Now, Journal, I think you should understand that, despite being destined to rule the world, I’ve never really understood girls, especially my older sister Sylvie. She just turned eighteen, and even though I’m only six years younger, she still treats me like some sort of incapable child (crazy, I know!)
Still, I was born with outstanding observational skills, and over the last year, I’ve come to notice something rather interesting. Not only does Sylvie get really weird sometimes, even weirder than normal, but it always seems to happen the same time every month. Now, I’m a pretty smart kid for my age (the C’s on my report card stand for Clever), but even I couldn’t figure out what to make of that. That is, until I went into her room one day to grab a pencil. That’s when I saw it. There, on her floor, lay her newest magical romance book. That’s when it hit me. My sister is absolutely and undeniably a werewolf in disguise!
I couldn’t believe I hadn’t thought of it before! All of the pieces finally fit together. Afraid that if my parents knew the truth, they might be in even more danger, I decided to confide in Randy, the twenty-year-old handy man at my dad’s car repair shop.
“She’s just got to be a werewolf. Nothing else makes sense!”
The sounds of metal gears stopped abruptly as Randy slowly rolled out from under the truck he was working on to stare at me. As my statement sunk in, one of the corners of his mouth began fighting desperately to twist upwards on his grease-stained face. “You’re not too far off, kid.”
That night, I tried to reassure myself. After all, Sylvie had been this way for at least a year, and it wasn’t like she’d killed anyone yet (as far as I knew). As long as I kept an eye on her during full moons, there was nothing to worry about. At least until I checked the moon forecast! A full moon on Halloween? Really? She’d be able to blend right into the crowd. I gulped. I was so dead.
The next day, I tried to get my friends at school to understand my plight. Kevin joined my side pretty quickly, but our friend Suzanne, however, took a little longer…
“Brady, trust me, your sister is not a werewolf.”
“Yes, she is.”
“No, she isn’t.”
“Yes, she is.”
“You’re so clueless.”
“I know you are, but what am I?”
That’s about how the rest of the conversation went.
Anyhoo, when Halloween finally arrived, I paused by the door before leaving, my pockets stuffed with garlic in preparation. Now, I know that technically garlic is supposed to fend off vampires, but really, you can never be too careful.
As I readied myself, Sylvie poked her head in the room. “Be careful out there tonight, Ding Dong,” she said, smiling evilly. “The full moon is out, you know.”
I gulped. “Uh huh.”
“Better watch out for wolves.”
I could almost feel my heart stop as she slipped back into the hall. It was bad enough she was going to eat me without her taunting me about it. When I finally met up with Kevin in the midst of the festivities, my heart sank even lower. “I thought you said you were bringing a real weapon!”
“All the swords at the shop were plastic,” replied Kevin, dejectedly, holding his pirate sword sadly in his hands.
“You guys are so nuts,” commented Suzanne, shaking her head. As Kevin responded to her, something odd caught my eye. Off past a group of sugar-filled children, on the hill behind the jack-o-lantern contest, a lone figure stood beside Mr. Higgin’s old barn. A lone figure who looked an awful lot like Sylvie.
She was hunched slightly, a silhouette against the full moon behind her, an odd gleam shining in her eyes. Looking around quickly, as though afraid someone were watching, she grabbed hold of the corner of the barn and ducked behind it out of sight. Suddenly, something felt very off.
“Come on, guys,” I said suddenly, my gut twisting nervously. “Let’s go see what she’s up to.”
Hesitantly, the two followed behind me as I picked my way between hyper six-year-olds and angry looking pumpkins. Once we were past all the chaos with only the barn ahead of us, everything seemed to get quiet. Eerily quiet.
“I don’t like this,” murmured Kevin, grasping the hilt of his plastic sword. “This feels like a trap to me.”
“Don’t be ridiculous,” shot back Suzanne, but not even she could hide her nerves.
Grasping the garlic in my pocket with one hand and my bag of candy in the other, I moved forward, coming up beside the barn. “Hello?” I whispered, my voice hoarse. “Sylvie? Are…are you there?” A moan came from behind the corner, and I led the way carefully, as the whole world went still.
Suddenly, a massive, red-eyed creature leapt out from around the corner and arched its furry back, howling up to the sky as the moon emerged behind it. As I stumbled backwards, my candy falling from my hands, I was surprisingly calm. I had never believed it before, but I learned at that moment that people really do see their life flash before their eyes just before they die. In that instant, I relived my first waddling steps, tasted my seventh birthday cake, and could feel my hamster Skittles rushing haphazardly up my pant leg that fateful night. It was horrible… and beautiful.
All things considered, I think I took the shock rather well.
I tumbled back on top of Kevin and Suzanne, and our terrified screams melded into one. As we crashed to the ground, a peal of laughter sounded from behind the barn. Before I could even process what was happening, Sylvie stepped out from around the corner, struggling to breathe as tears of maniacal laughter rushed down her cheeks. “We got you so good!” she howled, doubling over as whatever jerk was in the werewolf costume lost it, too.
Okay, so maybe I was a little hasty in assuming that Sylvie was a werewolf, but come on, it’s a mistake anyone could make. I related the whole story to Randy over a Coke the next day, my pride still aching from the night before.
“The one thing I still don’t get,” I admitted at last, scrunching up my face. “Is how she knew my suspicion. I didn’t tell her.”
“Girls have a way of finding out,” said Randy simply, wiping his grease-caked hair out of his face as he rolled back beneath the truck. “Hey, could you grab me the number two screwdriver?”
“Sure,” I replied, setting down my coke and walking over to Randy’s corner of the car shop. As I grabbed up the screwdriver from where it lay on his work bench, an odd box caught my attention. Bending down, I slid it out from under the bench, careful when I opened it not to spill anything inside. There, in the box, just as terrifying in the bright mechanic shop, was the unmistakable furry mask… of a werewolf.
Photo credit: Sabina Boyer