After my first column was published two weeks ago, it didn’t take more than an hour before I received an angry phone call from Livia in New York. The Sisterhood of the Wolf had tolerated my publishing activities so far, she said, because everyone would assume that it was all fiction. If I now began answering questions from the public, however, then verification of my existence would be possible – at least by those who submit questions to the column.
That Livia would not be amused didn’t come as a surprise, as this is not the first time I have ruffled her fur. She wasn’t too happy having to retrieve me from that Mexican hotel either, after drug lords had shot me full of silver bullets. “Ask Andronica!” is simply the latest in my long history of irresponsible actions. They don’t call me the black wolf of the family for nothing.
Criticism from the Sisterhood will not stop this column from continuing. The overwhelmingly positive response so far is proof that werewolves need a place to turn with their problems, just as humans do. We may be horrible monsters (at least on bad hair days), but inside every lethal lycanthrope is a glamour werewolf just waiting for my next fashion tip.
Now on to this week’s questions.
I am a weredog who is in love with a werewolf. The cultural chasm is often a big problem. Whenever we go out we often argue because she wants to kill everyone in the place.
The other night we were at a very nice restaurant and just before the entrees arrived she leaned toward me and said, “I must kill the waiter.” I, of course, told her no, that she could not. This led to a major fight. But, of course, the make-up sex was amazing. Thank Dog for our accelerated recuperative powers.
I know that it is taboo for me to be involved with a werewolf. But it feels so good to taste of the dark side.
Your e-mail doesn’t really ask a question, but I am assuming that you would like advice on your relationship. First of all, we know that most dogs are wannabe wolves. It’s in your genes. Blame the humans for breeding out the noble beast and turning you into Poodles and Chihuahuas. So it’s only natural that, in an effort to recapture your lupine heritage, you would be attracted to a she-wolf, especially since your girlfriend sounds really hot (phone number, please).
From the photo included in your e-mail, I can see that you’re not one of the wimpier dog breeds, so it’s even possible that the attraction is mutual, at least for now. But consider what will happen down the road. She obviously cannot control her instincts, and it would be unfair to expect this of her. Sooner or later your cultural differences will lead to unpleasant consequences. Imagine, for example, if you were to get married, and she eats all the wedding guests. Viewed positively, this would mean no problems with in-laws, but very likely you will regret if your buddies are served up as the main course at the banquet. How about raising kids? Will they become man’s best friend or live at the top of the food chain?
As I see it, you have three possible alternatives: 1) enjoy the sex while you can, until she bites once too often in the wrong place, 2) consider therapy to bring out your own inner wolf, then chow down on the waiter together, or 3) break up with your girlfriend, find a nice female weredog, have lots of werepuppies, and dream of past and future lives howling at the full moon.
Good luck finding the right choice for you,
Dear Lady Andronica,
I’m in a very dark place right now. A little over a year ago, I was coerced into being turned by a colleague of mine who I learned was not from Minneapolis, as he had claimed, but was actually a werewolf and also former boyar of the minor Russian duchy of Pskov back in the 15th century.
The first few months weren’t that bad. The things I thought would be the most difficult (faking my own death, learning to appreciate the sweet taste of living blood, shaving…) turned out to not be a big deal at all. But I can’t get over all the killing. Whenever my instinctual appetite for violence and flesh takes over, I feel terribly guilty when I come around and realize that I killed somebody. It’s not so bad when it’s just deer or livestock, but humanity may just be a recent enough memory for me that I still feel some sympathy for them.
Does it ever get easier?
Thanks in advance,
Someone Always Dies
You ask the toughest question a werewolf ever has to face, and each of us must find his or her own answer to this most difficult dilemma. I can only speak to you from my own experience in lycanthropy, which began in the year 1748 at the age of thirteen, for reasons which were unknown to me at the time (I was not “turned”). My first victim was my beloved cousin Bronwyn, followed by several townspeople from my village in Wales. After realising what I had done, the guilt was so overwhelming that I contemplated suicide, and even had some silver bullets made for the purpose. At the last possible moment, my hand was stayed when a letter arrived – depicted on its seal was the She-Wolf of Rome – explaining that I was part of something much bigger than my own small predicament, and that I had a destiny to fulfil. The letter also suggested techniques which could be employed to control my transformations.
After being sent to live in London with my notorious Aunt Margaret, I learned about my true heritage in the Sisterhood of the Wolf and began practicing the control exercises. At first I was not able to keep the beast in check, and killed nine men in a single evening (described in my last column). Nevertheless, I came to realise that I was only following my instincts, and that these were now part of my lycanthropic nature. For a while, I was able to keep the wolf-woman under control and led a “normal” life. I even fell in love for the first time, and I was happier than ever before. Then, on my fifteenth birthday, Sophie insisted that I sleep with her, to which I foolishly agreed, though I had been warned never to lie with a human woman. The result was a tragedy which I have regretted every day of my life.
In my crushing guilt after Sophie’s murder, I once again called everything into question, including my own right to live when she had died such a gruesome and senseless death. It was only through the intervention and counsel of my music teacher, the famous composer Handel, that I learned to accept myself as I am. Of course, Handel knew nothing of my lycanthropy, but he confessed his own secret attraction for men, and taught me that unconditional self-acceptance was the most important step towards leading a life of dignity and self-respect.
I took Handel’s advice and accepted my true nature. The regret remained, but at least I was absolved of guilt. However, I also recognised that my nature is to kill, and, without denying or condemning the beast within, I vowed to keep her under control. She is part of me, and I am responsible for her actions. More than two hundred and sixty years have passed since Sophie’s death, and I have killed many times since then, but always out of choice, when the situation required. I remember every single face and regret the necessity which forces me to kill – just as a soldier regrets the necessity of taking life in wartime (if he or she still has a conscience) – but I bear no guilt.
I give you the same advice which was given to me centuries ago. Accept yourself and accept your nature. If your own moral core abhors the killing of humans, then take every possible step to prevent this from happening. But should you fail, despite your best efforts, then do not think badly of yourself.
Wishing you courage and wisdom,
P.S. It sounds like your Russian colleague might be an Apostate. If you send me his vital statistics, the Sisterhood will ensure that he disappears without a trace.
How I came to terms with the moral dilemmas of lycanthropy in my early years, and the role played by the Sisterhood of the Wolf, are among the central themes in Night Music, the first volume of Memoirs of an Eighteenth-Century Werewolf, now available from Amazon.
The next instalment of “Ask Andronica!” will appear on 14 March 2014. Send in your questions now!