J.M.M. Butterfield

Fantasy Author

Brother

I see the fear in men’s eyes.

It is fleeting, little more than a haunting shadow. Yet I see the darkness for what it is, understand its place in the world. I find it ironic that the temples I visit, places of enlightenment and peaceful contemplation, harbour such an assortment of men who have something to hide.

Their monasteries are often secluded, nestled between mountain ridges or hidden deep in the valleys of the Old World. The men are generally reclusive, their lives austere. Those who seek such destinations are not always looking for god, though. Many flee due to their own transgressions, searching for a place where the eyes of authority choose not to venture.

And yet I choose such places.

I do not know whether I have found my true purpose in this world, but for now I am content. Wearing my brown habit and sandals I walk the earth, always searching for the next temple, forever obliging as I seamlessly shift into monastic life. Few questions are asked in such abodes and less are answered, and once accepted into their simple existence the hunt begins. It is quick, for I have talents few men can replicate.

As the cycle nears I mark my victims. There are many, and I no longer wonder why. Mankind simply has the capacity for the truly unthinkable. It is in their nature. It is why I do not shy away from my actions. I am a hunter. Mankind is my prey. As a lion stalks the antelope, so I prowl the temples of light in search of the weak. If I was to refrain, then too many evil men would roam.

So, as the full moon rises I shed my habit and embrace the fur cloak of nature. My teeth grow long, my nails become claws. It is only a matter of time before the inner sanctum is splashed with gore.

In the end, they reach out. They call me Brother, a last, vain attempt to quell the slaughter.

But I am not akin to man.

I am brother to the wolf.