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Frank pulled into the parking lot and smiled at the sign. "Last chance for coffee," it warned. Far from an espresso bar, the coffee shop was more like a Waffle House without waffles. Its orange décor recalled the seventies, though Frank doubted it had been there that long.

The few regular customers were elderly locals who smelled like smoke even after smoking was no longer allowed. They hit on the waitresses as a matter of course, married or not. The rest were people passing through, anonymous and mostly unremarkable.

What made the coffee shop a good place to work was the schedule: rather than operate all night, it shut down at 5:00 every day. Whatever the season, Heather could put in a full day and not have to worry. Frank hated that she had to work, but they were barely making ends meet. The other waitresses were nice enough, if not necessarily friends.

At 5:02, Heather ran out to the white Neon and climbed in. She gave Frank a peck on the cheek. "I am so glad to see you," she beamed, "and I cannot wait to get home and change."

Frank put the car in drive. "Bad day?" he asked gently.

"I spilled a pot of coffee in Mr. Oakley's lap," Heather explained.

"Oh, how awful," Frank remarked. "Was he OK?"

"Unfortunately. He had just asked me if DiFilippo was a wop name, and if I was seeing anyone on the side."

"How full was the pot?"

"Not full enough."

Frank took advantage of the red light to kiss Heather with gusto. They guffawed, then continued down the road.

"Thanks again for the card this morning," Heather said. "I love it."

"Aw, don't mention it," Frank replied. "Part of my job!"

"You do a good job," Heather assured him. "Speaking of cards, have you heard from Jack or Stephen?"

"Nah. We really ought to write them this weekend."

Frank and Heather pulled into the driveway, exited the Neon, and entered the small brown house.

It was a humble abode, but together they had cleaned it top to bottom to make it their showplace. The den doubled as a studio for Frank; the kitchen and bedroom were adequate; and the basement served as an unfurnished second den. On hot nights, they camped out there instead of the bedroom.

"I don't have to go into work tomorrow!" Heather proclaimed. Hesitantly, she added: "Can you come with me tonight?"

Frank frowned. "Love to, honey, but I have that interview first thing in the morning."

"All right," Heather conceded. "But it won't be the same without you."

"You know I want to, but this could be my big break. Besides, I want to catch up on commissions tonight. Sorry, honey."

"You're sure you'll be all right alone?" Heather pressed.

"I'll be fine. I put out some hamburger to thaw for meatloaf, and I've got my commissions out over there, and my alarm set for 6:00. Know what else?"

Heather raised an eyebrow.

"I got you a present."

"Oh, Frank, you shouldn't have!"

"You haven't seen what it is yet," Frank teased. "C'mon, it's in the basement."

"The basement?" Heather echoed. "I hope you didn't spend too much on me."

"Just trust me," Frank said, and took her by the hand. Heather followed him through the kitchen. He opened the door to the basement and turned on the light. Two steps ahead of her, he led her down and gestured to the near corner. Heather blinked in bewilderment.

Tied to the radiator against the wall was a deer. It looked almost a year old and weighed about a hundred pounds. At the sight of them, it snorted and spun around but had nowhere to go; the rope was too short.

"Oh, it's darling!" Heather exclaimed. "But how—"

"Just enjoy it today," Frank urged her. "I can explain later."

"All mine?" Heather wondered aloud.

"Happy Valentine's Day."

Heather went over to pet the deer. As she stroked its head, it snorted repeatedly and attempted to free its leg. "Should I go ahead?" Heather asked, still petting it. Frank nodded.

Heather slipped off her dress, then stepped out of her heels and took a deep breath. Frank stayed to watch.

She was beautiful. He would always feel guilty, partly for the fact he found her even more beautiful afterward. He could not picture himself without her, but everything had happened too fast; a year before, they hardly knew each other. No use crying over spilled milk, he would tell himself. He was still proud as punch she was his, and he was hers. He just hoped one day he could make her proud back and provide for her more often.

Suddenly, the deer broke open like a piñata. His train of thought derailed and his vision blurred, Frank believed blood had splashed on him, so overwhelming was its scent. Reeling, he ran upstairs with a cold shower in mind. He ran two steps at a time, hoping the cold water would calm him down enough to stay on schedule.

Racing toward the bathroom, Frank burst into the kitchen, tugged off his shirt, and kicked off his shoes. He had learned last year to leave the laces loose. Halfway through the kitchen, his nostrils flared, and he remembered the hamburger on the counter. Before he knew what he was doing, he was shoveling handfuls of it into his mouth. It hit the spot: a little cold, but not bad. Instinctively licking his hands, he felt better until he noticed his hands were longer than normal. He bolted for the bathroom once more, but his pants grew tight all over, and he realized it was no use.

Shaking off his pants before they tore, he reversed course and hurled himself down the basement steps, landing at the bottom awkwardly on all fours.

Heather looked up from her feast and flashed him a bloody smile. He returned it, standing otherwise still until his fur had grown in. Then he trotted over to join her. He might hate himself in the morning, but at least he would get to spend tonight with his wife!
Frank surprises Heather after work.
Add a Comment:
 
:iconmichel-le-fou:
Well, the development of the plot, the dialogues and setting are very amusing. A 9 to 5 coffeehouse that resembles a waffle house without waffles, the spilled coffee and usual question Is he OK? are quaint. The best character development here is the elderly customers smelling like smoke. Gives the reader a curious sensation. Quaint humor too, a half-full coffee pot, which tells me that Heather may have wanted to pour a full pot instead.
You say that you spent much effort and it can be seen. You should be very proud of this one above a ll others. Lots of fun.
What do you think?
The Artist thought this was FAIR
11 out of 14 deviants thought this was fair.

:iconrisingphoenix89:
Critique by RisingPhoenix89 May 6, 2012, 6:48:36 PM
Well well, this was quite the interesting piece.

First off, that deer scene. Wow! Talk about shock value. If your aim was to surprise the reader, I would say job well done.

That said, it's a job almost TOO well done. For the entire rest of the piece beforehand, Heather and Frank appear to be entirely normal and human. To the point of almost being boring. All we really learn about them is that they are a couple who live in an apparently small town, with her working at the local coffee shop and him as an artist, and that they're struggling financially. You relay this information quickly and clearly, which is a very good start, but the information itself is so commonplace that your main characters feel very bland and therefore, uninteresting.

This lack of relevant and compelling information also works against the shock value of the ending's visual. Because Frank and Heather came across as entirely human, the deer's death and the events that happen after it are very confusing. How exactly did the deer die? We can assume that Heather killed it, but how? We can assume based on Frank's thoughts about her beauty before and after that she transformed into something, but what did she actually become? These are vital questions that need to be answered in the scene, and because they aren't here, the reader is left needlessly confused.

Franks transformation is also a tad confusing. The scent of blood seems to be the trigger, but if Frank knew that, and it seems by the speed of his reaction that he knew it could. If that's the case, why would he stay down with Heather in the first place? It's also never really clear what he's turning into. It was only when I read the line about his fur coming in that I realized both he and Heather were Werewolves. If you had gone into more detail about Heather's transformation, then Frank's transformation as presented would've been fine. I'm also confused as to why this would be the only he would spend time with his wife. I assume it's because the transformation is permanent until sunrise, but again, that is vital information that needs to be included.

All in all, the imagery of the ending is quite impressive and does it's job of shocking the reader, but the lack of interesting and important information about the main characters really hurts this piece.

You tell a good what and a decent where, but your who, how and why are noticeably underdeveloped.
What do you think?
The Artist thought this was FAIR
13 out of 14 deviants thought this was fair.

The Artist has requested Critique on this Artwork

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:icontanukitagawa:
TanukiTagawa Featured By Owner May 31, 2014
If I understand right,Frank killed a deer in a blink of an eye,this put him horny,next he turned in a werewolf to spend all night fucking Heather. ;P Well,if she also like this things,no problem. :shrug:
Reply
:iconjoeyliverwurst:
JoeyLiverwurst Featured By Owner May 31, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Er, not quite.  Frank didn't kill the deer; he wasn't exactly horny; and he didn't turn into a werewolf on purpose.

They're hungry and on a budget.
Reply
:icontanukitagawa:
TanukiTagawa Featured By Owner May 31, 2014
  In a moment,you said:"Suddenly, the deer broke open like a piñata. His train of thought derailed and his vision blurred, Frank believed blood had splashed on him, so overwhelming was its scent." Well,how the deer broke open?A spell?Mind power? :hmm: Beside this,if Frank wanna spend all night with his wife,to me this mean that he are very horny! :nod:
Reply
:iconjoeyliverwurst:
JoeyLiverwurst Featured By Owner May 31, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
While Frank was questioning whether he's a good husband, Heather killed the deer.  The blood odor overwhelmed him and made him change.  They were stuck as wolves until morning, so why not have dinner together?
Reply
:icontanukitagawa:
TanukiTagawa Featured By Owner Jun 1, 2014
Yeah,make sense.  :greetings:
Reply
:iconkaosspreading:
KAOSspreading Featured By Owner Feb 5, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Love it, hope to read more about those two soon :)!
Reply
:iconjoeyliverwurst:
JoeyLiverwurst Featured By Owner Feb 5, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Danke schön!  I actually have three more stories about them in my gallery.
Reply
:iconkaosspreading:
KAOSspreading Featured By Owner Feb 5, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I already read "Pool Party". What are the other ones called?
Reply
:iconjoeyliverwurst:
JoeyLiverwurst Featured By Owner Feb 5, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Low Tide and Closed Session.  Grateful for your interest!
Reply
:iconlucariowolf5:
LucarioWolf5 Featured By Owner Feb 14, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I love the story.
Reply
:iconjoeyliverwurst:
JoeyLiverwurst Featured By Owner Feb 15, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Thank you!
Reply
:iconlucariowolf5:
LucarioWolf5 Featured By Owner Feb 15, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
No problem ^_^
Reply
:icongenocya47:
Genocya47 Featured By Owner Aug 19, 2012
Hah! That was great! Slow buildup into absolute insanity! Ton of fun.
Reply
:iconjoeyliverwurst:
JoeyLiverwurst Featured By Owner Aug 19, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Thank you! It's so hard to surprise people after a while. :)
Reply
:iconhey-ocean:
Hey-Ocean Featured By Owner Aug 7, 2012
I know a guy with the last name Oakley...who is dating a girl named Heather. Reading this was weird, but you did a great job!
Reply
:iconjoeyliverwurst:
JoeyLiverwurst Featured By Owner Aug 7, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Thank you!

Oakley is a pretty common name in North Carolina.
Reply
:iconswiftwindspirit:
SwiftWindSpirit Featured By Owner Jul 10, 2012  Professional Writer
Such is the life of a werewolf.. Though the first part of the encounter with the deer was kinda hot :D
Reply
:iconjoeyliverwurst:
JoeyLiverwurst Featured By Owner Jul 10, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Ha ha. Thank you!
Reply
:iconswiftwindspirit:
SwiftWindSpirit Featured By Owner Jul 10, 2012  Professional Writer
Dinotta :)
Reply
:iconroseandroar:
RoseandRoar Featured By Owner Jun 21, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
I really enjoyed it. Hmm, maybe more description of throat slash and blood spurting? I dunno, it's nice as is really. It tells the story with enough details for us to imagine it, but hmm....perhaps what I'm yearning for is Heather's feral character as she rips open the deer, and then the more visceral reactions in Frank's mind and body as he is influenced by the blood and finally shakes off his pants in urgency.
Reply
:iconjoeyliverwurst:
JoeyLiverwurst Featured By Owner Jun 21, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
You're definitely the first to read them in reverse order. :D

You're also the first to suggest it didn't have enough gore, rather than too much. As for Frank, he was trying so hard to block out those visceral thoughts, he was all wolfed out before he knew it, and the rest is history.

Thanks for caring about my characters!
Reply
:iconroseandroar:
RoseandRoar Featured By Owner Jun 22, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Ah, yes I was looking at your works as distinct scenes. I will have to go back and read them in a different order then.

Oh mmk, Frank's wanting to block out those thoughts is probably true not only due to the horror of their unpleasantness but I kinda picture a feral sentience taking over that is on a totally different level.

You're welcome. :)
Reply
:iconjoeyliverwurst:
JoeyLiverwurst Featured By Owner Jun 22, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Frank genuinely expected a quiet night in. He's still getting used to being a werewolf.
Reply
:iconroseandroar:
RoseandRoar Featured By Owner Jun 22, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Ohh okay. :)
Reply
:iconwandering-serenity:
Wandering-Serenity Featured By Owner Jun 4, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
I love the shock value in this piece and the slow build up to the sudden violence, I really like how you laid it out.
Reply
:iconjoeyliverwurst:
JoeyLiverwurst Featured By Owner Jun 4, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Thanks a lot!
Reply
:iconwandering-serenity:
Wandering-Serenity Featured By Owner Jun 4, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Your welcome!
Reply
:iconjoeyliverwurst:
JoeyLiverwurst Featured By Owner Jun 4, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Bonus thanks for adding this to your collection. Just noticed!
Reply
:iconwandering-serenity:
Wandering-Serenity Featured By Owner Jun 4, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Yup.
Reply
:iconsergiopricklywolf:
SergioPricklywolf Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I like the way you detail day to day life in your stories. Often my favorite fantasy or science fiction stories are the ones that introduce a fantastic concept and then spend the rest of the story detailing how that concept works in the mundane day to day world.

This is the first story of yours I ever read, it didn't make too much sense then, it makes a lot more sense now that I've read your earlier stuff.

Side note, I guess Frank won the affections of Heather then, but whatever became of Dave? Is he off sulking in the woods, howling pitifully at lost love?

*hwroo*
Reply
:iconjoeyliverwurst:
JoeyLiverwurst Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Good guess! As for Dave, I imagine he drank more beer, gave his brother a hard time, and immediately moved on to other girls.
Reply
:iconsergiopricklywolf:
SergioPricklywolf Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Oh, Dave is gonna make it after all. Good on him.
Reply
:iconjoeyliverwurst:
JoeyLiverwurst Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
If you consider hitting on other guys' girlfriends "making it," then very!
Reply
:iconsergiopricklywolf:
SergioPricklywolf Featured By Owner Jun 3, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Haha! Well, he's got that whole, "I'm a werewolf" thing going for him, that's an impressive ace in the hole.
Reply
:iconjoeyliverwurst:
JoeyLiverwurst Featured By Owner Jun 3, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Well, no, it wore off.
Reply
:iconsergiopricklywolf:
SergioPricklywolf Featured By Owner Jun 3, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
It wore off? Boo!
Reply
:iconjoeyliverwurst:
JoeyLiverwurst Featured By Owner Jun 4, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
You wouldn't want a dozen werewolves in brightly colored bathing suits were making a nuisance of themselves indefinitely, would you?
Reply
(1 Reply)
:iconnightenscythe:
Nightenscythe Featured By Owner Apr 27, 2012  Student Digital Artist
Fantastic! :D Want more!
Reply
:iconjoeyliverwurst:
JoeyLiverwurst Featured By Owner Apr 27, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Me too!

Thank you. :)
Reply
:iconkittyasha:
kittyasha Featured By Owner Mar 26, 2012  Student Writer
Haha. Clever!
Reply
:iconjoeyliverwurst:
JoeyLiverwurst Featured By Owner Mar 26, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Thanks, Brittany!
Reply
:iconmbridge1965:
mbridge1965 Featured By Owner Mar 3, 2012
It took about 4 re-reads to really understand what happened there. More to understand this was a werewolf couple. I think the main reason was; it just happened far too fast. We saw nothing indicating Heather was metamorphosing, but Frank yes. It went from the deer, to heather stripping then - boom - the deer exploded, and Frank went nuts. Also Frank metamorphosed into - what? I now get it was a bipedal werewolf, but not without several reads.

I'm an intermediate writer and still learning. I'm actually glad I read it. I'm not a fan of horror/Gore, but it was educational to me. Especially the part where:

Heather slipped off her dress, then stepped out of her heels and took a deep breath. Frank stayed to watch.

She was beautiful. He would always feel guilty, partly for the fact she was even more beautiful afterward. He could not picture himself without her, but everything had happened too fast. No use crying over spilled milk, he often told himself. He was still proud as punch she was his, and he was hers. He just hoped one day he could make her proud back and provide for her more often.

Suddenly, the deer broke open like a piñata. His train of thought derailed and his vision blurred, Frank believed blood had splashed on him, so overwhelming was its scent. Reeling, he ran upstairs with a cold shower in mind. He ran two steps at a time, hoping the cold water would calm him down enough to stay on schedule.


That was intense, very quick, almost had a movie feel One moment, it was like she was going to pet it, - the clothing scene however threw me. - Then - boom - all hell broke loose. There was absolutely no sense that something like that was going to happen. That instant switch, added to the shock.

The one thing I will critique - "His train of thought derailed and his vision blurred" Where it's located, it almost sounds like the deer, and not Frank.

All in all, a good job. I'm going to keep that in my notes :)

- Shado
Reply
:iconfuriousfur:
furiousfur Featured By Owner Apr 25, 2012
i agree. fantastically written. but a bit short-cut at the end. took me a good few reads to get it too!
Reply
:iconjoeyliverwurst:
JoeyLiverwurst Featured By Owner Mar 4, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Thank you for taking the time to comment!

This may sound strange, but I'm excited it read the way it did. I write about werewolves, but I don't want my stories to read like, "Oh, another werewolf story, let's get on with the transformation already." Unfortunately, it takes first-time readers to get fresh perspective, and first-time readers are increasingly hard to come by. So, I'm thrilled you got to that point without knowing they were werewolves. Furthermore, the part of the story you quoted is the one part I've been tempted to go back and fiddle with. That you consider it a highlight makes me likely to leave well enough alone.

Good point about "his." I made a conscious decision not to identify the gender of the deer, but you're right that it still sounds like the deer at first. I ought to fix that.

Thanks again, John!
Reply
:iconmbridge1965:
mbridge1965 Featured By Owner Mar 4, 2012
I don't blame you. Yes, it was well written indeed. I haven't been keeping up with the current vampire craze of today as I grew up with the older vampire movies (Like Bela, Lon, and etc.) but I have read that now they write vampires as humans first, then monsters Thereby humanizing them, and making us feel more sympathy with them. Which even with me, I agree with that. That is why I can respect, and admire Logan of the X-Men (Wolverine.) He has serious problems, and anger. But yet I feel I could trust him with a child, or pet of mine. :)

The highlighted part. Yes, if there was any re-writing, it should be only lightly done (Just that minor thing I mentioned :) But the main core, I wouldn't touch it.

I've been working on one story called 'H8' (pronounced 'Hate') in which a non-human girl determines why humans hate, and she goes on to trust and love her human father even more because of that understanding. The start of the story, and the ending are giving me major problems. However the main core in which she learns this; THAT is what should be tinkered with only lightly. For I'd loose the best part of the story. That's how I also saw your story too.

I see you was also mentioned by other writers as well. You have a good rep then. Looking forward to more of your works.

Shado
Reply
:iconjoeyliverwurst:
JoeyLiverwurst Featured By Owner Mar 4, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Much obliged! Will try not to take too long.
Reply
:iconsqueemasta91:
squeemasta91 Featured By Owner Mar 2, 2012  Student Writer
Well i guesss nothing says I love you to a Meat-eating Anthro/werecreature like a fresh kill to share in :P
Reply
:iconjoeyliverwurst:
JoeyLiverwurst Featured By Owner Mar 2, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Or even better, to have all to yourself! Aroo!
Reply
:iconsqueemasta91:
squeemasta91 Featured By Owner Mar 2, 2012  Student Writer
;) that's true. Although I assume that after dinner comes desert for these two cute lovebirds? err...lovebeasts? XD
Reply
:iconjoeyliverwurst:
JoeyLiverwurst Featured By Owner Mar 2, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Ice cream sandwiches, most likely.
Reply
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February 13, 2012
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