No, not with me or the site (I hope), but the title of a little short story for your enjoyment. It is very rough, needs some polish, but I hope you will enjoy it and laugh a bit on this fine New Year’s Day. FYI, St. Ailbhe is the patron Saint of wolves and hospitality.

The day was to be one of rest, relaxation, and recovery.  The forces of evil had been dispatched from the area for now, and I was still quite sated from the huge and excellent breakfast my wife had cooked.  She had disappeared into the back, which wasn’t odd but was a little surprising.  I had thought she might snuggle with me for a while. 

Unconcerned, I settled into my modified recliner, and smiled at the snacks, bowl of water, and bowl of brandy on the small table beside the chair. The recliner was oversize, given that I am in werewolf form a good bit of the time, and had a special cut-out to accommodate my tail. And, yes, bowls.  Muzzles are not designed for glasses as a rule, and while it can be done, let’s just say you dribble and it’s messy.  

The water bowl was a standard pottery mixing bowl, but the brandy bowl was an antique crystal piece that had a very odd shape.  Different people saw it as different things, though Friar Bernard swore that it faintly resembled a skull.  I didn’t see it, but it was heavy, and a perfect size for my needs.  

I was wearing the Victorian smoking jacket/robe my wife had found for me as I puffed contentedly on the custom Nate King pipe in my left paw.  Well, something that was a cross between a hand and a paw.  Thankfully werewolves were not truly shaped like wolves, and I had enough fingers to work a door, read a book, and smoke the specially constructed pipe.  It had been made on the QT for the victim of a tragic accident, and not advertised as said victim wanted privacy. I also highly suspected Mr. King also didn’t want to get flooded with such orders since they are labor intensive and not a money maker as a general rule.  

Cigars were now a human form only treat, as two attempts to smoke them in wolf form had resulted in my managing to catch my fur on fire.  My wife had been quite amused on one level, and very unhappy on another.  She regarded my fur as her personal property and wanted to protect it.  So, she found the smoking jacket somehow, somewhere, and I wore it to smoke and relax.  As the Victorians said, better it take any hits than your good clothes — or my fur.  Besides, on the off chance Sister Agnes (who I had discovered was a retired Marine) or someone else stopped by, it provided some modesty.  While visitors were rare, one should still be prepared.  

As I cheerfully began to open up the latest Baened Book’s novel I’d been saving for a treat, it struck.  

The doorbell rang.  

No car had pulled up, and we didn’t get random visitors.  I had built remote for a reason, and the exterior was native rock, which caused many an eye to pass over it at first.  Since getting married, the Sacred Order had warded the property.  The outer wards, about three quarters of a mile out, sufficed to turn most ordinary people and creatures away, and to warn those of evil not to continue.  The next set at about half a mile more strongly deflected the ordinary (if dense) people and critters.  Evil bounced unless it was very strong and very determined.  The final wards would surge in power as needed, and so far evil had not been able to penetrate it though they did try one time.  

So, whoever or whatever was at my door was either innocence personified or trouble.  No one is that innocent.  No sign of my wife.  My hackles came up a bit, as I smelled a trap.  All right, let’s dance.  

I carefully put down the book and got up from my chair.  If something somehow knocked me down into human form, there were various weapons and implements of destruction scattered about either hidden or in the open as decorations.  Before I opened the door into the mud room/entrance hall, I rolled my shoulders and relaxed as I had learned to do in human form for martial arts.  I went into the entry, opened the door, and realized that I was truly in for a fight.  This wasn’t trouble, this was Trouble. 

She looked to be about eight, and was wearing the white blouse and plaid skirt of a school uniform.  Over that, however, was the sash showing that she was a member of the Girl Guides, and in her hand was a box of Solomons.  Growing up, the Chok-O-Mints had been my favorite, and while I still liked them, I could and would eat my weight in human form of the chocolate/coconut/crack that were the Solomons.  To be that good and addictive, they had to have crack or something like it in them.  

It is possible that at the sight of that box I might have drooled a little bit as I gazed down at the tiny terror at my door.  I had been set up by my beloved wife, and from the scent wafting off the girl’s clothes, Sister Agnes.  

Her head had been turned away as she looked around while waiting for me to come to the door.  Now, as it came around, and the predatory smile that goes with the cookie pushers started up, she looked up at me, and started to scream.  Pretty sure she spent a small penny but caught herself before she truly soiled herself.  

Eyes round with terror took on a new look as she quickly looked me up and down, and fashion outrage overcame fear. 

“What is that thing you are wearing?”

I drew up with all the dignity I could muster, and did the most lordly “Harumph!” possible as I stroked the lapel of the  robe.  While I personally went for blues and greens, the jacket my wife had found was crimson.  Not red, crimson.  The Victorians being peacocks, it was made of crimson velvet, silk, and even had some thread-of-gold in it.  The sash was dark emerald that somehow worked with the robe rather than clashed.  From down the drive I heard Sister Agnes’ smothered laugh.  

She had the grace to look a little abashed as she picked up the box of cookies she had dropped.  

“Mister, er, Sir, ah, would you like to buy some cookies to help the Girl Guides at St. Ailbhe’s?” 

Here was my chance.  A shake of the head, closing the door, and the battle could be avoided.  But, with my wife and the good Sister involved in setting me up, this was one of those life lesson things for the girl, and possibly for me too.  Besides, we all had to face our demons, even when they are just 8-years-old pushers.  

With a little sigh, I opened the door further, stepped to one side, and bowed as I extended my left paw to gesture her inside.  With a little trepidation she did so, and I indicated she should go on into the living room.  As I closed the outer door, I took a second to make a rude gesture in the good Sister’s direction with my right paw and gave a flick of my tail to go with it.  Paws, even my paws, really aren’t made for that gesture, but if you work at it, you can do it.  Sometimes it’s well worth it. 

Inside, I gestured towards one of the wingbacks we have for guests and she carefully sat in it.  As I suspected, the tablet we used for me to “talk” to visitors was in its spot and charged.  I picked it up, and returned to my chair.  This was going to be a very different battle, and I quickly took a lap of brandy to fortify me.  

“Mister, are you going to eat me?” 

Brandy burns like a taste of hellfire as it goes out your nose.  

My eyes actually teared up a bit, and my humor was not helped by hearing the faint sounds of my wife trying to smother her laughter as she rolled on the floor.  I cleaned up as best I could, then turned to girl.  Quickly I shook my head for no.  Then, I activated the tablet and began to type.  Leaning forward, I handed her the tablet. 

No, I am not going to eat you.  Still rather full from breakfast actually.  You are safe physically and have the hospitality of my home.

She read it, relaxed a bit, and handed the tablet back to me.  

“But don’t werewolves eat people?”

I hesitated for a moment, bit my tongue, and typed again. My wife was clearly watching somehow, and I could hear her giggle very faintly.  

Some probably do, but I don’t as a rule.  I serve God as best I can, in this or human form.

She read it, and got a perplexed look on her face.  Her look was almost pleading as she looked at me. 

“But werewolves, vampires, and all the other monsters aren’t real!  My grandmother said so!”  

I nodded at her, looked around, then lifted up my left arm, reached over and pinched it with my right paw.  Then, I leaned forward and carefully pinched her arm, making her give out a yelp.  Holding up a finger, sort of, to indicate she should wait, and went to typing.  

I’d say I’m pretty real based on the pinches.  Also, I’m sorry to say that your grandmother is wrong.  We do exist, and some strive to do good and others fall into evil because of what was done to them.  The infections, think of them as being like a virus — like a cold — were a corruption by evil of something created by God.  Evil intended all to fall, but some of us fight back, and that which was corrupted is changing, so that it is easier for someone to stay good.  I, and those like me, fight evil as best we can.  Thing is, you can’t tell anyone about me, or those like me. 

She read the message, then looked at something in her mind, her face pensive.  

“But why hide?  Why not let people know that there are good monsters?”  

My smile was sad as I typed.  

And what was your first reaction?  People are scared of “other” and we are definitely that.  Besides, how can they tell us apart?  How can they truly know who is good and who is not?  It will come, in time, but that time is not yet.  Until then, we stay hidden and fight where most will never see.  

She still had a pensive look on her face as she read it, then something caught her eye. 

“Were those your clothes when you were human?” 

I couldn’t help but laugh, which startled her.  I waved a paw to let her know it was okay, and returned to the tablet.  

No, I am not that old.  And despite this gift from my wife, it’s not how I normally dress.  Think you may be confusing me with vampires, who still love to dress up in opera capes and such.  Clothes horses.  

The next question did not surprise me at all. 

“You have a wife?” 

It wasn’t completely incredulous, as there was some flat-out disbelief mixed in.

Yes, I do.  I’m incredibly lucky in that regard.  She is, but isn’t, like me.  Her fight is a different fight, and as such she does not transform as I transform.  We support each other, love each other, and fight together as needed.  We were brought together years ago, and I give thanks for that each day.  She’s away right now though.  

I caught a bit of side eye from her, but she was smart and tactful enough not to outright suggest I was lying about having a wife.  Though, from her face and body language, I think it was a struggle for her.  What came out this time was back to the original tack. 

“But science says you can’t exist.” 

I snorted at that and it took a while before I handed her the tablet.  

Science says no such thing.  Science is a process, and a good process for investigating the world.  There are people who claim science says or proves a number of things, though it does not.  Some words of wisdom for you:  if you can’t question it, it is not science, for science is a process of questioning.  There are gaps in science, as data can only tell you certain things, and in those gaps are things many would ignore, like me and those like me.  Keep an open mind, but not so open your brains fall out.  Question, gather data on the world, make your theorems, and then test them.  If reality is different from theory, reality is right and the theory wrong.  Finally, the only thing in this world that is beyond questioning is God’s love for us.  Everything else is fair game.  

She read it, clearly puzzled at parts.  Then she re-read it.  I hoped that she would remember it.  

Her mouth opened for another question, and I shook my head and raised a paw.  She sighed. 

“That’s what Father Leesom does when I ask too many questions.” 

My answer was quick, and accompanied by a strong feeling of commiseration for the good Father.  I was tempted to send him a bottle of brandy, but had the feeling a case or ten might be needed rather than a single bottle. 

There is no such thing as too many questions, just too many at one time.  Ask, but take the time to savor and think over the answers.  

Now, it is time to do battle.  Show me your best cookie pusher, and it had better be good. 

The grin that lit her face was distinctly feral.  I knew she would be a formidable foe, but I would prevail.  

Who the heck am I kidding?  $200 later she trotted out the door with my order and wouldn’t even leave the box of Solomons.  

I waited at the door and sure enough, Sister Agnes came up the drive.  Once she saw me, she stopped, made a rude gesture with one hand, turned, and slapped her rear a couple of times before stalking away.  The girl had obviously delivered my message of “Rangers rule, Marines drool” along with an offer to wash out her coffee mug.  

As I turned and walked inside, I made a face of sorrow and hurt.  My wife, now standing beside my chair in her robe, was laughing.  The laughing turned to concern at my face, and as she tilted her head in inquiry, I said to her in my mind. 

“I think Sister Agnes just asked me to spank her!”  

She fell into my chair laughing, and I do wish I could see the good Sister’s face when she heard about this.  I sat down carefully beside my petite bride, and sighed with contentment.  

“You could have warned me you know.”  

She chuckled as she turned into my chest.  

“This was more fun, and it was good to throw you a different challenge.”  

I harrumphed gently, but had to smile too.  

“I take it she’s been an issue at St Ailbhe’s?”  

She cracked out a ha, then looked up at me. 

“Oh, you could say that.  Given that the children there have had a brush or worse with the supernatural…. She doesn’t seem to remember anything, and her grandmother was very firm about there being no such things as monsters.  Add to it the amount of questions she has, and what might be called a shaky grasp of tact, and it has been interesting.”  

I nodded my head, glad that there was a place like St. Ailbhe’s for those children.  It was a school, an orphanage, and more — and the local diocese had no idea it existed.  The Sacred Order did it’s own thing in the long fight against Evil, which sometimes meant hiding locations in plain sight.  And from the Church that had founded it.  

It was no surprise when my robe was opened, hers came off, and she snuggled into my chest.  Together, we closed my robe back up over her, and it was her turn to give off a contented sigh.  I liked snuggle mode, and a smile twitched my muzzle as I thought of what I called ‘cold little girl’ mode.  In that case, her robe would have remained on but been open in the front, she would be lower down, and my robe would have closed over all of her.  She would then have done her best to wrap my hide around her.  Oddly appropriate since she has me wrapped around her little finger… 

I had joked one time about if I was killed she should tan my hide and use it as rug in front of the fireplace.  To say she didn’t take the joke well would be an understatement, and the fear in her eyes even more than the ugly cry had me promising to never make the joke again.  

She snuggled into my fur some more, and gave a small laugh.  

“I really am proud of you.  You resisted the temptation to make some entendres today.”  

“There were some opportunities, but not the right thing to do.  Besides, if she stays cute and asks nicely in about ten years, I’ll think about…”


If I’d been in human form, that fist in my ribs might have hurt.  Yea werewolf!

“You’re incorrigible!”  

“No, I’m very corrigible, but the only person who can corrige me is you,” I said with a smile. 

She groaned at that, but smiled.  

I carefully reclined the chair back a bit and we finished getting comfortable.  We dozed and snuggled, and enjoyed what was left of our day of rest.  

12 thoughts on “Trouble”

  1. first you claim to be a good monster.

    Then you “offer to wash out her coffee mug”.

    I mean, sure, the Sister did evil first by sending the girl scout to you, but your response was, well, pushing the boundaries and risking your immortal soul.

    I’ll have to read up on St. Ailbhe. My usual is St Vidicon of Cathode.

  2. Nicely done, I could see his home and imagine the werewolf and his wife. very enjoyable.

  3. Oh I so enjoyed this!
    I wish I had such an encounter when selling my Girl Scout cookies many years ago in Ohio. Ha

  4. Great fun. Thanks.
    I have my own weakness for those lumps of temptation. :-》
    John in Indy

  5. Very nice, indeed. A fun and lively read. The way you walked the boundaries was perfect.
    A Happy New Year to you, indeed!

  6. Nicely done! Your story (a virtual literary Solomon cookie) has tempted me to check out your other work. Thank you for some laughs to get the new year off to a good start.

  7. Thank you all very much for the kind comments! For all that it needs some editing and polish, this is the happiest I’ve been with a piece of short fiction in a long time. Please do look around, thank you for reading, and thanks again for the encouragement.

    BTW, it wasn’t evil to offer to wash the coffee mug. Suggesting to the girl that she do it would have been evil. 🙂

  8. I love the sentence “Some words of wisdom for you: if you can’t question it, it is not science, for science is a process of questioning.” I am stealing it to throw at nonbelievers.

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