This is a work in progess. This may be elaborated on, tweaked, or added to if it gains momentum. For now, enjoy.
You know, for as long as I can remember I have been different. It has taken decades to realize what I am, for the thing that others have seen lurking within me. Of course, I know what you are thinking “Dude, we get it. Your “inner demons” are manifesting, blah blah blah.” Well, you got the manifesting part right. Turns out I am a god damned werewolf. Ain’t that some shit!? Even more surprising is not knowing you are one rather piecing it together across spans of wild encounters and strange occurrences, detrimental and grim decisions. There were red flags that something was amiss, that I did not really belong around others yet that’s a hard thing to discern when the world is full of monsters. I mean hell I was married to one and couldn’t see it.
Honestly, if I looked at the women I have chased in my life there were some pretty obvious signs that they weren’t really human, save for one maybe. For example, I was traveling with a companion and we happened upon some young maidens. Now, initially I was drawn in by their flesh and the urge to hunt however I was the one unaware of the hunter within their midst. When I met her gaze I became enthralled, a trick I had not learned to be aware until later. She had porcelain skin with raven black hair yet it was her eyes that drew me in, captivated me in a manner I had not known. After some time passed and my hunt became more focused, my brother made an appearance. And, without hesitation, he said these words about her. “Her, and her family, are all vampires.” Now, I brushed off his notion because I figured he was just trying to protect me, though wise he is, however I was blind as usual. Looking back, his comment is more amusing than ever for I now see him for what he is, a vampire. Of course he noticed their behavior and abilities, he was one of them though not of the same clan. Vampires hate when you just lump them together, quite sensitive they are about their lineage and blood lines.
Well, things may have lasted save for the fact that my powers were growing and I knew not how to control them. We were much like Romeo and Juliet in our pairing, both from rival blood and madly in love. I look back and see the beast within throughout my life now and how it has affected and ruined so many things, so many families, loved ones, friendships. I ignored it, overlooked it, but have come to face it finally, hone it, tame it, at least for my own use. It pains me to be so oblivious even more so when believing that I was right or knew what I was doing...how foolish, how arrogant. Heartbroken, I fell into the arms of a witch whom I had become acquainted with over the years. My rage was too strong and, though she knew of some affliction and wanted to help heal me, I became a monster. She was the best at weathering my fury but my cruelty was unjust and without limit, the years thereafter were a blood soaked haze.
My blind, careless nature, wreathed in hatred, left me unaware of my own brothers hunger and growing rage. As much as I was incapable of taming myself, I was always the one willing and able to calm his vampiric onslaughts that came about from his thirst. He was always so even keel and clever when moderately sated yet, on rare occasions, he was a terror upon the land. I see now that he and I are truly brothers for we are damned by thirst and hunger, each one aiding the other over the years to combat our animalistic behavior. We may be fiercely independent and want our space but those things are worthless if all we lay in is ruins wrought by our own hands. I lost him for a while when the thirst snuck up and inflicted harm against one we called friend.
Heartbroken and angry, I sought another hunt, something to occupy my mind and body. There came a moment when I met a creature of rarity, a thing so unusual I could not but help to follow. I did not see her for what she was and my brother was gone to warn me. I mean, after a saint (the only woman not a monster that I hunted), a vampire and a witch, I figured it couldn’t get worse. Oh, so wrong. So blind. So foolish. More dog than wolf I seem to be, always seeking a master. We were betrothed, married, happy… then my brother returned. I will give him this, his cunning and guile is impressive. Upon meeting her he said nothing, was cordial, charming even. After some time, when we were stalking through the night like the old days, did he speak. He spoke a word that made my blood run cold and I did not want to believe him. She was, as I was to discover, a succubus. Though she looked like a normal woman this was but a ruse and I had been too angry and egotistical to see past the illusion. I bided my time until it was the right time to strike, to escape the dreamlike hellscape I had thought was my life. My brother aided me in freeing myself yet the danger only grew for her brood was enraged by this and still seeks my head after all these years.
The bond between my brother and I is strong for we have been hunted and wandered together for years but a vampire and a werewolf were not meant to live within the same cave. After some time and a training montage, I sought my own cave, for the experience of freedom and to perhaps master the beast within. I chanced upon the witch once more and she aided me in my soul journey, allowed me to dwell in her grove and chase her familiars. I was happy, for a time, yet distracted. I could tell the tameness of the place was having ill effects on my true goal. Her spells were powerful yet my willpower had grown vast and my hunger was far greater than ever so I left, wandering back out into the world once more to howl at the moon and sleep upon the mountainous stars.
I journeyed for some time through ruins and forests until I reached the shores of a place unknown to me. It was there I heard a song, a call on the wind that drew me nearer and nearer to the waters of a black lake. There, upon some rocks, basking in the sun was a beautiful young woman with her back to me. Her blonde hair was wet and shimmered in the sunlight while her head moved with the tune of her enchanting song. I sat and listened for some time, enjoying the soothing sound, the words resonating within me, calming my anger. It was when she stopped that the most shocking thing happened. She dove into the water. It was not the act that surprised me, but rather the fact that I had not noticed she had a scaly lower half that was very much like a fish. She was a mermaid, a siren to some, and she vanished before me without a trace into that dark water. Though drawn by the sound it was more of the place that I now realized I was drawn to for it was perfect. Remote, wild, and free. Staring into the black mirror of the lake I see back to my past, to my failures, to the horrors I unleashed. My tears break the tension of the water and muddle my dark reflection, giving me a moment of clarity, of inner reflection. I howl at the sky like I have never done before and I feel whole, the separate halves now joined.
THE MAD BARRON
The Source Of The Metal