Starting off this week with Cans of Beans first-ever fanfic, by Loogaroo! Holy crap!

Guest Art Week is when readers and fans can make Cans of Beans-related fanart & fanfics, and I’ll post them up while my comic is on hiatus! To learn more and how to submit your own guest art, click here!

Cans of Beans will be back early June. Thanks so much, everybody!

By Loogaroo

For the first time in three months, Carl Lester was reasonably prepared. There wasn’t much preparation that a newly turned werewolf could do considering how he was still in relative disbelief about it all, but it was a fair improvement over what he’d done to get ready in the past. Which, in a word, was nothing.

He still couldn’t remember what had happened that caused him to become a werewolf. At best, all he could make out about the fateful day was the look of utter sadism in Gene Parker’s eyes as he smashed Carl’s face in with another right cross, then a swift retreat into the nearby forest as the cruel laughter of Carl’s classmates echoed behind him. The next moment in Carl’s life that he can vividly remember was waking up in the same forest with torn-up clothes and superficial injuries all over his body – most notable which was the scars of an animal bite on his right shoulder – but he had absolutely no memory of what had transpired between those two moments. He didn’t even realize the gravity of what had happened to him until just this past month, when it finally dawned on him that these blackouts he’d suddenly started having were coinciding with the nights that there was a full moon.

Once he was reasonably certain about what was happening to him, Carl had started to seek out as much stuff about werewolves as he could get his hands on. He might have sought this stuff out for fun in the past, but now it was research – he wanted to have some sort of idea what he was going through each month, and would probably have to deal with from now on. Movies, cartoons, comic books, pulp novels, anything with a werewolf in it was looked at with an analytical eye, and none of it really gave him much comfort. Of course, there were variations here and there about how exactly the change would hit its victim or exactly what form they’d be in when it was all over, but parallels quickly emerged. Agonizing pain, gruesome contortions of flesh and bone, and carnal bloodlust on the other side of it all.

Carl was not looking forward to any of this. There hadn’t been any reports of humans being killed by wild animals since he began changing, thank God. But there was no telling what sort of havoc he had been wreaking in his wolf form since being cursed.

At least this month he’d gotten lucky. School had just let out, and he no longer had to worry about any homework assignments that would be missed or big tests he’d be unable to study for. Mom and Dad were away for the weekend, off to take Avó to Napa Valley for a week of R&R, leaving Carl to look after his younger sister for a couple days. Evelyn herself was at a sleepover, meaning that Carl had the entire house to himself on the night he needed it most. Who knows how he was going to play off these monthly episodes until he could at least have a dorm to himself at UC Walnut, but he could worry about that next time.

Right now, he had other things to worry about. Like, for example, whether he should even bother wearing any clothes after practically destroying his wardrobe the last three times he had changed. Even with nobody around, he felt ridiculous at the prospect of walking around his bedroom naked. After spending way more time on it than he really needed to, he had arrived at a compromise: no shoes, no underwear, but everything else stayed on. He might be a werewolf, a monster cursed to walk the streets in search of human flesh to feed upon, but he wasn’t going to be indecent. After all, he’d have to change back eventually, and good luck explaining that to Evelyn when he got home.

He looked plaintively out the window for a long moment, watching the sunlight began to fade from the sky, before drawing the blinds and leaving his room in almost total darkness. There was no way of knowing exactly when it was going to start, but past experience made it clear that the wolf came out at the precise moment that the sun had set. He maybe had another minute or two of humanity before whatever beast was now lurking within him would take over, so he walked up to his bedroom door and gave it one last test to make sure he was completely sealed off for the night. Even with a simple lock on the knob, Carl rationalized that a werewolf’s paws probably couldn’t even operate the doorknob, much less the locking mechanism in the center of the knob. Satisfied with things, Carl sat down on his bed and braced for the change. He had a thought and, as one final bit of preparation, removed his dinner-plate glasses and set them on his nightstand. He still couldn’t figured out how they hadn’t broken yet.

His mind wandered to what had happened three months ago, at the fateful altercation with his former friend. Carl sighed loudly, shaking his head. Where did it all go wrong with him and Gene? He felt a little foolish thinking that this dashingly handsome kid that he’d looked up to for so long could have turned so cold and brutal in a matter of days. Maybe he didn’t like Carl the way that Carl liked him, but that didn’t mean he had to be such a OH GOD HERE IT COMES

Carl’s eyes went wide as an emerald glow came burning through his retinas, blinding him. For the split second that his conscious mind was still working, he felt every muscle spasm and every nerve seize at once. As a reflex, his jaws clenched shut – only they couldn’t shut all the way because his canine teeth had already started growing, enough to gnash against each other. Everything that happened from that moment forward was outside of his control, from the clutching of his head with clawed hands, to the arching of his back as the fur billowed out, to the guttural snarls as the wolf’s muzzle stretched into shape. His new form wasn’t a whole lot more massive than the old one, but going from such a wiry figure to one that was more dimensional by necessity – not to mention the tail that had blasted out the backside of his pants – meant that the grey t-shirt and denim jeans that Carl had been wearing at the time had now been completely shredded.

Not that the wolf really cared. The wolf actually didn’t care about a whole lot. To be perfectly honest, the wolf still didn’t fully understand how it got here. One moment it was running in an endless field of green grass and colorful blooms, and the next moment it was… here. Wherever “here” was.

The wolf, still a bit hazy after the sudden flash of light that dragged it out of the forest it had been running in, darted his head at comical angles as it surveyed the surroundings. Its nose picked up odd scents, odors of coffee, detergent and paint that had no parallel to anything back home. Slowly, the wolf’s night vision began to kick in, and his vision became clearer in the darkened room. Everything was flat, and hard, and angular. Nothing like where he came from. It padded up against the one of the bedroom walls, even though the concept of “bedroom” and “wall” were still foreign to it, and ran its paw softly against the surface. It felt hard, but smooth.

The wolf’s curiosity was piqued further by the large, rectangular structure in the center of the room. While everything else in this enclosed space seemed so sturdy and hard, this thing was soft and smooshy, covered with furs that added to its comfort. It climbed up on top of Carl’s bed, rolling around, tail wagging in delight as the wolf enjoyed the springy mattress and soft cotton blankets on top. It even murred happily. Boy, wouldn’t it be nice to have one of these things to lie on in the forest.

After a few minutes of squirming around on the bed, the wolf flopped back onto the floor and looked around the rest of the bedroom, focusing his sights on the locked bedroom door. It vaguely remembered the function of these things – turn the knob and the door would magically open. It walked over to the door and wrapped its left paw around the knob, attempting to twist it, but it wouldn’t turn. Convinced that it might just be stuck, the wolf wrenched the knob a bit harder, causing the old locking mechanism to snap. With a loud clunk, the knob turned, and suddenly this barrier was swinging out of the way.

Almost instantly, new scents began wafting in the wolf’s sinuses from the other side of the house. Carl had actually tried to make himself an early dinner to curb the potentially ravenous appetite of his lycanthropic alter-ego, but didn’t have a chance to put away his dishes before the need to prepare for the night’s transformation became too pressing. Fresh smells of pasta sauce and parmesan cheese, too faint for a human nose but quite prominent enough for a wolf, excited the lupine’s senses. It eagerly loped into the kitchen, where the remnants of the afternoon’s meal still sat in a small pot on the stove. Tomatoes and herbs were a new fragrance for the wolf, and served as an open invitation to taste. It swiped its tongue against the inside of the saucepan, and it was rewarded with new, delicious flavors he’d never tasted before. Eager for more, the wolf dipped its snout deep into the pot, slurping up the sauce like soup.

Meanwhile, not too far away, Evelyn Lester was walking home in a huff. The sleepover was abruptly cancelled when one of the other girls there came down with a sudden case of stomach flu and nearly vommed all over the other guests. Mom and Dad usually didn’t like her staying the night at other people’s houses, and Carl was unusually eager to let her go off and do her own thing, so the fact that little Susie whats-her-name had to ruin a golden opportunity for a little girl time was disappointing to say the least.

An odd noise grabbed the wolf’s attention, and it dropped the pot of pasta on the floor, the remaining contents spilling out in every direction. Out of view from the kitchen, the rough sounds of metal manipulating metal rang in the wolf’s ears, and it poked its head out of the kitchen doorway, watching with curious eyes as it exited the kitchen into the living room, looking at another one of those magical devices that open and close to let things through.

Evelyn was unlocking the deadbolt on the front door, and once that was taken care of, she stepped into the entryway and into the living room. “Carl?” Evelyn called out, noting how the house was practically pitch dark now that the sun had gone completely down. “Carl, are you home?”

Carl… the word echoed in the wolf’s mind. The name sounded familiar, but just out of place.

She sighed in irritation. Carl wasn’t the sort to go out, so coming into a dark, empty house was not what she expected tonight. Of course, once she flicked on a lamp in the living room, she discovered that the house wasn’t empty at all. There, staring right across the room from her, sitting in front of the refrigerator, draped in torn shirt and pants, was a large, brown-furred wolf, with a large pot of pasta in its paws and a muzzle stained red.

The blood drained out of Evelyn’s face.

“AIIIIIIIEEEEEE!!!!” Evelyn shrieked, frozen in place from panic and terror. The wolf reacted to the loud screams by recoiling hard into the wall with enough force to knock a picture frame off the wall – ironically one of Carl as a skinny, bespectacled 9-year-old – and break it. The sound of shattering glass spooked the wolf further, and it retreated back into the hallway.

Evelyn, not knowing how this monster got here or what its plans were, screamed loudly for her brother. “Carl!! Help!!”

There’s that name again.

As things began to calm down somewhat, the wolf came back from the hallway, stepping closer and closer to this teenaged girl, with raven black hair and bangs dyed pink, a black tank top draped over her husky frame. Evelyn was unable to move – she knew that if she tried to run, this thing would be on her in a flash. The face was familiar to it for some reason, like it had seen her somewhere before. As it got within a few feet of Evelyn, she could hear a low growl coming from somewhere in the wolf’s throat and it nearly made her faint. The wolf began inspecting Evelyn with her nose, sniffing her thoroughly, taking in every scent. The perfume she was wearing, the chemicals in the hair dye, some butter from the popcorn the girls were eating before festivities got cut short. It stared quizzically into Evelyn’s frightened eyes, as though it was trying to parse all this new information with a mind that wasn’t really capable of serious cogitation. Tears of terror had begun to well in Evelyn’s eyes as she felt the wolf’s wet nose press against her cheek, transferring the red substance onto her face.

“Oh God…” Evelyn wept pitiably. “Please don’t eat me…”

Then, in the brightest, most cheerful voice, the wolf barked. Only it wasn’t a bark – it was an actual, human, English word.


Not believing what she’d just heard, Evelyn opened her eyes again to find the monster sitting right in front of her, with a goofy toothy smile plastered on its muzzle.


OK, now this was getting weird. Evelyn furrowed her brow at the wolf and asked softly, “What the hell…?”

“Hi!” the wolf repeated. “Who’re you?”

Might as well answer the thing, she thought. “I’m…. Evelyn.”

“Hi Evelyn!”

It was this moment that Evelyn finally noticed something about this wolf that would’ve probably been obvious to her had she not been utterly terrified the last two minutes. Namely, the coif of hair that pointed up and out, the one stylish thing that her older brother had passed onto him from their mom’s side of the family. “Carl… are you OK? What the hell is going on? Is this a joke?”

“Who’s Carl?” the wolf asked earnestly.

“You are, dummy. Come on, Carl, you can stop playing around. You got me, OK?”

“I don’t know what you mean… I’m not Carl.”

“You’re not?” Evelyn asked sarcastically.

“No… I was just running through the fields and then suddenly I was here.”

“OK then, smart aleck. If you’re not Carl, then what are you?”

The wolf shrugged. “I dunno.”

It was here that Evelyn realized that Carl had been acting really weird lately. Ever since Gene had beaten him up, her older brother had gotten very reclusive and withdrawn – and then every once in a while he’d stumble home in torn up clothes, not remembering a thing about the night before. At first she’d thought Carl had started to get into drinking or something, but now with a wolf-like monster sitting in front of her wearing clothes that she now remembered Carl wearing that afternoon, it finally clicked.

“You… you’re a werewolf.”

“What’s that?” the wolf asked, not knowing about the human half of the equation.

“Carl must’ve gotten bitten by a werewolf when he had the fight with Gene,” Evelyn mused out loud. “Holy crap.”

“What does that mean?” the wolf asked. “Who’s Carl? Where am I?”

“You really don’t know, huh?” Evelyn replied. “I guess you and Carl must be two different people, then.”

The wolf whined, its muzzle tipping down. This was all so confusing to it.

“Oh, sorry,” Evelyn said softly, realizing that she hadn’t explained anything to this monster that was clearly living in Carl’s body the last few months. “Carl’s my older brother.”

“Oh, OK!”

“So I guess this means that Carl’s a werewolf now, huh?” Evelyn confirmed. “Every time there’s a full moon, he changes into you.”

“Is that how it works?” the wolf asked. “I know that every time I see a full moon, there’s this big flash of light, and then I’m not in the forest anymore.”

“So, if you’re not Carl… what’s your name?”

“Name?” The wolf repeated. “I don’t know.”

“What do you mean you don’t know? You have a name, right?”

“I don’t know. Do I have a name?” The wolf tilted its head to the side, sticking out its tongue at the girl.

Evelyn shook her head. “You are such a silly billy.” A moment passed, and suddenly Evelyn made a loud gasp. “That’s it! That’s your name!”

“It is?”

“Yeah! You’re Billy!”

“Billy?” the wolf repeated, working its lips and tongue around the new name. “Billy! I’m Billy! My name is Billy!”

Evelyn giggled. “Well, Billy, what do you want to do? We’ve got all night.”

Billy’s tail wagged in excitement. “Can you teach me about human stuff? You’re the first human I’ve talked to. What are they like?”

“Well, I don’t know a whole lot. I’m only 14.” Evelyn gave Billy a warm smile. “But I’ll tell you everything I can.”

For the rest of the night – after Evelyn and Billy cleaned up the mess in the kitchen – Evelyn and Billy talked. Evelyn taught Billy all about doors, and cars, and computers and beds. She told him about Carl, and how he was a big dork but still the best older brother a girl could ask for. She asked Billy if he remembered anything about what happened the first few times he had come out or who it was that bit Carl, but Billy had no memory of it. She explained how werewolves worked in movies and TV – and made a big point out of telling him not to bite anyone, because it might turn them into a werewolf and they might not like that.

As the hours rolled on and the night faded into early morning, Evelyn started to grow tired. She yawned more frequently, and began laying out on the sofa more and more.

“Evelyn, are you OK?” Billy asked.

“Yeah, I’m just tired. I should probably go to bed. Mom and Dad are gonna be home tomorrow afternoon and I don’t want to want to be asleep all day.”

“Oh, OK.” Billy replied with a moan.

“Don’t worry, Billy. We’ll do this again next month, OK?”

“I guess. Thanks for talking to me.”

“No problem.” Evelyn gave Billy a fatigued smile. “Thanks for giving me the best sleepover ever.”

“What’s a sleepover?”

Evelyn snorted in laughter. “I’ll tell you next time. You should go back to Carl’s room and wait for morning, OK.”

“OK!” Billy nodded. “Bye Evelyn!”

“G’night, Billy.”

The two of them ambled down the hallway into their respective bedrooms. Billy did his best to close the door behind him despite the broken lock, and he laid down in a heap on the bedroom floor. All this excitement had worn him out quite a bit too, and before long Billy’s eyes closed shut for the night as he drifted into a soft slumber.

Carl woke up in the exact same room that he had passed out in the previous night. As he hauled himself off the floor and inspected his clothes – torn to ribbons just as he expected – he smiled to himself at the prospect of getting away with at least one full moon without any incidents.

Then he turned his head and saw the bedroom door wide open and the lock busted, and his face went pale.

He scrambled onto his feet, grabbed his glasses off the nightstand, and ran over to the door across the hall from him, swinging it wide open.

“Evelyn??” he said with dread and panic in his voice.

Of course, there was Evelyn, snoozing away in her bed until her brother woke her up. She moaned in annoyance and hauled herself up to a seated position.

“Carl… what’s your deal?”

“Evelyn, what are you doing here?” Carl asked frantically. “I thought you went to a sleepover!”

“Oh, that? Someone got sick last night and we all went home.”

“Wait… you came home? Last night?”

“Yeah, of course. Where else would I go.”

Carl muttered under his breath. “Crap… crap… crap…”

“Carl, what’s wrong with you?”

“Look, Evelyn – when you came home last night, did you see… anything?”

Evelyn looked up at the ceiling in thought. “Well, come to think of it… you were gone all night. Where were you? What happened to your clothes? Did you go sleepwalking again?”

Carl didn’t really have a good story for why he looked so disheveled, but that sounded like a really good one coming from his sister. Of course, Evelyn didn’t really want to reveal to his already neurotic brother that she’d met his goofy werewolf alter-ego last night, so she purposefully served him up a ready-made alibi.

“Uh… yeah. That’s it. Sleepwalking.” Carl nodded eagerly. “But you didn’t see anything weird, did you?”

“Carl, what are you talking about? I got home, went to bed, and now you’re waking me up and acting like a weirdo. That’s all.”

“Oh…” The situation apparently diffused, Carl smiled. “OK. Just checking.”

“Fine. Now get out of here. The sun’s barely up and it’s summer. I wanna sleep in.”

“Sure, Evelyn. Sorry for bugging you.”

Carl shut the door behind him and retreated into his bedroom once again. Another full moon in the books.