And it seems most of them are for Birthdays.
Anyway, should anyone wonder where I am, I'm on Twitter most of the time @Wolfie_Rankin or Facebook or G+ and a bunch of other places.
Anyway, the method we'd choose is driving, Funny really because this is what dad did for a living, he drove a delivery truck for a company which made V-Belts which kept engines in quarries and factorys going, they also made massive conveyor belts for some of the largest mines in the country.
You'd think Dad would have been sick of driving, but he never was, He relished the idea of going somewhere different. He'd get stuck into planning the route he'd take, there'd be two stops up and two back, Mum wanted that, We'd be booked into a motel around seven o'clock in the evening and get up early the next day to continue the journey.
I think I preferred driving there, you could see the country change from suburbia to green country, and to endless stretches of road through desert where cattle and sheep looked like they had nothing to eat, and then to golden fields of canola and winding roads through forested hills.
If we'd flown, we would have missed all that, although sometimes in our rush to get to our destination, we'd miss small things that looked interesting. Well we couldn't look at everything, My parents only had a week off work, so we had to get there.
We'd often bring my Niece and Nephew who were just kids at this stage, but on this trip, we took a friend of the family, A Finnish woman who had lived in the same street as us. Mum and her were pretty close, She had had her first child the day after I was born... and for a few years, we grew up together.
Now we never booked a motel, mainly because if we got to our destination hours earlier than we thought, then we'd have to sit, and that was fruestrating for everyone. So, When we got to a town around the time that we were ready to bed down, we'd find a reasonable place to have some tea, grab a shower, watch some tv and sleep.
Sometimes the Motels were quite good, most of them were very clean and comfortable, but not always.
We pulled into this one Motel in New South Wales (One of the states of Australia, the one with Sydney as it's main city) it was in a small-ish town. My parents left the car and went to see if they could get a room and minutes later came back with some keys and drove to the end of the small building, I think there were only about eight rooms or so.
I ran in and switched on the TV, all I cared about was watching Simon Townsends Wonder World, (4pm, yes it was early this time) and hastily getting my bags inside.
The man who ran the place walked in with towels, I complained that the TV wasn't working properly, the picture was all snowy, which seems a bit of a brattish reaction, I mean, what could he have done? Climed the roof and swivelled the antenna? Sometimes reception in these places wasn't the best.
He was a grumpy sort of fella, and maybe I'd made things a bit worse.
I don't remember anything about the rest of the evening, I suppose we were all tired, had something to eat and watched TV.
I do remember how it was laid out, there was a kitchen/loungeroom which led to two bedrooms, A double bed in my Parents room, and two singles where Violet and I would sleep.
After showering, We realised that there weren't enough towels to go around, Dad tried to get some more from the office, the owner didn't like him asking for more, but I think Dad managed to get a few extras anyway.
The lights outside the Motel went off about nine if I remember right, a very strange thing to happen. We would've thought the place would have stayed open for people blowing in through the night, a lot of truckies drove through these small towns and would pull into motels at odd hours. there was nobody here but us as far as I can remember. Motels usually don't turn all their lights off even if they're full as people still need to get to their cars for things.
We went to bed and slept.
The next morning we had a story, Mum was in the next room getting dressed or somesuch and Dad came into our room and told us what had happened during the night.
There was a man in their room, Dad had woken up and spotted him, and got out of bed and said "What the hell are you doing in here?" The stranger wandered into the kitchen and Dad followed, but when Dad got close, the man simply vanished in front of his eyes. Dad told us not to tell Mum about it.
Violet then said that he'd been in our room, She'd woken and saw him wandering around for a while.
Needless to say, we couldn't wait to get out of there and continue to Tweed Heads in Queensland.
Werewolves of Melbourne will continue, once I get the bug for it, stand by.
The doorbell went and I answered it.
Two policemen stood there, one taller than the other.
"Hello, I'm Sargeant Davidson and this is Constable Blake, You must be Peter?" He smiled. "Yes that's right" You know, I've never been in trouble with the police but for some strange reason I always felt nervous talking to them, as if I was about to find out that I'd done something which I couldn't remember doing. "Come in".
Sergeant Davidson was a lean sort of man with a few lines in his face, some greying hair and bright blue eyes, he had a cheerful expression and manner which he used very well.
Constable Blake was younger and looked a lot like like Shirl from Skyhooks, he even had the curly hair.
"Now you've all been put through the mill, so we don't want to upset you, just want to get a few more facts that's all, and then we can leave you in peace, would that be ok?" He smiled.
Everything was explained in detail.
How I'd heard the intruder first but was "too scared" to do anything, and how Dad had discovered the man in the lounge during a run for the toilet, then onto me finally summoning up my courage and throwing him out the window.
We stood in Mums room, Constable Blake wrote details into his notepad.
"Now... inquired Sergeant Davidson, "Peter, You stood near the window and..."
"No, I didn't... I was here" I was a good five metres away from the window.
Constable Blake cast a look to his Sargeant who said "Right, ok... so you picked up this bloke who weighs about eighty to eighty five kilograms, twelve stone or so in the old money... and you carried him to..."
"No Sir" I said "I threw him... from here"
"But you couldn't have, that's impossible," Seargeant Davidson looked confused, "you wouldn't have that sort of strength... nobody would."
Constable Blaker asked "Perhaps we could go outside and see where the man fell?"
We nodded and took the police outside.
They looked at the tear in the flyscreen, and at a bit of clothing which had caught on the rose bush and at the point of impact which was not at the base of the rose bush but across the garden path.
Constable Blaker took out a measuring tape and measured the distance from the window to the impact site among the river stones, "Five metres" he said, as he looked up to the Sargeant, baffled.
Sargeant Davidson stepped back and examined the scene, the wheels were turning in his mind as he tried to work out a plausible explanation, but nothing would fit, He turned to my Dad and said "Did you by any chance forget to tell me about the cannon you must have hidden inside? because I cannot see for the life of me, how a man can be thrown out of a ground floor window, and land five metres away... Even if Peter here, had been standing right next to the window, and yet he says he was standing on the other side of the bedroom... it defies the laws of physics."
I thought back on the night before and offered sheepishly "Well... I do remember making a small run towards the window, I think, anyway".
Nobody said a word for a while until Constable Blake broke the silence with "What if you managed to lift him and as he went through the window, decided to make a run for it, put his foot on the windowsill and propel himself outwards to the impact site, falling on the stones and breaking a rib?"
Dad looked at me and smirked, "Could be".
"Yeah, sounds about right, I mean I didn't see what happened after he went through the flyscreen" I said, truthfully.
Sergeant Davidson suggested "Perhaps, considering the situation, which must have been pretty frightening, you somehow managed to lift him, perhaps you caught him off balance, and ran to the window? Then he, as the Constable suggests, got a footing and attempted to run for it?"
The Seargent let out a deep sigh, "Blake, I think we're finished" Then he turned to us and said "Thankyou, I realise how stressful things like this can be, it's often hard to remember details, but if you do... not that it matters all that much, but... here's my card, give us a tingle if you remember anything new, ok?"
I took the card and thanked him, Constable Blaker smiled and waved... and they left.
Dad smiled knowingly at me.
I thought that I'd need to be careful in future, I could do something very difficult to explain and land myself in a lot of hot water.
It was a hot morning, My parents and I sat in the kitchen.
They didn't say much but their eyes said everything they couldn't, they looked defeated while I felt the frustration of failing to protect them. Mum sat in her nighty and sipped the coffee that dad had made for her.
I stirred my tea slowly, watching the sugar crystals swirl around at the bottom of the cup. "I'm sorry I wasn't there sooner, I heard him when he first came in, but I couldn't change."
"It's alright Son, you did your best" Said Dad, who added "I feel pretty useless myself, I would've still been in bed but damn well started bleeding."
"He didn't do that?" I asked, surprised.
"Nah, I picked at a scab, bled everywhere so I got up to get a facewasher... needed a pee anyway... saw the bloke when I put on the light... tried to grab him but he pushed me back and next thing I knew he had a pipe in his hands, mad bastard." He shook his head and frowned
"I don't remember much after throwing him through the window" I said, "I don't believe I just picked him up and threw him out the window."
"Throw him out the window?" said Dad quietly"...I thought you were gunna fucking eat him"
I looked at Mum, her pale blue eyes seemed washed out and there seemed to be a lingering trace of fear, was it for the intruder or for me? When I grabbed that man and held his trembling body, his shakey breath catching in his tight throat, the veins sticking up in his neck, in his eyes... the look of a rabbit who was about to be food for a hungry wolf. and then the effortless way that I hurled his almost weightless body outside.
I looked back to my Mother, who's face had changed from a look of defeat into the kind of determination that older Australians had cultivated through the war years, and then she said in an angry sort of tone that I wasn't expecting, "Well if you did eat the bugger, who's fault would it have been? not yours, He came in where he wasn't wanted, and that happened, so stuff him." She slammed a hand down on the table and frowned...
She continued "If you go into the ocean when the sharks are there and you get your leg bitten off, you can't blame the shark, can you?"
She was right, absolutely right.
I took a deep breath and let it go, Mum had found her fire and would be fine, and so would we, I suppose when it came down to it, Mum was pack leader.
She got up off her chair and decided to cook breakfast, which wasn't something we saw much of as we mostly had toast and cereal, but it looked like Mum had to do something now, in her mind, she was giving the whole thing a two finger salute. We had sausages, bacon and fried eggs, and left more for later.
The phone went and Dad answered, Laddie sat down next to me and was given the rind from the bacon which he thought was delicious, but probably wasn't the best thing to give a dog.
"That was the police" Said Dad, "Apparently they'd been after that bloke for some time, They said they'd like to come back and ask us a few questions... They said that we should probably not go to work today."
For a moment I expected Mum to say that she was going to work regardless, but she was tired, she sighed as she put the last of the dishes in the sink and nodded.
I stood next to her and filled the sink with hot water "Go back to bed Mum, I'll do these" I offered. She smiled at me and kissed my forehead and turned to leave.
Dad and I washed and dried.
With my sleep pattern completely buggered by nocturnal activity the night before and a sleep though the day, I awoke, and felt more naked than anyone could feel, for I was human once again. All the fur was gone, completely gone, there was none in my bed, so where does it go? Does it simply vanish or do people like me somehow suck it all back in? I had no idea... and I didn't care much. But since I was awake, I realised how dirty I felt, So I got up and had a nice hot shower which felt really good.
Being human again felt sort of wrong, I didn't feel half as good as I did as a wolf, My nose seemed almost unable to smell, my hearing was nowhere near as good and I couldn't see much when I turned off the light. My body felt weaker and more vunerable, but... at least I could enjoy a hot shower and have a cool glass of something from the fridge.
It was a warm night, but a gentle southerly sea breeze blew in from the beach, and even with my human nose I could smell the salty seaweed. Laddie joined me, so I poured some cold milk into his bowl and that made him happy.
Soon we were both in bed again and after a while, I drifted off to sleep.
But not long after, I was woken from my light sleep by a strange scratching sound in the kitchen, it wasn't Laddie since he was right beside me, and Sammy, our ginger cat was on my bed sitting bolt upright, that was a worry.
I heard something creak, like a cupboard door had swung open.
And now Laddie lifted his head to listen, there was a soft scraping noise like a shoe on lino, and Laddie curled his lip, exposing his fangs. Sammy sat frozen on the bed, facing the direction of the sounds.
We would leave the back door open for the animals, and we're not usually concerned about it since the area we live in is pretty safe, but perhaps tonight we had an intruder?
There was a rattle and a thud, My pulse quickened, Laddie growled deep in his throat.
I heard a footstep, I'm sure it was a footstep.
I got out of bed and stood behind my bedroom door with Laddie beside me, as close to my leg as possible, he bristled.
One of the chairs from our diningroom table, only feet away from my door, creaked as though someone moved it.
Then the loungeroom light clicked on, and for a moment I thought it was just dad walking around the house looking for something, but the thought passed quickly as Laddie shifted, bristling more and curling his lip in complete silence.
"Who the hell are you?" I heard dad say loudly.
"Get back yer old bastard or I'll smash yer friggin' head in" the intruder said in a quiet gravelly voice.
My heat beat raced and I felt a cold chill shoot up my neck... I stood in front of my mirror urging myself to change, if I ever needed it, I needed it now, why did I change back, why?
"Fuckin get out of my way old man, roight?" came the voice, louder and more threatening.
I thought about Dad being hurt, of Me being hurt, Mum and Laddie, I was terrified. I wanted to change, so badly. I remembered the trick with the ball and wondered if it would get me there, I tried, I concentrated, I tried very hard, but nothing happened.
Thoughts shot through my mind.... does he have a gun?, will he shoot dad?, Will Dad do anything stupid?
Laddie shook, I could feel his body practically convulsing against my leg.
Does he have a gun, if I did anything, could he shoot me? is the silver bullet thing just a myth?
I heard a scuffle and some sort of thud followed by a hefty grunt from Dad, Then I heard Mum ask "What's going on?"
"Get the fuck outta my way old man or I'll fuckin kill ya, ya got that?" The voice sounded insane.
Mum Screamed and something fell, something made of glass, Laddie growled but didn't move from his spot, every hair on his body stood erect.
"I know you old bastards got money in here, just like all the fuckin' old bastards, fuckin hand it over now!" He shouted, whoever he was, I heard Mum cry.
"Stop crying you bitch" he said menacingly.
As he said that, there was a jolt in my body, fur sprouted on my hand, it grew up my arms, and my body changed from human to wolf.
I heard another bang and then a groan "You try that once more old man and ya dead, fuckin get away from me or else." I heard something hit the wall.
I looked around nervously into the bedroom, Mum was in bed scared out of her mind, The intruder had his back to me and was holding a narrow metal pipe and Dad was standing beside his side of the bed breathing heavily, as though he'd just run around the block, Some blood dripped from a cut on his chin. I smelt fear and sweat. Laddie was right beside me.
Dad looked at me, and the intruder turned around.
He looked right into my eyes, and a long moment passed, then he laughed "What's this then, some sort of fuckin joke? Put on yer monster man suit and see if I'm fuckin scared, isn't gunna stop me, I'll kill you..." He poked a dirty looking finger at me. "...and these two old farts if you come any closer", Mum was panic-stricken, Her face looked torturned and tears were streaming down her cheeks, She tried not to cry but broke down.
"Shutup ya old bitch" said the intruder as he walked over to her, and threatened her with the pipe "Shutup now or I'll beat ya brains out with this".
Dads face was twisted with rage, He leapt straight across the bed, knocking the man back, he stumbled and hit the wall behind him, but then regained his footing, clenched his pipe and swung violently.
It didn't get very far, as I had the other end.
He tried desperately to pull the pipe from my grip, but it did no good, I ripped it from his hands and dropped it, never taking my eyes from his.
Cold anger replaced the earlier fear, and far too late, the intruder realised something was not what he thought it was.
Everything seemed so automatic, The intruder up against the wall, nothing but fear in his eyes as I lifted him up to my height and then made absolutely certain that he saw ....every single tooth in my mouth.
I smelt piss.
I ran on instinct, Thought and reason had evaporated, I felt no emotion.
The moment dragged on.
In the distance I became aware of my mother pleading, then I heard dad next to me nervously saying "Let him go son, let him go." The man slid down the wall, his bones seemingly made of jelly.
Dad held me by my shoulder and I wiped drool from my mouth.
Mum screamed, Laddie yelped, Dad backed off... I grabbed the intruder and held him horizontally above my head and threw him cleanly through the window, his head tore the flyscreen open as he went, The riverstones in our garden scattered as the intruder fell hard ontop of them.
Dad raced to the front door and yelled for our neighbour, a cop.
I sat on the bed with Mum, who clung tightly to me and wept, Laddie rested his nose on my lap and I patted him, and I wondered why he had remained so quiet, but was glad that he did, I couldn't see an injury and wondered why he'd yelped.
I began changing back into my human form, and covered myself with a blanket.
When the police arrived, we told them everything as it had happened, except about the werewolf of course. They couldn't believe that I could pick up a man that large and hurl him through a window, I told them that perhaps it was that superhuman strength you hear about, like mothers who lift a car off a child who's under a wheel, that sort of thing.
Later, we all sat in the bed together talking, until about five. Then I went back to bed but didn't sleep, I don't think anyone could have under these circumstances.
"No idea Dad, It's funny... I didn't ask" I scratched my chin thoughtfully.I hesitated in saying incase it made things worse: "Apparently I have another form" Mum looked at me and waited for more as she bit into her third savoy. "Apparently it's more dog like, which should allow me to run, well, like a dog... except when I tried... I froze up solid... couldn't move at all, and then Jake and Ding found me..." "Ding?" Asked Mum. "Simon Bellbird, The Aboriginal fella" I watched Mums face as the cogs moved sleepily and finally connected Bellbird and Ding. I looked at the old Radiola on the fridge, the clock said that it wasn't much after 8:30. "Did you have a good time though?" asked Mum. I felt a little guilty about this but "Yes Mum, I did, I had a really good Run, and I was fed too... I had sausages and beans for breakfast... Oh, I was given a present." Dad had put my bags down beside him and noticed me looking for it, So he reached down and passed it over. "Thankyou" I nodded Rummaging around inside the bag, I found it, safely among some clothes which had not been worn, I pulled it out and placed it on the table. "Jake gave it to me... it's for our kind... look, it's got a little spout to drink from, so I won't need straws." Mum smiled at the plain brown mug, then realised that I'd said, in a roundabout way, that... "There's more of you?" "According to what Jake and Ding said... and lots more besides, but anyway, they told me where I could find the others... a Cafe, in the city... But they said that maybe I should let you two rest and go there... some other time?" Mum was pleased that I'd found such thoughtful friends. I heard Laddie crunching on his bone in the garden "I can do that too" I smiled. I walked to my parents bedroom and saw one of our cats freak out and take off at the mere sight of me... Once inside my Parents room, I pulled back the blankets on their bed... shortly after they were in it, with their backs to each other, keeping warm, and blissfully asleep.
And soon, I would also be in bed, My faithful dog laid on his rug, beside my bed, his tummy full, snoring peacefully.I fell asleep.