Another original story, about my favorite classical monster after zombies: the werewolf.
This one was an attempt at humor, so if parts of it seem silly, that was intentional. Hope you all enjoy it. It comes down in a few days.
All original content on this blog is my personal intellectual property, unless stated otherwise, and is under copyright.
- The Awful Writer
© Copyright 2012
Shit, shit, shit, shit.
Why tonight? Why out of every night this week did they put me on drive-thru duty tonight? Fucking Melanie got sick, fucking Brad threatens to dock my hours if I don’t show. Sure I can complain to corporate, but in the six weeks it’ll take to process, my valiant stand for my night off will earn me a hundred less bucks a week.
Shit. I can already feel it coming on. It’s only six but the full moon is glowing bright, and I can feel the hair poking through my skin like itchy whiskers. My teeth feel huge in my gums, and I have that familiar feeling that comes when the fangs are starting to grow in, like I can’t quite close my mouth all the way.
I barely have the headset on when the first order comes ringing through: “Hey yeah, I want a Moon Patty, fries, a Banana Blast shake, some a’them onion rings. And uh, and some Sprite.”
“How many of each ma’am?”
“Just one. How many you think I eat?”
Sigh. “What sizes?”
“Big size. Biggest you got.”
“That’ll be $7.49.”
Urgh. “$7.49, ma’am. Please drive around.”
“Seven-fuckin’-forty-nine…” She’s bitching about the price when she rolls up. The wolf wants to tear her apart. When I’m like this the plump ones make me kind of excited, and this lady’s basically a living tub of lard. I’d be sucking slivers of thick, greasy fat from my teeth all night.
Don’t judge me. These are special circumstances.
I smell sizzling grease as Jack throws a few more patties on the grill.
The hair on the back of my hand has already thickened to the point that I can’t see the flesh beneath. My fingernails are longer, sharper, turning into claws. What’s up with that, anyway? The claws, I mean. I’m pretty sure wolves don’t have claws. Toenails, maybe, but not claws. I mean, you never hear about wolves scratching people. Wolves bite. But man, werewolves totally have claws. Weird.
I hear children screaming. Only the most obnoxious sounds possible get through this intercom. “Welcome to Moon Burger.”
“I said ‘Welcome to Moon Burger.’ Order when you’re ready.”
“I’m ready now.”
A low growl, deep where only I can hear it. “Okay.”
“Three orders of chicken fingers, three small fries…”
“Two small fries and a medium. Three small sodas…”
“Ma’am, would you like to order these as value meals?”
“Did I ask for them as value meals?”
“There you go. Aaannnnd…” The wolf can’t take it. It doesn’t handle irritation well. I swallow, trying to keep it’s gasoline temper from igniting, “…a diet soda. Did you get all that?”
She says that last part in the condescending tone of a soccer mom, who’s convinced herself that involvement in Little League is cause for snobbery. The wolf can’t take it, and he cuts loose. I try to stop him, but I can only listen in horror as he barks into the headset, challenging the woman to a fight for pack dominance through the shitty intercom.
“Ummm…does that come in banana?”
“Rawrr! Rawrr, rawrr! Argle-bargle-bargle!”
“Alright, I’ll take two mediums.”
“23.95 ma’am,” I say, stamping the wolf down, gaining control again. “Please drive around.”
The skin on my nose has thickened, but it’s like someone’s flipped a switch in my sinuses, like I can truly smell for the first time, ever. That’s really the best part of transforming, to be honest. Everything smells fucking amazing. My nostrils flare as her food passes under me. I have to lean out the window to hand it to her. She’s immediately doling out food as I pass it off, but the kid in the backseat shrinks back as far as he can get when he catches sight of me.
“Wait your turn, Tom-Tom!” The mother speeds off without even glancing at me. She didn’t even look my way when I gave her her change. No one notices the drive-thru guy. Actually, I secretly suspect the tiny window inspires people to hate us.
Her kid looks back at me as they turn into traffic. I smile, but it must not work out that way. His head disappears like he’s cowering away from me.
Whatever. I’m already punching Cokes for the next order, but it’s taking a while. The voice on the other end is heavy, strained, overweight. I can hear her mouth salivate in anticipation. Literally, I can hear it. It’s not something I’d hear on any other night.
“…and a salad, extra ranch dressing.”
“Extra dressing is 25 cents a pack, ma’am.” Holy shit, I sound like I’m gargling fish hooks.
“That’s fine. I’ll take two.”
“Total is $12.84. Please drive around!”
Three Cokes. She ordered three cokes. Larges. To wash down the two Double Moon Patties and extra large cottage fries. The fat from the burgers makes me hungry, but it’s nothing like the hunger I feel when she pulls up. Oh. My. God. There’s gotta be at least six inches of blubber between her skin and her meat. I feel an insanely predatory urge to tear through my tiny-ass, dehumanizing window and set into her, but I resign myself to taking her twenty and handing her change back.
I’m nearly full wolf now. She sees me as we exchange cash, but it’s through this little window, so she doesn’t try hard to make out any detail through the eighteen inches of access to the outside world that the company gives us. The only sign I get that she even notices anything is an involuntary contraction of her pupil when she looks me in the eye.
She’s too hungry to really think about it. I can hear the gurgling in her gut, and I know it speaks to her in a kind of desperation most people only feel when they swim for the surface in a deep lake. The gnawing hunger pulls her attention away, but the part of her brain that remembers the days of running from big cats with big teeth sees the unkempt man in the tiny window for what he is: a predator, hungry for prey.
Her minivan hauls all three-hundred and fifty uneaten pounds of her away, and the couple who ordered while she paid pulls up. Easy enough order, like a dozen cheeseburgers and a couple of…
Oh wow. Ohwowohwowohwowohwow these two just had sex. These two totally just had sex. THEY HAD SEX ALL OVER. Holy shit did these two have them some sex!
They’re attractive kids, so it makes sense they had as much sex as they did. Oh, and man, they definitely just got done having a lot of sex. It’s, like, coming off them in fumes. Steaming from under her skirt, seeping invisibly through his jeans. Jesus Christ.
The wolf is horny now. The wolf is also still hungry, but the wolf is horny at the same time. Wolves get this mysterious rep as wise, cunning hunters, and to their credit they are pretty clever. But if what I feel when this change washes over me is any indication, after all is said and done, wolves basically just want to eat and fuck all day.
In their defense, though, that’s pretty much all I ever want to do too.
I salivate. I don’t drool, but my mouth definitely moistens. I recently figured out why it does that, too: it helps the teeth go in for the bite. My lips curl a little, my nose flares, and I take in every smell these two tall and dark kids give off. Cologne. Fabric softener. Warm pussy. Speed Stick. Semen. Leather jacket, plastic heels. I hear the blood stir in the veins of his dick.
Shit. The wolf is hungry. The wolf is horny. The wolf doesn’t see a reason why he can’t satisfy both urges at the same time. Leap into the Civic, kill them, eat them, fuck them if it can remember to. Boy, girl, alive, dead, it doesn’t really matter how the order goes. Honestly, I think he’s counting on losing track once he gets going.
Luckily, the me that’s still me isn’t completely powerless. I smile my toothy grin, choosing to ignore the knobby hand grabbing her thigh. She looks me right in the eye, but she’s not really looking at me, not really. She’s just giving the same flirty courtesy she gives to everyone she probably sees. It’s so automatic she doesn’t notice it happening. She’s not doing it to be mean; really, I’d pay her to smile at me like that again.
They take their food and don’t think about the unusually hirsute attendant again. This next guy is a prick.
“Now yew got all that?”
I repeat his order, but halfway through the first sentence he interrupts me.
“Speak the hell up, boy, this intercom ain’t fer shit!”
I tell him again, growling loudly so he can hear me through the transmitter. When I mention his curly fries he mutters a dismissive “shii-yet” like I’m some retard who keeps fucking up something easy, even though he keeps verifying everything I say.
“And I want extra barbecue sauce.”
“Yes sir, please drive around.”
He pulls up in a massive red pickup that’s seen a lot of hunting seasons’ worth of bushes in its day. It’s an older, box-shaped thing jacked up so high he probably has to slow down to make a turn so he doesn’t tip over. He’s complaining to high heaven.
“Ain’t never had such shit service in my life, boy…”
I doubt a thirty second order could have impacted him so poignantly, but apparently I’m wrong. While I’m taking the next order he leans out and calls down to me.
“Hey boy. Hey!
I’ve gotten in trouble for confronting customers even before I got werewolf-ed. And until it meets something tougher than it is, the critter that shares brain space with me definitely thinks of itself as The Alpha.
The growling starts, too low for anyone human to hear it.
“Hey boy! You hear me! This is the most shit service I ever got in my life…!”
“I’m sorry your experience has been so unpleasant, sir. I can summon our manager if you’d like to…”
“Don’t be sorry! I already paid mah money! Just try not to be such a goddamn fuckup next time!”
“Sir, you indicated at every point that I’d recorded your order correctly…”
“But why did I have to repeat it, huh rocket scientist?”
“…you…didn’t, sir, I’d gotten it…”
He says something, but I don’t catch what it is. He’s interrupted me for the last time. I curl my lips and show my teeth and bark, one good, vicious time. “RARGH!” It’s mean, it’s heavy, it’s solid like an axe blow. His waddly ass jerks back hard enough to make the truck lurch, and he’s got a sudden shocked look on his face. He doesn’t look at me like I’m a monster, though, which is always weird when this happens. He just gives me the same look every bully gives to someone who lets it be known that they are far, far tougher than their aggressor’s piddling ass ever will be. It doesn’t even register that I technically fucking barked at him. All he heard was that this guy, right here, could fuck him up.
I hand him his order. “Have a nice day, sir.”
He mumbles a lot, and never actually manages to say “Thank you” before driving away. I quickly pass the bags of chicken nuggets to the soccer parents in the minivan that pulls in behind him before I smell it. Perfume that smells like vanilla and kiwi.
Her shoes squeak, though she’d never know it since she can’t hear it. She reaches past me to adjust an order. We can do it on any screen, but Lisa usually does it on mine for some reason.
“Hey, Bart,” she chirps over my shoulder. Her black hair is pulled tight under her cap, and I notice a hole for a piercing in her nose that I never would have seen with human eyes. We’re slammed, like always, so she’s already leaving when I bob my head. “Hey.”
The wolf is still horny. I have an image of riding her from behind. That’s not the wolf, though. That’s all me.
The wolf fantasizes too, though. His fantasies involve lots of biting. In his defense, a lot of mine involve biting too, just, you know, not so intensely.
Lisa’s 5’2, dyed black hair and piercings in her nose, lips, and ears. She’s tattooed and her natural complexion is pale, but she’s always outside in the summer and it bronzes her. Even in her Moon Burger polo and khaki slacks, she’s supremely fuckable.
My heart pumps a little looking at her ass, and the wolf notices. I imagine pulling her hair and howling. That, too, is not the wolf. I’m just a horny little fucker.
I feel the wolf nearly wag its internal tail at a quick thought of her biting me and clawing my back. I punch in the next order.
Time can crawl on the drive-thru, but it can blur too. Before I even think to look at the clock I feel a finger jabbing my shoulder.
Lisa again. She’s cheery, always smiling toothy smiles. Always smiles tightly to me, though.
“Break time, hoss,” she tells me. I’m not my most presentable tonight, obviously, so I shrug the headset off as quickly as I can without facing her. I look to the side long enough to thank her smiling face before I push my way through to the employee exit.
I light a cigarette when I walk outside, but throw it aside after two puffs when I notice no one’s looking, and dive into the trash. God, I’m so hungry. The trash is full of rancid, fatty meat, and cheese melting in the muggy night. I suck it down by the box, take down tubes of plastic wrapped cheese slices without stopping for breath. The wolf wants something that can bleed, but for now it has to make do with shredding flesh that doesn’t fight back. Its hunger is sated, but its bloodlust is underwhelmed.
I gorge for fifteen minutes before climbing out. My shirt is spotted with old ketchup, and bits of French fry stick to my fur, but everything’s so busy in there I doubt anyone will notice. I certainly won’t smell any different from the rest of the restaurant, that’s for sure.
I pretend to smooth back my hair in order to hide my face, and tap Lisa on the shoulder. She’s the only person around who might actually address me with genuine acknowledgement tonight, and I don’t want her seeing me while I look like a cave rapist. I barely catch her smile when she hands me the headset, and I hope she mistakes the pelt on my cheeks for a daringly lame attempt at a beard.
She walks by me to return to fries and Oh, sweet Jesus, SHE’S IN HEAT. Wait, no, that’s not what we do, not humans. We just get horny. Oh, man; she’s horny. She’s definitely horny. I don’t know why, but there’s no mistaking it. That sweet, spicy smell from the skin, the way the air is warming a little around her. Yep. Horny.
I doubt it’s me that’s gotten her so worked up, and I feel some way-too-familiar stirrings of jealousy for whoever’s gotten her so hot. The wolf, though…he’s convinced it’s me she wants to bang. Or him she wants to bang. One of us. Point is, the wolf takes it as a signal, and suddenly his concentration focuses around her like a spotlight. Even with my back to the fryer, she’s in his head, and his predator’s instinct works out, to the second, exactly when and how he should pounce.
I ignore it as best I can. If I focus I can take over my body’s mechanical functions, but it’s dangerous to take my mind off the monster for too long. He has a bad habit of taking back the wheel at the absolute worst times.
Whatever, I got a job to do, and I do it through a haze worse than any hangover. The next kid coming through is some doofus from Vandy, acting like he can’t believe we don’t special order everything despite us being a bland, multinational fast food chain. He sighs a lot, rolls his eyes when he pulls up and hands me his card. It’s thick, black, heavier than you’d think a credit card would be. He wears black cashmere and drives a Beemer that I have to believe his parents bought for him if I don’t wanna cry myself to sleep later. He’s pushing an image of himself as older even though through scent alone I can tell his chest hair hasn’t fully come in yet.
His order rolls out. Three others come in through the intercom, and I’m so busy I almost forget to warn the Vandy kid that I’ve accidentally shed a forearm’s worth of fur into his cheese fries. He rolls his eyes away from me for the millionth time so I can see that he doesn’t have to be here, it’s just on his way, and takes his food. I decide he won’t notice my arm fur that much.
“Bart.” A voice behind me, way too important in tone for its surroundings. “You forget to shave again?”
Brad. I’m not nearly manly enough to grow anything but a whisp of baby-like hair on my chin, but Brad calls me on it all the time.
“Shit, you sick? You know you can’t be near food prep if you’re sick.”
“No, just…(hack)…just a frog in my throat.”
“You need to shave, Bart.”
“No, Jesus. Just before you come in next time. This is really getting to be a problem, Bart.”
Bullshit. “Bullshit,” I say.
“What was that?”
“I said ‘yeah, okay.’”
“Good. Keep up the good work.” It sounds sincere, but that’s just ‘cause Brad sucks at sarcasm. He disappears into the back room with a fat white notebook of expense reports tucked under his arm.
Lisa sees me looking over my shoulder, smiles. I turn back to the window before she notices my puppy nose.
I’m already on edge from Brad when a bunch of high school football players come by, gunning their engine in neutral like it’ll gain the approval of everyone in the restaurant. I deal with them the best I can, but their ‘Big Dog’ mentality sets my already piqued instincts on edge. They tear out of the parking lot, likely eating up a full gallon just making their fat-assed truck haul, and I lean through the window and growl as they go, barking even when they’re out of sight.
Speaking of which, did you know wolves don’t really bark? They basically just, like, huff at each other, even when they’re pissed. Weird, right? ‘Cause I totally bark when I’m pissed off like this, and I can’t help but wonder: if the wolf doesn’t bark, then…is that me doing that?
I feel a comforting hand on my shoulder as I take the next order, a voice I’d pay to record tell my pointed ear: “Don’t let him get to you.”
I’m glad my ear’s hidden under my ball cap. Lisa doesn’t notice that it moves with her as she reaches over to adjust an order.
I follow the sound of her footsteps as she walks back to fries. My wolven eyes catch roils I’ve never noticed before in the muscles of her ass. I feel a jab in my shoulder.
That’s not right. “I got two hours.”
“Off the window.” He ran his hand on both sides of his face. “Shoulda shaved. Pete.” He waves a hand at Pete, who usually works the registers and typically sucks at it. He’s worse at the window. It’s gonna be a clusterfuck.
“Okay.” I keep my eyes low as I hand off the headset. I’m sure Brad enjoys seeing that, probably thinks he’s worked some suped-up power play over me. I bet he thinks I’m a straight-up whipped pup.
“Knock the house,” he tells me, which is just jargon for shit work. Literally; I’m on bathroom and trash duty. Fuck this guy.
But I can’t afford to make a scene. I wanna hunker low and bare my teeth, but I need to keep myself collared. I walk off to grab the bucket, noticing Lisa smiling at me and wishing I could smile back.
I notice something else when she smiles at me: I can smell a flush of adrenaline from Brad as he sees it, the kind of rush one gets when deciding whether to fight or flee.
I open the storage closet, pull out a black mop that used to be bleach-white and a yellow bucket disconcertingly flecked in dried bits of brown. I hate this place.
I take out the trash and mop for an hour before I overhear Brad talking to Lisa. He’s a little too impressed that he’s attending a regional conference for store managers, and he’s not-so-subtly mentioning the free room at Hampton Inn he gets for going. Without trying to seem creepy but failing miserably, he remarks with fake amazement that they’ll even let him bring a guest.
Lisa yells to the counter that fries are up. Brad leaves. The second he’s gone Lisa nudges Luke beside her.
“On break,” she yells over sizzling grease. She snakes a smoke out of her back pocket and heads outside. A bag from the office wastebasket I’ve been keeping on hand suddenly needs to get thrown out.
I know I can’t reasonably expect to talk to her, not like this, but the wolf needs to circle her, needs to smell that sharp, chemical smell her body seems to make. Whoever she’s got on her mind is making her as fragrant as a shot of whiskey.
I overhand the bag into the dumpster, and she watches me while I hurl the old boxes of burger meat in with it. She snuffs out her smoke, turns to walk inside. I follow, faster than I intended, too fast to get control back.
The monster’s driving now.
She looks over her shoulder, sees me coming up in the corner of her eye. Feels my hand around her waist. That minty breath of hers catches a little.
Her body fumes. The air around her suddenly warms. Goddamn, I think. Maybe the wolf was right.
Something like low laughter deep inside my mind. Of course I fucking am…
She feels my breath on her neck, feels my tight chest pressing against her. She cranes her head, bends her neck to my whiskery lips.
Fangs that can rend steel are a breath from her carotid artery. I nuzzle her with my nose, warm and wet. She’s got her eyes closed; she thinks it’s a kiss.
Her hand on my wrist, the other opening the dry storage room. In a second we’re bolted in the dark, moaning loudly but drowned out by the racket at the counter. I hear her shudder as I ride her. I hope she doesn’t hear me howling at the end.
We rush out, peeking to see when someone will come by so we can bleed into the action. In a flash she’s back at fries, smiling sideways at me while I blur around the corner. I’m getting a good rhythm when that finger jabs me again.
Brad. Portly, outweighs me by thirty pounds and demands authority based solely on his former reputation as a high school football star. He jerks a thumb to his office, turns and walks. He wags his finger behind him in case I don’t get the message. But who else would it be for? Back here, I’m the only one in sight.
We’re alone in his office. He doesn’t even look at me when he says: “Didn’t think I’d catch that you didn’t shave, did ya? Don’t think I catch a lot.” He’s gathering papers, probably for no other reason than to seem important. He’s still not looking at me. “Caught you coming out of the storeroom with Lisa. Caught that.” Lisa. That’s what this is. “Fact is, you’ve been breaking a lot of rules, Bart…”
No. I’m the Alpha. The Alpha doesn’t follow the rules.
“And I know outside of here you might be an okay guy, maybe…” Still not looking at me. Flipping though papers stapled together. Needs me to know I’m not as important as whatever else he needs to do. I’m just some errand he has to get out of the way. “…just can’t let any personality problems interfere with how this restaurant functions. Get what I’m sayin’?”
The Alpha makes the rules.
“I’m afraid I have to terminate your employment come next pay cycle…”
He looks at me then. Doesn’t mean to, didn’t intend to. Just wanted to look up, then look away, let me know this is done, it’s over, wrap this up and then wave me away with a glance, one that cuts down the dude who reminds him a little too much of the guys he used to call “fag” back in high school.
But the vicarious school bully isn’t counting on seeing more than just me.
Where I was supposed to be, there is only the Alpha Wolf.
Brad sees me. His eyes go wide. He opens his mouth to scream. I open his throat to quiet him.
That was good. That was very good. The wolf is happy. The wolf has circled three times, is curled up and dozing in a little corner of my mind. I hear the doorknob catch behind me. I grab my mop, go back to work, clock out after an hour and spend the rest of the night running naked in the woods.
I’m scheduled to pull the breakfast shift. I get a voice mail from an HR guy the next morning telling me not to worry about it. He gives me an access code to take with me to a corporate counselor, explains very gently that my manager was mauled to death by some wild animal that managed to sneak into the restaurant last night. Freak occurence. He asks if I’m okay.
I tell him yeah, but that’s a lie. A piece of polyester has been stuck in my teeth all night, and I can’t budge it for anything. It’s really starting to bug me. I should really floss.
I’m pretty good at this assistant manager thing. Shitty part is I still have to pull drive-thru duty. It’s a crap job, and everyone knows it, and frankly I don’t have the heart to force it on anyone else.
But that’s alright. I’m boss now, mostly ‘cause the new GM’s never really here. No one gets to chew me out when I forget to shave for a day or two, when I wear white socks instead of black. Good times.
Sometimes, sitting in my little window on nights when the moon is wide and watchful, I notice the wolf doesn’t bare its teeth as much as it used too. Seeing Lisa smile at me over the fries, knowing she’ll smile in a very different way at my apartment come the weekend…the wolf doesn’t feel like biting people quite as much anymore. He wags his tail a lot, too, though when he does that I have to wear my apron backwards. Otherwise I’ll just get fur on everything, and that shit can get embarassing sometimes.