Jud felt the heat of the pyre on his back as he opened the trunk of his car and removed a fresh set of clothes. He changed out of his tattered rags quickly and threw them on the pyre, then put on the fresh clothes. The smell of burning hair mingled with burning fat hung in the cool nighttime air.
He climbed into the car and hit the road. He heard howling. It was just in his head. Ringing. A strange kind of tinnitus. He turned the radio up.
Looking into the rear-view mirror, Jud saw that his eyes were still changing. They were always the last to return to normal. His vision seemed okay at least.
The vibration of the car made his stomach roil. It wasn’t really the vibration, but it didn’t help. Jud pulled over and opened the door and retched a stream of red. Good, he thought. Get the hell out. But he was feeling better. He hated the thought that his body was being nourished in any way. He waited a minute, but nothing else was coming up, so he spat the last coppery taste out of his mouth and closed the door and kept driving.
Why do I burn them every time? Jud wondered. Maybe it was just faster than having to dig a hole. But it was also a clear landmark, something to draw people, whether from the smoke or the light. Maybe he just wanted to be caught. Put in a cage. And yet he drove. Every month, he kept on driving.
Then he remembered why he built the pyre. It was because, when he was attacked, nobody built one for him. He lived. He killed. He didn’t want to curse anyone else, to put them through this.
He looked into the mirror again and saw blood dribbling from his lip.
When the werewolf buried him, he should have stayed in the ground.
Today’s three prompt categories were, “On the road again,” “Pyre,” and, “A howl.”
Werewolves are awesome.