Sunday, November 5, 2017

A Werewolf Ate My Shoes scary story monologue for kids

A Werewolf Ate My Shoes
By D. M. Larson

Chapter 1

I knew moving here was a mistake.  Darksville, Idaho.  The name is a mistake.  Why did we have to go and move to some tiny town in the mountains of nowhere, past the desert of nothing, over the River of No Return?
"Where is everybody?"  I asked as we turned into town.  Buildings slowly appeared in a tiny valley walled in by huge shadows of mountains.
"Maybe they're sleeping?"  Dad said, with his ever-present grin.
"In the middle of the day?"  Every store was dark.  Every sign said closed.  Winds whipped through the streets, making an eerie howl.
"Maybe they're all working the night shift too?" Dad joked.  Dad was going to work the night shift at a gas station in Darksville.  That's why we moved here.  Dad was happy to get the job.  He was having trouble finding work after he and mom split up.  I was about as happy as a shark in a vegetable garden.
"Everybody can't be working the night shift," I mumbled.  Dad laughed and we pulled into the only gas station in town.  An old guy sat... slept... or something... in a chair outside.  The door said closed.
"Is he dead?" I said, giving Dad a funny smile.  Dad gave me a dirty look.
"Try to be good, okay?"  Dad said this with a sigh, like I was always messing around.  Hardly.
Dad walked up to the old guy.  "Hello."  The guy didn't move.  Dad got a worried look on his face.  I thought about saying, "I told you so" but I think Dad was upset enough already. "Hello," Dad shook him a little this time.
"Huh?!  What the..." the old guy reached for a nearby rifle.
Dad and I jumped back.
"Who is ya'?"  He poked the gun at Dad.  He smelled like garlic, big time.
"I... I... uh... am here to work."  We all stood silent a moment.
"These here are silver bullets."  He waited for us to say something.  Dad and I looked at each other.  Weird.
"Ya' know what ya' use 'em fer?"  
Dad shook his head, "I'm afraid I don't."  Dad smiled and tried to be friendly, but I could tell he was scared.
"Well, you'd better learn!"  He jammed the rifle at my Dad's chest and hissed, "Or you'll wish you'd never come here."


Chapter 2

"Grandpa!" A woman burst from the door, "Put that gun down!"  She pushed the gun away angrily.  She stepped between us and Gramps.

"Step away, Nellie. They'z gotta know."

"Go inside... NOW!"  Gramps thought about arguing, but changed his mind.  He went without another word.

She turned and gave a super-model smile.  The wind played with her long black hair.  She brushed her dark strands away from her sunglasses.  "Come on in."  She led us inside the gas station.  Everything was off.  It looked like nothing was working.  But why was the gas station shut down in the middle of the day?  

"Sorry about Grandpa.  He's been reading those horror books again.  I tell him to stop, but he just won't listen."  She still wore her sunglasses.  Strange since it was so dark in here.  Dad couldn't take his eyes off her.  She was younger than he was, but not young enough that he couldn't notice.

"Your sign still says closed," was all Dad could say to her.  
"Grandpa always forgets."  She went and turned the sign around.  A wind rattled the door.
"So you're the new guy?  My name's Nellie."  She held out her hand.  She had the longest nails.  Even Dad looked at them before he shook her hand.
"Nice to meet you.  This is my son Liam."
"Hello, Liam."  She smiled, but not at me, still looking at Dad, who couldn't keep his eyes off her. She reached in her pocket and pulled out something that she gave to Dad.
"Here's the key to your apartment.  It's around the back and up the stairs."
"Thanks," Dad said, taking the key.  Dad watched her disappear into the back room.
"How come nothing is on in here?"  I said looking at the popcorn machine, which had nothing in it.  I liked popcorn… a lot.  My tummy growled in disappointment.
"It's Wednesday.  Things probably pick up on the weekend.  Let's go see our new home."  Dad led the way outside.  We drove the car around the back of the building.  The apartment was high above us like a bird's nest.  I hate heights.  I froze at the bottom of the stairs.  
"What's the problem?" Dad was already part way up the creaky stairs.  He stopped at one of the steps that was loose and looked back.
"It's so high."  I wasn't sure I could make it.
"I know it’s not perfect.  But it is free.  When I get going on the job, we'll find a better place."  I took a deep breath and started up after him.  If I knew what had been waiting for me, I never would have gone up.
"Something is scratching at the door,"  Dad said stopping.  I was almost to the top.
"Maybe..." I panted, " shouldn't..."  Before I could get all the words out, Dad opened the door.  

He screamed, "What the...?!"  
A huge, scrowling hairball burst from the door.  “GRRRRRRR”!  And knocked Dad to the side.  It plowed right into me.  
All I saw was fur.  And horrible screeching.  And THUMP!  That's all.  That's it.  I was gone.  Just a sharp pain in my shoulder and Dad shouting, "Somebody get a doctor!"

Chapter 3

It was all a blur.  Fuzzy folks hovering over me.  Was one Dad?  No, Dad doesn't wear white.  A doctor?
"He's coming around," the doctor said to Dad.  Dad came into focus.  Worry lines wrinkled his face.  Nellie was there too, smiling.  
"You okay?"
"Yeah," I sat up.  The room spun and I plopped back down.
"You better take it easy."  The doctor patted my shoulder.  "You had quite a fall."
"How's his bite?"  Nellie asked.
"I got bit?"  I couldn't feel anything.
The doctor smiled at Nellie and winked, "He'll be just fine."  Turning to Dad.  "But you, sir, need some rest."  Dad did look pretty bad.
"I'll take care of him,"  Nellie said smiling at Dad.  She still had those weird sunglasses on.
"I'm sure you will," the doctor said in an odd, almost laughing, voice.
"Should we wait a while before taking him?" Dad asked.
"He'll be fine.  Just take it slow."  The doctor disappeared into a dark room.  The sign on the door said, "Keep Out."
"I wonder what he does in there?"  I asked, hearing some odd squeaking sounds.
"He turns little boys into frogs."  Nellie smiled.  Dad laughed.  I frowned when I thought I heard a “ribbit” from behind the door.

When we got back to the apartment, I felt a hundred times better.  I may have felt better than I have ever felt before.  Boxes were still crammed into our van.  I grabbed one as we got out.
"Don't carry that with your shoulder,"  Dad said worried.
"It's light," I said tossing it up and catching it.
"Still..."  Dad tried to take it from me.  He stumbled under its weight.   Surprised, he said, "This is heavy!"
"You must be tired," Nellie said giving the box back to me.  Dad looked at me a moment, puzzled, then nodded. "You must be right."
I followed Dad up to the apartment.  I could almost skip up the stairs.  I felt so good, so powerful.  Dad opened the door and we went in.  The front room was dark because the shades were drawn but I could see well enough.  The apartment had furniture already... well, sort of.  An old sofa sat on a worn orangy-green rug in the middle of the room.  A table and two chairs squeezed in a corner by the kitchen.
The kitchen was a mess. The fridge stood open and smelled something terrible.  Raw meat was scattered on the floor.  Bloody juice dripped from the shelves.  
Dad sighed, “That dog that bit you sure made a mess first.”  
"I'll clean it up," I volunteered.  Dad's forehead wrinkled.
"You should rest, kiddo."
"I feel great."  And I did.  I couldn't believe how good I felt.
"I can help," Nellie said following us in with another box, "After all, it is my building."  We stacked the boxes in a corner.  Dad shrugged and disappeared into the bedroom.
Nellie produced some paper towels and we began to clean up the meat.  Suddenly I felt very hungry and my stomach began to growl.  "It's a shame to throw away all this good meat."  Nellie smiled at what I said.  Her skin was so white.  Maybe she didn't get enough sun.

When we finished, the kitchen looked great and night was coming.  Nellie turned to go.  "Time to open up.  Send your dad down when he's ready.  He's had a hard day.  We'll let him be a little late."
I nodded.  She left.  Time to open?  Weren't they open all ready?
I woke up Dad.  At least I tried.  He looked dead... real dead.  He wasn't moving.  My heart raced.  That dog thing that got me... it didn't get back in, did it?   “Dad!”

Chapter 4

I heard a howl.  It was close.  CRACK!  A shot fired from below.  Dad sat up startled.  I froze.  CRACK!  Unearthly scream replied.  There was another howl in the distance.
Dad sat up in bed.  "What in the..."  He stopped what he was saying when he saw me.  I stared at him a minute.  He looked okay.  He wasn't dead.  He was just tired.  
"What was that noise?"  Dad went to a window and looked out.  He shrugged, "Probably someone was trying to scare off a dog or something."
"I hope so," I said, thinking out loud.  It was probably Gramps trying to scare off a werewolf.
"You look pretty tired, Liam.  Go get some rest.  I'll see you in the morning."  Dad got up to get dressed.  "Wish me luck on my first day."

I couldn't sleep at all.  I tossed and turned, tearing up the covers.  I felt sweaty and hot.  All around me the night stirred with life.  Bats flittered by; it seemed like there were thousands of them.  And something... several somethings... howled and yipped in the hills.
The dead Darksville suddenly sounded like downtown L.A.  I tried drowning out the noise by putting my pillow over my head but the new sounds were too much.
Semi-trucks plowed through town; some idled outside waiting to fill up with gas.  I couldn't believe all the traffic.
And boy, did it all really burn me up.  The hair prickled on my back.  My chest began to sweat and itch.  I jumped out of bed.  I landed hard on my feet.  I wanted all the noise to stop.  I wanted it all to go away NOW!               My teeth clenched.  They bit down hard.  I was really mad and someone... or something would pay...  
I grabbed my shoes, thinking about putting them on so I could go outside.  I gripped them tightly.  My hands ripped at the strings, trying to loosen them.  My head pounded.  A semi honked impatiently below.  The sound echoed terribly in my head.  I couldn't stand it anymore!  I had to...Had to.. DESTROY!
The last thing I remembered that night was the taste of shoes.

Morning came and I was tired.  I pulled the covers over my head and FINALLY went to sleep.  Dad popped in and shook me.  "Sleep well?"  I snorted awake and stared at him with fuzzy eyes.  "You look awful."  
"Thanks.  I'm glad you woke me to tell me that."  I rolled over, put my pillow on my head, and hoped he'd go away.
"It sure was a wild night.  You wouldn't believe the traffic... hey!"  Dad was surprised about something.  Then he sounded angry.  "What happened to your shoes?"
I peeked out from my covers.  Somehow I knew what I'd see.  Dad held up what was left of my left shoe... ripped, torn and battered... barely hanging by its shoelace from his hand.  "How'd this happen?"
I knew in a way, but I didn't know.  Was it a dream?  Did I really...  Something inside told me to lie.  The truth was too unreal.
"I threw it at some dog who kept howling outside and he chewed it up.  Sorry."  I hid my face again, hoping he'd forget it.
"Couldn't you throw something that didn't cost so much?"  Dad dropped the shoe. "There probably isn't a shoe store for miles."
I peeked out again and Dad crossed to my window.  He opened the blind.  Light flooded the room.
"Ow!"  It stung my eyes.  I covered them.
"You aren't..." Dad said softly, then stopped.  He probably thought I was on drugs.  Hardly.
"What a beautiful day.  Too bad I have to sleep it away."  Dad turned to go, finally.  "Don't sleep too long.  Oh... and Nellie invited us to dinner... I mean breakfast or whatever you'd call it.  The meal before I go to work."  Dad left me alone now.  At least for a minute or two.  
Then after what seemed only a few seconds, he knocked on the door.  BOOM! BOOM! BOOM!  It seemed so loud.
"What?!" I yelled.
"Breakfast," Dad called back.  I came out and Dad had fixed coffee, eggs, and hashbrowns.  I plopped down at the table and sipped at a glass of OJ Dad gave me.
Dad started talking while I ate. "The people sure are strange around here.  Seems like everyone works at night.  The stores were all open.  Locals wandered the streets.  And everyone kept giving me the weirdest looks.  I guess it's because I'm new.  But they were very nice in an odd sort of way."  
I didn't really hear a word Dad said.  I just drank my juice and ate my breakfast.  Boy, was I tired.
"Didn't you sleep well?"  Dad asked.  I shook my head.  "Probably all the traffic," Dad said.  I nodded.
"Maybe you should go on the same schedule as me.  At least for the summer.  Seems like everyone's on the night shift here.  Even kids.  They had a baseball game going at the park last night."  Dad stopped talking a second to see if I wanted to ask more about it, but I didn't.  I was too tired to care about much of anything.  "The only person who isn't on this weird schedule is Nellie's grandpa.  He sure is a crazy coot.  Nellie went to bed around four and sure enough at five, he was up with the sun with his gun acting like he is keeping watch over the place or something.
"Maybe he's a drinker," I mumbled but Dad didn't seem to hear.
"Well, I better get some sleep."  Dad yawned. "It sure is weird going to sleep with the sun up though."
"Vampires do it all the time," I half joked.
Dad laughed.  "So what are you up to today? "
I shrugged.
"Don't wander off too far.  And Nellie's grandpa is always around if you need anything."  Dad went into his room.
"What should I do today?" I wondered.  
This whole thing with the dog was bugging me.  Maybe it wasn't a dog.  Maybe it was a wolf or something.  Maybe when it bit me it gave me some strange disease.

Chapter 5

I went outside for some air and THE SUN!  It hit me like a nuclear blast, blinding me.  I stumbled, almost falling down the stairs.  I held myself up by the railing.  Weird.  I never have this much trouble with the sun.  I guess the sun must be brighter in the mountains.  We are higher up here.
I slowly made my way down.  Each step dropped before me, looking like a photo-negative, the sunlight etching each step in my brain.  It was like looking at a light bulb for a long time.  The black blobbing steps wouldn't go away.
Finally I was to the ground.  I was so happy I wanted to kiss the sidewalk.  But the sidewalk was blinding me too.
A voice from behind made me jump.  "What ya' doin' kid?"  Gramps came from his chair, gun in hand.  I could barely see him in the sun.  He looked like a black cardboard cutout of a person in the sun.
"What's the matter with your eyes?"  He moved closer, blocking out the sun.  I could see him a little better now.  His little black eyes peered into mine.
"Yellow," he whispered.  I jumped back.
"My eyes are green," I snapped, sounding rude.  I almost didn't care.
"They ain't now, boy."  He turned away.  "They ain't now."  His voice cracked and made me shiver.  What did he mean?  My eyes couldn't change... could they?
His shadowy form was turned away from me.  His gun hung from his hand.  "You didn't run into a big doggy thing, did ya'?"
"Yeah, the dumb thing bit me."
The old man's form rose a bit; his fist tightened on the gun.  "You better be leaving then, boy."  He moved away.  "You better be going far from here.  You ain't wanted here now.  You ain't human!"
He swung his gun around.  I turned and fell.  I couldn't see a thing in this stupid light when suddenly...
"Shuuuuuuu!" came a deathly gasp of air from Gramp’s mouth.  "HuuuuuuuushaaauuuuUA!"  Gramps dropped his gun.  I saw him fall.  I went to him.
" air...shuuuuhuuushaau!"  I didn't know what to do.  Call a doctor?  Get Nellie?  Was there time?   But to my relief, he settled down and stopped breathing funny.
"Darn lungs," he said still wheezing.  "Can't get enough air sometimes.  Get excited and I'm a goner."  I didn't know what to say.  "Help me to my chair."  I did.  He seemed so helpless now.  He leaned back and patted me kindly on the arm like nothing happened.
"Hand me my gun."  I hesitated, looking back at him.  He smiled and pointed.  Weird.
I gave him his gun.  He set it aside.  I could see him now.  We were in the shade of the building.  He took a good look at me.  I could see him clearly now.
"Yer eyes changed back."
"Yer eyes.  They'z green again."  They probably never turned yellow.  I think Gramps has had a few too many late night beers.
"It's still early.  You still ain't one yet.  There's still time."
"I don't know what you mean."  I had an idea but I wanted him to tell me.
"You've been bit by a werewolf!"
"A what?"
"A werewolf."
"In Idaho?  I thought they were only in Europe."  And only in stories too... not real...  not going around biting people...
"They'z safe here.  People leave 'em alone.  They don't nose around."  He leaned forward.  "But I plan to stop 'em."
"How many are there?"  I was hoping for less than 10.
"Who knows.  Fifty.  A hundred.  Maybe a thousand."
"Here and there."
This was too much.
"I've gotta go," I said waving good-bye.
"You watch yourself!"
"I will," I smiled and was on my way.  Crazy old coot.  Probably thinks we're all werewolves or aliens.  Or vampires.  I laughed.  Nellie would make a good vampire.  

Chapter 6

I went out to Main Street looking for something to do.  All doors said closed.  Even the bank and the Post Office.  Maybe it was Sunday or something.  I thought it was Thursday or Friday, but maybe not.  But when I walked by the church, it was closed up too.
I needed some help.  Things were getting too bizarre.  Maybe the police... no, closed too.  Maybe...  maybe the library.
I walked to the end of Main Street.  There stood a stone building, painted tan, but peeling, sitting on the corner.  In big letters it said, "City Hall."  Below, in smaller letters, it said, "Library."  I walked up the steps and to my great surprise (not really) it was closed.  The sign on the door said, "Open: Dusk.  Closed: Dawn."  That can't be right.  Someone must have the sign wrong.
I peered inside not sure what I'd see.  Books were all I saw... wait... did something move?  No way.  It might be the librarian doing some extra work.  I knocked.  Everything seemed to stop.
I was probably seeing things.  I turned and sat on the steps.
Werewolves.  Those are just stories.  Just a bunch of... CLICK.  I turned and saw the library door swing open.  But no one was there.
I stood.  "Hello?"  No answer.  I pushed on the door.  It creeeeaked open.  "Hello?"  My voice echoed.  Nothing.
I stepped inside.  Someone must be in here somewhere.  Why would they leave the door open if no one was here?
A light flipped on at the back of the dark-shelved room.  I slowly moved toward the light.  
I heard pages flipping as I stepped on the hard floor.  The room sounded hollow as I moved.  My heart beat fast like rap music.  Pages flittered just beyond the next self.
When I got there, the pages had stopped.  A wind breathed on me through a window.  The wind... that's how the book...  but the lights?   Then I saw the title of the book at the top of the page. "The Wolf - Fact or Fiction."  The book was on page 13.  Figures.
I flipped to the front of the book.  I always like to read things in order.  I'm not a browser.
I read the introduction first. "There are many misconceptions about the wolf.  Many see the wolf as a killer or a demon.  People fear the wolf thinking it is out to get them.  They get these ideas from stories like "Little Red Riding Hood."  But no one has ever reported an attack by a healthy wild wolf in North America."  I kept reading the introduction, soaking it in.  Wolves didn't sound so bad.  They sounded like they had a place in nature.  They weren't some horrible thing out to destroy for no reason.  They had a purpose; a reason to be.
Enough with the sermon.  
I turned to the table of contents.  I scanned it casually until my eyes locked on "Myth - The Legend of the Werewolf.....p. 13"  13 again.  I wonder...
A creak echoed through the room.  I froze.  I looked around.  Nothing.  Old buildings make noises I guess.
I flipped to page 13 and read, "The only way to cure a werewolf..."  The words jumped out at me like Disneyland.  A cure!
Then a huge THUMP made me spin around.  A book had fallen from a shelf behind me.  Then another fell.  THUMP.  They all seemed to be sliding now... THUMP THUMP.  The whole bookshelf seemed to be... THUMPTHUMPTHUMP!  Falling!
I ran.  Books fell all around me.  I dove for the wall.  The huge bookshelf crashed down.
Dust rose up from the mess and clouded the room.  I coughed a little and tried to wave it away with my hands.
Then there was silence.  Nothing moved.  Nothing creaked.  Nothing thumped.  I was alone.  
This was not my day.

Chapter 7

I left the library and went home.  I knew all this was just a bad dream.  And if I got back into bed and took a nap, all of it would go away.  The library, the books, Grampa, Nellie, the dog, and maybe even Darksville would all go away to dreamland.  Then I would be left to live a normal life somewhere far from here.
I did take that nap and I did feel a little better.  At least I did until we had dinner with Nellie.
Dad stood in front of the mirror.  He shaved and played with his tie.  His tie was a shiny green one, one he wore for special things like interviews and nice dinners.  He was in an ironed green-striped shirt (a shirt he rarely wore because he hated ironing it).  He had a bright look on his face as he flattened a few hairs on his head.  His eyebrows twitched happily on his forehead.  He looked at me in the mirror.
"You're not wearing THAT are you?"  I had on jeans and a green t-shirt that said "Barf City" with a picture of a guy barfing all over the place.
"But this is my going out to dinner shirt."
Dad scowled.  His eyebrows grew together. "Go change.  Now."  I sighed.  He wasn't in the mood to argue.
"I don't know what the big deal is."  I went back to my room and found another t-shirt with a howling wolf on it.  It said, "Let them run free."
I stared at it a while feeling a new closeness to this slightly faded figure, head raised, howling.  I could almost hear it.
The sun dipped behind my curtains, falling in the valley.  My neck hair began to rise.  My back began to itch.
I felt tingly all over.
I slipped on my t-shirt and went into the next room.  Dad waited looking at his watch.  "We're late."  He now wore a jacket that matched his pants.  He looked at my shirt.  "That's a little better."  Then he stopped.  Concern grew in his eyes.  "Are you feeling okay?"
I nodded, "Just tired."
"You need a haircut too."  Dad opened the front door.  He motioned me out with a sweeping hand like I was some important person and he was my servant.  "This way, sir."  I rolled my eyes.  Dad could be so weird sometimes.
Downstairs Nellie answered the door and smiled when she saw us.  I felt better when I saw her.  She was in jeans and a sweater.  It was a nice oversized multicolored sweater but nothing fancy.
"Boy, I feel underdressed," Nellie said looking at Dad with her odd half smile.  "Maybe I should change."
"No, you look nice." Dad said and then they just stared at each other.  Maybe into each other's eyes, but who knows.  Nellie still wore those stupid sunglasses.
"Dinner's almost ready.  You can sit down in the living room for a minute if you want.  I'll be right back."
The room was dark but I could see fine.  Dad ran into an end table.  He knocked some books on the floor.
"She likes scary books," Dad said looking at the titles as he put them back.
On the wall were strangely dark paintings of people.  Huge things that took up half the wall.  Must be family.
"I wonder who they are," Dad said, reading my mind.
"Look at their eyes," I said.  They looked a little red in the room's lights.
"I can hardly see a thing in here," Dad said squinting his eyes.  Candles lit the room from the dinner table, but that was the only light.  Shadows flickered across the room.
Nellie came out in a denim skirt. "I had to change.  You look so nice."
Dad smiled.  He looked goofy.  Nellie looked goofy back.  Things were getting a bit too PG-13 for me around me.
"Go and sit at the table.  Dinner is served."  She disappeared into the kitchen.  Dad and I sat.
"Check out the cool hardware."  I held up a knife and fork.  The handles had silver vines twisted around a dagger.  Castles jutted out from the ends.  "These must be worth a lot."
"Hush," Dad said quickly, giving me the evil eye.  Nellie came in with a covered silver platter.  She set it down and pulled off the lid.
"TA DA!" Hamburgers appeared.  Greasy, cheesy, heavenly things.  Dad winked at Nellie.  My mouth watered big time.  I held onto the seat of my chair to keep from grabbing one.  Nellie smiled and pointed the one for me, "Dig in."
I quickly snatched one up and took a huge bite.  It tasted heavenly.  Juice ran down my chin and neck.  The warm mush of burger ran down my throat.  My insides grew warm and happy as it went down.  Then I looked at the burger.  I froze.  Inside the burger was raw.  But it tasted so good.
"You look like you've never eaten before," Dad joked.  Nellie laughed.  They ate happily.  I kept eating.  I couldn't stop.  In a flash, it was gone.
"There's more in the kitchen," Nellie said.  I jumped up.
"I'll get it."  I was on my way.  I had to have more.
"Don't eat too much," Dad said as I went into the kitchen.  The door closed behind me.  I didn't see any more burgers though.  I looked all over.  Nothing.  Nothing but raw meat.  I stepped closer to the meat.  It did smell good.  I wonder what a little bit would be like.  The burger was almost raw... why not...  I stole a bite.  It's smoothness rolled down.  It's taste stained my lips.  I took another bite and another.  I stopped.  Maybe it would make me sick.  But it was so good.  And so little was left now.  Before I knew it, it was gone.

Nellie and Dad were happily talking when I came back in.  I think they were touching hands.  Yuck.  
"Can I go for a walk?"  I was feeling restless.  I needed to get outside.
"Sure," Dad said.  He was very agreeable.  "Don't go very far."
Nellie turned to me, "And be careful.  The library was broken into today and they never found the person who did it.  They say he really messed up the place.  He may be dangerous..." She gave me one of her weird looks, "So watch out."  I grew rigid.  Dad looked worried.
"Maybe we could walk with you?"  he offered.
"No, I'll be okay."  I had to be alone.  I almost ran out of the house.  I closed the door behind me and fell against it.  I was breathing hard.  I felt strange.  Really strange.
I heard Dad through the window.  "He's going through some hard times.  He's at that age where a lot of changes start happening."  Dad didn't have any idea how much change I was going through.
I stumbled out into the alley.  I hid by a corner, crouched in shadow.  The town was coming to life.  Shop doors said open.  People came out, sweeping walks, driving cars.  Night of the Living Dead.
At least no one was flying, hovering, or turning invisible (not yet anyway).
It all looked normal enough.  Except for one thing.  It was the middle of the night.
That funny feeling came again.  I had to get away.  Far away.  The hills weren't too far off.  Maybe I could be alone there.  And when the traffic cleared a moment I ran.  I ran faster than I ever thought I could run and I left the busy little Darksville behind.

Chapter 8

I could hear faint howling now.  The wind brushed against my hair.  Something inside of me drew me closer to the mountains, wanting to hear the howling, wanting to howl too.
Just then a twig cracked behind me.  I spun around and something metal was pointed at my nose.  A hollow tube was leveled at me.  I froze.  It was a gun.
"Who is ya'?" A shaky voice muttered.  "And what ya' doing in my garden?"  The voice sounded barely older than me.  She also sounded twice as scared, though I don't know why.  She had the gun.
"I'm taking a walk!"  I sounded mean, meaner than I wanted to.  She stepped away.
"You ain't one of them, is ya'?"  She backed farther away.
"One of them?"
"Is you a werewolf?"  
This is the first time I started to really think maybe I was one.  Everything felt so different.  I even looked different.  I was bigger and my hair was getting really long, really fast.
"Well..." she raised her gun.
"I don't know," I sounded weak now.  Tired.  My strength suddenly left me.
"What ya' mean, you don't know?  Either you is or you ain't."
"I'm a bit confused right now."
"I'll say."  She backed away again but lowered her gun.  I couldn't see her a second, but then she flashed on a light.  It blinded me.
"You look like a maybe."  She kept the light on my face.  All I could see was the light. "You been bit?"  I nodded.  She was quiet a minute.
"My name's Liam.  Liam Moreland."  I tried to be friendly.  She had a gun, so I figure being nice was the smartest thing to do.  
There was a long pause.  Finally she spoke.  "Mine's April May.  I hate my name."  It was a pretty odd name.  "My folks was hippies.  They took a lot of drugs.  That's how I got such a dumb name."  Pause.  "They're dead now."
"Sorry."  That was I could think to say.  I never knew what to say about death.  They don't teach you things like that in school.
"You's lookin' pretty bad there, Liam."  I felt bad too. "Wanna rest?"
"You sure you want me around?"
"You don't seem too far gone."  April sounded like she was an expert of werewolves or something.  "I got silver bullets anyway.  If you try anything funny..."  She raised her gun.  I froze.  She smiled.  "Follow me."  
She led me through some tall bushes and over a stream.  Stuck between two little hills was a cabin.  She showed me inside.  A fire was brewing and the room was warm.  I hadn't realized I was cold until I got in her house.
"Want some tea?"  I nodded and she pointed to a chair.  She poured some hot water from a pot that sat on the stove.  She dropped some leaves in the water.
"What's in it?"  I asked looking at the floating leaves as she handed it to me.
"Wolf's bane," she said smiling.  I tried to smile but it was too much work.  The tea didn't taste too bad.
April stared at me from a rocker that sat across the room from me.  Her gun rested on her knees.  I wondered if she lived in this cabin alone.
"You's new 'round here."  She said and I nodded.
"My dad just got a job at Nellie's gas station."
April perked up. "Oh, my."  She clicked her tongue at me.
"Nellie's bad news."
"How come?"
"She's a vampire."

Chapter 9

"A vampire!"  I jumped up.  April grabbed her gun.
"That's right."  Her voice shook.
"You've got to be kidding."
"You're awful non-believing for a werewolf.  I would think a werewolf could believe in vampires."  She had a point.  Except I wasn't sure I was one of those... things.  This vampire stuff was going too far.
"I'm leaving."  I turned for the door.
"Where ya' goin'?"
"Home.  Thanks for the tea."
She watched me go as I went off into the night.  She called, "Thanks for coming by."  Another one of the friendly folk of Darksville.  Is everyone like this in Idaho?

Quicker than I expected, I was back at Nellie's.  The porch light burned away the fog that hung outside the building.  I crept up to the door.  A creepy, shiny eyed cat spotted me from a windowsill and arched it's back.  It hissed as I closed in and it's tail fluffed up big time.  I barked at it and it tore away.
I heard music now.  The kind of stuff Dad likes.  Soft stuff with a beat.  "Ba, Ba-BA, BAA-Ba.  You know that much is tru-ooo-oowe."  Sappy-lovey-dovey stuff.  I peeked in the window.  Dad and Nellie were dancing.  Dad is much taller than she is.  She rested her head on his shoulder.  The she looked up, but not into his eyes... could she be... YES!  She looked at his neck!   Was she really what April said she was?  If so, what could I do.  If she got Dad, then what?  She moved closer to Dad.  I had to do something.   I had to...  HOWOOOWOOOOOO!
Dad and Nellie jumped a few feet in the air at the otherworldly sound outside the window.  I didn't know I had it in me.
"What was that?"  Dad said nervously.
"I'll go see,"  Nellie replied, stomping around across the room, swooping for the door.  I went for the bushes.  The door flew open.  I shrank into the shadows.  Nellie scanned the darkness.  Her eyes glowed like a cat's.  Her gaze passed by me, stopped, and returned.  They froze... on my very spot...  She smiled and turned away.
The door closed again.  Did she see me?  I went for the window.
"I better get to work."  Dad picked up his coat.  "Thanks for dinner.  It was great."
"Any time," Nellie said meaning it.
Dad came out.  I was still hidden.  Nellie stood outside and watched him go upstairs to change for work.  What was she planning now.  I had to watch out for Dad.  
Nellie's eyes turned to where I was hiding again.  Her eyes burned with a strange sort of fire.  I couldn't move.  I couldn't look away.  Just as she moved closer something grabbed me from behind!

Chapter 10

I was pulled back into the gully behind the house, too scared to fight.  Then a voice greeted me, "You gotta watch yerself better.  Vampires can see most anything at night."  It was April done up in army pants and a black t-shirt.  She even had a camouflage hair thing holding her black hair back.
"You scared me," I whispered harshly.
"She woulda scared you worse."  April peeked around me to see if Nellie saw us.
"Will you stop with his vampire stuff?"
"This ain't no game."  April's eyes burned into me.  "They got my parents.  You don't want them gettin' your daddy too, do ya'?"
"You said your parents were dead."
"Living dead.  They'z vampires too.  There used to be a hippie commune around here 'til the vampires came.  They took care of them all."
"So your parents are here?"
"I don't know."  April looked away, thoughtful, sad, and angry.  "I don’t care. I want them all dead."
"What can we do?"  I asked.  April didn't answer at first.  Then she pulled out a wooden stake.
"We gotta use these."
I backed away.  "I'm not killing anyone."
"You gotta, 'fore they git yer dad!"  She had a point, but what if she was lying.
"Maybe it isn't as bad as you think it is,"  I said trying to be peace-maker.
"Oh, it's great if you's one of them.  But I ain't and I plan on staying among the living."
A twig snapped behind us.
"It's her!" April screamed.  Nellie's eyes burned in the darkness.  She rose up before us.
"Who's your little friend?" Nellie voice sounded hollow, distant.
"Uh... uh... this is... April."  I backed away.  April stood her ground.
"Hi, April.  Out late, aren't we?  Do your parents know where you are?"
"No, and I ain't tellin' 'em either."  April yelped.  "RUN!"  April fled into the night.  Nellie's eyes followed her.  Nellie rose up.  A wind suddenly blew past me. Nellie and April were gone.  I didn't know what to do.  Then I heard a scream.  Was it April?
I stepped into the night.  I walked toward the sound.
"April?" I barely could speak.  "You okay?"  My foot hit something.  It was... a body.
I kneeled.  I saw blood.  The body moaned.  But it wasn't April.  It was Nellie's grandpa.   He looked like a truck ran over him.
I helped him back to his porch chair back to the house.  He fell into the chair.  He had a handkerchief on his head wound.
"Goll-dernit!  People should watch where they's goin'."
"Who got you?"
"Some little girl.  Imagine sneakin' up on an old guy like that."
Concerned for April, I asked, "Did you see what happened to her?"
"Oh, she screamed somethin' terrible at me and ran into the bushes.  Then some other big kid knocked me down again.  She was a strong one."
Poor April.  I had to find her.  But what would I do if I did.  I turned to go.
"Where you goin' kid?"
"I have to find somebody."
Another voice stopped me, "And who might that be?"  It was Dad.
"Just somebody," was all I could say.  What was I supposed to say: Dad, I have to rescue a girl from a vampire.  Get real.
"What happened to you?"  Dad said to Gramps.
"I'm okay. Your kid helped me out."
"Nasty cut."  Dad took a look.
"I'll be okay.  Gotta a scar on my side worse than this."  He pointed at his side proudly.  I hoped he wouldn't show us.
"Do you need a bandage or anything?"  Dad asked.
"I might."
"Liam?  Will you go ask the doctor if he has something for cuts?"
I wanted to make another visit to the library, so I was happy for a reason to be out.  "Sure, Dad."
"Don't be too long," Dad said.
"And watch out for werewolves," warned the old man.  Dad laughed but I don't think it was a joke.

Chapter 11

I walked in the alley behind the town as Darksville came to life.  The moon rose big over us.  A howl rang in the hills.  I stopped my prowling, remembering April.  But if anyone could take care of herself, she could.  I had to find a way to rid myself of my own curse and the library had the key.  
April had survived here even without her parents.  She knew all about the vampires and their ways.  If she couldn't protect herself, I sure couldn't.  What I needed now was information.  I needed to learn something about what I had become to save myself and maybe others around me.
Stepping into the streets, I watched the people milling about breathing life into the town.  But something felt strange.  People moved differently here.  They almost weren't real.
I dashed across the street.  A few people stared.  A woman moved in my path.
"Where are you going?"  She stared coldly at me, anger in her voice.  I moved away, puzzled.  She hated me and I never had seen her before.
"We don't like your kind here."  Her nose wrinkled and her teeth crawled out from her lips.  I swore she had fangs.  "You belong in the hills."  Just then we heard a howl and it hung above us in the moonlight.  She turned, annoyed, "You all belong in a zoo!"  Before she could say another word, I was gone.
Being a... uh... a you know what... has its advantages.  I had superhuman speed.  I was like a cheetah.  Wind flew past me as I zipped into an alley.  I needed to join a track team.  Too bad I ate my shoes.
I made my way down another alley.  A familiar building appeared.  I could see books in the windows.  Standing on a garbage can, I could look inside.  Slow moving folks, rather pale looking, gathered books and flipped through them.  No one noticed me.  I carefully pushed on the window and it came open.  I slipped inside.  
I sneaked over to where I read the wolf book.  The shelves were standing again but the wolf book was gone.  
"Drat," I growled.  Then someone appeared.  He towered over me and stared down with a long, whitish face.  His eyes were dreamy and blank.  They were also as white as his skin.
He moaned, "Can I help you?"
I froze, then nodded.  "I was... a... wondering if you have a book on wolves."
His head bobbed up and down.  He motioned me to follow.  "Walk this way."  I did and we soon stood before a whole section on wolves.  I could be here all night looking through them.
"We have a special collection," he said, proudly.  "But not many people here use it.  And most wolves don't read."  He made a funny creaking noise and his mouth twitched oddly.  I think he was laughing.  I tried to smile.  
"Let me know if you need any help."  He left.  I didn't know where to start.  None of the books looked right, but some could maybe help.  If only I could remember the title of that book I was reading before.

I learned a lot about wolves that night.  They are shy animals that keep to themselves.  Many people fear wolves, but they have no reason too.  Wolves would rather avoid humans than hurt them.  They hunt in packs and have a strict order of leadership.  Only the lead wolves (called alpha wolves) have pups and they mate for life.
Finally, just before dawn, Whitey appeared again with an old, worn, leathery book.  It had golden letters that read, "A Handbook on Werewolves."
"Maybe this will help."  I grabbed it excitedly.  "Library will close in five minutes."  He left.  That wasn't much time.  

I sat on the floor and read the table of contents.  It listed the chapters.  
Meeting Werewolves 7
First Contact 13
The First Three Days 20
The Beginning 34
The Life 51
The End 100
I flipped to page 20.  The bitten have three days to develop into a werewolf.  In that time, the body adjusts to the changes.  Blah, blah, blah…
I flipped to "The End."  
“The werewolf is immortal... It is a common misconception that the only way to end a werewolf's life is by the traditional silver bullet, but this cure is final.  The lesser known treatment is to drink the medicine known as Pigious Tres Lupis or by it’s common name: The Three Pigs Potion.  The formula is as follows: cook three strips of bacon.  Pour bacon grease into cup.  Mix hot grease with three leaves of wolf’s bane and three hairs from the tail of a fully matured werewolf.  This cure is immediate, but the advantages gained by the bitten are lost."
Big deal. I can live without the advantages. I'd rather be free than a werewolf. But where am I going to get three hairs from the tail of a full werewolf? Then the lights flicked.
"Closing time," Whitey moaned over the loudspeaker.  
I decided to go to the only two people who might help me do this, and my dad wasn’t one of them.

Chapter 12

On my way I had to stop at home and get some food, namely bacon.  But as I went up the stairs to our apartment and opened the door, I knew it was a mistake.  Dad sat at the table, mad as a wet cat, drumming his fingers on the table.  "Where have you been?"
"At the library."  I didn't need to lie.
"All this time?"
"It's a good library."  I lied a little here.
"I was pretty worried about you," Dad did look pretty upset.
"Sorry, I've had a lot on my mind."
Dad stood up and crossed to the window.  "First, Nellie never shows for work.  Then you disappear.  It's not been a good night."
He got my interest.  "Nellie's gone?"
"She still hasn't turned up.  I hope she's okay."  From the hills, a yellow-red dawn peeked out.  I could barely see him in the morning light.  My eyes drooped.
"You look tired."  Dad said quietly.  I nodded.  "Want me to cook something for you before we go to bed?"  I thought about it, then said no.  I needed to sleep now.  I felt so sluggish in the sunlight coming from the window.
I turned to go to my room.  Then I froze.  Was this the third day?  Did I have another night?  I was almost too tired to care.

That night (or day) I had the weirdest dreams.  I chased mail carriers, I ate cats, and I tore up my dad's shoes.  I think I even had fleas by the time I woke up.  
The real night was coming now (my new day).  Was I done for?  I went to the mirror.  I stood to one side, not wanting to look.  But when I did, I was smiling.  No wolf-man yet.
Dad was making dinner (breakfast) when I got up.  “Dad? Do we have some bacon?”  Pointing to the freezer, Dad was telling me silently to make the bacon myself.  That was fine with me.  I pulled out the bacon, stripped away six pieces.  Three went into a frying pan.  Three more ended up wrapped up in a paper towel when Dad wasn’t looking.  
"Still no sign of Nellie," was all he said as he took his own plate to the table.  Dad looked tired.  He probably stayed up all day watching for her.  It looked like April may have done her job.  But how to find a werewolf?
I needed April’s help for the wolf bane part.  The bacon I snuck into my pocket.
But wait... there was someone else who could help: the old man.   
I ran to my room and threw on my clothes.  I dashed for the door, still buttoning my shirt.  Dad stopped me at the door, "Aren't you eating anymore?"
I laughed.  "Almost forgot."  We ate a quick dinner-breakfast.  I was ready to go. Now that I had some food in my stomach I decided to go hunting for werewolves.  I hoped Gramps could help with that.
"Where do you think you're going?"
"To see Gramps downstairs."
Dad thought a minute. "You stay close by.  I want you checking in every 15 minutes."
"What?" This was too much.
"No night prowling for you."  This would be my last if I could help it.  But tonight I had to go.  I had no choice, unless Dad wanted to have that dog he always hoped for.  At least I was house trained.
"Every hour?"  I put on my best "I love you, Dad" look.
Dad sighed, "Check in every 30 minutes.  But you better stay close by."
"I will."  I skipped outside and downstairs.  I went to find Gramps.  I found him just as he was going to bed.  "Sir?"  I asked.  He turned and he eyed me.
"Yeah?"  He looked mad.  Maybe he knew what happened to Nellie.  We stared at each other a minute.  I wasn't sure how to begin.
"I need some help," was a good start.
"What kind?"  He sounded tired, ready for bed.
"I have some werewolf trouble."  May as well get right to it.
"Don't we all."  He turned to go.
"No, wait!  You gotta help me!"
He glared at me, eyes hard and narrow.  "Why should I?"
"Someone needs to."  I felt like I would cry if he wouldn't listen.  My eyes burned with tears.
Gramp's eyes softened.  "Follow me."  He led me inside the dark house.  He flicked on some lights.  The spookiness vanished into corners and doorways.  The place just looked run down and dirty now.
"Sit down, boy and I'll tell you a story.  A story of how Darksville came to be."
I finally found what I was looking for.  The answer to all this craziness.

Chapter 13

The History of Darksville

"This place wasn't always like this.  It was like any other Idaho town...  until they came."  He paused.  His eyes narrowed.  Yellow teeth bit a chapped lower lip.
"They who?"
"The bat people."  He moved closer.  I could smell garlic on his breath.  "The vampires."
I shivered.  He knew.
"Many years back we had a big problem around here.  It was mosquitoes.  We had way too many.  And I don't mean a few.  They was so many you couldn't see your hand in front of your face.  It got so bad, people started to move out.  All the businesses got together to find a way to stop the bugs.
"We tried chemicals, but that made people sick.  More people left.  Then someone in the city down the road said we should try bats.  Said bats can eat tons of mosquitoes if you gots enough of 'em.  So we checked around for ways to get bats.  One day this guy waltzed into town.  Called himself the bat man.  He spoke funny, like he was from some other country.  Said he'd bring all the bats we'd need for a price."
"What was the price?"
"He wanted free run of the town.  A total welcome by the community into our lives.  He could have the freedom to come into any of our stores and even our homes.  But he promised to ask for nothing more than food and shelter.
"We were desperate.  We agreed.  We signed on the dotted line and he came to stay.  At first he did nothing but eat our food.  Then strange things started happening.  People he stayed with began acting weird.  They'd sleep all day and only come out at night.
"Soon we had all the bats we needed.  All the bugs were gone.  But he turned the whole town into vampires to do it."
"How'd you escape?"  I asked, hoping he did, hoping he wasn't tricking me.
"There was one man who wouldn't sign.  And that man was me.  I wanted proof before I signed anything.  I flat out told him he wasn't welcome in my house until I saw some results.  And you see, a vampire can't enter your home unless you invite him in."
I wanted to know more about the vampires but another creepy-crawly monster was on my mind.
"So how do the werewolves work into this?"
"Vampires and werewolves are natural enemies.  They somehow are a package deal.  Where one goes, the other will follow.  Rumor has it, this rivalry goes way back.  It started with the King Vampire and the Granddaddy Werewolf.  They had this contest back in Europe on who could turn the most people in the village to their kind in one night.  Problem was, no one won.  It ended in a tie.  So their bizarre contest has been going on for all time.  `til history ends' is when they'll do their final count."  He fell silent.  I had no more to ask.  And I really didn't want to know any more.
"I wonder who's winning?"  I mumbled, trying to joke.  I didn't really want an answer but he gave me one any way.
"They say it's the vampires, but who's counting."
Just then we heard a howl... it was close.
“There’s our werewolf,” Gramps said picking up his gun.

Chapter 14

I burst through the door and into the howling night.  Wind ripped past me.   I about ran on all fours toward the sound.  Gramps called after me but I didn't stop.  I was desperate to find some werewolf hairs and fast.  I drew closer to the howling.   As I ran, I felt stranger and stranger.  I wanted to howl, but I forced myself to be quiet.  I wanted to sneak up on this dude and let him have it.
And there it was, standing alone on a hill.  Well he more half-sat, half-stood.  A dark shadow of a creature, raising his head to... then he stopped.  I moved closer.  He began to sniff the air.  He could smell me.  I knew I should have taken a bath.
His red eyes flashed as they turned toward me.  I walked into the clearing he stood in.  “You wouldn’t happen to have a few extra hairs I could borrow?” I said nervously.  The werewolf sniffed at me and must have realized I was becoming one of his kind.  Deciding I was taken care of he turned his attention at Gramps.
The werewolf leaped at the old man who struggled to aim his gun.  I dove at the passing werewolf and grabbed him by the tail.  He yelped and leaped high into the air.  I flew along with him, holding on for dear life.  This is what it must be like in a rodeo.  
Running into the bush, the werewolf dragged me through the forest, trying to shake me off.  I refused to let go, needing those hairs.  Gramps yelled, “Yee Haw!”  It was some ride.  
Finally, the werewolf banged me into a tree and I tumbled free.  The werewolf was gone.  Gramps jogged up to me, out of breath, “You… you… got some…?”  I opened my hand with my eyes closed, too afraid to look.  Gramps smiled.  “You got some.”

We made our way to April’s house as quickly as possible in order to avoid any more creatures that lurked around.  April saw us coming and quickly let us inside.  We couldn’t believe what we saw.
Gramps cried out, “Nellie!”  Sure enough, there was Nellie, tied up to a chair.  
April stood protectively by with her gun.  “Don’t you untie her!” she warned Gramps.
“What have you done to her?” Gramps clutched his gun.
“She’s a vampire and she tried to bite me.  You’re lucky I didn’t do her in,” April and Gramps faced off, guns ready.  
I stepped in and motioned them to lower their guns.  “Look.  We’re on the same side here.”
“You look like you’re turning to the other side to me,” April observed.
“But I have a cure,” I said taking out my bacon and werewolf hairs.  “I just need some wolf’s bane.”
April still had her eyes on Gramps, “In the kitchen.”
I ran to the cupboard and anxiously pulled out a bag labelled wolf’s bane. Getting a frying pan, cooked the bacon and excited watched the grease forming.  I took out a cup and poured the grease in and mixed it with the wolf’s bane and hairs.  For a moment, I had second thoughts, looking at the floating hairs in the grease.  Then I closed my eyes and drank.  
The grease burned my mouth something horrible but I forced it down, burning my throat as well.  I tried to cry in pain and choked instead.  Gramps and April ran to me worriedly and I fell to the floor shaking.
“He okay?” Gramps asked.  April just shrugged.
Finally, after I lay still a moment. I opened my eyes. I suddenly felt tired, but good.  My stomach growled.  I had a strange craving for a salad.  I was human again. Gramps smiled, “Your eyes.  They’s back to normal.”
April reached down and pulled me up, “It worked!”  She gave me a hug.  It felt nice.
Examining the cup, Gramps wondered, “Didn’t that hot grease hurt you?”
“I hurt the werewolf, but not me, thank goodness.  Any normal person drinking hot grease would have been burnt bad.”
Nellie pulled at her bonds in frustration, “Let me out of here!”
Gramps look tempted.  April scowled at him, “Don’t even think about it.”
“How do you know she’s a vampire?” Gramps argued.
“She tried to bite me,” April went up to Nellie and lifted her lip to reveal a fang. “Check out this out.”  Taking away Nellie’s sunglasses, “And her eyes are as red as blood.”  Sure enough, it was true.  Gramps broke down sobbing.
I spoke up, “Hey! Maybe if there’s a cure for werewolves, then maybe there’s a cure for Vampires.”
“Actually there is,” Nellie said helpfully.
“What?  Tell us, honey,” Gramps said excitedly, “And we’ll do it.”
“Only the witch doctor knows,” Nellie said darkly, “And the price you must pay is too great.”
“Stupid insurance companies…” Gramps mumbled.
“I’ll go find out what it is.  Maybe I can talk him into it…somehow.”  I offered, nervous about seeing that doctor again.
Gramps added, “Don’t worry about it.  I’ve got plenty of money stashed away.  I’ll pay any price to help my Nellie.”
“Okay, let’s get going,” I said to Gramps.  He nodded and followed me to the door.
Nellie called out, “Wait.  There’s something else.”
We paused.  Gramps turned and went up to her.  “What is it?”
“Come closer,” Nellie said, her eyes locked on his.  
“No, wait,” I said, seeing something was wrong.
“Don’t look into her eyes,” April warned, but it was too late.  
“Untie me!” Nellie commanded, having Gramps in some kind of trance.
April and I moved to stop Gramps but he had already loosened the ropes enough.  Nellie ripped free.  “Now, Liam.  It’s time to bring your dad into my little family.”  Like a flash, she was gone.
Gramps collapsed and was out cold.  “She’s gone!” April said in frustration.  
“I’ve got to stop her,” I said running for the door.  I had to help Dad.  “Maybe the doctor can help. We’ll need Gramps money.”
April shook her head, “I don’t think it’s money the witch doctor wants.”  
I turned and ran for town.  I knew what April meant. A witch doctor wouldn’t want money.  He’d want something much, much worse.
When I arrived at the hospital, I went past the nurse’s desk (she wasn’t’ there) and straight to the doctor’s lab.  I knocked on the mysterious door that said Keep Out.  Nothing.
I touched the doorknob and found it to be unlocked.  I pulled open the door and it creaked loudly.  I entered and took a few steps into the dark, foul-smelling lab.  The door slammed behind me.  I spun around and there stood the witch doctor himself.
“Welcome,” he said coolly and locked the door with a skeleton key.  “What brings you here, my young specimen.”
I was speechless a moment.  The doctor walked past me and deeper into his lair.  
Finally, I got some words out, “I… I need your help.”
“Don’t you all?” the doctor rested his hands on a table with a large bulky object on it.  It was covered in a huge white cloth.  It was shaped like a body but looked far too big to be human.  As my eyes adjusted to the darkness, I could see hundreds of jars on shelves containing floating things of various sizes and colors.  “You like my collection?”
I shrugged, still unable to make out what was in them. “I need a cure for vampires.”
The doctor’s eyes gleamed, “Oh, a cure you say.”  Turning to a nearby drawer, he reached in and pulled out a huge syringe with a mouth shaped suction cup on the end.  Laying the syringe on the white lump on the table, “This is it.  But are you willing to pay the price?”
“The old man at the gas station has all the money you need.  How much?”
“It’s expensive.  I don’t belong to a HMO.”  The doctor cackled loudly at his little joke.  I wasn’t amused.
“How much?” I tried not to sound as annoyed as I was.
“Well,” the doctor said playfully moving around the table toward me. “For some things the price is small, like an eyeball.  For others, it’s much larger.”  Picking up the syringe, he handed it to me.  “For this, I require your brain.”
I gasped, now realizing what was in the jars all around me.  The doctor grinned from ear to ear.  “How could you… Why would you…” I stuttered.
Pulling a paper from his white coat, he held it out to me, “Just sign this organ donor form…”
“Organ donor?” I said cautiously.
“Yes, you sign here saying you’ll donate your brain to science,” the doctor said simply and then produced the pen.  “I promise not to take your brain before it’s ripe.”
“Ripe?” He made my brain sound like a fruit.
“You’re so young,” he patted my head kindly.  “I need mature brains.  You have many good year ahead of you.”
I signed the form and the doctor slapped my back, “Way to go, boy.  Way to help science.”  I wasn’t so sure about this but if it saved my dad and Nellie… “Now take good care of that brain.  No drinking or drugs.  I don’t want any brain cells destroyed.”  
I smiled weakly and looked at the syringe.  “So how does this thing work?”
Taking the syringe from my hands, the doctor held it up to his neck, “Place the suction cup over the infected area. Bite marks always leave a permanent scar.  Pull the plunger and it sucks the vampire venom right out.”
“Amazing,” I said impressed as I was handed the syringe back.
“I’m a genius, aren’t I?” he cackled again and unlocked the door.  “On your way then.”  He rushed me out and locked the door.  I headed out and the nurse stood in my way.  I swore I could see right through her.  “Did you have an appointment?”
“No,” and I walked out quickly.  It seemed like I walked right through her.  Weird.

Chapter 15

I ran down the street as quickly as possible.  I tired quickly though, no longer having the power of a werewolf.  Nearly dawn, I knew I didn’t have much time.  Dad would be closing up soon and Nellie, no doubt, would offer to help.  
Gasping for air, I stumbled into the gas station.  Dad was nowhere to be seen.  I felt a slight breeze and two hands grabbed me from behind.  I struggled but I no longer was as strong as before.  Nellie’s voice whispered into my ear, “Back so soon?”
“Where’s my dad?” I growled almost wolfishly.
“Resting,” Nellie said happily. “You’re too late.”
Tears welled up in my eyes, “No!”
“And now you’ll join us as well,” I could feel Nellie leaning in toward my neck.
“Let him go, Vamp!” cried April, bursting through the door.  Nellie loosened her grip enough for me to get free.  April tackled Nellie’s legs making her fall to the floor.  With a net in hand, Gramps jogged into the room and threw it over Nellie.  
I jumped at Nellie, calling out, “Hold her!”   April held her legs and Gramps held her arms.  I found the fang marks on Nellie’s neck and put the syringe on it.  I sucked the venom free.  
An ugly swirling mass of red filled the syringe.  Nellie stopped struggling.  April and Gramps stepped back.  I followed.  We watched a moment and Nellie just lay there.  
Finally, she opened her eyes and they were a beautiful chocolaty brown.  We sighed in relief.
“What’s going on?” Nellie said weakly.  Gramps went and hugged her.  “I feel so strange,” she said hugging her father back.
“You’re cured, honey.” Gramps explained.  “Liam here saved you.”
“And don’t forget April either,” I said smiling at the girl.  “I would have been vampire food had it not been for her.”  April smiled shyly.  Then I remembered we weren’t done, “What about my dad?  Is he…”
“He’s fine,” Nellie said rising with the help of her father.  “I didn’t hurt him.  I just couldn’t for some reason.”
“Even vampires have morals huh?” Gramps joked.
Nellie grew red with embarrassment, “I think it’s because I love him.”
I about passed out. “Love… him?”
April laughed.  Nellie grinned.  Gramps looked confused.

Chapter 16

All’s well in Darksville… for now.  Dad and Nellie have decided to get married and run the store together.  Meanwhile, April and I plot on how to rid the town of all the vampires and werewolves.  We spent many hours at the library, reading up on these strange creatures and knew we’d find the answer one of these days.  Hopefully, we’d find an answer before school started.  I wasn’t looking forward to going to school with a bunch of blood suckers.  April said the werewolf school in Wolfington wasn’t so bad, but that didn’t thrill me either.  I’d had enough of werewolves too.
Nellie and Dad refused to let April live on her own and they’ve decided to adopt her.  I wasn’t too thrilled they turned April into my sister.  Who wanted a sister?  I’d always been an only child.  This would be worse than living with a vampire.


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