About today’s guest: Marissa Turner
Today’s post is by Cliodhna ‘Clio’ Richardson—the main character of Marissa Turner’s novel, GENTRY. Cliodhna lives as simple a life as she can. She’s married, has a job, and friends she can count on. Which comes in handy, as her husband has just left for his second tour of duty in the Giant Sandbox of Hell, also known as Iraq.
The night he leaves, she sneaks off to Tybee Island, land of money and vacationers, to do something that, if the other wives found out about, they’d lynch her.
You see, Clio is a werewolf, and damn proud of it. Her husband… well, he’s still learning to deal with the fact his wife goes furry a couple of times a month.
Hi all, Clio here. If you want to get into stats, my full name Cliodhna Lee Richardson, and my dam uses it often when I’ve done something wrong. I’m twenty six, shorter than I’d like to be, married to a soldier, and usually pretty happy about that. There’s a bump in the road right now, but that’s normal, isn’t it?
Moving on. You’re not here to hear about my marriage anyway, you want to know about the werewolves.
First things first, we do exist. Sit back and soak that in for a second. I just came out of the proverbial woods to you, dear stranger, and believe me, this is a big step. We live in secrecy for a reason, and I just popped that secret bubble with the mother of all straight pins.
I’m going to assume you’ve read the history of the werewolf legend; some of those legends are true. We do change shape into that of a wolf, but we’re big ass wolves. The male grey wolf (Canis Lupus) can sometimes reach weights of one hundred and thirty pounds. That’s not the norm however. Typical weight is around seventy, and can be up to a buck-ten.
Werewolves weigh more than that, simply because most people are not one hundred and ten pounds. I myself am one hundred and fifty pounds, but it’s only a forty pound difference. Add in thick midnight fur, and most write my wolf form off as a Canis Lupus who had the bad luck to interbreed with a large domestic dog, such as a Great Dane or Irish Wolfhound. (How’s that for irony?) My best friend, Angelo Nydarski, is almost three hundred pounds; no human who sees his wolf form thinks he’s anything but a monster.
As a funny side note, did you know that the black pelted wolves have a genetic abnormality that first appeared in the domestic dog? Make all the jokes you want about that.
We hunt, but only animals. Rabbit is a favorite of mine, they have a buttery taste that is both sweet and smooth on my tongue. And their bones don’t hurt my teeth when I bite them. Angelo prefers deer, but I think that has more to do with him wanting to have a full stomach than with how they taste.
We aren’t repelled by silver, nor are we ruled by the moon. Our emotions run high in the full moon, but that can be said about the entire people population of this great planet. We do need to change shape often, at least twice a week, in order to keep our duality running normally, but we can go through full moon nights on two legs and be as innocent as three lambs.
Our changes are incredibly painful. Have you ever broken a bone? Even a little one? Now, take that pain, and multiply it by two-hundred and five (since you’ve broken one bone already, we won’t count that one.) Every single bone in our human shape shatters and reforms into those of the wolf.
Other myths and legends, however, are complete and utter bullshit. Harsh opinion, I know, but that’s how I feel.
There is not a grain of truth in the whole being bitten (or scratched!) makes you a werewolf thing. I’ve bitten my mate several, if not hundreds, of times during intense interpersonal relations, and he’s as human now as he was the day I met him. And I am not a gentle biter by anyone’s standards. He’s had to do PT with his back cut to ribbons from my nails, and believe me, I think he’d have preferred the pain of a transformation than sweat in bleeding wounds.
As far as I know, there is no magic ritual to make you a werewolf either. Have you seen what is in most of those ‘magic’ salves that need to be used? There’s enough hallucinogenic plants in there to make you think you’re a purple dragon in a red tutu named Louise.
Wearing a wolfskin won’t make you a werewolf either. It’ll make you a killer.
Sorry, that last part came off as bitchy, but it’s how I feel. I don’t understand the driving need some people have to eradicate a species based upon fear. It’s one reason me and mine have stayed in the woods for so long; look at history and tell me that people don’t kill off whoever, or whatever, they can when their fear is riding high.
I guess what my plan was for this little essay was to show you that we’re not the beasts of legend. We love, we hurt, and we try to enjoy life the best we can. We’re just like most humans, except we can change shape.
Remember, we’re all in this together, whether you like us or not. It’s best not to take anything too seriously, because we never make it out of this world alive anyway.