The Haven Watch: Silver

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
The origin of the Werewolves' silver myth.

Submitted: August 05, 2015

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Submitted: August 05, 2015

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Every good Watcher, the decent ones--who are legion--and even some of the bad--who are unfortunately many--are the keepers of the many truths behind the myths and legends that form the Facade.

Human, born Aware, raised equally by their families, the Church, and their local supernatural community, Watchers maintain the Facade through mediation, and sometimes intervention, so the natural and supernatural may live both together and apart.

Born with a second sight for the hidden forms of the supernatural overlaying their normal sight, a mature (relative and often arguable) and readied member of the Watch has learned the secret truths veiled behind the Facade at their family's knees, through the Church's subtle public and private collections, and from the supernaturals themselves, who often befriend the Watchers, because that's just good business.

One such myth that has more truth to it than meets the eye is that of werewolves' weakness to silver.

Though werewolves are just one of many Weres a Watcher knows as morphers connected to pagan animal spirits, werewolves are the most blatant of the Weres, breaking their cover in the Dark Ages for personal profit.  They were also the first Facade group to leverage their unique traits on the stock market.

The Silversteins were a small family of Polish werewolves and silversmiths for a mid-level Baron and scrooge.  The family crafted modest luxuries such as silverware, cups and sometimes even decorative swords, daggers and armor for their lord.

Continuously jipped payment by the Baron, the Silversteins hatched a plan: they would morph into their spirit animal forms at night and prey first on a sheep or a goat here and there, then work their way through the Baron's personal livestock. 

As the fear and paranoia of werewolves spread through the barony, the Silversteins began collecting stray dogs and mutts from nearby villages.  As they traveled, they spread word of the werewolf attacks, and began dropping hints of what was believed at the time of all the supernatural: they were susceptible to silver, too--that mercurial, shining metal.

This rumor spread like wildfire, as rumors tend to do when helped along by fear, until it reached the ear of the Baron, who was as frustrated by his meat supply drying up as he was fearful of the creatures that were taking his food from under his nose.

The Baron bit the silver story, and commissioned the Silversteins to forge silver-tipped arrows and spears with melted down tableware from his own castle.  The Silversteins took the job with solemnity, and even offered the Baron a discount, for the good of the barony.  Forks, spoons, and even plates and cups were melted down and turned into weapon tips, then presented to the Baron's soldiers.

The soldiers found their first werewolf within a day and a night. Caught feeding on a sheep on a local farm, they impaled and pierced the werewolf dozens of times with silver-tipped spears and arrows, that snapped off in the creature's thick hide, muscle and fur. 

The werewolf ran off into the woods, where the soldier's eventually tracked down the corpse, a mauled dog, but filled with their spear hilts and arrow shafts.  Strangely, all the silver was gone, but they had their first werewolf kill.

It was the Dark Ages.  Ignorance and stupidity ran rampant.  And Weres do not die easily.

Sol Silverstein returned that night to his family's private forge naked, but with a load of silver points in hand, which was reforged into bars before the sun rose, and shipped off for trade in another barony.

The Baron celebrated.  The Silversteins, including Sol, feasted at the Baron's table, along with the soldiers that had tallied the kill.

And then, a few nights later, two more werewolves began to predate on the Baron's land again.  "Silver," the Baron demanded of his silversmiths.  And the Silverstein's happily obliged, so long as the Baron compensated them for shipping it in from the same barony they had shipped the first load for trade.

Silver demand went up, the Silversteins forged new points and tips, the Baron paid higher prices, and more werewolves supposedly died.  The silver apparently dropped out of the corpses as the creatures ran away wounded.

The Baron eventually ran up a massive debt with the Silversteins, and unable to pay, the Silversteins accepted great compensation in the form of lands and promises of future wealth.  Which they enjoyed well into modern times, while the werewolves eventually were driven into supposed extinction.

Thus, how myths begin and are perpetuated.


© Copyright 2020 Jack Motley. All rights reserved.

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