Once taken up, the mantle is not put down so easily. This belt of moonstone bites deeper and deeper into my flesh with each passing cycle. Ah, that I had not ventured to the crossroads! Not struck that deal with the man dressed all in blue and black! I have bartered my birthright for a mess of pottage, and no blessings remain to shower upon me, the rightful heir, firstborn son.


Clumsy in the night, tail dragging heavy and awkward, crashing into trees, torn by bracken, mouth full of thistles and dew. No beast of the fields, I, nor the woods–outcast and shunned by man and wolf alike, a mercenary in the endless war of all against all. I feast myself on mice and carrion, and wake, one week out of four, retching, retching, Roman girdle biting always deeper into my thighs.

Ah, that I had not been so foolish!