Short Story
                     The Strange Meat
                                                     By Jojo King


     He was a poor man that spent the last of his money to come over to
America on a boat and open up a dinky butcher shop.  He came over from
some country in Europe that nobody could find on a map.  His name is not
important, it never was to anybody in this new country anyway.  He stood
behind his counter, everyday, and the only people that would come in were
poor, faceless immigrants like himself.  He could barely feed himself, and he
wondered, if this was the land of opportunity, then where were all the
opportunities hiding?  Were they in some stinking garbage can, or tucked
away in the darkest of alley ways?  Months went by without opportunity
showing its face…

     The man was very troubled lately.  His meat supply was starting to rot, and
he did not have enough money to replace it.  All hope was gone for the man.  
He put on his coat and stepped out into the cold night, letting his feet take him
wherever they may lead him.  He reached into his pocket and pulled out a
silver locket, he clicked it open revealing a picture of his family back home.  
Oh how he missed them, their smiling faces made him want to return home,
but he knew he could not, he promised his family he would get a business
started and then they would come to this country too, and they’d all live as a
happy family.  

     After walking a few blocks, he turned down an alley way.  He did not see
the large animal lying on the ground and tripped over it.  The man fell and hit
the trash ridden ground.  A little dazed, he stood back up and inspected what
he had just tripped over.  It was like a dog, but much bigger, around seven
feet tall.  It was clearly dying and did not have enough strength to even look
up at the man.  

     It was morning now, but the man did not sleep.  After bringing that “thing”
back to his store, and placing it in his bed in the back, it had died.  He still didn’
t know what it was.  He had heard stories back in his old country from his
gypsy grandmother who had told him about a horrible creature called a
“werewolf”.  Could this be one?  He could not answer that, but it did seem like
a solution to his problems.  It was, after all, free meat.  And a lot of it!  The
meat on that animal could keep him in stock for a long time, maybe even feed
himself for weeks.  That thought made the man happy as he pushed the
carcass in the meat grinder.

     The meat was very tasty and easy on the stomach, decided the man, as
he climbed into bed for the night.  He hoped the other family that bought a
pound of it enjoyed it as much as he did.  He told them it was his “special”
meat.  Outside, the clouds moved, revealing a full moon.  

     He could not remember where he was last night, but after awakening for
the morning, he found himself covered in mud and a mutilated corpse of a
homeless man on the floor.  At first, he thought about calling the police, but
being unfamiliar with law enforcement, he decided against it.  Maybe he can
just stick the man in the meat grinder also?  Who would miss a homeless
man?  No!  Of course not, he could never do that, he had too much of a
conscience.  The guilt of killing somebody mauled at him from the inside.  
There was no doubt in his mind that, he was a werewolf.  From the country he
came from, the explanation for something strange was always blamed on the
supernatural.  The thought came into his mind on how his grandma had also
told him that the only way to kill a werewolf was to shoot it with a silver bullet.  
He had to end his life, he knew there was no other way, he could not let
himself be a monster and cause so much pain to others.  He walked over to
the fireplace and pulled out his locket.  He took the picture out, took a long,
last look at it, and stuffed it in his pocket.  He melted the locket, and molded it
into a bullet.  He loaded it into his pistol that he had brought from his
homeland.  He pulled the trigger and his suffering was over.

But the strange killings did not stop.  No, they continued, for, you see, one
thing had slipped the man’s mind.  He had forgotten about the family that had
come to the store and bought some of his “special” meat . . . .
To read other short stories,
click one of the titles below.