The honorable judge Maxwell Von Camp was having a dinner party. It wasn’t a particularly unusual affair, Von Camp had them all the time. He would invite his closest friends, other people from the upper crust of society, and they would dine late into the night, laughing and drinking along the way. It was only the best for Von Camp and his friends, and the judge saw to that being true each and every time he threw his celebrated dinner parties. Tonight he had five of his dear guests over.
There was Olivia Nakajima, an author with several books under her belt and more on the way. She was a thin, dark haired woman who seemed to know what to say and just when to say it. She had met Von Camp several years ago when her case was victorious in her court, suing a former publisher. The two quickly hit it off and Von Camp owned all of her novels, signed, with a special place in his library.
Joining them was Kurt Flowers, a lawyer who frequently played tennis with the good judge. The two had hit it off years ago and discovered their mutual passion for the sport. Since then they had remained good friends and tennis partners on the weekend for many years. Flowers lived a somewhat stuffy life at home, studying law and living with a wife with whom he had a strained relationship. Thus, he jumped at the chance to come to any dinner party or social function Von Camp would throw.
To the right of Flowers sat Oswald Beetle. Beetle was a musician and poet that had captured the imagination of the judge some years ago. Upon hearing his music, Von Camp insisted on meeting Beetle and would offer to put him up for the night whenever the musician was in town. They had bonded over love poetry, music, and old cars. Beetle could play any instrument he laid his hands on, and was hailed as a genuine voice of his generation.
In addition there was Elise Staples, the heiress of a wealthy family that had its hands all over the business supply industry. Her grandfather had started a company that had grown and grown, filling any and all business needs to stores and companies all over the midwest. She had become accustomed to the good things in life, always wearing expensive clothes and jewelry, attending fine dinner parties and being seen with the likes of those she joined tonight. She had caught Van Camp’s eye at a gala ball once and she could frequently be found at his luxurious home.
Then there was Donald “Purple” Hayes. He was a well-to-do self made man, independently wealthy. He had earned his nickname of Purple Hayes from the fact that he always wore purple, from head to toe. He took extreme care to do so and could often be found admiring his appearance in the mirror. He had contributed to Von Camp’s political aspirations, though they failed to produce any real fruit. However, the favor was noted and the two became fast friends. Perhaps his political dreams would pay off one day, but until then, it was fun and games at the dinner party.
However, this particular dinner party was different. All the guests sitting around the table had come expecting mirth and merriment, but this evening was instead meat with silence. For, among them sat a stranger. At the end of the table, resting on his elbows, was a man with white hair and a bushy white mustache. He wore a pale grey suit and a white Panama hat. He looked at each member of the party with what might be labeled as suspicion. Finally, Von Camp cleared his throat.
“Welcome, welcome my friends,” he began, “I’m sure we’re all going to have a wonderful time tonight.” He looked as if there was more he was going to say, but he had paused. Here Hayes interjected.
“And uh, mind telling us who the cat in the hat is, Max?” He asked, pointing a thumb to the old man at the end of the table.
“Why, I was just getting to that, Donald.” Von Camp said with a laugh. “Ladies and gentlemen, this is Detective John Dandy. Say hello, John.” The old Detective stood up and bowed his head.
“Hello, everyone.” He said, then sat back down. The rest of the party looked at one another curiously.
“A new member of your inner circle?” Olivia asked after a moment of silence. Von Camp shook his head with a smile.
“Not quite. You see, I’ve hired the good Detective to help me with a problem. He’s not just any old private investigator, he knows how to handle the, shall we say, strange and unusual?” Von Camp looked at Dandy as though for approval.
“I think that would sum it up nicely.” Dandy said, nodding his head.
“What’s so ‘strange and unusual’ about a dinner party? You have them all the time, Max.” Oswald chimed in. “Are you serving us some sort of odd dish? Some mystery meat that might need investigating?” He asked with a laugh. But Von Camp did not laugh. In fact he said nothing for several moments, as if he were purposely allowing the tension to build in the room.
“I’m afraid it’s much more serious than all that, Oswald.” Von Camp said at last. Finally, he stood up, resting his knuckles on the table. “You see, I’ve been watching you all quite closely and I suspect that one of you, my dear friends, is hiding a dire secret.” He looked slowly from person to person.
“Whatever do you mean?” Asked Elise. “Is this some kind of strange game?”
“I’m afraid not.” Von Camp responded. “You see, I think one among you is…” he paused, eyes widening, “a werewolf.”he cried. For some time there was no response. The guests looked at each other, confused.
“Come again?” said Oswald, leaning in as though he didn’t hear Von Camp correctly. In fact, none among them believed that they had really heard just what their host had said.
“This is an odd sort of joke, Max.” Said Kurt with an uncomfortable laugh.
“I’m afraid I’m not joking.” Von Camp said, sitting back down dramatically. “You see, the last time we were all here together we partied late into the night, as you remember. I invited you all to stay until morning, which you did. When the next day came and you all left I found some strange things. Claw marks desecrating the trees out back, shredded by what looked like huge talons. And then down the road a few miles, yes, just a few miles, a farmer reported several of his sheep mutilated. The savergery did not match any of the animals around these parts, and there have been no wolves reported around here in my lifetime. Then there were the tufts of hair I found around the perimeter. Great locks of grey fur. Then I recalled it was a full moon last time we got together, and, remembering all the books I had read as a child of lore and mythology I began to think–”
“You honestly believe that one of us is a werewolf? You’ve flipped your top, old boy.” Said Olivia with a short laugh. Dandy cleared his throat.
“I’m afraid he hasn’t.” Said the Detective. “I’ve dealt with the curse of the werewolf before, you see. The claw marks Mr. Von Camp showed me matched exactly the case I had worked in the past.”
“Oh come now, Mr. Dandy, are you in on this joke as well? Did Max pay you to come here and play along with him? Oh, you must be getting rather bored, Max.” Kurt said with an uneasy smile as he smoothed his slicked blonde hair.
“This is no game, my friends.” Von Camp said with a grimace. “One of you wears the curse of the lycanthrope, and tonight we’re going to figure out who, and we’ll put an end to it.” He said, pointing over his shoulder with his thumb, gesturing to a rifle on the mantle above the fireplace.
“Max, what in heaven’s name has gotten into you?” Elise asked, swallowing hard.
“I just want the truth, and to put an end to a monster. That’s why I’ve hired Detective Dandy to help me find out who among you is a beast. He’s an expert at what he does and by the end of the night, we’ll know exactly who the werewolf is. For, you see, it was no accident that I once again invited you all here on the night of the full moon.” Von Camp sat back in his chair. “Now, shall we eat? Oh, and don’t worry Kurt, I remember your allergy, so I’ve taken great care to have any peanuts removed from the kitchen. I know they’re deadly to you.” He said with a smile.
“Well,” Kurt said with a gulp, “at least you’re thinking clearly.”
Dinner proceeded quietly. No one wanted to provoke the judge, who was the only one who really touched their food. Dandy spent the time studying the others around the table. They were all uneasy, but he couldn’t read anything deeper than that, yet. He couldn’t tell if they were guilty of being the creature, or if they simply feared their host had gone mad. Finally, Von Camp cleared his throat.
“Listen, there’s no point in not eating, I’ve had this meal specially prepared for you. We’re all still friends here…for now. So eat up.” The others nervously poked at the food on their plate, all except Dandy, who was too busy making his observations.
“Detective,” Von Camp said, “Please, eat. Maye the others will lighten up if they see you enjoying yourself.”
“I thank you,” Dandy began, “but I’m not very hungry.” He stared down at his plate, the lamb prepared before him did look delicious, but he found it hard to focus on anything but the case before him when he was working.
When the judge had come to him with his theory, Dandy wasn’t inclined to believe him right away. However, once he saw the photos of the claw marks and the mutilated sheep, it became quite obvious that there was some sort of creature involved. And, as he had said, Dandy had dealt with the curse of the werewolf before. Back when he was a newly christened private detective, back in the beginning. Of course, back then, Dandy wasn’t going to believe in any such nonsense. Not until he was face to face with the lycan itself, in the dark of night. But that was years ago, though he had the scars to remember it. Finally, someone spoke, breaking the uncomfortable silence.
“This is madness, I’m leaving now.” Said Oswald, shooting up from his chair. He began to storm toward the door when Von Camp cleared his throat.
“Oswald, I’m afraid you won’t be going anywhere. Not until morning. See, I’ve had the gates surrounding the house locked and, for the special occasion, electrified. Anyone who tries to break out will receive quite a nasty shock. It won’t be like last time, oh no. We’ll all be here when the moon comes out, then we’ll solve this little problem.”
“Hopefully it won’t come to anything drastic.” Dandy added. “I believe I can solve this case before it’s too late and anyone gets hurt. I just have to look at the details.”
“The details?” asked Von Camp.
“Yes, you see, that’s what really solves a mystery. There’s no need for violence. We can use the greatest weapon available to anyone.” Dandy said, tapping his forehead. “It’s the brain that will get us through this.”
“Well, what do you see so far, Detective?” asked Von Camp, leaning in with interest. Dandy cleared his throat.
“Well, I can clear one of these people right away.”
“Amazing.” replied Von Camp. “Who and how?”
“That would be Mr. Hayes.” Dandy said, pointing to the man in purple. Purple Hayes let out an involuntary sigh.
“Now, I’m not saying I believe any of this,” said Hayes, his eyebrows raised, “but how do you know it’s not me?” Dandy pointed at the man.
“Look at the way you dress, sir. You clearly take a lot of time to plan your wardrobe. You dress very carefully. You have quite the style. No one who would turn into a werewolf would go through all that trouble. See, the clothes would be ruined every time, and a man who puts so much effort into looks would think about that above all else.” There was a slight murmuring around the table. What Dandy said, it seemed, had made some sense.
“Well, I do take pride in the way I present myself.” Hayes said, tugging on his purple lapels with a smirk.
“It’s not much to go on, I know,” Dandy said, “but the intuition, it never lies.” Everyone around the table turned to look at Hayes, who was now beaming with pride.
“I suppose that does make some sense, Dandy.” Von Camp said. “Mind you, though, I will still treat everyone with the same amount of suspicion until we get some more solid proof.” He said, chewing his lamb thoughtfully.
“Well, I for one, am glad to be a little in the clear.” Hayes said with a smile. “Not that anyone’s really guilty.” he said with an uncomfortable laugh. Around the table a sense of distrust was beginning to set in. A paranoia.
“Detective, you say you’ve handled this kind of thing before,” began Olivia, “but how are we to know you’re telling the truth. You could be some sort of crazy person for all we know.”
“That’s a fair question.” Said Dandy. He began to loosen his tie, and took off his pale grey suit jacket. Unbuttoning his shirt he turned around to reveal his bare back. There were four large claw marks running down it, claws that didn’t look like anything any of them could recognize.
“My word.” Cried Elsie, covering her mouth.
“That doesn’t prove it was a werewolf, though.” Said Kurt. “You could have been attacked by a mountain lion or something.”
“I suppose that’s true.” Dandy said, buttoning his shirt back up. “But it wasn’t a mountain lion. When I put a silver bullet in his chest, he turned back into a man.”
“Ah, a silver bullet, the only way to deal with a werewolf. That’s why I’ve had some made.” Said Von Camp..
“Max, I’m afraid you’ve gone quite mad.” said Kurt, shaking his head.
“Perhaps I have.” said Von Camp. “But those claw marks on Mr. Dandy’s back certainly look similar to these, don’t they?” He threw several photos on the table. Photos of his decimated trees. The guests studied them for a moment.
“I have to admit they look rather similar,” said Hayes.
“Don’t tell me you’re starting to believe all of this just because you’ve been ‘cleared’, Hayes.” said Oswald.
“Hey, I’m just saying, they look the same.” Hayes said, putting his hands up in defense.
“Trust me, they’re the same.” Dandy said with a wince. The rest of the guests sat back in their chairs, looking at each other.
“I see no one is going to eat,” said Von Camp. “Why don’t we retreat to the billiards room, perhaps we could pass the time with a game.” He smiled. There was no response. “Come now, there’s no need to be so tense yet. Until one of you reveals your true face to me, we’re all still friends. And who knows, perhaps I’m wrong. But tonight we’ll find out. Oh yes, tonight we’ll find out.” There was an uneasy silence as the party got up from the table.
The uncomfortable feeling that had begun at dinner now blanketed the house as the party decided to split up. Von Camp and Hayes, who was the only one who could yet breath easily, decided to play a game of billiards. However, the rest of the guests, save Dandy, sat in the parlor. Dandy had remained at the table, studying the photographs that Von Camp had developed. He knew this would be a difficult case because there were so few clues to go on in the first place. However, he knew the claw marks on the trees matched the ones on his back, and thus he had accepted the case. To anyone else, Von Camp was a mad man. Though he did disagree with the methods. Von Camp was intent on keeping these people hostage until he could find and kill the creature. Perhaps to be another trophy hanging above the fireplace. It seemed to Dandy that, for Von Camp, this was just another conquest for a bored and restless rich man. But to the Detective, it was a job, another mystery to solve, another truth to be found. And truth, above all else, was what Dandy sought.
The old man began to worry, however, as the night went on. For the sun was setting and it wouldn’t be long now until the full moon filled the sky. And when it did, it might be too late. Von Camp thought that he could handle the situation, but Dandy knew how much easier said than done it was to subdue a werewolf. Finally, Dandy removed himself from the table, wandering into the parlor where Oswald and Olivia sat talking, while Kurt sat silently. Elise kept herself busy flipping through some books absentmindedly.
“This is total madness,” said Olivia.
“That it is, my friend. But I think I can maybe write a song about it.” Oswald said, stroking his double chin with a smile.
“Now’s no time to think of your career. We have to get out of here somehow.” Olivia said.
“I think if we try to leave, Von Camp will probably just shoot us.” Oswald said slowly.
“He’s truly lost it.” Cried Olivia.
“It’s true, his methods are…questionable,” Dandy cut in, “but nonetheless I believe he’s onto something. We won’t have to wait long now. But I must try to solve this case before the beast comes out.” Dandy swallowed hard. “There’s a good chance that none of us will make it out of here if we’re stuck in here with it.”
“Detective,” said Olivia, “I don’t know you or your background, but you can’t possibly believe this nonsense. Max has clearly gone insane.”
“Insane is my business, I’m afraid.” Dandy said, tipping his hat at her.
Suddenly there was a flickering of the lights and then the power went out. There was the scream of a woman, close to Dandy, thus he knew it to be Olivia. However, within minutes the lights flickered back on.
“Dramatic.” said Oswald with a grin. From another room Von Camp let out a cry.
“What’s this? What’s this?” He stormed into the parlor, Hayes following him.
“What’s the matter, Mr. Von Camp?” asked Dandy.
“Someone has stolen the rifle. The rifle with the silver bullet.” Von Camp cried, pointing in the direction of the fireplace.
“Where would someone hide a rifle so quickly? The power was only out for a minute or two.” Dandy said, smoothing his mustache.
“Everyone here knows the layout of this house,” began Von Camp, “it could have been any one of you.”
“Well, who’s to say it wasn’t you?” questioned Elise, crossing her arms.
“You think this is a game? That I invited you all here just for the twist that I’m the werewolf?” asked Von Camp indignantly.
“You’ve completely lost it, Max, who’s to say you aren’t setting this whole thing up?” Asked Kurt.
“Now, now,” interjected Hayes, “let’s all calm down a little, there’s got to be an explanation for everything going on.”
“Easy for you to say,” said Olivia, “you’ve already been cleared by the expert here.” She pointed to Dandy. “Of course, I don’t believe it.” she said. “Your clothes. How ridiculous.”
“Are you calling my clothes ridiculous?” asked Hayes, pursing his lips.
“Everyone be quiet, now.” Said Dandy. “We’re moving further from the important question: who took the rifle?”
“You mean you think whoever took the rifle is the werewolf?” asked Oswald.
“Perhaps. That’s motive, as they might have felt threatened by the silver bullet. Though everyone has the motive to take the rifle if they think Von Camp has gone insane.” Dandy concluded.
“Yeah,” said Elise, “that’s plenty of motive right there. He’s locked us in here and he’s going to shoot us. He’s nuts!”
“I have an idea, if you’ll all play along.” Said Dandy after a moment. “If everyone would be so kind as to turn out their pockets and purses.” The party lined up and one by one did as Dandy had asked.
First up was Hayes, who only had a wallet and a little comb. He laughed upon producing the comb.
“Never know when you’re going to need to fix yourself up.” He said. Next Dandy rifled through Elises’ purse and found nothing unusual. Then came Kurt, who’s pockets were completely empty. Von Camp was the same, save a money clip with several large bills in it. Olivia, who was next, was reluctant to show the Detective her purse.
“Come now, I’m only looking for clues. I won’t be but a moment.” With a loud sigh she handed over the purse.
“See, there’s nothing there. Whatever you’re looking for, it’s not there.” Dandy nodded his head. Finally he came to Oswald. With a grin Oswald emptied his pockets, but that grin soon faded, as a clanking sound was heard.
“Something fell from your pocket, sir,” said Dandy. He knelt down and picked up, from the ground, a silver bullet.
“A…bullet?” Oswald asked. “How did that get there?
“Not just any bullet, a silver bullet.” Dandy corrected. “And just what I was looking for.”
“I don’t know how that got in my pocket, I swear, there was nothing there before.” Oswald cried.
“You mean he took the silver bullet? Which means…he took the rifle!” Von Camp yelled.
“It could mean that.” Dandy said, stroking his chin.
“Then that means he’s the werewolf.” Von Camp cried.
“I didn’t say that.” Dandy said, shaking his head.
“But it must be true.” Said Von Camp slowly. “So let’s finish this before the moon rises, we don’t have much time yet.” Swiftly Von Camp pulled a knife from the side of his boot.
“Woah, don’t–” Oswald cried, but it was too late. Von camp was behind him, knife pressed into the flesh of his throat.
The room was still and silent. The moonlight shone through the window, bathing the room. The party goers were all frozen in place as Von Camp pressed the knife up against Oswald’s thorat.
“Now listen, Max, we can’t jump to that conclusion so quickly, and besides I don’t think Beetle is the real werewolf.” Dandy said, gesturing for Von Camp to lower the knife.
“But you saw it. You saw the silver bullet was in his pocket. Why hide it unless he was afraid of its use?” Von Camp asked.
“Anyone could have put that there.” Oswald choked out the words, his eyes looking desperately from person to person.
“We don’t have much time, this is going to let the real werewolf out.” said Dandy, observing the moon through the window.
“Please don’t slit his throat, I just couldn’t bear it.” Said Hayes, covering his eyes. He pointed down with his other hand. “Besides, you’ll get blood on my shoes.” Finally Von Camp loosened his hold on Oswald.
“What makes you so sure he’s not the werewolf?” Von Camp asked, eyeing the Detective.
“For starters, some legends say that a werewolf can’t even touch silver, lest they be burned. And if that’s the case, how did he pocket the bullet? Look at his hands, no burn marks.” He grabbed Oswald’s wrists and turned them so the palms were facing upward. They were clear of any damage.
“See? Nothing. I’m not a werewolf.” Oswald cried, rubbing his throat.
“So if he’s not, then who is?” Asked Elise.
“Oh please, none of you buy this now do you? Just because Maxwell has a knife!” said Olivia.
“I think the answer is simple.” Dandy cut in. “I’d like to inspect your pockets again, Mr. Flowers.
“Have it your way.” Kurt turned his pockets inside out and there was once again nothing.
“No, no, not those pockets, these pockets.” Dandy said, opening the blue suit jacket Kurt was wearing. There were two inside pockets. Kurt swallowed hard. “See, you aroused my suspicion with this jacket. You weren’t wearing it at dinner. But now…” Dandy reached into the right pocket and pulled out a pair of black gloves.
“Gloves?” Von Camp asked. “What’s the meaning of this?”
“Gloves,” Dandy said looking at Kurt, “meant for handling the bullet, right?” Dandy looked at Flowers, who backed away, a look of terror spreading on his face.
“There’s no way that–I mean, they’re just gloves. What’s so suspicious about that?” he asked.
“He’s right, you didn’t have that jacket at dinner.” Said Oswald. “Did you put that bullet in my pocket?” He demanded.
“I did no such…no such…thing, no such–” suddenly Kurt fell to his knees, breathing heavily.
“Everyone back away.” Dandy said, throwing his arms out.
“So it’s you, Kurt, you’re the were–” Von Camp began, but before he could finish there was a holw of pain coming from the man on the ground before them. Kurt wrapped his arms around himself, clutching at his shoulders in pain.
“Oh no, no I don’t want to–” his back arched as he let out another yell of pain. His fingers began to grow, long and sharp, the claws that Dandy was so familiar with. His mouth morphed into a wicked muzzle, complete with sharp, glistening fangs. Grey fur began to sprout all over his body, the human skin disappearing every second the moonlight poured down on the man. There was a sickening crack of bone and ripping of tissue as he grew and lengthened, shedding his human form, assuming the shape of the wolf. Finally, transformed, he stood upright, at least a foot taller than he was as a man, his tattered clothes falling off his body and onto the floor.
“It’s a werewolf!” Oswald cried in horror.
“Quick, we have to find the rifle.” Von Camp yelled. But it was too late for the gun. Snarling, Kurt, or what was Kurt before, lept forward, claws swiping furiously this way and that. The party scattered before him, but not before his long sharp claws made contact with Von Camp, throwing him aside. He collided hard with the wall. Then with a dash the werewolf ran off howling.
Once it was clear, everyone gathered around the center of the room once again. Dandy knelt down to examine Von Camp.
“Von Camp, are you alright man? Are you alright?” But there was no response. The wolf had torn the man open with his claws. He lay in a pool of blood, his eyes glazed over, a look of horror etched onto his face.
“My God,” Olivia said, looking over the Detective’s shoulder, “he’s….he’s…”
“That’s right. Maxwell Von Camp is dead.” The Detective said, “And worse yet,” he added, “There’s a werewolf on the loose in this house.”
The party, now without its host, stood in awe. They gaped at the body of Von Camp, who was so adamant, and so correct, that one of them had been a werewolf. And though they had seen the transformation and its aftermath with their own eyes, they found it hard to believe still.
“This is–this is completely insane.” Said Elise. “I mean, Kurt Flowers, a werewolf. Max Von Camp, dead. What do we do now? We’re trapped in here with that thing.” She cried.
“We’ll have to find and subdue Mr. Flowers before he finds us.” Said Dandy. “Von Camp was the only one who could get us out of here, the only one who knew the code to the gates.” said Dandy. He thought for a moment. “Our best bet is to go on the defensive.”
“Against a werewolf.” Laughed Oswald.
“Alright, Mr. Beetle, it’s a rough plan but the most important thing is we find that rifle.” replied Dandy.
“Agreed, we have to find the gun,” said Hayes. “Then we kill it with the silver bullet.”
“They’re right, it’s our only option. Kill the beast before it kills us.” Olivia said. Somewhere in the house there was a distant howl, yet it seemed to fill every room at the same time. Elise gulped hard.
“I support that plan. Find the gun and kill Kurt. If not, he’ll get us one by one.” She said.
“Let’s split up and look for it.” said Oswald.
“Absolutely not.” Said Dandy, shaking his head vehemently.
“Come on, Detective, it’ll be faster that way.” Said Hayes.
“You never split up in a situation like this.” Said Dandy, holding firm. But the old Detective, though most experienced in this manner of business, was outvoted. He and Purple Hayes would split off and look upstairs, while Elise, Olivia, and Oswald would look downstairs. The two teams went their separate ways.
“You mark my words, this is a bad idea. Nothing good comes from splitting the party.” Dandy said quietly, looking all around him as the pair headed up the stairs.
“It’s only a bad idea if we don’t find the rifle.” Said Hayes. The pair crept upstairs and started inspecting the rooms. But there were so many, they had no idea just how they would find the gun.
“It could be in any of the rooms.” Dandy spat.
“Well, he didn’t really have that much time to hide the thing, right? So if it’s up here, it’s probably in plain sight.” Hayes added hopefully.
“That’s not a bad point, let’s–” but Dandy was cut off by a scream.
“It came from downstairs.” Cried Hayes. The pair turned around and rushed back down the steps.
“Help!” cried the voice of Olivia. Dandy and Hayes rounded a corner and saw, standing there, larger than any human, the werewolf. It had its fangs dug into Elise’s neck, who could only muster a shocked gasp.
“Did you find the rifle?” demanded Hayes.
“No, we only found him!” yelled Olivia. The wolf shook Elise back and forth violently before dropping her to the floor. Blood was flowing from her wound. She let out a little rattle of breath then her head dropped. She was dead.
“Get out of here, run, run!” cried Dandy. The remaining three guests dashed off in separate directions, leaving Dandy standing there by himself. The wolf looked up at him and sniffed.
“Kurt,” the Detective began, “I know you’re in there. You don’t want to hurt anyone else. So don’t–” but it was too late. The wolf lashed out at the old Detective, who fell to the floor. The werewolf let out a savage howl and began to snap its jaws at Dandy, who sat up on his elbows and tried his best to scurry away. But before he knew it, the wolf was upon him.
“Bad dog!” yelled Dandy, pushing the wolf away with all his strength. The tearing, gnashing teeth came within inches of his face. He could feel the hot breath on his skin, an uncomfortable, unpleasant sensation. As Dandy closed his eyes he saw once again the werewolf who had clawed his back so many years ago. Only this time it didn’t appear that he would escape with just a scratch. The wolf snapped at him, and, only by using all of his strength could Dandy keep the beast from biting his entire face off. Finally, after what seemed an eternal struggle, there was a whistle from the other end of the hallway.
“Hey dog breath.” Called a voice. Dandy turned his head and saw Hayes standing there, rifle in hand. He raised the weapon. “Fetch.” He cried. He pulled the trigger and there was a deafening bang. Everything seemed to pause for a moment. Dandy looked up, the werewolf continued to snarl, its head to the side, eyeing Hayes.
“Uh, I think you missed, Mr. Hayes.” Dandy said. The wolf was off the old man in an instant, heading for the man in purple.
“Uh oh…” said Hayes in a small voice. “I guess I really am more of a lover than a fighter.” He added. The wolf charged at him, knocking him down. Dandy was on his feet in a flash, running toward the rabid wolf. He dug deep into his pockets.
“Kurt. Mr. Flowers. Wolf!” he cried. The monster turned around, the part of him that was still human responding to the old Detective. He began to slowly approach Dandy, growling. Dandy swallowed hard, his fists clenched tightly. Both he and the wolf paused as they got to the center of the hallway. Dandy looked up, the wolf looked down. The wolf moved in, its mouth open, the hot breath once again covering Dandy’s face. It was almost as if he was daring Dandy to do something. Or perhaps it was Kurt, begging Dandy to help him. Dandy uncurled his fsits and, quicker than he believed possible of himself, he launched a handful of peanuts into the werewolf’s mouth. The wolf staggered back, its eyes growing wide as it began to hack and cough. It clutched at its furry throat desperately. After several moments it fell to its knees. Its bulging yellow eyes began to roll backwards, and it let out a choked howl then collapsed backwards.
“How in the world did you just do that?” asked Hayes after a minute or two of silence.
“Kurt Flowers is allergic to peanuts, remember? I stashed some in my pocket after I began to suspect him.”
“Hey, you’re pretty good,” said Hayes with a smile.
“Comes with age.” Dandy said. Meekly, Oswald and Olivia rounded the corner to see what had happened.
“Is he…dead?” asked Olivia. Dandy shook his head.
“I don’t think so. He was allergic to peanuts as a man, but the properties of strength and healing that come with being a werewolf should save his life.” As he finished his sentence the wolf before them began to shrink back into the man that they had, not all that long ago, had dinner with.
“This will make one heck of a song.” Oswald said as the form before them settled.
“Come on. Let’s call the police and have them get us out of here.” Dandy said as he looked at the limp form of Kurt Flowers.
“You know, Detective, I think there’s only one thing that could make you any better than you already are.” Said Hayes, placing his arm around Dandy’s shoulder as they walked away.
“And what’s that?” asked Dandy.
“Ever try on any purple?”