they say you can’t go home again.

          But it doesn’t stop the longing. The part of your soul that wishes you could make that jump you used to. To make that jog, to play basketball with your friends till dark. To reach for that intangible thing that was so easy to hold on to. It’s hard to say goodbye to who you were.
May 3, 2024 at 11:44am
May 3, 2024 at 11:44am
#1070469
          Sasquatch. The mythological beast of America. The creature that supposedly lives in the woods, often alone, who is mostly humanoid and covered head to toe in fur. This beast has large red eyes and sharp teeth in a mouth that if you look at it, is almost muzzle like. Sasquatch has been the subject of many documentaries and supposed “sightings” which are about as believable as all the “Elvis” sightings in the eighties and nineties.

          Now, this isn’t the same as Crash, who is a werewolf, a mythological creature that definitely does exist and time from time protects the citizens of our town and county from other creatures that definitely does exist. Sasquatch is pure fiction. Brought about, according to Crash, by a heavy dose of moonshine and a werewolf playing a prank.

          While I was away braving the streets of Nashville and trying not to die on the highway, Crash was back here busy with another problem. Someone in the town had been watching far too much History Channel. This person, who shall go by the name of “Bob” for legal reasons, began to be convinced that it was aliens who built the pyramids and that Sasquatch was real. Bob is a recently laid off engineer. Not the helpful kind that will explain how to better secure your wifi or assist you in finding the source of your vacuum leak in your car engine. Bob is the type of engineer with a God complex. The ones who are convinced everyone who doesn’t understand his technobabble is a drooling troglodyte only good for serving him fries at a drive thru. This is the type of person who began to believe in Sasquatch, and was going to prove his existence to everyone else.

          I still don’t know how the whole “glamor” or whatever the effect is called that myth creatures use to blend in. Apparently the crazier the things someone believes the easier it is for them to see. Or something. I’m honestly not sure at all and still get confused about the explanation, especially when Crash begins to bring in Calculus into it. I’m starting to believe he doesn’t know himself and is just doing that to mess with me.

          Now, Bob, who isn’t all that athletic or outdoorsy, figured the easiest way for him to catch Sasquatch on camera was to set up trail cameras all through the woods, right outside Crash’s place. Bob, being the out of shape, pasty skinned, skinny, ‘genius’ that he is, decided that since Sasquatch is mainly a night creature. So of course the best course of action would be to post the trail cameras in the woods near town during the day and wait.

          Crash for his part didn’t do anything. He sat on the back porch sipping a cup of coffee and watched Bob work in the trees. Occasionally he watched him through a pair of binoculars, but that was about it during the day.

          That evening though, Crash did pay a visit to the local thrift shop and purchased a few stuffed animals. Then Crash went home, shifted into his ‘night uniform’ so to speak, and had Zack snip the tags off the animals and attach them to Crash with glue.

          “Worth the pain,” Crash said with a smirk when he recounted this story. “Did hurt a bit when I pulled all the tags off.”

          The cameras it worked of an infrared light that it used to catch game and other things. This light acted as a motion detector, and turned the camera on to record whenever the beam sensed something near. Hunters and farmers use it for various functions around town. But for Crash these things light up with an “off-reddish” glow.

          So, this genius had lit up the woods for Crash like a Christmas light display on cocaine, and thought he was going to catch himself a glimpse of Sasquatch. On night one, all he had gotten was a few blurry images of fuzzy elbows, knees and feet, all complete with the tag of a stuffed bear attached to it. Bob wasn’t sure what he had on camera. But he was pretty certain it was ordered off of Amazon.

          Sean, it seems, is a devious guy at times. It was his idea to get close to Bob and set up the next prank. Bob was back in the local hardware store, talking to the guy behind the counter, who had this bemused look on his face. “I’m telling you,” Bob said, “I’m going to catch him on camera. I know what I saw! I know what’s in those woods!”

          “Yeah, sure,” the old guy behind the counter said. “I have aliens come in twice a week looking for plutonium 358 for their space modulator.”

          Bob scrunched his face and snarled, “I’ll show you,” he snapped and then grabbed a bag of things off the counter. Sean followed him to the parking lot and asked. “Dude, what are you trying to get,” he asked, then peered around as if looking for onlookers. “You’re trying to sneak a shot of something special aren’t you?”

          According to Sean, he first thought the guy was going for emphatic proof of a werewolf. Instead, Bob scrunched in the back of his Tesla, throwing things around and snarled, “Don’t you start either. I know what I saw!”

          “Me too, man,” Sean said. “I didn’t know what it was. I just know that it was dark. And furry.”

          Bob’s eyes grew wide and he turned to Sean. “Not furry, hairy,” he whispered. There was a crazed look in his eyes. “That thing is out there. I know it. Sasquatch.” It was at this point that Sean couldn’t help himself, he said. With ideas like this, I may invite him to my next family reunion.

          Sean gasped and held his hand to his mouth like a shocked southern belle. “You’re hunting him too?” “Finally, someone who knows!” There was literal tears in Bob’s eyes. “I don’t know who pranked me and wrecked all my trail cams, but I have more. And those were easy to fix. I’m going to get Sasquatch on film. And it might just be tonight.”

          Bob lifted a box. Sean said it took great effort not to begin giggling. Bob was going to catch Crash on film with a drone. Not only was it a drone, but it was one of the loudest drones on the market. He was going to try to catch a creature on camera with some of the sharpest hearing in the world with a flying camera that sounded like two hornets’ nests having an all-out war.

          “Dude, here’s what you do,” Sean said. “You’re going to need some pigs blood. You can get it from the butcher’s. Smear your legs with it. Then rub mud over that. Afterwards, you stand in the woods, like this,” and he squatted down, “and give your best injured pig squeal. Sasquatch won’t be able to resist. He’ll come running thinking it’s an easy dinner, and you’ll catch him on your camera!”

          I really wish I had been there when Sean convinced him to squat down in the parking lot and give a couple of practice squeals with him. Sean said a couple cars did slow down and take a look, but none were brave enough to stop and ask what was happening. “I’m telling you dude, it will work, I promise,” Sean told Bob with a heavy hand on his shoulder.

          It wasn’t a bag and a stick shouting “kaluka ku”, but I still count this as a successful snipe hunt.

          “Do you know how much it hurts,” Crash said when he was recounting the tale, “to be in mid shift and to bust out laughing? That poor idiot was out there, shouting ‘Squee! Squee!’ as loud as he could, that trail camera buzzing all over woods.”

          “So, he caught nothing,” I said.

          “Oh, he caught something,” Crash replied. “Laryngitis and a cold. He’s lucky he didn’t get pneumonia.”

          “Surely after about a half hour, he figured it out and went home,” I asked.

          “Nope,” Crash said. “Despite multiple complaints, dodging the local constable who begged me to tell him to shut it down, Bob sat out there all night. Shouting ‘Squee!’ until his voice was gone.”

          “Well,” I said, “at least that taught him a lesson.”

          “Oh no,” Crash said. “One of the guys who believe that they already know everything. He just thought that he came at it from the wrong direction. He tried something else the next night.”

          Apparently, after spending all night in the woods, getting sick, and catching nothing but a few fines for being a public nuisance, Bob decided he’d had enough and was going to science the problem into submission.

          So first, let’s analyze the issue. The “deep woods” Bob was searching was a small patch of trees on the edge of town that allows Crash to move around the community without being seen. It’s not exactly deep, and can barely be called the ‘woods.’ At some points you can literally see houses from one side to the other. If sasquatch did exist, he wouldn’t live in such conditions. Hell, anything wilder than a squirrel wasn’t likely to choose the location. Of course, you can’t tell that to a true believer and a conspiracy nut with no family, no real friends, and literally nothing else to do with their life than to catch this beast on camera.

          Bob set up Trail cameras on literally every tree. Some cameras were set up on top of others watching each other, so if something tried the trick the previous night they would still be caught on camera. He had a dummy set out with his old clothing, smeared in mud and blood, playing a loop of an actual injured pig squeal. Several flood lights were set up on motion sensors, so if anything larger than a cat passed by it, the flood lights would kick on, the cameras would kick on, and he’d have it on video. Bob was ready.

          Crash was on the other side of the county, dealing with that whole ogre thing that I can’t talk about yet. So, he didn’t see it. But was told later that every five minutes or so, it was Flash! Flash! Flash! And of course the Squee! Squee! Squee! On repeat.

          More fines. More complaints. Threats of arrest. And an entire night of nothing. Bob, the genius “I know everything, don’t tell me anything” had set up the lights wrong. Every time a strong breeze blew through, a large leaf close to the system would blow by, and set off the lights. At this point, I think even the animals of the woods were ready to revolt against Bob.

          “Finally,” Crash said, “the complaints reached my desk.”

          “So,” I asked, “what did you do?”

          Crash smirked. “I dealt with it.”

          For legal reasons I am not allowed to divulge what exactly occurred or what was said. The record is officially sealed. Bob has put his house up for sale and is searching for a job out of state as of right now. The hunt for Sasquatch is over. If you tour a certain house for sale in our neighborhood you may find black fur stuck in a broken board or two in the walls or a strange claw mark here or there around the door frames, in the floors and walls. Don’t ask too many questions. And don’t wonder why it’s so cheap.
April 29, 2024 at 6:35am
April 29, 2024 at 6:35am
#1070081

         Hey everyone, it's Crash.

         Jason says hi, he'll have an update on Friday. He wanted to make it about Nashville drivers and wanted to call it 'Crashville', but I told him that wouldn't be a good idea.

         This is late. I know. I hear that from my bosses all the time about my paperwork. I've been wearing fur for the last few nights. It's going to be another night or two like that before I'm done. The house is starting to look like it has black carpet. I'll be happy to spend a few days in skin, let me tell you.

         The adventure?


         Well, I'll let Jason tell you about that. Sometimes you humans get too nosey, I'll tell you that.

         Anyway, have a good time everyone. Jason will tell you what's happening. I have to shift for my shift. Busy season is early.

         Peace, love and flea bugs,

Crash



April 19, 2024 at 2:08pm
April 19, 2024 at 2:08pm
#1069194
          My recent bout in Facebook jail had me wondering about Crash and the other mythicals. Do they have their own social media platform? Is there one exclusively for those monsters and creatures that goes bump in the night? I wonder what it would look like. My mind pictures a Facebook clone, with an endless scroll of memes and joke videos about humans. Crash of course had different ideas.

          “Of course we have our own social media,” he smirked. “Why do you think we scent mark everything?” There was other jokes, but they all pretty much fell along these lines. He’s called it everything from ‘Full Moon Fever’ to ‘peebook’, which got a giggle out of me, I must admit.

          “If we did have our own platform, it probably would be just us complaining about each other, to be fair,” Crash said. “You humans are like puppies. We can’t stay mad at you for long.”

          That sort of stopped the conversation. I still don’t know what that actually meant, and I’m sort of afraid to ask.

          I’m sure there’s a Discord server or Telegram group out there for the mythical kind. One that would probably avoid me, even to this day. More than likely due to not wanting their drama being plastered all over this blog. Cause, you know I’d do it. And I know you’d be as interested as I am in it.

          There’s just a strange sense of drama and comedy to reading about vampires arguing over who’s turn it was to have the Johnsons over for dinner, or a troll family complaining about the minotaur couple next door spending too long on their garden at night. That’s half the fun of this blog, after all. I understand it actually doesn’t have much to do with me. I’m not even the star of it, really. Which gives me the freedom to post about the random and weird things that I see out and about.

          Random things like, Elouise and her new walking partner, Gary. Elouise does enjoy fitness and outdoors, I’ll give her that. I can’t really go that far anymore, especially as far as those two are capable of going. I’ve gotten up to around the block though, so that is technically progress. Even though some days it feels like I’m progressing backwards.

          But Elouise in the morning walks with Gary, chatting it up about just anything that really comes to mind. There must be some sort of southern specialty to just have conversations about almost nothing. I don’t know how one could do it.

          I hope trouble isn’t on the horizon, but I have noticed a couple things happening. First, yard sale season is upon us. More and more people in the neighborhood are showing up with lawn gnomes. I’m not sure what to say about that. It’s started on opposite sides of the town, with one side blue hatted gnomes and the other red hatted gnomes. I’m almost reminded of the old tactical war games people used to play on the NES. I’ve got a trip I’m taking next week, so I’m glad I won’t be around for whatever hits the fan. Hopefully whatever happens will be done by the time I get back. But what are the chances of something major happening in this town without me getting dragged into it?

          There’s also something else. Crash got a formal letter. Labeled from The Rodriguez Clan. He’s set it on the mantle and refuses to open it. I’m not forcing him to do it, either. Certain wounds you don’t walk over. He’ll talk about it when he’s ready. If he’s ever ready. I’ll be there for him when that happens. It’s about all I can really do for this, I think.

          Speaking of, yes, I’m taking a trip next week. The first official vacation I’ve had in quite a long time. In my marriage most of my vacations were spent swimming in the bottom of a bottle. That’s not exactly a good way to spend one. You forget most of it or end up sick for it. Sarah I’m sure has more than one story about it she could tell about me being ill from alcohol instead of taking her somewhere.

          Speaking of Sarah, her dad says she’s talking about doing the AA thing or rehab right now. Hasn’t done it yet, but is talking about it. Which is stellar news. Her talking about it means she’s thinking about it more and more. That means sooner than later she’ll be getting the treatment she needs.

          Not a long one this week, and I apologize for that. Things have been mostly quiet, a rare calm around here. Zack, Sean and Kris are all doing just fine. Not a lot they’d want me to discuss on this blog, but they do tell me to tell everyone “hey,” so, “hey” from the gang.

          Crash has agreed to type one up in my absence. That is the one thing I’m afraid of. Crash is going to be doing a blog post. I have seen his spelling. I apologize in advance. He won’t tell me what it is, but only says “if I can get the time, they’ll enjoy it.” So, that could mean either the intricacies of werewolf scent marking, how to best stalk your prey under the new moon, or a random rant on why they don’t make controllers more durable. I have no idea what it’s going to be. But good luck.

          I hope everyone has a good one. If you see me wandering around, just give me a nod, I’ll know what you mean, and nod at you back. And Crash, try not to put in too many comma splices please. I do that enough as it is.
April 12, 2024 at 10:27am
April 12, 2024 at 10:27am
#1068586
          Sometimes life is not laid out so neatly. We go through our individual adventures; we suffer through paying bills and doing laundry as we struggle to get to the day or two we’ve set aside for our respite. The things we know we deserve at the end of a long, hard work week. Sometimes though, those things we deserve just aren’t what we thought they would be.

          For me, that respite used to be alcohol. It was my poison of choice that had become my personal reward for not killing anyone on my job, even though at times I may have felt that they deserved it. But the problem with choosing such a thing is that it has its own teeth. The reward becomes a punishment of sorts, a means of hurting yourself for your own survival, as strange as that sounds. It no longer is the treat for doing a job well done, for existing and living in this plane of existence. It slowly usurps you from your own personal throne and becomes your king.

          It’s that way with any addiction, though. Whether it be food, porn, drugs, alcohol. They become your lord and leader. You become their willing servant, struggling at the foot of a beast that quite literally does not care about you. It cannot. Because it is little more than a ball of pain, doubt, anguish, anger, and good feelings brought on by chemical bliss: whether from the drugs and alcohol or from your own dopamine levels spiking to as you feed The Beast.

          The hardest thing for someone who has struggled to the other side of such a creature, who has usurped their own throne and tossed aside the addiction king, is to witness someone else you cared for, or have cared for in the past, go through the same thing.

          Sarah was a love. She wasn’t the love of my life by any stretch of the imagination, and that was half the reason we split. But I’d be lying if I said she wasn’t a love. I cared for that woman in a way I hadn’t for a lot of people. Same for her. She cared for me. A pain of a thousand mistakes and fights still sit between us like an ocean. Still waters on top, but death lies beneath the placid surface. We’re Facebook friends. Acquaintance buddies. The same type of individuals who can love and meet and greet each other over awkward chats and gentle touches of ‘good to hear from you’ and ‘glad you made it’ and ‘we should meet for coffee one day’, though neither of us ever actually want to.

          Thing is, though, if anyone deserves to struggle, it’s Sarah. I don’t mean that in a mean way. I mean that in an honest, sincere, wish she had never gone through any pain way. She spent months living with another being inside her head. Feeding off of her. Using her as food, bait, drug mule, whatever they wanted out of her. Live through that for a while and tell me if you don’t come away with a few problems afterwards.

          But on the other side of the coin, if anyone ever deserves to NOT struggle, it’s Sarah. She spent years married to me, then spent all that time being enslaved to a pair of creatures doing lord knows what to her. Things I’m honestly too afraid to ask about. When you’re in that sort of situation, you’re going to come back with a few scars.

          But those scars shouldn’t conquer you after you have survived. Because, after all, you were strong enough to survive. The Beast may have supplanted you on your throne in life. But you were strong enough to take that throne back. Whatever mistakes and pains you’ve had in your life because of what was controlling you, you still have that.

          How do you get that through to someone who has started down a spiral, one that you, yourself have fallen down a time or two? That’s the dilemma that’s faced me in our last conversation. I won’t detail everything, but I know her father is worried about her. She does seem a bit more haggard than she used to. Speech is slurred, glazed over, that sort of thing too. All the classic signs I know and have come to hate.

          It would be better if it was Kheid. If Mitch the vampire had made his way down there again. If The Nobility was behind it. If, if, if. A creature with nasty power and a devious mind. A monster of a person with venom in their bite and death in their breath. A creature I could easily defeat for her with a John Wayne smirk and a Robert Downy Jr one liner.

          But it’s one thing to have an enemy you can physically fight. A beast with fangs and claws, with muscle, will and determination. That’s easy enough for anyone. It’s another thing when you’re fighting yourself.

          You find the punches you’ve been throwing is at bare concrete. The pain you feel is from your own mind: from mistakes that creep up inside and tells you how horrible of a person you are because of decisions you made way back when. Because you didn’t know the things you believe you should have known or did the things you should have done. The poison as I’ve grown to call it.

          Make no mistakes, it is a poison. It twists your mind into thinking darker things about yourself. It twists your personality into a more inward, darker, meaner creature. One unrecognizable by friends and family. One unrecognizable by the world. A self-hating thing that only seeks its own destruction. A mission that The Beast may succeed in if you’re not careful.

          I’ve made my life these past several years into being the person that sticks their noses in other people’s business. I solve many situations or at least attempt to solve situations of others who cross my path. I do so with, well, bluntness. Stupidity. A loud mouth. Lots of luck. And on occasion, bullets.

          But this is one situation that I simply cannot fix on my own. I do know the day is coming though. I’ve told Sarah this. She was mad at me. Mainly for pointing out her drinking. We were on a zoom call together, catching up a bit. Her idea. One born by two new friends she made: Jack Daniels and his buddy, Lord Calvert. “Who the hell are you to judge me,” she slurred.

          It’s best to not engage drunks. I’ve never done what’s best. Her eyes were floating, they were so glazed over. Red. Speech was dragging one word into another. Who the hell was I, indeed? “I’m an alcoholic, that’s who,” I snapped at her. “Remember? I was sober I think one day of our entire marriage. And baby, it wasn’t our wedding night.”

          “You’re nobody, that’s who,” she spat.

          “No, I’m the drunk that was your husband. I’m the alcoholic that knows why you drink, the one who is smart enough to know that the reason why you’re drinking, is not. Your. Fault.”

          She stared down for a moment, instead of at the camera. At the screen. At me. “I know,” I continued, “one day it will happen. You’re going to be cleaned up. Smiling. You’ll hold up your six month sober medallion to me.”

          She chuffed. “That’ll be the day.”

          “It will,” I said. “It will be the day, I say congratulations. The day I will tell you two words you never heard me say at all during our entire marriage. Until then.”

          And then I signed off. It hasn’t made an effect. Not yet. There is two stages I’ve found that must occur before someone is ready to free themselves of The Beast. That first stage is admitting that there is in fact, a Beast. The second stage? Actually seeking help. Without those two stages, no amount of interventions, no amount of arm twisting or handholding makes much of a difference. The first two steps in dethroning The Beast is admitting there is one, and seeking help in getting them abdicated.

          I have faith in Sarah, though. It will happen. May not be next week. Next month. Or even this year. But soon, she’ll see it. She’ll tear down The Beast out of his throne, and kick it out of her kingdom. She’ll send that creature away in the paupers rags it came in. When that day finally comes, I’ll tell her those two words that I owe her. I’ll even give her four more: I’m proud of you. Cause on that day, I truly, truly will be.

          I know the price of that revolution. The pain and struggle of it. I know the anguish it can carry with it. But I also know, that beneath all of the grit, all of the pain and anguish, is a prize that truly makes the fight worth it. The prize is yourself, your true self. Sarah will get there, I know. I have faith in her.

April 5, 2024 at 12:33pm
April 5, 2024 at 12:33pm
#1067710
Sometimes we all need a little adult supervision. Whether we’re standing on a rolling chair to reach that item on the top shelf, racing through the house with our birthday suit flapping in the breeze so we can grab that pair of underwear and towel we forgot for the shower, or something else, we need that person there to tell us “Hey! Not smart!” Usually, for me, it’s Crash who fills that roll. I try doing something incredibly dumb, and he’ll place a heavy hand on my shoulder and say ‘dummy, you’re gonna get yourself killed.’ However, this time it wasn’t me, it was Crash. And amazingly he didn’t hurt himself, even though he tried to blow himself up.

          It started a couple weeks back. Crash was on day shift after the whole Rougarou business. After a major incident like that, you know the kind that normally pulls me in to some crazy adventure that gets blabbed about on here, he’s put on day shifts to handle paperwork, destress, that sort of thing. Apparently, there was some incident that no one ever really talks about but in hushed tones of a werewolf working too long and going feral.

          Crash had decided, in his infinite wisdom, to burn a brush pile. It had become more brush than pile with weeds growing through the middle, a ring of dead leaves around it, and enough dead limbs and twigs to hide a good portion of the trees from visibility. The first step of course was to kill the weeds that grew in the middle. And naturally, you’d use the old, varnished gasoline to do it. After all, it isn’t like it’s going to blow up now, is it?

          He doesn’t say exactly how much he used, but will still chuckle and say “don’t worry, it was only a few gallons.” He figured there was rain coming, so in two weeks’ time, he’d just come and burn it. The gas should be gone by then, right? Right….

          Unbeknownst to Crash, there was a mole tunnel right beneath the brush pile. The gasoline pooled inside the tunnels, becoming a natural pipe bomb. It stayed through rain and shine, waiting, like a lingering demon, to unleash its hellish might from just one foolish man, or werewolf’s, spark.
          Crash began transitioning back to nights after a couple weeks. There was only one or two nights left, and he decided that burning that brush pile would be a good way to spend the evening. So, as the sun began to dip, Crash shifted, grabbed a lighter, and went outside. He began his prep work, grabbing a fire extinguisher, a couple of water buckets, the works. He didn’t get a water hose though, cause it wasn’t like it was going to be a big fire.

          I was inside, working on another story that would be summarily rejected by another magazine, when I heard it:

          Boom!

          Zack was asleep by then, and he could sleep through almost anything. Sean was still at work, and Kris beat me outside by about 3 seconds. When we both arrived, we could see a raging fire that reached to the heavens. It looked as if we were giving a Viking funeral to a forgotten king. A very crispy werewolf stood in front of it, an embarrassed grin on his face and ears, holding an empty water bucket.

          “Well, I got the brush pile lit,” he said and grinned.

          Now, Crash wasn’t completely stupid. After all, he did have buckets of water and a fire extinguisher nearby. A water hose was soon hooked up as well, and Kris and me spent the better part of the next hour evening wetting down the surrounding area to ensure the fire didn’t spread and become our neighbors problem instead of just ours.

          The mole hole provided just the right amount of air and compression to make a decent sized fire bomb. It was a miracle none of us were out there with him. A miracle that in the two weeks’ time that gasoline sat, we didn’t have an errant spark from one of our other neighbors, or something else to set it off without us being out there to watch it. A miracle that Crash was alive. His only protection being his very species. It was also a miracle that we didn’t kill him.

          “You moron,” Kris shouted at him after hearing about the gasoline. The fire in his eyes rivaled the fire at its hottest and highest point. “You could have killed yourself!”

          “What,” Crash said with a soft smile. “I was protected. I ducked.”

          I knew better than to interrupt Kris in a rant like this. And did he ever go off. Crash stood there with his soft sheepish smile, taking everything Kris gave him. He called Crash irresponsible, dumb, called the move childish. I never stopped him and Crash took it because we both knew that he was right. What Crash had done was all of those things.

          “You realize you almost killed yourself?! What do you have to say for yourself, huh? For what you did?!”

          Kris stood at the edge of the fire that had now burnt itself down, raging as hard as the flames had, heaving, clenching his fists. Crash looked at him, still with that sheepish grin on his werewolf muzzle and ears and said, “I used no more than five gallons! I promise.”

          Before Kris could literally skin Crash alive, I pulled him back and patted him on the shoulder. “I got this,” I told him, and began to lead him back inside.

          “You handle him then,” Kris snarled, then walked back inside, still understandably very upset.

          I stood with Crash for a while, watching the fire, helping him tend to it. After a while, I looked at him, and sighed, “you scared him you know. And me.”

          “I was being careful,” Crash said, “I lit it like I was lighting a bomb.”

          I smirked, “Apt phrasing.”

          He blinked. “I just never figured that would happen.” Which makes sense. We never figure that when we’re grabbing that quick item from the top shelf the rolling chair will shift and spit out from beneath us, leaving only the counter to catch our chin on the way down. That when we’re sprinting back to our bedroom, our neighbors will pick that moment to knock on the door, or that we could slip in water, and hurt ourselves when we’re most vulnerable. That the gasoline we figured would have been gone and killed the weeds would still be around, pooled, ready to explode.

          But it happens. The counter almost breaks our neck. The neighbors screech, laugh, then snap photos as we blush like a kid at a recital, trying to cover up the goods. The gasoline ignites like a fireball from a movie set. We’re left hurt, bleeding, embarrassed, and usually, none the wiser for our injuries.

          Everyone needs a little adult supervision at times. Someone to step back, tell them, “No dummy, that’s not going to work. You’re going to kill yourself.” It’s at these moments though you find out just how much people care about you. It’s in relation to how upset they get. If all they do is laugh and ask you to take photos next time, re-evaluate your friendship.

          I think Zack though summed it up best when he asked “what did you learn,” in a sing song voice later on. Crash laughed and said something like “that varnished gas lingers.”

          He did apologize though at least. Promised us all that he’d be more careful. But I guess it shows in some ways why we get along so well. We’re both the right level of crazy and stupid. He attempted to blow himself up in a fire. I attempted to get two vicious proven blood thirsty killers mad at me so they’ll chase me. Zack, Sean and Kris? Well, I promised them I’d keep their dumbest moments off of here. And I’ll continue to do so, as long as the payment comes through.

          The results of all of this is that the house still smells like singed fur almost a week later. Crash laughs every time he talks about it, but promises to be safer. And that I’m analyzing my own actions. I’m not always the safest at times. But I wouldn’t have poured gasoline on weeds to kill them. I’m too paranoid for that. Cause knowing my luck, some hapless soul would have walked by and flicked a cigarette into the brush pile, even though it was piled at the furthest point from anything on our property.

          Crash promised to be safer. I perhaps should take his lead and try to be safer as well. After all, I only have one life to live, and no one can age backwards. This pain in my joints does wake me up on occasion at nights now. It would be nice to see eighty and not need a wheel chair. But we’ll see. Knowing my luck, I’ll be in a wheel chair, in a nursing home next to Crash, who will be stuck in his werewolf form for some reason, peeing in one bag and drinking from another. All while nurses check our pulses every three hours and tell us things in singsong voices as if we’re mentally handicap instead of just physically.

          But we’ll see. It’s best not to plan that far ahead in the future. After all, when we make plans, God, the universe, or whoever, sends us fireballs.
March 29, 2024 at 3:16pm
March 29, 2024 at 3:16pm
#1067150
          It had been several days since the entire incident had happened with Marissa and Tarissa, the ‘twin’ rougarous. They had left the county is all I knew. Crash was attempting to track them, but movements outside of his control tend to get shifted to the back burner, so he wasn’t getting a lot of updates. All he knows is that Garrett wasn’t with them. At this point, we’re not sure if that’s better or worse.

          I hadn’t figured on seeing Elouise again for some time. If I did, I thought it would be pretty much like Gary. See her in the street going for a jog or walk. She’d wave and maybe stop to have a conversation. Instead, she’s been fairly active with Crash and I. We don’t see her every day or anything, but I’ll get a phone call, usually on a weekend or something and she’ll ask if me and Crash wants to hang. It’s strange but nice to have a myth friend who hangs out and doesn’t want anything out of me than friendship.

          This was one of those weekends. We sat on her property in cheap plastic chairs that looked as if they came from a Dollar General clearance sale. Each one of us had a drink in our hands, though mine was non-alcoholic. The sun dipped low enough to silhouette her neighbors house. We watched the sunlight drift and the chocolate brown furred back of our neighbor as he continued weeding. He gave us a polite wave occasionally, but didn’t seem to mind our staring that much. His cow-like tail hung out in a curl behind him through a homemade hole in his old jeans.

          “He don’t mind us watching, huh,” Elouise said.

          I shrugged. “That’s the Henderson’s for ya. They’re friendly enough. Always outside. Don’t mind everyone watching. Well, everything.”

          She arched an eyebrow at me. “Really?”

          Crash chuckled. “I had to talk to them a couple times about keeping the drapes closed when they decided to get frisky.”

          Elouise laughed for a good while. “Is all minotaurs like that? I’ve never lived near one.”

          I gave a shrug, while Crash answered. “Yes and no. They enjoy sunlight, being outside, and attention. It’s part of their whole religion kind of. They worship the Earth and Gaya, the ‘Mother Spirit’ as they call her. They do so by trying to be outside as much as possible doing things like this.”

          “Why hadn’t you wrote about’em in your blog,” Elouise asked.

          “Well,” I said, “that whole shutting the curtains thing is the freakiest thing they’ve ever done. They’re just as normal as anyone. Like our post office, for example. All of them are just humans. No drama or excitement in regular mail delivery by relatively happy people.”

          “I guess,” Elouise said. “I suppose it’s difficult to get across sometimes that us, ‘mythicals’ as you started calling us are usually just normal people for the most part.”

          I smiled. “I’ve even had mythicals come up to me who’d never met a vampire before and asked me, ‘are vampires actually meth heads?’”

          “People are dumb,” Elouise said.

          I shrugged. “They can be, sometimes. But I think most of us humans have a level of naivete built into us.”
Crash rolled his eyes. “Here we go.”

          “I’m serious,” I said. “Why do you think regular humans don’t ever see Charles’ and Nancy’s tails? Why do they see you running around the woods, Crash, and think ‘deer’ or ‘dog’. Remember the fun you had last year teasing the dog catcher?”

          That happened when I was posting the letter that I had gotten about Kheid. It was a humorous little anecdote, but felt a little too Loony Tunes for me to actually post it here. If you guys want it though, I’ll get it up.

          “You know, you slipped under the radar,” Crash said to Elouise, trying to derail my rant. Which I understood. Cause I had developed a whole TED Talk, complete with charts and figures. I suppose the power point presentation I had started was a little bit too far for everyone.

          “I couldn’t exactly follow protocol,” Elouise said. “Besides, everything worked out, didn’t it?”

          “Yes,” Crash said. “But we’re dangerously close to a Doveland scenario.”

          “Doveland,” I asked.

          Crash nodded. “It was a town in Wisconsin. Very friendly to us types, so a lot of us started moving there. The locals felt safer with us, and even began having discounts to attract weres of any kind. ‘Ten percent off your bill for showing us your ears’, that sort of thing. The town population grew to being half mythicals, even. Then trouble started. Needless to say, the entire thing was covered up, and now the records report the town as not existing.”

          “Trouble,” I asked.

          “A small war,” Elouise said. “Ended up being between us and the humans. Everyone lost. But rumor has it, that it wasn’t originally us and humans. It was the werewolves, and those damn cats.”

          “They started it,” Crash grumbled, but didn’t say more.

          “So, if we get anymore mythicals, what will happen,” I asked.

          “If someone tries to come in under the radar, I’ll have to run them out. If anyone else tries coming here legal they’re gonna be denied,” Crash took a pull from his can after that. It was a cheap skunk beer, the kind that has a flavor of piss and vinegar. The one that alcoholics and those of us recovering know the smell of well.

          “Well,” I said, “it’s got to be better than the dog catcher.”

          Crash grinned. “What, I was just getting a little revenge for all us dogs out there.”

          “Crash,” I said, “you tree’d him. You had him on the highest branch on the tree, calling for help.”

          Elouise blanched. “You didn’t.”

          “They did talk to me about that,” Crash said.

          “Crash,” I replied, “your boss laughed for three minutes and told you, and I quote, ‘next time get it on camera.’”

          “Still counts as talking,” Crash said.

          Elouise chuckled an agreement. “I would too.”

          I shook my head, “poor man’s gonna need therapy.”

          “He already needed therapy,” Crash said, then took another pull from his beer.

          We sat in her backyard, watching the sun set as our conversation wound around several strange things. Elouise talked about getting a job of some kind. The prelude I guess to her job in the grocery store. That made me feel a little guilty for a bit. After all, I still don’t have a job and don’t have any desire for one after the last fiasco I attempted at working.

          But still, money is tight, as it is for everyone. Doesn’t help when the price of your staples has tripled and the annual increase on your government stipend doesn’t bother even attempting to touch it. Times are tough all over though, so it wouldn’t do me any good to complain, I suppose. Still, a job of some kind is something that I do kick around the idea of now and again. But about the only thing I’m really good at it seems is working with mythicals and causing trouble.

          I figure the thing I could be good at is podcasting. My mouth runs on its own at times, much to the detriment of all of my roomies. But, where in our strange eclectic house could I podcast? What would I even talk about? Every podcast has to have a focus of some kind, and I don’t think anyone wants to hear one of my endless ramblings.

          That night ended with everyone saying goodnight, friendship hugs, and us going our separate ways. The thought of some sort of fulfillment in my life like a job of some kind did come up. But where in the world could I get a job causing trouble? I’ve always been afraid of becoming a Howard Stern type, someone who pisses people off for fun and money. If I piss someone off, it’s because they deserve it. That’s what this past adventure has taught me. That time I hid that speaker in my uncle’s house for example, I did because instead of talking about family and memories over the holidays, they’d rather complain about politics and whine about which side I’m on, and blah, blah, blah. Forgive me for wanting to spend time with loved ones reminiscing and attempting to grow closer, geez!

          I’m not a perfect person, far from it. But the more of these adventures Crash brings me on, ropes me in with, or I just stick my nose into, the more I’m learning that, although I’m not a nice person, I’m a good person. And there is a distinct difference between being nice and being good.

          The job thing may never happen for me again. I’ll just keep writing. Keep trying to sell my writing. Keep helping Crash, and keep trying to do the right thing. Even if that right thing means jumping on tables and trying to start fights.
March 22, 2024 at 2:50pm
March 22, 2024 at 2:50pm
#1066733
          You can fight hand to hand with someone larger than you if you have extensive training in it. It’s still very difficult, but it is doable. Your tactics become more about balance, momentum and leverage. The idea is to get them off balance, utilizing their own momentum so you can leverage a weak point, a joint usually to inflict pain and do enough damage that you can get out of the conflict alive and whole. It takes training, dedication, and a touch of grace. I hadn’t had training in quite a while. I am always dedicated to helping my friends, but grace and I have never even been in the same hemisphere, let alone be touched by it. I can make a baby giraffe on stilts look graceful.
          So, the last leg of my plan really did rely on my friends and none of my grace. It was simple really. Me and Elouise show up to the barbecue place right after closing, begin the scrap, distract them enough so Crash can go crashing in and saves the day. Not elegant, but it’s how literally all of my plans worked it seemed, despite me attempting to do other things. So, why not lean into what I am best at? When it comes to this werewolf, I’m best at being the damsel in distress. But I don’t wear a dress and he doesn’t get a heroic kiss after.
          Elouise, Crash, and I rolled over to the restaurant afterwards. Of course, me and Elouise went inside while Crash hung around outside doing whatever it is werewolves do during the daytime. We expected to see more of their barbecue, perhaps a few lingering customers, and three Rougarou taken by surprise. None of us was expecting the open house or the gravel parking lot full of cars.
          On the outside everyone had parked in just about every which way they could fit themselves in, the traditional way people park in lots without lines. Some trucks attempted to take up space of nine vehicles, while some smaller vehicles were bullied off into the corner somewhere, or sandwiched between two larger SUVs.
          Inside was a crush of people surrounding most of the tables. A soft murmur of conversation had settled in, like a layer of fog across a small New England town at the break of dawn. Across each table lay a display of property lines, a road traveling through it, and of course, the name sitting out front, “Mefferdi Estates”, written in scrolling cursive upon a proposed sign. It was a beautiful digital recreation of a neighborhood I was determined would never exist.
          Couples that ranged from elderly to newlyweds were all staring down at the pamphlets and displays of the properties. Some of them had already been sold, ‘all but the paperwork is ready’, I’ve heard one yuppy looking guy said as he chatted excitedly to his equally yuppy looking wife. “I spoke to the crew foreman. They can even get us the Kentucky Bluegrass we always wanted,” he beamed with pride.
          “Shit,” Elouise whispered in my ear, staring down at one of the pamphlets, “what are we going to do?”
          I shrugged. “What we came do to,” I whispered back.
          “We can’t start a fight here with all these people,” she hissed.
          I smirked at her. She really did not know me very well. The one thing I’m honestly good at is starting a fight just about anywhere. So, I did what got me thrown out of one of my uncle’s thanksgiving feasts, and subsequently banned from his property. I leaped onto the table, holding the pamphlet in my hand and shouted. “Boy! These properties sure do look nice. Why, I’d be tempted to commit double homicide myself to sell stuff like this!”
          You could hear a pin drop as every eye turned towards me. “Excuse me,” one elderly lady asked. I could tell I shocked her. Her mouth was open so long, that I wanted to tell her she was going to catch flies that way, but instead I leaned down and said “try more lean protein and fiber. Should help with the gas.”
          Then I stood and shouted at everyone else, as I ignored her indignant ‘why I nevers’. “That’s right, double homicide! Murder times two! These two lovely bimbos,” I said pointing at Marissa and Tarissa, “murdered the sweet innocent Gandiffs after holding their family hostage to buy it!”
          The ‘twins’ turned towards me, death in their eyes. “How dare you,” she snarled, “we did no such thing! You’re gonna hear from our lawyer for makin such baseless accusations and slanderous lies! We’re gonna sue you into the ground. Your grand-children are gonna need lawyers when we’re through!”
          “That’s right,” I shouted talking over her. “If we peel up these boards right now and dig a bit, we’ll find fresh lye, and two very battered bodies of sweet innocent people beneath our very feet!”
          Tarissa turned sheet white for a moment. Marissa looked like she expected something like that. “We did no such thing, you can’t prove a damn bit of it, just another ugly carpet bagger trying to fool these fine folks.”
          “I’m not the one trying sell land without giving anyone actual paperwork. How many of you were able to read a contract tonight before handing over the down payment? How many of you read any paperwork what so ever? Have you asked why this restaurant is in such a cheap, flimsy building? As if they’re ready to flee at any moment?” I looked around the room. Every eye was on me now. It was as if the lightbulbs were going off in their heads all at once.
          “Why I tell you, you’ve been hoodwinked. Bamboozled. Flim-flamed. Everyone in here is a sucker for the oldest con known to man! Something for nothing! I bet when you come by tomorrow to pick up your ‘paperwork’ not even this building will be standing!”
          Accusations began to rise as people started asking about the paperwork and titles for the land. I think it was the yuppy Kentucky bluegrass that asked started asking first. That sort of started a snowball effect. Thank God, or the universe or whoever, but everything began happening all at once. Through all the shouting threats and demands, the crowd of people pressing in closer and closer on Marissa and Tarissa, I almost didn’t see Garrett until he was practically on top of me.
          Even in human form he was massive. And moving at a clip that I knew I couldn’t match. He had come from some room around back, wearing a buttoned-up flannel shirt of some kind. I figured he was playing the “foreman” that yuppy Kentucky Bluegrass had spoken to. Elouise stepped in front of him, and tried to slow him down. Which gave me enough time to jump off the table and run out the front door.
          Flashing blue and red lights where everywhere at this point. People shouting. Some people trying to leave because they were smart enough to not hand over money yet and wanted no part of what was happening. And then there was me. Running towards the back of the property, muttering “stupidplanstupidplanstupidstupidstupid” as I did a full sprint towards the fence.
          Then my feet left the ground.
          I looked down at Elouise, who was at a full sprint, and shifting into her gator form. She had scooped me up and threw me over her shoulder like a sack of potatoes. “I didn’t know you could shift and run,” I said, as her snout began to push out from her face.
          “Me either till now,” she snarled, looking around. “Hurts like a bitch though. Hang on!”
          We were in the woods now, drifting further from civilization. At least I thought we were until we broke through the tree line and into a commercial lot of some kind. It was a large open space, with no construction a road nearby, and no one else.
          And then three Rougarou in full gator form surrounding me and Elouise.
          A lot of the action happened faster than I could see with my own eyes. Two green blurs fought against another green blur in the middle. Elouise was holding her own against Marissa and Tarissa, at least for a while. Then she was on her back, with Marissa and Tarissa pinning her down.
          While I was watching Elouise, Garret just scooped me up like a child being scolded by a parent. He held in front of his face. He hissed and opened his maw, threateningly. His mouth was ring of glistening razer sharp gator teeth and a tongue that lead into nothingness – an eternal abyss of death and destruction. “I hate the taste of human,” he snarled. “But for someone as special as you, I’ll make an exception.”
          A lone howl cut through the night. Garret snapped his jaw shut and turned towards the woods that we had just ran through. I looked in the direction he was staring just in time to see two large, furry blurs erupt from the tree-line. The Rougarou never had a chance. The darker of the blurs hit Garrett. I hit the ground and rolled, limping a bit, but not yet feeling the injury. As I looked up towards Garrett, I could see Crash on top of him. Garrett was on his belly, squirming as Crash held his tail in his claws. A quick slash then Garrett’s tail was no longer attached to his body. Marissa and Tarissa would have looked upon him with sympathy had they stuck around, I know. But the brown blur had already chased them both into the woods.
          Garrett snarled up at Crash, as Crash threw the tail down. “You bastard,” he whimpered, “You flea-bitten bastard! I’ll kill you if it’s the last thing…” His tail lay beside him like a bloody tree limb. In the thin light the blood was black. You could almost convince yourself it was nothing but a movie prop from an old Ed Wood film if you tried.
          Crash scooped up Garrett in his claws. Red and blue lights had found our little party. A scared rookie cop announced that whoever was in the costume to drop them now and back away. Crash snarled something at him then disappeared through the shadows. Garrett did the same, limping away now in a different direction.
          The flashing red and blue lights blinded me to most of what happened with the cop car. There was a shout. A conversation. Then the car left in quite a hurry afterwards. When Crash walked back up to me, I asked him what had happened. He just smiled at me and said “We had a small talk about what his job and my job was.”
          “You made him piss himself, didn’t you,” I asked.
          A grin appeared on Crash’s muzzle, as his ears tipped backwards a bit. “Not intentionally.”
***

          The sun was rising again over the small patch of trees that separated our house from the rest of the small town that it resided nearby. It was enough to be a forest I guess, but not quite like the forests I grew up with. Still, it was a nice reminder of home. And would occasionally give me a reminder or two of why I left.
          Elouise and I leaned against Crash’s front bumper, watching the sunrise. Crash had dumped us off, parked the car, then disappeared into the woods. “He always has to work so late,” she asked.
          “Paperwork,” I said. “And knowing Crash, he probably returned to where Garett disappeared and is searching for him.”
          She shuttered. “I hope he finds that bastard,” she said.
          “Me too,” I agreed. “I’m curious what a tailless Rougarou looks like as a human.”
          She smirked. “Really,” she asked.
          “I’m serious! You think he lost a leg or has massive scars on his butt? I mean what little but there was, Garrett had a serious case of noassatall.”
          Elouise looked at me, in the confused dog look that Crash sometimes gets. “Noassatall?”
          I nodded. “Yeah! He had no ass at all! Like none! Dude looked like God snatched it off him in the womb or egg or whatever as a cosmic punishment.”
          She laughed. Which set me off as well, our cares of the past few days cascading into the morning. “You know,” she smiled at me, putting a hand on my shoulder. “If you were only Rougarou and not human.”
          “Bad idea,” I sighed, sliding subtly away. “Damaged goods. Don’t do that to yourself.”
          “What about Crash,” she asked.
          “Crash?”
          She nodded. “What about him? You think?”
          I looked over at the sunrise. Golden red rays piercing through the blue skies to promise another glorious day. Suddenly though, I was feeling the chill. She must have seen something on my face, as she looked down. “I’m sorry, I didn’t,” she began.
          “No,” I said, patting her shoulder. “It’s not like that.”
          “Then what,” she asked.
          I paused a moment. “I don’t know exactly. It’s not my place to say even if I did. But what I will tell you is that sometimes someone is so hurt by something, some event, some person, some thing, that a part of them becomes broken. That’s what I think happened with Crash. I’m not saying you can’t try. But I’m saying don’t be surprised if he don’t respond well.”
          She nodded then turned. “Friendship is probably the better option,” she muttered, then said, “I’ve got to get back. Sleep. Unpack, you know the drill.”
          I smirked; the smile felt a little hollow. “If you ever want to beat someone at arm wrestling, you know where to find me.”
          She turned around and took two steps backwards as she spoke. “Oh, come on, that ain’t hard. I can beat half the town!” Then turned back and left, the sunrise leaving long trails of shadows before her.
March 14, 2024 at 10:49am
March 14, 2024 at 10:49am
#1066259
          The key to the new plan was getting Crash into the door, legally. It works a bit different with mythicals apparently, than it does with us regular folk. A normal person commits a crime, say like murder, and that person is arrested, put on trial, and then they go to prison. Whether sending them to jail for rehabilitation or holding them for execution is a topic of great debate and one that’s far above my paygrade. But for us normal humans that’s just generally how it goes. Arrest. Prison. And if the crime is bad enough, possible execution. Only after years of sitting in prison and fighting for your life in the court with lawyers and judges.
          For mythicals, it’s a bit different. They can’t get arrested. Not because of any immunity, but because their natural abilities puts them in a position to wreak A LOT of havoc inside a jail cell. So, someone like a psychopath minotaur for example who murders a family and eats their hearts, can’t go to jail cause there’s literally no way to stop him from doing it again on multiple inmates. Or just goring them for fun. Or whatever else he decides he wants to do.
          So instead, Crash has a bit of a leeway with execution. Which is also a topic of great debate apparently amongst the mythical side of the law. Crash can execute, he can banish, he can do whatever he is required to do to maintain the safety of normal humans and good order among the mythical citizens. “The trick,” Crash told me on the way to the Gandiff’s house, “Is the paperwork. If I get it wrong and execute the wrong one or the reason isn’t justified in anyway, I get executed instead.”
          We were taking Crash’s car. Elouise was in the back; a sour look on her face. “This is the last damn time I ever bring you guys anything. You know I had a job interview today that you just messed up?”
          She wasn’t wearing anything special. A T shirt with her heated sweater and a pair of jeans, the kind with a more elastic waistband so she could slip them off. “Think of it this way, we may be doing you a favor.”
          She rolled her eyes. “This,” she said, grabbin her vest, “is my thwackin uniform.”
          We pulled into a house in the nicer part of the county, one where white picket fences were freshly painted and the occasional chain link fence was new. Streets were cracked but repaired frequently, and the fresh lines of tar zigzagged across the asphalt like scars. Most houses looked open, warm and inviting, or as if someone was at work or something and not at home. Only one house had a car in the yard, all windows covered, and wreaked of paranoia. Surprise, surprise, it was the house we pulled up in front of.
          “Were here,” Crash said.
          “No kidding,” I replied.
          “Just a second, where did I put,” Crash grumbled, and began digging through the glove box, and digging around under the seat. “A-ha,” he cried in triumph as he held a badge aloft.
          “You have a police badge,” I said.
          “Well, not exactly,” Crash handed me the badge. It didn’t say police dept, but instead said ‘Office of Mythical Affairs’.
          “Office of Mythical Affairs,” I said.
          “What,” Crash asked. He checked his mirror then stepped out of the car and peaked his head back in. “It’s not exactly a cop. Think of it like a combined sheriff and U.S. Marshall for Mythicals.”
          “Huh, I guess I understand why you keep calling the ‘myth office,” I said as I followed him up the drive. We stopped in front of the door, and paused a moment. “So,” I asked him, “why where you so skittish about coming here?”
          He yawned. “Cause,” he grumbled, “It’s past my bed time, and protocol says wait for their call. Otherwise, there could be accidental exposure.”
          “I think we’re past that,” Elouise grumbled. I nodded in agreement.
          Crash just gave a soft growl, and knocked. When ‘who is it’ came through the door, Crash held up his badge and said, “we have just a few questions.” I noted that he had his finger over the name of his department when he held the badge up. The home owner didn’t seem to notice.
          A click, a sliding lock, then another click and the door was finally open. Behind it was a skinny man who looked as if he had the worst scare of his life. Behind him was a wife named Sarah, a small woman of Asian descent. The man introduced himself as Gordon. He seemed nice. The kind of guy you’d expect who could tell you, in intricate and exacting detail, the reasons why one battery type in an electric vehicle is preferable to another, where it was manufactured, and just why you’re supposed to agree with him.
          “So,” he said, “I heard nothing, I saw nothing, I know nothing. What else do you need to know?”
          “Sir,” Crash said, “ma’am. The only reason I’m showing you this is because I’m pretty certain you’ve already seen something similar.”
          He then unbuttoned his shirt and began to shift. Overalls gives him room to shift when he needs without being too constricting. Buttoned down shirts can easily be rebuttoned. Neither Gordon nor his wife Sarah seemed as surprised as I expected them to be.
          They jumped into each other’s arms. “Holy shit, they work for the government, I told you this was a government experiment,” Sarah shouted.
          “It’s not a government experiment,” I snapped.
          “Tell me what happened,” Crash said. And they answered. And it was exactly as I figured it would be.
          The Grey’s, Marissa, Tarissa, and Garrett came here, asking about the property. You see, the Gandiffs owned the land. They also didn’t like all of the development that went on around the area. The Gandiff’s appreciate a slower building community. So, they tried to price it at a point where it would encourage a little slower growth. There is ways around this of course. For the Grey’s, one way was for Garett to hold Gordon and Sarah hostage while Marissa and Tarissa get the land for almost nothing, then murder them and bury them on the property for the trouble. You know, reasonable actions. Which of course requires a reasonable reaction. I’m kind of like Newton’s third law of physics. For every reasonable action, there is an equal, yet opposite reaction. Or in this case, consequence.
          Crash smiled at the couple in his werewolf form, he was trying to be reasonable. Play the cute puppy dog again. I could see it was only partly working on Sarah. “You ever get your parents back?”
          Gordon shook his head. A tear built up in his eye as he spoke. “No. They disappeared. I know they’re dead, I just wish I knew where they were.”
          “You will,” Crash promised. “You will.” And with that, we turned around and left.
          We sat in Crash’s car in the driveway for a moment, while he shifted back. “No one notices,” I asked.
          He shook his head, “people see what they expect to see, what they want. It’s part of how the whole magic, glimmer, natural camouflage, whatever you want to call it, works. They don’t expect werewolves, so instead they just see a guy in a costume, or a hairy guy with his shirt open, or whatever.”
          “So,” Elouise asked from the back, “You get what you need? You gonna need statements?”
          “Well,” Crash said, “I hope your plan works,” he said looking at me. I pulled my phone out and replayed the recording. It seemed to pick up everything.
          “That work,” I asked.
          He nodded. “That works. Now for phase two,” he looked back at Elouise. “You ready to do your part?”
          She shrugged. “Ain’t like I got much a choice,” she said. “Let’s go play the big damn heroes.”

88 Entries · *Magnify*
Page of 9 · 10 per page   < >
Previous ... -1- 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 ... Next

© Copyright 2024 Louis Williams (UN: lu-man at Writing.Com). All rights reserved.
Louis Williams has granted Writing.Com, its affiliates and its syndicates non-exclusive rights to display this work.

Printed from https://shop.writing.com/main/profile/blog/lu-man