Clarence was such a screw-up he couldn’t even be a werewolf right. Instead of the full moon, he transformed during the new moon.
He trudged toward the frat house. Only his brother Terry and Terry’s frat brother Vince knew about his condition, and they’d reserved a room in the basement to chain him up overnight.
Terry saw him come in, stopped playing foosball, and followed him to the stairs. Vince abandoned his studies and fell in behind.
“Kind of early, aren’t you, Clarence?” asked Terry.
“When the risk is that I rip out my loved ones’ jugulars, I don’t think a three hour buffer is excessive.”
“All right, man. Calm down. It’s all good.”
Clarence opened the door to their room, and inside was the same wire cage as before.
“I told you guys to get a stronger one!”
“It’s fine,” said Vince. “It’s not going to break.”
Clarence turned on him. “It’s not fine. Even if a wolf can’t bite through this wire with one go, he’ll break through in time—a werewolf even sooner.”
“Don’t worry,” said Terry. “We give it a good inspection each time.”
“Damn right, I’m going to worry. You guys are taking this way too casually.”
The idiots just shrugged.
“Fine,” Clarence said. “I’ll take care of it myself for next time.”
Terry and Vince closed him in.
“Aren’t you going to chain me?”
“I don’t think it’s necessary,” said Terry.
“Do it,” I said. “Can’t be too safe about this, guys.”
With a grim look on his face, Terry closed shackles around Clarence’s arms and legs. Terry waited with him until Clarence lost consciousness.
When he awoke, he was out of his shackles like last time, and they weren’t broken.
“How’s that happen?” he asked the air. There were several white feathers strewn about. Did they feed him a swan? Poor thing.
His clothes were on the floor, still good, probably taken off during the pain of growth. He put them on.
Right after Terry let him out, Clarence started preparing for the next month. He set his phone with reminder alarms for the next new moon, starting a week before and every day after. He ordered a cage designed for a gorilla and had it delivered to the frat house.
The next new moon the three of them gathered again in their basement room. Chickenwire stretched completely around the cage, cut and wrapped around the doorway.
“What’s that for?” Clarence asked. “I could get cut up on that.”
“We had to,” said Terri. “The bars are too far apart. You’d be able to slip through.”
“If that’s the case, the wire’s too weak. I’ll escape.” I felt panic building in my chest.
“Don’t worry.” Vince put his hand on my shoulder. “We’ve got this.”
The next morning Clarence woke up drenched in beer, lipstick on his nose, and glitter all over. He found his clothes intact and threw them on.
Terry and Vince came down together. Clarence could tell Terry was fuming at Vince, and Vince cowered a little.
“I want an explanation for this,” said Clarence. “And I want it now.”
Terry drooped his shoulders and hung his head. “Okay.”
He pulled out his smartphone and turned on a video. It showed Clarence waiting in the cage. Suddenly Clarence started to… shrink.
“Wait,” said Terry.
Needles grew from Clarence’s skin, blooming into white feathers that covered his entire body. When he got small enough, his clothing fell off. His lips extended into two grotesque plates that formed the rictus of a duck bill, a twisted smirk on his face. When he stopped shrinking and all the changes were done, he looked like a crazed and deformed duck.
“What the hell,” said Clarence.
The film continued, three of Terry’s frat brothers coming into the room and pulling Clarence out of the cage. The next segment showed the duck dancing on the coffee table, drinking beers, and rolling in party favors.
“I’m sorry, Clarence.” Terry patted him on the back. “You’re a wereduck, not a werewolf.”
Oh, the humiliation.