What would you do if you found a werewolf in your azaleas?
Werewolves are controlled in Vivian's time: coded, chipped, herded, and monitored by the authorities. But when she encounters one who seems to have left his pack, she has questions. Why is he here? Where did he come from? And, most importantly, is he dangerous?
For Vivian, a lifetime of being the good sister, the good employee, and the good neighbor aren't enough any longer. She's found that the Lure of the Wolf may be too strong.
“I think there’s a werewolf living in my azaleas,” Vivian Postlewaite said to her sister one Saturday morning in early April.
“They’re not your azaleas, Viv. They belong to the college,” Angela replied.
“Well, I fertilize them every summer; I prune them. I’m the one who takes care of them.” The sisters were pawing through a thrift store. Vivian held up a pale turquoise cardigan with an embroidered rose on the left side. The rose was delicately stitched with creamy silk at the center of its blossom, and graduated threads of wine, pink, and mauve for its petals. And so soft ... She rubbed it against her cheek.
Angela glanced at the sweater. “Ooooh, that’s dreadfully frumpy, it looks like something a librarian would wear.”
“I am a librarian.”
“Well, you don’t have to dress like one. When I ask you to come with me to find clothes for the theater group, I don’t expect you to buy clothes for yourself!” Angela held out a bright red circle skirt. “Don’t werewolves migrate north in April? I remember the news doing the regular little spiel about them just around tax time. It’s illegal to harass them, they’re a protected species, blah, blah, blah.”
“I always watch that coverage! The hundreds of them together, loping up to the mountain path --”
“You wouldn’t find it fascinating if you had children,” Angela snapped. “They’re just a bunch of mutants. Good riddance, I say.”
“There hasn’t been a recorded werewolf attack on a human in over fifty years,” Vivian protested.
“Recorded or not, they’re dangerous. I’m glad the president approved the funding for those programs, all of them. The Vampiric Studies Office, the Lycanthrope Commission. For God’s sake, it’s 2045! At least now, someone is keeping an eye on them. When I think of the way you and I grew up, with them running around ...” Angela sighed dramatically, like the former theater major that she was. “It’s a wonder we never ran into one of them back in the day.”
“Maybe this one was separated from its pack,” Vivian said. “It’s left quite a lot of rabbit bones and fur. I filled up nearly half a trash bag yesterday --”
“Just call the Commission. They’ll send out a trapper and you’ll be done with it.” Angela held up a ghastly lime-green shirt the exact shade of baby diarrhea. “How about this one?”