Lying in front of the basement TV, fuzzy UHF broadcast painting us in flickering black-and-white, we watched Lon Chaney, Jr.'s meaty face transform into the perfectly-coiffed monster's and I felt ready to howl. That lousy makeup must've taken hours, Brenda said. Then she ditched me to soak in the afternoon sun on our neighbor's motorcycle saddle. When the family curse finally took hold, I didn't just lie still and quiet while hair sprouted, bones stretched, language evaporated. Wolf didn't feel like I'd imagined. I vaulted backyard fences and chased rabbits through hedges under the full moon. Life finally made sense.

originally published in, September 2018