It is a curious thing, what happens to a werewolf when wounded. It is something of magic, and it is something of science. I’ve had many colleagues who practice the medical arts, and it is an exciting age indeed. We know little, but the exciting thing is, we recognize that we know little. What possibilities are upon us?
I’ve spoken with some of the forerunners of medicine, and I’ve recently ventured into a realm of science in which I am a novice—biochemistry. The colleagues I speak of will remain anonymous because I have earned their trust and am aware that they have yet to reveal all the discoveries they have made. But I have learned much, and I now truly comprehend the werewolf. What is most interesting is that I know not whether the magical werewolf or the scientific one frightens me most!
For centuries, folklore has provided simple, universal conditions under which a person contracts the werewolf curse. The reader surely knows that one must be bitten and undergoes a slow maturing process before becoming a true lupomorph. The reader is also surely familiar with the various “cures” associated with alleviating the symptoms. Of course, no cure provided by folklore promises life after recovery. The silver bullet is perhaps the most widely known, and most … effective.
Would it surprise you to learn that folklore was not wrong? Ah, yes, I tell the truth! However, folklore does not give us the details behind the magic. It so happens that during maturation of the curse within the body, the afflicted begins to produce a chemical that is not natural to the known human anatomy. It is a “growth hormone,” according to the knowledge I have collected, and a natural anesthetic during the morphing process. Unlike vampires, whose physical traits, such as retractable fangs, are part of the anatomy and everpresent, werewolves experience growth of their human components each and every time they transform, due to the hormone. When a werewolf transforms again back to human shape, the excess fur is shed quickly. The overgrown teeth fall out and are replaced rapidly with new, human teeth. This hormone induces rapid and efficient blood-clotting when the body is wounded, and thus no strike of an ordinary blade or pierce of lead shot will scathe a werewolf. How sympathetic nature can be.
As the curse giveth, it taketh away. Only weeks ago, while steeped in study with a colleague, I discovered something groundbreaking and so incredibly obvious that I wonder why I did not realize it sooner! The hormone that grants the werewolf a hyper-recovery period and transformative qualities is also a compound which reacts quite violently to metals containing any amount of pure silver! I watch the substances interacting in this controlled environment of mine, and I can only wonder what agony it must be to be dissolved from the heart outward! Yet, how just it is that a gift of nature is balanced with a punishment. I ask myself, is physical immortality a curse, or a blessing?
April 19, 1833