portion of the artwork for Rion Amilcar Scott's fiction

The Wolfman
Rion Amilcar Scott

It’s said that during the time of the hunt, Carlos Levante ate a high protein diet and shat into plastic Ziploc bags, which he brought to the forest with him. The theory being that he could spread the bags around a small controlled area to lure more wolves. See, they’d be attracted to the scent of semi-digested protein compounds, which they would discern in the shit and he could just sit in a tree picking them off with his hunting rifle. If he didn’t stand against those wolves, he thought, they would overrun his beloved city. Live in the apartments and houses. Drive the cars. Dispense money at the banks and openly love each other on the streets by the moonlight. There’s no reason to further explain Carlos’s thinking. It makes no sense to the sane mind. And had Carlos been an anomaly, his story would be an amusing oddity. Go out to the Wildlands. Walk around for a bit. Take in the majesty of mostly unspoiled nature. Won’t be long before you encounter a plastic bag full of shit. Look all around, field after field of bagged shit awaits your eyes and nose. The plastic covering keeps the shit moist and soft. Remove all you find and quickly enough another set of deranged men will toss their shit into a clearing.

There is a phenomenon peculiar to Cross River and to the hunt: the phenomenon of The Wolfman. The Wolfman is an individual so obsessed by the hunt that his entire personality becomes consumed by the destruction or preservation of what one Wolfman (a preserver, in this instance) dubbed, the Wolf Class. The estimated number of Wolfmen in Cross River has dropped off considerably since the hunt, but there are still those who don’t realize it is over. Those who crouch in their own excrement, holding guns, sometimes slathered in pig’s blood, waiting for that wolf who will never come.

The most infamous Wolfman, Jack Sandoval (colloquially called Wolfman Jack), is known for seeing wolves everywhere and blazing his gun indiscriminately, but he is an extreme case. Most never carry a weapon. Destroyers of wolves tend to daydream that they can strangle the animals with their bare hands. No villains, these men, at least not in their own minds. The razor-toothed wolves are the violent, blood-thirsty ones. The Wolfmen see themselves as protectors and defenders of peaceful humanity, even if they must lose theirs a bit along the way. They crouch silently in grass while shitting themselves or on sidewalks, carrying heavy loads in their drawers while babbling ancient prophecy, remaining unshaven and unkempt. The Wolfman goes against his own interests, ignoring extreme cold and running after invisible wolves in extreme heat. Or like poor Carlos Levante who met his end on the branch of a tree, having forgotten to eat for days. He watched his bags of shit, waiting for a pack of wolves to sniff his undigested proteins. When hunters found his body lying face down in a pile of his own excrement, authorities surmised that he had gotten weak and gaunt up there from a lack of nutrition and could no longer hold on. Some said it was a sad way to go, half-mad and slathered in his own feces, but the truth is not a man in history died happier.

In his last few moments, Carlos inhaled deeply, wondering where the wolves were. Had their keen sense of smell been so diminished by time? He could discern each protein as it wafted to his nose. The eggs he had eaten. The curried chicken. It smelled sweeter now than before he had ingested it. How could the scent of shit be so beautiful? He inhaled again. What a wonderful fragrance. Perhaps he was becoming part wolf. There was such beauty in those plastic bags; how could the wolves miss that? All he wanted to do was share the ecstasy. Ahhh. Can you smell it? There it is. Ahhh. Can you smell the splendor? Can you smell the magnificence? Can you smell the wonder? The joy?

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FRiGG: A Magazine of Fiction and Poetry | Issue 39 | Winter 2013