A. Quinton — Mar. 3rd 2013
Last year I was lucky enough to have a short story I wrote included in the Hic Dragones anthology Wolf-Girls: Dark Tales of Teeth, Claws and Lycogyny, edited by Hannah Kate. “The Librarian”, which was the first piece of fiction I’d written in years, and which is also my first published work ever, is a short look at the changing fortunes of Alexis LaPierre (depicted above in full “please return your books on time” mode by the talented and generous Viergacht). Alexis becomes a werewolf at a young age and under tragic circumstances, and as she grows up, she finds that hedonistic escapism might not be the healthiest lifestyle for her (to say nothing of her victims). Here’s an excerpt:
Killing the pilot annihilated my delusions of animal nobility. I was no longer hunting solely for sustenance. People were food, but they were also a wonderful source of pleasure.
Given proper motivation, humans are capable of astounding cunning and endurance. I once stalked a man for nine hours along the shore of Lac La Ronge, breathing his fear and determination like the bouquet of an exotic wine. When he finally stood his ground, he had enough stamina left to break three of my fingers. His flesh was stringy, but I have enjoyed few meals more.
I was gone for eight years, ten months and twenty-three days. In that time I twice traversed the space between the Gulf of St. Lawrence and the Pacific Ocean, devouring campers, hikers, forestry workers and runaways. I don’t know how many people I’ve killed. If that seems strange, ask yourself how many cigarettes you smoked last year, or how many times you’ve masturbated. Some forms of self-indulgence aren’t quantifiable.
I had seceded from humanity, but I couldn’t maintain my isolation forever. Needled by an inexplicable desire for human contact that didn’t end in violent death, I would shed my feral form and hitchhike along the Trans-Canada Highway, gravitating to the nearest city.
These pilgrimages were always novel at first. Despite my separation from the world of people, I blended in – another hollow-eyed young woman with a donation-bin wardrobe no particular place to be. By day I wandered, transfixed and over-stimulated by the prismatic textures flowing from the city and its people. At night I ate transients, prostitutes or security guards, then slept in dingy motel rooms paid for with money taken from their bodies.
This would last a week or two, and then one morning I would wake choking on panic and loathing. The subsequent flight from the city – half-naked sprints across municipal golf courses and forest-edged subdivisions – was always punctuated with oaths to never return.
Months would pass, sometimes as much as a year, before the desire found me again, but it always did – a distant voice echoing among the trees, calling for a girl who went camping with her family and never came back.
If you’re interested in reading more of The Librarian, plus 16 tales by other authors whose contributions make me feel exceedingly lucky to be included, you can obtain a copy of Wolf-Girls from the following places:
Thanks to Hannah Kate and Hic Dragones to having me, Tandye for tolerating me while I was writing the story, Viergacht for illustrating Alexis, and you, the Werewolf News visitor, for reading my blog and indulging this not-entirely-shameless self-promotion.