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Tuesday, June 23, 2009

SNEAK PEEK: Werewolf Dreams by M.M. Anderson


The moon was a waxing crescent.

Officer Seamus Sullivan, New City’s lone werewolf policeman, slurped the raspberry jelly out of a Krinkle Kreme donut and lobbed the frosted dough lump out the window of his blue and white patrol car. It bounced off the rim of an overflowing garbage can and landed in the paws of a ragged rat. Feeding Midtown Gardens residents wasn’t the same as littering, not in Seamus’s mind, anyway.

“Park patrol,” groaned Seamus as he reached for a cruller. An insatiable sweet tooth and wet dog body odor were constant but bearable human-form werewolf traits, although soggy canine funk insured that Seamus’s love life remained nonexistent. Also on the downside list of werewolf traits was the “never age” dilemma, which meant Seamus would stay seventeen forever. On the totally downside of werewolf was the “moon” matter, and as Seamus had learned, the “controlling your anger” problem. Both of these occurrences made him sprout coarse black fur and razor-sharp incisors, which led to the “holy smokes” response that prompted Sergeant Gaffney to consult a lunar calendar and give Seamus blue moon vacation time and full moon days off.

After a recent newspaper article appeared, the sergeant also saw to it that Seamus was assigned solo nightshift park duty, until further notice. Midtown Gardens was closed to the public from 10:00 PM to 6:00 AM. Seamus and his New City Police Department radio car were posted to make certain the park stayed vacant and graffiti-free.

“Sarge, what am I, a watch dog?” protested Seamus when he heard about his new patrol detail.
Sgt. Gaffney didn’t respond, or look up from his desk blotter. The reassignment wasn’t open for discussion. Despite being annoyed and having a bruised ego, Seamus decided he wouldn’t push the park patrol issue. He knew Sergeant Gaffney had no choice but to protect his own twilight career and Seamus’s hairy butt from controversy and scrutiny, or worse.

Midtown Gardens duty notwithstanding, Seamus also knew there was a definite upside to being an undead werewolf—still living.

Seamus possessed an overzealous fight gene and never retreated when danger reared its homicidal head. In his four years as an officer of the law, Seamus would have died many violent deaths had he still been a mortal.

On duty and off, Seamus hated bullies. They made him react, and more often than not, lose his Irish temper. On the offensive, Officer Sullivan experienced first-hand what it was like to be stabbed, shot, bludgeoned, electrocuted, squashed by a renegade train, pushed off a bridge, and blown-up in a fiery skyscraper terrorist attack. He walked away unscathed (usually on all fours) from each altercation.

Eternal life undead had earned Seamus a slew of medals for honor and valor, but it had also won him the unwanted attention of Lyman Newlin, the formerly well-known and presently crusty New City Chronicle police reporter. The following editorial by Newlin appeared just prior to Seamus’s park patrol reassignment:

Officer Seamus Sullivan from the 20th Precinct seems to rise from the ashes time and time again, like the mythical phoenix. How does this young patrolman defy death? Can survival be attributed to a lucky break? And what about the mysterious black hound that seems to follow him around? Is Seamus Sullivan New City’s very own superhero with a canine sidekick?
The buried-on-page-nineteen blurb went unnoticed by most New Citiers. Father X. Francis Benedict, however, read the piece with rapt interest.

Mickey Stella, wanna-be wise guy, two-time jailbird, part-time hit man, and small-time stolen goods fencer sat alone at the end of the Cock of the Flock Tavern bar. He puffed an unfiltered cigarette and nursed his fifth and final bottom shelf double Scotch & soda. He’d been cut-off by the bartender for uninhibited off gassing.

Mickey was low on cash and irritated about being stood up by some guy who was going to cut him in on some sort of great deal, moving stuff from an electronics heist. Something to do with eye pads or pea pods. The alcohol had made Mickey’s recall more foggy than usual. Not to mention years of hallucinogenic drugs, lack of exercise, and a diet high in partially hydrogenated oils.

Mickey liked to think of himself as a big guy, the bouncer type. Mickey had horizontal butt crack on the back of his neck and he could no longer bet numbers higher than ten. Most people who
knew Mickey referred to him as a dumb, fat mook—even his mother.

Mickey knew this for certain because he used to go with her to church.

Mama Stella lit devotional candles and prayed for her only child every morning at 7:30 mass, “Dear Holy Mary Mother of God, please watch over my dumb, fat mook son and forgive me for whatever trespasses I did wrong to give birth to such a loser. Amen.”

Mickey stumbled out of the Cock of the Flock Tavern and squinted at his watch dial. It was either 12:10 or 2:00. He couldn’t quite tell, but he was coherent enough to know he had a transportation issue. Mickey hadn’t considered finding a lift home, and he refused to take the bus or subway, not at this late hour anyway, all the weirdoes, too scary.

Mickey expected the guy with the goods to have wheels and drive him back over the bridge to Sicily Town after their deal went down. Mickey had planned to choke the guy lifeless, bury the body, and keep the car for a few days. Mickey’s Caddie was in the shop again and Mama Stella wasn’t exactly generous with her antique Pacer. The moon buggy sported a bumper sticker that read: HIT ME AND WE EXPLODE TOGETHER.

That was Plan A. Mickey didn’t have a Plan B, and he didn’t have return cab fare to Sicily Town. Not that any New City taxi driver would have ferried Mickey over the bridge to Sicily Town, not at such a late hour, for any price, all the weirdoes, too scary.

With drunken clarity, Mickey decided to walk the six and a quarter miles back to his basement apartment, the studio he rented from his mother. Mickey hoped she wasn’t waiting up, although he knew she would be. He pictured her sour face glued to the kitchen window next to the cellar door, waiting, watching, worrying. Mama Stella wouldn’t let Mickey go to sleep without first giving her a detailed account of his evening. Mickey had long ago run out of credible fibs for his many midnight escapades, especially fibs to explain all the digging that went on in the vegetable garden after dark.

Four short blocks later, Mickey was bathed in sweat and there was a raw spot on his inner butt cheek where his size 48 briefs had crawled and bunched and began chafing. “This freakin’ sucks!” screamed Mickey as he dislodged the wedgie. A few slow steps later the wilted traveler removed his sports jacket, and unbuttoned his damp rayon dress shirt collar before cursing the heat, which now topped the list of Mickey’s mounting aggravations.

Middle of the night and the mercury was still hovering around a humid 85 degrees. Tomorrow snow was in the forecast—that was springtime in New City.

A lone cab stopped for the light. Mickey ambled forward and grabbed the passenger door handle, but not before the driver caught sight of the Neanderthal would-be fare in the rearview mirror, pushed auto-lock, and sped away. Mickey tumbled onto the curb. It wasn’t his night.

“Eat dung! You diaper head, camel face, toilet… freakin’…mother… ah, shit!” Mickey’s voice was hoarse from too many smokes and chronic post-nasal drip. He now had a rip in his sleeve and his elbow was scuffed. He sat on the grimy concrete for a moment and tried his best to contemplate the situation. The park loomed in front of Mickey’s weary view. If he wanted to get home any time before dawn he’d have to pick himself up and continue walking.

Mickey decided Plan B was to skim a mile or so off his impossible foot journey by cutting through Midtown Gardens.

Mickey crossed the street and yanked the CLOSED sign from the park’s entryway gate, bent it in half, tossed it into the deserted avenue, and wished aloud in a flurry of expletives that the discarded metal would tear through the next passing cab’s tire.

Two hundred yards away, the clink-clank-clinking of aluminum sign on potholed asphalt awoke Seamus from a momentary snooze. The scent of sour body odor, blood, tobacco, and cheap booze also reached Seamus long before Mickey lumbered through the park clearing. The trespasser stopped beside a lonely bench where he paused to pee on an over-flowing garbage can. Seamus walked up behind Mickey, flashlight in hand.

“Let’s go, Chief,” said Seamus.

Mickey jumped. “What the—?”

“Park’s closed. Or didn’t you read the sign before flinging it into the street?”

Mickey finished urinating in silence, shook twice, then pushed his pecker back into his fly and wiped a wet hand on his pant leg.

“Prove I flinged the sign onto Garden Avenue, flatfoot. Smells like a stinkin’wet dog around here.” Mickey sniffed his own armpits.

“Emptied your tank, now beat it. If you wanna tip-toe through the tulips, come back after 6:00.” Seamus motioned with the flashlight beam, illuminating the direction of nearest park exit. “Start walking.”

Mickey sat himself down on a park bench next to the garbage can. “I ain’t going nowheres, flatfoot.”

According to the Police Handbook Course of Action, Section 10, when dealing with an intoxicated person an officer should:

1. Establish contact in a friendly manner and gain trust.
2. Never be condescending.
3. Don't debate.
4. Blame the reason why the person has to leave on someone besides you.
5. Lie if you have to, to make them happy.

Seamus sighed. He hated dealing with drunks. The five rules of law enforcement procedure never seemed to work. He gave it a go anyway.

“Listen, Chief; it doesn’t look like you had such a good night, but I don’t make the rules around here. Go home. Things’ll be better in the morning.”

Mickey didn’t move or reply.

“The park is closed—you gotta leave.”

“Who says, flatfoot?” Mickey cocked his head and glared at Seamus.

I says.” Seamus folded his arms and stood erect, positioned cop-style steadfast in a puddle of lamppost light. Broad shouldered, muscular, 5’11”, clean-cut, baby faced, Seamus didn’t look a day older than his forever seventeen years.

Mickey grinned.

In one fast and fluid motion, Mickey grabbed the nearby trashcan and crashed it across Seamus’s knees.

Seamus collapsed like a house of cards on a windy day.

Mickey followed with a second crushing blow to the downed officer’s head, splitting it like a ripe watermelon. Mickey rolled the bloodied, wounded policeman onto his back and helped himself to the vehicle keys before removing Seamus’s service revolver from its holster. He fired two shots into the unconscious officer’s chest, stuffed the smoking gun into his own waistband, and trotted towards the radio car.

Seamus’s lupus conversion was swift and furious.

Mickey made it halfway across the clearing before he heard the pursuing patter of paws. The cop killer slowed his lumbering jog and glanced over his left shoulder. He was eye-to-eye with a furious frothing werewolf.

“Big dog!” yelled Mickey, pulling the revolver from his pocket. He didn’t get the opportunity to fire. An enormous pair of razor-sharp jaws clamped over Mickey’s fleshy neck with the force and speed of a guillotine. He was DOA before his decapitated corpse hit the grass with a THUD.
By the time the frenzied werewolf had consumed Mickey’s cirrhosis liver, not a trace of desecrated carcass remained. It had burst into a momentary flame and vanished into the darkness. Whatever personal articles were left behind comprised a pile of soon-to-be-windblown ashes.

Except the gun. It belonged to Seamus.

Seamus the werewolf loped back towards the patrol car, his rage subsiding along with his consciousness. His stomach was already beginning to boil and cramp. Don’t eat drunks’ livers.
Seamus heaved and drooled and retched and hurled Mickey chunks before catching sight of the familiar apparition hovering above the grass. There she was again, watching him from her glistening sphere of luminescence.

Seamus wagged his bushy black tail and whimpered an affectionate greeting. He liked it when phantom woman showed up to his kills in the buff. Tonight, however, she was wearing pink paisley pajamas. All the same, nude or clothed, she was hot.

It wasn’t long before Seamus’s vision faded to black.

Lights out

That was the first chapter of M.M. Anderson's new Young Adult novel Werewolf Dreams! Yay! Isnt it good?

To celebrate the release (which is on September 1st) I will be hosting a contest to win a signed copy of Werewolf Dreams! Also to celebrate the release, M.M. Anderson will be stopping by Simply Nerdy Book Reviews for an author interview! (EEEEEE!!!!) If you have any questions regarding Werewolf Dreams, or just any questions for M.M. Anderson in general, please leave a comment or email me, and i'll be sure to get them accross!

click here to pre-order a copy on Amazon!


Mary-Alice said...

this looks really good! i can't wait till it comes out!

Anonymous said...

Gorgeous writing. I envy you.

Penelope Sanchez said...

It's a werewolf story. It's a lot-of-supernatural-things story. But what it mostly funny. One of the funniest books I have ever read. I laughed until people called the guys with the butterfly nets.

Ketterman Rowland & Westlund


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