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Hiding in Plain Sight · Original Minific ·
Organised by RogerDodger
Word limit 500–900
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Werewolf Hunting Sucks
Halloween is the shittiest time of year to go hunting for werewolves. The bastards stroll around in the open, all but flipping the bird at you, and you can’t shoot unless you’re dead certain it’s not Little Suzie in a hairy costume.

I mean, fuck.

Tonight, I was in Wergild, Maine. Little town. You’ve never heard of it. Thing is, this place goes ape for Halloween. There was this local legend about Hubert Clayton, a founder who shot his own son in a quarrel and secretly served the guy’s flesh up to his fellows. That’s how bloody sick this place is.

I’d figured that some werewolf was in the area. Usual stuff: blogs by kooks, stories about sightings, news on loons in bars. The main street was full of costumed crazies who should know better. Pumpkins every-fucking-where.

Vampire… Werewolf… Skeleton… Bedsheet ghost… Werewolf… Werewolf… Vampire… Ghoul… Zombie… Vampire… Werewolf… You see what I mean? Needle in a haystack, except the needle kills you.

Me? Dressed as a secret agent with a gun. Oh yeah. Audacity: I can fucking do that too, were-boy. And before you go nuts, I’ve seen werewolves in action all along the Eastern Seaboard. I’ll spare you the gory details, because you don’t deserve nightmares. I don’t want that on my fucking conscience.

So there I was, looking for a werewolf among werewolves. The bugger of it all? No way to tell for sure until the thing savages someone. By then I’m too late. You gotta watch for signs. Ears slightly too mobile. Drool’s too shiny. Eyes slightly too large—

“This isn’t your fight,” whispered someone behind me. “Stay out of it.”

The bastard must have flannel feet! I swung around.

Nothing. Except crowds with werewolves all over.

This was gonna be hard.

Alright. Clue number one. That blogger, “Wergild W8tcHer” or whatever, said the thing moved around the woods northeast of town.

Check the woods, flashlight ready. Gun ready.

Found a den. Found some dead chickens. Cheerful. Poor farmer’s gonna flip his shit when he sees this.

So… maybe a meatie? It’s like a veggie—vegetarian—only for werewolves, it’s a step up just to get them off human and onto chicken. Even if it is raw.

So… a sporting werewolf?

Clue number two. Newspaper office located on the southern side of town, overlooking Pebble Beach. They published the story: an attack on some local bigwig, Lou P. Garou. French bugger.

“A dog tried to get into his house?” I asked.

“Uh huh,” said the reporter—young, blonde, keen type, hasn’t yet learned about confidentiality and the risk of getting her ass sued to hell. “Or it could’ve been a bear.”

“That happens a lot here?”

“No. That’s what made it so exciting! And everyone in town talked about it!”

I gave her some life-saving tips on not running her mouth off like this—hey, I’ve got a soul—and left.

Clue number three. The loony in the bar. Scott Shilling, the local fisherman. The Bar… the local bar. Creative with names, they ain’t.

Somewhere between the Irish whiskey and the god-awful beer, Scott went off about “that cocky asshole” Garou, “shootin’ up the damn place, scarin’ the fish away”.

I asked if Garou hunted, then. Ten minutes after looking for his car keys, Scott said yes, and don’t ask the bastard about it or I’ll die of old age afore he’s finished. Truth be told, I kinda liked Scotty-boy already. Maybe when I’m off-duty, I’ll pay his tab.

A hunter. A rare attack. A meatie. Now it adds up.

That old story. Crap.

Garou was making a speech tonight; knew that from the newspaper. He’s the shit around here, apparently. If you ask the locals, he made God’s green earth and then got a divine license to shoot anything he wanted.

Clearly, my night shift wasn’t over yet.

Wergild Town Centre isn’t that bad. There’s a nice fountain, and they set up some lights to turn it green for Halloween. Old Garou—big, beefy bastard with a mustache you could throw like a boomerang—stood on a podium, going on about the legend of Clayton. I guessed they were related.

I kept an eye on the werewolves in the crowd. Not easy. They were fucking everywhere.

Gun fully loaded.

That guy? No.

That guy?

Or that guy?

Something stirred.

I looked back. One werewolf slid through the crowd, eyes fixed on Garou.

The old stealthy assassination. In plain sight. Audacious bastard, huh?

I sighed. Hell, do I hate this job—

He pounced.


My bullet got there first.

The werewolf went down like a dog.

Lucky for him, I aimed to wound. He was writhing, screaming, and grabbing his arm like I’d thrown acid. Garou just stared at the thing for a sec. Then he pulled out his shotgun.

I aimed. “Don’t fucking think about it.”

He glared at me. I glared back. I’m the better glarer.

He dropped it.

The werewolf shouted, “You fuck! Twenty years a meatie, twenty goddamn years with Lucy, and you arrogant son-of-a-bitch! You bullshitting crackbrained fuckface! You… You…”

I gave him a sedative. Poor bastard.

At the time, I just dragged the werewolf out and drove him to HQ for counseling. Later, I spun some yarn about a drunk in a werewolf costume. The job demands confidentiality.

Later on, I paid Garou a visit. Explained a few things to him.

Gave him some nightmares.
« Prev   8   Next »
#1 · 4
· · >>BlueChameleonVI
Hey, my town has a meeting place called-- and you guessed it-- The Meeting Place.

I reaaaaally enjoyed this fic. I like the humor, the pacing, and especially the Halloween themed plot.

10/10 “I’m glad he didn’t shoot little Suzy” -ign
#2 · 7
· · >>BlueChameleonVI
I may come back to review this in full later, but this was fun, and I like the punchy, stream-of-consciousness style. Excellent opening line. One big problem is though is that there's too much fucking swearing in this goddamn story, like so much fucking swearing that it losing a bit of its cunting emphasis. More fucking discernment about the placement of your goddamn swears so it makes the ass-kicking punchiness of your narrative stand out instead of sounding like a shitty obligatory "fuck" drop every five seconds would greatly benefit this piece, you bastard.

You watch your ass, mate.
#3 · 2
· · >>BlueChameleonVI
Kind of a supernatural noir detective vibe with some great snappy dialogue and prose. Loving his snarky attitude, and to frame beast-hunting in a Halloween setting really lets his snark shine in a lighthearted way. Though choppy stream of consciousness isn't often my cup of tea, you've executed it fairly convincingly. I do agree with Cassius regarding the profanity, and it seems to me as though it's almost used as a crutch to convey your character's frustrations sometimes.
#4 · 2
· · >>BlueChameleonVI
Let's load this one up with comments so that we all have something to aspire to.

Anyway, I like your interpretation of the prompt. A lot. But, er... How tall are these werewolves exactly? Are they really so easily mixed up with children?

A-ha, on second reading I now understand that everybody is dressed up. I hate to say it, but, as much as I like that line about Little Suzie, it kind of threw me off. Not sure she's exactly the right size? That could be just me, though.

And I'm going to third the notes above about the profanity, but I'd add that, in a broader way, I was kind of losing patience with the narrator. Partly because of the swearing, but kind of just his overall demeanor as well. I thought his snarkiness was a teensy bit too much. A character has to earn the reader's respect before he starts being so snarky, in my opinion, and he got a little grating at times. Overall it worked, just a few lines pushed his personality a little too far for my liking. And the profanity plays into that.

But this is a great entry overall. Yippee, gold star, hurray.
#5 · 2
· · >>BlueChameleonVI
That one was pretty fun. Loup Garou, yeah, thanks for that. The story is fun, seems more like a role playing game than a stream of consciousness, though. I agree the stockpiling of swearwords doesn’t play in its favor, though I’m less sensitive to them than most of you, because not being a native speaker (they don’t really connect to former experiences of prohibition or deliberate violation of it). The guy comes across as smug, but I suppose that’s a common trope in that sort of noir parody.

So yeah, at the end of the day, fucking fairly good shit. Kicked ass!
#6 · 5
· · >>BlueChameleonVI
Since we're all:

Commenting on this one, I'll say that the swearing didn't bother me, but my inability to figure out what actually happens kind of did. I mean, Lou Garou isn't the werewolf? But the werewolf has come to town because he's upset at Garou? So why is he upset? What did Garou do? Who is Lucy? What does the narrator talk to Garou about at the end?

Now, maybe I have these questions because I'm stupid. It's not the first time I've been left in the dark by a story everybody else seemed to understand. But keep in mind, author, that stupid people like me read your stories as well, and a few words of explanation at the end will leave us impressed by your narrator's cleverness at figuring out what we couldn't. Instead, I'm left blinking at the screen with no idea about what I just read. All it would take would be one or two sentences at the end--tell me what the narrator explained to Garou--and this story would be near the top of my ballot. But without those sentences, I find the story incomplete, and so it goes nearer the bottom.

#7 · 2
· · >>BlueChameleonVI
Good Stuff: It's amazing what you managed to do in less than 1,000 words! The snark, the dark comedy, the angry character and the slow reveal were well-paced and had a lot of attitude which made it interesting from start to finish. My favorite bit is the beginning, with the great idea of the werewolf hiding among the costumed people at Halloween, and the way the agent does the same thing in reverse is a really funny bit. What I also liked was the hint of drama creeping in near the end too, such as the counseling for the werewolf and the agent getting one over Garou.

Bad Stuff: Too much swearing, yeah yeah, you know by now. Also, I think I understood what happened (the werewolf and Lucy went meatie for twenty years, Garou shot Lucy, the werewolf tried to get revenge), but it's really weak and kind of needs to be stated at the end clearly, because I had to check to make sure. And why did he give the reporter advice not to run her mouth off? She didn't do anything specific to make him say that, so I have to ask.

Verdict: Top Contender. The ending needs work and you seriously need soap in your mouth, but otherwise I had a blast reading this one and came away wanting more, which is a major plus in my book!
#8 · 2
· · >>BlueChameleonVI
My review:

Characters and Dialogue: Apologies, but our MC here wins my "least likable character" award for this contest, and by a landslide. He's condescending and rude to everyone, thinks he's the absolute bomb, and swears in a style that can only be described as disdainful and constantly ticked off. E.g. comedians get away with it, because their swearing is creative, and/or directed at specific targets of frustration that their audience can sympathize with. I just can't think of any redeeming qualities for him (we don't even see any particular skills from him, either; just aiming and shooting once). This is compounded by the fact that the werewolf's /one line/ of dialogue makes him sound like the same person, giving me the impression you never really thought about what his personality might be.

Pretty much every other character besides Garou doesn't even need to be named. What time is spent developing them never goes to use, and only serves to reinforce our MC's pessimistic worldview.

Plot and Pacing: This is another big issue I had. Nothing of relevance occurs besides the shooting of the werewolf (a scene which induced no tension anyway for how short and spontaneous it was); there's just some of the MC's irritating gossip, and him talking to random locals. "A hunter. A rare attack. A meatie. Now it adds up." I could've maybe guessed that Garou shot and killed someone important to the werewolf, but the MC's focus flits around so fast I didn't make the extra effort to figure out what exactly was going on. Even after the werewolf mentions "Lucy," it took a lot of back-reading for me to figure out what exactly he was on about.

Style, Form, and Grammar: I've already touched on the gratuitous profanity and the MC's edgy personality, but everything else pertaining to the narration is kind of eclipsed by it. At the least, there are no grammatical mistakes, and I could mostly follow the train of events the MC was describing.

Final: All in all, this will be near the bottom of my ballot.
#9 · 1
· · >>Miller Minus >>BlueChameleonVI
See, those of you folks who are complaining about the swearing, this is the line that gets me:

This was gonna be hard.

He (or she, dunno) cusses like a sailor. There's any number of foul-mouthed descriptors that could have been used here. But no. That makes this line stand out more than the italics does.

I also don't understand how folks are confused about what's happening. In a minific you have to be very thrifty with words, and this author was. I will concede that the writeoff is absolutely great practice for the dime store paperback market.

I will say that there was one thing that confused me as I was reading through it: the guy named Lou P. Garou was not, in fact the werewolf. In a contest about hiding in plain sight, a guy whose name is basically Were W. Olf is kind of the obvious choice for the werewolf. This was too big for a red herring that wasn't called out. I get that he's set up as a person of interest from the beginning, and you wanted the reader to think he was the werewolf until the reveal at the end, but there could be more subtle less confusing ways to do that.

For most of the story, I was wondering more about the meta than about the content of the story. It's one thing for readers to call out a Chekhov's Gun and eagerly await to see how it is fired. This was just plain distracting.

Overall a good story. 24 hours and 900 words isn't much to work with but you managed to make a story with a beginning, a middle, and an end, which puts it above most of the entries.
#10 · 2
· · >>Hap
He (or she, dunno) cusses like a sailor. There's any number of foul-mouthed descriptors that could have been used here. But no. That makes this line stand out more than the italics does.

If I could stand up for us softies -- making one line stand out isn't worth writing an unendearing main character. But we can agree to disagree; clearly the protagonist is tracking differently for everyone.
#11 · 2
>>Miller Minus
I love main characters that you just can't like.

I also love unreliable narrators, and bad guys as the main character.
#12 · 2
· · >>BlueChameleonVI
I'll be honest: out of all the stories you submitted, this might be my least favorite (and I did really like some of the others). Which is strange, because in terms of flow and attention to detail, it does rate quite high, but the overall experience just left me with a bad taste in my mouth. The quirky style and the profanities feel like such a massive "vote-bait", where any lack of substance is covered up by the character doing a stand up comedy routine of complaining about annoying people. It got old very fast, had no real relevance to the story, and it refused to go away.

Sorry for being so blunt, but I would much rather have seen your other submissions take this one's place on the scoreboard. This one just drags them down, acting like further proof that one can either write something that challenges the reader (and be ignored) or just play to the crowd.
#13 ·
>>Anon Y Mous
>>Rocket Lawn Chair
>>Miller Minus
>>Baal Bunny

Ah, this one. The experimental one that went closer to the edge than the other six. Totally not surprised it got a "controversial" reward, though can't say I'm totally happy with that either.

Oddly enough, it's also the only one I consider an actual full story with beginning-middle-end. Chance can be funny like that.

Firstly, ta for the comments! A real treat to garner so many voices, even if only to learn this was definitely not everyone's mug of Darjeeling. I accept my lumps. It was a likely consequence of using this style, and I knew it. But hey, I had six others to fall back on, so I felt I could give it a go.

Anyways... to address the two biggest issues, controversial one first: The swearing. Yeah, this is what happens when someone who usually doesn't swear ends up trying to cover their tracks by swearing a lot. Judging from the correct guesses anyway, it was totally unsuccessful on that front. Not to mention I actually felt uncomfortable doing it so wildly; don't expect a repeat performance anytime soon (sorry if you like this sort of flavour). I'm now wondering how it would read if the profanity were 100% expunged; perhaps the narrator would come off as less abrasive for some of you?

The other issue was figuring out what just happened. I think the main problem there is that, even in the werewolf's only line, I never said it explicitly, so the developing mystery was left hanging. For those who never figured it out: Garou did shoot Lucy, who was the werewolf's wife, simply because he shoots everything that moves. And since the werewolf had tamed himself by going meatie, the werewolf saw it as totally unjust (and also there's the obvious motive that she's his wife), therefore he tried to get revenge for her death. The other problem is that, in all the clues, there's no hint of a body; I guess I could next time chuck in something like a little memorial or burial mound in the forest, to hint more strongly at that.

Lastly, "Lou P. Garou" was just a joke. It wasn't a red herring; I thought throwing in the reference would be a laugh, and I'm actually kinda impressed some of you got it. I thought it was pretty obscure. Or else I can blame t'internet.