I sat in my chair, as much part of the pub as the bar. If you asked any of the townsfolk about me, they would give the rumours, the myths and half truths. The only common threads were that my family had been living in the town for as long as they could remember, and that all the males of the family seemed to be identical....
My name, at least for now, was Marcus. My true name.....well, it had been so long since I'd used it, I had almost forgotten.
I had thought, that I was the last of my kind. The purges of the middle ages, had seen us almost wiped out. The survivours had fled, into the deepest forests, into the highest mountains. Then I heard rumours of a town, where the descendents of my kind were tolerated. When I first came here, all those years ago, I had sworn that I would never change again. I didnt need to work. A lifetime of wandering, accumulates a lot of wealth. The trick was, not letting it show. Just being normal, that was the hard part.
Which was why I was here.
Sitting in my chair, over the last couple of years, I had seen people come and go. With my experienced eye, I knew who was who, or more exactly, who I should avoid.
The youth Russell, was one. I had recognised his scent the moment he walked in. as time went by, like moths to a flame, others appeared. Whether it was intentional, or instinctual, I'm not sure. There was Jared, Flarus, and now this new young girl Elin.
It was amusing, to watch them. Once a month, they would become all surly, and moody, as the change took control.
I would hear them, off in the far distance, howls imperceptible to normal people in the town. Well, I was far from normal.
I had seen on them, the youngsters, the wolf head 'tattoos'. When you become one of my descendents, it appears on you. The one special one amongst the little group, was Flarus. I could tell by his scent that his link to me was more direct than the others. He could choose when and where he wanted to change. But, the difference between us, was that when he changed, he would just have his single, alternate appearance.
With my age, and experience, when, IF, I wanted to change, I could change into any size and colour I wanted.
Well, being an 'elder', does have its perks.
So I sit, and watch, as Elin avoids Russell, who stares at her intently.