Payback is a bitch - ain’t that the truth. The big bad wolf came for us on a hot summer night. We were cruising down the shoreline a couple of weeks after taking out the homicidal maniacs Hansel and Gretel. The full moon was high in the sky its reflection gleaming off of the still water, as the evening approached the witching hour. As usual the Stranger was behind the wheel of his ’67 red Mustang, with the pedal to the metal. The engine was spitting a little and I was dozing off in the backseat when she struck - a big old mess of yellow eyes, salvia soaked fangs that were as sharp as razor blades, foul breath, mangy fur and claws.
First off there are a few things I must tell you about the big bad wolf. To begin with it is a she and as you might have surmised by now it is also a werewolf. And with that in mind there are a few other things I would like to point out; first off werewolves can come out to play whether there is a full moon or not, although the full moon does give them extra strength. Also silver bullets are a weakness but in truth any weapon can kill one it’s just that it’s extremely hard and takes a hell of a lot of effort.
So with that in mind I shall continue.
The Dreamer had sicked its hound on us in retaliation for the demise of its recent minions by our hands.
The werewolf ran easily alongside the car ramming its massive frame against the side doors instantly shattering the rear window and showering me with glass. The car squeals around a hairpin turn as the beast keeps ramming the side of the vehicle. “Grab a gun!” The Stranger roars at me as he desperately tries to keep the car on the road. Snapping out of my daze I reach for the sawn off shotgun kept beneath the driver’s seat. “Ram it,” I shout back. The Stranger does so with a yell of defiance. “Take that you flea bitten mutt!” The wolf is jolted but it does not affect her stride and for several agonising moments’ werewolf and machine match each other along the highway.
I grasp the shotgun in my hands and go to blow a hole through this abominations head, but at that moment the Mustang’s back wheel hits loose gravel and the car swerves into the barrier causing the other rear side window to shatter from the impact. My shot goes wide and blows a hole in the car roof instead of the big bad wolf.
“Shit,” I cry as the car scraps along the metal balustrade that is all that stands between us and the steep ditch below. A shower of sparks fills one side of the vehicle as the Mustang’s paint job takes a pounding.
The Stranger finally steers the car away from the railing but it is then that the hellish denizen puts its fist through the smashed back window and grabs me by the hair. I scream in pain and fear as talons grasp at my scalp. The Stranger tries to help and with one hand on the wheel he withdraws one of his trusty six shooters and fires it at the werewolf’s face. The bullet rips off the top pointed part of her ear. The werewolf gives a blood curdling yell of pain and withdraws.
“Take the wheel,” the Stranger commands.
In a desperate scramble of arms and limbs I do so. The Stranger now in the back seat quickly reloads the empty shotgun. But if we thought we had lost the big bad wolf we were wrong. For now it leaps out of the dark thrusting its bulky head through the driver’s window and sinking its teeth into my left shoulder. I scream in agony at the pain that rips through me and moments later I feel the warm sensation of blood spilling down my chest.
“For the love of God don’t stop,” the Stranger warns.
I try to maintain control of the car through the sight of blood soaked fangs, claws and the smell of rotten breath - the smell of death. Then with no other option, the Stanger quickly wraps his hands around the wolf’s thick neck in an attempt to keep it at bay.
The nightmare ride continues along the snaking road. I found it hard to maintain control. The Mustang swerved back and forth across the bitumen with the big bad wolf hanging onto the side. The car hit the barrier on the other side of the road; but the werewolf easily flings its legs above the obstacle to avoid being crushed. Hubcaps flew off like Frisbees - overhanging branches from a tree lash at the beast but it doesn’t let go, all the while struggling with the Stranger behind my back. The pain from my wound is like burning fire. I begin to lose consciousness and struggle to stay awake. The Stranger fights on as the wolf snaps its mouth at him like a demented shark trying to rip off his face with its teeth. At the same time one of the wolf’s claws keeps pulling my head back by the hair, while the other swipes at the Stranger.
The Stranger tries to bring the shotgun to bear but can’t. It’s an effort at this time for me to stay conscious, let alone keep the car on the road. I know I cannot go on - the pain is too much - and a sinking feeling fills my gut as I realise that it is only a matter of time before we crash.
Then from out of nowhere the headlights of an oncoming truck looms out of the darkness like some leviathan from the deep, heading straight for us. The truck’s horn blares a warning. And mere seconds before death I manage to grab the door handle, open it, and push the door outwards with the bitch still clinging onto it.
“Turn,” the Stranger yells.
I do so. The car swerves and avoids the collision. However the eighteen-wheeler truck collects the open car door, ripping it from the hinges of the Mustang. And the big bad wolf is splattered like a bug on the front grill of the semi. But the impact also causes me to lose complete control of the vehicle. The car’s back tyre blows out causing us to skid into a spin, once - twice -three times - as it heads at speed for the safety barrier. And as we make contact in a thunderous clash of metal upon metal the world around me goes black.
And when I awake I have no idea just how much time has elapsed, but I find myself lying on the side of the road, my head resting on the Stranger’s rolled up leather jacket. My body is wracked with pain. My wound is now a dull throb which I took not to be a good sign. I then look up into the weathered face of the Stranger who although battered and bruised was not seriously hurt.
“You were lucky,” he says, “although I fear you’ve broken several ribs and your left leg. But that is the least of your problems I’m afraid,” he adds ominously.
“Oh great,” I mumble as the jaws of oblivion once more reach out to take me.
“You’ve been bitten,” he announces to me, “and you know what that means.”
“The stories are true ; all it takes is a single bite.”
Just my luck, I thought, I survive such a horrendous crash only to become a werewolf, life, like payback...is also a bitch. As darkness once more grips my mind I ask him feebly if there is any cure. He tells me there is only one - silver - and that we need to cleanse the wound with hot melted silver.
I laugh as I once more slipped into unconsciousness thinking quite calmly to myself where the hell are we going to find melted silver in the middle of the night. For you see, once bitten, the actual metamorphose of becoming a werewolf only takes mere hours.
Copyright Peter Jessop © 2013