by Lucas Klaukien
I wake up when some kids ride by, afternoon time. My mouth is the Sahara desert. I smoked too much last night. This is life in the Church of the Holy Trinity. Dusty quiet, till some kids ride by. I’m mired in the kind of quiet that’s either easily tuned out or all-encompassing, depending on what kind of person you are. Worst case scenario, you could panic and drown in a quiet like this. Until some kids ride by to spoil the fun.
The Church was condemned years or even decades ago, left to rot in a long-forgotten corner on the outskirts of town. Generations of vandals have gotten in, pissing and partying, breaking beer bottles, marking territory. Palm smeared, nicotine stained walls, effluvia spattered floors and smoke dried ceiling, four graffiti sprayed walls and a leaky ceiling, the Church is my home.
“BAD MOON RISING?” on the front page of the newspaper. “Questions surround lunar mission.” Read on:
“Cape Canaveral, FL - Last week’s long-awaited lunar mission appeared to have been a complete success until the behavior of one crewmember had friends and loved-ones ‘shaking in [their] boots.’ Dr. Mark Taylor’s state upon returning to his family was reported to be one of ‘extreme agitation and anti-social tendencies.’ Dr. Taylor has been taken back to Kennedy Space Center for observation. NASA scientists are baffled as to the cause of the strange behavior. “He’s one of our top guys,” said Mission Captain Jamil Khaddafy… [cont. on page 3]”
Another story on the page read:
“JOGGER ATTACKED - Fourth in a string of recent attacks.
A fourth victim came forward claming in to have been attacked, this time at Quist Memorial Park at around 9 O’clock last night. Police spokeswoman Jane Dwyer was not available for comment at the time of writing… [cont. on page 5]”
I’m the only person on the face of the earth stupid enough to believe the two stories are connected.
The attacks have made the city stiff with tension. I’ve bumped and hiccupped my way through tenser spots than this, but it’s giving me a headache.
Strange words are being brandished by those in the media who know how to use them: werewolf, vampire, ghoul. Always used as adjectives, never as nouns, but still carefully done to arouse fear and worry and anger. I’m not here to sniff out a werewolf or a vampire in the fold, my job is to certify that such creatures don’t exist, by blasting them away and leaving no trace.
In the 17th century werewolf paranoia was tre chic. You’d wake up the day after a full moon with a few less neighbors. Consider me insurance against that happening again.
At Quist Park I get a feeling. The woman who was attacked the night before actually believed she was going to die, eaten alive by werewolves. In the residue of her mind I see four shapes like razor blades dancing around her at speed, snapping and showing teeth, and a mysterious man in a trench coat who appears to be their master. The Maestro. This is no good. They’ve done their job, they’ve done a number, the newspaper publishers. This woman isn’t supposed to believe in werewolves. No one is supposed to believe.
To Be Continued …
ONE MORE SMOKE FOR THE ROAD
9 years ago