Read Full MoonCity Online

Authors: Darrell Schweitzer,Martin Harry Greenberg,Lisa Tuttle,Gene Wolfe,Carrie Vaughn,Esther M. Friesner,Tanith Lee,Holly Phillips,Mike Resnick,P. D. Cacek,Holly Black,Ian Watson,Ron Goulart,Chelsea Quinn Yarbro,Gregory Frost,Peter S. Beagle

Tags: #thriller

Full MoonCity (8 page)

BOOK: Full MoonCity
2.06Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

As it turned out, Jerome Macy scooped us both. He held a press conference the next morning, revealed his werewolf identity to the world, and promptly announced his retirement from boxing, before anyone could kick him out. Jenna Larson’s exposé and call to action, and my interview of her on my show, were lost in the uproar. Almost immediately there was talk of stripping him of his heavyweight title. The debate was ongoing.

About a month later, I got a press kit from the WWE. For the new season of one of their pro wrestling spectacle TV series, they were “unleashing”-they actually used the word
unleashing
-a new force: The Wolf. Aka Jerome Macy.

So. He was starting a new career. A whole new persona. He had chosen to embrace his werewolf identity and looked like he was going gangbusters with it. I had to admire that. And I could stop feeling guilty about him and his story.

This changed everything, of course. He was going to have to do a lot of publicity, wasn’t he? A ton of promotion. Sometimes, patience was a virtue, and sometimes, what goes around comes around.

I picked up my phone and called the number listed in the press pack. I was betting I could get that interview with him now.

 

No Children, No Pets by Esther M. Friesner

I
am Emmeline. I am six.

I am a city werewolf. I live in Central Park. It is very near the Plaza Hotel.

I don’t like the Plaza because it is full of all these people who are always asking, “Where are your mommy and daddy, little girl?” when they see me in the lobby. It is absolutely annoying. Then I have to scootle right out of there as fast as I can go on two legs, which is not as fast as I can go on four, but if I were scootling around the lobby on four legs, I would not even get in the front door of the Plaza Hotel, or the side door or even the delivery entrance, for Lord’s sake.

Lily Packmother says that when I am older and have got some self-control, I will be able to walk right in through the front door of the Plaza Hotel and march right through that lobby and straight up to that check-in desk and tell them “One room with a view of Central Park, a dozen raw prime sirloin steaks, a fat bellboy, and charge it, please.” Then I will be able to get right onto that big elevator and ride up to the very top floor-even if my room is not on that floor-and get off and find the best place to lurk until the moon turns full. Then I can eat people.

Oooooh, I absolutely
love
eating people! I am much too small to eat a whole big one now, but when I get older, I will be able to eat sixty-eleven dozen of them without so much as batting an eye. Lily Packmother says, “Emmeline, you can’t be serious about eating so many people. You will give yourself a tummy ache.” But I am mostly entirely serious, even if it takes us werewolves longer to get old than people. Lily Packmother says it is something to do with dog years or backwards dog years or something. All I know is I will have to wait. I am good at waiting. It is all a matter of seeing it through until the Revolution. That is what my daddy says.

Central Park is my most favorite place in the whole city. It is full of all of these trees that are very good to hide behind in the dark and also to pee on if you are a boy werewolf, which I am not, thank heavens. Boy werewolves do not have any good manners like me, Emmeline, even if they are my fellow proletary fighters in the workers’ struggle and Daddy would say that I owe them solidarity. Solidarity is awfully important but boy werewolves smell bad and sometimes they try to rip your throat out to establish pack dominance. I completely dislike them.

There are lots of good smells in Central Park. Sometimes I am able to find the hot-dog man and take some mustard right off his cart to put on my food because everything in New York City tastes much better with mustard. I never eat the hot-dog man. There would be no more hot dogs. I am enormously fond of hot dogs. Central Park also has all of these pigeons, which are not very good to eat even if you completely slorsh them all over with every drop of mustard in the entire universe. Lily Packmother says that they are all right when you are incredibly desperate and about to starve to death right this very minute, which happens more than you might imagine when you are a werewolf. She says beggars cannot be choosers and that there are werewolves starving to death in China, so we should count our blessings because we are living in America and not Communists.

Then I hit her on the ankle with the leash I took off the last doggie I ate and remind her that my daddy is a Communist.

Lily Packmother doesn’t want me to grow up to be a Communist. She says that it is bad enough I am a poor motherless cub without my daddy having been a Communist and doing something as stupid as what he did when he heard about the Rosenbergs getting lectricuted. I don’t know what she is talking about. I don’t know what he did. I don’t know who the Rosenbergs are. No one in our pack is named Rosenberg. I think maybe they live in the Plaza Hotel and that is where my daddy is, too.

I wish he would come out. Nine months is an awful long time to be visiting people and leaving your daughter all by herself in the middle of Central Park one night when it was absolutely dark and there were all of these big monster sea lions from the zoo rampaging through the trees everywhere. My daddy told me to sit down on that park bench and not to move even
one inch
from there, because someone would come to find me eventually. He said that he was sick at heart about the Rosenbergs and witch hunts and all of those clowns and lapdogs in Washington, D.C., and that there was only so much one man could take, for Lord’s sake.

Here is what I like to do: pretend I know what grown-ups are talking about.

Then he said it would be better if I were raised by the System because he couldn’t get a job anywhere on account of the witch hunt and there was no way he could provide for me, so the System won, which was not fair at all and Marks was right. After that he went into these bushes and I sat on that park bench until I heard a very loud bang somewhere in the dark and I decided I had sat on that bench, not moving even
one inch,
long enough and I had to go somewhere else, in case those sea lions found me and stamped on me and absolutely devoured me. With mustard.

I ran and ran and ran until I came out onto a place by a fountain where I met this doggie who looked like a frog and he bit me. Then I ran away and I stopped bleeding almost right away instantly, which was completely strange, and I ran back into the park, which was where Lily Packmother found me.

She said, “Hello, little girl, I see you have been bitten and turned into a werewolf. That means you are one of us now and we will look after you.”

I said, “Hello, my name is Emmeline and are you the System?”

When you are bitten by a werewolf or even a wolf and you go on and the moon gets full, you have to turn into a wolf, too. That is the law. I was not bitten by a wolf. I was bitten by a dog that had this curly little tail and these big googly frog eyes, but Lily Packmother said that she could smell wolf on me, which means that dog must have had a lot of wolf in him somewhere. I do not know where; he was much too small to have a lot of anything in him anywhere, let alone a whole wolf.

Here is what Lily Packmother likes to say: “The acorn does not fall far from the tree.”

Here is what I say: “I was not bitten by an acorn.”

And here’s the thing of it: when the next full moon came, I turned right into a werewolf and went out and caught and ate three squirrels and a collie and part of a sleeping man on a park bench who smelled funny and tasted like old shoes, so Lily Packmother was right about that dog.

Lily Packmother says she is always right. She says this is because she has the most spearience of anyone in the whole pack because she was bitten by another werewolf hundreds and thousands and billions of years ago, in the 1920s right before the stock market went to Hades. I don’t know where Hades is. I think that it is somewhere in California or Detroit. I am very specially good at geography. I know how to take the crosstown bus all by myself.

There was this time that one of our pack said that Lily Packmother was wrong and they had this duel and Lily Packmother tore his throat right open with her teeth even though she was not a wolf at the time, which was highly inconvenient, and there was this blood slorshing all over everywhere, for Lord’s sake, and my dress was entirely ruined.

Lily Packmother said, “Emmeline, you can’t be seen in public like that even if you are a werewolf because blood will tell.” I asked, “What will it tell?” and she said, “The police,” and I remembered what Daddy says about the police being capitalist tools to repress the proleterrycats, so I said, “I need a new dress.”

Lily Packmother went away and came back with this very fawncy frilly dress for me. I asked her where she found it and she said some people should learn to watch their children better. I put it on and said, “Thank you very much, it fits perfectly, and I hope this is not the product of the sploitation of the working classes.” Then I spun around and around to make the skirt go whoosh all swirly and I fell down into the bushes and skinned my knee.

Here’s what I can do:

Climb trees

Spell

Curtsy the way Mama taught me before Daddy told her it was an affectation of the boorshwazee and she died

Slurp the insides out of squirrels

Make fur hats

Howl

Quote Marks

Fight for the Revolution and the workers and topple the capitalist pigs and destroy the oppressive System when I get older

Draw a horse

There are lots of horses near Central Park. They pull these handsome cabs filled with people through the park at all hours of the day or night. I like horses, specially the brown ones. My fur is brown. It sprouts all over my body and grows soft and plushery when the full moon rises over the trees and the buildings and the fountain in front of the Plaza Hotel. At first it itches on my face. That is where the fur entirely bursts out before it grows anywhere else on me at all. Then I have to scratch it with this broken rattle that this baby who had it before me wasn’t going to use anymore.

A broken rattle makes a very good back scratcher.

Lily Packmother says, “Emmeline, you must stop scratching your fur! If you break the skin, you will get the mange, and then where will you be?”

I say, “I will be in Central Park.” I don’t know what the mange is, but I am pretty sure it is something I can blame on the capitalists.

Lily Packmother says that it’s a good thing that all of us in the pack itch when the full moon rises, because the itching gives us fair warning that the Change is upon us and we should wriggle out of our human clothes just as fast as we can or else they will rip themselves to pieces right off our bodies in utter shreds when we turn into wolves. This is specially true of the pack males, who all wear trousers, which do not grow on trees.

I want to wear trousers, but Lily Packmother says they are not the proper attire for a young lady and she ought to know. She was a deb-you-tont before she got bit by that man from Rumania or Bohemia or Astoria or someplace else they talk with that accent. That man met her at a big dance at the Plaza Hotel when Lily Packmother was still just Plain Lily and her younger sister Marie Isolde was getting married in the White and Gold Room. Everyone was saying what a dreadful shame it was that Plain Lily’s sister was getting married before she was, and she couldn’t even tell them it was on account of how Marie Isolde stole her boyfriend by being no better than she should be and having round heels.

I still want to wear trousers.

Here’s what Lily Packmother likes: Doris Day movies.

Here’s what I like:
The Adventures of Robin Hood
with Richard Greene on television even though we don’t have a television in the park so I can’t see him anymore.

One day I was walking through Central Park and I came to that zoo and went to look at those ravaging sea lions for a while. It was very hot and sunny and I was absolutely dying of thirst and shriveling up into ashes like a bug when all of a sudden I saw that dog with those frog eyes who bit me that time. He was with this little girl and this rather large and musty woman so I went right up to them and said, “I am Emmeline, your dog bit me, and now I am a werewolf, do you want to play?”

The woman looked down her nose at me and said, “Our Louise cawn’t cawn’t cawn’t be playing with just any child who comes along, her mother
knows
people.”

I said, “That is all right because my daddy knows the Rosenbergs.”

That was when the woman just scooped up that little girl and vrooshed away with her over one shoulder and that dog running after them on little tiny scootly legs because everybody dropped that leash, and it was dragging on the ground for anyone to grab so I did. I held on to it with two hands and absolutely yanked it. That frog dog stopped-
goink!
-just like that, and his legs all kept going but his neck didn’t and he landed on his back looking up at me so I said, “Hello, I am Emmeline and you bit me. That is boorjwa oppression and what do you intend to do about making restitution to the prolethingiat?”

And that frog dog looked up at me and said,
“You’re
the One!” He sounded just like David Niven.

Ooooooh, I absolutely adore David Niven! I sneak into all his movies.

Just then that musty lady came back with that little girl walking behind her howling and blubbering and having the worst temper fit I have ever seen in my entire whole life. The little girl ran right up to that frog dog and scooped him up in her arms and made this most hideous ugly face at me and said, “Don’t you dare steal my dog! Do you want to play?” So we did.

Her name is Louise. She is six. She lives in the Plaza Hotel. She wanted me to go to the Plaza with her to play but the musty lady said, “You cawn’t cawn’t cawn’t possibly just go waltzing off with us like this, child. Your Mummy and Daddy will become concerned.”

I said, “I don’t know how to waltz, but I can curtsy, my daddy is still in the Plaza Hotel and my mommy is dead.” That made the musty lady creak right down on one knee in front of me and hug me to her chest, which is all fluffy. She said some people should never have children and called me a poor little lost lamb. I tried to tell her I am not a lamb, but it was extremely difficult with all that fluffiness. Then the little girl thwapped the musty lady on top of her head with her fist so hard that she crunched her felt hat and said, “Stop blubbering, you old prune, you’re wasting our time. If her daddy’s in the Plaza, she can come play in my room
now
!”

So I did. We went right up to those big front doors and across that lobby and straight up to the very top floor in that elevator. Then we just raced right down that hall and Louise kicked on the door to her apartment until that musty lady caught up to us and let us in with a big metal key. It took her too long, so Louise kicked her in her ankles and said, “Amanda, you are ugly and you stink and as soon as my mother calls I am going to tell her to have you fired and sent back to Hell or England.”

Amanda is Louise’s governess. She looks like pillows. She takes care of Louise because Louise’s mother is always someplace more important.

Louise and Amanda live in these big rooms at the very top of the Plaza Hotel. Louise has millions of toys and is bored a lot. She asked me what I wanted to play and I said dolls because I can’t remember the last time I had a doll to play with, for Lord’s sake, but the absolute instant I touched one of her dolls she snatched it right out of my hands and smashed its head against the wall and said dolls were stupid and we were going to play something good.

BOOK: Full MoonCity
2.06Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

Other books

Love vs. Payne by Stefani, Z.
Black Sheep by CJ Lyons
Brooklyn & Beale by Olivia Evans
COVET: Deceptive Desires by Amarie Avant
The Girl and the Genie by Lilly, E. M.
The King's Deryni by Katherine Kurtz
His Royal Prize by Katherine Garbera
Southern Romance by Smith, Crystal