What’s a werewolf to do when the moon is (or isn’t) full?…
It was my Lucky Day.
It was a full moon after all, and St. Patrick’s Day to boot, and I was off work for a change of pace. Well, it was a great night anyway – working third shift security at the junkyard gets you all mixed up on when the supposed “day” is… Nonetheless, it was day to me even if it was after 10 PM, and I’ve never been one to care about the formality of the clock anyhow. I could feel it deep within my bones, it was going to be my Lucky Day, and no one was going to convince me otherwise.
I rubbed the rabbit’s foot in my pocket as I entered the gas station convenience mart. It was busy for this time of night, but no matter. It was a great night to buy a scratchers ticket. Maybe I’d get two and double my chances. Nah, why shell out more cash for an extra when the win was already a shoe in? Though they are fun to scratch off regardless. That ticket was going to be my train outta here, far away from the city to my dream-cabin in the woods surrounded by trees and rabbits and squirrels and raccoons where I could be one with nature.
I grabbed a milk chug and the last frosted sugar cookie emblazoned with the word “Lucky” scrawled upon its glazed surface waiting just for me. Cookies were always my favorite – I don’t care what kind, crunchy or chewy, they’re all good. Anyone with any sense knows not to touch the day-old donuts sitting out until they bear a stronger resemblance to crumbly dry Styrofoam circles than to food, and the brownies are always sub-par, besides which I’m not all that into chocolate and it’s bad for you anyway. But today they still had one cookie left, even now. It was a sure thing though; after all, it was my Lucky Day.
I opened the cookie and nibbled away at the velvety pastry while standing in line. It was just the right mix of crunchy and chewy with sweet buttery overtones. I savored every delectable morsel. The clerk threw some change and a pack of cigarettes across the counter to a waitress on her way home from the diner up the street still wearing her blue checkered uniform. The aroma of cheap coffee and blueberry pie wafted through the pervasive noxious cigarette-scented cloud that followed her everywhere. The clerk was too far away to tell.
There were a handful of teens just milling about the beer cooler, nondescript in their oversized denim jackets and their I’m-too-cool-to-see sunglasses at night. They smelled like a perpetual party at the keg. Wasn’t there a curfew? As a bunch of them poured together through the front door, unsurprisingly smuggling several beers out in their baggy saggy pants pockets, one of them bumped into me. I glared at the youth and growled, “Excuse me,” but he just grumbled as he wandered towards the front with his pack. Kids nowadays. Impossible.
The clerk called after them, “Hey there, hold up!”
A straggling nondescript teen standing behind me in line pulled a gun and shouted, “Don’t anybody move!”
All I could think was how dare you…? It’s my Lucky Day! Punk kids like these are always pissing on everyone else’s lawns – this is why there should be a curfew. The waitress in front of me leapt to the floor as the youth set his sights on the gas station clerk, who had reached behind the counter to extract a shotgun.
Things were about to get stupid… or crazy… or both. No matter, it wasn’t my neck on the line for a change. I was off work for the night and this wasn’t my territory anyway. I ate another bite of the cookie as I watched the development.
The teen shouted, “Get out of the way, Santa!”
How was I supposed to know he was talking to me? Yeah, I had thick white hair and was eating a cookie, but I had never been addressed as Santa before. Sure, I’d been called dawg, cur, mongrel, and I was even once mistakenly addressed as bitch, but never Santa. But then again, I’d forgotten it was a full moon, so Santa made a little more sense in that context I suppose, though Aqualung would have probably been more fitting. At any rate, I didn’t move in time.
The clerk jerked to the side and let loose with the shotgun, destroying a cardboard display and sending cheap crappy dime store candy flying everywhere like too much tire shredder shrapnel. The teen behind me fired his gun in response. I was livid. How dare they interrupt my Lucky Day?! I stroked the rabbit’s foot again before I lunged and snapped at the teen. He gasped, eyes growing wide like saucers and pointing at me with a quivering finger as he skidded backwards, turned tail, and ran.
The clerk lurched outside after him and readied his shotgun on the trash canister just beyond the front door, letting loose another couple of rounds at the fleeing kids as they sped off in a beater Cadillac. The diner waitress darted into the bathroom in the back corner of the convenience mart, slammed the door, and bolted it from inside. I stood there watching the scene unfold as I ate another bite of my cookie. There was blood on my hand. I sniffed it; it was mine.
I hadn’t realized the gun the teen had fired had clipped my side. Good thing he wasn’t using silver bullets. The wound was mending quickly as usual, with a fine coating of fur forming over the knitting flesh before smoothing to human skin by the light of the full moon. But the shirt was ruined. Crap. I’d have to borrow another one next month. I left a wad of cash on the counter to pay for my treats. I’ve never been all that good at math but it was more than enough I’m sure.
As I wandered out the door and down the street towards the junkyard, I finished off the cookie and guzzled the milk chug in one gulp. I stroked the rabbit’s foot again and then fingered the leather collar around my neck. Burned into the leather was my name, Lucky. It was still my Lucky Day, no matter what those punk teens and the gas station clerk did. Next full moon I’d have to return and get those scratchers tickets, and another cookie if they’ve got one. Until then, it’s back to the junkyard to howl at the moon.
Check out more of Jennifer Weigel’s writing here at Jennifer Weigel Words.