Tommy dodged through an alleyway and stopped in front of the back door to the abandoned apartment building they’d been using as a hangout lately. He wanted to go to the mansion tonight, but he’d promised those losers that he’d meet them here, and he didn’t want them to get suspicious. Glancing up and down the alley to make sure he wasn’t spotted, Tommy deftly squatted and maneuvered his way through a gap in the boards over where the door used to be, taking care not to spill his whiskey. Once inside he stood and brushed off his jeans. A demonic symbol on his black shirt featuring his favorite band glowed in the darkness. Tommy really wanted to listen to some of their songs backwards, but you needed a record player and the vinyl to do it right. Tommy listened for a moment in the darkness, but he didn’t hear the guys. David was probably sulking and James might’ve already been passed out by now.
Tommy took another long pull from the whiskey bottle, leaving only a few swallows. He wasn’t feeling like sharing with the group tonight. His throat burning with low quality booze, Tommy coughed then started down the hallway to the stairwell. He’d tread this way enough times that, despite the lack of light, he was able to find the stairs with little difficulty. Heading down into the basement, he carefully moved over a missing step and avoided touching the rickety banister. When he reached the bottom, he could see a wan light spilling out from a crack beneath the door of one of the apartments. He crept up to the door, grasped the knob and then flung the door wide open.
“Ooooga boooga booo!”
James, who had been lounging on the threadbare, mouse-infested couch, fell onto the floor. David, hunched in a corner on a less than hygienic mattress, barely stirred.
“You asshole!” shrieked James, “You nearly gave me a freaking heart attack!”
Closing the door, Tommy snickered. “Didn’t scare David, you just must be a pussy.”
“David’s too busy trying not to hurl, you’re still an asshole,” said James, retaking his position on the couch.
Turning on David, his anger flaring, Tommy made a mock face of concern. “Awww, poor big, tough David is sicky-poo?”
David looked up at Tommy with bloodshot eyes. “Screw you Tommy. You probably gave me Hepatitis with that stupid blood,” he rasped.
Tommy had to resist the urge to kick David in the face. He had tried to give his friend awesome powers and this was the gratitude he got?
“Does ickle, wittle, whiny Davie want a bottle? Wanna go night-night?” Tommy downed the rest of his whiskey. “Oh, sorry, no more bottle, guess the baby will just have to cry now.”
Closing his eyes, David leaned his head back on the browning wall and gave Tommy the finger. Tommy flopped down into the sad excuse for an armchair wincing as one of the springs dug into his rear.
“Ooo, naughty baby. Daddy might have to go get a belt and teach you some goddamn manners.”
As David opened his eyes and James stared at Tommy in shock, he realized that his voice had lost some of its teasing tonality. He shook it off.
“Throw me a beer.”
Hesitating for just an instant, James then reached down and opened the cooler next to the couch, producing a semi-cold beer that he tossed to Tommy. Tommy cracked the beer and took a long swallow. Grimacing, he brought the can down and looked at the brand name: Hamms.
“This tastes like piss!”
James grunted. “You don’t like it? Next time you get the homeless guy to buy the beer.”
In the corner David let out a moan. Tommy pointed at him. “See? David doesn’t like your crap beer either.”
James eyed David. “Dude. Are you O.K.?”
David didn’t answer. Breathing so hard he was practically panting and covered in sweat, his face was a mask of pain.
Tommy rolled his eyes. “If you’re gonna yak, can you do it in one of the other apartments please? I don’t want this one to reek of puke.”
David didn’t answer him, but instead started screaming.
James shot up off of the couch. “Tommy, I think he’s really sick. Maybe his appendix burst or something? We gotta go call someone, get someone…”
James’ voice trailed off as David’s scream reached an ear-splitting pitch. Standing, Tommy threw his beer at David and covered his ears.
“What the fu-“
Tommy’s words lodged in his throat when he looked down at David. The other boy was writhing on the moldering mattress in agony while the muscles in his back and arms undulated and pulsed underneath his skin. Clawing at his own face, which was now lengthening and distorting, his screaming altered until it sounded more like a howl. Underneath the noise, Tommy heard the unnerving crunch of bones breaking. He stumbled backwards as dark brown fur began to sprout from David’s skin. Holy shit, it’s happening! David’s turning into a werewolf!
David stopped howling and knelt on the mattress, heaving breaths shaking his transformed frame. Tommy took a step towards him. David’s head whipped up and he growled, the look in his yellow, animal eyes making Tommy’s blood turn to ice. In a flash of claws and teeth, Tommy suddenly found himself on the floor. He heard someone screaming, but the sound was muted and distant somehow. He felt odd, cold. His eyes swam in and out of focus and he couldn’t seem to blink. Then a shadow fell over him and he felt a hot breath on his face. Damnit. It should’ve been me.