"Aaaahoooooo! Here's coming at ya, Howling Alex, the Wolfman. Howling at station KWLF. It's Halloween! And we have a treat for you, goblins and ghosts. Come on down to the back lot of KWLF for our spashin', Halloween Fright Night. You're on the air. How're you tonight?"

"Very good tonight." The woman's sultry voice flowed over the phone and into the radio station's speaker system.

Man. Her three words soothed over him like warm molasses. He swallowed hard. "Fantastic!" He had to force the enthusiasm back in his words. "What's your name?"

"I'm Cindy."

"Well, Cindy, what can I do for you?"

"Invite me to your party, Alex."

Her sexy voice took his breath way. And almost his words. "Yeah, right. The masquerade party is open to the public. Everyone's invited. Donations accepted at the door. Any proceeds go to charity."

"I'll be there, Alex. Just for you. You'll know me, because I'll be wearing the lady wolf costume."

His imagination ran wild, trying to picture her. "All right! That's great, Cindy. We'll be two of a kind. Don't be late. The party starts when I sign off in just one hour."

"Later, Alex."

The phone clicked in his ear. Whew! Would this be a good night, or what? "There you have it, people of the night. We're going to have a howling good time. Now our next oldies hit. It's a graveyard smash. It's the Monster Mash."

He flipped the switch to start the song, and leaned back in his chair. Everything had been set up on the huge back lot already. All Alex had to do was slip into his costume. Instead of a wolf, maybe Cindy should come as a pussy cat. No, a tiger. She sounded like a real go-getter.

"Hey Alex!" His sound man called out.

Alex glanced over at Brian who had a grin wide enough for his whole face.

"The lady wolf is after the Wolfman. You'll be howling tonight." Brian laughed out. "Howling! She might be too much for you."

Alex laughed. "Never. I haven't found one I can't handle yet." It was an unmerited brag, and he knew it. He didn't have as much social life as people thought he did. The woman's voice had really gotten to him. A seasoned jock wouldn't have let it affect him so much.

~ * ~

"What a crowd," Brian said to Alex from the sound stage.

Alex peered out over the horde that had spread over the back lot of Station KWLF. "This is a great turnout. More than ever, I think." Alex took off his head set and the music blasted into the night air.

Brian slapped Alex's arm. "Is that her?"

Alex glanced around. "Her who?"

"The wolf lady." Brian pointed over to the entrance gate. "Oou la la. That must be her."

The wolf lady stood beside a tall dark-haired man whom she seemed to be with. Man oh man. That outfit could cook toast. She had all the curves and in the right spots. Dark golden hair swung from a ponytail that reached down her back. Her wolf costume looked like real fur, but he'd never seen a wolf that pretty.

She turned toward him and their gazes met.

Something electrifying went through him. His breath quickened and he could almost howl. Oh man, he was in trouble tonight.

Alex made himself look away. He had a job to do. "Um, and that was oldies hit, Blue Moon. Look up at the moon and howl tonight. It a full one and it's Halloween. Now a word from our sponsor."

She was standing beside him. He knew without even looking. He eased his face around to peer at her. Sure enough, she stood only a couple of feet from him. "You're Cindy, I bet."

"Hello, Wolfman." Her voice almost purred. No, purring was a cat. She sounded even better in real life than over the headset, and she had a wonderful smile to go with her voice. The guy who Alex had suspected to be with her, stood just behind her. What was he? A bodyguard?

She met his gaze. "Have you felt the change, yet?"

"The change?"

She frowned. "Well, you will. The moon will start to rise in about an hour. You don't need to stay around this crowd too much longer. It might get embarrassing for you."

He laughed. Was she serious? "Look, um, Cindy. I have only this one costume tonight." He pulled at his furry wolf chest. He had bypassed the wolf head in favor of stick on ears. All that head gear kept him from doing his job.

She grinned. "Oh, Alex. Aren't you in for a surprise."

"Surprise?" Whatever was this lady talking about? "Well, I have to mingle. Brian, grab the next songs for me, will ya'?"

Cindy stuck her hand though his arm and hung on. She smiled up at him. "By the way, Happy twenty-first birthday."

He laughed. "Oh, thanks. This is some time for a birthday, isn't it. Halloween?"

Several of the party-goers greeted Alex. Cindy hung on like a clinging vine. Oh, boy. What did he do now?

On the far side of the back lot, the wolf costume started making Alex's skin itchy. Strange. He had worn this costume for the last two years and hadn't had any trouble. He scratched his chest and his arms.

Cindy leaned over. "It's happening, Alex. Don't wait too long."

Alex didn't understand. "What's happening?"

She had that delicious smile again. "You're starting to change into a werewolf." She ran a finger across his cheek. "Meet me down by the children's playground in the city park. That's on the backside near the county forest preserve. Don't worry. I'll be with you."

He half laughed. "Look Cindy. I don't want to spoil your fun, but I'm just an ordinary guy with a job to do here."

She grinned. "Not anymore. Just listen."

"Listen? To what?"

"To your body. You can hear the changes starting." She pulled away. "I have to go. Don't wait around too long. By midnight the change will be complete."

He didn't have time to say anything else. She took off like someone had waved fire at her busy tail.

Hear the changes? All he could hear was the din of endless voices and loud music.

Or could he? Strange, but Brian sounded like he was standing right beside Alex. Brian wasn't even talking into the microphone. He leaned toward his girlfriend, Nickkie. "Sweetheart, do you think you could get me one of those sodas?"

She nodded and stepped off the stage.

This was crazy. Maybe he just thought he had heard Brian. What was that smell? Someone really put on a lot of cologne tonight. Was that someone's soap? And the makeup scents. Ugh. It almost gagged him.

Alex moved toward the stage. Voices sounded strange, like all of them were fighting for a place in his head. And his skin. This blasted itch.

He reached the stage after banging against all the people he cared to. He scratched the side of his face. Ouch. His fingernails hurt.

He glanced down. His fingernails? When had they grown so much? They were nearly a half inch longer than he usually wore them.

By midnight, the change will be complete.

Her words stayed strong in his head. Was he going crazy? Maybe someone had slipped something into his soft drink.

Nickkie came back with Brian's soda. "Hey, Alex. That's a great costume. Your hair looks four inches longer. How did you do it? Hair weave?"

His hair? He dragged his fingers through it. Man, his collar-length hair had already come down past his neckline.

This was so weird. He had to get out of here. Now.

"Uh, Brian. I'm not feeling too good. Cover for me?"

Brian bobbed his head. "Yeah, man. I got it."

 ~ * ~

Inside the station, Alex came out of his costume. What was wrong with him? Surely he didn't believe Cindy. But how could he hear so well? And how come his fingernails and hair grew? A werewolf? That was the most ridiculous idea he could get in his head.

The phone rang.

"Good. You got away from the crowd." Cindy's sultry voice sounded on the other end. It sounded like a cell phone or something.

"What's going on here?" Alex stared at his fingernails. "What's happening to me?"

"Come to the playground. It will all be clearer in a couple of hours."

"What will be clearer? Why are you trying to make me crazy?"

"Oh, poor Alex. I should have stayed with you for a while longer. You sound so desperate. Hurry over. It will be safer for you here. We have the whole forest to play in, tonight" The phone clicked.

Can you believe it? She had hung up.

Who was crazier? Her or him? She must be a salesperson. She could sell a refrigerator to an Eskimo. He glanced down at his fingernails again. They were growing thicker now. Oh, Man! This couldn't be happening.

 ~ * ~

It took Alex all of ten minutes to drive to the playground at the city park. He couldn’t deny that something was really happening to him. What it was he wasn't sure, but he would find out tonight. He would not let that woman out of his sight until he knew.

A small crowd had gathered on the playground. The man who had been with Cindy earlier was there. He smiled when he saw Alex. "He's here," the man told Cindy.

Alex hadn't even opened the door yet, but he had understood his words. That guy had to be a hundred feet away. Alex stepped out of his truck and sauntered toward the group. By now all of them watched his approach. They all wore smiles, as if they had expected him.

"I'm so glad you came here, Alex. It is better for you to be among your own kind."

Alex peered around him at all the expectant faces. "My own kind?"

"Werewolves," the man with Cindy said. He stuck out his hand. "I'm Victor. You might even have a slim chance to be the Alpha leader of this pack. Welcome to our small group."

Alex glanced from Victor to Cindy. "I don't understand."

"An Alpha is leader," Cindy said.

"I know what an Alpha is." Alex couldn't help his irritation. "What does this all have to do with me? I can't be changing into a werewolf. I don't think I've even been bitten." Was he believing all this? "This is crazy."

Another pretty girl stepped up. "Welcome Alex. We all came out tonight to welcome you. We haven't had an Alpha leader born for several decades. It will be good to have you here."

Alex didn't want to be talked to like an idiot. He knew a little about werewolf lore. "Alpha leaders aren't born. They fight for the position."

Victor grinned. "Most of them. The pack believes that you will win the challenge, but I'm not so sure. You're inexperienced and I think I can beat you."

Alex glanced around. His stomach felt tight.

Cindy laughed. "Victor thinks he can hang on to the Alpha position against a natural born Alpha werewolf. Our bets are on you, even with your inexperience."

Alex didn't like this. "But I don't want to fight anyone."

Victor's face didn't look right. His nose looked stretched out. In fact, nothing about Victor looked right. And nothing about Alex's hands looked right. The itching had stopped, but the strangest sensations traveled across his whole body.

He was changing.

His hands turned into paws. His muscles gyrated and pulsed and throbbed until he was on his hands and knees. He stretched his body out. All around him, the people had changed. They were wolves. That meant he was too, but he could think like his human self. He snarled at the big Black wolf who had been Victor. The others had formed a circle around Victor and Alex. This was it. The fight for the Alpha position. Would he die if he didn't win? Well, he wasn't going to find out. He was out of here.

Victor charged him with bared teeth. Pain shot through Alex's shoulder. Victor had missed his throat, but he had come close. Alex howled out and flung Victor off, but Victor charged him again. This time Alex was ready for him. He growled, dodged and then aimed for Victor's throat. His teeth sank deep into Victor's furry neck.

Victor howled out in pain. The blood. Oh, it tasted so good, but if he kept his grip, Victor would die.

Alex was no killer, and even if he was a werewolf, he would not kill. He released his teeth from Victor's neck and raised his head in a call into the night. Victor was not victorious. He, Alex Trembell, was Alpha.

 ~ * ~

Alex woke. It was morning. All around him, the other members of the pack were waking. A pile of blankets lay beside him and he grabbed one. Even without his werewolf form, the air smelled fresh and clean. He never felt better. His shoulder had already healed from the night before.

"Good morning." Beside him, Cindy rose from her recline. She was tugging a blanket around her naked form.

Alex couldn't keep his eyes off of her. "Good morning."

"How do you feel?" Her deep voice sank into him.

He met her sultry gaze. "Like a new man."

"You are, and you are the Alpha male, our new leader."

Alex lifted his chin. "I suppose I am." He glanced over at her. "How did you know?"

"I am the Alpha female. The pack has been watching you grow up for years. You have a special scent that humans can't detect. It is your legacy, a gift from your father."

Alex frowned. "But my father is dead."

"But a special part of him lives on in you."

"He was a werewolf?"

She nodded.

Alex wagged his head. "I never knew." He peered around. "And we do this every full moon?"

She chuckled. "We can do this whenever you like. Your first change was connected to your twenty-first birthday." She leaned and brushed her lips across his. "And it was a good birthday."

He folded her into his arms and kissed her again. Her lips tasted so good, and her special scent rose into his nose. He lifted his head. "I see this a start of a beautiful relationship."

She smiled. "I do too. By the way, I'm not married, and wolves mate for life."

He matched her gaze. "Oh, do they? I'll keep that in mind."

She placed her hand on his shoulder. "Isn't it a beautiful morning?"

He could see clearer and farther than he had. He heard sounds that he had never noticed before. He could get use to this.

Beautiful morning, indeed.





Thanks for reading my story.  If you like my it, let me know.

Jayme Evans, jayme@jaymeevans.com