“Goddamned Space Wolves,” by Sam Wiles

Apr 20th, 2020 | By | Category: Fiction, Prose

It was uncharacteristically warm the day They came. I’ll always remember that day, because that was the day everything changed.

Of course when I say ‘they’ I mean the space wolves. I don’t know why I’m being so vague. ‘They’ are the space wolves that came to earth, about two years ago. It’s like the main, uh, thing. Anyway, I remember exactly what I was doing when the space wolves came. I was watching the Angels and between innings I was playing “I’ll Time You” with my son, Gary. How “I’ll Time You” works is I tell my son to go get me a beer out of the fridge and that I’ll time him with the stopwatch. If he “beats his time” (which he always does) he “wins” another turn. I usually get pretty housed and Gary’s confidence skyrockets.

I was like 5 turns deep into I’ll Time You when the baseball game gets interrupted with Breaking News. Anderson Cooper was standing in front of a shot of the sky, and in the sky, where the sky would usually be, was a large dark mass likely a mile high. It was pyramid shaped, with the pointy part on the bottom, balancing perfectly on the ground. It was all one color; a frightening, stark onyx (I’d recently learned that onyx was a color from picking out tile. I’m not like, saying onyx all the time, or something). The object’s uniform color made it seem both surreally fake yet somehow more three dimensional. That is, until during the broadcast when a guy in a ski mask tagged the very bottom with the words “LIL SLEEPY 619.” At the time it seemed disrespectful, to deface an alien ship seemingly minutes into its arrival, but now that I know it was full of space wolves I’m proud of that guy. Godspeed wherever you are, Lil’ Sleepy.

According to CNN, this unexplained object was sitting in the middle of the desert in New Mexico. And then, as was customary, Anderson cut to some random people reacting to the broadcast. That’s what news was like then: a thing would happen, and then rather than go to an expert, or reporter at the scene, they would get reactions from regular folks on the street. In this instance they cut to a teenager who thought the situation was ‘weak.’ After this outreach to the common man, CNN brought on several experts to talk about what it could be. Military exercise? Aberrant meteor? Optical illusion created by the sun? None of them said it was a ship holding space wolves. Typical dumb media.

It was about a week of this kind of speculation because the ship just sat there. There was some talk of bombing it, and there was some talk of trying to communicate through symbols, and even some talk of ‘sexually pleasuring the ship until it released it’s message,’ but that last thing was just a voicemail my sad work friend Randy left me. I decided during that week I would stock up on supplies in case we did engage in some kind of warfare; or if that pleasure thing Randy thought of happened. I took Gary to the store that week and we really made a day of it. I let him get whatever he wanted, which was raisins. Gross. So he loaded up his backpack with raisins and I got canned food and road flares and beer. In the check out we ran into Gary’s teacher Ms. Paula. We made small talk about the object in the desert and the show Suits. And then, Ms. Paula said she had run into my wife, Janet, and that since Janet was moving to New Mexico to be near the object. Ms. Paula thought we were going with her. This was breaking news to me.

It was 2 days before the space wolves came out of the ship that Gary and I drove to where Janet was staying, which was with her sister Darlene. Janet and I had been separated for the better part of a year. It was mostly money related stress that did us in. And sleeping with an independent contractor named Scott Ortega related stress. The two big stressors were definitely money and her sexual relationship with Scott Ortega. When we got to Janet’s sister Darlene’s house I knocked on the door and made Gary wait in the car in case things got unpleasant. Darlene came to the door and said “She doesn’t want to see you.” And I said “Well if I was sex with independent contractor Scott Ortega then she’d want to see me!” and Darlene said “What?” And I said “nevermind.” I told Darlene I needed to ask Janet if she was moving to New Mexico to be near the giant object and Darlene said,

“We’ve been considering it. I read a thing online that said the object has special healing powers. It can even reverse the effects of all the vaccines we keep giving our kids.”

“So it will… give you polio?”

“No stupid. It will reverse the side effects of you not getting polio. It’s complicated.”

So, in response, I sort of screamed a lot, told Darlene they weren’t taking my son, blacked out, and woke up driving down the road.

The next day was a lot of me calling Janet and trying to explain why she shouldn’t go to where the spaceship is. She would then tell me that it was her decision and if I wanted to keep Gary vaccinated then I would have to live with those consequences. Her visiting the ship became a moot point though, because the next day the bottom of the pyramid opened up.


I think what immediately got everyone’s attention about the space wolves was their confidence. We had all been expecting aliens like we’d seen in the movies: gray, big head, big eyes, total virgin. Not these guys. First of all, they looked mostly like wolves. The exceptions being glowing neon eyes, a sort of forest green skin instead of fur, and that they walked upright. They also had essentially human musculature in their upper bodies. Another thing was that we expected aliens to have difficulty communicating. Beeping or telekinesis or Latin or something, but no; the space wolves spoke perfect English. For instance, the leader of the space wolves introduced himself as Grecious The Blood Covered Conqueror, but that we could call him Greg because his real name was “a mouthful.” Greg also said that they came in peace, and no matter their wolfman-like appearances, which they realized were scary, they were not going to eventually use humans as their primary food source. I thought at the time that that sounded too specific.

I was watching Greg talk on the news at a local bar and my friend Randy said “I like how they bothered to learn our language.” Randy chimed in later that night and said that his life sucked and the rest of the galaxy can go to hell. He then pounded a vodka and Mountain Dew and told me it was his favorite sports drink, and that a sports drink is any drink that gives you energy.


The next few weeks were relatively normal, meaning our day to day lives didn’t change much. That was pretty weird. One day we didn’t have space wolves, and suddenly we did but we still had to go to work and pay our utility bills and take dumps, but they were on TV a lot. Greg was going country to country and meeting with world leaders and the news deemed it riveting. The meetings kind of followed the same pattern, as far as I could tell, is that it would start off tense, because it’s like hey, here’s a space wolf, and Greg would inevitably do some weird stuff, like smell a diplomat’s wife or something. This would really seem like a disaster. But then Greg would get in the room with the President of China and talk about how vital it was to protect the world from the greater threats in the galaxy. And then the Chinese President, I’m not good with names, would agree, since we indeed didn’t know much about the galaxy.

Side note: generally, the non-Greg wolves were admittedly less polished. Their english was garbled, and they moved around more on their hands. They were usually sniffing the air and they would drool this bright green, uh, viscera? They would slobber this bright green viscera out of their mouths and it would burn whatever it touched. A few of them were caught eating deer in a field, but mostly sucking it’s blood. It was kind of off-putting. In fact, a lot of people would say they were uncomfortable with these giant, intelligent wolves from space being on our planet, myself included. Now,  I’m pretty anti-intolerance. If someone is being intolerant, I’ll say “hey, knock it off,” etc. But these space wolves gave me the creeps.

Conversely, there was a significant group in America who were, I guess, fans? Not like how I’m a fan of the Angels, but more like, you know when people are super into Coca-Cola? What do you call that? When someone’s a fan of a thing and not a team? Anyway, Randy was one of these space wolf fans. He liked how they “didn’t take anyone’s shit” and how if he was a space wolf he “wouldn’t have to pay alimony even though the judge gave Deb my trampoline.”

Janet and Darlene were also fans, but it was more like a contrarian thing. They liked that other people didn’t like the space wolves. Whenever I’d drop Gary off at her place she would be putting up some new sign that said “Space Wolves Welcome Here,” or “I’m Into It, If You Know What I Mean, Mr. Spacewolf.” One of the times I took Gary to see Janet she told me that she and Darlene were asking people their blood types for the Galactic Census on behalf of the space wolves.

“It’s the most fulfilling work I’ve ever done.”

“Does it bother you they seem super into blood?” I said.

“Get with the times,” she said. “People can just be into blood and it’s not a big thing.”

“They aren’t people. They’re wolves from space who love blood,” I said.

“That’s what the media wants you to think.”

I didn’t really have a good response to that. Also it was hard to argue with the space wolf fans at first because he and I benefited from their existence almost immediately.  I work at an industrial valve and hose factory and we made a ton of special orders for these space wolves. I specifically had to work overtime, as I’m an expert on valves.  Randy had been fired because he was an expert in asking people if they were “Working hard or hardly working?”

Sometime in June, Greg held a big press conference and told us the space wolves were building medical facilities for “Testing on Behalf Of Humanity.” In conjunction with the US government, the space wolves told us they were doing random medical testing using “galactic technology” to protect the human race from “universal biological threats.” Randy was one of the first volunteers for the program. According to Randy, they would bring you into a building, and they would take a blood sample and measure and weigh you. They would give you a ham sandwich and you ran on a treadmill. Randy had no issues with the invasiveness of this, even though he often threatened the mailman for “coming on his property.”

“Plus, free sandwich,” he would say.

Greg got his own TV show sometime later that summer, where he would look directly into the camera and make statements. He’d also talk about his favorite things about earth and why humanity shouldn’t be afraid. His favorite things included blue jeans, the outdoors and how no one on earth had a multi-dimensional cosmic time sword. The show was popular because everyone liked blue jeans and the outdoors and that cosmic time sword thing sounded like some real lame dungeon master stuff. Greg eventually started having influential guests like Elon Musk and Warren Buffet, but the real turning point was when he had this congressman on. Congressman Whatshisname asked Greg about the amount of private and public land being used for their Testing On Behalf of Humanity Clinics, and Greg got mad enough to bite a piece of the congressman’s ear off. People loved it.

That fall 8 space wolves were elected to congress. The space wolves had figured out that in order to have even more influence, they needed to hold office. It became relatively easy for them once they learned how much people hate politicians. People will vote for literally anything else given the option. A duck, an old can, a hat full of mud; all of those things would be able to beat a politician in an election, but objects don’t have the kind of cash a politician does. For instance, Randy said he wished a space wolf would be president, and not some slick politician, just moments after a space wolf had been caught vampiring a police horse on the side of the road. That very space wolf went on to win his congressional race by 18 points. His slogan was “the REAL wolves are in Washington.”


Things got worse at the valve and hose factory once the space wolves were in congress, in that labor laws had gotten pretty loose. We stayed late to make parts for various space wolf enterprises; ships, space guns, valves for the Testing On Behalf of Humanity Centers. We weren’t compensated for overtime, but were instead given index cards that read “Congratulations on Your Current State of Employment.” I would’ve filed a complaint but the box where we put our anonymous complaints had been shot with a space gun and the HR department was also missing. I went to tell our union head about this and I found out he had been reassigned to New Mexico indefinitely.


It was the following winter when I stopped letting Gary go to his Aunt Darlene’s without me. Janet had let one move in with them. She said they weren’t dating, but she had said the same thing about Scott Ortega. He didn’t really talk much and would often smell Gary when he was asleep. Gary would wake up, say something like “hey quit smelling me you pervert,” and then the space wolf would point to his own mouth and rub his stomach. This was unnerving for Gary, as he was only 12.

The last straw for me, regarding the space wolves, was when they put up the factories that drained people of their blood. Thanks to congress passing the Physical Repayment Act, anyone in debt to the IRS or in an exorbitant amount of personal debt was given the option, by the police, to check-in to a Physical Repayment Center where they would gradually “donate” their blood, over time. This blood went to “The Science Thing We’re Doing On Your Behalf,” which was new and lazily named.

Randy eventually got sent to one of these centers due to missing payments on his alimony. He spent four weeks in one of the center’s “Luxury Suites” eating ham sandwiches and being drained of his blood. I picked him up on the day he got out and he looked terrible. He’d lost a ton of weight and had somehow lost an eye.

“How was it?” I asked.

“Uh, it wasn’t bad. It was like a hotel. But in a cage. Which was cool,” he coughed.

“Plus, I don’t have to pay Deb any more alimony. You know she got a new boyfriend? Some professor at the junior college. Pussy.”

Randy then vomited and fell asleep. On the way home we passed the Processing Centers, which surrounded most Physical Repayment Centers. They were these large, black, windowless domes, and most people thought that’s where the space wolves slept.


So finally, just this last week, I was told I needed to personally drive to the space wolves’ compound in New Mexico and install a specific industrial valve. I won’t bore you with what kind of valve, as most people don’t know a ton about valves, but it was the kind of valve I’m an expert about. I would have to drive there first thing after work on Monday.

I had an uneasy feeling about my trip to New Mexico, so that weekend I spent a bunch of time with Gary. We played “I’ll time you,” and we played catch with a nerf football. We went on a hike and I made chicken salad sandwiches. Sunday night I dropped him off at a friend’s house. He specifically asked to not stay at his mom’s because they kept the thermostat too high. I knew it was because he didn’t want to get eaten, but I didn’t say anything.

On my drive to New Mexico I noticed a phenomenon I’d only read about. There were tent cities lining the highway, fully functioning little villages, miles in diameter. Because of the new structures, the Physical Repayment Centers, the office buildings for Testing on Behalf of Humanity, Galactic Airports, and all of the domes for The Science Thing We’re Doing On Your Behalf, real estate had become scarce in the two years since the ship appeared. People had started banding together in large unoccupied areas and making their own communities. Local governments were now basically non-existent, and if you weren’t directly under the thumb of “Big SpaceWolf” you could kind of fall off the map. I know that sounds like a bummer, but when I drove by everyone actually looked alright. Living off the grid meant you weren’t at risk to have to donate your blood, and no one was looking over their shoulders to see if their congressman was eating their pets.

When I pulled up to the main space wolf compound (it had a more official name?), and it was like at least 2 dozen football fields in size. It had several pyramid-like ships huddled together in the center with domes surrounding the perimeter. I went through security, and then I met my supervisor on the project, a space wolf whose name sounded like Jeff, and he took me the long way through the compound. At one point we entered a hallway which I now realize was a balcony. I found out it was a balcony because at some point, Jeff accidentally bumped a button and what I thought was a wall became transparent and I realized it was actually a window. Several feet below us was a warehouse style set-up with several square miles of, like, iron lungs? Jeff immediately panicked and started frantically trying to change the window back into a fake wall. Right before he figured it out, I saw what was in the chambers. It was space wolves, but they were unconscious and had tubes running from their arms and legs. I even recognized Greg from TV.  Jeff got the wall turned back on and asked me, rudely, what I saw. Thinking quickly, I said “I actually didn’t see anything, I was looking down at my shoes.” Jeff seemed satisfied with this answer, but I had a sinking feeling that Jeff was going to eat me the minute I was done installing this valve.

We walked to some kind of master control room. There were several empty chairs, actually only empty chairs, aligned in a row in front of several computer screens.

“Where is everybody?” I asked Jeff.

“Everyone (garbled) at (garbled) uh, lunch?” Jeff garbled.

Jeff had put quotes around the word “lunch.” That’s how I knew they weren’t at lunch, or that lunch was being hooked into those iron lung things. It was when I told Jeff I needed to see some schematics about the project that I realized this wasn’t even Jeff’s normal job. He was some kind of underling who knew nothing about valves or hoses they used when the other folks were “at lunch.” I told Jeff I needed access to an English translation of the manual, something I figured had been used when everything was being built. He immediately complied, and then amazingly didn’t bat an eye when I told him I needed time alone with the manual.

I read as much as I could while Jeff was away. The iron lung airplane hangar thing was housing 45,000 space wolves, the entire population of the area, including Greg, and giving them a several gallon human blood transfusion. The entire compound was a series of Physical Repayment Centers taking people’s blood plus the black domes housing the unconscious space wolves. Additionally, and this was on page four, was the plan for what looked like a giant nutribullet. From context clues, I derived that humans went in there to get, well, nutribulletted. Yucky, I thought.

According to an interoffice document entitled “Safe Office Practices,” a chart that was in English on the wall in the office thanks to OSHA, I gleaned that the space wolves had evolved to need other creatures’ blood to live. I also figured out that the space wolves had done this before on other planets, thanks to a handy table of contents explaining protocol. The space wolves would come to a planet, “seduce the inhabitants” and slowly set up a blood farm for their species that would last for one or two hundred years.

I was almost done looking through the schematics of the facility when I heard “What are you (garbled)!” I knew that garble anywhere. Jeff was behind me and he could tell I was up to something.

“‘Mmm, uh, looking for where to put the valve. In, out, up, it could be a ton of ways.”

Jeff sort of believed me until he picked up the manual I had laid out and saw it was turned to the page “How to Sabotage This Facility.” It was a dead giveaway. Jeff chased me around the control room, lunging at me with his long, claw-like hands and gnashing at me with his claw-like food hole. I was about to get manually nutribulletted when I did the only thing I could think of: I said “Look over there!” pointed behind Jeff, and made a face like there was definitely something to look at. Thankfully Jeff had never seen this trick because he was from space. He looked around frantically, having fallen for my trick like a sucker, and I made a break for it. I bolted down another narrow hallway and ran until I found a hatch that led to Zone E. I went inside and pulled the hatch door shut just as Jeff caught up to me. His teeth gnawed at the plate glass window as I jammed the hatch shut with a folding chair.

Once I was in Zone E, I found the mechanism (again, there’s a more specific name for it obviously, but I don’t want to bore you) I was supposed to fix. I rigged it so that the malfunctioning valve actually functioned in reverse, pumping air into the bloodstreams of the tens of thousands of space wolves. I’m no expert in blood streams, but it’s bad to have air in them. Hopefully this takes a good enough chunk out of their population someone, maybe someone in one of those makeshift cities, or maybe some other valve expert, can do something bigger, someday.

And that was about 45 minutes ago. Right now, Jeff and several of his back-from-lunch cohorts have gathered around the door to the hatch, trying to break in and, I assume, eat me. It seems like only a matter of time, which is why I’m writing this email; as a record of what happened. I’m going to try and fight my way out, but who knows.

Goddamned space wolves.


Sam Wiles is right handed…and there’s more! Sam is a comedian and has performed in clubs and festivals all over the country. He has written for NBC Universal, TNT, Mad Magazine (RIP), as well as co-created the popular web series Gridiron Heights for Bleacher Report. He is also one of the hosts of the live comedy debate show Straw Men at the UCB theater and hosts the podcast Fight Island. If you live in Los Angeles you can catch him hosting one of LA’s longest-running comedy showcases, Rod Stewart Live, at La Cuevita in Highland Park. You can follow him on twitter @VoteSamWiles.

Tags: , , , ,

Comments are closed.