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A Few Nips In History : a short story by: GF Willmetts

June 30, 2019 | By | Reply More

You know how it is. People think werewolves are monsters. They even fortified the myths against us. As if we need a full moon to become…well, large, hairy, teeth and claws. It’s just a lot easier to wander around at night and grab the odd meal. Hey, you can’t accuse me of not eating the odd livestock. They are there to be eaten. It isn’t like I leave anything but the clothes and I can always wear those. Werewolves can’t live off meat alone, we need calcium and the rest to keep a fresh pelt and chewing bones is good for the teeth and jaws.

The real problem I have is just taking a quick bite. That’s one thing about the mythology that is nearly right. A little nip can what the livestock call infect and create another werewolf. That’s why we generally eat our prey so we control the size of our pack. Who wants more predators to make us stand out? I’ve heard that happened elsewhere. Upsets the livestock and they tend to come after us, usually with guns. It was a lot safer when all they had was pitchforks. We could always out run those.

In my territory, I don’t need another dog. Young upstarts decide I’m in the way when it comes to mating with the bitches and want to fight. It isn’t as though there aren’t enough of them. Those I don’t mind biting. There’s only a twice a year when any of them are fertile and even when they have the hots we don’t breed. It’s not the way to get more werewolves. Just a bite and faster than rabies, instant werewolf. Well, within a few days. Doesn’t necessarily follow with a full moon. A myth of the livestock. I mean how can the reflected light of the sun change the selected few into a werewolf when a daylight sun would do it faster? We transform as need, mostly to make the most use of our enhanced senses and for combat. As a werewolf, I can rend livestock and eat, bones and all, in a short time with powerful jaws than ever my humanoid from can ever start to chew.

It’s not all perfect. Arms are better for holding things and my dual life. Blending in with livestock makes it a lot easier to choose my meals than live in a high tower and choose at random. That would really make me a monster. I prefer a decent breeding programme so I get some muscular livestock. I don’t want runts in the litter. I want them with plenty of muscle. More meat. No one dies of old age because they don’t live that long. Their lives might be short but healthy. They fear the creatures of the forest, not knowing their predator is always amongst them.

I leave occasionally to travel. I need to bring more livestock to the villages. Avoids inbreeding. Not good for the muscle. I think that’s how they tracked my scent. Not other werewolves but a pack of wolves. The scent wafted in with a recent breeze. They must be searching for me. No problem. As a werewolf I am bigger and stronger than them. I will scare them off or kill them.

If I was going to fight them, it would have to be in the forest. Transforming in the village and being seen would get the livestock against me. The last time that happened, I killed them all. I couldn’t allow the word to spread. Takes too long to bring in more livestock. They might not be that smart but they weren’t that stupid.

Leaving my clothes in the usual hollow, I turned werewolf, loving the effect of power it gave me. Better to find them first on my terms than fend off an attack. I sniffed for their spoor. How fresh their spore was would make it easier to find them.

In some ways we were alike. It didn’t matter if it was day or night, what we couldn’t see we could sniff. I didn’t know which was worst, felines or canines. I was probably closer to canines but only because they saw us as rivals. This was my territory. They shouldn’t compete. Eating them feels like a form of cannibalism. Maybe I should just scare them off this time. Maybe it would deter other pack members by word than being missing. Let them plague someone else. I didn’t put claim on the whole world, just my territory. I peed my scent as a reminder.

Odd. There was only one wolf. Just sitting there, panting away waiting. Was he really waiting for me? A true confrontation between me and him. Kept private. Not to show his superiority to his pack. So be it.

I approached downwind, growling only when he turned to look at me. His fur tensed. His ears sharp. All responses to seeing me. I growled a low timbre and showed my own fangs in return. He was a big specimen but so was I. My own fur was rising. I was ready for a fight. I needed to show my dominance.

Suddenly, I was caught off-guard. His blood-brother from the side. He nipped my flank and I fell flat on my face as the waiting wolf also struck my other flank. It wasn’t a fair fight. They were taking me down with a few nips. It wasn’t a fight at all as I collapsed on the ground. What had they done to me? Why only my flanks and not my tendons to stop me running. Why not a fight at all? Why had they stopped attacking…

That was my last thoughts. I had no idea how long I was unconscious. Both wolves were watching me at a distance. I’d give them a fight and then realised I was humanoid once more. I also couldn’t change. What had they done to me?

I was turned by a werewolf. How could an ordinary wolf turn me back? Wolves. It took two of them. They weren’t threatening. Just waiting. I was getting cold. Maybe I should walk away? I found a stone and was preparing to throw it when a growl made me decide that wasn’t a good option and kept walking.

They followed me but didn’t attack. What kind of wolves were they? Without my acute sense of smell I was no better than the livestock. Maybe they were planning to attack the village and I was leading them right to it. They stayed attentive but non-threatening. Whatever they’d done, they had beaten me and seeing me home. An intelligent manoeuvre unlike the wolves that they were. Why couldn’t they just fight me and I beat them in the ordinary way? They out-smarted me. Shit! Shit! Shit! If they’re that clever, what do they want next?

I felt better dressed. I forgot had invulnerable my paws were compared to normal feet. The ground felt hard and rough, not the kind my paws preferred to grip. Being livestock was going to be hard to get used to. Maybe I should find one of bitches and get her to bite me and transform me back. Then I would get those two wolves.

As I entered the village, the two wolves came up beside me, looking as tame as anything, wagging their tails. I was expecting some reaction from the livestock but they seemed indifferent. Then I saw one of my bitches, Peg, in humanoid form. There were two wolves with her as well, walking as tamely as those with me. Why don’t they just put flags over our heads and say, ‘These are werewolves. Kill us now!’ Except we aren’t werewolves anymore and I doubt if the livestock would have made the connection. We were just seen as humanoids with wolves. Who knows in the future, maybe everyone will have wolves as pets.

Except these wolves weren’t pets. They were there to keep us in check. That was pretty apparent. I looked at Peg who shook her head, stopping briefly to raise her skirt and show her flanks where wolf-bites where was clearly visible. I nodded back. Our reign was over. The message was clear. Werewolves were not welcome and we were now under their control.

What else would change in the future? We were put in place by a well-thought out plan. Those wolves’ eyes looking at me intensely, all the time panting away waiting for us to make a mistake. I doubt if they’d give me a second chance to transform into a werewolf again even if I could be bitten. We were extinct and who knows what would happen next?

 

End

© GF Willmetts 2019

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Category: Scifi, Short fiction

About the Author ()

Geoff Willmetts has been editor at SFCrowsnest for some 15 plus years now, showing a versatility and knowledge in not only Science Fiction, but also the sciences and arts, all of which has been displayed here through editorials, reviews, articles and stories. With the latter, he has been running a short story series under the title of ‘Psi-Kicks’ If you want to contribute to SFCrowsnest, read the guidelines and show him what you can do. If it isn’t usable, he spends as much time telling you what the problems is as he would with material he accepts. This is largely how he got called an Uncle, as in Dutch Uncle. He’s not actually Dutch but hails from the west country in the UK.

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