Brad and Ted are best friends but, when Ted decides to share his biggest secret, will it be too much of a shock for this friendship to continue?
This is a doozy. It started out as a play script and then, out of pure boredom, I adapted it into prose. I’ve never shopped this one around as I would be shocked that anyone would actually pay me for it.
by Jason Gaston
© Jason Gaston
Brad was never the smartest guy. From his first day in Kindergarden, everyone who knew him pretty much decided that he was destined to be in a profession where his name was embroidered on his shirt. He was a nice enough guy, but always seemed to be in another world populated by gumdrops, rainbows and stupid people.
Ted, on the other hand, had everything that Brad didn’t. He was smart, he was pragmatic and knew what he wanted out of life. If Ted was water, Brad was oil.
Stupid, stupid oil.
It was strange that the two were friends, but weirder things have happened and, if you will be patient, will happen.
That first day of kindergarten was the day that they met each other. Little Ted was drawing a crayon picture of “B” sounds while Brad was eating a bottle of glue. At the risk of a pun, they bonded instantly and stayed that way until they were both in high school together even though Brad was held back once.
One night, as Ted and Brad played video games, Ted excused himself to go to the restroom. Brad responded by making farting noises and laughing, but when Ted didn’t come out after over an hour, Brad got worried and would have checked to make sure his friend was okay, if he wasn’t so close to beating level 19.
From the bathroom, there was a crash.
“What’s going on? Did you fall in?” Brad snorted.
“Hey, uh Brad?” Ted’s voice called, “I can trust you with anything, right?”
“Of course,” Brad said, his tongue sticking out as he worked the controller.
“I mean any anything,” Ted said, “Can I trust you with something that will test the very core of our friendship?”
Brad was confused. “Our friendship has a core?”
“Yes!” Ted said, “Can I trust you with this secret I’ve been keeping?”
“Did you make out with Tiffany?” Brad asked.
“It’s nothing like that!”
Ted paused. “Yes, but different subject. Come on, I need you to listen. This is important!”
Brad paused the game, put down the controller and looked at the closed door. “Okay, okay… What?”
“Something’s happened…” Ted said. His voice trembled.
“What happened?” Brad asked.
Quickly, Ted said, “You’re not going to freak out, are you?”
“Listen, Ted,” Brad said with a confident smile, “we are all going through a lot changes.. My mom says that it’s perfectly natural for guys our age to-”
“What? Shut up! You don’t know what you’re talking about!” Ted yelled.
“We’re talking about big boy hair, right?” Brad asked.
“Body hair,” Brad said in a deeper voice trying to sound more mature.
“Kind of,” Ted admitted, “but it’s a little more complicated than that.”
“Look..,” Brad said, “Whatever you are going through… I am here for you… I am willing to listen… I will never give up on you. I’m your bro, bro.”
“It’s just that we’ve been friends for a very long time and I… want to tell you first,” Ted told him through the door.
“Tell me what?”
Ted hesitated. “You’re not going to freak out are you? Because you have a tendency to freak out.”
“ I’m not going to freak out!” Brad said, getting upset.
When Ted came out of the restroom, Brad totally freaked out and ran screaming from the room. You couldn’t really blame the guy, after all… Ted was a werewolf covered head to toe in thick brown hair. His ears were pointed, his teeth were long and sharp, and a tail whipped back and forth behind him.
Ted sat sadly on the video game couch and put his head in his paws. After a second, he started to nibble at an itch on his arm. He was completely shocked when Brad came back in and sat next to him. Brad wouldn’t look directly at Ted, just straight ahead. With a shaking hand, he picked up the video game controller and unpaused the game, playing right where he left off.
They were silent for a while, but then Brad said, “Sorry. So, what was it you wanted to tell me?”
Ted looked at him. “I’m a werewolf.”
“You’re a werewolf.”
“I’m a werewolf.”
Brad shuttered. “Gross!”
Brad paused the game again. “You mean a howl at the moon type of werewolf?”
“Yes,” Ted said.
“A ‘you don’t like silver’ type of werewolf?”
“Yes,” Ted grumbled.
“A sparkle in the sunlight werewolf?”
“Hey,” Brad said, suddenly jumping back into the couch’s armrest, “you’re not going to try and eat me, are you?”
“No, no, no, no, no,” Ted said with a smile that showed off all of his teeth and probably did nothing for Brad’s fear, “Yuck! No, I’m in control of myself. Well, I can’t control the hair… or the smell.”
Brad’s nose wrinkled, “Is THAT what that is?”
“I thought it was me.”
Brad smelled, “It smelled like wet dog.”
“Yes,” Ted admitted.
“A wet dog that rolled around in compost,” Brad added.
“Yes,” Ted said, “I know.”
“And then someone took that dog and dumped it into a vat of rotten seafood,” Brad continued.
“And then burned a tire.”
“Yes,” Ted growled, “it is a bit pungent.”
Brad didn’t know what ‘pungent’ meant. He reached out and touched Ted’s face, making the werewolf jump backward. “Does it hurt?” he asked.
“A little at first, but you get used to it.”
“It looks like it hurts,” Brad said, “I’m assuming you have superior senses now?”
“Yeah, that’s one of the only good parts,” Ted said, suddenly smiling, “My sense of smell is amazing. You had a piece of cinnamon toast and a chicken leg for breakfast.”
Brad’s jaw dropped, “That’s AMAZING! That’s exactly what I had! What am I going to have for lunch?”
Ted’s jaw dropped, “I… can’t tell the future, you idiot.”
“Can you turn into a bat?”
Ted leaned back and rolled his yellow eyes, “You don’t know a lot about werewolves, do you?”
Brad leaned back as well, studying Ted’s new wolf-face. “So, how long have you been a werewolf?”
“Freshmen year,” he explained, “You remember that kid, Joey Thommasson?”
“Yeah,” Brad said, “Everyone thought he was weird because he chased cars and had that really hairy back and hated cats and…” His eyes went wide. “Hey, what if HE was a werewolf!”
Ted nodded. “Amazing deduction, Brad. Good job.” He sighed. “Well, he bit me one day.”
“He bit you?” Brad repeated, “What a sissy! Why did he bite you?”
“I don’t know!” Ted said, “One morning I was all like, ‘Hey, Joey!’ just trying to be friendly and, the next thing you know, the freak clamps down on my hand and I have to beat him with a stick to get him to let go.”
“Hey…” Brad began, “What if… HE made YOU a werewolf!”
Again, Ted was amazed at his friend for all of the wrong reasons. “Wow,” he sarcastically said, “I would have never figured that out without you.”
“Not a problem,” Brad said, feeling pleased with himself, “So, what happened to Joey what’s his face?”
“He disappeared one day,” Ted said, “You wouldn’t think it, but the werewolf has a lot of natural enemies… Ranchers….. Monster hunter… All kinds of dangers. “ He paused. “Dog catcher…”
“You mean there are real life monster hunters?” Brad said in amazement, “Like Buffy?”
“That’s why there are not many monsters.”
“That sucks,” Brad snorted.
“ Well… Monsters are called that for a reason,” Ted said sadly.
“But, you’re not a monster! “ Brad said with a snort and a crooked smile, “You’re like nicest person I know! You own the soundtrack to every Disney movie ever made and you sing along!”
Ted started to protest, “But—”
“You’re scared of bugs!” Brad continued.
“For goodness’ sake,” Brad said loudly, “You’re a vegetarian!”
“Yeah, but the weird thing is that I crave meat every full moon,” Ted said.
“I shouldn’t have eaten that steak in front of you,” Brad said, biting his lower lip in regret, “Or that hot dog… or the hamburger… or that other stuff.”
“It’s okay,” Ted reassured him.
“So, how are you going to cure this?” Brad asked.
“Cure?” Ted asked. His furry face drooped, “There is no cure.”
Brad shook his head and put a reassuring arm over Ted’s shoulder, “Just like smallpox,” he said sadly.
“Brad,” Ted said, “There’s a cure for smallpox.”
“For a long time now,” Ted explained, “It’s been completely eradicated.”
“All right!” Brad exclaimed, suddenly happy, “Great job! High five!”
Brad held his hand up waiting for a high five and, for a while, Ted was determined not to give him one, but after what seemed like hours of him waiting for one, Ted gave up and gave Brad his high five.
“I hate this,” Ted said, “Being a werewolf is something that will always be here… I will never get rid of it. I’ll have to keep it secret from everyone!”
“You’re not the only one who has secret,” Brad told him, “We all have our little secrets.”
“That tops this?” Ted asked, indicating his entire body with his paws.
Brad opened his mouth, and then shut it. “This isn’t a contest,” he said defensively, “The point is that You’re my bro and I’m here for you. Wouldn’t you support me if I suddenly became a vampire?”
“Gross! No!” Ted said.
“Sorry,” Ted said, waving his arms dismissively, “It’s just that Werewolves and vampires don’t get along very well.”
“Good to know,” Brad said, “All right, let’s look at this positively.”
“ Positively,” Brad said again, this time more insistent, “There’s got to be good things about being a werewolf.”
“Well,” Brad thought about it harder than a normal person would have. He snapped his fingers. “You’ve already said you’ve got a superior sense of smell!”
“Yeah, but I wouldn’t call that a good thing,” Ted said with a shrug. “Not all the time.”
“Why not?” Brad asked.
“Because chicken makes you gassy,” Ted told him. He waved the air.
“Oh… sorry about that,” Brad apologized. He wasn’t really sorry, he thought it was funny. “Are you stronger than a normal person?”
“You can jump higher and nothing can kill you?”
“Nothing but a silver bullet, but yeah,” Ted said.
“See?” Brad said, “Why are you complaining?”
“Should I mention your gas again?” Ted coughed.
“Seriously,” Brad said, ignoring Ted and dropping another bomb just to mess with his buddy, “Sounds like being a werewolf is a pretty sweet deal.”
“ I guess it’s not that bad,” Ted admitted, “but… look at this face.”
“Before you became a werewolf you were ugly anyway, so what’s the difference?” Brad told him.
“People won’t understand,” Ted said.
“I understand and I’m a people!” Brad told him. “And you know I don’t understand much. I mean, yeah you’ve changed, but you’re still the same person underneath.”
Ted said nothing.
“Your friends are smart… most of them,” Brad said, “They’ll come around and, if they don’t who cares? It’s not like they can afford a silver bullet anyway!”
Ted finally smiles, a sharp toothy werewolf smile. “Hey, you’re right. All my friends will still be my friends and they’re poor anyway! Thanks, Brad. You may not be that bright, but you’re the best friend I could ever have.”
“You bet I am,” Brad said proudly, “Now go out there and show the world what you are!”
“I’m going to do it!” Ted leaped to his feet and bellowed into the air, “HEY WORLD, I’M A WEREWOLF AND THERE’S NOTHING WRONG WITH THAT!”
“Go get ‘em!” Brad said, encouraging him.
Ted marched proudly out the door and Brad, confident that he had made his best friend happy and the world a better place, picked up his video game controller and started playing again. Soon, he was wrapped up so intently in his game that he never noticed the screams, police sirens, and gun shots that resonated from outside his home. He barely even noticed when Ted burst through the door and then slammed it shut, diving behind the couch for cover.
“BRAD, YOU IDIOT!!!” Ted screamed.
“Did you hear all that noise?” Brad asked, his attention focused on the television.
“THAT WAS ME!”
“Why were you making such a racket?” he asked his friend.
Ted rose from behind the couch and looked out the window cautiously, “Everyone panicked when they saw me! The police shot at me!”
Brad was about to beat the level and his motions with the controller were getting more and more exaggerated. “Why?”
Ted kicked the controller out of his hand. It flew across the room and crashed out the window. Somewhere, a cat screamed.
“I’M A WEREWOLF!!!” Ted roared.
Brad looked at his empty hands for a minute. “Really?” he said, “I thought that was all a dream.”
Ted slumped. His brows knit together. “Really?”
“Yeah, because if this was real, I would have NEVER told you to go outside,” Brad exclaimed, pinching himself, “What kind of idiot would do that?”
Ted slapped him.
“Ted!” Brad said, holding the side of his face. “Oh… that hurt. Not a dream, huh?”
“You think!?” Ted growled, “I thought you said I should accept myself and not worry about what anyone else says. Was that a lie?”
“No,” Brad said, “but you’re a freakin’ werewolf, dude! You eat people and suck blood!”
“Oh my God, have you never read the Brothers Grimm?” Ted asked in amazement.
Brad’s face went blank. “You mean the guys who did The Matrix?”
Ted was finally at a loss for words. He swung his hands in the air as if trying to pick some cosmic truth from the ether. Instead of a truth, he was only able to find the biggest mystery in his universe. “How… HOW ARE WE FRIENDS!!!”
“Because I accept you just the way you are,” Brad said. “Hair, claws, and all.” With that, he playfully tousled the hair on Ted’s head.
Ted was genuinely touched. He thought about all of the times his friend had been there for him and how many times he had been there for Brad. The truth was, he loved the guy. “Brad, you’re the best friend a guy could have… and that’s so sad.”
“I’m here for you, bro,” Brad said, “Always.”
Ted hugged him. “I’m sorry I thought about eating you.”
“You’re forgiven,” Brad said. “Wait, what?”
“ Brad,” Ted said, letting him go, “you’re not very smart, you gave me terrible advice, you ruined my life, you have gas, and now I’m probably going to get killed because of you, but… I’m sure there’s some kind of redeeming quality about you. Why ARE we friends?”
“Because I’m the only sophomore with a car.” Brad jingled his car keys.
“Only because you were held back a year,” Ted told him.
“Retained,” Brad corrected him.
“It’s the same thing!” Ted said.
The police sirens were getting closer.
“We can argue on the road,” Brad said, “Let’s get out of here.”
Ted and Brad started for the garage exit, but Ted stopped and grabbed Brad’s arm. “Wait… you’ll be on the run with me,” he said, “This could ruin your life too.”
Brad shrugged, “Yeah, but there’s no other place I’d rather be. You’re my friend and I love you.”
Ted sniffled. He wiped a tear from his eye.
Brad cocked his head. “Are you crying?”
“No!” Ted said defensively.
“You pansy!” Brad laughed.
“Shut up!” Ted told him.
“Don’t get any tears on the inside of my car,” Brad warned him as he started it up.
Ted got in and glared at him. “You know, I can still eat you.”