by S. E. Mabson
Betrayal. Claws. Hush money. Secrets. Full Moon. Retaliation. Sharp Teeth. Friends?
|Word Count: 1496
Prompt: With friends like these who needs enemies?
Eric and Jody have a secret even the moon has to tell. Once a month when the moon is full of strengthening light, a mangled and unrecognizable body is found in town. At first, people fear a ravenoeus beast dwelling in the woods, but when the blood trail starts leading to their door, they find themselves on the run, wandering the country yet again. Jody was at her wit's end. They decided to stop running.
It took Jody and Eric a month to reach high social status in Brisonville, Ky. Money was the name of the game in Brisonville, and they managed to obtain it. Lucille and Jody clicked right away. In fact Lucille, the wealthiest in the town was, in part, a catalyst for her quick acceptance. Eric and Jody's newfound lifestyle of influence came by bribing to keep their secret and to get, well, whatever else they wanted from, anyone. Lucille and her husband, James, began monthly double dates with Jody and Eric. The couples had desires they knew society wouldn't accept from a high classed group of people. The double dates were their opportunity to discretely explore there hidden spontaneity. Horror. Gore, blood, guts, hauntings, vampires, werewolves, zombies, serial killers you name it they enjoyed it. They went to movies in other towns, museums, buildings said to be haunted, picnics in cemeteries and the like. The strength of their friendship was hit with devastating betrayal, threatening to ruin their new Brisonville way of life.
Despite the overall view of the wealthy in Brisonville, Lucille had a strong moral compass. When she discovered her new friends corrupted ladder of success, she was disappointed. James was willing to look past it, however, Lucille had other plans. She wanted to expose them, so she drove to Jody's job. "Jody! You should be ashamed of yourself! How can you sleep knowing you are so wicked?" Lucille shouted bursting into Jody's office.
"Lucille?" She could feel the hurt in Jody's voice bubbling. For a moment, Lucille, felt empathy for Jody. Until, she remembered her deceitful tactics to rise in life.
"Jody, I know your secret! I will expose you." Lucille turned her back and walked towards the door.
"I thought..." Lucille stopped at the door. "I thought our friendship was stronger than this."
"You thought wrong."
Jody called Eric, with slurred words. The two must prepare to go back on the road again. When Eric walked in the front door, he heard Jody's frantic footsteps. Eric sighed deeply and began for the stairs. When he reached the door frame of their bedroom, Jody was just standing there staring at her wish list. She felt Eric watching her.
"I don't want to leave." She whispered. Anger was welding inside of her.
"I know. They will kill us if we stay."
"Not if we kill whoever leaked our secret to Lucille, and of course her and her husband. Problem solved." Eric saw the evil swell in her eyes and a smirk form on her lips as the scheme played out in her mind.
"The full moon is tomorrow. We could set something up then."
"That's what I was thinking. I'm not wandering the country again Eric, I'm NOT!" Jody's eyes were blazing with rage.
Ring. Ring. Ring. "Hello."
"Lucille, I'm sorry. I don't want to lose you as a friend. Let's go on one of our double dates tomorrow. A Haunted Hike in the woods and clear the air." Jody hid her rage so well Lucille didn't see the setup brewing.
"Jody, I was just disappointed I had to find out from Gregory. I just wished you had trusted me. I agree, we should talk first." Jody whispered thank you and hung up.
"She bought it, Eric."
"Good. No more running."
When James pulled into the parking lot, he felt uneasy. He hoped it was just the tension. The bright full moon was beckoning them all towards the darkness of the woods. No one spoke, they just smiled, nodded, and started walking through the woods. Lucille couldn't take the silence anymore and finally spoke out.
"I think you two should come clean to the town." She stopped and stared them in the eyes. Jody looked around, gauging the area. This was not the spot they had chosen, but she wouldn't make it anyway. Her body was already aching from her tightening muscles. Eric could make it, though; he was stronger mentally and physically than her.
"I can't do that." She hurled over holding her ribs. "Eric, can you go ahead and get our surprise? I need to stay here and talk to Lucille. James, can you stay with us?" James agreed, although his suspicion was growing, along with Lucille's concern for Jody's well-being. Jody fell to her knees belting in pain, screaming for Eric to hurry. James immediately knew what was happening to Jody.
"Lucille, back away from her."
"James what is the matter with you? We can't just leave her here in pain!"
"We can't help her; it's not safe."
Eric walked into the spotlight the moon was shining on Jody. She was jolting, as her bones began to protrude in ways no human can. Lucille ran to her side. "James, you would just leave my wife here?" He threw Gregory's dead body to the ground.
"Eric, my friend, we wont say anything; you have our word." Lucille snapped her head to James and snarled at him.
"I would believe you James, but your wife doesn't seem to agree. We have to contain this secret of ours at all cost. You can understand that, right? It's nothing personal were just tired of ru-." James was thrown to his knees from the pain. He arched his back, and the bones of his spine extended. He threw his head back and growled so fiercely the birds cawed and flew away. The bushes shook from animals scampering. Eric leveled his head to meet Jame's gaze and smiled revealing his sharp teeth. Jody and Eric's clothes ripped as their bodies morphed. Lucille was paralyzed in fear at her friend's transition into a beast with sharp teeth, covered in long grey and white fur, and sharp claws.
James grabbed Lucille's arm and slowly pulled her behind him. He backed away from the hungry eyes, watching their prey. Eric and Jody crept closer. Eric leaned back preparing to lunge. James, holding Lucille behind him, revealed a secret of his own. James released his tapered fangs, for the first time since he married Lucille. He turned his head slightly back and whispered, "I love you, Lucille." Before she could move her lips to release her words, James was carrying her through the woods at eye-blinking speed. Eric's lunge landed just out of reach. He and Jody looked at each other in confusion. They had to adapt quickly. They raced after James and caught him at the car. James tossed Lucille in when he heard them approaching. Eric clamped his teeth into James' leg. James grabbed Eric by the back of his neck and held him high in the air and tossed him across the parking lot like a rag doll. Lucille slammed the door shut and watched in terror as Jody attacked James' left arm viciously. She locked her jaws and vigorously shook her head, dislocating James' arm. He grabbed her by her tail and sent her flying into Eric who was lunging in the air for James' other arm. James looked into Lucille's eyes and saw nothing but fear. He sighed and lowered his head. He turned and flashed over to Jody and Eric, who were gearing up to pounce. As he was attempting to grab Eric, Jody bolted toward Lucille with boiling rage. Jody burst her upper body through the window, and gave Lucille a fierce strike to the face. Lucille's screams alerted James to her side. He pulled Jody out of the car and snapped her neck. Eric howled with grief. Consumed, he slowly morphed back into his human form. He sat there on his knees beside her for a moment. Then, he looked up at James with a scrunched up face. He charged at James belting a roaring war cry. James caught him by the neck with one hand and bit into his neck until his life force was drained and let him fall to ground.
He looked over his shoulder at Lucille, wiping the blood dripping from his mouth. He knew she would never have him now, although he had no regrets about protecting her. He lifted Eric over his shoulder and made way to Jody to dispose of them. Lucille got out of the car hesitantly. She stared into James' shimmering eyes and caressed his pale face. She stood in awe of his completely healed body. "Thank you, James."
"Can you love a dead man like me?" She kissed him passionately. Eric rolled off of James' shoulder. James lifted her off the ground and embraced her securely, allowing her to feel the depths of his love.