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Werewolf Moon

by Ryder W. Miller

That night there was going to be a full moon and he did not have a lot of patience for his job, but he would be able to leave work early before the moon came out. It was winter and the days had gotten shorter, but he would get to work early so he could leave early and avoid the moonlight at the end of the day. He was different when the full moon came out. Wete figured it was like having one's period once every month. The full moon would change him. He would grow bigger, hairier and stronger. Tall, dark, but not handsome. Every woman he met on the nights of the full moon would avoid him.

Wete figured he was okay because he behaved every other day of the month. Being a werewolf was not actually a disability. He could still work. He would just have to hide his affliction from the people who knew him. Nobody would understand. On the nights of the full moon people were wary of the lunatics and most people would stay home to avoid them. On these nights he would run around and sometimes howl. Extra hair would grow out of his body and his face would fixate into a grimace. His neighbors who normally avoided him anyway, were used to him making strange noises on the nights of the full moon. He would sometimes spend the night in his backyard making sculptures. Sometimes he would get together with other werewolves he knew. But for some reason he thought tonight would be different. It was the holiday season.

Today had been a long one on the phone. He would call people to ask people if they bought things. Most people were okay, but there was always a telemarketing call that would get to him every day. He didn't expect everyone to be polite, he even prepared for them not to be. If some were snooty or rude, it was no big deal. There were still people who wanted to do business over the phone and he had specials to offer them. Also there were benefits to working on the phone all day. He did not need to dress to impress anyone. He did not have to worry about his looks or body language. He was just a voice on the other side of the phone.

If he wanted he could target his calls to certain parts of the country or by time zone. He could spend the whole morning calling New York or California. He could try people on a Friday afternoon when they were relaxed because the week was over. He could call people first thing in the morning. Tonight he decided to call people and organizations in the city in which he lived. It was fun calling the places of business in the local area.

But on this day some funny things happened.

One guy on the phone said "You sound like you have a mouth full of shit" and hung up.

Wete found it funny, but there were also a few people who called him an asshole and worse.

But the strangest was a man who said, "Why don't you give me your phone number and let me call you at home when you are eating dinner?"

Wete did not know how to respond.

"Why not? Why not let me call you?"

Wete thought about it. He did not get too many offers like this.

"Why don't we have a pot luck. Why don't you invite me over for a potluck?" Wete said.

"Not tonight. Give me your phone number and I will call you another night," the man said on the phone.

Wete thought about it and said yes. The man on the other side was surprised and not quite quietly pleased. Wete had the information on him on the computer screen. He was Harry Welch and he lived in the hill area of the city were the skies were clearer. The moon was a pure white in those parts of town, but down in the valley there was a yellow tinge to the moon.

Wete was surprised at himself for giving his phone number. This was something he had never done before. Wete wrote down Welch's contact information in case he needed it. He was actually breaking the rules. He was not allowed to contact anyone he called during the day. He remembered the meeting when his boss said so.

Laughing he asked "What if I find a woman on the phone who will want me even if I watch Werewolf Trek?"

The boss grew angry and gave him a hard look.

"Just joking," Wete said no longer smiling.

But now the day was almost over and his skin was beginning to itch. He would have the next day off to recover. His coworkers knew that there was something different about him. Some had figured out that he was a werewolf, but that was okay in Dankerville. The city took pride in drawing those types of folks to live there. Dankerville appreciated the gothic and understood that they didn't really belong anywhere. But here in town they had a greater sense of freedom and respect. The Mayor would talk at night so the vampires who did not have VCRs could listen. Many in town were from the Old Country, Transylvania. Wete knew that there were a few vampires on staff. They would do the overnight shifts calling people in different countries. His boss took pity on him because he was a first generation werewolf who had to learn the ropes on his own. But it was almost never said that a coworker was a werewolf, vampire or goon of some type. They had every right to just go to work like everyone else.

"Come dark fold, come one, come all", the Mayor Serena decreed. His company had fell in line and he was grateful for it. If people ran around town on nights like this they were dumb.

Wete waived to a few co-workers as he walked to the door. One nodded. Another smiled. Wete returned the knowing smile.

Wete was soon happy to be in the fresh air as he made his way down the business streets to his home. Maybe he would do some art tonight? Maybe Harry Welch would call?

Wete looked out over his sculpture garden. The metal figures gleamed in the moonlight. The wind would whip through the garden and the Wete's sculptures would shake in the wind. Wete had had a few cups of wine and he was enjoying the night.

Then the phone rang. Wete just let it ring a few times, not sure what to do, and then he decided to pick it up. He was feeling the alcohol and moonlight in his system, he was in heighted mood, and maybe tonight he would talk for free.

He got to the phone too late and pick up a dead phone line.

"Who is there?" he said, but there was no answer.

"Who is there you bastard," Wete said laughing into the phone.

Wete went out into the sculpture garden and looked around his backyard. Wete liked working with metal and taking out the blow torch. Metal was powerful. It was too strong to be merely shaped. One needed to have powerful tools to do so.

Wete looked at the moon, the powerful moon, even though so far away. It controlled the tides and some of the weather, even if it was out of reach. By now Wete had become wild and dangerous. Hair grew out of his neck and his face, hard hair which did not bend easily. He looked at the moon in defiance and howled. His neighbors were used to him being this way and just closed their window and shutters.

"Oowooo."

Then the phone rang again. This time Wete got to the phone fast enough to pick it up before too many rings.

Wete held the phone in a angry fist not too far away from his hardened cheek.

"Who is there?"

"You don't remember already?"

Wete was drunk in the moonlight.

"I do not get too many calls. Who is this?" said Wete.

"Why it is me. We talked earlier today."

"Harry?"

"Yes it is Harry, you bastard. You ruined my meal."

"I did not such thing. Why don't we talk in person?"

"You think that is wise?"

"It is a beautiful moon tonight."

"Yes it is. Very beautiful tonight, even over the cloudy skies of Dankerville."

The world was spinning for Wete who was in the throws of moon drunkeness.

"Where are you?" said Harry.

"You can find me on the web?" said Wete.

"Okay."

And Harry was off the phone.

Wete decided to give a call.

Harry picked up the phone but before he could answer the phone Wete said, "I also know where you are. You better make it worth my while. My time is also valuable."

And Wete hung up on Harry.

He then went to look for dangerous weapons around his house. He did not have a lot of valuables around the house. He had sticks, hammers and a blow torch. He had nails and screws. He pilled some rocks in the corners of the back yard.

Wete thought Harry was going to get him that evening. But tonight Wete was a werewolf and Harry would regret bothering him. Besides it was tough being a "telemarketer". He had to deal with assholes all day who didn't care if one had an unpleasant day. Everyone else was allowed to have a pleasant day and he had to talk with a bunch of assholes. It was okay to hang up, he expected that. He expected if people got angry as well. But some people were very annoying. If Harry showed up he would take his rage out on him. He saved his rage for the whole month until the night of the full moon, and it had been a tough month, this month.

Wete looked out over his sculptures. There was Sauron and Saruman. There was the Witch King of Shannara. There was Hercules and Ulysses. These dudes were bad every night of the month. Wete was allowed to have his "moon period". His friend agreed. It was not like he looked forward to it. It was just an unpleasant night, but he was able to get his anger out. Often he would look for the guilty and descend upon them like a vigilante. But tonight Harry was the vigilante and Wete was the bad guy.

He disturbed Harry during dinner, but when else could one reach him.

Wete screamed out loud "But we tried at other times and you were not at home. At least let us know that you are not interested."

Wete looked at the moon discolored by yellow haze in the sky and howled. He decided to take out a beer and wait for his adversary to arrive. He was tired earlier, but he felt rejuvinated by the moonlight. He looked out over his sculpture garden and realized that he had sculptured them as friends. He looked at their angry and discordant faces. Were they friends or were they children? He would need to protect and take them in any case.

Wete looked at the full moon and growled. Harry had better think twice before bothering them. The only thing he really needed to do was hang up the phone.

Wete did not know what to make of his anger. He prided himself on being willing to behave almost every night of the month. And besides, women were not always interested in virtue. They wanted to be protected, they wanted to be with someone bad who could protect them. Good men were good for many things. They were usually good for politics and positions of power, but a bad man would be jealous and would scare other bad men away.

But being bad did not always work for Wete. Being a werewolf gave him a wild sort of look. He had strange hair configurations on his neck and sideburns. He really looked wild and that scared people away. People could not notice his looks on the other side of the phone. Maybe there was a growl or howl in his voice, but that was not always easily or obviously apparent. It did not matter if he looked strange when he was on the phone, he just needed to sound intelligent. He did not always need to be urbane or sophisticated, only focused and connected, but now the day was over. He was free and it was a full moon.

He knew why he howled at the moon. The full moon was a special time. It was a time to lead with his heart, with his id, rather than his super ego which was in charge most of the time. He did not always have to think about morals on nights like these. He could be wild. He could dress strange and let it all hang out. This was not the case in other towns and that was one of the reasons he was in Dankerville.

In mid thought the phone rang.

Wete did not want to seem too anxious, but he also did not want to miss this opportunity to mix it up with Harry Welch. He decided to let the phone ring a few times, but he would be there for the third ring.

Wete rushed to the phone and stood over it while it rang a few times. Wete could feel his heart racing and there was anger swelling within him. He did not have caller ID, but he did have voice mail so he would be able to get the number even if that "bastard" Harry did not leave a message.

After four rings Wete picked up the phone quickly.

"Who is it?" he said.

"Hello, my name is Darlene and we were calling you tonight to participate in a city wide poll."

"You got to be kidding me? It is a full moon tonight."

"I am sorry, but it is hard to reach people during the day. I promise to only take a few minutes of your time."

"Do realize what time it is?"

"According to the time zones it should only be eight thirty your time."

"It is dark and the moon is out!"

"Would you like to talk another time?"

"How long will the survey take?"

"It depends upon whether you are having dinner or not?"

Wete almost hung up the phone. But this got him thinking. Did that bastard Harry Welch put him on a phone calling list?

"Why are you asking about dinner?"

"We find that if people are eating dinner or anxious to get back to dinner they answer the questions quicker."

"Who told you to give me a call?"

"I don't know. I only have a number."

"What are your questions?"

"Well it depends upon you."

"What do you mean?"

"Well who am I talking with?"

"Why I am Wete."

"Tell me more?"

"What do you mean?"

"Well why do you live in Dankerville?"

"Because I am a", Wete began to say and stopped himself.

"Finish. This a confidential survey. Your name will not be attached to your name."

"Do you know Harry?"

"Harry who?"

"Harry who. Harry Welch. I talked with him earlier today. He wanted my phone number."

"Harry Welch?"

"Yes do you know Harry Welch?"

"I do not know a Harry Welch," Darlene said annoyed.

"He was supposed to call me around dinner."

"Are you having a late dinner?"

"No. I am appreciating the moon."

"Tonight you are observing the moon?"

"Yes. I am appreciating the moon."

"Why that is an answer to our first question. It suggest a number of things, but I need answers to specific questions."

"You are getting personal. You have to infer."

"I am not paid to infer. I am paid to ask. It is a long tiring night trying to be polite to everyone. I am supposed to make so many phone calls and get so many people to answer questions…"

"You expect me to feel sorry for you?"

"No I just expect them to answer questions."

"That is all?"

"I am not allowed to guess."

"Well call back another night."

"But we are trying to find people like you. We want to talk with people who like being out in the full moon. Most people think it is dumb to be out in the full moon."

Wete was quiet listening.

"Are you having a bad hair day Wete?" Darlene asked cautiously.

"Why do you ask?"

"Well aren't you cautious?"

"Darlene, do you know Harry Welch?"

"I am not at liberty to say."

"That bastard put me on a to call list."

"Those decisions are made by people above me."

"I have to go," said Wete.

"We will try again."

"Okay. Try again, but not on the night of a full" Wete began to say and stopped himself.

"This a confidential poll. You are sure you do not want to talk tonight?"

"Not tonight," said Wete.

"Well good night. We will try again," said Darlene getting off the phone.

Wete looked at the night sky. On the night of a full moon the stars were not as easy to see, but the light illuminated the city. Wete was reflecting. That bastard Harry Welch worked in the same industry. He put him on the do call list. Wete realized that he needed his confidentiality. Darlene tried to ask him if he was a werewolf. That really was not her fault. The fucking bitch had to do her job. He would look for Harry Welch another night. This was only part one.

Darlene was not really a "fucking bitch" he thought. She had a tough job like him. He would look for some one else tonight. Wete looked at the moon as he stepped onto the street leaving his sculpture garden. He howled loudly not caring if his neighbor noticed. Tonight he did not need to be nice or friendly.

Copyright Ryder W. Miller 2011

Ryder W. Miller is the editor of From Narnia to a Space Odyssey, and co-writer of San Francisco: A Natural History. He has published stories at MythCircle and the Lost Souls website.

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