On October 30th, the ESA gathered for its annual game of Werewolf. We ate candy. We decorated cookies. We sharpened our pitchforks and ruined friendships. Don’t fret if you missed out on the fun and food. There will be more of it (with hopefully less bloodshed) on Friday, November 17 at the ESA’s November Board Game Night!  You can also hear some (far more expert) stories, poems, and more at The Garden Statuary Issue 7.1 Launch Party on November 30!

In the meantime, Rebecca, Kristinaville’s town doctor, has provided an unbiased and totally accurate account of the village’s werewolf trials and tribulations. [Editor’s Note: We are currently negotiating with Rebecca for the second half of the testimony. Apparently our current offer of two gallons of cow blood just doesn’t cut it.]


Look, I’m a good doctor.

I am! When someone has an infection, I get out the leeches. I make herbal brews. I squint at the sick and say, ‘Yeah, you are definitely cursed.’ I am a fully trained, competent medical professional.

But at no point in medical training did we ever discuss werewolves.

So it’s not my fault, okay?

*

In retrospect, Kristinaville was probably doomed from the start.

Having slaughtered the entirety of Sashaville, Kristina, a werewolf, discovered capitalism. She collected money from the deceased and then travelled down river. There, she built a fancy mansion on a hill. She reformed her ways, took a distance course on accounting, and then bought the nearby town and named it after herself. She also became our mayor. Kind of because she owned the town and kind of because we all were, like, 80% sure she was a werewolf and were understandably intimidated. But I mean, we couldn’t be sure. Was it weird that her mansion had a doggy door that she sometimes still used? Or that she’d sometimes bolt after squirrels mid-sentence?  Or that time she told us dog food was ‘actually a great mid-afternoon snack.’ Yeah. A little bit. But billionaires are eccentric. We let it go.

*

Despite it all, Kristinaville had a few years of peace. I bought five new leeches and named them all Stanley. People moved in. People moved out.

And then the trouble started.

Kevin, the Baker, was found dead on Kristina’s estate, clutching a blood-soaked baguette. Definitely the work of a werewolf.

‘Oh, darn. We love bread,’ we all said and then moved our bimonthly angry mob up to storm Kristina’s house. We killed her, naturally, despite all her protests that ‘obtaining an accounting degree actually cured lycanthropy.’ We descended upon her with pitchforks, torches, and a deep resentment of the rich. ‘Down with the bourgeoisie!’ cried Ariel, the town cobbler, who was really more of a communist than a werewolf-hater. That was okay. Kristinaville had an inclusive, intersectional approach to mobbery. We were all pretty proud of that.

Kevin, the Baker, was found dead on Kristina’s estate, clutching a blood-soaked baguette. Definitely the work of a werewolf.

But the next night, Danni, whose main contribution to the village was owning a lot of cats, was killed. Two huge sets of wolf tracks were found leading away from the body. We had two werewolves on our hands.

We held an emergency town meeting.

‘Hi, excuse me, blue hoodie, what’s your name?’ said Odie. He was the town crier. Not because he ever announced any news, but because he was very loud.

‘Ronnie. I’m, like, your neighbour. You should know this, man.’

‘Cool. Cool. Anyway, I think Ronnie’s the werewolf.’

‘What? How am I the werewolf. You’re the werewolf.’

‘That’s exactly what a werewolf would say.’

‘How do you know that… unless you’re the werewolf!’

We ignored them and elected to kill Y Vy instead. She was not a werewolf.

‘Better luck next time?’ Ashley, our blacksmith, shrugged.

*

So I knew there were werewolves on the loose and I knew people were expecting me, the town doctor, to come help them out. But it’s not like I could just patrol the village at night, waiting to hand out antidotes to any wounded victim I just happened to stumble upon. I’d have to pick someone strategically and pay them a specialized night-visit.

That sounded really dangerous. I decided to stay home.

The ghost of Danni floated by my window and squinted accusingly at me. But, look, the last thing you want in a werewolf emergency is for your one town doctor to die. This was a selfless, purely strategic decision. Stanley, Stanley, Stanley, Stanley, and Stanley all agreed.

*

‘I just want to say,’ the ghost of Danni said, meanly, at our next town meeting, ‘that this town’s doctor is so bad. They’re a really bad doctor.’

‘I think they’re trying their best,’ I said, because I was trying my best.

The ghost of Kristina looked up from her ghost paperwork, ‘In retrospect, they were probably a bad investment.’ The ghost of Kristina now had a lucrative portfolio on the undead stock exchange.

‘I still think it’s Odie,’ said Ronnie.

‘It’s always the person you medium suspect,’ said Sam, the one townsperson with cable.

We medium-suspected Sam. She always sort of smelled of dog. We decided to kill her.

‘Haha, suckers,’ said Sam, as we tied her to the pyre. ‘I’m just a villager.’  Then she laughed, smugly, to her death. Even if she hadn’t been one of the werewolves, we were now pretty sure she had been a witch all along, and we were content with our decision.

*

That night, more ghosts came by. They phased through my door and sat around my house, staring at me.

‘Do you mind?’ I said, ‘I’m trying to read.’

‘You’re really bad at being a doctor,’ said the ghosts. ‘Why didn’t you save us? Can you go and, like, save someone?’

‘Okay. One, that’s very rude and hurtful,’ I said. ‘Two, I am saving someone.’ I put a band-aid on my own nose for emphasis.

‘You’re the worst doctor ever.’

But I really wasn’t. How was I supposed to know who to go save, anyway? Was I supposed to go and walk all the way across town and save, I don’t know, Jessica? No way! That was a long walk! There were werewolves outside! Why would I ever do that?!


Be sure to read Part Two for the epic conclusion of this rollicking tale of poor decision making and casual murder.