(WP) Hair of the Dog
She was sitting in history, her least favorite class in school, when it happened.
Someone got up to go to the bathroom and reached for the knob, but the moment his fingers met the metal, she heard the lock click closed, and red lights began to flash, washing the room in bloody light.
Their teacher, Mrs. LeCroix, was standing at the window, quickly closing metal bars over them, her white dress turning pink in the light; to Diana, it looked garish, almost grotesque, and a taste like metal, like blood, coated her mouth and throat.
“Who is here, Mrs. LeCroix? What do they want?”
At Diana’s questions, the rest of the class waited for the answer with bated breath. No one knew what was going on, but they were clearly in danger. Their instructor slammed metal, too, over the vents, the snap, snap, snap making several people jump with each repetition.
“The werewolves, children. They’re invading, and out for blood.”
One student stared at her with his mouth open, and he let out an incredulous bark of laughter.
“Werewolves? What are you on? There’s no such thing! They’re just stories! Folktales!” The guy, named Freddy, was openly scoffing at their teacher, arms crossed.
Mrs. LaCroix’s eyes narrowed. “Haven’t you heard that old expression, that all stories contain a grain of truth? Those threads didn’t just spring up out of nowhere. You’d do well not to laugh.”
While this acidic exchange was happening, Diana was listening intently; down the hall, she could’ve sworn that she heard footsteps.
Could it be that this wasn’t some crazy dream and that this was real life? Werewolves were coming for them. And if she was hearing correctly, they were right down the hall. She turned to her classmates and put a finger to her lips, and everyone, even Freddy, went silent.
Diana heard female laughter, and the heavy clop, clop, clop of footsteps on the polished floor. The doorknob rattled, and she heard a muffled word in a language she didn’t understand; perhaps it was a curse.
“It’s locked,” A deep, raspy voice sounded, and Mrs. LaCroix went white, her lips a thin line in her face.
“When has that ever mattered?” Someone else retorted; there was a heavy thump, as if the person had shoved their shoulder against it.
“Move out of the way! I’m hungry, and you’re holding up lunch.” Another voice piped up; to Diana’s surprise, it was high-pitched and breathy, as she imagined a little girl would sound. There was another thud, and a hole—an actual hole—punched in the door, and the scrap of steel fell inward with a hollow, metallic clang.
The woman leaned down slightly and grinned, her smile full of sharp fangs.
She reached in the hole and jiggled the knob again; this time, it gave, and the door swung open, revealing Mrs. LaCroix, Diana, and the rest of the nonplussed students.
After that, it was total chaos, and since all the vents and windows were barred, the only path to escape was through the door, and past the monsters.
Mrs. LeCroix stepped in front of them all, waving her hands to indicate that they should all get behind her.
Diana was frozen, gaping in shock. Their teacher had been right. But then, the world did not make sense any longer. How was this possible?
But Freddy, ever the skeptic, refused.
“Mrs. L says you’re werewolves. But I don’t believe you.”
“Did you not just see that stunt with the door, child?” The woman with the high voice asked, eyebrows arched.
“Oh, well. Shall we see if we can convince this boy of the truth?” She asked, and without further ado, she stepped forward, holding out an elegant hand tipped with long, dirty claws. With another step, she growled low in her throat and there was an awful, nasty squish sound as she relieved him of his heart, blood spurting from his chest.
With another wicked, fanged grin, she asked, “Any more questions?”