- The sun was way too high in the sky.
- His sheep were not bleating.
- His hangover was in his top 10 all time.
As he reached for his Hangover Journal, he was thought (not for the first time) how strange it was that other people didn't document and rate their minor ailments. "How can you really know how bad something if you don't keep notes?" he said aloud as he jotted some notes down regarding the pain, sensitivity to light, and what he had consumed the night before. Once the scores were tallied, it came to a 7,98 out of 9,00, just good enough for eigth place.
That bit of record keeping taken care of (plus additional necessaries brought up by the wine), Antoine grabbed his widest brimmed hat and set off in search of his flock. He usually took better care of them, but he cracked that crucial fifth bottle of wine while they were still out in the valley and simply forgot about them. It would be okay, though. Mouton Adorable sur Le Alpes (or just Mouton-Adorable to the locals) is a safe place that has long been protected by generations of hunters.
Still, it was the strangest thing. The sheep were not in the valley where he left them. They were also not in the neighboring pastures, nor the village green, nor any of the other places his flock liked to wander too while he was doing his drinking. The sun was now directly overhead and Antoine was getting frantic. He stopped everyone he passed and asked after his sheep. No one could help him.
It was nearly sunset by the time Antoine returned to the village green. He sat, placed his head in his hands, and wept. His sheep were his family, his friends, and his only means of supporting himself. If they were gone, what else was left to him?
"Something wrong?" the old man whispered in his ear. Antoine startled and quickly stood; he had not heard the old man approach. "Missing your poor sheep?" continued the old man loudly. Too loud, actually. The other villagers (who had been politely ignoring Antoine) turned and stared. The old man laughed shrilly; he was dressed in a hooded robe and carried a knobbly walking stick. "You just keep on missing them," he screeched. "They were but the first victims." Antoine stared silently, tears still wet on his cheek.
"A curse upon your village!" The old man removed his hood; his face was thin and covered in stubble, his hair was unkept. But his eyes gleamed red and there was power in his voice. He cast his walking stick to the ground and it erupted into a green flame. "I have unleashed the werewolves among you. You will be devoured from within!" With that, he stepped into the green fire and, in a flash of searing light, disappeared.