The Werewolf Who Came to Dinner
by Jeff Baker
Lonnie Magruder grinned at the big, carved pumpkin and pulled his jacket around him in the dark.
“How long has it been since we went Trick-Or-Treating, anyway?”
That was George Gordy, Lonnie’s best friend. The two of them were walking down the street from the houses they’d grown up in. Now they were in college.
“Probably sixth grade,” Lonnie said. He was the taller of the two with brown hair. “A million years ago.”
“And when’s the last time we went to a Halloween party?” George asked with a grin. He was shorter, a little chubbier with reddish-blonde hair.
“Together? Mmmmmmmm, probably Junior High. The one at the old Community Center.”
“Too bad you can’t pull off the same costume you did then!” George said laughing. “You got third prize as the Wolfman.”
“Yeah, just they didn’t know it was real!” Lonnie said. “Moon’s waning, so it isn’t gonna make me grow any extra hair tonight. Besides it won’t rise till a lot later.”
“You’ve still got Moonrise and Moonset pretty memorized, huh?” George said.
“Yup. Since I was a kid.” Lonnie said. “Used to have it hung in my room and taped to the folks’ refrigerator. Now, I got it on my phone.”
“I’m just amazed nobody else found out,” George said.
“Long as I shave and stay away from social functions when the Moon’s full.” He laughed. “But I crashed this Halloween birthday party a couple of years ago. Necked with this girl in the garden as the Moon came up and I grew a bunch of hair. She thought it was cool!”
Lonnie stopped for a minute.
“You know, it just hit me…I may have been named after Lon Chaney!” Lonnie said.
“You’ll have to ask your folks!” George said.
The Werewolf gene had skipped a generation and was fairly diluted by the time it got to Lonnie. His Dad wasn’t affected but Lonnie’s Grandmother had actually turned into a wolf when the Moon was full. They had a picture of Lonnie’s Granddad sitting happily in an overstuffed chair, what looked like a big dog happily curled at his feet. A bit chauvinistic but very sweet.
“Speaking of necking, how are we gonna do this?” George asked.
“Play it cool, ‘bro.” Lonnie said. “I’ll just be happy with a couple of glasses of punch and a sandwich.”
“No beer?” George said prankishly. “You know, Silver Bullet?”
“Not funny,” Lonnie said with a smile. “No, after the long week I’ve had I just want to kick back.”
A couple of kids dashed past them in costume carrying bags.
“Remember when we used to do that?” George said.
“When everybody used to do that,” Lonnie said. “Before most of it went to the mall or something.”
“Remember malls?” George said.”
“Yeah, but we’re old.” Lonnie said.
The house was around the corner, big with a lit pumpkin on the porch and an open door, promising a calm evening for old friends and kids of old friends.
“Hey, Happy Halloween!” George said.
“Yeah,” Lonnie said with a grin. Then he threw back his head and let out a howl.
The two young men laughed as they headed up the porch steps past the glowing pumpkin.