Rites of Passage

A Dubious Past

An Ordinary World ...

Kaiden Reid

I really don’t know how to start so I’ll just jump right into it. My name is Kaiden Reid. I’m 17 years old, I live in my grandparents loft (mostly by myself I might add..) and I attend NYU. There I am a full time student which I have to balance with, eating, partying, and general waywardness. Oh, and I am a werewolf. So that has something to do with all of this stress I seem to be swimming in. Which is in part why I am writing this journal. I talked with Larissa the other day about my problem and she said that sometimes for those of my auspice writing or other creative activities can help to keep my temper when things get rough. So here I am …

There is a story that my mom always used to tell me when I was a kid. There once was an older man set in his ways and content to live by himself for the rest of his years. One day he was outside near the road planting the seeds of a tree in the dirt when along came three fine young comrades, my mom’s words not mine. They said to the man, “You are foolish to be planting such a tree, for the fruit will not grow before you expire. Why do you waste your time doing something that is of no use to yourself?” To which the man replied, “The people before me provided for my happiness and it is my duty to provide happiness for those who come after me. Besides, who knows? Perhaps you will die before me.” The comrades laughed at the man and called him a fool as they rode away. The old man’s words came true; one of the young men went on a voyage at sea and drowned, another went to war and got shot, and the third fell from his roof and broke his neck. I think it means something along the line of “Life is never certain so help those around you”. She said that is was a story my grandfather used to tell her all of the time. I always thought he was crazy but they say that madness comes with a kind of clarity so maybe not everything that comes from his mouth is crazy.

Speaking of my crazy grandfather I suppose that a kind of madness runs through our blood. More than most I mean. My lineage boasts a member of the IRA, those radical revolutionaries from Patriot Games. Car bombings, theft, and assassination were all part of his repertoire and he still found time to woo the ladies. Then there was the man who joined in the second World War. Finn I think his name was, anyways he earned his reputation as an assassin during the war. Those who fought with him tell me he was the best of men and that he deserved my respect for the things that he did. I guess that’s true, but he was never any good to me. He always told me he was disappointed in my father and that I should correct his mistakes. I never liked him much. Then there is the crazy one I was talking about before. I don’t exactly know what happened with him but every time he left our house he would pull me aside and tell me to watch my back. When I was a kid it frightened the bajeezus out of me, but I don’t think he really means anything by it. Like I said … crazy. Last but not least is my dad, hulking beast of a man who thought that wild animals would make for a great amusement park. It worked well until a kid went home with a river of blood flowing from his chest, but to be fair he should know better than to throw rocks at a wolf. What was his name, it was something boring like James, or Jones. I don’t know, I was only a kid when it happened so my memory is a little fuzzy.

I guess the story kind of tells the truth though. Life is strange. It hands you all of these different things and you are supposed to find out what to do with all of them. My dad never knew that he was going to open up a wildlife reserve, heck he just wanted to make a few bucks, but for his efforts he has been rewarded. Now he has a TV show on Planet Animal and people call him “Irish Steve Irwin”. I’m not trying to make light of his struggles. It can be pretty hard sometimes, downright scary at others. I didn’t know if that kid was going to live through that. But my father has worked hard to help protect the world’s wildlife, and he has shown me a few of his skills, so I guess that he has provided happiness for me. Maybe I’m too young to give anything back yet. Mother Larissa says that I’m not a real werewolf until I go through the rite of passage, or at least that’s the message that I get from her. Maybe that’s true but I figure now is a better time to start trying than later.

- K.R.

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