By Doug Linger
It's also one of the only times he could put on his Werewolf costume in public. It was beautifully done, with real animal hair, glowing red eyes, mobile jaw, and a tail that he could halfway control by subtle hip movements. He was quite proud of it, having made it himself.
Chris might wear it in public only rarely, but he wore it around the house fairly often after work. He was one of those strange individuals who wished they were something else. He'd wanted to be a werewolf since he saw his first horror film. The grace and power of the form were very alluring.
Halloween night he went trick-or-treating around the area. His neighbors didn't mind that someone in their twenties was begging for candy, they gave to anyone in costume. Indeed, the entire area really got into the Halloween Spirit each year, using home-made decorations and strange items. No store-bought plastic miniature gravestones ever appeared on his block; instead people would rent real ones. His next door neighbor had a real skeleton and coffin in her front yard. And everybody was in costume.
So it was hardly a surprise when a sorceress answered the door.
"Hey, nice," Chris said as she opened the door.
"You like it?" she asked, posing a little. Then she reached for the bucket filled with chocolate.
"I do indeed." And he didn't like just the costume, either. Her body filled the low cut dress admirably. He grinned as she dropped his favorite chocolate bar -- full-sized, no less -- into his bag.
"You should see me with a wand!" she said proudly as she twirled the one in her fingers like a baton.
The whirling wand slipped from her fingers. She made a grab for it as the centrifugal force sent it flying at Chris' face. She missed. He had barely realized what had happened before it hit.
Chris blacked out for a moment. He knew it was only a moment because he was still standing in front of her. But he'd felt the impact through the mask. That wand must be made of lead, he thought, slightly dazed.
The wand's owner had her fingers curled into her mouth in the classic feminine "oops" pose. "You all right?" she asked timidly.
"Sorry about that," she said as she retrieved the wand from the porch. "Have another Hershey bar. Compensation."
"No thanks. I couldn't," he said, waving it off.
He shrugged and took the proffered chocolate. "Thanks."
"You sure you're all right."
"Positive. Have a happy Halloween," he called as he began to walk to the next house.
Safely out of sight between houses he looked in his candy bag. "Chocolate," Chris grumbled. Doesn't anyone ever realize that dogs and chocolate do not mix? He sighed. Oh well. It'll be usefull trading material.
He started towards the next house. His tail began to wag again as he saw some kids in costume. He loved Halloween. it was one of the only times he could be himself in public and not be noticed. As the only werewolf to ever come "out of the closet," as it were, he got a lot of people in his face.
Still, the claws sometimes got irritating, as did the looks he got. Being born a werewolf wasn't any easier today than in his grandfather's time, from what he gathered.
He sighed deeply as he shuffled through a leafy lawn. And one more reason to be something else had presented itself. That sorceress was just one of many beautiful women whom he could never date.
If only he'd been born human...