A Werewolf Soldier's Gun's personal story.
|I am a .45 caliber Colt revolver, with a customized trigger guard and hand grip, large enough so that the hands and fingers of my owner, a werewolf, can use me comfortably, especially in their wolf form. I have seen a lot of things- both good, and bad. I’ve lost track of the men, and monsters, I’ve killed. Of course, given my age of nearly a century, not to mention being in most every conflict since the Great War, I’m sure you could sympathize, with my lapse in memory.
You modern guns experience the results of what my first owner started- you don’t have to worry about your users being eaten by their comrades like those of my day. Those of you who are used by giants know very well that they have to respect the human officers, going around instead of stepping over them, unless it was needed. Those of you used by magic users know that they cannot use spells without permission. I shall tell you how it all happened to become this way.
I was manufactured in 1917, the time when our country entered the Great War on the side of the Allies. I was purchased by Colonel Richards Redclaws, a werewolf. He was stationed with a unit that had lost their Commanding Officer to a sniper. However, this unit was very strange- everyone would look to this particular human for advice, even the giants. Now, just so you know, humans in the military back then were fodder, and I don’t just mean cannon fodder. Humans in those days were food for the other soldiers. Yes I know, that sort of thing would get a soldier executed these days, the non-survival cannibalism of a fellow soldier, but this was before such rules were written. It wasn’t just our military that did it- all militaries, and even the civilians, viewed humans as food, and most places, including the civilians of our country, still view humans as food.
As I said, the unit that my owner was stationed with was lead, in part, by this human- a Private William Jenkins. He was just your typical human, twenty-two years of age, 5 foot 5 inches, 180 pounds, dark hair, dark eyes, 25-30,000 calories worth of meat; not much to look at, except for a quick meal if need be. He was brave, I gave him that much, for a human. Allegedly, he led the unit in a counterattack after an assault had severely weakened the line- though I thought that was something of a lie, as there was no way a human could lead an attack, I’d thought. What could I say; I now realize that Redclaws’s thinking at the time was flawed.
Redclaws didn’t like Jenkins; everyone, including the other officers, would go to the human for advice, instead of him. That human thought up strategies, and tactics, which would do maximum damage for minimal loss- there was only one casualty during the first month that Redclaws was there, himself- slipped in the mud and got a concussion that had him in bed for a week. Other units suffered easily twenty casualties per week. Admittedly, Redclaws got the credit for the strategies and tactics, but the thought that the human was the reason for it just angered him.
Of course, like everyone else, a werewolf has to eat. Typically, meals consisted of enemy combatants or POWs (Privates and NCOs mainly- Commissioned Officers were sent to base for questioning.) Redclaws wanted a human for his meal; however there hadn’t been any actual raids for a while. That meant that the men would have had to pick one of their own to be Redclaws’s meal. They went off to talk to the human.
Next thing I knew, Jenkins walked in front of us and asked, “Are you sure you want a human for your meal Sir?”
Redclaws licked his lips. “Oh yes,” he said. “And you’ll do quite nicely for my lunch.”
“You’re going to have to earn it dog!” Jenkins shouted as he punched Redclaws in the muzzle. Then Jenkins stole me and began running towards some woods.
As he ran, Jenkins would occasionally turn and fire me at my master. Redclaws would easily dodge my bullets- there was no way a mere human could hit my master with a kill shot. Jenkins however, was a fit runner, and made it into the woods before my master could catch him. That was when I noticed something about the place, a bunch of markings on the trees, and the occasional stone pile- the place was a minefield. Jenkins kicked a small pile of stones down while at the same time, turning and firing several shots at my master, forcing him to duck behind a tree.
Jenkins then got behind a tree himself, where he removed my last bullet from me. He pointed me at the tree where my master was hiding, and pulled my trigger, producing a hollow click. My master got out from behind his tree and said, as he walked forward, “Looks like you’re out of bullets, lunch.” He then stepped on the place where the stone pile had been and I heard a very loud click.
“I found that one yesterday,” Jenkins said as he came from behind his tree, and put my remaining bullet back in me. “You really need to look at the maps that I and the others turn in Colonel.” He then sat down and got out his rations, canned meat and hard bread, as well as a canteen of water. “I hope you don’t mind me eating my lunch, sir.”
“Please, help me, Private,” Redclaws said, with fear in his eyes. “I don’t want to die.”
“It’s the same with me, sir,” Jenkins said as he cut off a slice of meat and ate it. “Problem is, so many men die, and it isn’t the enemy or illnesses that are the cause; its soldiers in the same uniform eating them for a meal. This unit’s different; we actually care for each other, and keep an eye out for the rest. The men look to me because I understand them, including the officers who’ve been promoted over me due to my species. You, you’re just a replacement; you don’t understand the men. You don’t have the relationship with them that I have. You told them to basically kill one of their friends.” Jenkins then looked into Redclaws’ eyes. “What did you want out of life?”
“To be with my wife and raise a family,” Redclaws said with a sigh. “I mean, I only just married her before I was shipped overseas. Hell, I didn’t even get a chance to consummate the marriage.”
“I guess I got you beat on that,” Jenkins said as he took something from the inside of his uniform. From my viewpoint, I saw a photograph, which was in black and white of course- didn’t have color until the 40’s you know. The image was of the soldiers in the unit, though the giants had to squat to fit into the photo. I also saw some tape, and I could see some shapes where the light hit the image. Jenkins must have had two pictures taped together. The one side showing the men; I guess the other side had his girl. He showed that side to Redclaws. “The doctors say she’s due in a few months. Of course, I don’t think I’ll be there for my child.”
“What are you talking about?” Redclaws asked.
“I’ve three options,” Jenkins said. “I could just leave you; you’d get tired and lose your footing.” Then he raised me, pointing me at Redclaws. “Or I could put you out of your misery, and blow a hole through your skull.” He lowered me. “Or we could do option three; find a substitute to take your place. Looks like I’m it.”
“What do you mean?”
“You need fifty pounds to keep that pin from popping up,” Jenkins said. “We don’t have that spare weight, and it would take too long to get it. Besides, I’m a dead man if I go back without you; assaulting an officer you know, not to mention desertion and/or murder. Sure way to end up on the wrong end of a firing squad. Now, do you want to live?”
Redclaws nodded, saying, “More than anything in the world.”
Jenkins walked up to him and stepped on his boot. “Then you’d best not forget me Sir,” he said. “After all, I’m taking your place.” He then removed Redclaws’s foot from the boot, quickly pressing down to keep the pin from popping up. He handed me to Redclaws and said, “Now run Sir, and don’t you dare forget.” With that, Redclaws just ran, leaving the human to his fate.
Just as we got out of the woods, I heard an explosion. Redclaws looked back, and fell to his knees in shock; a human had given his life for him. The other soldiers came up to us, asking Redclaws what had happened. Redclaws stammered as he told them, and the expressions on their faces were a mixture of pride, smugness, shock, and sadness. The story was soon told to others, at taverns, barracks, through messages, and other methods.
Some months later, Colonel Redclaws was in Jenkins’s city of residence. He wanted to talk to the human’s wife about what had happened. Then again, he’d been having trouble sleeping- something about being back in those woods with no one around, until Jenkins showed up saying, “I’ll take your place Sir. Now live your life.” As he walked down the street, a rakshasa, one of those humanoid tiger-like creatures, ran past him, carrying a bundle. At the same time, a woman screamed, “Stop him! He’s got my baby!” Redclaws turned, and I saw a human woman, running towards our direction, screaming at the top of her lungs. Of course, no one ever paid any attention to a human, unless they were hungry. Redclaws, however, turned back around, pulled me out of my holster, aimed at the rakshasa, and fired. The bullet got the tiger-man in the leg, causing him to drop the bundle. Redclaws though had managed to sprint up to the bundle, and catch it, before it hit the ground. I heard a cry come from the bundle, and Redclaws removed some cloth from it. I was shocked to see a familiar looking face- it was Jenkins’s son.
“Hey, get your own,” the rakshasa said, trying to stand up. “I saw it first. Give it back.”
Redclaws pointed me at him and said, “If you, or anyone else, harm this child, or anyone he’s related to, you won’t live to see the next day. This boy’s father is a hero.” He then walked up to the human woman and said, “Name him after his father; the bastard made me see the truth.”
Redclaws then when to his own home and finally consummated his marriage. He eventually had a great-granddaughter, Cindy Bloodtooth, who eventually got me, after she joined the military, which had completely changed by then. She rose through the ranks, eventually making Lieutenant. She was eventually stationed at a training facility, where a statue of Jenkins had been built. One day, a new recruit came to the facility, a male human named William Henry Jenkins the Fourth. Of course, it seems this Jenkins is just like his great-grandfather, part idealist, part stubborn, part intelligent, and fully courageous. Lieutenant Bloodtooth will have her work cut out for that one.
Oh, you young ones want to know the truth Redclaws learned. Never underestimate anyone, even when they are on the bottom of the food chain. They might kill you, or they might save your life. Another thing he learned was that all life was precious, even those of humans.
Ah great, Bloodtooth just came in. It must be time for target practice. I hope she cleans me first. I’m sort of dusty.
Word Count 1995
An entry for the 2/12 "What a Character! : Official WDC Contest"