This story is by Dan Jackson and was part of our 2017 Summer Writing Contest. You can find all the Summer Writing Contest stories here.
The Werewolves of the Hamptons
She didn’t think I caught it, but I did. The smirk, and the rolling of her eyes as she turned her face from me, still not believing, apparently not recognizing the terror I could hear in my own voice.
I recited it all back to myself, just to make sure I hadn’t left anything out―any bit of information that could help her believe what I was saying.
“‘Ay, hold on, hold on, turn that shit down.’”
Yeah, yeah, that’s what he said. We were passing one of those quarantine areas and Payback J didn’t want to risk drawing police attention.
It was four of us that night: Shorty Dray riding shotgun; our driver, Malik, who we called Erkel; and “J” in the back with me.
Knob-hood Gangster Crips. We were shrinking in membership but still deadly.
In fact, we were headed into enemy terrain that night just to prove it, bitch ass niggas crossing our name out and shit.
“Pass that shit cuzz.”
That’s what I told my nigga Dray, that fool kept trying to hog the blunt, taking vacuum lugs and shit.
I kept thinking of the basketball practice I was missing on account of our endeavor. Plus it was game two of the NBA finals that night, and I really wanted to see my Warriors beat Le Bron’s punk ass, nope, missed that too.
“Man, it’s cold as a mothafucka tonight; Erck why don’t you roll that window up cuzz.”
Dray was right, that night it was cold.
Answering, Malik said, “Yeah, an’ if I get contact from that shit ya’ll smokin’ an’ fuck up, who ya’ll gonna blame?”
After that brief exchange, I remember turning and staring at “J’s” gun in his lap―a murderous, mini Draco, which is sort of an AK-47 pistol―and thinking that “J” was doing too much.
It wasn’t even supposed to be an all out drive-by, just us flexing a little to show them niggas what was up.
I ended up silently thanking God that night that “J” had had that gun.
We all fell silent for some minutes while Malik drove on. Then something thumped the right side of my head.
“Wake yo’ ass up cuzz,” said Payback J.
“Cuzz, I ain’t slee―” but then my angry eyes dropped to his gun, and I saw that he had already loaded its banana clip, indicating that we had arrived at our destination.
The Hampton housing projects were home to the Westside Neighborhood Hampton Crips.
“Aw shit, we up in the tampons now,” Shorty chuckled as he took his 9 millimeter pistol from under his seat, the rest of us laughed with him.
“Tampon” was our derogatory anagram for our enemies.
“Damn, they quarantined the fuck out this mothafucka,” I said, still giggling, and fingering the extended clip of my Glock.
“Shit, all them mothafuckin’ tampons off in there, I would of quarantined this bitch too, cuzz.”
We laughed so hard at Malik’s comment, that for a second, none of us were paying close attention to the enemy terrain.
As a result of a rash of extremely gruesome murders, quarantined crime sites began dotting south Los Angeles as early as March 10th.
Why the sites had to be quarantined was not made known to the public.
Malik turned on the street where the Hampton Crips were known to frequent the most.
By this time, the rest of us were all slumped down, out of sight.
Malik drove slowly, looking like a possible Uber driver, especially in his Prius.
“What you see cuzz, anything?” Said Payback J.
“Yeah―wait―hold on, this might be them right here” Malik said.
“Hey, anyone call for an Uber?” Malik said to a huddle of dark shapes, in his most nasally, Uber driver sounding voice.
Under the cover of the murk and moderately tinted windows, those of us ducking down peeked.
We saw heads go up. There were four of them, as far as I could tell.
Two of them started in our direction, one more aggressively than the other.
At first we weren’t sure if they were our target, and Payback was whispering to Malik to just pull off, but then one of them said, “Damn cuzz, what took you so mothafuckin’ long, huh?”
A pistol had appeared in Malik’s right hand, and he said to them,
“Nigga, fuck all y’all dirty tampons, an’ you can slob on the Knob cuzz,” he fired twice into the dark shape approaching the fastest.
During the yelling, all of our windows had gone down, our weapons ready.
Malik’s attacker did not fall, but only stood, grinning.
I shot four times, at nearly point-blank range, as my opponent charged at crazy speed.
What I thought was grinning was not. I forced my mind to accept that this was a snarl, complete with drool and fangs.
The thing lunged, and Malik screamed as his face was torn away and his body yanked from the car.
I was snatched backwards, and spared a vicious gnash of teeth.
“J” held me with one hand and let off a merry parade of bullets and noise into the audience of yellow, animal’s eyes in the dark―and we were moving.
Shorty had gotten behind the wheel and was driving us away, but we were being pursued.
“They were monsters sis, I know that sounds fucked up, and like I’m lying and shit, but they were. You got to believe me, nobody is believing us. How can we protect anyone if nobody believes us?
“So please don’t go to that job, you hear me? I know you just got hired, but you can’t go, you can’t go anywhere, not at night, you hear me?”
In our panic that night, we got away but ended up crashing the car, and I was in a wheelchair temporarily.
“Sis, sis,” I wheeled myself towards the front door but she was gone, there was a note:
Later bro, back tonight around
11:00, don’t forget to tell mom.