by Edmund R. Schubert
Rem'n tribes around the globe travel posing as gypsies, earning money as blacksmiths and
fortune-tellers and musicians. Or the occasional con job.
They also secretly hunt werewolves. They are a cursed people whose tangibility is tied to the
phases of the moon. During the full moon, when they are strongest, they fight werewolves, often
hand-to-hand. During the new moon -- when they are completely intangible -- they hide from
outsiders until the moon returns to view and they are solid once again.
Pretending to be gypsies was particularly easy during the Great Depression because so many
vagabonds and homeless families already wandered across the breadth of America. However,
just as not every aspect of American life in the 1930s revolved around money, not every aspect
of Rem'n life centers on werewolves.
July 29, 1935 - The Shenandoah Valley, Northern Virginia
Despite the lack of the moon, the star-speckled heavens shone brilliantly -- radiant enough for
the Blue Ridge Mountains to throw stark shadows across the grassy field below. Eleven-year old
Gabrielle Ortello walked halfway across the meadow with her mother, then took off running to
catch up with her lean, intangible, naked friends. There's just no way to be intangible and
clothed at the same time.
The four other girls had almost reached the dense stand of pine trees on the other side, and as
Gabrielle ran, her mother, also intangible and naked, called out those all too familiar words:
"Watch out for people!"
Gabrielle waved without looking back. "I know, Mama," she said, rolling her eyes. "I know."
She had heard it all a thousand times. Make sure no one sees you walk through the tree trunks.
Make sure no one sees you pass in and out of the boulders.
What was Mama worried about?
Gabrielle knew her history; she had sat through the Elders' endless lectures about how the
Rem'n had once tried to reveal themselves to the outside world, only to be feared and hunted
Besides, walking through stuff was fun. And the Rem'n were only intangible for a handful of
days each month. Did they really have to be that careful?