's 2019 Horror Write-off:

Dr Hinotama's Compedium of Weres

Submitted by aceotaku (email)

You open a plain brown door and enter a small room, within you see an immaculately decorated room with a red silk rug, several large shelves lined with several thick books, and a small around which were arranged a pair of comfy leather lined armchairs. Upon one of the chairs sat a peculiar man dressed in a green waistcoat and matching pants, a pink cravat, white gloves covering his hands and simple black suede shoes on his feet. His most striking feature however was the large amount of bandages covering his face entirely, leaving only his right eye exposed. On closer inspection it seemed this eye however was a false eye, made of bright red crystal and cut to resemble an eye’s shape closely.

That man of course, is me. Welcome, dear guest, take a seat in front of you, here have a cup of tea, we have much to discuss.

My name is Dr Gosoboro Hinotama and I am a man of great curiosity, and have spent a long time researching...well...everything that intrigues said curiosity. One of the things foremost on my mind are creatures called Weres. You seem to have some inkling what those are, but allow me to explain, allow us to ease into the topic of discussion.

Now, you are most likely familiar with the most famous Weres: the werewolves. Turns into a wolf or wolf-like humanoid in some tales, often via the light of the full moon, can only be killed by a silver bullet. And while, yes, those are the most FAMOUS, there are a LOT of misconceptions about Weres and their kind. For example, and the most inexcusable, is the idea that a Were only transforms by the light of a full moon.

The truth is FAR more fascinating, I find. In reality, the transform has no discernible exterior trigger, far as I can determine. The Transform is random depending on the individual, irrespective of the time of the day or the presence of a celestial body visible to the naked eye, and the duration of the transformation is also unique to the individual. Some transformations can last days or months at a time, or may even last only a few hours between certain days or even weeks!

However during this transformation, the Were experiences not only a change in appearance, but also an increase in physical strength and even a modicum of enhance physical regeneration, though this does indeed vary between the type of Were.

Oh, yes, there are MANY types of Were, and I do wish only to discuss the most interesting varieties for our discussion as there are just so, so many, but before we can get into that we must first get into what, exactly, a Were IS.

The Were are largely humans, though whether there are animals that are also Weres is something I’m still investigating, that are descended in some way from some sort of demonic entities known, ‘creatively’, as the ‘Wer’. Very little is known about the Wer, such as what they did, how if at all they reproduced, whether they were a race of creatures or an individual being, and even how they created the Were in the first place beyond some theories of coupling with animals and other such things and somehow passing the traits of those past couplings when they likewise coupled with a few lucky humans. In fact, no one knows what the Wer even LOOKED LIKE. However, what I do know is that this connection is what bestows the Weres with their transformative abilities, enhanced physical attributes and, on occasion, a propensity towards violence and aggression in some cases.

The majority of Weres are born as such, descended from the very first Weres. These Weres usually experience their ‘inheritance’ during the age of 15 or 16 years old, though some may experience their transformation at older ages. However, there are some cases where a ‘non-were’ may become one, though the idea that the powers of a Were are transmitted via the bite or scratch or otherwise wound attained at the hands of a feral one is exclusive only to superstition and foolish folklore. The methods for someone to become a Were beyond via genetics is much more difficult, esoteric and...messy.

I do so hope you’re paying attention, you just seem to be a nodding off a bit and it would dearly hurt my feelings if I was boring you. Don’t worry, we’re at the fun part now, as I feel now is the time to get into the specific VARIETIES of Were, now that we’ve dealt with the basics and the origins.

Now of course there’s the werewolf, but thanks to popular media I think you can imagine what they more or less resemble, and they’re not nearly quite as common as one would think regardless.

No, the MOST common Weres are what are known as “weregirls” and “weremen”. Not what I would use, but they’re simple enough descriptors. These are Weres who are ordinarily completely human in appearance even after they transform, however they tend to be largely of the opposite gender in their base forms, meaning WereGirls are usually born as human males and WereMen are usually born as human females, with the transformation being one of the opposite respective gender. However, there is an undocumented possibily men could conceivably be WereMen and women could be WereGirls, but as I alluded this has yet to be substantiated, and whether this would result in a change in appearance or not is thus far only subject to theorising. Regardless, WereGirls and WereMen are the most likely Weres to retain their fully human intellect and reasoning and thus the least likely to become overly violent and aggressive, they also have a lot of potential growth. Naturally, like all Weres they too gain the increased physical abilities I mentioned earlier.

Weres of other animal types, aside from the stereotypical wolves, are also fairly standard, of course, and all sport a base humanoid form with augmentation upon transformation. WereSharks gain sharp claws upon their fingers, shark-like rough skin, the ever iconic dorsal fins and razor sharp mass of teeth, larger and more muscular body structures and a large tail for balance, their arms also lengthen and thicken considerably and their legs also grow much thicker, and they can of course breath underwater and swim at speeds far greater than any other creature of their size, including humans.

Wereflies grow large wings to...well, fly around with, segmented eyes, elongated mouths and masses of bristly hair and the growth of multiple limbs upon their bodies and they also gain the ability to secrete their gastric juices at will to make food easier to well as the flesh of their slain opponents.

There do exist, interestingly enough, far more...esoteric Weres. One time I was lucky to encounter a young lad who transformed before my eyes, his skin hardening to a pristine, polished metal, his limbs and even head extending outwards and reshaping themselves into razor sharp blades, even his TEETH seemingly becoming little more than slightly small dagger blades. I sadly did not get a chance to inspect him further for any other physical changes as he went into a rage and attempted to slay me and I had to vacate his presence.

I have heard tales of Weres based around the classical elements such as fire, water, wind, electricity and such, but I cannot possibly begin to imagine who those would function. Perhaps their flesh changes to match the basic qualities of those elements, leaving everything else completely exposed, or perhaps just a skeletal structure...

I could go on further, friend, but I believe our time may be coming to an end so allow me to elucidate you on one final, very SPECIAL Were: The WereMoon, likely the origin for the tales of werewolves under the full moon’s light.

The WereMoon is considered to be the greatest clue as to the Wer, as the WereMoon is said to physically resemble the Wer’s physical features the most, though I doubt they’re an exact match. Most WereMoons are long fossilised and hidden beneah the ground, waiting to be discovered. It is said their stone-like bodies sport a single, massive staring eye surrounded by a gigantic, crescent-shaped grin filled with razor sharp teeth. Of course, they need a catalyst to awaken even one were to dig them up, and it’s said only the blood of a dormant Were can awaken them. Upon awakening, the WereMoon would rise up high into the sky and spread a special radiation through the world. Nothing LETHAL or dangerous mind, just a particular radiation that forces EVERY Were in reach to instantly transform all at once without warning and even turn some lucky regular humans into newborn Weres themselves, and many of the Weres were said to be driven to a homicidal rage and an urge to kill any non-Weres they saw during this event. It also said the closer a Were is physically to a WereMoon, the more it would draw out the latent demonic Wer blood hidden within them, increasing their abilities and altering their base forms even further and may even cause a truly permanent transformation from which there was no recovery.

Are you still awake? Good, I’m curious to see your reactions, such as they are. Yes, you may find moving difficult. That tea had you drink earlier, I’m sorry to admit but it also contained a paralytic substance in it I had manipulated you into consuming, I’m afraid you won’t be able to move for a couple of hours, more than enough time for me to experiment. You see, I believe you are a dormant were, my eye tells me many things you see. And I believe, with JUST the right amount of Were blood from the collection I have amassed from my studies over the centuries I’ve spent conducting my research, I may be able to make a new Were from you. Perhaps even a WereMoon, or maybe even something close to the Wer’s themselves? I do not know, but I am VERY curious to find out. Whatever the case, I’ll be able to get some VERY interesting physical samples from you, I am quite sure.

It’s a shame the paralysis is so complete, I would’ve enjoyed to hear you vocalise your reactions as we conduct testing. At the very least, the conversation would’ve been enlightening. Ah, but listen to me prattle on. Let’s begin the experiment.