Sunday, October 14, 2012

Character Interview: The Wendigo

(I sit on a moss-covered log deep in the Canadian woods. Across the clearing from me, on another log, sits the Wendigo. He reaches into his mouth with a foot-long finger and picks some meat from between his fangs with a black claw. He greedily licks it off with his long tongue.)

Author: So, how are you feeling today?

Wendigo: Hungry, as always. You're lucky I've just fed and can talk with you without risking your safety.

Author: What is a typical day like in your life?

Wendigo: I don't sleep much. I spend most of the day hunting. I can run as fast as one of your, what's that word, automobiles, so I cover a lot of territory.

Author: You don't know what a car is?

Wendigo: When I was a man, people walked or rode horses. There were ships that sailed on the seas using steam engines, but these "cars" of yours were a distant dream. These "all terrain vehicles" even more so.


Someone actually got away from me on an "ATV." That was embarrassing. The authorities no doubt thought he was drunk, but I had to hunt elsewhere for awhile lest men with guns come looking.

Author: You fear guns?

Wendigo: Of course! What predator doesn't fear guns? Guns make even the smallest and weakest prey able to hurt or kill the greatest manqueller. There are only two ways to kill a Wendigo, and a firearm can manage one.

Author: What are those ways?

(The wendigo snorts.)

Wendigo: I was most assuredly not born yesterday.

Author: You're the boss. Are there any other creatures like you?

Wendigo: There were, once. Long ago, it was a lot easier to get snowed in out in the woods and have to feed on your fellow humans to survive. We can sense that. If we don't find you and kill you, there's a good chance you'll end up becoming one of us.


Now there aren't many trappers or Indians left. A lot more tourists, but they don't stick around when the hard winters come. I doubt if there've been any new wendigowak born since that "Second World War" I've heard of. And even we can be killed or simply die of old age, even though we generally live many of your lifetimes.

Author: You said earlier you fear guns. If men with guns can kill you, wouldn't a body be proof of your existence?

Wendigo: We tend to crumble away quickly after our deaths. As you can see, there's not really much substance to us.

(The wendigo rises to his feet. Although he's around ten to twelve feet tall, he's absolutely emaciated. Each muscle stands out beneath pale skin and I can count each rib. Through his abdomen, I can see the faintest traces of his spine.)

If some lucky shot was able to bring a wendigo down, he'd fall apart when someone tried to drag him away.

Author: That would explain the lack of physical evidence.

(The wendigo steps forward. Drool trickles past ruined, chewed-away lips.)

Author: Could you please sit back down?

(The wendigo closes his huge eyes for a moment, then retreats back to his log.)

Wendigo: I would leave soon, if I were you. My hunger sometimes makes it hard to control myself.

Author: Thank you for your time.

Wendigo: You're most welcome.

The Wendigo is the protagonist of my short horror story "I am the Wendigo," which is available here from I got the idea of a character interview from Malissa Thomas.

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