Glen got up extra early on Sunday morning. It was not his habit, he just could not sleep. It was five, the sun would be up in an hour, and he imagined a walk in the chill morning air might do him some good. Walking, and exercise in general was not his habit, either, but it would give him time to think and pray through the Sunday service.
Rosemont was an odd street. It was four blocks long and paralleled main street, but it was several blocks back in a corner of the town where no one would go unless they were headed for the Evangeline school. As such, it was nearly always quiet of traffic and a good place to walk. In fact, there were a couple of joggers down the way already.
Glen pulled up his collar against the cold and looked up at the sky. He heard the sirens in the distance, but ignored them. He preferred to concentrate on the brilliant stars in the perfectly clear sky and the moon, which was low in the sky but had to be full. Glen supposed it was technically Sunday. Linton said the moon would be full on Sunday.
Glen paused. He considered stepping off the road and on to the school lawn to get a better look at the stars away from the street lights. His foot was ready when he heard the scream in the distance. Some dog began to bark, violently. It was not a friendly sound.
Glen ran and the sirens got closer as well. When he arrived at that spot, there was a man comforting Mable Johnson, one of the sweet old ladies from Lewiston who was out walking her dog. The dog had quieted but was clearly agitated by something. Glen wanted to look.
“Don’t go down there.” The man turned from Mable long enough to offer his opinion. Glen nodded, but as the police car arrived, Glen went down there anyway. There were body pieces strewn across the lawn. Glen saw a man’s head and upper torso, the eyes dead and staring. He only saw the girl’s head, severed at the neck. Some of the body pieces looked chewed. Glen had to look away.
Two policemen came down the grassy embankment into the ditch where the devastation had taken place. One had his gun drawn. Fortunately, Linton came down the other side from the hill on which the school stood.
“Joe. Charley.” Linton acknowledged the policemen as he came up beside Glen. He otherwise seemed at a loss for words.
“What happened here?” One of the policemen swore.
“Reverend?” Linton identified Glen for the policemen. Glen wanted to speak, but his mouth was too dry at the moment.
“Go home, Mabel. You, too Mister Thompson.” The other policeman spoke to the two on the edge of the road. There were more sirens coming.
“Linton, can I speak with you?” The first officer tried to pry Linton from Glen’s side, and Linton was willing to go, but Glen grabbed Linton’s arm to stop him.
“Werewolf.” Glen said loud enough to be heard by both men. He had seen these signs before, though he could not say when.
The policeman scoffed and continued to try and get Linton off to the side, but Linton paused.
“You’re serious.” He looked squarely at Glen.
Glen nodded. “I have seen this before,” he said, and he stole another look at the moon. “Tomorrow night will be the last night for this cycle and I am sure whoever it is will move on.”
The policeman was not buying it at all, and it was clear Linton did not really believe it either. But there was something in Glen’s eyes, and Linton knew, though he had not known Glen for very long, that Glen was not a liar.
“You must be mistaken,” Linton said.
Glen just stared. “Werewolf,” he repeated now that both policemen were able to hear and more were about to arrive. “When you analyze the hair you find, you will find wolf hair.” The policemen looked at each other but said nothing. “I will think about what I can do. Meanwhile, somehow I have to preach in a few hours. Come to church, I think we could all use a little prayer.” Glen turned away without another look at that horror. He climbed out of the ditch, headed for home and tried hard to think about his sermon.
Glen could not sleep at all on Sunday night. He got up around four-thirty and made coffee, but it did not help settle his nerves. He decided his only recourse was to return to the site of last night’s horror, though he was sure it was all cleaned up. That poor young girl from the school, and her boyfriend. At least he hoped and prayed it was cleaned up.
Glen was not far down the street when an odd thing caught his eye. There was a table out under the streetlight and something on the table, though he had no idea what. He had to get closer to see the biggest steak he had ever seen, raw, but laid out like supper. His eyes shot to the house and the front porch. It was Leon’s house.
“What are you doing?” He shouted, started toward the porch and barely avoided calling them Bozos. There were three men in the shadows and Glen had no doubt the shotguns were not far away.
“Wolf hunting,” Harry said. He sounded a bit embarrassed. He was a college educated writer and editor, but despite his years in New York, he never completely got the small, southern town redneck out of his system.
“Ted and Tommy gave up and went home a couple of hours ago,” Bobby said.
Glen shook his head and was about to say something when he heard a growl behind him, close enough to echo in his ear. He shouted instead and ran for the porch even as the three Bozos shouted and came running down the lawn. Bobby was the only one who remembered to pick up his gun.
Glen saw the wolf look at the steak and then the men. Apparently it knew something about guns because it made a dash for Bobby and knocked him down, effectively knocking the gun from his hand.
‘Hey! Yo!” Leon and Harry jumped and shouted to get the beast’s attention, and Harry kicked out with his booted foot. That was a good thing because the wolf turned its head to snap at the boot and that probably saved Bobby from having his throat torn out. Glen just stood, frozen, watching, when there was a loud crack! from down the street. The wolf howled, leapt from its prey, grabbed the steak and without stopping, bounded on to the Evangeline school front lawn to be swallowed by the dark.
“Charley.” Harry identified the policeman that jogged up the street even as Glen broke free of his frozen state.
“Harry, take care of Bobby,” Glen shouted. Bobby was bleeding in a number of places. “Leon, go inside and call the ambulance.” Glen turned back to the street.
“Where are you going?” Harry asked.
“Hey! Don’t follow that thing!” Charley yelled from up the way, but he was not close enough to stop Glen, and in a moment, Glen disappeared in the dark just like the wolf.