Short Story
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   White Blood Stained Beard Waggling
                                                          By Jack Sorenson


  This happens quite frequently in the making of legends.  In small towns
after all, who really believes that some old man’s disgruntle tales of his family
home being invaded by a werewolf fifty years ago on a Halloween night would
ever come true.  By a young boy’s dead father accounts to his son, now
being an old man himself many years later.  The belief was real in fact, the
boy’s father believed so much that there was a silver barrel shotgun with a
homemade large thick wooden stock to hold it’s adamant size and weight.

  That and a water stained cardboard box of sliver bullets was all that
remained to his father’s true belief werewolves do live in our town and in his
assumption one day that Jack, his son, would have to face his father’s worse
fear himself.  The belief and fear might be real, would become too real in
fact, so real it changed the whole outlook of the old homestead, that he lived
with his two grandchildren after there mother and father were killed in a car
accident, many years ago on the south road leading toward the hills where
his fathers wild tales told were one such werewolf came from.  
  Some say that long brown hairs were found embedded into the front grill of
the couples car and it was seemingly tossed off the side of the road and the
victims body parts were scattered throughout the creek bed, some parts look
to have been ripped apart and eaten.  But all was dismissed, for the locals
said it was the doings from the wildlife in the woods.

  To so many others during that time frame of life and its neighboring streets,
knew their versions of werewolf rumors and folklore, it was just a bad car
wreck.  Jack, last survivor in that old dwelling which spun the tale of the beast
that drew his father out of his family home every night he had heard the howl
of the werewolf call up on the grassy hills above the family home.  Drove him
to go mad in the end of his life of only 84 years old.  

  Sadly placed in a nut house in the neighboring city of Los Gatos.  Jack,
after his mother passed now, the last survivor of the family, final dismissed
the fear of the nightly howls that echoed down off the grassy hills up off the
nearby homes that had grown silent in the years of redevelopment and
growth of a small community.  Jack grew, married and had his own family,
forgo what his father had left him in that old home he resided in the attic, now
having his own children grow up there.  

  Legends require embellishments, personal touches added by each person
who passes it along to new ears, about werewolves, especially when it came
to a rainy spooky Halloween night, when they seemly came to be out and
about.  And in that, it came to arise once again.  The hunger of the beast,
the werewolf, came to Jack’s family home one night on the Eve to Halloween
and broke down the front door down with his powerful thrust of his huge
muscular arms.  Reached in and took two small children from the home.  Jack
coming back from the store, got out of his of Chevy truck upon closing the
door, he saw from the yard his front door, ripped in half.  Panicking, he drops
the bags of groceries in the front yard and ran to the house, looking for his
two grandchildren, Jessica and Jason.

  Entering the home, Jack only saw blood stains splattered on the floor in the
front and back rooms to the house.  Jack hopeful, yelled for Jessica and
Jason.  No call for grandpa was returned, only the mental thought of what his
father told him over and over, the years about the thirst and hunger of the
werewolf that will come back one day and feed on us as a family that will be
use for its thirst, it craves fresh flesh and hot young blood.

  Jack got to his knees, cried and screamed.  He knew what he had to do,
listen to his father’s voice that echoed loudly in his head and went to the attic
and got down his father’s box, written on it in blood, it said to use with cause
for family and revenge.  Jack had the use and the new use for his father’s
weapon when the time came now.

   Jack waited all night and into the next morning in the front room, hidden in
the hall off by the broken door for the beast to return for him to feed on the
last family member.  Then as Jack saw it was getting dark he was tired and
closed his eyes only for a minute, when the sound of the howl aroused upon
the grassy hills by the home.  Within minutes, the howl was closer and closer
to the yard.  Then Jack stood up, entering the home was a huge dark figure.  
He stood ready with his father shotgun.

  A white blood stained beard waggling, keeping time to the old man’s
shaking head, and Jack rubbed his aching temples in grave fear after
pumping the gun and fired off the first shot.  “This cannot be!”  Lifting his
double barrel shotgun one more time past his sight as he laid on the floor
helpless and closing his eyes to concentrate.  He thought quickly, his
strongest reaction was check the shotgun first before pulling the trigger to
see if it was loaded.  Jack could not remember if two blast of both barrels or
just one was fired from the first barrel.  Reaction took firm hold arcing the gun
toward the dark silhouette of a hairy beast that stood before him in the
darkness of the doorway.  

  Jack yelled holding up the shot gun “Return the two you stole!”  The hairy
beast let out a sound like no other Jack’s ever heard, making him shake with
such deep fear.  Jack was always a brave man in his day, but when this
werewolf came to his home yesterday and took his grandchildren away, he
felt at all cost, it was to kill or be killed to get them back safe and at best alive.

  Power and energy of an old man leapt from his mind to his trigger finger,
ricocheted off the recoil of the shotgun, once the second barrel was fired
toward the dark silhouette.  The horrifying blast from his first wound
screamed out across the house.  The beast  hit Jack once, attempting to
defend, save his own life, forced back,  Jack onto the floor again, the second
shot was hard hit to his chest sending him staggering backward, his elbow
raised across his eyes, to protect his face his dark cloak billowing as he fell.  
A second later, a burst of light went to dark, the beast struggling hit the last
of the hall lamps sending the room to complete darkness.

  Now the beast was hit good, Jack felt as the hot rich blood of a raging
werewolf on his skin sunk in to his pores.  The blood splattered in tiny
droplets and sent his mind wondering if he would be infected with this curse
as Jack was skittering across the floor, where it clattered to a stop next to a
wall. Glowing red eyes floated above the normal level of many man before it
sent another searing swipe of his clawed hand pulsating across to Jack body,
suspending him in mid-fall.  When it faded, he hit the floor, unable to move,
dizzy, exhausted and freezing except were the werewolf stood over him
bleeding his over worked veins dripping hot drops puff blood onto Jack below
screaming to the beast too just die.

  After a moment, the old man rolled to his side, reached for his knife, the
silver reflection from the large blade shines dim at best to the werewolf’s eyes
in the dark sending him back to darkness of the homes hallway as Jack
wobbled to stand then fell, best way to get out of was to crawl past the huge
beast.  With chest heaving and tears for his martial wounds.

  In Jack eyes, he admitted defeat.  Even his strongest best attempted
couldn’t save his grandchildren or himself.  The children were lost in the
beast’s evil darkness — or were dead — or both.  His trembling hand leaned
against the hallway wall while he steadied himself.  Too much tragedy
threatened to squeeze his lungs shut raising his knife.  Continuing to lean
against the wall, Jack made his slow, tortured way to the main door.  Pulling it
open, he began his journey across the open yard to his truck parked close
by in the driveway.  

  Wind tangled his beard and chilled his already cold bones.  Storm clouds
scudded across the night sky, blocking out the moon’s feeble light and
spattering icy rain onto his face.  Something hovered above.  It could have
been nothing more than an owl hunting for its dinner, but in Jack’s present
state of mind, evil filled the sky, calling his name, demanding his death.  
Panic fueled his spent limbs.  His stumble became a walk…a brisk walk…then
a trot, until he ran to his truck door, all the while glancing over his shoulder,
waiting for claws or fangs to snatch him away.

  Slamming his body into the truck door to shut it against the fury of the
pelting rain, he slid down to the floor, clasping his bent knees and resting his
head on his arms, letting his eyelids drift closed.

  “Must stay awake,” he said. “I cannot allow myself to die.”

  Jack felt too weary to even start the truck and run it up into the front part to
his house and kill the werewolf that was still in there.  His right hand still
gripped his keys to place them to start up the old Chevy, but he was too near
death to notice.  The werewolf came with vengeance to Jack hidden into that
truck and used it rage and strength to flip it over sending Jack into turmoil of
desperate helplessness.  Jack felt himself broken like a stick over a knee,
there was only time to scream in horror.  Jack met red eyes tonight, glinting
at him in triumph.