Royal Decree

“You guys are werewolves?” Lucas asked once the old woman left with their orders. She was far too ancient to be a waitress, Lucas wondered if she owned the restaurant. She also seemed sure about the twins sitting across from him being werewolves. Duchess nodded and scooted closer to her brother, Haste; the action seemed more for solidarity than insecurity on her part.

“Regal already knows,” she said. “He expected it; he explained that Coronas are often supernatural. Like vampires, werewolves, unicorns and even mermaids,” she said.

“Wait, unicorns are real?” Lucas sat up straighter when he asked.

“Apparently,” Duchess nodded. “Just not on our Earth.”

“Wow,” Lucas stared at the twins. Duchess had creamy alabaster skin; her bright red hair was pulled into a tight bun atop her head. Haste’s skin was the same shade of white, but his looked greasier, dirtier somehow. A large galaxy of freckles covered his nose and plump cheeks. His hair was a bright red mohawk running down the center of his bald head. “Real, live werewolves, huh?” he asked. “So full moon and silver bullets? That kind of werewolf?” The twins shook their heads.

“We can change any time we want,” Haste said with a chuckle. “She…,” Haste nudged his sister’s side. Duchess’ face flushed slightly, but she seemed content to let him tell the story. “…changed for the first time when we were five. We were playing in the garage one night and heard a noise coming from a dark corner under some junk. She got close and shined the light on the biggest rat ever; then she screamed and flailed and suddenly she was a wolf. It scared me so much I turned into one too,” they both shared a laugh. “That was a hell of a night,” Haste said with a heavy sigh.

“What’d your parents say? Are they werewolves?” Lucas asked. He regretted the question when Haste’s face lost its smile.

“Our parents came out to see what all the screaming and barking was about,” Duchess said quietly. “They saw me change back to my normal self, and they were happy about it. They already thought I was extra special because I’m a Corona; now to them I was extra-extra special.”

“Then, Haste changed back to normal…,” she continued with a flatter, sadder voice. “…they flipped out, called him a freak and started attacking him to keep me safe. I told them to leave him alone and they did. That was when they started ignoring him,” Duchess said. “Because I told them to.”