I often suffer from night cramps, but this one felt like my toes were doing origami. Stretching didn’t do much good. When the cramps wormed their way up my legs and into my arms, I stumbled out of bed to take a look.
It was bad. My feet appeared to be bubbling, and there were conga lines of muscle spasms moving along my arms and legs.
“Jean, Jean, my cramps are out of control,” I hissed.
“Huh? Just walk it off,” replied my wife sleepily. She was used to my nocturnal bouts of cramp.
“But my feet look like two strip steaks doing the Macarena.”
“You’re such a baby,” she chided and went back to sleep.
I staggered downstairs. By the time I reached the living room my fingers had sprouted talons and I had more body hair than an Italian sauna. I looked in the mirror. An impressive beard had taken root. Unfortunately, it was on my forehead. And I now sported a set of teeth that would have prompted a great white shark to beg for mercy.
Damn, why did I eat that last portion of rhubarb crumble, it always gives me severe cramps? I staggered outside. The air was ice-cool and mist hung over the driveway.
“You look like shit.”
It was Mike, my next door neighbor. A retired navy guy, Mike never left the plastic chair on his porch; his crow’s nest.
“I don’t feel too hot,” I replied, suddenly realizing that a tail was pushing its way out of my pants.
“You’re turning into a werewolf. It’s the blood moon,” he said matter-of-factly.
Coming from anyone else it would have been an absurd statement. But this was Mike, the neighborhood lookout. He explained that a blood moon would appear in an hour or so, and anyone who had the slightest trace of werewolf in his or her blood line would turn into a slobbering beast.
“Come on Mike, I’m not a werewolf!” I scoffed.
Mike shrugged and sipped his coffee. “You got it somewhere in your family line. If I were you I’d shoot over to the Five Mile Woods and join the others,” he said.
Apparently there were quite a few of us in the locale who were succumbing to the curse. I ran over to Five Mile woods (on all fours) and discovered a bunch of guys in semi-werewolf state. They had chained themselves to trees. There was Chuck and Steve from my neighborhood, and the bike shop guy.
They gave me some shackles, and for the next hour we howled at jokes and chewed on a bag of vital organs the bike shop guy brought. I guess you could call it a tail-gate party. Occasionally one of us tried to take a chunk out of someone, but apart from that we had fun.
When the blood moon appeared everything went black. I vaguely remember snarling at Chuck and Steve biting into a tree. I woke up around 7:00 am. My joints felt like they’d been pulled by a monster truck. It was a gorgeous morning, and I said a hearty goodbye to my fellow beasts. Steve gave me some spare clothes and made me promise to join them for the next blood moon. I’m bringing the raw chicken wings.
“You got up early,” said Jean when I arrived back. “How are the cramps?”
“Serves you right for eating all that rhubarb crumble. Sometimes I don’t know what gets into you.”
“Me neither,” I replied, and headed for the bathroom to give my legs a haircut.
Werewolf photo: Wikimedia