Tag Archives: werwolf

Wölfe in die freie Wildbahn entlassen!

Vor fast einem Monat ist es endlich geschehen! Der #Neubrandenwolf bzw. wie er richtig heißt „Das Jahr des Mondes“, mein Debütroman, ist erschienen!

Könnt ihr das glauben? Es ist schon fast ein ganzer Monat rum und ich habe es immer noch nicht so ganz begriffen.

Direkt zur BuchBerlin hatte ich ihn dabei und seit dem – und schon vorher – sind schon mehr als 42 verkauft worden. Wie krass ist das bitte?

Ich denke jedes Mal wieder, dass ich mich da irgendwo verrechnet haben muss, dass das gar nicht stimmen kann …

Hinzukommt, dass ich heute ein Belegexemplar in die Regionalbibliothek Neubrandenburg bringe – und diese mir auch die Möglichkeit nächstes Jahr dort zu lesen angeboten haben. Es stehen also noch ein paar spannende Dinge an, die ich noch gar nicht genauer benennen kann!

Für alle, die sich fragen, ob der Wolf was für sie ist, hier nochmal alle Fakten auf einen Blick:

Mockup des Covers als E-Book und Buch. Cover: Drei Wolfssilhoutten stehen auf dem Weg vor einem gotischen Tor (Stargarder Tor Neubrandenburg) über dem der Vollmond zu sehen ist. Alles in einem blauen Licht gehalten und der Titel prangt groß über dem Tor.

Titel: Das Jahr des Mondes

Erscheinungsdatum: 29.09.2023

Preis: 14,99 € (+ 2,25 € Porto) – E-Book 9,99 €

Seitenzahl: 356 (360 im Print, weil der Einfachheit halber im Druck noch 2 Leerseiten hinzugefügt wurden …)

Vier Tore.
Drei Wölfe.
Zwei Leben.
Ein Jahr.

Thomas führt ein ganz normales Leben im mecklenburgischen Neubrandenburg – oder zumindest so normal, wie es für einen unter Menschen lebenden Wolf geht. Alles ändert sich, als er nach zehn Jahren auf andere seiner Art trifft.
Gemeinsam stellen sie sich gegen Bürokratie und Vorurteile und lernen mehr darüber, was es bedeutet, ein Werwolf zu sein. In ihrer unerwarteten Freundschaft finden sie dabei einen Zusammenhalt, der ihnen lange Zeit gefehlt hat.

Positive Tags: Werwölfe, #FoundFamily, Gesellschaftskritik, queere Charaktere und Beziehungen (Casual Queerness), (kulinarischer) Lokalkolorit

Content Notes: Alkoholkonsum, Gewalt gegen (Wer)Wölfe, Verlust eines Partners und damit verbundene Trauer, nicht detailliert beschriebenes Massaker, Angedeutete Homophobie, (sexuell konnotierter) Übergriff, Alltagsrassismus, traumabedingte Disasoziation, rassistisch motiviertes Attentat, Selbstjustiz

Verkaufslink: BoD Amazon

Irgendwann schaffe ich auch noch alle Informationen auf der entsprechenden Seite einzupflegen …

Ich habe noch einige Exemplare hier, also falls ihr ein signiertes Buch möchtet, meldet euch gern auf den gängigen Kanälen bei mir!


Planting Moon

Fitting for the wolf-talks of the Fairy Tale Summer you’ll get the next chapter of the Neubrandenwolf. With this we’re half-way through the „Year of the Moon“. 😉
(You can find all chapters in proper order and some more information on this page: Neubrandenwolf)
So, have fun with:

Planting Moon

After a few weeks of consulting the employees got used to Nina being around; they even started asking her, if she wanted to join them for lunch. This time they brought her to a renovated restaurant some of them had already tried and wanted to use it as an alternative to their usual lunch routine of heating up leftovers or getting lunch delivered. The restaurant was part of the hotel complex Nina stayed in. Though, this time she had to enter the building through the backyard, which gave her another perspective at the whole construction. Beside the hotel the building held a parking garage and a whole array of different little shops ranging from butcher and baker, over tobacco shop, up to a cocktail bar she wanted to try when Rasha could visit her. Unlike the hotel, which certainly looked its age, the restaurant was a lot more than what she would have expected from a town like this. It had a bright and soothing colour scheme and comfortable seats. It was nicely decorated and even had a small terrace with nice woven chairs and tables. It wasn’t exactly fancy and the service people still had a lot of work ahead of them, but it was a nice atmosphere. She was curious what the lunch would be like, as she knew what they had to offer for breakfast, but she had never managed to eat lunch there.
When they entered the building a group of men came towards them in the long hallway leading towards the restaurant. Nina had never seen any of them before, but one of them caught her eyes and as she got closer she knew why. He was like her. He was a wolf. She hadn’t considered meeting one of her kind here and she was quite surprised to do so. Their eyes met and the two of them stopped in their tracks. To talk? To stare? She didn’t know. And she couldn’t find out as the girls pushed her forward and his mates him. Still, she turned around to catch one last glimpse of him and saw that he was doing the same.
„Found your dreamgirl?“ She heard one of the others joke and she couldn’t resist her own snicker.
„Nah, she just reminded me of someone.“ Nina heard his reply in a deep, but gentle voice.
‚Good catch‘, she thought while the girls gave her similar questions. It wasn’t like she hadn’t mentioned her girlfriend before, but they insisted that maybe she wasn’t as gay as she thought if she stared at him like that. „Yeah, sure… „, she only dryly commented, shaking her head, hoping this encounter wouldn’t be the main topic of the lunch talk.
Of course it was and she was relieved when the food had shut them up for a while and given them something else to talk about. Nina was quite satisfied with her meal, but her thoughts kept drifting back to the other wolf. During her stay here she hadn’t smelled him so their paths had either not crossed before or he was one of those stay-at-home kind of guys as the nerdy shirts his mates had worn would suggest; or her nose was still not as well trained as she would have liked, but she didn’t even want to admit that to herself. It was curious and she would have liked to at least talk to him a little, but the circumstance had been rather unfortunate for that. So the only thing she could do was text her pack and Rasha that she had seen another wolf and hope to meet him again, as she probably wouldn’t be able to track him otherwise.
When they left the building again Nina saw him standing nearby, casually looking at the window dressing of a small shop across the backyard, as if he had been waiting for her.
„There is a bank over there, right? Gotta get some cash“, she fibbed and the others bought it right away.
„All right, see you later“, one of them simply acknowledged as if they didn’t saw him.
Nina casually walked into the direction of the bank she knew was at the exit of the backyard behind him. Every few steps she turned to see if the girls had already turned the corner and when they finally had, she walked over to him.
„Are you stalking me?“ She asked bluntly, standing just a few steps away from him and crossing her arms.
„I merely waited to see if we could talk later“, he told her after turning around. Yet Nina wasn’t convinced and informed him: „I’m into girls.“
„I know. I can smell your girlfriend? Wife?“ He tried to gauge her relationship status.
„That’s – that’s creepy and she’s my fiancée“, she corrected him and raised an eyebrow. She knew from her pack and her own experiences that they could smell other people on someone, but she hadn’t been home in a while, so her smell would almost be entirely gone.
„Really? A human? Does she know?“ He now asked, curiosity and surprise ringing in his words.
„Yeah, of course“, Nina told him in a matter of fact tone, just shrugging her shoulders.
„Now we definitely have to talk about at least that“, he told her a wide grin on his face.
„What would the other topics be?“ She asked, still a little suspicious.
„Your experiences and methods; if you’d like to run with us next moon… „, he started, but she interrupted him with an: „Us?“
„I’m teaching someone and I could use a second pair of – hands – for that“, he cryptically explained looking around the backyard to see if someone followed their conversation.
„You’re only two?“ Nina checked if she had understood him correctly.
„You’re the third one I met in this town in the seven years I’ve been living here“, he told her with an inviting smile.
„Okay… „, Nina commented and contemplated for a moment. He seemed to handle himself well, if he thought to be able to teach someone else. Besides surviving on his own for at least seven years was quite a feat. Therefore she decided to ask: „Where do you want to talk?“
„Do you know where the Burger-Soup-thing is in the town centre?“ He tried.
„Yeah“, Nina nodded.
„We could get something meaty to go and sit down somewhere quiet“, he suggested with a wave of his hand.
„Sounds like a plan. I’m off at five“, Nina agreed.
„Half past at the entrance then?“ Came his next suggestion.
„Deal“ She was far too curious to pass this up, „I’m Nina by the way“
„Thomas“, he introduced himself with another smile. „And I really have to go now“, he added, nodding towards the direction the girls had went.
„Sure, see you later“, she nodded and got a „See ya“ in return as he walked off.
>>Pack of two in town<<, she texted her pack and Rasha, once he had turned his back.
They met as agreed and after they got their meals Thomas led her to the wall surrounding the town centre. Through a side entrance of one of the large town gates they went onto the rampant consisting of mounds and moats between them and everything filled with greenery. Thomas let her to one such moat nearby that spread into a wide meadow. On it they found a free bench and said down. Nina took this in for a moment. She had passed through the rampant before, but she was still surprised to find a place this quiet so close to the ring, that was she could still see through the brushwork on the other side of the meadow.
„Tell me about yourself, Nina“, Thomas jolted her out of her thoughts.
She looked at him for a moment, as he just there unpacking his dinner and giving her the space to collect her thoughts.
„I live in the capital with my fiancée and meet up with my pack of twelfth every moon if possible“, she decided to tell him and focused on her own dinner.
„Twelfth, wow“, he noted looking up into the distance. Those were nearly as many wolves as he had met his entire life.
„I’ve been a wolf for three years and Rasha helped me through it all the way. She’s the reason I didn’t go mad. She’s my anchor“, Nina explained lovingly.
„So you didn’t have to tell her?“ Thomas wanted to make sure.
„No. She was there when Jan, my alpha, told me what would happen. They have a system that notifies them whenever someone with a wolf bite comes to the hospital“, Nina explained and she saw Thomas‘ eyes widen in awe.
„Wish I had had stuff like that. Must be great to have someone so close to share the burden with“, he only concluding and Nina agreed with a nod.
They were silent for a moment before she asked: „What about you?“
„My last proper relationship ended shortly before I was turned ten years ago, and since then I barely let anything go further than a One Night Stand or a few dates“, he told her with merely a shrug, but she could see that it pained him to admit.
„Why? Can’t you control yourself?“ Nina now wanted to know.
„I can, pretty well even, but I don’t think anyone would want to be with me if they knew“, Thomas reluctantly admitted looking away.
„So you’re basically looking for a singly lady wolf“, Nina concluded teasingly, a smirk on her face.
„Nah. I’m not looking“, Thomas disagreed with smile, „It’s fine the way it is.“
Nina was certain that it was not fine, but she didn’t want to push the topic any further so instead she changed it: „What about the wolf you’re teaching?“
„Amir. He’s a refugee and was turned back in Syria, when a wolf was sent to kill everyone in his village“, Thomas bluntly told her to not have this hanging between them. If she could help him then she needed to know what had happened to Amir.
„OMG“, Nina exclaimed, nearly dropping her burger, „Are you for real?“
Thomas nodded solemnly. „He slipped the moon after and killed others who fled with him. Only later did he find someone who’d knock him out each moon.“
„That’s awful. How is he coping?“ Nina was close to tears. She shivered in the bright sunlight and felt sick to her stomach. How horrible could someone be to do this to a person? A village?
„Rather well“, Thomas answered with a warm and proud smile, „I think due to what happened the first time he’s even more eager to learn control.“
„I can’t even imagine how horrible that must’ve been“, Nina acknowledged in a near whisper.
„I can a little. I nearly killed my best friend before he managed to lure me into a cage and lock me up“, Thomas admitted after a pause.
„I’m sorry. I had such a great transition that I barely think about how hard it must be for others without the support of a pack“, Nina apologized, only shaking her head before adding: „I never thought I’d see myself as privileged.“
„That’s why I’d like you to run with us. If you’re still in town“, Thomas more asked then stated and watched her in anticipation.
„I’ll be here for another few months at least“, Nina agreed with a smile.
On the night of the moon Nina drove up to the hill Thomas had described her and parked near their meeting point. She was a bit nervous about the run. Her pack had more males than females so it wasn’t the first time she’d run with wolves of the opposite gender, but here no one would keep an eye on them if their instincts took over. No one would be able to protect her. She had talked for hours with her Alpha and Rasha about it and while the latter was terrified at the thought of her running with two total strangers, Jan saw it as an opportunity for her to prove to herself how much she had improved. With fluttering knees she made her way to the bus station where she could already see Thomas.
He greeted her with a smile when she approached and another much shorter man stood up beside him. Amir seemed unsure what to do. He looked between Thomas and Nina and then held out his hand.
„Here it custom to great everyone with handshake, right?“ He asked, worry in his voice.
„It is“, Thomas confirmed with a smile, „But if you don’t want to shake someone’s hand it’s just as fine to simply say ‚Hello‘.“
Amir seemed to contemplate this for a moment before he shook his head. „I want shake hands“, he decided.
With a smile Nina accepted his hand. „I’m Nina, nice to meet you“, she introduced herself.
„Me Amir, nice to meet you, too“, he returned likewise.
Soon after the three of them had turned and Nina felt Amir’s instincts taking over, as he watched her lustfully. But Thomas wouldn’t have any of it and subdued him before Nina could do so herself. A part of her was relieved, another insulted, as she knew she was capable of defending herself. So in turn she challenged Thomas, which turned into a playful squabble between the three of them.
Panting and yapping the little pack of misfits soon found themselves howling at the moon together.

Behind the Scenes

This part was originally called Flower Moon, but the title just didn’t fit the story any more once I had written it, so I loudly collected my thoughts in the Nornennetz (I’m a Norn now, more later. 😉 ) and got the needed Feedback to change it.
Other than that is the hotel complexx they meet in, the same one Thomas passed on his way to the bus station in Winter Moon. It’s a small town. 😉
I don’t know if I should advertise the food places mentioned, but if anyone does want to know more about them: Just let me know.
Last but not least: I did not plan on finishing this on such short notice, but when I had all the posts done for last and this weeks, and Mondays Fairy Tale Summer entry, I just felt like it would be a nice place to squeeze it in. It just gave me a lot more to do than I already had, preparing for the Rockharz and stuff…Sometimes I hate my own ideas…
Hope you still enjoyed this chapter!
Stay tuned for part seven: Flower Moon! (Again. 😉 )

Barbara Schinko: Ein Mantel so rot

As part of the Fairy Tale Summer/Märchensommer you get my review for Ein Mantel so Rot (A Cloak as Red) by Barbara Schinko.

What is it about?

5 of 5 stars

It’s not enough that the war has taken its toll on the land, but when Zoyas husband Venko returns to her as a wolf she can’t fathom what misfortune will befall her and her village. Right away they call him a “Raging Wolf” and Zoya has to fear and fight for her love.

Will she succeed in breaking the curse?

Little Red Riding Hood meets a human wolf in a tsarist-era in this mature adaptation by the Märchenspinnerei.

The reading experience

For this one I as well wrote down some thoughts in the Reading Group on Facebook (Magical Book Reading) and also kept track of them on Goodreads, so most things might sound familiar.

When I first saw the book in comparison to the others I couldn’t keep in the chuckle at how adorably short it is. At the same time did I fear that the 118 pages might be too short to tell a round story. Dude, was I wrong.
The story is divided into two parts and an epilogue telling the story of Zoya in chapter-like episodes without actual chapter titles. Within these chapters the sentences themselves are rather short as well. It was weird at first if you’re used to elaborate writing styles, but I soon realized that no more description was needed to create the fitting atmosphere and the characters. E.g. are those scenes were Zoya interacted with the other villagers or was with a man only shorty or vaguely described, but that didn’t mean you didn’t get a bad feeling about some of them.

The only thing that irritated me a bit was that I couldn’t properly sort the story into a time frame (tsar-time) and fully understand the references to old (Russian?) burial traditions and beliefs. Though they are well enough incorporated and it isn’t necessary for the Fairy Tale to fully understand those things, but it still feels like I’m missing out on something to fully understand Zoyas world.

One of the things I loved most about this story was that instead of the bite to become a wolf the old superstitions were used where you turn into a wolf by wearing a wolf pelt coat. The change through the pelt and the accompanying distrust was well portrayed, even if I can never understand why it’s always the wolfs‘ fault if something goes wrong …

The tone is completely different to the first Märchenspinnerei-book and much more mature. It’s a nice change.

The characters

Through the short descriptions no real connection to the characters is created, yet you can still feel the atmosphere they leave behind and you get a certain feeling about them. And I still wanted things for Zoya to get better. She’s an interesting character that goes through a lot during the story and makes a few decisions that are bad for her and I can only attribute some of them to her gradual decent into madness. Her way is interesting to follow and I was relieved once she figured some things out for herself. I’m still amazed at Zoya. To make such decisions, to make such sacrifices that can’t have been easy and yet she continued to go her own way and I think that’s what impressed me the most.

We don’t learn much about Venko, her husband, but what we do is enough to know that he deeply cares about her, which can even be seen when he’s a wolf.

The other man at Zoya’s side is the huntsman Grischa, who usually is the hero of the story, but here he gets a different turn and it’s partly terrifying. I can’t really describe him that much without giving away one of the two twists of this story. What I can tell you is, that I didn’t like him and that I was relieved when Zoya finally realized the same thing about him. Let it be said: When I finished the book I wasn’t sure who really was the „Raging Wolf“… (I talked more about this in the Reading Group, but there I wanted to spoiler, so. 😉 )

Another interesting twist on the original Fairy Tale was the grandmother. In the beginning there was the memory of Zoyas grandmother aiding her, towards the end there was an old woman taking up the place.

General Opinion

In the beginning I was skeptical about the length and the writing style of the book, but that soon changed. The short sentences and scarce description created a thick atmosphere where at some point it did no longer matter how detailed things were described. My personal highlight was the usage of the wolf pelt, as I have mentioned above, as that is really something modern werwolf stories usually ignore.
In addition to that did the story manage to surprise me twice, both times at the end of each part. I didn’t expect them and the real ending was good and I believe somewhat important. Not every Fairy Tale can have a Happy End.
The story alternates between relatively realistic and truly fantastical and is definitely something for more experienced readers.

Stuff I’d like to add

The blurb lies. 😉

As a reminder: As part of the challenge you can collect points by reviewing Fairy Tales yourself. 😉

On Thursday you’ll get an interview with Barbara about the book and some other Fairy Tale related stuff. And you’ll also get an update on the Neubrandenwolf, tomorrow. So stay tuned!

Plus: This is a scheduled post as I’m off to the Rockharz again. Accepting any comments will probably take me until Sunday/Monday. Sorry, for that, but I hadn’t expected that the Fairy Tale Summer would become this big … I already suffered for this decision as I had to prepare last weeks, this weeks and next Mondays post ahead of time …

So yeah, see you next week! 😉


© For the cover belongs to its rightful owner.

Water Moon

As I had mentioned did I want to publish the last Sunday as part of a „slow“ week for the #LoveWritingChallenge. But as that weekend got quite busy I decided to give you part five of the Neubrandenwolf-Tale today.
(You can find all chapters in proper order and some more information on this page: Neubrandenwolf)
So, have fun with:

Water Moon

It wasn’t like she hated her job, quite the contrary; she loved helping companies in trouble and figuring out, how they could improve their business strategies. Only a few things were better than the happiness she caused when she managed to save them from certain bankruptcy. She just didn’t like it when she was assigned to some remote area she had never been to and had never even thought about visiting before. Her boss had made sure she’d go. He had flattered her and told her that she’d be the best for the job, that only she would be able to help this small company. She wasn’t, but the extra money for the trip wasn’t too shabby. It still meant that she had to spend at least four months in a completely unknown environment, with no idea whom she could trust and where she could go for her special run. This was all so much easier at home with her pack. But no, she would have to stay in that stupid hicktown. From the look of it on a map it least was in the middle of nowhere, though there seemed to be a lot of nowhere in that state.
Every time she drove up and down from the capital she checked out places she might be able to use as meeting points or starting points, but most of them seemed too far away from home. The new work wasn’t necessarily bad, but it wasn’t thrilling either. They were still in the assessment phase of the project so progress was slow anyway. The company had already let go of a couple of employees, so the basis was different and had to be adjusted accordingly. The remaining people knew that if she didn’t manage to come up with a solution, they would have to look for a new job as well. Those that only sat out their time waiting for the new job to start were a bit more chipper. The others were gloomy and it wasn’t easy working with them. Still this phase always gave her the time she needed to get to know a new town and especially the hunting grounds surrounding it.
It was larger than most towns in the vicinity, but nothing compared to the capital. Yet, the north seemed like a good place for just running across the large fields, but she couldn’t find a proper place on the map, where she could start without being seen, so she discarded the option for now.
On a way home she eventually saw an advertisement for lodgings near a lake, so she decided to make a stop and check it out before she continued. It wasn’t much, neither in price nor in accommodation: A few bungalows for rent on the property. They were small and basically had just a bedroom, a small bathroom and kitchen, but it would be enough. The lake right in front of it helped settle the matter, so she rented one bungalow for the night of the full moon.
With this matter settled her spirits for the assessment rose and she could now fully concentrate on helping these people keep their jobs. It wasn’t easy. They usually mistrusted her until they could see that what she changed actually worked. Before that she was only an outsider trying to get their hands on the remaining money of the company without accomplishing anything. She had to win their trust and the first few successful measurements were always the ones that granted her access to bolder and more risky moves. Some of her colleagues always went for lay-offs first, she didn’t like that; she always tried to keep the staff the way it was, even if they had to negotiate new contract conditions and a temporarily lower income. She made sure that these discussions were civilized and that everyone knew and understood why it was necessary. Though, those that didn’t agree with the monetary reduction for the sake of the company usually resigned, which gave her more room for other changes. Through talks with the employees and looking through the data at her disposal she had already discovered a few things they could change. Sometimes even changing the distributor of office supplies could give a small push in the right direction, which was all most companies needed to get back on their feet.
The day of the full moon went smoothly. She was able to get off work early enough to grab a little bag with a few things she’d need for the night from her hotel room and then drove off. Normally on her way towards her home she’d talk to her girlfriend, but right now she turned up the volume of her radio and listened to the new album of her favourite singer, Ed Sheeran. Loudly singing along the time flew by and she nearly missed the inconspicuous entrance to the lake lodgings. She parked her car where the owner had told her to and went to ring the bell of the family home on the property. The landlady greeted her with a smile and handed her the key after receiving the agreed upon money. When everything was settled she went to put her stuff into the small bungalow she had rented. On her way she stopped for a moment and just looked across the lake, imagining her route. It’d be so much fun to change in the water. She looked up into the sky trying to figure out how long it would still take the sun to sink and decided it would be enough time to have a phone call.
In her bungalow she sat down on the small bed. Briefly she just sat there in silence, a part of her was already excited for what was to come; another didn’t want to be overwhelmed by it. With a few buttons the screen of her smartphone lit up, showing her a picture of her brightly smiling girlfriend and her name, Rasha, in bright letters, while dialling her number.
„Hey Sweetie“, she greeted her.
„Hey, how’re you doing?“ Rasha answered; concern clearly detectable in her voice.
„I’m alright. It’s strange and this thing isn’t what you’d call a five star hotel, but it’ll do. The lake is great though“, she told her and looked through the window onto the clear water. „How was your day?“ She then changed the subject. Her girlfriend told her about her lectures she had had that day and she told her about the progress they made with the company. Slowly but surely the sun sank and as the darkness grew, so grew her restlessness.
„I don’t like this, Nina“, her girlfriend told her while she was getting ready.
„Don’t worry Sweetie, I’ll be fine“, she assured her for the umpteenth time.
„But…you don’t know if someone will see you-„, Rasha worried.
„Honey, we’ve been through this: It’s the middle of the week and I’ve got work tomorrow, I can’t come home to change with the pack“, Nina tried to remind her.
„I’m just worried…“
„I know. I don’t like it either, but I’ll be fine“, she tried to reassure her.
„Have you eaten?“ Rasha wanted to know.
„Yes“, Nina replied, annoyance rising in her voice.
„Enough?“ Rasha tried to make sure
„More than enough, I’d be surprised if I don’t sink into the lake like the wolf from Little Red Riding Hood“, Nina joked, but it was lost on Rasha, who only replied with a gasping: „Nina!“
„I’m just kidding! Relax!“
„Just call me first thing in the morning, okay?“ Rasha demanded, knowing she had lost the argument she couldn’t have won anyway.
„After I’ve taken a shower to not smell like wet dog, yes I will, probably on my way back to town“, Nina answered, more concentrated on undressing than following the conversation.
„Be careful!“ Rasha demanded and Nina only agreed with a short „Promise“ and assurance of her love, before hanging up.
Only covered in a light bathrobe she walked towards the lake, stopping before it. Slowly she let the robe slight down her body and without another thought she jumped into the water. With a few strong strokes she nearly made it halfway through. The water was still cold, but that didn’t bother her, as a short layer of fur already covered her body. Looking around for anyone watching her she dived back under water and soon after her wolf head appeared above it. It didn’t take her long to reach the other side of the shore. Out of the lake she shook off the water and started running, the wind would dry the rest. Only then did she let out a lonely howl to the moon, bewailing the friends she could not be with tonight.

Behind the Scenes

Remember when I quoted some stuff from this chapter for the challenge? 😉 Yup. Meet Nina and Rasha, the werwolf-human couple that joins Thomas and Amir. 🙂
If anyone is interested: The place Nina stays in really exists. It’s the private accomodation I mentioned here: Through a bit of Germany 2014 Pt. 1.
I hope you enjoyed this story as well.
Stay tuned for part six: Flower Moon! (Though that title might change as it doesn’t fit to the content…)

Crow Moon

Let’s face it: You all know I’m a lazy Blogger, so you shouldn’t be surprised by the lack of posts recently.
But I’m still kept busy by that writing project I mentioned the other day and I was at another Sabaton concert and I watched through Iron Fist and Wynona Earp and some other things. So yeah…
Yet, you still get part four of the Neubrandenwolf-Tale!
(You can find all chapters in proper order and some more information on this page: Neubrandenwolf)
So, have fun with:

Crow Moon

The slight hysteria following the discovery of his paw print had finally passed and any news regarding it were of the ‚just passing by‘ or ‚just a stray dog‘ variety. Thomas felt save enough to resume his usual routine. With the crows already cawing at him when he walked by, he also looked forward to playing with them.
The week before the full moon he took the bus as usual, but a quite unusual smell tickled his nostrils right away. A wolf. It was rare for him to meet one of his kind, but he recognized them anywhere. Pushed by the people behind him he made his way through the crowd following his nose until he found the source. In one of the double seats in the back sat a man all by himself staring back at him, surprise, fear and recognition written on his face. Since the refugee stream had reached the town Thomas had seen more and more of them regularly on the bus, but this one he certainly hadn’t met before; though he had always wondered if other wolves had come with them. The expression of the other made him wonder whether he had even seen another wolf before, so he made a quick decision and sat down beside him. The two of them just sat there not knowing how to start the conversation, especially in such a public place.
„I’m Thomas“, he finally started, fearing the other would have to get off soon.
„Amir“, the other answered meekly not looking at Thomas, but at one of the men standing in the bus bent, eying them.
To Thomas he seemed like another refugee, so he guessed the two knew each other or the other even knew what Amir was. Thomas looked from the man to Amir and whispered: „Can we talk?“
Amir looked at him for a moment, seemingly searching for something in his eyes, before he waved the other man to them with a nod. He came closer and they exchanged a few words Thomas couldn’t understand.
„Home we talk“, the other man told him, a stern expression on his face.
„Good“, Thomas agreed with a nod.
A few stops later, in one of the other cheaper districts, they got out and Amir and the other guy led him to their flat. They shared it with a few other adults and a few children that eyed him curiously. Amirs friend gave them a quick explanation and a phrase or word was whispered amongst them over and over, he assumed it meant ‚Werwolf‘. The children and women collected their things and soon left the flat, so that the men were alone.
„You wolf?“ Amirs friend asked after a moment, while Thomas was still just standing in the middle of the room, while the others sat on the old and worn couch and armchair or leaned against the wall.
„Yes“, Thomas agreed confidently, even if his flight instinct told him to be ready.
He was in a room with four men he didn’t know, one of them like him and frightened. What if they had lured him here to do something to him? The hair on the back of his neck stood up, but he tried to remain calm; he didn’t want to succumb to prejudices. Not in a situation like this.
„You kill?“ He now wanted to know, measuring him.
„NO!“ Thomas nearly yelled at him in protest.
The other nodded and pointed towards an empty space on the couch. Reluctantly Thomas sat down under watchful eyes before the other continued, waving towards Amir: „He kill“
Thomas‘ gaze landed on him and Amir had his head hung low in submission. „What happened?“ Thomas wanted to, even if his own fear could be heard in his words.
„They send wolf in my village. It kill all. Wife. Children. Family all gone. Me survive and people bring me to flee camp“, he explained, his eyes fixed on his hands. „When moon come wounds heal and then me monster and I kill all. No guns, no stop me“, he continued and Thomas could see the tears welling up inside Amir’s eyes and heard his voice breaking at the memory. „I flee on and meet Yussuf“, he finally looked up and towards the other. „When moon come I warn and he joke, but when me monster he and other“, he tried to explain by demonstrating the missing word by hitting his head.
„Knocked you out?“ Thomas tried.
„Yes“, Amir agreed, „But they no kill. They keep me live and knocked out each moon.“
„He no control“, Yussuf added.
Thomas looked from one to the other before offering: „I could teach you.“
„You control?“ Amir looked at him for the first time, hope shining in his wide open eyes.
„Yes. I can control it“, Thomas confirmed with a nod.
„What you do?“ Yussuf asked, demand in his voice.
„I eat and then run where no one else is“, Thomas gave him the short version.
„You run?“ Amir asked; admiration and surprise in his words.
„Yes. In the fields“, Thomas confirms again and the others exchange a few words.
„I want try“, Amir finally told him; seemingly afraid he would retract his offer.
„Do you have someone you trust that will come with us?“ Thomas tried to phrase as easily understandable as possible.
„That dangerous!“ Amir disagreed.
„Yes, but that is how I learned not to hurt people“, Thomas admitted.
„All trust dead“, Amir said after a moment of silence and looked at his hands again.
„I come“, Yussuf interjected, earning an awed expression by Amir, before adding towards Thomas: „When you want run?“
„The full moon, March 12th, a Sunday“, Thomas told him and Yussuf wrote it down on a slice of paper that lay on the table.
„You help me?“ Amir wanted to know.
„Of course, I’ll show you everything“, Thomas promised and then instructed: „You need to eat a lot before you leave, meat is best. Eat until you’re full. You also need a bag where you can store water and your clothes. Wear wide and old ones.“
Yussuf made more notes and Amir nodded gratefully: „Thank you much, wolf friend!“
[Edit: This is a new scene]
When he had left Thomas had given Amir his phone number and they had agreed to meet up during the days leading up to the full moon. One evening they walked around the nearby lake, chatting.
„What did you do back home?“ Thomas asked, but only earned a confused look; the language barrier wasn’t always easy to overcome. „What was your job?“ He tried again.
„I was – Biologist – I studied plants“, Amir replied, a sparkle in his eyes.
„I wouldn’t have picked you for a plant guy“, Thomas laughed and then explained with a smile: „You don’t look like someone interested in plants.“
„You not look like IT person either“, Amir countered, a smile spreading on his lips.
„Good point“, Thomas agreed and the both of them started laughing.
„The lake is pretty, but not like lakes at home. There many water flowers and beautiful tress around. Not like this“, Amir reminisced looking longingly across the still water.
„Have you been to the park yet?“ Thomas wondered and only earned a shake of the head.
„In winter it’s not as pretty as in spring and summer, but I guess you’d like it there. Lots of plants“, Thomas explained.
„Can we go there?“ Amir quietly asked after a pause.
„Sure“, Thomas agreed with a wide grin.
They were silent for a moment before he asked: „Will you be able to work as a Biologist again?“
Amir only shrugged. „I not know if me allowed to stay. This house“, he paused, searching his mind for the word, „temporarily. Might be we sent away again“. He avoided looking at Thomas when he mournfully admitted: „I not know names and words for plants“
„That shouldn’t be a problem. I have a friend that studies Biology. I could ask them for a book or help you pick one up from the library“, Thomas offered after thinking about it for a moment.
„You do that?“ Amir asked in surprise.
„Sure. If you’re less fearful for your human life, you’ll be less afraid of your wolf life and the change will be easier“, Thomas explained calmly.
Amir smiled and then just hugged Thomas tightly: „Thank you much.“
On the full moon day Thomas went to the bus station to pick them up. As the buses had a horrible schedule at this time of the day on Sundays they had agreed to meet him on his hill. Together they then walked along the way he usually already ran. He didn’t want Amir to turn at the edge of the district and he could already feel the wolf stirring inside of the other, so he fastened his steps. Finally they made it to the field and he led them to the forest at its border. There he put down his bag and motioned for Amir to do the same. Under the watchful eyes of Yussuf they removed their clothes and put them neatly into their bags. Amir was shaking by now and covered himself with his hands. Thomas grabbed him by the shoulders, „Breath“, he ordered calmly and Yussuf translated similarly, just in case. It felt to Thomas like his own wolf wanted to react to Amirs. This was his territory and the other wolf was trespassing. ‚No he wasn’t‘, Thomas scolded himself, ‚I invited him‘ and the wolf calmed down a little. Without warning Amir couldn’t hold it back any longer and started to turn. Thomas stepped away and let him. Completely transformed Amir snarled at him and Thomas held out his hand. „Hudu'“, he tried in Arabic, but the wolf turned towards Yussuf instead. He could feel the bloodlust and instinct taking over, but before Amir could jump, Thomas tackled him to the ground, now in wolf form as well. The two of them rolled on the ground biting and clawing at each other; Yussuf seemingly forgotten. It was soon apparent that Thomas was the stronger of the two and Amir yelped into a submissive position. Thomas barked at him and he started running, Thomas following suit. They ran and they fought and greeted the moon to their hearts content.

Behind the Scenes

Basically the only thing that really happened here is the fact that we have an increase in refugees that also take the bus. Though, I never really talked to any of them (there was this girl I asked about her singing the other day, but that was basically the entire conversation) as I’m not really the kind of person to start a conversation, let alone have small talk, with strangers/people I don’t know – unless it’s at a concert when I’m by myself or really want to ask the other person something, for some reason…
Anyway, the other thing are of course the crows (careful: one of my very first posts). There is a at least one murder here somewhere that is quite loud and pretty creepy…especially when you just want to reach your bus (or go to work). Currently it’s seagulls by the way, so they take turns? I don’t know. I only know that ever since I watched Hitchcock’s The Birds I’m very suspicious of large amounts of them flying around… (Same on a smaller scale with mist, since reading Stephen King’s The Mist, as I haven’t seen the movie-versions yet…) Good thing we have so few birds and mist up here…[/sarcasm]
By the way do I think that „The Year of the Moon“ might be a good title for this thing.
What do you think?
Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this story as well.
Stay tuned for part five: Water Moon! 😉

Snow Moon

And part three of the Neubrandenwolf-Tale.
You can find all stories in proper order and some more information on this page: Neubrandenwolf.
Have fun with:

Snow Moon

He knew it had been a bad idea.
He knew something would go wrong when he would run in an unknown area.
It always did.
Just a few days after the moon, his friend linked him on a social media post of the guy who owned the garden he had changed in. Of course he had found a paw print and was now sharing it with the world.
It wasn’t helping that his friends added: „Just around the corner from where we’ve been! Imagine if we would’ve seen the wolf!“
He did imagine it, he never liked when that happened. It wouldn’t have been the first time someone saw him – and certainly not the last.
Even after ten years of living with it he still felt like a stupid child whenever something like this occurred.
This full moon he wouldn’t be so reckless and he wouldn’t be in town either, as it fortunately was on a weekend.
The memories of his turning always haunted him when he screwed up. It showed him what might happen if he wasn’t careful. But where he was going he didn’t need to be that careful, he was save there and no one would notice a wolf running through the snow or care much about his paw prints afterwards. While he was driving towards his destination, however, his attack was all he could think about.
His girlfriend had just broken up with him and his best friend had dragged him out of country on a trip to „celebrate“ his new-found freedom. All the drinking hadn’t helped his troubled heart and so he had decided to go for a run in the middle of the night to clear at least his head. The air had been warm around him and the full moon had shone brightly in the clear sky. His feet had led him to a small forest at the outskirts of town and he had run along the path leading through it when suddenly he had heard something behind him. At first he had thought it was just another jogger that couldn’t sleep either, but the breathing and patter of feet reminded him more of an animal on the hunt. Sweat had run down his face and he had contemplated for a moment whether he should take a peek before his curiosity got the better of him. Looking back he had seen a large dog – or wolf as he now knew – standing there and starring at him. His heart had jumped and he had come to a halt, locking eyes with the beast. It had barred its teeth and snarled at him. Knowing you shouldn’t flee and actually not fleeing are two entirely different things and before he could have stopped himself his body had turned back around and just ran as fast as he could.
The wolf had been close on his heels, its growls barely audible over his own racing heart. Briefly he had thought about turning off the path, but he hadn’t dared to do it. He just ran and ran.
Still the wolf soon had caught up with him and he had felt something heavy hitting his back. He had lost his balance and had fallen face first onto the ground. There had been a sharp pain as the beast had sunken its teeth into his arm. A scream had left his throat as it had pulled him around. He had tried hitting it with his free arm, but to no effect. Then he had felt something hard below his back and had remembered the flashlight he had brought just in case. As the wolf was still pulling at his arm he had simply grabbed the flashlight and hit the wolf over the head several times. Finally it had let him go. They had stared at each other for a few frantic heartbeats; then the wolf had shaken its head and had just run off. He had shivered and panted and when he had been certain the beast wouldn’t return he had gotten up and stumbled back.

After nearly an hour of driving he finally reached the old house that was right at the edge of a forest. He parked his car and took out the backpack from his trunk before he rang the doorbell. The could hear the sound echoing through the large house, followed by the swishing of slippers on tiles, before a short, roundish woman opened the door, a surprised look on her face.
„Tommy!“ She exclaimed, a grin spreading.
„Hi Mum“, he replied and was pulled into a bear hug.
„Come in, come in“, she urged him and stepped aside.
He stomped away the remaining snow on his shoes and patted his clothes free from what little had landed on him on the way from the car to the house and stepped inside. Opening his jacket his mother soon grabbed it to hang it on a free hook while he got rid of his shoes and put them on the low shoe rack. When he got up his slippers already stood there waiting for him on the floor. A smile crept onto his face as he turned his attention back to his mother.
„Your father is in the living room, I’ll get you a tea; you must be freezing“, she told him and hurried off towards the kitchen.
„Thanks Mum.“ He wasn’t cold, not even remotely, but he still appreciated the gesture.
Bracing himself, he entered the living room; his father wouldn’t be too thrilled about his visit.
„You’ve been careless“, he greeted him solemnly and Thomas lowered his head; he knew he had been.
His father lifted up a newspaper that laid beside him on a table and read the headline: „Wolf in town? Paw prints found in local allotment garden“ before looking straight at him, „Seeing as you came here this full moon, it wasn’t just any wolf, was it?“
Thomas sat down on the couch, his head still lowered, kneading his hands. „No, it wasn’t“, he admitted nearly whispering.
„How many times do we have to tell you to be more careful, Thomas? It’s been ten years and you still act like it only happened last month!“ His father scolded him, slamming the paper back onto the table.
„Don’t you think I know that? Don’t you think I prepared?! I can’t change the weather!“ Thomas now snapped back, the moon already affecting his mood, at this accusation.
His father was right of course, he had raced his mind through all the possible outcomes, but it only came down to the mud that had captured his print.
„Enough! Both of you!“ His mother intervened and sat down beside him. „Tell us what happened, Tommy, we only know the news side of the story“, she encouraged and took his hand.
He squeezed it slightly and nodded. „Katrin had invited me to her birthday party and it was on the day of the moon“, he started.
„And that wasn’t reason enough for you to decline?“ His father interrupted.
„Of course, but she kept asking me about it. I hadn’t seen her and our friends for months, so I prepared. I looked at maps, I walked the area, but then the snow melted and one of the mud puddles caught my print“, Thomas explained, still angry at himself, angry at the weather and angry at his father for simply blaming him.
„Was it a good night at least?“ His mother changed the topic.
„Yeah, it was fun“, he answered with a genuine smile.
„Your tea should be ready“, she then said, smiling herself and patted his thigh before getting up.
They sat in silence until his mother returned, but it wasn’t an awkward one, it was more like they didn’t want her to miss anything of the conversation.
When she did she asked him about the party, his work and what had happened since they last talked and he happily obliged by telling her everything he deemed interesting. He simply loved being home.
The next day he helped his father shovelling the snow in the yard and from the roof and with other tasks while his mother prepared his favourite goulash and a meaty dish for the evening.
When the time had come he hugged his mother and received a pat on the back and a „be careful“ from his father. They stood with him on the back terrace that looked onto a meadow that lead to the part of the forest that belonged to them. He removed his clothes and put them on a bench, his mother would fold them later, she always did, and then shifted with a jump into the snow. For a moment he looked back at his parents, his mother was waving at him, a smile on her face, while his father merely nodded and had his arm around her. Yelping at them he then greeted the moon before he rolled around in the fluffy snow and ran off into the forest.

Behind the Scenes

Pretty much the only thing that was real this time, was the fact that it had snowed again and that it’s not unusual to drive long distances to get home…
And the fact that we occasionally have wolf sightings in Meck-Pomm thanks to the packs we have in the Lübtheener Heide and other regions.
With the upcoming chapters this will be even less based on stuff like that and more on narration.
The question is though:

Should I wait for the next full moons to publish each chapter or just publish them as soon as I have them done?

What do you think?
Well, I hope you enjoyed this story as well.
Stay tuned for part three: Crow Moon! 😉

An Update on Writing

I know there (again) has been a lack of content lately, but this time for a good reason: I’m busy writing stories!
But I’ll get to that a bit later, as today I’d like to talk about writing stuff in general and stuff I did more or less recently.
Two years ago the Bücherstadt Kurier published their March volume including my story „Nebeljagd“ (Mist Hunt). This was the first of my stories that has ever been published in a proper medium and not just on this Blog or on DF.PP Entertainment or in The Forum (back when it still existed 🙁 ).
I remember being so proud of this.
I remember calling my Mum right away after I received the mail with the amazing „You’ve been chosen“-line.
I remember printing out the story and showing it to her and the smile on her face.
I also remember what happened next.
For me those two things will forever be remembered together: My first success and my biggest loss.
Still, that didn’t keep me from continuing, I knew she would have (verbally) kicked my ass if I had dared to do that. Just giving up, wasn’t quite her style. 😉
It took me more than a month to at least be willing to write again, the result being „Ein neuer Tag“ (A New Day), starting there a lot of my writings involved darker tones about loss, flight and/or death.
Part of me used this to talk about my own experiences and thoughts, another part just found it fitting for a characters‘ journey. I believe a prime example of this is Mina’s side-story from my second Advent Calendar.
I’m fairly certain that „Der Weckruf“ (The Wake-up call) was the first story I published on a Blog after it all happened – in retrospective it’s quite a fitting title for the situation – not counting „Der Zufluchtsort“ (The Haven), which was the last story I finished the day before it happened and scheduled for the day after. Still, from there I kind of got back into things.
Your Picture – A Story“ was (kind of still is, even if I didn’t manage to write anything for it these last couple of months…) a good outlet for me to just explore different topics and characters without going into too much details thanks to the word count. This was also where you could see the changes I mentioned earlier the most.
Another new step I made regarding my stories was/is attending a Lesebühne (Reading Stage) where I read them aloud in front of an audience (in a pub). It’s always a thrill to do that and I’m nervous time and again. Though there is rarely any feedback: A few people told me they enjoyed the stories, someone said the stories I read improved over time, another encouraged me to try my luck with a publisher, others had minor complains, but most of them said nothing. It’s still an interesting experience and with the amount of Short Stories I have yet to read (or write) I have quite some stuff still unknown to the listeners.
Speaking of trying my luck: I also managed to win Eve Estelles’s writing contest, twice, without actually expecting to do so:

With „The Raven’s Omen“ and the „Campfire Tale„, I impressed her enough to let me win and those two are also prime examples of my English Short Stories, as I usually tend to write those in German. The only downside to this is my pessimism coming into play here and telling me I only won, because (it feels like) there wasn’t much competition.
I am very pessimistic (in general and especially) when it comes to my stories, I like them, but I rarely think they’re good enough for anyone else to like them, so it came as quite a surprise when fruehstuecksflocke asked me to become a part of #Projekt24. With „Blind Date„, I hope I made an adequate addition to it. This project will soon be not just available on his Blog, but more on that when it’s officially announced. 😉
With my success here I also tried to add an entry to the Literary Advent Calendar of the Bücherstadt Kurier and some people quite laughed at my take on „The Crib„.
When this year began I told you about three stories I edited/translated for another project, namely: Ein neuer Tag, „The Quest for Ore“ and another one called „Verloren“ (Lost). These three are for Projekt Myra as exchange for some advertisement they did and as they still wanted/liked to get more I sat down to write out another of my organ-concert-ideas (see link Ein neuer Tag) concerning the Dwarfworld, I came up with back when writing The Quest for Ore and drafting Verloren. That story, however, did not want to be a Short Story and has by now roughly 30k of written out scenes and notes under the (working?) title: Der Wunsch der Königin (The Queen’s Wish). It’s still a lot of work to do and I’m still not entirely convinced it fits into the corner of Myra that we decided on – and again, that they really like what I’m writing-, but we’ll see once I’m done. Which I hopefully will be one day and don’t let it go to waste (like Michael’s story that I still haven’t managed to properly write down). Unfortunately I’m already kind of bored of writing out the notes and missing scenes, as motivation plays a rather huge part in my process and when the voice in the back of my head tells me something is not worth doing, then I have the tendency to listen to it, which is awful and counterproductive and absolutely annoying.
Another annoying thing is me jumping between ideas. As soon as one pops up I want to pursue it and everything else is then put aside (like writing this post, when I should be doing something else 😉 ). One of the last times this happened I had nearly/finally finished with last years Advent Calendar and then I somehow decided to write two more stories. The first one was the Christmas story „Santa’s Helper“ that I kind of feel like continuing in this year’s Calendar, though I’m not sure if I really should – any thoughts?
The other was „Winter Moon“ that I did get carried away with and which now has the basics for the twelfth chapters I speculate to write under the working title „Neubrandenwolf„. Though I still don’t know whether I should publish a Chapter a month (close to the full moon) or just publish as soon as I’m finished, Twitter wasn’t helpful for that decision…
The idea-jumps doesn’t make it any easier to get anything done though, quite the contrary. They are especially awful when it comes to the Fanfictions I started over the years that are still not finished yet, especially as I kind of took a year long break from them. Though I did manage to update 3/4 stories by now, even if updating one of the stories was recently postponed by writing the first ~7k version of The Queens Wish and then finished after I dreamed about one of the characters pulling me towards him…
Still, they’re a great medium where you technically don’t have to think up that much regarding the worlds you write in and just can explore different story lines with existing characters. Which doesn’t mean I did not think things through, because that would be impossible for me, as I want things to make sense, even if that makes things more complicated and nearly as bad, as if I thought up my own worlds.
Anyway, a few people keep telling me I have a talent for writing and that I should try sending stuff to a publisher, but the voice in the back of my head, still tells me that I’m not good enough, that the stuff I write is too full of clichés, too boring, too simple and that no one would want/like to read it anyway (hence the lack of motivation at times). I really don’t know whom I should listen to, but that doesn’t mean I won’t keep writing – and potentially improving. All this stuff has to get out of my head somehow. There are still too many stories left untold that I don’t even dare to think about to not get distracted by them…
But don’t worry, you will get a few things to read in the future – whether you like them or not. 😉
P.S. Still not any better at naming things. 😉

Wolf Moon

Well, I decided to continue the story of Winter Moon. Not just with this sequel, but a third part is already drafted as well. If I manage to do it, you will get a continuation every month close to the next full moon. The whole thing will be put below the title „Neubrandenwolf“, because let’s face it: The stuff that happens to the guy takes place in Neubrandenburg, even if I don’t say it. 😀
Anyway, I wanted to publish this post already last week, but I got sidetracked by watching Zoo. Though, as it turned out that was a good thing. For the third part I checked out the moon-names for title purposes and discovered that the full moon in January was called the Wolf Moon. Of course I had to change the title for that. 😉
As that is out of the way, have fun with

Wolf Moon

The other day it had finally snowed. The first time this winter, even if it was already January. He loved the snow; he loved how it made the world look peaceful and pure, but he especially loved how it felt on his fur and below his paws when he ran during his special night. His only fear was that it would thaw before that. Walking his way up to the hill he lived on, he thought about his plans for that night. Two days ago he had had a phone call with a friend that would complicate things.
„Hey, you’re the only one left, who hasn’t told me whether they come to my birthday party or not“, his friend had greeted him.
„Oh, sorry, I forgot. When was it again?“ He had asked, clearly remembering it would be on the day of the full moon.
„Next Thursday“ his friend had confirmed.
„Ah, yeah, I don’t know. Friday is my day off – “ he had started, but had been interrupted by: „Oh, come on! It’s my birthday and everyone will be there! You have to get out once in a while, you know, right?“ His friend had, not for the first time, mocked his status as a recluse. „Besides, I know for fact that you’ve never been to the Brewhouse and always wanted to go there!“
He had sighed at that and given in: „Let me check my schedule and I’ll call you back tomorrow.“

He had struggled with himself. On the one hand did he want to go and hang out with his friends that he hadn’t seen for ages, the great food he had heard so much about was an additional bonus. On the other hand would this cause several other problems as he was unfamiliar with the area and his potential running grounds.
The evening after the call he had spent with a map of the area. Even if he only stayed a couple of hours he wouldn’t be able to make it back in time for his run, so he wouldn’t have a choice but to improvise.
After work the next day he had gone to the restaurant and taken out the map he had printed and followed the path he had marked to the allotment nearby. He made notes of the hedges, the arbours and sometimes of the smells. Even without the moon his senses were better than those of a normal human, so he easily noticed that not many people had been here recently. They probably just checked on their belongings in their gardens or fed the resident birds.
A path ran throughout the allotment, branching off every few meters into new ways leading to the entrances of several gardens lying beside each other. At some point he had strayed from the main path to the left, this way he passed the garden entrances, but also came closer to the brook that ran parallel to everything. At this edge of the allotment he had found an unlocked gate between the hedges that led to the brook. Carefully he opened it, already hearing the bubbling of the water. This was where he could start running. No one would see him if he kept close to the hedges.
But first he needed that hiding place.
He had gone through the row of gardens leading to the brook and checked them for signs of their owners and the accessibility of their entrances. As his boots left prints in the snow he had to be careful when he looked for a proper hiding place for his clothes, he didn’t want people to think that he was planning on robbing something. Finally he had come across one garden that seemed promising. Someone had recently been here, the footprints still led to the arbour, so if the snow stayed no one would notice a second pair. The gate was low enough to pass with a bit of effort and the arbours‘ terrace seemed like a good place to hide his backpack. He was certain this should work; he just hoped the owners wouldn’t be here when the time came, that would be more than awkward. After he had made a note on his map he had started a timer on his phone to see how long it would take him to get here. When he had reached the restaurant again he was satisfied with the results and took his bus home. After dinner he then had called his friend to tell them that he’d come, but only for a few hours.
The days leading up to the birthday party he went through his plan time and again to see if it’d really work. When the day came he felt prepared enough, yet still terrified, but that was always the case if he had to change in an unknown environment; he liked his routines. He had a little time to get home from work before driving back down for the celebration. In his flat he changed into comfortable clothes that weren’t too thick to stuff into his backpack – as his usual bag would be too suspicious – alongside his supplies; something he had tried several times. With a last check he went to catch his bus.
Entering the restaurant, he was met by the delicious smell of different kinds of meat coming from the kitchen; he was definitely looking forward to the meal. His friend had invited quite a few people, fifteen if he counted correctly, some of which he knew, others he had never met before, neither of them knowing the truth about him. The only available seat was beside one of his friends‘ single lady friends, which was just a simple hint at the fact that he had been single for all the years they had known each other. A few of them – including him – decided to take the special plate consisting of a plate full of different kinds of meats and several side dishes like potato-variations and red cabbage. After some small talk and catching up, the food finally arrived and smelled even more delicious now that it stood directly before him. Luckily for him this was a restaurant where using your hands was encouraged, so he didn’t feel bad about grabbing a ham hock and sinking his teeth into it. It tasted as delicious as it smelled and it was hard to control his hunger and chew normally instead of just gulping it down. Still, he took little breaks between his refills so he could control himself better and it wouldn’t be too obvious that he ate far more than his share. He didn’t know the hunting grounds here, so he made sure to be sated enough to not attack anything – or anyone – out of hunger.
After the meal was finished and the few leftovers packaged, he wanted to leave, but his friend made him stay for the hand washing ritual. A bowl of soapy water was brought to them by one of the staff dressed as a medieval maidservant and she declared that the women would wash and dry the hands of the men. Of course woman sitting beside him was the one drying his hands. She coyly smiled at him the way she had done all evening. On days like these he never knew if this was real attraction or if it was the wolf that subconsciously made them swoon. It didn’t matter either way. He thanked her politely and stood up to say his good byes.
As he got out, his backpack loosely hanging over his shoulder, a few smokers already stood at the bottom of the entrance stairs. Their smoke interfered with his fine nose, so he quickly made his way past them, bidding his farewell. The property was surrounded by a stone wall with a few bars as fence here and there and a large gate that opened the way onto the street or onto the parking lot, depending on whether you were leaving or entering. Out of the gates he took a last look back and saw the others still standing there and with a forced smile he waved once again and turned left, as if he wanted to take the bus. Out of their field of vision he crossed the street and turned right instead to get to his actual destination. A little behind the gate he crossed the street again and with swift steps made his way to the hiding place.
He considered himself lucky that no one was around or had been here recently, but the snow had mostly thawed by now and he feared he might leave footprints in the mud. Still, he didn’t have a choice, so he crossed the low gate, went down the path to the arbour and stepped onto its open terrace. Alert he looked at his surroundings while he undressed himself and stashed everything in his backpack, his papers and remaining money at the bottom. He put the bag underneath the frame of a canopy swing and turned to leave. At the entrance of the terrace he stood for a moment looking up at the pale beauty above that was hiding behind tall trees and snow clouds. She looked magnificent. Taking in the cold air his body started to shift and soon he made his way through the garden. He tried to leave as few prints as possible through balancing on the edge of the cement plates that were vertically put into the ground as path borders; he still slipped a few times.
He followed the way he had studied to the brook and further down to a side arm of the local river and soon found himself on a still snowy field, as the ground here was too cold to let it thaw. Yelping joyfully he ran a few paces through it, rolled around in it and threw it into the air with his muzzle. Enjoying himself he howled his greeting to the moon and set off to fully enjoy his snowy run.

Behind the Scenes

As I did last time, a little overview of what is based on real things/events:

  • There is a restaurant at the edge of town called the Wallensteinkeller (Wallenstein-cellar) or commonly called „Brauhaus“ (brewhouse) where the only cutlery you get is a sharp knife. For minimum two people you can order the Wallensteinplatte (Wallenstein-plate) where you can get the stuff described above. It’s delicious. Also the staff does dress up as Magd (maidservant) and Knecht (servant), the foods have funny descriptions (black juice of the sugar beet would be coke) and the hand washing ritual really happens like that.
  • We were there for my Birthday celebration, but the moon-behind-the-threes thing happened a week earlier when we went there to order a special meal for Breagit.
  • This and me looking at a town map while waiting for my bus, I decided to write this story and let the protagonist run past the Brauhaus into the described Gartenanlage (allotment) onto the Torffeld (turf field) behind it.
  • I know a family that have their garden there and they brought me to the brook once, but the garden itself is kind of a mix between theirs and our garden, I’m pretty sure their terrace has a door, while ours is accessible.

Well, I hope you enjoyed this story as well.
Stay tuned for part three: Snow Moon! 😉

Winter Moon

Well, let’s start this year with a new story that I came up with during the last weeks of December.
Some of the stuff described in it did actually happen, others not so much. I’ll let you know what is what afterwards. 😉
I quite like the idea and the story, even if I’m pretty sure I messed up some of the tenses, but read for yourself:

Winter Moon

Since the early morning he had sat at his computer at work. He had wanted to go home more than an hour ago, but his current task just kept throwing him in circles and needed to be finished before he finally had his day off. Everything inside of him was itching and wanting to leave. It was getting difficult to concentrate, but he had to.
In the corner of his eye he caught a glimmer of light and he put it aside as just another car driving down the busy road beside his workplace. But unlike a car’s, this light didn’t cease. Curious what it was, he looked up from his screen and out of the window. Staring back at him was the brightly glowing full moon. ‚Nearly full‘, he corrected in his mind and studied it for a moment, especially the craters that reminded him of a face – the man in the moon, as he was colloquially called.
‚Always a man‘, he snickered to himself.
A thing like that should be referred to as a woman. They were the fascinating, alluring and mysterious one of the genders. Men rarely had such grace. He moved his head from one side to the other and the moon seemed to follow him, the glass adding several paler reflections on either side of the glowing orb whichever way he turned. It was stunning and beautiful and he just wanted to go outside and watch it until it would sink again. But he couldn’t.
Fiercely he shook his head. First he had to finish his task then he could indulge the moon in all its glory.
„Just one more day“, he had told himself and returned to work the next morning.
Last night when he had sat on his balcony, a steaming tea in hand, looking up at the bright and glowing moon his mind had drifted to his task and he had seen the solution to his problem clearly before him, now all he needed to do was implement it. He would do that today and then be off into his much needed day off. Even with little sleep he had been here early and with all the extra hours he had put in to finish this, no one would complain if he left a little earlier.
But his plans were thwarted again, this time by his boss. Without much notice beforehand he had scheduled an important meeting right when he was about to leave but couldn’t as his opinion was needed. The meeting dragged on and on and he became more restless by the minute. He wanted to leave, he needed to. Impatiently tapping his foot he could see the world outside the window grow dark. The moon was rising, he knew.
Finally his boss dismissed them and he all but ran into their office, grabbing his things and throwing them in his sling bag.
„You’re in quite a hurry“, one of his colleagues stated mockingly.
„I’m late for my day off“, he only answered with a forced smile. ‘Far too late‘, he added in his mind.
With a short goodbye he finally left.
„I should have taken my bike“, he grumbled impatiently. Pacing like a caged animal he waited for the bus that would take him to his home, so he could start his vacation.
The cars kept rushing past him on the three-lane street and finally he could see the glowing lights of his bus approaching in the distance.
When he enters the bus he is met by the typical stench of Christmas time. The Christmas Market was at its height and the people were streaming to it, even in the middle of the week. He could smell the spiced wine and the rum, the roasted almonds and sweats and most of all the sweat from wearing too many layers on a not that could evening. Making his way through the slightly drunk and well fed people to the back of the bus he puts on his music to tune out the world. Fittingly the shuffle he has put on gives him Full Moon by Sonata Arctica and he decides to let it play in a loop. Through the mirroring windows he sees it, looming high in the sky.
Soon‘, he thinks leaning his head against the cold window, watching the moon whenever it was visible.
The bus drives up the hill his home was built on. When he arrives at his stop he steps out and takes a deep breath of the fresher air. The music is still humming in his ears but he mostly ignores it. The tall buildings block his view of the moon, but he knows it is there. He makes his way to his small flat, choosing to take the back entrance for a change. A pale light streams through the gap between the buildings and illuminates the grass and the monkey bars on the meadow.
He grins.
The moon was already greeting him.
Hurrying into his flat he puts away his work bag and changes into comfortable pants and a wide shirt after washing the dirt from the day off of his body. He then packs a small bag with a bottle of water, a towel and some disinfectant. While he is preparing the microwave heats some leftovers and the soft ping interrupts his packing. Carefully he takes out the food, goulash, his favourite, and makes himself comfortable at his dinner table. Slowly eating his meal he goes through his packing list once again and decides that he has everything he needs.
After he is done, he puts the plate and the cutlery into the dishwasher and grabs his bag. Putting on some light shoes he takes his spare set of keys, only containing the ones getting him into his flat, and leaves.
The winter air is cold, but that doesn’t bother him as he sets out for the outskirts of his district. He sometimes curses himself for living in the city, but his job didn’t allow for something farther out; the commute would be too long. But he still considered himself lucky that he got to live close to the large fields and far stretched forests that lay just outside of the town.
It doesn’t take him long to reach the sports field belonging to the nearby schools and swiftly jumps over the waist high fence. In a dark corner behind the trainers‘ office he stashes away his bag after putting his clothes in there as well. His body shivers and shakes and a low growl escapes his throat as his body shifts. Once more he shakes himself before he runs off towards the fence, leaping over it in one swift move. Running through the silent night he feels the wind in his fur. He doesn’t fear to be seen; he knows how to stay invisible; he knew the way.
Only a little further and he would be on the fields where he could finally howl at the moon.
Call out to the pale and glowing beauty of this winter moon.

Behind the Scenes

So, what do you think? Good? Bad? Interesting? Worthy to be continued?
Anyway, quick overview of what really happened:

  • I was at my computer at work when I saw the moon through the window. It was pretty cool to look at with all those reflections – I really hope I described that well enough – and right beside our office building is a quite busy road.
  • As the renovation now moved to the main entrance I had to use the back entrance and saw the moon light the way I described it.
  • I have a balcony and a microwave, though I probably didn’t use either on that day ( I live far too low to see the moon properly, but it sometimes does find its way between the slits of my shutters). 😀
  • I live on a hill and take the bus to get there – I also have a bike, but it’s collecting dust in my basement – starting from a stop beside the three-lane „Ring“ (circle) surrounding the town centre.
  • I watched the moon appear and disappear between the buildings while listening to Sonata Arctica’s Full Moon in a loop on the bus ride – and used the song as thought-focus while writing and editing.
  • The story was thought up and written during the time of our Christmas Market (the bus stop is directly beside it).
  • There is a school sports field not too far away from where I live and the outskirts with the fields and forest aren’t that far away either – you occasionally can see deer or foxes crossing the street or standing beside it.
  • I like goulash, but it’s not my favourite food and I have a dinner table that I rarely use and a small flat. 😀

And that’s it, everything else is entirely made up, I guess. 😉
I really like watching the full moon and pretty much every time I see one while I’m driving I think about werwolves and how inconvenient it would be to turn into one while sitting in a car – or at work in the stories case. Good thing I’m not one of them. 😀
Anyway, hoped you liked the story.

Happy Birthday to me


WriteTheWhite-Activity: Characters with Tattoos

As I’m trying to get back into writing I had a look through my old drafts and dug this one up.
Back then I – again –  felt inclined to do an exercise from WriteTheWhite, this time about characters with tattoos. In her post Sherri used a picture of a young man with a tree tattoo covering his chest and described a character with a similar one. The man from the picture became a werwolf and rather than the task itself (that you can find below) this reminded me of one of my own characters, whose story I have yet to tell. In an effort to finally get his project some much needed spotlight and maybe push myself to finally write it down, I decided to take up this activity.

But first let’s have a look at the Activity:

Task: Find a picture of a tattoo that inspires you. If you would like to share, post your snippet and a link to your picture in the comments.
What do you see?
Who is this person?
How old are they?
What is the tattoo of?
Why do they have it?
Is it important?
What is his world?
What does he love?
What does he hate?
Does he give his name freely?
What is it?
+ Add Questions of your own.

Finding a picture of the tattoos is quite difficult, as I have a character in mind, whose tattoos are just some sketches I made a couple of years ago and some of them are even still changing.
But what I know is this (The italic questions from above, will be answered, the normal ones are partly answered below):

The Tattoos (What do you see? What is the tattoo of? Is it important?)

Covering his back from shoulder blades down to his hips is a tribal tattoo of a wolfs‘ head looking straight at you with pricked ears turned sideways. The dark lines of the fur are interwoven, but you can still follow the strands easily. Most notably are its piercing eyes and its sharp, snarling fangs.
At first this tattoo was a dragon in a Chinese tattooing style, but it did not fit the character.
On his left (or right) upper arm you can see a pale blossomed lily encircling a round shape, that only up close can be recognized as a full moon.
Another moon can be found on his well formed abdomen, just about where his rips start, though depending on when in his time line you see it, the tattoo might only be one torn up half of the moon.
Depending as well are two small paw prints on his chest: A right one on the left side and a left one on the right side.
These all have a meaning to him and the wolf also to others, but you will have to wait a bit for more information. 🙂
Uncertain tattoos are a stripe like tribal tattoo covering his right (or left) shoulder, a five-pointed star on the back of his neck with three letters in each point and a lifelike snake encircling his leg and biting it.
Though the stripes probably go to a different character, the star-theme already felt weird as part of the plot when I first thought it up and the snake is just a silly idea for a kind of prank tattoo.

The Person

Now we get to the interesting part where I talk about him publicly for the first time. A few people have already heard – some even read – about him, but he mostly only exists in notes and thoughts.

Who is this person? How old are they? Does he give his name freely?

His full name is Michael Casper Fox.
He was born a bastard to a local farmer boy and a whore on 11th of November 1880 and mostly raised by the local Healer and Herb Woman. In his twentieth year (before his birthday) he was turned into a Werwolf. Ever since then he struggled with his wolf side and created a separate identity for it. While interacting with humans he uses his given name, Michael (Fox), while his pack only knows him as Casper. This identity soon develops into a second personality. Where Michael is caring and compassionate, Caspar is ruthless and carefree.
Though thanks to the strength and longevity of the wolf inside of him he gains the position of pack leader in his 50s – the race of wolfs he belongs to has a very slow ageing process where they can live up to thousands of years. But as he does not care much for the responsibilities this brings with it, he only acts as such if the pack is threatened and otherwise leaves the leading to two other capable pack members: His mentor/friend Cole and Justine, the daughter of the former leaders.
For a long time the most important person in his life was his older (half-)brother Andrew, he cares for him deeply and protects him at all costs. Like he does for every other person he cares about that will not be mentioned here.
This is but the tip of the iceberg of who Michael is, but he is one of my favourite characters, as I can explore many different things with him.

The Meaning of the Tattoos (Why do they have it?)

Let’s have a look at why he has these tattoos and what they stand for.

The Wolf

In my world the wolf itself is a symbol and tells you different things about the person that wears it as jewellery or tattoo. Though only some are allowed to actually wear it as you will see from the following tables:

Ears facing front facing side
pricked Alpha –
pure blood
Alpha –
half lowered
Beta –
pure blood
Beta –
lowered Omega –
pure blood
Omega –

If neither of the following applies than the wolf doesn’t have a special position:

Mouth Teeth snarling Tongue out
Meaning Official Executioner
for the Council

So, now do you remember how I described Michael’s tattoo?
Right, he is a bitten Alpha and an Official Executioner.
Before you complain: The Executioner’s aren’t used on a whim, they only target people – and wolves – who threaten the continued existence of wolves or that brutally violate their laws (Killing humans is forbidden – biting/turning them is already frowned upon and rarely practised).
And yes, the Werwolves have a council lead by the oldest pure blooded wolves that pass laws for the population and appoint ambassadors to deal with the humans and other creatures.
The pure blooded Werwolves derive from the first wolves in a direct line, with no human blood in the mix. Werwolves are considered as born when their ancestry includes both werwolves and humans and as bitten when they were turned by another wolf.
While Michael struggles with some of the parts of being a wolf, he is still proud of the things he achieved thanks to it. Usually this symbol of status is worn as an accessory (ring, amulet) or medium tattoo, but he – or rather Casper – decided it should cover his whole back.

The Lily and the Moon

Chosen as a memory for a friend after she is killed by a Hunter – the less law-bound human version of the Executioners – due to her own past and their friendship. He gets this tattoo in his 80s. It symbolizes her ability to accept him as what he is. Still, this tattoo gets an even deeper meaning when he falls in love with a human woman that is called Lilly, who not just returns his feelings, but also helps him to merge his personalities.

The Paw Prints

From the point of which I want to start telling his – and his families – story (where he’s about 140 years old) it is pretty clear whom the paw prints belong to, but for this I only give you a little hint: Puppies. 😀

The Moon

Just to see if the tattoo would stay he got the moon on his abdomen quite early on, as more of a joke. It is not really well done and it does look even worse after part of it is removed through an injury.

The Other stuff

I feel like answering the remaining questions or elaborating on the ones I did answer, is giving too much away of the things I want to tell, when I actually start working on (t)his story, again. Back in 2004 I started the story that would result in his, as what was pretty much a Buffy Fanfiction. While some influences of the show are still visible in the plot and characters, most of it was replaced by my variations of the themes used there and in other media. 2008 I made another attempt at writing the story down by starting on a later point in the time line with a different character (Michael got a background role in that one). I published some of the early chapters, which were pretty short, and really bad in retrospective, in a forum I was in at that time. I still didn’t have a name for the overall story and there was only little feedback, so I stopped again. Since then I merely rethought the characters and their stories, but barely wrote anything down.
There is a lot of story concerning this character and the people around him that would probably fill more than one book (probably six judging from the notes I made some weeks ago). I just don’t know how I want to put together the different parts to make the story both interesting and enjoyable and I’m not entirely satisfied with how the notes turned out. I’m also afraid that in the end it sounds like a written Soap Opera, as the struggles the characters face are more of an everyday life nature and rarely life threatening and not supernatural and murderous. But maybe I’m too hard on myself and I already have all these interesting elements, I just don’t see them any more as I’ve been working on this story for over ten years and am now too nervous to get it out.
At least I feel more and more comfortable with naming this thing Bloodlines, as it indeed focuses on the adventures of several related people.
I hope it’s okay that I re-interpreted the task again and used it to finally write a bit about this character of mine. Maybe this’ll help me to finally get started on the actual version of the whole story. It at least helped to get some much needed notes down regarding the story lines. Who knows. 🙂