Special Agents Reed and Callas had left the city and were on the New Jersey Turnpike when Callas flipped on the radio. It was an all talk station and there was a show in progress. The photographer ‘Flash’ Hobson was being interviewed by the female host, whom seemed engrossed and inquisitive.
“I like this dame. She’s gotta real sexy voice. Makes me think what she would be like in the sack,” Callas commented.
Reed driving, answered with, ‘Hmph,” and ended the conversation.
They listened to the show, cruising through dusk away from the Manhattan skyline and into the industrial ruins of the garden state.
“So, Flash, you were on the scene, and actually got a picture of the first victim?” the woman asked, enthusiastic as a schoolgirl.
“Oh, yeah,” the photog replied smugly. “She was beautiful—real European type, long straight black hair and a figure to match. The monster ate her right leg off, but ya know, Joy? As I recall, there was surprisingly little blood.”
The woman gasped audibly, dramatically even, and the Agents both sat up, actually paying attention.
“Does this relate to the reports of a werewolves now coming out of New Jersey as well as Manhattan?”
“Well—,” he paused to think of something sensational, as if he had to. “I don’t know about that, but it sure seems likely. I mean—at first, Detectives Capshaw and Knudsen were on the trail of what they thought was a large dog. A pit bull, maybe. But things became confused after the city coroner was attacked—and the bodies just kept piling up from there.”
Now she paused, prefacing her next statement with, “Hmm,” thoughtfully. “Yes, the coroner was torn apart in the city morgue—and did you get photos of that?”
“I sure did. I’m bound to get a Pulitzer for the work I’ve been doing on this case.”
“And there are absolutely no leads? Only suspicions of a large dog?”
Without waiting for his reply, she continued further, “That brings us to Sinclair, New Jersey—where several people have been mauled to death.”
“Yes, I anticipate going out there for some in-depth pictorials. I was there when the police arrived in response to a call from Ernestine Incino that a wolfgirl had attacked her husband.”
“Ernestine Incino. The wife of Ernie ‘The Inch’ Incino.”
“One and the same. Incino was attacked during a barbecue he was giving for a few of his, eh, buddies. The Incino’s just bought a multi-million dollar mansion in Upper Sinclair’s Estate Section.”
“Whatever became of this ‘wolf girl’? Is that how the police refer to her?”
Callas was rapt. They were heading to Sinclair to look into another case entirely so they thought, and he already feared being eaten by something—he didn’t know what, but the fear was built into his Greek constitution. He’d gotten earfuls of such stories as a kid from his grandfather and other relatives. The fears of his childhood growing up in Bay ridge came back to him and drenched his collar in cold sweat.
“The police are working on the lead that she’s been kidnapped by none other then ‘Nervy’ Joe Galileo. At the time that Incino was attacked Nervy Joe’s wife had her throat ripped out by this wolfgirl—I saw them cart her body out of the house.”
“This wolf girl was able to do all that? Maim and kill reputed mobsters? That must have made the police sit up and take notice!”
Flash and the hostess laughed as mechanically as wind-up monkeys. It was written in the script and her contract that they laugh every so often, to keep levity in the nationally syndicated broadcast, lest the audience turn to another station.
“Well, that they did, Joy! That they did! It was after those attacks that they really began to take seriously rumors of werewolves.”
“Well, Flash, this is a fascinating case.
“This is Joy Chandler and I’m talking with Jay ‘Flash’ Hobson, star photographer and Pulitzer Prize nominee of the New York Times. Flash was on the scene at the very beginning of the wave of brutal killings that have since been attributed to one or more—werewolves! We’ll be back taking calls right after these messages from our sponsors.”
“You believe that?” Callas noted, turning down the sound of a woman bemoaning her red and swollen hemorrhoids, which abruptly blared out of the radio. “Werewolves! I tell ya, people are goin’ crazy.”
“The police don’t think it’s so crazy. This Mills guy we’re after is described having long hair and a beard. He could be a werewolf.”
“That’s crazy. He killed a cop and threw her body out of the back of a moving van that he stole and shot some Goth babe over in a bar down in the Bowery. Do werewolves use a forty-four?”
“This one might.”
“Dah—it’s all in their imagination,” Callas scoffed, unable to fully conceal his very real fear.
The harsh odor of sweat permeated the car and Reed rolled down the window. For all of his mockery, Callas waited patiently for the parade of commercials to end then turned up the volume.
“All in their imagination, eh?” his partner smirked.