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The Funk of Forty Thousand Years

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“How many times?” the girl asks.

Michael pretends to think about the question; in reality, he is appreciating how beautiful she is. It’s the late 70’s now, flared bell-bottom jeans and trailing peasant blouse that just hide her thin wrists. He likes the way her long earrings flicker when she moves, just as they do now when she approaches.

“Michael,” her voice low, trembling. “How many.”

“You’ve never asked before,” he says.

“I’ve never remembered before,” she says.

Michael nods slowly, apologetic. He wants reach for her, offering comfort, but she is all rigid lines and clenched fists. He sighs.

This isn’t the first time Michael has been careless, accidentally allowing memories to connect from one persona to the next, but it is the first where she’s noticed long enough to understand.

“I don’t keep count,” he admits.

Her mouth falls open, and from her lips come a low, gasping sob. It is a horrible sound.

He is relieved when she turns and starts running. She is fast in the jeans, and in no time passes the line of trees in her haste to get to the town in the distance.

A glance up confirms the moon coming out from behind the clouds. Almost time, then.

He lets his inner eyelids slide up, revealing the yellow beneath, while the rest of him shudders through the first tremors of transformation.

Michael is a werewolf tonight. It’s one of his favorites, second only to the zombie. The ghost and vampire forms have their own advantages, but she responds best to something she can see chasing her, instead of the kinds that sneak up.

He chases, and she screams.

She has a beautiful voice. It’s why he picked her, after all.