The hideous quacking sounded again; would it never cease? Penelope threw off the covers and got up to look out the window. The moon was full. The were-duck was back, and her silver bullets were in the shop for buffing. She was helpless... or was she? The abominable quacking seemed to shake the walls as she dashed downstairs to the formal dining room. She had never had much use for the place, but now it might be her salvation. Bam! Bam! Bam! The duck was at the door. She slammed the dining room door as splinters of the front door skittered down the hall. She leapt onto the table and grabbed what she needed, hiding it behind her back just as the door to the room was wrenched open. And there he was. Hobart, the were-duck.

“Hey baby,” he quacked, “I dig the négligée.” He hopped and flapped his way up onto the table.

“Keep back,” she warned. She hated the way her voice quavered. “You’re not yourself, it’s the Moon. Go back home.”

Hobart whipped out a sword. Where he had been keeping it, she hadn’t a clue. She also had not realized that he intended to kill her.

“You probably hate the way your voice quavers when you try to sound tough,” Hobart said. “Don’t worry, I’m not intending to kill you.”

Penelope backed almost to the end of the table before she showed her hand. In it was a 14 inch long silver candlestick.

“Whoa. The lady means business,” and with that Hobart made a tricky little double step and lunged with the sword. Penelope caught the tip of the sword in the base of the candlestick and snapped it off. She followed up with a wild sweep that connected with the were-duck’s head. Hobart went down.

“Penny?” her mother called from the back bedroom, “you’re up early. Is everything okay?”

“Oh yeah. How do you feel about roast duck for dinner tonight? I’m cooking.”

“Sounds lovely dear. But you really should go back to bed until morning.”

“Yes mom.”

# # #

Night of the Were-Duck by David C. Kopaska-Merkel
originally published March 26, 2008



David Kopaska-Merkel describes rocks for the state of Alabama, and publishes Dreams and Nightmares, a magazine of SF and fantasy poetry. Some of David's flash fiction can be found at, and some of his chapbooks are available through and With Kendall Evans, David recently published The Tin Men and Other Poems. In 2006, another collaboration with Evans won the Rhysling Award of the Science Fiction Poetry Association. David lives in Alabama with artists and furry layabouts.

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visit his Big Pulp author page


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