Shooting an Elephant Werewolf

by The Bare-Fanged Contessa

IN SEASIDE HEIGHTS, NEW JERSEY, I was hated by a lot of people – the only time I've ever been important enough for this to happen. I was a beach cop, and in a retarded, high-school kind of way, anti-authority feeling characterized my beat. I was a perfect target. When an oily Guido tripped me on the Funtown Pier, his boys laughed like syphilitic hyenas. This happened more than once. In the end the vacant tanned faces of young men that met me everywhere, their catcalls hooted after me, badly got on my nerves. The Broads were the worst of all. There were several thousands of them and, when they weren't sucking on beer bongs or their Guido boyfriends, they enjoyed nothing more than jeering at cops.

One day something happened that taught me a lesson. I got a call from a citizen on other of the boardwalk who said a werewolf had gone wilding. Would I come and do something about it? I did not know what I could do, but I wanted to see what was happening. I had my service revolver but no silver bullets. Still, I thought the noise might be useful in terrorem. Various Guidos stopped me on the way and told me about the werewolf's doings. According to them, the lycanthrope had been "doggin' people out." It was not, apparently, a wild werewolf, but a yuppie one that had drunk tequila. It had been chained up, as yuppie werewolves should be when they attempt tequila, but on the previous night it had broken its chains and escaped. Its wife, the only person who could manage it when it was in that state, was in Manhattan and had a mani-pedi scheduled that morning and would not be able to come by till that evening. The werewolf had already destroyed an Italian ice stand, dry-humped a fence, and raided some Starbucks, so they warned me it would be alert.

It had almost made up my mind that the story was a hoax, when I heard yells nearby. "Move along, please, now, kids, please. I said, 'Please.'" A mother with a Kindle in her hand came onto the boardwalk, gingerly shooing away a pack of well-fed children. I looked down on the sand where they had come from and saw a dead body sprawled in the sand. It was an English pug, and it could not have been dead many minutes. The people said that the pug had come suddenly upon the werewolf round the corner of an umbrella, caught the werewolf with its paws, put its teeth on his back and chased him into a wooden pillar. This caused the werewolf to fall back on top of the dog and crush it. Only its eyes continued to bulge. As soon as I saw the lap dog I sent an orderly to the nearest arcade to win some silver bullets.

When the orderly came back, some Guidos had also arrived and told me that the werewolf was at the shore below, just beyond Gorilla Central, where the juiceheads posed for each other. As I started forward practically the whole population of the pier flocked to follow me. They had seen the silver bullets and were all fist-pumping that I was going to shoot the werewolf. They had not shown much interest in the werewolf when he was merrily ripping up their boardwalk, but it was different now that he was going to be shot. It was a bit of fun to them; besides, they could post a video of it online. The werewolf stood eight yards from the water, his left side towards us. He took not the slightest notice of the crowd's approach. He was playing a game on his smartphone, Angry Birds from the sound of it.

As soon as I saw the werewolf I knew that I didn't have to shoot him. It is a serious matter to shoot a healthy werewolf – there is an enormous amount of paperwork. And at that distance, peacefully IMing, the werewolf looked as cowed and harmless as a Democrat. I thought then and I think now that its attack of "crave" was already passing; in which case he would merely wander aimlessly about until his wife came back and caught him. I decided that I would watch it for a little while to make sure that it did not turn monster again.

But at that moment I glanced round at the crowd that had followed me. It was an immense crowd, 2,000 at the least and growing, here and those watching the live stream. I looked at the sea of tanned faces above the six-pack abs happy and excited over this bit of fun, all certain that the werewolf was going to be shot. They were watching me as they would watch porn. They did not like me, but the magical bullets in my hands caused them to salivate. I realized that I would have to shoot the werewolf after all. The people expected it of me; I could feel their 4,000, 50,000, 100,000 wills and wall of body spray pressing me forward. And it was at this moment, as I stood there with the gun in my hand, that I first grasped the futility of the beach cop's command of the shore. Here was I, the lady beach cop with her gun, standing in front of the unarmed native crowd – seemingly the leading actress of the piece but in reality merely a puppet.

I did not want to shoot the werewolf. I watched him checking email, with that self-absorbed manner that yuppie werewolves have. But I had to act quickly. I turned to some semi-lucid-looking Guidettes who had been there when we arrived, and asked them how the werewolf had been behaving. They all said the same thing: he took no notice of you, and his hair was perfect.

It was perfectly clear to me what I ought to do. I ought to test his behavior. If he charged, I could shoot; if he took no notice of me, it would be safe to leave. But also I knew that I was going to do no such thing. At that moment, with the crowd watching me, I was not afraid. A beach cop mustn't be frightened in front of juiceheads; and so, in general, she isn't frightened. The only thought in my mind was that if anything went wrong those Guidos there would see me crushed like that lap dog up the hill. If that happened it was probable that some of them would fist-pump. And that would never do.

I shoved silver bullets into my gun and lay down on the sand to get a better aim. The crowd grew still, as when Dancing with the Stars returns from a commercial break. They were going to have their bit of fun after all. When I pulled the trigger I did not hear the bang or feel the kick, but I heard the roar of glee and noted the fist-pumping that went up from the crowd. In an instant, a terrible change had come over the werewolf. He looked suddenly, immensely old — as much as 35 — as though the impact of the bullet had paralyzed him. His mouth slobbered. I fired a third time. That was the shot that did for him. In falling backward, his legs flew up, reaching skyward like two trees. He howled, for the first and only time. Down he came, still clinging to his smartphone.

I got up. The Guidos fist-pumped past me across the sand. They were taking videos and posing with him, and I was told later some had achieved Top Trend status on Twitter by the afternoon. It was obvious that the werewolf would never rise again, but he was not dead. He was breathing very loudly with long snorelike breaths, his hairy chest stutteringly rising and falling. His mouth was wide open — I could see far down into caverns of at least three gold fillings. I waited a long, long time for him to die, but his breathing did not weaken. So I fired my two remaining shots into the spot where I thought a heart must be. Blood spouted out of him like cherry Slurpee, but still he did not die. He did not even react when the shots hit him, and the tortured snoring continued. He was dying and in great agony, but he was also very annoying. I felt that I had to end  that irritating noise. I picked up a nearby piece of driftwood and beat him about the head and chest until I had worked up a good sweat. I even tased him several dozen times. These seemed to make no impression. The tortured snores continued. In the end I could not stand it any more and left. I heard later that it took him another week to die.

Later, there were endless discussions about my shooting the werewolf. His wife was furious, but she had been contemplating divorce anyway. Besides, legally I had done the right thing, for a mad werewolf has to be killed, like a mad dog. Among the cops, opinion was divided. The older men said I was right, the younger men said it was a damn shame to shoot an werewolf for killing a lap dog, because a werewolf brought in more business. I often wondered whether any of the others understand that I had done it only to avoid looking retarded.

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