You cautiously approach the den, reaching out to feel the deep scratches in the bark of the trees you pass. The nasty crack and squelch of bone and flesh giving way resounds through the cave, but you bravely enter nonetheless. The trail of blood leads to a massive animal, ferociously ripping off parts of the unrecognizable heap of pelt and gristle that it looms over. Its ears twitch, and it halts its feast. There is a flash of teeth, fur, and rippling muscle.
You come to your senses, and find yourself collapsed outside the den under the full moon. Every nerve in your body is screaming. You feel blood seeping through the torn sleeve of your shirt, and your body begins to change.
"BLOOD POOLING ON THE CANVAS AS THE ATMOSPHERE GETS HUSHED
BRING YOUR HEROES TO THE WOLF DEN, WATCH THEM ALL GET CRUSHED"
Werewolves are perhaps the folkloric creature I have the deepeest history with. To fully detail my connection to the werewolf, this page will require some deep soul baring and some embarrassing school story sharing. I hope I am able to do my experiences justice.
This story begins in elementary school. I adamantly believed that I was a werewolf. This fact I claimed to know caused no distress to me, and was in fact a great well of strength and comfort. I was proud of being a werewolf. I didn't give a fuck if people scorned me for being weird, because I got to go out at night and howl at the moon with my pack.
This pride in my lycanthropic condition was unfortunately exploited by my classmates. They knew I was willing to talk about it, so they would frequently ask me if it was true that I was a werewolf. I, of course, would confirm their suspicions. They would then take this opportunity to generally make fun of me and ask me to prove it, and the ensuing fuss would cause teachers to step in.
This belief morphed as I got older. When I entered middle school my parents got me an iPod touch, which allowed me much more frequent unhindered access to the internet. Through the ancient looking Youtube app, I stumbled upon the therian community. I began wearing a tail clipped onto my belt loop that was frequently tugged and broken by schoolmates, and was the alpha of a pack. It caused a lot of bullying, but I felt so welcomed and understood by my newfound community.
The older and more "respectable" therian youtubers would say that "p-shifting" (therian lingo for physical transformation into an animal) was impossible. But I still was half-convinved that at night I was somehow geting out through my closed window only to crawl back into bed before morn, waking up to mysterious scratches and amnesia concerning the night's activities.
While I no longer interact with the therian community I had been a part of and find my transformation abilities lacking, my connection to wolves and werewolves lives on in my otherkin and fictionkin identity. With that personal history lesson out of the way, I can begin detailing why I love werewolves so.
As is typical for my folkloric fascinations, I believe a lot of my connection to werewolves is associated with my being transgender and autistic. I have a deep connection to all animals, and as a child I read many books on wolves. I wished people were like wolves, where their feelings were much easier to interpret with very obvious body language accompanying it. Along with unrecognized dysphoria, I felt out of place in my own body and among other people. I did not know what being trans was, and Twilight was in vogue, so hey... maybe I feel like a stranger to others and myself because I am actually a wolf living a double life?
Another aspect of my relating to werewolves was my anger issues. In my mother's words, I was a "hellion" as a child. The littlest things could set me off, and I'd scream, break my own things, and choke on my own spit to the point of nearly vomiting. As a very young child I remember I had a habit of "transforming" when I got upset. I would spin in place, then make claws with my hands. I guess compartmentalizing my anger into a seperate, animalistic persona made me feel less guilty about it?
I don't consume a ton of werewolf media surprisingly. Not nearly as much as I consume of vampire media at least. As bad as Twilight is, and as racist the werewolf deal is, I did as a child enjoy their near instant and on command transformation and depiction as just giant fucking wolves. As I've gotten older, I have learned to accept and enjoy werewolves as tragic figures, and my favorite werewolf movie is Ginger Snaps (2000, dir. John Fawcett).
I love Vampire the Masquerade, yet I know very little about the World of Darkness' Werewolf: The Apocalypse. Maybe once Earthblood comes out I'll play it and see how I like it. :-)