The Curse


  Lycanthropy or insomnia. I don’t know which is the greater curse. The nights are bad enough – you know, usual werewolf fare that I’m sure I don’t need to explain to you – but my days, oh my days. I used to think tearing into human flesh was bad, the way it stretches and stretches and stretches until finally it snaps with an elastic twang, but that devilish act is nothing compared to the horror of sitting up day after day, exhausted from the nights bloody mess but unable to let go to the lethargy. It used to be the haunted nature of my conscience that kept me awake but now I’m sure I’m too tired for it to function fully. It’s something else that haunts me now.

  I take another drag on my cigarette and absently pick chunks of Lilly or Lyra or whatever her name was out of my hair. She was a fighter, that’s for sure. Or maybe I’m just weaker now. Either way she nearly got away, and I nearly let her get away. When I finally caught up to her even the act of draining her was… well, draining. There are dark circles under my eyes, like etchings on a prison wall. One line for every day. I pick up the phone.

  The other line picks up after four rings that seemed like forty.
  “Helloweststatemedicalbarbaraspeakinghowmayidirectyourcall?” the voice rattles off like a Chicago typewriter. Peeling it’s way through routine.
  “Hi, yeah,” I start, then take a moment to cough away the cobwebs in my throat and try again, “Yes, I’d like to set up a meeting with… doctor…” I rub my eyes, give up trying to remember his name and wait for her to finish my sentence for me. I’m waiting a long time.
  “Doctor  Ericson?” she finally asks.
  “Yeah yeah, him.”
  “Her,” she corrects.
  “Uh-huh, just – when can I see her? It’s kind of an emergency.”
  “Let me see,” she says in that infuriatingly sweet way, so sweet it makes you want to punch babies. I’m left waiting a long time again before finally she gets back to me.
  “Monday, two o’clock, does that sound good Mr…” Now she waits for me to help her out.
  “Feign, Mike Feign, and yeah, that’s perfect.” I say. I give her a couple more details, aching to leave the conversation, before finally hanging up. Monday seems five forevers away, but it will have to do. The city needs its villain back and on fighting form. I aim to please.

Special thanks to my very tired editor Amanda Jefferies for the idea.


~ by Joseph Blame on February 10, 2011.

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