The temperature has dropped and the Full Moon has risen. The slick December chill has kissed the wind and the breeze can find you anywhere…no matter how thick your sweater may be.
But don’t let the cold throw you; the Moon is up there and shining its quicksilver light down even in the square-ass middle of the night when none of us are paying attention. And that’s when the werewolves tend to move the most.
Most people don’t waste too much time thinking about werewolves when we’re this close to the annual celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ, nominal Messiah for most of the Free World…but I do. And even with the imminent arrival of Jesus’ Birthday, I’m always reminded, when somebody speaks his name, that He has promised to return in His Full-On, Cloud-Riding Glory to judge both the quick and the dead and to settle all the hash that’s been brewing for the last two-thousand years here on planet Earth. And that’s a lot of hash, no matter how you slice it. It makes me nervous for too many reasons to list here comfortably.
But a lot of other things make me nervous as well. Like the dead cat that showed up mysteriously outside my mother’s door for no good reason at all. She wanted it removed and we were all a little reticent about touching it, especially after the weird reports of an outbreak of Rabies in our small corner of the south. (We used to call it Hydrophobia back when the world was a simpler place and you could still call men like Atticus Finch to come down and shoot the buggers in the street in broad-ass daylight while all the kids watched and learned that it was still always a sin to kill a mockingbird.) But my brother carried it off in the night and we all breathed a collective sigh of relief. Even if the threat was real, at least we didn’t have to step over a constant reminder every time we went out for more fire wood.
I took the deceased feline as a definite sign of Bad Juju and made no secret of my lycanthropic suspicions. But I was shouted down at once and told, repeatedly, that there were no sings of predation on its emaciated and stiff body. True; but I felt certain that any cat worth his salt just might be persuaded to die of a heart attack or stroke if faced with the prospect of having to duke it out with a full-grown werewolf. It hardly seems like a fair fight.
I knew that other theories would erupt and my sister mentioned that she had seen the cat earlier in the week acting strangely and hissing at unseen foes. Maybe the damned thing was possessed by Demons. Or maybe the local Cryptid Enthusiasts would revive their long-held, Local Bigfoot Hypothesis. Heck, maybe even some of the recent Latino arrivals may have brought along a sub-species of Chupa Kabra in their mass pilgrimage to the land of Hate and Honey. Sure. Why not?
I headed for home, nursing my fears all the way. I thought of my grandmother and the store she put in signs and wonders. She never even trusted a live cat, much less a dead one, and I knew how she would react to the Bad Omen of a dead cat on the doorstep. It was definitely Bad News and a harbinger of dark tidings and troubled days ahead.
I was hoping to maybe assuage my fears with a little quality time spent naked under the glow of the Space Lamp but the recent Broken Condom Incident (as it will be historically known) had placed a moratorium on any kind of sexual activity at Chez Rooked and I was forced to find my own, solitary solace.
I went back to the Office and settled in with my hidden bottle to brood over what it all might mean and to, hopefully, consume enough alcohol to work myself up to some kind of Whiskey Soliloquy that would supply the Answers I needed.
I mostly just sat by the window watching the Moon move through its course in the sky and I found myself fantasizing about hitting the local bars and running into a couple of young ladies. Yes. Perhaps a girl named Sedona Malone who would be petite and quiet and her friend, a heavy-breasted, reformed prostitute called Diphtheria Jones and they would both consume enough potent libations to decide that they wanted to take me back to a cheap motel for a little Tag-Team action. But I shook that off quickly and realized that the “Tag-Team Scenario” was a tree that I had been barking up for far too long to really take seriously any more. And fantasizing about it would only lead to more trouble than I needed right now.
I just sat quietly in the dark behind the desk with my bottle and worried over whether a brace of rabid werewolves, already sated on feline blood, would be waiting for me when I finally left for the night.
And I thought of all the weird musings I had ever heard from behind the pulpit in my time and it struck me that they all seemed convinced that Jesus would return like a thief in the night. But right here, right now, so close to Christmas? Well…wouldn’t it be just like him? And maybe this time he’d be all bulked up and angry and ready to throw off His meek façade and get down in the street where he could put some serious whip-ass on all the freaks that haven’t been giving enough credence to His Law for all these years.
And who’s to say that He wouldn’t accept the help of the rabid werewolves?
The last time I checked…God could do whatever He wanted.
And that’s never an easy thought to fall asleep with.