Lycanthropes

For thousands of years we have been the guardians. We have watched over villages, farms, and cottages. We have kept your gardens clear of hares, your fields free from ravens, and your livestock safe from our cousin canis lupus. You have seen us in shadow and felt our presence when the winter wind makes you fasten that top button of your coat.

We once numbered in the millions. Like the buffalo we covered the land. Keeping men, women, and children safe. Helping them to multiply and grow. And as mankind spread to the six continents, so did we.

Then you developed new technologies. Electric fences. High powered rifles. Broadband poisons. Your food source was secure. And we were seldom needed.

Without your need, we began to die out. First from the townships of Europe. Then the Asian mountains. We thought we were stronger in the Southern Hemisphere. But in the Australian Outback and the Amazon Forest no more of our kind were born. We even disappeared from the African continent.  From Cairo to Capetown, every one of us is but a memory.

And now we are so few that a small meadow could hold us all. While we try to convince ourselves that we are still important. We safeguard you after all. But it is a lie. We know you no longer need us. The old ways are gone. And soon so will we.

We are the Lycanthropes. And this is our story.

My Friday the 13th Story, What’s Yours?

Long ago, when I was too young to have the life’s experiences I do now, I thought of Friday the 13th as just another day.

I was so naive.

Friday the 13th is a  harbinger for the supernatural. A day when the doorways between death and life swing perilously.

I was a young mother raising two kids the best I could. It was a Saturday and I had promised to take them to see The Incredibles matinee.  But as usual, I tried to do too much and was running late. I strapped both of them into their seats, revved up the old Volvo, and stepped on the gas.

We were halfway down the long drive when, boom. Thud.

I slammed on the brakes.

“What was that, Mommy?” Jess asked.

Heart pounding, I got out of the car and looked under. There lay our black cat, Cuzie, matted fur around her sweet head.

I started to tear up.

“Do something,” Nick, who had jumped out of the car, ordered, a desperate plea in his voice.

Gently I scooped up the gentlest cat we’d ever had, placed her in Jess’s lap and started racing for the local vet. Both kids crooned to Cuzie telling her it would be okay in one breath, chastising my stupid driving with the next.

With shaking hands I carried her into the office calling, “I hit my cat! She’s hurt. Help me.”

The receptionist immediately ushered us into an exam room and within seconds the vet was there. He placed Cuzie on the table, and began to probe gently with his fingers. The kids and I stood by, stiff  bodied, barely breathing.

After about five minutes he declared that Cuzie was fine, but should have quiet place to rest. “And keep an eye out. If you notice any change, call me,” he said caressing Cuzie’s ears.

Back home we placed her bed in a little nook near the back door, gave her water and a soft blanket, and stroked her back.

She mewed and snuggled down to go to sleep.

It was still early so we headed to the theater. Even got there on time.

To this day, my question remains. Was Friday the 13th bad luck for us because we hit Cuzie? Or did a black cat crossing our path on that fateful day counteract bad fortune, saving her life.

You decide.

But tell me, what mysterious things have happened to you on Friday the 13th?