Communications with a Werewolf
Email – Trans Atlantic: February 18
How are you tonight Wolfie? I have a warning for you which came to me from the Green Man. If you’re in the forest tonight beware! The Goddess is keeping track of your hunting prowess; she doesn’t like Her children to suffer. Are your kills clean? Please Her and She will give you the Moon to hunt by, anger Her and you will be silver-ice.
Your forest may be different than mine…tell me of the trees and rivers you love. Is your forest scented with the perfume of crushed bracken and brushed pine boughs? My forest is balsam and yew, cedar and fir with a slow river that contains salmon and roe. The eagles and ravens feast after the run. There is an old he-bear that stands knee deep in the water scooping the blushing fish. He’s old and wise, this is his forest. In summer he wanders into the near orchards where he can be found sleeping underneath the laden fruit trees, filled to roundness with the neighborhood bounty. Are you bored yet?
Are you a true wolf? I’m a witch…did you know that? I can’t fly, though I almost managed it at Stonehenge. The ancient stones are pillars of forgotten power, so filled with their own life that they can awe busloads of tourists who stream out of their buses, jabbering and exited with cameras and yellow slickers. They sense the power. They go silent and wary like a fox scenting danger. Vibrations sweep up through the ground, to jitter and jive your brain…..until you can’t say for certain if you’re standing on the ground or levitating towards the stones. Close your eyes and you CAN fly!
Are you a shape-shifter Wolfie? Can you become another at will...this doesn’t have to be a physical change, it could be a soul-change. Have you ever done it Wolfie? I imagine the forest trails thrumming under your feet, trodden hard and dusty, your tongue lolling out, and saliva spraying. Suddenly you're human! Your muzzle indents until your face is flat, your mouth a mere slit, not large enough to grapple a deer or even a rabbit. Your nose is unable to scent even the strongest musk of a bitch in oestrus. Your ears are deaf to all but the loudest of noise. You stand upright, naked, cold and afraid. Do you Wolfie? Tell me now; I’m waiting for your answer.
Email – Trans Atlantic: February 20 Cold Moon
You stupid witch, don’t you understand that I can’t communicate with you when I’m in my true wolf-body? Do you imagine that I can go to the nearest Internet tree and type a message to you with my paws? It's Full Moon tonight and I’m trapped in the disgustingly puny, hairless body of a man. I’m here in this stinking, noisy, confusing city. I’ve managed to rent a flat with money that I must steal from other puny hairless humans! Do you have any idea how much a flat costs these days? I only use the bloody thing for a few nights a month! I must admit to you though, I like this laptop computer I acquired last month from a careless woman in a bar, who put it on the floor beside her while she drank her lunch. There’s so much information! I can learn about anything, yet I find myself in chat-rooms talking to idiots. No offense to you Witch.
I’ll begin to answer your questions. My forest is of deciduous trees, limes, poplars, oaks and sycamores. When I’m on the hunt, when the night is brisk and clean, I pound through the forest with paws and claws digging into the loamy soil. I can feel the muscles of my legs bunching for the leap and the kill. The exquisite kill… with the richness of life-blood pumping into my throat… the jerking and kicking of the prey, who could want more? This is my God, I know no other. I know of no Green Man, and if I did, what should I care about him? Is his flesh tasty? Will he give me a good chase before I bring him down?
You were here Witch? I haven’t eaten a witch since 1834. She was running away from a mob of frenzied townsfolk, something about a cow going dry or some such rot! She was young, and panting with fear, the scent of panic drew me to her. If I hadn’t eaten her another animal would have. Her skirts caught her up on a fallen branch. She came down hard, yet was still full of fight! I circled her, not sure if she could harm me, humans can be tricky. She wasn’t as fearful of me as she should have been; all the while she was muttering words which I didn’t understand. She twisted and turned to keep her eyes on me! I could hear the mob blundering through the forest, soon they would be close, and I knew that I would have to kill her or retreat. She did something that changed me forever! She looked me in the eyes, she offered her throat to me as she chanted and chanted. I tried to kill her quickly; she made me feel a pity I had never before experienced. She didn’t die easily; her spirit was strong, not able to go to another realm like the rabbits and deer. I ate her heart and I was halfway through her liver when her pursuers came too close for me to feel safe. I vanished into the forest.
Two weeks later, one day before the Full Moon, I began to feel ill. The hares and stoats and mice I was accustomed to eating daily became disgusting to me. I killed them, I ate them, and then I sicked them up! I found a hollow log in which to curl up, I put my nose into my anus and wrapped my tail around me. I slept that whole day, not eating or drinking, waiting to die. When the sun went down I began to feel a prickling heat come over me. I supposed that it was death, I was ready to submit. I though that I’d like to look at the forest one last time, scent the night air and howl a farewell to my brothers. When I emerged from my log the Full Moon was just coming over the trees, silver shining satin frosted my fur. I opened my mouth and screamed!
I changed that night. It wasn’t an easy transformation, painful, wracking, cracking, twisting, lengthening, shortening, until I became a weak, hairless, shivering piece of pink-fleshed embryonic, man-thing. When I heard my brothers howling at the hunt I felt afraid of them. The forest was so dark, the wind so cold, I stood shivering, trying to decide what to do. I could hear the sound of horses and human speech, a sound that normally would have sent me deeper into the woods. The sounds lulled me and drew me towards them as if offering comfort and security. I crashed through the woods, the branches scraped and cut me, and the trees conspired to close together to confound my sense of direction. After what seemed like a very long time I emerged on the side of a roadway. The dust blinded me, the sound of horses and contraptions hurt my ears. I wasn’t too long on the side of the road when I was set upon by highwaymen and beaten senseless. They left me unconscious in the grass. When I awoke there was a kindly looking gentleman leaning over me. He offered me his cloak, and when I put it on, it was as if my fur had returned to me! I was warm for the first time since the transformation.
Email Trans- Atlantic: March 17
Well Wolfie that’s quite a story! If you were transformed in the 1800’s you must be very old. Is your muzzle grizzled with gray hairs? How do you still hunt when you’re in your true body? Would you like me to send you a spell or two for arthritis and improvement of vigor?
I’m very busy here; it will be the Spring Sabbat on the 21st. The invocation of Ostara and her escort Rabbit is a joyous time for us. We celebrate the birth of Spring and the reawakening of life and fertility. I suppose with your advanced age, fertility is not something you think too much about Wolfie? I could send you a potion.
The Witch who hexed you must have been very powerful. It’s one thing to put the magick on some one when you’re in the comfort of your home with potions, crystals, cauldrons, candles, incense and oils and your Book of Shadows turned to the correct spell. It’s quite another to draw the power out of the air and aim at someone while in the dance of death! Did you ever learn her name? Tell me more Wolfie, I’m intrigued.
Email – Trans Atlantic: March 19, Quickening Moon
Why is it that you Witches are all so fascinated with each other? Is there some sexual connotation I’m unaware of?
I did learn her name. I made it my business to find out about the Witch who condemned me to this monthly purgatory. She was only 19 years of age, she was not beautiful her skin was marred with pox marks. Her name was Vivienne and she lived near a small village close to where she died. Her cottage was tiny and dark, the thatch unkempt and not very waterproof. I came to know this hovel intimately; I used it to hole up during many Full Moons. It was left undisturbed because the villagers were frightened to go near it, afraid of a curse, or at the very least, bad luck befalling them. Inside it was filled with drying herbs and grasses and tree barks of every kind. There were baskets of different dried flowers, strings of animal sinews or skins, pouches of dried frogs and snakes, jars of unidentifiable smelly substances. She had stones and bits of wood, scented oils and spices.
The first few Moons I took refuge there, I was so disoriented and afraid that I ignored the baskets, pouches and bottles. The day the gentleman gave me his coat, I found the cottage by accident while running away from the road and the people who came upon me while the gentleman was still in his death throes. The cottage was nestled underneath three large oaks, their dark branches forming a protective cloak. I was wary and circled the cottage several times before opening the door and going inside. I was very tired and hungry. In a large black pot, hanging by a chain inside the cold fireplace was a pot of grains which had been boiled into a mush and flavored with a little honey. I ate the whole pot full, though I wanted meat. I’d never eaten grain before, it was gritty and the taste was unfamiliar to me, though once I had eaten a squirrel with a belly full of grain and the taste was a bit similar. After eating I slept the night away, waking at sunrise with my bowels in a knot. Once I had relieved myself outside I went to the nearby stream and tried to lap up some water. My tongue wouldn’t form its usual pouch, could not deliver water to my throat. It took a few moments of snorting water up my nose before I though to cup the water in my hands. I prefer my life as a wolf, make no mistake about it, but the hands of humans are terribly clever devices. If only we wolves could have such dexterity in our paws.
Email – Trans Atlantic: April 16
Wolfie, I’m surprised that you didn’t try to find Vivienne’s Book of Shadows, perhaps you could have undone the spell she cast upon you. Could it be that you’re enjoying your immortality and dual life? I hear your complaints, yet you seem to do nothing to change your fate. Surely your many years of preternatural life has imbued you with some magickal knowledge and wisdom!
Was it difficult for you to return to the forest after the first transformation? I think the natural creatures would sense your difference. Were you accepted by your pack when you returned?
It’s less than two weeks until Beltane. I’m in a frenzy of planning! I still have lots of brush to stack for the bonfire. We’ll fire it at moonrise to light the way for the Summer Sun….egad I hope I don’t set my house alight! The Maypole will supposedly be brought by my friends, the same friends who mysteriously forgot the hard boiled eggs for Ostara which they say they decorated. Without a Maypole the whole Sabbat will be in ruins, the Horned God will be angry and I will have a nervous breakdown. I think Wolfie that I’ll attend rather than create the next celebration.
Email – Trans Atlantic: April 18, Wind Moon
You are astute in your probing. I was not very well received by my pack upon my reversion to wolf. After three days of being a disoriented human I awoke in the stinking, bug-ridden thatched hovel of that bitch Vivienne with my beautiful bush of a tail wrapped around me. To my wolf nose the scent inside was overpoweringly rancid, my nostrils shrieked with fear and loathing of the human stink. I leapt up from the lice infested straw that had been my bed with every hair on my body at attention and every muscle and nerve twitching to run and run and run until that smell was but a memory. I scrabbled about the room looking for a way out, my paws useless to unlatch the door. I ran myself into it over and over again to no avail, it made of solid four inch oak and I’m 12 stone at most.
Remember Witch, this was my first transformation and I was panicked. My tongue was lolling out, this was so unpleasant….the smell in my nostrils became solid particles on my tongue. I was retching and panting and flinging myself at the door when I realized that the windows were only covered by crude homespun woolens. With a chuff of joy I launched myself out and away into the cool, green, sweet forest.
The joy of animal is indescribable to you who have lived only as a human. I could run, the wind flowing over my fur, muscles contracting, bunching, shooting me along with the effortless grace unknown to two-leggers. Every eddy of wind brings information, who’s eating, who’s dying, who’s rutting, where the sweet water seeps, where the estrus bitch writhes in anticipation, where the easy-kill newborn trembles, where my pack sleeps with the fullness of new-kill laziness. Their scent drew me relentlessly through the forest. All I wanted was the comfort of my kind, to have the man-smell licked off me with the pink rasping tongues of my pack.
When I came upon them they were resting in a glade, the dappled sun painted them gray and gold and black. The dominant bitch Chara leaped up when I trotted toward them. I was showing the proper respect, my head was bowed, my tail down with only the tip twitching back and forth. I scented her alarm so I rolled onto my back showing her my fealty and trust. She looked at me directly in the eyes, the indisputable signal of aggression. I knew then that this was no longer my pack, that my scent, my very being was alien and repulsive to them. I slunk away into the forest on my belly filled with a despairing loneliness that clings to me to this day.
© Rowan Morgana