Saturday, October 31, 2009

Dark World: Huff and Puff

(The story begins here.)

The creature gagged as it inhaled, and Darren swiftly reached back, grabbed the chair behind him, and smashed it against the hairy head with all his might. The blow would have killed a man, but Darren was sure it would have had little or no effect on the thing until that moment, just as the shovel he had hurled like a spear into the back of its head had merely bounced off.

But now it bowed and sank to the floor, and the chair was still intact enough for another try, which Darren immediately used. Good thing Victor always insisted on buying the best quality!

The creature collapsed as Victor ran to the scene, shovel in hand.

“Is it unconscious?”

“I think so, but you’re the doctor.”

“Quite. I have a mind to rouse it with some smelling salts and batter it unconscious again with my shovel.”

“If I had a mind like that, I’d leave it on the shelf unused.”

“So I’ve noticed. Would you mind telling me what you did to the thing?”

“Of course. But let’s put him someplace secure; he might come to at an awkward moment.”

Dr. Fleming looked around. “Put it in the vault; that’s the only place I’m reasonably sure will hold it.”

They dragged the creature toward the massive door, and Darren was not surprised to find the weight of the burden diminishing as they went. By the time they had the door open, their captive was a man. “He’s a werewolf, you know.”

“Superstitious nonsense,” Dr. Fleming retorted. “Something like a werewolf, perhaps, but a scientific phenomenon all the same.”

“That strange pistol wasn’t yours; it was a kind of small shotgun, and its shot was silver. I ground the shot to a powder with one of your gadgets and blew the dust in its face as it inhaled. That’s why it was weak enough to subdue.”

“Clever and delusional. I note your pathetic religious ritual wasn’t so effective.”

“I think it was, just in a different way. I’ve encountered similar phenomena elsewhere, but this time I felt I wasn’t supposed to rely on a spiritual confrontation alone.”

“Your religion isn’t enough?”

“Your science isn’t enough. How do you explain the transformation? I assume he came here as a man; I know he changed from werewolf back to man as we carried him. I suspect the transformation was caused by a demon; without the demon’s power, he eventually reverted to his normal form. But subduing him required other means.”

“Namely chemistry: the silver provoked an allergic response or interfered with the transformation.”

“And its response to the exorcism?”

“Obviously the man is superstitious, which may explain a lot of this.”

“Including the transformation?”

“Perhaps. I know a doctor who believes in such things; he would no doubt find this man an interesting case.”

Darren scowled and inspected their prisoner. “He’s coming around. Maybe he’ll give us some answers you’ll accept.”

Next: Interview with the Werewolf


cathikin said...

Please forgive my ignorance, Steve, but I'm trying to figure out if this is an old story, like the ones you discussed before starting it, or one of your own creations. The bits of conversation make me think it might be yours. Interesting reading so far.

Steve said...

It's one of mine; in fact, I'm largely writing it as I go, though I know the overall plot.

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