After some twenty minutes of winding through trees, they came out in farm country and Glen turned into the long driveway of the first house where he saw some lights. He screeched to a halt and made Miss Watson get out. “Come on,” he said. “We have to let people know what is happening.”
“You’re mad,” she said. “I wouldn’t stop between here and the city.” But as much as she thought he was crazy, she was not about to be left alone outside in the car. He took the keys.
Bang, Bang! Glen knocked and rang the bell until finally a man in his t-shirt and boxers came to the door. “We need to use your phone. There’s been a murder at the archeological dig up the road.”
“Murder?” They heard the woman’s voice before the face peered around the corner.
“Please?” Miss Watson begged and the woman responded.
“Move.” The woman punched the man in his fat belly. He took a step back so the woman could unlock the screen door. “Phone’s in the kitchen,” she said before they all paused. There was a howl in the distance. It was still far away but Glen and Miss Watson had no doubt it was on their trail.
“What the Hell is that?” The man asked.
“Wolv,” Glen responded.
“The murderer,” Miss Watson corrected.
“And on its way here next,” Glen concluded as they went inside.
“What the Hell is that thing?” The man repeated himself while Miss Watson went to the kitchen. “What the Hell is this all about?”
“Hell is coming,” Glen said before he turned to shout to Miss Watson. “You have the number I gave you?”
He shouted the number and added a few words. “Tell them the Wolv is loose. W-O-L-V.” He spelled it for her. “They may have something in the database, but tell them they are going to need a bazooka if we can’t stop it.” He turned to the man. “What’s your name?”
“Calveri.” The man said. To give him credit, the man was honestly trying to understand what was happening.
“Well, Mister Calveri, what is the nearest town of size?”
“Newton, I suppose.” Mrs. Calveri was the one who answered.
“Lunch and dinner.” Glen said, and Miss Watson returned even as there was a sound on the stairs.
“Mama?” The girl was maybe eleven and the boy behind her was perhaps seven.
“Come here.” The mother corralled her children even as Glen began to pace.
“Garlic. Have you got any garlic Mister Calveri?”
“Eh? Calveri.” The man smiled. “Werewolf?” The man asked in all seriousness. Glen shook his head.
“Worse,” he said. “This one is about eight feet tall and almost guaranteed to be wearing a personal shield—a belt or wristband or something. It isn’t a very good shield but enough to deflect a bullet, lots of bullets. Got a gun Mister Calveri?”
“Shotgun,” the man answered. “It’s in the barn.”
“Better get it. And any lime or fertilizer. As much as you can carry.”
“Garlic.” Mrs. Calveri came back from the kitchen with a whole string of natural garlic, and everyone paused again as they heard the howl in the distance. It was closer than before.
Mister Calveri ran out the back door toward the barn. Glen got the women to spread garlic all around the front door frame, the kitchen door, and especially the big picture window while he paced. Suddenly he stopped pacing and threw his hands to the overhead light.
“Oh!” He shouted. “Electricity!” He turned to the boy. “Has your dad got any wire, electrical wire somewhere?”
“The basement.” Mrs. Calveri answered for her son.
“Come on. Let’s get it.”
The boy shook his head. “It’s spooky down there.”
“I’ll show you,” Mrs. Calveri said and she handed her garlic to her son and told him to spread it everywhere on the window.
In the basement, Glen found a whole spool of electrical wire, two lamps that were taken apart and he yanked out the electrical cords from them because they had plugs. He kissed the plugs. He found two thin copper 4X4 plates. He had no idea what they were from, but he handed them to Mrs. Calveri to carry. Then he found something that made him shout.
“Christmas lights!” They were the old kind with big bulbs and hot sockets, and they were parallel so when one burnt out the whole string would not shut down.
“My husband is a bit lazy. He doesn’t like to change bulbs all the time,” Mrs. Calveri shifted the copper plates in her arms before she spoke again. “Look, what is this all about, really?” Her poor house was being ruined.
Glen was still looking around the workbench and getting frustrated. “If I told you, you would call me mad and make me stop and get us all killed.”
“I wouldn’t do that. I won’t do that,” she insisted.
Glen whipped around “The creature is an alien, clever, cunning and hungry and it is coming here and probably to every farm around until it finds its way to Newton.”
Mrs. Calveri let her jaw drop for a second before she scrunched up her face and shook her head. “That isn’t true. You’re crazy.”
“Can I trust you?”
“What? Why?” Mrs. Calveri was clearly skeptical.
“Because what I am about to show you is top secret. You are not allowed to scream or yell or anything of the sort, and you are not allowed to talk about it to anyone, ever, do you understand?”
Mrs. Calveri nodded but said nothing.
Glen returned the nod and then he called out to the ancient armor of the Kairos. That armor and weapons escaped the second heavens and replaced Glen’s clothes faster than Mrs. Calveri could blink. She almost screamed. Then Glen went one further and left that place altogether. He let Dimitri fill the armored boots with strict instructions to act more mature this time. Mrs. Calveri dropped the copper sheets to clatter on the ground and she took a step back.
“A train set!” Dimitri shouted as he yanked out the transformer. “I’ll buy your son a brand new set, I promise,” he said as he took a hammer from the workbench and cracked open the control box. “I’m sorry for the shock. I’ll let Glen come back now, but please believe me when I say all of our lives are in terrible danger.” Having said that, Dimitri did go away again and Glen returned, but he kept the armor and weapons where they were. The sword and long knife were made by his Little Ones and endowed with the strength of the god Hephaestus himself. No simple particle screen would stop them, not to say that Glen knew what to do with them, but there were others that did.
With the spool of wire, the two lamp cords, the Christmas lights and the broken transformer, Glen started back up the stairs. Mrs. Calveri shut her mouth, scooped up the copper plates and followed.
“Gum.” Glen yelled as soon as he got back to the top of the stairs. “Duct tape.” That was his other option. Mrs. Calveri juggled the plates and pulled a roll of masking tape out of a kitchen drawer.
“I got gum!” The young boy shouted from the other room and they heard him run up the stairs even as Mrs. Calveri spoke.
“Will this do?”
Glen nodded and they went back into the front sitting room even as Mister Calveri returned with a wheelbarrow full of fertilizer and a double barreled shotgun. He raised an eyebrow at the sight of Glen in his armor, but Mrs. Calveri put him off with her words.
“I’ll explain later.”
“Nice outfit.” Miss Watson noticed.
“Where do you want the fertilizer?”
“Here’s the gum. I got yours, Missy.” The young boy raced down the stairs.
“Thanks, creep,” Missy said before they heard the howl, much closer than before.
Everyone got gum to chew. Glen took out most of the Christmas bulbs and had Miss Watson cut and strip little bits of electrical wire. They attached the wire to the hot, open sockets in the Christmas string while Mrs. Calveri taped it across the picture window.
“If it tries to come in that way it will get tangled and sting worse than a school of jellyfish,” Glen said.
Meanwhile, Mister Calveri was busy spreading the fertilizer just this side of every door and window in the house. It made the whole house smell bad, but that was what they wanted.
Glen reminded Miss Watson. “It didn’t find you in the outhouse.” The Calveris did not exactly understand, but Miss Watson did.
When Mister Calveri put some fertilizer in the fireplace so the smell would waft up the chimney, the young boy spoke up. “That’s not right. We need a fire and a big pot of water for when the wolf comes down the chimney.”
“Sorry,” Glen responded. “You live in a wood house, not a brick house.”
The boy swallowed. “Does that mean we are going to get eaten? Will the wolf puff our house down?”
“You won’t get eaten.” Glen assured the boy. “You have one thing the pigs did not have.”
“You have a mom and dad who will protect you and keep you safe.”
The Calveris heard that, and it helped a little when in the next minute they heard the howl outside. Everyone went to the front window. It was by Glen’s car, sniffing around. It was hard to tell in the dark, except it looked big and agile and stood up on two feet like a bear. Whatever doubts the Calveris may have had up to that point vanished with the sight. When the Wolv roared and turned its head to face the house, everyone backed up and the children screamed.
Mama Calveri took the children behind the couch which had been pushed back toward the fireplace. Mister Calveri took his seat and picked up his shotgun which was loaded with slugs, not buckshot. Miss Watson, who had a place behind the couch, nevertheless chose to stay close to Glen. Glen sat on the living room floor and waited.
He had hot-wired the front door and the kitchen door frames with the lamp wire and gum and tape. They were plugged in and getting hot. He had also blown out the pilot light in the oven so the kitchen was slowly filling with gas. It would be a while before the gas seeped into the living room. They were safe for the present provided the kitchen door did not get hot enough to set off the gas.
One copper plate was shoved up the stairs like a makeshift door. It was also hot-wired with a long line of electrical wire gummed into a table lamp. It almost blew out the fuse when Glen first turned it on, but the fuse held. The other plate was also wired and set in the corner of the room where there were no doors or windows. That plate was currently not hot as Glen had turned the electric train transformer into a kind of dimmer switch. Everyone asked why Glen put that plate in the one corner of the room where the creature could not get in. Glen said nothing. He just poured water on the plate.
“Now what do we do?” Mister Calveri was the one who asked.
“Nothing,” Glen answered. “It’s Wolvy’s turn.”