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A Wolf and a Half   by mt1608deviantart


"...evidence suggests that..."
"...potentially dangerous..."
"...not known if there are other..."

As I stirred, the discordant murmur of voices slowly resolved into audible extracts of hushed whispers. There were two voices, I hazarded—one pronounced but meek, with an Australian accent that sounded almost genuine; the other soft but authoritative, with a British accent.

Weatherman... Or not, depending on what name he decided to go by nowadays.
I now knew for a fact that I was certainly NOT at home, or anywhere I was familiar with. I didn't even have to move my stiffened arms to deduce that I was bound somehow, but I did so anyway, and shackles clinked together behind my back.

A chair... So much for originality. The clinking got their attention, though.

Mr. Weatherman-in-a-suit was in front of me in an instant with an apology for my circumstances, although his stoic face suggested otherwise. Mr. Australia was next to him in a spotless white lab-coat, bespectacled and clutching a clipboard packed with notes, clucking like an excited chicken, to the barely concealed irritation of his partner.
A quick glance around and past them told me that this room was empty, and had a blackened screen of glass for walls.

Mr. Weatherman peered down at me with a coolly neutral gaze.
"What is the last thing you recall, Mr. Silov?"

"Um... waking up?" I replied. "Where am I? Do you... My car! Where's my..."
"Mister Silov, I will be doing the asking. Please stay focused."

I gazed straight into his hardened features and his ice-cold blue eyes, and felt an involuntary lump at the back of my throat. He hadn't changed, however much I liked to believe that things between us were otherwise. This time, however, was different...
This time was serious.
I nodded silently, and the game was on.


I squeezed my brows together and thought hard, now fully aware that anything I said would be monitored and recorded by dozens of invisible people on the other side of the screen.
"I was at a nightclub... There was... There were lots of people. There was music from..."
"Mr. Silov, do you recall the name of the place? And the time, perhaps?"
After a moment of mental straining on my part, Mr Weatherman started reading aloud from a list, until I picked one. He did the same with a time.

There was a creaking, trundling noise behind me, and I jerked instinctively to see what it was. Mr. Weatherman held up a hand to stop me.

"There is no need for concern, Mr. Silov. The doctor knows what he is doing, and with your cooperation this need not take long."

At this point, I laughed at the absurdity of it all—the interrogation setting that seemed plucked right out of a B-grade Sci-Fi movie; the stereotypical depiction of questioner, questionee, with a potentially mad scientist thrown in for good measure...

"You know," I started, as Mr. Australian Frankenstein slipped a tight-fitting metal helmet/cage over my skull. "...the only thing stopping this from becoming the next blockbuster horror flick is a vampire chick in spandex with smoking guns, or a mummy riding at the head of some undead legion, or a... a..."

"Werewolf?" Mr. Weatherman suggested, his expression unchanged.
"Yeah, Yeah! A werewolf, just like in those cheap 1900s movies, y know? The things that get all... hairy... and... and..."

I felt my voice becoming increasingly... strange... distant... As if a thick haze was billowing out behind my eyes, and spreading, and draining all the energy from my voice. I was vaguely aware of a prickling sensation throughout my scalp where the cold metal of the device found skin, and a chill spreading down my spine. Somewhere behind me, the Australian 'doctor' was managing a cackle that would have qualified him for the original Frankenstein's successor.
But all that was lost to me as I found myself increasingly drawn towards Mr. Weatherman, or rather, his eyes. They gleamed far more intensely than the lighting should have allowed, bluish white like a winter's chill, and much, much harsher.

Just like they'd been on our first meeting, many years back, out in the frigid wilds of the Norwegian Forests. He'd worn a coat then, too, albeit a different one.

"Mr. Silov, would you be so kind as to focus on this image I am holding up, and try to recall what happened AFTER you... left the nightclub?"
I registered the blurred outlines of the image as a wolf, or rather, a pathetic attempt by some third rate artist to capture the essence of one. But it was hardly necessary for whatever intentions Mr. Not-really-Weatherman had in mind.

How could they not SEE it?! SMELL it?! SENSE it?! Those damned blind FOOLS!
IDIOTS! You chain the DOG, while the WOLF sits amongst you!

There was a lot of commotion going on now—the mad scientist was going 'Eureka' over the readings of the machine; shadows behind the dark screens buzzed with excitement and stood up, waving hands and pressing buttons; Mr. Not-really-Weatherman stood up.

To the fools, it would have appeared that he was moving to comfort a distraught prisoner, but I knew better. He was moving nearer to exert his dominance, to remind me that I existed at HIS convenience, HIS jurisdiction, and that it was HIS duty to ensure that I kept to mine.

I did the only thing I could—and let GO.




++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++




Before I was 18, I had been to 47 doctors.
After that, I lost count, because my adoptive parents gave up on me. I didn't blame them—I'd have done the same if some charity case of an autistic child still thought that he was a dog, after hitting 5 feet.

I could never explain to them how I saw the world, or why—I wasn't entirely sure myself. But if I was forced to describe myself in thirty words or less, I'd say I was a dog trapped in a human's body, with a human's mind half of the time.

Why a dog?
Because wolves aren't domesticated; and being a part wolf would make me a what? A werewolf? I scoffed at the notion that I might ever be half as dangerous as those beasts I'd seen in the movies, or that they even existed.

And then I met Mr. Weatherman.
I was having a brisk walk on all fours like I could only do when others weren't watching, with minimal clothes on, and sniffing things and the air the way I couldn't do in cities, when I met a big, badass, wolf.

I recall our conversation as clearly as if we were in the same position as that day—Him, a mass of bristling fur and muscle and icy blue-white eyes and teeth that could shred a man to bloody confetti in seconds; and Me, a terrified dog-in-a-man's-suit attempting to simultaneously whimper, curl up, flee, piss, and spontaneously combust at the same time.

Werewolves were real, I learned that day, but not as the mindless, ravenous beasts that we imagined them to be; nor as the overly romanticized, harmless mutts that plagued bad fiction (Mr Weatherman laughed so dryly that I knew better than to continue); but as an intelligent, wary community that watched out for its own, and dealt promptly with any threats that could expose their secret existence to the world of ruthless men and their guns. And I was a threat.

"Give me one good reason that I should let you live, tainted one," he'd growled.
I would later learn that there was a reason why werewolves forbade unions between their kind and ordinary humans—offspring were never fully of one descent or the other. I couldn't transform, but I behaved very much like a tamed wolf in many aspects.

I recall my whimpered answer, as I stood on the edge of life and death.
"I... I have a medical condition that could be useful..."


+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++



I spent three weeks in a special cell, under the watchful eyes of a private scientific community, and entirely at their disposal where research was concerned.

I played my part of a captive well enough—cautious enough as might be expected, cooperative where it expedited matters, and equally curious of his captors.

However, it would only be much later, when Mr. Australian Frankenstein was presenting his latest startling neurological discovery to the rest of the scientific community and public alike, that I received an anonymous letter with only a single (thumb?)print for a signature.

I already knew most of what was contained from the news—Mr. Australian Frankenstein had discovered a most unusual and rare case of schizophrenia, in which a human personality existed separately from an animalistic, canine personality within the same body. His supporting evidence included real time thermal imaging of a human skull showing atypical activity in the limbic (or mammalian, as he explained) brain that correlated to the animalistic schizophrenic behaviour of the test subject.

I downed another beer as colourful, technically detailed charts were used to explain observed hypersensitivity of the olfactory, and audiovisual senses during the experiments. I smiled when the scientist of the year went on to suggest that his findings could very well explain the misconceptions of lycanthropes throughout history.


"Humans love their science," Mr. Weatherman had once told me.
I nodded and pretended that it had been his idea all along.




++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++


I would never truly be one of the pack, but they hailed me as a brother nonetheless—by duty, if not by blood.
For no matter how careful the pack was, there would always be 'slip-ups'—rebellious pups who thought they'd seen the greener grass on the other side, old wolves who forgot the protocols, or simply members that found themselves unable to cope with the stress in the wrong place and the wrong time. And I would be there.

Thanks to me, they'll never have to silence one of their own for a foolish mistake again.

I am Silov 'Takes One for the Team' Tarroway, and under the instruction of Alpha Not-Really-Weatherman, I am always at the wrong/right place, at the wrong/right time, doing the wrong/right thing to provide a scientifically plausible cover-up for a 'slip-up'.

It's not an easy job, but hey... Someone's gotta do it.
My entry for the :iconwerewolvesatheart: literature contest, based on the prompt:
"You wake up shackled to a chair and can't remember how you got there. Two voices are talking. You recognize one of them."

Enjoy, and do please comment!
Add a Comment:
 
:iconrioquin:
RioQuin Featured By Owner Feb 6, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
Well! This story has much more in the sense of characterization in it than the other, but that is to be expected when writing in third person, as opposed to first. Silov is quite a good-hearted fellow, isn't he? Or it is a sense of duty, and it is as simple as that, but the characters don't truly reveal themselves in the beginning, not even to the creators. But I do look forward to seeing how this character might evolve and complexify.
Reply
:iconthetinkerthinker:
TheTinkerThinker Featured By Owner Feb 6, 2011
Well, this was supposed to be just a one shot for the literature contest at Werewolves at Heart, but somehow it seems I do write better when not struggling to maintain some kind of predetermined consistency. :)
Reply
:iconrioquin:
RioQuin Featured By Owner Feb 6, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
As long as the writing isn't a struggle, the effect of it always turns out with a great turn out. For a writer, the only struggle that there should be is either wording what you want just right, or meeting a deadline without committing treason in the process (this is especially true with authors with families ^^;) That, and getting published.
Reply
:iconthetinkerthinker:
TheTinkerThinker Featured By Owner Feb 6, 2011
Well... I find that when I'm writing, I already 'know' how it's going to turn out based on how smoothly the story 'writes itself'. This one practically did that, except for a bit of a squeeze at the end, whereas the other one required way too much thinking (for wording that is).

Deadlines (in the case of NaNo) really disrupt the process, and I'm lucky that I don't have to deal with family yet. Published, ah yes... Hoping, hoping...
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:iconhostile-werewolf:
Hostile-WereWolf Featured By Owner Aug 29, 2010  Hobbyist Writer
congrats on first place. very original nothing at all like my entry its definitly a story that stands alone
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:iconthetinkerthinker:
TheTinkerThinker Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2010
Thank you, but I would not be so quick to put down your work. I believe that with some work on punctuation and grammar you can do it too! (you have a good story going but you tried to fit too much into the limit) Here's a tip: try to minimize dialogue where possible :D
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:iconhostile-werewolf:
Hostile-WereWolf Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2010  Hobbyist Writer
Thanks for the tip ill try it next time when im writing
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:iconthetinkerthinker:
TheTinkerThinker Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2010
No problem.
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:iconloupgarouangel:
LoupGarouAngel Featured By Owner Aug 29, 2010
Fantastic piece! And congrats on the first place! :D
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:iconthetinkerthinker:
TheTinkerThinker Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2010
Thank you very much for taking the time to enjoy and comment :)
Reply
:iconkaanamoonshadow:
KaanaMoonshadow Featured By Owner Aug 1, 2010  Professional Digital Artist
G’day,

your artwork has been suggested for a feature by a member of #Realm-of-Fantasy

:frail: [link]

Keep up the excellent work!
~Kaana
Reply
:iconthetinkerthinker:
TheTinkerThinker Featured By Owner Aug 1, 2010
Oh, wow! My first feature! :D

I'll thank Leonca right away. Thanks again. I'll definitely do more writing in the future.
Reply
:iconkaanamoonshadow:
KaanaMoonshadow Featured By Owner Aug 1, 2010  Professional Digital Artist
Good news! ;)
Reply
:iconhareguizer:
Hareguizer Featured By Owner Jul 13, 2010
Brilliant story! I especially like the way you portrayed Silov's character, the mix of instinctive reactions and human cleverness.
Reply
:iconthetinkerthinker:
TheTinkerThinker Featured By Owner Jul 13, 2010
Thank you for reading! :)
I've always thought of wolfmen (or dogmen, in Silov's case) as a mix of intelligence and instinct, which isn't always glamorous.
Reply
:iconhareguizer:
Hareguizer Featured By Owner Jul 16, 2010
I found the blending very believable, and it added to my enjoyment of the story immensely! Thank you. :)
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:iconthetinkerthinker:
TheTinkerThinker Featured By Owner Jul 16, 2010
You're most welcome!
Reply
:iconleonca:
Leonca Featured By Owner Jul 11, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
That was great! The sarcasm in the narrator’s voice is amusing, and I like the different nicknames he comes up with. Mr. Australian Frankenstein is my favorite. =D
Reply
:iconthetinkerthinker:
TheTinkerThinker Featured By Owner Jul 12, 2010
Thank you!
I like humour whenever it suits the mood--you wouldn't be too thrilled with your captors if you were in the narrator's situation, would you?
I can't wait for the opportunity to do a werewolf story in which bad literature references are dropped--as insults.
Reply
:iconwyldhart1395:
wyldhart1395 Featured By Owner Jul 6, 2010
Very good story XD. I like the sense of personality that it has.
Reply
:iconthetinkerthinker:
TheTinkerThinker Featured By Owner Jul 6, 2010
Thank you.
I try to think in terms of personality first, and the rest later--a short story isn't as simple as just characters, plot and setting :D
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:iconwyldhart1395:
wyldhart1395 Featured By Owner Jul 6, 2010
I agree XD
Reply
:iconjacques-chat:
Jacques-Chat Featured By Owner Jul 5, 2010
Good job...I was scratching my head for a while with the plot but the ending is good...poor guy though.
Reply
:iconthetinkerthinker:
TheTinkerThinker Featured By Owner Jul 5, 2010
Thanks!
That's how I write, I don't like to give away too much too soon.
Poor guy? Perhaps, but such is the way of martyrs.
Reply
:iconlightinmymind:
LightInMyMind Featured By Owner Jul 4, 2010  Student Writer
This was great! Good luck, I'm planning on entering the contest too.
Reply
:iconthetinkerthinker:
TheTinkerThinker Featured By Owner Jul 5, 2010
Thank you very much!
I look forward to your entry too!
Reply
:iconkoolkat104:
koolkat104 Featured By Owner Jul 4, 2010  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Wow. Nice twist! I really loved it =) Keep it up and good luck in the contest! I'm entering, too.
Reply
:iconthetinkerthinker:
TheTinkerThinker Featured By Owner Jul 5, 2010
Thanks!
I wish you luck as well, friend.
Reply
:iconkoolkat104:
koolkat104 Featured By Owner Jul 5, 2010  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Well, thank you!
Reply
:iconspamdragon:
SpamDragon Featured By Owner Jul 2, 2010  Hobbyist Writer
This was well thought out. I enjoyed it a lot! :D
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:iconthetinkerthinker:
TheTinkerThinker Featured By Owner Jul 3, 2010
You're welcome!
I wish you luck too with your entry.
Reply
:iconspamdragon:
SpamDragon Featured By Owner Jul 3, 2010  Hobbyist Writer
Thanks! You too! :D
Reply
:iconharbinger-of-rage:
Harbinger-of-Rage Featured By Owner Jul 2, 2010
I like this. The twist is great and clears up some of the more open ended bits in the beginning. The only thing I would suggest is that Mr. is an abbreviation and it should have a period at the end. Also, in paragraph 28 the line "but as a intelligent," should have "an" instead of "a". That's all that I see as far as improvement goes. Interesting story
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:iconthetinkerthinker:
TheTinkerThinker Featured By Owner Jul 3, 2010
Mistakes duly noted,and changed.
Thank you very much for taking the time to enjoy my story. :)
Reply
:iconchristohpera:
christohpera Featured By Owner Jul 2, 2010  Hobbyist Artist
^w^ I like it! Definitely different from the usual "waking up shackled to a chair and don't remember what happened etc.".
Write moar~ :3
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:iconthetinkerthinker:
TheTinkerThinker Featured By Owner Jul 2, 2010
:)
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:icongreywave:
greywave Featured By Owner Jul 2, 2010
The plot twist was unexpected.
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:iconthetinkerthinker:
TheTinkerThinker Featured By Owner Jul 2, 2010
Really? Nowadays I find that almost every story has 'Le Plot Tweest'.
:iconlegaspplz:
The trick is finding a plot twist that actually makes sense. Thanks!
Reply
:icongreywave:
greywave Featured By Owner Jul 2, 2010
They can have plot twists, but they are not always as good as this.
Reply
:iconthetinkerthinker:
TheTinkerThinker Featured By Owner Jul 2, 2010
Thanks again for taking the time to read :D
Reply
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