Fare Well

BY DR. AGONSON

I am running—what else is new?—but this time the sun has set on my luck. My lungs burn like fire as I lean into a turn. Underneath, my feet slide along the pavement as my momentum shifts. Carried into the street by the old direction I shoot out a hand to the rough road catching my fall. I make the turn too late, for in the brief moment that I’m sliding out of control the giant fury head of a werewolf pops out from behind a building. I hear it howl to the others, it saw me.

Still I run into the alleyway, madly I run into the dead end of an alleyway. It is pure brick wall all around, some litter, but not even a dumpster for me to jump in. There is nowhere to hide. The baying calls of the hunt echo in the night. By the lamplight a huge shadow falls against the wall, but as it comes closer, it shrinks to the size of a man.

Turning the corner, a pale leather clade vampire saunters into view. My racing heart skips a beat. His deathly grin, the kind of sardonic expression corpses wear, show his glinting pointed teeth dripping with poisonous venom. What could be worse than being mauled to death by bear-sized wolves? I suppose becoming the rope in a game of tug of war between two feuding factions.

In their near floating walk five more ghostlike creatures sort of appear out of nowhere forming rank behind the lead vampire. Coming down the alleyway the soundless steps carry the vengeful gang toward me. I put on a smile of my own and wave at them.

“You’ll have to get in line, fellas, I think they have dibs.”

Behind them, the bounding rowdy crowd of animals come charging in, racing to be the first werewolf to get me. They all trip over themselves at the sight of the vampires. The vampires, for their part, all turn around to face the interruption. There is a moment of silence as the two crowds size each other up.

The smiling vampire speaks first, “He stole something from us. He is ours.”

The barking voice of the charcoal colored dog replies, “He ran through our territory. He is ours.”

Both parties fan out, lining up man to wolf. Charcoal and Smiles step forward into no man’s land. Smiles has his hands on his hips like a mother lecturing a dirty child. Charcoal rises to his feet, towering over the undead biker.

“We wouldn’t want a replay of last summer, now would we,” Smiles begins. “How much territory are you willing to lose over that pipsqueak? We’ll make you pay a city block for every drop of blood of his you spill, until we force you back into the forests where you belong.”

“You’ll find it is harder to fight the might of our united tribes than it was pushing the Foxtails from the piers,” at this the wolf threw his head back and let out a howl. “You’ll be sorry you stirred up this hornet’s nest, if you don’t leave the trespasser to us.”

I hear the sliding shudder of a window being opened overhead. Looking up, I see an old black man with curly white hair climbing out onto the fire escape. The werewolves charge, roaring like lions. Quietly, the creaking squeaks of the descending ladder play as The Great Undead War begins. I climb the rusted steps, barely guessing how much blood would spill over this small tiff, and enter the little apartment, where my host would give me a pleasant meal before wishing me farewell.

 

 

Listen to my beautiful voice:

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