The Attack

Thanks to Dr. Alice, I got to read Kurt Schlichter’s The Attack (no, I don’t get anything for the link other than the joy of promoting a good book). It is a mix of horror, humor, and insightful analysis combined with very good writing that is hard to put down.

The style of treating it as first person interviews and recordings for historical purposes was indeed a great choice. It allows it to keep a good pace, cover a lot of territory, and build a believable world in a way that would indeed require a massive novel to do otherwise. It also allows glimpses into mindsets and characters that would be difficult to pull off in a novel.

The result is a fast-paced read that builds and fills a complex world in a realistic manner. While it is a fictional treatment of current events, it still deals with them in a mostly realistic way.

Indeed, my only disagreement with the good Colonel is that I think he understated some things, even though I suspect I know why he did so. For most of the public, what is presented in the book is going to be eye-opening and hard to believe. I suspect reality is much worse.

Personally, I suspect that we may be facing more than two divisions of Islamicists (and supporters, a concept well and convincingly explored in the book) given what has poured across the border in the last three years. That does not include the Chinese (again, well covered in the book) and others who are, again, known to have come across in very large numbers. Take a look at who is buying up land around military and strategic sites (hint, it’s not just the Chinese), and, well, I think that in this book we are looking at a best-case scenario.

As for the attacks on the schools, again I think it understated. Years back, several of us took a look at schools, security, and more as a result of Beslan. If you don’t know what it is, look it up. In short, a “hostage” situation (as often is seen in this book) that was really a front for rape, torture, and murder. This is one of the few times you will hear me say I don’t think the Russian’s went far enough in dealing with those behind this. (sorry, still working on being more New Testament instead of Old Testament). Back to subject, I know that at least one of the people Kurt thanks at the start of the book is one who took a look at this and what could happen here.

I don’t know about him, but the thought of such here doesn’t scare me: it terrifies me. It terrifies me that every effort to harden and protect our schools against this and other threats has been fought for domestic political reasons that willingly sacrifice our children. Beslan proved that not only were schools great targets, but that faking it being a hostage situation was a great way to draw things out for propaganda purposes while allowing maximum time for rape, torture, and murder. It’s a concept tested again to some extent on Oct. 7, and one that features prominently in the book.

Which leads me to the one overly optimistic thing in the book, and the thing that came closest to throwing me out of any suspension of disbelief: the response. The response(s) shown in the book only work in the presence of strong leadership and a tangible form(s) of collective justice. In the absence of such, you are going to get mobs, vigilantes, and worse as civilization is a veneer even today. While there are some who want to see such, so as to justify yet more radical restructuring, they are fools. They do not understand that what we witnessed on Oct. 7 is the way most of the world works and has worked for an age or three.

There is a reason in the past that people fled when it looked like towns were to be sacked. It is not limited to the distant past: Look at the sack of Berlin and what happened to females 8 to 80. Look at the looting (though I do tend to think the Soviets did the Germans a favor by taking all those stool-shelf commodes, look it up), and outright murder that went with it. If you really want to, you can find examples even more recent.

The concepts of just war, limited war, rule of law, and even the peaceful transfer of power are recent and quite possibly fleeting. When one actively circumvents safeguards, such as opening a border, guess what goes away?

Now, imagine a world where The Attack happens and strong leadership not only does not emerge, but you see the multi-tier “justice” of the last few years applied to those who took part in this. What do you think will happen?

Especially given that the schools and our children will be targets just like Oct. 7. In fact, here’s an equation for you: (Beslan + Euvalde) * Oct. 7 = X2 That is the horror that will happen in our schools. The response to it by the public, however is likely to be: (Beslan + Euvalde) * Oct. 7 = X4 Now, imagine that released in an uncontrolled and uncoordinated manner not just in the U.S., but around the world. That is what will happen without strong leadership and a good grasp of history and social dynamics.

Enough on that. Back to topic, this is a good book that I highly recommend not just as a good (and enjoyable, though not necessarily fun) read, but also as a warning and full of things to factor into your planning for life. Get it. Read it. Just remember, it can be enjoyed on many levels.

As always, be prepared. Keep your friends close and your things where you can find them in the dark.

Getting hit by lightning is not fun! If you would like to help me in my recovery efforts, which include moving once we have medical issues cleared up, feel free to hit the fundraiser at A New Life on GiveSendGo, use the options in the Tip Jar in the upper right, or drop me a line to discuss other methods. There is also the Amazon Wish List in the Bard’s Jar. It is thanks to your gifts and prayers that I am still going. Thank you.

Fictional Scenario Follow-Up

There are a LOT of good comments on the original Fictional Scenario post. Thank you all! Rather than try to address them and some other points that have been sent individually, allow me to respond with this post.

Why do it as a fictional story? Well, the basic reason is that it will get a lot wider audience as a fiction story, and it is more likely to make money than cost money. It’s a tactic that actually been done for quite a while now, and often because if you try to submit certain ideas up the chain, or to a peer-reviewed publication, you know it’s not going anywhere but the circular file. Oftentimes with your career.

In fact, there are several popular science fiction stories that were created because the author knew that to present the ideas other than in fiction would be a career killer for a scientist. Couple of thriller shorts were along the same line, as higher had made it clear it didn’t want to hear about anything involving X (country, weapon, etc.). Understand China fits that X a good bit these days…

So, a fiction story has a better chance of being read, discussed, and benefiting the author. It might actually get read by the policy makers that need to read it. It also has a nice bit of plausible deniability for said author.

Now, for the containers. The K-pods were a good add to the discussion, and I wonder how much the Iranians paid attention to them in designing the CONEX pod they just used for the demonstration missile launch? Using such a standard pod simplifies a lot of logistics, and it is amazing the possibilities for them (Bruce was well on the mark there).

Depending on the missile used, you can potentially load up to four in a standard container, along with all the necessary command and control equipment. Keep in mind that anyone likely to do this could pull from Chinese, Russian, and Iranian missiles. Not to mention North Korean contributions, though I don’t see that as realistic at this time. I went with one weapon per container for a number of reasons, including not wanting to have the basic concept dismissed out of hand by certain bureaucratic types that are best avoided. KISS, in other words.

Also, no crew is needed in the pods. Such as system, as recently demonstrated by the Iranians, can easily be controlled from a laptop or console aboard the ship carrying the containers. It would not be too hard to even arrange for hydraulic jacks to lift one end up for an angled launch.

As for use of hypersonic, that was deliberate as certain buzzwords do hit the bingo card in DC. If you want people to pay attention (that need to), sadly you do seem to have to play buzzword bingo.

Reality is, the best choice for something like the first strike scenario described is a mixed load. Even non-hypersonic cruise missiles fired at that range are capable of hitting key targets in five or so minutes. Use faster (but accurate) weapons for longer distances, go for precision on the short range, and you get a devastating attack that takes out key targets before most even know they are under attack. There are even some inventive ways (including cross targeting from other ships involved) to take out some target areas with multiple warheads without worry of nuclear fratricide.

As for some of the target choices I made, while a number of bases are now reduced or officially offline, a number of our potential enemies have studied our history and know exactly how fast we could turn things around and make use of them. The lessons of WWII may be lost to much of our leadership, but I fear not to others. If you take out certain bases and/or areas, you eliminate our ability to build and sustain operations in opposition to other hostile activities. Activities that are the root cause of the fictional first strike.

Before I forget, it is worth noting that in the real world Russia has been taking a large number of high-precision cruise missiles out of strategic service, mating them with conventional warheads, and using them against Ukraine without replacements in the pipe. As Arte used to say, “Very Interesting!” and is something I am not sure is getting the attention it should. In turn, they are also buying a number of high-precision weapons from Iran for use for the same purpose. If I do decide to go back and finish this story, may have to make the load a mix of Chinese and Iranian missiles, with only some from Russia.

As for the countries involved, think about this a moment. Russia wants Russkiy Mir, and Ukraine is but the first step towards that. Iran has its own regional ambitions. China is not just focused on Taiwan, but has plans for the South China Sea and south even unto Australia. Remove the U.S. as a threat, and all three have the opening they need to act.

Ability is a different matter, as China is tottering more than most realize; Russia is not in good shape; and, Iran is one good match from seeing a new revolution. Just keep in mind that desperate people do desperate things, and the current leadership of all three fit that mold. So, don’t see this as likely but it is still something that needs to be considered.

More soon, I hope.

Getting hit by lightning is not fun! If you would like to help me in my recovery efforts, which include moving once we have medical issues cleared up, feel free to hit the fundraiser at A New Life on GiveSendGo, use the options in the Tip Jar in the upper right, or drop me a line to discuss other methods. It is thanks to your gifts and prayers that I am still going. Thank you.

The Lay Of Engoron

From the Encyclopedia of Minor Horror Characters:

Engoron was originally devoted to, and a minor acolyte of, Morgoth before he was thrown into the void by the Valar. It should be noted that Morgoth himself was unaware of Engoron, his crush, or his services which barely rose to approaching minor.

His first crush destroyed or banished from the world, Engoron quickly moved to ingratiate himself with Sauron, the greatest servant of Morgoth. Again, this went largely unnoticed, though Sauron did become distantly aware of Engoron during his time in Numenor. Engoron survived the drowning of Numenor through the use of dark magic, though there were rumors that making himself into a form of fish hybrid did not go as planned and his looks — never great to start with — failed to fully return upon reaching Middle Earth.

When Sauron once again began to rebuild the Barad-dur, Engoron was right there but this time his efforts to suck up and ride the coattails of Sauron were recognized and rewarded. Engoron found himself in charge of the dungeons and sewers of the Barad-dur, where he served as the chief justice, keeper, and janitor.

It was reported that the greater the miscarriage of justice he could arrange, the greater the torture of both person and the rule of law, the greater his joy and mirth. That said, the only entry that remained in the scrolls later made in Minas Tirith indicate that even Sauron referred to Engoron as the Anus of Sauron for his position in the bowels of the Barad-dur.

There are rumors that he survived the Third Age and took up residence in Innsmouth in America, where his countenance served to blend in with the local fish people hybrids. It is further reported that he still comes forth from time to time to pervert justice and create such trouble as he can in honor of his first crush Morgoth.


Satire people, Satire.

Getting hit by lightning is not fun! If you would like to help me in my recovery efforts, which include moving once we have medical issues cleared up, feel free to hit the fundraiser at A New Life on GiveSendGo, use the options in the Tip Jar in the upper right, or drop me a line to discuss other methods. It is thanks to your gifts and prayers that I am still going. Thank you.


No, not with me or the site (I hope), but the title of a little short story for your enjoyment. It is very rough, needs some polish, but I hope you will enjoy it and laugh a bit on this fine New Year’s Day. FYI, St. Ailbhe is the patron Saint of wolves and hospitality.

The day was to be one of rest, relaxation, and recovery.  The forces of evil had been dispatched from the area for now, and I was still quite sated from the huge and excellent breakfast my wife had cooked.  She had disappeared into the back, which wasn’t odd but was a little surprising.  I had thought she might snuggle with me for a while. 

Unconcerned, I settled into my modified recliner, and smiled at the snacks, bowl of water, and bowl of brandy on the small table beside the chair. The recliner was oversize, given that I am in werewolf form a good bit of the time, and had a special cut-out to accommodate my tail. And, yes, bowls.  Muzzles are not designed for glasses as a rule, and while it can be done, let’s just say you dribble and it’s messy.  

The water bowl was a standard pottery mixing bowl, but the brandy bowl was an antique crystal piece that had a very odd shape.  Different people saw it as different things, though Friar Bernard swore that it faintly resembled a skull.  I didn’t see it, but it was heavy, and a perfect size for my needs.  

I was wearing the Victorian smoking jacket/robe my wife had found for me as I puffed contentedly on the custom Nate King pipe in my left paw.  Well, something that was a cross between a hand and a paw.  Thankfully werewolves were not truly shaped like wolves, and I had enough fingers to work a door, read a book, and smoke the specially constructed pipe.  It had been made on the QT for the victim of a tragic accident, and not advertised as said victim wanted privacy. I also highly suspected Mr. King also didn’t want to get flooded with such orders since they are labor intensive and not a money maker as a general rule.  

Cigars were now a human form only treat, as two attempts to smoke them in wolf form had resulted in my managing to catch my fur on fire.  My wife had been quite amused on one level, and very unhappy on another.  She regarded my fur as her personal property and wanted to protect it.  So, she found the smoking jacket somehow, somewhere, and I wore it to smoke and relax.  As the Victorians said, better it take any hits than your good clothes — or my fur.  Besides, on the off chance Sister Agnes (who I had discovered was a retired Marine) or someone else stopped by, it provided some modesty.  While visitors were rare, one should still be prepared.  

As I cheerfully began to open up the latest Baened Book’s novel I’d been saving for a treat, it struck.  

The doorbell rang.  

No car had pulled up, and we didn’t get random visitors.  I had built remote for a reason, and the exterior was native rock, which caused many an eye to pass over it at first.  Since getting married, the Sacred Order had warded the property.  The outer wards, about three quarters of a mile out, sufficed to turn most ordinary people and creatures away, and to warn those of evil not to continue.  The next set at about half a mile more strongly deflected the ordinary (if dense) people and critters.  Evil bounced unless it was very strong and very determined.  The final wards would surge in power as needed, and so far evil had not been able to penetrate it though they did try one time.  

So, whoever or whatever was at my door was either innocence personified or trouble.  No one is that innocent.  No sign of my wife.  My hackles came up a bit, as I smelled a trap.  All right, let’s dance.  

I carefully put down the book and got up from my chair.  If something somehow knocked me down into human form, there were various weapons and implements of destruction scattered about either hidden or in the open as decorations.  Before I opened the door into the mud room/entrance hall, I rolled my shoulders and relaxed as I had learned to do in human form for martial arts.  I went into the entry, opened the door, and realized that I was truly in for a fight.  This wasn’t trouble, this was Trouble. 

She looked to be about eight, and was wearing the white blouse and plaid skirt of a school uniform.  Over that, however, was the sash showing that she was a member of the Girl Guides, and in her hand was a box of Solomons.  Growing up, the Chok-O-Mints had been my favorite, and while I still liked them, I could and would eat my weight in human form of the chocolate/coconut/crack that were the Solomons.  To be that good and addictive, they had to have crack or something like it in them.  

It is possible that at the sight of that box I might have drooled a little bit as I gazed down at the tiny terror at my door.  I had been set up by my beloved wife, and from the scent wafting off the girl’s clothes, Sister Agnes.  

Her head had been turned away as she looked around while waiting for me to come to the door.  Now, as it came around, and the predatory smile that goes with the cookie pushers started up, she looked up at me, and started to scream.  Pretty sure she spent a small penny but caught herself before she truly soiled herself.  

Eyes round with terror took on a new look as she quickly looked me up and down, and fashion outrage overcame fear. 

“What is that thing you are wearing?”

I drew up with all the dignity I could muster, and did the most lordly “Harumph!” possible as I stroked the lapel of the  robe.  While I personally went for blues and greens, the jacket my wife had found was crimson.  Not red, crimson.  The Victorians being peacocks, it was made of crimson velvet, silk, and even had some thread-of-gold in it.  The sash was dark emerald that somehow worked with the robe rather than clashed.  From down the drive I heard Sister Agnes’ smothered laugh.  

She had the grace to look a little abashed as she picked up the box of cookies she had dropped.  

“Mister, er, Sir, ah, would you like to buy some cookies to help the Girl Guides at St. Ailbhe’s?” 

Here was my chance.  A shake of the head, closing the door, and the battle could be avoided.  But, with my wife and the good Sister involved in setting me up, this was one of those life lesson things for the girl, and possibly for me too.  Besides, we all had to face our demons, even when they are just 8-years-old pushers.  

With a little sigh, I opened the door further, stepped to one side, and bowed as I extended my left paw to gesture her inside.  With a little trepidation she did so, and I indicated she should go on into the living room.  As I closed the outer door, I took a second to make a rude gesture in the good Sister’s direction with my right paw and gave a flick of my tail to go with it.  Paws, even my paws, really aren’t made for that gesture, but if you work at it, you can do it.  Sometimes it’s well worth it. 

Inside, I gestured towards one of the wingbacks we have for guests and she carefully sat in it.  As I suspected, the tablet we used for me to “talk” to visitors was in its spot and charged.  I picked it up, and returned to my chair.  This was going to be a very different battle, and I quickly took a lap of brandy to fortify me.  

“Mister, are you going to eat me?” 

Brandy burns like a taste of hellfire as it goes out your nose.  

My eyes actually teared up a bit, and my humor was not helped by hearing the faint sounds of my wife trying to smother her laughter as she rolled on the floor.  I cleaned up as best I could, then turned to girl.  Quickly I shook my head for no.  Then, I activated the tablet and began to type.  Leaning forward, I handed her the tablet. 

No, I am not going to eat you.  Still rather full from breakfast actually.  You are safe physically and have the hospitality of my home.

She read it, relaxed a bit, and handed the tablet back to me.  

“But don’t werewolves eat people?”

I hesitated for a moment, bit my tongue, and typed again. My wife was clearly watching somehow, and I could hear her giggle very faintly.  

Some probably do, but I don’t as a rule.  I serve God as best I can, in this or human form.

She read it, and got a perplexed look on her face.  Her look was almost pleading as she looked at me. 

“But werewolves, vampires, and all the other monsters aren’t real!  My grandmother said so!”  

I nodded at her, looked around, then lifted up my left arm, reached over and pinched it with my right paw.  Then, I leaned forward and carefully pinched her arm, making her give out a yelp.  Holding up a finger, sort of, to indicate she should wait, and went to typing.  

I’d say I’m pretty real based on the pinches.  Also, I’m sorry to say that your grandmother is wrong.  We do exist, and some strive to do good and others fall into evil because of what was done to them.  The infections, think of them as being like a virus — like a cold — were a corruption by evil of something created by God.  Evil intended all to fall, but some of us fight back, and that which was corrupted is changing, so that it is easier for someone to stay good.  I, and those like me, fight evil as best we can.  Thing is, you can’t tell anyone about me, or those like me. 

She read the message, then looked at something in her mind, her face pensive.  

“But why hide?  Why not let people know that there are good monsters?”  

My smile was sad as I typed.  

And what was your first reaction?  People are scared of “other” and we are definitely that.  Besides, how can they tell us apart?  How can they truly know who is good and who is not?  It will come, in time, but that time is not yet.  Until then, we stay hidden and fight where most will never see.  

She still had a pensive look on her face as she read it, then something caught her eye. 

“Were those your clothes when you were human?” 

I couldn’t help but laugh, which startled her.  I waved a paw to let her know it was okay, and returned to the tablet.  

No, I am not that old.  And despite this gift from my wife, it’s not how I normally dress.  Think you may be confusing me with vampires, who still love to dress up in opera capes and such.  Clothes horses.  

The next question did not surprise me at all. 

“You have a wife?” 

It wasn’t completely incredulous, as there was some flat-out disbelief mixed in.

Yes, I do.  I’m incredibly lucky in that regard.  She is, but isn’t, like me.  Her fight is a different fight, and as such she does not transform as I transform.  We support each other, love each other, and fight together as needed.  We were brought together years ago, and I give thanks for that each day.  She’s away right now though.  

I caught a bit of side eye from her, but she was smart and tactful enough not to outright suggest I was lying about having a wife.  Though, from her face and body language, I think it was a struggle for her.  What came out this time was back to the original tack. 

“But science says you can’t exist.” 

I snorted at that and it took a while before I handed her the tablet.  

Science says no such thing.  Science is a process, and a good process for investigating the world.  There are people who claim science says or proves a number of things, though it does not.  Some words of wisdom for you:  if you can’t question it, it is not science, for science is a process of questioning.  There are gaps in science, as data can only tell you certain things, and in those gaps are things many would ignore, like me and those like me.  Keep an open mind, but not so open your brains fall out.  Question, gather data on the world, make your theorems, and then test them.  If reality is different from theory, reality is right and the theory wrong.  Finally, the only thing in this world that is beyond questioning is God’s love for us.  Everything else is fair game.  

She read it, clearly puzzled at parts.  Then she re-read it.  I hoped that she would remember it.  

Her mouth opened for another question, and I shook my head and raised a paw.  She sighed. 

“That’s what Father Leesom does when I ask too many questions.” 

My answer was quick, and accompanied by a strong feeling of commiseration for the good Father.  I was tempted to send him a bottle of brandy, but had the feeling a case or ten might be needed rather than a single bottle. 

There is no such thing as too many questions, just too many at one time.  Ask, but take the time to savor and think over the answers.  

Now, it is time to do battle.  Show me your best cookie pusher, and it had better be good. 

The grin that lit her face was distinctly feral.  I knew she would be a formidable foe, but I would prevail.  

Who the heck am I kidding?  $200 later she trotted out the door with my order and wouldn’t even leave the box of Solomons.  

I waited at the door and sure enough, Sister Agnes came up the drive.  Once she saw me, she stopped, made a rude gesture with one hand, turned, and slapped her rear a couple of times before stalking away.  The girl had obviously delivered my message of “Rangers rule, Marines drool” along with an offer to wash out her coffee mug.  

As I turned and walked inside, I made a face of sorrow and hurt.  My wife, now standing beside my chair in her robe, was laughing.  The laughing turned to concern at my face, and as she tilted her head in inquiry, I said to her in my mind. 

“I think Sister Agnes just asked me to spank her!”  

She fell into my chair laughing, and I do wish I could see the good Sister’s face when she heard about this.  I sat down carefully beside my petite bride, and sighed with contentment.  

“You could have warned me you know.”  

She chuckled as she turned into my chest.  

“This was more fun, and it was good to throw you a different challenge.”  

I harrumphed gently, but had to smile too.  

“I take it she’s been an issue at St Ailbhe’s?”  

She cracked out a ha, then looked up at me. 

“Oh, you could say that.  Given that the children there have had a brush or worse with the supernatural…. She doesn’t seem to remember anything, and her grandmother was very firm about there being no such things as monsters.  Add to it the amount of questions she has, and what might be called a shaky grasp of tact, and it has been interesting.”  

I nodded my head, glad that there was a place like St. Ailbhe’s for those children.  It was a school, an orphanage, and more — and the local diocese had no idea it existed.  The Sacred Order did it’s own thing in the long fight against Evil, which sometimes meant hiding locations in plain sight.  And from the Church that had founded it.  

It was no surprise when my robe was opened, hers came off, and she snuggled into my chest.  Together, we closed my robe back up over her, and it was her turn to give off a contented sigh.  I liked snuggle mode, and a smile twitched my muzzle as I thought of what I called ‘cold little girl’ mode.  In that case, her robe would have remained on but been open in the front, she would be lower down, and my robe would have closed over all of her.  She would then have done her best to wrap my hide around her.  Oddly appropriate since she has me wrapped around her little finger… 

I had joked one time about if I was killed she should tan my hide and use it as rug in front of the fireplace.  To say she didn’t take the joke well would be an understatement, and the fear in her eyes even more than the ugly cry had me promising to never make the joke again.  

She snuggled into my fur some more, and gave a small laugh.  

“I really am proud of you.  You resisted the temptation to make some entendres today.”  

“There were some opportunities, but not the right thing to do.  Besides, if she stays cute and asks nicely in about ten years, I’ll think about…”


If I’d been in human form, that fist in my ribs might have hurt.  Yea werewolf!

“You’re incorrigible!”  

“No, I’m very corrigible, but the only person who can corrige me is you,” I said with a smile. 

She groaned at that, but smiled.  

I carefully reclined the chair back a bit and we finished getting comfortable.  We dozed and snuggled, and enjoyed what was left of our day of rest.  

A Small Gift

It’s rough in many ways, but came to me in a dream this morning as a thing to share.

It was dark, though I was not sure if it was day or night.  It no longer mattered as we lay there in the light of the small tree decorated with care.  It was a tradition that had stood the test of time, as we put it up each year and hung the lights and the few special ornaments that made it our tree.  

The darkness grew in the room, even as the light spilled from the tree.  As that light grew, my breath caught as I recognized it and remembered the first time I ever saw it.  


The girl was an anomaly, and anomalies made me suspicious.  Even in this form.  I had already hunted and fed, as you pretty much had to do that after a change.  The old tales of changelings having bloody feasts was true, as changing either way was a huge energy sink that required complex amino acids, protein, and more.  So, first you ate and you weren’t particular about what or who you ate right after a change.  Bad fiction not withstanding, it wasn’t a fun type of eat either.  

Me?  I prepared food in advance and had it waiting.  Rare, not raw, and everything I would need to deal with the change.  Even in human form I liked my steaks rare.  In this case, I also laced everything with supplements, just to be safe.  

I had moved to the desert years back, so as to take myself and my curse away from normal, innocent humans.  The abandoned mine had been a great place to build a small home in front, with plenty of room (and exits) behind.  Here, I posed little risk to the innocent, had plenty of game to hunt at the change, and, even better, I had discovered prey worthy of my new form and skills. 

There were and are evil humans, and I did consider them fair game.  I also discovered there were other things, evil, that were not human.  Even in my cursed state I saw them as fair game and worked hard to rid the area around me of them all.  I even expanded my territory so as to remove them from being able to reach the little pockets of humanity that existed even in this remote area.  

She shouldn’t have been there.  Not even the human traffickers moved through this area anymore.  Yet, here she was and she was a puzzle.  

She stood as if waiting, and clearly knew I was there.  Yet, she had not pissed or shit herself, which was the usual reaction of a human to meeting such as me.  Her scent was a tangled mix of girl, maiden, and even a whiff of crone.  I circled carefully, sniffing and studying.  

I was not hungry, having eaten a number of snacks in the form of small animals along the way, so I was more intrigued than anything.  Her presence screamed “trap” in many ways, and something else in others.  I kept the trap in mind even as I circled closer and closer, searching for hidden things and forms and not finding them.  

In human terms, she was a petite thing.  Sitting on my haunches she barely could meet my eyes.  With canid directness, I leaned forward and sniffed her crotch.  When a dog, or wolf, does such it is because that sniff, and your scent, carries a lot of information about which no lie can hold.  Sex, age, health, and for females where you are in your cycle are just part of the complex information shared.  Yeah, you can get almost as much from the neck, but it’s more thorough and complete at the crotch, for all that humans consider it rude.  

This sniff, however, caused me to rock backwards onto my haunches.  I literally could not tell her age, beyond the fact that she was adult and moving towards peak fertility.  At the same time, there were elements of pre-pubescent youth and extreme age involved.  Her health was excellent, and her hygiene good to the point that it was clear she was quite fastidious.  Underneath it, however, was something else, something I had not felt in far too long.  

She spread her arms wide, clearly in welcome, and as I came forward towards her I heard her say 

“About time you silly old wolf” 

even as the light came blazing out of her.  As it did, I hit the ground hard, in pure genuflection.  Even as I did so, I caught a glimpse of the knight slightly behind her, who’s body was the purity of youth with eyes that were as old as the universe.  I noticed a slight smile on his lips as he nodded in approval at my prostration.  

The light was filled with fractals, almost like a kaleidoscope of my youth.  I caught glimpses of multiple things at the same time, birth, horrific death, and more before a thing of pure light shadowed them all.  I lowered my eyes to the ground as she approached, and felt a gentle hand touch the back of my head.  

What poured into me was love, and a data dump such that in a cartoon I would have been cross-eyed and had birds tweeting in a circle around my head for weeks.  I knew who she was, and in any form my lips are not worthy to form that name.  I howled and drifted into the light that flowed within me.  

When I awoke, the girl had made a nest in the fur of my belly in which to sleep.  I smiled, though many might not recognize it as a smile.  Oddly content and at peace, I leaned forward and kissed her as wolf should.  She stirred, and I heard the laughter behind her words as she said

“Ohhh, Ick, wolf germs!”  

I couldn’t help it, I laughed at the old, old joke, and she giggled into my chest.  My howls probably sounded ferocious, but were anything but.  We lay like that for a while, each content with the other and the situation.  Finally, she roused and moved out to look me in the eye.  

“We need to make a little trip before we go home.  There’s something we need to collect, since it’s not just you or me anymore.”  

I nodded to show I understood, and she leaned forward and kissed my head.  Her hand moved, and shortly after my leg began to move as she found the spot and sent me into canid nirvana.  When she stopped, she smiled again, a woman’s smile, and spoke again.

“There’s better than that to come.”  

She went over to where a small pack had appeared, and picked it up.  I swear it had not been there the night before.  Together, we walked as she led us both to a place I had not been before.  There, at her direction, I dug a bit and we found an old leather bag filled with gold coins.  She placed it in her pack, and we then headed towards my home.  

It really wasn’t much, but I was proud of it.  Thick walls enfolded a bedroom and bathroom, a living room, and a kitchen.  Despite the remoteness, I had electricity courtesy of a discrete tap on a power line a mile or so away,  The living room had a fireplace, which provided both light and heat at need.  Opening the door to the mine led to many things, including the library that I had built off of the books I brought with me.  I may have been cursed, but it did not stop me from learning, and hoping.  

Her smile was huge when she saw the small tree, already decorated.  I may have cast aside many things when cursed, but faith and tradition were not among them.  Every year, at this time, I found a small tree and brought it alive into my home.  I decorated it, fed it, and at the end of Christmas I took it outside and planted it.  Before too many more years passed, I would have a nice shield of evergreens around my home.  

She made herself right at home, to my amusement.  It wasn’t just the cleaning and re-arranging, but the fact that she would nest in my fur almost any time I lay down.  Though it was not in a church building, we had truly been wed and while a challenge on some fronts to my bachelor ways, it was also a thing I welcomed having been convinced that such was not for me.  

I admit she spoiled me.  She loved to cook, and I was sated every day in ways I had not known before.  Being in wolf form demanded a lot of nutrients, much less calories, and it was as if she knew everything I needed at any given time.  A week or so after we arrived home, I awoke to quite the breakfast, with meats and pastries and more.  Even as I ate, I had no need to sniff her directly to tell that she was both at peak fertility and quite aroused.  She blushed bright crimson as I simply looked at her, then once I was finished she led me back to bed.  

While it was never that same level of crimson, as the years went by she always blushed.  I loved that blush, and the sounds she made later that were as close to a howl as a human throat could form.  Afterwards, as always, she made a nest in my fur and slept.  

Yes, I did change back to human form a few times in those early days, for both our sakes.  Yet, it was not to be, and for reasons I can’t name it was intended, right, and fitting that I stay in my wolf form.  No, I will not call it cursed, not any more.  Not after that data dump.  A small bit of memory to share with you… 

“You know I haven’t killed anything that didn’t deserve it, other than that mouthy squirrel, since I met you.”  

“Hmmmph.  Any squirrel deserves it, and they are mouthy for a reason.  Whenever you catch yourself and stop yourself from saying something it has to go somewhere, so it goes to the squirrels to say.  It’s why they are such mouthy things.” 

I stopped and looked at her out of the corner of my eye as she mixed something in a bowl.  There were things that came out of her that clearly came from on high.  Then there were things like this.  A wise wolf learned to simply nod knowingly.  Which I did. 

The smile that crossed her face let me know she knew what I had done, and I smiled a bit too.  Not too much, for that could get a reaction I might not like, but…. 

Her face took on a more serious look. 

“He, and those that serve him, can’t create.  They can only warp, distort, or denigrate that which God has made.  The virus that made us what we are was something that was broken, warped, distorted to make it what it is today.  It was not created, just broken.”  

With a sniff of disdain, she went back to mixing and I slowly nodded towards the fire as I knew from that awful data dump that she was right.  It had indeed been broken, and creatures like me were the result.  The us part made me raise a mental eyebrow.  Only, for some of us, something held.  Some core remained in place and even at our worst we tried not to harm sentient beings.  

Which is why I hadn’t simply attacked that girl I found waiting for me in a small fold of the rocks years ago.  Why she, and the memories given to me, had to work together to truly take her as my wife.  That first union had resulted in twin sons.  

The nuns and monks had entered our lives right after that first union.  Some of the coins we had brought back changed hands, and our larder was filled.  Well, to me they smelled as nuns, though none of them wore the wimple.  They clearly were a religious order, though I had my doubts that the Church, any Church, was officially aware of them.  

Even after she began to swell, we enjoyed each other as she said we needed practice.  Some dim memory from being purely human reminded me that such made delivery easier, so, we practiced.  When her time drew near, the nuns returned, this time with a monk, and I held her as our children were born.  

The twins spent time oh her, on her skin, and then spent time on me.  They made contented sounds as they, like her, made nests in my fur.  As for me, that was the most contented time of my life, for all our children.  After she had nursed them for a couple of weeks, and they had spent as much time with us as possible, they were taken away.  I howled when they left, not so much in negation as a recognition of what must be, and as a way for them to find us later.  

Years meant so much to me in my human form, and not so much in wolf form.  It’s a rather different perspective on time, measured more as seasons and not years.  It was measured by litters, by births, rather than anything else.  I lost track of the years, though I never lost track of our children, and there were many in our time together.  

Over time, our children came back to us as members of whatever religious order it was that looked out for us.  They brought us our regular supplies, and tended us as she gave birth.  Now, they waited, knowing what was to come.  

My forays out to hunt and prune back any evil that dared raise it’s head nearby slowly dropped in distance and number, even as she clearly was slowing down.  She began fading before my eyes, though her eyes still danced with laughter and mischief.  A few days ago, I had known.  

So we lay together on the old, worn sofa, looking at our small tree decorated in light and love.  She had made a nest in my belly fur, and had not stirred from it.  A few days ago, she had quit eating, as had I.  As I lay there, watching both her and the tree, I was content.  Our children and various types of grandchildren were around us.  

Moved, I leaned down and kissed her, my tongue messing her hair.  Though her eyes never opened, a smile crossed her face and I heard faintly her little girl voice say 


“Silly old wolf” 

Even as I began to chuckle, the light suddenly grew.  As it overwhelmed me, I saw once again the fractals of details, not just of our world but many.  From that overwhelming image, She emerged.  As She took our hands, I saw once again the knight off to the side, but this time, he raised his sword in salute, and he nodded to me.  In the distance, I saw our children, who both showed what we had become and provided a line of defenders against the dark.  Who stood for creation, and not the degradations of it.  

Looking down to my side, I saw I was not alone.  Our forms were different, not at all like our Earthly shells but refined.  While what we had been was reflected in them, they were more.  Together we followed Her deeper into the light, hand in hand, and smiles upon our face.  

The Scene

Music plays, evocative of film noir, building as the camera pans across the tall buildings of a city at night, the clouds that have just finished a downpour casting it into black and white. The camera zooms in and down, into the shadows of an alley and a skinny figure garbed in a stained and worn cloth coat that falls down to his feet, with the collar up and a tweed flat cap pulled down as far over his face as possible

The figure moves in the deepest shadows, preventing the camera from showing his face. The movements are skittish, scared, and the figure’s head is constantly darting about, looking. As the camera pans on his movements down the alley, dodging puddles, the music fades and we hear the figure talking to itself in a tenor that is almost childlike.

“It’s my fault, it’s all my fault. It always was, I see that now. But, I’m going to get it right, I swear. I’ve done it, I wrote up all those plans and what went wrong. Where I went wrong.”

The figure moves on, always keeping to the shadows. His voice drops, muttering to himself, and we hear sniffling, almost like he’s crying. The voice rises again.

“Curse that Tom! That cat was just mean. There was no reason for him to kill you.”

The figure stops, straightens up, and adopts a level and reasonable tone as the camera pans around behind him, a door visible on the left further down the alley.

“I mean, it’s not like we meant for you to pop up right in front of him as he’s doing his thing. And, that mousey little fella with him was not help at all! Naaa, Na, nah, I’m not going say, I promised B I would never say that again.”

The figure stoops and begins to move again, the voice becoming childlike once again.

“But, this time, I’m going to get it right. I’m going to make it up to you because I miss you and that huge brain of yours. I’ve taken everything that worked and written it down. I’ve noted everything that didn’t work, and made sure it’s not part of the plan.”

The figure stops at the previously glimpsed doorway, carefully working a key into the lock and opening the door. The camera pans around to catch the silhouetted figure walking into the pitch black room. The door closes and the scene goes black.

“Yes Big B, I’m being careful. I know they want them. Your plans, our plans, the plan that this time will work and let us take over the world. But they will never have them. They will never…”

The light switch clicks and the camera has turned so that it shows shelves upon shelves full of binders carefully titled.

“ever get them, I promise.”

The camera then turns, and we see the figure for what it truly is. A tall, skinny white lab rat who’s eyes dart nervously around in a face that is clearly not all there. With the reveal, he finishes saying

“They will never get Pinky’s Binders! 


If you would like to help me in my recovery efforts, feel free to hit the tip jar in the upper right or the fundraiser at A New Life on GiveSendGo. Getting hit by lightning is not fun, and it is thanks to your gifts and prayers that I am still going. Thank you.