When the Wolfbane Blooms — Chapter One

by Arnold Snyder

“The werewolves are demanding more chocolate,” I said. This was depressing.

Bridget looked alarmed. She peered through the cage door, shaking her head. “They’re weeping,” she said. “They’re in some kind of emotional distress.”

I really fucked up this time. I never should have brought her here. I was trying to get in her pants and I thought it would impress her if I could show her some real werewolves. But this was far from romantic.

The wolves were moaning in pain, rolling on the cement floor and holding their cramping guts. The chocolate made them constipated and for some reason seemed to fill them with unbearable sadness. Yet, they couldn’t stop craving it.

Two of the wolves got up on their hind legs, growling fiercely, their front claws gripping the cage bars, rattling them menacingly. One of them was shirtless. The other’s shirt was—like most of the other wolves’—in shreds. I had more chocolate, but I had no intention of accommodating them.

Half a dozen puppies, all mixed-breed mutts I’d picked up at the pound earlier, were wandering around the floor of the cage, trying to keep out of the werewolves’ way. The wolves had no interest in the puppies.

I should make a YouTube video. Cute little puppies and miserable werewolves. It’s especially adorable when the wolves are doubled up on the floor in agony and the dumb pups are trying to sniff the wolves’ butts.

The wind howled outside the facility and whistled through the cracks in the windows. How on earth could I have been so stupid as to bring Bridget here?

I’d just met her a few hours earlier at a vampire party. Not real vampires, just people who put on fake fangs and wear ghastly makeup. The star of the house party was the tall handsome blond guy with the upper canine fang implants and the cat’s-eye contacts. Nosferatu was screening in the basement where a girl with short pink hair was playing an organ/synthesizer to accompany the film.

I liked Bridget because she wasn’t wearing fangs or weird makeup. She tried to sell me a six-day vacation to Dracula’s castle in Romania. “This is the actual castle in Transylvania where Dracula lived,” she said.

“Is it?” I said. “That sounds fascinating.” I knew for a fact that Bram Stoker’s Dracula was loosely based on Vlad Dracul, “the Impaler,” a fifteenth-century prince in Walachia, close to Transylvania, but no cigar. And although Vlad was a blood-thirsty sociopath, he was not a vampire.

I let Bridget go on for a while with her Transylvania sales pitch. I feigned interest in her stories of recent sightings of Dracula at the castle. But what I was really interested in was her body. To use an old-fashioned term, she was voluptuous, derived from the Latin voluptas, meaning pleasure. That’s what I saw when I looked at her, and what I felt when I stood close to her. Pleasure.

She obviously mistook me for someone with money because her vacation package was being offered for close to five thousand dollars.

We discussed world politics for a while, and music and literature and even poetry. I feared she was more well-read than me, as there didn’t seem to be a topic she couldn’t expound on at length—including chemistry and physics, which were not my strong suits. But I let her prattle on, not really paying attention to her words so much as the lyricism of her voice. Pleasure.

And I won’t deny it was her pussy that was really driving me crazy. She had a beautiful pussy. Her yoga pants were hugging that sweet slit so tightly. She was succulent, ripe, and she knew, didn’t she, that she was flagrantly displaying her camel toe? Girls always know that, don’t they? It’s never accidental, is it?  She was younger than me, probably in her mid-to-late-twenties, but old enough to know.

Here’s what killed me: I kept backing away from her, just slightly, so I could casually and seemingly inadvertently glance at her crotch. But for every small step I backed away, she moved closer to me, so I couldn’t get a good long look at her. Mentally, I was already eating her out.

We started having a conversation about werewolves.

She said that vampires and werewolves were the only “monsters” she believed in, not knowing that I had personally known hundreds of werewolves, though I did not believe in the existence of vampires. Everyone at this vampire party was a phony. Vampires, to me, were like Santa Claus—just a story you tell to children.

Werewolves, on the other hand, were my business, the source of my livelihood, my job. Normally, I wouldn’t reveal such a thing to anyone, but in addition to her gloriously fine pussy, she had magnificent tits. I wanted to impress her.

Assuming I would be a disbeliever, she strongly defended the existence of werewolves, insisting that her own brother who lived in Marseilles was a werewolf. I knew firsthand that there was a small but thriving werewolf community in the south of France. I’d spent a summer there after my graduation from college. But I wasn’t sure she was telling the truth about her brother, be he real or imagined.

Still, I was starting to like Bridget on a deeper level, not just because of her scrumptious bod (from the Old English bastardization of the Latin sumptuosus, meaning very expensive), but because she wasn’t a phony who believed in vampires—she was a con artist trying to sell vampire vacation packages to those who pretended to believe in them. That impressed me. So, I was curious about whether the werewolf brother she spoke of was real or just another fable she was spinning. But either way, I liked her. Plus, she was a redhead, and it was real red hair, long and thick and wavy. She had that delicate fair skin that redheads always have.

So I spilled the beans, or at least, some of the beans. I decided to confide in her because I have a weakness for succulent cute girl scam artists. I told her I could take her to see a whole roomful of werewolves if she was interested. She said she was. I asked her if her brother in Marseilles had a fondness for chocolate.

“You mean when he’s not a wolf?” she asked.

“I mean when he is a wolf,” I said.

“Of course not. He’s strictly a carnivore as far as I know. But he doesn’t attack people, just small livestock—goats and lambs, chickens. He’s a very decent person. He’s a horticulturist at the Collège Adolphe Monticelli.”

“Well, hopefully he’ll never discover chocolate,” I said. “Because werewolves have a weakness for it and it doesn’t agree with their digestive systems.”

“I would guess it gives them diarrhea,” she said. “That’s how it affects dogs.”

“Quite the opposite in werewolves. We don’t know why but it constipates them and gives them cramps. These wolves I’ll show you later tonight are chocolate addicts. We’re trying to treat them, very unsuccessfully.”

Of course, I realized a few hours later, as soon as we’d entered the werewolf facility, that this would not be a very romantic date. The misery on the wolves’ faces, the horrific postures they twisted into as a result of their abdominal pain, the guttural lupine moans and growls of agony. What was I thinking?

I picked up the phone and called Doctor Vanschtubenbergh. “They want more,” I said.

“More what?” he said.

“Chocolate,” I said. “They’re in absolute misery. I’m about to give up on this project, Doc. I can’t take much more of this.”

“Dustin, Dustin, Dustin,” Vanschtubenbergh said, “you’re the only person on the planet who cares about the wolves’ penchant for chocolate—”

“It’s more than a penchant,” I said.

“Yes, I know, I know, Dustin, but look at it from the average person’s perspective. These wolves want nothing but chocolate and it constipates them. Now think of how many neighborhood dogs and cats are saved. Did you try fresh puppies? Werewolves love a nice young puppy treat.”

“They have zero interest in the puppies,” I said. “Can you believe it? Werewolves with no interest in puppies? I had to go out and buy puppy chow to keep the pups active, and now there’s puppy shit all over the cage floor. The wolves just ignore them.”

“But think of all the farm animals whose lives are not curtailed before they’re ready to be served on our dinner tables,” Vanschtubenbergh said. “If you did a survey, most people would prefer that werewolves eat chocolate, especially when the alternative is raw flesh, be it human or subhuman. This is not a failed experiment. We’ve learned that werewolves can become fond of foods other than living meat. And we’ve found a food that actually sedates them, at least until it starts causing heartburn. Now, if we could find something that would agree with their digestive systems. I’m wondering about peppermint.”

“What’s he saying?” Bridget said.

I cupped my hand over the phone. “He’s refusing to feel empathy for the wolves,” I said, “or sympathy for my predicament,” then into the phone, “Right now, Doc, I’m trying to deal with an emotionally charged situation here. I’m wondering what we expect to get out of this chocolate experiment. We’re playing with people’s lives. How do we end it?”

“How many times have I advised you to not get personally involved with the subjects?”

“I’m not getting involved with them.”

“Every once in a while, an experiment produces an unexpected result,” Vanschtubenbergh said, “so we go back to the drawing board. Those wolves are hooked on a drug that gives them indigestion. It’s not the end of the world.”

“It’s something more than indigestion, Doc. And it’s not heartburn. You should hear their cries. They’re weeping for the plight of the world.”

“Don’t be so melodramatic, Dustin.”

“I swear, Doc, I’ve never heard such anguished wailing in my life. The chocolate seems to wake up some ancient memory in them, something very unpleasant. There’s a predator therapist in California. I found him online. Only works with the wild canis and felis species. Wolves, foxes, jackals, hyenas, bobcats, tigers, leopards, panthers. I doubt he’s worked with werewolves, and he may not even know they exist, but I think we should talk to him, sound him out. Maybe he can help.”

“Yes, Dustin, I know Doctor Leviticus quite well. I’ll give him a call. First thing tomorrow morning.”

“Yes, Leviticus, that was his name. You know him?”

“We worked together at a veterinary hospital in Los Angeles a decade or so ago. Haven’t kept in touch much through the years, but I assure you he is quite familiar with werewolves.”

“What do you want me to do tonight, Doc? These wolves are in pain. Physical and emotional.”

“Come at once to my laboratory.”

“I’m with a date.”

“A date? At the wolf facility?”

“She’s cool, Doc. Her name’s Bridget.”

“Bring her with you. We can have some fun with her.”

“You’re not going to kill her, are you?”

“What’s he saying?” Bridget asked.

I cupped my hand over the phone. “One of his parakeets has gotten ill and he’s afraid it might infect all of them,” I whispered to her.

“Of course not,” Vanschtubenbergh said. “Not her body anyway. Her mind … I’m going to brainwash her.”

“What should I do about the werewolves?” I asked him again.

“No more Hershey bars. Just leave them in the cage. By tomorrow afternoon, the moon will wane and they’ll become human again.”

“But they’ll wake up confused, maybe even terrified, and even if I use the amygdala douche, I have to explain this to them.”

“Worse things have happened to werewolves. So long as you come up with a story that makes sense, you’ll have no problems with them. Anyway, I’m working on something to fix their chocolate cramps. We’ll try it out on them next month. Now hurry. I want to show you my latest experiment.” He hung up.

I hated the thought of having to deal with the werewolves once they’d returned to their human forms. There’s no story that makes sense. How do you describe to a man who awakens half-naked, what clothes remain on his body in tatters, on a cement floor in a cage, with a half-dozen other men, and in this instance, one woman, but all strangers, who have no idea they’re werewolves and will have no memory of their previous night’s adventures, that everything’s okay, so just wash up and go home? This was not the job I signed on for when Doctor Dolphus Vanschtubenbergh hired me.

“Bridget,” I said, “Doc wants us to come to his lab.”

“I’m not up to it,” she said. “I feel ill. It’s so disgusting in here. I really just want to go home.”

I knew it! Jesus, I fucked up! “But he’s specifically asking to meet you,” I said. “You should see his laboratory. He’s been working with parakeets lately. Doing incredible things with them.”

We stepped outside the facility and I padlocked the iron door behind us. Just to breathe fresh air was a relief. We started walking to my car in the parking lot. It had been a hot day, and humid, and now that dusk was settling in the air felt thick and oppressive.

“Oh, Dustin, you know I like you, but do I have to?”

She likes me! Hallelujah! I wondered what she’d be like brainwashed. Could I make her my slave?

“I’m taking you out to dinner right afterwards,” I said. “Ozzie’s Oyster House.”

She gave me a forced smile and an exaggerated shrug. “You drive a hard bargain, mister,” she said. “Okay, I’ll go see this Doctor Vanhamburger with you.”

“Vanschtubenbergh,” I corrected her. Personally, I hate oysters. For some reason, women find oyster slurping a form of foreplay. Many times, I’ve gagged down a dozen or more of the slimy things just to get a girl into bed.

On the way to Doc’s lab, Bridget grilled me. “You have to explain this to me,” she said. “How did they get addicted to chocolate?”

“Obviously, it was an accident,” I said. “The Doc had a feeling that chocolate would have a tranquilizing effect on them. More than a feeling, he’d performed some experiments on a few of them. It mellowed them right out. So, we started giving it to a bigger group of them—the seven we saw tonight—every full moon. Then we found out they wanted more and more, and we continued to oblige them, but after a while, they weren’t very mellow anymore. Chocolate became the only thing they would eat, and in such quantities, it gives them terrible stomach pain. We cut them off, but found out some of them were shoplifting in convenience stores—chocolate bars, chocolate ice cream, chocolate cupcakes, whatever they could find. Very high-risk behavior for werewolves, who tend to avoid confrontations with humans. Maybe you’ve seen some of the surveillance videos on the TV news. The cops think they’re guys in fancy Hollywood makeup. They’re looking for them. This is not the kind of publicity we need. Now we lock them in a cage. We’ve learned our lesson.”

“So how did you get all seven of them into that cage?”

“They’re all patients of Doctor Vanschtubenbergh. He has a psychiatric clinic. He’s also created a brainwashing technique that works beautifully on werewolves and humans alike. They don’t know they’re werewolves yet because we capture them each time they transform from were to wolf, then brainwash them each time they transform back from wolf to were. Every time, they remember nothing. I’ve probably done a hundred individual brainwashings in the past year. But this will be the first time we’ve tried doing a group of them at the same time. Not a well-thought-out plan. It’s going to be a royal pain in the ass tomorrow to do seven simultaneous brainwashings to get these guys into condition for going home. I get a headache just thinking about it.”

“Maybe I can help you tomorrow,” she said.

Is she the girl of my dreams or what? I started to fantasize once more about making her my slave, but I also knew it was not something I could realistically accomplish with a single brainwashing. But I loved the idea of the experiment.

“So how did you happen to find these seven werewolves?” Bridget broke into my thoughts.

“Vanschtubenbergh chose them,” I said. “They had formed a choir in the cemetery and I saw them singing once—beautiful harmonies. He told me they always give a concert when the moon is full.”

“A concert?”


“A choir?”

“I guess you’d call them an a cappella group. They howl together.”

“I don’t believe you.”

“What do you mean?”

“That’s too far-fetched. You can’t tell me those creatures we just watched growling like rabid ogres are choirboys.”

“I’m telling you, Bridget, you’re just seeing the results of chocolate addiction. You told me your own brother was a decent person, even when he was a wolf.”

She looked at me like she wasn’t quite buying my argument and she was trying to process my words. “But a choir?” she said at last.

“Have you ever heard your brother howl?”

“No, not really. I’ve never seen him as a wolf. He’s embarrassed about it actually. He goes off into the woods.”

“Werewolves have beautiful voices—almost operatic. And a group of them harmonizing—once you’ve heard them, it’s something you never forget. I’ll tell you what I’m going to do. I’m going to set up a concert for you.” I felt like I was digging my grave. This was not a feat I could easily pull off.

“Most people don’t even believe in werewolves,” she said. “I do … but now you’re telling me things about them I find hard to believe.”

“Like I say, I’ll get a few of them together for you. You just saw the worst of them tonight. They’re not all like that. But don’t take my word for it. Let me prove it to you. But let’s go see the Doc. Then, dinner at Ozzie’s.” I have every intention of fucking this girl tonight, so I’ll say whatever it takes.

If you want to buy When the Wolfbane Blooms on Amazon (a thoughtful gift if you have a friend with a perverse sense of humor), click here.

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