Here is a sneak peek into the paranormal comedy novel AJ Burton has been writing for the past 18 months.
We hope you enjoy reading it half as much as we have enjoyed writing and editing it.
NB this work is sprinkled with malapropisms and is in NZ English. If the body of the text appears in caps it is a glitch in blogger, as it was not posted in caps.
Sometime after midnight tonight, I need to grow a pair. I must become a Gladiator, a Jedi Knight and Batman, all rolled into one. The Lycanthrope we face is immortal or even older and he is cunning, immensely strong and so, so deadly.
My name is Jake Fangle and I’m twenty three years old. Somewhere inside me there lurks a hero. Maybe he could cease lurking for just one night. This night!
The only glimmer of hope is that I too am a lycanthrope, of sorts. Sounds like some sort of parasitic tapeworm, doesn’t it? According to folklore, it is the correct terminology for a werewolf.
I swear upon my mother’s gin soaked corpse this story is completely true. Sorry mum, I didn’t really mean that. Guess there are some residual feelings which I haven’t dealt with yet.
This brief account is a confession of my failings, so you will understand what I have gone through and won’t judge me too harshly whatever the outcome. So here we go; I’ll try to be honest. There is no point in lying about where this all took place, except about the country, the town and the people in it. Remember this is the whole truth and nothing but the truth, except for the parts which are a complete and utter fabrication.
I’m no writer, I’ll get things in the wrong order sometimes; say the wrong word, put it in the wrong context. This syndrome is real and is referred to as a malapropism or bushism so it’s not all my fault. If you are a grammar nazi now is the time to put down your marker pen, take off your jackboots and learn that even those of us with the grammar retard gene have a right to tell our stories.
My mother didn’t trust the New Zealand Education Department so she home schooled her only child. No blackboard and chalk for me, instead she put her faith in a bottle of gin and a carpet slipper. Sometimes mum rang the school bell for assembly at three in the morning. Try to remember your fourteen times tables then, I dare you! Many a lesson ended in a thump as mum hit the floor after a few lunch break gins. So I’m afraid my education is somewhat lacking.
Mum left me the house when she died, so I do okay. I’m single so I don’t need to earn much to make ends meet. I never knew my father. According to my mother he was a lazy, thick-headed arsehole; hopeless with money and he didn’t have a romantic bone in his body. I wonder under what circumstances they managed to conceive me.
But to get back to the present, the last 28 days have dictated that tonight my friends and I stand and fight. My survival depends on confronting and vanquishing a beast who intends to devour me. The werewolf will never give up until I am deceased or even dead.
Thank goodness I won’t have to face The Dog No One Ever Speaks About alone. But what chance do two cowardly dogs, a brave but clumsy idiot, the WWWC, and a Hu-oodle have to destroy a real Lycanthrope?
Unless we can kill this hideous beast there is no hope for us. One by one he will track us down, each of our deaths too horrible to contemplate. My friends are precious to me and I don’t want any of them to die. Sometimes to my shame, I thought if the idiot got it, I could live with that. But even after all his screw-ups and systematic destruction of my home I wouldn’t wish that on him.
Should I fail, I shall be torn apart, ripped to pieces, eaten and once you are dead brother, life ain’t worth living. In the unlikely event I should be the victor I’ll become the local werewolf, so I must keep the real location of where this is all happening a secret. My home town could be a sleepy village in Hertfordshire, England, or an out the way town in the mid-west of the America’s or in the village of Sanyo in Japan. Or maybe it’s a country town called Wekawaka in the Wairarapa district of New Zealand.
Wekawaka is situated off State Highway Two but it also could be off Route 66 in California or the M1 motorway in England, or even the Hitachi yellow brick road in Japan.
It is a sleepy town with street lighting and shady trees lining the sidewalks. Generally everyone knows everyone else and their business. Think of Wekawaka as your everyday imaginary country town.
Wekawaka’s only distinction is that with alarming regularity tourists and trampers disappear in the rugged bush covered hills beyond the town. The rumour was that there was a sort of Bermuda Triangle effect going on and the local constable always seemed to be looking for someone. It didn’t bother us locals much; if the dopey tourists were too stupid to use a local guide that was their problem.
One out of towner, an Australian no less, once said.
“If New Zealand was a constipated person you would insert the enema hose up the main street of Wekawaka to give him relief.” It’s a pity he never went missing.
We have a post office, a main street with hardware store, supermarket, garages, assorted small shops, cafes and two burger bars, one at either end of the town. There is one police constable, or sheriff, or ninja, or whatever they call cops in Japan but I shall refer to him as Constable Knowsley.
Knowsley considers himself a talented super-cop with a one hundred percent clearance of burglaries. Knowsley’s crime busting abilities must be taken with a grain of salt. We only had two burglaries in town last year, and criminal offender turned out to be the constable’s twelve year old son Sheldon.
Whenever our policeman spoke to you it was usually to ask “Have you seen this person?” and you would be shown a picture of a tourist standing smiling beside a hired camper van. Funny thing was he never seemed to find any of the missing persons, not that we heard about anyway. Once you disappear in the Wekawaka triangle you never return.
Ken Wilson my neighbour across the street was a keen tramper. He was middle aged and owned a miniature poodle. Yancy-boy was his name, I used to tease him and called him Nancy-boy, but he never got the joke. Why Ken would want a tramping companion who was no bigger than an obese albino rat, totally escapes me. He certainly wouldn’t have been much use as a hunting dog and was about as scary as a brightly coloured tea-cosy.
Suppose he was kind of cute, he’d see you coming and yap around your heels like a wind up squeaky toy. Yancy-boy must have done something real bad last month on that fateful full moon night.