In the dim light of the kitchen Faith Hobbs held the frying pan up over her shoulder like a baseball bat behind Boyd’s back. He started loading a revolver, the sweat running down his face. “Make me something to eat, Maw.”
“What you think you’re doin’?” she asked, wanting to hit him over the head with the pan.
“Last time I used my .45,” Boyd grumbled, “the damn thing jammed.”
“No, I mean what the hell you doing with that gun?”
Boyd looked up at the bolted door, glanced around at the shuttered and locked windows, and then returned his attention to loading the chambers. “I am getting ready for Kevin.”
Faith heard baby Blake crying upstairs and yelled, “Penny, quiet that child down.”
“I’m getting ready to feed him now, Mrs. H!”
“Well, pop out that breast and get to it,” Faith screamed back at her. She looked down at the frying pan, turned, and placed it on the stove. She poured about an inch of oil into it and lit the burner. “I don’t know how you can even think about shooting him.”
Boyd closed the cylinder and placed the gun on the table. “I used Granny Faye’s best silver to make them bullets.”
Faith dropped pieces of battered chicken into the pan. “You don’t have to kill him.”
Boyd leaned back in the chair, lifted a dark brown bottle, and took a swig of whiskey. “I chained him up in the shed real good, but it ain’t gonna hold him. Not tonight.”
He stood up and shuffled to the door, peeking out the little circular window at the top. He could see the moon bleeding into the black sky over the shed. “I thought we had it under control each month,” Faith said somberly.
“Yes, during normal full moons, but it’s a blood moon, Faith; you remember how strong Jackson got.”
Faith stared at the bubbling oil and the chicken in the pan. Her son, Kevin’s father, had come home from Vietnam having survived physically but being scarred mentally. “I remember that night and how you killed him.”
Penny came downstairs carrying Blake, their great grandson. The baby was blonde and blue-eyed like his petite mother. Penny covered up her breast and wiped Blake’s mouth. She sat on a chair in the corner and held the baby in his blanket against her shoulder. “He was really thirsty tonight.”
Boyd stared at her. “You should have gone into town like I asked, Penny. You can’t see this, so go back upstairs.”
Penny patted the baby’s back. “What do you mean?”
Faith glanced at her. “You know what happens when the moon is full.”
The young woman shivered a bit. “Yes, but Pappy has that under control.”
Boyd walked toward her. “Not tonight I don’t; it’s a blood moon.”
Penny saw the gun on the table. “You’re going to shoot him?”
Boyd picked up the silver-plated gun and stuck it into his waist band. “He’s gonna burst through that door like it was straw, and he’s gonna want blood. He will kill you and that baby boy if I don’t stop him.”
Penny cried and held the baby closer. “Kevin said you killed his father.”
“Jackson got bit by that damn old Loup Garou in the swamp one night, but during the next full moon I tracked it and shot it dead. I chained Jackson up in the shed every full moon after that, but he broke free on the night of the blood moon. He clawed his way in here, but my gun jammed. That gave him time to kill Uncle Ted and cousin Bobby Ray, and then he killed Kevin’s mamma and bit Kevin before I could get off a shot.”
Faith sobbed as she turned the pieces of chicken in the pan. “My poor baby boy.”
“Kevin’s the last of the bloodline, and now history repeats itself. This time, though,” he patted the gun, “I’m using this baby because it don’t jam. He’s going to come to us straightaway just like his daddy did.”
Boyd sat at the table and sipped the whiskey. “I think you’re insane!” Penny screamed.
Boyd hung his head. “Yes, yes I am. Now go upstairs and lock the door.”
A preternatural sound shook the woods outside the house, and Boyd dashed to the door and saw the shattered shed under the sanguine moon. “He’s out.”
Penny jumped up with the baby and ran for the staircase, but as she did the window behind her exploded, scattering glass and wood shrapnel as the beast came bursting through it. Boyd started pulling the gun from his belt but the creature had already bitten Penny’s throat and knocked her to the floor cradling the baby.
Faith sprung forward with the sizzling frying pan, throwing its scalding contents into the face of the beast. As it howled and fell backwards, she brought the pan down on its broad furry head with great force, but the beast recovered quickly and knocked her down as it bounded forward to get Boyd.
Boyd had the revolver ready, remembering his time as a sharpshooter in Korea as he aimed it. He still could shoot straight and true, putting silver bullets into the creature’s heart and brain. It collapsed on the floor at his feet, slowly transforming into his naked grandson’s bloody corpse.
Boyd walked over to a dying Penny. Faith grabbed the wailing baby from its mother’s arms, and Boyd said, “Forgive me” before he fired one shot into her skull.
“I doubt it,” Faith said as she rocked the crying child. She noticed four gashes on his little arm and took the oil from the counter and rubbed it over the wounds. Glancing up at Boyd, she said nothing about them.
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