Wednesday, 25 June 2014

By The Light of the Silvery Moon

Damn Grandma, calling for help tonight of all nights.
Well, when I got there she didn’t need help; gobbets of flesh stuck wetly to every surface and blood spattered across the shiny oak floorboards – it was gross. And where the hell was Grandpa?
I was thinking about calling the Feds, when I hear noises. Snuffling, shuffling – a growl that echoes deep in my gut, like a speaker with the bass set too high. The only good thing was that it was outside.
I shoot the door bolts so hard the frame shakes.
I look around the room for something useful. Old ladies’ trinkets fill every inch of the room. You couldn’t ever put a cup down without knocking something over.
I grab the heavy brass candlestick Grandma always whined was so hard to clean and take a practice swing. I couldn’t hit a fading fastball worth shit, but I reckoned a head, being a bigger, slower target, would be easier. And I had way more incentive not to miss.
The door shakes like it’s been rammed by a monster truck, then the scratching starts. Scratching? That’s like calling Katrina a thunderstorm. It sounded like someone was trying to cut through with an industrial band sander.
My mouth’s so dry a six pack won’t wet it. My hands shake like... well like Grandma’s, I go to the window, flatten myself against the wall like in all the best cop shows and twitch the curtain. A dog is trying to scratch and bite through the door.
Damn, calling that thing a dog was like calling King Kong a gorilla, accurate maybe, but way too lame and giving no clue to the sheer size of it.
The full moon clears the clouds and moonbeams light me up. I get that dizzy, sick feeling like always. The pale light paints the dumpsters and wrecked cars with a shimmering silver frosting. Not a neighbourhood where screaming attracts much attention. Cops it is.
Dropping the candlestick I pull out my cell phone. Three tries to get shaking fingers to locate 911 then, just as the ringtone starts, the phone buzzes and shuts down.
No battery.
The growl becomes a weird howl, pitch rising with the hairs on the back of my neck and arms. I let the drapes fall, shutting out the silver light.
Get your shit together, girl.
I scoot for the kitchen, slipping on the slick, pooled blood darkening the floor. I peer inside, checking, before making a dash for it.
A hand grabs my wrist and yanks me back into the living room.
I sprawl across the floor, coming face to face with a strange woman’s head, staring at me from under the couch. The neck has been sliced clean through.
I sense movement behind me. I roll to one side as a blued steel blade chops into the floorboards where my head just was. I scramble away, scrabbling towards the window, stretching out for the candlestick. My ankle is grabbed, pulling me back towards the centre of the room. The hand releases me. I flop like a beached fish, rolling on my back.
A wild eyed man looms over me, samurai sword raised for another strike.
The window crashes in, covering me in shards of glass. The great grey wolf knocks the man to the ground. Yellow teeth lock around the man’s neck and, with a great shake and sickening rip, pulls clear, showering me with fresh, warm blood. The sword clatters to the floor.
The wolf faces me. I feel his hot breath and see scarlet drool matting his fur.
He growls, pale cloudy eyes fix on me. He sniffs the air, panting, long pink tongue flapping from his mouth.
He steps back, rears up, and shakes and shakes, until Grandpa stands in front of me, still breathing heavily, mouth red.
His warm, hairy hand pulls me upright.
“Grandma shouldn’t’ call you tonight. I’ve told you before to beware the full moon. Our kind attract crazies. Now, if your mother had married someone of the old blood, you could’ve looked after yourself. Come on, Girl, help me clear up before your Grandma finishes hunting; I’m starving!”

 695 words

This story was written for Jeff Tsuruoka's Mid-Week Blues Buster contest and was loosely inspired by this week's track 'The Hungry Wolf' by Los Angeles punk band X  
It was awarded second place in the contest. Judge Ruth Long said:-
" Such a fun and suspenseful read – kept me guessing and worried all the way through! So fun to think about grandparents – were or otherwise – running amok!"

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