Ogres need tampons too, I’ll have you know. Well, us part-time ones do. Actually, if I’m being honest, I can only speak for myself, as I’ve never known another ogre in my life, if there are any others.
I’m a red-blooded woman by day. And, since almost a year ago on my twenty-third birthday, the change happened by dark for the first time and has repeated each night ever since. Early on, the word “wereogre” popped into my head. That’s what I call myself, although I’ve no one to tell it to. I want to, but I’m afraid of revealing my secret. I pray it’s just a phase.
I usually hit the 24-hour stores only, which of course are open at first daylight. Can’t take any chances. But I deviated from my rule once, on a late, autumn afternoon, because I accidentally got careless about my Kotex supply. So, sue me.
As soon as I purchased my items I headed to the restroom, one of those family ones, so I could have more privacy.
“Attention Walmart shoppers!” I heard a voice blare over the PA system. “This is your friendly neighborhood terrorist!”
I had just cracked open the restroom door, after using one of those jet-engine-powered hand dryers, when I saw a man in a trenchcoat with his back to me. He was speaking into the PA microphone at the manager’s station. There were two rifles strapped to his back; I could see their barrel ends jutting out of the collar of his coat.
“Trust me when I say, you’re gonna wanna stay riiight where your pretty, little selves are,” the gunman echoed out over the megastore.
I closed and locked the door again.
“Each exit has been rigged with explosives that I have just activated remotely. If you try to leave through any of them, not only will you die, but I will aim my gun and shoot the next, lovely customer I see, right between the eyes. Now, I know we don’t want that.”
Unable to hold myself up then, I fell to my knees.
“I’d personally like to see y’all live through this. But the decisions you make leave that in your hands. Ya see? Like I said–friendly. I’m gonna need everyone to head on over to the frozen food department and…chill.” The speakers clicked off in the middle of his chuckle.
Muffled screams and commotion of the Walmart-goers and employees seeped through the restroom door. 9-1-1 was busy when I dialed–go figure. In my hysteria, I hallucinated the bite of bullets ripping through the door and into my flesh. So, I crawled to the corner to be better surrounded by masonry.
While bawling, I muttered a few, what-am-I-gonna-do’s, and some, I-don’t-want-to-die’s. I figured I’d just wait it out, hide in there, that is, until the thought crossed my mind that someone may unlock the door anyway or else break it down.
Another new anxiety seized me, too: The change! Darkness wasn’t far off.
I heard a single gunshot in the distance. I stood up.
It couldn’t have been me who conceived the plan that came to mind then; I’m not that clever. But, nonetheless, I had clarity from somewhere about what I knew I had to do, and fast before anyone else got hurt.
The hell with my concern about the change and others seeing me in my nighttime form.
Next, I convinced myself that the odds of running into the gunman, until I was ready, were small so I could get the gall to skitter and stealth to the office supplies department. I snatched a bag of jumbo-sized zip ties.
The change was coming fast. The familiar feeling of burning pin prickings and cramping intensified.
Trying to keep each footfall noiseless, I ran past the Halloween masks on my way to the groceries. God help me, for I smirked. Ha! I wouldn’t be needing any of those, obviously, since I’d now fully transformed into the monstrous, horned, green ogre that I was the other half of my days.
I made it to aisle thirteen without crossing anyone’s path. I’d remembered seeing a Nesquik strawberry syrup display on the endcap there. I’m surprised I had the presence of mind to strip down naked first because, well, how intimidating would I have possibly been in street clothes and a pair of Nikes? I unscrewed a bottle of the Nesquik and smeared the deep-red goo all over my hands and mouth.
All that was left was for me to find the enemy.
In one of the most perfectly-timed moments of my life, I turned the corner into the cereal aisle and there he was, standing alone, having himself a little snack. He was eating a chocolate Clif bar–only douches eat Clif bars–which he dropped upon sighting me.
“You’ve done well my son,” I growled in the deepest voice I could manage, “and made The Father proud.”
We were eye to eye and he was paralyzed as he gazed into the orange glow of mine. “Who are you?” he squeaked.
“I’m the minion who told you to gather the innocents here,” I lied. I impressed myself with the dialogue that poured out. Who knew I was such a natural actress and improviser? “I was eager for the extra, stolen souls so I took the liberty of ripping a few of them apart for you.” I gestured to the syrup blood on my green skin.
I held his eye contact and kept spouting evil conversation as I gently wrapped his arms around a support pole, so haply located, and zip tied his wrists. He was too scared to resist nor realize what I was up to. A puddle of his urine pooled beneath him.
After removing the ammunition from his guns, I threw the clips down the aisle. The detonator remote was in his breast pocket. The friggin switches were actually labeled “armed” and “disarmed.” I flicked the switch, redressed, and made a quick call to the cops before hanging up on them.
I’d never felt more accomplished or alive! But I wasn’t about to wait around to be discovered and be shot or become some government lab specimen. Luck was in no shortage because the freight exit I chose wasn’t saturated with cops.
I ran into the forest for miles, fixed up a camouflaged hiding spot with evergreen branches, and stayed put until first light.
At dawn, I strolled out of the treeline and into the parking lot. I got in my car and headed home.
Funniest thing–Can you believe it?–I can’t fathom why per se, but the change never happened again after that night.