Brian's Transformation - Part
"Take it easy, pal, you're getting all worked up over a misunderstanding," I said in a soothing voice. "I know something happened last month, but it wasn't what you think."
Smiling indulgently at my skeptical response, he continued, "Tonight is the full moon again! Soon you won't doubt at all."
At Michael's insistence we dropped by Benson's Hardware and bought several feet of heavy rope before driving to Riverside Park just before dark.
"This is a good place," Michael said grimly. "Nobody is likely to see us here alongside the water and there is a good hunting ground nearby for me to use later in the night."
He pointed meaningfully toward a residential section several blocks away from the park.
"I'll take some boy from there tonight," he said. "I can already feel the tension beginning to build."
I pulled my sporty coupe into a parking spot beside a concrete picnic table and we got out.
"Take the rope and tie me up real good! Do it quick! It will be dark soon and the moon will come up!" Michael urged.
As I reluctantly cut the rope into several pieces, Michael sat on the bench and removed his shirt, shoes, and socks.
"Wind it around my wrists and ankles several times," he instructed, "and then around my chest and arms. Keep the key in the switch of your car and get out of here as soon as I break the first rope. If you don't, I'll eat you! Trust me on that! I can't control myself once the transformation occurs!"
I did as instructed, hoping that when his prediction failed, he would listen to reason. Michael's muscles were quivering strangely, but he submitted as I tightened the new rope around his wrists and then his ankles. I used the remainder of it to wrap around his upper arms and chest, tying it several times.
"Man, I hope a cop doesn't drive by!" I said with concern as I looked at my bound companion. "There'd be no way I could explain this!"
"You wouldn't have to if he was young and good looking," Michael asserted as he looked to the horizon opposite the setting sun.
As the sun sank in the west, the moon appeared over the horizon to the east. Michael abruptly and powerfully stiffened as he saw the edge of it! As the moon slowly moved fully into view, he began to moan and struggle against his bonds. I stepped back in alarm as he commenced to sweat and to shift his gaze from the moon to look directly at me. His eyes seemed to change, becoming almost luminous in the growing darkness.
"Untie me, Brian," he ordered. "I won't hurt you!"
I saw saliva beginning to drool from his mouth as he looked me over from head to toe! For the first time I experienced genuine terror as I backed toward my car. I got inside and slammed the door just as he gave a powerful jerk and snapped the ropes as if they were made of paper! He made a lunge for my car and began to slam his arms against the top and to rock it violently from side to side as I struggled with the ignition. He rammed his fist against the driver's window. The blow shattered the glass and he reached inside and grasped me by my upper arm as I threw the vehicle into reverse and applied the gas. The sudden motion caused him to lose his grip. I flipped the lever to drive and screeched away, gravel flying, as he ran after me far faster than I had imagined possible. He howled in frustration as I gained on him and turned toward the main road! I drove home, my heart beating wildly, to decide what to do!
The headline in the morning Times announced a brutal murder and mutilation in the Rivermont Subdivision. I read the accompanying article with deep horror, having no doubt that I knew the identity of the killer! Lifting the receiver, I prepared to call 911, but laid it down again, trembling lightly. I was trying to balance my loyalty to my best friend against revulsion at the fiendish murder of a teenage boy whose smiling picture accompanied the continuation of the article on the inside pages. I shuddered, realizing how easily the victim could have been me instead of him!
After debating what to do, I decided friendship demanded that I give Michael a chance to turn himself in. Driving to his house, I pulled into his driveway and stopped in front of the carport. His car was parked to the left.
Mrs. Landis answered the doorbell. Her disheveled appearance was out of character with the neatness freak I knew her to be.
"Brian! I'm so glad to see you!" he said. "Please come in. Michael came in very late last night and has locked himself in his room. Will you go up and see if you can talk to him? He won't come to the door or tell me anything! I'm terribly worried about him!"
"Yes, Ma'am, I'll see what I can do," I replied. "It's only fair to tell you that I think he is having mental problem or may even be on LSD. You wouldn't believe the wild story he told me about him and Marion and what he thinks he is."
At the mention of Marion's name, Michael's mom scowled and rolled her eyes.
"I've told him over and over to stay away from Marion! His strange behavior started when they became friends."
Deciding it was pointless to fill her in on Michael's bizarre delusions, I excused myself and mounted the stairs to his room. If he had committed a murder as I suspected, I would have to notify the authorities, but I had to discuss it with him first!
"Michael, it's me," I called out as I rapped on his bedroom door. "Let me in!"
A clunking sound and footsteps announced his approach. I steeled myself for another wild tirade, but he opened the door and smiled.
"Great to see you, Brian! Come on in. I was about to start my algebra homework. Maybe you can help me. Old man Rizzo loves to give a bunch of problems to take up the weekend and I always play into his hands by leaving them until Sunday to start."
I stepped inside his room and he shut the door. Michael went over to his desk, sat down, and got out his blue algebra book and a wire-bound notebook. He motioned for me to sit on the side of his unmade bed.
"It's the binomial theorem," he continued. "You know how to expand those expressions?"
"Michael, stop it! We've got to talk about last night," I admonished.
"Yeah, I went too far playing a trick on you," he responded. But you are just so gullible! I laughed all the way home!"
"Joke! It didn't look like that to me!"
"I did go too far," he countered. "I didn't mean to break your car window. Take it down to the body shop and have it fixed. I'll pay for it. You aren't really mad at me are you?"
His unexpected explanation caught me off guard. It was true that I tended to be somewhat gullible and had been the victim of practical jokes before, but never from Michael.
"B-But the ropes! How could you..." I stammered in confusion mixed with hurt at the thought of my best friend making me a butt of a practical joke. At the same time I was enormously relieved to think that he had not harmed anybody and wasn't crazy. The murder in the subdivision had been a coincidence.
"Stage ropes," he explained. "I left some with Mr. Benson and asked him to play along with me."
"So I guess you can't wait until tomorrow to tell all the guys at school what a chump I was!" I replied with irritation. "Some friend you are! Do your own algebra!"
I rose and wheeled toward the door to leave.
"Brian, wait, please," he begged. "I'm really sorry. I won't tell anybody about the crummy trick I played on you. I need you. Not just to help me with math, but as a pal. Don't walk out on me!"
I reluctantly returned to the side of the bed and we talked for a good while. Michael seemed genuinely contrite and I ended up agreeing to forget it. Before long we were working together on the complex algebraic expressions.
True to his word, Michael arranged to pay for the damage to my car and didn't spread the story at the high school. Everything went along normally, although he continued to associate with Marion periodically over the next few weeks. At Michael's insistence, I occasionally went to the mall with them. My analysis of Marion as weird and an as an unsuitable companion for us remained unchanged, but I decided to try to get along with him for Michael's sake. He seemed determined to have him as an associate.
Friday night Michael picked me up in his Toyota just after dark. We had plans to cruise some of the fast food places and look for girls since he had broken up with his bitch a couple of weeks previously. When we reached the highway, a shuffling sound from the back seat caused me to jump and turn. Marion had moved from the floorboard to the seat and was grinning at me!
"Damn! You scared me!" I muttered angrily. "What you doing hiding back there! And Michael, you should have warned me!"
"Don't blame him," Marion interrupted. "It was my idea. He didn't want to do it, but I managed to convince him!"
"I've gone places with you along before, Marion," I said with annoyance. "It would have been okay tonight too."
"You don't like me. Admit it," he returned.
"No, I like you okay," I lied.
Not continuing the line of conversation, he turned toward Michael and commanded, "Go to my house now."
"Whatever you say, Marion," Michael answered almost mechanically.
"Listen, fellows, no offense, but how about driving me back home," I requested, determined not to let Marion succeed in changing our plans.
"I'm afraid we can't do that," Marion responded. "You know way too much! I'm not inclined to take risks! Besides you will make an entirely satisfactory meal for us tomorrow night!"
Before I could reply, Marion lunged forward and unfastened my seat belt. He pulled me through the space between the bucket seats and pinned on the back seat, bringing his face close to mine as he easily countered my struggles to escape his grasp. I could feel his warm breath on my face as he stared directly into my eyes.
"Yes, you will do very well," he added as he slid his right hand under me and groped my buttocks. Tomorrow night when the moon is full we will devour you!"
"I'm sorry, Brian," Michael said with the sound of genuine regret in his voice. "If there was any other way, I wouldn't go along with this."
"How stupid do you think I am!" I responded angrily. "You can't pull the same joke on me twice! Cut out this shit and take me home!"
Neither man replied, but Marion did release me and we sat awkwardly together on the back seat of the small sedan as Michael sped up as he drove into the country.
"Slow down. We can't have a cop stopping us now!" Marion instructed.
Michael complied with the imperative, acting more like an automaton than the guy I had grown up with. Marion's power over him seemed inexplicable. After driving several miles into the rural area, Michael turned east onto a secondary road which he followed for about ten minutes before slowing and turning onto a rough driveway. The headlights showed that it paralleled a pasture fence, but I could not identify the area.
The headlight flashed across the front of an unpainted farmhouse before Michael came to a jerky stop and extinguished the beams.
"This is it. Welcome to my home," Marion mocked as he opened the back door of the sedan and locked his hand onto the top of my pants and pulled me from the car with him.
The nearly-full moon provided enough illumination even through the partial cloud cover to permit us to navigate the overgrown yard to the front porch. The rotten boards squeaked ominously at our weight. I expected at any minute that they would collapse, but Marion quickly extracted a key and opened the front door. We stepped inside and he flipped on a light switch. A dim overhead bulb revealed a disorderly room. The furnishing were sparse and appeared to be cheaply made. A large cage constructed of heavy gauge wire dominated the right side of the room! I had no doubt as to who its next occupant would be!
"Michael, we're friends! How can you go along with this!" I protested as Marion shoved me in the direction of the enclosure.
"I have no choice," he argued, "and besides ..."
Marion completed the thought for him, "he wants to eat you!"
I glanced at Michael and he dropped his head and did not respond. I knew from his reaction that it was true! I didn't believe for one minute that he was a werewolf, but Marion had succeeded in corrupting him beyond belief!
"Quit stalling! Into the cage with you!" Marion ordered.
Realizing the futility of resistance, I shook free of his hand on my arm and stepped inside. He clicked a large Master padlock into the hasp securing the door.
"We'll be back for you tomorrow," Marion promised with a wink. "Personally I have no qualms about it whatever, but be assured Michael will enjoy eating you too. He's one of us now!"
As they went out the front door, Marion clicked off the light, putting the room into semidarkness. The pale light of the moon created a glow on the inexpensive shades that half covered the windows on the front of the farmhouse. The car's engine roared to life and they slowly drove away, leaving me alone in the creepy place.
My initial feeling was one of panic, but I refused to give in to it. Instead I began a methodical examination of the homemade cage. For any point of structural weakness that would permit me to escape.
To my chagrin the enclosure proved to be sturdy and easily able to resist even my most determined efforts to defeat it. Nevertheless, I persisted for nearly two hours.
Ultimately realizing the effort was useless, I sat down to rest. My hand touched something soft, causing me to jump, imagining it was a rat. The "rat" proved to be white cloth. When I held it up to the light, I discovered that it was an intact pair of men's briefs! Obviously I had not been the first prisoner to reside there!
Realizing that the former occupant had been stripped renewed my suspicion that Marion was gay. I had to accept the distinct possibility that he intended to rape and murder me, involving my best friend as an accomplice!
Exhaustion caused me to drift off into a dreamless sleep at some point during the night. Sunlight against the front windows combined with the distant crowing of a rooster brought me slowly to alertness. I realized for the first time what it meant to be thirsty and hungry! I urinated to the outside of the cage, taking a perverse delight in soaking Marion's cheap sofa.
The day passed slowly with increasing physical discomfort. I began to wonder if they intended to leave me at the place to die of hunger and dehydration. It was almost a relief when I heard a car in the driveway. A key clicked in the lock and Marion and Michael stepped inside.
"It's about time you came back!" I said with irritation. "I need some water and something to eat!"
"We're hungry too--for you!" Marion replied with a glint to his eyes. "It won't be long now until we change!"
He turned to the windows and raised the shades. It was near sunset. At least when no transformation took place Michael would have to realize that he had been deluded!
"Get your clothes off!" Marion ordered. "Everything!"
"No way! I'm not stripping for you, fag!" I replied with contempt.
Marion walked up to the cage and glared at me. "Eating you is going to be a double pleasure!" he asserted. "Not only will you be delicious, but I'll enjoy making you feel pain!"
With shock, I noticed the quivering of muscles in Marion that Michael had shown weeks earlier! Just for an instant I wondered if the werewolf story could possibly be true! The hair stood up on the back of my neck!
I didn't have long to consider the possibility. Marion withdrew a key from his pocket and clicked open the padlock on my cage.
"It's time to take your clothes off!" he said with a fiendish glare to his eyes. "When the moon comes out, we will be ready to eat! Since you won't cooperate, we'll do it for you. Right, Michael?"
"Brian's my friend," he replied in a low monotone.
"The only friend you have now is me," Marion asserted as he jerked open the cage door and stepped inside to glare at me. "You'll help me strip him all right. I can see it in your eyes!"
I backed slowly away from Marion as he approached.
"The moon! It's coming up!" Michael blurted out as he glanced out the window.
Marion stopped in his tracks and turned in the direction Michael was staring. Both shook violently as half-howls came from their throats! I used their momentary distraction to slip past Marion and out of the cage. Making a mad dash for the door, I jerked it open and ran across the porch and into the yard! Running across the overgrown and uneven surface toward Michael's Toyota, I had to struggle to keep from falling. The two were running straight toward me! I slipped into the driver's seat. To my relief the key was in the ignition! I hit the switch that locked the sedan's doors just as my pursuers reached the vehicle.
As they feverishly rocked the vehicle and jerked at its doors, I attempted to start the engine. In my haste I flooded the car. Desperately holding the accelerator to the floor and turning the key, I managed to bring the motor to a coughing life. I jerked the lever to drive and slammed the accelerator to the floorboard. The two attempted to hold the small sedan and for a moment the tires spun uselessly. To my immense relief, the vehicle lurched forward. As I gained speed, the werewolves howled in frustration as their intended dinner--me--escaped!
Soaked with perspiration and shaking with fear, I drove into town and directly to the police station. I came to a noisy stop directly in front of the building, opened the door, and rushed up the steps and inside.
"Help me! Help me!" I cried out to a startled officer on duty at the front desk.
Over the next half hour I spilled out my story. Although he and an associate took notes on my report, it was clear that they did not believe a word of what I was saying.
For my efforts I got to take a breath analyzer test. When it showed I was sober, they sent me off with a stern lecture on filing a false report with the authorities!
Driving home and parking behind the house, I turned off the headlights and sat quietly in the car until my eyes adjusted to the light of the full moon. Only did I push open the door and make a mad dash for the door.
I ran up the stairs to my room and locked the door, panting with fear and exertion. My thinking had undergone a transformation similar to that of Marion and Michael! I'd been told from childhood that such creatures don't exist, that they are nothing more then tall tales. But deep down inside I knew that such legends have started somewhere and that it's quite possible they started from truth. And although that truth is bound to have gotten a bit twisted through the years it must have stemmed from something that holds weight.
And that something, although you may tell yourself that it is impossible, could still exist today. How many unexplained murders or maulings have there been? Quite a few I assure you. How many calls do you think your local police department receives about sightings of werewolves each year, and are only dismissed as pranks?
When I regained my composure, I signed online and found a chart showing the next full moon. I would be safely out of town on that night!
Exhausted, I stripped to my briefs and prepared to fall into bed. Moments after I clicked off the lamp, a shuffling noise brought my eyes to the window. Two dark shapes and luminous pairs of eyes were on the balcony directly outside my room! The terrifying sound of heavy breathing was unmistakable!
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