“Christ,” I muttered to myself.
My cat had lovingly decided to get hair all my clothes just as I was walking out the door, and I hadn’t managed to get it all off. She couldn’t have decided to shed her two-tone coat on the sweatpants I wore to the supermarket, or the t-shirt that I wore when I did laundry. Of course not. My cat had exceptionally fine taste, and only my new Ralph Lauren pants would do, especially considering that I was wearing them on this blind date.
Now I was sitting at the bar, waiting for the guy that Lucy in accounting had sworn up and down would be “just perfect for you”. Truthfully, I was here just so she would stop yammering at me on my lunch break, but that didn’t mean I was interested in looking like a slob. So I tried to brush the cat hair away, and sipped my red wine, praying that this night would not be a complete disaster.
I saw him before he saw me. Lucy had shown off his picture so often, I was sort of curious why she hadn’t gone after him herself. I’ll admit, he was quite cute, in that shaggy kind of way that’s popular with young guys right now. His face was a little scruffy for my taste.
“Nate!” I called, and waved my hand slightly. I was rather desperate to not look desperate.
“Hey, Mimi?” he said, with a smile.
“Miri,” I said. “Short for Miriam.”
“Oh,” he said. “That’s cute.”
“Um, yeah,” I said. I gestured to the seat next to me. “Drink?”
“Yeah, yeah,” he said. Good lord, please deliver me from blind dates. I ordered another glass of wine and braced myself for awkward small talk.
“No,” I said. “No, no, no. You cannot possibly think that the President of HBO stepping down is a good idea.” I tried to hide a smile behind a hand, only managing to draw more attention to it.
“Whoa, whoa,” he said, waving his whiskey glass to accentuate his point. “You’re tricky, don’t put words in my mouth. I never said I thought it was a good idea, I said I can see why it makes sense. I mean, I don’t care how good ‘Game of Thrones’ is, getting caught spinning on a stripper pole is just not a good image.”
I laughed. My face was flushed with the color of five glasses of wine. “You’re making it up.”
“Nope,” he said. “Swear to god, that’s what really happened. Trust me.”
“And how do you know this?” I asked.
“Cousin told me. I got a real big family, there’s someone working in every business imagine, and more than a few in show biz.”
Alright. I’ll admit it. I was having an amazing time. Nate was funny, and I had never thought I’d meet anyone with a similar passion for South American politics and bad made-for-TV movies. And, oh man, he was cute, and it might have been the red wine, but he was just getting cuter and cuter. I was even getting over the beard, kinda. Well, I could certainly look past it. Those damn lips hidden among the wiry curls were too damn cute.
“Do you want another—“ he started to ask, but I had already interrupted him by sticking my tongue in his mouth.
It was a bit of a messy kiss, the kind that you can only have at a bar when you’ve got a few drinks in you. It was the kind where you just don’t care that the bartender is three feet away from you, or that the lady sitting a few barstools down is loudly talking about her trip to the dentist, or that the song on the radio is one that makes your eardrums beg for mercy. It’s simply the kind of kiss where you don’t care, and I certainly wasn’t caring that I didn’t care.
The kiss ended. We breathed hard. He looked at me, eyes half open. “…Drink?” he finished.
I gave him a wry smile. “I think,” I said, leaning in for a second quick kiss. “I think I would like to go home.”
We turned around to find the bartender had already left us our tab.
We stumbled into the parking lot. I groped in my bag for my phone to call the cab. The welcome screen informed me that it was 12:01 on September 18th, 2012. I slipped my arm around Nate’s and smiled up at him. “God, I can’t believe that we’re already over halfway through the month.”
“Nah, he said, cocking his head to one side so he touched mine. “We still got some time before we’re halfway. The fifteenth isn’t till tomorrow.”
I giggled. “Jeez,” I said. “Have you been drunk all day? It’s officially the eighteenth, my dear sir.”
He pushed me away, and looked at me with terror. “What?” he cried out. “Oh no!”
I felt my mouth go all slack-jawed. “What’s going on?”
He shoved me hard, and I fell onto the ground. My phone went clattering across the concrete of the parking lot. I stared up at him, not quite sure how to form words.
“Oh, no, no, no,” he muttered, and then he crouched into a ball. I gasped. Fur was sprouting from his hands. It looked like his bones were rearranging themselves into a brand new shape. He looked up at the sky, his nose and mouth had extended into a long, hairy snout. Before my eyes, Nate turned into a giant grey wolf. The beast sat there, eyes fixed on the full moon that hung in the sky. He let out a high-pitched howl, and without even looking back at me, ran off into the night.
I sat there for a good ten minutes before I realized that my new Ralph Lauren pants had gotten ripped.
I really, really hate blind dates.
Thanks for reading. I know it was a little cliched and silly, but I gotta get those bats out of the belfry somehow.
In case anyone was wondering the prompt was “During the story, a well-established leader steps down. The story must have a werewolf in it.”