Yes, I should have added more to this blog ages ago, but now here’s an amusing little narrative about a prank that has a stronger impact than the joker intended.
Somewhere in the Great Smoky Mountains, night had fallen on the campsite where the Yates family of Philadelphia were staying. It was a fabulously clear night with a moon as round and bright as it could be. Chris Yates was making a fire while his sons, Fraser and Tyler, were at the edge of the clearing playing tag.
“You fellahs better come back to the campfire,” Shelley Yates told her boys, as she finished washing the dinner plates. “We’re about to start singin’ songs. Plus, ya don’t wanna be too near them woods with werewolves about tonight.”
“Don’t be stupid, Mom,” Fraser complained. “They don’t exist.”
“Yeah, Mom,” Tyler agreed. “The ranger told us to watch out for bears, not werewolves.”
“I’m not takin’ any chances, Fraser,” Shelley warned. “Now stay a bit closer to the lights, where we can see ya.”
Suddenly, a piercing shriek rent the night. Everybody’s blood ran cold and they turned as one towards where the tents were set up. One of them had walls that were rippling and flapping madly, as though a devilish struggle was going on inside.
“Jeezah Louise!” Fraser yelled. “That’s Aunt Ginger’s tent!”
Shelley and her sons charged over to the tent. Aunt Ginger was Shelley’s little sister and she was particularly concerned to see what the scream was about. The three of them were barely a pace away from it when the flap was torn back and a hideous, yellow-eyed face burst through.
The bestial snarl made the boys shriek in terror and they took to their heels. It was a real werewolf! It couldn’t be anything else! If all they had seen was a head, they might not have been so frightened, for it might have been a man in a mask. But the creature that now emerged from the tent was seven feet tall, with a genuine lupine head, mouth open with fangs dripping blood, black and brown fur right down its body, paws for hands and feet, and hideous claws stained in gore just like its teeth.
Fraser and Tyler ran right over to their father, who was still tending the fire.
“Dad, run!” screamed Fraser. “WEREWOLF!!!”
He pointed desperately towards the tent, where the monster was still snarling in throaty, animalistic rage.
“Fraser, calm down,” Chris soothed. “It ain’t a problem.”
“Get outta here, Dad!” Fraser yelled. “It’s killed Aunt Ginger and it’s… it’s…”
Then he fell silent. The panic was subsiding, and for Tyler too. At last they began to see it. The werewolf’s face hadn’t changed by so much as a line since they’d first seen it. What’s more, the werewolf had now stopped snarling and slashing its claws. It was now standing erect and quite calm.
Aunt Ginger emerged from her tent behind the werewolf. To Fraser and Tyler’s amazement, she took both sides of its head and lifted it clean off. It was a man in a suit! A very tall man in a very realistic suit, but still just a clever fake. Fraser and Tyler began to feel very sheepish.
“Fooled ya, didn’t we?” Chris laughed. “This here is Nathan; he’s the nephew of yer Aunt Ginger’s boss. He’s a Greyhound bus driver out of Charlotte normally, but he’s a huge fan a’ werewolves.”
“Ah wanted t’ play basketball fer the Hornets,” Nathan said cheerfully. “But ah got a bite on the knee from some dude’s Alsatian that ended that dream. Instead, ah made this lifelike werewolf suit an’ wore it at, say, Hallowe’en, parties, conventions, always pretendin’ that bite had made me a werewolf rather than killed mah basketball career.”
“It’s a cool suit,” grinned Tyler, “But it’d be cooler if you really were a werewolf.”
“Who says ah can’t be, just for tonight?” Nathan replied with a devilish grin. He took the werewolf head off Aunt Ginger and placed it back on his own head.
“C’mere yah little giblets!” he snarled. “GNAAAAARRRRGGGH!”
The game of tag began again as Nathan chased the boys pell mell round the campfire until all of them were exhausted. Then, all six of them sat round the campfire, Shelley took out her guitar and while everyone else sang songs, Nathan howled hauntingly along with the tune.
All in all, it was the best night Fraser, Tyler, Chris, Shelley or Aunt Ginger had that whole summer.