|The Taylight Zone - Anthology Four
18 - Once in a Blue Moon - Saralynn
"What the hell?" Taylor looked around trying to discern where he was. It was cold and dark. He was outdoors. A river rushing on his right. He sat up, trying to clear his head. For the life of him he couldn't remember how he had gotten outside. He stood up, only then realizing that he wasn't far from his house. He was in the woods behind his house, about a 5 minute walk away. Standing up, he felt dizzy and had to steady himself against a tree. He took a few deep breaths, closing his eyes for a moment.
He felt dirty. A wind passed over him, causing him to shiver slightly. That's when he realized something was wrong...
Where the hell are my clothes? he thought to himself, quickly running in the direction of his house.
Silently, he let himself into his house, hoping not to wake anyone. He crept through the quiet halls letting the soft carpeting muffle his bare footsteps. Thankfully the bathroom was the first door down the hall.
He stepped into the shower, letting the steamy water rinse away the grim covering his body. Dark brown water filtered off his body and down the drain.
At first Taylor thought it was just dirt, but upon closer inspection, he realized that something else was mixed in... but he didn't know what.
He ignored it and finished up his shower.
The steam billowed around him at he opened the shower door. He toweled off and brushed his hair back into a ponytail so it would at least be slightly more manageable in the morning.
Deciding to just bunk on the couch so he wouldn't accidentally wake his brothers, he grabbed a pair of boxers from the laundry room. Slipping them on, he threw the dirty towel next to the washing machine and headed for the living room.
By now, dawn had kissed the sky. Sighing, Tay realized that he would never fall asleep now, so he decided to flip on the TV.
A news bulletin flashed on the screen just as the anchor began speaking. And in the news this morning, a murder has occured here in Tulsa. A mere hour ago, the body of a young girl was found just outside the St. Mary's cemetary, located in western Tulsa. It has been reported that the body was mutilated beyond recogonition. Police speculate that a mountain lion is in the area. Local zoos are being questioned about any escaped animals...
Taylor gasped. He zoned out the rest of the news report, lost in his own thoughts. He couldn't believe that he had been outside--naked none-the-less--with a wild animal on the loose. I'm lucky to be alive. St. Mary's isn't far from here. Only about 10 minutes on foot, he thought.
Flipping to the MTV, he slowly drifted off to sleep...
It had been almost a month since the murder. It's now January 1, 1999. No wild animal had ever been found. Taylor never had figured out how he had gotten outside. By now he had written it off as sleep-walking brought on by stress. One interesting fact that he had come across, though, was that when he did finally go upstairs, he found his clothes in a shredded heap next to his bed. Finding no logical way to explain it, he through the worthless cloth into the garbage can where it wouldn't be found.
Well, now that Hanson was done with the tour, thier next endevor would be to record and produce their next CD. They had taken a month off and just relaxed at home. Now they're in L.A. And this time Taylor felt it happen.
He had been sitting outside, just looking up at the stars. He noticed the moon rising.
"Hey, cool. A full moon," he mumbled. He gazed at it a moment, letting the cool night breeze sweep over him.
Then he felt it. A sharp pang flashed through his stomach. He cried out and wrapped his arms around himself as a second flash tore through him.
The pang soon became a nawing. His eyes began to tear and soon he was crying. The pain was so horrible it felt as if his insides were being ripped out.
Finally the numbing pain began to fade to an unpleasent throb, pulsing through his body. And then he noticed what was happening to the outside of his body. Thick blond hair sprouted all over his arms. He reached up to his face and felt hair there as well.
What's happening to me?! Taylor thought, now very scared. Even more so then when the pain first started.
Then he blacked out.
What felt like only moments later--but must have been hours, judging by the just now rising sun--Taylor awoke, once again without his clothse, but this time he was lying by the back door of their rented house. He saw his rumpled and torn clothes in a pile not to far from him.
Quickly grabbing them and using them as a shield, he let himself into the house. He dashed to his room (he and his brothers had separate rooms here, due to the over abundance in space). Then he noticed something that really shoudn't have been there.
Once again his was covered in dirt and dried brown stuff. Peering down at some of the stuff which had become encrusted under his fingernails, he gasped and fell to his knees. He was unable to stand back up because his body was racked with convulsions of sickness and horror.
Blood... It's blood. How did I become covered in blood... but the answer to that last thought was to unbearable to even think about.
He took a scalding hot shower, hoping to rise away the horrors of the night, but no matter how hard he scrubbed, he continued to feel dirty.
Taylor didn't leave the shower until the water began to run cold. Turning the water off, he grabbed a towel and dried off. What have I done? What have I done? What have I done? the thought cycled through his head as he walked to his room.
It felt strange for him to be in such normal settings after what had happened to him. After what he had see happen to himself. He pulled on some boxers and went to lay in bed. The darkness was oppressing and he couldn't stop shivering. But it wasn't any form of cold causing the chills that ran up his spine. Taylor grabbed a sweatshirt, but it did nothing to stop the shaking.
Curling up in bed, fetus style, Taylor shut his eyes tight and prayed that there wouldn't be news of a killing the next morning. As he drifted off to sleep, he heard himself whispering something over and over.
"I'm sorry. I'm so sorry. I'm sorry... Please let everything be alright..."
But Taylor wasn't so lucky. He woke up the next morning with a pounding tension headache, causing him to curl up and try and ease back down into the warm blanket of sleep.
And it was working too, until someone screamed in the kitchen.
"Walker!! Walker get in here!" Tay recognized the voice of his mom. She sounded distressed and since he wasn't going to fall back asleep anytime soon, he decided to go see what the problem was.
"Mom?" he questioned, rubbing the sleep from his eyes as he walked into the kitchen. "What's wrong?"
Just then his dad walked in as well. "Di, are you ok?"
She looked badly shaken up. "Just look." She pointed in the direction of the back yard. Taylor and his father walked over to look through the window.
"Holy crap!" Taylor cried out as his dad gasped.
Over on the far side of the lawn was the mutilated carcass of a deer.
"I'm going to call the animal control officers and have them cart that away. In the mean time make sure none of the young ones look at that." With that last comment, Walker walked into the other room to use the phone.
Taylor had to pull himself away from the window. Everything was spinning. His knees gave out and he let himself fall to the floor. His mother came over to try and help him up, comfort him from the gruesome sight, but he heard none of it. Too many thoghts were running through his head.
Did I do that?
Thank God it wasn't a person.
But was it me?
Am I a killer?
What's happening to me?
He would find out soon enough.
No muder had been reported on the news that day. Nothing killed but a deer. Taylor had been relieved, but scared. He knew that the murders were happening under the full moon. He was afraid that he knew what was wrong with him.
But werewolfs don't exisit...
Do they? Maybe.
One dead dear wouldn't stop them from recording their CD, so Taylor went to the public library in LA and read up as much as he could on werewolves and other animals of "mythology". He knew that another full moon was coming. February was edging closer and closer.
Taylor woke up as usual, ready for a hard day's work. They finally had all the instrument tracks laid. Taylor glanced at his calander. January 31st. When was February's full moon? He made a mental note to find that out the next day.
"Taylor come on, we're waiting for you!" Isaac called from the kitchen.
Pulling on a pair of worn cords and his favorite maroon t-shirt, he grabbed a hair-tie and walked to the door.
"Ready?" Ike asked.
Taylor pulled his hair back into a low messy ponytail. "Yup."
Only Isaac, Taylor and Zac went to the studio. It was easier on their parents.
The studio was only about 5 minutes away, but they stopped at Dunkin' Donuts for breakfast. Pulling up to the drive-thru, Ike ordered a poppy seed bagel with plain cream cheese and a coffee. Zac wanted milk and a box of 24 donut holes. "I'm not gonna eat 'em all now!" he informed the questioning looks of his brothers.
Then it was Taylor's turn. But suddenly, he wasn't hungry anymore. He must've looked pale because Isaac-- shifting into big brother mode-- immediately asked if he was sick.
"No, i'm just not hungry." He felt a twitching in his stomach unlike anything he'd every felt before. It wasn't hunger or nasua or pain or nervousness. Just a twitching. Deep down, Taylor knew that this meant something, but he chose to ignore it.
"Do you wanna go home? Zac and I can start on our leads today, and we can do yours and the background stuff another time. You know that it's no problem."
Taylor knew that Isaac was concerned, but he wasn't sick. "No, I'm fine." He looked hard into his brother's eyes, doing his best to convince him.
Isaac had to stop the conversation for a minute to pay for and collect his and Zac's meal. He slowly pulled away from the building. "Alright, I'll let you go, but I swear, if you throw-up or even look like you're going to, I'm bringing you home.
This caused the both of them to smile.
The sun had set as they continued to work.
"Why can't I hit that note?!" Zac wailed as the listened to his latest attemped to sing the word "me".
As Zac continued to sulk, Taylor noticed a twitching in his stomach again. "Hey, Ike. When is the next full moon."
"As a matter-of-fact we have a blue moon tonight."
"Blue moon?" Taylor had heard the expression "once in a blue moon" many times, but had never stopped to consider what a blue moon was.
"Yeah. A blue moon is when there are 2 full moons in one month. This is the second full this month."
Taylor could feel all of the color drain out of his face. "Oh no," he whispered, barely above the sound of his breathing. He looked out the window, and sure enough, the full moon was just over the horizon.
Then the mind numbing pain hit him and he fell to the floor.
"TAYLOR!!" Isaac ran over to see what was wrong with his brother.
"Run!" he forced out between clenched teeth. He knew that Isaac wouldn't leave him. He also knew that when he awoke, he just might find the dead bodies of his brothers.
Then pain wasn't quite as horrible as the first time, but it was still bad. It didn't last as long, either. The pain dulled and the throbbing began. The hair began to grow. He saw long claws growing from his fingers and he could feel his teeth growing larger and sharpening.
"Get away! Please!" he growled as his vocal chords began to change.
He didn't black out this time. He finished the transformation. Isaac, by now had backed away.
Even though Taylor was conscious of what he was doing, he had no control over it.
When Isaac, Taylor and Zac hadn't returned from the studio by 4 am, their parents had gotten worried. They tried calling the studio, but no one would answer.
Finally, Walker drove down. What he found would be burned into his mind forever.
The front door was ripped off of it's hinges. Stepping inside, the first thing he saw was blood. Blood smeared across everything. He ran into the sound booth, fearing the worst. He came upon Isaac first. His son had been badly injured, but upon closer inspection, he was alive. Long gouges in his arm and leg showed torn muscle and bright white bone. Three not-as-deep scratches marred is once smooth cheek. Isaac was unconcious.
Then Walker noticed a high frightened keening. He followed the sound to the mixing board. He stepped around it...
...where he came upon the body of the producer.
Or what was left of the body. It had been mutilated beyond recognition as a person. Intestines spilled out onto the floor. An unrecognizable organ lay a foot from his crushed skull.
The whining continued. Walker realized it was coming from under the mixing board.
That's where he found Zachary, unhurt physically, but scarred mentally.
Gentally, he coaxed Zac up from under the board and led him to the other room, where they could get help for Isaac. Zac clutched at his father, buring his head into his dad's shoulder.
Soft sobs eminated up from him.
He let his son cry, and once he knew the ambulence was on it's way, he hugged Zac to his chest and cried a little himself.
The ambulence took them away to the nearest hospital. The whole ride there, Walker knew something or someone was missing...
Then it dawned on him. TAYLOR! Oh God please forgive me, I forgot Taylor! They reached the hospital a few minutes after that. Isaac was taken into emergency operation and Zac to a psychiatrist. Once he knew that they were in good care, Walker told the doctors that he still had a son missing and that he might be hurt as badly if not worse then Isaac.
So the ambulence drove back. They searched the small studio high and low, but there was no sign of Taylor.
The funeral was held a week later.
Isaac had pulled through the surgery, but was still in a wheel chair, unable to walk on his leg. The cuts on his face were healing, but the scars would be permanent. The doctors think that he was knocked down by some wild animal, even though they have no idea how it got in there, seeing as how the door was ripped off from the inside. And Isaac still had no memories of what attacked him. He hit his head on the floor when he was knocked down.
Zac was mentally scarred. The sight of that poor man being attacked and killed--as apparently he had seen it-- had really affected him badly. He had therapy everyday. But ever since that day, he hadn't uttered a single word to anyone. They wouldn't find out anything from him.
It was sunny on that day. They had nothing to bury but a pile of shredded dirty clothes that they had found in the corner of the studio.
Everyone cried. Even Zac, who's tears were silent.
The priest finished. As they lowered the casket, the family members threw in flowers.
Zac clutched at the single rose he had been given to offer to his brother's grave. The thorns of the red rose dug into his hands. He threw the blood smeared flower into the dark black hole.
And he surprised everybody when he finally spoke. It would be his very last word for a long time.