I originally posted this story in May of 2013. I found the idea good, but its execution was clunky. I have since revised based in part on suggestions made by a fellow writer I had read it. This is the result. Second draft, probably still not finished, but in the interest of full disclosure I think it would be good to see the evolution of this story. The original can be viewed here. Let me know what you think.
Louise Jacobs made the mistake of striking up a conversation with a man. He seemed nervous, but Louise was nervous too. She was going on a date and needed to talk to somebody about it. When her new friend opened his vest to reveal an impressive row of dynamite it was assumed by those on the bus that she was also responsible. That is why after a three-hour stand-off involving the FBI, the ATF and the bomb squad Louise Jacobs was sitting in jail and furious. She had a dentist appointment to make and after that an optometrist and after that a date with Walter Bonner. Her watch was confiscated. Luckily there was a television set on just outside the holding cell so she was able to determine that since Jeopardy had just ended it must be five o’clock. Walter was due to arrive at her house in exactly two hours.
A man, tall and mohawked was thrown into the cell with her. She started screaming, asking why they put a guy in with her. The only reasonable thing to do was throw a tantrum and demand that she be put in the female holding cell where she belonged. They ignored her pleas. The mohawked guy hadn’t spoken yet. Upon entering the cell he found a bench and laid down. He was breathing. That much she could tell, but there was something else as well. He had his hand on the floor and he was slowly drawing something. It was tiny. She wouldn’t have noticed had she not been this close. He was tracing a geometric shape, a series of interlinked loops. It reminded her of Saint Patricks Day. She gasped when he turned his head to look at her. His eyes were brown, his skin tanned, tribal tattoos ran down the left side of his face. He put a finger to his lips then reached his hand out to her. “My name is Martin Key. My friends call me Key.” He had a nice voice, like a deep bass. She wasn’t sure, she couldn’t remember the ranges.
“Louise Jacobs.” She replied and shook his hand.
“What are you in for?” He asked.
“I got roped into a bomb scare. Shouldn’t be long now before they sort it out. You?”
“I’m a murder suspect.” Louise tensed in reaction. “I didn’t do it.” He reassured. He stood as the police came to get him and he was lead away. Louise tried to get comfortable on one of the benches.
She stared at the little symbol etched on the floor tracing its contours with her eyes. The activity was hypnotic and was slowly lulling her to a trance. Key’s return woke her.
“I wouldn’t stare at that too long.” He said as he sat down.
“It’s a summoning spell. If you’re not trying to summon anything all it’ll do is give you a headache.” He sat down as he said the last part. “I don’t like to use magic. I almost never do, but right now I’ve got very few options.”
“What are you trying to summon?” Louise asked. She sat up.
Miguel stood outside the police station. He should leave, he kept telling himself. Keep walking. The girl’s blood was still all over him, but he couldn’t move. He was frozen in front of the station.
The station was an old two story building. The jail cells were on the top floor and the first floor contained the interrogation rooms and general offices of the precinct. The basement had the old file rooms, locker room and the limited arsenal of the station.
Miguel walked up to the front door, each step felt more like falling then the last until he was at the door. He gripped the handle. Neurons were firing in his brain illuminating fantasies of gunfire and violence as soon as that door opened. He still didn’t understand the compulsion to be here, but the more he struggled the more drawn to it he felt. The feeling didn’t fade as he crossed the threshold. There was an officer behind a large desk reading. He was fat, balding, hadn’t been on the street in years. He looked up at Miguel, boredom had watered his instincts to non-existence. The cop stammered as he lifted himself off his chair. His mouth was moving like he was trying to say something forceful, but nothing came out. He drew his gun as he ascended.
There was a flash of red and Miguel felt the beast rising. His adrenalin was spiking. He knew the change would come soon. The officer had his gun trained on Miguel, “Stay right where you are.”
Everything moved in slow motion for Miguel. Miguel could’ve killed the desk sergeant in an instant. He had oceans of time between each languid movement, but the thrum of whatever drew him here still tugged at his mind. Officers flooded the lobby with guns raised.
Miguel could hear the pulse of every officer in the room. The dull throb of heartbeats rose to the sound of his voice. He had memorized the way human hearts beat and knew how to decipher each percussion. One cop was turned on. Three others were glad he wasn’t white. Most were scared to death of him. The smell of sweat, leather and gun oil hit him in uneasy waves.
Three cops moved him out of the lobby and through the station to the top floor. The pull ceased. This was where he was supposed to be. He looked at the man with the mohawk and knew from his pulse and his smell that he was calm. The trio collectively shoved him in the cell with Key and Louise.
Key and Miguel sat facing each other, Louise watched them both. Miguel had a shaved head and horns embedded under the skin of his forehead. He also sported a tribal tattoo just below his bottom lip that looked to Louise lie a blue black goatee. To top it off his eyes were blackened orbs. Key had his tall black mohawk and Maori tattoos down the left side of his body. Outside these walls Louise would’ve pegged them as members of the same gang.
“I’m here.” Miguel spoke first, there was an aggressive edge to his voice.
“You killed that girl.” Key stated. Miguel nodded. “This ends tonight. I can’t allow you to kill anyone else.” Key continued.
Miguel laughed at him. “What are you gonna do? I’m a fucking werewolf dude. You are dead meat.” Miguel rose from the bench. His body curved over Key’s like a gargoyle. “Every bitch in this joint is dead meat. You summoned me, so you’re the first bitch.”
Key sat unfazed, “I’m not threatening you. You have options.”
Miguel continued his bravado. “Fuck you.”
“Can you survive a gunshot? Can you survive a hundred gunshots? Not all legends are true.” Key saw Miguel blanch, a moment of dread. He could hear Key’s heartbeat and knew he was telling the truth. “You’re going to change soon whether you want to or not, but you have a decision to make here and now. Do you want to live through this night, because I can either help you escape or I can leave you to your death. Make a choice.”
Miguel hung his head, but kept his eyes on Key. He shouldn’t have come to town, but he had and now a woman was dead. He liked her. He wanted her. He loved smell of her skin and was entranced by the red speckled arousal on her chest and face. He heard her heartbeat and then he wasn’t in control anymore. A different kind of lust washed over him and he was the beast. Hunger overwhelmed him and nature did the rest. Maybe he should die. Maybe Key could kill him. He didn’t know. He thought he could hold it. It wasn’t the true full moon, that was tomorrow and he always had more control. He could feel Key’s scrutiny. The other woman in the room had been holding her breath. Miguel was still. For this perfect moment he was still and he had a choice.
A police officer opened the cage flanked by two other uniformed men. “Louise Jacobs.”
She nearly jumped out of her skin when they said her name. Then the excitement of the moment wore off and she was left with her previous anger at having sat for hours in a jail cell. “It’s about time.”
Miguel looked up at Key. “I made a choice.”
“No.” Key yelled as he rose. Miguel was too fast. He lunged at the police, Louise could see the change. His body was rippling, his hands were twice the size they had been by the time they reached the first officer’s throat.
The officer lifted his piece and fired. The bullets sunk into the werewolf’s flesh and exploded through his back. The first cop was dead before he hit the floor. His throat was eviscerated. The second was firing wildly into the cell.
Key grabbed Louise from behind and pulled her to the ground shielding her with his body. The second agent’s arm was pulled free from the shoulder and teeth ripped at his face, the final officer was still firing at the beast, round after round was erupting on the werewolf’s torso.
“Shoot the head!” Key yelled. He was too late. The officer was gutted as Miguel tore out his innards. The werewolf continued out the door, more gunfire rang out.
“I thought you said bullets could kill him.” Louise said, her body was shaking from the adrenalin.
“I lied. I needed time to think of a better plan.” He helped her up. He moved quickly to the dead cops. His hands were fast. He pulled a wrist watch free from one of the officer’s wrists. He kept his eyes on the door as he spoke “Silver is deadly to werewolves. Bullets will hurt them, but they heal so quickly that unless you get a head shot you’re really just pissing them off. Wolf’s bane does work. Fire is the most effective. Fire kills almost everything.” Key explained as he checked the gun. He moved to the open cell door.
Louise stood at the open cell trying not to look at the bodies. “What are we going to do?” Louise asked.
“This is silver.” Key held up a watch from one of the agents. “Hopefully I can get close enough to hit him, failing that I don’t know.” He shrugged, “Blow up the building.” He smiled for a split second, before he got serious again. “If he gets out to the street he’ll murder everything in his path. I can’t let that happen. Are you ready?”
She gulped and nodded.
“When we get to him I need you to head for the door. There won’t be a lot of time, but it’s important that you not run. Running will induce a predator response and he’ll go for you.” Very little made sense anymore and Louise didn’t feel the need to waste breath asking questions. Key picked things up along the way, aerosol deodorant, lighter and some flares. Louise stuck close to him. Her brain was on fire and her heart was ratcheting up in her chest. She just nodded as he spoke.
She heard gunfire when they left the cage, but it had stopped and she wondered if the monster had already gotten out into the world, distant sirens were approaching and the place, apart from the traffic sounds outside, seemed still.
They were close to the front now. She recognized the room. The desks were all overturned and bodies were scattered through the room. The lights flickered creating a strobe effect and in a lump of darkness she saw the matted fur of the werewolf. It was hunched next to a soda machine and she could hear the ripping and chewing sounds of the creature eating.
“Go now.” Key turned to Miguel and blocked his view of Louise as he addressed the beast. “Miguel!” He yelled as a flare burst to life.
The werewolf looked up from his supper, snarled at Key. He looked over to Louise then back at Key. His deep yellow eyes seemed to be working through the riddle attack the man or attack the woman. The bright light of the flare made him nervous, and the woman was easy prey, so the solution presented itself.
A Detective saw Key standing in front of the creature. Louise was walking towards him with her head down and her arms tense at her sides. The other officers were too shell shocked to do much of anything “Hands up!” The Detective yelled. The woman obeyed.
The Werewolf launched at her.
Key yelled at the beast and he shoved the flair into the creature’s flank, the fur lit instantly as a bullet tore into Key’s shoulder. Louise hit the ground and the beast was on Key. Key lifted the aerosol can and lit it like a torch, flame erupted against Miguel’s face. He whimpered and hit the ground smashing his singed face against the tiled floor. Through the pain of the gunshot Key let another burst loose lighting the monster’s back. The sprinkler system erupted dousing everything. Louise crawled for the barricade the Detective fired again at the werewolf but the clip was empty. Another officer lifted Louise up and pulled her over the broken chairs.
There was just Key and the monster, they circled each other. Blood was draining against the floor from Key’s arm but diluted as it hit the now watery floor. Key lit another flair a split second before the werewolf launched himself at Key. He managed to put his arm around the beast’s neck in a headlock and shoved the flair into his maw. With the now free hand he brought the silver watch down and beat Miguel’s wolfish face. Miguel bashed Key against every surface he could trying to knock him loose. Adrenaline fueled Key’s grip and he kept bringing the silver watch down again and again. Each punch burned the monster’s flesh until all his strength left him and they both lay there with water pouring down.
Miguel was made of wounds now. He felt his heart slowing. The blood that was rushing in his ears had died down and he was looking up at Key. “I’m sorry.” he said.
“Me too.” Key responded. “It’s over now.”
Miguel closed his eyes and let go.