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Paul leaned back from his keyboard, stretching his arms above his head, then pushed his chair away from the desk, leaned forward and stretched them behind his back until his elbows touched. Four hours of debugging was more than long enough for one morning. He punched out for a break and got up from his little workstation to go to the kitchen. It was 11:30, and he was ready for lunch.

Telecommuting had so many advantages over going in for work. When his Silicon Valley company had offered the option, he jumped at it. His wife, Xana, wanted to move to a place with a thriving art community. They chose a small village in Vermont, and with the sale of their house in San Jose, bought a farm well outside of Craftsbury.

Other than the now-remodeled Victorian house and barn, and the couple of immediate acres with a spring-fed pond, they rented their surrounding land to the local dairy farmers, who either grazed their milk cows or gathered the hay.

The barn was now more of an oversize garage, studio, kiln, and storage area for much of Xana’s larger crafts and sculptures, but she also worked inside their house. Paul walked to her office/sewing room and leaned inside the door.

“You ready for a sandwich, Xan?”

She looked up from the industrial sewing machine she was adjusting. “Is it lunch already? That’d be great.”

He had the two plates with sandwiches, chips, and fresh McIntosh apples sitting on the kitchen table when she came out, and he filled two glasses with local apple cider before bringing them to the table. He still had a hard time believing she had decided to marry him, and he paused to look at her curly brown hair with a red tint shining in the September sunlight from the windows before setting the glasses down.

“Think you can check on the UPS before going back to work?” she asked before taking a bite out of the sandwich made with thick slices of her homemade bread.

“I have a teleconference at two, should have plenty of time to go out there. You have something to drop off?”

“A pair of gloves and a mask sold last night. I have it packed and ready on the porch. I haven’t had any custom orders for Halloween yet, and the cutoff we posted for them is tonight, so that means I can work on our own costumes. There’s the Halloween ‘Double Trouble’ contest in Boston this year I’d like us to enter.”

“I guess we can make a trip out of it.” Paul wasn’t as thrilled about costuming as she was, but it made her happy and she did make some of the best costumes he had ever seen. It was obvious that people liked her work well enough to pay the price. He knew she put a lot of effort into her costume designs, some of which were complete fursuits, and together they had figured out her time and materials cost to be sure she actually made a profit from them. It went hand-in-hand with her other art and craftwork that she did for various fairs around the country. ‘Xanafurs’ was starting to make an impression at the different conventions. While the number of orders for her custom costumes and accessories hadn’t been many, that part of her business was growing, and she enjoyed the challenges of the unique work.

After lunch he checked his email and posted a planned return time. Taking his phone with him he brought the package from the porch to the barn and strapped it on the bicycle’s carrier basket with bungee cords before kissing Xana goodbye and taking off down the dirt driveway.

Their Victorian was pretty much in the center of the farm, unlike most farmhouses which were located by the road. It was more than a 15 minute bike ride to the paved route along their dirt driveway. Much of the driveway was lined with sugar maples, their present yellows, reds, and oranges predominant and creating a strikingly colorful framework around the rolling green pastureland and woods. It was the perfect bucolic setting, wonderfully isolated after the crowds in California, the internet their main connection with the world.

At the end of the drive by the road sat an old white milk truck from the ‘50’s. It came with the farm, but didn’t run. The original, faded blue logo on the side said, “You can whip our cream, but you can’t beat our milk!” Xana had insisted on keeping the truck and figured how to put it to use.

He leaned his bike against it and going to the back end away from the road, opened up the doors. Placing the package inside on the floor, so the label was visible, he went inside up to the front of the cab. He lifted up a black roller shade on the passenger front windshield that had “UPS – NO” painted on it. He then lowered a green one to reveal a “UPS – YES” sign instead.

They had spent a lot of time cleaning the truck to get rid of the sour milk smell, and even ran electrical power to it so the lights and a small refrigerator could work. They’d decorate the truck for Halloween soon. Xana also had arranged for local produce to be left there from the nearby farmers, and sometimes she sold or traded their eggs or berries, all of which were left in the fridge. The shades blocked the sunlight as well as let the UPS delivery person know if there was something to pick up or not.

Placing the produce in the bike’s basket, he noted the delivery log and checked the balance. Placing a twenty in the logbook and jotting down the payment, he closed it up, sat it on top of the fridge, and shut the doors. He checked the mailbox across the street and headed back down the long dirt road to the house.

Xana was not in a good mood when he returned.

“I can’t believe it! This guy ordered a full fursuit, with every option and customization available, and he wants it delivered before Halloween! That’s just 6 weeks away! I can’t do that!” She showed Paul a print-out of the order.

He took it, saying, “We did talk about the possibility of something like this happening, Xan. That’s why we put the time limit for such orders on the website. Did he provide all of the details required? If not, you can get back to him and explain why you can’t make the order in time.”

“No, he completed it all, provided full reference sheets, even has a tape-duct mannequin being shipped here overnight – gave the tracking number and everything. I checked, and it’s on its way.”

Paul saw the total price at the bottom of the order and let out a low whistle. “With all the extras, is it too much for you to do? We’ll just have to explain the problem and refuse the order if it is.”

“It is a good order,” she sighed. “He paid the deposit up front and everything, and it’s a cool design. He’s even paying the full expedite charges you insisted we include on the site, so it’s top priority if anything else comes in. It’ll be the biggest single order I’ve ever had. It’s just that I really wanted to go to that costume contest in Boston. If we won, it would be something we could put on the website, but mostly I just wanted to go for the fun of it. I had a great idea for the two of us to go as a werewolf couple.”

“Well, if you can handle this order, it’ll put you firmly in the black for the rest of the year, more than winning any contest prize can. And if he agreed to reference you, and you do the great job you always do with all the details, it’ll be just as good for your business. You know I’ll help in whatever way I can. Next year we can do the werewolf couple thing, and we’ll change the website to close out such orders earlier so it won’t happen again like this.”

Xana sighed again, and looked at the print-out Paul handed back to her. “Ok, if you’ll help with the parts and electronics, I’ll accept and post it so no one else can book something like this until after Halloween. I’m going to need every minute to work on this to get it done - and I’m not touching anything else in the house until a week into November! I have to get working on the molds for the teeth, claws, and horns, and I have some ideas for the wings and have to rush order the material...” She headed towards her workshop.

Paul could see she was already in full design mode, so he nodded and went back to his office.

^^ ^^

For the next few days he barely saw her except at meals, which he made, and the morning she had driven to the milk truck to pick up the mannequin when it had been delivered. When he heard her knocking at his open office door, he took off his headset and turned to her.

“Can you run into town and pick up some stuff at the Genny for me? I need it as soon as possible.”

“Sure, I can log out to make a run. Do you have a list or is everything ordered?” Paul hated going into the general store if he had to choose fabrics. He didn’t know anything about cloth.

“I already called it in, so you don’t have to worry. Janey said she had most of what I wanted, but some of it I’ll have to see to be sure it will work. And there should be some stuff in the truck to pick up when you get back.”

“A little early for UPS, isn’t it?”

“It’s a FedEx morning delivery. Their system says it’s on their truck now. Oh, and we’re out of OJ again.”

“Put it on the grocery list. I probably need to fill up the Volvo as well, might as well be a full run.”

“You’re great, Paulie.” She leaned down and gave him a kiss.

“Hey, if all I need to do is be errand boy…”

She smiled. “Actually, I need you to start putting together the parts for the mechanical tail. He wants it cable-controlled and powered.”

“Sure, that’s kinda fun for me. Like assembling toys again. And again, and again.”

“Thanks, Paulie.”

He was ahead on his hours for the week already, expecting something like this. Logging off, he grabbed the grocery list, took the old Volvo wagon’s keys off their hook in the kitchen and headed out.

It still took more than 5 minutes to get to the road, their milk truck now sporting corn stalks, pumpkins and a skeleton wearing a milkman’s hat and bow tie, sitting in the driver’s seat.

^^ ^^

The general store’s door rang as he entered. Janey waved at him from the counter. “Hey Paul, I’m putting the last bits together for Xan right now. I was going through the Halloween shipment when she called for her fabric order this morning.”

“I don’t remember you carrying Halloween stuff last year.”

“We had some, but I ordered a closeout collection from some liquidation place on the internet. At the price I got it for, I figured it was worth the risk. Jimmy’s putting it out on the shelves.”

Paul nodded and grabbed a basket, going down the aisles, picking up the groceries on the list. They didn’t leave their farm often enough to know many of their neighbors, but Janey ran The Genny and even sold some of Xan’s crafts and preserves, plus she carried several bolts of fabric in the back, which Xana had a regular account for purchasing what she needed for her business.

The Genny, as most people called the store, carried everything from hardware to crafts to food – much of it made locally. They even had a take-out service, although delivery was limited to the small town itself.

A few minutes later he saw the masks and various Halloween decorations in the seasonal corner. Sure that there was nothing here that would interest him or Xana he proceeded to walk by it only to notice a faded red tennis-ball can lying on the floor. Figuring Jimmy must’ve dropped it or it was left over from one of Janey’s other experimental sales, he picked it up to place it next to the one matching can on the bottom shelf. He couldn’t help but read the label on it as he did so:


Werewolf In A Can


“The Tricked and Treated Company Ltd


Please to provide most excellent conversion to werewolf available in can. All in need of werewolf can become for Hallows Eve quickly and lastingly. Everything in need in can! No hot clothing, bulky wig. Waterproof special paint makes up everything quick quick. Cleanup is snap – included within! Up to three trials permitted.”

Paul had to look over the rest of the can – the English alone would make Xana smile. As stressed as she was over this rush order, he felt she could use a laugh. The image on the front was a black sketch of a werewolf emerging from shadowy woods with blank, red eyes, its claws held out in front of it in a zombie-like pose, long canine teeth visible in the open mouth against the red background of the can. On the top of the worn plastic lid was a discolored mark-down sticker that read $2.98. The one can was labeled “Werewolf Black” while the other was labeled “Werewolf White.” Peeling back the bleached, scuffed, red plastic lids revealed intact tops that looked exactly like one would find on a can of tennis balls.

Janey had several large boxes by the counter when he got back. She rang up the order and his groceries then stopped when she saw the two cans.

“Where’d these come from?”

“They were back with the rest of the Halloween stuff. Is the price right?”

She picked up a well-handled and marked-up set of papers and scanned through it. “They’re not on the inventory list. I had Jimmy check everything off. Nothing was missing, but I would’ve remembered something called ‘Werewolf ln A Can.’” She sat the papers down and picked up the two cans. “They look like they sat in a window for years. Tell you what. You and Xana are my best customers. You want ‘em? I’ll sell you both for $5.00.”

“Sounds like a deal.”

Jimmy silently helped him load up the old wagon. The boxes and bolts of fabric took up most of the cavernous back end, even with the rear seat folded down. After filling up the tank, Jimmy waved goodbye as Paul started the car to go back home.

Xana was in such a hurry to get the fabric into her sewing room, Paul forgot the cans until he was putting the groceries away. Then his office computer rang to indicate he had a call from work, so he placed them in a pantry cabinet to go answer it.

^^ ^^

Paul had assembled the tail mechanics and had the electronics working for it. He also spent time on the wing frames, animatronic ears, molded parts, and running the kiln as needed. Xana had been working non-stop on the elaborate costume for a couple of weeks now. He barely saw her except when she came to the kitchen for a meal. She was coming to bed so late and was so focused on this one project that he handled her website orders, which had picked up more than ever before. Xana’s inventory for ears, masks, gloves, and tails was really moving. He was happy that her business was doing well this year, but worried about her being so wrapped up in this one order.

He tried to get her to take a break, even suggesting they go to the local fire department’s early Halloween party to get her out of the house and away from the elaborate project, but she snapped at him, telling him to go and get out of her face. He stormed into the pantry to get something to munch on while they both cooled down, and found the forgotten werewolf cans.

Realizing she was really just stressed over the complex details and deadline for the job, he thought again about the contest in Boston. He knew she wouldn’t really be interested in going if they weren’t dressed up. There was no way she was going to have any time to work on the costumes she wanted to make and wondered if the material in the can was any good. Knowing she also wouldn’t go with anything that looked cruddy, he decided he would go to the local party himself, and use the stuff in the can to do it. If it came out decent, he would show it to her and let her know his plans for Boston to cheer her up.

He popped the top off of the black werewolf can. Wrapped up in a set of instructions were a comb, a small brush, a paint brush, and a hairbrush, along with a large and small silvery tube and a cloth. There was a hollow beige rubber wolf nose, matching pair of ears, a set of yellow-white teeth with long fangs, and two sets of claws. Below that was a jar labelled “Cleaning.”

Opening the instructions he started reading the jumble of words. It was English, but not written in a way he understood. It was more of a poorly translated set of pharmaceutical warnings, rather than application instructions. A few parts that made sense stood out:

“Were wolf paint not like any paint. Adding puff paint comes change of shapes. Spread wolf paint even no puff paint for no change of shapes.”

“Knead tube to mix before each apply.”

“For hairs: Brushing paint makes hairs. Hairs can hide shapes. Brush all paint parts some! Brush more for long hairs.”

“No mix other paint. Only this paint.”

“To adhere, paint inside of wolf nose and Place wolf nose over own. And apply paint part in spare amount, brush gentle for fine hairs longly for long hairs. Do with wolf ears, own hair, hands and feets for same.”

“For hair match to werewolf, paint hair little and spread.”

“For meat balls on feets/hands, or other shapes, use puff paint (small tube).”

“For vibrissae roll puff paint into noodles shapes. Cut to length shorter than desire and attach with pull.”

Paul had to think for a minute. Vibrissae? Where did they get that word? He looked it up. It was the long whiskers that animals have. Strange they could dig up that word for whiskers but used ‘meat balls’ instead of ‘pads’ on the feet.

Looking further through the instructions, he found a little more:

“Werewolf paint is waterproof paint. Only remove with werewolf cleaner include. To remove, find the ending and do the needful.”

He looked at the jar labelled cleaner and unscrewed the lid. It had a seal on it, which he peeled off. It looked like the makeup remover Xana had in the medicine cabinet, and smelled about the same.

Well, if he was going to try this, might as well get started. The party was tonight at the firehouse.

He kneaded the large silvery tube, then opened it with the point on the cap to break the seal, and applied a little on the paint brush. Dabbing it on the inside of the wolf nose, he looked in the mirror and placed it over his own. It didn’t look very convincing. As he painted over the nose, the ashen, gel-like paint turned black and spread so well that only a little more paint from the tube was required to complete it as well as most of his face. Using the small brush, he brushed the surface of the painted nose except for the tip. To his surprise, fine hairs did form from the paint, growing from the end of the brush bristles, giving it a realistic coating of short, black fur.

Looking in the mirror, it appeared that the nose looked more real and larger. He chided himself. It was an optical illusion, of course. Continuing with his face, the edge of the nose became hidden where it was attached. He carefully applied the around his eyes and eyelids, then the rest of his face and neck, brushing it when he was done to create the fur.

Attaching the ears on to the top of his head like he had the nose, he painted them as well and ran the paint brush over his hair and ears, followed by the small brush on the ears. Each pass of the larger brush made his now black hair longer and more fur-like. He was surprised how well it worked.

With the larger brush he brushed his hair more and the paint grew fur long enough to hide his own ears. With a little practice, he brushed the sides of his cheeks to create a ruff. He rinsed, then inserted the teeth in his mouth over his own. With careful strokes he painted his lips black. Finishing the back of his head, he stuck the short claws on each fingernail with the paint and proceeded to paint his hands up to the wrists.

He brushed the tops of his fingers and hands up to his wrists, but left his palms plain. Sealing the tube back up, he rinsed the paint brush, but it had no affect. Remembering that the paint was waterproof, he dabbed a little bit of the cleaner on the cloth and worked it into the brush. The paint on the brush dissolved away, and he rinsed off the residue in the sink.

Putting on an old plaid flannel work shirt over his T-shirt, he looked in the mirror again. The jaw and nose seemed to match up better now, the end of the fur on his neck hidden by the shirt collar. He smiled, and the jawline lifted to match, revealing the teeth he had applied over his own. Even his eyes looked a little different. Running his hands through his hair, he was surprised that it didn’t feel stiff from the paint at all. The ears looked natural, and flexed when he touched them. Xana had to see this. He went to her sewing room.

“Hey Xan, I’m going to go to the party at the fire department like you said.”

“Good. Go. I’m busy.” She didn’t even look up from the piece she was sewing.

“Are you sure you don’t want me to stay and help you with this?”

“Not now. There’s nothing you can do on this part. Goodbye.”

Paul was disappointed that she didn’t look at him, but knew when she was in her intense art phase, it was best to let her work through whatever she had to do on her own.

^^ ^^

Driving into town, he parked in the store lot across from the fire department building, the two trucks pulled out from their bays for the party. The Sheriff’s car pulled up next to him.

“Hey Sheriff, here for the party?”

The Sheriff looked at him. “If you weren’t in your car, I wouldn’t have recognized you. Where’s Mrs. Frasno? Thought this would be more of her thing than yours.”

“She has a costume order that she’s working on to get done in time for Halloween. Wants to go a big contest in Boston on Halloween, though.”

“Well, that’s a pretty good mask you have on, Mr. Frasno. Might be the winner tonight.”

“Really? Didn’t think it was that good.”

“Just don’t wear it down around the Green Mountain Forest area. Some folks down there are a little nervous about werewolves. Say there’s been sightings. Wouldn’t want those kinds of rumors around here.”

“I don’t think anyone here believes in werewolves. Besides, everyone knows Xana makes costumes and art.”

“Everyone here does. Don’t want someone who isn’t from around here thinking we have werewolves running around. It would be a bad idea to wander around in costume after Halloween, too. I’d rather not see it, anyway.” The Sherriff touched his hat and drove down the street.

Paul could never be sure if the sheriff was joking with him or was serious. Sometimes he could be a little annoying. Paul shook his head. He had never found the Sherriff annoying before. He usually seemed pretty welcoming to Paul and Xana, being the new folks in town and all, having only been here for a couple of years.

He went into the firehouse where the small crowd had gathered. Picking up a cup of punch, he took a drink as he looked around. Mostly the kids were dressed up, but there were a few adults as well.

“Bet you can’t grab an apple with that snout,” one of the teenagers laughed, pointing to the apple bobbing tub.

“Probably can’t,” Paul admitted, shrugging, but the challenge felt personal. “This nose will get in the way.” It was then he realized his nose actually hadn’t gotten in the way of drinking. He looked over his applied nose down at the cup. It was a wide mouthed plastic cup, but he had put it to his lips and the nose should’ve not allowed him to sip from it like he had.

“With those fangs, I bet he can,” said one of the ladies standing by the tub.

“I’ll bet you $20 he can’t.”

“Dale, what’d I tell you about making bets?” another lady came up from behind him.

“Ma, I’m just saying.”

“You just lost that $20, Dale. Give it to me.”

“Mom! He didn’t even try!”

“I’ll take a shot at it,” Paul said stepping up to the tub, thinking it might be a good test for the waterproof makeup, but really wanting to show the kid up. “I never bobbed for apples before.”

He gripped the sides of the shiny metal tub and nabbed one of the apples easily.

“That’s really an amazing mask, Mister,” one of the girls said as he pulled the apple out of his mouth, wiped it on his sleeve, then took a bite. “It even looks like you scratched the metal tub with your claws.”

“I don’t think plastic claws can scratch a steel tub.” He glanced at the marks.

“Here’s your $20,” the kid said holding out the bill.

Paul looked at the teenager. Part of him wanted to grab the bill just because the pup had challenged him, but he stopped. “The bet wasn’t with me. I just tried for the heck of it.”

“He’s right,” the kid’s mother said. “Give it to Ms. Jameson.”

Paul left them to it, finishing the apple as he walked away. While he was surprised that he had grabbed one so easily, he also wondered why some kid’s minor challenge felt so important to take head on. He wasn’t one to let such things bother him.

Someone called out, “Time for the parade!” and he found himself walking in a circle inside the bays with the rest of the costumed people. They circled the bay area twice.

“You, over here,” a lady in a witch costume grabbed his shoulder and pulled him to one corner.

“Why? What did I do?” he asked.

“Stay here.” There were a couple of others standing near him: a lady in a clown costume and two people in a horse costume.

The fire chief got up on the little stage next to the witch. “The judges have picked the winners of the costume contest.” He announced the kids’ winners: A little girl in a very cute bumblebee outfit, a teenager in a pale and rather scary-looking vampire getup, and a boy dressed as an astronaut, complete with a large bubble helmet.

Then he announced the adult winners, and Paul was surprised that he had won. First prize was a pumpkin pie from the lady whose pies usually won at the county fair. They passed out goodie bags to everyone, and started the parade down Main Street.

“That really is a good mask, mister,” another teenager said. “The ear and jaw movement is so real.”

“You really think so?” Paul was feeling better about his plan with Xana for Boston, then wondered what movement the kid could be talking about.

“You really should go to the contest in Waterbury next week. Johnny said they have a prize of $100.00.”

“Thanks, I’ll think about it.”

It took all of five minutes to parade to the end of town. Everyone turned around and walked back towards the fire house, some of the kids and parents splitting off to go home on the way. The rest departed in their cars or pickups when they returned to the fire house. The firetrucks were already back inside their bays.

Paul took the pie home and presented it to Xana from the door of her sewing room. She looked up and did a double take. “Where did you get that mask?”

“I bought this kit at the Genny the other day. Thought we could use it to go to that contest in Boston you wanted to do, once the costume is done. I knew you wouldn’t have time to make what you really wanted, but hoped this would be good enough to make you still want to go.”

She was running her hands through his hair and pulling back on his shirt to see where the fur ended.

“This is good. The ears, the mouth, everything – the movement is so lifelike. The hands need a little work. Show me this kit.”

He went back to the bathroom by the kitchen and showed her the can, tubes, and the instructions.

“‘Werewolf in a Can?’ This is makeup? How’d it work?”

“Well, the nose, ears, teeth and claws were pieces I put on, then painted, and brushed it out,” he said, picking up the brush. “Brushing it makes the fur grow.”

“I’ve never seen anything like this before. You’ll have to find where to get more of it.”

“I bought the only two cans Janey had.” He went to the pantry and brought out the one labelled Werewolf White. “But now I want to get it off.”

He dabbed the cleaner from the jar onto the cloth and rubbed it on his cheek to start. Nothing happened. He turned to Xana, his mouth open.

“What’s the matter?” Xana asked.

Paul pulled at the fur. It was stuck on so well he felt like he was pulling on his own skin, except it felt loose like a dog’s on his neck and shoulders. He started to panic, and tried to pull on one of the ears. He winced; it hurt to pull it. He didn’t think it would stay on that well.

He looked at his hands. Sure he had stopped applying the paint at his wrists, it was strange to see the fur beyond them onto his arms. Hadn’t he stopped at his neck as well? Alarm bells started going off in his head.

Then he remembered the instructions. “The instructions said to start at the ‘end.’” He moved the cleaning cloth to the edge of the fur on his arms and applied the cleaner where his skin was exposed. The fur began to peel away immediately. Doing the same along his shoulders and chest, the mask began to peel off at the application, then dissolved as he moved the cleaner further up into it. He dabbed a little more and continued, releasing his breathe in relief and feeling foolish about the fright he had given himself.

Xana looked at the rubber pieces when he was done cleaning them up. “These don’t seem to be enough to do what they were doing before.”

“What do you mean?”

“Your jaw moved like it was really part of you, but this nose doesn’t even have a jaw. Your ears, too. The teeth seemed bigger, more real. Even the claws.”

“Maybe just some effect from the paint?” Paul asked, looking at the cleaned parts. They looked like the same cheap rubber and plastic parts they were when he had started. “I didn’t feel anything, but several people commented that it looked good.”

“It looked fantastic. If I had more time, I’d be looking into this a lot closer. But I have to get that costume finished. Can you take a look at the LED’s for me tonight? The wiring is giving me a problem.”

It was late before Paul had the wiring fixed. But Xana was much happier when he showed her it was working. She still stayed up again, long after Paul had gone to bed, working on another part of the suit, sewing the different colored pieces together.

^^ ^^

“What’s left to do on this monster costume?” Paul asked a week later.

“It’s getting close. I can get it done in time to use 2nd day shipping and beat the deadline. He’s approved almost every single photo and video I’ve sent so far, and all my drawings. He really liked the fiber optics, LED’s, the tail movement, the wingspread and everything. I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel.”

“What if we pay for overnight express shipping, and go to the contest in Waterbury for a break tonight?”

“Are you asking me out on a date? A costume date?”

“If it’ll get you to take a break from this. I’m taking the rest of the week off, so I can help you with whatever you need me to do. Also, I booked a hotel in Boston for Halloween night down there when you’re done.”

“Paulie, you’re a sweetheart, you know that? Let’s do it.”

With Xana, it took about the same amount of time to do both of them as it had him doing himself. She insisted on doing their arms up to their short-sleeve shirts and their feet as well, opening the other can just for the attachments. Xana had some ideas for the feet, and built up the pads with the puff paint from the small tube for them to walk on, with matching pads for their hands. She made whiskers for each of them, attaching them to the nose and pulling them thin, which made them look surprisingly realistic almost immediately. She also spent more time brushing the fur on their heads and back to give it a longer look, which she duplicated as tufts of fur on their chests just above V-neck shirts she had picked out for them to wear.

It was after they arrived at the Waterbury party location that Paul got a good look at his wife in the colored lights with her make-up and V-shirt. The nose looked as if expanded to include her jawline, her hair seemed to have grown longer with the black fur, and her ears had their own movement. He could understand now why everyone had been so impressed before. The way her mouth and lips moved when she talked, how they allowed her to take a drink, her teeth, fangs, and tongue looking more like a real werewolf than the costume makeup when they had first donned it. Even her eyes reflected light with a glow that seemed unreal.

At the end of the evening, driving home with their prize, they both were marveling at each other’s appearance as they were going through their little village when the blue lights of the Sheriff’s car lit up their own. Paul pulled over, wondering what the Sheriff could want as he walked up.

“Mr. and Mrs. Frasno?” They nodded.

“Recognized your car, thought it was you, but it didn’t look like you in here. Costumes again?”

“Yes, just coming back from Waterbury.”

“Won, didn’t you?”

“Yes, we did.”

“Went a little further I see. They are realistic, I have to say that. Look real convincing.”

“We’re going to try at a big contest they have in Boston on Halloween, too,” Xana said. “This year’s theme is ‘Double Trouble’ and we’re going to do something like this.”

“You never know what they’re going to do next in Beantown. But going all the way down there for a contest?”

“It’s kind of research for my business,” she explained. Paul sat there, feeling like she shouldn’t be explaining anything. The Sheriff shouldn’t have even stopped them.

“I suppose. Glad to see you’re doing ok with that art business of yours, Mrs. Frasno. Just avoid Green Mountain looking like that. We’ll see you around – without costumes, I hope.”

“Bye Sheriff,” Xana said as he walked back to his car. Paul put his window up.

“What was that about?” Xana asked as the Sheriff walked back to his car.

“Dunno. He was a little jerky about my costume last week at the Fire Department, too. Said not to go near the National forest dressed up like this. Something about werewolves being sighted around there.”

“That’s ridiculous. Plus, everyone around here knows I make costumes. Janey talks about it all the time. So anyone here that saw us would expect it to be one of my costumes.”

“That’s what I said.” He gripped the wheel as the Sherriff’s car drove past.

“Paul! What are you doing to the steering wheel?”

“Huh? Nothing. Why?”

“It looks like you just bent it.”

“What? No, I couldn’t have.” He released his grip, glancing at it then back to the road. “It’s old, it probably has been bent for a long time – just never noticed it before.” He ran his hand around the wheel to show it was fine. But it did have a curve that he didn’t remember either.

At home, they pulled out the cleaner and started on the edge of the fur. As before, it came off easily, but again only working from an edge into the makeup. Paul didn’t remember painting their feet above the ankles, or the fur extending up to their shoulders from their arms to their heads, but figured Xana had just gone further than he recalled, since she usually did go overboard with the details of her art.

^^ ^^

The rest of the week they focused on nothing but the costume order. Xana sculpting, shaping, and airbrushing the details of the fur and horns, Paul testing and retesting the mechanical operation and electrical function of the LED’s, glowing eyes, horns, and silent fans, making sure the wiring was protected at all connections and bends. The adjustable voice conversion box and hidden speakers were perfect, as was the mouth, ear, and tail movements. He had even built a special box for the suit’s shipment to make sure it would not be damaged by the overnight express trip.

Xana put it all together with Paul documenting the assembly instructions with pictures, and he photographed it on her mannequin.

The day of the shipment she asked, “Would you try it on for a video, Paul?”

“Me? Are you sure?”

“You’re really close to the customer’s size. Just to show the movements, lights, and wings. It won’t take long.”

“I just took a shower. I don’t want to get sweaty in it.”

“You won’t. I’ve turned up the AC in the studio room to max. It’s cold in there.”

The hidden seams of the heavy suit made it difficult to put on, and it had stilts he had to fit onto his feet as well. When they were done, he was over seven feet tall, and the horns were a good ten inches above that. The fans worked better than any suit she had installed them in before. Xana had him do several moves, including posing like a muscle man, jumping, moving the tail and ears, spreading the wings out, and turning around to show off the back with the LEDs on and off. When she was done, she helped him get out of the suit.

“I’m a little worried about the joint covering on these wings wearing out,” Paul said as they were separating the pieces for shipment.

“Do you have any idea of what we can do about that now?”

“Actually, yes I do. You know the paint from the werewolf in a can kit? It’s really flexible, doesn’t seem to get hard at all, and nothing seems to get through it other than the cleaner. I’m thinking of painting the joints over with that. The black should match.”

“Try it on one of the discarded joints first.”

He did, and they both agreed the paint worked perfectly. Xana worked the paintbrush carefully along all of the joints to coat them. Once it was dry, they wrapped them and packed the suit carefully in its box. They drove it to the FedEx office in Burlington. When it was safely on its way, they looked at each other as they got back into the car and breathed a heavy sigh of relief.

There weren’t many leaves left on the trees along the route they drove on to get back home, but it was the first time they had really enjoyed the colors together since she had received the order. Celebration included a meal at the one local restaurant a few towns over. On the road to their driveway they saw the Sherriff coming in the other direction, and he waved at them from his car, slowing to a stop. They stopped, and brought the window down across from his.

“’Evening folks. Good to see you out of costume.”

They looked at each other. “No contest tonight,” Paul said.

“Right. But it’s a full moon.”

Paul looked up at the sky. Sure enough, a full moon was visible in the starry sky.

“Um, yes, it’s a full moon. So?”

“So, thought you two might have to be in costume for that,” the Sherriff said.

Xana looked at him. “Maybe next month,” she smiled.

“Right. Let’s not, ok? Have a good night, folks,” the Sherriff gave a little grin, touched his hat, and headed down the road.

Xana looked at Paul as he brought the window back up and put the car in drive. “Do you think he was being serious?”

“I think he was making a joke about our werewolf costumes looking so real. I hope it was a joke, anyway.”

^^ ^^

“So are you ready to get your werewolf on?” Xana asked Paul the day before Halloween.

“It’s a little early, isn’t it?”

“You know I don’t do mornings, and I want to spend some extra time on it. It lasts so well, I think we can sleep in it for a night, then wear it when we head to Boston after we wake up.”

“So you’re going to go as a white werewolf?”

“I’ve been thinking about that too. There’s not a lot of black paint left, I’m going to try mixing it with the white to see what kind of gray I get. For ‘Double Trouble’ I think we should go as matching werewolves, with a full body costume this time. And I want a tail.”

“How do you plan on making the tail?”

“I’m going to try the same thing as I did for the vibrissae, but make it bigger and see what happens when I brush it out.”

The paint didn’t mix as well as Paul had thought it should, becoming mostly gray but having thin streaks of white and black that wouldn’t blend in. But Xana liked it as she brushed it out on him, saying it looked more natural than a solid gray coat, with individual white and black hairs throughout the fur.

She also added some puff paint to give him larger muscles, providing emphasis on his upper arms, pecs and abs. His legs were already pretty good from his regular bike rides. She did the same for herself. She had Paul brush her long hair and back while she created the rope that would be her tail. He had just finished her hair when the phone rang.

It was her sister, Jennifer, who had just come back from a trip to Africa, and they hadn’t spoken since before she had left, well before the costume order had come. The two of them spent the next couple hours catching up, Xana brushing out the tail without really paying attention to what she was doing.

He finished her back and legs as she talked, then left her to do his own. They were planning to wear shorts (with Xana in a halter top) to show off as much of the costume’s appearance as possible, but Xana wanted them to be full body costumes anyway, in case the competition was close, so the halter top could come off and still not reveal her front too much. The tuft of fur she brushed out filled in the space between her now fully-furred breasts nicely, and she felt it looked sexy without breaking any rules for exposure. Paul really hoped it wouldn’t be necessary.

At the same time, he couldn’t help but admire the padding she had provided for his arms and chest. Sure, the fur hid the expert anatomy she had created, and there was no doubt that he fit the ‘buff werewolf’ meme to a T with her talent in applying the paint.

He heard her call for him after she hung up with her sister. He came into the room and saw her standing there with an enormously fluffy wolf’s tail.

“I wasn’t paying attention, and kept brushing it while Jen and I talked. I think it’s a little overkill, but could you attach it for me? I want it to come out over my cutoffs.”

Paul took it from her and she turned around. “I thought you said a natural tail would extend between the legs?"

“It would, but with the size of this I’m not going for natural, I’m going for looks.”

“Ok. Do you really think this is going to stay on?” He pushed the end onto the location she had indicated.

“The whiskers stayed on well enough. This is heavier, so I guess we’ll see.”

“There.” Her large fluffy tail came up from her shorts to one side and flowed down to her feet.

“Hmm. Looks like it’s holding, though. Give it a tug on the end like I did for the whiskers.”

Paul did, and it stayed in place above her cutoffs. Xana moved with it.

“This stuff is amazing. I’m definitely searching for more of it. Now, come here.” She swept her oversized tail behind her.

^^ ^^

Their make-up costumes had held up extremely well. They had received tons of compliments on their way to the contest and during it. Paul admitted it had been a blast walking around Boston in costume with Xana, and winning the contest.

Xana had also received texts from the person who had ordered the custom suit. He sent her links to his site, showing the unboxing and wearing of the suit, and praising her craftsmanship throughout. His webpages gave a link to hers and already had received several positive comments about the suit and its detail, especially the wings and how well they worked and their realistic movement.

It felt a less fun on the return train to Lowell. Although nobody bothered them, and they wore sweats and hoodies over their costumes on the train, he had heard a couple whispered comments about ‘Halloween was last night’ which he had expected. Why neither of them had thought to bring the cleaner with them for the trip was beyond him, and he looked forward to getting home and getting the make-up off.

It was nearly dusk by the time the train pulled into Lowell at the end of the line. Paul had never found the station there to be a problem, but there were a couple of guys on the train who had made him feel uncomfortable – nothing he could really put his finger on, though. Still he couldn’t wait to get in their car and start for home.

As he and Xana headed outside the station for the parking lot they rounded a corner and ran into the guys he had hoped he had seen the last of earlier.

“I’m tellin’ ya, these are the two that won that contest,” said the one.

“That right, freaks? You got the prize money on ya?” said the other, pulling out a gun.

“That check was deposited before we even left the party,” Xana answered.

“We’ll just take whatever you got on ya, then. Let’s get a feel of that fur,” the gunman reached for Xana.

Paul snarled and jumped at the guy.

BANG!

He felt his shoulder slam into the wall behind him. Xana screamed, but he leapt from the wall and crashed into the gunman, knocking the gun away when he smashed it and the guy’s head into the sidewalk. The other one kicked him, but Paul grabbed his foot and twisted so he also fell and hit his head on the sidewalk too. Xana had to grab his arm to stop him from pummeling the creeps. She pulled him up and away from the two.

A security guard came running. He saw the two on the ground with the gun and looked at Paul and Xana standing there.

“They shot my husband!” Xana said.

“No, they missed,” Paul said, heaving from having forgotten to breathe. “Not a scratch, see?”

^^ ^^

It was late when they got near Craftsbury, Paul didn’t want to stop but knew he had to refill the old Volvo or it would run dry before he could get it back to town again. Still in costume, wearing his hoodie when they stopped at the Genny, he felt conspicuous filling the very empty tank.

Janey did a double-take when he walked in the store to pay.

“Paulie, is that you?”

“Yes. I need to get a pizza for tonight. We’re too tired to cook and are heading home.”

“You went to Boston, didn’t you? Did you win?”

“We won.”

“I knew you would! Where’s Xana?”

“Out in the car…”

Janey ran from behind the counter and out to the Volvo. Paul ordered the pizza, and paid Jimmy before coming out. As usual, Jimmy didn’t say anything, about the order or Paul’s costume.

Xana was out of the car and the two of them were talking. Janey turned to him as he walked up.

“Congratulations, both of you. And Xana, I’m so glad your costume business is really taking off. Anything you need, you know I’ll get it for you.”

“Can you find more of those “Werewolf in a Can” kits?” Xana asked.

Janey frowned. “I really don’t know where those came from.” Then she brightened up. “But I’ll look! There has to be more somewhere.”

The two women hugged and Xana got back in the car to go home.

^^ ^^

They were finally on their lonely country road when they saw the Sheriff’s car coming in the opposite direction. He waved them to a stop again.

“Evening folks. Back from Beantown?”

“Yes.”

“But still in costume?”

“It’s easier to take off at home,” Paul stared straight ahead, avoiding looking at the Sheriff. He concentrated on not gripping the steering wheel too tightly.

Xana spoke up. “We didn’t want to make a mess in the hotel from the cleanup.”

The Sheriff nodded. “But you’re done with wearing costumes in town until next year, right?”

“Is there a law against wearing costumes in town whenever?” Paul snapped, turning towards the Sheriff.

The Sheriff looked at him. Xana put her hand on his shoulder. Paul swallowed. He knew it was a foolish move, but at the same time hoped the Sheriff would defy him.

The Sheriff spoke slowly. “No, there isn’t a law against costumes in town. I just don’t recommend it. I’d rather you didn’t wear anything so convincing, if you get my drift. Last thing we need is a bunch of crazy werewolf hunters up here, when it’s only a couple of people wearing costumes. You know?”

“Of course,” Xana replied, still holding Paul’s shoulder. “No need to worry, Sheriff. If we come to town in costume again, it’ll be something more toony, and not so realistic.”

The Sheriff looked at her, then back to Paul. “Good,” he said. “I think we understand each other, and the issue we’d all rather avoid. Have a good night, folks.”

Finally home, Paul went straight to the bathroom and pulled out the cleaner. Taking off the sweats, he dabbed it on the cloth and stood there looking in the mirror. Looking at the rest of himself, he couldn’t see anything. He also had to admit the make-up still looked good, especially after being on for three days, but it was time to return to his own appearance. He looked for an edge to start on.

And looked.

Xana had done a thorough job with the full body costume. A very thorough job. It had seemed funny when she was doing it, but now Paul felt a little warm. “Xana! Could you come in here?”

Xana knocked on the door. “What is it Paulie?”

Paul opened the door. “I can’t find an edge to start removing the make-up.”

“I’m sure it’ll come off. Isn’t there a line or a crack somewhere?”

“I can’t find any. Can you?”

She looked, her tail swaying to the other side as she stood there. “This stuff really holds up. Well, I’m sure if you rub the cleaner long enough in one spot, it’ll start to dissolve the paint and then it’ll come off easily just like it did the other day.”

Paul started rubbing one spot on his arm. Nothing happened. He dabbed some more cleaner and rubbed again, harder. The oven beeped and Xana went back to the kitchen to warm up the pizza.

Paul rubbed the spot vigorously, and added still more cleaner. His arm was getting sore from the rubbing, but the fur on it remained intact. He was still trying when Xana came in some time later.

“The pizza’s ready. What have you been doing?”

“It’s not coming off. Xana, it’s not coming off!” Paul’s voice was rising as he rubbed even harder.

“Hey, calm down. Leave the cleaner on the spot with the cloth and let it soak. Then come eat some dinner, and we’ll see what it looks like afterwards. It’ll be ok.”

“Yeah. Ok. Let it soak. We’ll try that.” Paul dabbed even more cleaner on the spot he had been working on and wrapped the cloth around it. Xana tied it loosely and wrapped an old towel over that. He washed his hands, put his sweats back on and came out for dinner.

As they ate pizza, Paul thought about the other meals they had eaten with the make up on. How the teeth and jaw worked like they were real. The movement of ears, the Volvo’s bent steering wheel, Xana’s tail, and his changed attitude towards the Sheriff. The different look of their eyes. He looked at her eyes and took a bite of last piece of pizza, then looked at the narrow shape that bite left in the piece he held in his clawed hands. It was not like the round bite of normal human teeth.

The teeth! He swallowed and set down his pizza. He tried to remove the teeth from his jaw. They didn’t move a bit. He poked at the long gum line under his long, black lip, and felt it. Standing up he went back to the bathroom mirror and stuck out his tongue. His long, flat tongue hung out beyond his unreasonably long jaw. That couldn’t be his tongue. He knew what his tongue looked like, and it wasn’t like that!

“Paul?” Xana stood in the door.

“I’m getting nervous, Xan. Look at our teeth! Look at our eyes! This isn’t just makeup! It’s changed us!”

“It hasn’t changed us, Paulie. It’s just tougher than we thought. It’ll come off, sooner or later.” She put her hand on his chest, rubbing the fur, then stopped.

Looking at a spot, she parted the fur with both hands, digging into the muscle she had made. Paul could feel the lump she was poking at. Suddenly, a piece of squashed metal fell and hit the floor. Xana reached down and picked it up. It was a mushroomed bullet.

They looked at each other. Xana picked up his hoodie from the floor and searched it. She showed it to him, her finger poking through the bullet hole.

“I want it to come off now!” He unwrapped the towel and the cloth from the spot on his arm. It had been nearly 15 minutes.

The fur was unchanged. He stood there, staring at it, gripping the door frame. This wasn’t possible. It had to come off! He couldn’t be like this! They couldn’t be like this! It wasn’t possible. It had to come off! He gripped the door frame as he panted.

Crack!

They looked up where he had been holding the wood. It had splintered where he had squeezed it in his panic.

“How…?”

“It’s an old house, Paul, it was probably weak or something...”

“I’m not strong enough to squeeze wood to the point it falls apart, Xana. I’m telling you it’s changed us.” He pulled at his chest fur, the skin pulling out loosely like a dog’s. “The makeup is changing us into werewolves! We’ve had it on too long already! And I don’t know how to get it off!”

“Paul! Makeup doesn’t change people!”

“Then what to you call this!” He pointed to the splintered door frame. “You know I’m not the kind of person who goes rushing into a fight! It was like, like despite the Sherriff being annoying the past couple of weeks, he’s part of our, our pack, and when he questioned us in the car it felt more like a challenge, like he was trying to maintain being the leader when I knew I could take him. And look at our eyes!” He pointed to his eyes, glowing red-orange in the light. “Look at our jaws and our teeth! These are real! I can’t get them out! The shape of our jaw isn’t even the same as the nose we put on! You said so yourself. The fake ears move and hear! You can move your tail and it was just a piece of that – that paint that you rolled out like dough and brushed into an impossible fuzzy tail!”

Xana looked at her tail and moved it from one side to the other, the long, fluffy thing sweeping around her feet. She looked in the mirror next to Paul and touched her black nose, her nostrils closing then flaring open as she did so.

She put her hand back on her husband’s furry chest, feeling the muscles she had shaped there, and their movement with his breathing. The rapid beat of his heart beneath her touch.

“It’s ok, Paul. It’s not affecting our minds. We’re not howling at the moon or chasing cows. It’s make-up. It’ll wear off. It’s not like we have to go anywhere soon. We’ll just keep applying the cleaner until it dissolves off…”

They held each other in the quiet house.

^^ ^^

Paul leaned back from his keyboard, stretching his arms above him head, then pushing his chair away from the desk, leaned forward and stretched them behind his back so his elbows touched. Time for a break. He punched out from his workstation and walked over to Xana’s sewing room.

“You ready for some lunch?”

“Already? Could you make a run for the UPS truck? I have several packages to go out today.”

“Sure, I’ll do it if you put lunch together.”

“Ok. We’re out of turkey, though.”

“Yeah, that didn’t last long.”

Paul gave a low whistle when he went out to the porch. “Several” barely described the number of boxes that were ready to go out. Fortunately, he had a wagon he could attach to the bicycle. Doing so, he loaded it up with the boxes and headed down the driveway. The bare trees along the drive formed a network of branches overhead against the grey sky as he rode. It would be snowing again soon.

His bike ride didn’t last as long as it had in September. At the old milk truck, now decorated with Christmas lights, a reindeer-led sleigh on its roof and a Santa in the driver’s seat, he opened the back doors and placed the packages inside the truck, finding a giftwrapped box with a card sitting on top of the unpowered fridge.

The UPS – Yes sign was being left visible most days now, and he left it again as it was. Opening the fridge, he took out the groceries there and placed them in the little wagon, along with the gift-wrapped box. Closing the doors, he checked the mail and headed back towards their farm, noting the snowflakes beginning to fall.

“Back so soon?” Xana asked when he came in from the porch. “You’re getting faster.”

“Janey left the groceries and a gift.”

“A gift? Now why’d she do that?”

“Read the card.”

Xana took the card and opened it. “Thanks for all of your business this year. Hope you can come by some time soon.”

“What are you going to tell her?”

“To come out here again. I know we owe her a visit, but it’s probably too soon to go back into town.”

“The Sheriff just thinks we’re being weird, that’s all.”

“I know, but I don’t feel like it yet.”

He stroked her cheek, and turned her head towards his.

“Hey, I don’t either, but I’ve adapted. It’s not like it affects my job or your work.”

“It was different before. During the contest we just were having fun. Now it feels like… like we were tricked. I can’t go to the Christmas craft fair looking like this.”

“Janey said she’d sell your crafts at her booth this year for you.”

“Thank goodness for her. But no one wants to look like this all the time.”

“I bet there are some people.”

“What do they know?”

“What does anyone know?”

She moved her long tail aside. “Yeah, what does anyone really know?”
Written for ShapeShiftersMonthly Halloween prompt 'Tricked or Treated' fav.me/dcof5b4


Ah, life. You never really know what's going to happen, or what could. This pretty much wrote itself, then life happened, and I didn't get any time to really edit it out. So it's long, even by my standards.

Should I have eliminated the milk truck completely? Removed details of the application? Made the trial happen only once? Probably, but I didn't have time, so what you see is something that takes me about an hour to read. Sorry, but I still kind of like it as it is.

Fun Facts:

'Werewolf in a Can" is a real thing. Not makeup, or a costume, though. I had written this before thinking to do a search, and Mythic Articulations has this neat little werewolf skeleton you can assemble and place in all kinds of poses. So the name/title belongs to them, not me. But do a search for it, it's pretty cool.

The 'English' is something I have really come across, just not all together like this for something like this. But the wording and some of the phrases are from real communications I have read. I understand English can be difficult for non-native speakers (heck, it can be difficult for native speakers). But it can still read funny.

All the places mentioned really exist.

A radio station in Boston has sponsored Halloween costume contests in the past, sometimes with prizes up to $5,000.00. (I didn't check to see if there was one that high this year.) But I bet some pretty cool costumes must show up at those contests.

---

I almost ended this on a more upbeat note. With Paul 'adapting' I considered having him suggest going on a run in the full moon, but Xana's feeling that they had been 'tricked' seemed stronger with the melancholy ending. 

As always, comments and critiques are welcome, even if it's just to tell me what should've been left out.
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:iconcholtfo:
choltfo Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2018  Hobbyist Writer
Nicely done!

Really nailed the slow reveal. Bit of a chewy piece, 10k words, but certainly gripping throughout! There are a few places where the time crunch on editing shows, but no deal breakers.

Fun story overall! The ending is peaceful, so that's nice.
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:iconabnom:
AbNom Featured By Owner 5 days ago
Thanks for reading it!

I do need to learn how to go over something to do real editing, though. I see a couple of things that seem obvious in hindsight, but I'm sure eve if I go through it again I'll still miss what needs to be done.
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:iconnakkune:
Nakkune Featured By Owner Nov 2, 2018  Hobbyist Writer
Don't get rid of the milk truck! It's my favorite part, and that one prop goes a long way in establishing the location and the scene. I love how the makeup subtly spreads while you're wearing it. Even though I know to leave an edge, I'm not safe! And the melancholy ending was definitely the right choice. Good work as always.
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:iconabnom:
AbNom Featured By Owner Edited Nov 3, 2018
Great to hear from you again. Thanks for the fave and the comment!

I really liked having the milk truck as a way to remotely interact physically with the world outside their farm and be an added indicator of time passing with the decorations on it. While its usage, slogan, and image seemed to fit with the story, location, and the characters, I just worried about it being too self-indulgent on my part.

The idea for the spread of the makeup came from a past experience: I worked in a manufacturing plant where there was a tiny application of a silicon oil that was needed for one part of an assembly, but that oil was a horrible contaminant for another part of the same unit's electrical contacts. We went crazy trying to keep the application of that oil from spreading from where it was needed to where it wasn't wanted.  We would joke that given enough time a single drop of that oil would spread across the state! 
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:iconocxin:
Ocxin Featured By Owner Nov 2, 2018
Don't feel bad about a bad ending.

It's always better than a forced good one
(and far less disturbing. :). )
Reply
:iconabnom:
AbNom Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2018
You're right, to have changed the ending for this one would've been forced.  

I just kind of liked the idea of having Paul, who didn't even really like costumes and did it for her, adapt to the change before Xana did. 
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:iconocxin:
Ocxin Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2018
There are too few tragic stories.

That... as I have to admit,
sounds very clichée...
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:iconazerty11235:
azerty11235 Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2018
To answer your final question, I say "nothing". Yes, this story was long, but nothing in it felt to me like it was too much, on the contrary, it builds the characters, help to involve the reader in the plot, grow some attachement to their fate... So yeah, don't edit or cut anything, this story is great and works perfectly as it is.

Congrats on the work.
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:iconabnom:
AbNom Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2018
Thanks!
That's what I hoped for, but sometimes I go overboard with details that don't really help the story along. Glad you liked it the way it is!
Reply
:icondrake-starfire:
Drake-Starfire Featured By Owner Oct 31, 2018
Awesome! :thumbsup:
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:iconabnom:
AbNom Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2018
Thanks! Anything in particular that you liked about it?
Reply
:icondrake-starfire:
Drake-Starfire Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2018
I found the gradual reveal that the substance did in fact transform the characters into werewolves, thrilling, and unnerving! 

But if I had some...HECK YEAH! I'd be a wolf any day! :headbang:
Reply
:iconabnom:
AbNom Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2018
Could make some things a challenge, but it could be fun! Thanks for the fave and the comments.
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:icondrake-starfire:
Drake-Starfire Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2018
NP!! ;) AAAAAAAAWWOOOOOOOOO!! :XD:
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