A young innocent-looking girl says with a devilish grin. “The full moon is tonight!”
A boy in his early teens looks down at the girl with a questionable look. “No kidding? I could feel it coming all-day. I am thinking of going out tonight.”
The little girl puts her hands to her hips, and said. “John, you aren’t going to run with the gang of mutts in the park, are you?”
John puts his hand to his chest, and said. “Barb, how could you think that I would hang with those mutts? But, I am tired of spending the best night of the month hiding.”
Barb thought she should show concern, and questioned. “But, it’s not safe…?”
John didn’t want to hear it, and interrupted her. “Oh, I can take care of myself…I’m thirteen, and I’m strong enough to keep myself, out of trouble!
Barb played the concerned good little sister, and told her parents what John was up to. Later that evening Barb met her mother with in the gated yard of her father’s estate.
With an innocent look on her face she looked up at her mother, and said. “Mom, where’s Daddy and John?”
“Your father’s dealing with John.”
Barb was watching the gates with anticipation, expecting to see her father dragging John through them. It was getting late and Barb started to become disappointed, and asked. “Where are they?”
Barb’s mother was watching the horizon for the rising moon, and said “Don’t worry your father already locked the gate.”
Barb was becoming upset, “What? Isn’t Dad bringing John home?”
“Your father knows the safe places deep in the woods.”
Barb was more disappointed that she won’t get to see her father disciplining John than worried for their safety, but asked. “What about the hunters?”
Her mother almost laughed, and said. “I would be more worried about the other wolves than any human.”
The two of them started howling as the full moon rose over the horizon.
Earlier at the park John met some boys not much older than him.
As he was approaching the group in the park, one said. “John you made it. Good to see that your father’s not treating you like a kid.”
With a few stomps to the dirt, John said. “Yeah, I put him in his place.”
After hearing that his father, Mark, almost laughed, but thought he should make his presents known, and called out. “John, what are you doing here? I understand, you don’t want to run with your sister after what happened,” With an obvious swallow, he continued. “during the last full moon.”
The boys started laughing out loud. With a questionable look on his face, John started saying. “What I didn’t….”
One of the other boys said. “John, I thought you had more control. Chris, man you’re lucky your sister didn’t come with you, tonight.”
Another boys said. “Yeah John, you better control yourself around me. I don’t swing that way, anymore. You’ll get yourself hurt.”
After one of the older boys said that they couldn’t stop laughing. John ran to his father not realizing that he was trying to embarrass him. “I didn’t?”
Mark grabbed his arm and turned him towards the woods. “Oh come on let’s leave these mutts to their laughing.”
John looked to the setting sun, and said. “There’s no time?”
“I know stay close.”
The two of them started running deeper into the woods until they came upon a clearing with groups of people looking to the sky.
John stopped short as his father pulled him to the clearing, and asked. “Who are they?”
Mark let go of his sun, and said. “This is where some of the other wolves go to run, so stay close. I see an old friend.”
Mark greeted his friend, but then heard John yelp as he started to change. Mark’s friend Bill, looked to him, and said. “Your boy needs to learn to control himself more.”
Bill was nerves, but said. “Yes, yes, but it’s been years.”
“Yeah for me too. Let’s wait until he’s changed.”
John was still howling after his change was complete, and was looking all around at the others changing, some as violently as he did. Then he saw that his father and his friend hadn’t started their change yet.
They stood together in a pose that John had seen in his father’s memorabilia from school. The two men started a dance of some sorts, but then they started their transformation. It looked as if they were fighting, but they weren’t hurting each other.
The wolves who had changed were not running uncontrollably like they usually do. They were gathering around John to watch Mark and Bill.
The performance ended after the transformation came to a completion, even though it looked as if they were fighting, they looked unharmed. The two of them started a howling the other wolves joined in concert with the same persistence, which was not with anger or sorrow.
The howling lasted for only a few minutes when Mark and Bill started a run with all the wolves from the clearing following. They all ran deeper into the woods to a stream where the pack stopped for a drink. Mark led the pack for a run along the stream that ended by the cliff. There was a waterfall with a shallow pond that the wolves bathed in and were safe for the night.
The next morning John had questions for his father, and he did his best to explain. “When we were in graduate school Bill and I were part of a team who felt that control was more important than strength. We found that with the control our strength was unmatched. The kata we did last night displayed the control that gave us the respect of the pack to be the alphas, if only for the run.”
John looked at his father and without a second thought, he asked again, but more directly. “Why did they respect you?”
Mark was exhausted after last night’s run and wanted to get home for an early shower, but he said. “John think of control and how you haven’t shown it throughout your life, and then you’ll be able to answer your question yourself.”
By J.L. Manning
This story turned out about 100 words too long for the contest at; http://thecultofme.blogspot.co.uk/2014/04/may-short-fiction-contest.html I don’t expect to win these contests, but they give me new ideas for stories.
I have updated the story and submitted it to Strange Musings Press and was rejected…. I’m not surprised, the story has an uncommon look at Werewolves. I reiceved a rejection from Emby Press http://embypress.com/monster-hunting-quarterly/ the story about Grimms and the blood trait has thinned, but a son of a half Grimm was surprising.
If you know of any press that is looking for 8k words stories, let me know.