by Rob Diaz Marino
I laughed out loud. "You
mean you've never heard that story before?"
"No!" Kelly replied,
looking a bit embarrassed.
"My Grandpa used to tell it to me all the time,
in fact, he still does. Heck, it was common folklore
when I was 5 years old."
"Well I only moved here last year, so I definitely
missed out on the story."
I sighed, kicking a small stone
off the sidewalk and into the bushes.
"So are you going to tell me or what?" Kelly
asked, giving me a light hit on the chest with the
back of her hand.
"Okay, okay!" I laughed,
turning away from her and messing up my slicked hair
so that I looked like my Grandfather. I turned back
towards her, and she gave me a surprised look.
"Nice hair," she commented.
"Well, us old people have so little hair that
we don't need to care what order it's in," I said,
putting on a gruff voice.
"Oh god," Kelly sighed, rolling her eyes, "I
hope nobody sees us."
"When I was a kid...about your age lass, 16,
the prime of my life", I continued, turning my
head up to the sky, pretending to think. I had the
mannerisms of my Grandpa down solid. "There was
a man by the name of Blake White. He was about 12 years
older than me, that'd make 'em...twenty-eight. Now
Blake loved to hunt wolves. Said he was doing the world
a favor to exterminate those 'vicious rabid monsters'."
Kelly giggled as I pushed my imaginary pair of glasses
higher on my nose, and I continued to look contemplatively
up at the sky. Then she realized what I had just said,
and her face became serious.
"He'd kill wolves. Why,
what have they done to him?"
"Weeeell, they said that when he was about...oh,
2 years old, he wandered into the forest, in fact,
this one right here," I said, pointing. "Just
out on a little runaway tangent from his parents, when
he was attacked by a wolf. Luckily, he wasn't badly
hurt, but it left a deep wound of anger and fear in
his heart, that never healed."
"That's ridiculous, wolves
hardly ever attack people. The odds are astronomical."
I put on a fake cough. "Ahem,
pardon me, hairball."
Kelly whacked me on the arm. "Stop
the act and finish the story!"
"Our first date, and you already like hitting
me," I laughed. "I see we're making progress.
You don't hit a stranger affectionately."
Just for that, she hit me once more and stormed ahead
of me. That only proved my point.
I had to run to catch up with her.
"Not a word," she warned me, "Unless
you're planning to enlighten me with your story."
"Where was I?" I asked,
my mind blank as to the last part that I had just
"Blake being attacked by a wolf when he was 2." Kelly
"Oh yes. Anyway, so one
day, Blake was out in this forest here late one night,
"I didn't know there were wolves in this forest," Kelly
"Well, until Blake got his first rifle, that
is. So, he's out stalking through the forest, tracking
a wolf. Finally, he gets one in his sights..." I
held up an imaginary rifle, and aimed, "...and
he was about to shoot, when...whoosh! An arrow whizzes
by his head, just narrowly missing, and sticking in
the tree that he was peeking out from behind."
"I don't think that was an accident," Kelly
"So after he looks around, and can't see where
it came from, he yanks the arrow out of the tree, and
the head is about this long," I said, putting
about a 7 centimeter gap between my two index fingers, "and
sharp as hell. Made out of stone, and the shaft, out
of swamp reed, with real feathers at the end. Of course,
Blake, being of low intelligence, thinks that it's
just some old Indian with bad aim, out huntin', so
he confidently heads in the direction that the arrow
came from to warn the native guy that he was out here,
and to watch his aim."
Kelly shook her head. "An
Indian? Spare me."
"This is the way the story goes," I
protested. Kelly sighed and shook her head.
"Anyway, he emerged in
this clearing completely filled with mist. 'Hello?'
he calls, but gets no response. Suddenly he spots
the wolf again, and that immediately distracts him.
He was quite surprised that the animal hadn't run
away when he had yelled. Slowly he took aim...WOOSH!
Another arrow flies by him. He didn't even see where
this one went. He hit the deck, and the wolf ran
off out of sight."
Kelly was gazing at me anxiously. I had her riveted!
"So, there he is, hiding
in the grass, clutching an arrow in one hand, and
his rifle in the other, finally catching on that
his life was in danger. His heart was beating at
the rate of a jackhammer, and he was looking around
to see if he could spot the threat, but still he
could see nothing. Finally, he got up the courage
to crawl in the direction that the arrow had been
fired from, his foolish, fearless stupidity returning,
mumbling to himself, 'No one messes with Blake White'.
Then he reaches the edge of the clearing, still no
sign of the attacker. He walks through the brush,
keeping low, his rifle ready, with his sweaty left
hand pressing the arrow to the barrel. Through a
circle of eerie blue light, he can see part of a
silhouette. The head and the legs blotted out by
the shadow of the trees and bushes. He can see the
figure's hand on its hips, and the bow slung over
'Alright buddy, one false move and I'll shoot!' he
yells, making himself visible. The figure stood still.
It hadn't even flinched when he had jumped out of hiding.
So Blake slowly approaches the insanely still figure,
and as he gets closer, he notices that the outline
of the figure's arm isn't smooth like skin, but rather
furry, like some kind of animal.
Blake's eyes are bulging out
like this far," I
said, indicating with my hands, "as he approaches
even closer. With his finger on the trigger now, and
the gun pointed at the creature, he reaches for his
flashlight with his left hand. This was kinda' awkward
because he was still clutching the arrow, so he decided
to slip it under his belt in the place of the flashlight.
'Don't move,' he mumbles, as he points the flashlight
at the figure. He takes a deep breath as he feels a
droplet of sweat trickling down the side of his forehead.
He flicks the switch and the light pours onto the creature,
making its eyes glow. Now it took Blake a few seconds
to actually realize what he was looking at. By that
time, it was too late. The wolf-creature pushed the
barrel of the rifle down towards the ground, as Blake
was no longer supporting it. The gun went off, the
bullet hitting the ground, and the sound startling
the creature. It knocked the gun right out of Blake's
trembling hand. Then it twisted its canine muzzle into
a snarl and grabbed Blake by the neck, raising him
off the ground. Blake dropped the flashlight. 'Please,
please don't kill me!' Blake whimpers, as he feels
the creature's angry breath on his face.
'Look at me!' the creature yells. 'Look me in the
eyes, you coward. The next time you take aim at an
animal, remember my face, and beware! I will always
be near to stop people like you from killing for no
reason.' The wolf creature sets Blake back down on
the ground, and he collapses to his knees, crying like
'Now run! Run like the coward you and your people
are, and know what it is like to be hunted.' The creature
growled before turning, and disappearing back into
Blake couldn't handle this. Despite seeing the wolf-creature
with his own eyes, he still couldn't believe that the
experience had been real. And what had it said about
him knowing what it felt like to be hunted?
'Oh crap!' Blake yelled, as he realized what the wolf-creature
meant. He grabbed his flashlight and took off, completely
forgetting about his rifle, and ran like hell back
through the forest. The branches of the trees and bushes
clutched at his clothes and face like little claws,
sometimes leaving painful scratches on his skin, but
he was too afraid to notice. Too afraid that an arrow
would come whizzing out of the darkness and that would
be the end of him.
He ran, literally blindly, since he couldn't afford
to have the little branches scraping his eyes out,
and by the time he emerged back in civilization, he
was a bloody mess...and what luck, he was right in
front of the Police station! He ran in, smearing his
blood all over the clean glass door as he pushed it
A policeman at the desk looked up. 'My god! What'n
blazes happened to you?' the policeman exclaimed in
a southern accent.
'I was out huntin'...and the arrow...the creature
grabbed me by the throat-'
'Calm down sir, I can't make any sense of what ye'r
Blake took a deep breath, and swallowed, his lungs
burning. 'I was out in the woods, and I was attacked
by this...this creature. It was part-wolf-part-man,
officer, I swear! I saw it with my own eyes with my
'I'm sure you did,' the police officer said, trying
to calm Blake down. 'Bertha, wha' don't you get the
First Aid kit?' he said to the horrified receptionist.
'No! You don't understand officer!
That thing's gotta be exterminated! Its a threat
to everyone, what if there's more of them!'
'Is this...creature what done this to you?' the policeman
asked, pointing to Blake's bloodied face and clothing.
The receptionist came back into the room and opened
the First Aid box. She opened a bottle of disinfectant
and poured it onto a large cotton ball, and began dabbing
'Nah. The bushes scratched me up when I ran away.
The thing threatened to kill me!'
The officers eyes jumped
up from his notepad. 'Wait a minute, this thing talked?
Just what exactly were you doing in the woods anyway?'
'I was shooting wolves. But that don't matter, that
thing's gotta be killed before it hurts anyone!'
The policeman jotted something down on his notepad.
'Sir, did you drink any alcohol prior to going out?'
Blake paused. 'Yes, I did drink, but I saw the thing,
it was real! As real as you are now, officer, I swear!'
'Sir, now just how much did you drink?'
Blake looked down at the ground for a moment. 'A...a
'Of what?' the policeman asked so fast that it startled
'V-Vodka,' Blake mumbled.
'A-a whole bottle?! Whewee! You're more soused than
a pickle!' the officer laughed. 'I'm sure whatever
the vodka saw for you wasn't real, sir. Why don't you
just let Bertha finish treating you-'
'No!' Blake yelled, pulling away from the quiet receptionist.
'No, this thing is real! Look officer, the wolf creature
fired this arrow at me!' Blake pulled the arrow out
of his belt and held it out in front of him.
The policeman slapped his hand to his forehead. 'Now
you're telling me that it carries a bow too! Man, I'm
puttin' you in the drunk tank!'
Blake tried to struggle while the policeman clipped
on the handcuffs. 'But that thing's still out there!'
he yelled. That was all he could say, while he nervously
rocked back and forth on the cot in the jail cell.
'That thing's still out there...'
And to this day, Blake hasn't
so much as touched a rifle. The end."
Kelly looked at him wide eyed. "Wow,
that was a great story. And you told it so well!"
"Thanks...you're a good listener," I
replied, trying to find some way to complement her
"You know, it sounds to me like the wolf-creature
was the good guy," Kelly commented. "I mean,
just because of one attack, the guy goes out and kills
as many wolves as he can? I don't see the point in
"Yeah, that's what I used to think. The wolf-creature
is the good guy, because he's trying to protect living
creatures from senseless killing..." I said, drifting
off into thought.
"Wouldn't it be cool to make friends with a creature
like that?" Kelly asked. "I mean, you'd feel
totally special, 'cause you'd know that nobody else
has a friend like that."
"Y'know, that's just what I was thinking," I
laughed abruptly. "Wouldn't it be interesting
to talk with an animal. Find out the way an animal
thinks, the way it feels. I wonder if that wolf-creature
would have a sense of humor? I'd love to use some of
my jokes on it."
Kelly laughed. "Oh yeah,
like the one that you told me about the farmer's
wife, when we were at the dance. A creature like
that probably wouldn't get it."
"Ha! Yeah, I know," I said laughing. "Probably
As we came around the corner, we heard several voices
yelling and laughing malevolently. I began to feel
nervous. I was about to suggest taking another route
so that we didn't get mugged, but then I saw the kids
that were doing it. I recognized them from school.
They were a gang, one grade higher than Kelly and I,
that were never seen apart. They seemed to be having
fun, kicking something in the center of the circle
that the five kids formed.
"Wait here," I told
Kelly. She instantly got a concerned look on her
face, but she wasn't fast enough to stop me.
"Hey! What're you doing?" I
Five heads slowly lifted to regard me. With horror,
I saw a battered stray dog in the center of the circle.
"My god!" I exclaimed. "You
sick people, leave that poor dog alone!"
They all just laughed at this.
"Dis kid's challenging us five?" One
"The dog's probably dead...but
oh, look. We don't need the dog anymore, we got this
I stood my ground, frowning
deeply. "For your
sake, I'd rather not fight."
Their laughter burst out. "Oh,
for our sake...hey, once we're finished with you,
we could do your li'l lady there."
That was the last straw. My
whole body was shaking with anger. I put my hand
forward; "Can you hear
this? Well then let me turn it up for you!" I
turned my hand over to show my middle finger more clearly. "I'm
not gonna be threatened by a bunch of PUNKS like you!" I
Their looks turned angry at my words, but then they
noticed that a claw had grown on my middle finger...that
Grey fur was sprouting through my skin, and my muscles
bulged and tore through my clothing. Energized by the
moonlight, I became a werewolf. I was almost disappointed
when all five ran away in terror.
"Kelly," I said horrified, remembering her
presence. "I'm sorry you had to see this...I..."
But her eyes were gleaming with excitement and fascination.
She didn't run away like all the others. Instead she
got closer. I was shocked.
"Rob? I...I have to tell you something," She
said, cautiously touching my robust, furry arms, looking
deep into my icy-blue eyes.
"What, that you're a werewolf too?" I
She laughed, "I truly wish I were. No, I wanted
to tell you..." she paused, hugging closer. Her
face came closer to mine...we actually kissed.
I was delirious with happiness
that I had been accepted for the true me. "My
grandpa, on his death bed...he gave me this responsibility.
To look after all living creatures, to defend them
from man's slaughter...I thought I'd be alone my
entire life...why aren't you afraid? What did you
want to tell me anyway."
She hugged me, pressed her chin
into my shoulder, and whispered in my canine ear, "I've
had my share of werewolf boyfriends where I came
from, and you're, by far the most sensitive, funny,
romantic, and handsome one I've ever met.