The antidotes

It had been long since the time I had turned. Somehow I had gotten used to it. You could say I was also proud of it and I noticed the pride in other wolves around me too. I even had my own territory to defend. Food was the main problem though. It wasn’t ‘food’ and ‘hunger’ as such. It was ‘blood’ and ‘thirst’. This was one thing we had in common with vampires, along with being strange creatures of course. But that’s where we drew our lines. They were dead, or ‘undead’ as they liked to be called and we were alive, very much! Ours was every full moon, once a month, they went about it every night. We grew old and died like normal people, they lived forever. We had no love lost with the Sun; the Sun and any form of light was their nemesis.

Most importantly, we are each others’ antidote. There are a list of things you use to kill a vampire – silver bullets or stakes, holy water (one of those things that proved that religions were all the same when it comes to evil), garlic and even a trident. But the werewolf’s bite was different. It turned the vampire mortal. For someone who was a young vampire, having been turned some years back, where his total age since he was born was normal, he probably could go back to his normal life. But for someone who had been a vampire for 100s of years it always meant death.

Killing us is simpler, we are pretty much wolves on steroids. All you need is a normal gun or you can just poison our food and we’d be dead. But a vampire’s bite would render us normal. The vampires by themselves do know about their being our antidote and all, but they are not really into biting wolves on the street. It’s not difficult to imagine considering that they’d have to expose themselves to being bitten(which is probably what we’d do too if someone tried to bite us!) and most of them are pretty old too and would die instantly. Also, I don’t really blame them for not being too enthused about biting wolves on the street.

Considering that vampires don’t have any arms or ammunition and they can’t really hope to find poison and then food for us to add that poison to, and then call out for us to go eat it, the only way they can kill us is through a proper arm to arm combat. But its hard to say who’ll win as we are pretty evenly matched. They are slightly stronger than us, but they are at their weakest on full moon nights, and that’s when we are to be found anyway. And considering the higher risk they court on fighting us, they usually stay away and in hiding during these nights. But most importantly, we are sworn enemies. You could ask why, but that’s the way it is. They say we were created together and are equally ancient, but that does not mean anything to us. We are just that way; we see each other, we attack!

This has also meant that there are separate parts of the city for vampires and werewolves. The werewolf belt is more around the south and the west, the older and predominantly Kannada speaking parts of the city, around Basavanagudi, Jayanagar, J.P.Nagar etc. The Vampire belt is more North and Eastern, including the cantonment areas and places like Malleswaram and Hebbal. Since we both try to be in a familiar and safe place when day breaks out this distance between us acts as a good defense mechanism.

Occasionally some freak wolf would try to run all the way to find a vampire, forgetting all enmity and looking for a cure. We never know what becomes of them as they, invariably, are never seen again. Some say they get run over by huge trucks around Mysore road or Hosur road after getting tired of running to cover the distance, some talk of a third class of creatures, something more demon-like closer to the centre of the city whose sole purpose is to keep the two classes apart. But, I being an optimist, like to believe that they found a cure and never became wolf again.

You’d wonder why there were only freak wolves trying to get converted and not a more concerted plan for everyone to give it a shot. After all, we had more to gain than lose. Well, all I can say is, nothing really works logically and ‘ideally’, does it? Our actions are governed by different motivations than the common good or what’s best for two rival groups. There’s a huge theory based around that called game theory if you are interested. But I think when it comes down to it, it’s just a misplaced pride in being wolves as against vampires.

But we wondered why at least some vampires did not come our way looking for a conversion. This was the part that helped strengthen the ‘demons’ in between theory. Plus they had more to worry about if they failed and ended up far away when the sun came out.

Either way there was status quo being maintained around the city on full moon nights. I sometimes wondered if I’d ever try to beat it someday and make a run looking for a conversion. I knew one thing, the motivation had to be strong. Real strong!!

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