Badmoon Rising – Chapter Four: Head Shots are Always a Bitch

17 Dec
December 17, 2011 Vollen’s rodeo parties were held at an old warehouse in Thonotssassa, a small town/suburb of Tampa near the Florida State Fairgrounds.  Vollen purchased the warehouse a couple of years before and turned it into a full rodeo ring, complete with chutes, bleachers, and scoreboard. What resulted was the only full-time indoor rodeo ring in Hillsborough County. Vollen used it exclusively for his “rodeo parties.” The aristocracy was expected to host some form of social event, usually every couple of months or so. They allowed the pack leaders to meet with one another in a setting that were supposed to be free of politics. So, of course, the parties were almost all politics, just the quiet sort. The parties gave Vollen a chance to touch base with his supporters and to see where the pack leaders stood on the issues of the day. More importantly, to most of the county’s lycanthropes, these kinds of parties gave Vollen a chance to enjoy his latest hobby. Most of the lycanthropes of the county were just happy to see their lord enjoying himself with something since the death of his wife several years ago; enough so that they were willing to subject themselves to the humiliation of trying their hand at rodeo.  The rural packs could handle the events just fine, but most of the packs were from urban and suburban areas. If lycanthropes didn’t heal so quickly, some of the attendees would have been killed. For this night at least, Vollen imported a demonstration team instead of the normal fun and games. I really didn’t want to watch the pack leaders play cowboys and cowgirls. Read more →

Badmoon Rising – Chapter Three: Dealing with Others

30 Oct
October 30, 2011 Cafe Verona was a small Italian place nestled in the heart of SoHo. SoHo, or South  Howard Avenue, was one of the trendy urban neighborhoods. It was also in the middle of leech territory. I moved fast after the raid on the harem – or whatever that place was – to get down to the restaurant. I barely had enough time to change into more casual clothes. I needed to get into leech territory before dusk. I didn’t want the bother of dealing with any of the younger vampires prowling the streets. I was here for business, not brawling. Read more →

Badmoon Rising – Chapter Two: I Always Call Him Nick

01 Oct
October 1, 2011 The next week was a boring series of motions. The Guildmaster refused to throw any hunting jobs my way. All I could do was sit in my townhouse and mope. The local media tried to get a hold of me the day after the explosion. After a few hours of “no comments,” the reporters left me alone, thanks to the kin in the local law enforcement agencies letting little juicy bits of “information” leak out. The cover story was that the private investigator who owned the car, namely me, probed a little too far into the Tampa drug scene. It seemed like a solid story, so I stayed with it. The nice thing about humans was they gave us so much social camouflage to hide in. Read more →

Badmoon Rising – Chapter One: Pay Attention, There’s a Lot of Stuff You Need to Know

08 May
May 8, 2008 If you have read this far, then you probably have guessed what I am. Who I am is probably still a mystery. It is said that all lycanthropes, or werewolves as human stories call us, have three names. The first is the name the lycanthrope was hiding name, given by his parents at birth. The second is the lycanthrope name given to him at Initiation by the lord of the county. The third is the pack name your pack gives you. My hiding name was Marcus Edward Graven, III. It has been a long time since anyone has called me by that name. My lycanthrope name is Marcus Phoenix Badmoon. By tradition, I the first name of both my hiding name and my lycanthrope name remained the same. My middle name was given to me because I played dead during my Initiation, and then appeared to come back to life at a rather opportune time (i.e., ambush). The Badmoon surname is the one that has given me trouble for my entire life as a lycanthrope. I am the first lycanthrope in Florida not to have any known lycanthrope roots. Usually one or both of the parents or grandparents of a lycanthrope are also a lycanthrope, and occasionally it shows up in cousins, but I have no known relatives that are also lycanthropes. To a society that values it close family connections, I am perceived as an intruder. Tradition states that the only surname I could have been given was the name Badmoon. My pack name was given to me after I completed the training for the Hunters Guild. To my Guild brothers, I am known simply as Ranger. I don’t know why the instructors at the camp gave me that name, but it seemed to suit me. Read more →

Badmoon Rising – Prologue: Why I Hate Camping

01 May
May 1, 2008 For the pups of the pack, it was tysach, the learning time between the Rites of Discovery and Initiation. Tradition dictated that this was the time that the pups were to be secluded from the packs. It was the time for them to learn of our traditions and the necessary skills they would need in order to survive in our world. In the past, the three other lycanthropes and I standing guard would not have been there. Necessity had changed that part of the tradition. During this seclusion, the pups and one of the pack’s elder members of the Order of Spirits, or shaman (a term recently borrowed by the Order), were to come together to share the stories of our past, learn how to survive the dangers in our world while camouflaging within the human, and indoctrinate the pups into the ways of the packs. To tell our stories and legends, the shaman would use their mystical powers to create small pictures of the past from the flames of the campfire to help in their teaching. The flames were dying down as one of the shamans was finishing another tale to his pupils. Read more →