by Michael Minassian
Dyin’s as natural as livin’
—Clark Gable in The Misfits
Jake Forester, a widower, was bitten by a wolf under a full moon. Ever since, at least once a month, Jake, a victim of lycanthropy, was transformed, terrorizing the neighboring area, attacking sheep, cattle, coyotes, and stray dogs. When not under the influence of the full moon, he owned and operated a small gas station and café halfway between Reno and Pyramid Lake.
One night, a few miles away, production on the film The Misfits was wrapping up. All seemed quiet along Pyramid Lake. The stage hands and lighting crew had left the soundstage. A few actors wandered outside to look at the night sky. John Huston and his DP went back to the hotel. For a brief moment, Marilyn was alone, having a last cocktail before the limo arrived to take her and Clark Gable to the city.
Moonlight spilled into the set through an open doorway, and a shadowy figure entered. The moon was full, and from deep in the desert the wolfman appeared, drawn by hunger and lust. He took one look at Marilyn and fell in love, tearing off his shirt to reveal a chest covered in matted fur and blood. Marilyn had no idea about this creature—to her, he was just another extra who wandered onto the set, maybe half a circus act, or one of the caterers.
Meanwhile, the wolfman’s fangs and claws grew longer; his wolf-like erection rivaled the Eiffel Tower. Before he could leap onto Marilyn’s silky- smooth neck, Clark Gable came through the door and kicked him in his wolf- rump.
Marilyn sighed and laughed: Thanks, Clark, come over here and let me rub your ears for good luck. The wolfman howled in pain and limped back to the desert—Gable felt a twinge in his chest and had a heart attack two days later—within ten days, he was dead.
The next morning, Jake, no longer under the influence of the full moon, re-named his business: Jake & Marilyn’s Café. Over the next four weeks, he re- modeled the interior, putting in new tables and chairs, a marble counter, and movie posters of some of Marilyn Monroe’s films: Some Like It Hot, Seven Year Itch, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, Bus Stop, Niagara, and, of course, The Misfits.
Jake always remembered the night he fell in love. Devastated when he learned of Marilyn’s death within a year after the film’s release, Jake disappeared one night under the full moon. Some say you can hear him weeping still on the wind-swept road along the ruins of the café, and once a month, hear him howl all night long.