by TS Caladan
It was a splendid dinner of a stuffed, cool pig and a few rabbits on the side. The Lycanine servant made sure there was enough rat soup to go around for the family and their special guest of honor. Young son, Targar, brought his fiancé, Flem, home to his prestigious, dark, dank castle. The special occasion was not as awkward as proud son had thought for the ‘first meeting’ between wife-to-be and his parents: Blake and Emily Romanoff.
But the night was young…
Loud, snarling noises and eating sounds were heard throughout dinner. Fangs tore into pig-flesh and claws clutched old, sculpted goblets. The Romanoffs and guest gorged themselves and washed down the pig and rabbits with quarts of fresh blood.
The Lycanine quietly and obediently placed more morsels of assorted after-meats on the massive wooden table in the monolithic castle that was once owned by the real Romanoffs.
[Today the 2-legged Wolfs assumed everything, all possessions that were once owned by their vampire masters who walked on four legs. Vampire counts, countesses, barons, baronesses and other royalty have become extinct at the hands of their slaves on the small and very bleak planetoid known only as Dragos. The Wolf Clan, once tortured slaves of vampires, now ruled a world that they inherited. With strong arms and two legs, Wolves once constructed the castles and cared for the coffins. First generation of freed Wolves also assumed the names of their former masters while the next generation of Beasts chose their own names].
Final growls and dinner digestion sounds died down to soft whispers of satisfaction.
The servant left the big stone, torch-lit room.
“Would you like more pink meat or the not so pink meat, dear?” Lady Romanoff asked of her son’s fiancé.
The attractive she-Wolf answered, “I am full. No, wouldn’t think of it, M’Lady. My, it was a fine meal…”
“Oh, c’mon,” replied the older she-Wolf. Lady Emily presided over the surprise ‘special occasion’ while the Lycanines prepared the food. “This was short notice...” She looked at her husband, Blake.
The old Wolf-father smiled and nodded. He looked at Targar with wrinkled ‘approval’ on his hairy face.
The young Wolf beamed with happiness. He was also very concerned. He wondered: What would happen in about 20 minutes?
His wife continued, “…We prepared what we could with this, ah…brilliant news.” She looked at the couple; they seemed much in love. “Sudden engagement, although it seems like wonderful news, yes?”
Blake assured them, “Believe me, you two. We are both very pleased for you. You make a fine couple of Romanoffs.” The patriarch waved his pipe with glee. “Beautiful girl, son. You sure know how to pick’m.”
“Thanks, Dad. You’ll love Flem.”
The young she-Wolf batted her long lashes and showed more of her fangs in a big smile. “You’re sweet,” Flem responded, then turned to Blake. “You’re so knowledgeable, sir. Do you mind questions, some questions on what really happened years ago? I have parents that aren’t too sure what happened in the old days.”
Emily commented to her son, “Oh, she’s a keeper, Targ. Curious one.”
“By all means, my dear,” Mr. Romanoff answered. Many legends have circulated over the ages.”
Targar added, “I tried to tell her that your stories are true, Dad. But she didn’t believe me.”
“She didn’t? Ha.” The he-Wolf inhaled smoke from his pipe again. Then he checked the time as a giant hourglass in the corner nearly emptied its top portion.
Emily smiled and stated, “We’ll have to convince dear Flem of a few things, tonight. She appears…open-minded.” The matriarch’s face hid a multitude of secrets.
Flem finished her goblet of fresh blood and stated, “Yes, so many conflicting stories, exaggerations, contradictions about the war…”
“You mean the war with the vampires?” Blake quickly interjected.
“Ha.” Mrs. Romanoff had to laugh.
“No, no, my dear. It wasn’t a war with our masters.” He looked at his son.
“You’re a respected authority, sir. You mean what your son told me is true?” the Wolf-girl asked, extremely interested in the real history of Dragos.
Emily also finished her grey goblet and expressed, “Absolutely.”
Blake declared, “Well, Flem. If he told you one brave and daring Wolf, who later took his master’s name of Lord Rothschild, convinced the other Wolfs to revolt, then that particular story is the truth.”
The wild, hairy girl with razor-sharp claws still could not believe it. “You mean there was no battle, no bloody fields, no vampire destructions into oblivion or, or…a massacre for the glory of our race?”
The Romanoffs laughed.
Now Emily checked the time. She looked at her family and newest member intently and worried: Would the love of her son’s life be so understanding when she learned more…in a matter of minutes?
Blake coaxed his son to state exactly what he informed his fiancé.
Targar said sincerely, “I told her what you told me, Dad. You were there. You were one of them…”
“Who did what?” the father asked the boy.
“You, along with each Wolfen slave, decided to all act as one after ‘Lord Rothschild’ realized how you could easily be freed. You dragged, everyone in unison, dragged your master’s and lady’s coffins out into the fields during Dragos’ one hour of pure sunlight…that’s what I told her. Then you opened the lids.” Targ held back a lot from her. Tonight everything would be revealed.
His mother smirked and asked him a question she already knew: “Did you also tell her what the Wolves did right after they opened the coffin lids?”
“No, what?” the girl asked with big eyes and long teeth.
Lady Emily laughed and told her the truth. “Ha, ha. The boys RAN like the frightened animals they were! Ha! Ah, ha.”
She made the others laugh as well.
“I didn’t know that,” Targar confessed. “I can imagine your fears, Dad. You were under their spell for centuries. Heard ‘bout what you guys found later, the charred/burned out remains.”
“Really? Ha. Some war massacre.” Flem was amazed at truth. “You simply, opened lids?”
Blake inquired, “Anything more you’d like to ask, dear?” He glanced at the time.
Emily understood what was contained within her husband’s glance.
“So much. Where did the vampires come from, in the beginning? Why did they have you build castles and furniture for two-legged creatures when they had four? Was it fate?”
Targar spoke, “I can answer. They came from another planet where they appeared on two legs and assumed various animal forms. Dragos was their home, a dark-energy source where they appeared in their true shapes. The odd architecture must have, I don’t know: reflected that abandoned, lost planet where they walked upright and sucked blood. A theory…” stated Targar.
“Good one, son. Anything else, Flem?”
“Oh, sure.” She was caught off guard and thought for a short moment. “Okay. Some of our generation wonder, wonder about the Lycanines…”
The patriarch was quick. “I know what you’re going to ask. How can we former slaves, right? How can we make slaves of the Lycanines?” Blake comfortably blew a smoke ring.
“Yes, exactly. By the way, I liked the cute floppy ears on your server, tonight.”
Blake answered her deep question: “Maybe it’s natural, to be on the other end of the stick? You and your generation are right, Flem. It isn’t right. Maybe in time, your generation will correct that flaw in ourselves?”
“Let’s hope for the best,” Emily agreed and her wrinkled face formed a wide smile.
Mr. Romanoff continued, “Funny thing is…our offspring with big dogs, eh? They WANT to serve us. They are loyal to the core and find pleasure or great purpose in serving us, a higher class creature. They are not oppressed, abused workers. We accept the Canines’ services and care for them with respect and dignity.”
Flem thought more. She was a thoughtful Wolf. “Still not right. Maybe some short day on Dragos, they’ll lead a revolution against their masters?”
“Good one, Flem.” Blake applauded the girl.
“I really like her, Targ.” Emily burst with pride as she faced her son. Her expression soon changed to fear as she once again spied the hourglass. She glared into her hairy husband’s eyes.
The Moon was ready to rise.
“Mother and I will retire to the sitting room. You kids can join us in a moment.” Blake casually smiled as if tonight was any normal evening on Dragos. It wasn’t. He hid his concern. He and wife stood up nervously, shook a little and left the dark and dusty room.
Flem started to organize the plates and be useful…
Targar stopped her with, “Leave it, please. Rawlph will clean up the mess. He loves it.”
Her strong claws dropped the dishes and nearly cracked them. “Whoops.” She smiled.
He held her tight. They passionately kissed a big and hairy kiss. He stroked her.
Then she broke the affectionate mood and loving embrace with a brilliant thought. “A little bat told me there’s a few things your family’s been hiding.”
“Why do you say that, love?” Targar asked, now the curious and nervous one.
Flem pointed firmly at the hourglass in the corner. “Never seen glass that big. In a minute all the sand will be at the bottom. Something’s going to happen, right? They kept looking at it.”
Targar knew he was marrying one intelligent Wolf. Here goes… “We…how do I say it?”
Her big hands were placed on her wide hips. “Say it.”
“We have a family secret…”
Flem was intrigued. “Which is?”
“In a m-minute you’ll see for yourself.” He suddenly shook and could not control one arm.
“Lord! Targ, are you Okay? Are you sick with something? What’s going to happen?” There was fear in Flem’s powerful, brown eyes.
He held her and she also shook a bit. “Do you love me?” he asked her very seriously.
“Trust me now. Wait one minute and then come, ah, Lord…ah, ah, come join us, yes? Will you do that, Flem?”
“Of course I will, dear,” she said sincerely. Sensitive Flem had no concept what to expect.
Young master Romanoff exited the castle dining area in a hurry and in great fear.
The young fiancé noticed a vision she could not explain that appeared on her lover’s face. She was baffled and scratched her big head. Flem waited a minute and saw the last sand particles drop in the glass. She proceeded through a dank and dirty doorway.
The confused Wolf-girl saw a room at the end of the torch-lit hall. Sounds she could not identify were barely heard. When Flem entered the brightly-lit, stone enclosure, from her point of view, she observed…
The Romanoff family of Romanoff Castle had changed into ‘monsters.’
“Aaaah!!” She was very frightened from her long ears to her sharp hooves. The girl was more than shocked to see her young lover and his parents in ghastly, gruesome forms. She was terrified. She hid the fear to an extent as best the poor Wolf could. But she franticly shook, which gave away her real feelings.
Apparently, this was the big family secret. Her soon-to-be husband was cursed with being a WEREMAN or ‘wereboy’ and spawned from ‘were-people’ that from time to time, changed into hideous creatures. For a moment, she had the thought: They must be pure evil and she was under a terrible, magical spell (like vampires). Or they remained under a vampire’s spell? Flem saw that the family made a toast, drank cups of tea and had pictures and cookies on the table. Loving decorations that hung from the walls were for the proud son who was now a soft, small, pathetic, pink, hairless, horrible…
Why were they so happy in this weak state? She thought: I’m marrying into THIS?
“Would you like to sit down, dear?” Soft, pink, pretty and human Emily asked in the same tone as the dinner conversation, as if nothing in the world was wrong.
Little Targar turned his human head toward his big, hairy lover and meekly said, “Flem.”
“Aah!” Flem screamed as she sat down on one of the chairs in slow motion, quite weirdly. In her mind, sheer madness was all around her. What Black Magic was this?
Human Blake made a face that was supposed to be funny, but only repulsed the Wolf-girl.
Emily said, “I’m sure you didn’t expect this sort of thing, tonight. Did you, Flem, dear?”
The fiancé muttered things to herself no one heard clearly.
The tender (luscious-looking) matriarch offered, “Tea? Cookies?”
Flem shook her big head for NO and she shook for other reasons.
Targar assured her, “It will be all right, Sweetie. Relax. Nothing to fear, darling.”
Emily tried to calm the terrified Wolf. “Nothing to worry about. Oh. It’s a normal thing around Romanoff Castle, eh?”
Targar’s betrothed grabbed a drink. She yelled, “Lord!” when the tea touched her large mouth. She threw the drink with full force. Flem gagged and growled questions: “Why are you wearing, ah, what? Clothes? Never mind. For how long will, will, will this last? And, and w-why?”
Blake informed her as if he again expressed a history lesson: “For the duration that the Moon is up. We have hours before we return to normal. And only on the full Moon does this happen, so it will be tomorrow night as well…”
“This is going to happen tomorrow night, too?” Inside Flem, she freaked to the max.
“I’m afraid so, dear,” Mrs. Romanoff replied sweetly.
Blake continued, “You see, the oddest thing happened long ago. The real Lady Rothschild, the vampire and master of our liberator, must have had a ‘kind spot’ for one of the natives from that planet where they stood upright. She was able to ‘kidnap’ a youngling human native and materialized the baby here on Dragos…”
“What?” Flem asked but hardly listened. She was too dazed from her new reality for his words to register in her animalistic mind. She only saw red~
“…But during the Great Purge when all masters were destroyed, the ‘human’ was found. The Lady must have loved the baby and kept the pink creature safely hidden away from her Lord and the other vampires that would have surely killed it. On the day of the Purge, the baby was eaten upon discovery by a Wolf. That Wolf was my father. My father’s sin and the man-curse have been passed down through every generation of our family, Flem. We hope you understand.”
Targar sadly told her, “That goes for…our children as well. They’ll carry it also. But it’s not so bad, dear. Really.”
Flem was close to the point of a furious explosion inside of her big and powerful body. It never occurred to her until this second that their children would also be ‘carriers’ and spread the ‘human’ epidemic. It was too much. Her bloodshot eyes enlarged. She breathed very heavy. The Beast-fiancé of the current pink-boy only asked one more question. It took all of her energy to act calm for the moment: “Are, are there more families on Dragos with it? Who, ah…who else is cursed with this?”
Old Blake answered truthfully. “Just us three. We’re the only family infected. We only eat woodland animals, dear. Don’t worry. Ha. Ha. You’re not on the menu.”
It was the wrong thing to say to her for what she thought. In fact, the very smart and intuitive she-Wolf was not thinking at all, when…
She suddenly and violently tore apart every limb of the weak, puny, pink family in utter rage! Then, she mindlessly ate most of the three Romanoffs…
The desperate and insane act of the Beast did not alleviate the ‘Human Problem’ on the dark planetoid of two-legged Wolves. The next evening, the silver Moon rose once again. Now there was only a lone WEREWOMAN on Dragos ~
How to order novels by TS Caladan
- http://www.twbpress.com/authortraycaladan.html Promo-page from publisher: TWB Press in Colorado
- TWB Press in Colorado
or go to publisher’s site: TWBPRESS.COM
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TS Caladan's 3-Book "Traylogy" can be purchased thru TWB Press.
9" x 6" books with cover art are less than $18.00. EBooks are $3.99.