I never wanted to sprout hair, fangs, and howl at the moon more in my life, than when I was little.

I am sure the movie Teen Wolf had a lot to do with it. I loved that movie. Even more than that I loved the idea that by genetics, will power, or just wishing a person could become more than what they were originally. I read books about werewolves, vampires, and on & on.

I became obsessed with changing. I tried figuring out the secrets from hints in books I read, or movies I watched. I knew I didn’t want to get bitten, too painful. So it seemed my only option was that, by some twist of fate, someone in my family was really a werewolf.

Since I was young, and not worried about what people would think, I asked my mom the ultimate question. I found her standing at the sink doing dishes.

“Mom, I have a serious question to ask you. Please tell me the truth, are you a werewolf?” I stood looking at her, my own face so small & serious.

I didn’t even notice she had to turn her head out of view to stifle a grin. Years later, she would inform me on numerous occasions how difficult it was to contain her amusement.

“Well,” She began slowly, “you know what I am. Your grandpa is too. Every time a full moon comes out I wait until you are asleep, then I turn into a werewolf and run outside to howl at the moon.” Her face was stone cold serious as she told me about my potential genetic gift.

“I thought so.” I said, matter-of-factly. I stood there, with thoughts of what being a werewolf could mean to me buzzing through my head. A new seed of worry surfaced.

“What if being a werewolf skips my generation? They said it could happen in the movie.”

“Now, I don’t know. You could just wait to see what happens, or you could read more of your books.”

My collection of books about werewolves was oddly large for a nine-year old. It would get no better with time. So, following Mom’s advice, I went to my room to reread my books to better understand my birthright. My obsession was renewed.

In the following weeks, I kept this secret closely guarded. For a child to keep a secret such as this was monumental. I didn’t hide my obsession though. I was always talking about werewolves, or reading about them, I had to know more.

I worried about things the more I learned. Wolf’s bane. Gypsies. Dog whistles. Eating loved ones. Not to mention there were people who hunted and killed werewolves. Life as I knew it had become much more complicated.

One worry I had was accidentally tearing my clothes when I transformed. I mean, I had other pants & shirts, but what about my shoes? I only had one pair! I figured that was the reason Mom got me a slightly bigger pair of shoes. (It could in no way be related to the fact I grew out of shoes in 3 month increments.)

One day we went to the local library to return our books. More importantly, I was able to seek fresh new books about being a werewolf. I found at least half a dozen books. I was so excited I couldn’t contain myself. I felt the wolf rising inside me.

I asked Mom if I could wait for her in the lobby area of the library. It was a large tiled room with six or eight glass doors in front of the check out desk. Mom told me I could go, and wait for her to check out the books.

Thank goodness! I was squirming with a new energy, which could only mean the change was coming upon me. I ran to the lobby. I stood there looking at my hands. Then I would try to see my face reflected in the glass doors. I was panting. If I was going to become a werewolf here I would make an entrance. So I rolled my head as far back as I could.

I began to howl.

I howled until my body tingled with the transformation’s energy.

The sound was echoing off the walls of the lobby. As each howl slowly died, I reared back and howled again. This went on for nearly 15 minutes. Gladly, though, no one could hear me in the lobby, or so I believed.

Mom came through the door, at which point I immediately stopped my howling. I didn’t want to frighten the friendly people at the library, especially in case one of them might be a werewolf hunter.

“What is wrong with you?” Mom asked in exasperation.

“Nothing, I was just howling in case I become a werewolf.” I said calmly.

“Well everyone could hear you howling through the whole library, over and over.” She explained.

I felt a bit embarrassed. I knew she was probably mad that people might find out we were a family of werewolves. I lowered my head in shame. It was careless of me.

“Sorry, Mom.” I said, eyes downcast.

“It’s okay, but you realize we aren’t werewolves. I was just joking. You really thought I would run outside bare ass naked, and howl at the moon?”

“I dunno, I’m not a werewolf yet.”

“Jesus, I don’t know if you are a werewolf. I was joking with you when I said that I was a werewolf.”

“But Grandpa is a werewolf though, right?” I asked my entire life as a fledgling werewolf hanging in the balance.

“I…I don’t know. He never told me if he was, or wasn’t a werewolf. Just no more howling like that in public” She sighed, realizing my persistence.

“Oh, okay”

That was it, I no longer howled in public. Although, I still howled in the house, or when I was playing. I knew that deep down she was just worried what people might do if they found out she had a son that was a werewolf.

I understood.

She was protecting me, just like a mother wolf protects her cubs.

After all these years I can’t say for certain whether, or not I come from werewolf lineage.

 

At times I feel as if I could become more than what I already am. I suppose I learned that maybe even if you aren’t a true werewolf, you can change; you can become whatever you desire. Every so often you will feel that energy take hold where you are standing on the brink of becoming more, transforming. What should you do when that happens?

Just howl.

 

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