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I’ve skipped a few sentences the the ongoing conversation between Our Hero Tom and Ms. Merrok, in which she actually concedes that he was right that her pack did not do right by Tom’s adopted werewolf brother, Bryan.
Yeah, I was surprised, too.
“But I’m still confused that an animal of your kind . . .” She paused in inquiry.
“ . . . would call a predator “brother”.”
“May I show you something, Ms. Merrok?”
She nodded, and I pulled my shirt out of my pants on the right side and held it up. I pointed to the silvery scar on my side.
“A bite mark,” she said. “An old one.”
I don’t know how much I’ll be sharing of the story that follows, as it doesn’t fit well into 8-sentence chunks. But if i can, I’ll try.
Lycanthropy as a disease/curse/contagion isn’t a thing in this world–it’s all genetic. So don’t worry about Tom being a duckwolf–that scar is just a souvenir of your typical childhood trauma, if you grew up a fuzzy duckling in a family with rather more teeth than you.
It might be noted here that other werepersons can tell that Tom is one of them—and prey as opposed to predator—and those with keen noses/eyes/insight might be able to tell that he’s a waterfowl of some kind. But in the Midwest, wereducks aren’t common, and this causes confusion. Tom doesn’t generally offer an explanation, either; many of the people he meets are far more intimidated by an unknown species (prey or not) than, say, a duck.
Some might casually assume he’s an off-brand swan, but Merrok doesn’t do casual and she doesn’t trust assumptions.