My sister owns a used bookstore specializing in rare works, and from time to time I assist her in her endeavors. I believe that there are moments when I am more of a hindrance than a help, but since I am her little brother she never says anything. The most important aspect of running this type of establishment is having enough stock on hand. The easiest way is having people come to the store to sell their books. Maybe ten in a hundred are bought by my sister. She has a good eye and knows what has value and what doesn’t. This is my weak spot when it comes to being involved in this business. I think anything old is an antique when actually most things old are worthless. But I try.
Another way of looking for books is to check out thrift shops. Whenever I pass one I stop and take a look. Sometimes people don’t know what to do with old books, so instead of throwing them away they donate them. Usually I return with books of little or no value. Most of them wind up outside my sister’s store on a table sitting on the sidewalk. Maybe one in twenty will wind up in the shop. However, one time I hit paydirt.
My sister at times finds books for a special, secretive clientele, namely werewolves. Anytime she finds anything that might interest them she puts the word out. Then she holds an auction. The money is good, so we both keep an eye out for anything that pertains to these people. That particular day when I was in the thrift shop I was up to my usual self buying worthless material. However, there was a leather bound tome with the title Werewolf. It was written in German.
I bought the book and returned to the store. My sister was quite pleased. She studied German in college, so she started work on translating it. It was a large book written in the mid 1800’s. There were thirteen chapters. Days later when she was done she made dozens of photo copies of the first twelve chapters. The information contained there concerned themselves about the history of werewolves. Pretty useful information if you are a shapeshifter. I asked her why she didn’t make copies of the thirteenth chapter, and all she said was, “Protection.”
My sister did put the word out and one night after hours she held the auction. I was there with her. I have dealt with a few werewolves in the past, and although you can feel their power, for the most part they are human. My sister had other helpers with her that night, and everything went well. She made a bundle. When everyone else had left it was just me and her. She opened a bottle of wine and the two of us had a little celebration. There was a knock at the door. I went to open it when my sister shouted, “Don’t !” But it was too late. A man, a werewolf, entered the store. I had met him once before, and he had given me the creeps. Tall and thin with a scarred and pitted face, he was a scary character. He ignored me and addressed my sister.
“The book. I want the original. You are a human with no right to it.”
Now, when he entered the shop we were all gathered in the middle of the store where my sister had a table set up, ironically with some of the books I had mistakenly bought. My sister and I were on one side-the werewolf was on the other. We started this strange movement around the table. It was a slow and menacing dance. My sister told him he couldn’t have the book, and since the book was written by a human she had a right to it. The werewolf never said another word but continued his slow dance. Then all hell broke loose. He started to transform. At first I couldn’t figure out what he was doing. He started to undress while the three of us circled the table. Then the wolf in him started started to come out. He was going to kill us and find the book and take it. Then my sister said something guttural and strange. The door of the shop flew open and the werewolf started walking out of the store backwards. My sister shut the door and we went to the window to watch. The werewolf kept walking backwards, and what was really weird was that he started to fade away. He walked right through people who seemed to have felt a sudden chill . They turned to look but couldn’t see anything other than a flicker of movement. He then proceeded across the street backwards right through a bus. By the time the bus moved he was gone.
I asked my sister what happened. Her nerves were frayed and she couldn’t talk for a moment. I gave her a glass of wine which she slowly sipped. When she was ready she told me. The thirteenth chapter of the book tells how to deal with werewolves who present danger. A silver bullet is a good weapon, but there are also chants and incantations that can handle a rogue werewolf. My sister used one of these curses to take care of this creature. She told me that the spell she used reverses time, and it works very quickly as we both saw. I asked her what happened to him, and she said that he continued backwards in time till there was no time left. He now ceases to exist, and he will never bother us again.
She asked me if I felt bad for this man, because in the end he was a man. I said I didn’t feel anything for this creature-he was going to kill us both for no real reason. But I did tell her to find other clientele. These werewolves are too weird and dangerous. “How about dealing with nuns?” I asked her. “The last I heard they never transform into some monster, and a lot of them are actually nice.” She just smiled.
©2012 Henry Peter Gribbin