The Werewolf Baby

Yesterday I gave birth to a baby werewolf.

She's covered with red-brown fur, like my hair, but she has her father's eyes. At least that's what I assume. He always had those dark, feral, too-close set eyes. You can't usually see how intense they are because he wears glasses. I always knew he was a werewolf; it wasn't exactly a secret. But I never saw his wolf form.

I don't remember giving birth. In fact I don't really remember being pregnant. But there she is. She must be mine, mustn't she?

If he'd had a daughter with the beautiful flame-haired psychopath he used to love, she wouldn't be a werewolf. To be a werewolf you have to have a human half. He and she would have had a chimera baby, half wolf, half cat, sleek and beautiful and spitting, claws deployed. He's allergic to cats. He should have known.

Today, he told me he'd slept with another woman.

It isn't that he slept with her. I said, three years ago, he could sleep with who he wanted, so long as he always came home to me. That isn't the problem. The problem is that he doesn't sleep with me anymore. I thought he was impotent, or something. If he's sleeping with someone else, and he's not sleeping with me, that means something, doesn't it?

The baby is very beautiful and wild. It's funny. I don't even like dogs, and here I have what looks like a puppy cradled in my arms, suckling at my breast. I didn't used to believe in breast feeding. It was his idea. He loves what's natural, wild, animal. He taught me to leave behind my sterile shell, the Western scientist, and embrace the natural, pets and stirfries and breastfeeding my baby werewolf. I hope she can take solids before her teeth come in.

In the old days I was a mad scientist bent on world conquest. Middle-class suburban girl, the brilliant outcast, the brain in a tank. I planned to rule the world by the age of 30. Every day I went out clothed in glittering icy armor, proof against the vampire who was chasing me and the hordes of villagers with pitchforks and torches who'd haunted my childhood. But I had a hole in the armor in my fingertips, where I would spend my days weaving tapestries that showed maps through the armor. He was a very sophisticated werewolf. He could read maps.

The cat woman, the fire beast-- I don't think she ever had a goal as clear as mad science. And I don't think the new one does either. I've seen her, tall and strong, like a spirited horse, a woman of the plains who could run all day with the wind in her mane.

I gave up mad science. I gave up world conquest. I don't know if it was his fault or not. I took off the armor, and reached out for love, and I became a real girl, not a brain in a tank anymore. See? My baby proves it. Only a real girl could have a baby. And she's a werewolf like her father, a wild creature like I tried to become.

Mad scientists always have plans, you know. They know what they want and they work it all out in advance. But the cause of mad science failed me, and I went on a quest to be a real girl-- but there's something missing. Do real girls work at dead-end jobs they hate because they can't figure out what they want to do with their lives? Of course they do. That's what it means to be a real girl.

If I were a werewolf, or a werecat, or a werehorse, I wouldn't have a career. Werepeople don't. Careers are for the humans. Werepeople do things they don't like that don't pay in the full belief that they won't be doing this all their lives, it's only temporary. They don't plan, they live for the moment.

I don't plan anymore either. All my schemes were defeated and now I'm a career woman, with a job I hate and a baby I don't remember having. She's so beautiful.

She'll be everything I couldn't be. She'll never be a mad scientist; she'll never have to go on a quest to be a real girl, and just when she thought she had it, she won't lose her werewolf lover to yet another girl who's wild and natural. Mad scientists, you see, don't have sex. And having once been a mad scientist, having once been a brain in a tank, it's impossible to reclaim body, to reclaim sexuality, however much you might want to. The best you can do is to be human, with a boring job and a boring body and be boring in bed. You'd never be able to compare with the wild things.

There isn't any werewolf baby. He doesn't want children, didn't even when he loved me. He's afraid they'll be werewolves. And I can't be a wild thing and can't function as a real human. There won't ever be a baby-- werewolf, mad scientist, or any other kind.

I rock my werewolf baby to sleep. Little outcast, little dreamer, little wild thing. Like me, you'll be caught between two worlds all your life, never being human, never being wild enough to live outside humanity. Better that you never be born.

Go to sleep, baby.