a story about werewolves and vampires
mitchell dahlhoff

The werewolf’s name was Crutch. For the sake of convenience we’ll call him a he, but really he was a hermaphrodite. All werewolves are. They don't teach that in high school biology.

“God damn the public education system!” Crutch howled. He dropped a plate with a splash in the sink to scratch at the back of his neck. He had a bad case of eczema. Strips of papery skin came off under his nails, falling down his back and tangling in his curls of amber hair.

Rocky looked up from the newspaper. “What’s that?” Rocky was roughly two hundred years old. Vampires are immortal, but that doesn’t mean they stop aging. He looked like a bundle of sticks wrapped in a leathery, liver-spotted sleeping bag. His hearing was pretty much gone – along with his teeth, bowel control, and libido.

“Nothing, I said – nothing.” Crutch gripped the sides of the sink and leaned against the counter. He hated doing dishes, and Rocky never helped, the miserable old fuck, just sat at the table reading the paper all day. Crutch was allergic to soapy water, which is why his skin was so bad. This is what Crutch told himself in order to deepen his spite towards Rocky.

Crutch reached into the sink and resumed washing the plate. It was black ceramic and embossed with Latin words around the perimeter. Crutch had no idea who thought plates like this were a good idea. They were Rocky’s, originally, but even Rocky couldn’t remember where they came from. Rocky said the words were magic – forgotten spells and arcana. Crutch hated washing them. Food coagulated in the letters’ crenellations.

He put the plate in the rack to dry and looked out the window. Outside, the zombies were waking up. He walked across the kitchen and put the tips of his fingers in front of Rocky’s face, right in his line of vision.

“See? Pruny.” He waggled his raisin-padded fingers as Rocky’s eyes rolled inwards, trying to suddenly compensate for the intrusion.

“Oh. Ohhhhhh.” Rocky let out a raspy moan as he looked at the fingers, before looking up at Crutch blankly. He shook the newspaper to straighten its spine and went back to reading. The paper was covered in a blocky cuneiform that was indecipherable to Crutch. It was delivered every morning by a toad-like dragon with a horse head that would stoop in front of their door and shit the paper out with a grunt.

Crutch felt the room begin to tilt, a headache coming on. Outside, the zombies were limbering up, stretching their hamstrings. With a swipe he ripped the paper from Rocky’s hands and flung it to the ground. “Pay some fucking attention to me!” He ran from the kitchen and collapsed on the sofa in the next room, crying.

Rocky sighed, got up, and followed him into the room, sitting down next to him. He put his arm around Crutch, who leaned into him and sobbed. Skin sloughed off in a snowstorm. Rocky squeezed his shoulder as hard as his brittle bones and limp muscles would allow. “Did I ever tell you I was in the circus?”

Crutch sniffled. He had, of course, heard every aspect of Rocky’s life story a million times.

“They called me the Burning Man of Borneo. I had my own tent away from the Big Top – it was ten cents extra for admission. That’s what they did with all the special attractions, charged extra. So I had a little stage in the tent and we kept it dark, filled with incense and smoke – to set the mood, but really it was to hide the fact that I was the whitest man from Borneo you’d have ever seen.” Rocky stroked Crutch’s hair. “So I sat on the stage on top of a big pile of wood, stripped down naked and meditating, while we had a couple of girls – my Borneo Beauties – dance around and put on a show for the guys. That’s a lot of what the circus was back then. Freaks with some T and A to dress it up. So they’d do their dance and then when they were done they’d pull torches and light the wood and burn me up. Then when it was done and the wood – they soaked it in kerosene so it went up fast – the wood was gone but there I was, still meditating, and the Beauties would come out and put a robe on me and I’d stand and take my bow.” Rocky took a dramatic breath. This was the punchline. “Every single night, they’d burn me alive.”

Crutch put his head into Rocky’s neck and gripped him with his still pruny fingers. “I’m pregnant,” Crutch said.

Rocky looked down at her. “Oh? Who’s the father?”

Crutch gripped tighter as the thundering started. “I am.”

Outside, the zombies were beating on the door.

All content remains the creative property of its author.
Cover Image - Licensed under Creative Commons.