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Carol stopped the forklift. “Just put it in the office, Dad.” She called out. “Bilge, you want to drive your truck up?”
Bilge nodded. He got up, “Wait for me.”
Teodor sat back on the chair. Mr. Sansard came out of the office. “Your left hand.”
Teodor glanced down. “What about it?”
“You have a claw.”
Teodor glanced down again. Mr. Sansard had very good eyes. It was a family trait. His left thumb nail was thicker and longer than the rest of his nails. Even when he was changed, that claw was always slightly bigger.
“So?” Teodor said.
“I know what you are,” Mr. Sansard said. He made the sign of the cross as he spoke. “You stay away from my family.”
Teodor sighed. “I have no intention of harming your family.”
Mr. Sansard made another sign of the cross. But he was thinking, Teodor could tell as the old man started to chew the inside of his cheek. “Do you only change at night?”
Teodor shook his head. Mr. Sansard did know his lore. The werewolves you had to really watch out for were the ones that could only change at night. They were the ones that could not control their hunger.
Mr. Sansard relaxed. “My Grandfather ran into one of those kind.”
“I am not that kind.” Teodor said. “But you will tell anyone?”
Mr. Sansard shook his head. “They won't believe me.”
Bilge walked back into the warehouse. He waved Teodor over. Bilge lowered the gate to the back of his truck. When Teodor came closer, Bilge asked, “What did Mr. Sansard have to talk to you about?”
Teodor shook his head. “It was nothing.”
“His mind has been going ever since his little stay in the hospital. So take what he says with a grain of salt, ya know what I mean?”
Teodor nodded, but he was certain that Mr. Sansard was in his right mind when he figured out what Teodor was. Not many people knew what to look for when they saw a werewolf in their human form. Teodor was both impressed and a bit frightened at the same time.
Bilge loaded the truck. Teodor jumped in the back of the bed and arranged the cases that Bilge handed him. It took them about a half an hour to load up the beer. Teodor jumped down. Bilge walked over to the office and paid. When he came back he was shaking his head.
“We should go,” he said. “Carol is about to lose her mind.”
Teodor wondered if that had to do with her father telling her that a werewolf was in the warehouse.
When they returned to the Pit, Amanda stood behind the bar, serving the two customers. Trucker sat at the bar as well, in front of him a coloring book and a large soda.
“Where'd you get that?” Bilge asked Trucker, as they brought in the first load.
“I got it for him.” One of the customers said. He hair had been shaved on the sides of his head, leaving one long strip of hair.
Amanda smiled. “Trucker was bored.”
The customer raised his beer mug. “And he looks like my brother, so what the hell.”
Teodor shook his head and placed a case of beer behind the bar
After they unloaded the truck, Teodor sat down at a table with Amanda to take a break. “I ran into an old guy that recognized what I am.”
She looked panicked. “Should we worry?”
“No, he's old,” he said. “And he didn't seem too frightened of me. But Trucker followed us to the factory.”
Amanda nodded. “I thought so, he's a sneaky little bastard.”
Teodor chuckled. Bilge came over to the table.
“I have to show you both something,” he said, leaning on his knuckles on the table.
They followed Bilge to the outside. He unlocked a side door that lead to a set of stairs going up. Bilge walked ahead. They made it to the first landing and he turned to continue upstairs. At the second landing, Bilge unlocked the door.
The door opened to an open wide space. Nothing inside but support columns. Except for a small room with a toliet, and a counter with a sink and range. The place was bare.
“If you want, you could fix this up,” Bilge said. “I'll rent it to you for seventy-five a month.”
Amanda stepped into the room. “Would you knock it off what we spend to fix it up, off the rent?” She asked.
“Yeah,” Bilge said.
“What about utilities?” Amanda asked.
“I'll throw them in.” Bilge said.
Amanda gave Teodor the look that told him, he better not say no.
“Well it's the best thing that came our way, yet.” Teodor said.
“Of course it means I will take full advantage of you living up here.” Bilge said. “You might not get many days off.”
Amanda took Teodor's hand, “This is nicer than where we are staying.” She whispered.
A few hours later the bar was busy, but not full like it had been the night before. Teodor spent most of his time, cleaning up after the customers. When the late news came on, Amanda reached up and turned up the volume on the TV.
A reporter stood in front of an abandoned apartment building. “This is Laurie Johnston with a special report.”
Teodor filled up the mop bucket to clean the men's room. He has only half listening to the report, until he heard Amanda gasp.
The reporter talked to a middle aged woman. “This is becoming a problem, not just because we are talking about children that should be at home, but because winter is coming.” The middle aged woman said into the microphone. “It is very hard for an adult to survive the winter, let alone a young child.”
Teodor turned the water off and listened.
“How many children do you estimate are living on the streets?” The reporter asked.
“It is a few hundred.” The middle aged woman said. “But that amount is triple what it was last year.”
“Any reason for that?”
“There could be many. But we think the main reason is last year the census was taken using only the information that the police could give us. This year we sent student social workers to the places were the children live.”
“It's really heart breaking,” The reporter said.
“Yes, Laurie it is.”
Amanda glanced over at Teodor. She had tears welling in her eyes.