Monday, March 10, 2014

Chapter 21 Excerpt from Boot Boys of the Wolf Reich...

Excerpt from Boot Boys of the Wolf Reich:
Chapter 21:

“A voice shouts loud: 'We'll never surrender.'

A voice in the crowd: 'Never surrender.'

A hand in the crowd's flying propaganda:

'Never surrender, We'll never surrender.'

The Skins in the corner are staring at the bar.

The Rude Boys are dancing to some heavy heavy ska.

It's getting so hot people are dripping with sweat

The Punks in the corner are speeding like a jet,

Staring at the Rude Boys...”

---The Ruts

Sonny kept expecting to wake up. It was all so unbelievable. A week had passed since Klaus Schroeder came into their lives, but it went by like a blur.

At first, when they went into the night as a pack, it was like the world was a videotape stuck on fast-forward. The various new senses coming to life were still overwhelming. By the second night he understood why Klaus warned them about losing yourself.

It was like a high. Stuff like driving, watching TV, or even walking, felt so mundane. He wanted to be in the pack, to be a wolf, all the time.

They didn't all go out at once. They forced others to sleep, be ready for the store in the morning. It was a terrible feeling. Sitting at home watching TV, or listening to music, knowing the pack was out there. Still, no matter what what he did, it felt unreal. Like a dream. Sonny never woke up.

The pack waited, down in the backyard. He could hear the faint but familiar sounds of the Transformation happening. He hadn't been with them on the night they found the cab driver. Tonight was his first real hunt.

Sonny reached in the bag he packed back at home and pulled out a vintage paperboy cap that Marcus traded him, back in the day. Sonny smelled the hat closely. He could smell his own smell, but there was the smell of Marcus still buried in the threads of the hat.

Sonny looked at himself in the mirror. “Not King Skinhead for long...”

* * The horn section danced when they could. Marcus danced all night like a man half his age. His wife Shawna had never been a fan of Oi or hardcore, so Ska shows were a big deal. Marcus put on his best suit and porkpie hat and wore his braces up. Last but not least, he shined up his three-hole Docs for the night. The Vespa scooter got dusted and pulled out of the garage, and they showed up to the club in style.

Medusa's was a house club. They did shows from time to time. Tonight, it was packed with Ska fans from at least three states. The Toasters only had two shows in the Midwest all year, Chicago and Minneapolis, before the band headed out West. They were on their encore, and everyone was on pins and needles knowing they saved the song “East Side Beat.”

The song started, and the skinheads locked arms to Chant “OI!” with the horn section. It was a daze, the last song. The dance floor swirled with old-timers and young people skanking to the beat. Marcus knew the song had about a minute left when he leaned over to Shawna. “Hey I'm gonna beat the crowd, pick up beer...”

Shawna didn't want to be bothered. She pushed him back and kept dancing. “See you at Rooster's!” Marcus shouted, but Shawna didn't hear him or even acknowledge him. Marcus used his size and height to push through the crowd and never lost his balance.

When he got to the long stairwell that lead down to the street, he laughed at how empty it was. He was used to shuffling out like sardine at the end of shows.

On the street the night air felt chilly despite the summer humidity. He had, of course, walked out of an oven. He let his braces down and searched his pants pockets for his scooter keys.

His black Vespa was the third scooter in the line of fifteen parked in front of the club. It was shined up, with five mirrors set along the front, stickers for London scooter shops and the first Specials album cover on the wheel casing. Pain in the ass to maintain in the States, but Chicago had a shop where they worked on them, near Lincoln Park. Marcus had learned a thing or two about scooter repair, but the scooter didn't come out except special occasions, and a Toasters show qualified.

Marcus sat down on the Vespa. Just as he put the key in the ignition, he heard a growling dog. Marcus didn't turn the key.

He looked up, and saw an impossibly large dog on the sidewalk. It stepped close, into the light from the club. He thought it was a Husky at first, but this was no dog.

A wolf, but larger than one he had ever seen a picture of. Everyone in the neighborhood had been on edge since the cab driver was killed. It seemed likely this was animal that did it. Marcus wondered if it was rabid.


The band stopped. The crowd chanted, loud enough to be heard clearly down the stairs. They were stomping their boots, sounding like an army marching.“One more song!”

The wolf turned its head slightly, as if it was listening to the chant. It took small steps towards Marcus, staring straight at him.

Marcus didn't know shit about animals, so he didn't know what to do. It looked ready to pounce. Maybe the motor coming on would scare it away. Marcus turned the key, revving the small motor. The wolf arched its back, like it was ready to run.

Over the sound of the crowd chanting and motor of the scooter, he heard a faint chorus of growls from behind him.Marcus turned his head slightly, just enough to see three more wolves behind him on the street. The crowd roared inside. The Toasters must have walked back on stage. Marcus shifted the scooter back off the kickstand. The wolf on the sidewalk pounced and swung its paws at the front of the scooter as Marcus peeled backwards.

There was an intense roar as his scooter slammed into the wolves behind him. He felt the hot breath of a beast fan his neck. A claw slashed at his side as he moved past them.

The scooter pulled back in the middle of Sheffield Street. Cab lights were bouncing down the street now. The light changed, a block away on Belmont.

Marcus felt a dull pain as he revved on the motor. The wolves jumped at him. The scooter squealed as it headed up the street. He pushed it as hard as he could. This was a side road, compared to Clark and Belmont, and empty at the moment. He thought he'd feel safer if he could make it to Clark Ave., and the busy bar scene. He got the scooter going to thirty-five miles an hour, and the wolves ran with him. One flanked him on each side. The lights and sounds of Clark got closer. Marcus twisted the gas so tight he felt his muscles tighten. The wolves still ran beside him.

Marcus looked up, expecting to see Belmont Avenue. A wolf stood up straight on its back legs in the street. It looked seven feet tall. Marcus turned to avoid it, and crashed into a car parked on the street.

Marcus fell back, slamming his back on the pavement. Before he could scream in pain, he felt a paw at his shirt collar. The tall wolf had hold of him.

Marcus looked back to see the burning yellow eyes of the monster. It dragged him across the pavement toward an alley. The other wolves ran ahead of them.

He wanted to fight, but his back was shattered. Marcus felt nothing but pain pulsate through his body. And he couldn't feel his arms or legs.

The tall wolf stopped in the middle of the alley. Marcus tried to stand, but sharp new waves of pain were all he could feel. His racing thoughts turned to Shawna. Would she be able to keep the house? Stay in the country? Could she keep the house?

Marcus screamed as one of the wolves stepped over him, baring its teeth in his face. He felt more teeth tearing at his legs, at his stomach, like cats with a scratching-pad. He looked up at the sky between the buildings, and saw the nearly full moon before he closed his eyes forever.

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