Lycanthropia

Frederick Bloxham

Published by Reed Publishers, Robert D.
ISBN 10: 1885003404 / ISBN 13: 9781885003409
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Synopsis: Natalia Kulikov has run a dozen years with artic wolves before moving to the more sedate environment of Van Nuys to attend college and get in touch with her more human side. When she dials 911 to report a murder that she smells but does not see, Natalia alerts authorities to a facet of her existence she would prefered to have left hidden. Los Angeles police have been investigating unusual killings involving wolf bites and hit upon her call as the only lead in the case. Not only do the authorities take notice of her but criminal werewolves in Southern California see her as a threat. Her lone protector is a former French Canadian trapper who she can only love from a distance for fear their shared animal passions will destroy them. Jean Pierre Dumont is a dogcatcher with a unique understanding of his quarry. His success as an animal control officer for Los Angeles County stems from his own lycanthropic tendencies. Jean Pierre realizes the killers are fellow werewolves involved in the Los Angeles criminal underworld. He must hunt down and kill the others while hiding his true identity and protecting Natalia. The idiosyncrasies of this odd pair target them as suspects. the police trail Jean Pierre as he seeks out the other werewolves. Natalia, afraid that her unapproachable lover is responsible for the killings, also follows Jean Pierre, resulting in disastrous consequences. Jean Pierre becomes the prime suspect with Natalia as his accomplice. Natalia's arrest and subsequent escape lead to a city-wide man hunt. Both the police and the criminal werewolves trail Natalia as she alternately changes from human to wolfen to confuse her pursuers. Only when the opposing werewolves capture Jean Pierre does Natlaia confront her tormentors. She must stay only a few steps ahead of the police to lead a crack inter-agency law enforcement team toward theor true ememies. Natalia and Jean Pierre risk everything against overwhelming odds as the culmination of a dozen ancient curses desce

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.: Chapter 6 From the diary of Jean Pierre Dumont

"I am writing down my recollection of events that started me down this strange path so that if the particulars of my existence come to light, then future generations may not see me as a beast but merely an individual who, through no fault of his own, is cursed to tread the borderland between animal and man. Am I an animal? I certainly can howl at the full moon. Does growing fur and walking on all fours create the distinction between man and beast? I think not. Greater issue of love, kindness, revenge and forgiveness are at work here. I must set before me the question, 'What does it mean to become human?' and not set that question aside until every aspect is resolved in minutest detail. I can no longer take for granted my humanity, but grasp it as an act of will, lest my consciousness slips out of my hands into the unreasoning madness of animal emotions."

She read until three in the morning when her insomnia induced eyes finally became heavy. She placed the book on the nightstand and cradled the stuffed rabbit that doubled as a chew toy when she was in canine form. She closed her eyes and listened to the night. A siren was blaring as emergency personnel raced down the Golden State Freeway in an attempt to rescue victims of the fire creating the smoke her finely tuned sense of smell detected. A baby was crying across the street. Natalia could smell the used disposable diapers in the trash can. The almost silent breathing of Jean Pierre brought back memories of the cabin, when one or the other would take on canine form. If the present was eternity they would be back in the cabin, relaxing in the endless days of summer or watching the northern lights fall on winter snow. For an immortal, eternity must be pushed back in favor of the present for the portals of death no longer offer the rewards and punishments that reign in man's behavior.

Natalia rose from her bed and carried her blanket and bunny to the wolf in the doorway, to find another reclination. She laid her head on his furry side and closed her eyes. The smell of his fur gave her a sense of security she had only felt when running with the pack. They would feed on mice and caribou and howl to announce their presence to their cousins across the tundra. Summer would turn into winter and then summer again, in a perfect cycle of death and rebirth that had existed since the beginning of time. Natalia resisted the temptation to revert to canine form, wanting to better remember the smell of Jean Pierre's soft fur. Chapter 15 From the diary of Jean Pierre Dumont, dated August 1, 1951

"On moon lit nights we have an agreement. I will transform into a wolf and show up at her doorstep. We will go to Parc du Mont-Royal and walk beside Beaver Lake. We must make a perplexing sight, a young woman and a hundred eighty poundq timber wolf frolicking in the snow or grass, depending on the season. If that is all love allows then we must make the most of it. People sometimes stare at us but no one dares bother our play. They do not realize how fortunate they are to be able to engage in normal human love. Sometimes I sleep on her floor. Late at night I may assume human form and watch her asleep in bed. The longing and temptation are almost overwhelming.

"On alternate nights or weekends, Natalia shows up on my doorstep, all fur and bright eyes. I put a leash on her but it is only for show. We will walk to Parc du Mont-Royal and I will release her. She will run circles around me as I play with her on the grass. After a vigorous run I will lie backward on the lawn and she will stand over me, licking my face. If her paws were hands and her fur was skin, then I would hold her to me and consumate our love. I dare not test fate. Her continued existence is more important to me than the brief minutes human love could give."

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Title: Lycanthropia
Publisher: Reed Publishers, Robert D.
Binding: Hardcover
Book Condition: As New

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