I double-checked the padlock on the cage while waiting for the werewolf to appear.
It took over a year to arrange this interview. As you can imagine finding a werewolf is one thing. Getting a werewolf to talk is quite another. A footnote prior to the interview; werewolves can talk. Who would have guessed?
Full disclosure. I’m a writer for International Horror magazine. I’ll be taping this interview to make sure I record it faithfully.
Since I’m just waiting for the prearranged time, I might as well give you some back story information. For starters, my connection to a friend of the werewolf’s, Conrad Standish, is what made this possible. I met him quite by accident while traveling in the West Yorkshire area of England. My rented car broke down and I had it towed to the nearest mechanic’s shop in Blackshaw, a little town of less than 900 people. Conrad was the only mechanic in town.
My Renault Mégane sputtered and died as I was driving on a country road towards a friend’s house. As I waited for Conrad to even look at it, I decided to get a pint at the local pub. After ordering a Guinness, I took a seat at a small table near the north wall and people-watched while I sipped on it. It was noon and I was hungry, so I ordered some bangers and mash. By the time I left at 2:00 o’clock, I was feeling the effects of the three beers I drank.
It was a short walk across town to Conrad’s shop. I was relieved to see he was looking under the hood. I didn’t want to disturb him, so I stood quietly nearby and waited. I could hear him grumbling about something, but couldn’t quit make out what it was. When he popped his shaggy head out from underneath the hood I suddenly felt a shiver down my spine. It made no sense. It wasn’t because he was so big. The only thing I could think of was his eyes were strangely bright and golden in color.
He said he had to wait for a part tomorrow and closed up his shop. I asked him where a good place was to eat dinner?
“That pub,” he answered, pointing at the one where I had lunch.
“Will you join me then?” I asked, expecting to be turned down.
“Will ya be buying mate?” he asked with a big smile.
We started with a couple of Guinness’, moved on to some quality Irish whiskey and stayed until the pub closed and we were as drunk as a couple of lords. We talked about everything under the sun, including werewolves. I told him about my job writing for the magazine. He found the subject of werewolves to be fascinating, so much so, that he shared a secret with me. He knew a werewolf!
I poured us both another tot of whiskey when he told me that. My excitement grew as he shared the werewolf’s tale.
“He was once a proper English gentleman,” Conrad explained. “But he was bitten by a wounded werewolf when he went outside his house one night to investigate a racket that woke him up in alarm.
“He shot the beast with his double-barreled shotgun and it howled in rage and attacked him. It was a friend who saved his life when he plunged a silver candlestick into the werewolf’s back and it came out in front – piercing it’s fierce heart. Sadly, the beasts’ bite made him a werewolf.”
“Pardon me mate,” I injected, “but is this werewolf, nearby?”
“Aye,” Conrad assured me.
He poured us both another shot and went on with his story. It turned out that the werewolf was his boyhood friend.
“We didn’t talk about his affliction after the attack, but every full moon he asked me to chain him up in the cellar of his house. This fateful attack happened many years ago. There were times when he either forgot to ask me to lock him up, or he chose to roam free as a beast for his own reasons. But we have remained mates through thick and thin.”
Hoping against all hope, I asked Conrad if there was a way I could interview his friend without him tearing me to pieces? More importantly, I wanted to know if werewolf’s could talk?
“Aye, they can talk all right. I’ve never had trouble understanding him when he was chained up and we were having a conversation. I always keep in mind however that he’s part beast, and like any wild thing he could turn on a dime and attack if unshackled. It’s part of his terrible affliction and there’s nothing to be done about it.”
“Can I ask you for a favor? “I’ve nowhere to stay tonight. Might I sleep on your couch?”
“Aye! I’m a bachelor and don’t have some missus to break our balls when we stumble through the front door!” he roared, laughing so hard that his face turned beet red.
I admit that I have some trouble remembering everything that was said last night. Conrad was up early and having a cup of tea when I rolled off the couch and stretched. After greeting me he went to the stove in the kitchen and broke a couple of eggs into a frying pan. Our breakfast of fried eggs, black pudding, and baked beans was accompanied with orange juice.
As we walked over to his shop I asked him how soon he could set up an interview? He informed me that tonight was a full moon and he could set something up at his place if I wanted. Of course, I eagerly agreed. That night he revealed how the interview could be safely conducted. Long ago he built a steel cage in his root cellar so that his friend could visit him on full moons for a change of pace.
Which brings me to the big night. After checking that the padlock is secure, I’m ready for the interview of a lifetime. My cassette is loaded with a three-hour tape and is recording now. That should be more than enough time.
Wait! Do you hear that? (deep growl) The trap door is opening. My God! Look at the size of that beast! (The werewolf approaches the cage)
“So, you want to talk with me?” it growled in barely audible English.
“Yes, I have so many questions to ask…what’s your name?”
“Conrad,” the werewolf snarled as he slipped the key into the padlock! “You’ve already had your interview, now it’s play time.”
As It Stands, some writers will do anything for a good story.