29.149.Neighborhood of the Weresiren

The La-Iin Series
Chapter 149
“Neighborhood of the Weresiren”

“Dosa-Mina, you look tired. Did you have another nightmare last night?”
Dosa-Mina turned to his mother. He could feel his eyelids drooping. “No, it wasn’t a nightmare. I was just thinking about some things and it took me a really long time to get to sleep…”
“Oh, the school dance? Your math teacher contacted us about that yesterday. She said it would be crowded, but I’d like to go anyway, if it won’t be too bad.”
“Mom…! Even if you go, and disguise yourself as a Normal, what do I say about Dad? He can’t hide Werewolf genetics! I don’t want anyone to find out I’m not a Normal. Even if it means not having you come to the dance.”
“…you never let us go to anything anymore…we want to see these sorts of things too, Dosa-Mina. Why are you so concerned about people learning your species anyway? Is it because you’re a Dualbreed? But there are other Dualbreeds in your school too, right?”
“Yes. And there are three in my class alone. But…they look more normal. Like a Dualbreed should look. I mean, what sort of freaky Dualbreed ends up half-and-half? I’d get too much attention both for that and the fact that I can’t fly. I can think of one class in particular that would try to get me to go to their side…”
“Dosa-Mina…I can’t believe you!”
“Mom, what’s wrong?”
“How can you think of yourself that way!? You know, most of the people who know how you really look think you look great, you know? I’ve heard compliments from both family and friends on your true appearance. And when you were born, and I got to hold you in my arms, my first thought wasn’t, ‘Oh, how did my child end up half-and-half?’ it was, ‘I’m a mother finally and I have such a cute son!’ I knew you were self-conscious about your appearance, but I thought you had gotten over that. I really thought it was just that you didn’t want negative attention for lying to the school, not that you still had this stupid problem…”
“C-come on, Mom…appearance issues are definitely a teenage thing. And I may have felt this way since I was little, but…well, you get it, right?”
“No, I don’t! Dosa-Mina, regardless of whether you want us to come to the dance or not, I need you to do something for me today.”
“What?”
“Today, I want you to walk around the neighborhood and talk with our neighbors.”
“…is that all? You look like you want something else…”
“And, I want you to do it while in your true form.”
“What!?”
“Dosa-Mina, everyone in this neighborhood knows how you truly look. It’s not a surprise to any of them; they all know that you’re a Werewolf-Siren. In fact, some of the younger children who live here call you Mr. Weresiren–you know that, right?”
“Yes…but, Mom–!”
“No buts! Dosa-Mina, I want you to see for yourself that there are people who don’t care about how you look. And if you won’t do it, I have things I could do to punish you…I mean, technically, me and Orlin-Aesth have payed for those species study books of yours.”
Dosa-Mina froze.
“Or, you’re looking forward to the dance, right? Well, it would be bad if you got sick, wouldn’t–”
“I’m sorry! Alright, Mom, I’ll do it! You don’t have to be so manipulative! But Mom, people here saw me how I truly look before, you said it yourself. So they won’t be fazed anymore. It’s not them I’m worried about…”
“I still want you to do it anyway. It might be the first step towards you having the confidence to be in your true form all the time. And I would really love to see you as a Werewolf-Siren again. I count myself lucky that the Cahongyun girl came over that time…even if she wasn’t so nice to you.”
“I know…fine, I’ll do it. Don’t come near me.” He stood up and walked to his room. He turned around to make sure Elai-Riya wasn’t behind him, then ducked into his room and took a deep breath.
‘I really don’t want to do this. But there’s more than just species study books and the school dance to worry about with Mom…’
He took another deep breath and began to sing.

Bring out my truth and show who I really am,
let the world see me as I am meant to be
Draw out my Siren, cast away my false species
For today, I want to be me

He looked down at his hands. One was a paw now, covered in light brown fur, and the other was tinged with the familiar pink glow of a Siren. He felt his face. Part of it was covered in fur. He could feel his wing on his back. He shuddered.
‘Being in Normal form for so long makes it so hard to get used to this again…’
He kept his head bowed as he walked out of his room and into the main room. “I’m going out,” he sighed.
“Are you–oh, Dosa-Mina!” Elai-Riya squealed. She fluttered over to him and hugged him tight. “I’m so glad you listened to me. I love seeing you in your true form.”
“Still, Mom…what if someone from school comes by?”
“Aren’t there only two people who know the way here? I don’t think you should worry. After all, those two people already know you’re a Werewolf-Siren, right?”
“Right…well, I’m going to listen to you. But in exchange, tomorrow at the dance, you either have to say you adopted me, or not come at all, alright?”
Elai-Riya sighed. “We’ll see, Dosa-Mina.”
‘I wish you’d give me a more certain answer…’ Dosa-Mina shook his head and walked outside. It had been a while since he had felt a breeze go through his fur and brush his wing, and it felt strange. It made him feel half-bald. He walked around and looked for any sight of his neighbors. Nobody seemed to be outside.
‘So Mom’s making me do this for nothing…’
“It’s Mr. Weresiren!” A little girl squealed. Dosa-Mina turned around. Several Werewolf children came running at him. He took a few steps back to avoid their leaps, but they still managed to latch on to him.
“Mr. Weresiren! Where have you been? You haven’t played with us in for-everrrr!”
“I’ve been here the whole time…” He groaned as one of them pulled on his ear.
“Ie-Vihn! Get off of him!” A Werewolf woman yelled. The little Werewolf girl who had pulled on his ear dropped off of him. “The rest of you too,” the Werewolf woman sighed. All the Werewolf children dropped off of him and ran back to her.
“I’m so sorry about that, Dosa-Mina.”
“It’s not a problem, Miss Cynthrope.”
“I think they were just excited to see you in your true form again….oh, you’re in your true form! What’s the occasion?”
“N-nothing….”
“Oh!” Cynthrope smiled. “That’s good too. Say, would you mind playing with them for a little bit?” She dropped her voice to a whisper. “I was making a treat for them, but they keep hanging all over me….if you could distract them for say, ten minutes or so, I could finish up. You could have some too!”
“What are you making?”
“Pork pie!”
“Oh…that’s pretty good. I guess I could stall them….”
“Oh, Dosa-Mina! You’ve become such a gentle giant. …you have gotten quite tall, you know that?”
“Someone at school pointed it out to me…”
“Oh, don’t be so shy. I’ve seen you in your prime before, Dosa-Mina. Be your extrovert self. Oh, and thank you for offering to watch them for a little bit! I promise it won’t be long!” Cynthrope waved, said something to her children that Dosa-Mina couldn’t hear, and walked back into her house. All at once her children came running at Dosa-Mina.
“Can you tell us all about Malicerie!?”
“I wanna know what you’ve been doing!”
“Yeah! Tell us a story, tell us a story!”
“Or maybe you could show us a power!?”
“Hey, I don’t have any powers to show you that you all can’t already use….or, at least, you’ll be able to use them someday.”
“You’re lying! What about Siren powers? We want to see those!”
“Yes, but…” He flapped his wing unconsciously. “I can’t even use one of them, and do you really think your Mom would be happy if she saw you all passed out on the ground when she comes back out?”
“I….guess not?”
“So I’ll tell you a story instead.”
“Yaaaay!”
“….aren’t there any other Siren powers you can use?”
“Yes, but I got a lot more of my Dad’s genetics. My Siren powers are weaker…also I haven’t been eating enough meat lately, so there’s that. Anyway, I’ll tell you a story about…this girl at school. Her name is La-Iin. She’s around the same age as you all, and she’s a Dualbreed like me too.”
“Ooh! Ooh! What is she?”
“She’s a Vampire-Normal.”
“Oooooh!”
“Anyway, she’s always following me around the school. She’s done some pretty crazy things. She challenged me to fights sometimes or tried to attack me. But I always overpowered her. She didn’t know my actual species, so she was confused as to why I was so strong….up until a little bit ago.”
“Why is she following you? Does she have a cruuuuush on you?”
“No, it’s because of her crush on someone else…anyway, but she’s done some pretty silly things before that too. Like…..put up mistletoes in stupid places…” Dosa-Mina started to chuckle.
“What’s so funny about that?”
“Oh, nothing, I just remembered something. But she says she’s going to rule the world and that I’ll be her slave someday. It’s just so silly, isn’t it?”
“Mm-hm!”
“I still want you to show us a power!” One of them whined.
“Alright, alright….um, let’s see….oh, most of my Siren powers have to do with singing….well, here’s something that’s a little of both, then. I know Werewolves can jump high, but when I propel myself with my wing, look how high I can jump!”
He flapped his wing as hard as he could and leaped into the sky. The children behind him cheered, but he took a deep breath. ‘….I should have thought about where I was leaping.’ He crashed into the side of a house and fell over. The door opened and an old Catori peeked her head out.
“Who is it?”
“Down here.”
“Oh….you’re the Dslellullar boy, right? Dosa-Mina?”
“Yes…don’t you remember me?”
“Yes, of course! It’s just, your face is all bruised…”
“It is?” He poked it. “Agh!”
“What happened to you?”
“Miss Cynthrope’s kids wanted me to show them a power, so I showed them how high I could jump when I use my wing as a propeller, but I ended up crashing into your house! It’s alright though. I was thinking about saying hi to you anyway. So hi!”
“Hello, Dosa-Mina! It’s been a while. You have such long legs now!”
“Do I? Thank you. I can sort of tell though….back in January, we had a race at my school, and I was able to go pretty far. But there’s a Catori girl in our class, and I know how fast Catoris can be, so guess who won the race…”
“Heh heh! It’s a natural trait of Catoris to be speedy. I may be slower now, but in my glory days I coulda run near all around Vaelyn! I can still run pretty good now, though,” she said with a wink.
“That’s probably why a lot of the top runners in the world are Catoris…”
“It would make a lot of sense!” She chuckled. “Oh, but you should probably attend to Cynthrope’s children. They’re probably worried about you.”
“I guess so…”
“It was nice to talk to you again, Dosa-Mina. Tell Elai-Riya and Orlin-Aesth I said hello!”
“I will. See you!”
He ran back over to the Cynthrope’s house, only to see her children crying and Cynthrope herself glancing around, a pie in her paws and a worried expression on her face. Once she noticed Dosa-Mina, she put the pie down and ran over to him.
“Oh, Dosa-Mina! We were so worried! The children said you jumped away and it looked like you crashed! …what’s wrong with your face!?”
“I did get a little bruised up. But I’m alright. Is the pie done?”
“Oh, yes…here, I’ll go cut it right now and we can all have a piece!”
“PIE!” The children yelled.
“Yes, pie!” Cynthrope giggled. “Wait here, you all!”
“I love pie!” Ie-Vihn said. “Pork pie is so tasty!”
“I like salmon pie!” One of Cynthrope’s sons said.
“I like liver pie!” One of Cynthrope’s daughters said. “What type of pie is your favorite food, Mr. Weresiren?”
“My favorite food isn’t pie, it’s feather soup!”
“Feather soup? Ewww!” Most of her children groaned.
“I like feather soup!” Ie-Vihn said.
“You like everything!”
“But pork pie is pretty good,” he said.
“See, I knew it!”
“What about salmon pie?”
“That’s good too.”
“Liver pie!?”
“Guh! Well, let’s just say it’s….special!”
“The pie’s cut!” Cynthrope called. Dosa-Mina went inside with the rest of the children. They all sat down at the table and started to eat their pie. Cynthrope handed Dosa-Mina a generous slice.
“You can eat here, unless you have something else to do.”
“Well, I was going to go somewhere else, but I can stay here for a little bit.”
Cynthrope smiled and bit into her pie. Dosa-Mina also bit into his piece. ‘Miss Cynthrope uses good seasonings…..and the pie crust is great! I should ask her about this recipe.’
“Have you been continuing your species studies, Dosa-Mina?”
“Huh? Oh, yes, of course!”
“One day you should show me your progress!”
“…maybe.”
“Oh, don’t be bashful!”
“I’m not being bashful! Oh, whatever. Thank you for the pie, Miss Cynthrope. I’m going to go now.”
“See you soon, Dosa-Mina!” Cynthrope called.
“SEE YOU SOON, MR. WERESIREN!” Her children called. Dosa-Mina smiled and waved, then left the house.
‘I wonder if I should go to the general area…if Mom really wants me to talk to so many people, that might be a good place to go….’
“Dosa-Mina!?”
Dosa-Mina stopped in place. “Dad?”
“Heeeey, Dosa-Mina! I’m home!”
“Oh….hello, Dad.”
“C’mere, you!” His Dad leaped at him. Dosa-Mina yelped and tried to run away, and while Orlin-Aesth didn’t land on him, he landed close enough to grab Dosa-Mina by the head and muss up his hair.
“Daaaad!”
“Sorry, Dosa-Mina! Just didn’t expect to see you outside, is all!”
‘You mean you didn’t expect to see me in my true form!’ He wanted to retort.
“Ooh. Sorry. Where were you going, anyway?”
“Mom asked me to talk to everyone in the neighborhood. So I was going to go to the general area….”
“She did? That’s a tall order…well, as far as I’m concerned, I don’t think you need to talk to absolutely everyone. It’s gettin’ a little dark outside, and one of us is gonna make dinner soon. ….I mean if she doesn’t, I will. I’m freaking hungry.”
“A-are you?” Suddenly Dosa-Mina could taste the pie crust again.
“Yeah. But I also don’t know if everyone would want to talk to you. Like, you know the guy who lives in that house over there? He stays locked up a lot during the day and only comes out at night. But by that time I bet you’ll be curled up in bed with a good book.”
“Maybe…”
“So! Are you excited for the dance tomorrow!?”
“I guess?”
“Good. Well, I’m gonna go inside now. You go ahead and do whatever–but don’t leave the neighborhood. I’m gonna make dinner!” Orlin-Aesth leaped away in the direction of their house. Dosa-Mina chuckled. ‘Dad always was pretty good at cheering me up…’
With renewed energy, he ran over to the general area of the neighborhood. There were many teenagers in the general area. One of them turned around, gasped and smiled at him.
“Dosa-Mina! It’s been a while!”
“Hello, Sirlie-Baecho!”
“Yo! Are you here to play?”
“Well, my Dad’s probably gonna make dinner soon, so not for long, but we can play for a little bit?”
“‘Kay! So, like old times, or something more modern? Oh man, what have we done that’s more modern? Since you made friends with a certain someone, you’ve hardly ever played with me!”
“Let’s just do what we used to do. It might make us feel nostalgic!”
“You got it then!”
Sirlie-Baecho clapped her hands and fluttered off. Dosa-Mina dashed after her. The other teenagers watched them play together in confusion, but both Sirlie-Baecho and Dosa-Mina couldn’t keep themselves from laughing.
‘It really is like good old times….maybe today isn’t so bad after all. I have to thank both Mom and Dad for that!’

—–
“Look what I made!”
“What is it, honey?”
“Pork pie! ….with dashes of other meat.”
“Orlin-Aesth!”
“Sorry, sorry. It’s seasoned with all sorts of seasonings, too–Cynthrope gave me the idea for it! Especially this….delicious crust…”
Elai-Riya sighed.
“Also I made salad!”
“Pork pie?” Dosa-Mina asked.
“Yes. Is there a problem?”
“Oh, no, it’s nothing.” He took a piece of pork pie and bit into it. It tasted slightly different than the one Cynthrope had made, but he still enjoyed it.
As he ate, he started to think about tomorrow’s dance. ‘Huh, all of a sudden I feel pretty cliché….’

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