It can be called flash fiction, or very short story, or something that just came to me. Whatever you want to call it, it’s a tale from the Dog ‘Verse.
Derrick sat at the dining room table, flicking the Zippo lighter open before snapping it closed. He paused long enough to look at his half-eaten cheeseburger and now cold fries before pushing it away. He sighed heavily before resting his chin in his right hand to resume flicking the lighter open and then snapping it shut. “Take a look around you, boy. It’s bound to scare you, boy,” came from the radio in the corner of the dining room. Click, snap. Derrick shook his head in disappointment at the song. Close to what he wanted to hear, but not the right one. Click, snap.
“Malford, either pick up smoking or put that thing away,” said Tommy Flannigan, his best friend. Tommy was Irish by descent and by nature. Tommy pulled out a chair, turned it around and sat beside Derrick. “Man, it is unnerving to see a fireman playing with a damn lighter.”
“Firefighter,” corrected Derrick, striking the lighter before snapping it shut once more. “we’re firefighters, Tommy. Fireman or firemen is a sexist term that belongs in the 50’s. And this thing hasn’t ever had fluid in it.”
“Really?” Tommy snatched it, flipped it open and sniffed it. “Hm. Why do you even own it?” Tommy tossed it back.
“Kid I ran with in high school had one. Naturally he smoked, and I didn’t, but he had this cool habit of flicking it open and striking it all with one hand and in one fluid motion. Coolest thing ever.”
“That…sounds really boring. You need a girl, mate, or a life beyond the confines of Company 31. Instead, here you are, ruminating like an old fart, playing with a Zippo sans fluid, while your food dies a freezing death on the plate. Oh and it’s your day off. Or supposed to be. Why are you here?”
“Jernigan’s home sick so I volunteered for his shift.” Click, snap went the lighter. “Now I’m just waiting for something to happen.”
“I feel ya, mate. You know, lots of us are out sick these days. I heard Tower 3 is almost nonexistent because of this shit. Between that and the rash of dog attacks recently, we’re being kept busy as hell.” Tommy reached over Derrick and snatched several fries from the plate. “These are better cold,” he said, cramming them into his mouth.
“What the hell is going on with these animal attacks anyway?” said Derrick, sliding the lighter into his pocket. “Metro PD is going crazy trying to convince people that this isn’t some roving gang thing or something targeting people wherever and whenever. I saw the news conference last night. That was the third one in the past week and a half.”
“Yeah, right? Freaking weird.” Tommy snatched more fries. That’s not as weird as the two alarm we responded to last week. You were out that night, remember? You were bummed that you missed it.”
“Not that bummed. Once I found out that Feds were involved I was glad that I was off shift. ATF is one thing, but damn, I heard you had everyone this side of the Marines involved. Seriously; Homeland Security showed up?
“I can’t say.” Tommy looked around the room before stealing Derrick’s abandoned burger. “ Hell yeah the alphabet soup showed up. DHS, FBI, and ATF showed up and, get this, were cooperating with each other.” Tommy raised his eyebrows. “Eh. How’s that for weird. The moment they showed up, they shut out MNPD and kicked us out. Just like that.”
“So they did pull bodies out of that mega church?”
“And a survivor. Guy was burned over sixty percent of his body, and still raving like a fucking loon. Crying about the Anti-Christ come to Earth as Anubis, killing the shit out of everyone in the area. This is the south so you know people had guns on them. This crispy critter says, “Guns ain’t gonna stop him!” Tommy waved his hands in the air melodramatically, and chuckled. “Sorry. It’s not funny.”
“You’re disrespectful. But you’re also funny as hell.” Tommy smiled.
“When there’s nowhere else to run. Is there room for one more son. One more son. If you can, hold on.”
The lyrics came across the room and lifted Derrick’s spirits, causing him to smile fiendishly. “I wanna stand up, I wanna let go,” he said with the song. “You know what, Tommy. That guy was supposed to die, but I guess with him still being with the living, the Feds and everyone else naturally assumed it was him that started the fire. Being a raving nut job only cemented that. Truth is, it was me.”
“Huh?” grunted Tommy as he was finishing off the burger. “Wha-?” That was all Tommy could say before Derrick slammed his head into the table’s edge. The edge tore through his skull cap, forcing skull fragments into his brain killing him instantly.
I..was waiting for…something to…happen, and… it has.” The change overtook Derrick. He grasped the table firmly, snapping the plywood, sending splinters into his hardening palms and thickening nails.
In a matter of moments Derrick transformed into his werewolf self. The song was the trigger to let him, and those like him in the firehouse and around the world, know that the overthrow of humanity had been given the greenlight.
From adjoining rooms the sound of growls, howls, fighting and screams rushed to his ears. The smell of blood, spilt bowels and bladders, and terror welcomed his glorious realization that he and those like him were on their way to being the rightful rulers of the planet.
Central dispatch came over the loudspeakers, declaring emergencies across the district. Derrick howled in joy. The end had come, and with it a wonderful rebirth.