Lost in my thoughts, I felt a tingling on the back of my neck. I looked down the alley to my left and saw a couple necking. "Go home, whoever you are. I am not one with whom you wish to fuck."
"You just ended that sentence in a preposition. I hate it when people don't know their grammar." The woman was laying limply in her lover's arms, and I was thinking about letting them go with just a good ribbing when he turned to face me, baring blood-dripped fangs and snarling.
He let her fall, standing to face me. "I said, Go Home."
I took another gulp of my whiskey and turned as if to leave. He let his guard down. I whipped out my Zippo and spat out the whiskey at him. The leech burst into flames and ran off to go douse himself in the sewers. I called 911 and told them about the girl. Then I called my pack, told them we had some injured prey to finish off...
It was 2005, and yeah, I was involved in the Irish Mafia. I helped out some guys who hung out in the back room of the Bullfinch Pub - the bar Where Everyone Knows Your Name. True, I knew it was a little more complicated than that, but on a certain level, that's all this War of Apocalypse was - a war between two illegal rival gangs for control of the fate of their piece of turf.
I had always been a scrappy kid, workin' my way through life with a little bit o' nuthin' and a whole lot o' balls. Puberty hit late, but it hit me the jackpot - I ended up bigger and taller than most of the guys who would have loved to hang me off the flagpole by my underwear. Still, they had spent their entire lives being protected from the Principal by their parents, and I had only my single mom and our disturbingly passionate cousins to fight for me, so I kept my head low and used my mind to come up with tricky ways to get the kind of revenge that a dumber kid would use his fists for.
In all respects, that was my life: Find weakness, exploit, repeat. So, like I said, 2005. My buddies back at the Pub had gotten a little soft in their noggins. Seems the green little spirit of envy had gotten ahold of 'em and they and their hoity-toity Alpha Female thought the best thing they could possibly do was make a play at taking over our cousins down in Connecticut. As if taking over control of a Casino from our cousins (and its luxurious forested surroundings and spiritual whatzitz of power) could possibly strengthen us in our turf war with the Wyrm and his crew.
I told them, "You guys are falling right into Mr. Wyrm's trap. This war party down to Mohegan Sun is nuthin' but a black-lit neon spiral for you to walk right down to Insanityville." They didn't listen. They sent out a War Party, beat up a few Redskins, and were just beginning to get really over the edge when the spirit of envy fell right outta them. They went over to our neighbors at Crossroads (where the Fianna die in droves), and figured in for a little pow-wow with the Indians and the NINAs. Sure, they left the bar defended a little, but those rubes they left behind didn't know what they were defending who from, and a couple o' those power hungry hoozitzes came in wanting to drain our tap dry.
They were not counting on seeing little ole me. One o' 'em whipped out his high powered rifle, but I kindly smashed a bottle in his face. Another made like he was creatin' some kinda fireball with his hands, and I doused him good with a dose of our hardest liquor. The last punched me in the chest with his chop-socky, shattering my sternum and puncturin' both lungs, but even I get mad at times, Know-what-I'm-sayin'? Not sure if they didn't realize we was werewolves, or if they had simply never fought nobody smart, but even though the Red Haze of Rage took over me (reminds me a lot of Uncle Jimmy when he was drunk), the surprises each of 'em had comin' to 'em were quite severe.
After I mopped the floor with 'em (seems Magey-types are kind of squashy if you take 'em by surprise), I crawled over to the pool table for a smoke and a drink and a nap while my ribs popped back into place and intestines knotted back together. When my compatriots came back from their smokem peace-pipe, they took one look at the goobers I had dispatched and I said I told ya so.
Well, there was a goodly bit o' drinkin' and cussin' that night on account of their Garou guards bein' half asleep with drink and me becomin' a woman and all, but overall the atmosphere was positive, though it turns out our mystical spirit tap had had a dam put it on it by the gooks and japs what cured them of their greedy little idiocy, who decided that they needed to tax us 30% for the favor (never believed in payin' income taxes myself, but they seemed pretty able to collect no matter how we felt).
It wasn't too much later that I went on my rounds doin' the fancy nonbooklearnin' that we postadolescent tykes have to go through to be worth two bits around here, and don't I know it, but I've been givin' the strangest task in the world to go through my Rite of Passage. Seems a couple o' big wigs from that neighborin' Sept o' Them Crossroads were comin' over, and it was up to me to give 'em the hardest time in the world, drinkin' 'em under the table, fist-fightin', dart-throwin', and carryin' on cranky, when they came over to get our Alpha Bitch to sign 'em a little piece o' tushie tissue to let 'em in over in the big-wig Northeast Protect-our-butt.
Well, they come on by and I gives 'em the big old "Hello, Jason, Belen" - them bein' ones I'd met before when they were on their Rite of Passed Gas and I was tryin' to get 'em pissed drunk - and said hello - "said" bein' a strong word when the mystical tap o' the area has a funny way of overridin' yer brain to put out the words "Hello Two Snows" when you haven't the foggiest clue who or what a Two Snows is. Well, I knows not to drink too much with that Belen boy, so I let one o' the other fools I was Ritin' with take him on whilst I drink with the girl called Jane and the wolf called Two Snows and start a friendly little squabble with - it turns out - their Red Talon A-hole Bloody Thunderpants who gives us a solid whoopin' but is good natured enough about it (for a bloodthirsty man-eating machine), and they go on their way and we are told to follow 'em.
Well, as any fool knows, it ain't easy to follow somebody on the silver brick road, leastways when you're on a Rite of Pissage (that bein' where they get you drunk before you leave), and soon we were lots in a funny little version of Eire full o' satyrs, faerie queens, hobbitses, and frogboys, and we're told that they done lost their harp. Well, the harp bein' the symbol of our spiritual homeland, our Moonie-Dancer got all in a huff about how vital it was to find the danged thing (never mind that the frogboy totally already knew where it was but could only speak in ribbits), and we went off trackin' through the vast wilderness to find it.
While in said wilderness, we ran across a Stag, and our Crescent Roll was vitally confident that Stag, bein' the symbol of our people (sense a certain theme here, boys?), was clearly meant to be followed. Well, we had our own little A-hole, and lucky we did because that sucker Stag runs fast, and it was all I could do to keep up with old "Knocks Everything Over When Drunk" as all he could do was to keep sight o'the Stag. When he lost us but good, I hit upon the notion of climbin' a tree, and saw that not too far off in the distance was a rainbow, and this place bein' the place o' legend, myth, and capricious jokes at your personal expense based on half-remembered stories you heard as a kid, I figured the leprechaun at the end o' that rainbow would have our harp.
Shore 'nuff, there was a pot o' gold at the end o' that rainbow, and the leprechaun there was mighty angry when we came to take the harp back. He would just as soon as fought us all off on his own as just given it to us, and while the Ahroun of the group held the leprechaun in custody and "Talks Everything To Death" was negotiating the leprechaun's release in exchange for the loot, I was lookin' through the big huge stack o' gold coins and totally failing to see anything stringy or musical. Well, I dumped all o' them gold coins back into the cauldron (really, who uses a cauldron these days?) and I happen to notice that old Mr. Hostage Negotiator hasn't gotten anywheres and the coin restin' in my hand has an amusin' picture on it, and I say to the leprechaun "How's about we let you go and you let us keep this here coin?"
Well, he acquiesced, understandin' there wasn't anything he could really do to stop us from taking whatever we wanted, and while Mr. Alpha Butch was hoppin' mad at me as we walked over to frogboy and little miss princess, I showed the coin to good old "Knows Esoteric Trivia That's Usually Completely Useless" and he grinned at my cleverness when he saw that the gold coin I carried was an Irish Pound, with our Lady the Harp on one side and our Lord the Stag on th'other. Princess peeled off the harp to give to the Satyr to play, and tapped on the other face to let Stag out and congratulate us, and gave me the coin back for good luck.
Our freedom secure and our pampers off, we did what we could to help the Sept run smoothly, but in time, even old "Tells Every Story Twice As Long As You And Half As Well" started to get to me, and I began to wonder if I'd ever see a Pack worth runnin' with. Well, one day I see a fellow of an Icelandic sort with an "I just fell off Leif Ericson's Boat" kinda look in his eye, and we get to talkin' in our secret little code, and, shore 'nuff, I find out he's a cousin from way back in Scandahoovia. Says his name is "Line Redeemer" and I say that's not a name, that's a Destiny, and a rather not incredibly important one at that, and he gets all "Uncle Jimmy" on me, but I'm too smart for him, and when he comes out of it, I say "Hey: You look like Leif Ericson, so how about I call you Leif and we find you an even grander destiny" and he says after all that that that might be okay.
Well, Leif thinks it's a grand old idea to head on up to the top o' the hub and prance around a Glass Statue, and I can't dissuade him. There, we meet some wise guys who are just as unwise as us, and we hit it off pretty well and I rescue them from walkin' on some broken glass, which leaves us with the question of where to go, and what to do. I tell them "Hey, the dumbest thing in the world we could possibly do now is go visit that Sept o' Them Crossroads so they can gut me like they do all Fianna who drop by. I think I have a cousin Caelin that I can warn off, maybe save his sorry butt while we're at it." Turns out, some o' them were plannin' on goin' there anyways, and I figure maybe I'll save their butts while I'm at it.
...Anyway, there's a leech loose in the sewers and my Packmaters will be wantin' me to get a good eye on 'im.
THE END OR SOMETHIN'