Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Jeff Ryan - The Waning Gibbous

David knew the craters of the moon visible to the naked eye; he also knew the ones he could only see with the eyes of the wolf. David spent his weeks in a psychiatric institute, his heavy beard growing full and thick, curly hair sprouting from all the places men did not want hair. Then those three days a month when the moon was full rolled by. The other residents grew insaner, unbalanced by the lunational pull on their brains. The schizophrenics were the worst: they saved up crazy for weeks to parade it in front of that full moon. But David, a werewolf, did not. No, the werewolf curse was that werewolves only had three days a month when they weren’t barking mad. Starting on that waxing gibbous moon, David’s head cleared of the cheesecloth that obscured its lens. He saw and heard the same things the orderlies and custodians did. David’s first act, looking into the mirror and seeing a sasquatch staring back, was to shave himself bald from head to toe. It took two hours of work with a safety razor, which he was allowed beginning on that waxing gibbous. Then, clean-pated and as unlycanthropic as possible, David lived. The werewolf watched good films and read good books, caught up on the world and contacted friends and family members. Some moons he would not sleep at all, since the sane moments were too rich to waste with rest. After three days, the waning gibbous moon would lose hold over his brain, and the cloud of dementia would return. Within a day David had a crewcut all over. Within two days he required restraints when given food and meds. Within a week he was feral as a lobo all over again.

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