I went outside for some air and THE SUN! It hit me like a nuclear blast, blinding me. I stumbled, almost falling down the stairs. I held myself up by the railing. Weird. I never have this much trouble with the sun. I guess the sun must be brighter in the mountains. We are higher up here.
I slowly made my way down. Each step dropped before me, looking like a photo-negative, the sunlight etching each step in my brain. It was like looking at a light bulb for a long time. The black blobbing steps wouldn’t go away.
Finally I was to the ground. I was so happy I wanted to kiss the sidewalk. But the sidewalk was blinding me too.
A voice from behind made me jump. “What ya’ doin’ kid?” Gramps came from his chair, gun in hand. I could barely see him in the sun. He looked like a black cardboard cutout of a person in the sun.
“What’s the matter with your eyes?” He moved closer, blocking out the sun. I could see him a little better now. His little black eyes peered into mine.
“Yellow,” he whispered. I jumped back.
“My eyes are green,” I snapped, sounding rude. I almost didn’t care.
“They ain’t now, boy.” He turned away. “They ain’t now.” His voice cracked and made me shiver. What did he mean? My eyes couldn’t change... could they?
His shadowy form was turned away from me. His gun hung from his hand. “You didn’t run into a big doggy thing, did ya’?”
“Yeah, the dumb thing bit me.”
The old man’s form rose a bit; his fist tightened on the gun. “You better be leaving then, boy.” He moved away. “You better be going far from here. You ain’t wanted here now. You ain’t human!”
He swung his gun around. I turned and fell. I couldn’t see a thing in this stupid light when suddenly...
“Shuuuuuuu!” came a deathly gasp of air from Gramp’s mouth. “HuuuuuuuushaaauuuuUA!” Gramps dropped his gun. I saw him fall. I went to him.
“A...ma...my air...shuuuuhuuushaau!” I didn’t know what to do. Call a doctor? Get Nellie? Was there time? But to my relief, he settled down and stopped breathing funny.
“Darn lungs,” he said still wheezing. “Can’t get enough air sometimes. Get excited and I’m a goner.” I didn’t know what to say. “Help me to my chair.” I did. He seemed so helpless now. He leaned back and patted me kindly on the arm like nothing happened.
“Hand me my gun.” I hesitated, looking back at him. He smiled and pointed. Weird.
I gave him his gun. He set it aside. I could see him now. We were in the shade of the building. He took a good look at me. I could see him clearly now.
“Yer eyes changed back.”
“Yer eyes. They’z green again.” They probably never turned yellow. I think Gramps has had a few too many late night beers.
“It’s still early. You still ain’t one yet. There’s still time.”
“I don’t know what you mean.” I had an idea but I wanted him to tell me.
“You’ve been bit by a werewolf!”
“In Idaho? I thought they were only in Europe.” And only in stories too... not real... not going around biting people...
“They’z safe here. People leave ’em alone. They don’t nose around.” He leaned forward. “But I plan to stop ’em.”
“How many are there?” I was hoping for less than 10.
“Who knows. Fifty. A hundred. Maybe a thousand.”
“Here and there.”
This was too much.
“I’ve gotta go,” I said waving good-bye.
“You watch yourself!”
“I will,” I smiled and was on my way. Crazy old coot. Probably thinks we’re all werewolves or aliens. Or vampires. I laughed. Nellie would make a good vampire.