Call of the Moon. Short Story.

The flames of the fire cast flickering shadows around the room, they darted in and out of his vision, the room was starting to warm up, but it was still cold. Standing, he moved around the room, turning on lights, it was starting to get dark. The lights covered the room with their warm yellow glow and as he was pulling down the blinds he tried to decide what to do, he was tired but wanted to finish the book he was reading, as he was reaching a decision he stomach gurgled, deciding for him. He would make dinner and probably watch TV, he could finish the book later, before going to sleep.

Making his way to the kitchen he turned on lights as he went, expelling the darkness, he knew what would most likely happen, he’d look in the fridge and cupboards and be unable to see anything appetising before settling on take away or something, it always happened when he was in this kind of mood, he just wanted something quick and easy. He opened the fridge and quickly scanned the contents before seeing the steak he had bought the day before. He took it from the fridge and put it on the counter before checking to make sure he had the other ingredients. Perfect, he had onions, mushrooms and cream. He put the frying pan on the hob and while waiting for it to heat he had a look around for something to have with it. He found what he was looking for in the freezer and turned on the oven. He poured the chips onto a tray and shoved them in, you were supposed to preheat the oven but what the hell, they’d be done cooking when everything was ready. He checked around for anything else he might need and then set to work, after a moment he placed the steak carefully into the pan, listening to it sizzle. While it was cooking he chopped the onions and mushrooms. Carefully he flipped the meat and went about the preparations, some salt, a plate, cutlery, taking everything put the plate into the sitting room he placed them onto a small table then went back to the kitchen.

He grabbed another plate and covered it in tinfoil, then removed the steak from the pan and placed it on the tinfoil, he quickly folded it over, sealing the steak inside it. He dumped the onions into the pan and started to stir them, cooking them in the juices of the meat. the kitchen was filled with sizzling and the smell of cooking, despite the extractor fan going full blast. His stomach gurgled in anticipation. He left the onions for a moment then checked the chips, they were beginning to turn golden and were starting to crisp. Going back to the onions he added the mushrooms and let them both cook for a few moments, then added the cream. The sauce would be perfect with the steak and chips.

When everything was almost done, he removed the steak from the tinfoil and placed it on his plate, then took the juice that had collected in the foil and added it to the sauce before finally turning off the oven and adding the chips, he poured the sauce on top of the meat and brought his plate into the sitting room, he then paused, something was missing. He left and returned a moment later with a glass of coke. There, now everything was perfect.

He ate dinner slowly, enjoying each bite while half watching the television, he had considered watching a movie, but decided against it, he was tired and would probably go to bed soon, he was always tired around this time of the month, he seemed to sleep poorly which didn’t help. After moving the empty plate into the kitchen he added more wood to the fire and sat down again, half watching the television half dozing. He jerked awake, surprised by the sound of his own snores. Shaking his head he stood and began to turn off the lights. The room was colder and everything seemed like a monumental task but soon the house was in darkness. He didn’t bother turning on any lights on his way up, he knew where he was going. He stopped at the bathroom briefly to brush his teeth, then continued on to his bedroom. The curtains were still open and he looked out at the night, the sky was clear and there was a full moon, covering everything in its ethereal light. He had always liked full moons as a kid, they seemed to make everything brighter, better, but now they tired him out. He’d probably be awake half the night too. He felt an urge to go outside but repressed it. He needed rest, even if he only dozed a few hours it would be enough. Still, he never knew when the urge would overtake him.

He woke up, the sun burning his eyes, he didn’t bother shutting the blind the night before, he liked having the moon light over him. He looked around, obviously he hadn’t moved in the night, that was good anyway, he always hated waking in strange places, wondering how he got there for a few moments before the memories kicked in. still only another few days and it would be over and things could go back to normal. He generally took time of work around the time of the full moon but he really hated too, in case people got suspicious or noticed. Still, it was something he needed to do, otherwise he’d sit there all day distracted, tired and worried and nothing would be done.

There was a quick, furtive knocking on the door downstairs, getting up quickly, he grabbed a dressing gown and ran down the stairs. He opened the door to see Sally looking at him sheepishly, “Sorry, I forgot my key again.” he sighed, it happened more often than he would like, “What happened to the spare we keep hidden?” “I’ve been using that for a few weeks now.” She stepped past him  into the warmth of the hosue and turning, gave him a hug, she was always so full of energy and life these mornings. “That’s okay, I’ll just have to get some more cut.” “Don’t bother, we could always just start leaving the back door unlocked.” “We’ve been over this, it isn’t safe.” “Of course it would be. I haven’t killed anyone ever and no animals devoured in like ten years.” “Yeah but that’s only because you eat before you go out, what happens if you can’t eat? Or you get a wild impulse or something?” she pouted. “Fine, but you know I would never hurt you.” she smiled and kissed him, he recoiled slightly, “What? I don’t still have dog breath do I? hold on.” She ran upstairs and returned a moment later, while she was gone he’d boiled the kettle. “Ok, teeth brushed, mouth clean. I had like eight packets of chewing gum this morning on the way back.” “You lose keys but can hang on to chewing gum?” “I know, strange isn’t it?” she grinned again and kissed him. “what are we doing for breakfast? I’m starving.” “I was gonna throw on some rasher and sausages, maybe some pudding.” “Yum. Can’t wait. Do you mind if I go and have a shower?” “No, go ahead.” He knew she liked to shower after her transformations, wash the scents from her skin. He rubbed his eyes and started to make breakfast, it had been difficult since he’d married her, he knew what he was getting into of course but he just couldn’t sleep when she went out for her transformations, he was always worried. He’d gone out a few times, half asleep to see if he could find her, make sure she was safe. He never had, but he knew that she’d be fine, she always was.

He  cracked an egg into the frying pan, then added two more. She was always hungry the morning after, especially at the apex of the moon. He’d suggested that she bite him before, then they could change together but she’d been angry, offended. Apparently it was a crime among her people. Still, it would be nice if they could be together during it. She’d told him the bitten were different, wild, those born werewolf’s could control it, sure they occasionally mauled someone but it was rare enough. Those bitten were insatiable, they’d kill everything and anything in sight.

The steady drone of the shower stopped, he could hear her moving around upstairs, she’d be down soon, he got out two plates and started to pile food onto hers, then added smaller portions to his own. As she came down he was pouring the orange juice, she sat down at the table and began to eat voraciously.

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About Alan James Keogh

I am a 24 year old writer who somehow tricked U.C.D. into giving me not only a degree in English and Classical studies, but an Hons Masters in Creative Writing too. Visit my blog where I post short stories twice a week (Monday and Wednesday) and an installment of a serialised novel on Fridays. I did consider writing this in the third person, as though it was written by someone else, but Alan is not comfortable writing in the third person as it seems kinda creepy and unbalanced so Alan decided it was probably best to write in the first person. He hopes it went well for him.
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