East Proctor

Those American Lads

Oh yes, I remember those two lads, American they were, came up this way a few weeks back. Came in here for a hot drink, door flew open, letting all the warmth out and in they came. One in a red padded coat and the other in green, both carrying these huge backpacks on their backs. They saw an empty table in the corner and both sat down.

I went on over to them to see what I could get them. I felt sorry for them as they were both obviously cold and wanted something hot inside them. After playing them up and telling them…

“We sell spirits and beers, if it’s something hot you want then you can have tea…”

“Then you have tea?” was their reply.

“No, but I can make some for you, if you like.”

After a resounding “yes, please” from both of them I went off to get them their order.

Slowly the talking had resumed in the pub and the two lads were getting so many looks from my regulars. Now my regulars are good men but do not like change and really don’t like strangers. There is a reason for this and it has to do with the secret that we all keep.

I could see the two lads quietly talking as I returned to their table with tea in my pretty china teapot and cups and saucers on a tray. They seemed to be entranced by our five-pointed star that we have on our wall over there, we like to light candles for it every night.

“Remember the Alamo,” the first lad mutters (I now know his name was Jack)

“Oh, he was just joking,” said the other lad (this one was called David)

“Joking! I remember the Alamo, I saw it once in London, in Leicester Square!”

The Americans looked bemused at my comment until one of my regulars piped up and explained that I meant I had had seen it at the cinema, that film with John Wayne.

Well this lightens the mood and a joke is shared in the pub…but then Jack asked that question, the one we never like to answer.

“What’s that star on the wall for?”

The pub went deathly silent and our champion dart player even missed the board!

What came after was terrible, the lads were made to feel so unwelcome that they got up and left and on a full moon as well! I tried to get them to stay even put my neck out and told the room that we can’t let them leave. But leave they did and what came next was a tragedy.

I feel this guilt so deep within me, I should have stopped them, tried harder, something but peer pressure is such a difficult thing to stand up to. Time passed and I repeated that we can’t let them leave as we all knew how dangerous it was out there tonight, what with the moon full.

A heated debate then started about how we can’t let the world know our business, it has been our secret to keep for over 100 years and it needs to stay in East Proctor. Then it started to rain, I could hear it pattering the roof of the Slaughtered Lamb Pub. I prayed they would be safe in the rain, we all just sat there waiting for the howling to start, as we all knew it would. Every full moon our tiny village hides away and we all know to keep clear of the moors but those lads were headstrong and I knew didn’t heed our warnings. They probably thought we were old superstitious fools, if only we were!

The howls were getting higher in their intensity, I looked around the pub and implored the,

“We must go to them!”

“I heard nothing.”

“Nor I.”

I pleaded some more that those young lads needed us and it was time to make a stand and not cower and finally it got through. The men grabbed their rifles from their cars, (we all carry them in East Proctor) and out into the night we went.

The men wanted me to stay behind but I promised to stay at the back but no way was I missing this, finally we were going to save those poor unsuspecting Americans. We followed the sound of the howling but sadly we were too late. Jack was on the floor and he had been partially eaten, his jacket was ripped to shreds and his insides were on the outside and steaming in the cold night air. The werewolf was not finished yet though and had gone after David. It knocked him to the floor and bit and slashed at him. That was when we shot it, right through the heart. The creature toppled off David and fell onto it’s back.

I had never seen a transformation before but it was quick and the next thing I knew there was a naked man lying on the ground with a bullet hole through him. I wanted to be sick but I knew we had to act fast as this was not the only creature out there on the moors, so the men picked up David and carried him back to the Slaughtered Lamb and we called the local police.

Now they are obviously in on the village secret and we concocted a story about and escaped lunatic attacking the lads, we cleaned and dressed the wounds so that it wouldn’t look like an animal attack and the boy was shipped off to a posh London hospital.

Now the last I heard was that he had woken up from his coma, learned his friend was dead but was doing well, apart from his vivid dreams that is. Thats part of it you see, he’s going to change. The full moon is coming up in a few days and it’s going to be become a nightmare for that poor lad.

This secret that we all share is unbelievable, I know that. When I say that we have werewolves living in East Proctor and that they change every full moon and prowl the moors you will think I am crazy and that’s okay too. I am asking you to believe a story with absolutely no proof to back it up…but just wait a few more days and keep your eyes on the London news and I think I may make a believer out of you yet…