A bunch of people commented on a scene from my NaNoWriMo story about a shape-shifting detective (not an actual werewolf, but there’s similarities) either for against her choice to take off all her clothes before changing shape.

Some people, like me, would rather suffer any number of indignities than be seen naked. We don’t do nude.

In my opinion, clothes are too restrictive, you’d have to take them off first. Others said that a were would wear (Hah!) loose clothes and/or little clothes, and be able to slide out after changing.

This gave me two different stories, which I’m sharing, because y’all are as weird as I am, and that’s why you’re amazing. Part 2 to follow.

*   *   *

“Hank, you’re in such good shape! Why do you always wear those baggy sweats?” Darla leaned over the bar to peer at Hank intently, as if she could see through the stretched, faded, and ill-fitting items in question.

Hank shrugged. “They’re comfortable.” He dropped his gaze to his sandal-shod feet, because if he even glanced in Darla’s direction, all he’d see was her spilling out of that low-cut top, and Darla didn’t need encouragement.

A sound from outside the bar, a cut-off howl, drew his attention. “Sorry, gotta go,” he tossed over his shoulder as he rushed outside. The sound was familiar, and he saw exactly what he expected–a pair of women facing five men.

“Aww, come on! We just want a little peek,” a man wearing a battered baseball cap flipped at the edge of one of the women’s dress, a loose flower-printed thing that fell to her knees. Her narrowed eyes and set jaw seemed more angry than scared to Hank, and he wondered if he’d misread the situation.

“Come on,” a man with a small bald spot reached for the elastic neckline of the dress, tugging it down to reveal a bare shoulder, and Hank was done hesitating.

The woman fell to the ground, with muffled popping and cracking noises.

The men recoiled, all of them swearing in a cacophony of surprise.

A wolf with the same reddish brown fur as the woman’s hair crouched on the ground, head sticking out of the dress’ neck. The wolf shook her head, and squirmed back, scrabbling free of the cloth. She growled at the group of men in front of her.

The balding man stumbled away, and ran into one of his buddies behind him. He glanced back, and straightened, taking courage from his numbers.

Hank dropped to his knees, and changed his shape, hoping the crack of re-arranging bone would be hidden behind the conversation the men were having, ramping themselves up to something ugly. His legs caught in the sweatpants, so he kicked and twisted, catching his nails on the fabric with a ripping sound before he finally shook free. At least it was easy to duck out of the sweatshirt, and it didn’t seem like anyone had noticed his struggle.

The female werewolf had backed up as far as possible, standing in front of her friend and snarling. Feeling their beer-fueled courage, the men had spread out, hands tightening to fists.

Hank growled, and the men flinched, several of them twisting to see what was behind them. A man wearing a ripped pair of jeans, who was off to the side of the group, started backing away, sliding past a nearby parked truck, and ducking out of sight.

His abandonment had the remaining four men shifting around, bumping into each other as they tried to watch both werewolves at once.

Hank prowled closer, teeth bared, and the two men closest to him ran, the others following close on their heels. He sat on the dirt and gravel of the parking lot, watching them scramble across the lot and into the dark.

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About Caitlin Stern

I have a MA in English, and have so many fantasy/urban fantasy WIPs it's not even funny. I'm an avid reader of science fiction, fantasy, mystery, romance, biography, fiction, and anything else that catches my interest. I collect books, and bookmarks I find that are visually appealing and useful.

5 responses »

  1. Sarah W says:

    You know . . . If I were a Were (snerk), I think maybe I’d wear the loose (or tear-away?) clothing, but I might also learn to quick strip so I wouldn’t get tangled.

    I’m still not sure about the bra question, though . . . then again, would a female non-primate Were in human form need more than one bra? Would she have a regular bust in human form and, uh, auxiliary nipples?

    How much more difficult would being, say, a clothed Wereswan be?

    Am I over thinking this for any story I’m likely to read/write? Maybe?

    • caitlinstern says:

      Tear-away clothing? Like exotic dancers clothes, with snaps? That would be interesting.

      That would depend on your rules (which is why there isn’t such a thing as overthinking, I think.) Are the Weres exactly the same in appearance as humans? Or a slightly modified human appearance–different eyes, changed tooth structure, sharp nails, etc. Or are they humanoid, with fur, tails, or four fingers and a dew claw? Because option A would need a bra, B might or might not, and C likely wouldn’t (I think the number of nipples would, as in most mammals, depend on how many babies come with a pregnancy).

      Writing is fun because you get to decide these things. 🙂

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