I’d had one of those dreams
again, it hadn’t been pleasant and I’d bit my tongue hard enough to draw blood
. After rinsing out my mouth, I shower
ed, washed my hair and had some breakfast. Toast
and half a grapefruit
– I was out of juice
The doorbell rang; I considered ignoring it, but after a few moments of sitting there while it patiently drilled into my skull, I gave up and prepared a pleasant greeting.
It was none other than the local pastor
, Father Travis. He’s a born-again
Face drawn and grey, he began “Good mor-“ but I cut him off in my excitement. “Oh thank God you’re alive! I had this dream a few nights ago, I dreamt that under the light of the full moon I transformed. First my bones began to change, stretching and twisting and before that was finished dark hair sprouted up through my skin all over my body. But most of all I remember the way my maw lengthened as my teeth were forced into fangs.”
He made as if to speak but I forestalled him with a wave of my hand. I recall noticing the stale coffee smell on his breath.
“Anyway, after the pain had passed I took full advantage of my new form. I ran, I felt the cool night air rush past me and I screamed my terrible joy for all to hear. Then I tasted the scent of a man, he was walking along the side of the highway with a can of petrol. I figured I’d have some fun with him, so I herded him into the woods – ever notice how there’re always woods on either side of the highway when it’s the middle of the night?”
I didn’t give him time to answer.
“So after a few minutes of chasing him I kinda got bored, so I knocked his legs out from under him an began to tear through his body; fat, sinew, bone and finally marrow. After I had gorged to my satisfaction I made to leave, but just as I turned to head off I noticed something that made me pause even in my lupine state. It was you.”
I paused and smiled for effect, he was ashen.
“Same stupid little haircut (I gestured to his stupid little haircut at this point) and all. So you can see why I’m glad to see you for a change.” I smiled pleasantly once more.
He worked his jaw for a few moments, but no sound came out. I was about to offer him some grapefruit (since when do I eat grapefruit?) when he croaked, “My brother, Jason, went missing several nights ago.”
Shit. Twin brothers.
“My twin brother, he was visiting from out of town,” he paused to swallow and continued hoarsely, “He was found yesterday, in the woods, a hundred yards or so from the highway. They say he- they say he was… savaged. By some kind of animal. It…”
Talking about it obviously pained him, but that wasn’t going to help me.
“I was only joking?” I ventured.