Adventures In Living With The Mythical
I am transferring my blog once again!|
This time the blog will be located at:
In the future, I will make announcements here and link them.
This is a process I am transitioning into, so by March I will be doing that. Until then I'll make posts here, and also link there.
Well, it goes back to the original intention of this blog.
Life With A Werewolf was always intended as a fictional blog. It's a story being told in blog format. There for, I want the character of Jason Forte to stand on his own, and his world to stand on its own. It's kind of difficult to do that when the blog you're writing is attached to a profile with your name on it.
This is because most people associate blogs with the person they perceive as writing them. When this blog is Jason's it works better than when this blog is mine written as Jason's you get me?
The other reason is if I hope to ever have this blog start making money, then it definitely needs to stand on it's own. That's the full intention of this, after all.
So, anyway, that address again is: https://lifewithawerewolf.blogspot.com/
Please bookmark it and enjoy!
Thanks for reading, and enjoy.
(New uploads will be every Friday unless I can't or don't want to.)
About "Life With A Werewolf"
Life with a werewolf is a dramatic blog. As such the characters in this blog are not real but maybe loosely based on real people. The situations represented are not real but maybe loosely based on real things that have happened in my life. There are a multitude of ways to view life, this is simply one of the ways I have chosen to view mine. Updated Every Friday unless I can't or don't want to.)
|You can also read this over at my blog: https://lifewithawerewolf.blogspot.com/
Coming in March this blog will be only updated there. Thank you.
Well, I didn’t puke. I can say that much at least.
There was blood. Quite a lot of blood. Two people had been taped down to the kitchen chairs of some dining room set that either came from Goodwill or a dumpster. The brown wooden chairs at least matched the brown wood paneling on the walls. Green shag carpeting in the living room looked as if it hadn’t seen a vacuum cleaner in quite some time. The bodies of whatever unlucky S.O.B.s who had crossed the vampires had been hauled away by some coroner hours ago, but the chairs and duct tape remained. A lot of blood pooled into the carpeting, sprayed on the walls, and tracked to the kitchen, the bedrooms, and just about everywhere else. Well, that is before all the blood was spilled over it. Someone had spent a good amount of time walking through that blood. Back and forth to the kitchen, the bathroom, and the spare bedroom where all the meth was cooked.
I didn’t go back there. I didn’t want to. The cop said there wasn’t anything for me to see there anyway. Besides, I wasn’t that interested in the makings of meth, or whatever hillbilly experiment that was going on back there that resembled meth. I was more interested in footprints.
Namely, the footprints in the blood stains I did recognize. They were the same size and shape as Sarah. It seemed to scream out to me. I could see her standing in the middle of all of this and…
What? I wasn’t sure. What would she be doing there? What would I have been doing there? Was she an active participant? A captive? Cheerleading or pleading? Was she delivering pizza and just waiting for her tip? I could see Sarah, wearing a pizza delivery outfit, holding two pizza boxes and sighing in contempt as hot red blood splattered over the boxes and her blond hair. “Are you done here yet? Can I have my tip now?” Rolling her eyes and smacking on gum as she did so.
I don’t know where the gum thing came from. Sarah never chewed gum. She liked it okay, but it wasn’t something she regularly bought.
She preferred breath mints. It’s strange the things that come to mind when you’re standing amid carnage and chaos. Standing in the middle of blood and a clear case of someone or a couple of someones who have an absolute distaste for human life, here I was thinking about how Sarah preferred breath mints to chewing gum. The human brain copes with things in strange ways and looking back on it now, this was a coping mechanism. The more you concentrate on the unimportant, the smaller the important things can seem, and the further away they feel.
As much as I pretended to no longer care for or about Sarah, there were still some feelings left. Always will be. I married her for a reason, after all, and still missed her despite whatever she claimed or would claim I suppose.
But concentrating on that weird fact made dealing with the blood in the living room, and those perfect Sarah footprints standing there in the middle of everything as if nothing was wrong, just that much easier. Nothing was smeared, and nothing was pressed. There were no signs of any struggle. Just one person waiting in a room, not paying attention to the two people in the chairs being slowly bled to death or having that blood tracked everywhere. Crash laid a heavy hand on my shoulder. For some reason, he was still looking human.
“You okay,” He asked, concern etched upon his face.
I blinked away a tear that came up from somewhere.
“I guess so, yeah,” I said. “Sarah was here.”
“I know,” he said. “I could smell her. Don’t worry, this blood ain’t hers.”
“I know,” I said. “Those footprints are hers. And they're not of someone struggling or fighting. But why barefoot?”
Crash shrugged. “I don’t know. It’s vampire logic. It will have some sort of twisted weird logical sense to it when you finally find out.”
“So the twins, Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum,” I asked.
“Those,” Sheriff Nate said from behind me somewhere, I think in the trailer's tiny kitchen, “are Hank and Frank Kilton. Those names sound fake because they are. It’s just the latest in a string of aliases used by these two knuckleheads. I know them better as Leeroy and Milton Chambers. Identical twins.”
“Leeroy and Milton?” I said, conjuring the image of the meth heads in my mind. Their names pulled some of the venom out of their image, turning them into even less threatening creatures. “They sound like a couple of trailer trash bumpkins.”
“That’s cause they are,” Crash said.
I gave Crash a look. Sheriff Nate shrugged, then said “what? Just because they’re vampires they have to be dark and mysterious?
Don’t usually work that way.”
“In movies,” I said, “vampires are always immortal.
Powerful. Extremely intelligent and rich.”
“Well, these two are about thirty and will be lucky to live to see their fiftieth birthday thanks to all the meth they smoke. They’re weak even for vampires thanks to the meth, not very smart but dangerous, and are only meth-head rich.” Crash was poking around the kitchen, picking up various things, looking at them, occasionally sniffing this or that, and setting them back down. Their movements throughout the trailer reminded me a bit of how dogs would begin tracking prey.
I walked into the kitchen and spotted something gleaming on the countertop. It seemed to be interspersed with the blood and muck that covered everything in the kitchen. “That’s,” Crash began as I held it up for him. He paused a moment. Couldn’t finish the statement.
“Her wedding ring.” I finished for him.
“If I was you guys, I’d start right here.” I had to go outside then. For some reason, the floor began to get wavy, the walls started pushing in toward me. I didn’t notice I was sprinting until I reached the edge of the trailer home outside and dry-heaved a couple of times. I didn’t want to cry. Not yet.
Emotion was a luxury I couldn’t be afforded at that moment. In my mind, I pictured a box. Inside that box I took a mental photograph of me and Sarah standing there, smiling and holding each other as we did on that wedding day. I placed that picture inside, folded the box up, then set it up on a shelf in my mind high out of my reach. After I did that, I inhaled a few times, took a few deep breaths, then turned. The emotion could be dealt with later. I'd have plenty of time for crying over what happened to her and what became of our love. There was time later to deal with the destruction of decisions and their repercussions in our life. Right then there was a crime scene to deal with.
“I got good news and bad news,” Sheriff Nate said as I stepped inside. “Good news is this blood around here ain’t hers.”
“I knew that,” I said. “From the footprints. What’s the bad news, that they’re bleeding her?”
“How did you know that?” He asked.
I shrugged. “From the last time, I saw her. She didn’t look all that great. Figured it was meth at the time, after all, she was running with meth heads. But now, I figure different.”
“The blood on the ring,” Crash said. “Is hers.”
“And y’all got a lead,” I replied.
“More than one.” Sheriff Nate said. “We got a couple.”
Crash had a pad out that I hadn’t noticed before, with notations on it. He wouldn’t let me see what was on it but mentioned it had something to do with scent patterns. It was all nonsense to me but made perfect sense to Crash and Sheriff Nate, as it would have to any werewolf I suppose. Different abilities, different ways of viewing the world. A scent to them could be like a fingerprint, they can identify not only who the scent belongs to, but just like a grease smear on a glass window, reasonably identify where it came from. Such as from working on automotive engines or working in the kitchen. This scent had tinges of both but leaned more heavily into vehicles than it did into the kitchen. It led them to a back-alley repair shop across the street from a diner.
The sheriff’s car led the way through the small town, down a series of back alleys that you would have no idea even existed if you hadn’t lived in a town similar. None of it was visible from either the main street or the adjoining highway.
Businesses pushed towards the road, alongside the occasional house or trailer home. Sitting in the small alleyway, next to an ancient picket fence on one side and a brick building on the other, Crash threw open the door and was out of the car almost before it stopped. Sheriff Nate jumped out of his cop car as well, both whiles shifting into something far more bestial than man.
I of course remained behind, left to study the brickwork of the businesses, and the street lamp in front of them. To huddle against the freezing temperatures as I tried to ignore the loud snarling, that only I could hear it seemed. The diner across the street was the kind that was open at five in the morning and closed sometime after dinner hours. It was seedy but seemed to be the right kind of seedy you’d expect and love in a small town like that one. The kind of place that always has the best kind of cheap coffee, the greasiest breakfasts, and the nicest wait staff around to wash it all down with.
The diner was closed, with no neon signs even lit up to announce it. The windows and glass door were too dark to see the handwritten sign to announce their new hours. There were two lights lit over the counter itself, but no other light on in the entire place. Sitting by the counter on a stool, looking towards the door was a familiar woman with blond hair. She looked at me without recognition, then looked away, holding a coffee cup in her hands.
I don’t remember opening my car door. Don’t remember opening the front door to the café either which thankfully was unlocked. Both seemed to have happened of their own volition. Soon, I was standing there, in front of Sarah, the woman who had stomped all over my feelings and left me to rot so long ago.
It’s hard to come up with something to say in a situation like that. She held her cup of coffee, then looked down and away, as if too embarrassed to look me in the eye.
I patted my hand on her shoulder, then sat down on a stool next to her. “Sarah?”
Maybe it was the concern in my voice. Or perhaps the image of my face itself. But for a moment she looked up as if she recognized me, then it was gone again. “W-who are you,” she asked. Her voice was tinted with a touch of pain and confusion.
I sighed. “Come on. Our marriage maybe wasn’t the best, but you can’t have forgotten me after all this time.”
She shrugged. “Sorry, I,”
The kitchen door slammed open. A stringy, grungy bastard of a man stood there, absent-mindedly scratching at his scabbed forearms. He looked at me and tried to snarl. Meth had rotted out most of his teeth, leaving no fangs. A fangless meth-headed vampire doesn’t leave a lot for one to be scared of. “Who the fuck are you?” He growled. Then looked down at Sarah, “Come on, we gotta go.”
I pulled my pistol and leveled at the stranger's chest.
“Sarah’s not leaving with you.”
“Her name’s not Sarah.” He looked down at her, his eyes flashed as if a light shined behind them. “It’s Julie, isn’t it?”
She looked away from me and then said, “Yeah, my name’s Julie.”
“Then how do you explain,” I began, then flipped the hair up on her neck. We had gotten matching tattoos one year as an anniversary present. I had a similar one that’s faded on the back of my neck as well.
The military threw a shit fit when I got it without checking with them first, but in the end, it didn’t affect my career, only meant I had to do some extra cleaning for a few weeks. It was supposed to be half a heart with my name in it. My neck had the other half a heart with her name in it. Only the tattoo was no longer on her neck. Instead, it was a series of scratches and scars, as if she was cutting on it for weeks and months trying to cut the name and heart out.
“What the fuck?” I said more than asked. Meth mouth began to laugh for a moment.
You never pull a trigger. It’s more of a gentle squeeze. Pulling only pulls the weapon to one side and you miss your target. I gave my trigger a gentle squeeze and hit my target dead on. Right through the heart.
He stumbled backward a step, then glared at me for a moment. His eyes flashed as if they were lit up. “Oh you’re his aren’t you,” he said, then was over the counter in a flash, lifted me off the stool, and pressed my back against the wall before I could react. “Well, I’m LeeRoy. Milton will be along in a moment.” He snarled. Then smiled up at me. “We’ll be the ones devouring you this evening. You and that purty wife of yours.”
It hadn’t occurred to me that I no longer heard any snarling, growling, or any evidence of werewolves of any kind. No part of me then thought to be afraid for that reason. Had I the presence of mind to notice that sort of thing, right then I might have been terrified.
|This blog is now located at: https://lifewithawerewolf.blogspot.com/ and in a few weeks will only update there. Please save that location, and check often. All of the back posts from here is now located there. Thank you.
It took us several hours to get back through Kentucky. We were halfway through Missouri when we finally decided to call it a day and rest for a few hours. Crash found a small parking spot on the far end of a rest stop and parked his old Caddy, allowing us to sleep a while. It was cold, hadn’t started snowing yet, and getting colder. I would have loved to have a hotel room, even if I had to share the bed. But none of the locations either of us called would have a room for another three hours or more.
So, we slept, bundled in our coats with the top up. Thankfully the seats in these older vehicles tend to lay almost completely flat. These came from an earlier time when prospective motorists didn’t have access to Airbnb or luxury accommodations and many times had nothing more than roadside motels. Those could be iffy at best. They could either be new construction, with the fancy “massage beds” (which was nothing more really than a small Earthquake simulator that would shake you into oblivion) or they could be roach-infested run-down shacks, complete with moldy carpeting, leaky roofs, and bed bugs large enough to ask if you have change for the snack machine.
Since both of these for some people, especially those who spent a good part of their day on the road, didn’t seem all that appealing, a large portion of Americans then would just sleep in their cars at various rest stops. Vehicles were designed for this, with fold-down seats which allowed one to do so in comfort. And despite the arctic winds getting colder and colder, Crash and I were able to do the same, and doze for a good two or three hours with nothing more bothersome than a little cold wind leaking through the rough patched top of the Caddy.
It was a few hours later that we veered, and instead of ending up somewhere in Texas, as I had expected, we found ourselves in Northern Arkansas, in a community with a population small enough to make our tiny hometown feel like a metropolis in comparison. Typical American small towns are based around two separate highways. One allows you to pass through the town with relative ease. You may have to take things down to a pace that a slug would consider slow, but you need not even stop. Mainstreet will ride alongside or intersect with the highway, and that is where the vast majority of the community does their living, bill paying, and dying in.
The small town that we stopped in was no different. Small “historical” style buildings resided around a courthouse that looked as if it was built out of a catalog that advertised buildings that looked historic. Each small business in the area resided in such styles of buildings. Only the gas stations and a Dollar General was different: they were newer pre-fab metal-style buildings with strange exteriors that always reminded me of the interior of corrugated cardboard. We stopped at a local truck stop diner that sold grease with a side of warm smiles and a friendly “Hey y’all”.
Sitting in an ancient booth surrounded by wood paneling, feeling as though Aunt B was about to show up any minute with Andy Griffith and Opie, we ordered food and coffee, then sat and waited. Crash and I were talked out, exhausted by the road, and enjoying the peace only a quiet meal with a good friend could provide. As the caffeine began to work its magic a sheriff’s car arrived in front and out stepped a man that I thought for a moment might even dwarf Crash’s stature.
They seemed to be the same build and height, with the sheriff being several shades older than Crash in appearance. His face held the ancient shape of worn leather, beaten and creased by years of rough weather. White hair sprouted out from around his cowboy hat. He had the dark skin of an unknown ancestry and wild blue eyes that pierced into me. I could tell right away, that the sheriff was also a werewolf.
He sat down at our table and held his hand out to me first with as warm of a grin as he could muster. “I’m Nathaniel Collier. Just call me Sheriff Nate.”
I shook his hand and gave him my name, not even attempting to give him the same warm smile he gave me. “I apologize for my sour demeanor,” I said.
“It’s alright. I’d be a little sour myself if I was told I had to come get my ex-wife for she killed herself,” he said with a grin.
I yawned. “I thought it was vampires that were trying to kill her. Or did I have it wrong?”
Sheriff Nate’s jaw dropped open. For a moment I was tempted to tell him he could catch flies that way but wisely kept my mouth shut and instead looked down into my coffee.
He turned to Crash and asked, “How much does he know?”
“Jason knows a lot,” Crash replied. “Not everything yet, but he knows a lot. Much of it he learned on his own.”
“Well, I’ll let you boys grab a bite real quick,” Nate said, with a serious look, then turned towards me. “After dinner, Crash can drop you off at the motel and get y’all a couple of rooms while me and him go poke around a bit. Won’t take us too long.”
“Sheriff,” I said, “You’re not putting me in a cage like some damsel in distress while you go off and play the hero. I’m in this.”
“You have no idea what you’re dealing with here,” Nate growled. “Me and Crash have got this. It would be better for all involved if you stayed out of it until you’re called.”
“Nate,” Crash said. “He’s alright. He can handle himself.”
He rolled his eyes and sighed. “Alright. He can come.
But if he pukes or freaks out, I’m leaving y’all there at the crime scene.”
Our food arrived a couple of minutes after that. We ate about as quickly as we could and in less than five minutes me and crash both had empty plates and coffee mugs in front of us. Standing up almost as one, we both said, “alright, let’s go.” I’m not sure Sheriff Nate was prepared for that. He blinked a couple of times, then shrugged. “Well, I guess that proves it.” He said to himself, as we paid our bill and left.
As we were about to get into our cars, I grabbed the sheriff’s shoulder and asked. “Proves what?”
He looked at me as if I caught him off guard.
“You said ‘I guess that proves it.’”
“Oh,” he replied then pulled out a cigarette and lit it.
“Heard you were military. Combat vet or something. Didn’t believe it until I saw you eat in there. Only two types eat like you just did. Werewolves and veterans. Makes sense why Crash has so much faith in you. Though, if you screw up, you die.”
I shrugged. “Well, we’re all gonna die anyway.” Then walked over to the passenger side of Crash’s Caddy. Sheriff Nate was glaring at me. “What? I never said it was gonna be today.”
I climbed into the car, then looked at Crash.
“Your werewolf friend has no sense of humor.”
He shrugged. “He says life is precious. It’s why he became a cop, after all.”
Life is precious. As if I didn’t already know that. A lot of people whose risked life or limb for their occupation can get jaded. It can seem like a giant game of Whack-o-mole. The moment you press down a problem in one area, three more in three different places seem to pop up. It can feel like an accident. Lightning struck a puddle somewhere and then before you know it the algae was learning how to walk.
I’ve never subscribed to that theory. Yes, life can be insane at times. A near trainwreck of cosmic insanity, a joke played out by God, the stars, the universe, or whatever other entity you can think of, playing out pranks on us actors born onto a stage whose only job is to die in some spectacularly entertaining fashion. But if life can be as dark and psychotic as some people claim, then the inverse, the light has to be just as bright, if not brighter. The prevailing theory in entertainment about such things right now is that you can’t have good without Evil. That you need the negative to know what the positive is like. I’ve never personally subscribed to that. My theory is a bit different.
You can’t have evil without good. For things to be dark, bitterly dark, you have to have a light source. That brightness out there in the ether that illuminates everything. For something to exist in the shadow, to pull life down into it for the sole sake of devaluing it and destroying it then the light must exist somewhere. The light has to be there, otherwise, we don’t have life.
I know it’s crazy. However, if you think about it, it just may not be as crazy as you first thought. Cause after all, for there to be rebellion against good (which, let’s be honest, is all that evil really is) there has to be good first. Good has to exist. Without it, you don’t have evil. And with that empty vacuum of good and evil, you get nothing. Which is a far scarier thing to have than good or evil.
True evil does exist. I know it, I’ve seen it. Raised my right hand and have made my oath to give to my best ability to fight it.
Was injured, and taken out of that fight, true. But I did fight it. Me and anyone who has served in a capacity, whether it's military, police, firefighter, what have you, have seen it. And for there to be evil, for it to exist and give those individuals a job in fighting against it, there must be a good out there for that evil to rebel against.
All of this was on my mind on the short trek out to the crime scene. We drove through wooded hills and houses out onto a gravel road that lead into a valley in the literal middle of nowhere. A trailer home draped in blood. It was in this trailer home that my brief story took a bit of a darker turn.
|This blog is now located at: https://lifewithawerewolf.blogspot.com/ and in a few weeks will only update there. Please save that location, and check often. All of the back posts from here is now located there. Thank you.
Nothing is ever normal with Crash. This is one of the lessons I’ve learned time and again.
A simple “Christmas party” and a “work function” for most people might be a few drinks in the conference room with some white elephant gift-giving thrown in on the side. Maybe Sally or Jimmy or whoever brings in cookies or candies made in that special way that’s been in their family for generations.
You know the ones. They look nasty, taste weird, and everyone eats one because no one has the heart to tell them that their family's secret recipe should probably be kept a secret.
This is what I expected when I was invited to this.
“It’s a bit of a work thing” is the way it was sold to me. He was dressed in fairly nice clothing, for Crash. He wore a pair of Jeans that looked brand new, a nice button-up that looked only twenty percent flannel, and even a pair of snakeskin boots on.
Had his chin strap beard trimmed up nice as well and even had a small mustache grown in to fit it. I wore a clean shirt and pants that I had picked up for the office job I held for almost a week. But I skipped the tie, still don’t know why. Maybe out of some sort of late protest against the job?
Maybe. But more likely because in my heart, I know I’m a slob and we were already a bit late.
The reason for my tagging along was born of one burning question: What the hell does a werewolf do as a job?! I mean, is he a cop like in that cheesy horror movie, “Werewolf Cop”? Is he a supernatural trashman? Does he transport stolen goods and drugs for a vampire mafia working off some life debt to them so he could gain their trust and overthrow the bloodsuckers in a dangerous coup that could endanger all of life as we know it?
If you can’t tell already, sometimes it’s a bit of a burden to have an overactive imagination. In the service, I’d just write all of these ideas down and throw them away when done. It kept my brain busy and wasn’t important to work so I didn’t want to get too involved in creating them. But putting them on paper at least gave my imagination some outlet. Sort of like putting your dog on a run instead of chaining them to one spot. By now, however, my imagination had run more than wild. It had broken the chain, leaped the fence, gone feral, and was now stalking and killing house pets, so to speak.
Scenarios of all kinds popped into my mind: A secret werewolf congress. No, a secret werewolf society, that secretly ran the entire world through their werewolf mind control powers! It was at the point of actually creating a werewolf language and handshake for the secret werewolf society, (The Loup-Garou Congress, or LGC as it’s known to the inner circle), that I figured it was time I finally came clean to Crash and just outright asked him what the heck he does for a living.
His solution? “Well, there’s this sort of a Christmas function. Why don’t you just come along to that? You can be my plus one.”
So, of course, I said yes. I saw he was dressed up fancy. I dressed in what niceties that I had, and joined him as we climbed into his old Caddy and raced off, with the top down of course, and raced off away from town.
I wasn’t keeping track of the turns we were taking.
I just noticed that we kept going deeper and deeper into the wooded area. Past the point, that weekend hunters would find comfortable, but not quite encroaching on the sasquatch hunters out and about trying to film their episode where they “finally bag big foot” and it turns out, again, to be a random weirdo in a hairy suit playing a prank on them. Trees pushed inwards closer and closer as the highway became a road then became a rutted trail that pushed through the underbrush.
We pressed through one last clearing and entered, what I can only describe as a carnival of sorts. There were a few booths set up scattered around, and even a band that played live music near the edge of the woods. Some of the band members were hairier than others, though I’m not certain that all of them were werewolves. Cotton candy and frozen “meat treats” were being handed out from one of the booths near the edge. There was a beer booth as well, though since Crash was driving, he couldn’t partake in that.
However, since I was not driving, I couldn’t partake in it either, with the alcohol content of the “beer” being so high it was on the edge of just being carbonated liquor, and I didn’t want to be inebriated around this crowd.
In what way could I describe the ones at the carnival?
Well, in truth, I can’t. There were wolves, Crash among them, who had begun his change almost immediately upon arrival. A couple of, well I’m not sure what to call them, so right now they’ll go by “were cats”, though that explanation feels a bit lame. Sasquatch could have been there, however, I’m not certain I would have recognized him in the middle of all of the creatures I saw.
There were a few vampires there as well. They could be recognized as the regular-looking humans that nearly froze my blood when they glanced my way. Those tended to keep to themselves, however barely even saying hi to me. I’m a little glad I was off the menu, so to speak.
How to explain Crash’s co-workers? Well, to put it bluntly, I can’t. I gawked for probably a good ten minutes at the entire scene before me.
I was still in the car when I saw Crash next. He was in full morph form, fur and claws hanging from his sleeves, a full-blown muzzle pressed out from his face, and of course the black coarse hair everywhere.
“Now, Jason,” Crash said, crouching down to look at me. “You can’t talk about anyone you meet today in that blog of yours.”
My heart stopped. Then sunk as it started again. “Blog?”
I said, trying to play dumb.
“Yes, blog.” He arched an eyebrow. “What, you didn’t think I knew you started that?” As dumb as I tried to play things, he only laughed in that gruff way that werewolves seem to chuckle in and said, “we’ll talk about it later.”
So yeah, I can’t discuss or mention his co-workers. How many there are, what they look like, and whether they’re even fully human or partially something else. They may come into this blog later, and if they do it will be of their own volition to be mentioned, not mine. Cause when you have what I can only describe as a “werebear” telling you to keep certain details out, with Crash nodding in fear as well as agreement next to you in full werewolf form, you listen.
The carnival itself wasn’t large. There were a few booths pressed into the rim of trees at the far end of the clearing, with parking on the other end. The stage was centered towards everything else, giving people plenty of space for dancing near the front of it as well as providing background noise for the booths and games near the back.
The night raced on, though I barely noticed it. The other booths mostly were typical booths with games and prizes. Some of the games were easy (ring toss, etc), and others relied on senses that I simply did not have and couldn’t play. For example, one of the booths was called “sniffer”, which was essentially a scent trail game. They blindfolded you, spun you around several times, then you had to get down and sniff out a scent trail they made using rabbit meat. This trail dragged through the grass on the ground in a strange pattern and ended up in one of the several holes at the end of the booth. The way Crash explained it to me they used other things to scramble the scent trail: chicken, beef, pork, humans dragged their feet through it, and you had to sort through all of the background noise to find the right hole that had the rabbit meat in time. Find the meat, and win the prize. I couldn’t even play of course, but he won it easy finding the rabbit meat in record time.
We played some games, watched the band play more than danced, and even got to eat some regular burgers and fries while Crash quickly inhaled several frozen “meat treats”, essentially half-cooked meat, frozen on a popsicle stick. The night simply melted away as we enjoyed ourselves and I got to meet several nice co-workers and other individuals Crash meets regularly on his job. The one thing I was asked to mention is that there is no, nor has there ever been a skinwalker employed by the county, or state for that matter. If I had ever met one, it wouldn’t be as funny or cute as I made “Larry” out to be, to say the very least and it would possibly end up being one of the more horrific times in my life.
My werewolf escort only disappeared once in the middle of everything. I was hanging out with his boss, who was going through a humorous situation he’d been through, which again, I can’t detail here. When I looked around and noticed Crash was gone. I suppose my blood should have run cold at that thought, but you’d be amazed at how quickly you can get used to a situation you’re thrown into. I was already used to the carnival, though I’d only been there a couple of hours. Rides, games, and of course Christmas-themed things, all with Krampus instead of Santa, blended into the background as we talked. Crash came back as we were talking about the myth of Krampus and their version of events for things.
Did you know that Krampus is Santa’s were form?
It’s why it's so crazy. And Krampus isn’t just meant to take the naughty kids, but bring treats to the good little were boys and girls. I’m sure you can guess where the naughty kids go.
That myth is as dark and entertaining as the Santa myth is jolly.
As the dawn started to approach, Crash and I made it back to his car. The following conversation I’m told I’m allowed to put here.
After some discussion about the band and their taste in music, I finally got into the question that had been burning on my mind since we began this insanity: What is his job?! We were driving back home in that good time daze you get after having a blast for so long when I decided to finally pop the question. The vehicle pressed down the trail back through sasquatch country, on the road out toward our home. Sunlight had begun to dance its way through the leaves leaving occasional patches of red and gold to pierce through the darkness.
“Well, you could say I’m a detective of sorts.”
Crash replied. “I work with the police, but not for them. We’re like the other side of that coin in the whole enforcement.”
I did a literal head tilt. “You’re a werewolf cop? Like the movie?”
He snickered. His muzzle was starting to press back inwards towards his face, though he still had the hair. “No.
Well, kinda. If, say, a hulderfolk troll goes crazy and tries to kill a normal human, I’m called in to deal with it. If a vampire goes rogue and starts killing the people in their town instead of just light feeding, I’m called in.”
“So, you deal with the situations that the regular police just can’t handle,” I said, as everything finally clicked in place for me.
“Right,” he smiled, then tipped one of his pointed ears at me. The ear had slid back down somewhat to its normal position but still looked more “Hollywood Wolfman” than human.
Everything made sense. Everything. When his shift started, he went on patrol, stalking the towns and neighborhoods and checking on things. He investigated certain crime scenes that cops would view as being just too vicious for it to be a regular human.
“So, if there’s like evidence on the scene of something or something?” I asked.
As we started passing through the thinner woods, the sun was now in full-rising mode. There was no more evidence that I was even with a werewolf. This time, he was standard Crash. Rugged features, chinstrap beard. “Well, it goes,” he shrugged, “I investigate things, or if the cops stumble on something, they contact the ‘special unit’ as they call us, and we’re pulled in.”
“Look,” Crash said, turning to look at me for a moment.
We were nearly back in civilization at this point, though we hadn’t reached town yet. “We’ll do a sit-down-like thing after everything is said and done.
But I heard some things tonight at our little get-together that I don’t like.”
“You remember Sarah, don’t you?”
How could I not remember Sarah? Coming home from a deployment to an empty house devoid of literally everything kind of burns a person into your memory, the way landing face first on a hot stove would. “Yeah,” I grumbled.
“Well, she’s in trouble,” Crash replied.
“Good,” I growled, looking out towards the road.
“No, I mean, deadly trouble.” He spoke.
I sighed. Well, it was probably closer to a growl. “Let me get my gun,” I grumbled as he pulled up to the house. It wasn’t even Christmas, and already things were looking crazy. Sarah. That blond-haired beauty who could quote UCMJ and military regulations like some preachers quoted scripture. That should have been clue one that she was trouble, however hard-headed dolts like me never actually ever seem to learn, especially when they blink their pretty blue eyes at you in that way that causes all of the blood running your intelligence to flee your brain for a more nether region of your body.
Some people are always in trouble. From the moment they enter your life to the moment they exit everything they do or touch just ends up being more trouble for you than what it’s worth. Still, either by loyalty, stupidity, or some sense of insanity you feel a responsibility to help them. She was responsible for a lot of the pain I had felt. A lot of the pain I had gone through over the past several years. And now, I was about to try and help her.
“You aren’t going to ask what sort of trouble she’s in,” Crash asked.
“She left me for twin meth heads. I can guess what the trouble is.” I growled.
“No, not meth-heads. Meth-headed vampires. Twin meth-head vampires. And for her things just got a whole lot worse.”
|All Caught up!
Life With A Werewolf is completely caught up on the other site, and will return to its regularly scheduled madness in a bit.
Again, that site is:
I will be transitioning slowly to that site. March 1st I expect all posts to be there almost exclusively and this blog to more advertising for that blog.
Jason Forte really should be his own character with his own blog and outlook for his own things. Especially since Crash now knows about the blog and...
well, I'll get to writing about that soon. I promise.
|Okay, here's what's happening:
I'm going to be slowly transferring my blog, life with a werewolf, to a separate site: https://lifewithawerewolf.blogspot.com/
The reasons I'm doing this are many.
When I originally started this blog, I couldn't find a blogging host in my initial searches. So, remembering Wordpress from ages ago, I started the site using WordPress. I was unaware of the amount of scams, hackers, spyware, spamware, and bots that were out there searching for WordPress sites to take advantage of them. After deleting 30 and sometimes 60 scam comments a day, (If you wonder what happened to all of the guys who created the "make your penis bigger" "Russian Wives in your area" "You have a rich uncle in this tiny island nation that noone's ever heard about who has died and left you TRILLIONS", they apparently created bots to spam my site.) I finally decided enough was enough and began posting my blog here.
Thing is, this relocation was always supposed to be temporary.
Jason Forte' is a separate character, with his own life and ideals and things. It's hard to maintain a separate character and their fictional blog under an account with your own name. The degree of separation that I want to build that universe just isn't there.
so, I'm moving. Again, that address is: https://lifewithawerewolf.blogspot.com/
It's a slow process, and will probably take a couple of weeks or so. Once that movement is completed, I'll keep posting here for a while, but after a bit will go back to what I was doing before - making announcements that I've posted a new entry and go back to posting my short stories and doing the reviews of other stories.
Thank you everyone who enjoys this. I am continuing it, in a format that hopefully will allow you to enjoy the blog a bit more thoroughly.
| Last week I’ve had a much-needed break. Spending time online with friends playing a drinking game without actually drinking through it was something I needed in my life at that moment in time. Drinking is something I’ve been trying to cut back on. When you have an addictive personality like I do, certain things must always be kept in check. When I go overboard on drinking, my internal clock goes out of whack. I grow irritable. I occasionally may forget to bathe, and food becomes whatever cheap, fried, greasy thing I can get my hands on. That’s completely different from video games, where my internal clock goes out of whack, and I sleep in more often. I grow irritable. I occasionally may forget to bathe and food becomes whatever cheap, fried, greasy and fast thing I can get my hands on. See? Completely different.
All jokes aside, they are entirely two different things. And people who don’t have my type of condition can handle both quite easy. After all, they can manage their time wisely. Zack is an avid gamer. He bathes regularly, has never missed a day of work or called in sick because of it (that I know of) and keeps himself in general good shape. Me on the other hand? I go overboard. It’s easy for eleven AM to become one AM if I get caught up in the wrong game, wasting the literal day away as I try to fight my way through hordes of zombies and things.
However, the online drinking game was fun. Got to know a couple of acquaintances a bit better, and was able to get my butt kicked in a drinking game that might have been more fun if I had been drinking, but I still avoided drinking. I don’t want to go down that dark road ever again.
Other changes are coming as well. It seems that Crash is having some sort of holiday bash at work. I’ve been invited to attend. So, I may FINALLY get to know what it is exactly that he does for a living. The term “on call werewolf’ just doesn’t seem to fit all that well. Besides, it’s a strange concept. After all, why would a county need a werewolf on call? What exactly would be the reason for that?
Those are the only things going on this holiday season it seems. I’m not one to look a gift horse in the mouth, though. I will enjoy every minute of hanging out with friends, exchanging gifts and taking things slow. The lawn gnomes are more spring and summer creatures it seems. I’ve not seen hide nor hair of them and thank GOD. At least I can drive my Topaz around right now without fear of the brakes randomly failing or a fuel line being cut.
A slow, careful, and somewhat relaxing holiday season is just what the doctor ordered; I think. A few cheap gifts for friends. A few cheap gifts from friends. Nothing strange or nasty about any of it. Now that I’ve said that though, watch something crazy happen. If I don’t post anything in the next couple of weeks, well, you know what happened, something crazy.
Sad thing is, I don’t know if I should knock on wood now, or later. Is it bad luck to say nothing strange is happening or to point out that something strange will happen. If something weird does happen, did I just curse myself because I made the lame joke that something strange would happen? Or was me pointing out in my lame joke that something strange is going to happen now ONLY happens because I didn’t make the joke strong enough?
How does any of these weird curse things work anyway? Someone have a clue?
| Getting to know all of the mythical creatures that are alive and somewhat well in and around your area is a daunting task. One I personally am not really all that well equipped to handle. I’m a bit anti-social. Discussions is a task left to others when they’re strangers and sometimes even when they’re acquaintances. I’ll follow along and nod when appropriate, but I tend to not offer much in the way of the discussion itself if I don’t know them that well. I must admit that I can be a bit judgmental at times as well, deeming others to be of less intelligence than they actually are – especially if they catch me on a bad day.
That is just a very wordy way of saying I quietly judge my neighbors. In that, I hardly think I’m alone. I know it’s not the most honorable of practices, and the judgements I proclaim upon others usually ends up being incorrect in some way or another. However, occasionally, people have raced to prove me right.
We used to have a resident here by the name of, well we’ll just call him Charles after the guy on MASH. He had a large house, a beautiful wife, an expensive and gorgeous car. His features were chiseled, he enjoyed working out, and never in all of my many days of knowing this guy have I ever even seen a hair misplaced on his head. His blue eyes held the cold look of vapid vanity, one that always seemed to be looking down on you as you spoke to him. If you were lucky enough to engage him in conversation, he would try to use words in the discussion that were purposefully too big to match what he was talking about. I’ve never seen someone use a four-syllable word to talk about getting diarrhea from a bad taco before I met this guy.
You’d think that hearing about his expensive Mercedes Sports car, his obviously overpriced haircut, the expensive manor in which he kept literally everything including his yard that I hated the guy. However, you’d be wrong. Cause Charles had just about as many braincells in his skull as a Ken doll. And nearly every discussion with him always ended up in his own humiliation, something that he never seemed to catch on to.
I caught him outside of the liquor store one day, for example. He had a scowl on his face. A look that was either extreme concentration or constipation. I wasn’t sure which one. He stood next to his sports car, staring at the front door of the store. I pulled up next to one of the two parking spaces he took up with his car in my econobox special, got out and stopped in front of him for a moment. Pausing to stare at the door with him, me in puzzlement, him in that extreme constipated concentration. “What are we looking at?” I asked after a few moments.
“I swear, how can they call themselves a liquor store if they do not have the appropriate prefunctions of such an establishment,” He grumbled.
See what I mean? Who the hell talks like that! Like he wants to sound more intelligent than he actually is. I tilted my head in confusion, like Crash has done so many times at my jokes. “I’m sorry,” I asked.
“Oh, it’s my wife, Nancy,” he said, “I got to get a bottle of champaigne. You see, me and her were attempting a romantic rendezvous last night, and I apparently wasn’t up to the task, so to speak. So, I’m trying to apologize.”
All I had in my head then was that image of smiling Bob and his sad neighbors from the commercials years ago. I didn’t want to know anything about his “romantic rendezvous’” or anything else! Yet here we were discussing his lack of ability to perform in the bedroom. Who else in the world would talk like him? He’d tell you that he has “Asperger’s”, but even people with that condition understand that no one else wants to hear about their diarrhea or impotence problems! That conversation ended with me giving him what I hoped was a comforting pat on the shoulder, then entering the establishment to replace the bottle of liquor I’d borrowed from Crash. It was interactions like that one that made me think Charles was just weird. That is, until I finally saw his tail.
Now, my understanding of things is still somewhat dim, so you’ll forgive me if I don’t happen to get all of this correct. However, the more I’m exposed to Crash’s insane life and werewolf tendencies, the less traditional tricks of the mythical work on me. So, where as you might see Charles as just a quirky, self-absorbed vapid neighbor, I was finally seeing Charles for what he really was – a troll. He was working out in the yard as he does, wearing nothing but a pair of boxer shorts and a smile as he mowed the lawn. He does this because, according to him, ‘you kill two birds with one stone. Lawn gets mowed. I get tan.’ Of course, I told him “you also get itchy,” which lead to a lengthy discussion on what really makes someone itchy. According to him, it’s something to do with pheromones. A ‘chemical’ he’s ensured he’s not susceptible to. When I told him that explanation was nuttier than a squirrel turd, he looked at me as if I had the largest wart on my nose.
“Squirrel turds aren’t nutty.” He stated, “what are you talking about?”
A few days later, me and Crash was discussing our strange neighbor, and his tail, the lawn mowing incident, the works. “You see,” Crash held his coffee cup out in front of himself while he was pontificating, something he does from time to time, especially when he’s about to say something profound, or what he thinks is profound. “Charles is what’s known as a hulderfolk.”
I head tilted at him. “A holder what?”
He chuckled, in that gruff tone he gets. Crash was close to changing into his ‘night uniform’ as he calls it, to go on patrol or scent mark trees or scare small children. To do whatever it is that he does. “It’s a type of troll. They’re the nice ones. They look almost like people. Sometimes gorgeous people. Though their tails give it away.” He then went on to explain to me that they’re actually quite dangerous if you’re not careful around them. “Don’t get them angry,” he warned me. “They’re not smart. They try to act smart, but they’re not that smart. And, they have no problems attacking or killing humans they think are getting in their way or making fun of them.”
Now, I know what you’re thinking. And you’d be wrong. This time, it wasn’t my fault! Seriously, I learned my lesson with the lawn gnomes. Crash said stay out of the way, I stayed out of the way. I didn’t talk to Charles anymore other than to say hello in passing, and had never even seen his wife Nancy in weeks. I didn’t want anything to do with them or their peculiar brand of crazy. So, literally you cannot blame me for Charles banging on our door at four in the morning, growling and muttering.
Trolls have their own language. What I heard was literal gibberish. Words and entire sentences without consonants. Others without vowels. A whole heap of banging, and snarling. Crash was gone, doing whatever it is he does for his job as a werewolf. Zack was asleep, and he sleeps like the dead at times. I didn’t think the other two upstairs had the ability to back me up on this, and I wasn’t about to ask. I didn’t bother calling the cops, either. What would you say in a situation like that? Hello, officer I’d like to report a troll banging on my door?
I exited the house by the side door, pistol in my hand, lowered at the low ready. It’s a position held with your firearm that allows you to destroy a target quickly, without having to draw it out of your holster. This target being one very large, angry and snarling troll. He was wearing a pair of boxer shorts, with a tail snaking down one leg. It resembled something like a cow’s tail. His eyes seemed to glow with rage. He turned to me, glaring, his perfectly shaped nostrils flaring.
I raised my weapon once, then lowered the pistol back down for a moment. My finger was near the trigger but not resting on it. Resting your finger on the trigger after all is a great way to cause incidents. “Buddy, right now you got two options. A, you leave my property now, and don’t try this shit again, or B, you’re dead before you hit the ground.”
We stood there, glaring at each other for a few seconds, my pistol held at the ready, my finger close to the trigger, his arms down by his sides, grasping at the air as he heaved in anger. “It was you, wasn’t it.” He snarled, taking a step towards me. “You destroyed it. You ruined it. You, filthy, human.”
“I have no idea what you’re talking about. One more step, and I’ll,” He grinned at me, then took another step. From that point onward, it was automatic. In the service I had a tendency to aim for legs first if I was shooting to wound. A shoulder wound has too much potential to be fatal. A bullet hits a bone and goes in a direction that destroys lungs, heart, liver, all manner of things. A leg wound bleeds like hell, but they have a greater chance to live through it, usually provided they get a tourniquet in time. Like I said, I liked Charles. So, I was willing to sacrifice a belt to the cause.
The shot rang out as a loud pop. I expected lights in neighbors’ windows to turn to light up, people to look out. Cops to be called. None of that actually happened. The bullet penetrated his leg, I could see a small puff of blood in the street light. But he glared at me, and began sprinting towards me. I fired four more rounds, this time into his chest, before he reached me, slamming me into the ground and knocking the pistol away. “Now,” He glared down at me. “I make you pay.”
“For what?!” I groaned. “I didn’t do nothing.”
“You insulted my wife. Hurt my wife. You attack her. I attack you.” He reached up with a large fist to hammer down on me. My training told me to make space, to bridge out so I could get room to maneuver my way out of this deadly situation, or perhaps even reverse it. But before I could do any of that, a dark furred blur slammed into the side of him.
One moment I was about to be pounded into hamburger, the next Crash, in wolf form was snarling over the troll, a clawed hand/paw thing holding his throat. He growled a low guttural growl, one that sent chills down my spine.
Charles blinked a couple of times. “But he attack Nancy. Violent, filthy human. He attempted to foul her with his hands, his,” The low guttural growl cut him off in mid-sentence.
“Your wife is fine.” I heard Crash say.
“But she was she’s,” the troll began. Crash cut him off.
“She’s having an affair.” Crash growled. “Who she’s cheating with, you’ll have to get it out of her. You come here again; you forfeit your life. Do you understand?”
The troll nodded. I honestly thought I saw tears of fear in his eyes. I walked over to my pistol and picked it up, then went back inside. I hadn’t seen or heard from the troll again. Nor did I see Crash again for another few hours. Over the next few days, things got strange around the troll house. Words were exchanged. Threats made between each other, not many of which made much sense to us regular folk.
Crash came in, human form that morning. He stood in the kitchen wearing a torn-up pair of jeans and held a ceramic mug that read This Is My Human Costume”. I made a couple jokes about how you know your old because you drink decaf before bed. He smiled politely, then went finished his coffee and went to sleep.
The troll incident bothered me for a while. I had no idea why he fingered me as the adulterer or rapist or whatever. Crash still hasn’t given any indication as to why he’d think that. Was she cheating on him with a human? There has to be more humans than us in this area, right? Sure, the town is a little strange. I get that. More than once I’ve seen centaurs and minotaurs. Of course, there’s the werewolf and the vampire we met, who technically doesn’t live in this town but I still count. Now the trolls, both of whom seemed to have moved on. I don’t look too hard at the red stains around the house. The police aren’t asking too many questions either, and I’m not trying to do their job for them.
In life sometimes there are no clear resolutions to things. I may never see Charles again. If I do, we will not speak of that night or the bullets I put in him. We may do little more than nod at each other in passing. I’d love to know more about his wife, Nancy, and who she was seeing on the side. To know if they got divorced, if they separated, forgave each other, or if she’s planted out back in the rose bushes. Perhaps maybe even get to know the person dumb enough to break up the marriage of a troll. After all, that long tail is a dead giveaway, and tricks or not you’re going to notice that thing sooner or later, especially when it’s rubbing your inner thigh.
However, right now, once again I am forced to be content with wondering what happened and what might have been. To let my imagination run wild and try to answer these questions for me. Crash has never been one to talk about a “case” as he calls it. Whatever that means. Maybe he’s a werewolf Columbo? Solving crimes in a raincoat at night. Although a werewolf in a raincoat would give me images less of Columbo and more of some sort of cursed flasher.
The Columbo thing is a fun image and one that gives me an idea for a character. I might write it down or let it go. I don’t know yet. We’ll see.
| So, last week was thanksgiving. Surprisingly Crash got the weekend off, a full four days. It was surprising to everyone because we didn’t really expect him to get four days off back-to-back. Especially given his job, whatever it was that calls him away so often to do, well God almighty only knows what, in the dead of night, to only come home at the mornings first few rays of light covered in mud, muck and fluids that I won’t even begin to ask what they are. He still wouldn’t talk about it, though occasionally now I hear grumbles that he’s going to have to talk to me soon about something if “things don’t change”, in that ominous tone usually reserved by Hollywood for tragic anti-heroes and war movies.
I know I’m not messing up, so it’s not me that has to worry. After all, I pay my rent, clean up after myself and even help him on occasion with various individual things when he needs it. I suppose I do hope things change or he gets things figured out, or whatever, cause he doesn’t look too terribly pleased about whatever outcomes there maybe about whatever is going on that he won’t talk about.
Mostly, we got a chance to pal around for the last few days, do things that we’ve wanted to do. It helps when your roommate has the same strange sense of humor you do. For example, when he was in the shower on Thanksgiving, I shouted the entire “Scooby Doo” theme song at him, complete with the hard-to-understand verse near the end. To get me back, he waited till I was about to sleep then began to shout the “Purple People Eater” song at me. Loudly. Off key of course. Thanks.
But we didn’t get up to too many shenanigans over the holidays. It was a pretty regular, run of the mill holiday for a group of friends that has become a surrogate like family for all involved. We ate turkey and ham, and pumpkin pie. We even did the prayer over the meal thanking God for the good food and the ability for all of us to be there together as a family. Crash scrounged up a table cloth from somewhere, and it was set in the dining room table – right next to the old tube radio and other knickknacks and doodads that have been collected in this house by lord knows who over the years. The dark walls gave it a homely feeling and for a moment or two while we ate mostly in silence. I could feel dead relatives and battle buddies gone in one conflict or another sitting at the table with us, enjoying the moment together gathered around the breaking of our own bread. As strange of a family as we are, we are still a family in our own right. A pack if you will, according to Crash. And he will do anything to protect one of his own.
It stood in a stark contrast to my last Thanksgiving I celebrated. Standing alone in my apartment, cold from the drafty windows and drinking Wild Turkey in celebration of the holiday. My darling ex was God knows where, but I wasn’t out of the military, not yet. Nor was I divorced yet. I was alone on my couch, watching Rocky, my favorite holiday movie. (Hey, it has both Thanksgiving and Christmas in it. If Die Hard gets counted as a Christmas movie, then Rocky is a Christmas movie, and a much better one, thank you!) I admit though, at the time I was watching it just to hear him tell Adrian “To you, it’s thanksgiving, to me it’s Thursday.” Which for many years had summed up my entire attitude about that holiday.
In the military, Thanksgiving and Christmas is always done up well overseas. If you’re deployed you get the pleasure of witnessing your smiling chain of command hand out Turkey and Gravy in their best dress uniforms, smiling and joking the entire time like they’re almost just like you. It’s the two days of the year, Thanksgiving and Christmas, the food isn’t all that bad, and for once you get plenty of it. Of course, there is the deployments where you’re actually doing the job you train for instead of playing watchdog or security guard for an entire nation somewhere. Those meals for holidays can be iffy at best. But you understand it. After all, you’d rather be doing your job somewhere fighting for something important than sitting back on a military base in the states sweeping a motor pool waiting to be able to do something bigger.
It’s strange. That a million light years from home you are at least distracted. A thousand miles from the previous life I knew, so far away from everything else that has come before I can find some semblance of family amongst the crazy cast of characters sitting around that table. From the body hair werewolf jokes, the bad puns, the teasing of everyone, and the various dishes we all attempted to cook (or buy. They wouldn’t let me do another Wild Turkey Thanksgiving), the awkward pauses, we all felt closer at that dining table than any of us had felt in the previous lives we had left. Crash was alone before we all moved here. Zack ran from a situation that he is still uncomfortable talking about, one that we haven’t pried into, but let him know we’re there for whenever he’s ready to open up about it. Kris and Shawn came from differing situations, ones that I won’t get into, but makes mine look tame by comparison.
Despite the insanity of all of our schedules, the bad jokes we sometimes pull, the horrible horror movies. Despite vampires, werewolves, the neighborhood Troll going crazy, the lawn gnomes occasionally trying to kill me, despite the zombies coming to the least qualified person on the block for counseling, it’s a much more enjoyable life that I’m living now than I have in the past several years. Crash was right when he said we were a pack. That means we’re family. And that makes all the difference.
Oh, I haven’t talked about the neighborhood troll yet, have I? Well, yeah. That’s kind of a crazy one. And for once, it is quite literally not my fault. I’ll get into that one, next update. I promise.
|Are you really tough? Do you think of yourself as the worlds biggest badass? Someone who could stare down any motorcycle gang with a simple glare and get away without a scratch? Would bears think twice before crossing your path? Are you the Billy in Billy Badass? Well, then try driving a hooptie.
Hoopties are the kinds of vehicles that can take the venom and vinegar out of anyone. They will get you from point A to B, no problem (usually no problem that is), but you won’t look good or tough doing it. That’s why the toughest people in the world drive them. Sure, anyone can look tough, sexy and cool behind the wheel of a perfectly preserved early seventies muscle car. Throw on dark shades, stomp the go pedal, and lay a nice thick set of elevens down on the roadway at any red light.
Try having that same sort of look in a late eighties Yugo. Go ahead, try it. There won’t be any elevens. In fact, you won’t even get a one-wheel peel. The most you’ll get is a few chuckles, because you’ll feel like a clown minus the circus. A Mercury Topaz is the kind of car that’s economical. It’s durable. It gets you where you need to go and the most you’ll have to do is change the oil and other fluids at regular intervals. But you’re not gonna look cool doing it. In the service, I’ve seen plenty of men and women driving large expensive trucks. Especially when the big sign-on bonuses hit. I’ve seen plenty of expensive modern muscle cars, too. If you sit outside the gate one day and watch the cars going in and out of a military base, you might think its our service men and women who single handedly keeps them in business, you’ll see so many of them. But you’ll be hard pressed to find any hoopties.
These dedicated, durable, mostly forgotten about vehicles of mass-produced econobox fortunes have proven themselves time and again through years and sometimes decades of dedicated service. And yet, they never get any love on screen or in real life. In all my years of watching action movies, I’ve seen exactly two scenes that involved hoopties. One in “The Crow”, where it was played up for laughs, and another in “The Expendables 3” where, again it was played up for laughs. I honestly can’t think of any others.
I guess what I’m trying to say is my ride is starting to get to me. Crash has that Caddy. Despite its dents, dings and scratches, it looks bad ass. It’s easy to look tough in a vehicle like that. Especially a beat up old American Luxury car that’s primed to move steel at a high speed. But, I on the other hand, don’t have any such vehicle. I’d love a new car. It doesn’t have to be expensive, it doesn’t have to be exactly new. But it does have to be sporty.
And by sporty I mean a sports car. I don’t mean those cross-over bastardized things that look as if an SUV and a sports car had an inbred love child. I never understood the point of those. You want the room of an SUV but the maneuverability and comfort of a car? Then breakdown and get a station wagon. That’s all that is. And beneath the marketing and images of these cars going in places they will never go, doing things they will never be seen doing, beneath the angry eye headlights and aggressive bucktoothed grills, that’s all it really is. It’s a station wagon, just with a modern name.
I’m counting pennies again. Ramen noodles are now becoming gourmet cuisine for me. Tap water is my new Avian. I’m saving as much cash as I possibly can over the next few months and taking a look at what’s out there. Used car prices are collapsing finally, so hopefully now’s the time I can actually afford a fun, yet easy and cheap to repair car that will help me salvage a little bit of dignity driving.
If you think it’s a bit silly, you’re right. I admit it is a little silly. So is paying fifty bucks for a haircut. A hundred dollars for a shirt, or two hundred dollars for shoes. So is paying hundreds of thousands of dollars for a home in a fancy neighborhood for the exclusive right to say “I live here”. We all do silly little things now and again to save our own pride. Certain things that mean the world to us, but to others perhaps mean very little. What I’ve come to understand after months of driving a Mercury Topaz around is that such things aren’t really all that bad. Sometimes it’s okay to wear the leather jacket cause you feel good in it. To suck in your gut in a mirror and flex when no one’s watching. To have those little reasons to like yourself just a bit so you can honestly hold your head high when you’re around others instead of just faking it. It’s okay to be proud of who you are, no matter what silly way or means you use to get there.
So yeah, I’m looking for a crazy nineties or early 00s sports car. Something probably American, easy to fix, and cheap. Something that I can easily put a good exhaust on, do a few things to the engine and get a bit more angry ponies under the hood. I’m going to be doing that for me, cause that’s what I want to do. That’s just one more small thing I’ll have to make me feel good about myself. And there’s nothing wrong with having a few of those small reasons to do that.
| I think I’ve taken at least four showers and I still feel dirty. There are certain nights that I refuse to drink on: Christmas, Easter, and now, I will no longer drink on Halloween. Christmas drinking just leads to fighting. Alcohol is a social lubricant; it also lowers inhibitions. So, when your crazy uncle says something crazy at the holiday friendly family get together about politics or religion or both (as those crazy uncle’s like to do), just to wind people up, you spout off and say something. Pretty soon, you’re off to the races, ruining Christmas for everyone around you and being told things like “It’s alright if you don’t make it this year,” and “I appreciate it if you could not fight, or maybe not come.” Easter is the same way. I have a similar story with a different cast of characters but the same old ending. A “please don’t come, thank you” and “My eight-year-old will never look at an Easter Egg the same way you bastard.” To my credit, I thought it was a legitimate question: if the Easter Bunny actually does lay the eggs, then….you know what? I was drunk, and that is just a little too graphic for this blog. And if I complete that thought here, YOU won’t look at Easter Eggs or Skittles the same way, so I’ll end that thought there. Halloween’s story involves something a bit stranger, equal amounts of Al Cohol and his merry band of idiots, and a giant ‘I TOLD YOU SO’ from a certain part time furry, full time friend.
If you remember my previous blog entry, I had started drinking. If you don’t, just look below, hit the “previous” button once. It’s all there. I was mostly drinking to forget what had happened the previous day. But as the song says ‘wine is fine, but whiskey’s quicker’. And when you’re drinking to forget or just to cope with what had happened, only copious amounts will do.
After my third beer, and two thirds of the way into a bottle of Jack, there was a knock at the door. When I opened the door up, there standing on my door step was six of the dead. Four male two female, all in various stages of decomposition. Although the flesh was rotting, it hadn’t rotted completely off yet much to the delight of the maggots feasting on old and new open wounds. Not that any of the creatures or beings cared, mind you. They didn’t feel a thing. Couldn’t even feel when their limbs fell off.
Remember the invitation I got? The one I was contemplating on RSVPing on it, and maybe saying no? Well, turns out that if you don’t send it back, they’ll just come get you. Imagine my shock at finding four dead guys and two dead women were standing there, all with expectant looks on their faces. One had snagged a “trick or treat” bag somewhere, and was just holding it up to the door, groaning.
Everyone had been dead only a little while. Now, we don’t exactly have a large township where we live, so it was surprising to see so many freshly dead in such a place. I know of only about two burials in the past month. My only guess is that they must have been traveling, coming in from all over. Being drawn to our particular cemetery for and by whatever means. Our little town can’t be the regular location of the pilgrimage of the dead, or someone would have noticed by now. It must move around or something. Otherwise, by now we’d have news vans camped out along the highway, waiting for the arrival of the dead, all interviewing each zombie. Don Lemon or someone would cry at how beautiful it is to see the dead dance in the moonlight, all while flashing tweets at you every five seconds or so about how horrible a person you are for thinking…well something. They’d find a way to make you angry about it, just to keep you watching. Anything for ratings, after all.
Their skin had begun to rot in several places. Maggots were eating flesh right off of their corpses, and of course there was that oh so fresh smell that makes you want to vomit. But what got me in trouble was the eyes. When they did their in-unison groan which I think was supposed to be ‘surprise’, or ‘hi’ or could even have been, ‘what lovely weather you delightful living have. Would you mind spending the evening with us on this clear and cool night? We promise not to bleed on anything, haha.’ Whatever the question or statement may have been intended, my response was a resounding “NO” and trying to slam the door.
Like I said though, the eyes got me in trouble. I’m a dog lover. I don’t care as much about people as I probably should. Call it an occupational hazard from my previous profession. Soldiers, cops and fire fighters tend to not see the best sides of humanity in their work. But animals, pets especially, are a weak spot of mine. And slamming the door shut in their face felt too much like stomping on a litter of puppies. I couldn’t do it. I just couldn’t. As drunk as I was already getting, I took a long swig from the bottle I was drinking. Went to where we stashed the booze and grabbed the other bottle of liquor, growled “lets do this,” and closed the door behind me as I followed the recently dead.
I only have flashes and glimpses of what happened after. When you drink to the point of deleting your memory, it doesn’t do everything completely. I remember sitting in a circle with a group of them, ten or more, at least, and talking about who they used to be. Despite not knowing anyone. I guess I reached philosopher drunk. At some point I was dancing with an elderly woman about my height, who didn’t have nearly as many maggots on her as some of the others. We just waltzed in a circle in the cemetery. There was no music, though some of the others tried to sing. Their ‘song’ came out as strangled grunts and groans, if they made any noise at all.
I don’t remember what all happened. A bobbing for apples thing was done, but the water ended up more brown and muddy than anything. I think I ended up with some old guys less than mentionables instead of an apple. I have no idea how it got in there, though that dead guy must have gotten a kick out of it, pointing and making an attempt to laugh. I guess I know which one was the practical joker of the group. Alcohol does kill germs. That’s what I told myself when I rinsed my mouth out with booze a couple times before taking another long swig after that.
I’m not certain how long they wanted to go on. I don’t think they knew either. Everyone must have just been there till they felt the call to return to rest. Little by little, they drifted off or so I’m told. They wandered back towards whatever graves they came from, their bodies having been put at ease to rest in the knowledge that they weren’t abandoned by their spirits and souls. They wouldn’t be forgotten by everyone. At least one soul was here who still cared. Maybe more would show up eventually.
By the time the barest whispers of dawn was spoken on the horizon, I was left alone, sitting against a grave stone, drinking what was left of my bottle, and just wondering what in the world had happened. According my own memory, other than the flashes and glimpses that had started to come back, I had just been drinking at the party with the dead folk, things had just started, and then, there I was. Alone.
Well, not exactly alone. Crash was there, standing over me. A heavy clawed paw rested on my shoulder as the sun began to rise over the horizon. “Come on,” he growled. “Let’s get back home, and you can tell me what happened.”
His fur always looked pitch black in the early morning light. As if a piece of darkness had come alive and was preparing to dismember you. His eyes glowed like a cat’s, the shine of it sending shivers up my spine. It isn’t a thing I don’t think I’ll ever get used to seeing.
Most of what’s been recounted here comes from Crash. He insists that most of the night, other than that disastrous bobbing for apples and other party games the dead attempted to play, was spent talking. We sat in a circle, while I drank, talking to everyone. I had what every philosopher drunk wants, a captive audience. Though, Crash insists that what I was attempting to do, was to help them. That’s the part that gets me the most.
Me? Help? Ha. I’ve never been good at that. Talking to others isn’t exactly something I’m well versed in doing. It’s why I write. I write because I don’t like to talk. Talking to people is difficult, writing about them is easy. There’re too many things inside of all of us. Sharped edges and smoothed out roughness to catch skin and pull scabs. Scars and injuries that we all attempt to hide and end up attacking people over because someone accidentally poked a sore spot. Too many reasons to cut others out of your life. To antagonize them. To hate them.
And we all seem far too willing to do that these days. To hate. Antagonize. Attack. Kill the enemy at all costs because they posted a meme, said something dumb about a video game or movie we don’t like. Saw the wrong news article. Listen to the wrong songs. Followed the wrong individuals on social media. They didn’t step on the correct eggshells at the correct moments, so they deserve to be flogged in public for their transgressions.
I’ve never been good at any of that. Some of us walk perfectly amongst the eggshells. They dance like gentle fairies amongst the pristine fragile white feelings and opinions of others easily defying and dodging and deftly handling any issue that comes up. I’m one of the others. Those that get frustrated at the eggshells and their existence. I’m more likely to kick them back in your face than to try and walk amongst them. How can someone like me actually help?
I never expressed any of this to Crash as we stood in the kitchen that morning, watching the approaching light enflame the white cabinets, blue tiled floor and walls. As the light played out against dirty dishes and clean counter tops. I stood pontificating in my own mind, holding a cup of coffee instead of liquor. Wishing that I had slept the night before. That I hadn’t drank so much I forgot what happened. Wondering how I drank so much that I had forgotten.
“You know, most people when the discover the existence of the zombies, they freak out. Some like to try and shoot them. Others try and ignore them, pretend they don’t exist. You’re the first person I’ve ever met who tried to sit down with them and talk to them. Comfort them,” Crash said. His large paws gripped a single coffee mug, one the size of a large soup bowl. The dark liquid inside it rippled as he took a gentle lap of it, his muzzle still prevalent. His thick fur coat still visible.
I laughed. “So basically, I wasted my time.”
Crash patted me on the shoulder. “Kindness, is never a waste of time.” He said, before taking a couple more laps from the mug, and setting it on the counter. Then he disappeared back into his room and I guess to go sleep. Or be human again for a while. Whatever it is that he does when he gets like this.
And here I am. Half drunk as I write this, though I know I’ll be sober when I post it. Wondering exactly what happened, why it happened and what will happen to me. I’ve seen my fair share of horrible. Had to do my own share of horrible to survive, just as anyone. Have been a jack ass, an asshole, ignored others. Started arguments, fights. Cut people out of my life for no other reason than I just really didn’t want to be the one to start talking to them.
How can someone like me be….kind? I’m not kind. Ask my ex. I’ve never been kind. I’ve been a kind…a kind of asshole. But never kind. And try to help others? It’s enough to make my head spin. I think I’ve pontificated enough. I’ve wasted enough oxygen for one day. I’m going to get another shower and get some sleep. I still feel grimey.