1991 Ghostwriters: 'Waiting for a Friend' by Allison Crawford

From the 30 years, 30 ghost stories series
30 Years, 30 Ghost Stories

For 30 years, The Anniston Star has held a scary story contest called “Ghostwriters.” To celebrate the anniversary, we’re revisiting a favorite story from each of the past 30 years. From 1991, this is “Waiting for a Friend” by Allison Crawford of Oxford. At the time, she was a junior at Jacksonville State University.


'Waiting for a Friend'

By Allison Crawford

According to my watch, it is now 10:06 on Halloween night. I'm waiting for ... a friend.

I was here last year, too. My girlfriend had just left me. She said she needed some "space" or "room to grow." Whatever. Anyway, I had to get out of the apartment and blow off some steam. I didn't even have a costume, so I just put on some clothes and went as Mr. Melancholy Drunk. I never really got drunk. I got stuck in that limbo state of half-there and half-not. So, I took to watching the crowd. I gazed at the chicks in their mini-skirt devil and witch costumes. I watched Elvis kissing Marilyn Monroe beside the pinball machine.

About a quarter to 1, I spied a very, very drunk man in a werewolf costume staggering towards me. After much effort, he managed to sit across from me at the booth I occupied.

"Hello," he greeted triumphantly.

"Hello," I muttered back. "Great costume."

He tried to reply something of which I couldn't decipher and then waved to the waitress for a beer.

"Not a costume," he finally managed.

The waitress brought the beer, eyed his drunken state critically, shrugged and gave the beer to him anyway. He swigged two slobbery gulps and attempted conversation.

"Nice costume yourself. What are you?''

"Scott, the computer programmer."

"I'm a werewolf," he stated. "Maybe the fangs and hair gave it away, huh?”

"Just a little," I answered. He kept insisting he was, indeed, a real werewolf. Who can argue with a drunk? Humoring him, I asked details of his canine existence. He explained since he'd been bitten five years ago he missed some of the aspects of human life. He told me he had been attacked during carnival season in New Orleans. I laughed and said that I had heard werewolves were bad that time of year.

He introduced himself as Bob. Bob said Halloween was the only time of year he could walk among us, socialize, or get a beer without anyone noticing. It seems werewolves lead a solitary existence. I asked him what he missed most about being human.

"Football," he replied.

I also asked what small children and old ladies tasted like. He said he didn't know. He claimed he didn't have the heart to kill a human so he lived off little woodland creatures and stray animals. I agreed that we needed more humanitarian werewolves.

The bar was about to close. I knew he couldn't find his way home in his condition, so I offered him a ride. He told me to drop him off at the nearest stretch of woods. I declined and decided I would take him to my apartment. I figured when he sobered up next morning and realized he wasn't Bob the Werewolf, I could discover his true identity and take him to his true abode. We were soon riding in my car, and I prayed he wouldn't get sick in transit.

Suddenly, a huge black dog dodged in front of the car and I screeched to a halt to avoid him. Bob opened the car door and sped down the street after him. I ran in search, bewildered by his behavior. About a block away, I came upon the pair. I stopped, frozen by what I encountered. The dog had been ripped from throat to bladder, entrails hanging and spilt upon the pavement. The werewolf's face was covered in blood and gore, his claws and fangs stained with the cherryblack blood of his meal. He turned and saw me staring.

“I have to eat a little something to settle the alcohol in my stomach," he explained, smiling sheepishly.

I couldn't answer. My legs found the strength to carry me fast, very fast, to the car, where I broke many a speed record on my way home. I bolted my door and sat in a stupor ’til morning.

I haven't heard or seen that thing since. Of course, I told everyone I knew about the incident. I was the laughingstock for weeks. So I sit here in this same booth a year later, to test my sanity. I’m waiting for ... a friend.