Werewolf's Moon Over the Circle
Boy, what a night I had. I was working in the marketing department at FENRIS Tech. Yeah, it's an acronym. I forget what it stands for too. Anyway, I had to work on the Anderson contract so I was staying a little late. Around six-thirty Susan came to my cubicle, and gave a little knock on the carpeted wall.
"Ted?" she asked.
"Yeah?" I acknowledged her.
"We were gonna go out and get some drinks, and we were wondering if you wanted to come along."
"I'm sorry," I said shaking my head, "I have to get this presentation for the Anderson contract ready."
"On a Friday night?"
"Yeah. For some reason the only time they could have open for me was on a Saturday morning. I swear these people never take a day off."
"Okay, Ted. I'll see you on Monday," and she wandered off chatting with her coworkers like a couple of chatty squawking birds. It's probably a good thing I didn't go with them as I would have had a very nasty accident in a public place. Of course I wasn't thinking of that at the time. I was too focused on getting the presentation ready. I just hoped my laptop battery wouldn't die on me.
Some time later I finally was able to finish the presentation, or at least make it look presentable. Quickly I saved the file and began backing it up to my flash drive. I sat back and buried my face in my hands. It suddenly occurred to me that I was forgetting something. I began looking around my cubicle for clues. I looked up at my funny demotivational motivational calendar, chuckled a bit and saw what day it was. Without thinking I looked out the window and saw the bright full moon. It was waiting for me. That face in the moon smiled at me as it stared into my soul. It does that, you know. I couldn't look away. I had to gaze at that bright, beautiful moon. Then I felt it. It's not like a tickling sensation and not a burning sensation. Just imagine your hair growing very very quickly...all over your body. Then your bones start to shift, and your skin stretches. It's the same unpleasant feeling you get when you have an upset stomach, except that strange feeling isn't isolated to your stomach. Thankfully, I'm not a woman too. I would probably go crazy if I had to deal both with lycanthropy and menstrual cycles.
I was definitely changing into a werewolf in my own cubicle at work. I was too preoccupied with my current assignment to pay attention to when the next full moon was. That was very stupid of me. I'll definitely remember it next time, because I was not in a good place. As my eyes, nose, and ears shifted to wolf form I was overwhelmed by my surroundings. I fell out of my chair, and collapsed onto the floor. The fluorescent lights started to burn my eyes, and I had to crawl under my desk. The normal office smells I could ignore as human, now hit my nose like a runaway perfume counter. Carpet shampoo, ammonia, bleach, plastics, and the smell of a hundred different humans were all taking their toll on my enhanced canine senses. I heard the hum of countless computers, the ventilation system, and the footsteps of anyone moving around in our large cubicle maze. Thankfully I was pretty much by myself, otherwise this would really be awkward.
I was huddled up in a ball underneath my desk. I was trying to adjust to the sights, smells, and sounds, but it was too much. And on top of that the little voice started up in my head. I don't know about other werewolves, but when it comes time for my shift there's a little wolf inside my head telling me to go out and play. Normally I go along with him, and we go outside and have fun...in a non-threatening manner of course. I'm not an evil werewolf, though I did once smash a mugger's face into the side of a dumpster, and I felt really bad about that. I was trying to keep the wolf quiet, but that didn't work very well.
"Come on. Let's go out," said the wolf. "The moon is up, and moontime is funtime."
"We can't go out," I said to him. "We can't be seen like this."
"Please. Remember the fun times we have in the forest when we chased the bunny? Yummy yummy bunny!" the wolf said, and then I heard my stomach growling. I haven't eaten in six hours. I couldn't hide down here until morning. I'd go mad from all the chemical smells, noise, and hunger pains. But, I couldn't afford to be seen like this.
"We have to go out!" the wolf barked. "Sooner or later that curious aftershave-smelling man is going to come by."
He was right! I wouldn't be able to hide from the security guard making the rounds. I got out from under the desk, and started to pack up my laptop and things into my black leather shoulder bag. It looks like a purse when I hold it, but the salesman assured me that it was the latest thing in Europe for men to have. I needed to be as inconspicuous as possible; which is rather difficult when you're a six-foot-tall man with a wolf's head, dark brown fur all over your body, and two very frightening yellow eyes. I took off my white button-up shirt and stuffed it in a drawer, hoping my gray T-shirt would make me less of a target. Of course my black pants and long black leather coat didn't help. The only problem with my escape was the actual exit, as the front lobby had the only door to the outside that didn't set off an alarm when it was opened. I would just have to chance it. I put on my coat and picked up my shoulder bag...it still looked like a purse.
I swiftly made my way over to the stairwell. This company has a lot of lazy fat people, and I was on the fifth floor, so I didn't think I'd run into anyone there. I opened the stairwell door, and my nose smelled something rank. Apparently they haven't cleaned this rather dank and mildew-infested place in a while, and the musty smell was overpowering. Of course they would clean the stairwell with a large splash of bleach, so I guess this was better. I pressed on. My feet were more or less furry human feet, with curved clawed toes, so I didn't have much trouble getting down the stairs wearing my hiking boots. When I got to the bottom I pressed my ear to the door...Silence. These thick steel doors make it nearly impossible for even me to hear through. I guess that's important for tornadoes and when we need a makeshift bomb shelter.
I opened the door and started to walk down the hall. I was thinking to myself 'Just act casual, and maybe he won't notice.' The long hallway opened up into a large high-ceiling lobby, with floor-to-ceiling glass windows. The security guard was sitting at his desk, slouched like a fleshy beanbag chair. He must have been at least eighty years old. His face and head was completely clean-shaven. He didn't notice all these details about me, because he was too busy reading his comic book. I passed by his desk, calmly and casually.
"Night," he said without looking up.
"Grr-night," I replied back, trying to sound as human as possible. He glanced up from his quality reading, but it was too late. I was already out the door.
A wave of fresh cold air greeted me as I step outside into Addison Circle. What I wouldn't have given then for a hat then to hide my wolfy ears. Of course I did have two things on my side. It was unbearably cold... for humans anyway. I was rather comfortable in my fur for once, but the humans would all be huddled together to stay warm in a restaurant. Also, due to the trees and alleyways, there were also a lot of shadows in Addison Circle to hide in. My stomach growled again.
"I'm hungry," the little wolf inside me said. I then realized that I made another stupid mistake. I forgot to get groceries, and my apartment had no food in it. This is the kind of situation that I should have stockpiled ramen noodles for. I just wanted the night to end. I looked into the windows of one of the restaurants. It looked very busy and loud, and I didn't want to be the center of attention in that kind of crowd. Then I saw Susan sitting at a table in the middle of the restaurant. A few of her coworkers were there, along with Darren, that cute new intern working in the helpdesk. 'Oh why did it have to be tonight?' I thought. This would have been a good night to get to know him, if not for my uh...incident. If this were Cedar Springs I could probably just strut in there, and maybe get mistaken for a bear. "Bear" in the gay culture sense of the word, not "bear" the forest animal I mean. I continued sneaking down the street.
When you're a werewolf in the city you learn the ancient art of not being seen, or at least not being recognized as a werewolf. If it's late at night the people that happen to see you generally pass the experience off as a sign they had too much to drink or they're going crazy. I got to the end of the street at the roundabout and saw the door of the sushi place across the street open up. I slipped into a dark corner and hoped I wasn't seen. A bunch of surly-looking guys in black and multicolored coats came stumbling out, and started heading in my direction. They looked like they were holding up someone, possibly much drunker than the others. All I could do was hold still, and wait for them to pass. They passed right by me. None of them noticed me, except for one guy wearing a baseball cap. He paused, and squinted, trying to get a better look at me. He looked pretty dumb, so I thought I could trick him.
"Grr-nothing to see here-rrrr," I said, still motionless "Move along."
He treated the command as though it came from an authority figure and promptly went on his way. "Heh. Talking dog," he said. I was about to cross the street, when another person came out of the sushi place. A little Asian lady in a black coat came out to smoke a cigarette.
My stomach growled again.
"Mmm... sushi," the little wolf inside me said. I didn't know a primal instinct could be so cultured. Maybe he just has good taste. I looked inside the windows of the sushi place, and it was empty. It looked like the smoking Asian woman was the only person there. I thought I might get by if I just acted casual. I'm sure she'd notice, since waitresses have to be perceptive anyway. In fact I believe she did see me, because her eyes got as big as dinner plates and she ran back inside. I darted across the circle like a furry ninja. Scared or not, I figured this place would be my best bet for a meal, and I needed to eat soon, because that Asian woman was starting to look tasty.
When I opened the door the smells from a whole bunch of different tasty meats, vegetables, spices, and oils graced my nose. Now I really was hungry. I slipped into the restaurant to find the woman with her back turned. She must have heard the door open, because she turned around to face me. She was dressed in a black sweater, and her hair was curly. I saw once again those dinner plate eyes staring right into mine, and I could see they were very pretty brown eyes. I couldn't tell if she was frozen out of fear, or amazement, or both. 'This was a bad idea,' I thought to myself, however I was utterly paralyzed with indecisiveness between my hunger and trying not to be seen, and the sheer terror that I may have mentally scarred this nice woman for life. She closed her eyes for a second...not enough time to get away. I tried to give her a friendly smile, then I realized that with all my salivating I looked like I wanted to eat her. I picked up a menu and held it up. Her terrified gaze relaxed a little, and she showed me into the dining area.
The place was a mess...well the large table in the center was a mess. Apparently those drunk kids that passed me outside must have not liked their sushi. There were a lot of empty beer bottles on the table and sushi rolls on the floor. I hate it when people waste sushi. I also saw a lot of forks scattered around the table and floor. So not only were they messy they also didn't know how to use chopsticks. I sat down at the table in the back corner.
I ordered a plum wine to drink. That is, to say I pointed at the plum wine on the menu. She indicated with her eyes, which were now more relaxed, that this was a good choice of beverage. She handed me my order sheet, and a pencil, and went over to the big messy table. I heard the empty beer bottles clink when she grabbed a few off the table on her way to the kitchen. And though I wasn't looking at her, I could tell she was looking at me. And for some reason I didn't mind this. Maybe she had a calming effect on me, or maybe it was just the fact that I was about to get some tasty sushi. I checkmarked a lot of things on that card to satisfy my voracious appetite.
She came back with the glass of plum wine and the rest of the bottle. It was very good plum wine. I handed her my order card and tried to give her my best closed-maw smile. She read back my order, and I realized that it was rather large for one person. Of course I was eating for two that night. She ran off to get my order ready, and the little wolf in my head wouldn't shut up.
"Yummy yummy sushi! YUM YUM YUM!" he said. I was trying to keep him quiet, even though I was the only one that could hear him.
"Please be quiet. We'll get the sushi very soon," I told the little wolf.
"But I want it NOOOOOWWWWW!" he barked. I finally got out my laptop, and began to check my email just so I could focus on something else while I waited. It didn't work very well, but before I knew it the nice lady was back with my sushi. I slipped my laptop back into my bag, and got ready for sushi heaven. I quickly prepped my soy sauce and wasabi, and began to down the rolls with lightning speed. Even with these furry paws I'm a master chopstick handler of the Caucasian world. The waitress seemed impressed with my ability, watching me make the rolls disappear as she cleaned the big messy table. With the level of near-absolute starvation I felt this was the most delicious meal of my life, and I just wanted to finish it quickly without creating an unnecessary mess for the waitress.
Once my entire supply of sushi was gone, and the little wolf inside me happy, I cleaned myself up. The waitress came up to me with a smiling look of wonder on her face.
"Ah, all done I see. Would you like anything else?" she asked in the sweetest way possible. I shook my head no, and she handed me the check. She seemed a lot more relaxed now. I guess she figured a wolf was less of a threat when it's had a full meal. $78 for quite a lot of sushi. I felt bad for her having to deal with the messy people and me scaring her half to death. I dropped $100 on the table and slipped out the door to head home.
The next morning I woke up in my own bed. This is a rare for me after a full moon, because I'm usually out partying all night and I wake up in the strangest places. I looked over and saw my fleshy pink fingers. Oh how thankful I was to see those.
"BURP!" ugh, I had the taste of fish in my mouth. Maybe next time I'll prepare for more traditional werewolf cuisine, like something small and meaty that runs on four legs. Anyway I got up, showered, got dressed, and went to see Mr. Anderson. He loved the presentation, and they're ordering a thousand units. To celebrate this lovely arrangement Mr. Anderson decided to take me out to lunch. And do you know what he asked me?
"Do you like sushi?"