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So, you want to get to know me. Learn who I am. What I do. Understand how I meander through my existence. I can’t help but ask myself, where, oh where do I begin to answer a question such as this? I suppose I should just throw it out there; lay it on the table; toss it in the air and let the chips fall where they may, type of thing. Well, so be it. I can always backtrack and fill in all the gory details later.

I am a werewolf.

Now come on, no eye rolling or snickering. That’s not polite. I told you the truth. Now let me tell you my story. Let me truly introduce myself.

Before you go getting all Hollywood about it and judging me, we are not even close to that crazy trumped up version of our species. Yes, I said, “We”. We are, in part, our own civilization, but also no different, well okay, I give you that, slightly different, from the rest of humanity. We work, we have families, and we go to movies, go to school, play sports, volunteer, grocery shop and perform about a thousand other everyday tasks. Just like you. Bet you didn’t know all that, huh? Contrary to legend, we do not spend a few nights each year ripping everyone and everything apart. Most of the time. But for the remainder of earth’s spin around the sun, we are relatively normal.

Oh, I am female. Werewolves are not all male, as some fairy tales seem to indicate. We’re about fifty-fifty in my family. Then there’s the odd one that isn’t even wolf. My brother for example. He’s a bit hairier than some folks, but that’s because he never did acquire the full wolf DNA. My mom is to blame for that one. She’s not wolf; she’s a regular everyday human and dad is the one on the dark side. Usually the moon gene, as I like to call it, tends to be more dominant, but at times it just can’t quite make it through. I think when my brother was younger it bothered him. He used to go out on Halloween in one of those ridiculous chain store werewolf suits with the stupid, thick rubber mask, the oversized teeth dripping blood and whatever else that sad painting job was supposed to be. Brains, maybe? He eventually got over it, but for years, he was “The Werewolf” on each and every final day of October.

However, this tale isn’t about my parents crazy, but beautiful love story or my brother’s abundance of hair. It’s about me. I am quite sure I’ll get back to them in later chapters.

As kids, we’re monitored, nurtured and trained by our parents and relatives. Yes, those killer instincts are there, but over time, we’ve learned to harness the urges and avoid the rampages that many of those that came before us were guilty of. We do not want to hurt anyone. But as with any culture, there are those that defy the overall beliefs and values that we have come to accept. Not everyone is a nice guy. Humanity has been dealing with that conundrum since the creation of humanity. And we are human. We just have an oddity about us.

Now that I’m an adult, I understand this life much better. I respect it. I embrace it. As a kid, it was fun to run wild, chasing rabbits or deer, the odd human night hunter, just for sport. However, after a few muzzle slappings, from mom, no less, multiple lectures, and lessons and a few full moon groundings, I changed my evil teenage ways. But hey, a girl’s gotta try, right? At least I never was one to drink myself into oblivion in the back woods before school dances like some of my high school cohorts did. That’s got to count for something. Alcohol and the moon gene just don’t mix. I learned that one the hard way.

So, you ask, “What do I look like in my human form?” Honestly, I’m just a regular girl. I could stand to lose a few pounds, but other than that, nothing exceptional. Funny about that weight thing though, when you transform, it just seems to disappear. You’re lean, and taut and as fit as fit can be. Well, perhaps not all of us. Uncle Jack is a big, big man, and when he moves over, he does have a bit of flab slapping back and forth while he runs. Doesn’t seem to slow him down much, though; he can rip through the forest as fast as the rest of us. But he is a tad more tired than he should be the next day; I know Aunt Beth is worried about his heart. She mentioned he could use an extra blue moon or two; get some of that good home cooking off his bones. I can’t help but wonder if it ever occurred to her to simply reduce some of that good home cooking.

I love to run. I love the feel of the soft, mossy earth on my paws and the rush of the wind across my sleek face. I love the smell of the forest, the leaves, the bark, the streams that run through. When I transform, I run. It’s exhilarating. On a regular night, I couldn’t step more than two feet into the woods without becoming lost. The night vision that accompanies this gift is incredible.

What do I do for a living? I’m a writer. Kid’s books. I found myself to be quite an excellent illustrator and many of the stories that I scribe, I garner from those that live in the forest. It just seemed to come together. And the woodland critters get a kick out of their adventures being told to young ones around the world.

I find that many of my kind do tend toward a more solitary type of career; it helps to avoid the risk of us saying something we shouldn’t while breaking bread with the lunch crew. Or having to spread our vacations out a day at a time; people tend to notice actions like that. No point in making it obvious.

Now, stop trying to figure out who I am. I have no intention of sharing my name – real or pen. You might find this one hard to believe, but there are those out there that still seem to embrace the “torches and pitchfork” mentality of yore, and I certainly don’t need them landing on my doorstep. Off topic, I know, but I can’t help but laugh when I hear the elders recite stories of those pitchfork wielding folk as they attempted to fight the wolves, ogres and giants that lived (and still do, by the way) deep in the forests throughout the world. How much damage do you honestly think you can do by pitchforking a giant in the toe? You’re more likely to be hoofed into the next county once the tine hits its mark than make an impact on the overall giant population.

But I digress.

In closing, I do hope I have answered all your questions, satisfied your inquisitiveness and maybe even piqued your macabre curiosity. Makes you wonder if I could be your next-door neighbor, doesn’t it? Makes you a little uneasy? Don’t be. We are good people. Usually. “But better safe than sorry,” I often say. Keep it in the back of your mind. When monthly moon arrives, as it regularly does, so round and plump, you just might want to consider looking for a place to hide.

Word Count = 1,271
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