Her Mother's Daughter
A tale of the World of Darkness
Written on the occasion of the coming End.
My daughter, Cassandra, had what they called her "First Change" about four months ago, around Christmas. It was a rather confusing time for her, the dreams and the mood swings and everything, honestly if in my time I thought puberty was bad, I didn't know a thing. We didn't see it coming – our family, Cassie explained a bit later when things cleared up, doesn't have much of a history with supernatural blood. Must be from her father's side.
I'm proud to say Cassie took it like a big girl when the people from the local "Sept" came to her door and took her with them. I didn't even know about it till later, but she actually told them she couldn't leave her mom alone, what's with being an only child with no father. She's always been like this, my Cassie, responsible and kind, and she loves her mom. We've always been best friends, even when she started growing up and wanted to start hanging out with girls her age – and, obviously, guys, too. She always told me everything, though. She even told me, when they let her go back home, that she was a Werewolf.
I've heard that Cassie got in quite a lot of trouble for doing that, and even more, because I actually believed her. Oh, of course it wasn't easy, it's not the same as if your daughter would come up to you and tell you she's a Communist or a lesbian. She tried to show me how she Changed, but unfortunately it turns out I'm particularly sensitive to the "Delirium". Still, how could I possibly not believe my girl? I knew she was bright and mentally stable and everything, and she'd never lied to me before. Ever.
So my little girl Cassie was a Werewolf.
After I thought about it for a while, it started to seem a lot less implausible. I didn't want to be cut out of her life if they were going to change so drastically, so I started looking up the subject. It wasn't easy, I'm not all that good with computers – back in my days, we used encyclopedias – and the Internet is full of crap. (No, I don't use that sort of language around Cassie, though she taught me a few curses herself that are a nice substitute – it's quite a mother-daughter moment to pass by McDonald's and shout out "Wyrm-taint!"). I did manage to come across GlassWalkers.net and find out a fact or two, so I could help Cassie out when her "Rite of Passage" was coming close and she wasn't sure the Black Furies – that's the "tribe" that took her in – were what she wanted. At the end she hooked up with those strange folk, the Uktena, instead. I'm not sure I approve, but what's a mom to do? It was her choice.
It's always been her choice. It's a bad enough thing she didn't get to choose to not be human.
I keep telling her that. You have a choice, sweetheart, of course you have a choice. You have more of a choice than the rest of us; at least for you all those different goals are clear.
As I've said, we've always been very close.
We still were, even when she got herself a pack and started running in the night howling and such. I'd look out the window and see the dark shapes gather at the street corner, and a quick sandy-brown form running to join them, and I'd know my baby was safe. I got to know a few of her friends from the Sept – people with names like "Wire-Eater" and "Bright-Eyes-in-Dark-Places" – but never any of her pack, but if she can trust them, I can trust them. They're better company than the gangs running around the neighborhood, for sure, and of course, they're her kind, she belongs with them.
It was really late when she returned every night, but I'd still be there at the window, watching outside at the dark shapes, and hearing them whisper to her: "Don't tell your mom more than you have to, Sky-High, she's not even Kin."
Well, I'm not. We got that checked all the way back to when my great-grandfather was brought to America in a slave ship two and a half centuries ago. There's never been a Werewolf among us. I'm just a normal human. She must've gotten it from her father.
But my daughter is Garou, and I'm proud of myself for having birthed her just as much as I'm proud of her.
And she always tells the whisperer: "My mom's better than Kin, Steelhead, and I tell her everything."
It's never mattered that I'm human and she isn't. She's my daughter, my baby, my best friend. What would this world be like if families like ours didn't exist? Cassie says sometimes Werewolves have trouble remembering they're not alone on this planet, and she's happy that I'm here to remind her. I told her I'd gladly come to the Sept and have a talk with whomever is giving her trouble because of her human origin, but she just shook her head and smiled at me sadly.
But Werewolves aren't alone on this planet. My daughter thought she was human once.
We've gone through a major overhaul of household habits since Cassie's Change. We don't eat junk food anymore – she says it's bad for her Gnosis – and we don't use air refreshers or anything that damages the ozone layer, or throw away batteries, and we use cardboard bags rather than nylon. I even organized a demonstration when some people from this big corporate called Pentex wanted to build a power plant on the green hills just outside town. Cassie was so happy that night, she even stayed home and didn't go out with her pack. "My mom's the best, Gaia smiles on her," I heard her tell her packmates the day after.
I never cared much for environmentalism or Gaia before. But I do whatever it takes to make my daughter happy, and make sure she remembers her beginnings with this old human woman who can't even look at her when she Changes.
At first, when she was still confused and wasn't sure what she was and what she was going to be, I was worried, about how maybe I can't give her what she needs, ever. I'm just a normal human, I can't teach her "Gifts", I can't help her train fighting, I can't guide her on those spirit quests she goes to as a "Crescent-moon". I've never even seen the war-form that she's so proud of. I couldn't even teach her about Gaia, I had to be taught myself. What could I possibly give to my Garou daughter, except the burden of memories, of being tied to this old life, in only one, blind form?
But my daughter Cassie remembers.
I just want her to have the best of both worlds.
Lately, she sometimes comes home hurt – clawed, or bitten, or burned sometimes, sometimes badly. Sometimes the wounds disappear by next morning, sometimes they stay, though she heals faster than any human, and if she can run the day after, she goes out again at night. She lost two fingers one night, just had them torn off. I wanted to go to the hospital, but she looked at me – she couldn't speak – and I knew, and I did what no mother should ever have to do and let my sweetheart be.
She never tells me how she gets wounded like that, and I never ask. Not even when I had to help her dig a silver bullet out of her arm. She's just seventeen, and the scars would stay forever… she's very proud of them, so I try hard not to think of how she couldn't ever go to the beach with her boyfriend again, unless he was one of theirs. I know she's fighting something out there, my little girl, and that this something is not part of my world, and that I'd have best not learned of it, ever. She never said it, but I know that it hurts her that I know, that she's sometimes thinking that perhaps it would have been best if she stayed at Sept that first night and never came home again, if I'd never have known at all.
But I also know that there's something happening out there, something big coming, and that none of us are going to be able to escape it for long. Garou, Kin, human, it doesn't matter. This thing makes no difference, and it's there, and it'll come soon, very soon, and we have to fight it, now. My daughter Cassandra is fighting it, her people are fighting it, but my daughter's people are also mine – and mine are hers.
"My daughter is a Werewolf," I started telling in secret, to the people I trust, to the people who'd believe. "My daughter is a changing-child, part of a dying breed. My daughter Rages against the night, to keep us safe. The time of judgement is coming, and my daughter and her people can't fight it alone."
And even if I am a normal human, even if we all are, they believe me.
My daughter, Cassandra, had what they call her "First Change" about four months ago, around Christmas. It was a rather confusing time for her, up until then she thought she was human.
And when in the end we'll rise and fight by the Garou's side, my daughter will know she was.
Author's Note: Recently, White Wolf announced that it is ending its World of Darkness line. The Apocalypse is finally going to happen. I've not been familiar with Werewolf: The Apocalypse for long, but never before have I felt quite such a kinship with a fictional world. I wish Cassandra "Sky-High" and both her peoples good fortune in the coming battle, and stand by their side, if only as a normal human feeling her heart break as the Garou's final hour comes.