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When the Moon Is Full

Bruce McAllister's short fiction has appeared over the decades in the SFF&H magazines, theme anthologies, and "year's best volumes." His most recent novel is the Locus-recommended The Village Sang to the Sea: A Memoir of Magic. His Hugo-nominated story "Kin" was chosen to launch LeVar Burton's new podcast, LEVAR BURTON READS. He lives in southern California, which barely has weather.

When there's a full moon, my girlfriend gets hairy, her teeth get longer, she grows a snout, and kissing is nearly impossible. Even though her hands haven't yet become paws, she drops to all fours and jumps around the apartment--sofa to coffee table to big padded chair to kitchen counter. She has to get outside. She doesn't say this exactly--her throat and tongue have changed and the words are garbled--but it's pretty clear. She runs at the front door, hits it at full speed, and, shaking her head to clear it, turns and races toward the sliding glass door onto the porch (which is three floors up). If she could talk, I know she'd say, "Why couldn't you have rented a unit on the first floor?" and "You knew it would be like this. I told you!"
I get the glass door open and she's gone, bounding to the railing and out into the night air. I don't hear a thud. She's landed perfectly and is off to do whatever werewolves do. When she finally comes back the next morning, she rushes past me to the bathroom--something about "needing to clean up"--and I give her space and don't ask questions. But I can hear her crying behind the door, the way people do when they feel like failures, and I can hear her say with bitter humor, "At least I'm house-trained, right, Brian?"
"You're a lot more than that," I answer, and it helps. I can tell. She stops sniffling, the door opens. She's as beautiful as ever, and with a shy smile she says, "It's just one night."
The End
This story was first published on Monday, August 16th, 2021


Author Comments

Boyfriends and girlfriends... the story came to me in a fun, nostalgic flash and is more autobiographical than I care to admit. (Isn't most fantasy?)

- Bruce McAllister
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