Nocturnesque Chapter 2

by Jeff Lewis (aka The Werewolf!) © 1985

A typical Saturday night. Sitting in a smelly singles bar looking for someone to take home for the night. Boring. Why do all the girls in this town look so sleazy? If they took the time to look good, maybe work out like I do, they wouldn't have to hang out in bars like this. Hmm, bad logic there, why do I have to hang out in bars like this? I guess deep down I like it.

Hello, what's this? Now there's a looker. God, a silk drape dress in grey and white. Wow! And that face! Slim and just a little oriental, just right. Incredible!

I watch her drift over to a table and settle into a pose that would kill most of the men here. She slowly took in the room, resting for a moment on each guy, sizing them up and then moving on to the next. I was both desperate for her to get to me and yet terrified that she would continue on.

Then we met. Her eyes were a golden hazel that burned with a secret. Even across the room, I felt the fire. A smile crosses her lips and she moves on. I'm crushed.

After a chance at someone like that the others in the room are too pathetic to even think about. I turn to the bar and finish my drink. I have to have just one last look and then go. I turn and she's gone. Damn!

Getting up, I turn to the exit and slowly plow my way through the crowds. I push the door open and turn down the street. As I cross the back alley way, a shudder, like a cold wind, moves up my spine, then passes. Someone's behind me! Well this mugger's picked the wrong night to hit on me. I turn suddenly and raise my fist.

All I see is a skirl of grey silk and then nothing. God, am I losing my mind? There's a glint of metal on the ground. I bend over and pick it up; it's some sort of medallion. I pocket it and head for home.

Ummm. A good catch. Just what I need. I can still feel him. I begin to walk, taking in the sounds of the quiet neigbourhood. I hear the squabbles and the televisions and the mothers singing to their children. I hear the older sounds of the people who once lived and have left their sounds in their old homes. Happy sounds and sad sounds.

I turn the street and the raucous blare of some deaf fools music strikes me. I gasp and shudder, covering my ears. Hurrying, solace is found at the next turn. A beautiful old church, the gentle harmony of the long past choir caressing me. I move to the great oak and rest against it, soaking in the age and serenity.

My eyes see nocturnal friends. The cats, mice and other fellow night-owls, large and small. I call to the small one believing himself hidden in the bushes. He starts and then realizes that he is safe. He comes forth and brushes his bristly whiskers against my hand. I gather my little friend up, cradle him in the warmth of my arms and press my lips to his face.

He rubs against my face tickling me with his silky fur. We look into each others eyes and I see his flare. I rub his soft ears and then lower him to the ground. He gives a soft growl and slides into the bushes.

I continue through the dark streets to a little path leading to the beach. The trees and flowers speak with their scents; one whispering a subtle perfume, the next shouting a harsh pungency. They snatch at me with their wooden fingers and beg me to stay; yet I continue.

The trees part and a glowing waterscape greets me. I step onto the cool sand shedding my sandles. I pause and reach for my clasp; the dress billows around me to the ground. I stretch and run my arms through my hair. I look up to the moon, only a quarter full. How sad, the light is so pleasant.

Crouching, I rest my hands on the sand then rock up onto my toes. I relax, feeling the cool night air moving over the beach. Within minutes, I am done and begin to move over the sand. I run and jump, feeling the pull of my muscles. Warm now, I look for a little something to eat.

A small field mouse scurries in the tall grass and I bound over. I'm not really very hungry, but the hunt is fun. I pounce on the little one and give chase. I almost hope the mouse gets away, but I am very good at this and the chase makes me hungry. After toying for a bit, I leap and land on it. As is my custom, I apologize and then snap into it. Two bites and I'm finished. I love the warm rush as the juices run down my throat.

I run for a bit; more splashing in the water and just being silly. I snap at the pussywillow playing that they are birds to catch or menaces to trap. Finally, I tire, grow drowsy, and curl up near my dress and drift into sleep. I dream of mice and my new man.

I walk home through the dirty streets, drunks begging for dimes and punks strutting. God, how I hate this place. I guess it wouldn't be so bad for those rich fat-cat aldermen. They live in the ritzy area of town. Sure.

I move up the walkway and push open the door. In the lobby a couple of weirdoes are groping to the sound of some punk/new-wave screaming. I grit my teeth and not for the first time think about how much fun I could have with a machine gun.

The elevator light shows all the elevators at the top as usual and most of them not moving. I push the button. Nothing happens. I'm convinced the ritzies in the top floor penthouses block the doors just to irritate the rest of us low life.

Finally, an elevator comes down to ground and I enter. Some moron has poured a bottle of beer onto the tacky red carpet making the elevator car smell like a brewery and my feet stick to the floor.

Pulling free from the elevator I walk the short path down to my "luxurious 6th floor suite." Turning the key in the lock, I push open the door and move into the darkness. Enough light enters from the balcony to let me see and I leave the lights off. I like the dark. A quick stop at the kitchen to pick up a coke and I go to the bedroom.

I slide my hand into my pocket and take out the medallion I found on the street. It looks like bronze or brass and feels cool in my hand. It has some ornate design I've never seen before with triangles and circles woven together. There is some sort of writing on the outer rim but I can't make heads nor tails of it. I place it down on my night table, turn the light out and the radio on. "Africa" by Toto's playing so I lay back in the bed and wait for my favourite line about "Wild dogs cry out in the night, looking for some solitary company..." Someday I'll figure how you can have solitary company; it sounds just like what I need.

As the music progresses I grow sleepy and yet for some reason, restless. Another night of insomnia ahead. Turning and rolling, finally, I find a comfortable position and begin to nod off. The last thing I see is the moonlight bouncing off the medallion and then I'm asleep.

The sun streams over me and warms me from my slumber. I rise and shake the clinging sand, then run to the water and dive in to wash myself. The water holds me but I pull free from its gentle grip and throw the weighty burden it leaves on me to the wind.

Suddenly I hear voices and realize the danger. I hurry to my clothes and change so that I might wear them. I drape the cloth about me and gather my hair up into a braid. Clasping the broach, I step into my sandles and settle on a large warm rock for a moment as I gather the morning about.

I return along the path I took the previous night and walk through the same neighbourhood. In the harsh daylight they seem quaint yet somehow dulled and dead. Not quite real. The children play along the roads and their laughter thrills me. I love children. They can see what I can see when they want to. We share the same secrets. But then they grow older and they forget. First their soul dies and then they die. Ashes to Ashes.

I shake these gloomy thoughts from my head and walk to my home. The old wooden door greets me with its furrows and groans happily as I push against the warm surface. I pass my landlord as I begin to climb the stairs to the upstairs suite where I live.

She's a nice person in her own way. She's a "liberated woman," a badge of pride she wears larger each day as if to shield herself from any possible harm. Behind it, she's a charming woman concerned about me and the city and the world and, oh, just about everything. Kind of a world-mother who won't admit it to herself.

She asks if I'm alright. I am. She warns me about staying out all night with a wink. I really am alright. You've got to bring over the young man she says to me. What makes you think it's a young man, I reply? She smiles and says that if it isn't; it should be. Some feminist, I throw back to her and she begins to laugh. Well, when you're ready; you must bring him over. I will, I say, climb the stairs and enter the old rooms.

I change into sensible clothes. That means clothes that itch and constrain and hurt. I gather up a purse and some stuff in a bag for work and put on a watch which tells me I've got to hurry.

Running down the stairs two at a time, I run for the bus, catch it with only minutes to spare and get to work only half an hour late. Lucky my boss isn't a stickler for hours.

I awake with a start. Such strange dreams, running through the water, killing animals and eating them. Yi! It really felt good to do that in the dream.

My mind feels foggy. I gulp down the remnants of warm cola and the rush of caffeine clears my head. I stumble in to the shower and do the morning ritual of setting the water too hot and wincing in pain as I reset the temperature to a more decent level.

After showering, I go to brush my teeth and for the first time notice an awful taste in my mouth. I brush with a vengeance then gargle and the taste finally goes away.

I dress and ride down to the parkade. Why can't they find some way to get rid of that choking lack of air in parkades? I climb into the car and drive to work.

Of all the things in my miserable life, the worst thing is my job. A civil servant misery of tedium working with half-witted morons too incompetant to fill out a simple form. Unfortunately it pays well and with unemployment as high as it is, I can't afford to quit.

So, I endure it day in and day out. They do as well. We all endure it. What a life.

Finally, the day ends. I like my job and the people at work but they make me nervous. Their presence is a pressure on me to be like them and I can't be that. I know I make them nervous too but I can't help that. So I try to be as normal as I can be. I think my eyes bother them the most.

I bus home and run up to my suite. I've been thinking about my new man all day, drawing little pictures of him. I'm really eager for this hunt and have to hold myself back.

I drive home and feel a lump in my pocket. As I pull into my stall, it digs into my thigh, making me wince. When I climb out of my car, I reach into my pocket and pull out the medallion. Odd, I didn't put it in there; I left it on the night-table.

Slipping it back into my pocket, I race up the stairs to my suite and check the night-table. Sure enough; it's there. So where did the other one come from? I go to pull it out only to find empty cloth. Oh my God, I am going nuts.@@ CC

I know all this has to do with that woman I saw last night. Maybe I've let myself get so lonely that I'm going crazy. I know I can't let this kind of thing go on.

I take up the medallion and walk to the balcony. Raising my arm I hurl it out as hard as I can. There! Let it be someone elses problem.

I make a light supper. I'm not very hungry for some reason. First some soup to settle the stomach. The warm liquid is good and calms me down. I scoop down to get the thick vegetables at the bottom and feel a heavy lump in the soup. A knot forms in anticipation as I dredge the lump up.

This night I think I'll just go for a run. I put on my evening clothes and quietly descend the stairs. I'd rather not have an encounter with Emily, I'm feeling a little claustrophobic and I want to get out cleanly.

I have a little place around the back where the trees can hide me and I go there to change. It's dangerous in the suburbs but no ones caught me yet. I pick a direction and start.

A couple of tranquilizers and a mickey of scotch later and I'm still shaking. Things like this don't happen in real life. Rather than trying again, I put the damned thing into my pocket and that's where it's staying for now.

The booze is starting to take effect and I feel a little ill and more than a little groggy. I lie down in my bed and watch the room spin for a bit. Now everything is going the same way around.

I stick to back alleys and the shadows. I'm not really afraid of the people but I don't see any need to call attention to myself. I move out to a large old park and hear a sharp bark. A handsome Alsation lopes up and gives me a sniff. He asks me to play and we romp about the park chasing each other and offering each other twigs and sticks.

We move together through the shrubs and trees and he marks a few as we pass. I can tell this is his territory. We enter a small clearing and I can smell the ocean nearby. I want to continue but he hesitates. Looking back for moment, I push through to a small cliff edge overlooking the beach I was at yesterday.

I lay upon the thick moist grass as the dog pushes through to join me. He lies next to me and I feel the warmth of his body as it touches mine. We lay there looking out over the water and rest.

I can't stay awake and the world keeps winking in and out. Finally, I stop fighting. Things go black.

Oh! He's asleep. Good, I'd like to go see him. I return to the park and bid my friend adieu! He's not happy about that and wants to follow me but I make it quite clear that he can't.

I follow the trail to his place that pulls in my mind. I go closer and closer and finally end up behind this dingy highrise. I look up and focus on him.

Ohhh! My head. I awake for a moment and roll over. I reach for the light and turn it out by knocking it to the floor, plunging the room into darkness. As I go under for the third count I look out the window and see a large shape and two fire green lights. Then nothing.

I look in at him. Poor dear! He's drunk or stoned. Nothing to do with me I hope. I sit on the cold concrete of this balcony and watch for a while. I refocus and move to his side. I climb onto his bed and look at his face.

It's an earthquake! The world is exploding! Oh my God! I'm gonna die in my shorts. People shouldn't go sailing in heavy winds, they tend to throw up. I know I'm going to as soon as I can figure out were I am. I open my eyes to see those green fires staring me right in the eyes. What the hell is that!

The great thing pushes a wet tongue against my face and then leaps off the bed. I leap after it, falling to the floor. Smacking my face against floor brought back what little sanity I had left. It was about then that I realized that there was little chance of getting up again. Besides, what ever that thing was, it was gone.

My mind, in possibly the last act of kindness to a dying man, quietly went out and this time stayed that way until morning.

Ha ha ha ha! Oh, that was too cruel. My poor little man. I think round one goes to me. I've tasted him and I'm more certain than ever that he's the one I've been looking for.

I feel exhilarated and race to my beach, startling a few people. I run down the path then scurry back and forth across the sand, diving into the water and smimming then back to shore to shake off the water and run even harder.

The Alsation I met earier comes down the path barking and joins in my game. I don't mind his noise here. This is my territory.

Panting, we rest side by side in the wet sand. It's quite late now and I should be getting back. I tell him that I'll see him again and head for home.

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