God knows I’ve shared some crazy things with you over the years but these past few days have no equal.
The woman’s cellphone rang. In the silence of the station, Mr. Brooks couldn’t avoid hearing the conversation.
“I’m not going, Pat,” she said, her smooth voice layered with both annoyance and hurt. “I’m starving. I’m beat.” She snapped her mouth shut on another justification. “Ah for God sake! We had one fight. I don’t need a pity party.” The voice at the other end of the line rose enough for Mr. Brooks to hear it humming. “Because he’ll get his pride in check and be back out of his mom’s skirt before the end of the month.”
“But it’s been two weeks!” the unidentified voice said.
The woman grunted and hung up. Her piercing blue eyes dared Mr. Brooks to make a comment – enough for anyone without a pacemaker to skip a heartbeat.
“Sorry. My wine’s gone to help my daughter through a rough night.”
She laughed and relaxed against the stiff bench. “At least I got off work early.”
There wasn’t anything else to say, really. Mr. Brooks shifted his weight on the bench. The wine strained on his bladder and he doubted he would make it home clean. He looked at his watch: fifteen minutes was plenty of time. He rose from the bench and began his slow walk toward the bathroom. He hadn’t made three steps when his foot slipped on an oily residue.
A puff of pizza smell stopped his backward fall.
“Why don’t I accompany you?” The woman said, her hand still on his shoulder after setting him straight. “Bathroom break’s a wise initiative.” She slid her twisted metal stick in a pocket and walked with Mr. Brooks.
I never found a dead body until this week. I’m not really surprised I had nightmares about it; they’re apparently down to dental records to figure out who that “what” used to be. But what’s really bugging me is the number of gaps in my memory lately. That can’t be normal, can it?
The Vancouver Elders were antsy; the hounds hadn’t tracked any culprit down. The community provided bits of information but nothing case-closing. The morgue attendant had been scolded. The press controllers had been starved for two days, then returned to their position so they could help the ones infiltrated in the police keep the identity of the victim out of the papers; they didn’t want to rekindle the public’s attention.
Still, the Vancouver Elders were running out of scapegoats to appease their international peers.
“We picked up the smell in the SkyTrain,” the alpha werewolf reported. “It’s hard to track, what with the stink and all. And the stations’ air is too filtered and conditioned. We’re canvassing.”
“Bloody hell.” The first elder received a dark look from his neighbour who then turned to address the werewolf.
The werewolf bowed and headed out, eager to join his pack to track the owner of the smell left on the murdered human. He found his job thrilling, and though the SkyTrain station was hardly a pleasant place for a sensitive nose, the pay bonus for the catch would settle a few gambling debts.
How did I fall asleep with my salad on my lap? I can’t even remember what was playing on the TV when I nodded off. I’m such a light sleeper; I should have heard my father come in! His visit calmed me but I’m fuzzy on some part of that conversation too. Maybe it’s the lack of sleep and intake of alcohol.
I should call the psychologist the police recommended.
Mr. Brooks uneasily accepted the unsolicited help. They parted at the men bathroom door. The woman continued to the women’s; Mr. Brooks released the breath he had been holding and limped toward the urinal.
Burgundy liquid streamed out, biting with its alcohol content and leaving resonance space for Mr. Brooks stomach’s growl.
“Damn it! Not again.”
He zipped up his pants, cleaned his hands and headed out only to collide with the woman. The cellphone and its half written text message flew five foot away while its owner and Mr. Brooks crumbled with a couple of yelps.
The twisted metal stick clattered next to Mr. Brooks’ shoulder and the woman landed on top of him.
“Are you alright?” She scooted aside and winced when her knee hit the stick. She picked it up.
All Mr. Brooks could hear was the blood thumping. And thumping. The bump of his pouch pressed against his flank. His vision blurred.
“Oh my gosh! I am so sorry!”
“Not as sorry as I am.”
In a move too fast for the eye – a survival reflex of supernatural nature –, Mr. Brooks’ hand closed around his corkscrew, snapped it open and stuck it in the woman’s jugular. Mr. Brooks pulled her on him and closed his mouth around the open wound.
She tried to struggle but when hunger took over, there was nothing either of them could do.
As Mr. Brooks drank, he thought about the next step. Fresh feeding should give him the strength to dump her body on the tracks. Mulching should disguise his involvement. He didn’t have any other choice.
A howl resounded in the station.