Nocturnesque Chapter 3



by Jeff Lewis (aka The Werewolf!) © 1985


The first thing I see as I awaken is lint. This is a terrible thing to see close up at any time, but for some reason is all that much more awful when you just wake up.

Next I can feel a scrub brush on my face. It is about now that I realize that I'm on the floor and slowly stripping my skin off on the carpet.

My first question: How the hell did I get down here? My second: What was I doing yesterday? Then it slowly starts to come back.

I remember something about fiery geen eyes and a big shaggy thing on my bed and being hit in the face with a baseball bat or a truck or something. Of course, I also currently feel that bat or truck still being used on my head, so, of course all the rest must be true. It all makes perfectly good sense. Sure. Well I'll just be off to the funny farm now.

Or perhaps the next best thing, work.




I feel a little queasy this morning. Odd, since I don't get ill very often. It's like having drums in my head and trying to dance while I walk. Just like a hangover.

I try and shake it off and get ready for work.




As I've mentioned before, work is an interesting place. Interesting in the same way surgery for the uninititated must be.

Like most people, I have a friend and confidante who shares the misery and for the most part has nothing in common other than our lifework and the crudite that life forces upon us.

Mike is my confidante and I'm his. He's an OK guy who sometimes goes out drinking with me and from time to time has dinner with me when we're both bored or every second weekend if we're free.

At lunch we go to the lounge in the first floor. We go there alot and the waitresses know us by name. I order a Cuba Libre (my usual drink) and he orders Scotch (his usual drink). I begin to tell him about the last few days and he watches me closely.

I can see he's not buying any of this so I pull the medallion and show him. I left it my pants pocket rather than try to see if yesterdays little strangeness was real. He takes it from me and tells me that there is a quick way to see if it really does this follow the master trick and stuffs it into his pocket.

I tell him I don't think that's such a good idea and he tries to calm me down. I really am afraid of this and don't want it to be true. As long as it is in my pocket, it's not going anywhere else and I can forget about it.

He insists and we finish lunch. I ask him about the woman and he informs me that he doesn't spend his evenings in cheap bars and so isn't likely to see girls like this.

That burns me and I start to get really angry. He can see me get redder, even in the darkly lit lounge and quickly apologises.

We rise, pay our bill with our usual tip and head out, back to work. We don't talk for a while, I'm still steamed about the crack. I cool off as the day wears on, and then I'm surprised by how angry I was about a woman I didn't meet in a bar.

As the day ends, I take Mike aside and apologise to him. I try to explain how I feel but come across a total fool. He suggests I try to forget her and I know now that I can't.




What an odd day. First the ill feeling this morning and then I'm riding an emotional roller-coaster.

Lunch I suddenly became very angry for no reason and almost changed on the spot. Something very odd is going on indeed.

Riding on the bus, I suddenly feel like crying and I know I'm in trouble. I'm not built like other women and don't have those monthly problems; that only happens once a year for me. I've heard about the emotional troubles that can cause for women but it's not my time yet.

When I get home, I collapse on the bed and feel very flushed. I do what any other girl would do in this case: I call my mother.




I enter the bedroom and look to the night table. I don't want to look because I know what I'm going to see and it's there. I pick it up and turn it over in my hands.

Still holding it, I call Mike and ask him to check to see if he still had it. He does so and says he can't find it. He starts to apologise, he thinks he's lost it but I tell him I have it. He stammers that's impossible. I say yes and hang up the phone.




Come home. That's all she said. Come home. I can't just come home. I can't uproot my life just because things are a little confused right now.

Have you found a man?

Yes, I have.

Does he have the gift?

I don't know. I don't think so.

Do you love him?

I don't know. I might. I just met him.

Come home, right now.

I can't, I just can't.

My daughter, you must come soon. If not you will both hurt and it could be very dangerous.

I haven't even talked to him yet.

Yes you have.




I'm sitting in the dark again. I want to get hammered but can't get up the energy for it. I'm tired and wired and ready to pass out all the same time. I go for a walk. I need some solitary company.

I live near the ocean and there are miles of deserted beach along here. I've always liked the ocean, it's calm and quiet and the rushing of the surf helps me be calm. I drive to the public beach and lock my car up.

The night air is soft and warm against my skin. Using the public washroom I put on my trunks and a robe and stash my stuff in the trunk of the car.

I walk along the beach and swim along the parts where the cliff front juts into the ocean. I come around this cove and find a very quiet little beach that looks like no one's been there for years. I walk up to this large rock and sit on it for a bit just looking over the ocean.

The moon's not very bright but I can see pretty clearly. There's shrubs as trees all along the cliff base and at the cliff top.

The air smells very fresh and helps to clear my head. I pull the medallion from my pocket. No, I put it there, why mess with it anymore. It glows in the moonlight. I raise my arm and pull back to throw it. As my arm reaches back and I start to swing, a single word stops me.

No.

I turn and it's her.

My arm comes down and she walks to me, the same silk dress billows in the night air. She takes my hand, a fire touching me and leaving streaks on my nerves.

Please don't.

I open my hand and expose the disc to the light. She covers it with her hand and it begins to warm.




He looks so sad sitting on that rock. I start to realise the misery I'm causing him. I'm feeling the same misery.

He's pulling the medallion out and is about to throw it away again. Pointless. His arm reaches out. I call to him and ask him to stop.

I touch his hand, so cold, like ice.

You're not very happy are you?

No, not really.

Why?

I, I don't know. Things are so dull, so dead. I feel dead, or I did until I saw you. Since then I've felt so strange.

I'm sorry.

Don't be.

I look in his eyes and see the years of death he speaks of. I see the mindless monotony and endless repetition of days. I want to take him in my arms and hold him but stop.

She looks at me. She looks into me. I see forests, running and happiness. She smells of pine trees. I want to take her and hold her against me but cannot.

She takes thin, silver chain from her neck and threads it through the medallion. She puts it on my neck and takes my hand.

You don't want to see. You close your eyes. Let's walk.

She leads me up the path and the sky is brilliant with moonlight. Her gown, like a veil, barely covers her. It should be erotic but it seems almost wrong that even this barest of cloth should be covering her.

Up close her beauty is even greater than I had thought. She's just my height and is slim yet not fragile in any way. She has this carefree self-confidence, not afraid of anything, yet not a threat.

He's actually handsome in a rough kind of way. He'd look better if he didn't scowl all the time. He smells a little ill but I can see the fire in him. He's buried it very well but it's there.

She takes me to an old neighbourhood. It used to be a ritzy area in the '40s but has run down a lot since the then. Everything is louder, smellier and brighter than it should be. I can hear the people talking and watching TV. I'm shocked by some of the things they're saying.

She leads me through the deserted streets. They should be very dark, this area only has thse old style street lights. They left them in to make it look older and more stylish but were lousy as a form of lighting. That's why the streets are deserted, people are afraid of getting mugged. Tonight they seem to light the night up like beacons; I can see everything.

As I look about I see the trees. They seem to glow in the darkness as do the bushes and the grass. I can see some cats playing about in front of a brokendown old house. They have a layer of fire wrapped about them.

I can't figure how she's done this. It has to be some sort of drug but I've never heard of anything that could do this.

Part of me wants to give in and play her game. Part of me doesn't. I look to her to make the first move. She looks at me oddly.

What did you do to me? I ask her.

Nothing, she tells me. I've just opened your eyes.

Uhm hmm. You know, if you could package this stuff and sell it, you'd be rich.

What stuff?

What ever it was you gave me that did all this. She stopped for a moment and gave me very hard stare. It was like she was looking through me, and the street grew dimmer.

She seemed to gather herself about a decision and began walking again. She looked away and we walked in silence for a while.

I turned to her, I felt something had to be said. I'm sorry, but how else could you have made everything light up like this? The streets grew dimmer yet as she tightened the grip on my hand. I thought she was going to hit me for a moment, then she calmed down again.

She stumbled and gracefully caught herself.

Isn't it all very beautiful, she asks me.

Well, the fireworks are pretty, but it's still a dumpy old neighbourhood, I tell her.

She frowns at me and lets go of my hand. It's dark, very dark, and I go deaf. I fall to my knees and close my eyes. Moments later I open them again and I can see but only the normal dim light of the old streetlights.

That's the dumpy old neighbourhood, she says and runs away.

I try to follow her but she moves too fast. She's gone.




I run away from him. I feel a pain in my heart and in my soul. It's as if part of me has been ripped free and beaten into the ground. My head spins and I ache.

I shift with a slowness I've never experienced before, almost as if something was holding me back. Snarling, I tear my way free from the dress. I run without thought to the shore and then along it north to a wooded area just outside of town.

I chase the stupid rabbits watching me and snap at them as I pass. Stupid, stupid rabbits. Just like him. So stupid.

I catch one and rip it to shreds, warm blood running over me. Its squeal of terror and the feel of its death bring me back. I look down at the mangled body in shock.




I walk along her path as best as I can. I feel as if a part of me had been ripped free and the wound was pouring my life.

I see her dress on the ground and pick it up. It suddenly occurs to me that she's running around the city stark naked.

This thought seems to focus the evening down for me. Until now I was floating along just experiencing things; now I was thinking about it. Perhaps that was a mistake.

What just happened wasn't possible.




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