The set of batwing doors violently swung open, hitting the wall with tremendous force – the doors slowly flapped to a stop after the cause had entered the saloon. All patrons of the 'Holy Moses' ceased merriment and granted their undivided attention to the duster and hole-ridden hat wearing entrant.
The man staggered about with a fierce limp. In spite of this supposed sign of weakness, the patrons who stood before him scattered to the four winds.
Much aware of the attention directed at him, the newcomer demanded in a gravelly voice, “Where's McGinty?”
One of the few remaining seated patrons – a fellow suited in the finest of furs – downed what remained of his swill and gave a wave from his stool. “Right here,” he replied in a shaky voice.
The unsettler of men stiffly approached the suited man, stopping a pace from the stool on which he was seated. He brought his dirtied face into McGinty's, enough so that his cigar was perilously close to burning the man's face. “And yer the man that requested my presence?”
“Y-You must be William Clemence! I am Mayor Henry McGinty.”
The fancily clad man let out a sigh of relief upon Clemence's withdrawal of his face. The moment of calm washed away in a flash upon a pistol now taking point as the method of intimidation. “Horseshit. Try again,” spoke the gunman from around his cigar.
A series of tremors coursed the self-proclaimed Mayor's body and vocabulary. “I really am!”
All was quiet save for the gun cocking. “Lie to me again and I'm gonna put a bullet in ya an' go home. I'll know. ”
Beads of sweat dripped from the liar's forehead as he spoke, “Okay, okay! My name is Randall Teller!”
“Occupation and titles,” he ordered while applying light pressure on the trigger.
“I'm a prospector, nothing more!”
William Clemence finished squeezing the trigger and was met with gasps from some of those that remained in the saloon. Randall Teller felt a warm and wet sensation as his insides leaked out; urine. The pistol had been empty the entire time.
The pistol excused itself from the frightened man's face and returned to its holster. The man with a gait grabbed Teller by the scruff of the neck. “Yer lucky I grabbed this one instead of the one in my other holster; that one's always loaded. Let's take this outside.”
Teller barely managed to audibly get the words out of his mouth. “Are you crazy? What if you had accidentally grabbed the loaded one?”
“I sometimes do.”
None of the Saloon's remaining occupants dared to follow the two men outside into open Creede, Colorado. The two men – one willingly, the other not so – stepped into a nearby alleyway.
William released his seemingly would-be victim by the scruff of the neck, only to grab him by the throat as he spoke. “Seein' as to how ya aren't who you said you were, I'm gonna take a guess that the five-hundred-dollar reward that was mentioned is a lie – not to say I didn't already suspect that from the start, few could afford that. Still, if that's the case, then it seems you wasted my time and are going to have to pay.”
Randall attempted to loosen the gunslinger's grip, finding himself unable to even budge a finger. Realizing his efforts to be in vain, he gasped out a response, “I should have known that sounded too unrealistic when writing that letter. I don't have it now, but I'll be good for it.”
“Silver.” The grip around his neck tightened, much to his surprise. “It's true. I know of a mine that had to be abandoned.”
Clemence let go. “I take it that the reward you mentioned has to do with the silver mine.”
“Yes, and all you have to do is clear it.”
Randall cleared his throat. “Werewolves, your specialty,” he replied hesitantly.
William spat what remained of his cigar onto the ground, tilted his head, and briefly stared at the moon. “I'll do it, but it's going to cost ya tons of silver.”
“Fine by me so long as you don't clear out the whole mine.”
“Before we go to this mine, there are a couple of things that I want to know. How do you know of this mine and why haven't I heard of it before?”
“Yes, we. I need someone to show me where this hidden mine is. Now, spill me some information or guts. Your choice.”
“You might say that it was found and managed by a... less than desirable element, one that isn't on the up and up. Everyone that worked there knew better than to breathe a word of its existence. The pay was good and we liked being alive to spend it.”
“Is this a job from you or did Soapy Smith send ya?”
“From me... How did you....”
“McGinty is the name of that fake petrified man he charges people to see. I know the mayor and his name isn't Henry McGinty, ya idiot. Stepping on the toes of a crime boss isn't a good choice. Where'd a coward like you find the balls to do that? ”
“He blew town a few days ago and isn't coming back. The others who knew about the mine, the other workers, they're all dead.”
“Their misfortune becomes our fortune. Get to leadin'.”
Randall Teller responded with a nod that was barely perceptible under the cover of night, but William Clemence caught it. What the gunslinger did not catch was the other man's wolfish grin.
After a couple hours of walking under the cover of night, Randall spoke, “This is it.”
A three feet tall formation of rocks stood before them. In the center of the rocks was a sloping opening, a hole of seemingly endless darkness that sat as if waiting to swallow them both whole.
“I can see how this was able to be kept secret. Still, there's one thing I don't get. How does the silver make it to Creede, or wherever? Taking it across the desert would take too long an' be risky.”
“There's another way out, or rather, in this case, in. The mine empties out into a lake that pretty much snakes back into Creede. A boat is moored at the opening, the silver is carted on to it, and is taken across the lake and into a waiting wagon that takes it the rest of the way.”
“Great. I trust ya brought something for us to see with.”
“Us. You're coming in with me.”
“No way. I'm staying out here.”
“I still have no idea if there really is silver in there. In fact, the idea of werewolves hanging out in such a place is pretty far-fetched. I want you with me so that I can extract payment from your hide if you are lyin' to me again.”
“No. There is an unlit Davy lamp on the wall to your right when you enter, take this flint and make use of it.”
The disagreement resolver was removed from its holster and pressed against the prospector's chin. “Ya ain't the only one who tells lies, Randall. When we went through this song and dance earlier, the gun really was loaded. I always leave the first chamber empty for the sake of being able to use it for intimidation, but the others are fully loaded.”
“Why do ya think that?”
“You'd have to pull the trigger twice to fire a bullet!”
“And why do ya think that'd be a problem for one such as myself? I'm three times quicker than the best gunmen.”
“Y-You might load the wrong chamber and accidentally blow someone's head off!”
“I sometimes do.”
“The werewolves would hear a gunshot!”
“True, thing is I'm not sure that I believe ya. And... If I shoot you, then I'm just going to ignore that cave, turn around, and call it a day.”
“Shit. You win.”
The gun was withdrawn along with the complaint. The coerced man stepped into the deep dark with the monster hunter in tow. The smell was much as Clemence had imagined for a mine; iron-y and copperish. Teller felt along the coarse, jagged wall as he walked, hoping to be greeted by the sensation of cold metal. His desire was rewarded as the loop of the Davy lamp graced his fingertips. A quick exposure to flint and the two men had a light-source for the mine.
Once again, William Clemence found himself unsure of what a mine was actually supposed to smell like. Shreds and heads littered the ground. Most of the bits of corpses were unidentifiable. William was only able to be sure that there was more than one corpse present due to the two rent heads – The faces were still readable, infinitely frozen in terror and pain. Randall Teller unceremoniously added vomit to the carnage.
To Randall's surprise, William moved a reassuring arm toward his shoulder – in actuality, he was just trying to grab the lamp out of fear that the shaken man would accidentally drop it and leave them stranded in the dark.
Further on down, the light revealed a track fit for a mine cart. “We're getting close to where I was when they attacked.”
“Hopefully the mine cart is still intact, I'm getting tired of walkin'. From here on out, I want ya to keep quiet or else they'll hear us. If we're lucky, the smell of the mine will keep them from picking up our scent.”
The two men were able to make out the sound of ghastly, deep voices the farther in they ventured.
“Are the preparations ready?” quizzed the first and more beastly sounding of the voices.
“Yes. Creede's silver will be ours by tomorrow morning,” came a feminine second reply.
“Excellent. Damned be all that dare refine that vile metal,” a third replied.
“Shh. We have... guests. Do you not hear the footsteps?” asked yet another new voice.
“Looks like we'll be unlucky today,” William sarcastically responded, drawing his guns.
The two men stepped into a natural rotunda of sorts. Wooden walkways hung above. Four werewolves were on the ground level and at least two were visible on the walkways. The bipedal creatures were all closely alike to each other in terms of features: their coats were varying shades of brown – some splattered in blood - eyes a demonic crimson, claws long and sharp, and teeth that protruded and curved.
The were-creatures glared at the intruders, while one – who William thought to be their leader – spoke, “A foolish decision for you to come here, humans.”
William recognized the speaker to be the first voice he'd heard earlier. Pointing both his guns at different werewolves, he replied, “Seems I'm full of nothing but foolish decisions today.”
Some of the beasts howled with laughter. “Take solace in the fact that you won't have to watch your town bu-”
The gunslinger snapped one of his guns over to the speaking wolfman and interrupted his sentence with a silver bullet to the chest. Black blood spewed from the creature's every orifice. It writhed on the ground, but the writhing was short-lived.
Sensing that Teller was turning to run, Clemence spoke, “It's no good. They were talking to stall for time so that they could trap us.”
An enraged werewolf thought it prudent to lunge at Clemence. It managed to soar through the air with tremendous speed. Its flight became a descent and then a crash as it was met with a silver bullet to the head.
The feminine sounding, and presumably female, beast from earlier attempted to rally the other werewolves. “He can't kill us all at once! Now!”
The beast found itself to be the lone wolf in this situation; the others fell back into the shadows. In a brave display, it dived at William from the wooden catwalks above. Its approach was too swift for the gunslinger to take aim, forcing him to hit the ground by way of an impromptu jump.
The end of the terror's claw ripped through part of Clemence's duster and tore into his already gait-ridden leg. The monster hunter rolled onto his back and fired from both pistols, missing every shot in his desperation. The situation managed to become even more desperate when the being's clawed hands batted the guns free of William's and lifted the man level with its face by an arm. William gritted his teeth and snarled at his smiling captor.
Seeing that fortune had turned in their favor, the rest of the pack re-emerged from the shadows. One of them went as far as to smash both pistols with a rock.
“Will!” Randall shouted in fear as one of the werewolves began to regard him.
“Will?” The gunslinger's tormentor let out a most inhuman chuckle. “I've heard of you. Wild Will, Werewolf Hunt-”
Tar-like blood oozed from the speaker's snout. A well delivered punch from Clemence's free hand was to blame. Reflexively, the bleeding monster threw its quarry onto the ground near its comrades.
The three unbloodied lycanthropes neared from different directions in an effort to leave William Clemence without any avenue of escape. “Stop! He's MINE!”
The sound of glass shattering reverberated as all light was snuffed from the vision of both men. The absence of light was only temporary, however; sparks danced, seeking a gas to ignite. With the transformers momentarily distracted, Clemence helped himself to his feet made a limp for a nearby mine cart. Two awaited use next to each other, one filled with silver ores and one with nothing. William's eyes darted between the two carts as he inched closer.
“Dammit,” he muttered. His choice was the empty cart for the sake of speed, although it pained him to leave empty-handed.
Before he could finish climbing in, the explosion happened. A gust of flames licked the mine. The winds that resulted from such a blast blew his hat off his head. Desperately, William reached a hand out to grab at it and was suddenly met with the hand of Randall Teller. Privately pissed over losing the opportunity to retrieve his hat, William helped the man into the cart and disengaged the brake.
The werewolf that had been particularly antagonistic toward William made it to the mine cart filled with silver ore. It began to burn internally as it chucked the ore out of its cart, piece by piece. The other three lycanthropes followed behind on all fours, hoping to escape the quickly gaining inferno.
One was downed by being unfortunately positioned under a collapsing portion of the mine and another tripped in its haste; both gave a howl as they were reduced to ash by the flames. The third runner lagged behind, but managed to spot a hole in the ceiling that it blindly leaped into in the hopes of finding an escape. The cart rider swiped its claws along the railing, causing the cart to pick up more and more speed.
“Oh my God! It's gaining!”
“How far's the exit?” As if on cue, an opening came into view. “Never mind. Ya need to jump when I say to. I'm going to hit the brake.”
“Just be ready.”
The two sets of tracks were now within an arm's length of each other and the beast-occupied cart was nearly within swiping range.
“Shit. Here we go.” The gunslinger pulled the handbrake.
Sparks bounced off the rails as the mine cart slowed. The lycanthrope's was beyond slowing, or even stopping. Its pulling of the brake did no good.
The nonhuman-filled mine cart crashed into the boat with a hard impact. The beast became wedged in between the cart and the splintered wood in the boat. Despite its best effort, it was too weakened from its earlier contact with the silver ore to pry itself free as the boat sank. The makeshift furnace belched fire just as the two men plummeted into the lake.
Concerned for his own well-being, Randall Teller swam to shore without seeking or assisting the man he had become separated from during lake entry. The prospector seated himself and looked up at the moon in silence for a moment before shutting his eyes. What an ordeal, but he had survived.
Randall opened his eyes to find something, someone, washed up on the shore. That someone was William Clemence and he, too, was alive.
“What a night, huh?” Randall was unsure if he had stated that question rhetorically or to see if William was conscious.
“There is no night in Creede. Not anymore.”
Randall scratched his head as he stood up and tried to puzzle what the wounded gunslinger meant. “What do you mean?”
“No more werewolves.”
William tried to rise to his feet, but came up short. Randall outstretched a hand and was somewhat surprised that William took it. He pulled him close to him for the sake of support.
“Are you certain of that?”
And to better plunge a knife into his chest. William gave out a gasp in no short thanks due to the pain he felt, but the shock contributed more.
“W-What?” he managed.
“Back when I first escaped, I was bitten. I haven't transformed yet, but I suspect I soon will. I wanted you to kill them so that I might have my revenge. I also wanted you to die; that way I wouldn't have to worry about you hunting me later. You were just so damned stubborn though. I didn't want to kill you... or anyone! I just wanted those monsters to die for what they did to me. I just want to live.”
Randall Teller gently lowered William. The last of William's strength was waning and his death was all but certain. Randall awkwardly cradled his victim in an attempt to show respect for him.
William spoke slow and clearly, “Lycanthropy is transferred by the ingestion of werewolf blood, not by bite – ya idiot.”
Written by Doom Vroom
También disponible en español aquí: http://es.creepypasta.wikia.com/wiki/Esa_luna_m%C3%ADa
Translation by/Traducido por: User:CorrSetur.
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