The Call of the Wild by Jason Darrell

Now that Phil had reverted to his human form, he was livid. Yes, with himself. But more with the tramp who'd wandered onto the estate just before the waning full moon had bid its latest cycle adieu.

In denial, Phil ignored his garage door. His lock-up had served its purpose these last five nights but failed him at the last.

As dawn's first light had kissed the horizon, the tramp's rushing bloodstream had pulsed a delectable tattoo through Phil's hypersensitive cochlea. Instinct had driven his werewolf self clean through the door, all to slake that confounded, irresistible bloodlust.

He now stood shaking, naked, the transformation's echo and chill morning air shuddering his bones. Resigned, he retreated into the garage to retrieve his clothes and smartphone.

"Emergency. Which service?" the responder asked.

"Ambulance," Phil said, dejected, "And police."

Once the responder had confirmed the details, he dressed in silence, then waited beside his latest victim.

After appraising the tramp's wounds, the paramedic announced, "Foxes, I reckon!"

"Foxes? Really?" Phil asked, incredulous.

"Oh, yes," the paramedic replied, "We've had a spate, this year; some around here, a clutch up on Cannock Chase."

'Who's that, then?' Phil thought, his mind racing. He was the Black Country's only werewolf, but another so close?

A detective interrupted his reverie. "You found him?" she asked.

"Yes," Phil answered.

"What brought you here?"

"Work. My lock-up," Phil uttered, his mind elsewhere.

The detective regarded Phil, the tramp, the smashed door. "Still in shock," she declared to her colleague, snapping her notebook closed before returning to the body.

Phil had planned to confess everything, but with another werewolf a dozen miles away?

He pirouetted northwards, sniffed the air; a ghost of musk greeted him on the breeze. Elation rose from his pit of despondency; his confession could wait.

Selected - Weekly Write - Week 10

Published in Issue #27

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