On my way I had to stop at home and get some food, namely bacon. But as I went up the stairs to our apartment and opened the door, I knew it was a mistake. Dad sat at the table, mad as a wet cat, drumming his fingers on the table. “Where have you been?”
“At the library.” I didn’t need to lie.
“All this time?”
“It’s a good library.” I lied a little here.
“I was pretty worried about you,” Dad did look pretty upset.
“Sorry, I’ve had a lot on my mind.”
Dad stood up and crossed to the window. “First, Nellie never shows for work. Then you disappear. It’s not been a good night.”
He got my interest. “Nellie’s gone?”
“She still hasn’t turned up. I hope she’s okay.” From the hills, a yellow-red dawn peeked out. I could barely see him in the morning light. My eyes drooped.
“You look tired.” Dad said quietly. I nodded. “Want me to cook something for you before we go to bed?” I thought about it, then said no. I needed to sleep now. I felt so sluggish in the sunlight coming from the window.
I turned to go to my room. Then I froze. Was this the third day? Did I have another night? I was almost too tired to care.
That night (or day) I had the weirdest dreams. I chased mail carriers, I ate cats, and I tore up my dad’s shoes. I think I even had fleas by the time I woke up.
The real night was coming now (my new day). Was I done for? I went to the mirror. I stood to one side, not wanting to look. But when I did, I was smiling. No wolf-man yet.
Dad was making dinner (breakfast) when I got up. “Dad? Do we have some bacon?” Pointing to the freezer, Dad was telling me silently to make the bacon myself. That was fine with me. I pulled out the bacon, stripped away six pieces. Three went into a frying pan. Three more ended up wrapped up in a paper towel when Dad wasn’t looking.
“Still no sign of Nellie,” was all he said as he took his own plate to the table. Dad looked tired. He probably stayed up all day watching for her. It looked like April may have done her job. But how to find a werewolf?
I needed April’s help for the wolf bane part. The bacon I snuck into my pocket.
But wait... there was someone else who could help: the old man.
I ran to my room and threw on my clothes. I dashed for the door, still buttoning my shirt. Dad stopped me at the door, “Aren’t you eating anymore?”
I laughed. “Almost forgot.” We ate a quick dinner-breakfast. I was ready to go. Now that I had some food in my stomach I decided to go hunting for werewolves. I hoped Gramps could help with that.
“Where do you think you’re going?”
“To see Gramps downstairs.”
Dad thought a minute. “You stay close by. I want you checking in every 15 minutes.”
“What?” This was too much.
“No night prowling for you.” This would be my last if I could help it. But tonight I had to go. I had no choice, unless Dad wanted to have that dog he always hoped for. At least I was house trained.
“Every hour?” I put on my best “I love you, Dad” look.
Dad sighed, “Check in every 30 minutes. But you better stay close by.”
“I will.” I skipped outside and downstairs. I went to find Gramps. I found him just as he was going to bed. “Sir?” I asked. He turned and he eyed me.
“Yeah?” He looked mad. Maybe he knew what happened to Nellie. We stared at each other a minute. I wasn’t sure how to begin.
“I need some help,” was a good start.
“What kind?” He sounded tired, ready for bed.
“I have some werewolf trouble.” May as well get right to it.
“Don’t we all.” He turned to go.
“No, wait! You gotta help me!”
He glared at me, eyes hard and narrow. “Why should I?”
“Someone needs to.” I felt like I would cry if he wouldn’t listen. My eyes burned with tears.
Gramp’s eyes softened. “Follow me.” He led me inside the dark house. He flicked on some lights. The spookiness vanished into corners and doorways. The place just looked run down and dirty now.
“Sit down, boy and I’ll tell you a story. A story of how Darksville came to be.”
I finally found what I was looking for. The answer to all this craziness.