I had one chance—to jump for it, and even if I landed in the basket, I didn’t know how to control the balloon.

I grabbed onto the railing, to jump from the tower, while the wolfman looked at me and saw what I was planning to do.

He swiped at the bag, and missed. His yellow fingernails were three feet from my throat.

I sprang, and half-landed in the basket, which fell to eye-level with the werewolf.

It grabbed me, but knocked me out to sea on accident, and a fortuitous wind blew me to safety.

“Is that the end of your story?” Charlie asked.

“Stop interrupting me. Of course not. I navigated by the stars. There was a sail on the side of the balloon I could shift, to harness the wind. The flame was adjustable, depending on how much gas I released from the bottle.

I figured it out, and saw the opposite shore. It was South America, I assumed.

I could look back and see the island, like Sodom and Gomorrah. Suddenly, out of the blue, two fighter jets dived low, and the whole island exploded into flames.

I didn’t dare report that I wasn’t there.

Some government—maybe multiple governments, wiped that prison off the face of the earth.

When I got to shore, I joined a band of migrant workers, and we made our way to the US Mexico Border.

I snuck into my own country and got a fake ID and Social Security number.

But by then, I started to have these fits, like seizures at the end of the month. They came and went, so I didn’t think much of it. I got really horny during the full moon. I thought about raping women. I needed female companionship, so I got married. My seizures got worse and worse, until I started to grow in odd ways.

It was like a second puberty. Hair was coming out of everywhere. I had my hormones checked, but I was normal. I decided to do my own research. I knew, I probably had lycanthropy. Maybe, it was when the wolf grabbed me.

That rock was designed for werewolves.

The world government kept it a secret, and when they lost control, they destroyed it.”

“What did you do then?” Charlie asked.

“Quiet. I’m telling the story,” Bill said. “The only thing I could do, was to make the wolfsbane potion, but that formula was lost. I couldn’t even find it on the dark web. All of the formulas were on that Island. So, I decided to do a search, for any organization associated with that one, and it led me here.”

“You’re shitting me,” I said.

“Nope. I work the midnight shift and stay out of the sun. This facility is the one used to manufacture wolfsbane for the whole world. There are other islands too, that I don’t know about.”

“How do you know?” Charlie asked.

“Mysterious disappearances. Unexplained murders. If you know what you’re looking for, you can find it between the headlines.”

“So, you’ve been stealing chemicals?” I asked.

“Only enough, so that I don’t turn,” Bill said. “Call it a civic responsibility.”

“And you murdered your wife?” I asked.

“Not intentionally. I forgot to take my pills. It happens when you get older.”

“That’s some story, but why did you tell us?” Charlie asked.

“Because I need your help to rip-off this place. Bane Chemicals has increased their security. You know how difficult it is to complete our rounds, when we are doing what we are supposed to do.”

“No way,” I said.

“It’s too late.” Bill pointed to the security cameras. “They know who I am. It’s now or never. You are implicated.”

Charlie looked like he wanted to go home to his mother. I was about to become a police officer.

“How could you?” I asked. “You just ruined us.”

“This stuff, will make an ordinary man, a superman, and it has the power to tame the beast within. It’s more valuable than gold. It will unlock your cognitive potential—or do you just want to stand around for the rest of your life?”

“Not me,” Charlie said.

“Then read my instructions…”

I looked at them. They were the scribbles of a madman.

Suddenly, the courtyard was ablaze with lights. “William, come out with your hands up.”

Police in white lab coats walked towards us.

Bill looked like a trapped rat. His beady eyes were going this way and that. He ran for the electric fence.

“He’s trying to commit suicide!” Charlie screamed. “That’s 10,000 volts!”

But Bill fried on the fence like a bat. It was too late to save him.

“I suppose you boys want to know what happened,” the captain said. He had blond hair, shaped into a military crewcut, and his red sweater-vest made him look like Father Christmas.

“Bill escaped a maximum-security prison for the criminally insane. He was our most dangerous inmate. When he got out, he ripped the throat-out of a woman he thought was his wife. He believed he was a werewolf, because of the madness within. At the end of every month, he killed. I’ve been trying to track him down for 18 months.”

I noticed his silver revolver. “Is that police issue?” I asked.

“No. I had it custom built.”

“Can I see it?”

“Sure. You want to be a cop, right?”

“That’s right,” I said.

“I have a place on my crew, if you want to put in your application.”

I checked the bullets. They were silver.

“No thanks,” I said. I already have a job lined-up with the city.”

“You won’t be able to do much but hand out parking tickets.”

“That’s okay with me.”

“Here’s my phone number, in case you change your mind.” I looked at it, and thought about his red phone ringing…

The End

2 thoughts on “The End of Bill and His Story

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