Loup Garou and Black-Eyed Suzy

1 Conversation

A very cross person

When they first saw each other you could've cut the air with a knife. He stepped through the door and, like the old cliché, their eyes met across the crowded room. It was something at first sight. Something, but nothing that anyone in that hotel bar had ever encountered before. Their eyes locked – and stayed locked for the longest time. The room grew quiet, voice by voice, until the last guy, who'd been shouting to make himself heard above the hubbub, clamped his jaws shut, embarrassed, and looked round.

All eyes were on those two and the line of sight, sizzling between them. Her black eyes seemed to be glowing with a dark fire, and his with a tawny luminescence. The whole room held its breath as he lowered his head. Never shifting his gaze, he stared at her from below puckered brows, and a soft rumble issued from his throat as he curled back his lips. People stepped back in alarm. My god! Those teeth... She never made a sound but the fire in her dark eyes reddened and the tension grew.

Slowly, very slowly, she appeared to crouch, bunching her muscles, ready to pounce. Her lips drew back in a barely audible snarl, to reveal sharp little white teeth - a shock to those watching. Such a pretty girl, Suzy: small, soft and velvety, with her short dark hair and ruby lips. What a change! Her sweet smile and gentle, musical laugh, now a distant memory.

Everyone reacted with little jumps and jolts and gasps when a couple of late-arrivals burst noisily into the room, apparently sharing an outrageously funny joke, and knocking the growling man off balance. Their babble and laughter was silenced almost the instant they stepped through the door and caught the room's strange atmosphere. But the spell was broken. The man regained his composure, the wild light in his eyes was extinguished, he spun round, pushing the puzzled couple aside, and left.

Suzy relaxed then, and the hotelier she'd been talking with before the stranger arrived laughed nervously, making an inane remark about the astonishing rapidity with which some young ladies can transform from angel to hell-cat. She gave him an unfathomable look and then she also left the room, following the man who had challenged her.

The room was soon abuzz with excited questions and speculations. It turned out that nobody knew much about either of them. She'd been working as a waitress for the season, in one of the other Whitby hotels – said it was the only way she could afford to come down for the festival. The town was full of Goths. The bar was full of them too, but none of them knew her. As for the man, someone said they'd spoken to him earlier but he didn't speak a word of English. Perhaps he was a student, spending his summer holiday over here for the strawberry picking.

It provided a topic of conversation for a long time. They were seen about town once or twice after that night. Solitary souls. When the festival finished, the Goths left the town and it was assumed the two of them went with the rest. But a couple of weeks later, they were found in a patch of woodland behind the town. They were together. And they were both dead.

The fight must have been savage – the explosive ferocity unimaginable. They were horribly mutilated, both. Her head was found some distance from her body. His body, though badly lacerated, was intact – but the heart was missing. That was found locked in her sharp little teeth.

Those are the bare facts. The police say they found no other clues. The information vacuum is filling up with wild theories. The most popular is that the two were on separate hunting expeditions – here for the festival – hoping to pick off strays and stragglers from the transient herd of Goths. But they got sidetracked. Their natural prey forgotten, they found each other instead: natural enemies. Dogs and cats may live together in harmony... if they're domesticated and brought up together. But out here, in the untamed world of wolves and tigers, where they compete for the same 'cattle', they cannot tolerate each other.

Fiction by Tibley Bobley

Tibley Bobley

28.05.09 Front Page

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