I’m leaving up the cute drawing of Elias and Vincent as the voting incentive because 1) I am lazy and 2) some people might not have seen it yet. A win for everyone!

Since introducing Sara, a lot of people have brought up her motivations, so I’m glad I can take this little chunk of the chapter to give more context. And if you refer back to the happy times when Marin was first made a werewolf, you might notice that the situation has deteriorated a bit. Luckily, this continues for a few more pages, so ya’ll won’t have a lot of questions in the end. This part of the chapter has a few inspirations, actually. One, I’ve thrown myself into local politics in the last year (for OBVIOUS REASONS on a national level), and you quickly realize that compromise is the name of the game, almost always. What do we want? Improved rainwater drainage! When do we want it? Now! But also after we figure out where we can pass a small tax to cover the cost, and take public comment for at least two months, and then revise the end date of the tax, and review the company that’ll be handling the water reclamation efforts…Anyway, you always have to keep an eye on the bigger picture while building up to your end goals through many small actions taken over a longer amount of time than you care to spend. My second motivation for this whole “werewolf politics” business is that ultimately, from a storytelling perspective, having a whole state worth of totally competent werewolves show up at Connie’s door would resolve the situation way too quickly, and that’d kind of kill the momentum of Malaya and company figuring out how to save the day. Spoiler alert? But not really, you guys know how stories work. You can’t set up a hero and then have a bunch of strangers show up and fix things or…it’d be a kind of weird, shitty story. I mean, that’d actually be kind of cool in a very “deconstructing traditional storytelling” kind of way, but if I wanted to fuck with everyone to that degree, I’d probably just go with my dad’s favorite: “Then they all got run over by a bus. The end.”

The initial dawning of this story was based on a goofy comic I did over three years ago that got me thinking about how every werewolf story is presented as this very black and white scenario where you’re a werewolf with a leader, and now your identity is subsumed by The Pack and you lose your fucking mind when there’s a full moon and it all kind of blows. A werewolf story is essentially a combo of man vs. self and man vs. nature, but in one person. But the man vs. self thing always comes down to the lack of control over transforming, but never the larger aspects of how your human priorities would conflict with your wolf priorities. Like any human, a werewolf is going to have likes and dislikes, probably a job and aspirations…but you’ve got to find a balance between those regular “being a person” life issues and whatever you’re required to do as a werewolf. You have kids, so you need to move to a better school district or whatever…well, that’s a problem. Your job changes location or you get a better offer in another town…well, that’s a problem. You invest in nice clothes and don’t want to rip them to shreds every time I gotta go tear a guy’s face off…well, that’s a problem.

Anyway, my point is that the whole werewolf narrative gets reduced to its base aspects, but the real conflict most of the time would be the everyday minutiae that gets in the way. I am a werewolf, but I’m also an accountant, and there’s another firm that’s offering me more money, but it’s outside my territory, so now I have to ask for help from the leader of my pack to negotiate the ability to move elsewhere because long term job gains are increasingly based on the willingness to uproot your life every five years. Yay! Werewolves are fun.

What’s also fun is that I spent way too long last night playing Sims 4 until 1:30am, and I’m a little messed up right now! But I’m an adult and I can do that…just like I’m eating trail mix for breakfast, apparently.