Challenges in a Werewolf's Daily Life 1: The Train
I’m on a train. They turned the lights off while we were waiting to depart. I’ve never seen something like that happen. Trouble? I wish I wasn’t travelling on my own. I knew something was going to go wrong. Yuriy’s idea that other are more scared of me than I am of them is not true. Is this the wrong train? Everything seems to be turned off. Even the doors. There are three other people in this carriage. Two human women and a man who reeks of magic. Witch. Nobody can get out. A man came through the doors to the cabin. I tried to mind my own business as he passed by me, but he must have noticed something strange. He asked to see my ticket, even though he passed by the other passengers and didn’t say anything. ‘We found it. Come to the front cabin,’ he said on his radio as soon as he saw my ID. ‘You behave, boy, and nothing bad will happen to you. Now come with me.’ The man grabbed my arm and pulled me up. What had I done wrong? I wasn’t breaking any law. Where was he going to take me? ‘Excuse me, but why are you removing this boy? He has not disturbed any of the other passengers.’ The witch stood up too. The man holding me wasn’t deterred by the interruption. ‘I’m following orders. This boy needs to be removed from the train.’ ‘Why? He has a valid ticket. He has as much right to travel in this service as do the rest of us.’ The man’s answer was to pull back the sleeve on my right arm, revealing my serial number tattoo to everyone. The women screamed, but the witch merely flinched. ‘It’s new moon today. I don’t see what the fuss is about.’ ‘We received complains that a passenger was feeling threatened by a werewolf, so we must remove him.’ ‘Have you? None of the passengers here were aware that he is a werewolf until you outed him to us, so this complain you speak about did not come from here. Are you sure you are not just making up an excuse to remove a perfectly rule-abiding costumer because of your own prejudices?’ ‘Are you saying you don’t mind sharing a cabin with his beast?’ The man pulled my arm for emphasis. It hurt, but I couldn’t cry out. I couldn’t attract even more attention to myself. It would make things much worse. ‘I don’t have a problem with it. Like I said, it is new moon today. Werewolves cannot hurt us.’ ‘We don’t want it here!’ One of the women pointed at me. ‘We don’t feel safe!’ ‘See, we do have complains.’ The man smirked and turned to me. ‘We don’t need your kind giving us a bad reputation.’ He started dragging me out again. I didn’t say anything. I couldn’t let this get any worse. ‘It’s a shame, because you just got a bad reputation for me.’ The witch walked out of the train. I joined him a few seconds later, when I was literally thrown out. The witch stood next to me while I tried to regain my balance and soothe the pain where the man had grabbed my arm. ‘I’m sorry I couldn’t stop it. Do you have another way to get to your destination?’ The witch smiled at me. ‘Other than walking? No.’ If the trip was an hour on the train, how long would it take on foot? ‘I will try to sort something out, then. Was this trip urgent?’ The train left the platform. The smell of burning fuel hit me full on the face and filled my lungs in a horrible way. ‘I’m here for work, and I was going back to the office now.’ The witch made a funny face. ‘Work? You don’t work for the SEG, by any chance?’ ‘How do you know?’ ‘I can’t think of any other place that would hire a werewolf in the capital. And I work with them sometimes, so I know they were looking for a new staff member a while ago.’ ‘Yes, that’s me. I’ve been working there for two months now.’ ‘It’s a pleasure to meet you. My name is Roderich Schmitt.’ He offered his hand for me to shake. My first instinct was to refuse it - too many people feing politeness at first so they can humiliate me when I drop my guard. But if Roderich worked with the SEG and knew us (not to mention the fact I was sure he was one of us), he wouldn’t do that. ‘I’m Luca Verardi.’ I shook his hand. ‘It’s a pleasure to meet you too.’ ‘I’m sorry we have been introduced in such horrible circumstances. Forgive me if I’m being rude, but you seem considerably younger than the rest of the staff.’ ‘I’m 16. I think they hired me as a way to take me away from the School. It’s horrible there. Still gives me the chills.’ ‘I’ve heard about it. I was at a conference where your colleague Yuriy was explaining to clueless, but sympathetic humans about the horrors of a place built to isolate and stigmatise werewolves. I’m sorry you had to go through this.’ ‘It’s ok, I’m not there anymore. And I love being at the SEG. They’re like a family to me, even if I think Yuriy is scary.’ At some point in this conversation, we must have started walking out of the platform without me noticing, because the next thing I knew, Roderich and I were standing outside of the train station. ‘If you were sent to the school, I presume your biological family is human. If you don’t mind me asking, how have they…?’ ‘I was bitten when I was 4. I don’t remember what it was like before. Now my mother’s family doesn’t speak to me anymore, but everyone else is accepting. They love me and wouldn’t have sent to me to school if the government didn’t threaten to arrest them for endangering the public.’ ‘This is awful. This government —’ ‘But that’s why the SEG is here. We’re the Supernatural Equality Group. We’ll turn the tables someday, make the public and the government see that there’s nothing wrong with supernaturals. Build a better world for everyone.’ Roderich smiled. ‘I think I can see why they hired you. You’re the kind of idealist they need. I’m going to get you back to the SEG, don’t worry.’ Roderich pulled his phone out and wrote a quick message. Almost immediately, a white limo pulled in front of us. The door opened, and a vampire dressed in an elegant black suit beckoned for us to join him in the backseat. ‘This was your last favour. We’re even now, Roderich.’ ‘Good evening to you too, Francis. This is Luca, the newest victim of this republic’s bigotry. He was thrown out of the train even though he didn’t do anything.’ ‘Yeah, yeah, whatever.’ Francis shoook his hand in a dismissive gesture. Roderich and I took our places facing him. Francis had a slender body, but somehow his presence in the limo was such that he seemed to occupy the whole seat. ‘I didn’t come here to hear your sob story. We’re off to the SEG, right?’ Francis didn’t wait for confirmation to tap the glass separating us from the driver. I blinked, and the next thing I knew, the SEG headquaters came into view. I was too stunned to ask how Francis managed to travel so fast. I never got the chance either, as the limo disappeared as soon as Roderich and I stepped out of it. I guided Roderich to the hidden underground entrace to my workplace and home for the last two months. The SEG headquarters was a fortified imposing building with no doors facing outside. Humans were only too happy to attack us whenever they got the chance, so we needed to protect ourselves as well as we could. Inside, I was safe, and so was Roderich. But it wouldn’t be long until another human thought I didn’t have the right to exist in their world.
Being a Werewolf in the Western Republic.
Luca Verardi, the young werewolf. Roderich Schmitt, who is actually a witch, but mostly passes for humans.
Just about everyone else.
A Scene taking place in the Western Republic
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