18. In the morning we searched for our werewolf, but it was in vain. He was nowhere to be found. We looked in the streams, in caves, and up in the evil trees. We looked in the malls, the food court, and at the gymnasium where he liked to play dodgeball with the teachers. Eventually, we gave up and sat on the hill and waited. The world was nothing and we soon, like our werewolf, became lonesome too.
17. We liked to watch him walk back into his dark woods. He was alone. The princess most likely took off her costume and became something else. A snack? His fur glowed in the moonlight, a lighter shade of brown, almost red. His tears were blue. All this guy ever does is cry or eat, someone said. Cry. Eat. Eat cry.
16. Before dawn, we took our werewolf back to his evil forest. He talked incessantly on the ride home. It can be difficult to pay attention to someone who talks that much. His words streamed together incomprehensibly: tractors bacon suitcases Velcro ponds claws jelly worms blood. If blood could talk, he said. And then went silent, staring up at the moon.
15. We fell asleep before the movie came to an end. No one dreamed, there was nothing to dream about. When we awoke and stood, the princess and our werewolf were being followed by seven very small men. Dwarves? They must have mistaken her for someone else.
14. The movie was an old kung-fu flick. The fight scenes were drawn out, violent and sad. One guy’s eyes popped out after his nemesis stepped on his neck. At about the midway point, our werewolf started laughing. What’s so funny? we asked. They look so delicious, he said. A line of drool hung off his chin. How many of those guys could you eat at once? asked the princess. Our werewolf grinned wide showing his vampire teeth. She rubbed his back and then he laid down to get his tummy tickled. And don’t forget behind the ears, he said.
13. We gathered in front of the outdoor movie theatre. Everyone sat cross-legged and passed around a bag of popcorn and a pack of cigarettes. The popcorn was always more than half-full no matter how many handfuls we took. Take a handful, pass it to your neighbor. Take a cigarette, pass it to your neighbor. There was more than enough. I think I smoked half a pack and ate at least three bags of popcorn. I love when you can share and share and share and know that there’s plenty for everyone.
12. Eventually, we came together and aimed our guns at our werewolf. He deserved to die. He was always eating someone. But the children on his shoulders wouldn’t budge. What’s a village without its werewolf? they asked. We asked questions too. Why does food taste better at the carnival? Don’t we all love each other but are too afraid to admit it? Which one of us is the greatest anyway?
11. The princess was nowhere to be found again and it was getting late. Some children climbed on his back and sat on his shoulders. They tugged at his fur and whispered into his pointy ears. We heard the girl with pigtails say she saw the princess behind the red curtain with the magician.
10. Whatever our werewolf can’t find in his forest he calls magic.
9. Each of us grabbed one of the giant’s bones. She had more than most. Three hundred bones in all. Our werewolf held her jawbone in his right hand. We gathered around the Ferris wheel and began to bang our bones on the metal to the song that was playing. Bones make soft deep sounds. Metal is hard and shiny, full of magic. That’s what our werewolf said.
8. Our werewolf went looking for a satisfying snack. We followed him out of the tent and through the crowds of delicious people. He tackled the magician, but our werewolf said he smelled artificial. If you eat something that is artificial you become artificial, he said. He ate the giant instead. She had integrity and was full of healthy meat. After his meal, he licked his lips and smiled. We were proud of him, proud that he overpowered her. He knew all her best moves and, after dodging a roundhouse kick, bit her in the neck. Some cheerful dogs lapped up the blood. Dogs love the taste and nutritional value in blood. Some eat their own crap for similar reasons.
7. Slow dancing is just another excuse to hug. It also can make you very hungry.
6. We danced under the tent. There was a spotlight focused on our werewolf. If he moved the light moved. Some of us sat down on the grass and watched him twist and mashed potato. He did the chicken dance and the running man. The princess emerged from the ceiling. She came down elegantly like an angel or ghost. After taking off her harness and detaching from the zip line, she joined him and they slow danced to the song Night Moves by Bob Seger. Maybe it was the song, but the night did seem to move. The air was thick with neon and grease.
5. At some point, our werewolf had lost the princess. He kept saying how lonely he was. I’m alone I’m alone I’m alone, he whispered. I don’t want to be alone. We petted him. We sat him in front of a kissing booth and charged ten cents per kiss. We were hoping it would cheer him up. One little girl with a red bow in her hair kissed him on the nose. Your nose is wet, she said. Thank you, said our werewolf. Thank you for kissing me. Some teenagers came over and tossed rings at his beer bottle. I told them it wasn’t the ring toss booth. This is the kissing booth, I said. But they wouldn’t hear it. One boy with a nose ring through the center (like a bull) landed the ring on the beer bottle. Our werewolf gave the boy the rest of his beer.
4. The magician, with his curly mustache, threatened to slice our werewolf in half. I’m guessing he loved the princess and was jealous of our werewolf.
3. We were warned not to let our werewolf drink alcohol, but we were curious and brave. He drank Heineken. He drank Budweiser. Miller Light. Michelob. He tried every beer they had. Rolling Rock. Keystone. Molson. It didn’t seem to affect him much. Maybe he was more talkative? I recall him flirting with someone dressed up in a princess costume: blonde hair, glass shoes. She carried a wand with a golden star at the end. I found them later kissing behind the dumpster.
2. The werewolf got into the ring with the giant. The giant had long dark hair, thin arms that went all the way to her impossibly large hands. I’ve never seen a glove that could fit those hands. When she kicked our werewolf in the mouth he cried. Electric green and red tears flowed down his furry cheeks. The giant looked up at the lights and then down at us. The giant cried too. There was one reflected tear that dripped off her chin and landed on her one-piece swimsuit. It was a navy blue suit, very worn and threadbare in the hips.
1. Our beautiful werewolf lived in his evil forest. We took him to the carnival to see the bright lights and children and we thought he might want to dance under the tent. There were people riding the Ferris wheel and people eating cotton candy under the starry sky. Our werewolf hung his head as he trailed us through the crowd. He could be very tender, almost sheepish, but as soon as he saw center stage his ears perked and his mouth broadened to a wide wet grin.