Welcome to the Call Me MAYbe Flash Fiction Challenge!!
All stories begin with "The phone rang" and are no more than 1,000 words. **CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED!** For full contest rules and prize list, visit this link: http://mystiparker.blogspot.com/2013/04/next-month-call-me-maybe-flash-fiction.html
#22: Encounter With a Werewolf
A strained voice said, “It’s at the old house.”
At last! I took a taxi to the address.
The hallway was dark and lit only by the irregular strobe of lightning strikes. Rain drops smacked against the windows like a spray of shotgun pellets. I held my pistol in front of me as I took one slow step after another. Whatever this creature was, I had finally tracked it down. I had a flashlight, but I did not want the creature to know where I was, so I kept my thumb on the ‘off’ switch as I reached the last doorway. I paused, deliberately took a few regular breaths to calm myself, and entered the room. For a moment I heard nothing, and then the creature gave away his position with a barely audible shuffle. Holding my pistol forward, I swung my flashlight toward a corner of the room and thumbed the ‘on’ switch. Brilliant light valiantly illuminated the dark corner, and for the first time I saw the creature. I froze.
It was a werewolf. It stood ten feet tall with dark brown fur, and it was so large it had to bend over to keep from smashing its thick canine head against the ceiling. The effect was to thrust its snarling elongated head closer to me; so close I could see its drool drip and splash against the cold floor tiles. I smelt its rancid stench. Its claws spiking from the pads at the end of its muscular legs were the color of granite tines, capable of tearing steel much less a soft human body. It roared, and the sound was so overwhelming I felt its pressure on my eardrums.
I thought I had prepared myself for the confrontation. I had my pistol, and I am a good shot. I had brought the bright flashlight so as to blind the creature. They were useless. My fear began at the soles of my feet, and terror rose swiftly like rising water drowning a man. A part of my mind screamed, “Stop shaking,” but the rest of my intellect had flown, leaving me a gibbering mouse facing a monster.
“Run! Run!” My brain screamed. My paralyzed legs refused to obey.
And then in the tiniest of brain cracks a fragment of intelligence that had been trying frantically to make itself heard, broke through the noise of panic.
“This can’t be real. You know this can’t be real.”
My life had been built around scientific reality. Whatever hope was left, grabbed on to this fragment of reality and listened.
“The laws of nature are the laws of nature. This is not real, so how can it be happening?”
Desperately, I did a quick mental scan of all the knowledge and experiences I had encountered in my life to that point, and a thought stuck into that fragment of intelligence. Lysergic acid diethylamide. LSD. In my youth I had ingested this chemical several times, and I had experienced its hallucinatory affect. There was something familiar about this experience, and a slightly less terrified me realized that my body was also experiencing a stimulative. But how could I have been exposed to the chemical.
And then insight struck. Pheromones. At the exact moment I physically encountered these creatures the extreme fright struck. I was never this terrified moments before the encounters, although I was frightened, and afterwards the fear quickly vanished. If whoever was creating this affect was real, then the creature must be giving off pheromones that contained some kind of hallucinatory chemical.
I straightened my body. The beam of the flashlight had partially swung away from the creature, now I fixed it firmly on the beast. It flung its hairy arms toward me, causing me to flinch, but I did not step back.
“I’m not afraid of you,” I said, but my voice was shaky.
“I’m not afraid of you,” I repeated in a firmer tone. “Who are you? What are you?”
It snarled again, but not as loudly. The body of the creature seemed to shimmer. For some reason, its head no longer threatened the ceiling. Another snarl emanated from the creature, and I felt a twinge of fear, but the feeling was brief, like the momentary fright from being startled, and it faded quickly. I forced myself to take a step toward the creature.
That step caused the illusion to completely collapse. Instead of a werewolf, I was staring at a young woman. I judged her age to be in the early twenties. Our roles had switched. She was the one terrified now, and her face was filled with anticipation as if she expected me to attack her at any moment.
“I’m not going to hurt you.” I said this calmly, but firmly. “I’m not going to hurt you, I just want to talk.”
I thought traces of the chemical illusion might be lingering, but as the moments eased by, I found myself staring at a face that was not quite right. She appeared to be human, and yet there was something off. At first, I tried to explain it as an accident, or a birth defect, or even ethnicity, or ugliness, but my reasoning forced me to face the truth.
“Are you human?”
She shook her head and her young brown eyes flashed as if I had insulted her person. We stared at each other for long minutes before I spoke again.
“You may not be homo-sapien but you and I share almost the same DNA.”
She frowned and then reluctantly tilted her head up and down.
Another reluctant nod. So that was the secret of the werewolves. They were an offshoot of the ancestor of humanity. An offshoot that had developed the ability to emit pheromone vapors which caused other homo-erectus offshoots like humans to see them as monsters. A seemingly favorable survival trait that had resulted in deadly consequences for their species.
Author Bio: I am a Californian by birth and by inclination, but I now live on the island of Maui. I was born in Linwood, California when the Los Angeles basin was still largely rural. My family moved to Concord, California when I was twelve, and there I wrote my first two books at fourteen. Luckily they have not survived. I went to college in New Mexico where I met my wife and took a class from famous science fiction author, Jack Williamson. After living in Texas for five years, we moved our small family to Maui where I live on my farm and grow stuff. I have written seven books; Surviving the Fog (YA/NA), Surviving the Fog-Kathy's Recollections (YA/NA), Sarah's Spaceship Adventure (YA/NA), The Colors of Passion and Love (NA), Sam's Winnings (YA/NA), Kate's Movie Star (YA/NA), and Amy's Hero (NA). NA (New Adult) is a suggestion that the book contains scenes of sexual situations.
My Website: https://sites.google.com/site/stanandrene/