Short Story: Friendly Creatures, Chapter Two
As luck would have it, there was a full moon that night.
“It’s real big and shiny, you can see the whole moon.” Deedee had pulled back the curtain. She looked out the window at the well-lit night sky.
Tommy’s growls had increased, and he thrashed on the floor, flinging books and makeup around his sister’s room. Hair had begun to sprout from the nape of his neck, and the backs of his arms. It wouldn’t be long now.
“That’s what I was afraid of. Definitely a werewolf then.” Anita paused for a moment to gather her thoughts, and decide what course of action to follow next.
At 15, she was the eldest child of one of the highest ranking Hunters in the city. Her father was well-known amongst the various communities for being by the book, yet fair.
“Just because someone’s undead doesn’t mean they’re evil,” was one of his favorite sayings. “Remember, they didn’t ask to be turned, and most of them are trying to live a normal life. Hunters only go after people who break the law.”
When Anita had expressed interest in becoming a Hunter as well, he had taken her under his wing.
“What was it he said about werewolves?” She pulled up her phone and scanned her notes for some more information.
“Werewolves are created when humans are bitten by wolves, dogs, werewolves, or other lupines which contain the lycanthrope curse.
Werewolves are vulnerable to silver, and more vulnerable to mercury. Mercury is too volatile and dangerous to be carried by Hunters, hence the use of the weaker but safer silver bullets.”
“Not useful, we don’t want to kill him,” she murmured.
“Werewolves transform during the full moon. Werewolf citizens are given a subsidy, to pay for a saferoom in their homes where they can lock themselves during their transformation, and avoid becoming a public danger. Safe room walls need to be lined with thin strips of silver to keep them from tearing through the walls once transformed.“
She paused again, a memory suddenly coming back to her. Her father had told her that only the richest werewolves could afford a saferoom.
“How can you pay for an extra room in your house if you don’t even have a house? So many people live in small one bedroom apartments, there’s no way.” Her father had frowned and shaken his head. “The truth is, a lot of people will use the money they receive to buy a silver cage just large enough for them to fit into when they transform…”
“That’s it!” she said. “Dad’s got a silver cage down in the basement, we can put Tommy in it while we fix him.” She briefly scanned the contents of the room. “Deedee, go to mom’s room and grab one of her big belts. Hurry!”
Deedee dashed from the room while Anita searched efficiently through her closet. She coolly slipped on a thick leather jacket and gloves. Her sister returned moments later with a wide leather belt. Anita took it from her, then gingerly approached her brother.
She had to act fast, he wouldn’t be vulnerable and weak for much longer. Once his transformation was complete, he’d be ten times faster, stronger, and deadlier than she was.
She prodded him with her foot. No reaction, he was too focused on the change. She summoned her courage, and watched his mouth snap shut. The instant he opened it for another bite, she leapt on top of him, and shoved the belt in his mouth. He began noisily grinding his teeth on the belt, teeth which were getting longer by the second.
She wrapped the belt around his head twice, as he scraped and clawed at her with his hands. His fingernails hadn’t transformed into claws yet, and he was unable to scratch through the leather jacket. Once the belt was secure, he could barely move his jaw. He couldn’t bite her for the moment, which meant he was safe to carry.
“Aaarrrggghhh!” He unleashed a muffled yell through the belt, as a heavy wave of pain swept through his body. He contorted his back, and his muscles began to swell.
“Not much time now, we gotta take him down fast,” said Anita. “Help me pick him up Deedee, and don’t get near his mouth. He can’t bite you for now, but he’ll be strong enough to chew through the belt in a moment. Hurry!”
Anita crouched down, and together they heaved their brother onto her right shoulder. She gathered her strength and stood up, carrying his writhing form like a sack of potatoes.
She hurried down the stairs with her sister in tow.
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