I must admit, my stomach flipped when I heard the name. I opened the books before me. One was a collection of newspaper articles and personal accounts of encounters with the Deraque garou under its Anglicized name, dating back almost 200 years. This was of less interest to me than the professor’s book.
It started out with an explanation of the garou. In some ways, it seemed indeed to function like classic werewolfism. A person might be bitten by this garou and find that he now was such a creature and had an insatiable, uncontrollable hunger for human blood. The curious thing was that, since the hunger was uncontrollable, the poor cursed soul would almost inevitably kill his victims. However, if he managed to bite someone and ingest their blood without killing them, his curse would pass along to them and he would be free of it.
In this way, the garou did not seem so terrible. There could be only one person so accursed at a time and, if that person were killed and their body disposed of in the proper manner—burned to ashes—the curse was broken. It was, then, incredibly unlikely that anyone would admit to being a garou, since the only cure was infecting someone else, which the community would not stand for, or death and proper disposal.
But the professor explained that the curse had a more insidious aspect—if the body of the garou was not properly burned to ashes, if it was, say, just buried or left on a hillside, the garou retained some limited powers to infect the living. Pass too near its grave and you might find yourself listless, tired, anemic as the garou feeds on you. To die from the attack of a dead garou was bad enough, but there seemed to be at least anecdotal evidence that some believed that a dead garou, if powerful enough, could create more garous from his living victims. In this way, it was very difficult for a community that didn’t know to burn the body away to nothing to ever escape the curse of the garou.
This may be my favorite part of the story. “Oh, it’s not so bad. You just have to fuck someone else up or die yourself.”
What makes your writing so brilliantly insidious, madam, is that it’s so LOGICAL. “Of course it would be a werewolf. Of course. There could be no other explanation. Huh.”
And then we come to our senses for a moment, with an expression like Munch’s screamer on our faces, and say, “She did it again!”
Then we read some more.
You gifted thing, you. :)
(I also am amazed by, thoroughly agree with and heartily endorse your Poet Hank post. Just too lazy to comment in two places.)