Ahhh, the ability to transform into a wolf by the light of the full moon. What an amazing feat. Despite the fact that lycanthropes are always portrayed as pitiful souls whose only goal is to rid themselves of their "terrible" curse, I have always found the very notion to be...exciting? Interesting? The chance of a lifetime?
Especially if you stray from the classic mythos. People transforming into wolves at will? How awesome is that?
"I think I'll go for a light jog today..." ~transforms into a wolf with the speed and stamina of a freight train~ "...three states over!"
Once you start drifting from the classic "woe is me" mythos to at-will transformations, you arrive in the realm of shifting into animals other than a wolf. There are, to my unresearched knowledge, two schools of thought about this. You can either shift into (only one) animal of your choosing, or you shift into an animal that is representative of your character. How easy it would be to pick friends if you could easily tell they would deceive you by turning into a serpent!
I rest somewhere in the middle of all of these theories. I've never truly sat down and put any serious thought into it before, but when I ran a D20 World of Darkness tabletop RPG, I let the lycanthropes of the group pick their animal. If I could choose, I think I would like to shift into a tiger. It's my Chinese zodiac animal, and I just think it would be wholly nonstop awesomeness.
However, I have had, in my head, a story about a wereserpent woman who tries to show that her nature, as both of lycanthrope (and a wereserpent in particular), doesn't dictate her behavior. For some reason, despite not beinv overly fond of snakes, the wereserpent sounds the like the best animal for the story.
Her name is Sarissa, a name easily spoken by those of serpentkind, and her support structure does her no favors in trying to boost her position in the world, no matter how much they try. There is Reginald, a once-prince who was abandoned as a child when he contracted lycanthropy from a rat bite, making him a wererat, and Cecily, a medusa, and Sarissa's mentor.
When Sarissa finds Reginald half-beaten to death, she convinces Cecily to take him under her wing also.
I think it would make a good D&D campaign, or a novel, but that's just me. One thing I can promise you is that May will see Sarissa's story, or some of it anyway, on this blog.
Next!: another short story