Full Moon Fever
Content Warning: This story contains violence, of an other worldly type nature. If this offends you please leave now. If not, enjoy!
_ _ _ _
Today was starting out like any other day for the guys from Station 51, only Roy could tell that something was bothering his partner. "A penny for your thoughts," Roy asked while digging into his pocket for the penny.
"Huh?" John looked up at him perplexed.
"I asked you, 'A penny for your thoughts,'" smirked Roy as he held out the penny.
Johnny waved off the proffered penny.
"Well," Johnny began slowly, "you know what tonight is."
"Yeah, it's Tuesday. So?" shrugged Roy.
"It's also a full moon," Johnny stated flatly.
"Johnny, please don't start with the bit about the full moon madness again. I know you think that we get more runs because of a full moon."
"This is different, Roy." Johnny stood up and began to pace around the kitchen area of the day room. He reminded Roy of a caged tiger.
Johnny stopped and looked seriously into his friend's eyes. "Everything feels wrong." He ran his hand through his dark hair. "I don't know how to explain it, but I've got a feeling that something terrible is going to happen tonight."
"Want to talk about it?"
"No," he stated a bit forcefully. Then he looked at Roy a tad sheepishly. "Because if Chet found out how I feel, I'll never be able to live it down."
Chet made that his moment to appear. "If Chet found out about what?"
Roy looked over at Chet. "Something has Johnny bugged about tonight. I think," he placed a hand to his chest, "that this is just the beginning of another one of his rants about all the loonies that come out of the woodwork on a full moon."
Johnny shot Roy a withering look. "Scoff if you must, but I'm telling you something awful is going to happen tonight."
Most of the runs for the men of Station 51 were pretty tame. But as the day wore on into night, Johnny became more agitated. He was beginning to worry the rest of the guys.
Finally the run came that Johnny had been dreading.
"Station 51 unknown type rescue. 1243 Washington cross street Wyandotte. 1-2-4-3 Washington. Time out 12:42."
Captain Stanley acknowledged the run. "Station 51 KMG-365."
He handed the piece of paper over to Roy and ran over to the engine as the door to the apparatus bay opened. He noticed on his trip over to his seat on the engine, that Johnny had a look on his face. One of horror, fear, and dread.
'What's eating at him?'
Roy pulled the squad out into the street on this dark moon-lit night and headed for the address on the paper.
Soon both vehicles pulled up in front of a dilapidated men's hotel. The manager, a little man of about 55 years of age, ran outside to meet them.
"You've got to hurry," he rushed up to Captain Stanley tugging on the sleeve of Stanley's turnout coat.
Captain Stanley answered the man calmly. "What's the problem?"
"I don't know, but from the sounds coming from the second floor... It was," he swallowed hard before continuing to speak. "It sounded like something I've never heard before. Ungodly."
Captain Stanley didn't like what he was hearing. It could be anything. They could have anything from someone on Heroin to PCP.
"Chet, Marco help John and Roy with their gear."
Both men were stunned for a moment. Usually they were kept on the engine. They finally got moving right behind John, Roy and Captain
They slowly entered the building and climbed the stairs to the second floor. Everything was still; to Johnny it was unearthly quiet. This just increased his feelings of apprehension.
He turned to the hotel manager. "Where did you hear the sounds?"
The manager, who was still shaking, answered after a brief moment. "It came from this whole floor."
"John, Roy split up and start a search of the rooms. We'll wait here until you find something."
Both men nodded, as each of them took either side of the hall.
Johnny stopped at the third door, which was standing wide open. He slowly began his search when he found what he was dreading. A body. He fought hard to hold down his bile, which was threatening to come up.
He slowly walked out of the room. Captain Stanley could tell by the look on his paramedic’s face that something was wrong. Captain Stanley jogged down the hall and steadied Johnny, who was threatening to fall.
"Roy," Stanley called, "I think Johnny needs your assistance over here, pal."
Roy rushed over to where Stanley was and took over for him. Captain Stanley began to enter the room, but was stopped by a hand on his arm holding him back.
"Cap, you don't want to go in there," Johnny told his superior.
"Johnny," Roy began, "if there's a victim in there we have to treat him."
Johnny shook his head no. "The only help he can get is from the coroner."
Captain Stanley pulled out his HT from his coat pocket. "LA, this is Station 51, we have a Code F here. Please respond the police and a coroner to our location."
"10-4, 51," responded the dispatcher.
As they slowly left the building, Johnny promptly lost his control on his stomach.
"Are you sure your okay?" Roy asked when John was finished.
"Yeah, I'm fine," Johnny lied.
No matter how hard he tried, Johnny couldn't get back to sleep. Every time he closed his eyes, he could see the look of pure horror in the victim’s eyes; the blood that covered the walls in the bathroom, and the huge print in blood left near the victim.
Johnny rose silently pulling up his turnout pants, and quietly made his way into the day room. All he wanted to do was get that horrible vision out of his mind, but the more he tried to think of something nice, the more his mind wandered back to the scene in the room.
He stood by the window looking out into the parking lot behind the station. "No one will be safe anymore," he quietly murmured to himself.
Chet heard a small noise. He opened his eyes just enough to see Gage head off toward the day room. Chet quietly followed.
He could see something about that last run had really upset his friend.
"Johnny?" Chet asked quietly.
He watched as John jumped. "Calm down it's only me, Chester B. What did you see at that last run? I know that you've seen a lot of things being a paramedic, but I've never seen you get sick like you did back there."
"Leave it alone, Chet." Johnny felt like he was being smothered by a mother hen.
"No I won't." Chet stopped for a moment to regard this man. Usually he was the perfect target for the phantom, but this time Chet could see that he really needed a friend. "Either you tell me now, or I go wake Captain Stanley!" Chet let the veiled threat hang in the air between them.
Finally John gave in. He walked over to the table pulling out a chair as silently as possible, and sat down heavily in the chair. He looked seriously over at Chet.
"Chet, how much do you know about werewolves?"
Chet was totally taken off guard by that statement. "Why?"
"Please, Chet, just answer my question." Johnny was slowly becoming agitated again.
"Well, my mom used to tell me a story of St. Patrick who cursed a family into becoming werewolves. The only other thing I've seen is from movies."
Johnny began to tell Chet what he'd seen in that hotel room. He described the look of horror in the man's eyes. How his throat had been torn out, the vicious animal-like wounds on the body, and the bloody print.
Chet crossed himself. Being raised Irish Catholic he'd heard the legends of werewolves, and things that went bump in the night. But he had always scoffed them off as tales that Hollywood used to make great horror pictures. This was completely different.
He knew that sometimes Johnny would exaggerate things to make a story better, but this time this was completely different. This time he could tell that Johnny was deadly serious about this.
The tones sounded again. Johnny and Chet were the first ones to respond to their respective vehicles. Again it was another unknown rescue. Only this time Chet wanted to see first hand what the victim looked like for himself.
Captain Stanley agreed to let Chet go into the two-story house to look for the victim. They had been met by a very anxious housewife who told them that her husband and herself had been awakened by a loud crash. Her husband had went to investigate when she ran out of the house hearing noises that she thought belonged to a large animal.
Chet could sense that this was only increasing Johnny's unease over the whole situation, as they entered the house. They searched the entire first floor finding nothing.
Johnny could feel the hair on the back of his neck beginning to bristle. The air suddenly took on a musky odor as the two firemen continued up the stairs.
Reaching the top of the stairs they heard an unearthly howl, and then the screams of fear and pain from the owner of the home. Then silence.
Chet stopped in his tracks, and tapped Johnny lightly on the shoulder to get his attention. Chet saw a figure move, its shape resembled a dog standing upright. What caught his attention were the glowing red eyes.
The creature stood there for a few moments regarding the two men, then jumped through the window down at the end of the hall. Chet and Johnny raced to the window to get a final glimpse of the creature as it ran to the rear 10 ft tall security fence and effortlessly leaped over it, into the night.
They tore their attention away from the window and entered the room from which the creature had exited. Chet's eyes were as large as saucers as he saw the destruction in the room. This had been the wife's sewing room.
Chet tripped over the dress dummy and landed on the floor face to face with the man's unseeing, lifeless eyes. His hands were sticky with the mans blood, only this time instead of having his throat torn out like the last victim, this one had been disemboweled.
"JOHNNY!" Chet screamed, and then he instantly lost everything in his stomach. Johnny ran over truly feeling for Chet. This was the way he felt on the last run. Only this time they had both witnessed the creature.
Johnny helped Chet out of the house. He asked Roy to check his ankle. While picking up the mike to call dispatch for the police and corner, John shook his head very slightly to let Cap know that the man was already gone.
"Damn," Captain Stanley muttered under his breath. He quietly, but calmly, told the irate woman that her husband was now dead.
"Well ,Chet, you've just got a mild sprain," pronounced Roy.
Captain Stanley walked over to check on his injured man. "How is he, Roy?"
"Chet's fine Cap. He'll just be limping for a couple of days. . . nothing major."
"That's good," Cap replied as his HT beeped. "Station 51, what's your status," asked the dispatcher.
"Station 51 available," responded Stanley.
"Stand by for response."
The HT in his hand beeped. "Station 51, Engine 127, Engine 8. Structure fire. 3124 State Street. Time out 3:50."
"10-4, LA," Stanley responded as he hurried over to the engine with a limping Chet following as rapidly as possible.
Both vehicles pulled up in front of the warehouse that was, by now, well involved.
They were met by the security guard who told them that his partner was trapped inside there. He also mentioned how he had heard noises that sounded like a group of dogs scrounging for food.
Johnny and Roy quickly pulled on their air tanks. They quickly hurried inside the building looking for the man. Johnny fervently prayed that he would be found alive this time.
They entered the warehouse, with a smoky haze all around them clouding their vision. The further inside they went, the heavier the smoke became. Johnny thought he saw a movement just off to Roy's right. Then he heard the low-pitched growls that caused him to look up toward the catwalk above him.
He saw not one, but three of the creatures watching him. They seemed to be waiting in anticipation... of something. He heard Roy yell at him getting his attention back to trying to find the missing security guard.
Roy had found him, alive. He'd been hiding behind a stack of crates, watching the same creatures that Johnny had seen. He was shaking like a leaf.
Roy looked up towards the direction the guard was looking, but by this time they were nowhere to be seen. Roy had to yell to make his voice heard above the roar of the fire.
"Come on, we've got to get out of here."
"Lets go," agreed Johnny.
They both grabbed an arm and began helping the man towards their only escape route from the burning building. Johnny caught a quick flash of movement off to his left, then seeing another off to the right of Roy.
The three men stopped as a figure moved out of the smoke to stand in their way. Its eyes were red, and it was covered with reddish brown hair. The fangs when it opened its mouth were dripping with saliva. Its growls grew to a hideous scream as it lunged toward the three men.
Johnny didn't have time to think, both Roy and the security guard were frozen in their tracks. Johnny reached into his pocket, pulling out a small special made pocketknife with a silver blade. He leapt into the beast's path, plunging the tiny weapon into the chest of the inhuman creature.
Before it fell to its death, it savagely raked Gage across the arm of his turnout coat with the claws of its right hand. Pain was Johnny's reward for saving his partner and the security guard.
Finally feeling he could move, Roy hurried the man, with Johnny bringing up the rear cradling his injured arm. All three ran out of the building as fast as they could.
Roy pulled off his facemask and looked at Johnny.
"What in the hell was that thing?!"
"A werewolf," Johnny dead-panned as he took off his own facemask.
"A what?" Roy asked incredulously. "You've got to be kidding me. Why those things are only fairy-tales made up to scare little kids."
"Your wrong, Roy. Look at my arm."
Roy finally noticed that Johnny's arm was bleeding profusely, and his turnout coat sleeve was torn to shreds.
Captain Stanley walked over to the two paramedics and the security guard, who had just sat down. He looked so scared; he was still shaking like a leaf, as he had when John and Roy had found him.
Stanley took one look at Gage's arm. "What in the hell happened to you?"
"Don't ask," Johnny replied.
"Roy?" Stanley questioned.
"I'm still not sure if I believe what it was or not," Roy answered incredulously. While his brain was still trying to perceive what his eyes had seen.
Captain Stanley was confused. He walked away muttering under his breath. Something about what happens when paramedics blow a fuse.
Roy had Johnny take his turnout coat off and he whistled at the wounds. They reached from just below his shirtsleeve to right above his wrist. He got out the trauma box and wrapped up the arm as best he could.
Johnny began feeling woozy from the blood loss and had to sit down. Then Roy turned his attention to the security guard whose eyes rolled up into the back of his head.
His partner walked over to them. "What's the matter with Frank?" he asked concerned.
"He just fainted from all the excitement." Roy opened the bio-phone and contacted Rampart with his assessment.
Doctor Early, who was on the other end of the conversation, decided they should transport both victims as soon as possible. Although since neither victim was in a life threatening situation, they were to be transported "Non Code-R."
"10-4, Rampart. Non Code-R," Roy repeated.
"What's this... this Non Code R business?" asked the other man perplexed.
Roy grinned up at him as he was closing the bio-phone. "That means we send them in the ambulance, but without lights or sirens."
The man's mouth made a silent O as he comprehended. A look of confusion passed over his face once again. "If Frank just fainted, why send him to the hospital?"
"They just want to check him over to be sure he's really okay."
Another silent O, and the man silently shook his head in agreement with Roy. "Take care of him then. I'll go call his wife and let her know where he's being taken to."
"Thanks," Roy added as the ambulance pulled up. He turned to Johnny and waved in a flourish toward it. "Your chariot awaits."
"Ha Ha!" Johnny commented sarcastically. "Real funny, Roy. That was so funny I forgot to laugh!"
At Rampart Doctor Early was putting the finishing touches on the stitches in Johnny's arm.
"How did this happen, John?"
"You wouldn't believe me if I told you."
"Try me, I've seen just about everything."
"Would you believe that we," he indicated Roy and himself, "were attacked by a werewolf?"
Dr. Early looked seriously at the dark-haired paramedic. Seeing that John was completely serious about his comment.
"I don't know if I believe it, but I have noticed that recently there has been a rash of strange deaths attributed to some type of animal."
John corrected Early. "Not some type of animal, but werewolves. We stumbled upon a small pack of them at the warehouse fire. In addition to two earlier runs that had two other victims."
Roy perked up at that. "You mean those first two runs tonight were werewolf attacks?"
"Yes, Roy." He wanted to tell him about the one that both Chet and himself had seen at the their second run, but considering how his partner had reacted to seeing one face-to-face, he decided not to.
Roy didn't know whether to suggest to his friend that he have his head examined or not. He looked down at his watch, noticing that they had to get the squad back to the station for the next shift to begin.
"Come on, junior, we've got to get back to the station."
"Be careful of those stitches, Johnny. I'd hate to have to redo all of my handy work."
"Don't worry, Doc, I'll be careful," Johnny smiled sheepishly at Early.
'Why do I let Johnny talk me into these things,' thought Chet as he pulled up in front of Johnny's apartment building. He climbed out of his car and limped up to Johnny's door. He knocked.
Johnny opened the door and led Chet back into the bedroom; he was working on something and wanted Chet to see it. He picked it up and turned around with it in his hand.
It was a small crossbow. Smaller than the mediaeval type seen in the movies, but a crossbow just the same. Chet was intrigued at Gage’s ingenuity.
John picked up a few crossbow bolts that he had bought at a sporting goods store on his way home from the station. "Want to head over to the archery range to see if this little baby works?" John asked while patting his new toy.
"Sure," responded Chet good naturedly. 'Anything to see the expression on his face when it doesn't work. It'll be priceless,' Chet thought as both men climbed into John’s Land Rover.
As they drove towards the archery range, Johnny couldn't help but notice the bags under Chet's eyes. "Didn't sleep too good today, did you."
"Are you kidding? After seeing that thing how could anyone sleep!"
"Well you know that tonight is another full moon, and I'm going out tonight."
"Are you CRAZY?!"
"No, Chet, I'm not crazy. I'm very serious about this. I've seen first hand what they can do, and so have you."
Chet shook his head. "John, if you don't stop they're going to put you in the psycho ward."
They pulled into the parking lot of the archery range, and climbed out of the Rover.
Johnny walked over to the passenger side of the Rover. "Look, Chet, if you decide not to help me, fine. But if it was your mother, sister, or brother that had to face one of these things, wouldn't you feel like you should protect them?"
"Sure, when that time comes."
"Chet, I hate to tell you this, but the time has come. They're going to continue to multiply and kill others until its too late. Then what'll happen? They'll head somewhere else."
Chet looked down at the ground for a moment. Finally thinking over Johnny's words, he looked up at him.
"Alright. I'll help you, but this is the last time I get involved in one of your schemes."
"Great. Now lets go see if this works."
They returned back to Johnny's apartment. Chet had to admit that the little crossbow worked like a charm.
"If you want you can stay on the couch until nightfall."
"Thanks, John," Chet replied as he caught the pillow and blanket that were thrown at him. He laid down, but sleep would not come to him. He went down to his car and pulled out his Colt .45 that he had loaded with silver bullets earlier in the day. He returned to the apartment, and found Johnny sleeping soundly in his bed.
Chet paced the floor until John came out of his bedroom. They both had a quiet meal, and then headed out into the night with the moon climbing higher into the sky.
They went back to the sight of the previous night’s fire. Johnny was looking for a clue, something that would lead him and Chet toward the creatures hiding place.
Johnny knew that werewolves, like regular wolves, liked to run in a pack when the full moon was high. This would be the best place to start looking.
He traced his steps through the rubble and found the spot where Roy, the security guard, and himself had been attacked. He also found the spot he had seen them originally.
"What are you looking for?" Chet had to ask.
"Some kind of sign, anything that will lead us to the hiding place of these things."
Chet looked slightly dumbstruck. Johnny knew he had to explain. He began retelling the events in the fire, and explained how he received the wounds to get so many stitches.
"You mean that even with coming face to face with one of those things, Roy still didn't believe you?" Chet asked incredulously.
"No, he didn't."
"What's crazy?" asked a new voice from behind the two men.
They both wheeled around to face the person.
"Hi,Vince," both men chorused, relieved that it was him.
"Roy told me he thought you'd be here, John. I was over at his house doing a follow-up on the body that was found here. He told me his side of the story. Now I want to hear yours."
As Johnny was recounting his version of the story, Chet thought he saw a something moving through the rubble. He dismissed it as just his imagination.
"Thanks, John," Vince said shaking his head in disbelief. He headed back toward his patrol car.
Chet headed after Vince as John continued to look for any other signs. Vince had just reached his car when something... a big hairy something... rushed out of the shadows at him.
Vince turned to run when Chet pulled out his Colt .45 and fired it at the beast, killing it instantly. Vince looked up at Chet then looked down at the beast lying at his feet.
It slowly started changing right before his eyes. It turned into a young man approximately 22 years old.
"Damn," Vince swore under his breath. He turned to Chet. "I just thought that story that Roy and John had told was complete shit. Now look at the mess we're both in. How am I going to explain this one?"
Chet groaned inwardly. He wondered how he would be able to explain why he was now involved with a homicide.
Johnny thought he found something when his head snapped up to the sound of a gunshot. He took off running as fast as he could toward the sound.
He stopped next to Chet and Vince. He looked down to see what both men were staring at, the body of a nude man approximately 22 years of age.
Vince appeared to be slightly shaken. "I wouldn't have believed this if I hadn't seen it, but this man here was a werewolf. He almost attacked me if Chet here hadn't of shot him first. I don't know how I'm going to explain this to headquarters."
"You think you don't know how you’re going to explain this. How am I going to explain this?" He turned to face Johnny angrily. "This always happens every time I get involved with you. Something always happens."
"Chet, calm down, man, you're going to blow a gasket."
"Calm down! You want ME to calm down?!"
Vince joined the conversation. "Look, Chet, I have to call this in. But it might be a good idea if the both of you took off right now. I'll do what I can about an I.D. on the victim here. I'll stop by your apartment in the morning, Johnny."
"Thanks, Vince," John replied gratefully.
"Thanks, I think," Chet replied a bit sourly.
Both men left the scene and climbed into John's Land Rover. Johnny turned the engine over and pulled out into the night.
As he drove he had a feeling, a thought, that something wasn't quite right. The closer he drove to Roy's house the worse the feeling became. He couldn't quite explain it, but he knew he had to get to his best friends house before....
Chet just let John drive, he was lost in his own thoughts. Would he be charged with murder? Murder of what? Oh the judge would love this, as a defense, murder of a twenty-something werewolf. He would be laughed out of every defense attorney’s office in LA. 'Why in the hell couldn't I have minded my own business’?
He finally looked up, recognizing the neighborhood they were driving through. "John, do you care to explain why we're in Roy's neighborhood?"
"No," John replied in a tone that brooked no argument.
"Fine!" Chet grumbled, as he crossed his arms over his chest.
A moment later they pulled into the DeSoto driveway. Johnny climbed out, grabbing his crossbow. He felt a growing sense of uneasiness as he neared the front door.
Chet slowly climbed out of the car, following Johnny up the steps. "What in the hell," commented Chet. The front door was in splinters.
Coming from the darkness, they heard a large crash. Followed by Roy's frantic yells. Both Johnny and Chet rushed inside to find Roy facing two of the creatures. One was almost upon him when Johnny fired his crossbow, sending one of the small silver tipped bolts into the beasts back. It screamed out in pain as it dropped by Roy's feet. The other creature turned on Chet and Johnny. Chet reached for his Colt .45, then realized he left it out in Johnny's' car. While John quickly
reloaded and fired a second bolt into the monsters throat, eliciting a strangled cry from it's throat.
Another crash was heard from the second story, followed by the sounds of splintering wood. The next sounds went to the core of the three men. The terrified screams of a woman and two children could be heard from upstairs.
"NO!!!" Roy screamed in anger and fear, as he leapt for the stairs, with John and Chet following quickly on his heels.
Joanne was huddled in the corner protecting both of her children from the nightmare coming at them. It's jaws snapped, as it advanced. Joanne, and the kids, screamed in terror as it howled a final warning before it prepared to strike.
Roy ran into the room and jumped, leaping on its back. It screamed in anger while reaching back to strike at the unwelcome aggressor.
John and Chet were right on Roy's heels. Since Johnny had the only weapon that would kill the beast, he stepped up to it and placed it against the fur-covered skin. Then he fired as the beast screamed, in its final death throes.
Roy jumped away from it as it fell to the floor. It slowly began changing. Roy, John and Joanne stared at it in horrified fascination. John and Roy both looked at each other as they recognized the face.
"I can't believe it," both men said in unison. If this had been any other type of situation they would have been laughing, but this was serious.
"I'm sorry I doubted you," Roy said sincerely.
"Think nothing of it. Really if I had been in your situation, I would have thought you were going insane."
Joanne had noticed the look on both men's faces as they recognized the man lying at their feet. "Who in the hell was this?!" she demanded. "Why did he, it, or what ever the hell it was attack us?"
"I don't know why it attacked us," answered Roy.
"I think I might know. Remember at the fire, Roy?"
"Yes I do, but what does that have to do with the here and now?"
"I did some checking with Vince; the werewolf that attacked us was this one's brother. I guess he was seeking vengeance against us anyway he could."
"That may be so, but WHO IN THE HELL WAS IT?!"
"Calm down, Joanne," Roy reached for his wife and held her in his arms tenderly.
"It was Kevin Reynolds, an orderly at Rampart."
Roy gently caressed his wife, calming her down. He then noticed that his partner has visibly relaxed since this nightmare began.
"Is it truly over?"
"Yes," answered Johnny. "He was the cause of it all. Now with his death, every person who had been bitten by him, and brought into the fold, is now free."