Smarter Than the Average Werewolf
Smarter Than the Average Werewolf
by Mark Orr
Print ISBN-13: 978-1-926912-82-0
Editor: Tracy DeVore
Publisher: Belfire Press
Cover Price: $11.99
Order Direct: Createspace
E-book ISBN-13: 978-1-926912-83-7
Formats: html, js, mobi, epub, pdf, rtf, lrf, pdb, txt
Kindle ISBN-13: 978-1-926912-84-4
Expected release date: March 28, 2012
Smarter Than the Average Werewolf – Harvey Drago, the Intangible Private Eye, is hired to track down a serial killer known as the West End Werewolf. Little does Harvey know he will be hunting an actual lycanthrope, but surely his ability to pass through solid objects will protect him.
Or will it?
What they’re saying about Smarter Than the Average Werewolf:
“Smarter Than the Average Werewolf is a seamless mix of Dashiell Hammett and Dark Shadows – a fun, splendid paranormal.”
- Melanie Jackson, author of The Selkie
Somebody screamed my name, somebody female. I jumped out of the granite and headed for the old steam engine I spent many an afternoon climbing on with my brother back in the sixties. The fence around it was torn down. Sonja was in the open cockpit behind the boiler where the engineer and brakeman stood when the locomotive was alive. Her arms were outstretched and hands tied off like Faye Wray waiting for King Kong. I darted to the base of the iron staircase that was attached to the train’s side before I was born. A shaggy head appeared over her shoulder. She screamed. The wolf grinned. Hairy hands slithered around her waist, caressed her hips and belly before creeping up. Claws groped her breasts, leaving little tears in the cloth. A long tongue slathered down over her collarbone, across her throat and up her cheek. One talon released its hold on a tit and gestured for me to come closer. I didn’t see any future in that, so I darted through a vast wheel and into the belly of the locomotive. Unlike solid matter that I have to swim up through, as I’d done the night I broke into Manning’s office, the innards of the locomotive had gaps and gears and rods and stuff that I could use to climb up in semi-solid state. That’s less exhausting and generally more productive. If he would hold off from ripping large holes in Sonja’s skin for a few seconds, I might be able to get off a shot at him from underneath.
I crept up until I could get my face close enough to the metal floor to see what was what. I emerged between Sonja’s feet. Morgan stood behind her. He growled. Sonja moaned, a long continuous low sound that Morgan ignored. His snout almost lay on her shoulder as he scanned the park for some sign of me, unless he expected somebody else dumb enough to try to rescue his Judas goat. He sniffed loud enough for me to hear. I couldn’t remember if Sonja’s was wearing much perfume. I hoped it was enough he wouldn’t be able to smell me coming up from below. I braced my partially tangible hand on something in the belly of the metal beast and poked the gun through the floor plate. I waited for it to go solid. He leaned into Sonja and growled. She whimpered my name. I aimed up and a little back, so if the bullet passed through him it wouldn’t ricochet around inside the cab. Morgan sniffed again. My forefinger flexed against the trigger. Almost, almost, then I was ready. The gun, and more importantly the bullets were solid. I squeezed the trigger, but there must been just enough scent to warn him. He lunged back and flung himself out of the locomotive. I pulled myself all the way up and watched him galumphing off towards the Parthenon.
“Harv?” I turned and holstered the Walther. Sonja stared over her shoulder at me. “Did you just climb up from inside this thing?”
I pulled out my Buck knife and cut her right wrist free. “How did you get here?” I asked.
“You didn’t answer my question,” she said.
“Secret of the trade.”
Her other hand was free. She turned to face me. “He was waiting for me when I went outside to move my car.” She rubbed her wrists and gave me a hard look. “He had a police car. The officer was dead in the back seat. He brought me here before he changed. How did you do that?”
“Never you mind,” I said. “You get as far away from here as you can. Find a human being and latch onto that person for dear life.” I pointed at the Parthenon. “I’m going after our friend.”
I didn’t wait to see if she followed orders. I ran down the stairs and across the lawn after the werewolf. I circled the building, staring up at the scaffolding around it. A tuft of hair was caught in a joint between the metal pipes. The moon was just bright enough to see a gap under the roof where he could have gotten inside. Morgan’s howled from somewhere close. Its peculiar echo convinced me he’d gotten inside the Parthenon. I looked up at the scaffolding again. I don’t care for heights. Following him in that way was out of the question, and unnecessary, anyway. I went back around front and ran up the steps to the huge bronze doors. I passed though the fifteen tons of metal that separated me from him. I found myself staring right at the red eyes and wet black nose of the monster inside, and the forty-foot tall goddess behind him.
Some years ago, the City of Nashville commissioned an artist to recreate the statue of Athena Parthenos that stood in the original Parthenon in the days when it was a very young Wonder of the World. My vote was they could have left well enough alone. It was one more thing for Morgan to dance around, and I had to contend with a big armored female cutting into my maneuvering room.
Not that I thought of that right away. The truth was that I froze. Surreality has that effect on me, sometimes. You just can’t beat the incongruous juxtaposition of a forty-foot tall goddess and a seven-foot tall werewolf for surreality. It was like being trapped in one of those dreams where you’re naked in the supermarket playing pinochle with your secret high school crush in the canned vegetable aisle, and you can’t figure out where your clothes got to or why you weren’t being hustled into a police cruiser wrapped in a blanket. As much as I brag about how used I’ve gotten to the supernatural over the last few years, there’s something about facing a mangy beast who has the blood of several people still slathered all over his muzzle that negates all the experiences you think will equip you for facing the unknown.
He eyed me for a long minute. I watched him watch me across the gallery. He was trying to work out how I got in through so much solid metal. That’s the bad thing about werewolves. In the movies they’re just mindless beasts, running amok like shoppers on Christmas Eve. Based on how he’d tried to trap me, Morgan was indeed smarter than the average werewolf. Buried under all that hair, a human mind worked out how to go about committing mayhem more efficiently than any dumb animal possibly could.